Readers’ Forum: 3/26/19


Tough times

I don’t know Michael overly well. He’s one of my best friends, but if you want his full autobiography, I can’t help you. What I can say is this: He’s from Idaho, he served his mission in California, he watches The Office, he’s a pro at the Charleston, he sings like Bublé himself and oh, by the way, he has cancer.

It wasn’t like a scene from a Hollywood film. We’d just gotten back from Christmas break when he broke the news calmly. We knew that he’d been having elbow pain and that he’d gone to a doctor. What we didn’t know was that Michael had a 5-inch long tumor just chillin’ in his elbow. And what I didn’t know was how much that would change my life.

As he broke the news, it didn’t register. Chemotherapy, withdrawing from school and radiation all become so much more real when you see pictures of your friend slumped in a hospital bed. It becomes even more real when his mom tells us that he’s been throwing up violently all day and had to be rushed to the emergency room. I want to give him hope to hold on to, when in reality, he’s the one giving hope to me.

Almost every picture of Michael has been of him with a thumbs-up. It’s his way of saying that everything is going to be OK. Even if he’s in pain. Even if he’s not OK. Even if he might have lost hope inside. But his thumbs-up is hope for you and me. Most of us will go through our own tough times over the next six months while he receives treatments. We might want to complain, feel down or give up.

When life gets tough, though, I think of Michael. I know that I have no right to give up or complain, because he is hope for me and for all of us.

The best part is that this isn’t a eulogy. His cancer is treatable. It’s not a pity plea or a GoFundMe. It’s a voice for hope. Because just like Michael, we’re going to make it.

— William Baird

Las Vegas, Nevada

BYU football

62 percent is a D average. No, that’s not your percent chance of getting married while attending BYU. That’s BYU’s football program winning percentage over the past eight years. Why so rough? The reason, in fact, is being independent. Ever since doing so, BYU football has suffered. Joining a major conference, however, would change that.

If we get in a major conference, we could land a major television contract. In the PAC-12, for instance, each team nets $27 million a year. This can help us land more athletes to give us depth when guys get injured. A reflection of how this can work is how Utah, since going to the PAC-12, has beat us every single year. Utah is on the climb and becoming a strong contender in their conference. That wasn’t always the case, however, as their program had to grow over time. Once they got in the conference, they had more money, more incentive for good players to come and saw their success grow.

Overall, the conclusion I am trying to get at is simple: BYU football should join a major conference. We as students and supporters need to unite with BYU football players and staff and get BYU back to where it belongs, in a strong conference winning big games and competing for conference championships.

— Seth Walker

Kittitas, Washington

Reporter Opinion

Utah pet retail stores should use shelter animals

The retail sale of pets at various stores and displays throughout Utah has led to an increase of establishments such as “puppy mills,” where animals are bred specifically for these commercial businesses. These breeding centers, however, have been found to sometimes cause harmful illnesses in the animals such as parvovirus. Utah lawmakers should take a closer look at these various establishments and make the necessary changes to help these animals out.

One possible solution could be to replace the animals currently living in the stores and displays with animals from shelters or rescue organizations. The Provo City Council tabled an ordinance amendment on March 19 prohibiting the sale of any dog, cat or rabbit in any commercial animal establishment within the city limits unless the animal was obtained from an animal shelter, animal control agency or a nonprofit animal rescue organization. While other municipalities and counties in Utah have passed similar legislation, Provo should take note and do the same.

There are many adoptable dogs, cats and rabbits readily available within these shelters and rescue organizations. My family adopted a very sweet and affectionate cat from a shelter a few years ago that was in great health. These shelters and organizations are more than happy to work with aspiring pet owners ready to give the animals the love and attention they need. It would be a huge step forward if these shelters became the main source for the animals used in the stores and displays throughout all of Utah. We could cut the breeding centers out of the process entirely.

The rest of Utah and Provo should make the necessary changes to prevent both harmful illnesses and pet overpopulation. There are plenty of animals in the shelters and rescue organizations that can and should be used at pet stores and displays in order to eliminate the risks involved with animal breeding centers.

— Josh Carter

Universe Opinion Editor

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