Who deserves praise and criticism this week in Northern Utah?

Monday , March 13, 2017 - 5:00 AM

STANDARD-EXAMINER EDITORIAL BOARD

The Standard-Examiner Editorial Board meets weekly to hash out issues large and small. Here’s what it recommended last week for praise and criticism:

THUMBS UP: To Latinos in Action for again hosting its Youth Leadership Conference at Weber State University.

About 33 schools — 1,300 junior high and high school students — participated in the event, aimed at celebrating various Latino cultures and giving students access to role models who share their roots, including astronaut Jose Hernandez.

  • RELATED: “Latinos in Action conference draws thousands of students to Weber State”

Vitriol over political issues often bleeds into a kid’s self-image, or at least exacerbates that feeling of being “otherized.” This event created a positive place for students to celebrate their heritage and focus on goal-setting, and our community is better for it.

THUMBS DOWN: To U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop — who remains silent despite residents buying a billboard in an effort to get his attention.

  • RELATED: “Billboard pokes fun at Rep. Bishop who some say is missing in action”

Marriott-Slaterville resident John Armstrong said he started a GoFundMe account and raised $2,400 over a weekend. The billboard features the Kaysville Republican’s face on a milk carton and asks “Have you seen this congressman?”

Many legislators have drawn similar ire from constituents. Some lawmakers say it’s not worth holding town halls because rowdy attendees will overshadow real discourse (you may recall how the Feb. 9 town hall with U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz went).

But Bishop ought to be worried about alienating people like Armstrong, who, until Trump took office, has usually been able to engage Bishop on important matters.

“I’ve always voted in all the elections and corresponded with Rob Bishop in the past. I’m a scientist and have written letters to him about the importance of NASA,” Armstrong told the Standard-Examiner. “Whether we agreed or not, he was always willing to engage. I have no idea where Rob stands on issues pushed by the current (Trump) administration.”

As an elected official who’s made his eight-term career by standing on Northern Utah’s shoulders, he owes his constituents at least a town hall.

THUMBS UP: To breaking ground on the next installment at “Silicon Hill,” a 550-acre development resulting from a public-private partnership between the Air Force and Sunset Ridge Development Partners.

The new 21,000-square-foot Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative building in the Falcon Hill National Aerospace Research Park will include an “innovation center” to give technology entrepreneurs access to special equipment, mentoring and engineers from Hill Air Force Base, according to Standard-Examiner reporting.

This is clearly a good investment. Last fall, CNBC put the Ogden-area in a list of the top 20 best cities in the country to start a business.

THUMBS DOWN: To a group of patrons at the Java Cow in Park City, who harassed a teenage worker based on his appearance.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports a group of men and women in their 50s went into the ice cream store and upon seeing an upside-down flag magnet decided to tell the teen “his family should be deported” among similar remarks.

A shift manager who tried to intervene was pushed to the ground and, in the ultimate display of childishness, the patron threw his ice cream at the manager.

The incident was reported to police, who are looking at surveillance footage of the incident. The flag magnet had simply slipped without anyone noticing, managers said. And, not that this detail could excuse the patrons’ behavior in the least, the teen was born and raised in Park City, according to The Trib.

The behavior of these customers is unacceptable in a 2017 society.

Here’s to hoping the police investigation results in charges against these bigots.

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