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Oh say can you see: Provo City and Division of Air Quality officials argued this winter over the placement of air monitors in downtown Provo.

It was much ado about nothing in our opinion.If you want to check air quality, just take a gander at the flags flying in the median on Center Street and University Avenue. The Provo City flag should have a white background with a color spectrum across it. Instead, the flag's background is carbon monoxide gray.

The American flag, of course, should be red, white and blue. It's red, PM10 pewter and blue. Hey, what country is this anyway?

He's a trouper: Provo City employee Jerry Miller was seriously injured Wednesday when a high pressure water hose exploded and the hose nozzle struck him in the face. Miller, 42, lost his left eye in the mishap. He is in good condition at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center.

Provo City residents may recall a story about Miller's willingness to go the extra mile in his job. Around Christmastime in 1990, a fallen manhole dustpan blocked a sewer line on Osmond Lane. Raw sewage seeped into one home and threatened others.

Miller volunteered to enter the sewer and spent 40 minutes wading through 9 feet of muck searching for the dustpan that blocked one month's waste.

"I just kept my eyes closed and my mouth shut," Miller said at the time. "It's not exactly part of my job description."

Miller is an excellent example of a dedicated worker, and we wish him a speedy recovery.

On the back page: Senate candidate Joe Cannon says he's put purchase of the Standard Examiner, an Ogden newspaper, on hold.

"I'm certainly not as into it as I was at the first of the year," Cannon said.

Why? Cannon says he's been consumed by his Senate bid. He also said "it's a very complicated financial transaction. There is a lot of debt there that has to be paid down."

Cannon would "still love to figure out a way to do it, Senate race or not."

A glowing endorsement: Actor Dan Ackroyd and his wife, Donna, are walking around with "pink, golden healthy glows" now that they use a Nu Skin facial rejuvenation mask.

At least that's what Ackroyd wrote in a letter to Canadian Nu Skin distributor Christianne Schull, who also happens to be his cousin.

"This is just the product we need to compensate for the harshness of the theatrical makeup we must wear in our profession," Ackroyd wrote.

Maybe he ought to pass some along to fellow ghostbuster Bill Murray.

My good friend Newt: Ever wonder why 3rd Congressional District candidates Steve Densley and Parley Hellewell sound so much alike? Well, it's because both tune into the Rep. Newt Gingrich, R-Georgia, show on Thursday evenings. Republican House candidates nationwide call a 1-800 number and listen to Gingrich discuss various issues. Candidates can't comment or ask questions on the one-way conference call that may include up to 300 participants.

The training sessions are part of the Republican Party's strategy to gain control of the U.S. House in the November elections.

On Friday, Densley and Hellewell issue press releases based on information received from Gingrich. That's why they sound so much alike.

Densley likes to put a personal twist on his association with Gingrich. For example, Densley's release on the House banking scandal stated, "In a Thursday nigh call from Rep. Newt Gingrich . . . "

Now you know the rest of the story.

On being: George I. Mavrodes, president of the Society of Christian Philosophers, had this to say during the society's regional meeting at BYU last week: "But being-itself . . . is not a being at all, whether great or mediocre. Consequently, being-itself is not a being greater than the God of theism (nor, for that matter, is being-itself a being greater than me)."

Think about it.

Loose change appears in the Deseret News on Mondays. To reach Dennis or Brooke, call 374-1162 or send us a fax at 377-5701.