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The history behind Virgin River Cotton Mission

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The history behind Virgin River Cotton Mission

Many people say that Virgin River Cotton Mission is Monument to Pioneer History, even though they know little to nothing about the life of people during that time. The Dixie mission that saw hundreds of families move to southwestern Utah with a goal to produce enough cotton for members of the church encountered many hardships that little people know about.

The goal of this mission was to end the reliance on eastern markets for the cotton as the southwest of Utah was perfect for its growth. This region had several communities, and the influx of new people strengthened them. This was a proof that pioneers were the solution for the development of America.

The trouble in the southern region


The mission didn’t find success in all part of Utah. History lessons forget to mention the disaster in the Southern region where pioneers encountered many hardships that prevented them from fulfilling their goals. Settlers had to work to survive, and that made it impossible for them to fulfill goals set at the beginning of the mission. The cruel environment was mostly to blame for this.

Many inhabitants from Dixie gave up on the hard life and moved elsewhere to seek their future. The problem was the untamable Virgin River that responded with floods to every attempt to tame it. Water was essential for survival, and yet the river was unpredictable which made it impossible to grow anything. Those that tried ended up losing their entire crop. The land around the river was susceptible to erosion because it was flooded on a regular basis.

The land of the floods

Virgin RiverThe year 1861 was particularly devastating due to heavy rain that struck the area. Virgin River, along with all of its tributaries had high floods that wiped out many small settlements. Flood took everything from crop to houses, and that meant the end of many small towns.

Following years were also harsh as constant flooding of the Virgin River made it impossible to grow anything at a large scale. The biggest issue was that floods swept away fertile land and left behind nothing but rocks and clay.

Those that survived floods had to deal with Indians. The troubles with Indians escalated in 1865 during the Black Hawk War. This three-year war resulted in the migration of many farmers that had to move from place to place to avoid the wrath of Indians.

HSS students entering the US army

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HSS students entering the US army

The idea that soldiers need help from psychologists and psychiatrists was frowned upon by the state for a long time. But the fact that many of them experience PTSD and other traumas on the mental level when they return from the battlefield is a proof that they need some form of help during the service.

One of the biggest headlines of this decade has to be “HSS student to enter the United States Air Force Academy.” This news tells everyone that military top is finally doing something regarding the mental health of their soldiers.

The hell on the battlefield

The army teaches soldiers that they are superior to their enemies. They learn that showing weakness isn’t something an American soldier should do. Those poor souls keep everything bottled in because they don’t want their comrades to think that they are afraid of the war. The result of this is only seen when those people finish their time on the battlefield. Mental issues of active soldiers surface when they return home. This is why phrases like “bring the war home” exist. They can’t resolve their mental problems in the army, and therefore they bring them home.

A sad fact about veterans is that 22 of them commit suicide every single day. That is an alarming fact which the government and the army ignored for a long time. Soldiers come home from the battlefield, but the battlefield never leaves from their heads. They don’t receive the necessary help in the army and thus the problem they have to follow them to their homes. They have to deal with PTSD, depression, flashbacks, anxiety, and insomnia on their own, without any professional help. In the past, and even now, army tends to abandon those that served in it for several years as soon as they retire.

How did it come to this?

HSS studentsThe addition of HHS graduates into the army is a big step toward solving the mental issues of active soldiers. News about this didn’t gather a lot of attention in the mass media even though they should have. Army has been a conservative part of the government up until the last year. The fact that soldiers will have an opportunity to talk with professionals and address mental issues that plague them is a game-changing fact that will have a positive effect on the moral of the army.

All of this started back in 2008 when The Department of Health and Human Services aka HHS began talks with the Department of Defense about the increase of mental health services that the soldiers receive when they return from the battlefield. It took more than five years for results of those talks to bear fruit.

The idea to send professionals with knowledge about mental health to war zones is new, and it probably won’t produce any results in next several years. But, the fact that said professionals are entering military academies is a step forward. If this trend continues then the suicide rate of veterans will go down as they will deal with their issues in the army rather than bringing them home.

New flags fly over the Legion Hall

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New flags fly over the Legion Hall

Last year a major storm knocked down several flagpoles that held banners of the American Legion. The damage was critical, and the organization had to change their home due to it. But the new house wasn’t complete without flying flags that would give it a historical look it deserves.

The organization issued a call for people that wanted to donate their historical flags to the organization so it could fly them high at their new home. “Hatch gives the new flag to Legion Hall” was the headline that captured the interest of many people who had an interest in preserving the history of the nation as well as allies of the USA.

When people unite everything is possible

The American Legion found a new home quite quickly, but the problem was the lack of flagpoles where they could fly their flags. Donations from individuals and various organizations took care of that. They were able to raise two big flagpoles thanks to the goodwill of other groups.

Donations weren’t just limited to money as people came and gave them items from various conflicts throughout the history. Flags were the part of contributions as well. It’s important to note that Vietnam Veterans Associations donated two large (25 and 30 foot) flagpoles to the American Legion.

Those two were set along the Lazy Jack’s flag that was flown on a flagpole that the Legion managed to salvage from their previous home. One of those two flagpoles became home to one big American flag that was donated by Jim Haskell. The flag belonged to one of his family members that served in the WW1. That family member received it from French military that honored all American veterans that took part in the World War One.

The night of the grand opening

Legion HallThe American flag that honored World War One was revealed on the night of the opening of the new home of the American Legion. It was accompanied by POW/MIA flag as well as Minnesota state flag. It’s sad to say that the American flag won’t spend a lot of time on the flagpole due to its wear. It will find its final resting place inside the building along with many other items that celebrate the rich history of the USA and its allies. Everyone that is interested in this flag and other war memorabilia can visit the new home of The American Legion and look at the collection they have in the display.

Severe punishments for those that hurt children

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Severe punishments for those that hurt children

Punishing criminals according to their crimes is the purpose of the law. The fact that same punishment was given to people that hurt children and those who harm adults were always a sore spot for many people. Those that hurt children must receive harsher penalties because their victims are young and defenseless.

Increased awareness toward crimes against children

People are jumping up and taking notice of those who commit crimes against children. Not to say people didn’t notice before, but they are taking a tougher stance against these people, mainly because the issue has become so widely publicized.

A lot of awareness came to light in the wake of the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping and as other such cases started making national headlines. The media was even criticized many times for not covering several missing person stories. Suddenly the nation went from little news on the topic to an overwhelming demand for coverage.

Incidentally, this has led to tougher laws against people who hurt innocent children. In the Davis County town of Clinton, a city ordinance could ban convicted sex offenders from stepping foot on city property in an attempt prevent previous offenders from entering city parks as a precaution to protect children.

There is no going too far when it comes to protection of children

On a state level, in Florida, convicted sex offenders are now required to wear satellite-tracking devices for the rest of their lives. If they get too close to a school or any other restricted area, patrol officers of a local police department will instantly be notified by cellular phone or pager. Other states are beginning to follow suit.

Are we going too far? First we post their picture on the Internet, now we’re tracking their every move with satellites?

I don’t think it’s going too far at all.

Many people may argue that convicted sex offenders have already served their time in jail and that any further persecution should be considered double jeopardy. I argue on the side of technology and the rights of the public, most importantly I defend our children.

The cases of two registered sex offenders, arguing they were still being punished for their crimes by being tracked in an Internet registry, went before the U.S. Supreme Court two years ago. In both cases the court sided with the public and their rights to safety. After all, while it is the law in most states that offenders must register, many do not. There are over half-million convicted sex offenders in the United States and 15 percent of them, roughly the population of Washington County, have failed to register.

Tougher punishments are the best option

children punishmentsBecause every state has different laws on the issue, Utah Senator Orrin Hatch is working on tougher federal standards against sex offenders that include a national tracking system. Changes to the law would make failing to register a federal felony. Currently, registration is required for 10 years following prison release for first-time offenders. Proposed changes would require 20 years of registration and lifetime registration for second offenders. Hatch’s proposed changes would also require tracking devices for first-time offenders during the course of their supervised release and lifetime tracking for second-time offenders and violent predators.

Despite attempts by our corrections institutions, there is often no cure for those who harm our children. Through the advent of technology, we can give people the opportunity to change, but still keep a more watchful eye.

UN Ordinance 2001-11 – The protection of freedom

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UN Ordinance 2001-11 – The protection of freedom

This ordinance that the Council of this city passed was to protect people from the influence of the third parties, no matter who they are. The aim was to limit the extent of the outside political impact on the government and the people of the La Verkin City.

On July 4, 2001, the La Verkin City Council passed Ordinance 2001-09, the United Nations-Free Zone of La Verkin. This ordinance soon proved unconstitutional and 20 days later Resolution 2001-11 was written.

The purpose of the Ordinance 2001-11

Ordinance 2001-11The purpose of Ordinance 2001-11 was to protect personal freedom and self-government; to oppose the United Nations Charter; to resist the United Nations’ unconstitutional and illegal usurpation of the United States; to restore completely the People of the Several States as the final and ultimate civil authority in these United States of America; To recognize no executive, legislative or judicial power within the city limits other than those powers duly constituted by the People; to protect the citizens of the City of La Verkin from taxation without representation; to establish a citizen’s right to know about, and to increase citizen awareness of, the activities of the United Nations.

Ordinance 2001-11 prohibited: United Nations Flags and Symbols to be displayed or flown from the city’s flag mast; United Nations Personnel; United Nations Tax unless expressly authorized by state or federal law; Financial contributions by the city to the United Nations; United Nations Restraints; and International Court Decree. Any violation of the Prohibitions was considered a Class C misdemeanor.

Changes that Resolution 2002-01 brought

Resolution 2002-01 came about in January of 2002; A resolution reaffirming constitutional principles and petitioning for unity. It reaffirmed principles set forth in the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of Utah. It reaffirmed La Verkin’s opposition of any entity foreign or domestic making any effort to deprive the citizens of La Verkin of their rights guaranteed by the Constitution. It also encouraged citizens of the community to be actively engaged in the public business of governing; to attend community and council meetings and make their views and preferences known in an atmosphere of respect and decorum; to volunteer for service upon municipal boards, committees and groups; and to be good neighbors one to another.

The city council decided to let the citizens of La Verkin vote on whether or not to remain U.N.-free and signed Ordinance 2002-01, repealing all of Ordinances 2001-09 and 2001-11.
On November fourth, La Verkin Citizens will have the opportunity to vote on Ordinance 2002-01. Two options are available on the ballot; “Yes, I want La Verkin to be a a U.N.-free Zone (repeal the ordinance)” or “No, I do not want La Verkin to be a U.N. Free Zone.”

The power in the hands of people

Tax“La Verkin, Utah doesn’t need an anti-United Nations Ordinance,” says Gary McKell. “If the Untied Nations charter was amended, if U.N. resolutions recommending gun registration were passed, if a U.N. environmental court was established, even if taxes were levied by the U.N., none of these actions would affect he United States of America, let alone the citizens of La Verkin unless the U.S. Congress agreed by a two-thirds majority to accept them.” Al Snow doesn’t agree. “A yes vote for the Citizen’s Referendum No. 1 will assure citizens of La Verkin their sovereignty, and set a precedence for others to follow. The definition of sovereignty is, a country’s citizens are free to control their own destiny, the right to self-government and self-control of their own property.” Al also quotes the land policy of the United Nations as reason to make La Verkin U.N.-free. “The provision of decent dwellings and healthy conditions for the people can only be achieved if land is used in the interests of society as a whole. Public control of land use is therefore indispensable . . . .” (Agenda Item 10 of the U.N.’s Conference Report) “The preamble is followed by nine pages of specific policy recommendations endorsed by the participating nations, including the United States,” says Al.

People decide on laws that affect them

“La Verkin City residents are quite capable of deciding their own feelings and then letting city, county, state and national elected officials know how they feel about any issue,” says Gary McKell. “We need to take care of La Verkin and let the Constitution take care of America as it has now for well over 200 years. The La Verkin City council has public safety, water rates and potholes to deal with. Let’s defeat the anti-U.N. ordinance and elect good, strong representatives who will work for the benefits of all the citizens of La Verkin.”
According to the primary elections on October 7, the anti-United Nations fervor may be dying down. Councilman Al Snow and Dan Howard, two of the biggest anti-U.N. supporters were eliminated as candidates for the three seats available on La Verkin City Council.

Interstitial cystitis – A complicated kidney condition

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Interstitial cystitis – A complicated kidney condition

Interstitial cystitis is a kidney condition also known as the painful bladder syndrome. It’s hard to diagnose this condition, and there is no known cure for it. Existing treatment will help with an interstitial skip, and thus you will be able to live with this condition.

Many experts think that the said disease isn’t one condition at all due to the full range of symptoms and variable severity. They believe that IC aka interstitial cystitis refers to several different disorders that affect kidneys. Urinary pain that lasts more than six weeks can be a symptom of the IC if kidney stones or some other infection don’t cause it. This overlap of symptoms makes it hard to determine what kind of a condition you are dealing with. If you fail to treat the IC, then your life may take a turn toward the worse. It will affect many aspects of life from exercise and sleep to the ability to work.

Symptoms of the Interstitial Cystitis

This condition is a chronic bladder issue where the kidneys hold the urine in after it gets filtered. The direct result of this is the pain and pressure below the stomach. In severe cases, patients have to pee more than forty times per day, and every trip to the bathroom is painful.

The complex nature of the condition means that symptoms vary from individual to individual. They can also change which makes detection of the disease even harder than it usually is. The primary sign of this condition is the pressure and pain in the bladder that becomes worse as the need for a bathroom increases. The second symptom encompasses the pain in the lower tummy as well as the whole that general area.

Women tend to experience increased pain in the vulva, vagina and the area around the vagina. Men, on the other hand, experience pain behind the scrotum and in the testicles and penis.

The need to pee, more than ten times per day, is a symptom of the IC as well as several other kidney related diseases. Both sexes will experience pain during the intercourse (in the case of interstitial cystitis), while men will experience it during the orgasm and after the intercourse.

Living with the Interstitial Cystitis

Interstitial cystitisA life with the IC is hard as you can’t cure this condition. You have to use medication to reduce the pain this condition causes. Some of it also helps in prolonging the time between bathroom visits. If you suffer from this disease, then you have to adapt your lifestyle to it. Making changes to live as much as it is possible is a must for every individual that deal with the IC.

Some foods and beverages serve as triggers for the IC, and thus avoiding them can improve your lifestyle. You will have to find which of them trigger your disease. Working on lowering down the stress in any way possible is also good, as stress is one of the triggers that will increase the frequency of bathroom visits.

Fawcett – Building an ant empire

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Fawcett - Building an ant empire

“A customer is always right” is a saying that explains that you should do everything to satisfy customer’s needs. The problem arises when a customer asks for something you know nothing about. Satisfying a customer is a must even if you have to go back to basics and learn about something from scratch.

Fawcett’s story – “How ants saved my family”

“We’re thinking of making an ant farm. Some of our customers have been asking about it. We know nothing about it, but we need a supplier who can supply ants for us.” The request came from one of Fawcett’s customers in New York, a wholesaler to Sears and Roebuck and Montgomery Ward.

At the time Fawcett was selling rocks to collectors all over the United States, but things were slow and his family was ready to starve. The ants took on a sudden appeal.

“Well, there are plenty of ants around. I don’t know what you’re looking for,” Fawcett said.

“The best workers, that you’ll put them in sand and they’ll dig,” came the reply.

Fawcett set out to gather his first batch of ants. “I went around the whole county, gathered up ants in different colonies and sent them to Utah State University and they identified them for me. Then I experimented with them,” said Fawcett.

Fawcett found that the type of ant that built the best tunnels was also the most common ant in southern Utah. It was also the ant people hated the most and wanted to get rid of.

Fawcett called his buyer and announced that he’d found the ants for their ant farms. The buyer was excited by the news but wary. Were there really enough ants in southern Utah to fill the potential orders? A representative from Sears in Chicago quickly came to investigate.

“I took him out in the fields. I had to prove to him that there were enough ants – that we wouldn’t run out” said Fawcett.

One look around was all the man needed. “Let’s go for it,” he said.

The expansion of business

A few months later the ant farms were in production. Stores would sell the farms with a certificate for ants included. The new farm owner would fill out the certificate and send it back in. Those requests were forwarded to Fawcett. Every couple of days, Fawcett received thousands of requests. Armed with this glass pint jar and a funnel, Fawcett would funnel 40 or 50 ants into a small plastic vial and ship the order out. Ants from Hurricane were soon considered pets of people all across the United States.

Ant farmAfter four or five years Fawcett received another request. The largest manufactures of ant farms in the country had lost his supplier and wanted Fawcett to take over. After working out the terms, Fawcett began shipping from 100,000 to 200,000 ants per week to this new contact. The wholesaler supplied all the materials needed, from the plastic vials to shipping envelopes, and Fawcett recruited his wife and children to help keep up with the demand.

Able to live only a week confined in a bottle, the ants had to be gathered, sorted and shipped quickly. “They will dehydrate from lack of moisture faster than they will eating,” said Fawcett. “These things hibernate all winter long and eat very little of anything.”

Fawcett has grown older and now only ships the ants to large suppliers who then ship the ants to schools. His son, Kent has taken over the largest portion of the ant business.

A man of many hobbies

Fawcett is not just enamored with ants, he’s also an avid rock collector, flower collector and fossil hunter.

For years Fawcett has gotten up early in the morning and made the trek into the hills to gather wildflowers that he can press and sell to wholesalers across the country. His pressed flowers have been made into framed art, pendants, bracelets and rings. He’s sold everything from wheat grass along the highway to the shooting star, a flower that only blooms once every ten to 15 years and is only found at 10,000 ft. elevation in the swamps.

AntDuring his rock explorations, Fawcett found a very rare collection of flower agate from the dessert floor, which is now under Sand Hollow Reservoir. The white bursts inside the rock resemble delicate white flowers trapped in glass. It is one of Fawcett’s most prized finds.

Of all the nature projects Fawcett has been involved in over the years, he admits that his favorite has not been his ant collecting. It’s been gathering wildflowers. Fawcett has a permit from the forest service to cut wildflowers on public land, and he also has his own private wildflower garden in his backyard.

Fawcett has grown older and turned various portions of his business over to his sons, but at 79 years old, he still has the energy to spend eight to 12 hours every day hard at work, and he’s still making new discoveries.

What is Fawcett working on at the moment?

His latest venture is a “living fossil.” At first believed to be the ancient trilobite, this tiny tadpole shrimp lays its eggs in the sand beside pools of water. Despite temperature changes and long periods of time without water, these miniscule eggs come right back to life after they’re exposed to water.
Fawcett knows just where the eggs are most likely to be found, and he gathers them, packages them with a combination of different dirt and sells them to wholesalers. In 24-36 hours of saturation, the tadpole shrimp hatches and quickly matures.

Fawcett may be slowly backing away from his ant days, but the story will never rest. Fawcett has been featured in the National Enquirer, the Salt Lake Tribune, Career World and People Magazine, among many others. He’s also been asked to appear on the Johnny Carson Show, Jay Leno and David Letterman, though he refused them all.

Anime Fannatiku is a Big Hit

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Anime Fannatiku is a Big Hit

The formation of Anime Fannatiku is another proof that Japanese animation is taking the Western culture by the storm. The quality of the animation and the sheer number of excellent writers make anime superior to cartoons and other forms of animated creations the Western world creates.

A club has formed for those who appreciate anime (Japanese animation), or just want to check it out. Anime Fannatiku meets the first Saturday of every month from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Hurricane Library.

“Evilness is bad,” Hillarie Gowers, a club member, quoted from an anime. “I like anime. Anime is fun. I go because I can dress up and not be laughed at.”

Natalie Daniel, a librarian clerk at the Hurricane Library, was inspired to start the group by a similar one that meets in the Charleston Library in Las Vegas, called Anime Vegas.

“I was sitting at the computer one day and thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we had a club here where we could all get together with people who have similar interests?’” Daniel said.

She talked her co-worker, Sarah Hall, into helping her organize the club.

“We knew there would be a large fan base here,” Hall said, “because we have an extensive selection of Japanese Manga, which most animes are based on, at the library and we can’t keep them in. They’re always being checked out, especially by the high school students. When we advertised for the anime club, we received a positive response.”

The first meeting of the Anime Fannatiku

Anime Fannatiku met for the first time on Feb. 4. A total of 75 people were in attendance, and some of them were from St. George and Ivins. Even Anime Vegas founder, Rich Stott, brought a group of members with him from Las Vegas to support the club opening.

“Rich was really impressed by our turnout,” Daniel said. “His first club meeting only eight people came. He started the club three years ago, and now has over 200 members who come every month.”

Anime FannatikuThe club’s meeting featured cosplay, where the members dress up like their favorite anime character and win a prize. The group watched anime music videos, where American pop music and anime are cut and spliced to the music. Gowers made an anime music video just for the opening.

“Hillarie’s video was really cute,” Daniel said.

At each meeting, the club watches new and classic anime, a movie or first couple of episodes, enough for the members to get interested in an anime series. On Feb. 4, Anime Fannatiku premiered “Final Fantasy: Advent Children,” which the people from Las Vegas hadn’t even seen. They also played DDR (Dance Dance Revolution).

“Kids lined up from the back of the room to play,” Hall said. “It was a lot of fun.”

The second meeting of the Anime Fannatiku

The next meeting is set for March 4. At 11 a.m., they will show “InuYasha movie No. 1: Affections Touching Across Time.” Afterward, the club will have its first art contest. The fanart theme is spring picnic. Contestants will need to have their finished product ready to be displayed, and members will be allowed 30 minutes to vote.

At 1:15, they will show the first two episodes of “Clamp’s Tsubasa Reservoir of Chronicles (Subtitled).” Then the winners of the art contest will be announced, and the first place winner will receive a prize. The winners of the art contest will have their entries displayed in the library for the month of March.

The meeting will end with a short J-Pop (Japanese popular music) dance. Costumes are always welcome.

“We were inspired to do a J-Pop dance to further expose our club members to the Japanese culture,” Hall said. “The more you understand the culture, the more you appreciate the media.”

The beginning of the raffles

AnimeIn April, the club will start raffles for anime standees or life-size cutouts, posters and DVDs. In the future they will have Japanese Karaoke, songs from the popular animes, as well as cosplay workshops and how-tos. Anime Fannatiku also wants to have masquerades later in the year, where people do skits and vote for their favorite one and win prizes.

“I thought it was a fun place for people to meet with similar interests,” said Kelli Jo Hall, a club member. “We’d have to drive to the one in Vegas once a month. It’s just nice to have someone local, where people who like anime can be with other people who like it, too.”

Daniel and Hall have been fans of anime for a long time.

“I’ve always watched anime, and couldn’t find anyone else who watched it until I went to Tuacahn High School,” Daniel said.

“I’ve been watching anime since I was tiny,” Hall said. “I grew up watching Robotech and Voltron with my brothers. We’d get up early on Sunday morning and watch them when we weren’t supposed to. I started to get back into it when I got married and my husband owned several series of anime. I’ve been loving it and sewing costumes for it ever since.”

Each also has her own favorite anime series.

“I have two: Fruits Basket and Fushigi Yûgi,” Hall said. “I like them because of the really intricate story lines and the character development and relationships, and the art is so pretty.”

Daniel had a different favorite.

“FullMetal Alchemist,” she said. “I like it for the characters. You learn to love the characters.”

Daniel was excited about meeting and obtaining the autograph of Vic Mignogna, the voice of Edward, (the main character of FullMetal) at a convention in Las Vegas sponsored by Anime Vegas.

“He’s the most amazing, sweetest guy in the world,” Daniel said of Mignogna.
Anime Fannatiku member Travis Larson also enjoys the club.

“I think it is awesome,” he said. “I think it’s a great idea. I hope it works out.”

Zion National Park – A success story

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Zion National Park – A success story

Every area that receives the title of a national park contains ecosystems that must be protected from human influence. Many of those national parks are worth the visit as they include things you won’t find anywhere else. Zion National Park is a proof that nature needs to be protected as well as the fact that such protection can bring tourists that are interested in it.

According to Ron Terry, chief of interpretation and visitor services at Zion National Park, approximately 2.5 million people visit Zion National Park each season. Twenty to twenty-five percent of those people are international visitors.

Zion is unique in its close proximity to two other national parks, located between Bryce Canyon and the Grand Canyon in a series of stair-stepped plateaus known as the Grand Staircase. Zion is an ancient Hebrew word used to describe a dry, rocky place of holy sanctuary in ancient Israel.

The history of the area

Zion National ParkThere is evidence dating back 9,000 years of Indian groups who once inhabited the area which is now Zion National Park. Petroglyphs, which were chiseled into the rock, still remain. The first known people to inhabit the area of Zion were referred to as the Basket Makers. At some point, their lifestyle became more stationary. Around that time, the Anasazi, or the Ancestral Puebloans, appeared. They grew corn, squash, and beans along the banks of the Virgin River. The Anasazi inexplicably left the area around 1200 AD.

Inhabiting the area at the same time as the Anasazi was another cultural group called the Fremont Culture. They also left the area around 1200 AD.
The first recorded visit by people of European descent to southwestern Utah was in 1776. The Dominguez-Escalante expedition came within 20 miles of Zion Canyon. Later, after founding Salt Lake City in 1847, Mormon scouts were looking to establish a settlement corridor to California. Mormon scout Nephi Johnson entered Zion Canyon in 1858 and is considered the first non-Indian to do so.

President William Howard Taft set aside the canyon area as Mukuntuweap National Monument. Munkuntuweap was interpreted as a Paiute word meaning “straight canyon.”  In 1918, the locally unpopular name was changed to Zion, and in 1919, the area was made into a national park.

Terry, who has worked in several national parks said, “Each one of the national parks areas, whether it’s a national park, national monument or national seashore, are all parts of the national park system. In order to be designated a unit of the national parks system, there has to be some kind of significance to that place that makes it special, something that needs to be protected and preserved for posterity. There are really two groups of people that work for the National Park Service. There are those that get attached to a particular park and stay there for their entire career. Then there are others like myself who want to experience as much as they can. Zion, in terms of visuals, is certainly the most spectacular of the parks that I have worked in.”

Attracting tourists to a national park

In the early days of the national parks, there was an attempt to get people to visit the parks to see the natural wonders. “The National Park Service in the early years formed an alliance with the railroad,” Terry said. “Railroads would build lines to bring people into the park or at least nearby. In the case of Zion, in 1923, a spur line of the Union Pacific Railroad was completed to Cedar City. They would bring them in by train and bus them or coach them into the park. When they brought them into the park, there was a need for lodging.”

Engineers had to devise a way to connect the wild and remote areas between Zion, Bryce Canyon and the Grand Canyon. They looked at two or three different ways to construct a road out of Zion Canyon. According to Terry, the project started in 1927, and involved the construction of a 1.1-mile tunnel through Navajo Sandstone and a winding road with switchbacks.

The trail that goes up to Angels Landing is the West Rim Trail. Terry said that the section of the trail called Walter’s Wiggles was named after Walter Ruesch, the first acting superintendent of Zion. The trail was finished in 1927. “It was his idea to put those switchbacks on the trail so people could get up to the top,” Terry said.  “Other trails have been here for a long time. We probably wouldn’t build trails like that today because it took a lot of work, and in some cases, there was some blasting required.”

What you can see in the Zion National Park

Zion National ParkThe park is home to more than 900 plant species, 78 species of mammals, 290 species of birds, 44 species of reptiles and amphibians and eight species of fish. Some of these are on the endangered species list, including the Mexican Spotted Owl, Southwest Willow Flycatcher and Desert Tortoise. Rare species include the Zion Snail, Virgin Spinedace and the Peregrine Falcon. According to Terry, approximately 20 to 30 mountain lions roam the park.

During the peak season, the park employs approximately 200 people, not counting the people who work at the lodge for Xanterra Parks and Resorts. Park rangers do everything from guided walks, working the gate, law enforcement in the park, search and rescue and also encouraging young people through the Jr. Ranger program.

Losing weight will make a difference in your life

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Losing weight will make a difference in your life

Losing weight has made a difference in lives of many people. Not only did it improve their health but social life as well. Its sad thing to say that the weight has a significant impact on social life, but that is how it is. People will judge you depending on how you look. That, along with health benefits should give you a push to lose excess weight.

The sheer number of benefits of losing weight should also give you an idea of why you should do it. Well, not dying from a heart attack, or any other weight-related issues should be reason enough to start losing weight as soon as possible.

What leads to excess weight gain?

The number of factors that lead to weight gain is enormous. Many different things can cause excessive weight gain. However, a combination of several of those is what makes the process fast. Genetics play a significant part in the weight gain process. Children from obese family tend to gain more weight in the same period than children whose family is lean. But blaming genetics for obesity is wrong as they aren’t the most significant element that affects the weight. People tend to do this while forgetting lousy life choice that brought them where they are at the moment.

The lack of exercise and consummation of processed “junk” food are primary factors that lead to obesity. Children of obese people are more susceptible to excess weight gain because their parents don’t teach them what to eat and how and why to exercise. The heavily refined food contains nothing more than refined ingredients and a lot of additives. An excellent example of this is the street food everyone eats. That kind of food is cheap and tasty, and you can eat a lot of it. It doesn’t contain a lot of nourishing elements, and thus you must eat a lot of it to satiate your hunger. The primary issue with these foods is the fact that they contain several times more calories than their healthy counterparts.

Benefits of losing excess weight

The quality of sleep will increase when you grow thin. Losing even a small amount of fat will result in more extended sleeping session. You will also feel more rested after said sleep. Snoring will disappear as well as it is a direct result of excess fat in your body.

Losing weightStamina is determined by the readiness of your body to perform complicated tasks. The only way to build it is to exercise and never stop moving. Losing weight while building muscles will increase your stamina and allow you to enjoy many things you couldn’t do with all that excess weight.

One of the essential elements of life is sexual intercourse, which will also improve after you lose a couple of those pounds. The additional stamina will allow you to satisfy your partner better than you could before. You won’t get tired quickly as the testosterone levels in your body will go up as you grow thin.

Volunteering for the right reasons

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Volunteering for the right reasons

Being a volunteer is something you have to experience at least once in your life. It isn’t about getting something in return, and no sane person does it for profit. Volunteering is all about assisting those that don’t need it. It isn’t about money as those people need more than that. People in need of help require individuals who will interact with them because they want to, not because they must.

Dixie Care & Share Provides Assistance asks for volunteers due to the continuous growth of the organization. This organization assists homeless people in several cities in the USA. It also offers its help to victims of significant natural disasters wherever they can. Joining their efforts is an excellent way for you to give back to the community without having to spend money you probably need for other things. Check their website for further info on how you can help and where the said assistance is required.

The expansion of operations in Hurricane

It’s always a good thing to hear that an organization like Dixie Care & Share is expanding their services. This organization, in particular, is known for its ever-expanding work in many cities of the USA where there is a need for their presence.

The operation of Hurricane was successful as they provided clothing and emergency food for people who needed both. The food operation didn’t experience any change as it didn’t require any difference due to the smoothness it works with.

VolunteeringThe problem appeared with the clothing aspect of their work. All donated clothes went to bins from which people could pick whatever they needed. The primary issue came with the fact that it took a lot of time for those people to find clothes that suited them.

The organization chose to change this and expand the number of people they could serve at the same time. The call for additional volunteers went well as a lot of people responded. The next step was to gather more clothes. They organized an event where people could come and donate clothes instead of throwing them away. Several ads around the city spread the word about the event, and thus it turned into a huge success.

Dixie Care & Share invested donation money into shelves and racks for donated clothes. Volunteers separated those clothes according to the size, and they keep on doing that whenever the need arises.

Volunteering is good for you

If you never volunteered, then you should try it. It helps people who didn’t have the same luck in life as you did. You will feel better after doing this as there is nothing better than the satisfaction that comes after you help someone.

Bye Bye Birdie – A timeless masterpiece

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Bye Bye Birdie – A timeless masterpiece

The history is full of plays and movies that change the way people perceive the world. But only a few of them changes the perception of a whole movement. Some events give birth to trends that go on to become something far more significant than anyone could imagine.

First waves of the rock and roll that hit the world in mid-fifties were something that was bound to change the music at its core. The arrival of a play, and later a movie celebrated the birth of rock and roll. “Bye Bye Birdie is a rockin’ good time” was one of the phrases that told everyone that this play is more than just another retelling of an old story. That phrase went to be one of the ways people could explain to everyone what this play is all about.

The birth of a rock and roll play

Bye Bye BirdieIf everything went by the original plan, then the play that it would end with wouldn’t be anything special. It would probably gather a lot of attention, but it wouldn’t be remembered as it is now. The idea to change the play into what it came to be was due to news headline about Elvis Presley being drafted into the army. The play was focused on the draft and its effects on a small group of teenagers in a small city in Ohio. The name of the singer in the musical is Conrad Birdie, thus the name of the play.

The play has two acts. The first one starts with a songwriter who is panicking because he doesn’t have money, and his superstar is getting drafted into an army. He gets an idea to record a song before he goes away. In a small town, a girl is having her doubts about being a part of the fan club of the said superstar. The plot gets going after she finds out that she is the one that will receive the final kiss from the Birdie.

The second act pitches all the parties against each other. A lot of stuff happens in this part. The ending has a lot of action where various subjects play a significant role. We won’t share any spoilers because the movie is worth watching without them.

The importance of the Bye Bye Birdie


This play had a significant impact on the way people saw rock and roll. The musical showed that this fast and wild genre of music could be a part of something bigger. The movie cemented this play as something that changed the world of music. If you want to learn more about this, then you should watch the film. It uses music and comedy to show people how early rock and roll affected people who made it and those who loved it.

Protecting the wilderness of Utah

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One of the saddest things in the world is the necessity to protect wilderness from people. Companies are ready to go into the wild and ravage it if there isn’t a law that protects that part of the land. Those laws prevent companies from destroying everything in their path in the name of profit.

There is a current bill before the U.S. House and Senate that would designate thousands of acres of southern Utah land as wilderness. What originally started out as “America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act” has morphed to include some 10 million acres around the state.

The act would lock up a large portion of land, including 58,000 acres adjacent to Zion National Park, plus an additional 300,000 acres throughout southeast Utah. Under the Wilderness Act of 1964, designated land would have prohibited activities, including use of motorized vehicles and mountain bikes. No roads would be permitted on the land, only trails for hiking. I’m not opposed to preservation when it is done right.

People behind the bill

When I first heard about this bill, I was curious to see who was sponsoring such a giant leap of conservation. On closer examination, the Senate version was introduced into the current Congressional session by Dick Durbin of Illinois and is co-sponsored by 14 other senators, none of who are from Utah. The co-sponsors read like a who’s who of Senate power players, such as the two senators from California, Boxer and Feinstein, the two from Massachusetts, Kennedy and Kerry; there’s also Patrick Leahy and Hillary Clinton on the list as well.

My curiosity began to get the best of me, so I called our two Utah senators. I asked their staff why the legislators weren’t co-sponsoring the bill when it specifically affects their represented area. I got a pretty clear-cut answer from Mary Collipriest in Sen. Bennett’s office. “It’s not something we will support,” adding that she wasn’t sure Sen. Durbin had ever even been to Utah. “We will not support wilderness designation in other states, so senators from other states should not support legislation for ours.”

From Sen. Hatch’s office I got much the same answer from Adam Elggren. “Sen. Hatch realizes there is some land that needs to be designated as wilderness, but this is the exact wrong way of going about it.”

Not only will our senators not be a part of the bill, but also their input was never even sought by Sen. Durbin when he wrote the piece of legislation, said Elggren.

What is wrong with all of this?

WildernessAll 14 Senators in support of the wilderness designation sit on the Democratic side of the aisle. In the House, Congressman Matheson has seen so much controversy surrounding the bill, he doesn’t want to support it either. The same goes for Utah Representatives Rob Bishop and Chris Cannon.

What’s wrong with this picture? No one from Utah is supportive of a bill in the House or Senate that would lock up approximately 10 million acres of land as wilderness, but everyone else, including leaders from California, New York and Massachusetts, are quick to speak on our behalf.

The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, a conservation group, would not return my calls, but made a statement on their Web site that “Citizens outside of Utah who love and treasure this amazing landscape have every right to demand its protection.” I disagree.

People outside of Utah are more than welcome to enjoy the beautiful scenery, but when it comes to control of our land, we should be the ones to make that decision. The truth of the matter is, some of the land in the proposed wilderness area is school trust land. Money that helps support the state education system is supported by these lands, which are often leased to oil, gas and other mining companies. Those lease dollars support education, but if trust land is locked up in a wilderness area, that would prevent any mining, making the trust land virtually worthless unless exchanged with other federal land, which is shrinking as well.

Wilderness is a wonderful thing, but its planning and execution needs to have local input.

The boom of home improvement business satisfies everyone

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The boom of home improvement business satisfies everyone

It’s a well-known fact that the number of home improvement projects is on the rise all across the USA. People are shifting their investments from new property to the improvement of the one they own.

People improve their property for a variety of reasons, from increasing the sale value to improving it because they want something more in their home. The result of this is the increase of the Woodyard adds you see on various internet pages. Many similar businesses became popular thanks to the shift in this industry.

Everyone profits from home improvement business boom

This whole industry relies on homeowners and property resellers who change particular aspects of their property. The term “home improvement” covers everything from changing the color of walls to adding decks and other huge elements. The said industry is full of various parties that experienced the increase in profit and revenue thanks to the increased interest in home improvement.

Material stores experienced a considerable revenue increase as they get to service more clients. And this is excellent as they have to offer relative prices to keep existing customers and to attract new people. This, of course, refers to clients that do home improvement projects without professional help. They also have to stay relevant to strike deals with construction companies that offer home improvement services.

This is an industry in which everyone profits, as long as they are willing to adapt to the ever-changing market. Those that fail to adapt tend to lose their footing in the business and go down as soon as something changes.

How home improvement business changes affect relevant parties

Home improvementWoodyard is one of many material stores that experienced a sudden increase in their business. The sheer number of ads on various sites increased as the demand for raw materials went up. People got interested in home improvement projects, and that resulted in a higher count of searches regarding materials used on those projects.

All that was left for Woodyard and other similar stores was to adapt to the demand and try to satisfy all customers. That might sound easy, but the fact that many stores failed to change is something that reflected the surprise that all of those stores experienced. They were unable to cope with 200% or higher increase in demand for materials they sell, and that resulted in a loss of a lot of potential profit.

Construction companies fare well with the increased demand for their services. Many expanded several times in the last couple of months to satisfy the needs of new clients. Some of them branched out to offer new services that cover different areas of the home improvement.

Firestorms and hurricanes – Fighting the nature

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Firestorms and hurricanes – Fighting the nature

Every year greets us with a record-breaking number of hurricanes, fires, and droughts all across the USA. Every year firefighters have to face everything that nature throws at them with all they got to prevent the loss of property and lives.

The continuous fight against nature’s forces people to grow up differently than anyone else that doesn’t have to face danger every summer. People who grow up fighting hurricanes tend to be robust individuals who dedicate their lives to ensuring that everyone else is saved. Whenever you see a headline which states that a Hurricane fire chief hangs his helmet, you should read the said article. Those are the people who chose to risk their lives on a daily basis so everyone else could live without any worries.

The year when everything escalates

Firestorms and hurricanes 2018 is a year in which we will see the escalation of nature’s wrath. People are still reluctant to accept that climate change plays a big part in everything that is happening. But that doesn’t matter for people who have to fight the elements. Their job is to go out there and try to prevent further damage by nature.

Midwest and West of the USA experience an increasing number of wildfires on a yearly basis. The intensity of the same is increasing as well. Preventing these occurrences has mixed results. Firefighters can prevent wildfires through education of the children and teens. This education reduces the number of fires in nature as young people learn how devastating their actions can be. The sad thing is that is the only way that firefighters can prevent nature from destroying everything people build. The majority of natural disasters that occur are the result of natural phenomena, and thus people can’t do anything but fight them once they happen.

People who stand in the first line of fire

Firefighters are people who stand in the first line of fire whenever nature throws something us. The majority of firefighters are volunteers, with only a small portion of firefighter force being pros. But, those professional firefighters spend a significant part of their lives in the headquarters, waiting for the call to go out and fight the elements.

However, it’s impossible for professional firefighters to fight huge wildfires and to deal with the outcome of hurricanes without assistance from volunteers. People who choose to volunteer on helping others after or during a disaster are also heroes who should be praised for their work. They risk their lives (on some occasions), without getting paid, to help people deal with the aftermath of major natural disasters and they play a significant role in fighting wildfires.

Honoring firefighter chiefs that retire after decades of service is one of the ways we can thank them and their peers for their work.

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