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Survey: Utahns most concerned about education, air quality

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  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Feb. 8, 2014 10:05 p.m.

    Many people complain of the lack of funding.

    Why don't they complain of mismanagement?

  • ZeroGo Nelson, 00
    Feb. 9, 2014 12:29 a.m.

    I just want to point out that this is the second time that the headline 'Air Quality' doesn't match the survey question 'Pollution'. Where is the specific 'air'/ 'natural gas permits/ expansion marketing' element? It says 'pollution'. That covers a lot more than just air.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 5:52 a.m.

    Glad to see "Protecting States Rights" was one of the top 3 priorities, as it should be! This would suggest high and on-going support for Utah's Amendment 3.

  • #1 Champ Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 6:50 a.m.

    Great article. I hope our future leaders take note. This list mirrors my priorities closely.

  • CynicJim Taylorsville, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 7:46 a.m.

    As a matter of curiosity, I wonder where moving the prison ranks. If the planners are queried, it seems that is the only issue and no one save the developers is paying attention. it is snowballling right along. Let your Leg Rep know to stop it.

  • Wisconsin Moderate GREENDALE, WI
    Feb. 9, 2014 7:48 a.m.

    These sound very much like "Blue State" responses. Utah citizens from both parties can find much to work together on if these are truly the priorities of the citizens.

  • evansrichdm west jordan , UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 7:56 a.m.

    Dont ask West Jordan if they want the education to improve they voted down the bond. Out of all the school district that needed the bond the most the people AKA parents said no.

  • Joemamma W Jordan, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 8:02 a.m.

    The problem with education is far more complicated than most Utahns can understand.
    It has nothing to do with current funding or more money, it has to do with economic growth which attracts large numbers of illegal immigrants as well as other immigrant and minorities who do not value or place a high emphasis on academic achievement.
    You take that and couple it with the federal government intervention in education and unions who protect the jobs of lazy unworthy teachers and BINGO you have a failing education system.
    Being Hispanic myself and having grown up in LA, I saw the school system there slowly decay to kids graduating from high school who could barely read.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 9:08 a.m.

    The Legislature will review this list, and then ignore it.

  • Clinton Draper, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 10:41 a.m.

    Education funding is the last thing in the world Utahns should be worried about. Education already receives about 2/3 of Utah's annual budget. The problem is that public education is managed just as wastefully, and filled with just as much bureaucracy and mediocrity as any other public service. Fix that and you will have fixed education.

  • Kirk R Graves West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 10:46 a.m.

    @evansrichdm

    Being from West Jordan, and having voted against the bond, I can emphatically state that it was not rejected because West Jordan doesn't value education, but because the way the bond was structured was deeply flawed. I for one don't mind spending more on education, I do have issues with just giving more money to the school district without a solid plan for how that money will be spent and knowing that the money will be spent in the most effective way.

    West Jordan citizens didn't reject the bond. West Jordan citizens rejected the spending plan that came attached to the bond.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 11:58 a.m.

    Essentially, this was an unexpected pop quiz on current events to see what people had been reading in the media, for the most part. The telling point is that protecting states rights ranked number 3 despite being seldom mentioned in the media.

    It would be interesting to see the actual survey questions and methodology.

    Were they given a list of topics, or just asked out of the blue by some stranger on the phone what the legislative priorities should be?

    If not given a specific list, how were the actual responses translated into the priorities stated by the pollsters? Lot so of room for mischief.

    Remember Dan Jones is essentially a Democrat pollster, and pollsters can skew results to get any result a client wants by the wording of a question, suggested responses, order of asking questions, and how the results are aggregated. Not to mention how the respondents are selected, and when they are contacted.

    Bottom line- don't take this too seriously.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Provo, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 1:03 p.m.

    If you want to fix air quality, buy a different kind of car or take the train.
    If you want to fix your child's education, help educate them yourself. Family's have far more power than legislators.

    I agree that these issues are important. But writing new laws doesn't change the qualify of life. Living well does. Our social problems should come first, not the symptoms of them.

    It used to be a "Family car", or a "house phone" now everyone needs their own mobility and independence. Grades aren't effected by a lack of school computers or teacher salaries. Grades are effected mostly by the choices parents make. Pollution is a choice we make too, it's made at home.

    I'm as guilty as others. I just refuse to believe that laws will change my behavior. They never have. The only person in control has always been and always will be myself.

  • Straitpath PROVO, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 1:24 p.m.

    I would like to know if the respondents were given a list to choose from or had to pull their choices from their own thinking. I would wager they were given a list.

  • TJ Gregory Roy, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 2:07 p.m.

    The photo should have been taken while driving out of Parley's Canyon on a bad smoggy day...which is almost every day. Then there would be NO picture of the Salt Lake Valley - only SMOG - which would tell the TRUE picture. It is like smoking a pack cigarette's per day! People who do not smoke don't want to smoke any at all. Elderly people, people with asthma and/or small children suffer the most! The hospital emergency rooms have been full - especially every winter. I am finding the quality of air and is diminishing every year because of the smog which is trapped in this valley.
    With all of the modern technology I would think this problem could be solved, and fast! I realize there is a much more all of us could do, like car-pooling, taking mass transit or riding bikes or motorcycles. Give big tax credits for those who do these things. What good is educating our children if they cannot breathe, and are groggy from smoking a pack of cigarette's per day? Maybe big extraction fans - which clean the air too - could be strategically placed in the Utah valley.

  • TJ Gregory Roy, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 2:40 p.m.

    What good is pouring more money into education if the smog is so bad that it is like our children are smoking a pack of cigarette's per day? How can they concentrate if they are feeling weak or sick? The children and the elderly are affected the most and the emergency rooms are full. Are there tax credits for those who car-pool, take public transit, ride their bikes or motorcycles to work? We all need to concentrate on doing our part. Just think about how many more cars are on the roads every semester when the teenagers graduate from their driver's education class and the problem is only going to get worse. The smog problem needs to be tackled NOW. Just drive out of Parley's Canyon on almost any day and you will see the REAL picture of what the smog looks like in the valley. It is outrageous!

  • TJ Gregory Roy, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 4:01 p.m.

    What good is pouring more money into education if the smog is so bad that it is like our children are smoking a pack of cigarette's per day? How can they concentrate if they are feeling weak or sick? The children and the elderly are affected the most and the emergency rooms are full. Are there tax credits for those who car-pool, take public transit, ride their bikes or motorcycles to work? We all need to concentrate on doing our part. Just think about how many more cars are on the roads every semester when the teenagers graduate from their driver's education class and the problem is only going to get worse. The smog problem needs to be tackled NOW. Just drive out of Parley's Canyon on almost any day and you will see the REAL picture of what the smog looks like in the valley. It is outrageous!

  • GZE SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 4:19 p.m.

    #14 seems to conflict with the rest.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Feb. 9, 2014 8:38 p.m.

    How can the people of Utah have most of the things on the list when they also want lower taxes? In education more efficiency could help a lot. There isn't just a lot of fat, it's blubber.

  • buck murdoch minneapolis, MN
    Feb. 9, 2014 8:48 p.m.

    To improve air quality, it will be necessary to ban wood burning. Residential burning is the largest single source of black carbon soot or smog--more than from vehicle exhaust and from all industrial sources combined. Asthma is the number one reason for school absenteeism and wood smoke is as much of a trigger for asthma attacks as tobacco smoke. When cleaner burning alternatives are readily available, this would make sense as the simplest, least expensive solution to improving air pollution immediately. While smoking is banned in many outdoor parks in many states, there are no laws to protect people from breathing wood smoke, even on our own properties. Wood burning restaurants, too, should be regulated because they too are part of the problem of caustic air that is harmful to breathe in public spaces such as city streets and sidewalks.

  • Baker Boy Westminster, CA
    Feb. 9, 2014 9:14 p.m.

    If keeping amendment 3 in place is the reason why protecting states' rights ranked so high in the poll, the citizens of Utah couldn't be focused on a less important issue as it relates to the well-being of most people in the state.

    If amendment 3 is overturned, the impact on Utah in a real sense will be near Z-E-R-O, except for those who will be able to get married. For them, and for all Utahns who believe in the the equality that is guaranteed by 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, it will be very good news indeed.

  • DLF GLENDALE, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 10:05 p.m.

    Surveys of this sort explain why America's founders gave us a Republic -- a system of law rather than consensus. They also guaranteed every state a republican form of government not to be over-ridden by the hottest issue of the hour -- and not even by majority opinion unless the constitution were amended accordingly.
    Presumably the top two items (education and smog) were among the 20 issues respondents had to choose from. It is doubtful that the survey asked people if they wanted higher taxes and more severe regulations. That question might have reversed the outcome of this very loaded-looking survey.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 10:06 p.m.

    Would there be less blubber in education if teachers had 50 students in their classrooms vs. 40 to 45?

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Feb. 10, 2014 8:19 a.m.

    @Howard,

    Classroom overcrowding wouldn't be such a problem (and it is a serious one) if the money the schools have was spent wisely. Should the money go to continue to pay incompetent teachers year after year (blubber) or to to hire competent ones? Should the money go to pay for frivolous high school football programs (blubber) or to promote those activities that really do help the student (debate, drama, music,etc.) and are less expensive?

  • Fitz Murray, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 12:22 p.m.

    Two related realities are over looked regarding the air quality issue. The first is the geography in which we live. Salt Lake Valley, along with other parts of Utah, is in a bowl surrounded by mountains. The geography of the Salt Lake Valley makes it easy for Mother Nature to create an ideal place for poor air quality.

    That leads to the second reality, which is weather. It goes like this, a high pressure holds cold air from a previous low pressure inside the geography of the valley. The high pressure stays there until a storm, with its wind, comes in and moves the high pressure, cleaning our air. We are in a drought, we are not getting the number of storms we would in a normal winter, and so we have more air quality issues. When our winters return to normal, and they will, the air quality issue will not be as big as it is today.

    The concept that man can clean up our air is noble, but idealistic. The reality is that no matter how or what we try or what regulations are written, Mother Nature wins. Unfortunately, those that scream the loudest discount reality

  • nycut New York, NY
    Feb. 10, 2014 1:32 p.m.

    @Meckofahess equates "protecting states' rights" with "support" for Utah's anti-gay amendment.

    While that shift to euphemistic language may work as political propaganda, I'm not sure all who value states' rights see "protecting states' rights" as a legitimate justification for legally treating gay couples differently from straight ones-- as if preventing gay people from legal marriage is "merely" a question of states' rights and not a question of anti-gay animus motivated by religious belief.

    At any rate, marriage equality in Utah, now largely federal matter, will positively impact other Utah priorities:

    6. Creating a business-friendly economy (0.30)
    7. Expanding the availability of health care coverage (0.25)
    13. Providing nondiscrimination laws for gays and lesbians (0.20)

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 2:23 p.m.

    I've seen high school football help plenty (literally thousands) of young men. I've seen drama help thousands of people as well. I don't consider either blubber. And yes, it would be great to get rid of incompetent teachers but new teachers would have to hired. It seems like we are in shortage of teachers. Perhaps if salaries were raised and benefits restored, more qualified persons would apply for jobs. Yes, we have administrators, too many of them perhaps and we could agree there, but the salaries of Utah's administrators is actually much less than other states. Facilities in many of our schools are decaying. Again, I see the need for more resources. I want our children to be educated in the safe buildings, having access to technology, and not be in classrooms of 40 students where teachers would find it impossible to meet the individual needs of all their students. I guess we have a different definition of blubber JSB but I'm sure my version is better for our children.

  • MormonSean Provo, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 5:36 p.m.

    buck murdoch,

    Wood is also the single way of getting warmth into homes for a lot of people, especially in the country. We can't legislate our way into fixing problems by requiring clean practices. We need to make it desirable to change. Instead of legislating coercion or force, we should do it the honest way. I wouldn't want to live on a perfectly clean planet if everyone was perfectly corrupt.

    The difference between progress and tyranny is one is volunteered and the other is forced.

  • neece Logan, UT
    Feb. 13, 2014 9:24 a.m.

    Worf, What mismanagement? This state has always run in the Black. You want to see mismanagement of its finest? Go to California. Not only have they been bankrupt they voted to take a 15% cut in pay for all state workers while they gave themselves a raise. When the US Borax mine aka Rio Tinto Minerals refused to let the 650 miners and staff to come to work Arnold was at a $500 a plate banquet. Utah Gov. When they tried the same thing said "not in my state" and stopped them. Arnold just enjoyed his dinner and did NOTHING so they added to the already bankrupt state more ppl on unemployment. Back in the 70"s they got rid of Jerry Brown, what did they do in the last election? Bring him back. So Mismanagement? I will take Utah over California ANY Day.