- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Two rural Utah towns may put themselves on the national map by passing resolutions declaring U.N.-free zones.

Town councils in La Verkin, population about 2,000, and Virgin, home to nearly 400, plan to put to votes next month ordinances that declare the United Nations unwelcome within their town limits.

While left-leaning locales such as Berkeley, Calif., and Takoma Park, Md., have declared their towns nuclear-free zones, the Utah laws would be the first in the nation where towns have voted to give the United Nations the heave-ho.

La Verkin Mayor Dan Howard hopes his town's initiative will inspire other cities where residents oppose the United Nations' global agenda.

"We've been pushed far enough and long enough," Mr. Howard told the Salt Lake Tribune. "We're tired of marching to the U.N. agenda. Maybe La Verkin is the crucible to get the rest of the cities and the national government to listen."

The proposed anti-U.N. laws, set for a vote next month, are not the first to draw attention to the two towns, whose residents have distinguished themselves as freedom-loving, independence-declaring folk.

Last year, Virgin council members approved a law requiring each head of household in the town to own a gun. La Verkin council members last week approved a resolution reiterating the town's steadfast support of the Second Amendment.

Both town councils considered the U.N.-opposition measures after listening to a speech last week by the father of court-martialed Army medic Michael New about his son's treatment by the U.S. military. Mr. New refused to wear the U.N. insignia and beret while working as a member of a peacekeeping force in Macedonia. He received a bad-conduct discharge from the service but became the darling of conservatives around the nation who opposed what they described as the United Nations' one-world-government philosophy.

Mr. New's father, Daniel New, a Christian missionary who raised seven home-schooled children with his wife, said he planned to speak out about anti-U.N. ordinances in towns in Washington and New Mexico in the coming months, said reports published in the St. George Spectrum.

The proposed laws call for a ban on using town money to aid the United Nations. They also ban the U.N. symbol on town property and protect residents from "involuntary servitude" in U.N. peacekeeping details. Residents who support the United Nations must post signs that read: "United Nations work conducted here."

Noelle Higbee, Virgin town clerk, said the town's five-member council discussed the resolution at its most recent meeting but tabled it until the July 19 meeting to seek more public input. Most of the people who attended the meeting supported its passage, she said, declining to comment on her own views of the measure.

Virgin Mayor Jay Lee told those who attended Thursday's town council meeting that when he considered the ordinance, he concluded that the United Nations already had control of two of the four things needed for a global government, the Spectrum reported.

"The United Nations control finances and fuel," Mr. Lee said. "All they need to control now is food and firearms."

La Verkin Town Manager Douglas Wilson said the council supports the measure, although it has created little fanfare among the mostly Mormon residents.

"We've had one negative response from the community and two from outside," he said. "Most of the interest and publicity has been from outside of town."

A U.N. spokesman had no comment on the towns' proposed actions.

La Verkin council members, looking to celebrate a patriotic holiday appropriately, have called a special July 4 session to vote on the proposed ordinance.

La Verkin town Councilman Al Snow, who works as director of engineering at a Utah company, says he has become involved in the anti-U.N. campaign to protect the rights of his children. Others who live in the West should take note of the region's significant U.N. presence, he said.

"The U.N. is trying to get involved in too much of our lives. We live in the West and we see parks now where part of the fees that they earn goes to the U.N. because it is biosphere," he said. "Eighty-three percent of our state's land is federal land, and they have made deals with the U.N. to do certain things and have not even considered the people who live here.

"I can see our country's sovereignty slowly slipping away," he said. "I believe in the power of the people, and the people need to make sure that the U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land."

La Verkin, founded in 1891, is located about 45 minutes from Zion National Park. Virgin, founded in 1858, adjoins La Verkin and is located along the Virgin River.

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