TIP TOP: We've been accused as a community of being cheap. Seventeen employees of a "prominent restaurant in the Provo area" recently sent letters to local media complaining about lousy tips. Apparently customers at this particular establishment are giving less than 15 percent.

Seems some folks from California are finding it unfathomable that Rolex-watch-wearing Utahns leave such minor tips for outstanding service.People who leave thinking a 10 percent gratuity is sufficient are not only chintzy but dishonest, according to the letter writers. They can't believe that people who live in an area of "such a strong Christian influence" treat their fellow men so poorly.

"Those who hold themselves accountable to the Judeo-Christian mindset, and tip us so poorly, are in complete discord with its teaching," the letter says. It then quotes Malachi 3:5. It says something about oppressing the hireling in his wages.

Maybe these waiters, waitresses and busboys just need to understand the locale.

A large number of families have large numbers of children and thus large amounts of money leaving the house in cool shoes, cool cars and cool clothes. Many are supporting LDS missionaries or BYU students, sometimes both. That takes cash. Then there are church contributions, mostly figured at 10 percent, and the Scout fund-raising drive and the Primary Children's Pennies-by-the-Inch. Then there are the standard deductions for money-saving coupons and the kids who eat free.

Or maybe we just don't understand. Do servers really only make $2.13 before tips? And what constitutes good service? And who should decide the amount of the tip? The customer or the waiter? We'd like to know. If you have an answer, please tip us off.

Never on Sunday: Participants at a recent Provo/Utah County Ice Sheet Authority meeting were having trouble deciding when to meet again. Seemed everyone had a conflict. But Mayor George Stewart had a solution.

"Let's have it on Sunday and call it Monday," he said.

What? Is the mayor slipping? Has he lost his moral compass? No. He was just kidding. At least he's found a sense of humor.

Flag waving: Speaking of church and state . . . Many of the houses below the Mount Timpanogos Temple are sporting white commemorative flags on their front lawns. Some of the lawns also have an American flag and a Utah flag. And a few have a "Bill Orton for Congress" or "Chris Cannon for Congress" sign next to the three flags. Isn't that mixing politics and religion?

Baby blues: Louann March, chairman of Orem's Planning Commission, was finding it difficult to make a popular decision when it came to rezoning property east of the University Mall for commercial development.

Neighbors weren't happy at finding their homes in the way of progress and were asking for help. At the same time the Utah Transit Authority wanted the go-ahead for a much-needed transit center.

Looking over a map that had the request for rezone highlighted in one color and the area objecting to a rezone in another, she lightened the moment for a bit when she said, "I feel like Solomon dividing the baby and it's even pink and blue."