• Winner: One of the state's contaminated areas won't be on the list of Environmental Protection Agency Superfund sites, officials announced this week. That's because Kennecott Utah Copper Corp., spent more than a decade cleaning the area in the southwest part of the Salt Lake Valley. The cleanup work, which already has cost the company $400 million and involves mine waste that predates Kennecott's ownership, will continue for decades. But it's good to know the problem is going away.
• Loser: It was inevitable. When survivors of the generation that celebrated sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll get to retirement age, they will bring their vices with them. The government now says illegal substance abuse among people 55-59 years old is up 116 percent over the past five years, according to a Cox News report. Among those, 4.1 percent say they used drugs within the last month, which is up from 1.9 percent who said the same in 2002.
The trend is bound to continue, bringing with it a host of medical problems, not to mention the problem of locating abusers who need help but lack family support. Perhaps the old '60s formula for happiness wasn't so good after all.
• Winner: Only you can prevent marijuana harvests. That may be Smokey's new motto.
Sheriff's deputies in Garfield County said a large bear apparently broke up a marijuana operation in the woods. They found hundreds of plants, thousands of bags, broken pipes and lots of evidence that a large animal had run amok at a camp this week. Officials destroyed the plants. Meanwhile, the world can mourn the lack of a YouTube video showing how the growers reacted to the intrusion.
• Winner: Gang graffiti is senseless and demoralizing to a community. We were happy this week to see the city of Ogden file lawsuits against the parents of five teenagers who recently were caught spray-painting city property. Under state law, the parents could be charged $2,000 for each incident.
Is it right to punish parents for what their children do? Absolutely, just as it is right to hold them accountable for child neglect or other problems related to the fact that children are in their care. At least this might wake some people up to the need to enforce restrictions.