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Utah Foundation Panel Works Through Solutions to Improving Quality of Life in Utah

Bob Nelson

Availability of jobs, public school education and air and water quality are the top three areas most in need of improvement for a better quality of life. That’s according to the latest Utah Foundation survey of Utahns. The Foundation’s Senior Research Analyst Shawn Teigen led a panel discussion today in downtown Salt Lake City on the results of the latest study of Utahn’s Quality of Life. He says air quality moved to number one when residents were asked this open-ended question.

“What is the one thing that we can do to as a state to increase your quality of life? Safety and security of crime came in fourth.  So air quality was first, second was public schools, third was good jobs…they were about the same,” says Teigen.

Ted Wilson was among the six panelists. He is the newly appointed Director of UCAIR, a statewide clean air partnership. He says last year’s inversion was a real wake up call for Utahns and people want to blame industry. However, Wilson says that only accounts for 11 percent of the air quality problem, with 50 percent of particulate pollution generated from cars.

“Link your trips together because it’s the cold start that kills the air… We’re a good people, we’re a strong people and we have a problem and we know how to gang up on it and make it work,” Wilson says.

Panelist Natalie Gochnour from University of Utah School of Business listed increased education funding, supporting the Count My Vote Initiative and more funding for tourism and economic development as solutions for more Utah jobs.

Bob Nelson is a graduate of the University of Utah with a BA in mass communications. He began his radio career at KUER in 1978 when it was still in Kingsbury Hall. That’s also where he met his wife, Maria Shilaos, in 1981. Bob left KUER for commercial radio where he worked for 25 years, and he is thrilled to be back at KUER. Bob and his family are part of an explorer group, fondly known as The Hordes and Masses, which has been seeking out ghost towns and little-known places in Utah for more than twenty years.
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