State, National and World News

Utah's Bad Air

Jan 30, 2013
<i>Image by <a href="">Tim Brown</a>/<a href="" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> via flickr</i>

Thursday on RadioWest we’re talking about northern Utah’s perennially poor air quality. While people have no control over the weather and geography that team up to trap nasty air in the valleys, they can influence one very important factor: how much air pollution they put out. So here are some questions: Who’s responsible for our mucky air? What, realistically, can be done about it? And what can we learn from other cities that have cleaned up their air? We want to hear from you, so we hope you’ll join us.

<i>Image by <a href="">Garry Knight</a>/<a href="" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> via flickr</i>

A lawsuit was filed in New Jersey on Tuesday against groups that say they can help gay people be straight. A University of Utah student and LDS Church member is among the four plaintiffs who claim they were defrauded and endangered by conversion therapy. Proponents of “reparative therapy” insist that it can help reverse homosexuality. Critics say it can lead to severe depression, anxiety and even suicide. Wednesday, we’re asking whether gay conversion therapy is “quackery” or a legitimate treatment.

Pete Souza/The White House

When a U.S. Navy SEAL team killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden last year, the journalist Mark Bowden says it was the final chapter in a long and significant story. That story began soon after 9/11, when America went to war with evasive and opportunistic enemies and had to develop innovative fighting tactics. Bowden's latest book chronicles the decade of intelligence gathering, mission planning and strategies that finally led to "The Finish." Tuesday, he joins Doug to talk about what he learned.

On Wednesday, November 14, we're screening BIDDER 70 as part of our Through the Lens documentary series. It's about the environmental activist Tim DeChristopher who made several bogus bids on a controversial land lease auction. The film gets at this question: how far would you go for your principles?

Wednesday, we're taking a look at the results of the 2012 elections. Among our guests are Quin Monson of BYU's Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy and Salt Lake Tribune government reporter Robert Gehrke. We'll break down some of the principal state races and ask what role Utah and the "Mormon factor" played on the national stage.

<i>Image by <a href="">TheLawleys</a>/<a href="" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> via flickr</i>

Election Day is Tuesday and the most recent Washington Post poll shows President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney in a dead heat among likely voters. But it's not the popular vote that decides the presidency; it's the Electoral College. So what happens if Romney wins the popular vote but Obama wins the electoral vote? What if there's a tie? Monday, we're talking about the Electoral College: its origins, its relevance in a modern democracy and what happens if there are ambiguous results this time around.

Wednesday, we're wrapping up our Meet the Candidates series at the Hinckley Institute of Politics as Doug sits down with Republican Governor Gary Herbert. Herbert became Utah’s Governor when Jon Huntsman resigned in 2009 and he easily won in a special election the following year. Now, he points to the state's economic growth and job creation to make the case for his reelection. We'll talk to Gary Herbert about the challenges that Utah still faces and his plans for overcoming them.

It's been nearly 30 years since Utah elected a Democrat as Governor, but retired Major General Peter Cooke told The Salt Lake Tribune that democracy doesn't work without a two-party system. He says it's the chance for an open discussion about the issues. General Cooke is challenging Republican incumbent Governor Gary Herbert. Wednesday, Peter Cooke joins us at the Hinckley Institute of Politics to talk about the issues he says call for new leadership.

Monday, Doug sits down with Senator Orrin Hatch at the Hinckley Institute of Politics. Senator Hatch is the longest-serving Republican member in the upper chamber, having represented Utah since 1977. Though colleagues like Utah's own Bob Bennett and Indiana's Richard Lugar lost the nomination to tea-party challengers, Hatch handily won his GOP primary race. We'll ask Senator Hatch what his vision is for a seventh – and what he has said will be his final – term in office.

Wednesday, we're back at the Hinckley Institute of Politics for a conversation with Democratic Representative Jim Matheson. He's running for his seventh term in Washington, though this time it's in Utah's new 4th Congressional District. In a decidedly red state, it's little surprise that a Democrat would stand some tough competition, but many observers were shocked when the latest poll showed a 21-point swing in favor of challenger Mia Love. Doug talks to Matheson about the issues and why he thinks he's best positioned to represent the district's Republican majority.