Love thy neighbor

 

ARIZONA

You know times are tough in Phoenix when more than 15,000 people cram into McDonald’s restaurants to apply for one of 800 to 1,000 jobs, all of them part-time and most of them minimum wage. The Arizona Republic says the success of McDonald’s new McCafe line of smoothies and frappés has spurred the restaurant chain’s growth.

UTAH

To the surprise and outrage of some readers of the Mormon-owned paper The Deseret News, the tenor of its coverage of the illegal immigration debate has been reasoned, or maybe even downright liberal, reports The New York Times. But as Mark H. Willes, who runs Deseret Media for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, put it, “Everywhere we looked, the (immigration) problem just seemed substantially more complicated than the dialogue.” Willes, former publisher of the Los Angeles Times, added, “What are the two commandments? Love God and love your neighbor. These people are our neighbors — incontestably, by any definition, they are our neighbors.” Editor Joseph Cannon has taken the brunt of reader dissatisfaction, with one telling him, “You have become a dangerous newspaper, one that I am on the verge of discontinuing.”

UTAH

Two paleontologists appeared to be in hog heaven when they announced their recent discovery of two “weird and wonderful” new species of horned dinosaurs “related to Triceratops.” Scott Sampson and Mark Loewen found the 75-million-year-old bones in Utah’s largely unexplored Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, reports The Deseret News. What renders the new dinosaurs peculiar is their seemingly useless display of head horns: “Kosmoceratops is especially bizarre, its head crowned by an array of 15 horns.” But maybe the usefulness of horns is in the eye of the beholder; they probably looked cute to the female of the species.

OREGON

It just seems so unfair: For years, environmentalists urged the dismantling of four dams on the Rogue River so that salmon and steelhead could swim upriver to spawn and rafters could run more miles of unobstructed river. But what happened after the dams came down? Gold miners rushed in, blasting the riverbed with their noisy dredges. Bob Hunter, a lawyer with WaterWatch, told The New York Times that the river should be “about rafting and hiking and fishing. It’s not about industrial mining.” Prospectors tried to pooh-pooh concerns about disrupting the river’s ecology, with one pointing out that “fish come and swim around him, eating the insect life dislodged by his dredging hose.” Ken Kriege, a resident of California, which is where most of the gold miners come from, added that prospecting should actually be considered an environmental boon: He likened the impact of dredging to “fluffing a pillow.”

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