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Utah economy

Utah economy

AM News Brief: State Revenue Gains, Drinking Water Contaminant, Man Found Incompetent in LDS Church Shooting Trial

Wednesday morning July 14, 2021

state

First data shows revenue gains for the state

Preliminary data shows that the total revenue of the state of Utah increased by more than 30% at the end of fiscal 2021 compared to last year. In a press release, the Utah state legislature said the results included data from the Utah State Tax Commission. Officials said incomes rose more than economists expected, indicating strong economic growth from the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic downturn. The statement added that the impact of federal stimulus measures on the state and individuals throughout the year – and how much that boosted the economy – is still uncertain. He suggested that the infusion of federal funds might have created a one-time support effect that won’t help revenues in the future. Year-end figures are still provisional and subject to final accounting adjustments. – Pamela mccall

Special units to correct conviction errors

Utah passed a law last year allowing prosecutors to create special units to review previous convictions. At least four counties now have them: Salt Lake, Utah, Davis, and Summit. Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said his office had an obligation to correct any mistakes he made in the past. But lawyers in rural counties may find it more difficult to create these teams because there may not be enough lawyers practicing in these areas. Read the full story. – Sonja hutson

Region / Nation

Man found unfit to stand trial in Nevada church shooting

The man charged with a 2018 shooting at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Fallon, Nevada, has been ruled unfit to stand trial. John O’Connor, 51, is said to have killed one man and injured another during Sunday services. The Lahontan Valley News reported a the judge made his decision on Tuesday based on his finding that O’Connor is unable to assist in his defense. O’Connor has been held in a mental institution since September 2018, when a judge made a similar finding. He pleaded not guilty to four counts, including first degree murder. – Associated press

Accomplice sentenced in adoption fraud case

An Arizona woman has been sentenced to two years in prison as part of an illegal adoption program involving a former politician and women from the Marshall Islands. Lynwood Jennet helped submit bogus claims for birth mothers to receive state-funded health coverage under the leadership of Paul Petersen. He’s a Republican who was a Maricopa County assessor for six years and an adoption lawyer. Petersen has pleaded guilty to crimes related to the scheme in three states, including Utah. He was sentenced to one to 15 years in Utah for a human trafficking conviction. – Associated press

The way to regulate drinking water contaminants

This week, the United States Environmental Protection Agency included a new family of chemicals in his latest draft of drinking water contaminants. These are a group of man-made chemicals that stay a very long time, including in the human body. They are also believed to be prevalent in our drinking water. These are called per- and polyfluoroalkylated substances, also known as PFAS. The EPA’s proposal to include PFAS in its list of water contaminants lays the groundwork for potential regulation in the future. But first, the agency proposes to monitor drinking water for some of these chemicals in order to get a better idea of ​​their prevalence. – Maggie Mullen, Mountain West Information Office

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Utah economy

West Virginia New Business Incentive Fund endowed with $ 30 million and no safeguards

This story was originally published by Mountain State Spotlight. Receive stories like this delivered to your inbox once a week; subscribe to the free newsletter on https://mountainstatespotlight.org/newsletter

Many other states were doing it. And the pressure has arrived in West Virginia to follow suit.

Now lawmakers have approved the $ 30 million investment in a closing fund to attract new business to the state, following Governor Jim Justice’s recommendation in the recent special session. Dubbed the ‘seal the deal’ fund, the money is intended for projects that will convince a business to come to West Virginia.

Economic Development Secretary Mitch Carmichael said this type of fund was necessary for West Virginia to compete with its neighbors.

“In a post-pandemic world, we are trying to recover from our global economic downturn, and other states have these tools,” Carmichael said. “Why would anyone want to tie the hands of West Virginia and not allow us to compete for these jobs and these opportunities?” “

But these types of funds have drawn bipartisan criticism in other states for failing to deliver results, and past incentive programs in West Virginia have rarely produced the economic benefits promised. Additionally, the legislature approved the fund without putting any safeguards – while officials say rules are coming, there is currently no independent oversight governing how it is spent and analyzing what jobs – if at all. – materialize.

If at first you don’t succeed….

The justice system has tried for years to get the legislature to allocate money to a deal-making fund; a few years ago he proposed allocating $ 35 million for it, but lawmakers chose to exclude this item from the final budget.

“All of our contiguous states have such funds, and we’ve been looking for those funds for a long time,” said Carmichael, who served as Senate speaker from 2017 to 2021. He lost his seat in the 2020 Republican primary elections. “We tried. to get those deals, but there was always a higher priority for public funds. “

But West Virginia’s budget surplus, widely attributed the increase in funds the state has received through federal stimulus packages, has changed the fund’s outlook. Justice called a special session in June to ask lawmakers to allocate $ 250 million in excess revenue to various initiatives. By voting on June 24, lawmakers on both sides overwhelmingly approved nearly all of Justice’s demands, including the $ 30 million closing fund.

“It’s in an effort to fill that gap in a deal to recruit a company that wouldn’t be here without this funding stream, whatever it is,” Carmichael said. “It could be a water and sewerage project at a particular site, it could be broadband development, it could be environmental clean-up, any of those issues that prevent a business from locating and creating jobs in West Virginia.

Carmichael cited Texas and Florida as two of the states that have successfully used similar funds – however, there is debate over the value of these funds in both places.

John Deskins, director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the College of Business and Economics at the University of West Virginia, agreed with Carmichael that the absence of such a fund would put West Virginia at a competitive disadvantage. .

“Other states are doing it very aggressively,” Deskins said. “If other states are doing it, we have to do it too. “

But he said the fund needs clear and transparent rules so that companies and the government are confident that the other side will meet its targets of any deal.

Guardrails and opposition

So far, the West Virginia fund has no rules. Lawmakers have adopted The law project without putting a railing on it to make sure the money is well spent, although Commerce Secretary Ed Gaunch told them at the time that they would welcome surveillance.

“The rules, specifications and oversight are still expected to come, and we would invite it,” Gaunch said at a meeting of the House finance committee.

Carmichael said that the flexibility newly created The Ministry of Economic Development has with the money is part of the point: it helps to do business, facilitate relationships and quickly create jobs.

And he’s already started committing the money, promising Macy’s $ 200,000 for a red light in an area that will help its Eastern Panhandle distribution center. Carmichael added that he will not write the check until the fund guidelines are in place.

“It’s going to be completely transparent, and there will be safeguards around it so that we know we’re getting what we’re paying for,” he said.

But organizations from all political walks of life agree: the best practice with such funds – if they are to be used at all – is to set the rules up front to ensure that the money doesn’t is not badly spent.

Kasia Tarczynska, research analyst at left-wing organization Good Jobs First, said that ideally lawmakers would have included some regulation on funds, such as job creation requirements and caps.

James Hohman, director of tax policy for the conservative Michigan-based Mackinac Center for Public Policy, said the best practice is to insert into any law that allows the required funds from recoveries, so if a company does not meet its obligations , she repay the state. But he said regardless, such funds usually fall short of what lawmakers expect of them.

“In fact, they more often than not end up showing that they are ineffective at creating jobs, unfair to businesses that don’t get them, and costly to state budgets,” Hohman said.

For delegate Pat McGeehan, R-Hancock, whether there were any rules is a moot point. McGeehan was one of the 12 state delegates – all Republicans – who voted against the bill. He called it an “immoral procedure”.

“Hey, we’re going to take this money and steal it from all the workers in the state and then give it to these big companies that don’t need it and he’s probably not going to make a deal anyway that does.” was not already sealed, ”he said. “It’s just [going to] waste a lot of money, you will have a bunch of groundbreaking ceremonies, some politicians will have their names in the paper, but nothing productive will come of it.

McGeehan said the bill would not only be ineffective but also counterproductive, putting too much power and influence over public funds in the hands of a privileged few, a business he said could be ripe for abuse.

The delegate cited historical examples of the state’s misuse of money as cause for concern, highlighting the stimulus money the Obama administration gave West Virginia for broadband expansion in 2009. A report by a West Virginia legislative auditor found that millions of dollars could have been spent on high-speed internet was wasted.

Over the years, West Virginia has not had much success with programs using tax breaks and other incentives in an attempt to stimulate the state’s economy. Among the most publicized examples was the Super Tax Credit program in the mid-1980s. It was to attract an auto factory to the state, but the plant went elsewhere and the tax credits went mainly to the coal industry. More recently, an audit earlier this year found that the state’s Economic Development Authority spent millions of dollars on incentives for jobs that never came.

Tarczynska says there are more effective economic development solutions than closing funds.

“What we generally recommend is to spend this money on programs that actually reduce poverty and create equal opportunities for growth,” she said.

The compact

Hohman said there is a growing coalition of people from all ideological backgrounds who are skeptical about closing funds.

“Whether you are on the right or on the left, the two sides kind of agree that this is not the type of competition that states should engage in,” he said. “We want to compete on your business climate and quality of life issues, rather than what lawmakers are offering a handful of companies. “

For several years, State Senator Mike Romano, D-Harrison, sponsored legislation that would bring West Virginia into an interstate deal not to offer subsidies to businesses.

According to Coalition to phase out corporate tax giveaways, this pact is still theoretical: no state has entered it yet, but legislation to this effect has been introduced in 15 state legislatures this year. While none ultimately came into force, a bill did manage to pass Utah House last year.

“I think this legislation, SB 95, is a great way to get all states to join a pact that says, “Look, we’re not going to buy business, we’re going to be competitive, we’re going to be competitive based on the attributes of our particular state. Romano said. “And, if you want to come to one of our states, come and get us because we are the best place for your business.”

His bill, however, would allow the state to compete as usual against states that are not part of the pact. It would also have no impact on existing company specific subsidies.

And, until his state and other states sign the deal, Romano said West Virginia should continue to compete using those closing funds.

While Romano was absent for the fund’s vote to “seal the deal”, he said that in order to gain his support for investing future money in the fund, he would like more metrics on it.

“If it were up to me, this ‘seal of the deal’ will be used to benefit all businesses, not one particular business,” he said.

Contact journalist Douglas Soule at [email protected]

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Utah economy

GATHERING IN THE WEST | Hungry grasshoppers threaten the routes; New Mexico Offers Job Bonuses New

MONTANA

Stimulated by drought, grasshoppers threaten rangelands

BILLINGS – A severe drought in the western United States dries up rivers, starts wildfires and forces farmers to search for water. Next: an invasion of voracious locusts.

Federal agriculture officials are launching what could become their biggest grasshopper destruction campaign since the 1980s amid an outbreak of drought-loving insects that cattle ranchers fear will strip public ranges and private.

Grasshoppers thrive in hot, dry weather, and populations were already on the rise last year, paving the way for an even larger epidemic in 2021. Such outbreaks could become more frequent as climate change alters patterns of disease. precipitation, the scientists said.

To lessen the economic damage from grasshoppers, the United States Department of Agriculture began aerial spraying of the pesticide diflubenzuron in late June to kill grasshopper nymphs before they become adults. About 3,000 square miles of Montana is expected to be sprayed, about double the size of Rhode Island.

The scale of the program has alarmed environmentalists who say the widespread spraying will kill many insects, including spiders and other grasshopper predators as well as ailing species such as monarch butterflies. They also fear pesticides could ruin organic farms adjacent to spray areas.

A typical infestation can wipe out 20% of range fodder and have an impact of $ 900 million, according to a 2012 University of Wyoming study cited by federal officials.

Drought benefits grasshoppers in part because it reduces the exposure of grasshopper eggs to deadly pests that need moisture, said Chelse Prather, an insect ecologist at the University of Dayton.

This year’s outbreak will peak in about two months, Prather said, when the insects grow to 2 to 3 inches in length and become so widespread that they will begin to eat more plant material than livestock.

NEW MEXICO

State job seekers can get a federal bonus of $ 1,000

SANTA FE – Federal relief funds will be used to provide back-to-work bonuses of up to $ 1,000 to New Mexico residents who find employment in the coming weeks and stop receiving insurance benefits- unemployment, state labor officials said on July 2.

New Mexico Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s program aims to encourage a return to work before federal unemployment supplements expire in early September.

New child support payments gradually drop from $ 1,000 to $ 400 by the end of July, providing a larger payment sooner a job is secure. The federal supplement provides an additional $ 300 per week in addition to state unemployment benefits.

Polis rejects Colorado GOP delegation's call to end extra unemployment benefits

Some companies have complained that the increase in federal assistance for the unemployed – especially the additional $ 300 per week benefit, intended to cushion the economic blow of the pandemic – has discouraged people from seeking employment. But other factors have also reportedly contributed to the shortage of people re-seeking work, ranging from difficulty arranging or paying for childcare services to lingering fears of COVID-19.

In response to criticism of the length of extended unemployment benefits, dozens of states began to drop extended federal aid in June.

More than 70,000 New Mexico residents receive unemployment insurance. On July 1, state health officials lifted the latest restrictions on business occupancy and public gatherings, opening up the economy as vaccination rates exceed 62%.

The Department of Workforce Solutions says it expects up to 15,000 people to take advantage of the return-to-work program at a total cost of up to $ 10.1 million.

Recall petition begins against Cowboys for Trump founder

SANTA FE – A political committee has started circulating a petition to remove Cowboys or Trump founder Couy Griffin from his public service as commissioner in Otero County.

The Couy Griffin Recall Committee said on July 1 in a press release that it had started collecting signatures in a bid to schedule a recall election.

The petition alleges Griffin neglected and abused his post as county commissioner while skipping public meetings and promoting a support group for President Donald Trump that Griffin treated like a for-profit business.

Recall Polis Group Adds Secretary of State Griswold to Recall List;  end of July drop in petitions expected

Griffin, elected in 2018, says the allegations in the petition are frivolous and without merit. Separately, Griffin faces federal charges in connection with the siege of the U.S. Capitol on Jan.6, where he appeared on an outdoor patio and attempted to lead a prayer.

The recall committee is due to collect approximately 1,540 signatures from registered voters in the Griffin district to trigger a vote on whether Griffin remains in office until 2022.

Otero County Clerk Robyn Holmes said a successful petition would put the question on the November general election ballot for local and non-partisan races.

Colorado Politics’ Insider newsletter tells you everything you need to know about the latest news from the Colorado political arena. Subscribe via the newsletter button on our home page.

IDAHO

Orthwestern Band of Shoshone sues Idaho over hunting rights

BOISE – The Northwestern Shoshone Nation Band is suing Idaho Governor Brad Little and state wildlife officials in federal court, claiming the state wrongly denied hunting rights to the tribe secured by the Fort Bridger Treaty of 1868.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Idaho in June, asks a judge to declare the Northwest Band protected under the treaty. State attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

At first glance, the legal matter might boil down to whether any of the Native American leaders who signed the treaty represented the Northwestern Band along with other bands of the Shoshone Nation, and whether the Northwestern Band itself remained a cohesive unit at the time. since.

But at the heart of the dispute is a dilemma faced by many Native American governments across the United States who sometimes find themselves at odds with game wardens, mining companies, water users, or other groups as ‘They are trying to preserve their use of the land promised to them. in treaties signed centuries ago.

Governor signs bills on elections, tribal nations and broadband expansion

Today, the Northwestern Band has no reserve land and its tribal offices are in Brigham City, Utah. Historically, band members spent time fishing near what is now Salmon, Idaho, hunted big game in western Wyoming, and hunted and congregated in southern Idaho and the ‘Utah. Winters were often spent in Southeast Idaho.

According to the lawsuit, the state of Idaho does not recognize that the Northwestern bands of the Shoshone Nation were part of the Fort Bridger Treaty and does not believe that members of the government-recognized Northwest Band federal have the right to hunt on unoccupied land. in accordance with the treaty.

In 1997, two brothers and tribesmen of the Northwestern Band were convicted of off-season hunting in Idaho, despite having hunting badges issued by the Northwestern Band. Shane and Wayde Warner appealed their convictions, claiming Treaty rights at Fort Bridger.

WYOMING

Drunk and messy Yellowstone tourist gets 60 days in jail

JACKSON – A tourist in Yellowstone National Park was sentenced to 60 days in jail and banned from entering the park for five years after pleading guilty to disorderly driving and other charges involving unrest that erupted when a guide brought down refused to take tourist’s group in kayak because the group was too drunk to go.

Prosecutors said Kyle Campbell, 31, of Fairmont, Indiana, made threatening comments and kicked park officers as he resisted arrest in the incident.

Committees met to advise re-introduction of wolves in Colorado

Campbell was sentenced on June 23 by US trial judge Mark L. Carman in Mammoth. Campbell also faces five years of unsupervised probation and has been ordered to pay more than $ 1,550 in fines, according to a statement by Acting US Attorney Bob Murray that was reported by the Jackson Hole News & Guide.

“We understand that people are eager to get out this summer and enjoy our national parks; however, this type of behavior is unacceptable,” Murray said.

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Utah economy

Family of playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda surprises Utah nonprofit with donation

Lin-Manuel Miranda and his father Luis Miranda Jr. are featured in a social media post after donating to Utah Refugee Connection. (Facebook)

SALT LAKE CITY – A Utah nonprofit serving refugees received a surprise phone call from popular playwright and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda’s father, who wanted to help.

At the end of last week, Amy Dott Harmer, executive director of Utah Refugee Connection, was warned that she would soon receive a phone call from someone who wanted to donate to the association.

She said she had “no idea” who it might be. The call arrived on the morning of Friday July 2.

“This guy just said, ‘This is Luis, and you don’t know me, but I have a family foundation and we really want to support your efforts to meet the needs of newcomers to the United States,” said Harmer. mentionned.

When the caller told him the amount of the donation, which Harmer describes as “very generous”, it piqued his curiosity. The association often receives donations from family foundations, but not for such large sums.

“And I said, ‘Tell me a little more about your family foundation,'” she recalls.

“He said, ‘Well, you know the Hamilton musical? My son wrote that,’” Harmer added.

“We are the Miranda family and my name is Luis. We just heard about the work you do and we would love to support your efforts,” Harmer recalls.

She said she was “stunned” and did not fully process the call until later.

Harmer has learned that the Miranda family know Utah and know some of its residents. The family contacted acquaintances and asked for a suggestion for a nonprofit that benefits new Americans in the community.

“I think they understand the gift of diversity, and they’re trying to build and advocate for ways that people can see that diversity is really a beautiful part of our American culture, and that represents theirs. movie “In the Heights” and in the way they choose to channel their energies, telling some of the stories of these new Americans, and that they can be useful in building our economy and the landscape of the United States, “said Harmer .

After Utah Refugee Connection shared the story on their social media accounts, Governor Spencer Cox also tweeted his thanks to the Miranda family “for their friendship, kindness and generosity.”

Luis Miranda replied to the tweet: “Thank you, Governor!”

Harmer declined to disclose the amount of the donation, but thanked the Mirandas for their generosity.

Utah Refugee Connection strives to provide services to immigrants that are not provided elsewhere.

“We fill in the gaps in the community, so sometimes, you know, we work with a lot of different nonprofits and programs to try to fill in those gaps that are critical,” Harmer said.

Utah Refugee Connection helps connect those who want to serve with the needs of their communities and build friendships with volunteers and refugees.

The association is currently collecting school supplies for refugee students until the end of July, Harmer said.

Those interested in helping can visit Utah Refugee Connection’s social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, or visit serverefugees.org.

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Utah economy

Even before the assassination of Jovenel Moïse, Haiti was in crisis

The assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse at his home threatens to exacerbate Haiti’s already endemic problems.

“Anything that could go wrong seems to go wrong,” said Robert fatton, an expert on Haitian politics at the University of Virginia, and originally from Haiti itself.

The western part of the island of Hispaniola, Haiti is perched in the Caribbean just 600 miles southeast of Florida. He overthrew French rule with a successful revolt, becoming the first republic ruled by blacks in 1804.

The United States has a long history of intervention there: it occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934. The United States sent the Marines twice in the past three decades to restore order under President Bill Clinton , then again under President George W. Bush.

Even before Moïse’s assassination on Wednesday morning, Haiti was in crisis: political instability, the lasting effects of a devastating earthquake and cholera epidemic, foreign political interference and gang violence all pervaded wreaks havoc.

“You have this situation where the institutions are not functioning, where the economy is stagnating (…) politics has been extremely volatile. The current government has been challenged by the population. There have been massive accusations of corruption,” Fatton said. “So you name it, in terms of instability and institutional decay, you have it right now in Haiti.”

The country faces a constitutional crisis

Francois Pierre Louis, an expert on Haitian politics at Queens College at the City University of New York, said he was not very surprised to learn of Moses’ murder.

Moses had stripped rival political parties, businessmen and great families of power. “He made a lot of enemies. [The attack] could come from anywhere. And he has alienated too many people, “Pierre-Louis, from Haiti, told NPR.

Moses took office in 2017 after a protracted and contested election. He had never held political office before; he was a businessman who had enriched himself as a fruit exporter.

The opposition said his term should have ended in February, but Moïse said since it took him a year to officially take office, his term should be extended until 2022.

The 53-year-old president had ruled by decree for over a year when he was assassinated, after dissolving parliament and failing to hold legislative elections.

On July 1, the United Nations Security Council issued a declaration expressing “its deep concern regarding the deterioration of political, security and humanitarian conditions in Haiti”.

Moïse also proposed a referendum on changes to Haiti’s constitution.

Among others, the UN Explain, the constitutional changes desired by Moses would allow the president to run for two consecutive five-year terms without a currently stipulated break. It would also effectively abolish the Haitian Senate and establish a vice president who would report to the president, instead of a prime minister. He called for free and fair elections in 2021, when they are scheduled.

But not everyone thinks it’s even possible right now. “Many civil society organizations in Haiti – and I think rightly – claim that you cannot have elections in the current climate, which is one of very high instability and insecurity,” he said. said Fatton.

He still struggles to recover from a crippling earthquake

In 2010, Haiti was devastated by an earthquake, the main shock of which shook the ground for nearly 30 seconds. At least 220,000 people are estimated to have died and some 1.5 million people have been displaced. “About 300,000 were injured and much of the country was buried under tons of twisted metal and concrete,” according to NPR. reported.

The earthquake destroyed Haiti’s infrastructure. And this infrastructure has not yet been really rebuilt.

“People are still traumatized by the earthquake. They have lost members of their family, ”says Pierre-Louis. “They couldn’t rebuild because they don’t have an income. And then you have generations of people who are gone.”

A devastating cholera epidemic

This earthquake was followed by another deadly force: cholera.

As Jason Beaubien of NPR reported in 2016, “UN peacekeepers inadvertently brought cholera to Haiti in 2010 just after the devastating earthquake. The epidemic, which is still ongoing, sickened nearly 800,000 people and killed nearly 9,000. Before 2010, cholera had not been reported in Haiti for decades. “

The UN apologized for its role in the cholera epidemic in 2016. Yet, as Pierre-Louis notes: “People were not compensated for the loss of family members who were supporting family.

Gangs are multiplying

Gangs have become a scourge in the capital Port-au-Prince. A recent UN report mentionned 5,000 people had been displaced by gang violence in the first 10 days of June alone.

“The violence has left several people dead or injured, as rival gangs fight to exert control over populated areas like Martissant, Cité-Soleil and Bel Air. Hundreds of homes and small businesses have also been set on fire,” said UN police stations were also attacked by armed assailants.

Some areas of Port-au-Prince are not even accessible because gangs control them, Fatton says, reflecting the government’s inability to govern. “And these areas are very close, in fact, to the seats of power, to the presidential palace, to the Legislative Assembly,” he said.

Haiti has yet to deliver vaccine doses as COVID rises

Haiti is the poorest country in Latin America and the Caribbean, and is one of the poorest countries in the world, according to at the World Bank.

Almost half of the population needs immediate food aid, according to to the United Nations World Food Program.

Hurricane Matthew hit the country in 2016, further damaging the country’s economy. More than 90 percent of the Haitian population is extremely vulnerable to natural disasters, according to the World Bank.

The country has seen a recent resurgence of COVID-19. It is also one of the few countries that has yet to administer a dose of the vaccine, Reuters reports.

“It’s a climate of insecurity,” says Fatton.

There is a power struggle

It is not yet clear who is responsible for the murder of Moses. But Pierre-Louis believes that a possible narrative in his murder is the fight between the incoming elite of Moses and the old elite.

“He was trying to dispossess several people in Haiti who have long been well known as businessmen in Haiti,” he said. “You always have that in Haiti, where when a person becomes president, that’s how the person tries to accumulate wealth: by using the resources of the state, by using other means to dispossess others. who already have wealth and power.

Yet Fatton says an assassination is a new phenomenon in modern Haitian politics. While Haiti’s first independent ruler was assassinated in 1806, such violence has not been typical in the country’s modern era.

“It was a very brutal and shocking event,” says Fatton.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To learn more, visit https://www.npr.org.
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Utah economy

Does the media create sexism against women in politics? – News from Saint-Georges

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File photo courtesy of USU Extension, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Research over the past decades indicates that female politicians continue to be disadvantaged in the way they are covered by the media, and that women are often discouraged from entering politics due to sexist media reporting.

File photo by Unsplash, St. George News

To determine how female political candidates were represented in the Utah media, researchers at the Utah State University Utah Women and Leadership Project assessed media coverage from 1995 to 2020. News articles were collected from The Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News, Weber’s Standard-Examiner. County and The Daily Herald in Utah County. For analysis, 383 articles were reviewed.

According to Susan Madsen, founding director of the Leadership Project and one of the study’s five authors, the research did not include a benchmarking of media focused on Utah’s men running for office, but each section of the study provides a comparison with other studies. which focused on men.

“Our research may help Utah residents and the media become more aware of gendered language that could negatively impact female applicants, as most people still view ‘leadership’ as a male trait or activity.” , she said.

The study’s research was divided into 12 areas, in order of frequency of mention: candidate background, viability, general tone, mention of gender, leadership traits, male versus female issues, family life, male versus female traits. , physical appearance, personality traits, sexist comments and level of government. Highlights of the research follow.

File photo by Unsplash, St. George News

More than men, women benefited from coverage focused on their background, family life and personality. The media tended to emphasize the lack of viability of the candidates, focusing more on “horse racing” or the predictive aspects of the results of their campaigns.

One politician said: “When a woman is in a leadership position, we expect her to be tough. However, if she is too harsh, she looks “witchy.” But it cannot be too soft, because then it is labeled as “not strong enough for the job.” This is consistent with research indicating that the perceived characteristics of women conflict with the demands of political leadership.

Published research suggests that male candidates are much less likely than women to be referenced by their gender, as men are accepted as the norm in politics, while women are viewed as historical figures at best – or at worst. as abnormal. Repeatedly emphasizing gender underscores the perceived scarcity of female politicians in Utah.

“Compassion issues” are called female issues which focus on people-related topics such as poverty, education, health care, child care, environment, social issues (including LGBTQ) and issues related to women’s experiences (e.g. abortion, violence against women / domestic violence, gender quotas).

Conversely, men’s issues focus on “hard issues”, such as foreign policy, foreign affairs, natural resources, armed forces / military, budget and finance, taxes and the economy. In addition, the media more frequently reported the candidates’ personal information, including marital and parental coverage. In contrast, male applicants are more likely to be described based on their occupation, experience or achievement.

File photo by Unsplash, St. George News

When a candidate got emotional, the Utah media called him out, often in a way that suggested women need to bottle their emotions and bury themselves in their jobs to be tough enough. One candidate was described as “disastrously tearful” and “involuntary”.

Physical appearance was identified in 52 articles, with women’s clothing, age and race being mentioned most frequently. There were also references to her shoes, hair, makeup, height, weight, fitness, beauty or physical attractiveness, and appearance of tired, stressed, or energized. Focusing on a candidate’s personal style and attributes, but not providing comparable ratings for men, diminishes the way women are viewed, ignoring their substance and leadership abilities.

Media coverage has shown subtle forms of sexist language, including things like ambitious, fiery, or compassionate, which only reinforce gender stereotypes. Women tend to be seen as ice queens, grandmothers, mothers or “steel in a velvet glove”. Such comments reduce a candidate’s credibility, respectability and sympathy.

Sheryl Allen, former Davis County state lawmaker, said women have a different perspective and if we are to have good government we need a diversity of opinions and expertise.

Madsen said it was in Utah’s best interests to prepare and support more women in political leadership positions and to provide them with more equitable and representative media coverage.

“The research clearly shows that by doing this, we can uplift our residents and strengthen our businesses, communities and the state as a whole,” she said.

Written by JULENE REESE, USU Extension.

The other authors of the study are Rebecca B. West, Lindsey Phillips, Trish Hatch and April Townsend. The full study is available online. You can find more information about the UWLP here.

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

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Utah economy

Farmers’ markets strengthen the local economy, a sense of community; Double Up program helps SNAP beneficiaries – St George News

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Farmers’ Market in St George, Utah, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Kat Puzey, St George News / Cedar City News

FUNCTIONALITY – Have you shopped at your local farmer’s market? Otherwise, you are missing out! There is nothing like the taste of fresh, locally grown produce.

Juicy tomatoes, perfectly ripe peaches, and fragrant fresh herbs aren’t the only perk of shopping at farmers’ markets. Your family and community reap even more benefits, including:

  • Supporting local producers helps strengthen the local economy by preserving farms and small ranches and creating jobs.
  • Locally produced foods are often of better quality and freshness because they don’t travel long distances before reaching your table.
  • There is a sense of community at your farmers market! Get to know your local producers and their business. Find out what products they offer and what motivates them.
  • Farmers’ markets are just plain fun! Many offer a variety of local produce beyond produce, such as flowers, handmade crafts, herbs, and body care products.

In addition to the benefits listed above, many farmers markets also accept SNAP EBT Advantages. Here is how it works:

Step 1 – Bring your SNAP EBT Horizon card to an information booth at a participating farmers market or farm stand before shopping.

Step 2 – Decide how much money you want to spend. The stand attendant will swipe your card for the requested amount and give you wooden tokens worth $ 1 each which you can use to purchase food from vendors in the market. You can use the tokens immediately or keep them for another day.

Not all markets accept SNAP EBT benefits, so it is important to check with the market before you go. You can find more information and a list of participating markets in by clicking here.

Another great benefit of shopping at farmers markets is the Double Up Food Bucks program. See the flyers below for more information.

Flyer courtesy of USU Extension Create Better Health Blog, St. George News | Click to enlarge
Flyer courtesy of USU Extension Create Better Health Blog, St. George News | Click to enlarge

With all of these fresh produce in your hands, you’ll need some delicious recipes. Click here to download our free Farmers Market cookbook.

One of my favorite recipes from the book is Lemon Roasted Asparagus. The full recipe can be found on this extension USU Create Better Health blog post.

Written by CANDI MERRITT, Certified Nutrition Education Ambassador.

This article was originally published on April 28, 2021 on the USU extension Create a blog for better health.

Copyright © CreateBetterHealth.org, all rights reserved.

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Utah economy

Fewer people of working age can slow the economy. Will it increase wages?

In this May 26, 2021 photo, a sign for workers hangs from a store window along Main Street in Deadwood, SD. is reaching retirement age and thousands of people have died from the coronavirus. (AP Photo / David Zalubowski)

WASHINGTON (AP) – As the U.S. labor market rebounds this summer and the need for workers intensifies, employers likely won’t have a chance to relax anytime soon. Labor shortages are likely to persist for years after the economy quickly reopens in its growing pains.

Consider that the number of people of working age did something last year that it had never done in the history of the country: it went down.

Census Bureau estimates showed that the U.S. population aged 16 to 64 fell 0.1% in 2020 – a slight decline but the first decline of any kind after decades of steady increases. This reflected a sharp drop in immigration, the retirements of the vast baby boom generation and a slowdown in the birth rate. The size of the 16-64 age group has also been shrunk last year by thousands of deaths from the coronavirus.

A year earlier, in 2019, the working-age population had essentially plateaued.

It is not entirely clear how demographic trends will play out once the pandemic is completely over. But even if the working-age population begins to grow again, it will almost certainly do so at an anemic rate. A continued decline in this population, or even a lukewarm increase, would pose a problem for the economy. Healthy economic expansion has always depended on robust population growth to fuel consumer spending, justify business expansion, and boost corporate profits. Without a large influx of new workers, growth could stagnate.

Yet some economists foresee a silver lining for individuals: Fewer working-age people could force companies to be more competitive in hiring and retaining employees. And that could mean higher wages, better opportunities and other incentives to retain and attract workers, a trend already evident in the June jobs report released by the government on Friday. Average hourly wages increased 3.6% from a year ago, faster than the pace before the pandemic.

“The workers would fare better than the economy as a whole,” said Manoj Pradhan, founder of Talking Heads Marco, an economics research firm and former Morgan Stanley economist.

If wages were to rise sharply, it could also help reduce the vast inequality that increasingly separates the wealthiest Americans from the rest and leaves lower-income households struggling to pay rent, food, and child care. children and other essential expenses.

With slow population growth, economic expansion would depend on the ability of companies to make their workers more productive. An increase in productivity, often achieved through investments in labor-saving technologies, could further increase wages. The standard of living would increase even if the economy struggled to grow at what is normally considered a healthy pace.

Last year, the number of legal and unauthorized immigrants entering the United States fell for the fourth year in a row to less than 500,000 – less than half of the 2016 level – according to calculations by William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution. The death toll jumped 8% to more than 3 million, largely reflecting the impact of the pandemic.

A fundamental long-term drag on the working-age population is the exit of the huge baby boom generation from the workforce. The number of people aged 65 and over is likely to increase by 30% over the next decade, Frey said.

“We’ve never really been in this type of situation before,” he said. “There just aren’t enough (of young adults) to replace the people who are leaving.”

The situation has been exacerbated this year by a wave of early retirements. About 2.6 million people who worked before the pandemic now say they are retired and not looking for work, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Strong increases in stock prices and home values ​​despite the deep pandemic recession have allowed many older Americans to exit the workforce earlier.

One of them is Jeff Ferguson, a physician with Eli Lilly & Co. in Indianapolis, who retired in April at age 59 after 22 years in the business.

Having worked from home during the pandemic, Ferguson said, made the transition easier. But it was also encouraged by its strong investment gains and the strengthening of the local real estate market despite the economic uncertainty.

“I probably retired with a tailwind rather than retiring with a headwind,” he said. “If I had sensed a headwind, I might have delayed it.

The pandemic has also given him a new perspective on life and retirement. Ferguson plans to travel across the country with his wife, a pediatrician, and catch up with loved ones.

Gad Levanon, an economist at the Conference Board, said the decline in the working-age population will be particularly evident among Americans without a college degree. As aging baby boomers retire, they are being replaced by younger workers who are more likely to be university graduates. Blue collar workers – anyone without a four-year degree – will become rarer. This trend is likely to create labor shortages in industries such as manufacturing, construction, retail, restaurants and hotels.

Levanon estimates that the number of university graduates will continue to grow by around 2% per year, despite the population slowdown, while those without a university degree will decline. This could make it more difficult for future college graduates to find jobs that match their level of education. Businesses can also inflate their job demands, perhaps requiring bachelor’s degrees for jobs that previously didn’t require them.

“The number of people willing to work in blue collar and manual service jobs is declining,” Levanon said.

Wages are already rising faster for low-paid workers. For the lowest-paid quarter of workers, hourly wages rose 4.2% in May from a year earlier, according to Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. That’s more than double the percentage increase these workers received in the four years after the Great Recession, from 2010 to 2014, and more than a quarter of the richest workers.

Scott Seaholm, CEO of Universal Metal Products, a 285-person metal stamping company near Cleveland, is surrounded by an aging population and is desperate to get young people interested in a career in manufacturing. A study found that about 59% of the population in Lake County, Ohio, where he is based, was made up of working-age adults in 2015, Seaholm said. This proportion fell to 57% last year and is expected to reach 54% in 2025.

“It’s quite shocking,” he said. “There’s no one there to work. It’s a little ugly.”

More than half of the workers at its three factories are over 55, he said, with less than one in five aged 20 to 34. He has an 81-year-old employee who still works in a punch press.

Seaholm’s company is part of a group that encourages high school students to consider factory jobs. He opens his factories to high school students once a year on “Industry Day” and tries to bring in their parents too.

“They want Johnny and Judy to go to college,” he said. “It’s all locked up in their heads.”

Globally, the workforce in most other countries is aging as well, including China, which once seemed to offer an endless supply of workers. Japan’s population declined for a decade.

Pradhan said this trend could potentially benefit American workers. Since the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s, hundreds of millions of people in China, Eastern Europe and India have joined the global workforce, thus maintaining the wages of less skilled workers and prices under control.

Now the aging of much of the world could reverse these trends, Pradhan and Charles Goodhart, a former economist at the Bank of England, wrote last year in a book called “The Great Demographic Reversal: Aging Societies, Waning Inequality, and an Inflation Resumes. “

Pradhan notes that in Japan, whose population has shrunk by around 1% per year for a decade, economic growth has averaged only 1% per year. But that means the growth per person was 2%.

If the United States could achieve that level of efficiency when its population grew only 0.5% per year, its economy could still grow at a healthy rate of 2.5% per year, Pradhan said.

Yet over time, he and other economists fear that slow population growth means less consumer spending and a less vibrant economy.

“Workers generate innovation and ideas – they invent things,” said Kasey Buckles, professor of economics at the University of Notre Dame. “When you have a shrinking working-age population, you have fewer people doing this.”

__

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

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Utah economy

Katherine Heigl joins Wild Horse And Burro Rally at the Utah Capitol – Deadline

Utah’s wild Onaqui horses have a key ally in actress Katherine Heigl, who joined several groups today in the Utah state capital to call attention to a crucial looming roundup. for animals.

Heigl, joined by Animal Wellness Action, the Center for a Humane Economy, the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation, Wild Horse Photo Safaris, the Red Birds Trust and the Cloud Foundation, have come together to raise awareness of the plight of horses, which face a massive helicopter raid from July 12.

The roundup. the groups say they will send 80 percent of the herd to BLM corrals, injuring or even killing some of the frightened animals. While the horses will be offered for adoption, groups say some will end up in foreign slaughterhouses.

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The Federal Bureau of Land Management, which will handle the roundup, says an overpopulation of horses in the Grand Bassin has left insufficient fodder.

Heigl, a Utah resident best known for her work in the TV series Grey’s Anatomy and now featured in Netflix Alley of fireflies, and leaders of the groups involved, spoke to rally participants before heading straight to the pastures where Onaqui’s wild horses roam free and roam.

On July 1, President Joe Biden’s Bureau of Land Management, dubbed in a press release announcing that they would proceed with the roundups.

“We are doing everything we can to pressure President Joe Biden to stop the roundup and eradication of the iconic wild horses of Onaqui in Utah and call on the president to implement a course correction before he quits. ‘It’s not too late,’ said a statement from Heigl, herself a horse owner.

Erika Brunson, philanthropist and member of the World Council for Animals, also called for an end to the planned roundups.

“With over 52,000 feral horses and burros currently in government facilities, it’s time to stop the roundups and focus on a strong cruelty-free fertility control program using PZP,” Brunson said. “Currently only 1% of the population is approached, which is ridiculous.”

Descended from horses used by pioneers and native tribes in the late 1800s, Onaqui horses are known for their rugged beauty and ability to thrive in the harsh desert environment of the Great Basin of western Utah. . They are a favorite among photographers and wild horse enthusiasts and are considered the most popular and photographed wild herd in the country.

Visit the campaign website at www.SaveTheOnaqui.org for more details.

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Utah economy

Utah Company Develops Sustainable Bitcoin Mining Method; New home sales drop 5.9%

Crypto Coin

A microgrid company in Woods Cross, Utah, may have a solution to Elon Musk’s sustainability challenge for Bitcoin mining.

“Cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels and we think it has a bright future, but it can’t come at the cost of the environment,” Musk tweeted. “Tesla has suspended purchases of vehicles using Bitcoin (because) we are concerned about the increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of all fuels. “

CleanSpark is a company that uses microgrid technology to improve the efficiency of Bitcoin mining operations and other applications. The existing network supplies electricity from a power plant to users. Microgrids combine the traditional grid with solar, wind, fuel cell and other green technologies to balance the load requirements between various sources with the aim of ensuring clean energy at a good price.
CleanSpark.com

CleanSpark uses microgrid technology to improve the efficiency of Bitcoin mining operations and other applications.

The existing grid supplies electricity from a power plant to users. For most people, connecting to the network is as easy as inserting a plug into a wall outlet.

Microgrids combine the traditional grid with solar, wind, fuel cell and other green technologies to balance the load requirements between various sources with the aim of ensuring clean energy at a good price.

Microgrids could be a suitable response to growing concerns about the energy source used in Bitcoin mining. The system configuration and the software necessary to run it can be designed to meet specific demands, including future growth.

CleanSpark is also a Bitcoin miner and recently invested in new energy efficient equipment to increase its hash rate and reduce power consumption.

The company is publicly traded, but so far it is only covered by two analysts. CleanSpark shares recently hit $ 16.51 per share. The consensus price target, or fair value estimate, is $ 47.50.

Competitors include Tata Power Solar, Longi, Acme Climate Solution and d.light design.

A report from Navigant Research, a company based in Boulder, Colo., Said the modular microgrid market is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 28% between 2020 and 2029.

“Although they are only a minority of the market when measured by peak capacity, modular microgrids have the potential to constitute the majority of systems deployed over the next decade,” said Peter Asmus. , Navigant Research Director, in a report. “Adopting a modular approach should help dramatically increase microgrid deployments by commoditizing off-the-shelf microgrid offerings that can be replicated, thereby reducing design and deployment costs. “

The Crypto Climate Accord, based on the Paris Climate Agreement, is a private sector initiative aimed at decarbonizing the cryptocurrency industry.

“For climate advocates, we can eliminate emissions from a rapidly growing source of electrical charge,” the agreement says. “For the clean tech industry, we can bring in a whole new class of customers with significant demand for low carbon solutions. For the crypto industry, we can help support the widespread adoption of crypto by making the industry more sustainable.

It is signed by the major companies in the sector.

The Center for Alternative Finance at the University of Cambridge has estimated that 39% of the energy used by crypto miners is powered by renewable resources, mostly hydroelectric.

In a related case, the US Department of Commerce banned six Chinese producers of raw materials and components for the solar industry amid allegations of human rights violations against ethnic minorities.

The action could boost the U.S. solar industry.

Logo of the Association of Solar Energy Industries
The solar energy industry in the United States has grown on average 42% annually over the past decade and now employs about 230,000 people in about 10,000 companies in all 50 states, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.
seia.org

The Solar Energy Industries Association, a Washington-based trade group, said the industry has experienced average annual growth of 42% over the past decade and now employs about 230,000 people at about 10,000 companies in all 50 states.

The industry has the capacity to deliver 100 gigawatts, or enough electricity to power 18.6 million homes, the trade group said.

At midday on Friday, Bitcoin changed hands to $ 33,341.32, down 2.91% in the past 24 hours but up 15.08% for the year. The 24 hour range is $ 33,011.86 to $ 35,200.90. The all-time high is $ 64,829.14. The current market capitalization is $ 624.99 billion, CoinDesk reported.

Pulse Market

The warning signs of the housing market seem to be glaring:

– The US Department of Commerce said new home sales fell 5.9% on an annualized basis.
– House prices are at an all time high.
– The National Association of Realtors said sales of existing homes had declined for four consecutive months.
– Consumer confidence has declined.
– Inflation is on the rise.
– Commodity prices soared as demand increased, pushing up the cost of new homes.

The housing market is a key part of the recovery as the economy emerges from the COVID-19 shutdown. The negative indicators raise a fundamental question: is the housing boom over?

Lisa Shalett, investment director for wealth management at Morgan Stanley, says no.

“We believe that supply disruptions and rapid price appreciation have only interrupted buyers’ confidence and buying behavior in what is expected to be an above-average race for housing. “she said in a research report for the New York investment bank. “In our opinion, the US real estate market has a solid foundation, arguably the best in decades. “

Shalett said many household balance sheets are strong and Millennials have entered their prime of starting a family. Morgan Stanley research estimated that 1.2 million new owner households were created in the past year.

“Anecdotal evidence suggests that the pandemic may have shifted behavioral priorities towards deurbanization and remote working, creating lasting support for housing demand,” the analyst said.

Construction of new homes is about 10 years behind schedule due, in part, to lessons learned from the collapse in the subprime mortgage market that triggered the 2007-2009 recession, the deepest since the Great Depression from the 1930s.

Housing supply growth is now nearly 60% lower than annual household formation, an imbalance that is likely to support single-family home prices, Shalett said.

Lending standards were tightened during the coronavirus pandemic, but have now been relaxed.

“It could help offset rising house prices and mortgage rates,” she said. “With the Federal Reserve last week giving the green light to all major US banks that have undergone its annual stress test, homebuyers could expect even more credit availability.”

The Federal Reserve, the country’s central bank, examined 23 major banks and concluded that each had strong capital reserves and could continue to lend to households and businesses during a severe recession.

“Over the past year, the Federal Reserve has carried out three stress tests with several different hypothetical recessions and all of them have confirmed that the banking system is strongly positioned to support the ongoing recovery,” said Randal K. Quarles, vice -President of supervision, in a press release. Press release.

The Fed’s stress test examines a bank’s resilience by estimating losses, income and capital levels – a cushion against possible losses – and “what if scenarios” over the next nine quarters. Sales of existing homes fell in all regions except the Midwest in May, reported the National Association of Realtors, a Washington-based trading group.

The median price of existing homes of all types in May was $ 350,300, up 23.6% from the same period a year ago. The total housing stock stood at 1.23 million units in May, up 7% from the April total, but down 20.6% from a year ago.

“Home sales declined moderately in May and are now approaching pre-pandemic activity,” Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the NAR, said in a report. “Lack of inventory continues to be the main factor holding back home sales, but declining affordability is simply excluding some first-time buyers from the market. “

The outlook, however, is encouraging.

“Supply is expected to improve,” he said, “which will give buyers more options and help lower record asking prices for existing homes.”

The National Mortgage Bankers Association, a Washington-based trade group, said loan applications fell 6.9% for the week ended June 25 from the previous week, reaching their lowest level in about 18 month.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration fell to 3.19% from 3.21%.

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