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Utah economy

Climate sign signals Great Barrier Reef devastation – ABC4 Utah

SYDNEY (AP) — It was the silence of the sea that first shook the snorkeling teenager, followed by a sense of horror as she saw the coral below had been drained of its kaleidoscopic color . This once vibrant site on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef – a site she had previously likened to a bustling capital – had become a ghost town, the victim of another mass bleaching event.

On this day in 2020, Ava Shearer came out of the water and cried. Now, with the release of a United Nations climate report that paints a dire picture of the future of the Great Barrier Reef, the now 17-year-old marine science student and snorkeling guide years, wonders what will be left of the endangered ecosystem as she graduates from Australia’s James Cook University.

“It really worries me,” says Shearer, who grew up along the World Heritage-listed natural wonder off Australia’s northeast coast. “I’m afraid there’s nothing for me to study.”

The world has much to fear in Monday’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, which states bluntly that the Great Barrier Reef is in crisis and suffering severe impacts from climate change, with frequent and severe coral bleaching caused by warming ocean temperatures. . The worst bleaching event, in 2016, affected more than 90% of the reef, and a succession of bleaching incidents left the northern and middle part of the reef system in a “highly degraded state”, according to the report.

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest living structure on the planet – so large, in fact, that it is the only living thing on earth visible from space. It stretches for 2,300 kilometers (1,400 miles) and is home to more than 1,500 species of tropical fish, as well as dolphins, whales, birds and even century-old giant clams. Before the pandemic, it contributed A$6.4 billion ($4.6 billion) to the economy annually, largely through tourism, and generally supports around 64,000 jobs.

That bleaching will continue along the reef is a virtual certainty, according to the IPCC. Perhaps even more worryingly, the report suggests that it may simply be too late to stop bleaching altogether. Even if the global community achieved its goal of limiting future warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial times, that would still not be enough to prevent more frequent mass bleaching events, although that this may reduce their occurrence, the IPCC has found.

The report predicts that warming oceans and marine heatwaves will lead to the loss and degradation of shallow tropical coral reefs, leading to “widespread destruction” of coral reef ecosystems. The report points to three previous mass bleaching events from 2016 to 2020 that caused significant coral loss, and warns that there has been “mass mortality” of some coral species.

For those struggling to understand how devastating the bleaching is, diver Tony Fontes compares it to a forest fire under the ocean. Fontes, who recently retired after 40 years as a diving instructor on the Great Barrier Reef, remembers diving on recently bleached reefs and swimming in water that had turned milky white from dead coral tissue. He would come out covered in drool.

“You’re sitting on the boat trying to wash it down and you realize you’ve just swum across a reef that a few weeks ago was full of life and vibrant and now a bushfire has crossed and the coral is dead, and the rest of the marine life will just have to move or die,” he says. “It’s a really, really sad and heartbreaking experience.”

Yet despite the looming threat in its own backyard, Australia has fallen behind other wealthy nations in its performance and commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Last year, a climate think tank ranked Australia as the worst climate performer among comparable developed nations since nations pledged in the 2015 Paris climate accord to limit global warming .

The issue is politically tense in Australia, which is one of the world’s largest exporters of coal and liquefied natural gas, and one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases per capita due to its heavy reliance on oil. coal electricity. Last month the government pledged to spend an additional A$1 billion over nine years to improve the health of the reef, but critics have argued the money will do nothing to cope with rising temperatures in the ocean, the main threat to coral.

The consequences of inaction go beyond the ecology to the economy: if the bleaching persists, the IPCC estimates that 10,000 jobs and 1 billion Australian dollars in income would be lost each year due to the decline in tourism alone. .

About a billion people around the world depend on coral reefs for their daily lives, says Scott Heron, professor of physics and expert in reef science at James Cook University. That is why, he says, a failure to urgently reduce greenhouse gas emissions could have devastating effects for humanity.

“It’s going to affect real people and real people’s lives,” Heron says. “It is going to be a massive change not only for Australians, but also for people who make a living from reef services. And so we really put that in a framework of endangering human life.

Beyond the reef, the report warns that climate change will lead to increased heat-related deaths in Australia, the extinction of some animal species and more wildfires. Koalas are threatened with local extinction due to increasing drought and rising temperatures, the IPCC has said. And rising sea levels and storm surges led to the recent extinction of a rodent species called Bramble Cay melomys, which lived on a remote cay north of the Great Barrier Reef, the report says. .

The frequency and severity of dangerous wildfire conditions are already increasing, in part due to climate change, the IPCC said, citing the catastrophic “black summer” fires of late 2019 and early 2020 that have killed at least 33 people and destroyed over 3,000 homes. Even Australia’s famous eucalyptus trees, which are naturally resistant to the country’s seasonal fires, may not be able to withstand the ferocity and frequency of predicted fires, which could lead to the decimation of forests, the IPCC has warned. .

“We’re seeing conditions that weren’t really projected for decades…and yet they’re appearing just about now, and so to some extent we may well be underestimating the risks associated with things like fires” , says the Vice-Chair of the IPCC. -Chair Mark Howden, Director of the Institute for Climate, Energy and Disaster Solutions at the Australian National University.

Yet despite the dire predictions, Howden urges Australians not to lose hope and instead focus on solutions, primarily by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but also by reducing other reef stressors such than overfishing. The report also provides comprehensive lists of climate adaptation strategies, such as improving building standards so homes stay cooler during life-threatening heat waves.

“Does this report identify whole areas that Australians should be concerned about? Absolutely, and it would be hard to underestimate the comprehensiveness and significance of these impacts,” says Howden. “Does that also paint a whole series of things that we can act on that mitigate against worst-case scenarios in the future? Absoutely.”

___

The Associated Press’s climate and environmental coverage receives support from several private foundations. Learn more about AP’s climate initiative here. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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Utah economy

Their Voice: Local Resources for Anxious Children | News, Sports, Jobs



According to an article in Psychology Today, “Anxiety is now the number one mental health problem worldwide, and the incidence of anxiety continues to rise, especially among young people.” It’s not hard to understand how children and teens can have anxiety because of the past two years of COVID-19 and the changes they’ve been through in school, in our economy, and in our world. . Even if they don’t pay close attention to these things, they often hear conversations around them that can make them helpless.

Kelsey Atkinson, a Masters in Social Work intern at Utah Valley University, and a close friend and colleague of mine, is trying to treat anxiety in children and adolescents as part of her internship. Through Hobble Creek Behavioral Health in Spanish Fork, she has set up two programs to help young people manage and control their stress.

Its program for teens is a workshop called “Teen Skills and Support Group for Stuff that Sucks”. These sessions are based on the ACT model – Acceptance and Commitment Therapy – which gives teens the space to develop psychological flexibility, the ability to roll with the punches and focus on the things that matter. matter in their lives. The sessions will be co-led by Atkinson and Madeline Norman, Bachelor of Social Work intern.

The group is open to teens ages 13 to 17 and runs from 4 to 5 p.m. on Thursdays. It will run from March 3 to April 28 at Hobble Creek Behavioral Health. Parents can register their teens by calling (435)-314-9623. There is a $5 fee per session.

The other support provided by Atkinson is a conscious movement class for children. According to Atkinson, “Children (and everyone else) who have difficulty regulating their emotions often feel disconnected from their bodies. According to the polyvagal theory, conscious (or intentional) movements and breathing activities can activate the vagal nerve and help in the regulation process.

The goal of this class is to help children feel a connection to their body while calming down and learn skills to help them regulate their daily lives. Participants will be given skills to take home so parents can help them practice movement and breathing exercises at home.

This workshop will take place from Saturday to April 23. If you miss the first session, you can still register at (435)-314-9623. These classes are also held at Hobble Creek Behavioral Health. Children ages 5 to 7 participate on Saturdays from 10 to 11 a.m. and ages 8 to 11 meet from 11 to noon. There is also a nominal fee of $5 per week. Children of all levels are welcome.



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Utah economy

How should Utah spend the extra taxpayer money this year? Utahns weigh in

Amid another strong economic year — but also record inflation — the state’s final budget estimates show the Utah Legislature once again has plenty of fresh cash to spend.

As in over $2 billion more.

After new revenue estimates added an additional $432 million in one-time revenue and $384 million in ongoing funds over what was previously forecast, the Utah Legislature has approximately $1.46 billion available this year. dollars in one-time money and $570 million in new funds to be spent.

“I know that sounds like a lot of money. That’s a lot of money,” House Budget Chairman Brad Last, R-Hurricane, told lawmakers in the House last week when the final budget projections were released. But he warned that “it’s not enough” to meet budget requests that exceed $2.4 billion in one-time requests and more than $1 billion in ongoing requests.

As lawmakers worked to prioritize those demands — saying they planned to be careful with spending, concerned about the impact of inflation on the economy — Utahns weighed in on how they would like to see the money spent.

As they have in recent years, most Utahans want this year’s extra revenue to be spent on education. Tax cuts are the second priority.

That’s according to a new Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics poll, which asked Utahns how they would prefer the Legislature to spend this year’s budget surplus. The largest share of residents – 43% – said they would like the money to go to increasing education spending, while 25% want it to fund tax cuts.

A smaller number, 17%, said they would like the money to fund transport and road infrastructure projects, while 6% said it should be used to bolster the Rainy Day Fund of Utah. Nine percent said they didn’t know.

Dan Jones & Associates conducted the poll for the Deseret News and the Hinckley Institute of Politics among 808 registered voters in Utah from Feb. 7-17. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.45 percentage points.

The poll results come as lawmakers enter the final week of the 2022 legislative session and put the final touches on the budget. On Friday, the Appropriations Executive Committee is expected to release a final appropriations list and establish the budget.

What are the priorities of legislators?

Senate Budget Chairman Jerry Stevenson, R-Layton, told reporters Thursday to expect big victories for education in the budget.

“Education has been very well taken care of,” Stevenson said, noting that public and higher education will be “very well funded.” He said he expects to see a significant increase in the weighted student unit — the public school funding formula — and dollars for a variety of programs.

But he also added that there will likely be a good amount of money hidden away in the savings.

“This economy is a little scary,” he said, noting that economists are wary of the impact of federal stimulus money and inflation on the state budget.

“I hope our constituents will be very happy with what we have done with education,” he said, “but this is not the year to spend it all because of insecurity.”

House Speaker Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, told the Deseret News in an interview Thursday that lawmakers will make “additional and significant investments” in public and higher education this year. That’s on top of big infrastructure spending, especially transportation investments and funding to help relieve overcrowded state parks.

“I think both education systems are going to do very well,” Wilson said, although he had the same warnings as Stevenson. “It’s still tricky. We recognize that there is high inflation at this time, and so we try to take care of our teachers and other educators as well as state employees and balance all interests across the state.

Jason Perry, director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah, said “everything indicates” so far this session that “the intentions of the legislature are aligned with the desires of Utah voters. I expect a lot of that money to go into education.

It is important to note that much of the state money this year has already been set aside for priorities, especially ongoing funds.

In December, before the legislative session even began, the Executive Appropriations Committee set aside approximately $354 million (including $19 million in one-time funds) for public education enrollment growth, inflation and d other public education needs.

As for the tax cuts? Lawmakers have already earmarked $193 million for tax cuts, including $163 million for a comprehensive income tax rate cut for all Utahans, lowering the tax rate on Utah’s income from 4.95% to 4.85%. Lawmakers also approved a $15 million non-refundable income tax credit for low-income Utahns and a $15 million expansion of the state Social Security tax credit.

Senate Speaker Stuart Adams, R-Layton, said this year’s budget will be characterized by “tax cuts and record, if not near-record, spending on education.”

“When you can cut taxes and do big funding at the same time, that means we’re doing something right,” Adams said, adding that the budget will also include a big increase in spending for state employees and infrastructure.

“The budget won’t be perfect, there’s no such thing,” Adams said. “But it’s going to be a damn good budget.”

What about the debate over constitutional education spending?

There is a catch that complicates the state’s relationship with education spending.

Under the Utah Constitution, the legislature is required to spend income tax money on education — but legislative leaders are proposing a future constitutional amendment to effectively eliminate that earmarking. They say a change is needed to give lawmakers more budget flexibility at a time when sales tax revenues are not growing at the same rate as income tax. It’s a problem lawmakers have been voicing for years.

According to tax analysts in the Legislative and Governor’s Office, about 70% of the state’s newly projected permanent disposable income comes from the education fund (supplied by income taxes) and 30% from the general fund (supplied by sales tax).

It would be up to the voters to decide whether or not to change the state constitution. In order to put the issue on the ballot, a joint resolution would have to pass both legislative bodies by a two-thirds majority vote.

Such a resolution has yet to surface in the 2022 session. On Thursday, lawmakers involved in those discussions, House Speaker and Sen. Ann Millner, R-Ogden, said there was only one left. week and that they were unlikely to make it through this year. It’s a conversation that will likely continue beyond this year’s session and into next year, they said.

“When we do this, we want it to be good,” Millner told reporters. “So we’ll work on that after the session… In my mind, I think we kind of put that on hold.”

Adams said the state’s structural funding imbalance “is a problem, and whether it’s resolved this session or the next, we need to bring awareness to those who don’t live, eat, drink, don’t sleep on this budget that this is a significant issue in the state. We’re not going to give up on working on it.”

Wilson said “these big challenges usually take time, and we just wanted to make sure we measured twice on this one, and we didn’t feel like we had time to do that.”

So this year, nothing will change lawmakers’ constitutional constraints on income tax revenue, which means lawmakers will be required to spend most of the surplus on education anyway.

In total, lawmakers have about $617 million in one-time funds and $429 million in permanent funds in the general fund, and an additional $1.68 billion in one-time funds and $1.07 billion ongoing in the fund. for education to spend, according to tax analysts.

The debate over Utah’s constitutional requirements to spend income tax on education does not go far, however. The challenge for lawmakers moving forward will be to frame the constitutional amendment as a solution to correct the state’s structural funding imbalance while sending a message to Utahns they always put education first. .

“Their success will be tied to their ability to convince the public that education is still the Legislature’s top priority as it brings about change,” Perry said. “To the extent that they can ensure that the balance is struck and that those assurances are received and believed, that will determine how successful they are in bringing about change.”

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Utah economy

4 places to try, 4 to forget

KINGWOOD, TX – Some travel experts are comparing this upcoming spring break to a prison break.

That makes sense when you consider that millions of Americans have been cooped up at home due to COVID-19 restrictions for far too long and many are now ready to break free and take a real vacation.

In Kingwood, Nicol Payne packs up his “cabin fever” family of four and escapes Houston for Spring Break 2022.

We’re going to do all kinds of outdoor activities and hikes, see beautiful sites, so we’re very excited,” Payne said.

In fact, Payne travels to Arizona for “glamping,” which is essentially glamorous camping in luxury tents with high-end amenities.

But when she saw the price of the plane ticket, it was more than double what she normally pays and the price of glamping.

“Oh! I thought I’ll just wait, wait a few days, maybe that’s not really true! But it is,” Payne said.

Turns out Payne and her husband will be paying $500 per night per tent for their glamping adventure, and they need two tents, which is $1,000 per night.

A d

“Yeah, for a tent, a nice tent, but it’s still a tent. It was a little shocking, the price,” Payne said.

Heather Keller, owner of Perfect Landing Travel in Kingwood, says airfare and accommodation prices to many popular destinations have skyrocketed in recent months due to demand.

“It’s high, really high. You’re going to pay sometimes double, sometimes triple the price in some of the more popular destinations,” Keller said.

To help us save money, Keller put together a list of four destinations you should go to and four you should probably avoid and pivot to another destination.

Places to avoid

1. Hawaii

“I would probably avoid booking Hawaii at this point. It’s always been incredibly popular, but this year the hotels are pretty crowded. They are also still at limited capacity for many restaurants and it will take a lot of extra work for you if you are on vacation,” Keller explained.

A d

2. US Virgin Islands

3. Miami and Orlando

4. Red hot ski spots like Park City, Utah and Aspen, Colorado

“If you’re planning on going to places like Park City, Denver and Aspen, you won’t see much available to you at this point and prices will be at least 30% higher than previous years,” said Keller.

The places you should go

1.Puerto Vallarta

2.Portugal

“Portugal is really great right now. It’s fantastic weather for spring break and you can easily spend 30% less in Portugal than you would in a place like Spain,” Keller said.

3. Lake Tahoe

“You’re going to find great skiing and a lot less crowds than the big resorts in Utah and Colorado,” Keller said.

4. “Big City” trips to New York, Chicago, Seattle and Washington DC

“I would definitely recommend city trips as a spring break option. You have to get away from the beaches and the mountains,” Keller said.

Finally, before booking anything, check the website of the “tourist office” of your holiday destination.

A d

It’s a great resource that most people don’t even know about; one that can answer many of your questions and concerns about the opening of your destination of choice right now.

“There, you will have proposed itineraries. Are you going to stay there for three days? They will have three day options on what you should do on your three days. Plus, everything you’ll need to know which attractions and restaurants are open right now. What you need to get in and out of that city, state or country. It will help you make sure it’s a good place to go,” Keller said.

Another tip, remember that all major airlines will allow you to make changes to your trip as long as you purchase tickets in main economy class or above.

But if you buy what’s called basic economy, the lowest tier tickets available, you’ll have no luck changing your itinerary.

Copyright 2022 by KPRC Click2Houston – All Rights Reserved.

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Utah economy

Money Matters: Top Money Management Tips for Utah Renters in 2022 | News, Sports, Jobs



Did you know that almost one-third of Utah households are tenants? Renting has many advantages, from flexibility to not having to worry about maintenance to more affordable options. But with prices soaring everywhere, it can be hard to make your money work.

I spoke with Jay Smack, Marketing Director of ICO Multifamily Property Management, who has apartment communities ranging from Farmington to Provo, to talk about his top tips for making the most of your income as a renter. These include saving on utilities, getting tenant insurance, setting up automatic payments, and trying cheap or free local activities. By trying some of these tips, you can help yourself be financially successful in 2022, no matter what the economy looks like.

Save on utilities

“If your rent bill doesn’t include utilities, you have a golden opportunity to save money. and help the environment while you’re at it,” Smack said. “There are lots of tenant-friendly tips for making your apartment more energy-efficient. You can use energy-saving light bulbs, a thermal blanket for the water heater, blackout curtains and even a water-saving shower head.

Get tenant insurance

Don’t have tenant insurance? You’ve probably done at least a quick cost-benefit analysis in your head: you weigh the cost of insurance and compare it with what you’d have to pay if, say, someone broke in and stole your TV, and it doesn’t work. it doesn’t seem worth it. But the cost-benefit analysis might look different if you sit down and do the math.

According to ValuePenguinthe average cost of renters insurance in Utah is $12 per month.

“If you physically go from drawer to drawer and closet to closet in your apartment, taking inventory of your belongings, you’ll see that the value of your belongings adds up quickly,” Smack said. “From electronics and supplies to jackets and shoes, a home fire, for example, could be devastating to your hard-earned savings.”

Some policies also cover you if there is a lawsuit resulting from injuries sustained in your apartment. And other policies will pay for accommodation, food and other living expenses if a disaster forces you to move. That $12 per month or $144 per year starts to seem a lot more affordable when you think about how it could help you in an emergency!

Set up automatic payments

“Automatic bill paying can have a few benefits,” Smack said. “First and foremost, they make sure your bills are always paid on time. But automatic payment can also help you reach your savings goals. »

Autopay adds a level of accountability because you don’t have to remember to save money every time you get paid. Without automating your savings, it can be harder to know where your money is going and not save at all.

Try cheap or free local activities

Saving money doesn’t have to be a chore.

“Challenge yourself to see how much fun you can have without spending (too much) money!” Smack said.

Here are some ideas for affordable or free local activities to last all year round:

  • This summercatch a cheap movie at the Water Gardens Theater or hike the Timpanogos Cave Trail.
  • This fallwalk through Provo Canyon to see the beautiful foliage or pick up a bag of fresh apples or peaches at Allred Orchards.
  • When winter rolling again, come inside for a cozy meal or a dessert to share! There’s Chocolate Lava Cake at Bona Vita Italian Bistro, Pad Thai from Sabaidee Thai Cuisine, and Chicken Pot Pie from Harvest Restaurant, all in Lehi.

Grocery and gas prices may go up, but you can take proactive steps to support your financial health. By saving on utilities, getting tenant insurance, setting up automatic payments, and trying cheap or free local activities, you’re setting yourself up for financial success in 2022 and beyond!



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Utah economy

Outdoor retailer: Governor Spencer Cox sends mixed signals as he returns to Utah

Utah Governor Spencer Cox sent decidedly mixed signals Thursday regarding his feelings about the potential return of lucrative outdoor retailer shows to Salt Lake City after the event owner moved the shows to Denver. five years ago amid swirling controversy over federal land use issues.

Event owner Emerald X is set to announce where the shows will be held under a new contract that begins in 2023. Salt Lake City competes with Denver and other potential venues for the gatherings which, before the COVID-19 pandemic, regularly attracted tens of thousands.

And, earlier this week, dozens of outdoor companies, including industry heavyweights Patagonia, REI, North Face and others, vowed to boycott Outdoor Retailer shows if they return to the Utah.

On the one hand, Cox said at his monthly KUED press conference on Thursday that the roughly $50 million in economic inflow that comes with each of the biannual shows — hosted by Salt Lake City for 20 years before coming out in 2017 — n were no longer needed. in Utah’s booming economy.

“We were told (the Outdoor Retailer shows leaving Utah) would be the end of the world, that our economy would collapse, that businesses would never move here, it would be awful for our state,” Cox said.

“Turns out none of that happened. We have the best economy in the country. Our outdoor industry is thriving, it’s stronger than it’s ever been. That’s one of the reasons they’re trying to bring him back here.

Cox said show owners and exhibitors had the worst end to the exit decision because they lost their “seat at the table” to engage in meaningful discussions about land use and policies with the governor and state legislators when the end result for the state was “we didn’t miss them at all.

But some of the same people in the outdoor industry who threatened to leave in 2017 over GOP state leaders’ support for cuts to federal land protections issued an apology after Emerald announced the shows were moving. in Denver, Cox said. And, he would still like to see the shows return to Utah.

“If Patagonia and these other companies really care about this issue, they’re going to want to be here having this discussion, not going somewhere where everyone thinks exactly like them,” Cox said. “We would like them to come back. We desperately want them back.

While bringing the shows back to Utah, Cox said, would give Outdoor Retailer attendees a direct link to elected officials to discuss policy issues, he pointed out that the boycotts promised, if the shows return to Utah, will not will have no impact on his position. on matters of use and protection of federal lands.

“That kind of boycott will do absolutely nothing to change the politics that’s going on here in the state of Utah,” Cox said. “Not even an inch. We won’t think about it anymore. »

While dismissing the effectiveness of boycott threats, Cox also said he’s open to finding common ground with outdoor industry representatives and believes Salt Lake City easily beats Denver when it comes to the best locations for Outdoor Retailer events.

“Obviously coming back to Salt Lake makes sense,” Cox said. “Our airport is closer, our venues are cheaper, our locations are much closer. Come back and join the discussion. You can help make a difference. You can help temper some of the things that are happening.

“We can find common ground. We may not agree on everything, but I think there are some things we definitely agree on.

On Tuesday, the Deseret News reported on a letter signed by more than two dozen outdoor industry companies promising to boycott Outdoor Retailer shows if the biannual events return to Salt Lake City.

The letter was released on Monday by The Conservation Alliance, a group dedicated to land conservation efforts that counts more than 270 companies as members. The website posting urges Emerald X to stay out of Utah due to members’ objections to the longstanding stance taken by state leaders to oppose federal land protections.

“We have united in declaring that we will not support or attend a trade show in Utah as long as its elected officials continue to attack national monuments and the protection of public lands,” the letter reads. “Industry leaders express their support for the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition and its longstanding efforts to protect the homelands of tribes and pueblos with cultural ties to the Bears Ears landscape, as well as the overwhelming majority of the outdoor industry and America’s public.

“Despite widespread industry objections, Emerald has demonstrated continued interest in moving the Outdoor Retailer show to Utah, a state that is leading the fight against designated national monuments and public lands.”

Cox was specifically named in the letter as the leader of Utah’s effort to “strip these magnificent lands from federal protection while simultaneously trying to woo Emerald to move the Outdoor Retailer show from Denver to Salt Lake City.” .

The Utah capital lost its contract with Denver in 2017 as plans announced by then-President Donald Trump to cut several areas of federally protected land angered the environmental community, outdoor enthusiasts and companies specializing in outdoor products and services. At the center of the controversy was Trump’s stated intention to reduce the 1.35 million acre Bears Ears National Monument, created by President Barack Obama in a 2016 proclamation issued just before he left office. .

Utah state legislators and government at the time. Gary Herbert backed the Trump plan by passing a resolution during the 2017 legislative session declaring “strong opposition to the designation of Bears Ears National Monument” and urging Trump to rescind his predecessor’s executive order.

Following President Joe Biden’s decision to reverse Trump’s cuts in Utah, Cox, GOP state legislative leaders and all six members of Utah’s congressional delegation have declared their opposition to reinstatement protections. Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said he intends to take legal action against Biden’s land protection changes.

Emerald X is expected to announce the new host city for Outdoor Retailer soon, and Marisa Nicholson, Senior Vice President and Show Manager of Outdoor Retailer, said her company evaluated all issues and options before entering into a new contract.

“Outdoor Retailer and Emerald remain committed to supporting the outdoor and winter sports industries by hosting gatherings that both meet business needs and foster the spirit of our community,” Nicholson said in a statement. “We have had ongoing conversations with many in our industry and consider all input and perspectives, including responses to recent surveys – we value the passion and respect everyone’s point of view.

“As we continue the process of evaluating all possible and realistic options, we remain thoughtful in our deliberations. Our goal is to stage a dynamic event that not only reflects today’s new normal, but also presents an engaging event that brings more people to this community in an authentic and affordable way. No decisions regarding future dates or location have been made at this time, and we look forward to sharing our thoughts in the coming days.

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Utah economy

Droughts among the most financially crushing weather-related disasters

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS (ABC4) – Droughts are among the most financially crushing weather-related disasters, affecting the U.S. economy by nearly $9 billion a year, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

In Utah, where 93% of the state is in severe drought, there has been no significant increase in its snowfall for about five weeks, according to Candice Hasenyager, director of the water resources division. from Utah.

“We’re about nine inches of water equivalent snow. So that’s about a little over two-thirds of what we normally see this time around,” Hasenyager said. But that does not prevent skiers from hurtling down the slopes.

“We really haven’t been affected by the lack of snow for the past few weeks,” said Jared Winkler, Brighton’s director of communications and marketing. Luke Larsen, co-owner of Lifthouse, a ski shop in Cottonwood Heights, also said business was good.

“Fortunately, we’ve always been very busy and remarkably most people who come in are very happy,” Larsen said.

Although the immediate impacts of the drought are not visible in the number of visits, the decrease in the snowpack can have disastrous consequences.

“Drought impacts tourism and recreation, it also impacts cities and people,” Hasenyager said. “So it has broad impacts and can affect the economy as well.”

In the long term, this is a problem of great concern in the ski industry.

“If there is a lot of snow, skiers go skiing. If we start losing snow, no matter how healthy the economy is, how much money people have, eventually people will lose interest in skiing if there is no snow,” said Feedback.

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Utah economy

US West spots visual copper-zinc in Utah probe

ASX-listed American West Metals has made a promising start to its hunt for American metals after spotting significant visual zinc and copper mineralization in the first diamond hole at its West Desert project in Utah. The discovery is part of an inaugural 7,500 meter probe of the project aimed at testing the continuity of high-grade mineralization in a major area of ​​the historic West Desert deposit.

The company says the campaign’s first drill core contains a total of 288m of zinc, copper, lead and molybdenite mineralization. The occurrences are spread over 10 main intervals and give a favorable indicator of the continuity and development potential of the historical resource according to the company.

In a result that appears to bode well for the various prospects of the project, management believes the mineralization is comparable to strong historical results and claims to have also identified a pair of new anomalous zones beyond the original resource. According to the Perth-based team, the two new areas underscore the prospectivity of the land and the growth potential of the project.

With assays from the program now pending, American West is currently drilling a second hole on the project which is looking to target potential zinc, copper, gold and molybdenum mineralization below the original pit.

The deposit has a historical resource base of over 59 million tonnes, including 16.5 million tonnes of high-grade core grading 6.3% zinc, 0.3% copper and 33 grams indium per ton. The company previously said the project resource was open deep and parallel to strike.

Ongoing fieldwork at West Desert will allow American West to drill eight additional holes to assess areas of open mineralization and historical minimum drilling. The campaign could add significant tonnage and grade to its growing arsenal of transition energy minerals by expanding its current non-JORC resources.

Importantly, with our first drill hole, we highlighted the scale and quality of the Western Desert deposit. This has significantly increased our confidence that West Desert will lend itself to high grade development by indicating continuity of the ore body in this previously untested broad drill section.

Copper in particular is an integral part of the new green energy revolution that is rapidly manifesting itself through a burgeoning electric vehicle industry. Right now, the market for all things green energy is voracious and the now-in-vogue asset base of the American West could prove key to contributing to a carbon-free economy with 10 major goals to to chase.

Is your ASX-listed company doing anything interesting? Contact: [email protected]

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Utah economy

Why Utah Lawmakers Passed This Tax Cut Package | Opinion

At the start of the 2022 general legislative session, the legislature was determined to help Utahns by leaving more of their hard-earned money where it belongs: in their family budgets.

Now, halfway through the 45-day session, the House, Senate and Governor have delivered on that commitment through a bipartisan tax cut bill.

Tax policy is one of the most complex issues we face on Capitol Hill. Every adjustment has a ripple effect triggering a series of outcomes, many of which are difficult to predict. Cut taxes too much too quickly and an increase may be needed later. Nobody wants that.

On the other hand, if you collect more than you need for too long, the government inevitably increases its “needs” to match its means.

Determining that sweet spot of fiscal policy is even more complicated today, as the federal government prints money with reckless abandon and pumps it into our state, making it difficult to distinguish between real economic growth and economic growth. ‘inflation.

Utah is well positioned to make tax cuts, but those cuts must be made carefully so that we don’t make long-term decisions based on short-term revenue increases. Over the past decade, Utah has experienced significant economic growth, which has resulted in increased tax revenue. Per capita tax revenue fell from $814 in 2011 to $1,828 last year. This has allowed our state to increase education funding by a record amount while bolstering our rainy day fund and investing in roads, transit, and generational projects like the Inner Harbor and the peak of the mountain.

While the government can always find something to do with taxpayers’ money, there is an important benefit to keeping those funds in the hands of those who earned them, rather than in government coffers.

This session’s tax relief comes in three parts.

Tax rate reduction

First, the legislator reduced the income tax rate to 4.85%. By design, this is a modest reduction that applies equally to all taxpayers. While this is the fairest way to implement tax relief, it does not by itself achieve all of our policy goals.

Earned income tax credit

We’ve also targeted those most in need with an earned income tax credit. Here’s how it works: Utahans who earn less than $57,414 a year will be eligible for a 15% state match of the federal earned income tax credit.

The EITC offers those who earn the least a benefit that makes a real difference to their budget. The Utah Legislative Tax Analyst estimates that the average Utah EITC recipient will save about $200.

Social Security income tax credit

The third element of the plan is a cut in Social Security taxes, which builds on the credit we passed last year. Under the new plan, all Social Security income is tax-exempt for those earning up to $37,000 for individuals and $62,000 for those filing jointly.

The result: More people who depend on Social Security benefits and live on fixed incomes will be eligible for tax relief.

Critics of the tax reform plan were either premature in their rejection or deliberately considered only part of the overall effort. Considering all of the tax cuts shows that lawmakers are committed to lowering the tax burden for all Utahans and targeting the relief to those who need it most.

It should also be noted that these changes follow tax cuts passed by the Legislature just a year ago. Good tax reform rarely comes in one shiny package in a single year.

Utah has a long history of good tax policy that benefits Utahans and our economy. This bill continues that tradition, and in the future we will continue to look for ways to put more money back in your pockets.

Just this week, Utah was ranked at the top of another major publication’s economic rankings, and things are about to get even better.

Brad Wilson, a resident of Kaysville, is the Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives.

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Utah economy

How inflation and tangled supply lines are gripping the economy – ABC4 Utah

WASHINGTON (AP) — Since the pandemic hit two years ago, Forest Ramsey and his wife, Kelly, have kept the line on prices at their gourmet chocolate shop in Louisville, Kentucky. Now they are about to throw in the towel.

Over the past year, ingredient costs for their business, Art Eatables, have jumped 10-50%. The Ramseys pay their employees 30% more than before the pandemic.

And in the face of supply shortages, their packaging costs are rising. They started using 12-piece trays in their eight-piece chocolate boxes because they can’t get eight-piece trays anymore.

So after trying to survive for the past two years, the Ramseys, who own three outlets and sell personalized chocolates to about 25 bourbon distilleries, have made an unpleasant decision: they will raise their customer prices by 10% to 30 % .

“We have to adjust that – we can’t afford to keep taking the hits anymore,” Forest Ramsey said.

The struggles of Art Eatables illustrate how inflation and tangled supply chains have seeped into almost every corner of the economy, forcing consumers and businesses to make painful decisions that many of them don’t. have never had to consider before. While the government announced on Thursday that consumer inflation hit 7.5% in the past year – a 40-year high – the acceleration in prices leaves few unscathed.

Some of the supply chain issues that have amplified inflation since the pandemic recession may begin to ease in the coming months. If so, inflation would likely moderate somewhat.

Still, the key trends that have driven prices higher — higher wages, parts shortages, rent increases, robust consumer spending — are unlikely to fade anytime soon. And it’s unclear when, or by how much, inflation might actually slow.

Wage increases, while good for workers, have led many other retail and restaurant chains, from Starbucks to Amazon to Chipotle, to charge customers more. When Amazon announced last week that it was raising the price of its annual Prime subscriptions from $119 to $139, it pointed to increased labor and shipping costs.

And an acceleration in apartment rents, many economists say, will likely help keep inflation going at least through the end of this year. Rising prices also extend from pandemic-hit industries like automobiles to broader categories of goods and services, from electricity to clothing to airline tickets. This suggests that high inflation will survive COVID-19.

Neil Dutta, an economist at Renaissance Macro, noted that even if you exclude from the government’s consumer price index the costs of food, energy, housing and used cars – some of the categories to the fastest rise during the pandemic – prices still rose 0.7% from December to January. This is even above the 0.6% increase in overall consumer prices, a stark illustration of the generalization of price increases.

Many large companies claim that even after raising their prices, their customers continued to buy. Rising wages and rising savings, spurred by significant government stimulus measures last year, likely helped sustain strong consumer demand. Over time, however, high levels of spending and wages can fuel further price increases in a continuing spiral.

“We saw no significant impact on customer demand,” Starbucks chief operating officer John Culver said on a conference call with investors, referring to the company’s two price hikes. Last year. “On the contrary, demand from our customers continues to grow.”

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said further price increases are planned for this year.

Many analysts had warned that spending would slow once government stimulus programs expire. But early signs suggest that didn’t happen. Bank of America said this week spending through its credit and debit cards and digital platform jumped 17% from the same month a year ago, about double the pre-pandemic pace. The rise doesn’t just reflect price increases. Transactions increased by 10%.

Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America, suggested in an interview with The Associated Press that the rise in spending reflected rising wages, rather than just the fact that Americans were taking on more debt. And even with all the expenses, he said, customers’ bank accounts have still grown over the past year.

Rising apartment rental rates emerged as a major contributing factor to the surge in inflation. Average rents rose 0.5% in January, the biggest increase in 20 years, and were up 4.4% from a year ago.

More Americans have returned to cities, after some left in the early months of the pandemic. The apartment vacancy rate has hit its lowest level since the mid-1980s, according to a report from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. And with strong job growth, more young people are expected to move on their own, increasing demand for apartments.

With house prices high, more high-income Americans are also renting, allowing landlords to charge higher rents and crowd out other renters. Asking prices for new apartment leases jumped nearly 11% last fall from a year earlier, according to the Harvard study. This increase will take time to trickle down to inflation figures, as it measures all rents, including renewals.

Wage growth, by some measures, is accelerating further, which will keep pressure on small and large companies alike to offset increases with greater efficiency or raise prices. The average hourly wage rose 5.7% in January from a year earlier, the government announced last week. This was up from 5.3% in January 2021.

Still, Adam Ozimek, chief economist at Upwork, an independent website, said as more Americans resume their job searches after COVID subsides, wage growth is expected to moderate.

“The supply of labor is growing rapidly, which will put downward pressure on wages and prices,” Ozimek said.

___

AP Business Writer Anne D’Innocenzio contributed to this report from New York.

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Utah economy

Mayor of St. George gives first state of town – St George News

ST. GEORGE- It has been two years and three days since the last State of the City address was given, St. George Mayor Michele Randall said Tuesday afternoon as she began the 2022 address at the Dixie Convention. Center.

St. George Mayor Michele Randall delivers his first State of the City address at the Dixie Convention Center, St. George, Utah, February 8, 2022 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

“A lot has changed since then,” Randall said. “No one could have ever predicted a global pandemic on the scale we had. …And neither could we predict that a pandemic would make everyone want to move to Utah, including our little one. corner of paradise.

Growth and the pandemic have brought challenges to the city, but with those challenges came the opportunity to “come out stronger and better and with optimism to meet all of those challenges,” the mayor said.

“Start treating it like liquid gold”

The issue that took center stage at the start of the speech was water and the need to conserve it.

Large blue barrels representing nearly 1,000 gallons of water were stacked on either side of Randall on the stage. A large price tag listed the average cost to St. George water users for every 1,000 gallons they use in a month: $1.10.

“When you think about it, it’s really cheap,” Randall said, adding that heavy water users who use more than 45,000 gallons end up paying $3.65 per 1,000 gallons.

Barrels of water at the City of St. George’s state address in 2022 amounted to nearly 1,000 gallons of water, which the city charges average water users $1.10 per month. Mayor Michele Randall said if residents don’t get smarter with their water use, the city may be forced to raise water rates to force water conservation, St. George , Utah, February 8, 2022 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

“It’s still very cheap, and we need to start treating it like liquid gold. If we don’t start getting smarter about conservation, we’re going to have to raise our rates, and we really don’t want to do that.

The region is currently in a state of moderate drought. It’s better than this time last year, Randall said, but conservation still needs to be observed. To help lead this process, the city has done its own conservation work, she said.

During the summer of 2021, the city was able to reduce its water use by 8.2% despite adding 1,900 new connections, Randall said, attributing the water savings to residents.

“It’s thanks to you,” she said. “So congratulations.”

Parks and golf course staff also managed to save more than 150 million gallons of water last year, she said, adding that about 10 acres of non-functional turf — that is, i.e. grass that appears to serve no purpose other than being mowed – is also in the process of being removed from city property so far.

“Watch Your Six”

Randall said public safety has always been a priority for her, and in this area she said that over the past four years the city has increased its fire and police forces by 70% and 30%, respectively. A campaign is currently underway to recruit additional police officers as continued growth makes additional officers needed, Randall said.

In this file photo, the St. George Fire Department responds to a structure fire on South 3000 East, St. George, Utah, August 31, 2021 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

In addition to the recruitment campaign, a safety campaign called “Watch Your Six” will also soon be launched by the St. George Police Department, she said. The campaign will focus on safe driving and how to avoid getting into a wreck.

The mayor also announced the construction or planning of new fire stations, including the following:

  • A fire station being built on Commerce Drive in the Little Valley area is set to go up for competition in May.
  • Station 1, which currently sits at 1000 East northeast of Dixie State University, will be replaced with a new station to be built at the corner of 400 East and 100 South where a Church chapel is located. of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. . The church sold the building to the city. The old chapel, which has structural problems, will be demolished in the fall.
  • A property has been purchased in the Desert Canyons area for a future Station 10.

Growth, housing and transport

The themes of growth, economy and housing were entrusted to Shirlayne Quayle, director of economic vitality and housing for the city.

Quayle noted how St. George grew by more than 20,000 people between 2010 and 2020. The current population is estimated at around 95,000.

RiverWalk Village apartments in St. George, Utah are part of a feasible housing project overseen by the Switchpoint Community Center, October 30, 2020 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

After commenting on the growth, Quayle moved on to the city’s continued need for affordable housing.

“Housing is really a challenge in our community,” she said.

One way the city hopes to address the local housing crisis is through the Housing Action Coalition, Quayle said. It is a collaborative effort between the city, other municipalities, Washington County, homebuilders, developers, real estate agents and other stakeholders coming together with the goal of creating more accessible for St. George and county residents.

Quayle also pointed to the communities of Divario, Desert Canyon and Desert Color as developments that helped bring much-needed inventory to the housing market. The Switchpoint Community Resource Center and the Dove Center were also mentioned for their work in providing affordable housing for low-income individuals and families.

Economically, Quayle praised the city’s partnership with Tech Ridge. Located on the southern half of Black Hill, where the original airport was located, the 180-acre Tech Ridge development will be a mixed-use technology park designed to provide the city with well-paying tech jobs. The area is already home to Dixie Technical College and tech companies such as Vasion and busybusy, with more expected to expand in the near future.

St. George’s economy is already diverse, but Tech Ridge will help fill in the missing piece of technology development, Quayle said.

Road construction on 3000 East in St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Dixie Regional Transportation Expo, St. George News

Turning to transportation infrastructure, Cameron Cutler, director of public works for the city, reviewed the completion of work on River Road last year, as well as ongoing work on the 3000 East Corridor, which is the most major city road project for the year.

Cutler also said the property was purchased on the west side of the 1450 East and River Road intersection. Securing the property is one of the first steps in the eventual creation of a new road linking River Road and Crosby Way near the Dixie Convention Center.

St. George Regional Airport is also updating its master plan to keep up with growth. This includes terminal upgrades to accommodate increased usage, which hit a record high last year with 130,000 flights departing St. George.

Events to come

A number of upcoming events were highlighted by the mayor when she returned to the stage.

Scheduled for February 27, St. George, along with other cities, will participate in a cleanup effort along Interstate 15. The event is sponsored by the nonprofit Love Where You Live which promotes the keeping Utah waste-free, Randall said.

The Gold Star Families Memorial, which has been in the works for over a year but has been delayed due to the pandemic and supply chain issues, has finally arrived in St. George and will be welcomed into St. George Square Town on March 20. at 11 o’clock

The city will also host a new series of Neighborhood Open Houses in 2022, featuring elected officials and city department heads responding to questions or comments from the public.

“This is where we bring the city to your neighborhood,” Randall said.

Neighborhood Open Houses will be held at SunRiver St. George (March 31), Thunder Junction All Abilities Park (April 28), Desert Color Clubhouse (September 8) and Vernon Worthen Park (October 13).

St. George Mayor Michele Randall talks to her constituents after her first State of the City address at the Dixie Convention Center, St. George, Utah, February 8, 2022 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

St. George, and Washington County as a whole, will also host the Ironman 70.3 World Championship and Ironman World Championship that year. Estimated to potentially generate up to $100 million in total, Randall said Ironman officials chose St. George over other locations because of the people here and the spirit of volunteerism.

Before ending the address for the year, Randall commented on the town’s slogan “The Brighter Side”.

“I think we feel in St. George that it’s a special place to live, and we want everyone to feel like they’re living on the good side of our community,” the mayor said, pointing to the audience. “We are on the right side thanks to each of you. We couldn’t do what we do without the wonderful residents of our community.

The City State 2022 address can be seen in full below.

Inasmuch asInasmuch asInasmuch as

Copyright St.George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2022, all rights reserved.

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Utah economy

California lawmakers set to vote on COVID paid sick leave – ABC4 Utah

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — When Crystal Orozco fell ill with the coronavirus last month, she missed nearly two weeks of her pay as a shift manager at a fast food restaurant and had to ask her family members a loan to help pay his rent.

“My check was literally $86,” she said. “I was like, ‘Oh my god.'”

Orozco may soon get back pay from her company for the time she was sick. The California Legislature is due to vote Monday on a bill that would require most companies to give employees up to two weeks of paid vacation if they fall ill with the coronavirus – and the proposal would be retroactive to January 1.

At the start of the pandemic, state and federal laws required employers to give their workers paid time off if they fell ill with the coronavirus. But many of these laws have expired. The California law expired last September.

After the omicron variant of the virus fueled a surge of new cases, unions lobbied state officials to revive the law, and Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom struck a deal to do so with legislative leaders.

Orozco, a member of the Service Employees International Union, said she was denied paid time off when she fell ill.

At least six of the 16 people who work at his restaurant – more than a third of the workforce – had symptoms of coronavirus or were absent from work because of the virus, according to a complaint filed by the workers with the national and local authorities. The complaint is still pending, Orozco said.

Orozco said she and her husband had to skip their car insurance payments and used borrowed money to help pay their rent. If the legislature approves the law, she said it would let her “know that I am able to repay my family who let me borrow this money.”

“It’s going to help everyone else in the same industry (which is) cash-strapped,” she said.

California would become the fourth state to require paid time off for workers who fall ill with the coronavirus. Similar mandates are still in effect in Massachusetts, Colorado and New York, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Additionally, five other states — Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington — have paid sick leave laws that, while not COVID-specific, can be used to cover coronavirus leave.

Business groups have strongly opposed the laws, arguing that the government is forcing employers to pay the costs of the pandemic.

But in a separate vote, California lawmakers are expected to approve multiple corporate tax cuts on Monday that will save them about $5.5 billion.

This tax cut was due to take place at the end of this year, but lawmakers will now vote on whether to implement it a year earlier. The move helped win support from business groups, which had previously opposed paid sick leave laws because they believed it would cost employers too much.

Now, the California Chamber of Commerce has said it backs the sick leave proposal because it’s “a balanced approach to protecting both workers and our economy.”

“Healthy workers and healthy customers are good for business,” said Jennifer Barrera, president and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce.

California’s sick leave proposal gives workers up to a week of paid time off if they catch the coronavirus or care for a sick family member. They can only get a second week off if they or their family members test positive. Employers must pay for and provide the test. The proposal only applies to companies with 26 or more employees and will expire on September 30.

The omicron variant of the coronavirus has caused a sharp increase in new cases and hospitalizations, primarily among the state’s unvaccinated population. The number of cases peaked in January when the state recorded a seven-day average of more than 118,000 cases, the highest since the pandemic began.

Hospitalizations also increased, but did not exceed previous highs, a sign that the omicron variant was not as severe. Still, Newsom has asked the Legislature for more money to respond to the outbreak.

Last year lawmakers gave Newsom about $1.7 billion to spend on the virus this year and lawmakers will vote Monday on whether to give him another $1.9 billion.

The money will be used to pay for things like testing, vaccine distribution and hospital staffing.

“This, I think, proves how little we knew,” when lawmakers approved the budget last year, said Erika Li, chief deputy at the California Department of Finance. “Delta (variant) may have been on the horizon, omicron was not. This is the state’s response to these public health crises.

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Utah economy

Political and business trends threaten the future of outdoor entertainment

DENVER (AP) — A ski business owner leans against a wall with his skis, arranged to dazzle passers-by.

“What am I doing? I feel like I’m wasting my time,” Meier Skis owner Ted Eynon said. “Man, that ain’t what it used to be.”

The Outdoor Retailer Snow Show was just a shadow of its former self at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver last month. Perhaps a third of its size in 2019. The coronavirus is the easy scapegoat.

But historic schisms in the outdoor community are resurfacing and threatening to tear apart not just an event that, before the pandemic, drew tens of thousands of buyers, sellers and outdoor community leaders. The fight for the future of Outdoor Retailer threatens a vibrant outdoor community that influences national policy on public lands, climate and diversity.

As Denver negotiates a new long-term contract to keep Outdoor Retailer shows twice a year, Utah is courting the industry it lost in 2017 when outdoor leaders lambasted the state’s stance on public land and left the show’s 20-year-old home in Salt Lake City for Colorado.

These same outdoor businesses and community leaders continue to criticize Utah’s continued opposition to the restoration of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. Amid political clamor, pandemic upheaval, supply chain challenges and growing demand for outdoor recreation, the outdoor industry is fragmenting into divisive camps, threatening the carefully constructed unity that positioned the outdoor recreation community as a political and economic force capable of changing the country. Politics.

Major ski and snowboard brands have decamped to Outdoor Retailer for their own show in Utah. Winter sports enthusiasts say Salt Lake City is a third cheaper than Denver. Emerald X, the publicly traded owner of Outdoor Retailer that hosts 141 other conventions, asks attendees about a possible return to Salt Lake City.

The biggest outdoor brands, such as Burton, Patagonia, Arc’teryx and The North Face, were not present at the Denver show. Many are pushing the show owner to include consumers, which would change the historic business focus of Outdoor Retailer. Outdoors industry advocates who left Salt Lake City years ago because of Utah’s support for a Trump administration move to reduce the size of national monuments oppose the possibility of a return to Beehive State.

And behind the political shenanigans on public lands are retailers and manufacturers who are completely questioning trade shows. For decades they met twice a year to buy and sell. Over the past two years of pandemic-related events, they have learned to ride and manage without coming together.

“The real issue here isn’t Colorado versus Utah or public lands. It’s about the longevity of an industry trade show,” said Nick Sargent, director of Snowsports Industries America, a non-profit, member-owned organization that has held its Snow Show once a year since 1954 before selling to Emerald and merging with Outdoor Retailer in 2017. .

Hundreds of ski and snowboard brands gathered in Salt Lake City for their very own Winter Sports Market show the weekend before OR. They did not attend the Outdoor Retailer Snow Show, as they had in previous years. Last summer, 421 retailers and hundreds of gear brands attended the new Big Gear Show in Utah, competing with the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market.

The winter sports brands heading to Utah weren’t a political statement, Sargent said.

“For them, it’s just good business,” he said.

These winter marks tell Sargent that the Colorado is too expensive. That’s why they left Outdoor Retailer and moved to the competing show in Utah, he said.

“You have to look at this thing holistically and say what the problem is? Well, winter sports will tell you that’s the price. In Denver, with the unions, the space, the hotels…it’s about 33% more expensive here than Salt Lake,” Sargent said. “You have values ​​and you have business. Winter sports are business. That’s not to say that values ​​aren’t important because they are really, really important. But we put business first.

But for others in the outdoor community, values ​​trump dollars when it comes to trade shows. The Outdoor Industry Association met with Emerald and told them that as long as Utah opposes President Joe Biden’s recent restoration of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, the outdoor industry is totally opposed. at a trade show in that state.

“We’ve learned over the past few years in Denver that we’re stronger when we’re together,” said Outdoor Industry Association executive director Lise Aangeenbrug. “We have an economy of scale with a show that serves everyone. So the idea of ​​not having everyone together at a concert really bothers us.

“At the same time, we really care deeply about public lands,” she added. “We hear that ski brands think Denver is expensive. We believe that the majority of our brands would consider public lands rather than other issues. »

Many brands are asking Emerald to consider a user-friendly item for a revamped outdoor retailer in Denver. Since its inception 40 years ago, Outdoor Retailer has been a business-to-business event and closed to the public. It may be time to welcome consumers. In this way, the brand could highlight not only its novelties, but also its policies on climate, diversity and public lands.

“They really want to speak directly with the consumer and having a closed, industry-only show doesn’t meet a lot of their goals,” Aangeenbrug said. “So maybe there’s a way to do both?”

Jake Roach has taken the Eagle-based QuietKat e-bike team to numerous trade shows over the past year, including the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and the Hunting and Fishing Shot Show. All shows saw record crowds as COVID kept people home.

He sees new people moving to Colorado for an outdoor lifestyle and he would love to see Outdoor Retailer harness that energy. He thinks the show should stay in Colorado, but open up to more people.

“How can the show include the passion of all these people who come to Colorado? How can we make it interactive and open to everyone? Roach said. “This model, right now, it feels old and stale.”

When Emerald’s Interbike bike show in Las Vegas collapsed in 2019, the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California became a place where brands, retailers and consumers mingled around a race of bike.

“Outdoor Retailer should become an experience for everyone,” Roach said. “That way, everyone will come. That way, it will be an event where, when it’s over, everyone looks forward to the next one, not wondering if they’re even going to the next one.

Marisa Nicholson, Emerald X’s Director of Outdoor Retailer Shows, has spent the year “taking the pulse” of show attendees. A survey in June found the outdoor industry is stressed about safeguarding the supply chain of products from Asia, impacting lead times for retailers and brands to place orders in the rays.

Before Emerald signed a new long-term deal with Denver, Nicholson sent out another survey two weeks ago to thousands of outdoor retailer attendees asking for show dates and location.

The results of those two investigations will inform a decision that Nicholson says should come within the next two weeks.

It balances the business needs of manufacturers and retailers with the values ​​industry places on public lands. “How can we ensure that we support each other’s business needs and those initiatives that are essential for the business and for our planet and our ability as humans to continue to connect with nature?” she asked.

Nicholson said many of the biggest brands in the industry have grown into massive corporations with business models that don’t need trade shows. (It’s a common whisper heard in the world of outdoor retailers: Big brands have wanted to get out of national shows for years, and the political tussle on Utah’s public lands provides an exit strategy that allows them to give feel like they are leaving the salons in a noble fight.)

“But for 80% of our customers who are small and medium-sized, they don’t have these big buying groups and they have a big representative force and showrooms. They need this show to write orders and do business,” she said.

Sargent, with SIA, said it’s entirely possible to passionately support public lands and do business in Utah, where he lives.

“We have to be smarter about it and we have to use our political power and we have to use our industry vote to say, maybe we’ll come to Utah, but if we do, we have some caveats. , we want to work on these public land issues,” he said. “COVID has shown us that we don’t really need a trade show. But we need community. We are stronger together under one roof. If we can find a place where we can be together, we are strong, our voices are better, and we can do more.

Eynon had a quiet show. Its Denver-based Meier skis were one of the few ski makers at last week’s Outdoor Retailer Snow Show. It was one of hundreds of ski brands.

It does not interfere in public land policy. He’ll take his 13-year-old business to any trade show where he can reach new retailers and sell more skis. But it makes a statement in other ways.

Meier Skis, which uses Colorado-harvested beetle wood for ski cores, has always been an eco-friendly brand, Eynon said. This season, he’s partnered with the Colorado State Forest Service to plant a sapling in a burnt-out Colorado forest for every pair of skis he sells. Last season, it removed single-use plastic from all of its products and production processes.

“Look, we can’t lose half of our customer base, whether it’s retailers or consumers, by taking a grand position. If our participation in a show in Utah makes sense for us as a company, we will,” he said. “In the meantime, we’ll continue to pioneer meaningful, eco-friendly practices that make a difference.”

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Utah economy

The Olympics, a soft and complex return for the Chinese diaspora – ABC4 Utah

BEIJING (AP) — When Madison Chock looks out here in the Chinese capital, the U.S. Olympic ice dancer sees glimpses of herself.

“Every time I’m on the bus, I look out and study the city and imagine my roots are here, my ancestors are here,” says Chock, whose father is Chinese-Hawaiian, with family ties to rural China. . “And it’s a very cool sense of belonging in a way, just to be on the same ground that your ancestors grew up on and spent their lives on.”

She adds, “It’s really special, and China holds a really special place in my heart.”

At the Beijing Winter Games, which open on Friday, it’s a kind of homecoming for one of the world’s most sprawling diasporas – often gentle and sometimes complicated, but always a reflection of who they are, where they come from and the Olympic spirit itself.

The modern Chinese diaspora dates back to the 16th century, says Richard T. Chu, professor of history at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Its members range from drivers of the colonial economy and labor force on land and sea, to highly educated people who have moved away for a chance at greater prosperity, to unwanted baby girls adopted internationally. during the government’s one-child policy.

“The Chinese diaspora is really quite diverse, as long as they maintain their sincerity,” Chu says. “There is not just one type of Chinese identity because each country has a unique history.”

The issue of Chinese ethnic identity is particularly sensitive for athletes with roots in Hong Kong and Taiwan. American female figure skater Karen Chen, whose parents immigrated from Taiwan, says she identifies as both Taiwanese and Chinese, and uses those labels loosely and interchangeably.

Taiwan, which broke away from the mainland after a 1949 civil war that propelled the current Chinese government to power, is an island of 24 million people off China’s east coast. It functions in many ways like a country with its own government and military. But China claims Taiwan as its territory and only 14 countries recognize Taiwan as a nation. Most nations of the world, including the United States, have formal ties with China instead.

Chen’s self-identification is not uncommon among Taiwanese, as many trace their heritage to mainland China. Some 32% of islanders identify as both Chinese and Taiwanese, according to an annual survey by National Taipei Chengchi University.

While in Beijing, she’s committed to speaking as much Mandarin as possible and is proud to nod to her on-ice heritage.

“My free program is ‘Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto’, which is such a famous and classic piece from China…it’s kind of a Chinese version of Romeo and Juliet,” says Karen Chen. “It’s definitely connected to my background.”

The many athletes of Chinese origin present here at the Beijing Games represent the many variations of the diaspora: some are one, two or more generations away; others are biracial and multicultural.

And even similar paths can diverge on the Olympic stage. For example, Nathan Chen and Eileen Gu are two star athletes in the Winter Games. While both were born and raised in the United States by Chinese immigrants and have fond memories of spending time in their ancestral homeland, Chen is competing for Team USA as a medal contender in men’s singles figure skating, and Gu is the top freestyle skier competing for China.

Gu raised her eyebrows at moving to Team China after training with Team USA, but the San Francisco native – who is fluent in Mandarin and makes annual trips to China with her mother – is lucid on how she defines herself.

“When I’m in China, I’m Chinese,” Gu told the Olympic Channel in 2020. “When I’m in the United States, I’m American.”

For some, the Beijing Olympics are their first time in China, an unforgettable professional achievement as well as a very personal milestone.

This is the case of the American figure skater Alysa Liu, whose father Arthur Liu also aspires to visit China. The elder Liu left his home country in his twenties as a political refugee because he protested against the communist government after the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989.

“I so want to go to the Games and go back to China to visit my hometown,” Arthur Liu said in a phone interview from his home base in California. “I so want to go back to the village where I grew up, to go to high school where I went, to college where I went. I so want to go and eat spicy noodles by the Street.

Arthur Liu eventually settled in the Bay Area, enrolled in law school, and nurtured one of America’s most promising athletes. Now her Chinese-American daughter is set to make her Olympic debut in women’s singles. He has no qualms about her competing in the Olympics in China, and no resentment towards a home country he still loves.

Like many biracial children, Alysa Liu wondered why she didn’t look like her parents when she always identified as ethnically Chinese. Arthur Liu and his then wife, who is also Chinese, decided to have children through surrogacy and sought white egg donors because Arthur Liu considered himself a citizen of the world and wanted biracial children.

In a culture that can be xenophobic, Arthur Liu says his daughter is warmly welcomed by her home country, while Chinese fans and media see Alysa Liu as one of their own.

“I am very happy that the Chinese welcome her and think highly of her,” says Arthur Liu.

The Olympics will also be the first time that Josh Ho-Sang, the multiracial and multicultural Canadian ice hockey player, will visit China.

His paternal great-grandfather moved from mainland China to what is now Hong Kong for business opportunities, then fell in love while vacationing in Jamaica, making the Canadian hockey team an eighth Chinese. On his mother’s side, Ho-Sang’s heritage is rooted in European, South American and Jewish cultures. For him, representing Canada as the “melting pot poster maker” is a testament to the inclusion of the Olympic spirit.

“It really shows how far we’ve come as a society, to have these different faces representing everyone’s home,” Ho-Sang says. “A hundred years ago you would never see such diversity in every country that you see now. It is a sign of hope and progress.

___

Seattle-based AP reporter Sally Ho is on assignment at the Beijing Olympics, covering figure skating. Follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/_sallyho.

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Utah economy

Local senator hopes new bill will inspire movie industry to return to Summit County

Utah movie studios were buzzing last winter. But it was gun shots, not big screen shots, that brought people to the establishment.

Sen. Ron Winterton, a Roosevelt Republican and one of two senators who represent Summit County in the Statehouse, introduced a bill to try to attract more film productions to rural Utah, including the Summit County.

He said when filming for the TV drama “Yellowstone” moved its production base from movie studios in Utah to Montana, it hurt the local economy. Winterton said a local hotel that had a long-term contract with the production lost $300,000 in bookings.

“It’s generated a lot of business for Park City, whether it’s the restaurants, the bars, the motels, the transportation people, they’ve all thrived on that business. And now we don’t have it,” Winterton said. “I want this back.”

Utah currently encourages film production to the tune of $8.4 million per year. It was $6.8 million last year, but Winterton said he got the legislature to raise the limit. Incentives are paid to productions that meet the requirements in the form of tax credits or cash rebates, but once the cap is reached, that’s it for the year.

This year, Winterton introduced SB 49, which would remove the $8.4 million cap entirely if the majority of a film was produced in a rural Utah county.

Summit County Councilman Roger Armstrong is also a lawyer who works in the film industry. He said tax incentives are routinely factored into film budgets for productions worth $200 million or more.

“We regularly compete with New Mexico and Montana for these great western landscapes that filmmakers need, and that’s a critical part of funding,” Armstrong said earlier this year.

How Winterton’s program works is that the state would refund 20% of taxes levied on purchases made by an eligible production.

A tax memo attached to Winterton’s legislation said it could cost the state $12 million a year in lost revenue. But Winterton said movie productions wouldn’t come here in the first place without the incentive, so the state would always make more money than it otherwise would.

“0% of nothing is still nothing,” he said. “And 20% of 100% is still a really good deal for the state of Utah because we brought people and industry into the state that is now spending money in the state that, without it, they go to other states like Montana. , New Mexico, Georgia, there are a lot of states that have uncapped it. Some have $200 million and they see this industry exploding in their states.

The bill was introduced on the first day of the general session of the Legislative Assembly, but did not leave the committee. Winterton said it was an “uphill battle” to convince fellow lawmakers it wasn’t a blank check for major Hollywood studios.

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Utah economy

North Korea tests longest-range missile since 2017

Updated January 29, 2022 at 11:20 p.m. ET

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea on Sunday fired what appeared to be the most powerful missile it had tested since U.S. President Joe Biden took office. Launch may have violated a self-imposed suspension of longer-range weapons testing as it revives its old tightrope playbook to wrest concessions from Washington and its neighbors amid a prolonged deadlock in diplomacy.

The Japanese and South Korean militaries said the missile was launched on an elevated trajectory, apparently to avoid neighboring territorial spaces, and reached a maximum altitude of 2,000 kilometers (1,242 miles) and traveled 800 kilometers (497 miles) before landing at sea.

Flight details suggest the North has been testing its longest-range ballistic missile since 2017, when it twice flew intermediate-range ballistic missiles over Japan and separately flight-tested three ballistic missiles at intercontinental reach that demonstrated the potential reach to reach deep into the American homeland. .

Sunday’s test was the North’s 7th round of weapons launches this month. The unusually rapid pace of testing indicates North Korea’s intention to pressure the Biden administration over long-stalled nuclear talks as pandemic-related difficulties unleash further shock to an economy shattered by decades mismanagement and crippling sanctions directed by the United States against its nuclear weapons program.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in called an emergency National Security Council meeting where he described the test as a possible “medium-range ballistic missile launch” that brought North Korea to the brink of breaking its 2018 suspension in nuclear and longer-range device testing. ballistic missiles.

Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi told reporters it was clear the missile was the longest-range weapon the North had tested since launching its Hwasong-15 ICBM in November 2017.

The launch came after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un chaired a ruling party meeting on January 20, during which senior party officials made a veiled threat to lift the moratorium, citing what they perceived as American hostility and threats. In April 2018, Kim said “no nuclear testing or intermediate-range and intercontinental-range ballistic rocket test firings” were no longer needed for the North as he pursued diplomacy with the then US president. , Donald Trump, in an effort to leverage his nuclear weapons for much-needed economic benefits.

/Korea Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP

/

Korean Central News Agency/Korean News Service via AP

In this photo taken last month and provided by the North Korean government on January 1, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party Central Committee in Pyongyang, North Korea.

The latest details of the missile’s flight suggest that the North Korean moratorium has already been broken, said Lee Choon Geun, a missile expert and honorary researcher at South Korea’s Institute for Science and Technology Policy. He said the data suggests the North tested an intermediate-range ballistic missile or perhaps even a weapon approaching ICBM capabilities.

In his strongest comments to the North in years, Moon said the situation around the Korean peninsula was starting to look like 2017, when North Korea’s provocative rush into nuclear and long-range missile testing took off. resulted in a verbal exchange of war threats between Kim and Trump.

Moon described the North’s latest tests as a violation of UN Security Council resolutions and a ‘challenge to international society’s efforts to denuclearize the Korean peninsula, stabilize peace and find a diplomatic solution’ to the stalemate. nuclear.

The North “should stop its actions that create tension and pressure and respond to offers of dialogue from the international community, including South Korea and the United States,” Moon said, according to his office.

Moon, who had ambitiously pushed for inter-Korean engagement, held three summits with Kim in 2018 while pushing to hold Kim’s first summit with Trump in 2018, where they issued vague ambitious goals for a nuclear-free Korean peninsula. without describing when and how it would happen. But diplomacy was derailed after the failed second Kim-Trump meeting in 2019, when the Americans rejected North Korea’s request for major sanctions relief in exchange for a partial surrender of its nuclear capabilities.

Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, Hirokazu Matsuno, said Sunday’s missile flew for about 30 minutes and landed in waters outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone. There were no immediate reports of damage to boats or planes.

The US Indo-Pacific Command said the United States condemns North Korea’s testing activities and calls on the North to refrain from further acts of destabilization. He said the latest launch “did not pose an immediate threat to U.S. personnel, territory or that of our allies.”

The launch came three days after North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea on Thursday. The North also flight-tested a pair of alleged long-range cruise missiles on Tuesday while pledging to strengthen its nuclear “war deterrent” and to build more powerful weapons.

Experts say the North may halt its round of testing after the start of the Winter Olympics in Beijing next week out of respect for China, its main ally and economic lifeline. But it is also expected that the North could raise the bar for weapon displays significantly once the Olympics are over in February to attract the attention of the Biden administration, which has focused more on confronting China and Russia over its conflict with Ukraine.

“North Korea is launching a missile spree ahead of the start of the Beijing Olympics, mostly as part of military modernization efforts. Pyongyang also wants to boost national pride as it prepares to mark political anniversaries in the context of economic struggles,” said Leif-Eric. Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul.

“He wants to remind Washington and Seoul that trying to unseat him would be too costly. By threatening stability in Asia as global resources dwindle elsewhere, Pyongyang is asking the world to compensate it for acting as one.” “responsible nuclear power,” Easley added.

North Korea has justified its testing activity as an exercise of its right to self-defense and threatened to take stronger action after the Biden administration imposed new sanctions following two tests of an alleged hypersonic missile earlier this month.

Desperate for outside help, Kim has shown no willingness to surrender the nuclear weapons and missiles he sees as his best guarantee of survival. Analysts say Kim’s pressure campaign is aimed at forcing Washington to accept the North as a nuclear power and convert its nuclear disarmament diplomacy into aiding negotiations for a mutual arms reduction.

Last year, Kim announced a new five-year weapons development plan and released an ambitious wish list that includes hypersonic weapons, spy satellites, solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine-launched nuclear missiles. .

State media said on Friday that Kim had visited an unspecified munitions factory producing a “major weapons system” and that the workers had sworn loyalty to their leader who “crushes with his bold courage the challenges of the American imperialists and of their vassal forces”.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To learn more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Utah economy

Presidio’s Steve Perry Becomes Salt Lake 2022 Board Chair

NORTH SALT LAKE, Utah – January 28, 2022 – (Newswire.com)

Presidio Real Estate is honored to announce that Steve Perry, COO of Presidio, will serve a one-year term as Chairman of the Salt Lake Board of Realtors® for 2022. This prestigious role is one of many for which Steve s is volunteered. His experience includes military service and being mayor of a city as well as law enforcement. Additional roles Steve fills this year include serving on the board of directors for the Utah Association of Realtors® and the National Association of Realtors®. Steve’s commitment to helping people and making a difference is unmatched. His involvement in the community is evident as he continues to serve the people through his role as President. Steve has been a consistent major contributor to the Realtor® Political Action Committee.

Jennifer Yeo, Owner of Presidio, said, “Steve is a proven and effective leader who has the full support of Presidio to lead the largest Board of Realtors® in the State of Utah and to achieve its goal to “raise the bar” in real estate this year. . Steve wants to improve professionalism on our board. “Realtors® should be experts when it comes to writing contracts, understanding market values ​​and helping their clients,” Steve said. He continues: “By taking continuing education courses and brokers training their agents, we can all grow together.

Utah was the fastest growing state in 2021, measured by percentage growth. Steve’s view is that Real Estate Agents® play a vital role in home ownership. With the changing economy, the complexity of buying and selling a home has never been more difficult. There are so many legal aspects that need to be considered and executed appropriately to avoid the risks and pitfalls that can arise when buying or selling without Realtor®. Steve is committed to helping Salt Lake Council officers understand their value proposition and instill professionalism in their practices.

Steve is a family man. With his wife April, Steve has six children and six grandchildren. Steve enjoys playing sports with his children such as pickleball, spike ball and crossnet. They also enjoy fishing trips, hiking, and enjoying nature in the beautiful state of Utah.

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Presidio’s Steve Perry Becomes Salt Lake 2022 Board Chair

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Utah economy

The major Utah earthquake is still imminent; here’s how lawmakers can prepare |Opinion

At 6:35 a.m. on August 30, 1962, an earthquake struck the town of Logan hard. It was one of those life-changing events – something the rest of us would be wise to remember.

Witnesses said it started with a rolling rumble that quickly dissolved into the sound of breaking glass and falling bricks.

Official sources differ as to its potency. The United States Geological Survey marked it at 5.9 on the Richter scale. The University of Utah’s Intermountain Seismic Belt Historic Earthquake Project calls it a 5.7, similar to the one that struck the Salt Lake Valley in March 2020.

But that’s about the only thing the two have in common.

A small breakfast crowd sat at the counter of Model Billiards on West Center Street in Logan that morning in 1962 when the walls parted and the roof collapsed. Fortunately, no one got hurt.

The roof collapsed on the chapel of the Logan Fourth Ward building of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to a Deseret News account at the time. Walls crumbled all over the city. On Federal Avenue, the Smith Printing Company lost 40 feet of its west-facing wall.

Windows large and small shattered and left debris all over the city. Cans, broken glass and groceries littered grocery store aisles. At Logan Temple, plaster fell from the ceilings and a weather vane and lightning rod collapsed.

Nearby Richmond suffered the worst damage. The LDS Benson Stake Tabernacle, a stately brick building built in 1904, was so badly damaged that it later had to be razed.

Remarkably, the only reported injury involves a girl from Richmond, who suffered a cut on her foot from a broken bottle.

In contrast, the Salt Lake earthquake 48 years later caused little damage except to one type of building – those constructed with unreinforced masonry.

Judging by the reports from 1962, this is the only common thread. Bricks crumbling, walls separating and falling, resulting in collapsed roofs – these are the telltale signs of buildings held together by nothing but bricks and mortar, with roofs held in place by nothing more than gravity.

A new report from the Utah Seismic Safety Commission repeats a long-held estimate that 140,000 of these unreinforced buildings exist along the Wasatch front, ranging from single-family homes to apartments and office buildings. They were built before the strict building codes of 1976. Experts say most injuries and deaths, especially in an earthquake much larger than the one in 2020, would occur in and around these buildings .

The report provides five recommendations for ways this year’s Utah legislature can prepare for the big one now, reducing the overall damage. It involves improving the four major aqueducts that deliver water to more than 2 million Utah residents; fund an ongoing study on the repair of school buildings that may be vulnerable; ensure that buildings larger than 200,000 square feet or otherwise serving vital purposes (hospitals, schools, police stations) undergo rigorous structural review; that an early warning system be put in place; and that the public be made aware of these 140,000 vulnerable buildings.

Frankly, the latter is not enough. With all the extra money lawmakers have this year, they should be funding programs that help homeowners with their problems. Some cities already have Fix the Bricks programs in place, but these tend to be underfunded. Unfortunately, many people who live in these structures have meager means. Many of them are tenants.

So the other thing lawmakers should do is pass a law requiring sellers to notify buyers that a home is unreinforced and vulnerable to an earthquake. This could be coupled with requirements to inform potential buyers of state programs to help them resolve the issue.

I have heard that real estate agents oppose such a requirement. It’s natural. But the requirement would begin to put pressure on landowners to fix the problem.

Mere awareness is not enough.

It’s one of those issues that makes everyone a gamer, betting they won’t have to deal with it in their lifetime. The report says the odds of the Wasatch Front having an earthquake of magnitude 6.75 or greater within the next 50 years are essentially a toss-up. Do you feel lucky?

If that happened, such an earthquake could change this place forever, ruining our economy and our way of life for many years. FEMA officials predict it could be one of the deadliest natural disasters in US history, rivaling the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

In Logan, the damage caused by this relatively mild earthquake of 1962 is forever etched in our memories. In 2012, the Logan Herald Journal reported on a 50th anniversary commemorative event.

Former Richmond Mayor F. Richard Bagley told the newspaper that the earthquake changed his town forever, destroying two churches and many homes. “It just changed our appearance,” he said.

Utah leaders should do everything they can now to ensure that a Wasatch front that’s far more populated than Logan’s in 1962 will be altered as little as possible if a big hit.

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Utah economy

Does Utah have enough water? Here’s what you need to know

Utah’s water use and the distribution systems that deliver the limited resource to taps, farms, fields and landscaping will likely be the focus of this legislative session as Governor Spencer Cox and lawmakers are tackling the challenges posed by the historic drought that suffered major cutbacks over the summer.

Here’s what you need to know:

The Great Salt Lake in danger

Using the declining lake as a backdrop, Cox unveiled a budget plan that, among other things, calls for $600,000 to update its management plan, $45 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds for its conservation. and an additional $5 million that lawmakers appropriated in May. The lake fell below its historic low in October from a record set in 1963, raising alarm and urgency on how best to protect this resource, valued as an economic driver of 1.3 billion dollars for the state.

water development

Cox pointed to the need for more water development projects to shore up the state’s finicky water supply in which 95% of the state’s water comes as snow in the mountains. He said it was an “abomination” that Utah didn’t pursue more water development projects like generations past. In his opening address to the Senate, Senate Speaker Stuart Adams, R-Layton, said the state must build the Lake Powell Pipeline and Bear River Development Project, sparking angst that has been simmering ever since. long from fierce critics like Zach Frankel, executive director of the Utah Rivers Board. Frankel and others insist that there is plenty of water for everyone and that Utah must end its wasteful practices by setting the true cost of water appropriately. Frankel, though he had kind words for Tage Flint on his impending retirement from the Weber Basin Water District, skewered the district under Flint’s leadership and said he had failed to implement a sustainable water policy and had missed opportunities to do the right thing.

money talks

Cox’s budget recommends half a billion dollars in “generational investment” in water, much of it to expand secondary water metering in Utah. Some regions have already adopted metering, but the equipment is expensive and the program takes time to implement. It’s estimated that more than 70% of secondary water is sucked up by landscaping, so Cox wants Utah to be the first in the country to implement a nationwide “Flip Your Strip” program. A state in which residents are paid to tear up grass and replace it with aquatic vegetation.

The infrastructure albatross

While all eyes are on conservation and new water development projects, the creeping challenge of existing “out of sight, out of mind” infrastructure demands attention and money to replace or repair. systems that are well past their technical lifespan. A unanimous recommendation from the Utah Seismic Safety Commission urges that $192 million be spent on four major Wasatch Front aqueducts that provide water to more than two million people. The report notes that it makes little sense to upgrade water treatment plants and pipelines if there is no water in a distribution system that is collapsing under the weight of a major earthquake, for which experts agree that the state has been waiting for a long time. But what political appeal are the aging aqueducts generating in the Utah Capitol?

The spectrum of growth

Utah has long boasted of being number one for population growth, its vibrant economy, the best place to do business in the country, and its low employment rate. Is it tantamount to biting the state when it ensures that it has enough water for future generations, especially current residents? Cox complained that land use and water resources are treated as individual silos, which is the wrong way to manage the state’s most limited and precious resource: the water. Four years ago, then governor. Gary Herbert acknowledged that water was the only factor limiting the state’s continued growth, releasing a draft document as a model for the future. The classifieds are full of people looking to buy water rights, because without them, development is not possible. As suburban development takes hold and takes over these agricultural rights, what does this portend for the future of Utah’s farms and ranches? A survey commissioned by Envision Utah in 2014 showed that Utahans were willing to give up water on their landscaping to save it for agricultural purposes.

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Utah economy

Michigan economy still struggles to compete with other states, study shows

Michigan business leaders released their updated benchmarking report this week comparing Michigan’s performance to the top 10 states. While the state has made significant gains since the Great Recession, rising from 49th to 29th place, statistics show that Michigan is struggling to grow faster than other states.

Michigan Business Leaders President and CEO Jeff Donofrio said, “Michigan is much better off and has come a long way since 2009. However, despite 10 years of economic growth before COVID-19 , we struggle to grow faster than our competitors. . As we continue to see economic disruption from the pandemic, talent shortages, and shifts in our economy, including toward vehicle electrification and advanced mobility, it’s even more critical that we examine Michigan’s competitiveness. and that we ensure that in the decades to come, we focus on investments and equities. that stimulate growth.

The State-by-State Analysis of Michigan Business Leaders includes an expanded set of benchmark metrics, along with a growth gauge, to determine where Michigan stands nationally in these rapidly changing competitive conditions. , and where it might be headed. Business leader data includes its traditional output measures such as GDP, median household income and perception of business climate, and adds indicators of economic growth and health such as education, participation in labor market, net migration, poverty and business creation. These updated metrics provide a more holistic view of the success of all Michiganders rather than just a snapshot of the state’s economy.

Benchmarking allows business leaders and policy makers to focus on Michigan’s strengths and weaknesses to develop specific data-driven solutions that will help Michigan residents, businesses and communities compete and to gain jobs, income and growth. The states currently in the Top 10 are Utah, Washington, Colorado, Texas, Massachusetts, Virginia, California, Oregon, Florida and Arizona.

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Donofrio said: “Recent bipartisan economic development legislation is exactly the kind of continued action we need. We are at a unique moment in our history. Rarely do we have both economic uncertainty and a unique opportunity to invest in our future,”

Donofrio continued: “We need smart investments in the coming months and consistent long-term strategies focused on decades-long growth that won’t fall apart depending on who is in power. Systemic and sustained changes, including in workforce and talent development and customer service, are needed to change our trajectory from an average state to a Top 10.”

Other states surpass Michigan in a number of growth metrics. For example, while the country as a whole has seen a decline in labor force participation over the past three years, Michigan’s decline was greater than that of the top 10 states (-2.7% for Michigan vs. – 1.1% for the top 10). And, while the educational attainment rate has climbed at a slightly faster rate than the top 10 states (5.4% vs. 5.2%), more work needs to be done to close the gap. Actions taken so far include strong bipartisan action to invest in training and degree programs and setting a target of having 60% of the working-age population with a degree or credential by 2030.

Business leaders for Michigan’s eight key indicators provide insight into what it takes to be a Top 10 state and Michigan’s ranking for each (three-year growth ranking shows Michigan’s pace of change over the past three years compared to all other states):

The data shows that the top 10 states have fundamental strengths in two areas: 1) Education and talent – ​​which is correlated with higher labor force participation, lower poverty rates and median income households higher; and 2) economic growth – which is correlated with higher net migration and the creation of new businesses.

Based on the benchmarking, Business Leaders for Michigan identified the following areas of opportunity for Michigan:

Develop talent

Significantly increase degree and degree growth – Use American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to outpace other states in degree growth, attract talent to the state
Removing Barriers to Work – Stimulating additional labor force participation by removing barriers to work with investments in childcare, broadband access, and affordable housing, among others

Improving our education system

Implement systemic improvements to the K-12 system that balance results, resources and accountability. Use ARPA funding to increase efficiency, invest more money in the classroom for years to come, expand teacher training and recruitment, and invest in before/after school support programs and summer learning
Invest in growth

Implement a long-term economic development strategy focused on improving our competitiveness in four areas: site development, customer service, incentives and talent

Use one-time funds from the American Rescue Plan Act for: regional economic development, matching funds for site development, transition to electric vehicles, and support for entrepreneurship/innovation/upgrading activities. the scale

Workforce training programs that fill talent gaps preventing business growth, support new jobs/locations and provide career progression pathways

When crafting additional measures to spur growth, Michigan should look to the successes of other states. Tennessee has fallen from 34th to 16th place in the past five years, thanks to improvements to its community college system, universal free tuition programs, decades of investments in economic development and the site and its leadership’s focus on developing more emerging industries.

“States have been investing for years to attract businesses, jobs and talent – ​​and many states that are not in the Top 10 today are well ahead of Michigan when it comes to investing to future growth. We can learn valuable lessons from this,” Donofrio said. “Unless Michigan urgently addresses our economic and educational challenges, we risk falling so far behind that we can never catch up. If we invest and work today to overcome these challenges, we can build a prosperous state with a healthy economy and widely shared prosperity.

Learn more at BusinessLeadersForMichigan.com

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Utah economy

Creating a Healthy Work Culture Requires Empathy and Vulnerability, Says Utah Executive Coach

(ABC4) – In case you haven’t heard, the Great Resignation is a real thing in America and can have reverberating effects in the modern workplace.

The latest data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics from November 2021 shows that of the 6.3 terminations this month, 4.5 million were voluntary employee decisions.

They stopped, and they continue to stop now more than ever.

According to Dean Baker, who co-founded the Center for Economic Policy and Research at the University of Utah, one of the main reasons for the mass exodus of employees is the confidence that they will find better jobs elsewhere.

“The unemployment rate has come down much faster than most people expected,” he says, referring to the rebound in the US economy after the pandemic hit. So that means people have a choice.

Rich Baron, workplace expert and executive coach at the Kaysville office of Intelligent Leadership Executive Coaching (ILEC), thinks this could be a defining time for American workers. Not only can they now feel the freedom to leave for a better paying job, but they can also choose the kind of culture that will make them stay.

The latter, he says, is much more important.

“Everyone is paying higher salaries,” Baron tells ABC4.com. Now, the top salary is relatively easy to find. What’s not easy to find is a company that truly has a culture of inclusion and a culture of engagement, where everyone in the organization is set up to succeed.

One of his observations, particularly regarding a younger workforce, is that those with strong leadership and empathy skills will have the opportunity to move up quickly in an organization. For a generation of tech-savvy, wide-eyed people who may be at the start of their careers, learning how to be an effective leader will be in high demand.

“What they’re looking for are the soft skills: accountability, leadership, creativity, problem-solving skills. And when we talk about those skills, those are actually the hardest skills to find,” says Baron. “But those are the skills that people want to develop. They want to develop these skills in order to not only advance themselves, but also help the organization. »

The old days of a dictatorial leadership attitude are dead and gone, says Baron. The idea of ​​a leader who rules his kingdom of work with an iron fist, repressing with a hard and rigid approach is neither realistic nor effective these days. What really matters now, not only for employees, but also for employers, is to be flexible, supportive and understanding.

It’s a lesson that Apple founder Steve Jobs learned towards the end of his life, mindful of his personal legacy and the legacy he would leave for his company. One of the key takeaways that ILEC founder John Mattone left Jobs with was the power of vulnerability.

This can be a difficult thing for many to master, Baron says.

“You have to step out of your own comfort zone and be able to be vulnerable to learn not only what your strengths and weaknesses are, but also how to retrieve that information from the people around you,” he says. “And I’m not talking about being so vulnerable that you lose your confidence – to be vulnerable is to be open to change.”

This, along with changing the mindset from a sense of entitlement to duty, can be essential to creating a culture where people would want to work in the modern era.

To borrow a phrase from one of Apple’s best-known marketing campaigns under Jobs, you have to think differently, Baron says.

“When you talk about thinking differently and thinking big, Steve’s philosophy was to get out of your comfort zone and disrupt yourself, change yourself and not be in that comfort zone, which is really a killer. jobs and it’s a career killer.”

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Utah economy

Michigan business leaders say state lags in economic growth

Michigan leaders must set aside political differences to create a cohesive economic development strategy because the state is expected to fall further behind the others in economic growth, according to Business Leaders for Michigan.

The State Affairs Roundtable on Thursday shared its annual benchmarking, which placed Michigan 29th in economic growth of the 50 states after some revamped measures that now include more measures ranging from education level to perception of the business climate through poverty.

The ranking is an improvement from the Great Recession, but that ranking could worsen in coming years if the organization’s projections are true. The gap between Michigan’s economy and the nation’s, when pegged to 2008 levels, has widened 22% during the pandemic since 2019. The difference could increase another 73% by 2030. , leaving the Great Lakes state even further behind.

“There needs to be certainty and consistency in our approach to economic development,” Roundtable CEO Jeff Donofrio told the Detroit News. “Often, not just in economic development, but particularly in economic development, our strategy seems to pivot every time an office holder changes hands, so a new governor comes in or a new legislature comes in.

“Sometimes we put things in place, and there’s a big ribbon cutting or a press release or a sensational event, and then a few years later we pull the funding for it.”

The goal is to be in the top 10 states. This group currently includes Utah, Washington, Colorado, Texas, Massachusetts, Virginia, California, Oregon, Florida and Arizona. All show strong results in terms of economic growth, education and talent.

The forecast comes at a critical time, especially for the state’s auto industry which is undergoing a historic transformation toward electric vehicles with billions of dollars in investment and thousands of jobs at stake. Michigan is underserved. strong for battery factories with just two of the 12 announced in North America and six more with locations on hold, according to the roundtable. The state has about a quarter of internal combustion engine jobs in the United States, and electric vehicles have fewer parts.

By 2025, 43% of Michigan’s 14 assembly plants, or six plants in total, will produce electric vehicles, compared to 37% nationally, according to the analysis. Nearly 170,000 of the 290,000 automotive jobs are potentially affected by the passage of the ICEs, including 46,110 directly affected in 310 companies.

General Motors Co. is looking to manufacture batteries on its Lansing Delta Township plant property, and LG Energy Solution plans to invest in its battery plant in Holland. Meanwhile, Ford Motor Co. last year announced an $11.4 billion investment to manufacture electric vehicles and batteries in Tennessee and Kentucky, sparking a public spat with the governor. Gretchen Whitmer. But the State of Tennessee worked for 20 years to prepare the huge site chosen by Ford for investment.

“Let’s look at Tennessee,” Donofrio said, noting that the state has fallen from 34th to 16th place in the benchmark analysis over the past five years. “They’ve been persistent, but they’ve also had single-party control of the governor and legislature, which makes it a little easier, doesn’t it? They’re not constantly fighting each other every two-year cycle.

“We need to put aside our political differences and do more of what we saw in December,” Donofrio said, referring to the state’s bipartisan effort to spend $1.5 billion on economic development.

The “Michigan talent crunch,” according to the roundtable, also contributes to the potential economic loss. Michigan is aging and could lose nearly 120,000 working-age people between 2020 and 2030. The state has also lost a higher percentage of labor force participation than the country amid the pandemic — nearly erasing the gains it had made since the Great Recession.

“We’re 41st in the country when it comes to labor force participation,” Donofrio said. “Our growth rate is 44th, so that means we’re going to struggle to maintain our position, not just grow.”

Innovation has also been a headwind for Michigan in terms of the number of entrepreneurs and startups here and their survival rate.

More positive was educational attainment, whose growth kept pace with the top 10 states. Michigan’s ranking for the percentage of residents with a college degree or certification is expected to rise from 35th to 20th place over the next year; state programs like Reconnect or Going Pro are meant to get the one million residents who don’t have a degree to get one for free at community college or update worker skills and certifications.

K-12 test scores, however, fell 8% year-over-year, and that’s likely with inflated results because not all districts were required to take the exams during the year. pandemic-hit 2020-21 school year, according to Business Leaders for Michigan.

Wolverine State has the opportunity to invest to improve long-term results, Donofrio said. The top 10 states spend about $2,000 more per student than Michigan. With COVID-19 relief funds available, Michigan has an opportunity to use this money to consolidate administrative services and duplicate school departments, install air conditioning in buildings to offer after-school and summer programs, and train teachers. .

“If we come together, if we do more things like we did in December around economic development, that we did around setting up places to reconnect and the Going Pro program, if we double those things, if we persist with a strategy to help us become a top 10 state, those investments that the legislature can make in the coming months,” Donofrio said, “will help put us on that path that will help us leapfrog other states and really accelerate our growth.

[email protected]

Twitter: @BreanaCNoble

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Utah economy

LeBron James Stat Sheet with 25 PTS, 7 REB and 7 AST vs. Jazz 💪


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ESPN released this video article, titled “LeBron James stuffs stat sheet with 25 PTS, 7 REB & 7 AST vs. Jazz 💪” – their description is below.

LeBron James had 25 PTS, 7 REB and 7 AST for the Los Angeles Lakers in their win over the Utah Jazz.

ESPN YouTube channel

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In this story: LeBron James

LeBron Raymone James Sr. is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players in NBA history.

James’ teams have played in eight consecutive NBA Finals (2011-2018) and ten finals in total between the Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers and Lakers. His accomplishments include three NBA championships, four NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards, three Finals MVP awards, and two Olympic gold medals.

James holds the all-time record for playoff points, is third in all-time points and eighth in all-time assists. James was selected to the All-NBA First Team a record thirteen times, made the All-Defensive First Team five times, and played in sixteen All-Star Games, during which he was selected MVP All -Star.

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  • In this story: Utah

    Utah is a state in the western United States.

    The territory of modern Utah has been inhabited by various indigenous groups for thousands of years, including the ancient Puebloans, Navajo, and Ute. The Spaniards were the first Europeans to arrive in the mid-16th century, although the region’s harsh geography and climate made it a peripheral part of New Spain and later Mexico.

    Disputes between the dominant Mormon community and the federal government delayed Utah’s admission as a state; it was only after polygamy was banned that she was admitted as the 45th, in 1896.

    Just over half of all Utahns are Mormons, the vast majority of whom are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), with world headquarters in Salt Lake City. Utah is the only state where the majority of the population belongs to a single church. The LDS Church greatly influences Utahn’s culture, politics, and daily life, although since the 1990s the state has become more religiously and secularly diverse.

    The state has a very diverse economy, with major sectors such as transportation, education, information technology and research, government services and mining and a major tourist destination for outdoor recreation air.

    A 2012 national Gallup survey found Utah to be the overall “best state to live in the future” based on 13 forward-looking measures, including various measures of economic outlook, lifestyle, and health.

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    AP-NORC Survey – ABC4 Utah

    WASHINGTON (AP) – While Roe v. Wade faces his biggest threat in decades, a new poll finds Democrats increasingly view protecting abortion rights as a high priority for the government.

    Thirteen percent of Democrats mentioned abortion or reproductive rights as one of the issues they want the federal government to address in 2022, according to a December poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. This represents less than 1% of Democrats who named it as a priority for 2021 and 3% who listed it in 2020.

    Other issues like the economy, COVID-19, healthcare and gun control were ranked as higher priorities for Democrats in the poll, allowing respondents to name up to to five major problems. But the exponential rise in the percentage citing reproductive rights as a major concern suggests the issue resonates with Democrats as the Supreme Court examines cases that could lead to dramatic restrictions on access to abortion.

    “The public has a lot of things they want the government to address,” said Jennifer Benz, deputy director of the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. “You ask this kind of question in times of economic turmoil and in times of pandemic and all these other things going on, we can’t expect abortion to peak. “

    With a Tory 6-3 majority on the Supreme Court, Republicans see it as their best chance in years to overthrow Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling legalizing abortion throughout the United States. In December, the Supreme Court left in place a Texas law that bans most abortions in the state and signaled in arguments that it would uphold a Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. This decision will be made public in June.

    Calling abortion poll numbers “austere,” Benz noted that conventional wisdom views abortion as a motivating problem for Republicans, not Democrats. Research conducted in the 1980s and 1990s, Benz said, “consistently found that opponents of abortion had greater strength of attitude and viewed the issue as important to them personally more than pro-choice people.” .

    It may change. Sam Lau, senior director of advocacy media at the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, believes more Americans are recognizing this moment as a crisis for access to abortion.

    “I think what we’ve seen is absolutely an increase in awareness, an increase in urgency, an increase in the need to fight back,” he said. “But I still think huge sections of that population still don’t believe that access to abortion and the 50-year precedent that is Roe v. Wade is really at stake.”

    The 1973 court decision, reaffirmed in the 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, allows states to regulate but not ban abortion up to the point of fetal viability, at around 24 weeks. If Roe and Casey are canceled in June, abortion would soon become illegal or severely restricted in about half of the states, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports abortion rights.

    It’s a few months away from the midterm elections which should be difficult for Democrats.

    Lau thinks people are starting to recognize that they “simply cannot count on the courts to protect our rights and our access to essential health care.”

    “We are now calling on elected officials who are champions of sexual and reproductive health care to be bold and go on the offensive and pass proactive legislation to protect access to abortion,” Lau said. “I think voters are going to go to the polls and want to vote for candidates they can trust to protect their health care and reproductive freedom.”

    Polls show that relatively few Americans want to see Roe overthrown. In 2020, AP VoteCast, a poll of the electorate, showed that 69% of presidential voters said the Supreme Court should leave the Roe v. Wade as is; only 29% said the court should overturn the decision. In general, AP-NORC polls show that a majority of the public supports the legality of abortion in most or all cases.

    Still, Americans have nuanced attitudes on the issue, and many don’t think abortion should be possible after the first trimester or that women should be able to get a legal abortion for any reason.

    For Rachelle Dunn, 41, who has known girls in high school and women in college and her adult life who have needed abortions, it is “just health care.”

    “It’s something that women I’ve known throughout my life have needed for different reasons,” said Dunn, of Tarentum, Pa. “The government must step in because all of these laws are being written and passed, but none of them are for medical reasons.”

    She is worried about the domino effect of these Supreme Court cases, adding that she worries about how they will affect the future of her two daughters, as well as that of her son.

    “It seems that, if this has been said over and over, why do we always do this? Dunn said.

    ___

    The AP-NORC survey of 1,089 adults was conducted December 2-7 using a sample drawn from the AmeriSpeak probability-based NORC panel, which is designed to be representative of the American population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.

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    Utah economy

    20 illegal slot machines seized from Roy convenience store

    ROY, Utah – Nearly two dozen illegal slot machines were seized Monday during a raid on a convenience store in Roy, officials said.

    An investigation by the CASE task force – short for “Crimes Against Statewide Economy” – found that there were illegal machines inside a Texaco gas station at 4395 S. 1900 West, according to the detective. Josh Taylor of the Roy City Police Department.

    According to Taylor, the machines allowed people to put in money, play games and cash out. He said there were about 20 inside the store.

    The Utah Attorney General‘s Office later reported that Neel Jagdish Patel, 30, the store owner, had been arrested and charged with 20 counts of fringe gaming devices, one count of money laundering and a pattern of illegal activity.

    The GA’s office said undercover agents had been watching the store for months. This included agents entering, playing games and receiving cash payments.

    There were people using the machines when officers served the warrant, but Taylor said they were able to leave and were not charged.

    Taylor added that there were “quite a few” locations with machines like these around town, but most of them are now gone.

    The task force, which included the Utah Department of Public Safety, the Utah attorney general’s office and local police departments, executed a search warrant on the machines on Monday. Taylor said his department was mainly involved in the mandate, while other members of the task force were dealing with the main investigation. The GA’s office said they were undercover investigators.

    READ: Utah man earns $ 8 million a year in cash from illegal slots

    He said that many people are familiar with the machines in the store and many people come in and out of the store to use them.

    The area is known to have “a little more crime,” Taylor said, but they hope this move will help reduce that. An example of crime in the region occurred in August, when a a man allegedly tried to kidnap a 10-year-old girl in front of the same gas station.

    “Thanks to our task force, investigators and prosecutors, this operation will not hit the jackpot,” the GA’s office wrote in a Facebook post.

    Taylor added that they had also seen comments on social media indicating that “a lot of people seem to be happy with … the aspect of the game being closed.”

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    Salt Lake City to be a finalist to host the 2024 Republican National Convention

    Downtown Salt Lake City is pictured on October 12, 2020. Salt Lake City is said to be one of the finalists to host the 2024 Republican National Convention. (Steve Griffin, Deseret News)

    Estimated reading time: 2-3 minutes

    SALT LAKE CITY – Utah is reportedly among the finalists to host the 2024 Republican National Convention.

    Politico reported on Friday that Salt Lake City was on the party’s shortlist, along with Milwaukee, Nashville and Pittsburgh, citing a source familiar with the research process. Houston, Las Vegas, San Antonio and Kansas City, Missouri have reportedly been removed from consideration for the event.

    The 2024 convention is where party members will select their candidate for the next presidential election. Among the remaining host candidates, Salt Lake City and Nashville, the outlet points out, are in strong Republican stronghold states, while Milwaukee and Pittsburgh are located in recent swing states.

    Milwaukee and Nashville are also in the running to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention.

    Utah Republican Party officials said in October they would submit a bid to host the event, after failing to host the 2012 and 2016 events. They coordinated the bid effort with Visit Salt Lake, the organization that promotes tourism in Salt Lake County.

    Utah Republican Party Chairman Carson Jorgensen told KSL.com at the time that he believed hosting the event could generate as much as $ 200 million for the economy of the State, and cited the city’s growth as the reason he thinks the city could be selected this time around. .

    The new Salt Lake City International Airport, which has the capacity to handle more people, opened in 2020. The Concourse A-East construction project to add 22 more gates is expected to be completed in 2024.

    The Hyatt Regency Convention Center Hotel, an addition to the Salt Palace Convention Center, is also expected to open at the end of 2022. It is expected to add 700 new hotel rooms and 60,000 square feet of additional meeting space downtown .

    “The party supports this and the state would really like to see it here,” Jorgensen said. “I think Utah has a very good chance of doing this.”

    It is not known when the Republican Party will announce its selection for the 2024 event. However, Politico reports that the Republican National Committee will be in Salt Lake City next month for its annual winter meeting.

    More stories that might interest you

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    Utah economy

    Time to throw the book on the highway speeders

    My God, how things change over time.

    Four years ago, Utah lawmakers were concerned about the perceived need to crack down on local police departments that imposed ticket quotas on their officers.

    A former officer from southern Jordan said he had to write at least 65 posts per month. What that meant, he said, was that “every time I started my car in the morning, at least three people… were going to get a ticket, period, the end. “

    This bill was never passed, but the reactions of people during committee hearings were palpable. Boo to those who are on the lookout for people who are going a little too fast.

    Today, many Utahns want the police to have higher quotas for catching speeding tickets.

    For those of us who, because we’re, shall we say, more mature and have seen a little more stuff like staying near the speed limit, these people are literally driving us crazy. They also put lives at risk.

    On a recent drive in Utah County, I lost count of cars passing me as I walked at 80 mph, 10 over the speed limit. A 50 mph construction zone didn’t seem to confuse anyone. Cones and barriers were like obstacles in an arcade game. You could almost hear the dots piling up as people walked around them.

    Call it the Corona lead foot. Police across the country are watching people at excessive speeds. It all started when the economy stalled almost two years ago. People thought it was the natural result of the reduction in traffic on the freeways. A more open road equals more speed opportunities.

    But when the traffic came back, people kept going fast.

    I’ve written about this before, each time presenting statistics that seem to be getting darker and darker. In December, the Utah Highway Patrol said it had, since the start of the year, issued 4,500 tickets for speeds above 100 mph, about 1,000 more than two years ago. at the time. The good news is that it was down slightly from 2020. The bad news is that it is still way too high, and I can attest that there are many more quotes that could be written.

    More importantly, deaths are on the rise. Last August, the UHP told me it recorded a 46% increase in fatalities compared to the same period in 2020.

    Maybe UHP soldiers need quotas.

    Now the mood on Capitol Hill seems to have changed. State Senator Jani Iwamoto, D-Holladay, has introduced a bill that would make driving over 100 mph reckless driving. The same would apply to any speeding exceeding 25 mph above any posted speed limit.

    Reckless driving is a Class B offense. That is what is meant by throwing the book at someone. Among other things, the person would have their license suspended for 60 days for a first offense and 90 days for a second offense within three years.

    In representative government, it is natural for lawmakers to change mood with the public. But speed is a particularly sensitive subject to moods.

    Eight years ago, the subject was that cities are inflating their budgets on the backs of drivers. The small town of Mantua, in Box Elder County, was under fire from critics for spying on people passing along Route 89. The 60 mph speed limit there was just too low, they said. people said. The city, with just a few hundred residents, had grossed nearly a quarter of a million dollars in fines the previous year.

    This is also the year that Utah decided to increase the speed limit to 70 mph on urban freeways and to 80 mph in rural areas. Utah Department of Transportation officials told me at the time that freeways were designed to handle these speeds safely. What tends to cause crashes, they said, is variable speed – when some people go much faster than others on the same road – which we have today.

    The most effective response might be to do what other states have done: install cameras that automatically detect speeding tickets. It’s called photocopying, and Utah lawmakers rejected the idea over 20 years ago.

    This kind of state-nanny solution seemed so impersonal at the time, so oblivious to the circumstances that might explain why you just had to go faster at a particular time. We want the chance to explain to an agent, not just receive a cold, impersonal quote in the mail.

    But within reason, or of course.

    Our relationship with speed could therefore be described as complicated. We have all done it, to some extent. Our feelings about it tend to slide along a pendulum.

    But when do people really get out of line and overtake me at over 100 mph? Well, that’s even more annoying than filling the local budget with tickets. If it’s not reckless, what is it?

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    Trump, Biden, vaccine terms, infrastructure bill – one year in politics

    2021 has been a fascinating political year. We take a look at some of the things learned over the past 12 months.

    For Democrats at the national level, controlling Washington, 2021 has started with high hopes for major legislative achievements. Republicans have been playing defense all year, overshadowed by the former president’s presence Donald trump. What are the lessons of their successes and their failures?

    Pignanelli: “The history of politics of the year has been one of partisan, cultural and ideological divisions that defy easy resolution. Neither side has the strength to really impose its will. So, in 2021, governing was just plain difficult. “- Gerald Seib, Wall Street Journal

    For political observers, 2021 has confirmed that traditional rules of politics remain important. For example, an understanding of mathematics is essential for success. A three-vote majority in the United States House and a one-vote majority in the United States Senate is not a mandate. Instead, these numbers signal an absolute requirement for collaboration to be successful at anything.

    President Joseph biden, when he was a senator, was a past master in the art of concocting coalitions on major legislative initiatives. So, it was no surprise that the bipartisanship of Congress achieved the greatest legislative achievement, the $ 1.2 trillion in infrastructure improvements. But for everything else, the progressives on the left apparently need tutoring on this lesson.

    Election activities in 2021 further underscored that voters care about the future, not the past. Democrats who sent messages against Trump and Republicans who kissed the former president have behaved badly. The “things happen so be prepared” rule has been ignored, at a cost. Variants of the coronavirus, the withdrawal from Afghanistan, and price inflation have all raised jurisdictional issues with the Biden administration.

    The principle “Democracy is disorderly” was obvious. Americans are struggling to teach about race, mandatory vaccinations, the principles of non-discrimination, and climate change. While seeming confusing and traumatic, all Americans are engaged in conversations about these issues.

    The overarching lesson of 2021 is that Americans cannot be taken for granted. They rightly ask for explanations and participation in the process. It is truly heartwarming.

    Webb: The biggest political lesson of 2021 is: don’t go too far; don’t assume you have a mandate to take the country in a radical new direction when you don’t. A corollary is this: understand the state of mind of the country, especially the inner-city working class citizens, before you try to force radical change. Don’t try to rule the whole country through the prism of East Coast and West Coast values.

    Democrats won the Presidency and the United States House and Senate fairly (despite Trump’s protests). But the margins of victory were tiny. The Senate is 50-50. Republicans won many seats in the House. And Joe Biden barely won the presidency.

    But instead of ruling with a bit of humility, from the center, reaching out to the other side, Democrats have turned to a left-wing grand slam home run, defending every ultra-progressive problem and agenda imaginable.

    Now Biden suffers from near-historically low approval ratings, the progressive wing of the party is angry and disillusioned, and the stage is set for Republicans to win big midway through 2022. He’s never been realistic. for progressive democrats to try to transform society.

    Meanwhile, Republicans have effectively played the loyal opposition all year. But when they have to happen in elections and political initiatives, the wild card that is the Trump card could mess things up.

    In Utah, the priorities of a new governor, a stubborn Republican legislature, a vibrant economy, and the dangers of a redistribution combined to produce an intriguing year. What have we learned about our state policy?

    Pignanelli: The Utahns are a pragmatic people, and many actions of our state officials reflected this virtue. Controversial social issues have been reviewed, but also confined to prevent them from entering into deliberations on other topics. The critical attention to the issues of water, air quality, climate change and growth was subtle but very real.

    Utah thrives with a diverse demographic flavor. We are a global center of innovation for technology, financial services and healthcare. However, the “Utah Way” remains a priority. Another refreshing sign of the times.

    Webb: Utah is by no means perfect. We face our share of problems. We have to do a better job with education, for example. But we have good governance in Utah. Our state and local leaders are not ignorant of the problems. They resolve them in a thoughtful and reasonable manner. They look after basic needs and balance budgets. They are in line with the priorities and values ​​of citizens. Now is a good time to be a Utahn.

    The COVID-19 pandemic was over everything in 2021. What political impact has the dreaded coronavirus had?

    Pignanelli: The response to the pandemic has become a litmus test for many office holders across the political spectrum. This will influence cross-party competitions in 2022.

    Webb: It is regrettable that the pandemic has turned into a political issue that divides. Trump has been vilified by his opponents for not controlling the pandemic. But Biden and the Democrats did no better. It’s a tough battle, tougher than we expected. Biden’s struggles with COVID-19 – including not being prepared with millions of test kits needed right now – are contributing to his low approval ratings.

    The reality is that neither Biden nor Trump deserves criticism for things beyond their control. But when bad things happen, those responsible are blamed.

    Republican LaVarr Webb is a former journalist and semi-retired smallholder farmer and political consultant. E-mail: [email protected]. Frank Pignanelli is a lawyer, lobbyist, and political advisor from Salt Lake who served as Democrat in the Utah Legislature. E-mail: [email protected].

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    Utah economy

    Here’s what state and local officials have to say about the 2022 economic forecast for southern Utah – St George News

    Composite image. Background photo by Marchmeena29 / iStock / Getty Images Plus. Inset left Unsplash public domain photo. Center inset photo by smodj / iStock / Getty Images Plus. Public domain right insert from Pixabay, St. George News

    ST. GEORGE – What is the economic forecast for southern Utah in 2022? According to some employment officials and state and local enterprises, this is as good as possible under the circumstances.

    Mark Knold, chief economist of the Utah Department of Manpower Services, location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy of the Utah Department of Workforce Services, St. George News

    Mark Knold, chief economist for Utah’s Department of Workforce Services, said the only thing holding back growth would be a labor shortage.

    “You’re going to have above average demand for business and commerce, but you’re probably going to have below average growth because of the 2% unemployment rate,” Knold said.

    The shutdown resulting from the pandemic does not appear to have caused lasting damage to Utah’s economy, particularly in Washington and Iron Counties. The unemployment rate in Washington County was 4.7% in October 2020. This figure fell to 2% in October 2021. The story was similar in Iron County, with unemployment falling from 4.1% in October 2020 to 2% in October 2021.

    Before the pandemic, Utah was at full employment for at least two years, with a work participation rate of 68.5%, which is the estimated population maximum for Utah. The labor force participation rate is a measure that reflects anyone aged 16 and over who can work, whether they are working or looking for a job. At the height of the pandemic, turnout fell to 67% in Utah.

    Knold said the current unemployment rate is a bit misleading because many people who had jobs before the pandemic have decided not to return to work or have stopped looking altogether during the pandemic. Another factor is the decrease in the number of people with a second job.

    “We find that in the long run, about 6% of workers in Utah have second jobs,” Knold said. “This fell to 4.5% during the pandemic and has not yet recovered to 6%.”

    Typically, about 13,000 Utah residents have second jobs. At present, there are still around 5,000 people who have not taken up a second job.

    The bottom line is that the economy is set for strong economic growth in southern Utah, but that growth will be tempered by a shortage in the job market. All of this is great news for workers looking to make a little extra money or quit an unsatisfying job, Knold said.

    “People always want to improve the skill set, the quality of the pay scale,” he said. “It’s probably the best environment to do it. “

    Harnessing the economy in Iron County

    2021 ends in style in Iron County. Danny Stewart, director of development for Cedar City and Iron County, said all economic indicators were up from the previous year.

    Danny Stewart, Director of Economic Development for Cedar City and Iron County, date and location unspecified | Photo courtesy of Iron County Economic Development, St. George News

    “We’ve been busy in all areas: growth, construction and sales,” said Stewart. “Our biggest challenge is finding the workers to meet the demand. “

    Construction in Iron County was already exploding before the pandemic. Despite the shutdown last year, this growth continues.

    “At the end of August 2021, we were up 37% from 2020 for issuance of residential building permits,” said Stewart.

    Part of the building frenzy can be attributed to new people migrating to Iron County. Additionally, Stewart said many people who grew up in the area choose to stay there, which is a trend reversal.

    “We traditionally export most of our educated young people,” said Stewart. “They are high school or college graduates and are moving to find opportunities elsewhere. “

    2022 is set to be an economically strong year for Iron County, limited only by an anticipated shortage of people to cover all the jobs created. Stewart says this is great news for those looking for a job.

    “There are a lot of opportunities at all levels of employment here,” said Stewart. “It’s definitely a market for job seekers right now. “

    Women in business

    Women in southern Utah quickly pivoted during the pandemic shutdown. Debbie Drake, director of the southern office of the Women’s Business Center in Utah, said women who own small businesses have really risen to the challenge during the pandemic.

    “They stepped up their efforts, worked even harder, thought outside the box and worked together to make things happen,” Drake said.

    Home-based businesses like bakeries, online educational programs and social media services have increased during the shutdown. These areas are expected to continue to grow in 2022. Drake said she expects most businesses to use a virtual hybrid model to stay flexible in these uncertain times.

    Women’s Business Center South Office Exploring Opportunities Conference, Cedar City, Utah, September 2021 | Photo courtesy of Maddi Melling Photography, St. George News

    “The advantage of virtual business is that you can sell to anyone,” she said.

    Women who want to start a new business can receive free help and advice from the Southern Utah Women’s Business Center office. Drake said his organization offers resources, advice and free training for start-ups.

    “One of the things we offer is a statewide directory of women-owned businesses,” she said. “It will be linked to city and county websites so people can search for women-owned businesses in their area.”

    Drake said her office is also embarking on a photo tour of women-owned businesses. A photographer takes photos in each of the 14 counties served by the southern office of the Women’s Business Center in Utah. The photos will be featured in various marketing publications.

    Drake predicts a positive year for businesswomen in southern Utah. With interest rates low and demand for goods and services, positive things are on the horizon for women looking to start a new business or increase demand for their existing services.

    Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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    Utah economy

    Utah House Majority: Great Salt Lake Recession Could Cost State Billions | Utah

    (The Center Square) – Utah’s Great Salt Lake has fallen 20.35 feet since 1986 and a continued decline could have devastating effects on the state’s economy, according to a Social media video posted Monday by the Utah House Majority, a week before a summit that is expected to discuss the impact of the lake’s decline.

    The lake’s continued recession could cost 6,500 jobs and up to $ 2 billion a year, according to the video.

    Speaker of the House Brad Wilson of R-Kaysville hosts the Grand Lac Salé Summit on January 5. It will include conservationists, industry leaders and state lawmakers “to discuss possible policy solutions to ensure that the Great Salt Lake is preserved for future generations to enjoy”, Wilson said in a Twitter post.

    The state’s problems would go beyond environmental concerns if the lake continues to recede, according to the video. Snowfall could decrease by 27 to 45 inches per year, costing the ski industry up to $ 9.6 million per year.

    Dust from the lake could release unhealthy levels of arsenic, lithium and zirconium in the area, causing hardship for residents.

    The lake’s decline is said to be exacerbated by the increase in the state’s population, which is expected to double by 2065 and will require more water from the lake, according to the video.

    The lake issue is also being addressed by federal lawmakers. U.S. Representative Blake Moore, R-Utah, co-sponsors the Law on the ecosystems of saline lakes in the States of the Great Basin. The bill would provide resources for scientists and federal officials to monitor salt lakes and recommend management and conservation programs.

    “Utah’s Great Salt Lake is a critically important ecosystem, habitat, and tourism and business engine,” Moore said in a press release earlier this year. “But today, its water levels are at an all-time low, leading to habitat loss, decreased water flows and air quality issues.”

    The bill was passed by the House committee on natural resources.

    Republican US Senator Mitt Romney introduced a similar bill in the US Senate.

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    Utah economy

    Letters to the Editor, December 23

    St. George’s Specter and Daily News

    Social security equity

    Many low-income people struggle to make ends meet. Read carefully and if you agree, let your lawmakers know.

    CoLAs are usually implemented when the basic necessities of life have experienced real inflationary pressures, thus reducing the standard of living of workers and management. These pressures affect members of the workforce equally in all areas. Social security, military and civil service cost of living (CoLA) allowances are very similar.

    This discussion focuses on the Social Security CoLA. Currently, the prediction is that a COLA is due for Social Security recipients at 5.9%. This equates to an increase of about $ 92 for the average Social Security recipient ($ 1,560). The highest SS benefit ($ 3,895) will receive a huge increase of $ 229. This illustrates the disparity of the current system.

    If it is agreed that inflation affects all retirees equally, then it should also be agreed that ALL beneficiaries should receive the same $$ increase.

    Richard gilson

    hurricane

    Technological priorities

    The tech industry is Utah’s fastest growing, highest paying industry and supports our small businesses and economy. Many do not realize the positive impact of our country’s technology companies on small businesses. Today’s retail world is not simple, but rather dynamic, fluid, competitive and full of opportunity. It is essential that our elected officials carefully consider the measures being debated in Congress that would have unintended consequences for Utah’s economy, tech industry and local businesses.

    Many small businesses are taking advantage of technology developed by large organizations, selling their products through various methods and platforms offered by companies that compete for business owners as customers. A study published by the Data Catalyst Institute found that 70% of small / medium-sized retailers use a third-party online marketplace to drive sales, and 72% receive almost half of their revenue online. Ultimately, technology is not a threat, but a leading tool for their continued growth. I urge congressional leaders to beware of anti-competition bills that would limit America’s competitive advantage in the global marketplace.

    Jana Conrad

    Holladay

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    Utah economy

    How the region’s congressmen voted on economic diplomacy, religious freedom and military spending | News

    WASHINGTON – Here’s a look at how members of Congress in the region voted over the past week.

    Along with this week’s roll-call votes, the Senate also passed by voice vote the following legislation: A Bill (HR 6256), to ensure that products made with forced labor in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region do not enter the United States market; and the Accelerated Access to Critical Therapies for ALS Act (HR 3537), to direct the Department of Health and Human Services to support research and expanded access to investigational drugs for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis .

    VOTING AT HOME:

    Chamber 1 vote:

    RESOLUTION ON THE OUTRAGE OF MEADOWS: The House passed a resolution (H. Res. 851), sponsored by Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, D-Miss., To find Mark Meadows, President Trump’s chief of staff, in contempt of Congress for not being complied with a subpoena from the Special House Committee to investigate the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol. Thompson said: “This is Mr Meadows’ refusal to comply with a subpoena to discuss the files he himself handed over. Now he is hiding behind an apology.” An opponent, Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., Said the select committee had no legal authority because it failed to adhere to the House charter which required it to have 13 members rather than its actual nine. . The vote on December 14 was 222 yes to 208 no.

    YES: Pressley D-MA (7th), Clark (MA) D-MA (5th), Keating D-MA (9th), Auchincloss D-MA (4th), McGovern D-MA (2nd), Trahan D- MA (3rd), Neal D-MA (1st), Moulton D-MA (6th), Lynch D-MA (8th)

    Chamber 2 vote:

    ISLAMOPHOBIA: The House passed the Tackling International Islamophobia Act (HR 5665), sponsored by Representative Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., To establish the Office for Monitoring and Combating Islamophobia at the State Department. Omar said: “Islamophobia is global in scope and we must lead the global effort to address it. An opponent, Representative Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said: “This legislation is dangerously vague and needlessly redundant. It doesn’t frame things in terms of anti-Muslim persecution. The vote on December 14 was 219 yes to 212 no.

    YES: Pressley D-MA (7th), Clark (MA) D-MA (5th), Keating D-MA (9th), Auchincloss D-MA (4th), McGovern D-MA (2nd), Trahan D- MA (3rd), Neal D-MA (1st), Moulton D-MA (6th), Lynch D-MA (8th)

    Chamber 3 vote:

    DEBT CEILING: The House passed a resolution (SJ Res. 33), sponsored by Sen. Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., to increase the federal government’s debt ceiling by $ 2.5 trillion. One supporter, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, said the increase was necessary to “preserve the sanctity of the full faith and credit of the United States, protect American jobs and businesses of all sizes and ensure the continued growth of the economy. “One opponent, Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, said the increase was” to make room for new, unnecessary spending, billions of dollars that will further fuel the fire. inflation that marks Joe Biden’s presidency, the highest rate in decades. ”The vote on December 15 was 221 yes to 209 no.

    YES: Pressley D-MA (7th), Clark (MA) D-MA (5th), Keating D-MA (9th), Auchincloss D-MA (4th), McGovern D-MA (2nd), Trahan D- MA (3rd), Neal D-MA (1st), Moulton D-MA (6th), Lynch D-MA (8th)

    VOTES TO THE SENATE:

    Senate Vote 1:

    JUSTICE OF THE COURT OF APPEAL: The Senate confirmed Lucy Koh’s appointment as a judge on the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Koh, currently a Federal District Judge for Northern California, was previously a private lawyer and federal prosecutor. One supporter, Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., Said Koh “is well known not just in her district but across the country as talented, thoughtful, intelligent and fair.” An opponent, Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, criticized the White House for not giving it the chance to meet with Koh to assess him before the confirmation vote, and said Koh was unaware of the unique laws that apply to the native tribes of Alaska. . The vote on December 13 was 50 to 45 against.

    YES: Warren D-MA, Markey D-MA

    Senate Vote 2:

    DEBT CEILING: The Senate passed a resolution (SJ Res. 33), sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., to raise the federal government’s debt ceiling by $ 2.5 trillion. Schumer said the increase was necessary to avoid default on the debt. Opponent Senator Mike Lee, R-Utah, said the increase was excessive and, by requiring only a simple majority rather than a 60-vote majority, would undermine the Senate’s use of the systematic obstruction in the future. The vote on December 15 was 50 to 49 against.

    YES: Warren D-MA, Markey D-MA

    Senate Vote 3:

    MILITARY SPENDING: The Senate approved the House Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (S. 1605), sponsored by Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., To authorize spending for fiscal year 2022 for the army, military construction projects and military-related programs. at the Energy Department. One supporter, Sen. Jack Reed, DR.I., said the bill “allows for a significant increase in military construction projects, modernization of our nuclear triad and missile defense systems, and investment in advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, microelectronics, advanced materials. , 5G and biotechnology. ”The vote on December 15 was 88 to 11 against.

    AGAINST: Warren D-MA, Markey D-MA

    Senate vote 4:

    SECOND JUSTICE OF THE COURT OF APPEAL: The Senate confirmed Jennifer Sung’s appointment as a judge on the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Since 2007, Sung has been a lawyer in private practice specializing in labor law and workers’ rights. One supporter, Senator Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Called Sung a “distinguished lawyer who will bring a vital and under-represented perspective to the federal judiciary.” The vote on December 15 was 50 to 49 against.

    YES: Warren D-MA, Markey D-MA

    Senate vote 5:

    JUDGE OF THE NEW HAMPSHIRE: The Senate has confirmed Samantha Elliott’s appointment as a judge at the US District Court in New Hampshire. Elliott has been a lawyer in private practice since 2006, focusing on commercial and employment law. One supporter, Senator Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Said: “With her extensive knowledge of the state’s legal system and her impartial approach to the law, she will make an outstanding federal judge.” The vote on December 15 was 62 yes to 37 no.

    YES: Warren D-MA, Markey D-MA

    Senate vote 6:

    AMBASSADOR IN CHINA: The Senate confirmed the appointment of Nicholas Burns as US Ambassador to China. Burns, a long-time State Department diplomat, served as Ambassador to NATO and Greece. One supporter, Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho, said Burns “has done an outstanding job, has an outstanding reputation among the group of ambassadors” and could handle a difficult mission in China. The vote on December 16 was 75 to 18 against.

    YES: Warren D-MA, Markey D-MA

    Senate Vote 7:

    ECONOMIC DIPLOMACY: The Senate confirmed the appointment of Ramin Toloui to the post of Deputy Secretary of State for Economic and Commercial Affairs. Toloui, currently a professor of economics at Stanford University, was previously an investment manager at PIMCO and an official in the Treasury Department during the Obama administration. One supporter, Senator Robert Menendez, DN.J., said Toloui would help the government “reinvigorate the instruments of our economic diplomacy.” The vote on December 16 was 76 yes to 13 no.

    YES: Warren D-MA, Markey D-MA

    Senate vote 8:

    RELIGIOUS FREEDOM: The Senate confirmed the appointment of Rashad Hussain as the State Department’s Goodwill Ambassador for International Religious Freedom. Hussain held several positions under the Obama administration, including that of special envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. One supporter, Senator Robert Menendez, DN.J., said: “Throughout his impressive public service, Mr. Hussain has demonstrated his strong commitment to protecting the rights of religious and ethnic minorities. The vote on December 16 was 85 to 5 against.

    YES: Warren D-MA, Markey D-MA

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    Utah economy

    Region 8 EPA Appointed KC Becker aims to restore protections abandoned under Trump

    Stricter regulations for the oil and gas industry, clean air and water, and funding shortages are expected to be top priorities for KC Becker as she takes over as administrator for Region 8 of Environmental Protection Agency, conservationists and tribal officials said.

    Not only should Becker, who is the former Colorado House chairman, help the federal agency rebuild the reduced protections under former President Donald Trump, advocates say, but she should also lobby to expand them further.

    In her new role, Becker said she would oversee around 500 employees, help develop and enforce national policies to protect the environment and public health. It will also distribute millions of dollars in federal funding to help clean up contaminated areas, improve infrastructure and monitor polluting industries.

    Becker’s Region 8 covers Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. Three of those states – Colorado, North Dakota and Utah – have some of the fastest growing populations in the country, according to census data. And the region covers some of the country’s most valuable lands like Arches, Badlands, Glacier, Grand Teton, Rocky Mountain, and Yellowstone National Parks.

    “Yes, there are these amazingly beautiful places,” said Stephanie Kodish, senior director and board of the National Parks Conservation Association.

    But there are also some very significant challenges, Kodish added.

    Becker said she was ready to meet these challenges, adding that climate change, environmental justice and degraded infrastructure were also high on her priority list. Federal officials do not want to provoke a “boost”, but will take stronger action than the last administration.

    “No progress had been made in the past four years,” Becker told The Denver Post. “Really, I’m focused, and Administrator (EPA) (Michael) Regan is focused on making real changes on the ground that improve air quality, water quality, and the quality of life of the community. all.”

    Dan Grossman, of the Environmental Defense Fund, said Becker is well suited for the role, especially as President Joe Biden’s administration moves away from the lax rules and regulations set by Trump’s EPA.

    “I am very grateful that we are under new leadership,” said Grossman, who heads the national office of the environmental nonprofit Rocky Mountain. “We are already seeing a lot of progress.

    Biden appointed Becker, a Democrat, to the post last month. For a limited term, she stepped down from the legislature last year, and her time at State House was marked by the promotion of aggressive climate action policies and a 2019 law revising industry regulations. state oil and gas. Democrats and environmentalists hailed the move, though industry leaders accused lawmakers behind the legislation of operating “in the middle of the night” and warned it could cripple the economy. the state.

    Regulation of the oil and gas industry

    Colorado, North Dakota and Wyoming are still home to “booming” oil and gas developments polluting the air, Kodish said. Industry, along with gasoline-powered vehicles, is one of the main sources of ozone pollution.

    These pollution levels have peaked so high along the Front Range this year that the EPA is likely to downgrade Colorado’s air quality violator status from “severe” to “severe.”

    Becker must not only work to tighten regulations on the industry, but she must also strengthen enforcement to force violators to reduce their emissions, Kodish said.

    Colorado Oil & Gas President and CEO Dan Haley has repeatedly urged regulators to curb certain regulations – like continuous emissions monitoring requirements – and warned of rising fuel costs and the damage to an industry that produces millions of dollars for Colorado’s economy.

    “Conversations about complicated technologies and emission reductions need to be rooted in facts, not scare tactics or guesses,” Haley said in a 2019 press release responding to new Oversight Commission regulations. air quality in the state.

    Haley and other industry officials did not respond to messages seeking comment for this article.

    Under the Biden administration, stricter industry regulations are already underway.

    A plan released last month by the EPA would force oil and gas companies to detect and reduce methane emissions more aggressively. The goal is to reduce these emissions by 74% from 2005 levels by 2035.

    Once the plan is finalized, individual states will likely have to draft plans to apply the new rules to businesses, Grossman said. And Becker will be able to act as a “validator” to ensure that the plans for the Region 8 states meet federal requirements.

    New regulations must also take into account that communities of color and those whose low-income residents most often bear “disproportionately bear the burden of pollution,” Becker said.

    “There’s a lot going on in the clean air space,” she added.

    Protect waterways from pollution

    Likewise, there’s a lot going on in the area of ​​clean water, said Jen Pelz, wild rivers program director at the environmental nonprofit WildEarth Guardians. And the priority for many environmentalists is knowing which waterways need to be protected.

    Trump’s EPA has removed protections against “fleeting” and intermittent flows, which only flow during storms or at certain times of the year, Pelz said. About 68% of Colorado’s waterways fall into this category.

    “If all of this Colorado water isn’t protected and clean, then these pollutants or developments are causing problems further downstream as well,” Pelz said.

    Colorado Farm Bureau officials welcomed the move in late 2019. Old regulations, enacted under President Barack Obama, masked land use rights for farmers in the state, the then President of Colorado said at the time. Farm Bureau, Don Shawcroft.

    Becker, however, said the Trump administration had gone “far too far” and that the Biden administration is now working to restore many of those lost protections.

    But Pelz said it was not enough.

    “Don’t just restore the protections that were there before,” Pelz said. “Think about the challenges we face in the future and offer the broadest protections possible. “

    As populations continue to grow and climate change dries up many of the country’s rivers and streams, clean water will be all the more important in the years to come, Pelz said.

    Looking to the future, Colorado Farm Bureau executive vice president Chad Vorthmann said in a statement he hopes Becker and the rest of the EPA will protect the agriculture industry from “unnecessary regulations” and ensure that farmers have a say in new policies.

    “KC Becker is a tough negotiator but knows how to bring stakeholders together to discuss concerns,” Vorthmann said. “She knows important issues like natural resources and water and we look forward to working with her in her new role.”

    Native American tribes and funding

    As water supplies dwindle in the West, so does the money allocated to the 28 Native American tribes in Region 8, said Rich Janssen Jr., chief of the natural resources department for the Confederate Salish and Kootenai Tribes in northwestern Montana.

    “It becomes frustrating to see that, year after year, tribal funding continues to be cut,” Janssen said.

    Each tribe sets its own standards for water and air quality, among other protections, and uses EPA money to pay inspectors and enforce those regulations, Janssen said. And during the Trump administration, funding for the Confederate Salish and Kottenai tribes declined by as much as 25%, he said.

    Becker said she would push for more money for the tribes and that some of them should already be on track from the bipartisan $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure bill passed by the tribes. Congress in November.

    Millions more of the bill will be set aside for the six states in the Becker region, she said. And its responsibility will be to allocate money to local governments looking to replace lead service lines, replace diesel school buses with electric buses, soil remediation programs and more.

    All in all, Becker said her appointment represents a “huge opportunity” for her to use her past experience to protect not only the environment but also public health. And the historic spending program, coupled with the Biden administration’s environmental goals “is going to have a truly measurable impact on people’s daily lives.”

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    Utah economy

    Eligible SLCC Students Receive Up To $ 750 For COVID Help In Higher Education

    Federal COVID funds will help eligible Salt Lake Community College students meet their higher education expenses.

    SALT LAKE CITY, December 16, 2021 / PRNewswire-PRWeb / – Eligible Salt Lake Community College students enrolled in the spring semester 2022 will automatically receive up to $ 750 in federal grants. Created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, this one-time scholarship is to be used at the discretion of students for costs related to higher education.

    Eligibility does not depend on citizenship status. Students enrolled in School of Applied Technology credits or courses will receive the grant. Eligible students who are also Pell-eligible will receive $ 750, and eligible students who are not Pell-eligible will receive $ 500.

    “This is great news for SLCC students. The money can be used for things like tuition, books, accommodation, food, or childcare while attending. Salt Lake Community College,” noted Ryan farley, associate vice-president for the management of registrations. This grant, the Higher Education Relief Fund III (HEERF), can also be used to help students deal with emergency costs associated with COVID-19.

    President Biden has appropriated $ 39.6 billion for this higher education aid fund to help students affected by the pandemic. More information on eligibility and distribution can be found on SLCC’s FAQ page.

    Salt Lake Community College is that of Utah the largest open-access college, proudly educating the state’s most diverse student body in 8 fields of study at 11 locations and online. The majority of SLCC graduates transfer to four-year institutions, and thousands more are trained in programs aimed directly at the workforce. In 2023, the institution will celebrate 75 years of teaching and training the people of Utah in areas that contribute to the state’s vibrant economy and high quality of life.

    Media contact

    Tonia’s Day, Salt Lake Community College, 801-957-4178, [email protected]

    Twitter

    THE SOURCE Salt Lake Community College

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    Utah economy

    Congress passes $ 2.5 trillion debt ceiling increase

    “Since taking control of the House, Senate and White House earlier this year, the majority have made repeated decisions to spend massive sums of taxpayer money with only Democratic votes.” , said Rep. Tom Cole, Republican of Oklahoma. “With that power also comes the responsibility to govern effectively, and the majority have failed to do so.”

    In a speech on Tuesday, Mr McConnell made no mention of the deal he made with Mr Schumer to allow the increase, but he noted that the debt ceiling would be raised only with votes Democrats in the Senate. He also denounced Mr Biden’s social safety net, climate and tax package, warning that it would exacerbate inflation and lead to the accumulation of more debt.

    “If they encounter another fiscal frenzy and reckless spending, this massive increase in debt will be just the start,” McConnell said. “No more printing and borrowing to set up more reckless spending to drive more inflation, hurt working families even more.”

    But Mr McConnell also criticized his right flank for allowing Democrats to steer the country away from a tax disaster.

    “I’m sure that vicious tactic, the one used here, has not seen its last use – far from it,” said Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah. “With a blank check and new special procedure, Democrats are able to increase the debt ceiling by the amount they deem necessary to meet their Destruction of America bill.”

    Former President Donald J. Trump railed against Mr. McConnell in a series of statements over the weekend, accusing the senator “of not having the courage to play the debt ceiling card, which would have given to Republicans a complete victory over virtually everything. “

    Mr. Trump continued to urge Republicans to remove Mr. McConnell from his leadership role.

    On Monday, Kelly Tshibaka, a hard-line conservative against Republican Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, pledged she would not back Mr McConnell if elected in 2022, citing her role in the debt cap process.

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    Utah economy

    Voices of 100%: Moab Anchors Utah Community Renewable Energy Program

    To preserve its unique natural environment and the regional economy, Moab and other cities in Utah have created a path to obtain 100% renewable electricity by 2030.

    For this episode of our Voices of 100% series from the Local Energy Rules podcast, host John Farrell speaks with Moab Sustainability Director Mila Dunbar-Irwin and City Council Member Kalen Jones. Moab is an anchor community for the Community Renewable Energy Act. Using their collective purchasing power, Moab and other participating cities will negotiate for 100% renewable energy from the utility Rocky Mountain Power.

    Listen to the full episode and explore more resources below, including a transcript and conversation summary.


    Moab goes it alone

    Jones was elected to Moab City Council in 2016. Soon after, he traveled to Park City, Utah, which had already adopted a 100% renewable electricity target. Jones returned to Moab and worked to establish a similar goal for the city.

    In 2017, Moab became the 23rd city to commit to 100% renewable energy. The city originally planned to reach this benchmark by 2032 and linked it to the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2040.

    Dunbar-Irwin started as Moab’s Sustainability Director in 2021. With an ambitious goal in place and a deadline looming, she has been tasked with developing a climate action plan. With the help of ICLEI, Moab has already completed a greenhouse gas inventory. The city has also installed solar panels on the roofs of 5 public buildings.

    “There is… a desire for local self-sufficiency and for the benefits to be realized by individual customers, as well as our utility. – Kalen Jones

    Utah Community Renewable Energy Act

    Utah’s Community Renewable Energy Act (HB 411), passed in 2019, sets a framework for Utah communities seeking 100% renewable energy. 22 cities are committed to 100% renewable energy and can sign the governance agreement by 2022. After signing, they join the board of directors of the community renewable energy agency. The board of directors, of which Rocky Mountain Power is not a member, designs the program and presents it to the Utah Public Service Commission.

    Customers in participating communities can opt out of the program and revert to the energy mix previously offered by Rocky Mountain Power. Jones believes, however, that the electricity tariff will not change much under the new program. There will also be a program for low income people under the new fee structure.

    “The bargaining power of the group cannot be underestimated… building these partnerships and really telling the utilities what interests you, I think that can be quite convincing. “- Mila Dunbar-Irwin

    Utah Cities Go Forward, With Utility

    On the surface, Utah’s politics compares to Community Choice Energy, but has a few fundamental differences. As part of the community choice, municipalities and counties come together to create a non-profit entity and source energy. They use the historic utility for distribution and billing. California utilities have fought for years against community choice legislation because it transfers their power to the public.

    Rocky Mountain Power (RMP), the utility that serves most of Utah, supported the Community Renewable Energy Act. In his case, no separate entity is created to replace the utility and RMP is still the electricity supplier. Dunbar-Irwin says Rocky Mountain Power will hold many renewable resources designed to provide more renewable energy. The formal RMP participation process is still under development.

    “We are in the unique position of being able to work directly with our public service which is ready to do so with us. “- Mila Dunbar-Irwin

    Rocky Mountain Power plans to switch to a mix of primarily renewable resources, says Dunbar-Irwin. Their current resource plan indicates a goal of net zero emissions by 2050.


    Listen to Episode 129 of Local Energy Rules: How Big Utilities’ Climate Pledges Fall Short.


    Making Progress Beyond Electricity Supply

    Moab is the closest stop for tourists visiting one of two beautiful national parks: Arches and Canyonlands. All the tourism traffic means that to eliminate emissions, Moab needs to do more than clean up its electricity supply. To generate solutions with others, Moab is a member of Mountain Towns 2030: a collection of ski towns allied to fight climate change. The city is also working with the tribal council to campaign for less tourism impact, Dunbar-Irwin says.

    One problem that Moab has started to solve is transportation. The city is setting up a shuttle service to Arches, Dunbar-Irwin says, and has also installed numerous fast chargers to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles.

    Plus, Jones says, Moab has solutions in place to protect its dark skies. More efficient, less polluting outdoor lighting consumes less energy. By partnering with Rocky Mountain Power to install LED street lights, the utility was able to extend this service to other cities.

    “Even for large, seemingly faceless companies, there are people out there who have hearts and minds. And if you can engage them in a respectful and friendly manner, sometimes you can make breakthroughs that you don’t expect. – Kalen Jones

    Episode Notes

    Check out these resources to learn more about the story:

    For real-life examples of how cities can take action to better control their clean energy future, explore the ILSR Community Toolkit.

    Explore local and national policies and programs that help advance clean energy goals across the country, using ILSR’s interactive community power map.


    This is the 33rd episode of our Voices of and episode 145 of Local Energy Rules, an ILSR podcast with Energy Democracy director John Farrell, which shares landmark stories of successful local renewable energy and exposes political and practical obstacles to its expansion.

    Local Energy Rules is produced by John Farrell and Maria McCoy of the ILSR. Audio engineering by Drew Birschbach.

    Originally posted on ILSR.org. For timely updates, follow John Farrell on Twitter, our energy work on Facebook, or sign up to receive the weekly Energy Democracy update.

    Appreciate the originality of CleanTechnica? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician or Ambassador – or Patreon Patron.


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    Utah economy

    Hurricane’s Mercantile and Gypsy Emporium roam havens for residents and tourists – St George News

    HURRICANE –Twelve years ago, Myka Desormier bought an antique store called Mercantile Antiques and Consignment, opening her first retail business near the intersection of Main and State streets in Hurricane. Four years later, she opened a one-of-a-kind gift shop, the Gypsy Emporium. Both moves were a gamble, but today the sister stores are among the city’s most successful businesses.

    Myka Desormier bought Mercantile Antiques and Consignment in 2010 and in 2014 opened The Gypsy Emporium. Desormier stores thrive on owner’s good eye and thriving tourist business, Hurricane, Utah December 2, 2021 | Photo by Sarah Torribio, St. George News

    The stores are located in different buildings on the same lot, a few hundred feet apart. The Mercantile offers 4,000 square feet of antiques, 90 percent of which are sold on consignment. The Gypsy Emporium, which at 15,000 square feet is Southern Utah’s largest antique store, features booths run by individual entrepreneurs who lease space in the sprawling store.

    Not too long ago, Desormier also introduced a new and returnable clothing section at the Gypsy Emporium after tourists kept asking where they could buy a sweater or other clothing. She experimented with a 10 by 10 clothing section. He did so well, the entire second floor is now dominated by clothing.

    There is “something to tempt everyone,” she said.

    “It’s not just old stuff, it’s a great mix of all kinds of stuff, especially at the Gypsy Emporium,” Desormier said. “It’s new, old, handmade, distressed. And among all the customers, some people say: “Oh, I like the Mercantile better”. Some people say, ‘Oh, I like the Gypsies better.’ It’s really interesting.”

    Desormier was at a crossroads when she first moved to Utah after a divorce. Her parents, who had retired to southern Utah, were showing their daughter some local sights and decided to drive to Zion. “We were driving through Hurricane and they were like, ‘Oh, an antique store! Let’s stop, ”Desormier said.

    The trio loved the antique store and when they learned that the owners – a married couple who founded the store in 2003 – were offering booth rentals, they decided to give it a try. The family ran an antique stall for about a year when they heard the store was closing.

    “And at that point (2010) was when the economy fell,” Desormier said. “I was working in a copper mine in Milford which grew… You couldn’t find a job anywhere. I was like, ‘Oh my God, what am I going to do?’ “

    Then, the saleswoman of the Mercantile had a brainstorm.

    “She called my mom and said, ‘Your daughter should buy the store,’” Desormier said. “And literally three days later, I was signing papers and owning an antique store.”

    Merchant

    One of the most popular items at Mercantile Antiques and Consignment in Hurricane is not for sale. Customers Love Owner Myka Desormier’s Turn-of-the-Century Fully Functional Cash Register, Hurricane, Utah December 2, 2021 | Photo by Sarah Torribio, St. George News

    Desormier was slightly nervous. She had never owned a business before and had an operating budget of exactly $ 1,000. She just stepped forward, trusting her intuition.

    “I definitely live my life like a rolling stone and wherever it takes me I go with it,” Desormier said. “I just know, ‘Oh, this will work.’ There is no other way. “

    Ownership of Mercantile Antiques and Consignment turned out to be a “if you buy it, they will come” proposition. Between locals checking out the new Mercantile at 15 E. State St. and tourists taking the SR-9 via Hurricane to Zion, the cash register has started ringing.

    In fact, one of Desormier’s first investments in the business was the purchase of a fully functional 300-pound brass cash register from the turn of the last century.

    “Everyone loves the cash register,” she said. “It’s one of the things everyone comments on. “

    There are antique items everywhere you look: Pyrex mixing bowls and whimsical figurines, typewriters, and tools. There are tin cans that once held food like Dainty brand crackers and many western products. Vinyl records and vintage jewelry are arguably the biggest sellers in the Mercantile.

    Desormier has an employee who artfully organizes the merchandise, organizing vignettes to match the fabric and season. Currently, that includes Christmas trees, antique holiday decorations, and vintage ice skates. A lot of people will come in and spot an object and say, “I don’t know why, but I have to have this.

    A statuette of a leprechaun from the 1950s is one of the treasures of Mercantile Antiques and Consignments. Biggest sellers in the store are jewelry and vintage records, Hurricane, Utah December 2, 2021 | Photo by Sarah Torribio, St. George News

    Desormier said, “I refer to that as, he’s talking to you.”

    If it’s really love, Desormier doesn’t advise clients to go home and sleep on it, because the next time they visit the Mercantile, he will likely be gone.

    “Most antique shops tend to be what people call museums. You go there, time and time again, and nothing seems to change, ”Desormier said, adding that this was not his vision for his stores. “Every time you walk in it shouldn’t look the same. It’s a question of turnover.

    There are others who do not hear the call.

    “Some people are like, ‘I don’t want clutter, I don’t want anything. “And, for me, when you walk into their homes, it’s a bit boring or it’s cookie-cutter,” Desormier said. “I like to be stimulated by seeing things. And when people come in and say, “Wow, that’s a bit like soaking up,” I’m like, “It’s empowering. “

    The Gypsy Emporium

    Another antique store has sprung up in the same mall as Mercantile Gifts and Consignments called The Ugly Trailer. When that store closed in 2014, friends and customers advised Desormier to open a store in the now vacant space.

    “I was like, ‘I don’t know if I’m really capable of doing two stores,” Desormier said. “So I kind of looked at it, and one weekend I typed in the numbers and said, well, okay.”

    Desormier opened The Gypsy Emporium (25 E. State St.), which has since grown into the two companies’ biggest money generator. She adores the Mercantile but the Gypsy holds a special place in her heart because it is her idea. This isn’t the kind of store you want to jump into if you only have five minutes to spare, as it has an even wider selection than the Mercantile, from embroidered tea towels to Navajo blankets and license plates. vintage representing the 50 independent clothing states. it’s anything but a cookie cutter.

    The clothing section upstairs of the Gypsy Emporium has become one of the bestsellers in the gift shop. Hurricane, Utah, December 2, 2021 | Photo by Sarah Torribio, St. George News

    Twelve years after the game started, Desormier feels comfortable enough in town to pronounce the hurricane like a local – “Herri-kin”.

    “When in Rome,” she said.

    She had a brief scare when COVID-19 popped up and people weren’t going out, but she weathered the storm by offering pick-up purchases. Desormier is happy to announce that 2021 has been its best year in terms of results. At the end of November, it posted record profits at the nationwide celebration of “Small Business Saturday”.

    The Gypsy Emporium in particular has developed a reputation for being a wonderland for those who love to roam. Last summer, the store was chosen to represent Utah in an MSN article listing “The Best Vintage Store in Every State.”

    Better yet, Desormier is in good company. Her parents are still involved in the store, helping out every day, and she has found community among repeat customers and her hardworking employees. Running two stores is a lot of work, but it’s a job that never goes out of fashion for this connoisseur of unique items.

    “I’m still learning something everyday,” she said.

    Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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    Utah economy

    The trails of the desert canyons offer visitors, young people and neighbors of Grand Sion a single-track oasis

    Desert Canyons Trail System, St. George, UT. Photos: Mike Cartier

    Tucked away in southwest Utah off of Highway 7, the Desert Canyons accessible trail system is just steps from the St. George Regional Airport in the Greater Zion region. A few years ago this young trail system was founded by a local residential builder who wanted to build a new subdivision outside of town with easy access to mountain bike trails on their doorstep.

    These trails are privately owned and cater for cyclists and hikers with approximately 20 miles of singletrack close at hand. While there is plenty of mileage to go in this physically small, yet dense and passionate community, this trail system mostly consists of a few loops for beginners and intermediates: ideal for those who want to squeeze in a quick ride after the job.

    A student-athlete pre-riding the race with St. George Regional Airport in the background.

    Although the skill level is very open and inviting for new riders, there are plenty of technical features that will satisfy even the most skilled rider. This trail system is definitely more XC-focused and recently hosted the Utah State High School Mountain Biking Championships with hundreds of fast, youthful runners from across the state.

    Subdivision of Desert Canyons visible just across Highway 7.

    Much to our surprise my friend Dave and I got to experience this trail the weekend before the state championships. At first we were overwhelmed with participating in this seemingly small trail system, but the atmosphere and warmth of the other riders was awesome. While my friend packed a borrowed bike, I had the chance to walk around a bit to take some photos of the huge parking lot filled with riders and locals.

    Preparation of the bike before departure. We have seen a lot of participation from runners and recreational cyclists.

    By chance I ran into Jake Weber, a high school mountain bike trainer and NICA member since 2011. I informed him it was my first time at Desert Canyons and he had a blast with nothing but good things to say about the trails, the community, and the long-term mission of bringing the local community – as well as the national – by bike.

    Weber was instrumental in the course design and gave us some useful information before Dave and I set off on our slow “lap”. Weber’s enthusiasm accompanied me as I started the loop, often passed by very fast high school students. The positive impact of this site and trail system on residents and traveling student-athletes across the state was clear; he brought everyone together for a competitive but fun time.

    Jake Weber, High School Mountain Bike Trainer and NICA Member / Advocate.

    Dave and I started the loop clockwise with a modest, gradual climb before the singletrack started. We had just over seven miles total in the race loop which consists of green tracks (Pushing Tin Loop and Secret Sauce) and a mile of blue tracks (Claim Jumper) in the Varsity Loop. The elevation isn’t severe, but the rolling and often punchy climbs are about 550 feet above sea level according to the course description. Most of each trail is fairly docile, but there are enough technical rocky sections to keep skilled riders on their toes. The occasional smooth descents allow for a fun rest before the next technical section and add to the overall balance.

    Sportiness and climbs galore.
    Teammates navigating through boulder fields.
    Whether you look up or down the trail, you will find like-minded trail users.

    Winding just over a mile and a half into the pushing tin loop, there’s a scenic clifftop vantage point where casual riders can relax and grab a snack. The bench adjacent to the trail allows users to gaze out at Highway 7 into the Arizona desert before continuing.

    Pause to view Arizona at the top of the Pushing Tin Loop trail.

    As we cruised through larger and larger boulder fields, the variety between gradual climbs, pedaled straights, and smooth fun increased. This loop seemed to give you a bit of work before you gain more of your runs towards the end.

    Dave climbs up and walks away from the trailhead.

    I have already mentioned the proximity to the nearby airport. All kinds of airplanes, military, small personal planes and national airliners frequently came and went from the airstrips.

    I dreaded to think that I would be leaving Utah on a plane like this in a few days.

    For other desert dwellers, this trail system might not be scenic, but I found the barren landscape to be stunning. The rocks changed in size, but stayed the same with inspiring grip in the dry and cool conditions. We drove in the middle of the afternoon in October with temperatures in the 70s. It was a pleasant day to ride, to say the least.

    Dave zooming in between the rocks.
    So cool to see the young people of Utah so passionate about cycling.
    Accurate representation of the escalation to access the flow.

    While there are many well known or epic / difficult trails in the St. George / Greater Zion area, you certainly cannot ignore what Desert Canyons has to offer and their impact on the local cycling community and economy. . With the rapid eruption of housing on the outskirts of St. George, trail systems like these not only generate massive selling points for buyers, but create a healthy base for the young people who live on these trails. For the adventurous novice rider or maybe the experienced rider who wants to get out of the house, this trail has a lot of character and challenge in those little loops.

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    Utah economy

    Utah population growth 2021: fertility is falling, but migration is on the rise

    The Beehive state is growing, and is doing so rapidly. Even if its fertility rate is declining, its migratory balance is rising sharply.

    Key elements for tracking this growth in a sustainable manner include housing affordability, air quality control, energy planning and water policy, among others.

    Population estimates from the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute released Wednesday during its monthly Online Breakfast Newsmaker indicate that the state has added about 71,936 people since the 2020 census, reaching a estimated total of 3,343,552 Utahns. From July 1, 2020 to July 1 of this year, the population increased by 58,729 people. This annual growth rate of 1.8% is the highest since 2017.

    These estimates, created by the Utah Population Committee, were compiled from the most recent decennial census.

    “For the state of Utah, we have welcomed an average of 160 new residents per day over the past year,” said Emily Harris, senior demographer at the Gardner Institute and lead author of the report. “The state also saw the second recorded net migration and the smallest natural increase since 1975. Estimates for this year indicate a slight rebound as the Utahns navigate a global pandemic and attempt to find a new normal.”

    The main findings of the report include:

    • Natural increase: Since July 1, 2010, Utah has experienced an annual decline in the natural increase in population due to fewer new births, while annual deaths increase. National trends during this same period depict a declining fertility rate strongly impacted by the Great Recession. Utah’s total fertility rate fell from 2.45 in 2010 to below the replacement level (1.99 in 2019), from the country’s highest rate to third.
    • Net migration: Utah’s net migration in 2021 is 34,858, nearly 10,000 more than last year’s estimate. This is the highest net migration since 2005 and the seventh year that net migration has exceeded 20,000. Net migration has contributed 59% of Utah’s population growth in the past year. , compared to 49% the previous year.
    • Regional and County Level Results: Iron County saw the fastest growth at 6.2%, followed by Tooele County (4.1%), Washington County (4.0%) and Utah County (2.9% ). Utah County had the highest natural increase, net migration, and population growth in the state, far outpacing Salt Lake County‘s 0.8% growth.

    One-third of the statewide growth between July 1, 2020 and July 1, 2021 came from residents of Utah County. Salt Lake County contributed 15.9% of the growth and Washington County 12.5% ​​of the growth. Davis, Weber, Cache, Iron and Tooele counties each contributed between 7.7% and 5.1% of the state’s overall growth. Garfield County was the only county to lose population in 2021.

    • Impacts of COVID-19: Although the anticipated impacts of COVID-19 on births were not apparent in the data, the significant increase in deaths has changed the way the state and many counties have grown. Net migration has become the engine of growth statewide, increasing 15% from the previous year and driving growth in three-quarters of counties. While net migration varies each year in Utah, the natural increase (outside of a global pandemic) generally does not vary. Once COVID-19-related deaths decline, the natural increase is expected to stabilize.

    “The secret is revealed”

    House Speaker Brad Wilson of R-Kaysville said the growth was “remarkable”.

    “The secret is out, how great our state is and how many people want to be here for so many different reasons, and there isn’t just one (reason),” he said, adding that growth presented a unique challenge for the state. but also a great opportunity.

    “We’ve benefited as a state for a generation or two from having people who really thought about this stuff and how we can really be collaborative, be responsible, but manage our growth in a way. that benefits every Utahn; and we have to go on and work really hard on this, ”Wilson said.

    Laura Hanson, state planning coordinator in the Utah Governor‘s Planning and Budget Office, said she felt lucky to be able to reflect on the direction Utah is taking in long term and stressed that growth offers many opportunities for the state.

    “We have jobs, we have new creative ideas, more shopping, more restaurants – although (the growth) is a little scary at times, it is bringing some really good things to our state,” Hanson said. “Unfortunately, some surveys have shown, recently, that the majority of Utahns feel that we are growing too quickly. They feel that the character of their community has changed – we are experiencing more traffic congestion, our areas of recreation is overcrowded. But sadly, we really can’t close the doors or slow down this growth. “

    Wilson and Hanson have both said that Utah’s current growth slowdown will lead to a struggling economy and an increase in the cost of living, which neither sees as beneficial.

    “What we need to do is really connect with the Utahns and better understand what values ​​you think could be threatened by this growth and what policies or investments the state can take to help us navigate the path. growing and sustaining what makes Utah, Utah, ”Hanson said.

    Putting systems in place to cope with Utah’s growth

    Wilson said the state-level and political-level goal is to make sure the state is in a better place “than we have found.”

    “We need to have processes that lead to longer term thinking and broader thinking about where we are headed, so that we make better decisions in the moment,” Wilson said.

    The groundwork for some of that long-term thinking was laid in Utah Gov. Spencer Cox’s $ 25 billion budget proposal for next year, Hanson said.

    “I think people who are focusing on growth issues will be really happy with some of the recommendations that are included there,” she said.

    The budget proposes about half a billion dollars in investments in the planning and management of water infrastructure, including the financing of the Great Salt Lake, and incentives for water conservation at all levels, from the agriculture to single-family homes.

    In addition, the budget includes $ 46.2 million for investments in active transportation to fight air quality problems.

    “These are bicycle facilities, sidewalks and pathways so people don’t have to drive a car if they don’t want to and get people off the road,” Hanson added. “We’ve actually had a drop in emissions over the last few years. It shows that when Utah is focused on one goal… we’re really effective at meeting those goals. So I think the air quality in is one that will continue to be at the center of our concerns. “

    Hanson also spoke about energy planning and the state’s energy needs which continue to increase with a growing population and an increased focus on electrification.

    “We will need to continue to diversify our energy resources, which means investing in new transmission corridors, the basic infrastructure to support charging (of electric vehicles) along the highways in our state,” she said. . “This is another goal and priority for the governor and in his roadmap he identified updating an energy plan – all these different pieces need to come together and we need to keep working together to meet these challenges. “

    While the budget also includes $ 228 million to tackle affordable housing and homelessness, Wilson said the problem is more supply-side and demand-side.

    “We need to do a better job of getting more supply to market faster; and we need our municipalities, in particular, to be a little more agile and a little faster in the way they approve projects so that we can solve this problem – this is the only solution to increase the supply on the market, ”Wilson added. “My concern about the affordability of housing is how will our children and grandchildren afford to stay here? “

    The full population estimates from the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute are available online here.

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    Utah economy

    New Chick-fil-A Creates 140 Jobs in St. George, Provides Free Food to 100 ‘Local Heroes’ – St George News

    ST. GEORGE – A new Chick-fil-A store will open Tuesday at the southwest corner of Bluff Street and Blackridge Drive, bringing 140 full-time and part-time jobs to the St. George economy.

    File photo of team member Ryan Wright and local Chick-fil-A franchise owner Deven Macdonald at the “Remarkable Futures” scholarship ceremony, St. George, Utah February 27, 2019 | Photo by Andrew Pinckney, St. George News

    They also provide free food for a year to 100 “local heroes” who impact Washington County, owner and operator Deven Macdonald said.

    “We chose public safety personnel from St. George and Washington City,” Macdonald told St. George News. “We also selected the Washington County School District administration and teachers, as well as staff from local health organizations as our ‘Community Heroes’ recipients, for making a significant impact in the community of St. George. “

    Macdonald attended BYU before working 14 years in portfolio management at a software company. Then, in 2013, he and his wife moved to St. George to open Chick-fil-A Red Rock Commons.

    “For nearly a decade, my family and I have called St. George our home,” he said in a press release shared with St. George News. “I am honored to have the opportunity to continue to make a difference in the community that has meant so much to us. “

    A scene from Chick-fil-A at Bluff Street and Blackridge Drive, St. George, Utah on December 3, 2021 | Photo by David Dudley, St. George News

    Macdonald said he is currently looking to fill 140 positions at Chick-fil-A Bluff Street and Blackridge Drive. He said he had a penchant for working with young people as he was active in many youth organizations and had a passion to help young people develop essential life skills.

    “It’s no secret that our industry faces labor shortages,” said Macdonald, “which is one of the reasons our restaurant encourages all interested candidates to apply. I look forward to mentoring my team members and taking care of our neighbors, serving them tasty food with signature Chick-fil-A hospitality.

    Chick-fil-A also offers scholarship opportunities for certain team members, as well as flexible hours, for those who wish to pursue further education beyond high school.

    Chick-fil-A Bluff Street and Blackridge Drive are located at 1333 S. Auto Mall Drive, Building 200, near the Veterans Memorial Highway exit. They are open from 6.30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday to Saturday.

    Ed. Note: A previous story said the store opened last week. It has been corrected.

    Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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    Utah economy

    The 12 states where the Omicron variant has been detected – 24/7 Wall St.

    The world has been shaken by the spread of a new variant of COVID-19 labeled by the WHO as Omicron. It was first discovered in South Africa less than a month ago. As of yesterday, it had been discovered in 38 countries.

    One of the main concerns with the Omicron variant is that it could spread faster than the Delta variant which has spread rapidly around the world in recent months. The Washington Post reports, “While much remains unknown about omicron, health experts are concerned that its many mutations make it much more heritable than variants such as delta. “

    Another critical issue is the extent to which current vaccines protect against the new variant. There is a school of thought. New vaccine versions will need to be created to provide better protection, which will be especially necessary if the Omicron variant spreads rapidly.

    The CDC takes the arrival of the Omicron variant seriously. It recently tightened testing times for people traveling abroad. And, the threat of the Omicron variant in the United States is already real. Anthony Fauci, senior medical adviser to President Joe Biden, told Bloomberg: “There’s no way you won’t be seeing more and more cases.”

    The Hill performed an analysis of the states that have officially announced cases of Omicron variants. These are California, Colorado, Georgia, New Jersey, Hawaii, Maryland, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania, and Utah.

    This list is likely to grow by several states per day. And, when the holidays arrive, he may be in all 50.

    According to our own 24/7 Wall Street research:

    It has now been 50 weeks since the first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine were sent to states, launching the largest vaccination campaign in human history. As of December 2, 578,263,565 doses of vaccine had been shipped across the country, equivalent to 176.2% of the US population.

    Some trends by state are troubling. In West Virginia, only 62.4% of available vaccine doses were administered. This contrasts with 88.3% in Minnesota, the state with the highest rate.

    Click here to read COVID-19: States that are fighting it most successfully

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    Utah economy

    Omicron COVID variant set to hit Utah in days – if it’s not already here

    If the latest variant of COVID-19 known as omicron isn’t already circulating in Utah, it’s only a matter of days before it arrives, a disease doctor warned on Friday. pediatric infectious diseases from the University of Utah Health.

    And no one knows for sure just how bad the new variant is going to be, said Dr Andrew Pavia, chief of the division of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Utah Health and director of epidemiology at the University of Utah Health. Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. .

    This includes children in Utah, who account for about 1 in 5 cases of COVID-19 in the state, who remain high due to the highly contagious delta variant here since the spring, and could rise even more due to the gatherings. holiday during Thanksgiving.

    “Children are at quite a significant risk of contracting COVID disease in general, and we cannot pretend that children are completely safe,” Pavia said. “But whether omicron will be the same as delta, softer or worse, it will take a little while for us to figure it out. “

    This does not mean that the Utahns should refrain from getting vaccinated or having their children aged 5 and over vaccinated against the deadly virus, the doctor said, calling it “a real problem” that the 1,4 million Utahns eligible to be vaccinated did not get the shots.

    “I think delta alone should have been reason enough to get the vaccine. But maybe omicron concerns should really grab people’s attention, ”Pavia said, citing new data suggesting the new variant is“ very good ”at re-infecting those who have had COVID-19.

    The Utahns shouldn’t rely on immunity from a previous fight with the virus, he said. Vaccinating both completely – two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one from Johnson & Johnson – plus a booster provides stronger protection, Pavia said.

    He said vaccines provide almost 100% protection for adolescents, according to recent studies. The injections were only recently approved for children aged 5 to 11, but the vaccines have been shown to be over 90% effective in clinical trials.

    More information is needed, Pavie said, before the age limit for booster shots, now 18, can be lowered. He said it’s possible the vaccines could be reformulated due to the omicron variant, but determining their effectiveness would take months.

    Where is omicron already in the United States?

    By the time of Pavia’s mid-morning virtual press conference, 10 cases of the omicron variant had been detected in the United States, California, Colorado, Minnesota, Hawaii and New York, which have reported five cases.

    The new variant, first seen a week ago in South Africa, triggered worldwide travel restrictions and other actions, including a new plan to deal with COVID-19 announced Thursday by President Joe Biden calling for more vaccinations and testing.

    What is known about the omicron variant is that it spreads quickly.

    “We don’t have all the answers on omicron. Everything we are saying is based on very old and provisional data. People just need to be patient until we have better science, ”Pavia said. “But we do know that it has spread quite widely around the world.”

    Public health officials across the country, including Utah, are sequencing COVID-19 test results for the omicron variant. Pavia said he expects to find out in the next few days that there are many more omicron variants in the United States, including Utah.

    “I think it’s very likely that if he hasn’t reached Utah it’s just a matter of days,” the doctor said, noting Utah has a better system. than many states to identify variants. “I think it’s in Utah. If not, it will be soon.

    Utah has “the tools to fight omicron”

    Even as Utah prepares for the omicron variant, Pavia said the risk of new variants emerging is “very high. This virus mutates and it has been shown to be really flexible. It’s changing. It evolves to become a better pathogen, to better infect us and spread. “

    Still, he said there was reason to be optimistic.

    “We have the tools to fight omicron. This is not the end of the world. But we don’t use them, ”Pavia said, urging Utahns to get vaccinated, including a booster if they are eligible, and to take precautions against the spread of the virus, such as wearing a mask in public. .

    “You might be fed up with masks, but they’ve been with us for a while and they really, really make a difference. So go ahead and protect yourself, ”he said. The doctor said he was concerned Utah, recently one of the country’s coronavirus hotspots, could peak after Thanksgiving.

    This may already be happening, with the Utah Department of Health reporting 1,873 new cases of COVID-19 and 19 more deaths from the virus since Thursday, bringing the seven-day moving average to 1,407 more cases per day.

    “We are not done with the delta surge,” Pavia said, adding: “Everyone is focusing on omicron and the press is naturally very interested in it. But we are still hammered by delta and we have to get it under control. . “

    Han Kim, professor of public health at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, said the president’s new plan, which includes hundreds of new family vaccination clinics nationwide and insurance reimbursement for tests at home, would help but could have arrived sooner.

    “I think everything he does should have been done months ago with delta. We still don’t know what Omicron will do, but these programs will be effective in dealing with the delta surge right now, ”Kim said.

    Making home testing for COVID-19 more accessible is particularly important, the professor said.

    “If everyone had easy and inexpensive access to home testing, it would go a long way in dealing with the surges without bringing the economy to a complete stop. “

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    Utah economy

    Jason Utgaard is gaining momentum with his recycling career

    Coming from a retail background, Jason Utgaard decided to forge his own path and moved to Sustainability Services about 7 years ago.

    “My family owned and operated a national chain of 75 sporting goods stores,” he says. “I’ve worked in a variety of roles – from setting up new stores to helping manage the distribution center to analyzing data at head office – it was a global experience. “

    Utgaard is the Managing Director of Momentum Recycling in Salt Lake City, Utah. Momentum was founded in 2008 with the mission of bringing communities towards zero waste. The company provides comprehensive recyclable collection services to over 1,000 organizations and over 10,000 residents along the Wasatch Front.

    “Since the inception of Momentum Recycling, the company has processed hundreds of millions of pounds of recyclable material, transporting it from thousands of customer locations to responsible treatment facilities,” Utgaard said.

    As the 2021 winner of Waste360 40 Under 40, Utgaard sat down with the publication to discuss their role at Momentum Recycling, their initiatives and their passion for sustainability.

    Waste360: Describe your role as Managing Director of Momentum Recycling.

    Jason Utgaard: I oversee Momentum Recycling’s commercial and residential recycling collection services. As a full service zero waste company, I manage our wide range of services related to food waste recycling, glass recycling, mixed recycling, hard to recycle collections as well as waste audit services. My role is to work with new and existing municipal partners, which largely relates to our monthly curbside glass recycling service for their residents as well as public drop-off points for glass recycling.

    Waste360: How do you help communities move towards zero waste?

    Jason Utgaard: I led the expansion of our curbside glass recycling service from a single city to over 17 cities, many of whose residents previously did not have access to glass recycling. I also had the idea of ​​painting murals on our public glass recycling dumpsters (pictured below – I can share others as well) to help spread awareness of these places and to show how recycling helps preserve Utah’s natural beauty.

    Another area where I help to have a significant impact in the evolution of communities towards zero waste is the fight against food waste. Momentum Recycling is now Utah’s primary food waste transporter, in large part thanks to years of public outreach to business entities to educate them about the impact of food waste on the climate and its correlation with US dollars. state tourism.

    Waste360: Tell me about your company’s glass recycling initiatives.

    Jason Utgaard: Momentum Recycling operates Utah’s only glass recycling facility. We collect glass from our collection services and public drop-off points locally, as well as over 350 miles from neighboring states who collect it through their various municipal programs. Once processed, we send the glass to various local businesses who use it in their products, which in turn helps support Utah’s economy.

    On the residential side, we offer a monthly curbside glass recycling collection for residents to choose from. In Salt Lake City in particular, 16% of households are now subscribed to the service, which will hopefully soon reach the tipping point where the city will consider an unsubscribe program for all residents. We also collect glass from over 60 public drop-off points along the Wasatch Front.

    Commercially, many types of organizations subscribe to our glass recycling collection service, from bars and restaurants to apartment complexes. We serve incredibly difficult areas geographically given our mountains here, especially in ski resorts. Regardless of the customer, I am proud of our team to always find a way for them to recycle their glass. These customers are then included in our “Support Blue Businesses” directory on our website, which helps residents support not only local businesses, but also local businesses that also go the extra mile to be sustainable.

    Waste360: What are your goals?

    Jason Utgaard: One of my biggest goals for next year is to work with our local municipalities to review the establishment of an ordinance requiring (1) liquor licensees to recycle their glass and (2) grocery stores. and full-service restaurants to recycle their food waste. . I am fully aware that these ordinances on the surface seem entirely selfish in light of our affairs; However, with nearly a decade of experience performing waste audits and reading various city waste characterization studies, these two streams compromise around 60% of the waste stream of these business entities. If we want to achieve zero waste, this type of requirement must be put in place.

    Another goal is to expand our residential food waste collection service. Even though many towns in our area offer a green waste service, it is primarily for yard waste – and many residents are unsure which compostable foods are accepted. I know we can divert a lot more food waste out of the residential sector than we currently are, and what’s exciting here is that residents really want a service that allows them to do that all the way through. year.

    Longer term goals include developing a geographically extended network to provide more glass for our facility, as well as significantly expanding our existing outreach work to include a school curriculum that we could provide to local schools that include interactive presentations such as live virtual tours of the various recycling facilities in our region.

    Waste360: What advice would you give to others working in the field of sustainability?

    Jason Utgaard: My only advice is that it’s important that the work you do on sustainability is measurable. Avoid engaging with people who only get involved in the hype: work with people who roll up their sleeves and produce real results. You need to know your diversion or emission reduction goal up front and compare your performance to it when implementing your proposed solution.

    Waste360: What professional achievement are you most proud of?

    Jason Utgaard: I am very proud of my work on the municipal side working with many cities to help them change their existing municipal codes to allow them to adopt better recycling services. Much of the focus during these discussions is not so much on how to help Momentum Recycling deliver its services to residents, but on how to rewrite the code to allow a path for future collection services. selective that might become viable later than we can not predict at this point. time. By creating this framework, we hope to help other startups succeed in their zero waste efforts later.

    Waste360: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

    Jason Utgaard: In 5 years, I know without a doubt that I will still be working in sustainable development. I also think that after working closely with so many board members over the years, I will become more involved in the public service to some extent.

    Waste360: What do you like to do in your spare time?

    Jason Utgaard: Given our proximity to the mountains, I enjoy mountain biking and hiking in the summer as well as skiing and snowboarding in the winter. I also like to build furniture and interior decorations using reclaimed materials.

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    Utah economy

    Urban Utah is priceless. His voices deserve to be heard in Congress.

    (Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Members of the public react to public comments in House Building, Room 30, November 8, 2021. The public was able to respond to the only public hearing of the Legislature’s Redistribution Committee on Monday. ‘Utah for the map proposals.

    When the legislative redistribution committee presented its grotesque map, Rep. Paul Ray pontificated, “Rural Utah is the reason there is food, water and energy in urban areas of the state.

    Agriculture makes up only 2% of Utah’s economy. (Utah Department of Agriculture and Food)

    Rural areas cannot take credit for the Colorado River, boasting the poisonous coal that uses over 80% of our water while exporting 27% of their hay.

    My urban area offers:

    • A world-class research university

    • Hospitals with the most advanced treatments available

    • Eminent medical specialists

    • Shelters for the homeless who migrate here to seek help

    • Hundreds of millions of tax revenues

    • Innovative companies offering jobs to children in rural areas

    • Installations of trucks and trains (with their pollution, noise and traffic) to transport rural goods to foreign markets

    • Various shopping opportunities

    • A symphony orchestra, an extraordinary theater and museums

    • Professional basketball, hockey, baseball and soccer teams.

    • Professional ballet and modern dance companies

    • An international airport

    • Jobs for thousands of commuters

    • Polluting refineries providing rural energy

    • Wasatch Mountain Recreation

    • Arenas large enough to attract world famous celebrities

    And last but not least, my urban area offers diversity.

    It offers neighborhoods where people of all colors, ages, genders, religions, ethnicities, languages, skills, political parties and opinions can find friendship and acceptance.

    We offer the diversity and tolerance that rural children cannot find anywhere else. Our voices deserve to be heard in Congress.

    Anne Florence, Murray

    Send letter to editor

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    Utah economy

    ‘Shop Small Crawl’, Other Events Encourage Utah Residents to Shop Local During Decisive Holiday Season

    Shop Small Crawl and other events promote local shopping this weekend.

    (Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Salt Lake City Winter Market at The Gateway on Saturday, November 14, 2020. Small businesses in Utah rely on community members to shop this weekend and all. throughout the holiday season. .

    Small businesses in Utah rely on community members to shop this weekend and throughout the holiday season, according to the owners.

    “Every dollar you spend on a locally owned independent business stays here in our community – 55% of that dollar stays in our community,” Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said this week. “That is compared to just 13% you spend at any big box store. “

    If you shop locally on Saturday, you can even win $ 500 in spending money – a prize that Local First Utah is promoting ahead of its “Shop Small Crawl” that day, featuring dozens of local businesses.

    “You keep more money in our economy, you increase the prosperity of Utahns of all types and you celebrate what it feels like to be in a place with friends and neighbors, which we have been missing,” he said. said the executive director of Local First Utah. Kristen Lavolette said this week she goes shopping small.

    On Saturdays, crawl buyers, whether online or in person, can scan a QR code to enter the contest. For a list of participating businesses, visit localfirst.org/shop-small-crawl-guide.

    Personalized recommendations

    A term first coined by American Express in 2010, “Small Business Saturday” encourages shoppers to buy local after Black Friday, which injects billions of dollars into the economy, primarily for the benefit of national and international retailers.

    “Retailers like us operate at a loss for much of the year,” Matt Caputo of Caputo’s Market and Deli said this week. “Having a very busy vacation period is really where we take a big part of it. “

    Buying local doesn’t necessarily mean ignoring large online retailers and big box stores, Caputo said. But he encouraged residents to spend time browsing local business districts, where Mendenhall said small business owners and employees can offer personalized recommendations that outperform most “25 best gifts” lists.

    King’s English Bookstore, for example, prides itself on finding the perfect match for every guest reader.

    “There could be a lot of books that are on containers somewhere in the ocean,” said Anne Holman of The King’s English. “But I promise we have a lot more books in the store than you will find and love.”

    Holiday markets

    The Shop Small Crawl isn’t the only way to find unique gifts this weekend and throughout the holiday season: Wheeler Holiday Market, 6351 S. 900 East, opened in Murray for its weekend. end of annual shopping with more than 30 sellers.

    At the Bountiful Davis Art Center, located at 90 N. Main St., vendors from across the state will be selling handmade products Tuesday through Saturday through December 23.

    The Neighborhood Hive Small Business pop-up also features a variety of vendors at 2065 E. 2100 South, Salt Lake City, every Saturday of the holiday season from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

    And the seasonal Winter Farmers Market has recently started at The Gateway, located at 400 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City. It operates from Saturday to April from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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    Utah economy

    Group calls on Utah to end sales tax on groceries

    SALT LAKE CITY – A group of religious leaders, Democratic lawmakers and activists gathered in Salt Lake City on Wednesday afternoon to demand an end to the Utah sales tax on groceries.

    “The Coalition of Religious Communities is here today to say that the amount of prescribed state taxes on groceries should be zero,” said Rev. Kimal James of Ogden First United Methodist Church.

    Speakers said the tax weighs on low-income families and pointed out that Utah is one of only a dozen states to impose a sales tax on unprepared foods.

    “The families who suffer most from this injustice are the working poor and families on fixed incomes,” said Reverend Vinnetta Golphin-Wilkerson of Granger Community Christian Church.

    Utah levies a 1.75% sales tax on grocery store foods, which is lower than the standard 4.85% sales tax

    The group said the Utah economy is doing so well and a budget surplus expected this to be the right time to eliminate the tax.

    “We are asking our neighbors who represent us in the state legislature to do the right thing,” Golphin-Wilkerson said. “Do the right thing. Stop this food tax. Do the right thing for Utah families.

    Democratic lawmakers who joined the press conference said they supported a bill Rep. Rosemary Lesser, D-Ogden, is sponsoring to eliminate the tax.

    (KSL TV)

    “You hear the Utah Legislature all the time talking about lowering taxes, which would make it easier for families in Utah. Well, now we have the opportunity to do it, ”said Senator Derek Kitchen, D-Salt Lake City.

    In an opinion piece in the Deseret News, Lesser wrote that Utah currently brings in around $ 149 million in sales tax on food and the state can afford to let families keep that money.

    She also wrote that her bill was only intended to eliminate the state tax on grocery store foods, and not other taxes imposed by cities and counties.

    Jatessa Whittaker, a mother of five who works as a grocery store cashier, attended the press conference. She said she supported removing the tax because it will allow families to buy more food.

    “I see a lot of people coming and trying to buy stuff and they see it’s too much and they put it away and they’re sad or they say to their kids, ‘No we can’t get it today. hui, “said Whittaker.

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    Utah economy

    US to release 50 million barrels of oil to cut energy costs

    Storage tanks are shown at a refinery in Detroit on April 21, 2020. The White House announced Tuesday it has ordered 50 million barrels of oil from the strategic reserve to reduce energy costs. (Paul Sancya, Associated Press)

    Estimated reading time: 4-5 minutes

    WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden on Tuesday ordered 50 million barrels of oil from the strategic reserve to help reduce energy costs, in coordination with other major energy consuming countries including China, India and the United Kingdom.

    The move targets global energy markets, but also voters facing higher inflation and rising prices ahead of Thanksgiving and the winter holidays. The price of gas is about $ 3.40 per gallon, more than 50% more than a year ago, according to the American Automobile Association.

    There was no noticeable impact on the benchmark US crude barrel price following Tuesday’s announcement. Prices have gone up and down all month and are up less than 1% so far in this shortened holiday week.

    Biden was quick to reshape much of his economic agenda around the issue of inflation, saying his recently passed $ 1 trillion infrastructure package will reduce pricing pressures by making freight transportation more efficient and less expensive.

    Republican lawmakers hammered the administration so that inflation peaked in 31 years in October. The Consumer Price Index climbed 6.2% from a year ago, the biggest 12-month jump since 1990.

    Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell burst into the White House in a speech last week, claiming the victims of the price hike were middle-class Americans.

    “The top three drivers of the staggering 6.2% inflation rate we recorded last month were housing, transportation and food,” the Kentucky senator said. “These are not luxury goods, they are essentials, and they occupy a much larger share of the budgets of families from the middle class to the bottom.”

    The Strategic Oil Reserve is an emergency stockpile to preserve access to oil in the event of natural disasters, national security concerns and other events. Maintained by the Department of Energy, the reserves are stored in caves created in salt domes along the Gulf coasts of Texas and Louisiana. There are approximately 605 million barrels of sweet and sour oil on the reserve.


    As we emerge from an unprecedented global economic crisis, the supply of oil has not kept up with demand, forcing working families and businesses to pay the price.

    –Jennifer Granholm, Energy Secretary


    “As we emerge from an unprecedented global economic crisis, the supply of oil has not kept up with the demand, forcing families and businesses to pay the price,” said Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm in a press release. “This action underscores the president’s commitment to use the tools available to reduce costs for working families and continue our economic recovery.”

    The Biden administration has argued that the reserve is the right tool to help alleviate the supply problem. Americans used an average of 20.7 million barrels a day in September, according to the Energy Information Administration. This means that the release almost equates to about two and a half days of additional supply.

    The pandemic has turned energy markets – like everything else – out of whack on several fronts. When the closures began in April 2020, demand collapsed and oil futures prices turned negative. Energy traders didn’t want to end up with crude they couldn’t store. But as the economy recovered, prices hit a seven-year high in October.

    American production has not recovered. Figures from the Energy Information Administration indicate that national production averages around 11 million barrels per day, up from 12.8 million before the start of the pandemic.

    Republicans have also taken advantage of Biden’s efforts to minimize drilling and support renewables as the reason for the decline in production, although there are multiple market dynamics at play as fossil fuel prices are higher in the world. world.

    “President Biden’s policies increase inflation and energy prices for the American people. Tapping into the strategic oil reserve will not solve the problem,” said Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyoming. “We are experiencing higher prices because the administration and Congressional Democrats are waging a war on American energy.”

    The White House decision comes after weeks of diplomatic negotiations and the release will be taken in parallel with other nations. Japan and South Korea are also participating.

    The US Department of Energy will make oil available from the Strategic Oil Reserve in two ways; 32 million barrels will be released in the coming months and will return to the reserve in the years to come, the White House said. An additional 18 million barrels will be part of an oil sale that Congress previously authorized.

    White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday evening that the White House would also keep an eye on oil companies.

    “We will continue to put pressure on the oil companies that have made record profits and watch what we see as lower prices there when there is a supply of oil or the price of oil goes down and the price goes down. gas is not going down, ”Psaki says. “It doesn’t take an expert in economics to know this is a problem.

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    Utah economy

    Nebraska just recorded lowest unemployment rate since 1976

    Coastal climates and views of palm trees have made California and Florida major retirement destinations. But for those looking for work, one Midwestern state outperforms the rest.

    Nebraska’s unemployment rate fell to 1.9% in October, less than half the national rate of 4.6%. In fact, Cornhusker state just had the lowest unemployment rate since 1976, according to US Department of Labor statistics.

    A growing state

    As the state’s economy is running at full speed, there are three times as many job openings in Nebraska as there are unemployed people looking for work – the highest ratio in the country, according to ZipRecruiter .

    Several factors have helped the state stay well below the national unemployment average since the start of the pandemic:

    • Important industries like agriculture and food processing (remember, they don’t just grow corn there, they peel it) were deemed essential, so government-imposed business closures in Nebraska were limited.
    • The state also produces a large number of high school graduates, which translates into a smaller pool of unemployed people, according to Eric Thompson, professor of economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

    Governor Pete Ricketts called the record unemployment figure “a sign of our strong job growth, successful re-employment services and extraordinary economic resilience,” adding: “Nebraska offers many good career opportunities. paid for anyone looking to enjoy the good life! “

    Found a job: The labor shortage in the United States is a lingering force driving unemployment down in many states as companies scramble to raise wages and benefits to attract talent. Utah, Idaho, South Dakota and Oklahoma all recorded unemployment rates below 3% in October. It seems the only Cornhusker who is going through a rough patch these days is U-of-N coach Scott Frost.

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    Utah economy

    Utah US Officials Blow Up $ 1.85 Billion Build Back Better Act, Mainly Due to Price | News, Sports, Jobs

    Photos provided

    Utah delegation to the US House of Representatives, clockwise from top left: Representatives Blake Moore, Burgess Owens, Chris Stewart and John Curtis. All are Republicans.

    WASHINGTON, DC – President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Act may have gotten the go-ahead in the United States House of Representatives, but it wasn’t thanks to the four members of the Utah House.

    All four of them, Representatives Blake Moore, Chris Stewart, Burgess Owens and John Curtis, voted against, like everyone else in the House.

    The $ 1.85 trillion measure was passed on Friday largely along partisan lines in a vote of 220-213 and is now going to the US Senate. It contains a series of provisions increasing childcare assistance, improving access to kindergarten, reducing prescription drug costs and helping efforts to slow climate change, according to the Associated Press. .

    It got a lot of criticism, not least because of the cost, and here’s what the four members of the United States House from Utah had to say:

    Blake Moore: “These federal spending envelopes are directly hurting working families in Utah,” the 1st District representative said. “Rather than pushing this massive spending, our government must focus on tackling crippling inflation, supply chain and labor shortages resulting from liberal policies. I will continue to work with my colleagues on ways to more responsibly respect U.S. tax dollars and improve our economic outlook.

    Moore lambasted what he called the House Democrats’ “sweeping tax and spending agenda”, saying their policies had caused inflation on everything “from gasoline to the grocery store.”

    Burgess Owens: “America currently has $ 28 trillion in debt, inflation is at a three-decade high, and consumer prices are rising at the fastest rate since 1990,” said Owens, representative of the 4th. district. “Instead of easing those burdens and leading our country through an economic crisis, this far-left kitchen sink set uses budget gimmicks and sunsets to spend what we don’t have on programs we don’t need. “

    Citing a Congressional Budget Office estimate that the measure would increase the US deficit by $ 367 billion, he said “generations of Utahns will bear the brunt of today’s vote.”

    John Curtis: “There is no doubt that injecting more government money into the economy will worsen inflation, especially at such a high rate,” said the representative of the 3rd arrondissement.

    Friday’s action comes following the approval of other spending plans pushed by Biden and the Democrats, he said, and as “Americans across the country are reeling from the effects of rising inflation, supply chain issues and some of the highest gas prices in history. There is no question that pumping more government money into the economy will worsen inflation, especially at such a rapid rate. “

    Chris Stewart: “President Biden must accept these basic realities: the American people are the key to our nation’s success; spending more of the taxpayer’s money to expand government control is our loss, ”said the representative of the 2nd district. “Until we start prioritizing individual freedom over big government, we will continue to suffer the same economic consequences.”

    In a statement, Biden hailed the Build Back Better Act as “another giant leap in my economic plan to create jobs, cut costs, make our country more competitive, and give working people and the middle class a boost. chance to fight “.

    He said it would reduce the US deficit in the long run. “It’s all paid off by ensuring that the wealthiest Americans and the biggest corporations start paying their fair share of federal taxes,” Biden said.

    On Monday, Biden enacted the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the $ 1.2 trillion measure to improve U.S. infrastructure. All four of Utah congressmen also voted against the bill earlier this month. Utah senators have split, with Senator Mike Lee voting against and Senator Mitt Romney voting for.

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    Utah economy

    Utah ‘would be finished’ by bringing NFL team to declare, says Cox

    SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Utah Jazz super fan Governor Spencer J. Cox is also supportive of the arrival of another professional sports franchise in the state.

    Speaking to reporters at his monthly press conference, Cox was asked if he would support a National Football League team in Beehive State, to which he basically replied: “I keep going. “.

    “I don’t know if there is a limit to what I would do to get an NFL team here in the state of Utah,” the governor and sports fan said, adding his office was already working with the recently moved Las. Vegas Raiders on building their fan base in the state.

    “If there was an opportunity for an NFL franchise here in the state of Utah, we’d be ready for anything,” Cox said. “We are ‘the state of sport’. “

    Cox’s prompting on any potential interest he might have in wooing the NFL in Utah was undoubtedly linked to reports that the 32-team league is considering a 40-team balloon expansion. Pro Football Focus, one of the most beloved football analysis publications, gave weight to such reports in a social media post earlier this week that posed a question to its followers, including Salt Lake City. in a group of possible locations to place a team.

    While Cox confirmed that the state would exchange any NFL interest in entering the region, his remarks also highlighted the challenges that would be inherent in a multibillion-dollar project.

    “We know how good sports can be for the economy, and we would be very supportive of an NFL franchise, does that mean we would provide incentives to build a stadium as well?” It’s a good question. And ultimately, it is a decision that would be taken by state taxpayers through their elected officials, ”he added.

    Cox’s words echo remarks made by Utah Athletic Commission Chairman and CEO Jeff Robbins when ABC4.com pursued the issue in October.

    “The stadiums have evolved and the infrastructure and the cost of building the stadiums has become so expensive that somehow, if you look at most of the stadiums under construction, there is a pretty kind of public partnership. important that needs to be created, ”Robbins explained, citing the construction of the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, which cost nearly $ 2 billion, of which $ 750 million came from public funds.

    Draper Town leaders have expressed interest in creating some sort of on-land sports entertainment venue that will be vacant when the State Prison moves to Tooele in 2022. It’s easy to guess where the County of Salt Lake touches the booming silicon slopes. area might be the best possible place in the state to locate a brand new NFL stadium, a must for bringing a team to town.

    While the discussion is an exciting one, Cox added on Thursday that securing public funding for a football stadium – or a baseball stadium, because he believes a Major League Baseball team is more likely than one. NFL club in Utah – is not at the top of its priority list. .

    “I don’t like giving billionaires taxpayer money, I think that’s a mistake,” the governor said. “It’s one thing to provide additional funding for a stadium and I’m not going to go through all of that, we’ve already done a bit of it. But what you see some of these billionaires doing is taking people hostage to write them a check to help pay for a stadium. It’s just that it’s a terrible economy and it’s bad policy. “

    There is a bit of research to back up Cox’s claims. The ABC4.com report over a month ago also cited a study by economics researchers at UC Berkeley which found that publicly funded stadiums have little impact on the level of life of a community versus spending in other areas such as education or housing.

    Yet the state’s interest in more top-level sporting events has always been high. Utah loves the sport, as evidenced by the support not only of Jazz, but of Real Salt Lake, the Salt Lake Bees, and college track programs including Utah and BYU. The 2002 Winter Olympics were considered a huge success and the process to bring the world stage back to Utah is already underway.

    The state truly lives up to its nickname, the State of Sport.

    Cox, who is well known as a vocal jazz fan, knows this well.

    “I’m going to tell you that we just had the chance to meet the IOC for the first time, the selection committee of the International Olympic Committee last week, we had wonderful discussions, and they recognize Utah, again a times, in our time hosting the The Olympics before were an amazing place where people really support the sport, ”Cox said, adding that the NBA All-Star Game in 2023 would also generate a lot of excitement in the years to come. to come.

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    Utah economy

    Utah’s 2021 exercise ends with a bang

    SALT LAKE CITY (November 16, 2021) – Utah’s 2021 fiscal year ends stronger than expected. Heads of state will have an additional $ 614 million to appropriate during the 2022 general session. These funds are likely an anomaly due to federal stimulus funds and economic volatility.

    Governor Spencer J. Cox, President J. Stuart Adams and President Brad Wilson make the following statement regarding this surplus:

    “Utah’s economy is booming and education funding is at an all-time high due to our state’s sound economic policies, including our efforts to quickly and safely reopen businesses during the pandemic. While this is an unusual year as the state has received unprecedented stimulus funding from the federal government, we remain committed to fiscal responsibility and funding forward-thinking and innovative projects. The investments we make now will benefit the Utahns for generations to come. “

    Funds will be spent with a careful emphasis on fiscal responsibility, including the use of one-time money for one-time costs such as infrastructure investments and capital improvements.

    Download this press release here.

    ###

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    Utah economy

    Utah lawmakers approve bill that grants employees broad exemptions from workplace vaccination mandates

    Employees who don’t want to comply with their workplace’s COVID-19 vaccine requirements just got coverage from the Utah Legislature.

    The new bill, which was passed mostly along party lines during this week’s special session, still allows employers to demand vaccines, but the mandates are fundamentally toothless.

    Employees have three options: a medical or religious exemption or an exemption for sincere personal beliefs. The bill also prevents business owners from firing workers who take advantage of these exemptions and requires companies to pay for COVID-19 workplace testing if necessary.

    Some workplaces are excluded from the bill, such as federal contractors, organizations that provide Medicare and Medicaid services, and businesses with fewer than 15 employees.

    Sponsor Senator Kirk Cullimore R-Sandy said he started working on the issue months ago when some companies started to impose vaccines.

    “We want to respect the rights of companies, but we also recognize that employees are not the property of their employers,” Cullimore said. “We must respect the rights of employees to make the medical decisions that are best for them and their families. “

    In the background, however, is the Biden administration’s testing or vaccination warrant, which has been Temporarily blocked due to a Federal Court ruling. Utah leaders have said they are determined to fight the president’s policy.

    Currently, approximately 60% of eligible Utahns are fully immunized.

    Representative Tim Hawkes, R-Centerville, opposed the new bill to break into business practices in an unprecedented way.

    “Our state is a state of employment at will. This means you can resign or be fired at any time, or for any reason, and there are very few exceptions to this rule, ”said Hawkes. “We’re just not trying to micromanage things in this space. We just don’t do it.

    Senator Luz Escamilla, of D-Salt Lake City, called the legislation “anti-business”.

    “It doesn’t help our economy. It’s really putting [businesses] in a difficult place, ”said Escamilla.

    But at least one state business leader has said he doesn’t care about legislative implications.

    Curtis Blair, president of the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce, said he sees this as a way to push business owners to understand the needs of their employees.

    “At the end of the day, these companies really need to monitor the policies they implement and their impact on bottom lines,” Blair said. “Your greatest asset [is] your staff and companies that ignore their people are the greatest asset probably have bigger issues than the vaccine to understand. “

    The bill is now awaiting approval from Governor Spencer Cox.

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    Utah economy

    Letter: Praised by the numbers and the reasoning of the writer | News, Sports, Jobs

    I read Mr. Young’s editorial and was particularly interested in his dollar numbers that he claims. He declares:

    “A lack of infant and toddler care costs our economy $ 57 billion each year in lost productivity, income and income, including $ 512 million from Utah. According to the latest census data we have for Utah, there are approximately 600,000 children between the ages of 6 and 18. There are approximately 209,000 children under the age of 6. Based on those numbers, the amount the federal government currently spends on “child tax credits” works out to about $ 2.5 billion a year in Utah alone. And it’s from a fund that none of these people put anything into. And now Mr. Young seems to think that we taxpayers need to bring more child care and expanded child care to people – on top of the extra benefits they already receive.

    When will this be enough? This current administration is transforming our country into a welfare state. And at some point, the bills have to be paid. Another problem – Social Security retirement income is taxable – child tax credits are not.

    It is an insult to any senior who retires from social security. And our state contributes to inequity by taxing social security.

    Larry clark

    Syracuse

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    Utah economy

    Sense. Cruz, Thune and Colleagues Urge USDA to Reconsider Its Decision to Include So-called “Net Neutrality” Commitments in the ReConnect Program

    WASHINGTON, DC – US Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and John Thune (RS.D.), members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, today sent a letter with several of their fellow Republicans to the US Department of Le Agriculture Secretary (USDA) Tom Vilsack urged the agency to avoid imposing unnecessary “net neutrality” restrictions on broadband providers, which would threaten future investments in broadband infrastructure. The co-signers of the letter are Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Shelley Moore Capito (RW.Va.), Deb Fischer (R -Neb.), Ron Johnson (R -Wis.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Dan Sullivan (R-Ala.), And Todd Young (R-Ind.).

    In the letter, the senators wrote:

    “It is deeply troubling that the USDA suggests that it has the power let alone the qualified personnel and expertise to make decisions regarding ‘lawful Internet traffic’. If the USDA decided to attempt to regulate the Internet in the absence of congressional authority, it would lead to enormous legal and market uncertainty.

    “Rather than trying to impose monopoly-era regulations on broadband providers and politicize the ReConnect program, we urge you to reconsider your decision to provide additional rating points based on the USDA determination of what constitutes “net neutrality”.

    Read the full text of the letter here and below.

    The Honorable Tom Vilsack Secretary

    US Department of Agriculture

    1400 Independence Avenue, southwest

    Washington, DC 20250

    Dear Secretary Vilsack,

    We write today about our concerns about the rating criteria for the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Electronic Connectivity Pilot (ReConnect) program, which includes so-called “net neutrality” commitments. .

    Building broadband infrastructure, including in some of this country’s most remote and rural areas, has transformed our country’s economy and opened up new opportunities for many Americans. Investment in broadband infrastructure by large and small providers remains at an all time high due to the lean regulatory approach taken by the federal government.

    As you know, “net neutrality” restrictions have been the subject of much debate in Congress and the Federal Communications Commission, the agency that oversees our country’s telecommunications policy. Any effort to impose unnecessary “net neutrality” restrictions would be dangerous for our country’s vibrant broadband economy and threaten future investments in broadband infrastructure.

    Further, it is deeply troubling that the USDA suggests that it has much less authority than qualified personnel and expertise to make decisions regarding “lawful Internet traffic”. If the USDA decided to attempt to regulate the Internet in the absence of congressional authority, it would lead to enormous legal and market uncertainty.

    Rather than trying to impose monopoly-era regulations on broadband providers and politicize the ReConnect program, we urge you to reconsider your decision to provide additional rating points based on USDA determination of what constitutes “net neutrality”.

    Truly,

    / s /

    ###

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    Utah economy

    Federal Court blocks Biden administration’s vaccination mandate

    More than two dozen states have filed multiple legal challenges in federal court against the Biden administration’s vaccination or testing mandate for private companies, arguing that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration does not has no authority to issue the requirements.

    All four lawsuits have been filed by groups from 26 states from the 8th, 11th, 6th and 5th circuits in the past few days. They are seeking to overturn an emergency rule released Thursday that requires companies with more than 100 employees to verify that their workers are vaccinated or that unvaccinated workers wear masks and undergo weekly Covid-19 tests.

    The small business group Job Creators Network, as well as the Republican National Committee, have also said they plan to take legal action.

    Generally speaking, the lawsuits argue that the Ministry of Labor does not have the power to issue a rule and that it did not follow the proper procedure to issue the temporary emergency standard.

    The Florida, Georgia and Alabama 11th Circuit lawsuit also argues that the requirements conflict with the First Amendment and Restoration of Religious Freedom Act.

    “This illegal tenure is yet another example of the Biden administration’s utter disregard for the constitutional rights accorded to our state and our citizens,” Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr said in a statement. “The federal government does not have the power to impose health care decisions on Georgian companies and its employees under the guise of occupational safety. We are fighting this unprecedented abuse of power to stop this mandate before it causes irreparable harm to our state and its economy. “

    The court gave the government until 5 p.m. Monday to respond to the plaintiffs’ request for a permanent injunction. The Justice Department declined to comment. The White House returned the comment to the Labor Department.

    Senator Ben Sasse called the vaccine warrants the “unconstitutional slop” of the Biden administration in a statement following the ruling, saying “Circuit Five got the better of this one.”

    “The vaccines themselves are miracles of modern medicine and American ingenuity,” said the Nebraska Republican. “But we are not going to defeat this ugly virus with extreme partisanship or unconstitutional executive decrees. OSHA’s mandate is unconstitutional and, ultimately, will only increase reluctance to vaccinate. The President should carefully review this decision and reverse the course before the courts embarrass him again.

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    Utah economy

    Cisco’s Story: The Rise, Fall, and Rise of a Small Town Utah | Go out and go

    Cisco, Utah, is a former railway town and a breeding center. While Cisco isn’t a ghost town – the 2020 U.S. Census recorded four residents – Cisco has seen busier days.

    The town of Cisco arose because of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad (D&RG), which was built through Grand County in the 1880s. The railroad company operated a depot and water treatment plant to pump l Colorado River water to replenish its steam locomotives. Drinking water for Cisco’s businesses and homes was transported by train and transported by hand in buckets to cisterns. Thanks to the railroad, which made it easy to export livestock and livestock products, the multiple livestock operations around Cisco provided another facet of the industry to the remote community.

    By 1944 Cisco had a post office, general store, one-room school, several houses, and a ranch owned by the Pace Cattle Company. However, Interstate Highway 70 was built five miles north of downtown Cisco, and the D&RG was converted to diesel locomotives, so the Cisco station was no longer needed. The city’s population dried up soon after, and Cisco was largely unoccupied for years. Many buildings have fallen into disrepair, but many have survived and retain a character that takes visitors almost a century back to a more bustling Desert City era.

    The city of Cisco is now accessible between Utah 128 and the Danish Flat exit of I-70. Visitors to Cisco should be aware that the city is home to residents and is not on public land, and should be aware of the property lines. The community has gained attention in recent years with the Home of the Brave Artist Residency Program created by Cisco resident Eileen Muza. Additionally, Buzzard’s Belly General Store reopened in 2019, serving passers-by and boaters accessing the nearby Cisco boat launch, the terminus for Westwater Canyon boat tours on the Colorado River. As Cisco’s story continues to be written by residents, its trajectory is emblematic of the ebbs and flows seen in many communities across Grand County in response to an ever-changing economy and culture.

    The Moab Museum is dedicated to sharing stories of the natural and human history of the Moab region. To explore more of Moab’s stories and artifacts, find out about upcoming programs, and become a member, visit www.moabmuseum.org.

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    Utah economy

    2021 election day results

    Good Wednesday morning, Utah! Thanks for reading “The Rundown”.

    Send me your story ideas, tips, questions, comments or anything else that comes to your mind. You can reach me by e-mail. You can also find me on social networks: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Reddit

    Get this newsletter delivered to your inbox every morning of the week. Sign up for free here.

    Here’s what you need to know for Wednesday morning

    Utah Election Coverage

    Utah election roundup: Park City could have a new mayor. [Tribune]

    🗳 City councilor is expected to lead West Valley City, as tight races emerge in Sandy, Midvale. [Tribune]

    🗳 Two new west faces ready to join Salt Lake City City Council. [Tribune]

    🗳 Election night follow-up: New leadership in Davis County and Moab mayoral races. [Tribune]

    🗳 Classified choice voting. Passing fashion, or here to stay? [Tribune]

    All election coverage from The Tribune is free to the public. To support work like this, become a subscriber today. https://www.sltrib.com/subscribe/

    national

    🗳 Republican Glenn Youngkin wins the race for governor in Virginia. Joe Biden won Virginia in 2020 by 10 points.

    • Former President Donald Trump performed a victory lap after Youngkin’s victory, even though he did not show up to the state to campaign for him. [New York Post]

    🗳 Other key election results:

    • The race for governor of New Jersey is surprisingly close. Democratic Gov. Phillip Murphy is running for another term, but gets a solid challenge from Republican Jack Ciattarelli. [NYT]

    • Democrat Shontel Brown and Republican Mike Carey each win vacant congressional seats in Ohio. [Politico]

    • Florida’s Democratic primary for a congressional seat is heading for a recount. [Politico]

    • Democrat Eric Adams picked up an easy victory in the New York mayoral race. [WSJ]

    • Michelle Wu became the first woman and person of color to be elected mayor of Boston. [NBC News]

    • Minneapolis voters reject a voting measure to fund the city’s police department. [Fox News]

    Tuesday’s election results hold very bad omen for Democrats as they approach the midterms of 2022. [AP]

    ⚖️ The Supreme Court challenges a New York gun law. Judges will decide whether Americans have a constitutional right to carry loaded and concealed firearms outside the home. [WSJ]

    🏛 Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that Democrats had reached agreement on a bill to cut prescription drug prices. [The Hill]

    Democrats hope to reach a final deal on President Biden’s spending plan before Thanksgiving. [CNN]

    💉 The CDC has approved immunizations for children aged 5 to 11, clearing the way for medical providers to begin administering the vaccines immediately. [WaPo]

    Facebook is ending the use of its facial recognition software. The company claims to have deleted the data of more than a billion people. [WaPo]

    Protest or futile gesture?

    Far-right social media is inundated with messages urging “patriots” to participate in two upcoming actions designed to cripple the economy and bring the forces of tyranny to their knees.

    Today it’s a call for a “nationwide shutdown” not to go to work protesting masks, vaccines or COVID testing. There is not a lot of information online about who is hosting the event.

    Social media post calling for a national strike on November 3, 2021

    The publication calls on several professions to join the walkout, such as law enforcement, paramedics and retail. However, only one “firefighter” should participate instead of all of them (are they pulling straws?). Obviously, the proofreaders decided to join the closing early.

    The biggest event will take place next weekend, with calls for a four-day nationwide strike against employers who are forcing the COVID-19 vaccine on employees.

    Post on social networks calling for a national strike from November 8 to 11 to protest against employee vaccination warrants.

    It is not known how effective either of these events will be. Whether the previous right-wing boycotts of Nike, Whole Foods, Diet Coke, Keurig, Kellogg Grains, Major League Baseball, NFL, Walmart, Netflix, Starbucks, Oreos or CNN (to name a few) are a guide, it will be more hype than impact.

    Wednesday Morning Utah News Summary

    Utah

    • Forest Service OKs right of way for the Utah Oil Railroad. [Tribune]

    • Find out which Utah companies are leading the way in values, direction, innovation, benefits and more. [Tribune]

    • The Ogden officer who shot and injured the man was not wearing a body camera, the chief said. [Tribune]

    • Prices outside of Park City: More affordable housing needed in resort town. [FOX13]

    • The Bluffdale mayoral candidate remains under investigation as the vote draws to a close. [KUTV]

    COVID-19[feminine

    • L’Utah signale 1 250 nouveaux cas de coronavirus. [Tribune]

    • What we know about when 5-11 year olds can get vaccinated in Utah. [Tribune]

    • A Latter-day Saint missionary has brought the first case of the coronavirus to Tonga. [Tribune]

    Washington

    • My condiments for you: Senator Mike Lee sends an original from Utah to Apple CEO Tim Cook. [Deseret News]

    • One of Mitt Romney’s arguments against eliminating filibustering in the Senate? Donald Trump could be elected president in 2024. [Deseret News]

    Education

    • Doctors in Utah explain how to approach mental health issues with children. [KUTV]

    • UVU and USU receive funding for new technology program partnership. [Daily Herald]

    • Masks are required at Parley’s Park Elementary School after reaching the COVID threshold. [Park Record]

    Election day

    • “Safe and Secure”: How Utah County makes sure every vote counts. [ABC4]

    • Unified Police Department hired to secure SLCo ballots. [ABC4]

    Opinion

    • Scott Williams: Utah shouldn’t bet on unproven nuclear power without public input. [Tribune]

    • Opinion: Honor the will of the people, the legislators. [Deseret News]

    • Opinion: “Pushing Too Much In Too Small A Pipe” means it’s time to build an Inner Harbor. [Deseret News]

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    Utah economy

    Florida State Hosts Mitt Romney at Online Event to Talk Politics and Politics

    US Senator Mitt Romney said Monday night that the US response to vital international problems is hampered by a catchy focus on “small-caliber” cultural arguments.

    The Utah Republican was the keynote speaker at a Zoom Lecture sponsored by the Institute of Politics at Florida State University. The program is part of the institute’s efforts to strengthen democracy through civil discussions on issues and promoting public engagement.

    The 2012 Republican presidential candidate spent most of the half hour discussing the economy, cybersecurity, global competitiveness and Chinese politics.

    He predicted that the current congressional stalemate on infrastructure spending and social programs will improve, as Democrats grow worried about their position in the polls and President Biden’s image in as a leader.

    “Something will be done because, frankly, the president and his party are really in trouble right now,” Romney said. “The polls show that the American people are truly upset by the lack of accomplishment of the president and his party.

    “The Democratic Party is really hurting in the polls, so I think in the end it’s going to focus enough minds among Democratic senators and Democratic Congressmen to do something about it.”

    FSU President Richard McCullough welcomed Romney to the conference and Al Cardenas, two-time Florida GOP president, led questions on high-profile topics. The two men said they hope the IOP can promote civic engagement and learned exploration of the issues facing the nation.

    Romney told Cardenas he was surprised to find that despite the strongly partisan climate in Washington, members of Congress are getting along well and working together behind the scenes.

    But their rhetoric for public consumption is often meaner than it should be, he said.

    “There are a lot of people who are concerned, like you Al, about the growing anger and the crass nature of the comments that are being exchanged between politicians these days and between people,” he said. .

    Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said Republicans would offer Democrats no help raising the debt ceiling.

    “Frankly, I think a lot of it starts at the top. We had leaders of the nation who called on our best angels – Abraham Lincoln was one – and then we had others who, by their own words and actions, tried to take advantage of the weaker side. dark of human nature.

    He did not mention any names in the latter category, but said responsible leaders on both sides would eventually emerge and put an end to hostilities.

    “I think President Biden is a good person,” Romney said. “I don’t know if he still has the presence, his, to make that kind of change, but I think we’ll see that eventually. I hope so.

    But in the meantime, he said partisan fire on hot issues can ignite voters from either party – sometimes to the detriment of major climatic and economic events that will affect the country’s future.

    “Our politics today are mired in social issues and cultural issues and small-caliber policy issues as opposed to the big issues we face,” Romney said.

    Bill Cotterell is a retired reporter from the Democratic Capitol Tallahassee. He can be contacted at [email protected]

    Want more media coverage? If you are already a subscriber, thank you! Otherwise, subscribe using the link at the top of the page and help keep the news you are interested in coming.

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    Utah economy

    Dove Center officials discuss day of service and impact of pandemic on Erin Home renovations with Washington City Council – St George News

    Erin’s Home, Washington City, Utah, May 7, 2015 | File photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

    CITY OF WASHINGTON – A discussion for a proposed day of service at Erin’s Home in Washington City turned into an update of how the pandemic postponed the Dove Center’s efforts to renovate the facility, and how it also had a impact on certain aspects of the work of the nonprofit organization as a whole.

    In this file photo, Erin’s Home has an open house, Washington City, Utah May 7, 2015 | File photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

    At a Washington City Council working meeting held last Wednesday, representatives from the Dove Center of St. George, a non-profit organization focused on supporting survivors of domestic violence and abuse and of sexual assault, approached council at the invitation of council member Kurt Ivie to begin discussing when the city could promote a day of service at Erin’s Home.

    Erin’s Home, which opened in 2015, houses three transitional housing used by the Dove Center for women and their children who have escaped violent environments. The aim is to provide a safe place for survivors and their families to stay while they receive support, and possibly move to a more permanent housing situation when possible.

    Currently, the backyard is flooded when heavy rains pass, Ivie said, and noted that her business would help address this issue. In addition to this, the Dove Center wants to install new play equipment in the backyard for the youngest who stay there. This would also include installing foam surface tiles in part of the backyard.

    “We need help. We don’t need a document,” Madonna Melton, director of shelter and operations at the Dove Center, told the board. “We need a helping hand.”

    Recent rains have caused flooding in Erin’s Home’s backyard due to drainage issues Dove Center officials hope to resolve with the help of volunteers, Washington City, Utah. October 5, 2021 | Photo courtesy of Washington City, St. George News

    The Dove Center lacks the expertise and manpower to set up the playground, Melton said, which is why a day of service is being offered. It is hoped that those community members who can lend this “helping hand” and who have the know-how to help with the installation of the tiles and the play area will come forward when the opportunity arises.

    “There are a lot of people in our community who know how to do these things and are very generous,” said Ivie.

    Before a date for the day of service can be finalized, however, some of the equipment and surface tiles must be funded and ordered. Melton did not seek funding from the city in this regard, but instead asked the council to promote this need to the wider community.

    Dove Center officials are hopeful the flooding problem will be resolved and a new playground set up before an open house for Erin’s Home they have scheduled for early next year, said Lindsey Boyer, director. executive of the Dove Center.

    Melton and Boyer both noted that when the Dove Center has a problem to fix, something happens that fixes it. The women added that they hope the trend continues as they seek help from the wider community.

    “Things are going one way or another the way they have to and we’re just moving forward,” Boyer said.

    In this file photo, Dove Center Executive Director Lindsey Boyer discusses the challenges of getting funding during the 2020 pandemic, St. George, Utah March 29, 2021 | Photo by Ammon Teare, St. George News

    Regarding a recent demonstration of community support, the Dove Center received a $ 30,000 donation from BlvdHome in March.

    During a visit to Washington City Council on Wednesday, Boyer took the opportunity to brief council members on efforts to renovate Erin’s home and how it had been stranded due to the pandemic and related issues.

    The Dove Center approached city council in January 2020 to request funding through a Community Development Block Grant, a federal grant that the city typically receives on an annual basis. The requested funding will go towards a renovation inside Erin’s Home that would create two additional family-sized transitional housing units on the ground floor.

    The council approved a grant of more than $ 173,000 for the project in May 2020.

    While the Dove Center issued public notices for contractors to bid on the project, no bids were made, Boyer said. Having an offer is a requirement to be able to use the federal grant money.

    “As well as obtaining the grant has gone, the execution of the grant has become a bit bumpy due to the impact of the pandemic on the economy and the construction market,” he said. she declared.

    This, combined with related factors such as supply chain disruptions and material shortages, has led to the postponement of the ground floor renovation of Erin’s Home for the time being, Boyer said. As for the grant the Dove Center received, they may have to withdraw it and apply for it again in two years, she said.

    In this file photo, Washington City Council hears from representatives of the Dove Center as they apply for a grant for renovations at Erin’s Home, Washington City, Utah January 8, 2020 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

    The Dove Center nonetheless got “creative” with funding, Boyer said, adding that the nonprofit had been able to secure a new transitional housing unit in the community for now, but that she still needed another.

    The continued housing shortage further complicates the need to acquire additional units that can be converted into transitional housing.

    “There is a huge gap, and it will continue to be until we have more housing units,” Boyer said.

    Another aspect of the Dove Center’s mission that has grown due to the pandemic is the overall number and intensity of cases it has supported.

    When the pandemic first began, Boyer said the response to cases was relatively calm, then skyrocketed until it returned to calm, only to soar once more and eventually stabilize.

    The increase in domestic violence cases during the onset of COVID-19 has been called a “phantom pandemic” and “pandemic within a pandemic” by national publications like TIME which have highlighted the problem.

    “We’ve had at least a 35% increase in the number of phone calls we’ve received year over year, from 2020 to 2021,” Boyer said.

    There has also been an increase in the clientele of the Dove Center and the services provided, with the workload being handled by lawyers and clinicians becoming heavier and more intense per client than before, Boyer told the board. .

    “This has been the beautiful impact of COVID,” she said.

    For more information on the Dove Center and Erin’s Home and how to get involved, visit the Dove Center website.

    Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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    Utah economy

    Changing EPA Policies in a Changing Environment – The Daily Utah Chronicle

    The EPA is responsible for regulating the production and manufacture of chemicals and other pollutants. The agency enforces its regulations through fines and penalties, among other methods.

    The Trump administration has favored a more lenient EPA policy towards businesses and the fossil fuel industry. The administration sought to limit the agency’s ability to enforce environmental regulations with various procedures such as the cost-benefit rule, which CNBC said “imposed restrictions on cost-benefit analyzes for rule making. of the Clean Air Act without explaining why these requirements were necessary. “

    The Biden administration is currently in the process of overturning Trump-era EPA policies in a bid to tackle climate change and other issues the administration sees as imminent threats to the United States.

    Juliet Carlisle, professor of political science at the University of Utah, said the major shift between the Trump-era EPA and the current administration’s EPA policies is who is in charge and who is in charge. how committed this person is to the protection of the environment.

    “Trump appointed an EPA director who sought to dismantle the EPA from within and cripple its ability to do its job,” Carlisle said. “Biden’s goal is to tackle the climate crisis and other environmental issues and knows the EPA has an important role to play in making that happen. “

    Carlisle said federal policy can have a strong and direct impact on the environment.

    “Specific policies aim to protect the environment to varying degrees, for example,” she said. “However, some policies, not directly related to the environment, can still have an environmental impact.”

    Every four to eight years, when a new president takes office, the policy of that administration is adopted.

    These changes across jurisdictions can thwart environmental conservation goals and efforts, Carlisle said.

    “Presidents can appoint and Congress approves cabinet officials,” she said. “Majorities in Congress can influence policies that are introduced, voted on, and presidents decide what to sign and what not to sign into law… President Trump, for example, unilaterally [decided] withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement. Environmental changes can happen quickly or rather slowly. The reality is that we are facing dire circumstances with climate change and the effects are already there. “

    The environmental effects of these policies can be seen in Utah. For example, cleaner air initiatives are a common priority in the Salt Lake Valley, as the region is reaching record levels for air quality this year alone.

    “The policies of the Trump era reversed many environmental protections,” Carlisle said. “One in particular was to change the designation of bear ears. In addition, many of Trump’s regulatory setbacks concerned the production of fossil fuels. The burning of fossil fuels has a direct and negative impact on the climate, exacerbating the effects of climate change. In Utah, climate change is having real and significant consequences for our state. “

    For many in Utah – a state with five national parks – protecting the environment is important. Plus, a good business atmosphere may be a priority for many, especially with the high economic growth rates seen in Utah and Washington counties in recent years, according to St. George News.

    Tyler Boyles, president of the Republicans at U College, said he believes Utah should be both pro-business and pro-environment.

    “We don’t have to choose one or the other,” he said. “The Green New Deal is not a solution, and killing our environment is not the solution. The solution enables companies to innovate and create new ways of being environmentally friendly.

    According to Boyles, the nation can see significant progress if businesses and enterprises are guided to create these solutions. He said it can be done without hurting the economy.

    “I think when you allow the private sector to innovate and inspire them to create better and cleaner solutions, you can be much more effective in ensuring that we have a clean environment that we can pass on to our future generations. “, did he declare.

    Boyles said the Trump administration has done a good job of securing this by making the United States energy independent.

    “We need to take sound environmental approaches that can benefit both [business and the environment], “he said.” The US private sector is the most efficient, and if the big government stepped aside, we could really see significant progress in climate and environmental solutions. “

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    Utah economy

    Colorado ranks among the nation’s top entrepreneurial states

    Data: Heartland Forward; Graphic: Will Chase / Axios

    Colorado ranks among the top five enterprising states in the country, according to a Heartland Forward report released this week.

    Why is this important: A healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem can help support a region’s economy by creating jobs, raising living standards, and supporting other businesses.

    Inventory: Only four other states – California, New York, Utah and New Jersey – are surpassing Colorado’s entrepreneurial growth, according to the Bentonville, Arkansas-based think tank. Heartland Forward Focuses on Improving Economic Performance in the Mid-US 20-State Region

    • Yes, but: Our Home State ranks first if you exclude the benefits of a coastline and second for the percentage of adults with a bachelor’s degree or above.

    In numbers : About 30% of the state’s adult population has graduated with a bachelor’s degree or higher.

    • The share of employment in startups in Colorado hovers around 13%.

    What did they do: The researchers built the index on data on start-ups, including several factors such as populations with undergraduate degrees, households with computers, access to private equity, and grants. government.

    • As part of the report released on Tuesday, the organization released an interactive calculator so policymakers across the state can see how adjustments in one area will impact their index.

    What to watch: Researchers at Heartland Forward told our colleagues at Axios NW Arkansas that they plan to release a similar city-by-city entrepreneurial index in early 2022.

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    Utah economy

    What is the SHIB? : More Utahns Are Jumping On The Cryptocurrency Train

    SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – It’s risky, it’s volatile, it’s getting a lot of attention from people around the world, and right here in Utah, it’s jumping on the Shiba Inu cryptocurrency.

    While browsing your social media feeds, you’ve probably seen something on Shiba Inu or SHIB for short.

    “It’s something that people see as an opportunity, a buying opportunity to fundamentally change their lives,” says Yosiah Solk of GGM Investments.

    Solk says he knows how life-changing crypto is, adding, “Now I’m 24 and been in this space for five and a half years now, and I’m a multimillionaire.”

    But even he waves the flag of caution.

    “Just because they see it on Twitter and on YouTube, whatever Facebook is, you really need to do your research before you invest your hard earned money,” he says. “It’s a craze, you know, it’s a meme token.”

    “The payout can be astronomical as long as it keeps increasing. When is it going to crash, can anyone guess? Says Lon Schiffbauer, professor at the Salt Lake Community College School of Business.

    He has students asking him questions about crypto all the time, and there are tens of thousands of them.

    “Even if we say that crypto will have a future in our economy in the long run, which one? The vast majority of them will disappear, ”says Schiffbauer. “The truth is, crypto is an economic bubble. It is a speculative bubble.

    The professor says other examples of speculative bubbles include the real estate market and the Internet.

    Experts said the SHIB rose more than 30% in 24 hours on Wednesday, breaking all-time records. And that causes a lot of concern.

    “We all suffer to some extent from FOMO, fear of missing out, and memes really hang on to that because they really tell you on a new level, am I missing that?” Am I the only person not to invest? Said Schiffbauer. “It’s like any other investment, with the reward comes the risk.”

    If you are thinking of getting into investing, Schiffbauer recommends paying attention to MEMES and recognizing that cryptocurrency is volatile.

    “Realize that a fool is going to sit there with a whole bunch of worthless nothing until that thing stabilizes and becomes reasonable,” he said.

    Advisors say there is no get-rich-quick scheme and you should talk to a financial advisor about your money and investments. Most ABC4 News spoke with, for example, index funds.

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    Utah economy

    Biden makes 2 key, groundbreaking FCC appointments

    President Biden is preparing to fill two Federal Communications Commission positions, appointing Jessica Rosenworcel as commission chair and former FCC staff member Gigi Sohn to a second vacant seat.

    Rosenworcel has served as interim chairman of the commission and has been on the panel since 2012. Sohn has served as an advisor to former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler. If confirmed by the Senate, she would become the first openly LGBTIQ + commissioner. Rosenworcel is the first woman to chair the panel.

    What they want to focus on

    In a statement, the White House said Rosenworcel had “worked to promote greater opportunity, accessibility and affordability in our communications services to ensure that all Americans have a fair chance to succeed in the 21st century.”

    Rosenworcel has also worked to combat illegal robocalls and “improve consumer protection” in telecommunications policy.

    “I am deeply honored to have been appointed chairman of the Federal Communications Commission by President Biden,” Rosenworcel said in a statement. “It is an honor to work with my fellow Commissioners and the agency’s talented staff to ensure that no matter who you are or where you live, everyone has the connections they need to live, work and learn. in the digital age. “

    She and Sohn are expected to push for a return to the Obama-era net neutrality rules, which would prohibit ISPs from slowing down internet speeds or blocking content.

    Sohn is currently a Distinguished Fellow of the Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law & Policy and a Benton Senior Fellow and Public Advocate.

    The political balance of the commission

    Democrats hope the nominations will clear the Senate quickly, a prospect still strained in an equally divided chamber. The five-member commission is currently at an impasse, with two Republican commissioners and two Democrats. If the two appointments are not acted upon by the end of the year at the end of the current session of Congress, Rosenworcel’s current term will expire, leaving the possibility of a GOP majority on the committee. .

    Biden is also moving to fill another key telecommunications post within the administration, appointing Alan Davidson as assistant secretary for communications and information at the Commerce Department. Davidson served in the Obama-Biden administration as the Commerce Department’s senior director of digital economy and is currently a senior advisor to the Mozilla Foundation.

    As deputy secretary, Davidson would have a key role in deploying 5G technology and expanding broadband access.

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To learn more, visit https://www.npr.org.
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    Utah economy

    The Return Utah program aims to help adults re-enter the workforce through training

    UTAH (ABC4) – Are you looking to re-enter the labor market?

    Adults looking to jumpstart their careers can enroll in a new program that will provide the job training and mentorship needed to get you started.

    The Return Utah program is a state-supported program described as an internship for adults seeking to update their professional skills after an extended career absence.

    Officials say the program is designed for those who have taken at least a two-year break for reasons such as starting or raising a family, caring for a family member, military service, continuing education, or other personal reasons. / career-related. Return Utah is a 16 week part time “experience only” program.

    “This unique program is designed as a return-to-work program allowing individuals to rejuvenate their work experience, training, skills and receive the mentorship needed to return to the workforce,” say program officials. “Returning employees benefit from current experience and employers have the opportunity to strengthen their workforce – a win-win situation for everyone. “

    Eligible applicants must be on a career break of two years or more and have prior work experience in a functional area of ​​interest, officials said. The program has two components: return-to-work opportunities in state government or short-term training at Utah colleges and universities. Training programs are available in a variety of online, in-person, and hybrid formats.

    “We need to come together and help people who want to re-engage in the economy find meaningful professional opportunities,” said Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson. “Our state agencies will lead the way and show all employers that feedback can help them develop talent and improve the prospects of so many workers in our community.”

    “Improve your skills and knowledge by joining the Return Utah pilot cohort,” officials say. “We welcome you and want to help you launch your next phase of career with the right opportunities, training, mentoring and networking. “

    To view open positions and learn more about the Return Utah program, click here.

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    Utah economy

    Fil-Am techpreneurs shine at Silicon Slopes Summit in Utah – Manila bulletin

    Filipino-born tech entrepreneurs made waves at the Silicon Slopes Summit held October 14-15, 2021 in Utah.

    Gabby Dizon, Co-Founder of Philippines-based Yield Guild Games, introduces the ‘Play to Earn’ game business model, which allows players to convert their time and skills into cryptocurrency and real money. (Photos from the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco)

    During the summit, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Philippines-based Yield Guild Games (YGG) co-founder Gabby Dizon showcased a commercial online gaming model that will enable unemployed gamers, in especially for Filipinos, making money amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

    YGG’s ‘Play to Earn’ would allow players to convert their time and skills into cryptocurrency and real money.

    “YGG acquires non-fungible token (NFT) assets that generate returns and make them accessible to players, thereby removing financial barriers for players and allowing them to participate in the metaverse economy with no upfront costs,” said the DFA.

    “During the pandemic, unemployed Filipinos in the provinces were able to play and win using technology,” he added.

    According to the DFA, the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco attended the Silicon Slopes Summit in Utah at the invitation of the public and international office of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS).

    Consul Vanessa Bago-Llona, ​​who represented the Consulate General, also met with Hunter Sebresos, a Utah-based Filipino-American owner of the Bacon.work startup.

    Bacon de Sebresos allows employers to hire employees through their app, allowing job seekers to pick a shift in minutes.

    Meanwhile, the DFA said the consular bodies in San Francisco and Los Angeles have also hosted breakfasts with business leaders and CEOs from tech companies, including Cyd Tetro of Brandless, Inc., Owen Fuller from Lucidpress and Dano Ybarra from MyHive Global, among others. State officials such as Representative Tim Hawkes, Senator Luz Escamilla and Senator Todd Weiler also attended the breakfast sessions.

    The Philippines is a hub for IT and business process management in Southeast Asia. The country’s business process outsourcing (BPO) industry grew 1.4% in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The BPO sector generated $ 26.7 billion in revenue in 2020. The Philippines also has a growing startup industry, which has raised over $ 40 million even with the onset of the pandemic.

    According to the DFA, the Philippines will host the third Philippine Startup Week from November 15 to 19, 2021, to highlight the Philippine startup ecosystem as a driver of post-pandemic recovery. More details about the conference can be found on their website.


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    Utah economy

    Utah Legislature May Consider Exceptions In COVID-19 Vaccine Trade Mandates

    SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah state legislature may consider making exceptions in any COVID-19 vaccine mandate imposed by a private company.

    In an interview with FOX 13, House Speaker Brad Wilson confirmed the idea is under consideration. House Republicans met in their regular caucus on Wednesday to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

    Utah Capitol political leaders are waiting to see what the Biden administration will say with its proposed workplace safety rule imposing a vaccine or testing warrant on companies with more than 100 employees. The state threatened prosecution or refusal to comply.

    “We are gravely concerned about the problem that this rule, as described by the President, will create for the Utahns and our economy and our businesses here and we believe it needs to be addressed differently,” said President Wilson, R -Kaysville, mentioned.

    Although they opposed government mandates on vaccines, some political leaders – including President Wilson – have backed the rights of a private company to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine. But the President signaled that the position could change.

    “On the one hand, we say we don’t want the federal government to create warrants, on the other hand, we have to be very careful about how we handle warrants. There are times when sometimes employers can do things that maybe cross a line with their employee-employer relationship, ”he said. “So we’ll be watching him. That’s probably the best way to describe him at this point.”

    The House Majority Whip added Mike Schultz, R-Hooper: “If a company decides to mandate it, it is certainly its right and its option. However, I think the employee also has certain rights. I think the state should have exemptions. . “

    The idea of ​​including exceptions in any vaccination mandate of private companies could be an option. A number of lawmakers are opening bills with subject lines on vaccine mandates. Lawmakers have come under pressure from anti-vaccine voters to act and block any mandate.

    “Obviously we are against all federal government mandates, vaccine mandates, but we hope there are exemptions in there,” said Representative Schultz. “Personal, medical and religious exemptions that ultimately give the employee and citizens of our state the ability to have that choice.”

    Utah law currently allows personal, religious, or medical immunization exemptions. However, some religions, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, have stated that they will refuse to grant them.

    Some of these bills that the legislature might pass could run up against a roadblock in Gov. Spencer Cox’s office. While also speaking out against the government making the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory, he has repeatedly defended the rights of private companies to impose vaccine requirements.

    “It is their right to do so and we applaud the market making these decisions”, the governor said at a press conference on September 30.

    Asked by FOX 13 if a bill blocking the mandates of private companies was “dead on arrival”, the governor bluntly replied: “Yes”.

    Republican House leaders have said they do not oppose vaccines and have encouraged people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to end the pandemic.

    “I would never force my employees to be vaccinated. I encouraged them to do so, I actually encourage my employees to be vaccinated,” President Wilson said of his own business. “I hope most companies don’t take the plunge in this state and demand a vaccine if there are other options.”

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    Utah economy

    Blue Raven Solar recognized by Mountain West Capital Network’s Utah100 annual list of the state’s fastest growing companies

    Mountain West Capital Network Recognized Blue Raven Solar as One of Utah State’s Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies

    Blue Raven Solar has never been in a better position with as much momentum as we have now. We are proud to be part of an industry that is changing so rapidly and changing the world! “

    – Ben Peterson, CEO

    OREM, UTAH, USA, October 19, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ – For a fourth consecutive year, Blue Raven Solar has been recognized as one of Utah’s fastest growing companies by Mountain West Capital Network (MWCN). Blue Raven Solar was also recognized in 2020 on the same list and was included on the Emerging Elite list in 2018 and 2019.

    Each year, MWCN’s exclusive rewards program rewards investors, entrepreneurs and professional service providers for the impacts they make on the economy and surrounding business success in the state of Utah. These awards also recognize startups and companies with the highest revenue growth.

    “Blue Raven Solar has never been in a better position with as much momentum as we have now. We are proud to be part of an industry that is changing so rapidly and changing the world! Says Ben Peterson, CEO of Blue Raven Solar.

    Blue Raven Solar is giving homeowners across America a simple, affordable way to get the best solar technology while saving money on their utilities. In seven years, the company has grown from three to over 1,400 team members nationwide and has become a leading solar company in the United States. Blue Raven Solar has been recognized multiple times on the Inc. 5000 list, the Utah Business Fast 50 list, and the Utah State Best of, among other awards.

    The Utah 100 winners were chosen based on their percentage and the increase in their dollar earnings between 2015 and 2020. MWCN’s awards event, recognizing the state’s top companies, has rewarded the winners at an event organized on 12 October.

    “Utah’s economy has never been stronger, and it is in large part thanks to the tremendous efforts of these companies and others that make Utah the perfect place for business,” said said Ryan Dent, MWCN Utah 100 committee chair. “We’ve had 26 great years honoring the companies that have made Utah great, and we look forward to the next 26 years and beyond.”

    To learn more about Blue Raven Solar’s ranking on the Utah 100, visit www.mwcn.org.

    About Blue Raven Solar

    Blue Raven Solar, a SunPower company, was founded in 2014 and has grown into a top-selling national solar brand. The company’s mission is “to improve the lives of homeowners by reducing their energy bills, relying more on clean and abundant renewables, and delivering a world-class customer experience through a sales process. reliable and fast, high-quality installation. Blue Raven Solar believes that all homeowners should have the same opportunity to invest in simple, reliable, affordable and high-quality solar power. Visit Blue Raven Solar at www.blueravensolar.com and follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

    Join the movement | Solar Raven Blue | The future of energy. Today.

    Solar Raven Blue
    Solar marketing of the blue crow
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    Utah economy

    First “community refrigerator” opens on the west side of Salt Lake City

    The first community refrigerator was installed by the Salt Lake Community Support Group. (Adam Sotelo, KSL-TV)

    Estimated reading time: 2-3 minutes

    SALT LAKE CITY – Many people are still struggling to make ends meet, even with an economy that appears to be doing well.

    Not everyone can afford to put food on the table every day and night, that’s where food banks and pantries come in. But some people still fall through the cracks.

    A group in Utah is trying to fill this gap.

    You can find all kinds of stuff in people’s front yards. On the west side of Salt Lake City, you can even find a refrigerator – and it works.

    “Oh, there’s a lot more going on here than the last time I looked,” Sarah Gronlund said as she opened the front door. “Milk, juice, there’s a whole frozen turkey here. “

    Gronlund knows this refrigerator well.

    He is in his yard and uses his electricity, but it is not his refrigerator.

    “I watched it materialize in my backyard over the course of a few months and I went, dang, look at this giant thing that’s being built,” she said.

    Now that a small shed has been built to protect it, it is the first community refrigerator set up by the Salt Lake community support group. It is for people, and families, who might need something to eat.

    “I feel like there are just a lot of people where you need the system to help you get there,” Gronlund said.

    Anyone can pick up anything or drop off food.

    Canned foods also work and can be placed on shelves in the shed built around the refrigerator.

    It is located at 1151 N. 1500 West in Salt Lake City.

    It’s right where Gronlund lives, but she doesn’t mind people showing up outside her house.

    “Oh no. I mean, I already live next to a bus stop,” she said. “Salt Lake Mutual Aid, they spoke to all of my adjacent neighbors one-on-one to make sure they would be okay with the additional foot traffic, and everyone was very supportive.”

    She said she understands there is a great need there right now.

    If doing your part to help means giving up a bit of your front yard, well, it’s easy to do.

    “I don’t really want to mow that part of my field anyway,” Gronlund said with a laugh. “I plan to xeriscape the front yard anyway, so this is the first step.”

    Pictures

    Alex Cabrero

    More stories that might interest you

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    Utah economy

    Here’s How You Can Help Solve Southern Utah’s Housing Crisis

    Adam Lenhard, City Manager of St. George
    Housing is a regional issue. It concerns us all. It is not something that St. George alone can solve.

    Tai Christensen, head of diversity at CBC Mortgage, owned by Utah Paiute, said she understands why residents don’t want to see high density housing in their neighborhoods.

    “But unfortunately, we are experiencing a housing shortage and low inventory like we haven’t seen in almost 100 years,” she said. “And so we need to open ourselves and our communities to affordable housing solutions. And affordable housing solutions mean mass housing… And while that may not be visually appealing, it does offer people the opportunity to live in good quality neighborhoods and afford to pay where they are. they live.

    With Utah’s ever-growing population, in part due to tourism, employment opportunities and large families, more affordable housing is needed if families are to stay close to each other, said Dejan Eskic, researcher. principal at the Gardner Institute at the University of Utah. .

    “I think we are all NIMBYs [Not In My Backyard]. I think we just have to make it happen and change is difficult, ”Eskic said.

    Even though locals feel there is a way to avoid the growth, some say it is inevitable.

    “We have to recognize that communities are going to be built somewhere, right? Olga Hernandez-Favela, Racial and Economic Disparities Coordinator for the Utah Housing Coalition. “We’re talking about community members, we’re talking about neighbors, we’re talking about people who could potentially help our economy.”

    Problems and Solutions: How You Can Help With Southern Utah’s Housing Crisis

    Chris Caldwell, K. Sophie Will and Sean Hemmersmeier, St. George Spectrum & Daily News

    “I know the market will adapt”

    For those who feared this economy could be another real estate bubble and lead to a recession like the one in 2008, experts say it’s quite the opposite.

    “What the financial crash of the mid-2000s did, COVID did the opposite – it sped up house prices,” said Dejan Eskic, senior researcher at the Gardner Institute at the University of Utah. “So it’s a horrible housing market. You could say it’s as bad as last time. But on the flip side, because it’s so unaffordable.

    However, there is still residue from 2008 on this issue.

    “I think there is probably still resentment from the latest housing boom and collapse where cities need to protect themselves,” Eskic said. “I think it’s the public sector and the private sector that communicate more.

    He believes the state and the country are entering an economic recovery phase, and economists in the Utah Department of Workforce Services know the market will adjust.

    “I know the market will adjust, what I don’t know is when it will adjust and what the adjustment will look like,” said regional economist Lecia Langston. “We can see that we cannot continue as we are right now. There has to be some kind of market adjustment.

    Langston posed the question to everyone with “how do we get through the short term until the economy takes care of itself in the long term?”

    In the Springdale tourism hub, former Springdale City Associate Planner Sophie Frankenburg said tourism won’t slow down, it’s just a matter of where to place people now.

    “I think right now the immediate response should be to look for housing outside of exclusive single-family homes,” she said.

    The proposed solutions to the Springdale housing crisis.
    City of Springdale / Zions Public Finance, Inc.

    Springdale’s Strategic Housing Plan offers many solutions, including a community land trust, increasing the number of secondary suites, rezoning, transferable development rights, public infrastructure neighborhoods, tax credit for low income rents and a loan fund for low income projects, all of which are in effect around the state and neighboring Colorado.

    When it comes to the environment around Springdale and southern Utah, the biggest concern right now is water.

    With 2.5 million or more people expected to become Utahns by 2050, the state needs more water to support everyone.

    “With careful planning and stewardship, the people of Utah can have enough water to support agriculture, wildlife and recreation while providing enough water to meet the needs of growing communities,” said advocacy group Your Utah Your Future said on its website.

    Who is responsible?

    Some believe it is the cities and counties that have the power to help solve the housing crisis, such as Don Willie, president and CEO of the St. George’s Area Chamber of Commerce.

    “But the municipalities are the ones that really have to own it. And, you know, they have to have a policy, ”Willie said. “It’s a community effort, we look to examples outside of our region of how this is being managed, so we would like municipalities to do more to lead this conversation. “

    The Gardner Institute agrees, with a report last November saying, “The best chance of reducing shortages and improving affordability depends on local policies and practices.

    Some local leaders are all ready to discuss high density, such as St. George City Councilor Dannielle Larkin.

    Danielle Larkin, St. George City Councilor
    High density belongs to our community and we desperately need it. Who is moving into this accessible accommodation? Your children, your parents, your great aunt and your uncle.

    “High density belongs to our community and we desperately need it,” she said. “Who is moving into this accessible accommodation? Your children, your parents, your great aunt and your uncle.

    Washington County Commissioner Almquist said the housing crisis was “constantly” on the agenda and had considered using low interest rates to borrow money and build more homes, but decided not to.

    Almquist said he has seen affordable housing work in major cities and the county can harness their techniques.

    “There are two things: great design and great management,” he said. “So if we can bring these two together, then even some communities will tolerate and neighbors can tolerate a denser, properly designed and managed area for those who simply cannot afford it.”

    Washington County Commissioner Gil Almquist comments during an emergency session to declare a local <a class=state of emergency on March 20, 2020.” height=”3744″/>
    Washington County Commissioner Gil Almquist comments during an emergency session to declare a local state of emergency on March 20, 2020.
    Chris Caldwell / The Spectrum & Daily News

    Governor Spencer Cox told The Spectrum that the housing crisis is also an issue close to his heart.

    “We are doing everything we can, there is not much the state can do,” he said.

    But some residents might think the government is doing too much, said City Manager Lenhard.

    “And it’s a tricky place because we are balancing the quality of life and the pace of growth as we try to meet the demand,” he said.

    Companies are doing everything they can to balance a good salary with a profit, Langston and Willie said.

    To help minorities receive fair housing, every member of the community needs to have difficult conversations about the racist past and help communicate resources in the future, said Hernandez-Favela of the Utah Housing Coalition.

    Olga Hernandez-Favela, Racial and Economic Disparities Coordinator for the Utah Housing Coalition
    We need to have really honest and vulnerable conversations about racism, and we need to figure out how to make room at the table.

    “So to move forward, I think we have to hold ourselves accountable for what has happened, which means we have to have really honest and vulnerable conversations about racism, and we have to figure out how to do it. the place at the table, ”she said. .

    A June report from the Utah Department of Multicultural Affairs said targeted education and resources for the Black, Indigenous and Colored (BIPOC) community are essential to equality.

    “More initiatives are needed to encourage tenancy to members of BIPOC communities, such as grants or tax breaks,” he said, also calling on the state legislature to review potentially eviction laws discriminatory.

    “It’s hard to see such a huge problem,” Barben said. “And everyone’s waiting for the next person to take the lead and go do something, you know, let’s make a difference here. But it only takes one person at a time. And if we can rally everyone, I think we have a bright future. “

    And in the end, that’s pretty much how every Southern Utahn treats their neighbors.

    “It’s about helping your neighbor. It’s about recognizing the humanity of the person, ”said Hernandez-Favela. “I think it’s a very good starting point.

    To explore the extent of this crisis, The Spectrum produced a seven-part series on the housing crisis in St. George and southern Utah.

    From more information on the city’s reports to zoning to minority issues to tourism management to struggles for students and the elderly and solutions to this problem, we’ve got it all covered.

    Sean Hemmersmeier contributed reporting for this article.

    K. Sophie Will is the National Parks reporter for The Spectrum & Daily News for the GroundTruth Project’s Report for America initiative. Follow her on Twitter at @ksophiewill or email him at [email protected] Donate to Report for America to support their work here.

    Posted

    Update

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    Utah economy

    Deere & Co. workers go on strike after rejecting contract – ABC4 Utah

    Posted:
    Update:

    FILE – On April 9, 2019, the wheels are attached as workers assemble a tractor at the John Deere assembly plant in Waterloo, Iowa. The vast majority of members of the United Auto Workers union rejected a contract offer from Deere & Co. on Sunday, October 10, 2021 that would have increased the number of workers who make John Deere tractors and other equipment by at least 5%. . (Zach Boyden-Holmes / Telegraph Herald via AP, file)

    MOLINE, Ill. (AP) – More than 10,000 Deere & Co. workers went on strike Thursday at midnight after “the company failed to come up with a deal meeting the demands and needs of our members,” said the United Auto Workers union in a statement.

    The union had said its members would quit work if no agreement was reached by 11:59 pm others.

    UAW President Ray Curry said, “Almost one million retirees and active UAW members stand in solidarity with striking UAW members at John Deere. “

    Thirty-five years have passed since Deere’s last big strike, but workers have been emboldened to demand more this year after working long hours throughout the pandemic and because companies face worker shortages .

    “Our members at John Deere are on strike so they can earn a decent living, retire with dignity and establish a level playing field,” said Chuck Browning, vice president and director of the UAW’s agricultural tools department. “We remain committed to negotiating until our members’ goals are met.

    Chris Laursen, who works as a painter at Deere, told the Des Moines Register he believes a strike is imminent and could make a significant difference.

    “The whole nation is going to be watching us,” Laursen told the newspaper. “If we take a stand here for ourselves, our families, for basic human prosperity, it will make a difference for the entire manufacturing industry. Let’s do it. Let’s not be intimidated.

    Earlier this year, another group of workers represented by the UAW went on strike at a Volvo Trucks plant in Virginia and ended up with better pay and cheaper health benefits after rejecting three offers provisional contracts.

    The contracts under negotiation covered 14 Deere factories in the United States, including seven in Iowa, four in Illinois and one in Kansas, Colorado and Georgia.

    Contract talks for the Moline, Illinois-based company were unfolding as Deere expects to post record profits of between $ 5.7 billion and $ 5.9 billion this year. The company reported strong sales of its agricultural and construction equipment this year.

    Deere’s production plants are an important contributor to the economy, so local officials hope any strike will be short-lived.

    “We really want to see our economy stabilize and grow after the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Moline Mayor Sangeetha Rayapati told the Quad-Cities Times. “I hope these parties can come to a resolution soon.”

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    Utah economy

    Economic retirement creates new hurdle for Democrats in 2022

    Strength of recovery from coronavirus recession fades at dangerous time for President BidenJoe BidenGruden becomes Raiders coach after more emails reveal homophobic and sexist comments Abbott bans vaccination warrants from any “Texas entity” Jill Biden to campaign with McAuliffe on Friday MORE and Democrats.

    White House and Democratic lawmakers face a growing number of challenges to Biden’s pledge to ‘build back better’ from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic as the party braces for intimidating midterm elections .

    A summer resurgence of the virus, booming supply chains, rising prices and a slower-than-expected labor market recovery have prompted economic forecasters to lower their growth projections this year and next.

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects the US economy to grow 1 percentage point slower this year than it expected in July, according to new projections released on Tuesday.

    US growth this year is expected to slow to 6 percent, down from the IMF’s estimate of 7 percent in July, according to forecasts.

    “The global recovery continues but the momentum has weakened, hampered by the pandemic,” wrote IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath.

    “Pandemic outbreaks in critical links in global supply chains have resulted in longer-than-expected supply disruptions, fueling inflation in many countries. Overall, risks to the economic outlook have increased and political trade-offs have become more complex. “

    While the IMF expects some of this year’s lost growth to appear in 2022, other economists see a darker path for the United States to come.

    Goldman Sachs economists said this week that they expected the U.S. economy to grow 5.6% in 2021, down 0.1 percentage point from a previous estimate. They expect growth in 2022 to slow to 4% in 2022, from an initial estimate of 4.3%.

    And the Atlanta Federal Reserve’s estimate of third-quarter annualized growth fell to 1.3% last week, from just over 6% on July 28.

    While growth is expected to remain well above pre-pandemic levels through 2022, even with the downgrades driven by the COVID-19 delta variant, the dual force of slower growth and persistently high inflation could be tough hurdles to a dangerous stretch for Biden’s program.

    Democrats rush to find a compromise on social services and Biden’s multibillion-dollar climate bill that will satisfy progressive lawmakers – who reluctantly agreed to drop below the original 3.5 baseline trillions of dollars – and Democratic Sens. Joe manchinJoe Manchin Using common principles to guide our global and national energy policy Sinema’s office denies report that she wants to cut climate spending by $ 0 billion (W.Va.) and Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaSinema’s office denies reports she wants to cut climate spending by $ 0 billion Juan Williams: Women hold power The Memo: Biden’s horizon is clouded by doubt MORE (Arizona) with their calls for steep cuts. The fate of a separate bipartisan infrastructure bill is tied to the broader Democratic bill, much to the wrath of moderate lawmakers in Purple Districts likely to face serious Republican challenges in 2022.

    The White House and Congress will also face a looming fiscal cliff in early December, with government funding and the country’s ability to borrow money set to expire on December 3.

    Whether Biden can guide his plans through Congress will be largely determined by political considerations within the Democratic Party, including the divide between moderates and progressives and the strategy most likely to help Democrats retain control of Congress.

    The uncertainty surrounding the economy, however, could throw a wildcard into the mix as Biden tries to cement a winning message for 2022.

    Republicans have sought to blame Biden’s ambitious spending plans and handling the pandemic on decades-long high inflation, hiring problems and other obstacles to recovery. While many other wealthy countries have experienced similar problems in their rebounds from the pandemic, GOP lawmakers have tied the speed bumps to Biden in preparation for a majority in Congress.

    “American families feel the power of their paychecks shrinking day by day. Workers struggle to find jobs that match their skills and companies struggle to find volunteer workers, ”Sen said. Mike leeMichael (Mike) Shumway Lee McConnell promises the GOP will not help raise the debt ceiling in December after Schumer reached a deal to vote on raising the debt ceiling on Thursday. (R-Utah), vice chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, in a statement released Friday after the September jobs report was released.

    “Our economy is still recovering. Now is one of the worst times for further massive tax hikes and inflationary spending. Instead, Congress should pursue policies that allow more Americans to get back to work. “

    Democrats have retorted for months that adopting an ambitious infrastructure and social services plan is essential to repairing both the damage from the pandemic and long-term structural problems.

    Supporters of Biden’s platform say the recent weakness in the economy illustrates why Democrats must unite to pass the sweeping budget measure.

    “The most recent jobs report demonstrated what many economists have always said – that this is first and foremost a public health crisis and that the Delta variant stalled the labor market recovery in August and September, “wrote Kate Bahn, Acting Chief Economist and Director. from Labor Market Policy to the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, in an email.

    Job growth has fallen sharply over the past two months, from a gain of 1 million in July to 366,000 in August and 194,000 in September, largely due to the increase in coronavirus cases . As the unemployment rate fell 0.4 percentage points to a pandemic low of 4.8%, female labor force participation fell sharply as schools closed and other responsibilities for care has trained the workforce according to gender criteria.

    “The features of Build Back Better that center the myriad of caregiving supports that families need simultaneously – such as the Child Tax Credit, paid time off, and accessible child care – recognize that caregiving are the backbone of the economy, ”Bahn wrote.

    “Reconstructing the economy requires families to be able to take care of themselves and others before they can fully engage in the labor market. “

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    Utah economy

    KUNR Today: Amodei still weighs race for Nevada governor, dragonfly species rediscovered near Tahoe

    Here are the headlines from the local morning news for Monday, October 11, 2021.

    Amodei ‘torn’ between gubernatorial candidacy and possibly GOP majority, to make decision this month
    By Humberto Sanchez, The Nevada Independent

    Rep. Mark Amodei said in a recent interview that he was still undecided about a possible Nevada gubernatorial candidacy and would make a decision later this month.

    Amodei said he remains undecided on a possible gubernatorial candidacy as he considers concerns about the economy. He is also questioning the possibility of having more power under a GOP majority in the House after the midterm elections, if he chooses to try to stay in Congress.

    Amodei first pitched the idea of ​​running for governor in December. In recent months, a large slate of serious candidates have joined what is expected to be a very competitive Republican primary for governor. They include former US Senator Dean Heller, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, Reno attorney Joey Gilbert, businessman Guy Nhora and North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee.

    Read the full story at thenevadaindependent.com.

    Accidental drug overdose deaths in Nevada increase by 55%
    Through The Associated Press

    Nevada health officials have reported a dramatic increase in drug overdose deaths in the state between 2019 and 2020.

    The Nevada Overdose Data Program said accidental overdoses among Nevadans totaled 788 in 2020, a 55% increase from 510 in 2019. The number of overdose deaths among people under 25 nearly tripled, from 38 in 2019 and 106 in 2020.

    According to the state’s drug overdose reporting system, one in two overdose deaths involved someone with a mental health problem, while three in four overdose victims had an identified substance abuse problem unrelated to alcohol. .

    Report: The gender pay gap widens in Western states
    By Bert Johnson, West Mountain Information Office

    On average, women across the country did about 82% of what men did last year, but Matthew Insco of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics said it wasn’t a comparison of apples to apples.

    “For all the jobs women work in and all the jobs men work in, women earn less, and this is largely related to the types of jobs men and women work in,” he said. -he declares.

    Registered nurses, teachers and administrative assistants were the main jobs held by women, and more men are in well-paid engineering positions.

    In most western states, female workers lag even further behind – Nevada, Colorado, and Idaho are all below the national average. Utah is in last place at 72.7%.

    Women have gained ground over the past 40 years, but this progress has stagnated over the past decade.

    Dragonfly species rediscovered near Tahoe
    By Michele Ravera

    Citizen scientists have rediscovered a species of dragonfly near Tahoe that had not been seen for over a century.

    While the Spiny Baskettail dragonfly is easier to find in Canada and some woodlands in the northern United States, it was last seen near Tahoe in 1914. Clarence Hamilton Kennedy made the discovery at Donner Lake, the year World War I broke out. The species was not seen near there, although people were on the lookout.

    ” Many people, [including] biologists / dragonfly enthusiasts researched it and revisited Donner Lake at the right time, and it just hadn’t been seen, ”said Will Richardson, executive director of the Tahoe Institute for Natural Science, the organization that led the team of volunteers who made the discovery.

    “It really shows how citizen science and ordinary people with an open mind and open eyes can make real discoveries and important discoveries,” said Richardson.

    With limited public budgets for monitoring various species, these efforts can go a long way.

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    Utah economy

    Money Matters: Starting a Business? Here’s the financial data you’ll need to track | News, Sports, Jobs

    The couple look over the paperwork.

    If you’re starting a business in Utah this year, you probably already know you’ve come to the right place. Utah ranks third on CNBC Best US States for Business 2021 list, achieving high marks in the Infrastructure, Economy and Business Usability categories.

    But if you have a passion for macrame or lawn manicures but not math, you may not yet have a clear idea of ​​the financial aspects of your business plan. Before investors or bankers agree to fund you, they need to know whether your business will be profitable or not. They will want to see an income statement or an income statement (P&L). This statement covers revenue, cost of goods sold, gross margin, operating expenses, operating profit and net profit. Here is some additional information about each of these elements:

    Returned

    Revenue is the amount you make from sales before all expenses are covered. The lower this number, the more your expenses should be reduced. Income is essential.

    “Without [revenue], your business cannot generate a profit and remain viable in the long term, ”said Neil Kokemuller in an article published for AZ Central. “You have to collect income to justify the fixed and variable expenses you pay just to run a business. Simply put, zero or low income leads to an unprofitable business and negative financial results.

    Cost of goods sold

    Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) refers to the amount you spend to make your products or provide your services. This includes all expenses spent on the production of goods or services, but does not include indirect costs such as overheads or sales and marketing.

    What if you sell items online? Let’s say you have a business that resells used clothing. If you have unique packaging that would appear on a shelf if your business had a physical location, that would be included in your COGS. But the duct tape and cardboard used to ship the items would not be included, nor would the shipping cost, according to Sean Ross at Investopedia.

    Gross margin and gross margin

    How much money do you have left to cover expenses? To find out, take your income and subtract the COGS. It’s your gross profit. Next, to determine your gross margin, divide your gross profit by your total sales.

    For example, let’s say you generated $ 50,000 in the last quarter and your COGS was $ 30,000. Your gross profit would be $ 50,000 minus $ 30,000: $ 20,000. Then, to calculate your gross margin, you divide your sales of $ 50,000 by $ 20,000 and multiply by 100. Your gross margin would be 40%.

    Knowing your gross margin helps you know if you are improving quarter over quarter. And if you know the average gross margin for your industry, that gives you an idea of ​​how you stack up against your competition.

    Operating Expenses

    Operating expenses tell you how much it costs to keep your doors open. This includes insurance, utilities, office supplies, advertising costs and more. To calculate this number, subtract your COGS from your total expenses. When you track your operating expenses, you can better control them and maximize your profits.

    Operating result

    “Operating profit is a measure that shows how much of a company’s revenue will eventually become profits,” Adam Hayes told investopedia.com. Why is this important? Because “many companies focus on operating profit when measuring the operational success of the business.”

    For example, Company A could see its operating profit increase by 30% year over year. As the company seeks to merge with Company B, this growth in operating income gives Company B shareholders confidence that the merger is a good idea, even though Company A’s first quarter sales have declined. dropped by 2%.

    You can calculate operating income by subtracting your operating expenses from your gross income.

    Net revenue

    Net income is “the total income of a business minus its costs, expenses and taxes,” according to Merrill Financial Associates, an investment strategy firm in Provo. “Net income is the net result of a company’s income statement (which can also be called an income statement). “

    With income as the top result, your bottom line is your income less COGS, operating expenses, and any other expenses. This number is important because it tells you how much revenue your business is keeping.

    When you group your income, cost of goods sold, gross margin, operating expenses, operating income, and bottom line, you can create an income statement that will show investors and bankers what they have. need. And with a better understanding of your business’s financial situation, you can make better decisions. So, enterprising dreamers, don’t be fooled by the numbers! It’s easier than you think.

    Bulletin

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    Utah economy

    News Wrap: Biden rejects Trump’s request to withhold January 6 committee’s WH tapes

    Judy Woodruff:

    Certain lands in Utah are considered sacred to Native American tribes. Today’s ruling also prevents commercial fishing in the Marine Conservation Area off the coast of New England.

    President Biden is said to increase the refugee cap to 125,000 for fiscal year 2022. That almost doubles what it was for the previous fiscal year. The increase will follow a campaign pledge he made to take in more refugees after the cap fell to an all-time low under his predecessor.

    Two wealthy parents accused of buying their children’s path to elite universities were found guilty today by a federal jury in Boston. This is the first case to stand trial in the college admissions scandal that erupted over two years ago; 57 people have been charged in connection with the regime.

    Federal prosecutors have decided not to prosecute the white Wisconsin police officer who shot Jacob Blake, a black man, last year. They said there was not enough evidence to prove that the officer used excessive force or violated Blake’s civil rights. Blake is now paralyzed from waist to toe.

    In Nigeria, security forces rescued 187 people in one of the country’s largest hostage releases. The victims were kidnapped by armed bandits in the northwestern state of Zamfara. The hostages, including children and babies, have been held captive in an isolated forest for weeks. Police officials said no ransom was paid.

    And September’s weak jobs report pushed stocks lower on Wall Street today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell eight points to close at 34746. The Nasdaq fell 74 points and the S&P 500 slid eight.

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    Utah economy

    Biden’s approval rating drops to new low, poll finds

    In this September 24, 2021 photo, President Joe Biden listens during the Quad Summit in the East Room of the White House. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

    (NEXSTAR) – Americans’ approval of President Joe Biden’s professional performance has fallen to a new low in a Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday.

    Only 38% of Americans polled approved of Biden, up from 42% three weeks ago. Fifty-three percent of those polled gave it a negative opinion.

    When broken down topic by topic, Biden doesn’t fare much better. Only 25% approved of his handling of immigration, 39% approved of his management of the economy and 37% approved of his work as commander-in-chief.

    His best score reported by Quinnipiac was on handling the coronavirus pandemic: 48% approval versus 50% disapproval.

    “Beaten on confidence, questioned on leadership and challenged on overall competence, President Biden is hammered from all sides as his approval rating continues to drop to a number not seen since the scrutiny of it. ‘Trump administration,’ Quinnipiac poll analyst Tim Malloy said in a press release.

    The way people view the president’s performance is clearly divided along party lines: 94% of Republicans polled said they disapproved, while 80% of Democrats said they approved.

    President Biden’s ratings have plummeted in recent months as the Delta variant ravaged the country, prompting some places to reinstate mask warrants and overcrowded hospitals to cancel elective surgeries. At the same time, Biden oversaw a messy and deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan. To make matters worse, its legislative priorities, like a massive infrastructure package, have stalled in Congress.

    “Everyone is frustrated, it’s part of being in government, of being frustrated,” Biden told reporters on Saturday. He pledged to “work like hell” to get the pillars of his national program adopted.

    See the full breakdown of survey results on the Quinnipiac University website.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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    Utah economy

    Committee vying to bring Olympics back to Utah to meet IOC next month

    SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The next step in bringing the future Olympics back to Utah is expected to be over 5,000 miles next month.

    Members of the Salt Lake City-Utah Games Committee, led by President and CEO Fraser Bullock and Bid Chairperson Catherine Raney Norman, will travel to Lausanne, Switzerland to meet with the International Olympic Committee to discuss a potential candidacy.

    While a visit to the Olympic capital may seem fun and playful, Raney Norman, a former Olympian herself, sees it as a business trip. The goal: to prepare the ground for bringing other Olympic Games to Utah in 2030 or 2034.

    “We’re extremely focused and I think that’s an important stepping stone in this process,” says Raney Norman.

    Although Raney Norman, a Wisconsinite turned Utahn, has competed in four Olympic Winter Games during her speed skating career, meeting the IOC for the first time in her positive position as bid chair, arouses feelings similar to those she had when representing her country. in a race on the world stage.

    “It is such an honor to be in this role as an athlete, as a woman, as a sports leader, to be able to represent and have that voice for our state or our city and the athletes,” she declared. “It is a tremendous honor and a huge responsibility that I take very seriously, and close to my heart, and I recognize this is a tremendous opportunity for the United States.”

    The Salt Lake City Games in 2002 were the last time the United States hosted the world’s largest sporting event, which first began in the modern era in 1896 but has roots in ancient Greece . Los Angeles is poised to put America back at the center of the sports world for the 2030 Summer Games. If the local committee can bring the 2030 Games to Utah, it would be the first time since 1936 that a country welcomes back. -back to the Olympic Games and for the first time with the alternating two-year calendar.

    If the 2030 Games do not materialize for Salt Lake, the committee has also expressed interest in hosting the Olympics in 2034.

    While it may be a 28 or 32 year gap between lighting an Olympic torch in Utah, Raney Norman’s pitch is going to be straightforward; the flame has never been extinguished in Salt Lake. The spirit is still alive and the facilities which hosted the Games in 2002 are still in perfect condition.

    “I think it’s absolutely important and essential to point out that we have some wonderful legacy sites that are more active than they were in 2002,” she explains, citing that not only sports sites from skiing in the Park City area are still used by many Olympians. in training, the Kearns Olympic Oval is still a training center for the US speed skating team. “These places help invigorate our communities and inspire our young people. “

    The fact that many state buildings, facilities and infrastructure have stood the test of time may be one of the committee’s strongest points when competing against people like Sapporo, Japan; Barcelona, ​​Spain; Vancouver, Canada; and Ukrainian.

    Several host cities, even during the recent Olympics, have struggled to set up their world-class venues in time for the first events, and many have left their facilities abandoned in the years since.

    Another point that will certainly be made in Switzerland is that since the organization of the Games at the start of the new millennium, Utah has continued to grow. With the country’s youngest population, the fastest growing economy and a thriving sports landscape, Raney Norman will have a lot to brag about when she presents Utah to the IOC.

    “Personally, one of the things I’ve always enjoyed living here is that you can have a good job because we’re a big metropolitan city. We’re innovative and progressive in our business, but you can play really hard here, ”she boasts. “And we have these beautiful mountains, we have amazing trails, and we kind of have this mindset and this sport culture here and I think sets us apart from a lot of other cities.”

    If Utah hosts any future Games, and Raney Norman says they’ll have a better idea of ​​which opening to focus on by this year, she’s confident residents will show up in droves to support the effort. Getting an Olympic volunteer jacket, one of Utah’s hottest fashion items in 2002, would likely be a must again over the next decade.

    “A lot of this wouldn’t be possible without the support of our community, without the many people involved in it,” she said, thanking the locals who love the Olympics. “To the volunteer effort that’s brought forward again for tourism here in Utah, to those who volunteer their time to help with this, it’s huge. It is extremely commendable to have that.

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    Utah economy

    Representative Albrecht provides update on legislation

    By representative Carl Albrecht, District 70

    Electoral redistribution

    The legislative redistribution committee has been busy at work, traveling across the state to gather feedback and review maps. Be sure to submit your own maps for review using the state of the art drawing tool available at https://redistricting.utah.gov/maps/.

    The Legislature will meet in special session in mid-November to approve maps that will determine Utah’s boundaries for the next decade. You can keep up to date by following the Legislative Boundaries Committee on social media (Twitter & Facebook) and by visiting redistrict.utah.gov.

    Vaccination mandates

    President Biden recently called on the Department of Labor to require all companies with more than 100 employees to either require employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or test negative weekly. The president’s decision to make vaccination of private entities compulsory is unprecedented and unacceptable. While a private company may choose to require vaccinations or tests for its employees, the government forcing companies to take these steps is too much of a manual.

    Speaker of the House Brad Wilson said, “I want to reaffirm my continued support for the immunization effort. Vaccines have proven to be the most effective measure in reducing the pressure on our hospitals and saving lives. However, requiring employers to impose these decisions on their employees is not the role of government and should not become the new precedent. “

    Home service project for veterans

    The Utah House Majority Caucus participated in a service project at the William E. Christoffersen Salt Lake Veterans Home. Representatives pulled weeds, painted planters, planted flowers, and helped with other landscaping needs. We loved the opportunity to give back to our veterans and appreciate all they have done to serve our country.

    Monoclonal antibody treatments

    Monoclonal Antibody Treatment Centers are now providing care to patients in Utah. These treatments should not replace the vaccine but can ease the burden on our hospitals by preventing hospitalizations and saving lives. See your health care provider if you are at high risk and your COVID-19 test is positive.

    Learn more about monoclonal antibody treatments here: https://coronavirus.utah.gov/noveltherapeutics/

    September interim Meetings

    The Legislative Assembly met in September to resume interim meetings. The committees discussed several important and topical issues, including vaccine requirements, access to child care, student mental health, bail reform and more. The topics discussed and the action to be taken by the committee are available at https://le.utah.gov/interim/2021/pdf/00003099.pdf The October meetings are scheduled for October 19 and 20.

    Highlights of Management Credits

    The Office of the Legislative Budget Analyst presented the 2021-2022 budget for the State of Utah to the Executive Appropriations Committee during the interim September period. This budget funds all of our state’s needs, including education, transportation, outdoor recreation, affordable housing and more. You can read the full report here: https://le.utah.gov/interim/2021/pdf/00002925.pdf

    The Credit Executive Committee also discussed how the state can use ARPA funds to meet our critical water needs, received an update on the new University of Mental Health facility. Utah and reviewed a report from the Homeless Council.

    UtahRaptor State Park Update

    Earlier this year, the legislature passed HB 257 to create Utah Raptor State Park near Moab. The new development, engineering and design plans for the park are well advanced. This new national park will feature two new campgrounds with around 60 to 70 individual campsites, a handful of group campsites, an entrance post, a visitor center and many other exciting amenities.

    Military and defense economic impact

    The Utah Defense Alliance commissioned the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute to assess the economic impacts of Utah’s defense industry. Utah’s defense industry makes a substantial contribution to the state’s diverse economy, contributing 10.3% of state employment and $ 13.9 billion in personal income. Listen to the presentation or read the full report at https://le.utah.gov/MtgMinutes/publicMeetingMinutes.jsp?Com=SPEVMA&meetingId=17737

    Podcast

    Head over to Spotify or Apple Podcasts to listen to the recent Utah House Majority podcast, covering topics ranging from economic development to our new civic engagement program!

    Upcoming Events Statewide

    Dreamscapes immersive art exhibition (Salt Lake) Through December, Thursday to Sunday

    Cedar Saturday Market (Cedar City) every Saturday

    Tuacahn Saturday market every Saturday

    Tuacahn Amphitheater (St. George) Open-air theater performances until October 21

    Nature Hills Harvest Fest (Cedar City) October 2–16

    Moab Red Rock Festival October 9

    Fall Harvest Festival (Cache) October 15-16

    Fall Festival and Pumpkin Lane (St. George) October 25

    As always, thank you for the opportunity to represent you in the Utah House of Representatives. Please contact me with any questions or concerns by calling or texting me at (435) 979-6578 or emailing [email protected]

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    Utah economy

    New report shows Utah’s gender pay gap hasn’t changed in four years

    LOGAN, Utah – The gender pay gap in Utah generally ranks among the highest in the country. A new report from the Utah Women & Leadership Project at Utah State University shows little is changing.

    “Unfortunately, with our pay gap, not much has changed,” UWLP director Susan Madsen told ABC4.

    Madsen is one of four authors to write a report titled “Utah Gender Wage Gap: A 2021 Update”. Although the report is the product of four authors, it is actually the product of hundreds of people. The authors compiled research data from 60 sources and asked more than half a dozen other organizations to review the completed report.

    This new report comes about four years after WWLP’s last as a follow-up. “We want to make sure that when we release this it is actually the latest data from different perspectives, employers, the state and people who know how to do census data,” Madsen explained.

    The report shows that women in Utah earn about 30% less than men. Nationally, women earn about 18% less.

    Madsen told ABC4 that Utah almost always ranks last for women’s wages. She pointed out how well the state’s economy is doing right now and noted that to make it even bigger, it’s a title the Utahns need to work on in order to change. She said it could help attract tourists, businesses and other organizations that will bring more income to the state.

    According to Madsen, there are a few major factors that play into this wage gap in Utah. One of these factors is social structure. “In fact, we have more of a traditional society,” she explained. “We have more distinct roles between men and women and some of these things really create bigger gaps. “

    Research cited in the report shows that some of these roles mean that Utah women entering the workforce are less likely to earn graduate degrees that help get better paying jobs, are less likely. likely to pursue better-paying careers in general for jobs that fall. in the social norm for Utah women and are less likely to negotiate a salary. “When we do it, there is reluctance from both men and women,” Madsen added. “Like, ‘Why are they asking for more? It’s a little selfish. Oh, this is interesting. It is not an easy subject.

    Madsen told ABC4 to change to close the wage gap in Utah, public perception, business practices and state policy will have to change. She said: “We need to change not only for women, but for children, and for families and for our society.

    Madsen explained that research shows the wage gap is only getting worse for women of color and single mothers. Both of these demographics are growing in the state. “If you are a single mother in the state of Utah, 40% of you will be living in poverty. 40 percent, ”she said. This, she said, sets the next generation up for failure.

    Madsen told ABC4 that the Utah Women & Leadership Project used the data compiled to draft legislative recommendations to narrow the gender pay gap.

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    Utah economy

    Files show slow response to report of California oil spill – ABC4 Utah

    HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (AP) – The US Coast Guard received the first report of a possible oil spill off the southern California coast more than 12 hours before a company reported the major leak in its pipeline and that a cleanup effort be launched, according to the records. .

    Oil spill reports reviewed by The Associated Press on Monday raise questions about the Coast Guard’s response to one of the state’s largest recent oil spills, as well as how quickly Amplify Energy, the company operating three offshore platforms and the pipeline, admitted it had a problem and notified authorities.

    Two first calls regarding the spill arrived at the National Response Center, which is made up of the Coast Guard and advises other disaster agencies for a swift response. The first was from an anchored ship that noticed a shard in the water and the second, six hours later, from a federal agency which said a possible oil slick had been spotted on satellite images, according to California Office of Emergency Services reports.

    The spill sent up to 126,000 gallons (572,807 liters) of heavy crude into the ocean off Huntington Beach, then spilled onto miles of beaches and a protected marsh. The beaches could remain closed for weeks or more, a big blow to the local economy. Coastal fishing in the area is closed to commercial and recreational fishing.

    Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in Orange County, ordering state agencies “to take immediate and aggressive action to clean up and mitigate the effects” of the spill.

    Experts say it’s too early to determine the total impact on the environment, but so far the number of injured animals has been minimal.

    Investigators are investigating whether a ship’s anchor may have struck a pipeline on the ocean floor, Coast Guard officials said Monday.

    Amplify Energy CEO Martyn Willsher said company divers were inspecting the area of ​​the suspected leak reported on Saturday and that he expected Tuesday there to be a clearer picture of the cause. damage. Willsher said an anchor from a freighter hitting the pipeline is “one of the distinct possibilities” behind the leak.

    Freighters entering the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach regularly pass through the area. Arrears have plagued ports in recent months and several dozen or more giant ships have been steadily anchored while waiting to enter ports and unload.

    “We are investigating whether this could have been an anchor from a ship, but it is in the evaluation phase right now,” said Lt. Cmdr of the Coast Guard. said Jeannie Shaye.

    Shaye said the Coast Guard was only notified of the disaster on Saturday morning, although records show his dangerous spill response hotline received the first report of a possible oil spill on Friday evening.

    A foreign vessel anchored off the coast witnessed an “unknown shard in the water near their vessel” at 6:13 p.m. and the report was called to the response center just after 8:22 p.m., according to the state report. .

    Lonnie Harrison Jr., vice president of Colonial Compliance Systems Inc., which works with foreign ships in U.S. waters to report spills, said one of his clients reported the sighting.

    Harrison, a retired Coast Guard captain, said the ship was not involved in the spill and was then cleared over the weekend to enter port to refuel after having determined that it was not contaminated by the slick.

    About six hours after receiving the first report, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that satellite imagery had spotted a possible oil slick more than 3 miles long. The National Response Center report said the image of a “possible oil anomaly” was likely associated with the first report.

    “Although there were many ships in the immediate vicinity of the anomaly, none were clearly associated with the anomaly,” the report said. “These factors prevented the possible identification of a point source. Yet the NRC report allows great confidence that it was oil. “

    The company that operates the pipeline first reported the spill to the Coast Guard Response Center at 8:55 a.m. on Saturday. However, the report says the incident happened at 2:30 a.m.

    Federal and state authorities require prompt reporting of a spill. Failure to do so led to criminal proceedings against Plains All American Pipeline, which caused a coastal spill near Santa Barbara in 2015, and Southern California Gas Co. for a massive well blowout later in the year.

    A 2016 spill response plan for Amplify rigs submitted to federal regulators called for immediate notification to federal officials when more than one barrel of oil is released into water. Releases greater than five barrels – or that threaten state waters or the coastline – require immediate notification from the state fire marshal and California wildlife officials.

    The pipeline was supposed to be monitored by an automated leak detection system that would report problems to a permanently staffed control room on the oil rig known as Elly.

    The system has been designed to trigger an alarm whenever a change in oil flow is detected. But how quickly it can take these changes into account should vary depending on the size of the leak. For a large leak – 10% or more of the amount of oil flowing through the pipeline – the detection time was estimated to be 5 minutes. According to the response plan, smaller leaks were expected to take up to 50 minutes to detect.

    The spill plan warned that a pipeline rupture could cause “substantial damage to the environment” and that in a worst-case scenario 3,111 barrels (131,000 gallons) of oil could be released from the pipeline .

    Willsher said the required agencies were notified “instantly” when the company acknowledged the leak was from its pipeline. Records show the spill was not reported by Amplify Energy but by Witt O’Brien’s, a crisis and emergency management company listed on the spill response plan as a point of contact to inform the NRC.

    The report said the leaking pipe had been closed but containment was not confirmed. The cause of the rupture was unknown.

    Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said investigators were looking to determine if he could file a lawsuit against the state over the spill, even though the leak occurred in waters supervised by the US government. Other potential criminal investigations were being carried out by the US Department of Justice, Coast Guard and California Department of Fish and Wildlife, officials said.

    Safety advocates have lobbied for years for federal rules that would tighten oil spill detection requirements and force companies to install valves that can automatically shut off the flow of crude in the event of a leak. The petroleum and pipeline industries have resisted these demands because of their high cost.

    “If the operator had more valves installed on this line, he would now have a much better chance of isolating the point of failure,” said Bill Caram of the Pipeline Safety Trust, an organization based in Bellingham, Wash.

    The pipeline was constructed using a process known as electrical resistance welding, according to a company regulatory filing. This welding process has been linked to past pipeline failures, as corrosion can occur along seams, according to government safety advisories and Caram.

    Annual reports filed with federal regulators in 2019 and 2020 showed that inspections of the interior and exterior of the pipe did not reveal anything requiring repair.

    ___

    Associated Press editors Michael Biesecker in Washington, Bernard Condon in New York, and Amy Taxin in Huntington Beach, Calif., Contributed to this report.

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    Utah economy

    Small Business Development Center bids farewell to Lennart Erickson – St George News

    ST. GEORGE – The Southern Utah Small Business Development Center bade farewell to its director, Lennart Erickson, on Wednesday morning.

    Left to Right: Len Erickson and Dixie Technical College President Kelle Stephens walk arm in arm to cut the ribbon to celebrate the launch of the Dixie Business Alliance, St. George, Utah September 29, 2021 | Photo by David Dudley, St. George News

    Erickson consulted over 1,400 clients during his 13-year tenure, which had a $ 44 million impact on the southern Utah economy.

    Dixie Technical College President Kelle Stephens spoke a few words about Erickson to the audience who had gathered for Wednesday morning’s list of events, which included two panels, a keynote speaker, a ribbon cutting to celebrate the launch of the new Dixie Business Alliance and recognition of Erickson’s departure.

    “I used to have an office near Len’s,” Stephens says. “I had the opportunity to hear a lot of commercial arguments. Most of them thought they had big ideas. It was Len who must have said, ‘No, that will never work.’ … We all need someone like that, don’t we?

    Erickson made the crowd laugh when he replied, “Not everyone would agree with you.”

    Erickson watches Stephens prepare to cut the ribbon, St. George, Utah September 29, 2021 | Photo by David Dudley, St. George News

    Erickson said he was responsible for feasibility reports, which considered a company’s strengths and weaknesses when their owners applied for loans. While some business owners took his advice to heart, others were more stubborn, he said, adding that sadly many of those companies didn’t.

    Among them was a group looking to start a tire recycling business.

    “I saw that they weren’t going to be able to have enough tires and that there was not much they could do with the tires they had,” Erickson said. “They weren’t going to have enough clients or customers, even though they had already invested in the business.”

    In addition to the unsuccessful businesses, Erickson has helped over 240 other businesses get started, creating nearly 2,000 jobs. A statistics sheet distributed Wednesday said Erickson had spent more than 15,000 hours working with business owners.

    Following Stephens’ comments, Jeff Mather, the new director of the Small Business Development Center, took the stage. Almost as soon as he started to speak, Mather held back tears.

    Jeff Mather gives Len Erickson a framed stat sheet to commemorate Erickson’s accomplishments, St. George, Utah September 29, 2021 | Photo by David Dudley, St. George News

    “Len worked for one of the worst bosses in history: the White Shark of Wall Street,” Mather said, referring to Thomas Mellon Evans, the financier who has been called one of the first corporate raiders. . Lobbying for shareholder rights, Evans used controversial tactics to gain control of more than eighty American corporations, ushering in a new era for corporations in 1950s America.

    Mather went on to say that Erickson told him about a friend’s funeral which was packed with mourners.

    “Len said he didn’t think he could get 10 people to come to his house,” Mather said. Then, drawing his attention to Erickson, he added, “Well, it’s not your funeral, but look how many people are here today.”

    As Erickson moves from St. George to Salt Lake City, he said he will continue to work for the Small Business Development Center. As his 76th birthday approached, he recalled his father’s approaching retirement.

    “My father was a lawyer in Denver,” he told St. George News. “He didn’t stop working until he was 80 years old. Work has reinvigorated him, and so am I.

    Still, Erickson has said he intends to retire in the next few years. Until then, he will be spending his billable hours helping Salt Lake City clients get their businesses off the ground in a competitive economy.

    Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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