This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Last fall's election saw a shakeup in the Davis County School Board, with three tea-party-backed candidates winning seats, giving the sect a majority on the board.
And, as elected tea party officials tend to do, they made a show of their authority and encouraged divisiveness.
Within the first few months of acquiring their new power, they broke a long-standing tradition during their first meeting by kicking Davis schools Superintendent Bryan Bowles off the stage where board members sit and cast him into the audience with the rest of the peons.
That gesture created such a stink among constituents that the board let Bowles retain his traditional perch next to the board members for subsequent meetings. But the warning shot across the bow was noticed.
From what I've heard, Bowles is a respected leader in the education community, but maybe his sin was that he doesn't seem to dislike teachers, which seems to be a requirement for education managers among the tea party elite these days.
Look at the popularity among that crowd of new state Superintendent Brad Smith, who has made several derogatory remarks about public school teachers. Now he's got a future.
Board Chairman Gordon Eckersley stated on a candidate questionnaire last fall that one change he would make in education is to reduce the salary of education officers.
He had previously been associated with Harmony Educational Services, an online education service which was scolded by the Utah Office of Education for lax oversight of students' progress.
Senior discounts for dogs and humans • When a bedraggled, abandoned pooch showed up in a Millcreek neighborhood, the future didn't look good for the 8-year-old long-haired chihuahua.
Many of his teeth were missing and several others were rotted. His owners hadn't bothered to get him neutered, and he was old, making him unlikely to find a family. His behavior indicated possible abuse because he was stressed, continually whimpered and couldn't be comforted.
Just before a Salt Lake County Animal Control officer took him to the shelter, the officer told a curious neighbor that the dog would be held for five days, giving his owners time to claim him. Nobody called, so the neighbor, Gala Casper, decided to adopt him, which she believed would entail paying for all treatment costs.
But staffers surprised her when they handed her the pooch, telling her all vaccinations, a micro chip, sterilization and tooth removal were free. Casper only paid a $5 license fee.
She named her newfound pet To Be, (as in "meant to be") showing that they both had been smiled upon by the fates.
Casper's children had wanted to get her a dog after her husband passed away, but she declined, saying she would know her dog when she saw him. It took more than three years for Casper to find her dog. Today, To Be has a habit of crawling onto her lap and snuggling her neck.
Animal control's free service is available to senior citizens, age 55 and up, wanting to adopt senior dogs, 5 years and older. And during July, costs also will be waived for any dog at the shelter that is adopted by service members, including active duty, reserves, National Guard and retirees.
Good, bad and ugly • Salt Lake County Animal Control not only has employees who have compassion for the strays they pick up, its shelter is a no-kill facility, meaning if it can't find adoptive homes for the animals, it eventually sends them to rescue programs.
But not all jurisdictions are like that. The facilities that euthanize animals contract with a private company to dispose of the carcasses. One Salt Lake City resident was shocked recently when he was at the city landfill disposing of trash. He saw a truck pull up and dump about 30 dog carcasses, just as one would dump the trash, and pull away.
He called the Humane Society to ask about such a method of disposal and was told it is legal.
Didn't get the memo • Friday night, Centerville had a fireworks show behind City Hall, which most patrons agreed was a great show. Several Centerville police officers were there in uniform, watching the show with their families. One problem: They all left their vehicles idling during the entire show.
One patron said he first walked by the idling and empty police cars at 8:45 p.m., and they were still running with no one in them when he left about 10:15 p.m.
The cops must not have read the city's newsletter, which contained a reminder from the City Council for folks to turn off their cars because idling wastes fuel and negatively affects public health.