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Rolly: Remarks poison the waters

Published November 7, 2005 12:50 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2005, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

So much for Enlibra.

Former Gov. Mike Leavitt's made-up word to describe an era of compromise and mutual respect between competing parties on environmental issues may be erased from political discourse after some recent saber rattling.

Jason Groenewold, executive director of Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah (HEAL), sent an e-mail to his members two weeks ago implying that Department of Environmental Quality Executive Director Dianne Nielson voted to deny HEAL legal standing to appeal the expansion of Envirocare's hazardous waste disposal site because Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.'s brother-in-law was an investor in Envirocare.

That claim was so offensive to Huntsman that the governor's general counsel, Mike Lee, demanded a retraction and an apology if Groenewold ever wanted to have access to the governor again.

Lee said Groenewold has had an open and cordial relationship with Huntsman, but the accusation was so vicious and baseless, it cannot be ignored.

For the record, Nielson was just one vote on the Radiation Control Board, which actually granted HEAL's request for legal standing on a 6-4 vote. Lee said Huntsman had no input into how Nielson voted.

Groenewold has neither apologized nor retracted his statement. So the irony is one important voice against hazardous waste storage which had a seat at the table in the Governor's Office will now be shut out.

No nurse costumes? With bird flu, Medicaid funding and other major issues pressuring officials of the Utah Health Department these days, one priority seemed to stand out last week.

Executive Director David Sundwall sent a departmentwide e-mail suggesting everyone come in costume for Halloween.

Sundwall revealed he was coming as King David. Other notable costumes included one employee who came as the bird flu, one in a BYU outfit, complete with a super-hero cape, and another as the Geena Davis character in the TV series "Commander in Chief," about a woman president of the United States.

Ask for directions: The Utah Farm Bureau's October newsletter gives much fanfare to its annual convention scheduled for Nov. 17-18.

It boasts Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, as its keynote speaker and tempts potential attendees with the news that four-time Paralympic medal winner Mike Schlappi will be an inspirational speaker.

The only thing it doesn't tell you is where the convention will take place.

For the record, it will be at the Marriott Hotel across the street from the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City.





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