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The winners and the losers

Winner: If the Guadalupe school, Salt Lake School District's alternative elementary, has proven anything, it is that children from poor, non-English-speaking parents can learn just as well as anyone else. The school goes out of its way to keep attendance high and constant. Kids who move are still bused back in. Teachers begin working with students virtually from birth. And, as noted in a feature story this week, the students thrive on standardized tests.

Guadalupe, which receives much of its funding from private donations, also shows the value of choice in education. Given vouchers or tuition tax credits, more underprivileged students could choose alternatives, and the resulting competition would raise achievement levels everywhere.

Loser: The door-to-door salesman said he had it coming, and we are inclined to agree. Last week, a peddler from Ohio tried to convince an Orem woman he would get bonus points if she gave him a hug, even if she wouldn't buy his magazines. Then he tried to kiss her. She contacted her husband, who chased the man and beat him.

The chastened salesman didn't want to press charges. We suggest he find a new sales pitch, otherwise, "Death of a Salesman" will come to mean more than a classic play by Arthur Miller.

Winner: Most firefighters don't last more than a couple of decades, which makes the retirement this week of 65-year-old Lou Manning truly remarkable. He served as a Salt Lake City firefighter for 44 years, putting his life on the line virtually every day. He has had several ceilings collapse on him and endured other close calls. And yet he says he loved every minute of it.

The city retired Manning's badge at a party this week. It was a fitting tribute to someone who spent a lifetime helping others.