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Who deserves praise and criticism this week in Northern Utah?

Monday , January 22, 2018 - 10:21 AM


Each week the Standard-Examiner hashes out issues large and small and takes a thumbs-up, thumbs-down stance. Here’s what we recommend this week for praise and criticism:

THUMBS UP: To the Blue Line Ladies for fundraising to get protective gear for police officers and sheriff’s deputies.

The newly-formed nonprofit has raised more than $10,000, enough to get 44 steel-plated vests for Weber County sheriff’s officers.

  • RELATED: “Weber County law enforcement wives unite to protect police, sheriff's deputies”

It started after a 2016 massacre on five officers at a Texas protest — the gunman was killed during the incident, but Lydia Hebdon, whose husband is a deputy with Weber County Sheriff’s Office, wanted to help.

The vests officers have now withstand certain kinds of gunfire, but aren’t resistant to rifles and other weapons. Keeping officers safe so they can keep the community safe is a worthy goal.

THUMBS UP: To parents, teachers and organizers for bringing the Rube Goldberg Challenge to elementary and middle school kids last week.

Held at Weber State University, the competition challenges kids to use science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to complete a simple tasks. Goldberg, the namesake of the competition, was a cartoonist known for his drawings of intricate and elaborate machines built to perform simple tasks.

It’s a create challenge that gets kids dreaming big early.

Crystal Silva, the mother of a competitor, told Standard-Examiner reporter Sergio Martínez-Beltrán, the event inspired her son, who talked about the project every day for at least two months.

“He wants to be an astronaut,” Silva said. “Hopefully he follows his dream and this is part of his dream.”

THUMBS UP: To those who participated Saturday in the Northern Utah Women’s March  in downtown Ogden. They again held a peaceful protest in favor of equality and social issues that plague relationships, public spaces and the workplace.

Since the march last year, the country has acknowledged difficult conversations about a pervasive harassment and/or abuse of women. Not everyone agrees, and there’s still a long way to go before solutions are discovered but the second march sends a clear message: “We’re not giving up.”

THUMBS DOWN: To Congress for failing to find compromise on government funding and putting the consequence on the shoulders of hundreds of thousands of federal workers nationwide.

Here in the Ogden area, furloughing thousands of workers at the Internal Revenue Service and Hill Air Force Base means families already scraping by are now going to wonder if they can pay the bills. Commenters on were quick to note that the after the 16-day shutdown of 2013, the community took almost a year to recover.

  • RELATED: “Readers react: Federal employees, family members share 2013 shutdown experiences”

Regardless of the politics, it’s not right to use working Americans’ livelihoods as a means to push an agenda or moral argument.

THUMBS UP: To the outgoing president of Weber State University, Charles Wight.

Wight announced Thursday that he would be stepping down from the position he’s held for five years because he’s being pursued as president for other universities.

It’s sad to see him go, but judging by good work he did for WSU, the new opportunities are well-earned.

Wight’s legacy is outlined by his efforts to keep WSU affordable, focusing on enrollment and diversity and implementing innovative teaching.

In fall of 2017, Weber State set an enrollment record with 27,949 students.

“I’m especially proud of our major strides in keeping a campus climate that is welcoming to our students,” Wight said.

Weber State was lucky to have Wight and the school will continue to see great things if they can find a replacement who is a fraction as dedicated as Wight.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This editorial has been edited to correct the background it provides on Rube Goldberg. The Standard-Examiner regrets the error.

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