Who deserves praise and criticism this week in Northern Utah?

Monday , September 04, 2017 - 4:30 AM1 comment

STANDARD-EXAMINER EDITORIAL BOARD

The Standard-Examiner Editorial Board hashes out the positions we take on the Opinion page. Here’s what members recommended last week for praise and criticism.

THUMBS UP: To law enforcement, first responders, hospital employees and retail workers who are working on Labor Day. 

Since the first Labor Day was celebrated in the late 19th Century, Americans have coveted their time off — and many fought hard for the right to it. 

But in order for many to safely and conveniently celebrate a holiday, it requires that plenty others clock in. 

Drive extra carefully, thank the gas station cashier as you head out for one last summer trip and be extra nice to that retail worker as you take advantage of Labor Day sales. They’re working because you don’t have to today. 

THUMBS UP: To the City of Ogden for taking the time revisit the urban chickens issue.

The last time the council took the issue up was five years ago. It wasn’t easy then and it won’t be this time, either. It's contentious. For the council, they’re going to upset a group of people no matter what they do.

Organizing various departments and groups who would benefit or be affected by an urban chickens ordinance was the right move to make. Different stakeholders deserve an invitation to the table and it’s best to set the expectation they do their homework and put their best argument forward.

Making a decision based on research and facts is always a better way to consider policy changes.

THUMBS DOWN: To how Ogden School District is handling information about the bond initiative.

With only two months before voters consider the ballot initiative at the polls, there's plenty of confusion about what the money would pay for and why. 

The district should be commended for finding an infrastructure funding solution that wouldn't raise taxes, but that doesn’t mean voters — and parents — don’t want to know about building plans. Parents have every right to be concerned about the proposed “four-section” schools. This district owes them research to support their strategy.  

They should be transparent about what schools they’re considering for demolition, too. There’s a way to do that without compromising a land deal, contrary to what officials tried to argue in a recent meeting. 

We live in an age with social media and creating a quick, cheap, pop-up site has never been easier. There’s no excuse why the district is fumbling the situation by ineffectively communicating with residents.

THUMBS DOWN: To scammers taking donations meant for Hurricane Harvey relief. 

Sadly, NPR and USA Today, among other news agencies, needed to publish consumer awareness stories to make sure people wanting to help don’t end up ripped off. 

“If you want to give money to an organization, type its name into a browser and go directly to them. That way you know you’re giving to who you think you’re giving to,” Walt Green, the former director of the Justice Department's National Center for Disaster Fraud, told USA Today.

They also suggest verifying whether a charity is real — registered as a non-profit with the government, as required by law — by checking CharityNavigator.org, Better Business Wise Giving Alliance or GuideStar.

NPR also reported GoFundMe’s official Harvey donations page. Don’t contribute to a GoFundMe if it’s not on that list. 

It’s an unfortunate reality that we have to be on the watch for opportunists after such tragedy, but the bright side is that there are so many who are trying to help.

As Fred Rogers, legendary children’s TV host said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

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