Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Why I'm voting for Dan Liljenquist.

If you've followed my blog, you know that I have personally met with two of the candidates for State Senate district 23, Republican Dan Liljenquist and Democrat Richard Watson. I've tried contacting the Constitution Party candidate, Jorgina Hancock, with no response. I posted answers from Dan and Richard to several questions that I asked. You can see those questions and answers here. I feel like I have done more than my due diligence in deciding who should represent me in the Utah Senate. Through this process, I have found that Dan Liljenquist's views on the major issues closely match my views.

I've mentioned previously that I'm the type of person who likes details. In his answers to me, Dan gave details of not just what he thought was wrong in our state, but, also details of how he would help to fix those things. In my opinion, during my lunch with Richard, he spoke only in generalities. I wanted specifics of things he would do to fix those problems that he saw.

Dan also has the business experience in leading a large company. These skills in leading a successful, large company will only help him in working with people in the State Senate. Dan Liljenquist has my vote for Utah Senate district 23.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Why I'm voting for J Dell Holbrook.

I will start by saying that I am a registered Repbulican and I've decided to vote for J Dell Holbrook for Davis County Commission. I also want to state that I don't know either J Dell Holbrook or John Petroff personally. I'm basing my support for J Dell Holbrook on campaign websites for each candidate. J Dell Holbrook is very specific on his website about what he will and will not do as a Davis County Commissioner. John Petroff on his website dwells on what he has done as a Mayor and doesn't give specifics on what he would do as a Commissioner. I'm the type of person who wants details.

On John Petroff's website he says, "As the Chair of Utahans for the Legacy Parkway, I successfully fought the Sierra Club and other special interest groups who stood in the way of this vital roadway." My problem with this statement is that there wasn't a "successful fight" from either side. A compromise was reached and that is why Legacy Parkway was built. Had there been a successful fight, people would not be switching back to I-15 due to the 55 MPH speed limit on Legacy.

On J Dell Holbrook's website he talks about the problem with requiring residents to appeal their property valuations, he says, "I would submit that a much better approach would be to put the burden on the Assessor’s Office, if the assessed valuation increase by more than 10% over the prior years assesses valuation." This is the type of thing that just makes sense. Items like this is why I am voting for J Dell Holbrook for Davis County Commission.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

California's Proposition 8 IS a moral issue.

The big argument in California against Proposition 8 seems to be "It's not a moral issue, it's a civil issue." Yesterday I read an interesting argument against Proposition 8. In the argument, the author is trying to refute the claim that adoption agencies will be forced to adopt babies to same-sex couples. He uses an interesting comment. He says, "California already has on its books (and has for several years) laws granting domestic partners (homosexual and heterosexual) the same civil rights as married couples."

If "domestic partners" have the same civil rights in California, than why the big buzz about Proposition 8 taking away civil rights from homosexual couples? It seems to me (due to the comment above) that Proposition 8 is definitely a moral issue and not a civil issue at all.

Friday, October 24, 2008

What others are saying - Part 2

I posted back in March (see here) about an intriguing blog that I happened upon where someone was posting their marriage and divorce story. I quit updating that post. A friend of that individual (no, I don't know her personally, I've just been intrigued by her story) posted a link to all the entries in that story. You can see it here:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Avoid long lines?

Recently there were several news reports that said, "Avoid long lines, vote early!" Yesterday I decided to take this advice and go and vote early. I went to the Bountiful branch of the Davis County Library at 4:30 p.m. When I arrived, the parking lot was packed and I was told that there was an estimated three hour wait to vote. Since I had to be home by 6:30 p.m. I figured even if the wait ended up being only two hours, it was still too long for me. Maybe I'll take my chances of voting on November 4th.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Legacy Parkway Scenic?

A Salt Lake Tribune article (see here) says that officials are trying to get the Legacy Parkway designated as a National Scenic Byway. In the article Woods Cross City Manager Gary Uresk is quoted as saying that the designation would give the highway some recognition and attract tourists. It would also make Legacy eligible to receive Federal Highway Administration funds.

According to the National Scenic Byways Program (see here), a national scenic byway should be a road that has "outstanding scenic, historic, cultural, natural, recreational, and archaeological qualities." In my opinion, the Legacy Highway does not have outstanding scenic qualities. It has many of the same scenic views as I-15. From I-15, you can see the mountains to the east and the Great Salt Lake to the west. The Legacy Highway does offer better views of the two South Davis Sewer Plants, and also a better view of the Bountiful Landfill. I don't see how this highway has outstanding historic, cultural, natural, recreational or archaeological qualities. The highway was built with the main purpose of providing an alternate to I-15. Anyone who says otherwise, doesn't know the true history of this highway. It was a compromise that made it anything other than just another highway through suburbia.

This sounds like a scam to get extra money from the federal government. Let's be responsible citizens of this country and save money designated for national scenic byways for those roads that have "outstanding scenic, historic, cultural, natural, recreational, and archaeological qualities."

Friday, October 17, 2008

Entitled Generation

I've been thinking lately, along with most citizens, about the economic issues affecting our country and I wonder if the way our children are being raised has caused at least a part of this mess. Let me give an example and we'll see if this post makes any sense by the end of it.

About 30 years ago, I played little league soccer. One year I was part of a team that was absolutely terrible. All the other teams looked forward to playing against us, because they knew that they would win. I don't remember winning a single game that year. The only thing I have to show for playing that year is a picture of my team that my parents bought. Another year I was on a very good team. We only lost one game the whole season. All the kids on my team were given a trophy that said "1st Place."

For many years, little league associations have tried to emphasize that "winning isn't everything." In doing this, some little league associations have even given "participation" trophies. All kids that play get the same trophy. What we are telling our kids is just go out and "participate" and you will get something of value. To me this is absolutely the wrong thing to do. Kids need to be taught that if you want something of value, you have to work for it. We are creating a generation that feels entitled to receive something of value, just for showing up.

One problem that I believe has caused the current economic situation is that "kids" were able to purchase larger homes than they could afford using stupid financing schemes. These "kids" were then able to have something of great value without having to put in the necessary work. In other words they were given something of value just for showing up. I'll bet many of them even felt that they were "entitled" to it.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Combine five into one?

There's been several news reports over the last few days about the possibility of combining the five South Davis cities of Bountiful, Centerville, North Salt Lake, West Bountiful and Woods Cross into one city. It seems these news reports have originated because of some preliminary discussions between Woods Cross Mayor Kent Parry and Centerville Mayor Ronald Russell. All of these news reports seem to miss the fact that we already have a combined sewer district, thus eliminating the savings that would come for that small part of combining.

Does it merit a comprehensive study? Probably. Will a merger ever actually take place? Probably not. The original Salt Lake Tribune article quotes both West Bountiful Mayor James Behunin and North Salt Lake Mayor Shanna Schaefermeyer as being skeptical of the idea. If you haven't got all 5 mayors on the same page, how will you ever get a majority of the residents of all 5 cities on the same page?

I see some potential benefits in the way of cost savings. I also see some potential losses in the proposal. One thing that I haven't seen mentioned in any of the news reports is what would happen with Woods Cross' water, which is currently not flouridated? A majority of residents of the other 4 cities all voted to have their water flouridated. A majority of Woods Cross residents voted to not have our water flouridated. 

This also highlights a huge problem with the idea of a merger, the issue of losing our own independent voice and choice. If you were to take the votes of all the residents in the five cities and combine them as one city, the water in Woods Cross would currently be flouridated. In general, whatever the majority of the residents of the current city of Bountiful want, is what is going to happen. Without our independent voice and choice, our Woods Cross residents will be subject to the will of a majority of voters that currently reside outside our current city limits. What may be important to the leaders and residents of your city may not be important to the leaders and a majority of the residents of the combined city.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

My Job Location is Changing

Some of you may know that I work as a Unix/Linux Systems Engineer for the LDS Church. On September 23rd 2008, it was announced that our entire department will be moved to a new location at 3740 West 13400 South in Riverton. This will change my commute from currently living 8.2 miles to my parking lot to living 34.5 miles from my parking lot. This move will likely begin sometime in Q1 or Q2 2009.

I've been thinking lately about the impact this will have on my quality of life. There are several ways this will impact me and my family. First, my time away from my family will increase. It takes me usually about 15 minutes to drive to and from work. That will increase by about 30 minutes. That's an extra hour away from my family every day.

Second, with gas prices at their current rates, I figure it will cost me an additional $3,000 per year for the extra miles added to my commute. Would you want to take a $3,000 hit to your pocketbook?

Third, if I were to relocate my family to the Riverton/Herriman area to mitigate the above two issues, it would mean drastic changes in friendships, church, doctors, schools, etc. for me and all my family members.

I believe everyone takes their commute into account in deciding whether to accept a certain employment offer. If any of the readers of my blog (both of you) have experienced a similar change not of your choosing, I'd be interested in your thoughts. It will be interesting to see how this impact to my life will affect my job satisfaction.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Mean spirited?

I've posted previously about Jill Ekstrom pleading no-contest to charges of stealing adoption records. (See here.) Jill now has her own blog where she tries to give her side of the story. In one of her posts, she says, "if your posts are mean spirited towards me, if they are nothing more then you trying to slam me because you have not read all the posts I WILL reject them." (See here.) I tried posting a comment to one of her previous posts and it got regected. 

I'll post my comment here so that you can decide for yourself if it was mean spirited. I'm one who always believes there are two sides to every story. Here's the comment that I posted:

"Something doesn't sound quite right with this whole story. You claim you used Sharlene Lightfoot. However, you never made this claim publicly until after Sharlene Lightfoot passed away in April, 2008. I know from personal experience that Sharlene provided a paper trail that could have easily been used as evidence for exoneration. Just looking at this from the outside, it seems that a fairly easy defense could have been made.

If it had been my name and reputation on the line, I would have done all within my power to prove my innocence. Even most homeowners and renters insurance policies provide for some legal defense costs."

Now I'm not saying that Jill took the records. She is the one who plead no-contest. She claims she did that because a public defender only spent five minutes with her and told her a trial could take two years. She says now that she is wanting to appeal the decision. A wise friend once told me that it's a lot easier to catch the horse before it leaves the barn.