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THE WINNERS AND THE LOSERS

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* WINNERS: The Utah communities of Provo-Orem, Salt Lake City-Ogden and Park City - for getting such good nationwide publicity recently. The latest issue of Snow Country magazine ranks Park City fifth among the top 10 ski areas in the country. The other Utah communities are rated by Money magazine as the third and fourth best places to live in the United States. Such favorable attention can be worth millions of dollars in attracting tourists and new industry.

POTENTIAL LOSERS: The Utah communities of Provo-Orem, Salt Lake City-Ogden and Park City - for the same reason. More visitors and permanent residents usually mean more traffic congestion, more pollution and other added problems. Besides, such ratings have been known to change quickly and markedly for no discernible reason except perhaps the desire of the raters to sell more magazines in as many parts of the country as possible. Utahns had better enjoy the favorable new attention while they can.LOSER: Denver's brand-new International Airport. In addition to a baggage-handling system that keeps chewing up luggage and spitting it out, the Denver facility has developed a rash of serious cracks in its runway. Hmmm. Could it be that some of Utah's infamous Syn-crete found its way into Colorado?

* WINNERS: Postal workers. Contrary to popular impression, the risk of death on the job for postal workers is far less than gory headlines about recent shootings at various post offices might suggest. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported this week, the risk of death for the U.S. Postal Service's 892,000 employees is 2.5 times less than that of all workers nationwide.

LOSERS: Taxicab drivers - and dispatchers, too. They have the riskiest occupation, according to the same study, with a death rate of 26.9 per 100,000 employees.

Incidentally, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death on the job both nationally and in the Postal Service.

* WINNERS: Male nurses. Their numbers are increasing. A new survey shows that about one in 10 students enrolled in nursing education these days is a man, compared with about one in 14 four years ago and one in 20 only seven years ago. So much for any notion that women have a monopoly on the tenderness and sensitivity associated with the nursing profession.