Ranger Kathryn's Arches

June 12, 2011

“NOT heard in Minnesota…” (Post #400!)

The sun sets on the land of uranium and polygamy

Radio announcements have distinct regional flavors. Two local examples will help you picture how different this culture is from wherever you grew up or now live.

1. The public service announcement for uranium workers’ health care rights informs that, at no cost to you, a trained nurse will come to your home and provide compassionate care for those suffering ill effects of having worked in the uranium industry. (I think taxpayers are paying many times over for nuclear power…)

2. Utah Public Radio announced that there would be training offered for law enforcement and social workers regarding polygamy. This caught me totally by surprise, but it shouldn’t have. There are several towns along the Utah-Arizona border that were established long ago by fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints as refuges where they could practice plural marriage (also called celestial marriage) without outside interference. Due to the fact that the mayor, the judge, the city administrator and the police chief also hold these beliefs, it is difficult (impossible?) to eradicate the practice even though it is against the laws of the country. What a dilemma.

These are topics one would never hear on Minnesota radio stations. Broaden your horizons: TRAVEL!

Leave a comment: Have you encountered any radio, TV or billboard announcements that let you know you were not in your own familiar place?


  1. I started researching the topic of uranium mining in Utah and came across this excerpt from the Deseret (Utah) News:
    “America may have won the Cold War, but a decade after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Utah is left with a toxic legacy that has killed and sickened untold thousands of uranium miners and mill workers, contaminated water supplies for generations to come, and infected an otherwise stunning red-rock landscape with millions of tons of radioactive mill tailings that will cost American taxpayers billions of dollars to remove and bury safely out of sight.

    Engineers say cleaning up the mill tailings at a single site, the defunct Atlas mill on the banks of the Colorado River just outside of Moab, could cost $300 million.

    Those living in downstream states like Arizona and California say it is a small price to pay for safe drinking water. Survivors of the uranium frenzy scoff, recalling how they dumped countless tons of radioactive tailings into the Colorado, San Juan and La Plata rivers over the years. Piles of raw ore with unprofitable concentrations of uranium now lie beneath Lake Powell.”

    Comment by leroque — June 12, 2011 @ 12:11 pm | Reply

    • Thanks for that research. The $300 million Atlas pile sits right across the street from Arches NP. Because it was found to be in the floodplain of the CO River, a massive UMTRA project (Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action — google the acronym and be amazed) 24 hours a day M-F, two trains a day, for a predicted 12 yrs non-stop, that pile is being loaded and moved 30 miles away to a giant hole in the desert where it is being buried. This very minute, however, the CO river is flooding and creeping ever closer to the bottom of that giant toxic pile. I’m sorry for the downstream effects, but the booms and berms they’ve erected aren’t quite enough.
      P.S. I don’t drink the well water here; I get filtered water.

      Comment by Kathryn Burke — June 12, 2011 @ 12:56 pm | Reply

  2. I was driving down Emirates Road the other day, which is a 7-lane super-fast freeway. The digital sign overhead said, “Give way to pedestrians.”

    The sad part is, there ARE pedestrians on this road, the lowest on the socio-economic scale, and there are many deaths each year as they try to cross this major thoroughfare.

    Comment by Becky — June 12, 2011 @ 1:22 pm | Reply

  3. What about Becky when you were in Florida? They had Gator crossing signs posted everywhere. I did see any gators crossing the road? Did you?

    Comment by Chris — June 12, 2011 @ 8:20 pm | Reply

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