What to do with those “extra” tickets this summer…

by Senator Ross Romero
District 7

Sen. Ross RomeroDuring the last Legislative Session, I and Senator Hickman were asked to speak to a gathering of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Utah (BBBSU) who were enjoying a field trip at the Utah State Capitol. Senator Hickman and I shared with the group how we became involved in public service, some of our goals, and why we thought service was important. During this brief interaction with the group, I was impressed with how committed the Bigs were to their Littles and the bonds that were developed through these relationships. I saw first hand how important this mentoring relationship is in helping the youth in our community have a role model to look up to. Some important information about the Littles includes:

82% of children served in Utah are from families without two parents (single, parent, grandparent, or other guardian-led homes).

82% are from low-income homes.

52% are minorities.

BBBSU will provide Bigs to almost 1,700 children in need throughout the state of Utah.

A recent study conducted by a national research firm Public/Private Ventures (P/PV) examined the impact of the BBBSU program on youth and found that when compared to their peers, Little Brothers and Little Sisters who met with their Big Brothers or Sisters for at least one year were:

46% less likely to start using drugs.

27% less likely to start drinking.

33% less likely to act violently.

52% less likely to skip a day of school, and earned higher grades.

Recently I learned I was the highest bidder of four 10th-row tickets to the sold out Stadium of Fire 4th of July Concert with Miley Cyrus. As much as I like the idea of going to the show to heckle Glenn Beck (the host of the event), I thought some Littles might appreciate the concert opportunity more than myself. I therefore contacted BBBSU and have donated the four tickets so some Littles might see their “superstar” peer. I hope this donation idea might catch on with others who have tickets this summer which conflict with travel plans and which might therefore be donated to BBBSU.

If you have any interest in learning more about BBBSU, please review their website at: www.bbbsu.org. If you have “extra” tickets of your own you would like to donate this summer, please contact Kim Sharples at 801-313-0303, Ext. 135, or if you’d like to make another kind of donation, please contact Merridith Ferne at 801-313-0303 Ext. 124 or email her at merridith.ferne@bbbs.org.

Mystery Solved

Two weeks ago, a Mystery Photo was posted on this blog. When, Where, How?

On August 10, 2005, a trailer truck owned by R&R Trucking, Inc., hauling 35,500 pounds of explosives rolled and exploded between the mouth of Spanish Fork Canyon and the intersection of Highway 89, creating a large crater 70 feet wide and 30 feet deep. The incident sent 20 people to the hospital.

The driver was on his way from Ensign-Bickford Company in Spanish Fork to Oklahoma when the truck tipped on its right side and was torn open. Three minutes after the wreck, the explosives blew. The driver was going too fast. The road reopened two days later–way to go UDOT. (info obtained from The Tribune)

Utah tops the list!

Slated to “kick off” the third week of every September and run throughout the school year, the America’s Legislators Back to School Program gives elected officials in all 50 states the opportunity to meet personally with their young constituents and to answer questions, share ideas, listen to concerns and impart a greater understanding of the legislative processes necessary for developing effective public policy and engaged citizens.

UTAH TOPS THE LIST WITH 81% OF LEGISLATORS VISITING SCHOOLS IN THEIR DISTRICTS DURING 2005-2006. Click here to view the top ten states.

Congratulations to our 104 legislators and to Shelley Day in the Office of Legislative Research & General Counsel who coordinates the program for the Utah Legislature.

Sponsored by the National Conference of State Legislatures, the program is designed to teach young people–the nation’s future voters and leaders–what it’s like to be a state legislator: the processes, the pressures, and the debate, negotiation and compromise that are the very fabric of representative democracy. The program is emphasized as a bipartisan event. Legislators of both political parties are urged to participate in this national event and help bring civics to life for young people.

Kudos for Paula…

Senator Paula JulanderFormer Democrat Senator Paula Julander has been chosen as the honorary chairwoman for the 2007 Race for the Cure event scheduled for May 12. Sponsored by the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, the event features a 5K run/5K walk and a one-mile fun run/walk, followed by a tribute to breast cancer survivors and awards for the 5K run.

Paula served two terms in the Utah House of Representatives and two terms in the Utah Senate. She championed women’s health care issues by sponsoring legislation every session to benefit women and families. Paula served as the president/executive director of the Utah Nurses Association. She is a board member of Intermountain Health Care Hospitals.

Paula has been a nurse for over 40 years. She was born and raised in North Carolina (her Southern drawl still lingers), where she earned her Nursing Diploma in 1960 at the Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing. In 1984 she received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, graduating magna cum laude from the University of Utah. In 1990, Paula received her Master of Science in Nursing Administration from Brigham Young University, where she was valedictorian of the graduating class.

The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation was established in 1982 by Nancy Brinker to honor the memory of her sister, Susan G. Komen, who died from breast cancer at the age of 36. Today, the Foundation is an international organization with a network of more than 75,000 active volunteers working through local Affiliates and events like the Komen Race for the CureĀ® to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease.

Congratulations Paula!