I am writing this Sunday afternoon as the clouds clear from a couple days of much needed rain. Although timing was a challenge, the drizzle Saturday during the St. Patrick's Day parade was a welcome relief. It may have dampened the crepe paper and created a few problems with hair styles but watching the floats decked out in green, balloons and hats and a few umbrellas made it an even more joyous celebration.
People who follow the opinion page and read the columns and editorials weekly in the Sun Advocate may have noticed the new box last week explaining the on-line survey. This is the first mention in the newspaper of the opinion poll, but the question has been part of the Sun Advocate web page for over a year now.
Although we have not been consistent with new questions, the editorial team decided it was time that we changed the question every two weeks, announce the question in the newspaper and give you the results once the poll is closed.
During the past 14 months we have had 24 questions and many produced interesting results. Certainly this is not an official poll but it does give us a small sampling of how the community feels about certain newspaper, local, state and national issues.
The most recent question asks if the city should restrict parking on Carbon Avenue between Main Street and the railroad tracks. There are about 16 businesses along that stretch of street and it seems that certain employees that work in businesses along that road park in front of other businesses and take up valuable customer parking. The results after only one-week is that 61 percent or 45 people say leave it like it is.
We have had some interesting questions and even more surprising results in other polls during the past year. The question that brought the most response was "Based on the recent case brought before the 9th U.S. Circuit court of appeals in San Francisco, how do you feel about the phrase "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance?" That poll was in June and it was the most overwhelming response we have had with 321 votes or 91 percent of the respondents wanting to leave the pledge as it is.
Another heavily opinioned question was asked just three weeks ago; "Do you agree with the possible war with Iraq that President George W. Bush is suggesting?"
Again, an overwhelming number, 191 people, or 57 percent voted to disarm Iraq, while 73 people, or 22 percent voted to wait for the United Nations' decision.
Several questions ended up with almost identical percentages. Questions such as what do you think should be done with the Nine Mile Canyon Road? That question was asked last September and it was a deadhead to pave, gravel or leave it alone.
Another question with almost an equal number of respondents came last April with the question, "Do you think the concept of charter schools in Utah is a good idea?" The poll indicated that 59 percent said that charter schools were not a good idea, while 46 percent said they were a good idea.
With more and more people visiting the Internet the Sun Advocate feels that its online presence compliments the weekly newspaper. Last month there were nearly 110,000 visits to various sites on our page. It is interesting to note that the three most visited features at www.sunad.com are the front pages, the obituaries and the real estate advertising.
As times change, so do the methods in which we get and read our news. Although there will always be a place in communities for their hometown newspapers, we believe the Internet opens up a whole new world. Questions, such as the ones we have been asking will be increased and updated every two weeks.
If you have a community issue you feel warrants public input, give us a call and we will consider it for our online web site.