Utah economy

Utah economy

The Illini men’s basketball buzz – and the business – is already flowing in CU | Economy

CHAMPAIGN – Associate director of ticketing, sales and customer service for track and field Illini watched last year’s men’s basketball team have a dream season in a hollowed out State Farm Center.

This year, the possibility that Jason Heggemeyer will still be able to hear players’ chatter or footsteps during home games is minimal.

This is because the student season tickets sold out on the same day they were made available. In three hours.

“They sold out faster than I expected. I knew they would be gone, but I didn’t think it would be that quick, ”said Heggemeyer. “It’s obviously a phenomenal sign of what people think of this team.”

What has changed since the last time the Illini men’s basketball team hit hardwood?

Of course, star guard and team leader Ayo Dosunmu left for the NBA.

But many veteran talent – including Trent Frazier, Da’Monte Williams and star center Kofi Cockburn – have decided to return.

Much of the evolution is off the field: the spectators will be in the arena. Several team members are taking advantage of deals under a new state law that allow them to earn money from their names, pictures and likenesses.

For the fans and business interests who live and breathe Illini basketball, it’s a whole new ball game. Because while the world has changed around them, the team on the pitch has a comfortable continuity.

“It’s like a 2.0, like we’re going to start all over and start all over again,” Heggemeyer said. “We all hope and expect that we’re good again this year – all of that excitement is coming back – but that’s legitimate hype, because we actually won.”

Take it from Gameday Spirit’s Marketing Director Maclaine Stahl, who started selling basketball merchandise three months before the season’s typical ramp-up.

A swift and savvy partnership with Frazier produced “That’s Ca $ h”, a NIL-focused company t-shirts with the tagline of the Guardian on the Field.

“It doesn’t normally happen, selling basketball stuff in the middle of the summer,” Stahl said.

Mid-year sales were only months away from the business advantage that the team’s Big Ten tournament success and the onset of March Madness produced.

In-house products, like the team’s “script” white jerseys set, garnered a lot of love during the nearly empty spring run.

With that in mind, Stahl finds it hard to think of an Illini basketball game with more excitement in the air.

“It has to be upwards,” he said. “With everything going the right way when everything’s shut down due to COVID, everyone is trying to build on what we had last year with most of the same actors.”

So far, over 1,500 people have purchased Illini season tickets. Some are still available, starting at around $ 410, Heggemeyer said.

Despite the buzz, there will be plenty of chances to find places in any of the Illini’s 19 home games this season. For potential customers, he said, be prepared when ticket sales for a game start on October 27 (tickets for the exhibit go on sale October 13).

“There are opportunities. Now is the time to start thinking about it and putting the date on the calendar, ”he said.

“I have to get a ticket”

Fortunately, one of the people who was least surprised by the September 1 student ticket sales was one of its biggest benefactors.

Phil Usen, senior UI and communications director for the Orange Krush, will see thousands of student buyers pouring straight into his encouragement section.

“I saw it coming a bit,” he said. “Some of my closest friends who weren’t thinking about the first or second year on the team were like, ‘I have to get a ticket. “”

After a year with rare virtual student cheering section meetings, the renewed interest is motivating for the lifelong fan of Illini, who controls the group’s social media pages.

“It excites me to know that I have more responsibilities, more people who care about his performance and motivates me to update Twitter or keep people informed,” he said.

Its lineup has its management team and 25 Krush Captains, all selected for the coming year.

Another Illini basketball staple – the Rebounders Callback Club – is gearing up for monthly in-person meetings, which will take place this season at the I Hotel and Conference Center on First Street.

The five monthly lunches planned for this season begin in November. In addition to booking speakers, raffles and meetings, it takes a lot of organizational work, which Vice President Deanna Woodard is happy to do.

“It’s busy, but it’s exciting, because we can do it this year,” she said. “When it’s gone for a year, that’s what makes you even more excited.”

Boosters still came together pretty much every month last season, including a handful of digital lunches, but it wasn’t the same.

Before the pandemic, Woodard and her husband “hadn’t missed a single game,” she said. They have been members of Fund I for over 25 years. Her son coached basketball for four years, until 2019.

She’s hoping to see the Rebounders bounce back this year, returning to the 400-plus entrants they’ve held in years past.

Family memberships cost $ 75, Orange Partner for $ 300 and Corporate Partners for $ 1,500, and all come with increasing levels of perks and lunch appearances.

A lion’s share of the funds go to supporting Illini’s basketball team, whether it’s buying costumes for the team, tickets for their trips abroad, or thronging them. ‘other things.

“When you come to lunches, buy your raffles, you are helping the organization that will do good things for the team,” she said.

“Better than last year” The Krush has its own fundraising feature. The blue, orange and VIP levels, which allow for earlier entry to the games, are achieved by students who help organize charitable donations to CU organizations, such as the Boys and Girls Club, the Red Cross or the tournament. Knockout for Athletes Vs. Epilepsy.

Beyond these philanthropic events, they determine where to position the “Hype Night” student and whether to join one of the exhibition games on October 23 or 29.

Usen and his team are trying to determine if the home games over the winter break against Michigan and Purdue will have appearances at Orange Krush, as the two key clashes fall outside of the college semester.

As Usen noted, sophomore guard Andre Curbelo never played with the roar of his State Farm student section shaking the court. In the 2019-20 season, Illini’s men’s team set a home record of 15-3.

“I will also present the alternative: the teams came here last year and didn’t have to deal with the Orange Krush and the amount of energy they bring in,” Heggemeyer said.

The Krush rep was the only one to come up with his predictions for the season, which he described as “high” and “bullish”: “An undefeated non-conference and a 16-4 Big Ten record.”

He’s big on transfer talent – Omar Payne of Florida, Alfonso Plummer of Utah, Austin Hutcherson returning from injury.

He might be a prophet. CU fans and businesses certainly hope so.

“I honestly think we’ll be better than last year,” Usen said.

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Utah economy

COVID-19 has environmental takeaways – The Daily Utah Chronicle

COVID-19, while catastrophic and disruptive in many ways, has forced the world to dramatically change its ways. The protocols of the COVID era have given us insight into our relationship and our dependence on the environment. More importantly, it has shown us that there is a lot we can do as humans to change our behavior to create a better future.

The lessons we have learned from the pandemic should lead us to restructure our relationship with the environment. Rather than reverting to pre-COVID manufacturing techniques as we are starting to do, we should take this opportunity to practice more respect for the environment, institute cleaner energy production, and review our waste management.

Environmental origins

Since its inception, COVID-19 has been an environmental issue with ecological repercussions.

To learn more about its environmental nature, I spoke with Professor Jennifer Shah from the Department of Environmental and Sustainability Studies at the University of Utah. This conversation allowed me to learn more about our environmental role in creating and spreading the pandemic.

As we have created more extreme environmental conditions, such as increased heat stress and extreme weather events, we have increased the burden of disease.

Professor Shah highlighted another point of influence where we may have contributed to the severity of the pandemic. She described how severe habitat loss, especially in “areas where many viruses are emerging”, results in “poor loss of diversity” and “loss of hosts” for viruses. When this happens, “various viruses then have to jump species to find new hosts.”

We know COVID-19 is a zoonotic disease because it spreads from non-human animals to humans. This tells us that COVID-19 arose from some aspect of our interaction with the environment. And if we continue to destroy biodiversity, we may see zoonotic diseases become more common.

Some completely ignored the lesson we should learn from this information, and instead made racist accusations and blamed the Chinese.

The COVID-19 outbreak should have taught us something about our relationship with the environment. Disregarding nature’s purpose by treating animals and land as commodities makes us vulnerable to crises.

A World Health Organization investigation provided further evidence, citing human exploitation of wildlife as the likely cause of COVID-19.

Stop of industrial activity

During the most distressing times of the pandemic, however, there were short-term environmental improvements.

During mass containment, global CO2 emissions fell 17% from 2019 levels. At its peak, each country reduced its CO2 emissions by an average of 26%.

With declining demand and industrial production shutdowns, we have seen significant improvements in air, water and noise pollution levels. In India, the decrease in air pollution during lockdown allowed the Himalayas to be seen for the first time in decades.

Containment has also drastically reduced human movement. In areas where tourism had previously hampered the ability of animals to reside in natural habitats, some species have started to return. For example, giant tortoises began to return to deserted beaches in Florida and Thailand.

Reducing air travel has also had positive effects on the environment, as aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions.

After only a few months of shutdowns, the environment flourished with reduced human impact. This highlights the importance of changing our behavioral habits.

Professor Shah underscored this need, saying, “The cumulative impact of small decisions has had such an effect on improving the air. While our previous traffic jams and business practices created higher pollution levels, a brief lockdown created a temporary “normal” that has proven to be better for the environment. Regardless of the circumstances that led to the closures, COVID-19 has proven that one way or another it is possible to reduce CO2 emissions and restore declining biodiversity. In times of “normalcy” in a non-pandemic world, this may seem like an infeasible goal.

Poor random elimination

Despite our sharp declines in inactivity, we have managed to maintain our negative impact in the form of waste.

Rapid increase in plastic waste from personal protective equipment like rolled up masks in the ocean, making sea creatures more vulnerable.

The more than 1.5 billion masks in the oceans can take up to 450 years to decompose. Scientists found that the masks increased the levels of microplastics in ocean environments and made animals susceptible to entanglement.

The global trade in waste and the production of plastic, along with improper disposal, has become a staple of our capitalist society. This disaster was made worse by COVID-19.

To slow the spread of the pandemic, we have dramatically increased our production of disposable masks. 75% of these masks end up in landfills or float in the sea.

Before disaster struck, we should have largely replaced single-use plastic production with bio-based and biodegradable plastics. Now, to prevent the same events from happening again in the future, we need to implement a transition to sustainable materials.

Changing the way our society operates is a challenge, especially on a global scale that we need. However, Professor Shah has detailed some ways we can work to achieve this ambitious goal.

One is to “change our own conception of what well-being is. The growth of the economy is so inextricably linked and depends on the people who buy things. We can no longer rely on this system to deliver environmentally friendly results. While change is difficult to achieve nationally and globally, we can pursue aggressive reforms in local arenas where our voices are stronger.

Now that COVID-19 has focused on so many areas for improvement, people need to take initiative and implement new ideas, whether through “entrepreneurship” and “starting a business.” green, ”as Professor Shah mentioned, or whatever.

COVID-19 has allowed us to reassess our environmental practices. Our divorce from ecological values ​​has led to the creation of the unsustainable systems in place today. However, this unprecedented period of shutdowns and reduced human activity has shown us that our propensity for change is far greater than we realize. Instead of running away from difficult transitions, let’s start creating a new normal: ideally, anchored in sound, enduring principles.

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Utah economy

Improving public lands does not require heavy machinery

The Salt Lake Tribune on September 19 included a commentary from Redge Johnson, director of the Utah Public Lands Policy Coordination Office, in which he wrote about the ecological challenges facing our public lands in Utah. As a member of the Conservation Corps, I belong to a community of young people across America who face these challenges and care about our changing public lands.

In 2019, I worked with the Southwest Conservation Corps as a first generation Indigenous student to fund my college degree in maintaining the integrity of our Four Corners wilderness. Throughout the summer I hiked with a team of six young adults through the wilderness of the southwest. We spent our time working on the trails, picking up litter and cleaning up forest areas that were dangerous to people or were overrun with invasive species.

Utah’s Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office argues that the use of highly mechanized management techniques is the right way to deal with struggling natural landscapes. Yet, we have accomplished our work using practical, non-invasive management techniques.

During that year, the Southwestern Conservation Corps team maintained 22 miles of trails in national parks and improved over 650 acres of land in one summer. We have improved trail systems and protected infrastructure from erosion by actively choosing not to involve unnecessary heavy machinery. Instead of investing in violent land management techniques such as chaining, SCC has invested in the employment of youth, young adults and local veterans to help strengthen forest health.

Conservation Legacy, the organization that sponsors my regional conservation corps, oversees nine Conservation Corps programs across the country. It’s a model that the Utah Public Land Policy Coordination Office should take note of.

Thousands of young people like me are immersed in great learning environments that apply to our academic and professional goals. We provide self-reliance practices in local forests and help our economy by working with farms, national forests and other conservation organizations. Our approach is centered on the need to create a lasting impact for outdoor enthusiasts, land managers and wildlife in order to enjoy the natural world.

Not everything the wild public lands give us can be taken for granted. For decades, our ecosystems have been subjected to the desecration of native biodiversity and the rapid spread of invasive species. While the health of plants and animals in our region is at stake, public lands have also been sacrificed for industrialized activities, including mining and extraction of fossil fuels.

Now, for the excess methane and carbon dioxide expelled into our airsheds as a result of mining on public lands, the entire Southwestern United States shares the symptoms of the climate crisis: drought, fires of forest, reduction of the snowpack, erosion and diseases of forests. Today’s young adults and future generations face the monumental task of sustaining what remains of our natural earth. To keep it well, management techniques involving heavy machinery are a thing of the past.

Utah’s Public Land Policy Office can solve ecosystem well-being issues with minimally invasive techniques, such as those used by Conservation Legacy on public lands. These methods do not include the large-scale application of bulldozers, anchor chains, or other heavy machinery that relies on fossil fuels, exacerbates soil erosion and harms wildlife as they ostensibly work to improve soil conditions. public land ecosystems.

As the old saying goes, “It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it.” Any form of land management that empowers the next generation of land stewards to serve their communities, preserve public lands, and value the ancestral integrity of the land is a step in the right direction.

Laci D. Begaye managed the Four Corners wilderness as a Southwest Conservation Corps crew member. She is a first generation student with distinction at Fort Lewis College, Durango, Colorado.

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Utah economy

Ironman 70.3 World Championship Generates Nearly $ 18 Million Direct Economic Impact For Washington County

Pro female winner Lucy Charles-Barclay and pro male winner Gustav Iden at the finish line of the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in St. George on September 18th. The economic impact of the race will resonate throughout Washington County in the months to come. (Jeff Richards, St. George News)

ST. GEORGE – The Ironman 70.3 World Championship ended a few weeks ago, but the economic impact of the race will resonate throughout Washington County in the months to come.

Before the start of the race, planners and city officials were hoping the international event would generate between $ 15 million and $ 18 million, and early feedback suggests the goal has been met.

“Data collected from athlete surveys confirms that the county achieved nearly $ 18 million in direct economic impact from participants and visitors who came for the event,” wrote Kevin Lewis, director of Greater Zion Convention & Tourism Office, in an email to St. George News. .

“The immediate impact is primarily focused on hotel businesses,” Lewis added. “But these dollars are flowing to other businesses in the region, creating income and jobs in many industries.”

Lewis said that without tourism and the visitor economy in southern Utah, local residents would have fewer options for recreation, dining and entertainment. They would also pay higher personal taxes to support other basic services in the community.

Read the full article on St. George News.

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Utah economy

Customer Opinion: Responding Effectively to Climate Change | News, Sports, Jobs

Isaac Hale, Daily Herald file photo

Smoke from wildfires lingers in the air as living trees and those scorched by wildfires blend together, as seen from the Mount Nebo Scenic Drive in southern Utah County, the Monday, October 5, 2020 (Isaac Hale, Daily Herald file photo)

In the face of drought, record heat, flash floods and smoke from forest fires, it was hard not to recognize the effects of global warming this summer. In this context, a crowd of high school students marched on the steps of the capital in Salt Lake City to demand climate action as part of Friday’s global climate strike.

We are grateful that so many young people care about this important issue. But we would like to add some perspective to the conversation from our perspective as young conservatives. Protesters this weekend called on lawmakers to respond urgently to climate change, but we would like to explain how they could respond effectively as well.

Which policies are the most effective?

The best policies protect America from the worst possible environmental and economic consequences. As Jonathan Adler, a professor at Case Western Reserve University, has often explained, managing climate risk is like buying an insurance policy: hedging against an uncertain future, but getting premiums as low as possible. The goal is to minimize the total costs to American families, which includes the costs of climate change and the costs of the policies themselves.

Thinking about climate action in this way exposes many climate initiatives as ineffective or fanciful, like the Green New Deal, which uses environmental rhetoric as a mask for more radical economic goals.

But there are proposals that pass the economic cost test. Among these is the Baker-Shultz Carbon Dividends framework that several Republican college leaders from BYU and UVU endorse. Despite America’s bitterly polarized political landscape, there is a virtual consensus among economists on the merits of this political approach. This solidarity is possible because independent organizations have modeled the costs and benefits of this plan, both for the climate and for the economy, and have repeatedly confirmed its effectiveness.

For those of us who don’t have the training to dissect these complex business models, there are a few other ways to recognize the superiority of market-based approaches like carbon dividends. Perhaps the easiest is to examine the effect on global (not just national) carbon emissions.

Even if every car and chimney in America stopped emitting carbon dioxide today, there would still be too much carbon entering the atmosphere in the world (not to mention that you might have a hard time getting to work. and power your home). Unfortunately, many climate plans ignore this reality, and the climate conversation is often dominated by liberal voices who want to dramatically increase regulations on U.S. businesses. Their logic is that if the United States leads by decarbonizing its own economy, other countries will follow our lead.

The reality is that when the United States – whose carbon emissions have been declining steadily for years – crack down on its own carbon emissions, it will inadvertently cause companies to move their operations to countries like China and India with many. less environmental regulations. Not only will this lead to worse environmental outcomes, but it will also shift investment and employment opportunities overseas. Far from setting an example, this approach will weaken the US economy, while giving other nations a reason to resist decarbonization.

We cannot wait for other countries to adopt our environmental agenda without offering them the means to do so. As Senator Mitt Romney, who has advocated for market-based climate action, recently explained, global emission reductions will not happen without breakthrough new technologies.

When clean energy becomes cheaper than dirtier alternatives, developing countries will naturally move away from carbon. But this will require significant innovation on the part of private companies. The United States (and, in many ways, Utah!) Is helping lead the innovation process, but there are ways to speed it up.

The previously mentioned carbon dividend plan uses an adjustment to the carbon frontier, coupled with a carbon price, to address these challenges. It would hold foreign manufacturers accountable for their pollution – and in so doing, level the playing field for American businesses – and spur the innovation needed to develop cheaper clean energy.

And that’s just the beginning. Carbon pricing would also make nuclear power more competitive, encourage fossil fuel companies to expand carbon capture, and produce other valuable climate outcomes, all without a dime in additional government spending. No wonder this policy has the support of environmental groups and industry leaders, as well as influential Utahns and conservative voters.

Now is not the time to pretend climate change is a hoax. But if we are not careful in our response, we may find that we are only pretending to solve the problem.

With a smart and internationally oriented strategy like Baker-Shultz, we can get straight to the point and deliver concrete results on climate change. In every way, that would make all the difference.

Tyler Cooper is the vice president of UVU College Republicans and Andrew Sandstrom is a past president of BYU College Republicans.


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Utah economy

Utah’s booming population, impacts of aging infrastructure on air pollution are a growing concern

As part of Utah’s 5th Annual Climate Week, panelists met after the premiere of a local documentary to discuss air pollution on Tuesday. (Mark Wetzel, KSL)

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Senator Derek Kitchen raised “red flags” regarding the future of the state’s air quality during a panel following the premiere of a local documentary centered on air pollution in Utah.

The film “AWiRE: What’s Beneath the Clouds” premiered to an audience on Tuesday, with a panel of speakers to answer questions. While discussing the hope each panelist had for Utah’s climate solutions, Kitchen, who represents Salt Lake City, began by citing his growing concerns.

The Democratic state senator pointed out that recent U.S. census data shows Utah to be the fastest growing state in the country. The state has ranked among the best in its economy, GDP growth, and business opportunities over the years, leading to what Kitchen called “explosive growth on the Wasatch front.”

While this growth bodes well for the state’s opportunities, Kitchen expects it to put “tremendous pressure” on Utah’s air quality and infrastructure.

“We’re going to continue to see more people cramming in and we’re going to continue to see more cars on the road. We need to electrify our network. Ultimately it comes down to these big systemic changes that we need to focus on. as a community, ”Kitchen told the audience.“ It is truly essential that we continue to promote progressive policy that meaningfully addresses issues of energy, the way we consume things and the air we breathe. . “

Part of that progressive policy, Kitchen said, is in the way zoning and town planning is done.

A sentiment supported by Daniel Mendoza, professor at the University of Utah, who conducts research in metropolitan urban planning and atmospheric sciences. While many climate activists point to industrial air pollution as the main contributor, Mendoza said industries only make up about 15%, cars 50% and the construction sector 30%.

Whether it is consumer choices, legislative changes or government regulations that have the greatest influence on air pollution, the panel emphasized collective responsibility.

“We all have an individual responsibility for our own choices, and I think we all also have a responsibility to try to advance our group choices, our societal choices, our legislative choices,” said the representative of the Raymond Ward State. “We can’t control them, we have a responsibility to try to push what little we can.”

“It’s very hard for me to hear people say ‘someone else should fix this’ when I see them idling, trying to cheat their car inspections and wanting to get five packages now,” he said. added Mendoza.

But despite the shared responsibility of the community, the harmful effects of air pollution are disproportionate in this community.

The Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah, or HEAL Utah, found that communities living on the west side of the valley, where highways and the majority of industrial sources are located, tend to be more exposed to pollution than communities on the east side. .

The disproportionate effects were explored in the film through local Utahn stories.

“We started to delve deeper into this problem and we realized how systemic and endemic this problem is and how disparate this problem is in the communities of Salt Lake, and it really broadened its scope,” said the director Jack Hessler.

“No one should be subjected to pollution or damage just because of where they live, the color of their skin or who they are. You have to learn to grow as a community as opposed to the capitalist view of growth: get your money and get your big house and get away from pollution instead of “let’s get rid of the pollution that harms and affects our communities”, he said. said Carmen Valdez, political associate for HEAL Utah.

The film’s premiere was part of the fifth annual Utah Climate Week, hosted by the Utah Climate Action Network. The annual series of events features a group of organizations, businesses, leaders and residents on the impact of climate change on Utah and solutions. The film “What’s Beneath the Clouds” is open to the public from Wednesday and can be viewed online.

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Utah economy

Planning Commission adopts updated short-term rental ordinance; proposal goes to county commission – St George News

ST. GEORGE – A proposal to update the county code regarding short-term rentals was passed Tuesday morning by the Washington County Planning Commission. The proposal, which officials say clarifies what had previously been described as broad and vague, is now heading to the Washington County Commission for consideration.

In this file photo, members of the Washington County Planning Commission, St. George, Utah November 12, 2019 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Referred to as “Option 2,” highlights of the proposed update include mandates that landlords absent from short-term rentals have a local property management company to oversee their property; display signs on their units identifying the owner and a phone number for a 24/7 property manager; and have off-street parking available for vacation renters.

The code for the square footage of short-term rentals is also included in option 2.

“We’re trying to find the balance between investors – or landlords who have short-term rentals – and the people who live next door,” said Scott Messel, director of community development for Washington County in St. George. News.

Option 2 was drafted following a September 14 planning committee meeting in which the original proposal, Option 1, was presented and then criticized by “a noisier part” of the participants. at the meeting, Messel said.

In this file photo, Scott Messel, director of community development for Washington County, addresses the county planning committee, St. George, Utah Aug 21, 2019 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

The individuals, he said, were mostly landowners and investors who lived outside the region and challenged part of Option 1 which would only have allowed owner-occupied short-term rentals in the regions. county unincorporated areas.

Tyson Isham, a local property manager, previously said Option 1 “would make 96% of our short-term rental market illegal overnight.”

“They said they would grant grandfathered rights to anyone who is already operating legally under current regulations; however, I don’t think this promise really holds up.

Concerns about the growing popularity of short-term rentals in the county have been around for some time. The case came to a head and resulted in the termination of many owner-occupied AirBnB rentals in St. George in 2015. This, in part, led to state legislation in 2017 limiting the means by which authorities of the city and county may locate potential vacation homes in their area for code enforcement purposes.

Most recently, the Washington County Commission voted in May to impose a six-month moratorium on the approval of all new vacation rental applications while the county reviews its existing ordinance and updates it accordingly.

Composite image. Background photo shows Dixie Springs, a hot bed for vacation rentals in the then Hurricane Hurricane, Utah September 8, 2016 | Photo by Reuben Wadsworth, St. George News

At the time, the county ordinance allowed vacation rentals to be set up pretty much anywhere in the county without too many restrictions. There was also no clear policy regarding the square footage required to accommodate a vacation rental.

Before the moratorium, a landlord only had to obtain a county business license and register with the state to have a vacation rental application approved. After that, county politics became very broad and vague, Washington County Assistant District Attorney Victoria Hales told the commission at its May 14 meeting.

Messel said the existing code was “too distorted” by allowing rentals anywhere and without area or occupancy caps.

In this file photo, St. George City seen from the Dixie Rock / Sugarloaf Formation at Pioneer Park, St. George, Utah, July 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

One problem with short-term rentals that the county wants to avoid, he said, is the creation of what could be mini-hotels in residential areas where a vacation home can be rented by 30 people or more at once.

“If you live next door to that it can have an impact,” Messel said. “If you are planning to build a house for short-term rental, we won’t let you build a hotel in a residential area. “

Residents of neighborhoods where these rentals exist tend to complain about noise, garbage, and parking, as multiple cars can accompany vacationers. Communities with residents who have complained about short-term rentals include Dammeron Valley, Pine Valley and Sky Ranch, Messel said.

“These areas have experienced more tension and problems with short-term rentals,” he said.

File photo of Dammeron Valley, where community members have spoken out against vacation rentals in their neighborhoods, Dammeron Valley, Utah May 21, 2016 | Photo by Julie Applegate, St. George News

Isham said the restriction on short-term rentals would have a negative impact on the local economy, and he called on the county commission to enforce pre-existing laws rather than creating new ones.

“Our ideal outcome would be for the county to vote to keep its current legislation unchanged and put in place an action plan to apply its current legislation to the letter,” Isham said. “I hope property owners and managers will come forward to speak up and defend their rights instead of having them taken into the dark of night.”

The Washington County Property Owners and STR Facebook group has been following the county’s work on vacation rental ordinance revisions. As of Tuesday night, the majority of the group’s postings did not support the Planning Committee’s vote.

Washington County Commissioner Discusses Need for County to Revise Short-Term Rental Policy, St. George, Utah May 4, 2021 | Photo courtesy of Washington County / CEC, St. George News

A group member noted the Town Planning Commission ‘s removal of the owner occupancy provision and increased square footage requirements.

“They added an optional gravel driveway and restricted locks as additional units,” the commenter added. “Some of you might think it’s good, but keep in mind a summary of what’s still in it. … Annual inspections, be sure to watch the insane signage requirements… There’s always the size of the unit, the local property manager, and tons of other restrictions. This is all garbage! Please contact the commissioners and tell them to close it. It’s up to them now!

The Washington County committee will vote on Option 2 at its October 5 meeting.

St. George News editor Alexa Morgan contributed to this story.

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

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Utah economy

St. George continues to grow as water officials try to keep pace

ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4) – The Washington County Water Conservancy District is completing several projects to keep pace with its growth.

“Some projects we kind of assumed we wouldn’t need for a while, like some water tanks specifically and the water treatment plant expansion, but due to the With growth underway, we need to accelerate the rate at which we bring these projects now, ”said Zachary Renstrom, general manager of the Washington County Water Conservancy District.

Currently, the county’s only water supply is the Virgin River, and as of June, water levels were the lowest on record.

“In mid-July there was a change and we had these wonderful monsoon rains so we got twice as much monsoon rain as the average and it had a significant impact on the Virgin River”, explains Renstrom.

That’s why Renstrom says it needs the Lake Powell pipeline, which is under environmental review.

“This gives us a more reliable water supply system and it will ensure that we have the water we need as our community and economy grows,” he says.

But Lake Powell’s water levels are 50 feet lower than last year. Renstrom says that despite the drop in levels, the state is entitled to a water budget, designated to help the county.

“Utah is going to use that budget and if we don’t use it on the Lake Powell pipeline then we’re going to use it somewhere in the state, we’re actually going to run more models to see the extremes on that. what could possibly happen, ”he said.

This year alone, a total of 1,167 building permits were issued in St. George. In Washington, 928 building permits were issued in the past 12 months, the highest number in the city’s history, according to city officials. On average, it takes about 300,000 gallons of water to build a house.

“I have met the majority of the county town councils and they have all been very positive about adopting best practices or amending their existing landscape ordinances to embrace these new ideas about water,” says Renstrom.

Renstrom says there is currently enough water to keep up with the growth, as long as they keep adding water projects like reservoirs and water reservoirs.

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Utah economy

Japan to lift all emergency measures against coronavirus nationwide

TOKYO – The Japanese government said the coronavirus state of emergency will end on Thursday so the economy can be reactivated as infections slow.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced on Tuesday that restrictions on viruses will be gradually relaxed.

With the lift, Japan will be fully released from emergency requirements for the first time in more than six months. Government officials are bracing for the relaxed restrictions by instituting other plans such as vaccine passports and virus tests.

Japan’s current state of emergency, declared in April, has been extended and extended several times. Despite public weariness and frustration with the measures, Japan has managed to avoid more restrictive lockdowns imposed elsewhere while recording around 1.69 million cases and 17,500 deaths from COVID-19.

Emergency and other measures in the 27 prefectures expire at the end of September. Some experts want the state of emergency in 19 regions to be reduced to a near-emergency first to ensure infections do not rebound quickly, and the government is reportedly considering this strategy.

The emergency mainly took the form of requests that restaurants and bars open for shorter periods of time and not serve alcohol. The governors of Osaka, Hyogo and Kyoto have said they plan to keep those demands in place while closely monitoring the virus situation.

Japan is keen to expand its social and economic activities while balancing the need to prevent the next wave of infections. The government, which is in transition as the ruling party chooses a replacement for Suga later this week, is under pressure to maintain effective virus strategies ahead of parliamentary elections in two months.

Economy and Finance Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, also in charge of COVID-19 measures, said the easing of measures will be phased in as cooler weather raises concerns of a resurgence.

Restaurants and other commercial establishments currently required to close early are expected to gradually return to normal hours as authorities strengthen health systems to prepare for the next outbreak, officials said.

“Lifting the emergency does not mean that we are 100% free,” Dr Shigeru Omi, the government’s chief medical adviser, told reporters. “The government should send a clear message to the people that we can only relax gradually.”

He urged authorities to quickly tighten controls when there are early signs of a resurgence before holiday periods.

The ongoing state of emergency and the fifth state of emergency declared in April in Japan have been repeatedly extended and extended, becoming the longest since the pandemic began last year. Despite public weariness and frustration with the measures, Japan has managed to avoid more restrictive lockdowns imposed elsewhere while recording around 1.69 million cases of infection and 17,500 deaths from COVID-19.

Infections began to worsen in July and peaked in mid-August after the Olympics, topping 5,000 cases in Tokyo alone and topping 25,000 nationwide. Thousands of patients unable to find hospital beds have had to overcome the disease at home.

The Olympics and government officials deny that the games directly caused the upsurge, but experts said the party atmosphere made people more socially active and was indirectly responsible for it.

Suga decided to step down from party leadership and the post of prime minister after being criticized for his government’s virus measures and his insistence on hosting the Olympics during a pandemic despite public opposition.

Daily reported cases have fallen to around 2,000 nationwide, less than a tenth of the peak in mid-August. Experts attributed the drop in numbers to the rise in vaccinations – 56% of the population is fully vaccinated – and people increasing their social distancing efforts after being alarmed by the collapse of medical systems.

Vaccinations Minister Taro Kono recently said that Japan is also preparing to start administering boosters – a third shot for those who have already received two – to medical staff by the end of this year and to people elderly early next year.

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Utah economy

Biden gets booster, urges unvaxxed to get dosed

CDC said 25% of eligible Americans had not received any doses

WASHINGTON (Nexstar) – “I’m over 65,” President Joe Biden said with a laugh, as he publicly received his COVID-19 reminder on Monday morning.

Biden, 78, rolled up his sleeve for the encore. He is one of the millions of Americans now eligible for the additional dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Anyone 65 years of age or older or with underlying health risks is eligible, as well as those in high-risk jobs like first responders, healthcare workers, and grocery store workers – as long as that. been over 6 months since their second Pfizer vaccine.

But Biden said there was something more important than booster shots, and it convinces the unvaccinated to get the shot initially.

The CDC said 25% of eligible Americans had not received any doses.

“We know that in order to beat this pandemic and save lives, to keep our children safe, our open schools, our economy, we need to get people vaccinated,” Biden said in remarks before receiving the booster.

Unvaccinated Americans put others at risk, the president said. “This is why I am moving forward with immunization requirements wherever I can. “

However, there is still no date when Biden’s vaccine mandate for employees of large companies will take effect.

“We knew it would take a little while, given that there are some very understandable and good questions from the business world,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. “We want to make sure there is clarity when they are making the rules.”

When it takes effect, Republicans – including a group of 24 state attorneys general – threaten to sue the administration.

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Utah economy

President Biden makes the world a more dangerous place

Last week, President BidenJoe BidenHaitian Prime Minister warns inequality will drive further Pelosi migration: House to pass 3 major spending laws this week Erdoğan says Turkey plans to buy another Russian defense system MORE delivered his first speech to the United Nations General Assembly. He continues to assert that “America is back” and that the United States intends to “lead all the greatest challenges of our time.” President Biden was right. But, unfortunately, the current reality looks very different.

In 1776, the birth of our nation was the result of American victory. Since then, from defeating the Axis of Evil to innovating COVID-19 vaccines, America has consistently ruled the world through its darkest times. President Biden not only fails to do this, but also makes the world more dangerous.

The Taliban and ISIS-K are needlessly emboldened, enriched and energized. Right now, they are arresting, torturing and killing Afghans who have fought alongside American troops for years. The Biden administration responded by calling these terrorists a “strategic partner.”

Unfortunately, the consequences of this continued humiliation do not stop at the borders of Afghanistan. The world watches as we leave Americans behind enemy lines, despite the greatest military force in world history. And our adversaries will benefit from President Biden’s undeniable weakness.

In the immediate wake of the catastrophic withdrawal, China has started assault drills near Taiwan. Everything indicates that China will only accelerate its efforts to reclaim the country. Unless President Biden made a fundamental change in his constitution, we can’t assume he would do anything to defend them.

Russia stepped up its cyber attacks against America as President Biden took office, presumably to test his resolve. And how did President Biden respond? He paved the way for a Russian pipeline which will stimulate our rival’s economy and increase its ability to manipulate our partners in Western Europe. This is the type of decision making that hinders our own interests, both abroad and here at home.

Despite his generosity to Russia, President Biden began his tenure by going to war with American energy. When President Biden took office, for the first time in 35 years, America was energy independent. We did not import a single barrel of oil from Saudi Arabia in 2020. President Biden is changing that. He sabotaged the Keystone pipeline, terminated domestic oil and gas leases, lifted restrictions on Iranian oil sales, and more. Then when the price of energy started to rise, which would be inevitable, he even went to our foreign competitors and asked them to increase their production to help cover up mistakes. These decisions destroyed American jobs and strengthened our enemies.

Meanwhile, Americans have watched helplessly as our already sky-high spending escalates to even more absurd levels. In the past 18 months, Democrats have approved or proposed $ 16-18 trillion in expenses. And what does President Biden finance with your tax money? Ever-growing government, subsidies for politically-favored industries, programs that keep people out of work, and rights programs.

In essence, President Biden is committed to ensuring that government is in your life from cradle to grave, no matter what taxes and spending it entails.

As might be expected, this resulted in levels of inflation that we haven’t seen in decades. The costs of housing, fuel, food, and just about every other essential in your life are all on the rise. This is actually an additional tax for each American.

The only place President Biden was sure to be successful was in the pandemic response, at least you would think so. He inherited a ready-to-go vaccination program and an economy ready to take off. Yet he lost the trust of the American people with arbitrary, baseless and inconsistent advice.

Shortly before taking office, President Biden made the vaccination declaration that he did not “require it to be mandatory. “Now he blames his fellow Americans and political opponents for the wave of COVID-19 this summer, and orders them to get vaccinated or risk losing their jobs. President Biden has come a long way since his promises to unify the country and defeat COVID-19.

And where does all this take us? Unfortunately, in a more dangerous world, both at home and abroad.

Among America’s most important allies, there is no longer any confidence that President Biden can be considered a serious partner. Among America’s most competitive rivals, there is no longer any belief that President Biden can protect our interests. And among the American people, there is no longer any faith that President Biden can stand up for our most basic ideals.

Stewart represents Utah’s 2nd District.

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Utah economy

What if you wait to buy a house? Interest rates could change drastically

All aspiring homeowners in Utah are asking the same question: When will house prices drop?

Unfortunately, no one can predict exactly when this will happen or if it will happen. In the meantime, there may be one more important question home buyers should ask themselves: What if you wait to buy a home?

While it is tempting to wait for prices to cool down, there is another risk associated with postponing a buying decision. Bankrate reports that today’s interest rates remain low, but that “[m]all mortgage experts expect rates to climb above 3.5% by the end of 2021. ”

So what if interest rates rise while house prices fall? How do these numbers compare?

While a loan officer can help you answer this question based on your particular situation, here is a general overview of how interest rates can affect home prices. (You might be surprised by the results.)

An overview of the impact of different interest rates on homebuyers

To show you how even a slight increase in interest rates can affect the price of your home over time, consider the following hypothetical examples.

Suppose you qualify for a $ 400,000 home purchase with 5% down payment and your loan amount is $ 380,000. 10 years of 3% interest costs you $ 54,814.51.

Now watch what happens when you increase the interest rate from 1% to 4%. If you were eligible for a payment of around $ 1,600, you could now only spend $ 353,000 with a loan amount of $ 335,350 and pay $ 65,037.52 in interest over 10 years.

And if the interest rate goes up an additional 5%, a cheaper home is even more expensive. You could now only afford to buy a house for $ 314,000 with a mortgage of $ 298,300. Again, the payment would be the same and the loan would cost $ 72,846.60 in interest over 10 years.

It is simply by increasing the interest rate by 2% between the $ 400,000 house and the $ 314,000 house. The interest is considerably higher on the much lower loan amount and the payments are roughly the same. You can see how easily things can add up over the life of your loan, even if you originally bought a cheaper home.

Essentially, a 1% rise in interest rates is equivalent to a more than 10% drop in house prices. Over the past 20 years, even during the recession, prices have not fallen 10% in a calendar year in Salt Lake County. Ultimately, it can cost you more if interest rates rise than what you could potentially save while waiting for prices to drop.

What if you wait to buy a house?  Interest rates could change drastically
Photo: Shutterstock

Why interest rates could rise in 2022

While no one can pinpoint when and if interest rates will rise over the next few months, there are several factors that could cause interest rates to rise in 2022.

Currently, the hottest topic impacting mortgage rates is pending inflation. There are many opinions about how quickly mortgage rates will be adjusted to fight inflation, but most people agree that inflation is a fast approaching challenge.

Another thing that has an impact on mortgage rates is the Federal Reserve. To keep the housing market stable and stimulate the economy, the Federal Reserve will often buy mortgage bonds. If they choose to cut back on these purchases, interest rates will likely rise.

According to Investopedia, “The Federal Reserve aims to maintain economic stability and has an impact on bank lending rates. When the Fed wants to stimulate the economy, it usually becomes cheaper to take out a mortgage. And when the Fed wants to crack down on the economy, it acts to drain money from the system, which means borrowers will likely pay a higher interest rate on mortgages. “

The strength of the economy also plays a role in mortgage interest rates. When GDP and employment increase, it is a sign of a growing economy, which means more people with purchasing power. This creates greater demand for real estate. Since lenders have a limited amount of money to lend, they increase the rate so that they can lend more mortgages to more borrowers in the future.

The housing market has a similar impact on mortgage rates as the growing demand for real estate means growing demand for mortgages.

There are many other things that affect interest rates, but these are the things that are currently in the spotlight and why many believe rates will go up.

Benefit from lower interest rates

While no one knows exactly what the future holds, taking advantage of today’s lower rates seems like a good option for homebuyers who may be on the fence. Since Bankrate lists Utah’s housing market as the hottest in the country, it could be some time before prices start to fall. Locking in a good interest rate can be your best chance to save thousands or tens of thousands of dollars when buying your home.

To help you determine the best options for your situation, the Stern team is here to guide you through every step of the home buying process. For more information, call 801-788-4049 or visit today. If you have questions about financing, contact Mandi Henriod with Intercap Lending at 801-638-1005.

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Utah economy

Nevada-Utah Line Trail Building School Would Be US First | New

ELY, Nevada (AP) – The Great Basin Institute of Nevada has received a federal grant to begin planning for the creation of what the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources says is the first professional trail building school recreational areas of the country.

The department announced the $ 160,000 grant from the US Economic Development Administration on Thursday. It will be used to finance feasibility studies, economic analyzes and other preliminary work to support the creation of a trail building school in Ely, near the Grand Bassin National Park.

U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, a Democrat from Nevada, said she was working with the Nevada Outdoor Recreation Division, businesses and tourism officials in White Pine County to ensure these grants go to states like Nevada, where the tourism and travel industries have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This grant to the Great Basin Institute will help students gain hands-on experience preparing for careers in Nevada’s world-class outdoor recreation industry,” she said.

Kyle Horvath, director of tourism and recreation for White Pine County, said Nevada is well positioned to take advantage of the new workforce to build trails on public lands.

“Ely and its beautiful mountain scenery are centrally located in Mountain West, where trail-based outdoor recreation is booming,” he said.

The University of Nevada founded the Great Basin Institute in 1998 to advance applied research and ecological literacy through partnerships with communities and agencies to support national parks, forests, open spaces and public lands.

“This initial feasibility study will generate key data and analysis on recreational trails, as well as a better understanding of how local economies benefit from outdoor recreation infrastructure,” said Jerry Keir, executive director of the ‘institute.

The grant will fund an analysis of new trails and examine how to maximize the use of federal funds invested in outdoor recreation and trails nationwide, Keir said. It will also be used to explore possibilities to advance workforce development for the tribes.

Colin Robertson, administrator of the Nevada Outdoor Recreation Division, said outdoor recreation contributes $ 5.5 billion to Nevada’s economy each year, supporting more than 59,000 jobs.

“Outdoor recreation and trail use have exploded in recent years, and the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical importance for all communities of having the opportunity to escape outdoors. for our physical and mental health, ”said Robertson.

“As the demand for outdoor recreation continues to grow, the need for skilled workers who can plan, design, build and expand trails is more pressing than ever,” he said.

A request for proposals to conduct the planning study will be issued by the Grand Bassin Institute in early October.

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Utah economy

Obama presidential center inauguration slated for Tuesday – ABC4 Utah

FILE – In this May 3, 2017 file photo, former President Barack Obama points a finger as he arrives at a community event at the Presidential Center at the South Shore Cultural Center in Chicago. Former President Barack Obama’s presidential center will take one step closer to its brick-and-mortar future when the ground is thrown next week after years of scrutiny, further delays and local opposition. (AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Former President Barack Obama’s presidential center will take one more step towards its brick-and-mortar future next week when the ground is broken after years of reviews, further delays and opposition local continues.

Obama and his wife, Michelle, will join Illinois Governor JB Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot in Chicago on Tuesday for a dedication ceremony for the Obama Presidential Center.

“Michelle and I couldn’t be more excited to open the Obama Presidential Center in the community we love,” said the former president, sitting next to his wife, in a video ad shared for the premiere. times with The Associated Press.

The former president in 2016 chose a site in a historic lakeside park on the south side of Chicago to build his presidential library, near where he began his political career, met and married his wife and lived with their family. The former first lady grew up in the South Chicago neighborhood.

But the planning process ran into many problems due to a legal battle with advocates for the park’s preservation and protests from neighborhood activists who feared the planned $ 500 million center would displace black residents.

Chicago City Council has since approved the neighborhood protections, and a four-year federal review process that was necessary due to its location in Jackson Park – which is on the National Register of Historic Places – was recently completed.

Officials announced in February that construction would begin this year, starting with relocating utility lines followed by actual construction.

“This project reminded us why the south side and the people who live here are so special,” the former first lady said in the video, adding that the effort had reaffirmed for her and her husband that the future of the side south Chicago “is as bright as anywhere.”

Barack Obama described the center as a hub for youth programming and public gatherings that will revive the economy on the south side of the city, parts of which are impoverished, attracting attention, jobs and visitors. Foundation officials estimate that the center will help create around 5,000 jobs, both during and after construction.

The funds will be raised through private donations.

The complex will span 19 acres of the 540-acre Jackson Park and will include a museum, public library branch, sports center, children’s play area, and test kitchen. Obama’s presidential papers will be available in digital form.

The Obama Foundation will also donate up to $ 3.5 million for a public athletics facility in the area, city officials said.


Associated Press writer Sophia Tareen in Chicago contributed to this report.

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Utah economy

Stop Stiffening, Start Tipping – The Daily Utah Chronicle

Brooklyn critchley

A tip jar in Salt Lake City, Utah on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 (Photo by Brooklyn Critchley | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

The early stages of the pandemic called for advertisements, thank you notes and free meals for essential workers. The big companies seemed overflowing with gratitude. In hindsight, it was grotesquely dishonest.

Service workers have been left in the dust without a pay rise, and now some people are tip workers less than before the pandemic started. Our government needs to change labor laws to fairly compensate tipped workers, but until that happens, you can make a difference by tipping.

The Utahns’ meager tipping habits, combined with state operating regulations, make it difficult for tipped workers to earn a living wage. Until that changes, employees are counting on your generosity.

Common tipping practices shift the blame from employers to employees. Under the guise of tips, employees are responsible for their own income, but in reality there are protocols that prevent workers from being paid fairly.

“Tip pooling” is often implemented in Utah, where tips are distributed among multiple staff members. This means that people are less motivated by tips and leaving a tip based on service quality is not effective.

Some restaurants have a “mandatory service charge,” which can easily be mistaken for a tip, but an employer can claim all of these charges. These regulations make it difficult for workers to reap the benefits of good service. The responsibility for earning a living wage still rests with the worker despite employers and legislators enforcing regulations that make it nearly impossible.

Employers continued to shift responsibility to their workers during the pandemic. Food service workers deemed “essential” risk their health every day to make ends meet. A study by Healthcare Research and Quality has shown that 60% of essential workers are at higher risk of severe COVID-19.

Many restaurants and bars in Utah have regained full capacity, but are understaffed, making prompt service difficult. The restaurant maintains a steady income, while the workers are overworked and struggling to receive decent tips. This is especially important because many servers are paid as low as $ 2.13 per hour and rely on tips as their primary source of income.

If the hourly wage and tips are less than the federal minimum wage of $ 7.25, the employer must make up the difference. Delivering exceptional service may not be enough to exceed $ 7.25 an hour, especially if you are hassled by customers. Even making $ 7.25 an hour, these essential workers are not making enough money to meet their basic needs.

The Utahns tip fewer than nearly every other state, according to a 2019 sample of data from MoneyPenny. “In Utah, people don’t tip very well. It’s a thing. It doesn’t seem like people are learning how to tip properly. A lot of people will round to the nearest dollar, ”said Tyler Saunders, a server in Salt Lake City.

The pandemic has also not improved tipping habits. Although many experts have called for an increase in tips, people are tipping less on average now than before the pandemic.

A survey by UC Berkeley showed that more than 80% of workers said their tips had gone down during the pandemic. In particular, there was a period at the start of the pandemic when people had a good turn. Customers have sympathized with essential workers – but empathy has only been built so far. Eventually the tips went down, probably because people were running out of money, but still went out to eat.

Empathy is a big factor in tipping habits. People with experience in the service industry tend to tip more. In contrast, well-to-do families in Utah may not have personal experience in service. As Utah’s economy steadily grows, so does the number of wealthy Utahns. According to Utah Business, millionaires make up 7.06% of Utah’s population, a figure higher than the national average. This high-income population may not sympathize with service workers and may be less inclined to leave generous tips.

Service workers rely on tips. It is your responsibility to understand the personal impact of your tip on your server. Customs such as take-out, delivery drivers, and digital tips have become the new normal, but the company has yet to set a point on when tips are needed. While these variations ultimately depend on your personal preferences, it’s important to consider that most tip workers rely on your tip, whether it’s a take-out or an on-site meal. . Tip experts generally recommend leaving 18-25%, especially during the pandemic. Tipping cash is ideal because credit cards often charge transaction fees that Utah law allows to deduct from the tip.

If you’ve waited twenty minutes for the waiter to take your order, consider the circumstances before reflecting the experience in your tip. If you want to reward outstanding work, add a little extra money. But given the impact frugal tips have on employees, there’s rarely a reason to cut a tip because of a bad experience. Systemic changes clearly need to be made to fairly compensate tipping workers, but until that happens, we all need to do our part. If you can’t afford the tip, you can’t afford the service.

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Utah economy

Schools funding agency expected to weigh sustainability and profitability as Utah dries up

Up to 3.4 million acres, the land trust generated $ 1.96 billion in revenue and established a permanent fund of $ 2.5 billion.

(Rendered courtesy of the Kane County Water Conservation District) A render produced by architect David McLay Kidd provides a preliminary design for an 18-hole luxury golf course project that lawmakers have designed Retirement from Utah Mike Noel is looking to build outside of Kanab.

When Utah became a state in 1896, it was sent with a dowry from Congress. A checkerboard of square mile plots scattered across the state totaling some 7.4 million acres. These properties were not public lands or reserves in the usual sense of the term, but an endowment to be managed, rented, bartered and sometimes sold for the benefit of a specific set of public institutions, mainly schools.

Back then, doing a land office business – making a lot of money in real estate – was the goal. And very Utah. Preserving all land for the sustainable benefit of the environment was not considered.

In 1994, fears that trust lands had not been well managed led the Utah legislature to create a semi-independent entity called the School & Institutional Trust Lands Administration, known to friends as SITLA. Its mission was to maximize the annual income and the permanent endowment of the fund. Now down to 3.4 million acres, SITLA since its inception has generated $ 1.96 billion in revenue and established a permanent fund of $ 2.5 billion.

It’s awesome. Utah schools need all the financial help they can get. But school budgets aren’t the only thing that should matter – for taxpayers, for the state, for SITLA. It is certainly not the most important thing if you care about future generations of students and the world they will have to live in.

To move forward in a world of climate change, sustainability, and not just profit, must be high on SITLA’s agenda. And the agency has the opportunity to demonstrate how these two objectives are fully compatible, if we take a long enough view.

Take, for example, a proposal that SITLA is now considering leasing some 100 acres in the town of Kanab, half of the land intended for an upscale golf course. The project is to be managed by the Kane County Water Conservation District and funded, at least in part, by the State and Kane County.

Objections to such a plan are obvious and have been voiced by just about everyone who does not work for the Water District, an agency led by former Utah lawmaker Mike Noel. Not everyone in town thinks that a Tony Golf Course catering to a jet-set clientele is likely to be a profitable business, if not profitable, given Kanab’s remote location and less than perfect climate. ‘a complex.

Noel has already secured a $ 10 million loan from the state’s Community Impact Board – despite objections from professional council staff. CIB operates a kitty from mining royalties paid to the state, a fund intended to help make communities dependent on the extractive economy after suffering ecological damage and the boom and bust economic cycles the industry has experienced. of fossil fuels is the heiress.

The argument is that, even if the golf course is not profitable, it would attract businesses to the city’s hotels and restaurants and boost both the private sector economy and the county tax base. Noel says he has an agreement to siphon off part of the tax revenue from Kane County hotels to support the project, although the county says such a deal has not been reached.

Officially, SITLA must weigh Noel’s proposal alongside two other arguments it has for using its Kanab property and decide, at its November 18 meeting, who will likely be the most profitable for the education fund. . From an ethical standpoint, the agency must also consider whether creating a water-hungry attraction in the middle of an arid landscape is something to which it must make its mark.

The best part of Noel is that rural Utah is, and should be, shifting from an economy based on digging to one based on tourism and hospitality. This is a factor SITLA should consider in all of its business and land use decisions as it becomes, like the rest of Utah’s economy, less dependent on oil.

Chances are, SITLA will reject Noel’s plan because it is not economically viable, without even having to move on to environmental sustainability concerns.

What should guide this agency’s thinking, however, is that, in the long run, what’s economically smart and what’s environmentally wise are more of the same than we might have thought.

SITLA is accessible through the agency’s website,

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Utah economy

United States continues to end American Airlines and JetBlue deal

(AP) – The Justice Department and officials from six states have filed a lawsuit to block a partnership formed by American Airlines and JetBlue, saying it would reduce competition and lead to higher fares.

The Justice Department said on Tuesday that the deal would eliminate significant competition in New York and Boston and reduce JetBlue’s incentive to compete with Americans in other parts of the country.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said the lawsuit was aimed at ensuring fair competition that allows Americans to fly affordably.

“In an industry where just four airlines control over 80% of domestic air travel, American Airlines’ alliance with JetBlue is, in fact, an unprecedented move to further consolidate the industry,” Garland said in a report. communicated. “It would mean higher prices, less choice and lower quality service if it were allowed to continue. “

American and JetBlue have vowed to fight the lawsuit and continue their alliance unless a court orders them to stop.

American and JetBlue announced their deal last year and have already started coordinating their flights in the Northeast. They argue that this is a consumer-friendly deal that has already helped them launch 58 new routes from four airports in New York and Boston, add flights on other routes and plan to new international destinations.

US CEO Doug Parker said blocking the deal “would take away consumer choice and inhibit competition, not encourage it.” This is not a merger: American and JetBlue are – and will remain – independent airlines. “

The lawsuit comes two months after President Joe Biden issued an executive order calling on government agencies to help consumers by increasing competition in the airline industry and other sectors of the economy.

The Department of Transportation approved the deal, under certain conditions, in January, during the dying days of the Trump administration. Airlines have waived certain take-off and landing slots at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City and Reagan Washington National Airport outside Washington, and have agreed not to cooperate to set prices.

“Instead of suing now, the (justice department) should have waited, watched and held us accountable for the benefits we said it would bring,” JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes said in an interview.

Hayes challenged the Justice Department’s belief that the deal will prevent his airline from competing with American outside of the Northeast. He noted that JetBlue this year started flying from New York to London and between Miami and Los Angeles, important routes for Americans.

Despite the green light from the Department of Transport, antitrust lawyers at the Department of Justice began to examine the agreement more closely this spring and requested interviews and documents from the airlines, according to an airline lawyer involved in the ‘case.

Over the past three weeks, it has become clear that the Justice Department is likely to take legal action, said the lawyer, who requested anonymity because discussions with regulators were private.

Airlines call their partnership Northeast Alliance or NEA. It allows American and JetBlue to sell seats on each other’s flights and offer customers reciprocal benefits under separate loyalty programs.

American and JetBlue argue the deal benefits consumers by making their combination a stronger competitor in the Northeast. Together, the airlines say, they controlled 16% of the region’s air travel market before the partnership, and that figure has risen to 24%.

The airlines argue that the Justice Department has no evidence that their deal results in higher fares. Air travel prices have been hit by the pandemic, which continues to reduce travel demand and lower fares.

American and JetBlue argue that nothing in their agreement controls prices and that each airline will continue to set its own rates.

Southwest Airlines and Spirit Airlines have filed formal complaints against the American-JetBlue alliance, arguing that with a similar West Coast deal between American and Alaska Airlines, it will make American too big.

The Justice Department lawsuit was filed in Massachusetts federal district court. The department was joined by attorneys general from California, Massachusetts, Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Arizona, and the District of Columbia.

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Utah economy

2022 should be a benchmark year for Iowa taxpayers

The exterior of the Iowa State Capitol building can be seen in Des Moines on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 (Andy Abeyta / The Gazette)

“Today’s legislation ushers in a new era of growth and opportunity in Iowa,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said upon signing the 2021 Tax Reform Bill. “But we don’t. are not done yet. Next year I will be proposing additional income tax cuts as we continue to make Iowa America’s most attractive place to open a business, raise a family and start a career, Gov. Reynolds said. Iowa was one of 11 states that passed tax reform bills this year due to good fiscal health. Other states, such as North Carolina , are currently considering adopting additional tax reforms In recent years, Iowa has made progress in enacting growth-friendly tax reform, but there is still work to be done.

Iowa’s tax climate is important because it not only impacts the incomes of hard-working Iowans, but also determines how competitive and attractive the economy will be compared to other states. Recently, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) released the 14th Annual Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index. In this report, Iowa’s ranking for economic outlook fell from 27 in 2020 to 33 in 2021. One reason for Iowa’s decline in the rankings is that other states are working to reduce their tax rates.

Iowa cannot get complacent as it competes with 49 other states for jobs and people. Data from the recent census shows that states that have no income tax or states with low tax rates are gaining in population.

In addition to the phasing out of inheritance tax, a crucial element of the 2021 tax reform law was the removal of income tax triggers that were put in place in 2018. The maximum rate will drop to 6.5% in 2023, and the personal tax brackets will condense from nine to four brackets with a lower rate of 4.4 percent.

This year, Iowa’s corporate tax rate was lowered from 12%, the highest in the country, to 8.9%, which ties us to Minnesota. For comparison, Nebraska passed a corporate tax cut this year, which will gradually reduce its rate to 6.84%.

In 2022, the Iowa legislature will have the opportunity to build on previous tax reform. Priority should be given to reducing personal and corporate income taxes and combating property taxes.

It is imperative that the Iowa legislature continue to practice budget conservatism through sound budgeting. Governor Reynolds and the Republican-led legislature deserve credit for conservative budgeting.

Currently, Iowa is expected to have a surplus of over $ 500 million. In addition, there is a lot of money available for a rainy day, including $ 817.9 million combined in the cash reserve fund and the economic emergency fund and $ 316.4 million in the fund. taxpayer assistance.

In addition to keeping spending levels low, policymakers should also look at Iowa’s many tax credits and incentives. Lower tax rates are much better than relying on a tax code dominated by credits and incentives that benefit selected particular interests.

Governor Reynolds even said the ultimate goal is to eliminate income tax from Iowa. Eliminating income tax is a laudable political goal, but states like Utah, North Carolina, and Indiana have passed pro-growth tax reforms without eliminating their income taxes. Iowa’s goal should be to continuously lower tax rates.

Lowering tax rates may take time, but policymakers should consider several policy tools such as revenue triggers, gradual rate cuts, elimination of unnecessary tax credits and incentives, expansion of the sales tax base, among other things, as measures to help reduce rates. When it comes to triggers, policymakers need to be careful not to repeat the 2018 mistake, which unnecessarily created obstacles to lowering rates.

Finally, lawmakers have the opportunity to tackle Iowa’s high property taxes. High property taxes are not only burdensome and damaging to the taxpayer, but they also hamper economic growth. Fortunately, there is a solution that will benefit all Iowa property taxpayers.

This year, Kansas and Nebraska both passed laws inspired by the Utah Tax Truth Act. Utah’s law is considered the most taxpayer-friendly property tax law in the country, making it the gold standard for reform. Utah’s Tax Truth Act is income-based, which means that when assessments go up, property tax rates go down. The Tax Truth Act ensures that each tax entity receives the same property tax revenues as the previous year, including new growth. This prevents local governments from getting a windfall because valuations have gone up.

Through the Truth Tax Process, local governments must justify why they want to raise taxes for additional spending. A crucial aspect of Utah law is a direct notification requirement, where notices are sent to taxpayers, providing information about the proposed tax increase and its impact on their tax bill. It also includes the date, time and location of the Tax Truth Budget Hearing. Kansas is already enjoying success because many local tax authorities do not increase tax rates.

The most difficult obstacle to tax reform will be the need for policymakers to say ‘no’ to the many vested interests arguing for new or additional spending. Whether it’s income taxes or local property taxes, spending is the main driver of high tax rates.

Navigating future tax reform won’t be easy, but Iowa can’t afford to get complacent and fall behind as other states become more competitive by enacting growth-friendly tax reforms. The goal of the 2022 legislative session should be to put Iowa taxpayers first.

John Hendrickson is director of policy at the Tax Education Foundation of Iowa.

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Utah economy

New U.S. COVID-19 Rules for International Travel – ABC4 Utah

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Biden administration is rolling out new international travel policies affecting Americans and non-citizens who wish to travel to the United States. The goal is to restore more normal air travel after 18 months of disruption caused by COVID-19.

The general rules, which come into effect in November, will replace a mishmash of confusing restrictions. Some details of the plan announced on Monday are being worked out, but here are some questions and answers on what to expect:


All adult foreign nationals traveling to the United States will need to be fully immunized before boarding their flight. This is in addition to the current requirement that travelers must present proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of departure to the United States.

Once the vaccination requirement is in place, the White House relaxes all country-specific restrictions on international travel that have barred non-nationals who have stayed in the UK, EU, China, India , in Iran, Republic of Ireland, Brazil or South Africa within 14 days of entering the United States


Fully vaccinated Americans will only have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of leaving for the United States


U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are not fully vaccinated will still be able to travel to the United States, but they will see more stringent testing and contact tracing protocols. They will need to be tested within 24 hours of boarding a flight to the United States, as well as being tested upon their return to the country. It remains to be seen, however, how the federal government will enforce the return testing requirement.


The new US policy only requires adult foreign nationals to be fully vaccinated to enter the United States.


CDC Says United States Will Accept Full Travel Vaccination With Any COVID-19 Vaccine Approved For Emergency Use By The World Health Organization, Including Those From Pfizer, Moderna And Johnson & Johnson Used In States -United. Other vaccines are also approved by the WHO and widely used around the world, including from AstraZeneca and Chinese Sinovac, with varying degrees of effectiveness against COVID-19 and its more transmissible delta variant. WHO is reviewing Russian vaccine Sputnik V but has not approved it.


Adit Damodaran, economist for travel research firm Hopper, predicted that rising demand would likely lead to higher airfares on flights from Europe, although the rush to book flights may be slowed by the variant. delta and the high rates of COVID-19 in the United States. increase in prices, this would mark a reversal in prices since the start of the pandemic.


The CDC will require airlines to collect passenger information and provide it to the health agency if it is to conduct contact tracing. Airlines had resisted a similar change last year, when it was proposed by the CDC and ultimately blocked by the Trump administration.


The administration’s restrictions on crossing the land borders from Mexico and Canada to the United States are to remain unchanged for the time being. This means that in some cases, fully vaccinated people from the two American neighbors will soon be able to fly to the United States, but may not be able to make the same trip by car.


Analysts and industry officials believe this will help. The United States Chamber of Commerce has said lifting current restrictions on international travelers will help sustain a recovery in the US economy. Prior to Monday, the United States was set to lose $ 175 billion in export revenue from international visitors this year, according to the US Travel Association.


They made it easier for Americans to visit Europe than the other way around. International travel to the United States in August was down 54% from two years ago, and arrivals of non-U.S. Citizens were down 74%, according to Airlines for America.


There is pent-up demand among business travelers from Europe. Foreign executives who have been vaccinated will no longer have to prove that their trip to the United States serves the American “national interest” – a process that takes time.


Koenig reported from Dallas. Associated Press writer Mike Stobbe in New York contributed to this report.

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Utah economy

Former Utah lawmaker plans to build luxury desert golf course, locals are not thrilled

Editor’s Note This story is only available to Salt Lake Tribune subscribers. Thank you for supporting local journalism.

If you build a world class golf course in the southern Utah desert, will they come?

That’s the $ 10 million bet that the Kane County Water Conservation District is hoping to place with other people’s money.

Led by retired Republican lawmaker Mike Noel, the Water District plans to build a luxury course outside of Kanab – where few residents seem interested in losing $ 100 or more on a round of golf – to attract even more tourists to Kane County.

Earlier this summer, Noel convinced the Utah Community Impact Board, or CIB, to authorize a low-interest $ 10 million loan to fund his golfing dreams, but the proposal has many obstacles. to cross. Before that money is released and the project can move forward, Noel must partner with Kane County to manage the golf course and with the state, which owns half of the 200 acres that Noel has. proposed for the project.

Now, the Kane County River Basin District is competing for this land with at least two other development proposals, submitted last month to the Utah School and Institutional Trust Land Administration, or SITLA.

But such uncertainties do not prevent the small rural hydraulic district from embarking on luxury golf. Last year, she paid world-renowned golf course architect David McLay Kidd $ 75,000 to develop preliminary plans for a course on the shores of the district’s Jackson Flat Reservoir. It’s money well spent, according to Noel.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Representative Mike Noel, R-Kanab, center, in 2016.

Noel retired from the Utah legislature in 2019 after spending 16 years in the House, where he was a major influence on public land issues, lobbied for the transfer of these lands and associated roads to the state, defended the Lake Powell pipeline project, and led opposition to national monument designations.

A former member of the Bureau of Land Management, he operates a ranch in Johnson Canyon, where the controversial pipeline is said to discharge 4,000 acre-feet of water.

“We are in the process of making the transition across southern Utah to a tourist community. This is what we do, whether we like it or not, ”Noel told CIB at its July 1 meeting. “So we are trying to be one step ahead of this project.

The rare profitable golf course?

While most public golf courses require substantial grants, Noel argues his would pay for itself by attracting thousands of discerning high-end golfers to stay in Kanab for a few days. So even if the green fees don’t cover all operating expenses, these big spenders will leave enough money in Kanab – a tourist economy town in the heart of southern Utah’s national parks – for the investment. worth it.

That’s a lot of wishful thinking, critics say, who argue that the golf course represents a misuse of public money and resources.

“It is unwise to spend more than $ 10 million of our public revenue to build infrastructure that few people in our community will use,” said Sky Chaney, a Kanab resident, who heads a local taxpayer association. “The construction of this project will prevent the construction of other projects that will further benefit the residents of our community. “

(Kane County Water Conservancy District) A render produced by architect David McLay Kidd provides a preliminary design for an 18-hole luxury golf course project that retired Utah lawmaker Mike Noel is looking to build at the outside Kanab.

Chaney also doubts Noel’s golf course attracts enough golfers to afford it. Not only is Kanab difficult to access compared to other destinations near St. George, he noted, but its summers are hot and winters cold.

“Most serious golfers are careful to choose courses where access is not difficult and the weather is good for golfing,” said Chaney. “Kanab is not an ideal place for either of these two requirements.”

In a survey of county residents commissioned by the Taxpayers Association, 93% of those polled said they oppose the use of public money and local water to be used on a course. luxury golf.

A green island in a red desert

Critics are also unhappy with the planting of water-guzzling greens and fairways in a desert at a time when Utah’s water resources are drying up in the face of an unrelenting drought. But Noel says the course would be irrigated with 319 acre-feet of water that would otherwise go onto the alfalfa fields.

“None of these waters is culinary water. The diversion point is on Kanab Creek. It’s below the area where the city’s water is taken, ”Noel said. “It’s not just a golf course. It’s also a very, very sophisticated design course to save water as much as possible.

The Utah CIB distributes millions in grants and loans from a revolving fund funded by federal mining revenues. By law, this money must be spent on projects in the communities where these revenues are generated on projects intended to mitigate the impacts associated with mining.

Impact board staff warned the board that Noel’s loan request did not match CIB’s mission, but the board approved it after hearing Noel’s speech.

“It seems to be a project that is well outside a water development mission. In reality. I’m not sure this is the right entity to apply for a golf course, ”CIB staff member Candace Powers told the board. “Golf courses don’t necessarily generate income and, in fact, are very expensive to maintain. “

(Kane County Water Conservancy District) Retired Utah Lawmaker Mike Noel proposes to build a luxury golf course at this site outside of Kanab on state-owned land next to Jackson Flat Reservoir. In his role as director of the Kane County Water Conservation District, he obtained approval for a $ 10 million loan from the Utah Community Impact Board to build the course designed by David McLay Kidd.

Impact dollars typically fund basic facilities and infrastructure, such as upgrading roads, public safety equipment, sewers, and building prisons. CIB has embarked on economic development projects in recent years, which has resulted in controversy and at least one lawsuit.

CIB has funded four golf courses in the past, including one now defunct in Kanab, according to Christina Davis, spokesperson for CIB’s parent agency, Department of Workforce Services.

Focus on an influx of tourists

At the July meeting, CIB unanimously agreed to grant the water district a loan of $ 10 million over 30 years at an interest rate of 1%. Noel said the repayment money would be tied to Kane County’s Transitional Room Tax (TRT) revenues, so if the golf course’s revenues aren’t enough to pay off the loan, the district could fall back on this solid revenue stream from hotel stays.

In other words, federal money funds the project and a tourist tax reimburses it. Under this plan, Kane County taxpayers and water taxpayers are not affected. Unless, of course, golfers don’t show up to play in sufficient numbers and the county has to bail out the golf course.

That won’t be a problem, Noël assured CIB. District consultant Z. Gordon Davidson conducted a market analysis that predicts the price will host 18,000 turns in the first year and stabilize at 25,000 turns in the fourth year. At $ 100 per spin, the net operating income at this level of play would be $ 802,000.

Noel told CIB that Kane County was participating in the project as a partner and that the county commission had approved the use of TRT’s income to the tune of $ 350,000 per year to repay the loan. This is the amount the district would have to pay to repay a $ 10 million loan at 1% interest, he said.

Noel also claimed that district attorney Rob Van Dyke, who is also the elected attorney for Kane County, drafted an interlocal agreement regarding the governance of the golf course.

“In the agreement, there would be a council. The board of directors would be composed of members of the [Kanab] City Council, the [Kane] County Commission, ”Noel told CIB. “The departmental commission wants it. That’s what they told us. They want to be the engine of the recreational part. “

All of this came as news to the Kane County Commission, which issued a letter to the public clarifying its current situation.

County Kane is still on the fence

In a recent interview, Commissioner Brent Chamberlain said Kane County had only just started doing due diligence and was nowhere near committing TRT revenue for the golf course or even participating in the golf course. as a partner. He also said he had not seen any draft interlocal agreements and did not expect the county to complete an independent analysis.

“There is no agreement between the county and the water district at the moment,” he said. “It’s a bit premature. In fact, it is premature to say that it is done and that the riding will support it. If it all comes back and says it’s a worthwhile thing to do, we can do it, but it hasn’t happened.

He warned that the water district’s market analysis “paints a pretty rosy picture” and the county needs to conduct a separate study. His hope is that the course doesn’t require a cent of TRT money to pay off the CIB loan, let alone the $ 350,000 per year that Noel is looking for.

“It would be nice if he could support himself,” Chamberlain said. “Is part of the equation economically viable? Would he be able to stand on his own feet? Would he get to that point, hopefully soon enough, where he wouldn’t demand those kinds of payments from the county? “

All of these questions will be moot if the school trust land managers decide to partner with someone else to develop the land. These officials are required by law to seek the maximum financial return on the 3.4 million acres they oversee, which in this case may not be a golf course.

After Noel looked to lease the 100-acre parcel, SITLA went looking for better deals, according to Kyle Pasley, a property manager at SITLA’s St. George office. Two proposals were submitted by the September 1 deadline and are currently under review.

“We review them through our board of directors and our real estate committee,” Pasley said. “A decision will be made based on what is in the best financial interest of the [school] confidence.”

SITLA’s board is expected to select a winner at its November 18 meeting.

Update, September 20, 2021 This story has been updated to include information regarding the number of golf courses that the Utah Community Impact Board (CIB) has funded in the past.

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Utah economy

Utahns’ selfish opposition to vaccinations shows how far we’ve fallen since 9/11, writes George Pyle

Service to a greater good was the image of patriotism then and irrational selfishness is the ascendant now

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Staff Sergeant Colin Green, a Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan veteran, waves the American flag at sunrise on Saturday September 11, 2021 at the Utah Healing Field in Sandy .

If Americans had responded to the September 11 terrorist attacks the way far too many of us face the coronavirus pandemic, not only would Osama bin Laden still be alive, but he would be having tea in the White House.

It’s not that everything our nation has done in the past 20 years is something to be proud of. Torture. CIA black sites. Guantanamo golf course. The Ministry of Homeland Security. Two decades of war in Afghanistan and a totally unwarranted incursion into Iraq.

But the orgy of journalistic memories we have just experienced highlights how much we have changed. How service to a greater good was the image of patriotism then, and how irrational and potentially deadly selfishness takes over now.

Then people waved flags, donated blood, donated to the Red Cross, became firefighters, joined the Marines, raised children who joined the Marines, held annual commemorations, built monuments and impressive museums. It was all about us.

Now it’s all about me, me, me. I don’t want to wear a mask. You can’t get me vaccinated. We have become, for all outward appearances on social media, a petulant 12-year-old nation. And too many of our elected officials, almost exclusively Republicans, are doing it.

Utah Governor Spencer Cox, Attorney General Sean Reyes and Senator Mike Lee have shamefully collapsed under the ignorant fringe of their own Republican Party. They align themselves with the idea that President Joe Biden’s plan to use OSHA as a tool to demand vaccinations or weekly tests as a workplace safety requirement is somehow a threat to our inalienable rights, while the contrary is true.

The Utah Legislature‘s Health and Human Services Committee committee held a public bulls session on Wednesday, raising ideas to block the Biden Ordinance, lending unsatisfactory credibility to the idea that vaccination is a personal choice affecting only the person with the blow to the arm.

It is shameful that our leaders do not take every opportunity available to them to tell their constituents that this is a blatant lie. Our grandchildren – if there are any left – will marvel at how stupid people can be when they are without real leadership.

It is or should be the responsibility of each holder to explain that accepting responsibility for immunization is a fundamental requirement of civilization. That you get the jab for me, and I get it for you, and we both get it for kids who are too young or for people who are immunocompromised and at significant risk of death in a culture of irrational selfishness.

Utah politicians, including State Representative Paul Ray and Senator Jake Anderegg, who promote anti-vaccination medical and biological ignorance – who stand still for the idea that another wave of disease and of death is less threatening to the economy than a simple series of vaccinations – represent a clear and present danger to our society and have been shown to be unfit for public office. It probably won’t matter to their constituents (survivors) in the next election.

At the very least, they should be honest about it and change the name of their panel to the Committee on Death and Human Injury.

It might make sense that the lessons of the War on Terror have left many Americans with distrust of the government, pundits, and government experts that threaten us now. Two decades of being told that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, that the 9/11 hijackers were Iraqi agents when they really came from Saudi Arabia, of accepting the Patriot Act and the permissions military force and warrantless telephone tapping may well leave our national dialogue overshadowed by suspicion.

To be fair to Lee, it should be noted that while many on his side of the aisle totally accept every Big Brother, it is for your good, as since 9/11 our Senior Senator has been courageously skeptical of the regard to all this rotting.

So now the nation that honors the sacrifice of the passengers of Flight 93 – the normal Americans who crashed in the Pennsylvania countryside rather than letting their plane become the missile that would destroy the Capitol or the White House – is seeing passengers who have to be glued to their seats because of their violent objection to the mask rules.

Sweet Zeus, people. No one is asking you to stumble upon a burning skyscraper, give up a lucrative football career to join the military, crash the plane you are on, torture someone, be tortured or even take off your shoes.

All we need is people to make the smallest effort to protect your own life, the lives of your loved ones, your coworkers, and a group of people you will never know. Is it too much to ask?

Apparently, if you’re a Republican from Utah, it is.

George Pyle, reading the New York Times at The Rose Establishment.

Georges pyle, Opinion writer for the Salt Lake Tribune, has vivid memories of the whole city showing up for polio vaccinations. And not to have polio.

[email protected]

Twitter, @debatestate

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Utah economy

US launches mass deportation of Haitian migrants from Texas – ABC4 Utah

DEL RIO, Texas (AP) – The United States on Sunday returned Haitians camped in a Texas border town to their homeland and attempted to prevent others from crossing the border into Mexico in a massive show of force that marked the start of what may be one of the fastest, largest-scale expulsions of migrants or refugees in decades.

More than 320 migrants arrived in Port-au-Prince on three flights, and Haiti said six flights were expected on Tuesday. In total, US authorities have decided to deport many of the more than 12,000 migrants camped around a bridge in Del Rio, Texas, after passing through the city of Ciudad Acuña, Mexico.

The only obvious parallel for such a deportation without the possibility of seeking asylum was in 1992 when the coast guard intercepted Haitian refugees at sea, said Yael Schacher, senior United States lawyer at Refugees International, whose studies of doctoral studies focused on the history of American asylum law.

Likewise, large numbers of Mexicans were sent home during the peak years of immigration, but overland and not so suddenly.

Central Americans have also crossed the border in comparable numbers without facing mass deportations, although Mexico has agreed to accept them from the United States under pandemic-related authority in effect since March 2020. The Mexico does not accept expelled Haitians or people of other nationalities abroad. from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

When the border was closed on Sunday, migrants first found other means to cross nearby until confronted with federal and state law enforcement. An Associated Press reporter saw Haitian immigrants still crossing the river to the United States about 1.5 miles east of the previous point, but they were eventually stopped by border patrol officers on horseback and Texas law enforcement officials.

As they crossed, some Haitians carried crates full of food on their heads. Some took off their pants before entering the river and put them on. Others weren’t afraid to get wet.

Officers shouted at the waist-deep migrants crossing the river to get out of the water. The few hundred who had crossed successfully and were sitting along the bank on the American side were sent to the Del Rio camp. “Go now,” the officers shouted. Mexican authorities aboard an airboat told others who were trying to cross back to Mexico.

Migrant Charlie Jean had returned from the camps in Ciudad Acuña to collect food for his wife and three daughters, aged 2, 5 and 12. He was waiting on the Mexican side for a restaurant to bring him an order for rice.

“We need food for every day. I can do without it, but my kids can’t, ”said Jean, who had lived in Chile for five years before starting the journey north to the United States. It was not known if he had returned to the camp.

Mexico announced on Sunday that it would also begin to deport Haitians to their homeland. A government official said the flights would come from towns close to the US border and the border with Guatemala, where the largest group remains.

Haitians have migrated to the United States in large numbers from South America for several years, many having left their Caribbean countries after a devastating earthquake in 2010. After jobs have dried up since the Olympic Games d he summer of 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, many made the dangerous journey by foot, bus and car to the US border, including through the infamous Darien Gap, a Panamanian jungle.

Some migrants from Del Rio camp said the recent devastating earthquake in Haiti and the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse made them fearful of returning to a country that seemed more unstable than when they left.

“In Haiti, there is no security,” said Fabricio Jean, a 38-year-old Haitian who arrived in Texas with his wife and two daughters. “The country is in a political crisis.

Since Friday, 3,300 migrants have already been evacuated from the Del Rio camp to planes or detention centers, border patrol chief Raul L. Ortiz said on Sunday. He expected 3,000 of the approximately 12,600 remaining migrants to be moved within the day and aimed for the rest to be gone within the week.

“We are working around the clock to quickly move migrants out of the heat, elements and under this bridge to our processing facilities to quickly process and remove individuals from the United States in accordance with our laws and policies,” Ortiz said at a press conference at the Del Rio Bridge. The Texas city of about 35,000 people is located approximately 230 kilometers west of San Antonio.

The United States expected to soon double its daily flights to at least six, according to a US official who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. The starting cities were still being determined on Sunday.

Six flights were planned in Haiti on Tuesday – three in Port-au-Prince and three in the northern city of Cap-Haitien, said Jean Négot Bonheur Delva, director of migration of Haiti.

The swift deportations were made possible by a pandemic-related authority adopted by former President Donald Trump in March 2020 that allows migrants to be immediately expelled from the country without the ability to seek asylum. President Joe Biden exempted unaccompanied children from the order but left the rest in place.

Any Haitian who is not deported is subject to immigration laws, which include the right to seek asylum and other forms of humanitarian protection. Families are quickly released in the United States as the government generally cannot detain children.

Some people arriving on the first flight covered their heads as they entered a large bus parked next to the plane. Dozens of people lined up to receive a plate of rice, beans, chicken and plantains as they wondered where they would sleep and how they would earn money to support their families.

All received $ 100 and have been tested for COVID-19, although authorities have not planned to quarantine them, said Marie-Lourde Jean-Charles of the National Migration Office.

Gary Monplaisir, 26, said his parents and sister live in Port-au-Prince, but he was not sure he would stay with them because to join him, his wife and their daughter home. 5-year-olds would pass through a gang-controlled area called Martissant where murders are rife.

“I’m scared,” he said. “I don’t have a plan.”

He moved to Chile in 2017, just as he was about to earn an accounting degree, to work as a tow truck driver. He then paid for his wife and daughter to join him. They tried to reach the United States because he thought he could find a better paying job and help his family in Haiti.

“We are always looking for better opportunities,” he said.

Some migrants said they plan to leave Haiti again as soon as possible. Valeria Ternission, 29, said she and her husband wanted to return to Chile with their 4-year-old son, where she worked as a cashier in a bakery.

“I am really worried, especially for the child,” she said. “I can’t do anything here.”


Lozano reported from Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, Sanon from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and Spagat from San Diego. Associated Press editors Danica Coto in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Maria Verza in Mexico City also contributed to this report.


Follow AP’s coverage of migration at

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Utah economy

Maine’s next generation of lobsters are bracing for unprecedented change

Third-generation lobster fisherman Nick Prior was in eighth grade when he started working as a stern fisherman on Aquarius, the lobster boat built by his grandfather. They still fish together in Bremen, in the middle of the Maine coast. But now Nick, who is in his final year of high school, is at the helm as Verge Prior, 77, stuffs the bait bags and bandages their claws with their catch. Between the towpots, Verge jokes that he plans to catch lobster until the end of his life. “Some days I feel it will be tomorrow, other days it seems longer.”

Her grandson wants to carry on the family tradition, but thinks the future of lobster fishing is too uncertain to plan for his life. “There’s no place I’d rather be in summers, fall and spring” than on a lobster boat, says Prior, 17. But he’s also interested in history and hopes to play baseball in college. “In the long run, I don’t see [lobstering] support me, you know, to have the things I want and need in life. “

Prior is one of more than a thousand lobster fishers in Maine who fish with student licenses while in high school or college and working towards getting a business license. State data shows their numbers are down about 10% from their peak four years ago, after rising for nearly a decade. “I know a lot of kids who are leaving now who won’t even be in two or three years,” Prior said.

Maine does not track the number of lobster vessels of any age diversifying into other fisheries or the rapidly growing field of aquaculture, even as those of the next generation face unprecedented uncertainty in the future. share of forces inside and outside the fishery. On the one hand, the cost and effort of complying with evolving regulations aimed at protecting the lobster population and other species.

New rule to protect whales means more costs for lobster boats

The latest federal rule, announced Aug. 31 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is part of a plan to prevent endangered North Atlantic right whales from getting caught in fishing gear by 2030.

The agency estimates that the population decline has accelerated in recent years, with 368 right whales remaining. NOAA has documented 34 right whale deaths since 2017, with at least nine of those fatalities confirmed to have been caused by entanglements in fishing gear, including gear used by the commercial gillnet or lobster and crab fishery on the east coast.

The new NOAA rule requires lobster boats to use gear with state-specific markings that can be traced if a whale is caught, among other changes such as weak spots in fishing lines that allow entangled whales to get stuck. to free. The rule will also allow lobster boats to use so-called cordless gear – an expensive and controversial new technology that is still in its early stages of development – in fishing areas that will be closed in certain seasons.

“The beauty of the lobster industry is that there has been a place for everyone,” said Patrice McCarron, CEO of Maine Lobstermen’s Association. “We risk putting up too many obstacles that are really going to create winners and losers, so it’s scary.”

McCarron says fishermen want to do their part to protect the whales, but she says no Maine lobster fishing gear has ever been confirmed to have caused serious injury or death to a right whale. A spokesperson for NOAA retorts that its scientists are unable to determine the source of most entanglements and that nearly half of the deaths go unobserved.

Lobster boats are encouraged to go “cordless”

On a boat near Kennebunkport, Maine, at the end of July, Lobster fisherman Chris Welch demonstrated new cordless equipment made by a Massachusetts company. It costs around $ 4,000 per trap, several times more than a traditional lobster trap, which typically costs $ 80 to $ 180. Instead of a vertical fishing line suspended between a buoy on the surface and a lobster trap below, it stores a rope on the ocean floor that is deployed on demand using GPS and acoustic signals.

“So far it’s recoverable,” Welch says. “But the challenge with the Maine fishery is that there are 5,000 lobsters and we all fish among ourselves and try not to fish on top of each other. With these units, unless you’re looking at your entire electronics. the day or your iPad, there’s no way of knowing where the next guy is. “

The 33-year-old is against not using a rope and believes the equipment is far from practical or affordable for most lobster boats. “I predict this will become a big boat fishery,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a challenge for new or young guys or even young people to get into the industry because you’re going to have to have a lot of money for start-up costs.”

Federal fisheries managers are hopeful that more lobster vessels try out and help improve cordless gear, with provisions in the new rule designed to speed up research and development. “They have a very successful way of fishing and we challenge it with something unknown – they call it Star wars technology, ”says biologist Colleen Coogan, who heads a NOAA team tasked with reducing whale entanglements. “So far, the steps they have had to take [have] not bankrupt them. And based on our assessment of those measures, it won’t bankrupt them either, as long as the lobster stock remains strong as well. “

There is more than enough lobster now, but not forever

The lobster population in the Gulf of Maine has increased since the late 1980s, according to stock assessments by interstate regulators. The amount of lobster caught and sold in Maine per year has also followed an overall upward trend since then, reaching 132 million pounds in 2016 before dropping in recent years to 96 million in 2020, according to the Department of Marine Resources of the state.

However, research shows that the Gulf of Maine is warming faster than most of the world’s oceans and its lobster population will eventually decline.

“Where we are is probably not a natural or perpetual state of affairs,” says Carla Guenther, chief scientist at the nonprofit Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries. Guenther points to other still emerging changes facing the industry, such as a proposed floating offshore wind farm for major fishing grounds, which she sees as a more imminent threat to the viability of the industry. “Apart from the abundance of lobster, we have created a whole socio-economic dependence, even a political framework, around the existence of the lobster and what it means and what it brings to these communities”, she says.

Guenther is part of a research team at the University of Maine that works to measure the resilience of the fishery and the communities that depend on it. A study by a Maine nonprofit found that the Maine lobster industry contributes $ 1 billion to the state’s economy each year and supports some 6,000 jobs on the water and 4 000 on earth. Research on the industry’s vulnerability to change is scarce, especially on young lobster fishers as they envision changes that could put their future at odds with centuries of tradition.

Maine lobsters are disproportionately older and male

About two-thirds of Maine’s more than 4,500 commercially licensed lobster vessels are 40 years of age or older – an imbalance that many call a “graying of the fleet” – and only a small fraction are women, including Meredith Oliver, who is 28 and fishes in Stonington. Oliver was only 15 when she inherited her 36ft lobster boat from her late grandfather after telling him she wanted to fish for life.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do – I feel so comfortable on the water,” says Oliver, adding that she hasn’t diversified her skills and has no other source of income than a winter job to chop wood. Oliver’s business plan is to stay out of debt and keep fishing, even if the way she fishes lobster needs to change. “I leave it in the hands of the Lord, he supports me.”

The choice of whether or not to continue fishing is new for some lobster boats in Maine. Many say it is more and more difficult to do. But they have worked for generations to protect the species, and regulators agree there is still more than enough lobster to fish – for now.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To learn more, visit
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Utah economy

AG investigators destroy major retail theft case

WEST VALLEY CITY – The Utah Attorney General’s Office (Crimes Against Statewide Economy) CASE unit has arrested a West Valley City man who was profiting from the resale of large quantities of stolen goods to local big box retailers. Officers recovered more than $ 80,000 in brand new power tools, household items and sports equipment intended for illegal sale.

Photos of the seized goods: Here

And here.

And here.

Oscar Martinez, 45, has been charged with Possession of Stolen Property; 3 counts of illegal acquisition of stolen property and money laundering.

Organized theft in retail is one of the most serious challenges facing retailers this year. Across the country, people load shopping carts with expensive goods and simply steal them. It is estimated that millions of dollars in goods are lost every month across the country. The proceeds are typically sold in online marketplaces, with the money typically used to fund drug addiction.

Martinez would have arranged for drug addicts to steal the goods for him. Agents say he would provide shopping lists for the items at retailers, including Home Depot, then pay a fraction of the value, then resell them online for a profit. They say this illegal operation has been going on for over a year.

“Organized retail crime is a very serious problem in Utah, and it is also a national trend,” said CASE Commander Christopher Walden. “It has become an epidemic and is driving up the costs of these items so that stores can cover their losses. We are committed to continuing to fight these crimes statewide.

CASE is a joint task force between the Utah Attorney General’s Office and the Utah Department of Public Safety, State Office of Investigations. ——

ICAC arrest in Salt Lake County

SALT LAKE COUNTY – Also this week: ICAC officers continued to investigate dozens of tips received regarding citizens distributing child pornography. ICAC officers arrested a man on Wednesday after discovering tens of thousands of cases of child sexual abuse at a residence. Officers also recovered drugs and a gun from the home.

Officers charged Garret Brian Ferrari, 60, with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. Firearms and drug offenses will be charged separately. On the spot, Ferrari admitted that it has been collecting these files for years, which corroborates the volume of files recovered. ###


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Utah economy

BLM headquarters returns to Washington

Home Secretary Haaland said the office will expand its western office to Grand Junction, Colorado.

(Rick Bowmer | AP, pool) US Home Secretary Deb Haaland tours old dwellings along the Butler Wash Trail during a visit to the Bears Ears National Monument on Thursday, April 8, 2021, near Blanding.

After a two-year stint in Colorado, the headquarters of the Bureau of Land Management is returning to Washington, DC, Home Secretary Deb Haaland said on Friday in a meeting with BLM employees.

Haaland’s Republican predecessors orchestrated the 2019 migration of BLM’s executive staff to a new headquarters in Grand Junction, Colo., And to already established state offices. The stated objective of this relocation was to bring land management leadership closer to the western communities most connected to the public lands overseen by the agency. But many career staff resigned or retired rather than relocate, and many positions had been left vacant for months, leaving the new headquarters a rather quiet place.

“The past few years have been incredibly disruptive for the organization, our officials and their families. As we move forward, my priority is to revitalize and rebuild the BLM so that it can meet the pressing challenges of our time and ensure the well-being of our employees, ”Haaland said on Friday. “I look forward to continuing to work with Congress, tribes, elected officials and the many stakeholders who care about the stewardship of our shared public lands and healthy communities. “

While leaders in Utah and other Western states have hailed the Trump administration’s decision to move BLM’s headquarters west, the Biden administration’s plan to move it back to the nation’s capital has sparked praise from environmental groups for calling it a first step towards repairing “significant damage”. to a 7,000-employee agency that manages 11 percent of all land in the United States, including 23 million acres in Utah.

“The weakness of the BLM is that it is a highly decentralized organization with a large majority of staff scattered across the West and it is good to have management staff in DC where they can work with the administration. and Congress, ”said Scott Groene, executive director of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, or SUWA. Trump’s decision to move the seat west “was a terrible political act intended to decimate the agency and advance the re-election of a Republican senator from Colorado.”

Groene was referring to Senator Cory Gardner, who was overthrown in 2020 by Democrat John Hickenlooper. The former Colorado governor backed Trump’s decision to move the BLM headquarters to his state and recently urged Biden to establish a “full seat” in Grand Junction.

“We believe that such an effort must be more than token and must include the personnel and resources necessary to improve management and protect our public lands,” wrote Hickenlooper and fellow Democratic Senator Michael Bennet in a letter to Biden shortly. time after his inauguration. “A full Colorado headquarters would not only grow the economy of Western Colorado, but also send an important signal that rural America is a suitable location for such a prestigious institution.”

Utah Representative John Curtis, a Republican, said the BLM headquarters should remain in the West.

“We have legitimately moved their headquarters to Colorado, and closer to where directors could conscientiously exercise their responsibilities and be closer to the stakeholders involved,” he said. “Reversing this decision gives power back to those with the most wealth and access, not those really affected by the Office. “

But SUWA and advocacy groups saw the move west as an attempt to force career workers and empty the ranks of BLM leaders.

“The American people deserve an agency with a seat at the table when important decisions are made in Washington,” said Jennifer Rokala, executive director of the Denver-based Center for Western Priorities. ” This movement [back to D.C.] will help the agency rebuild and ensure that senior officials in the Bureau of Land Management can raise concerns directly to lawmakers, Home Office officials and the White House.

Under Trump, the BLM saw a series of interim leaders come and go, ending with William Perry Pendley, a property rights lawyer who had previously made a career of suing the BLM and wondering if it was even appropriate for the federal government to own millions of hectares.

Nine months after President Joe Biden took office, the BLM leadership vacuum persists. Her candidate for BLM director Montanan Tracy Stone-Manning has stalled amid allegations she was involved in a tree-hanging incident more than 30 years ago in Idaho .

Trump’s plan was to move 328 DC positions to state and district offices in West and Grand Junction. This turned out to be a failure, with the majority of staff choosing to resign.

“Only 41 of those affected have moved, including 3 to Grand Junction,” Interior said in its announcement Friday. “This resulted in a significant loss of institutional memory and talent. The siege transition [back to D.C.] will be conducted with the goal of minimizing further disruption to employees and their families. “

The BLM, meanwhile, is not relinquishing its 2-year presence at Grand Junction, but will instead expand as the official seat of the West.

“This office will enhance Western perspectives in decision-making and will have an important role to play in the office’s clean energy, outdoor recreation, conservation and scientific missions, among other important work as a center of leadership. in the West, ”the Interior Ministry said. .

Haaland said the BLM will play a pivotal role in tackling the climate crisis, expanding public access to public lands and preserving the nation’s common external heritage.

She also affirmed her commitment to create a newly authorized congressional BLM foundation that would focus on building new partnerships, and that the office would work to “strengthen government-to-government relationships with Indian tribes” and appoint tribal state bonds.

“It is imperative that the office has the proper structure and resources to serve the American public,” Haaland said. “There is no doubt that the BLM should have a leadership presence in Washington, DC, like all other land management agencies, to ensure that it has access to the political, budgetary and decision-making levers to best conduct his mission . “

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Utah economy

Carr, 23 other Republican GAs urge Biden administration to drop vaccine mandates

WASHINGTON – Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr joins more than 20 other Republican state attorneys general in threatening to sue the Biden administration over his mandate that large employers require their employees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus or are tested weekly.

“Yet another example of blatant disregard for the rule of law, the command and control strategy of the Biden-Harris administration is patronizing and counterproductive, harmful to our state’s economy and – most importantly – unconstitutional.” , he added. Carr said in a statement. “We will fight against the abuse of power by the administration and protect the citizens and businesses of our state.”

In a letter Thursday, the 24 GAs urged the administration to remove the requirement that would affect nearly 80 million Americans and let employees make their own decisions about vaccinations.

“There are many less intrusive ways to combat the spread of COVID-19, other than COVID-19 vaccinations or testing,” they wrote. “The risks of the spread of COVID-19 also vary widely depending on the nature of the business in question, many of which may have their employees work, for example, remotely. “

On September 9, President Joe Biden called on the Department of Labor to issue a temporary emergency rule under the Occupational Safety and Health Act to force employers to put in place a vaccine requirement , to impose weekly COVID-19 tests or to fire employees who refuse to do so. to get vaccinated.

He then met with business leaders “who champion vaccine mandates that … will ensure that businesses stay open and workers stay safe,” he said, highlighting support for a traditionally group’s mandate. republican.

State attorneys general argue that Biden’s tenure is not legal.

“If your administration does not change its course, the attorneys general of the undersigned state will seek all available legal options to hold you to account and uphold the rule of law,” they wrote.

Besides Georgia, these states also include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.

They argue that to justify OSHA’s emergency standard, the administration must prove that employees are in serious danger.

“In addition, many Americans who have recovered from COVID-19 have achieved a level of natural immunity, and statistics clearly indicate that young people without comorbidity have a low risk of hospitalization from COVID-19,” said they declared. “So you can’t plausibly shoulder the high burden of showing that employees in general are in grave danger. “

However, some studies have shown that COVID-19 infections increase rapidly in children. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that as of September 9, nearly 5.3 million children have tested positive since the start of the pandemic and 243,000 cases were added in one week in September, the second highest number. high in a week since the start of the pandemic.

The academy states that “at present it appears that serious illnesses from COVID-19 are rare in children. However, there is an urgent need to collect more data on the long-term impacts of the pandemic on children, including the ways in which the virus may adversely affect the long-term physical health of infected children, as well as its effects on the disease. emotional and mental health. “

Nearly 700,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 and there have been more than 44 million cases of the virus. Some of those who recovered from the virus suffered long-term symptoms of COVID-19, as reported by Atlantic.

State AGs also argue that putting in place vaccine requirements is “likely to increase vaccine skepticism.”

More than 180 million Americans, or at least half of the American population, are fully immunized, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Georgia Recorder’s Associate Editor-in-Chief, Jill Nolin, contributed to this report.

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Utah economy

Key points from the 1st debate – ABC4 Utah

Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin met in southwest Virginia on Thursday for the first Commonwealth Governors’ Debate of general election season.

Much of the talk between McAuliffe, a longtime Democratic Party fundraiser seeking a rare second term as governor, and Youngkin, a former business executive and political newcomer, has been about vaccination mandates. and the abortion policy.

Here’s a look at a few other topics the candidates clashed over during the hour-long debate in a race that’s being closely watched ahead of next year’s mid-sessions:


During the GOP nomination contest, Youngkin made “electoral integrity” a major campaign issue, allowing him to appeal to supporters of former President Donald Trump who mistakenly believed that the 2020 had been stolen.

Moderator Susan Page urged Youngkin to simply answer a yes or no Thursday to a question about whether he agreed with remarks Trump made recently in a radio interview, in which he suggested that the Democrats could “cheat” in the race for governor.

“No.… I think we’re going to have a clean and fair election that I fully expect to win,” said Youngkin, who added that he didn’t think there had been “substantial” fraud in the election. elections in Virginia.

Page also asked the two candidates if they would accept if the state certified that their opponent had won. Both are committed to doing so.


McAuliffe and Youngkin have found common ground on whether to end qualified immunity, a legal doctrine that often shields police from liability.

Both have made it clear that they will not seek to make any changes to this policy in Virginia. It’s a change of direction for McAuliffe, who during the April Democratic primary told the Virginia Mercury he would support the end. He gave a less direct answer during a debate in May between Democratic candidates.


Youngkin took on two state agencies that faced persistent complaints from Virginia during the pandemic: the Virginia Employment Commission and the Department of Motor Vehicles.

“We will introduce the concept of customer service, not a faulty process,” he said.

And during a segment where candidates were allowed to ask one question, Youngkin insisted on McAuliffe about the woman he appointed chair of the state parole board, where the oversight agency the state discovered a number of serious problems.

“If you could start all over again, would you appoint her as chair of your parole board?” Youngkin asked.

Without directly addressing the issue of former board chair Adrianne Bennett, McAuliffe replied that if anyone in state government had acted inappropriately, “people would be fired.”


Energy policy and climate change have so far not taken center stage in the campaign.

Candidates were asked on Thursday whether they would have signed the Virginia Clean Economy Act, a sweeping bill passed by Democrats in 2020 that outlines a plan to bring Virginia electric utilities to 100% production. renewable by 2050.

Youngkin said he would not have signed the measure.

“I believe in all sources of energy. We can use wind and solar, but we have to preserve our clean natural gas, ”he said.

McAuliffe said “of course” he would have signed it. In a campaign platform, he called for accelerating Virginia’s path to “100% clean energy” by 2035.


Page, the Washington bureau chief of USA Today, had a direct question for the candidates about the removal last week of a huge statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Richmond.

“What went through your mind when you saw this statue fall?” She asked about the state-owned bronze equestrian piece. Gov. Ralph Northam ordered his removal last summer after the police murder of George Floyd in Minnesota, but litigation had stalled work for more than a year.

McAuliffe, whose position on Confederate statuary in Virginia has changed over the years and who could have sought to remove the monument when he was previously in office, responded that he was “happy” to see it disappear, calling it symbol of “division and hatred.” “

Youngkin first shot at McAuliffe’s changes in stance, then said he believed the Virginia Supreme Court ruling that allowed the statue to be removed “reflected the law.”

“I think this statue should be in a museum or on a battlefield, so we’re not erasing our history,” he said.

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Utah economy

Salt Lake City is one of the biggest winners of the past decade

“IT PROTECTED LINKS behind its mountains of ramparts, sheltered from physical and intellectual storms on both coasts, ”Wallace Stegner wrote of Salt Lake City. The novelist associated his adopted hometown, where he spent much of the 1920s and 1930s, with an “isolationism” and “provincialism” offered by his Mormon heritage and his comfortable seat between the Wasatch Range and the Grand salt lake. These characteristics remain; but gaze at the city’s bustling downtown today from a perch in the nearby foothills and Salt Lake feels far from provincial. There are few places in America that can boast their successes over the past decade more than the City of Saints.

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Utah’s population grew faster than any other state between 2010 and 2020. Salt Lake City has the lowest unemployment rate of any major city, at 2.8%, compared to a national rate of 5 , 2%. If the state has rebounded so well from the slowdown caused by the covid-19 pandemic, it’s thanks to the Wasatch Front, an urban corridor that includes Salt Lake and Provo, home to Brigham Young University. The four counties that make up the Wasatch Front account for at least 80% of Utah’s economic activity, said Juliette Tennert, an economist at the University of Utah.

In many ways, Salt Lake’s success mirrors what is happening in other Mountain West cities, such as Boise, Idaho and Denver, Colorado. What makes Utah so special? For starters, it has the most diverse economy of any state, according to the Hachman Index, which measures each state’s mix of industries relative to that of the nation. In fact, Utah has been in the top two for most of the past two decades, says Tennert. Front Wasatch has a booming technology sector known as “Silicon Slopes”, several research universities and an international airport.

Utah’s ability to attract new business is aided by its Republican zeal for a low corporate tax rate and little regulation. But putting Salt Lake City on the map also required breaking the myths. Gary Herbert, the former governor, considers 2002, when Salt Lake hosted the Olympic Winter Games, to be a pivotal moment. “It was kind of our coming out night,” he says. People realized that “we are not the Wild West here in Utah”.

The researchers also note Utah’s relative homogeneity as a reason for its success. It can be easier for people to get along when they share a religious and cultural background. But the state is changing rapidly. Although about 61% of Utah’s population is a Mormon, that number is dropping all the time. About 48% of Salt Lake County residents identify as Mormons; the city itself, which is more diverse, probably has even fewer. Utah is the youngest state in the country, but its fertility rate is declining faster than the national average, says Emily Harris, a demographer. Attracting and retaining new Utahns will become increasingly important as births decline.

Three things threaten Salt Lake City‘s ability to attract and retain new residents. The first concerns environmental issues. Americans may relocate to Salt Lake for its proximity to hiking trails and fancy ski resorts, but the Wasatch front is plagued with pollution. Smoke from wildfires, heavy traffic and drying lake bed dust dirty the air. Utah is also counting on dwindling reservoirs due to the mega-drought that has dehydrated most of the West.

Second, Salt Lake City is becoming unaffordable for many longtime residents. House prices have risen nearly 25% since August 2020, according to Zillow, an online advertising platform. (Nationwide, home values ​​have increased by almost 18% on average.) Erin Mendenhall, the Democratic mayor of Salt Lake, offers high housing costs as proof that rapid growth does not benefit everyone. world.

Third, Utah consistently ranks among the worst states in the country for gender equality. An annual index from WalletHub, a consumer-oriented website, found the gender pay gap in Utah to be larger than in most other states. Women in Utah are also less likely to graduate from college or be elected to political office. That Utah is so lagging behind is likely due to the enduring influence of the Mormon Church and the tendency of believers to marry young and have large families. Still, the future looks brighter: As the state diversifies and begins to look more like America, women should benefit.

The Utahns are not at all surprised that their condition is booming. “The Salt Lakers generally like to fly under the radar,” says Mendenhall. “Part of who we are in our city is knowing that we are the best kept secret. This may be historically true, but the ever-expanding Front Wasatch suggests the secret is out.

This article appeared in the United States section of the print edition under the headline “Not your Father’s Utah”

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Utah economy

Bills to exempt feminine hygiene products from state sales tax see bipartisan support

LANSING, MI – Two bills introduced by Republican and Democratic members of Michigan House would exempt feminine hygiene products from state sales taxes.

HB 4270, presented by Representative Tenisha Yancey, D-Detroit, and HB 5267, sponsored by Representative Bryan Posthumus, of the Township of R-Cannon, would amend the Use Tax Act and the General Sales Tax Act, respectively, to exempt products from feminine hygiene sales and use taxes.

These products include tampons, panty liners, menstrual cups, sanitary napkins and other similar products designed for feminine hygiene in connection with the human menstrual cycle. These products are currently subject to Michigan sales and use taxes of 6%.

Lawmakers discussed the potential effects of the bills Tuesday at a Michigan House Policy Committee meeting in Lansing.

The so-called “tampon tax” generates about $ 7 million in government revenue each year, according to a House tax analysis.

Yancey, who introduced similar legislation during her last term, said she hopes to see the legislation cross the finish line this time around.

“It’s more than good policy that needs to be turned into law, as every woman in this room knows, menstruation is not a choice,” Yancey said. “Poor menstrual hygiene due to the absence of these products can lead to serious infections and sometimes cervical cancer. “

Sanitation products for women are not a luxury, Yancey said, adding that the time has finally come to enact these bills.

In Michigan, legislation has taken many forms over the past six years as nine different versions of these bills have been presented to the State House.

Posthumus called the legislation “common sense”.

“It makes economic sense, it is beneficial from a health and wellness promotion perspective, and it is pro-taxpayer,” Posthumus said.

Posthumus said the bills would reduce medical bills and the tax burden for Michigan’s more than 5 million women and help the state’s economy. The Republican lawmaker described the bill not only as a solution to a women’s health issue, but as a workplace development bill.

“We relieve this burden generally from the lower and lower middle classes and economically disadvantaged people who really cannot miss the productivity of the workforce,” he said.

Alleviating the burden of needed health products is not a partisan or gender issue, Posthumus said.

“I introduced this legislation as a Republican man strictly because I wanted to withdraw these arguments from it,” he said.

There are 23 states that have passed laws eliminating the state tax on feminine hygiene products. Between 2016 and 2020, Nevada, New York, Florida, Connecticut, Illinois, Ohio, Utah, and Washington eliminated state tax on these items.

Feminine hygiene products are often inaccessible or out of reach for those who are struggling to make ends meet, says advocacy group Period Equity, a legal organization aimed at ending taxation on these products.

The organization represented three Michigan women who argued the tax amounted to gender discrimination in a lawsuit filed against the state in 2020.

The Michigan Claims Court has ruled against the women, arguing that the application of sales and use taxes on products does not violate state or federal guarantees of equal protection.

The tax analysis notes that the court declared that “only the legislature can impose taxes or exempt elements of taxes”.

The legislation discussed at Tuesday’s committee meeting aims to do just that.


Michigan mask warrants did not violate constitutional rights of religious schools, court rules

COVID Outbreaks Rise Another 11% in Michigan

Democratic lawmaker slammed for promoting vaccine misinformation

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Utah economy

Cuomo’s drive to dominate led to success and downfall – ABC4 Utah

In 2018, when there was talk of running for president, Andrew Cuomo insisted there was only one reason he would step down sooner. And it wasn’t the White House. “The only caveat,” he said, “is if God strikes me to death.”

Another possibility will come true this week, when the Democrat resigns in disgrace, his allies gone, his legacy marred by allegations of sexual harassment. This ending was not caused by love at first sight, but by 11 women who told their stories to investigators.

For those who have watched Cuomo’s daily COVID-19 briefings and seen a beacon of strength and skill, Cuomo’s departure from the Governor’s Mansion may seem like an astonishing reversal. For New Yorkers, and especially those who clashed with Cuomo, it’s a story of how his drive to dominate made him the master of New York politics and brought about his downfall.

“My natural instinct is to be aggressive, and that doesn’t always serve me well,” Cuomo acknowledged in a recent brief detailing his response to the pandemic. “I am a controlling personality. … But you show me a person who is not in control, and I’m going to show you a person who is probably not very successful.

But while equating control with success led to Cuomo’s accomplishments, it also precipitated his downfall. Many Cuomo accusers told investigators the governor used his power and the threat of retaliation to harass them, believing they would never come forward.

“The Andrew Cuomo I’ve known since 1995 has always been about power and control,” said Karen Hinton, a former Cuomo aide when he was Housing Secretary under President Bill Clinton. “His bullying, his flirtation, his sexual connotations are a lot about controlling the person. He thought he would get away with this power and control.

Hinton is not among the 11 women at the center of the attorney general’s report, but she said Cuomo once gave her an uncomfortable hug in a hotel room “too long, too narrow, too intimate.”

The investigation overseen by New York Attorney General Letitia James and led by two outside attorneys corroborated accusations that Cuomo inappropriately touched women, commented on their appearance, or made suggestive comments about their sex lives. Most of the women worked in the state government.

Cuomo apologized for some of his actions and said others were misunderstood. He said some of the accusations were “unfair and false” and politically motivated. While initially provocative, he announced earlier this month that he plans to step down on Monday. He will be replaced by Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who is expected to become New York’s first female governor.

But not before one last emergency to challenge Cuomo in his dying days. The arrival of Tropical Storm Henry on Sunday put Cuomo back into the familiar role of responding to a natural disaster. Whether it was Super Storm Sandy, winter storms in Buffalo, or just a typical upstate snowstorm, Cuomo, the executive, always seemed to be the most engaged in natural disasters. , sometimes even responding personally to motorists stranded in snowstorms (still filmed, of course).

Son of former Governor Mario Cuomo, Andrew seemed destined to follow in his father’s footsteps. As a young man, he was his father’s assistant and campaign manager before joining the Clinton cabinet. He returned to New York for a failed gubernatorial bid in 2002, then won the attorney general’s office four years later. In 2010, he ran for governor again and won.

Almost immediately he began to leave his mark on the state. He angered progressives by making deals with Republicans. He announced major economic development programs designed to turn around the economy in the upstate. He gathered voices for same-sex marriage, gun control and tax caps.

If he had won a fourth term in 2022, he would have surpassed his father’s three terms.

Although he is great at Albany’s behind-the-scenes negotiation culture, Cuomo has never seemed so comfortable with the personal side of politics. He’s not a baby kisser, but rather a political operator who knows how the sausage is made and seems to enjoy the job.

Cuomo also seemed to be delighted with the decrease in opponents and critics, whether they were reporters or political rivals. He mocked a GOP opponent as being short, dismissed 2018 Democratic challenger Cynthia Nixon as a ‘sipping prosecco’ actress, and regularly tormented his former friend turned nemesis, the mayor of New York City. Bill de Blasio.

Cuomo declined to comment on the Associated Press through a spokesperson, who also declined to comment on his behalf. Instead, Cuomo’s remaining loyalists have taken to social media to defend his accomplishments as governor, a list that includes the sexual harassment laws he is accused of violating.

This is not the only contradiction of his long career.

He built more new bridges, stations and airport facilities than any governor in decades, but he cut funding to local governments struggling to pay for aging sewers and roads.

It bragged about investments in new businesses and in western New York City, but many programs generated few other state-funded ads featuring Cuomo. Two of Cuomo’s closest advisers have been sentenced to prison terms for corruption over economic development spending. Investigations into Cuomo’s role ended without charge.

He won an Emmy for his daily COVID briefings and was so proud of the state’s response that he wrote a book – even though his administration has been accused of covering up deaths in nursing homes after having them forced to accept COVID patients.

“The country was mesmerized by Governor Cuomo’s outspoken speech on the pandemic, but he didn’t even follow the experts,” said Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause, a good government group that has long clashed with Cuomo. “It’s emblematic of his style: the performance is superb, but when you go into the details, there are big holes and very little substance.”

State Senator Liz Krueger, a Democrat from Manhattan, said it was too early to examine Cuomo’s performance as governor, given that there are criminal investigations into the harassment allegations and questions about his management of nursing homes during the pandemic.

Lawmakers will know more once Cuomo leaves office, and they can assess whether his administration has overstated any of his accomplishments.

“His legacy will also be based on what we learn,” Krueger said.

Cuomo has not said where he will live after leaving the governor’s mansion in Albany. The Westchester County house he once shared with his ex-partner Sandra Lee has been sold. Lee, cookbook author and television chef, has since moved to California, although she was recently spotted in Europe with a new boyfriend.

His next professional steps are also unclear. With a law degree and extensive experience in brokerage transactions, Cuomo could work as a lawyer or real estate development manager.

Could he attempt a comeback? His campaign coffers remain empty, with $ 18 million. Former Congressman Anthony Weiner and former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who both resigned amid sex scandals, have tried to run for office in New York City. Both lost.

In today’s post #MeToo climate, the public is perhaps even less forgiving, according to Doug Muzzio, a political scientist at Baruch College.

“It will eclipse most thinking voters,” Muzio said. “He has a lot of accomplishments. He was a master builder. When elected, the state was in a $ 10 billion budget hole. And he solved it without raising taxes. But will anyone remember it?

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Utah economy

Wild horse roundups intensify as drought grips the West

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Utah economy

New York State ranked 4th highest unemployment rate in the United States

NEW YORK (WWTI) – Although many states are experiencing declining unemployment rates, New York is having a harder time recovering from the effects of the pandemic on jobs.

According to personal finance website WalletHub, the unemployment rate in the United States currently stands at 5.4%, a marked improvement from the near-all-time high of 14.8% in April 2020. New York currently has a rate employment rate of 7.6%.

WalletHub’s July Jobs Report showed much better job growth than the month before, with the economy gaining 943,000 non-farm jobs, with notable gains in sectors such as recreation and hospitality. , education of local communities and professional and commercial services. The website claimed that the overall drop can be attributed in large part to a combination of vaccinations and the relaxation of restrictions by states.

In order to identify which states are rebounding the most unemployment rates, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on five key metrics that compare unemployment rate statistics from July to key dates in 2019 and 2020. .

The report found that Nebraska, Utah and South Dakota recovered the most, while New York, California and Nevada fell to the bottom of the list. The study also found the following about the unemployment recovery in New York:

  • 96.37% Change in unemployment (July 2021 vs July 2019)
    • 708,641 unemployed in July 2021 vs 360,869 in July 2019;
    • 5th worst recovery in the United States
  • 96.89% Change in unemployment (July 2021 vs January 2020)
    • 708,641 unemployed in July 2021 vs 359,918 in January 2020;
    • 5th worst recovery in the United States
  • -48.60% Evolution of unemployment (July 2021 vs July 2020)
    • 708,641 unemployed in July 2021 vs 1,378,631 in July 2020;
    • 15th best recovery in the United States
  • 117.89% Change in ongoing unadjusted claims (July 2021 vs. July 2019)
    • 292,181 lawsuits in July 2021 compared to 134,096 in July 2019;
    • 15th worst recovery in the United States
  • 7.6% Unemployment rate (July 2021)
    • 4th highest unemployment rate in the United States

States whose unemployment rates rebound the most

1 Nebraska 2.3% -22.8% -22.4% -46.9% 103.5%
2 Utah 2.6% 9.0% 9.0% -51.4% 50.1%
4 South Dakota 2.9% -3.1% 0.6% -44.4% 42.8%
6 New Hampshire 2.9% 10.5% 11.1% -64.3% 154.1%
3 Idaho 3.0% 9.6% 17.0% -48.5% 4.1%
7 Vermont 3.0% 24.1% 13.9% -53.4% 70.0%
5 Alabama 3.2% 11.6% 20.6% -56.7% 31.1%
ten Oklahoma 3.5% 13.7% 13.4% -51.2% 144.8%
8 Montana 3.6% 1.1% -1.6% -45.7% 40.1%
14 Georgia 3.7% 7.6% 11.3% -48.9% 269.3%
9 Kansas 3.8% 23.8% 22.4% -41.5% -4.4%
11 Minnesota 3.9% 21.7% 19.1% -50.5% 124.4%
12 Wisconsin 3.9% 16.6% 18.9% -44.6% 112.0%
22 North Dakota 3.9% 64.3% 73.0% -36.8% 48.5%
16 Iowa 4.1% 39.5% 36.8% -32.3% 25.3%
24 Indiana 4.1% 29.7% 29.5% -51.6% 289.5%
17 Missouri 4.2% 30.0% 16.4% -38.9% 81.9%
20 Virginia 4.2% 51.7% 60.2% -48.3% 75.4%
13 Arkansas 4.3% 23.6% 17.6% -38.1% 41.6%
28 Caroline from the south 4.3% 69.9% 66.5% -43.6% 175.5%
15 North Carolina 4.4% 15.7% 23.8% -48.7% 96.3%
18 Kentucky 4.4% 1.2% 1.0% -20.9% 0.0%
26 Tennessee 4.7% 43.4% 27.2% -44.2% 134.2%
19 Michigan 4.8% 11.0% 23.9% -47.8% 33.4%
25 Massachusetts 4.9% 60.5% 69.2% -48.4% 28.0%
32 Maine 4.9% 77.1% 59.7% -45.3% 134.8%
21 West Virginia 5.0% 3.0% -1.0% -46.2% 31.8%
23 Washington 5.1% 24.2% 26.8% -52.9% 64.1%
29 Florida 5.1% 57.8% 54.9% -54.6% 129.7%
30 Wyoming 5.2% 42.3% 16.3% -23.5% 19.8%
31 Oregon 5.2% 47.2% 58.6% -41.6% 72.7%
27 Ohio 5.4% 23.5% 12.4% -43.9% 49.2%
34 Delaware 5.6% 54.1% 29.2% -32.8% 113.3%
33 Rhode Island 5.8% 53.1% 45.1% -58.8% 80.3%
38 Maryland 6.0% 64.7% 68.9% -31.5% 48.8%
35 Mississippi 6.1% 8.8% 8.5% -26.3% 91.6%
47 Colorado 6.1% 142.6% 129.9% -14.3% 112.7%
40 Texas 6.2% 79.8% 73.6% -32.6% 56.0%
36 Pennsylvania 6.6% 43.8% 31.3% -50.7% 62.8%
37 Alaska 6.6% 20.5% 30.9% -38.9% 45.1%
39 Arizona 6.6% 38.7% 38.9% -36.8% 46.4%
42 Louisiana 6.6% 43.2% 24.7% -23.3% 171.6%
41 District of Colombia 6.7% 25.7% 33.4% -23.2% 135.8%
44 Illinois 7.1% 75.3% 98.0% -40.6% 117.3%
43 New Jersey 7.3% 116.0% 92.1% -46.7% 43.6%
45 Connecticut 7.3% 95.8% 88.0% -38.2% 46.4%
51 Hawaii 7.3% 188.1% 242.4% -47.9% 93.0%
46 New Mexico 7.6% 51.3% 46.4% -38.7% 133.3%
48 new York 7.6% 96.4% 96.9% -48.6% 117.9%
49 California 7.6% 81.9% 74.0% -41.8% 133.8%
50 Nevada 7.7% 99.8% 107.5% -51.5% 200.8%
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Utah economy

Hendrickson: Time to solve the Iowa property tax problem

Iowa property taxpayers are increasingly frustrated and they are tired of the blame game that is played by local governments to avoid answering why tax breaks are nearly impossible. Property taxes fund local governments and often the blame is shifted from one tax authority to another as to why tax bills are high. In addition, local governments are also responding that if property taxes are reduced, it will result in cuts to essential services such as police, firefighters and emergency response services. Iowa’s property taxpayers deserve a solution, and luckily, a solution exists that will place greater transparency and accountability on local governments. Establishing a strong tax truth law will provide the solution that property taxpayers seek and force local governments to be more accountable to taxpayers.

Since 2000, Iowa’s property taxes have risen 122% more relative to population, inflation, and the cost of living adjustment for Social Security. The Tax Foundation has ranked Iowa as the 10th highest property tax in the country.

Local government spending is at the heart of high property taxes. Too often, the blame is placed on the county assessor, but taxpayers must focus their attention on the expenses. Whether it is property taxes or income taxes, the expenses result in high taxes. Additionally, many Iowa property taxpayers often wonder why they are told that taxes have gone down, but their property tax bills are higher.

Local government spending is at the heart of high property taxes. Too often, the blame is placed on the county assessor, but taxpayers must focus their attention on the expenses. Whether it is property taxes or income taxes, the expenses result in high taxes. Additionally, many Iowa property taxpayers often wonder why they are told that taxes have gone down, but their property tax bills are higher.

Source: Tax Foundation (Note: Iowa is ranked 10th in the country)

Utah’s Tax Truth Act is an income-based limitation, which means that as assessments go up, property tax rates go down. The Tax Truth Act ensures that each tax entity receives the same property tax revenue as the year before, including new growth. This prevents local governments from getting a windfall because valuations have gone up. “Local governments shouldn’t receive an automatic 12% increase in revenue just because property appraisals have increased 12%,” wrote Howard Stephenson, who recently retired as president of Utah Taxpayers Association and is a former State Senator.

If a local government wishes to exceed the certified tax rate, then it requires a tax truth hearing accompanied by an extensive public notification and hearing process. Tax truth also requires local government officials to conduct recorded votes to approve increased tax collections.

Through the Truth in Taxation process, local governments must justify why they want to raise taxes for additional spending, forcing them to be more transparent about why they need additional tax revenue. A crucial aspect of Utah law is a direct notification requirement, where notices are sent to taxpayers, providing information about the proposed tax increase and its impact on their tax bill. It also includes the date, time and location of the Tax Truth Budget Hearing. This extensive public notification and hearing process has been successful, and Utah taxpayers are actively participating in tax truth hearings.

Rusty Cannon, president of the Utah Taxpayers Association, argues that Utah law provides “solar lighting” on the local government budgeting process. Cannon noted that while “decisions can be made to raise taxes, the law just requires it to be done in the sun – that you basically have to get your point across to voters, to taxpayers, about why it is. ‘increased income is needed’.

Truth in tax matters requires tax authorities to think twice before raising taxes. “You do it in a public place, you inform them of the increase in their liability package by package, so that everyone has that full disclosure. So there is no automatic inflation that takes place. There is no automatic increase. There is no automatic windfall if property values ​​increase. He keeps a lid on those property taxes. However, if they want to raise them, they just have to do it in this public process, ”Cannon said.

Describing the success of Utah’s Tax Truth Act, Jonathan Williams, chief economist at the American Legislative Exchange Council, wrote:

“The Utah Truth Tax Act has effectively controlled the growth of its property tax assessments and overall charges. The law requires citizens to be notified of the intention to raise taxes and invited to a public hearing to voice their concerns. It also allows local government units to advocate for their case if they feel that additional income might be needed. If a local government decides it wants to increase spending, the Truth in Taxation process requires local elected officials to conduct recorded votes to authorize new rates or assessments.

Recently, Kansas and Nebraska passed property tax reform laws based on Utah Tax Truth. Kansas law is the closest example to Utah law because of its strength. Dave Trabert, president of the Kansas Policy Institute, says Kansas’ new law “bridges the honesty tax gap.” “Local authorities can no longer pretend to ‘hold the line’ on property taxes while accommodating large increases in assessment changes. Now they have to be honest about the overall tax increase they are imposing, ”Trabert said.

Specifically, Kansas law repeals the property tax cover, which was largely ineffective due to the many exemptions, and starting in 2021, thousandth rates will be reduced so that new assessments report the same amount of tax. property tax. If a tax authority wishes to increase property taxes, it will need to hold a public hearing and vote on the potential increase. This also includes a direct notification process, which should include:

  • The revenue neutral rate for each relevant tax subdivision;
  • The proposed tax rate and the amount of tax revenue to be levied by each tax subdivision seeking to exceed its neutral tax rate;
  • The tax rate and tax amount of each tax subdivision for the property of the previous year’s tax return;
  • The estimated value and the assessed value of the property of the taxpayer for the current year;
  • The estimated amount of tax for the current year for each subdivision based on the neutral tax rate and any tax rate above the neutral tax rate and the difference between those amounts for any tax subdivision seeking to exceed its neutral tax rate;
  • The date, time and location of the public hearing for each tax subdivision seeking to exceed its neutral income rate; and information regarding the factory levies imposed by the State of Kansas.

Kansas’ tax truth law already works for taxpayers. Several cities and counties will not increase their property taxes next year, while others are considering small increases.

Policymakers in Iowa should seriously consider following the example of Utah and Kansas and adopting a tax truth measure that requires a strong direct notification requirement. Taxpayers deserve to know how much their property tax bill will go up, and Utah and Kansas are showing that tax truth laws impose more “sunlight” and accountability on the local government budget process.


Public officials should not be afraid of fiscal truth. Providing more accountability and transparency will only improve local government. “Just as someone who doesn’t want to be seen in a swimsuit should avoid the beach, those who don’t want to make decisions in public shouldn’t run for office,” Cannon said, referring to transparency in the election. within government.

“And that’s the idea behind Truth in Taxation, is that you can make the decision, you just have to do it in the open,” Cannon noted. In addition, elected officials should explain to taxpayers why they need the additional spending. Too often governments at all levels forget that it is the money that belongs to the hard work of the taxpayer.

In recent years, Gov. Kim Reynolds and the legislature have made significant strides in starting to lower Iowa’s high tax rates. Much remains to be done to reduce personal and corporate income taxes in order to make Iowa’s economy more competitive. The same is true for property taxes. High property taxes discourage economic growth and cause people to move or decide not to move to Iowa.

It’s time to implement a proven solution to bring property tax relief to Iowa taxpayers. Other reforms such as freezing property taxes for some taxpayers or appraisal limits may look promising, but these “fixes” will not solve the problem. The goal should be property tax relief for all Iowans and tax truth will benefit all taxpayers.

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Utah economy

Foreign travelers may need to be vaccinated to enter the United States

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Biden administration begins planning for possible return of more international travelers to the United States

Non-essential international travelers from certain countries are still not permitted to enter the United States, while travelers from other countries are permitted to enter.

“If we do nothing now, by the end of the year the United States will lose $ 90 billion and 1.5 million jobs,” warned Roger Dow, president and CEO of the US. Travel Association.

Dow has said international travel is crucial to the U.S. economy, but the Biden administration has said now is not the time to open the country up to international travelers.

“We plan to maintain existing travel restrictions at this point,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.

Hospital intensive care beds are filling up in the United States due to the delta variant. The Biden administration said agencies are working to make plans for international travelers to return to the United States safely and consistently, but only when the time is right.

White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeff Zients said foreign nationals traveling to the United States “may need some type of mandatory vaccine” once the United States opens up to tourists and other non-essential travelers.

“We agree that this is a first step – in the long run, we believe the travel community and countries need to find more than one way to get into a country,” Dow said.

Dow said when travelers return, the money and jobs will come back as well.

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Utah economy

Denver becomes the landing point for job applicants; Dallas-Fort Worth, Phoenix and Austin Metros Rank Top 3 for Growth, as US Creates 943,000 Jobs in July | Texas News

DALLAS, August 6, 2021 / PRNewswire / – ThinkWhy®, a DallasSaaS Company Based on Creating a New Generation of AI-Powered Labor Market Solutions, Released Its U.S. Labor Market Rankings Following Today’s Bureau of Labor Statistics Announcement according to which the US economy created 943,000 jobs in July.

Top 3 US Labor Markets

1. Dallas-Fort WorthArlington, Texas

2. PhoenixMesaScottsdale, Arizona

3. Austin-Round Rock, TX

Job vacancies remain at record levels, with more than 9.2 million openings in the United States. Adding more complexity to hiring, the United States is experiencing a record number of employees leaving their jobs.

“The US job market is undergoing a major transition with several factors at play, including employee job change, the COVID-19 Delta variant, increased salary requirements and the delay in moving candidates throughout the job. recruitment and hiring process, ”said Jay denton, Chief Analyst for ThinkWhy, Talent Intelligence Software Creators, LaborIQ®. “Despite these challenges, however, the labor market continues to progress towards recouping all the jobs lost since the start of the pandemic and remains on track for a full recovery by early 2023.”

LaborIQ® The index ranks the best performing labor markets

The U.S. job market has come a long way in reclaiming 16.7 million of the 22.4 million jobs lost during the pandemic, but the recovery has varied widely depending on location and industry, which has had a considerable impact on performance and economic opportunities.

The proprietary LaborIQ index identifies and tracks 10 key performance indicators that measure and rank the economic health of all major metropolitan areas in the United States. These indicators or variables are present in each market and represent the main drivers of the economic progress or decline of a market.

Top 10 Best Performing US Labor Markets

Reported by LaborIQ® Index: July 2021

  1. Dallas-Fort WorthArlington, Texas
  2. PhoenixMesaScottsdale, Arizona
  3. Austin-Round Rock, Texas
  4. Raleigh, North Carolina
  5. Denver, DawnLakewood, CO
  6. City of Boise, ID
  7. NashvilleDavidsonMurfreesboroFranklin, Tennessee
  8. AtlantaSand sourcesRoswell, Georgia
  9. ProvoOrem, Utah
  10. Salt Lake City, Utah

Eight of the 10 markets rank in the top 25 for net migration, representing people moving to these regions, as opposed to natural population growth. Often people move for job opportunities, but family and retirement are also a factor.

Dallas, Phoenix, and Austin currently rank in the top three for net migration, in addition to leading the overall performance rankings.

“Half of the top-ranked subways are in Utah, Texas and Idaho, which also tops the list for population growth over the past decade. As vacancies increase, the influx of human capital into these areas has rebounded dramatically, placing each metro in a stronger position than most to fill vacancies, ”Denton continues.

The best performer of July: DenverDawnLakewood, CO

The Denver metro area was the biggest mover in the past year, according to LaborIQ® Index. The metropolitan area ranks very well in various categories including population growth, wage level, educational attainment of the workforce, annual employment gain, total number of college graduates, and net migration .

Look for Denver to be a magnet for talent, attracting candidates from other metros, as it maintains its status as one of the best landing points in the country for new recruits.

In addition to Denver, four other metros rank among the best in terms of overall economic progress.

Despite the pandemic, people and businesses were already on the move in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin, and with an additional supply of talent, these subways have recovered jobs faster, ranking them at No. 1 and 3, respectively, for overall performance.

Similar pilots put Phoenix in second place and Raleigh at number 4, net migration and employment growth accelerating the recovery in these markets.

Industry performance and recovery prospects

July employment figures indicate that the service-based economy is rebounding. Consumer demand and business investment have swelled – signs of improving job prospects and employment – along with an increase in summer travel. This is good news for the Leisure and Hospitality sector.

Conversely, manufacturing, as well as commerce, transportation and utilities, continue to suffer from material and labor shortages, now associated with rising raw material and fuel prices.

LaborIQ expects pre-pandemic employment levels to return unevenly across major sectors beyond 2025.

To read the July National Labor Market Report, Market Rankings, and Industry Outlook, click here.

About LaborIQ by ThinkWhy

LaborIQ is a SaaS solution that provides HR and talent acquisition professionals with talent and labor market intelligence. LaborIQ by ThinkWhy publishes reports, forecasts and advice on employment conditions and their impact on jobs, industries and businesses in all US cities. Our machine learning and advanced data science provide accurate compensation, talent supply forecasts, retention tools and labor market responses for over 20,000 job titles. to learn more or request a demo. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

View original content to download multimedia: -rank-like-top-3-for-growth-like-us-adds-943-000-jobs-in-July-301350285.html


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Utah economy

Authorities call for food donations for those cleaning up after Emery County flash flood

Courtesy of the Emery County Sheriff’s Office

EMERY COUNTY, Utah, Aug.4, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) – Emery County Sheriff officials are asking for food donations to help those cleaning up after Sunday’s flash flood.

A man, later identified as Gary Nelson, was killed when he and his colleagues were caught in the flash flood as they attempted to report to their coal mining crews at the Gentry Mountain Mine site in Bear Canyon . A second man who was blown away is expected to survive.

Three vehicles carrying minors were affected by the flooding. The deceased man was in the third and was swept away after trying to escape to higher ground.

A Facebook post on Wednesday said, “ECSO would like to call for community support for the Gentry Mountain mine in the wake of the devastating August 1, 2021 flood. The amount of damage suffered is hard to explain unless you know it. have seen it firsthand. “

Crews will carry out the cleanup for several weeks before repairs can begin, the post said. Repairs must be completed before the mine can resume production.

“Gentry Mountain Mine employs a lot of people in our area and is vital to our economy,” the post said. “Many families were impacted by this event.

ECSO will accept donations of food, snacks and drinks that will be delivered to the mine. “Gatorade, pop, granola bars, trail mix, cookies, candy bars, Pop-Tarts, Cliff bars, jerky, sandwich supplies, crisps… take out food / snacks would help,” the post read. “Please limit donations to commercially prepared / packaged items only – no homemade products. “

Donations can be dropped off at the Emery County Sheriff’s Office at 1850 N. 550 West in Castle Dale at any time. Visitors must press the silver button inside the double doors for assistance.

“Thank you in advance for any donations you can make,” the post added. “We know our communities are full of people mobilizing in times of disaster. We still remember and appreciate all donations during other disasters and forest fires in our area. “

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Utah economy

Utah’s oil and gas industry is as busy today as it was during Trump’s “energy domination” days

There were only three drilling rigs in Utah’s oil and gas fields last January when new President Joe Biden suspended new leases on public lands while his administration revised the federal program of oil and gas.

Today, 10 platforms are digging new wells in the Uinta Basin, according to energy consultant Baker Hughes. Meanwhile, the industry has inundated agencies with drilling proposals in Utah, filing more applications in the past six months than in any six-month period under the favorable rule of the United States. Donald Trump’s industry as president, according to state data.

As state and industry leaders predict a disaster for energy development and rural employment from the Biden moratorium, which they call a development “ban”, the exact opposite seems to be happening. Utah’s oil and gas sector is waking up from its pandemic-induced slumber despite hurdles put in place by the climate-friendly Biden administration.

So what is going on? The price of oil has exceeded $ 70 a barrel. Energy companies are moving quickly to increase production as prices remain high, the Utah Oil, Gas and Mining Division said.

The boom is proof that financial incentives are driving energy development in Western public land states, not White House decrees, according to Landon Newell, a lawyer with the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.

“Utah said the sky was going to fall [because of Biden’s lease moratorium], but that was directly contradicted by the facts and reality, ”Newell said. “They’re drilling like mad in the basin where the governor’s office said things would stand still.”

Critics of the Biden administration have repeatedly characterized the moratorium as over-federal in scope and predicted dire consequences for the rural West. An industry-backed study from the University of Wyoming, for example, said a development ban on federal land would blow a $ 15 billion hole in Utah’s economy over 20 years.

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox’s office said in May that the lease moratorium “would end potential future exploration and investment.”

While welcoming the upsurge in drilling, Cox maintains his previous position, according to Thom Carter, director of the governor’s office for energy development.

“The economic impact of all of this can be significant and we are concerned that the decisions will be felt nationwide and have a disproportionate effect on rural Utah,” Carter said. “While your report regarding a rebound in the pandemic is excellent, there are still real economic issues surrounding oil right now, including the cost at the pump which is at times declining.”

So far this year, Utah drillers have started 144 wells, state data shows. That’s almost that much at 154 for the whole of 2019, the year before the pandemic, and puts the year on track to beat 2018 and 2017, when 204 and 199 wells, respectively, were drilled.

Rikki Hrenko-Browning, president of the Utah Petroleum Association, attributed the rebound to a combination of factors, such as leases entered into during the previous administration, with a large number of claims submitted anticipating the Biden administration to fail. would support no new federal drilling, and a move to tribal lands.

“There is a long delay between rental, authorization and actual drilling, and it will take time for the full effects of the federal rental policy to be felt,” she said in an e- mail. “However, right now our state is lacking key revenues from lease sales that should have taken place this year and jobs are at risk if the illegal rental ban continues.”

Critics in the industry, however, argue that Utah’s oil and gas recovery tells a different story. They say it reinforces arguments made in internal memos prepared by Utah state agencies and a new report claiming the Biden lease moratorium will not slow energy development in the short term.

This is because so much public land in Western states has been leased for oil and gas development by the Trump administration. The glut of undeveloped federal leases in Utah would support drilling for the next 60 to 90 years at recent activity levels, according to a report released Wednesday by the Conservation Economics Institute, an Idaho-based think tank.

“We think these western states have their economies completely tied to this industry,” said Anne Hawke of the Natural Resources Defense Council, or NRDC. “But in fact, there is so much more going on economically in these states in terms of information services and jobs.”

The report was commissioned by SUWA, NRDC and several other conservation nonprofits that strongly support lease reform. He examines federal leases in Utah and four other Western power-producing states: New Mexico, Montana, Colorado, and Wyoming.

The groups released it on Wednesday ahead of the expected White House announcement of proposed reforms to the federal rental program overseen by the Bureau of Land Management.

“When the industry panicked after the Biden moratorium, this report provides a reason,” Hawke said. “It’s a long game and it’s not like we’re going to finish tomorrow. Jobs are not affected as they say. It highlights all the reasons why stepping back and taking a break are truly rational gestures. We all know the system is down. We need to look at the royalties.

There is also evidence that speculation is rampant in the federal rental program, particularly in Utah, where thousands of acres of leases are awarded to people with no known ability to actually develop them.

In his first day in office, Biden halted new leases while the Home Office conducted a comprehensive review, which he recently submitted to the White House. The moratorium only blocked new leases; it did not apply to drilling or production from existing leases.

A federal judge has since overturned the moratorium on leases, but the BLM has yet to resume offering new leases in Utah, although some have been issued in other states.

While environmentalists hope Biden’s reforms will limit federal leases, especially in environmentally sensitive or scenic locations, Utah officials want the industry to retain access to public energy resources in the West.

“We’re not interested in actions that pit rural and urban Utahns or rural and urban Americans against each other, and that’s what the president talked about when he was inaugurated, that’s what the governor Cox believes wholeheartedly, ”Carter said. “We want market-based decisions. We don’t want government decisions, so if the market determines some of the [the drilling surge], It’s awesome.”

Yet at the end of the day, federal lands are not at the heart of Utah’s oil and gas production, even though Utah is a key public land state. Of the 1,654 wells currently proposed for Utah, according to Carter, 58% are on non-federal land – that is, tribal, state or private land.

A review of past drilling and production shows that only a third of this activity in Utah has occurred on federal land. Yet a lot of federal land has been leased. According to BLM statistics, less than half of Utah’s 3 million acres under lease are in production.

In other words, unused oil and gas leases occupy 1.7 million federal acres in Utah, some of which are in sight of national parks and monuments. There is little the Biden administration can do to stop the industry from drilling most of this land.

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Utah economy

Great American Outdoors Act Anniversary Announces Free Day on Public Lands this Week – St George News

Undated 2017 file photo shows hiker descending Angels Landing Road with nearly 1,000-foot falls on both sides, Zion National Park, Utah | Photo by Caitlin This / Zion National Park, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – On Wednesday, designated as “Great American Outdoors Day”, the Home Office will celebrate the first anniversary of the signing of the Great American Outdoors Act. The law, which was passed with strong bipartisan support, makes unprecedented investments in national parks, public lands and Native American schools.

Hiked Snow Canyon State Park, Utah, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Red Mountain Resort, St. George News

To support the department’s commitment to ensure equitable access to public lands, entrance fees will be removed on Wednesday on all fee-paying public lands managed by the department, according to a press release issued by the department. Other charges, such as overnight camping, cabin rentals, group daytime use, and use of special areas, remain in effect.

“Creating new jobs and growing our economy is a top priority for the Biden-Harris administration. Through the Great American Outdoors Act, we are investing in the American people and in the future of our public lands and sacred spaces, ”Home Secretary Deb Haaland said in the press release. “I invite all Americans to experience the beauty and bounty of our nation’s public lands – not just August 4, but every day of the year.”

The Great American Outdoors Act helps support the goals of President Joe Biden’s America the Beautiful initiative to support locally-led efforts to conserve, restore and protect lands and waters across the country to help cope with crises in the climate and biodiversity, increase equitable access to wide open spaces and strengthen the economy, the statement said.

This summer is particularly busy on many public lands. While most of the 423 national parks are open, visitors may find limited services in and around the national parks. Check each park’s websites or download the NPS app for specific details on their operations. Learn more about alternatives to popular parks on the Interior blog. Public land enthusiasts are encouraged to similarly plan their visits with the Bureau of Land Management and the Fish and Wildlife Service.

Photo by Yobro10 / iStock / Getty Images Plus, St. George News

The Act provides for full and permanent funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund to the tune of $ 900 million per year. The Land and Water Conservation Fund was established by Congress in 1964 to fulfill a bipartisan commitment to protect the nation’s natural areas, water resources, and cultural heritage, and to provide recreational opportunities for all Americans.

The Act also established the National Parks and Public Lands Heritage Restoration Fund to provide the necessary maintenance of essential facilities on public lands and Indian schools. The projects funded by the restoration will help reduce Interior’s deferred maintenance backlog by more than $ 22 billion and improve recreation facilities, dams, water and utility infrastructure, schools and other historic structures. Other projects aim to increase public access by restoring and repairing roads, trails, bridges and parking areas.

By FY2022, Great American Outdoors Act-funded indoor projects are expected to support more than 17,000 jobs and generate $ 1.8 billion in local communities. Between the funding planned for FY2021 and the funding proposed for FY2022, Interior has deferred maintenance plans for the Legacy Restoration Fund in all 50 states and several U.S. territories.

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

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Utah economy

Google, industry experts push back Play Store lawsuit by Utah AG

In a political landscape that continues to shake partisan bickering and hostility in Utah and across the country, finding even a small patch of common ground is an increasingly distant prospect.

But a new survey from Pew Research has found that the reddest Republicans and the bluest Democrats share a bogeyman they all would like to see curbed.

Large American technology companies.

And it’s a meme that hasn’t been missed by elected officials on both sides of the aisle who are engaged, at the highest level ever, in efforts to address perceived issues with driving America’s tech companies across. a torrent of regulations, legislation and legal efforts.

Utah is playing an outsized role in a few of these proceedings, including a handful of federal lawsuits that have put some of the biggest tech platforms in the crosshairs.

Earlier this month, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes announced that his office is co-leading a new lawsuit targeting Google and its alleged anti-competitive practices in the way the company runs its Play Store, the first distributor of applications for phones running on another Google. product, the Android operating system.

The action marks the third multi-state lawsuit that includes Utah among plaintiffs trying to take on major U.S. tech companies for alleged abuses of market dominance. The other cases are against Facebook and another Google lawsuit that focuses on the company’s search functions. While a federal judge dismissed the complaint against Facebook last month, the case is still ongoing and could resume if an amended complaint is filed. Reyes has not been able to cite the costs of the various lawsuits so far, but said it was likely “hundreds of thousands” of dollars.

Reyes said Google is scamming consumers and small businesses by charging unfair commissions, in some cases up to 30%, on things like in-app purchases and upgrades for popular games.

“Google is using its hyper-dominant position in the market to illegally mine additional billions of dollars from small businesses and consumers,” Reyes said at a press briefing. “We believe these are monopoly actions that need to be dealt with immediately.”

Reyes said his office has heard numerous complaints from consumers in Utah, businesses in Utah and businesses out of state about the impacts of Google’s fees, which he says exceed by far more market-oriented commission rates of 2% to 3% charged by others, but smaller. , application distributors. He also called the company for manipulating the Android system to malfunction when running programs sold outside of Google Play, also sometimes referred to as the Play Store, forcing developers to follow Google’s rules.

Google says the claims are wrong and that Google Play operates in a more open fashion than its competitors and chooses not to “impose the same restrictions as other mobile operating systems.”

In a blog post published on July 7, the day the new lawsuit was filed, Wilson White, senior director of public policy at Google, wrote that Google Play operates in an environment teeming with competitors, including some like the Apple’s App Store that surpasses it when it comes to revenue.

“So it’s strange that a group of state attorneys general have chosen to take legal action to attack a system that offers more openness and choice than others,” White wrote. “This complaint mimics an equally unfounded lawsuit filed by big app developer Epic Games, which took advantage of Android’s opening up by distributing its Fortnite app outside of Google Play.”

It should be noted that since the publication of this blog entry, Epic Games’ federal lawsuit against Google has joined the action that Utah is co-leading.

James Czerniawski, Technology and innovation policy analyst at the Utah-based libertarian think tank Libertas Institute, also sees issues with the latest filing against Google, which includes around 30 state attorneys general as co – Complainants from Utah.

A closer look at the overall app vendor market, Czerniawski said, shows that some of the claims on file, including outsized commission rates, just don’t hold up.

“The 30% commission, despite AG Reyes’ claim, is not anti-competitive,” Czerniawski said in a statement. “It’s actually within the perfectly normal range for what you would expect from a store. Whether you look at Valve’s Steam Store, Sony’s Playstation Store, Microsoft’s Store for Xbox (even their Windows Store for PC until recently), Amazon, and Samsung’s Galaxy Store, the commission rates are all in. this range of 20 to 30%.

“It’s also worth noting that Google, Apple and Microsoft have all announced some form of commission rate policy adjustment. This puts downward pressure on this 30% commission rate and it would not be surprising if this top rate decreases in the future. “

Czerniawski also noted that Reyes and his co-plaintiffs should not be so quick to dismiss the legal reasoning behind the Federal Court’s dismissal of the Facebook complaint.

“While Attorney General Reyes is correct in determining that the FTC and States’ outcome against Facebook does not necessarily have a direct impact on his ongoing litigation in this case or others, as these cases involve different issues, it’s not necessarily in the clear either, “Czerniawski said.” The FTC lost to Facebook in part because the federal judge correctly identified that the FTC and state AGs did not succeeded in demonstrating real evidence that was legally sufficient to justify their complaint of antitrust violations.

“The reason that matters for this litigation and other ongoing litigation is that Attorney General Reyes and others will have to do a much better job of demonstrating the harm to consumers if they are to have these cases taken seriously by a court.”

Czerniawski said he keeps a rough tally of federal legislative activity focused on the conduct of U.S. technology platforms and noted dozens of proposals currently focused on the rules that govern the management of social media, such as the article 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, or amendments to existing federal antitrust regulations.

While the data collected in the new Pew report focused on respondents’ feelings about social media platforms, it provides further evidence that consumers, regardless of their political affiliation, mostly harbor bad feelings about social media. About the conduct of large technology companies.

In a survey conducted in late June that included responses from more than 4,700 American adults, Pew found Americans mostly suspicious of how big tech companies work.

“A majority of Americans think social media companies have too much power and influence in politics, and about half think big tech companies should be regulated more than they are now,” it read. in the report, which comes as four top tech executives prepare to testify ahead of Congress about their businesses’ role in the economy and society.

While the majority of Republicans and Democrats in the survey expressed qualms about social media platforms, Pew’s data also reflects some differences among party members.

The report found that “about 8 in 10 Republicans and Independents of Republican leanings (82%) think these companies have too much power and influence in politics, compared to 63% of Democrats and Democrats. Democrats, on the other hand, are more likely than Republicans to say that these companies have about the right amount of power and influence in politics (28% vs. 13%). Small actions on both sides believe that these companies do not have enough power. “

A Utah-specific poll in February this year also revealed broad skepticism of tech companies and a similar partisan difference with Beehive State Republicans who are more cynical than their Democratic neighbors.

For its part in the latest legal activity, Google claims that the vast majority of app sellers pay no commission and point the finger at big developers as the source from which the grievances arise.

“This lawsuit is not about helping the little guy or protecting consumers,” White wrote in his blog post in response to the Google Play lawsuit. “It’s about stimulating a handful of major app developers who want to enjoy the benefits of Google Play without paying for it.

“This risks increasing costs for small developers, hampering their ability to innovate and compete, and make apps in the Android ecosystem less secure for consumers. ”

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Utah economy

How the Western “mega-drought” could cause more “water wars”

Brad Howard, CNBC Producer: Water is a crucial resource that all humans need.

Emma Newburger, CNBC Business News: And right now, what we’re seeing is that there just isn’t enough water for everyone.

Maddie Stone, Freelance Science Journalist: The current situation is that large swathes of the west – essentially all of California, Oregon, Nevada and Utah, and a few other states – are currently in a state of drought.

Kathryn Reed, Correspondent, North Bay Business Journal: It is really difficult to find a business that is not affected.

Brad Howard CNBC producer: Then, when the water runs out, the economy feels the effect.

Morgan Levy, Assistant Professor, University of California, San Diego: Agriculture consumes more than 70% of the available water supply. During years of drought, agriculture will consume an even larger fraction of water reserves.

Brad Howard CNBC Producer :: Tourism, landscaping, home building and farming are just a few of the businesses that are suffering due to one of the worst droughts the West Coast has ever seen. In 2020, forest fires and drought cost US $ 21 billion. With lower water levels and higher temperatures, the risk of forest fires increases, according to the National Environmental Information Centers. In the western climatic region alone, which includes California and Nevada, wildfires caused $ 12.1 billion in damage in 2020. With the fires, political feuds and climate change, water becomes more important than ever to the US economy.

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Utah economy

Food and Water in Southern Utah Part 3 – St George News

Vertical gardening image | Photo by Shironosov / iStock / Getty Images Plus, St. George News

Note: The following is the third in a three part series of Op-Eds. Read part 1 here and part 2 here.

NOTICE – I have discussed a variety of food and water aspects in previous installments of this Op-Ed series. We will now focus on how to advance agriculture and food production here. These suggestions are based, in part, on my own observations and experience working with many countries to protect and develop agricultural production, applying sound science, in a wide range of climates with varying topography and agronomy.

Despite the sobering elements contained in the previous sections, solutions do exist. We are still the masters of our destiny, so to speak. For example, Israel and Spain have faced similar challenges with water and agriculture in their drylands, and they are surprisingly successful.

My conversations with senior officials from these two countries and seeing their amazing results have been inspiring. A large number of greenhouses using drip irrigation and many other innovations are producing incredible amounts of food and other agricultural products for use in the country and for income-generating exports.

These smart applications of technology aligned with nature have also created additional income from visitors wanting to see what’s possible and participate. This is a form of “agritourism”, which is another source of income for the community. Others can learn and be inspired by what we have created.

Photographic illustration. | Photo by anjajuli, iStock / Getty Images Plus, St. George News

So let’s start with some specific ideas to consider, analyze and implement:

  • Plant fruits and vegetables that can thrive in this climate. A local horticulturalist and ethnobotanist identified 29 varieties of fruits, berries and nuts that would do very well in this climate, under good supervision. We can also grow many kinds of vegetables here. Some of them will be doing very well during our winter, which means that certain types of fresh and organic produce will be available all year round.
  • Create More Community Supported Agriculture (CSA): A food system that directly connects producers and consumers to locally grown produce harvested by a certain farm or groups of farms through a subscription process. The consumer agrees to withdraw or receive deliveries on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. All concerned share the risk of harvesting. We already have a local expert who has managed a CSA in Idaho and we have a successful CSA in Cedar City. More ASCs are needed.
  • Create community gardens, using experts, including master gardeners, in soil preparation, crop selection, growing, harvesting and distribution of produce. Too often, good intentions and results don’t match when growing gardens. We can educate and train many people to use even backyards, common areas, and other limited places to successfully grow food and maintain good looks.
  • Review Utah’s agricultural production at the regional and state level to determine any adjustments that can be made to focus production more on growing Utah food for the Utahns.
  • Teach children basic horticulture and food production, with related health information. Create school gardens. Organize friendly competitions.
  • Deploy greenhouse technology that can include a laptop computer to regulate all aspects of the grow. Water, fertilization and other functions are carefully controlled for maximum effect. We can use greenhouses for food and to grow native plants for our homes and community. As our capacity for growth increases, we will no longer need to purchase factories outside of southern Utah.
  • Deploy vertical farming technology that has the potential to produce the same amount of food or more while using up to 90% less water. Vacant lots, empty buildings and newly constructed buildings are viable options for larger scale operations. Outdoor vertical gardens can also be created in virtually any space, as the examples on the Contemporist website show.
  • Watch the documentary “The Need to Grow”.
  • Create a non-political working group of carefully selected experts in sustainable and regenerative agriculture, and water experts, to assess and recommend common options for producing native foods and plants, including the treatment of selected plants for curative and medicinal purposes, among other applications. Each participant will need to look beyond their individual, organizational or professional interests to make objective recommendations to city / county leaders and investors for their decision. Transparency and opportunities for public input will be essential.
  • Investigate the availability of ARPA funds to produce food for the growing number of food banks in Utah.
  • Dixie State University, which appears to be Utah Tech University, may expand its life science program to include environmental sciences (ecology, plant science, and soil science).
  • Raise awareness of our water and food situation and our available solutions by including statements and targets in all forward-looking documents such as city and county multi-year plans. These targets would be created and evaluated by the water district and carefully selected agricultural experts. Supporting these efforts would include putting sustainable and regenerative agriculture and water conservation on the agendas of cities and counties on a regular basis.


This series aims to promote open and constructive dialogue, analysis, and ultimately many viable recommendations to be implemented in order to be successful. Individual study by the public is encouraged, starting with the links provided. Let’s imagine and create a new type of sustainable agriculture locally. This new agricultural paradigm will result in high quality organic products, trained businesses, job creation, grocery stores and restaurants offering more attractive options, a more diverse and strengthened economy and more. This is all possible by using 50-90% less water to produce the same amount or even more food.

St. George City as seen from the Dixie Rock / Sugarloaf Formation at Pioneer Park, St. George, Utah, July 2016 | File photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

We are looking for visionary city and county leaders who can embrace and effectively manage the inevitable changes to come in our county, remove barriers, and find solutions and resources. These changes go well beyond infrastructure. Fortunately, my early conversations with some local leaders indicate that they are ready to listen and learn. It is a start, although in the final analysis we have to rely on the results. We are also looking for influential thought leaders, investors, vacant buildings, land, etc. We can start small and take incremental action by creating “demo farms” to show what can be created and then scale up.

We can do it. Together. It really is a win-win situation, if we have the foresight and the will to make it happen.

For comments on this letter to the editor and to learn more about growing in arid climates, visit

Submitted by DAVID C. HATCH, Ivins. Hatch is a former person appointed by the President of the USDA as associate administrator of the US multi-billion dollar crop and livestock insurance program. He is also a hemispheric expert on agricultural risk management and has consulted widely with virtually every country in the hemisphere, including ambassadors, ministers, scientists, the US State Department and the World Bank to create a science-based agricultural policy for small and medium-sized enterprises. farmers, including women. Prior to his service in the public sector, Hatch was an entrepreneur and executive in global risk management. Hatch would like to thank Tony McCammon of Bloom Horticulture for his contribution to this series.

Letters to the Editor are not the product of St. George News, its editors, staff or contributors. The elements stated and the opinions expressed are the responsibility of the person submitting them. They do not reflect the product or opinion of St. George News and are edited only slightly for technical style and formatting.

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Utah economy

The Utah Way from our pioneer roots and beyond

Utah is where we find the right balance between individual responsibility and a sense of community.

A couple rides a float with a handcart during the Pioneer Day Parade Wednesday, July 24, 2019 in Salt Lake City. Pioneer Day is a beloved Utah-only party every July 24 that includes parades, rodeos, fireworks and more. It marks the date of 1847 when Brigham Young and other Mormon pioneers, many of whom pulled handcarts, ended their treacherous journey across the country from Illinois and discovered the Salt Lake Valley. (AP Photo / Rick Bowmer)

July in Utah is something special. Like the rest of the nation, we stop to celebrate our independence and the blessings that come from living in a free society dedicated to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

In addition, three weeks later, we are celebrating our state’s rich history and the legacy left by those first settlers who arrived in the Salt Lake City Valley in 1847. I hope all Utans see Pioneer Day as an annual reminder of the solid foundation laid by those who came before us and our responsibility continues to inspire us today.

Much like the pioneers of yesteryear, people now flock to our state. Utah is the fastest growing state in the country, a trend accelerated by advancements in technology and a pandemic that has shown how productive the workforce can be from any location with one connection. Fast Wi-Fi. Many people who lived in other parts of the country now realize that if they can live anywhere, the Beehive State is a great choice.

It’s easy to see what draws people to Utah. Our natural beauty is unmatched. Businesses and talent are drawn to low taxes and a philosophy of governance cultivated to support prosperity for all. We offer the highest degree of upward economic mobility, the most diverse economy and the lowest unemployment rate. We are among the healthiest and happiest people in the country. The list goes on and on, but the people who live here know that what makes Utah special isn’t fully captured by any list or ranking.

Utah is a place where we find the right balance between individual responsibility and a sense of community. It’s a place where neighbors get to know each other and look out for each other. As the rest of the country has become more insular, the Utahns have generally done a good job welcoming newcomers and helping them be a part of our community.

Many new Utahns are surprised to find that some of what they expected to find here is more stereotypes than substance. Without a doubt, we are a conservative state rooted in principles of fiscal prudence, personal responsibility and family support; we do our best to look out for each other as well. We probably don’t have enough credit to be the conservative state that crafted the Utah Immigration Pact. We have shown the nation that inclusion is not a win-win situation by supporting the LGBTQ + community while protecting religious freedom. And we enthusiastically welcome and support refugees looking to start a new life. Community-driven conservatism is alive and well in Utah and we thrive on it.

More and more, I hear elected leaders in other states refer to the “Utah Way” as a guide to getting it right. I think it’s because we understand that politics is not a game and that public policy is about doing things right for people. We understand that smart policy making is never over.

Building bridges, gaining trust and acting in the best interests of the people of the state have become fundamental parts of our policy making process. As our pioneer ancestors knew, we cannot survive or prosper alone; we are in the same boat and everyone has a role to play.

To all who come to Utah, like the Pioneers 174 years ago, we welcome you to our community and ask you to remember why you left your home to make it a new one here. Reasonable taxes, limited government involvement, a willingness to learn from each other and work together and be an active part of the community in one way or another. Everything is at the heart of the Utah Way.

As we celebrate our pioneering legacy together this week, renew our commitment to honor the sacrifices of those who have come before us by building on the strong foundations they have laid and improving Utah’s enviable quality of life.

Brad Wilson is the Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives

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Utah economy

Representative Buck is Co-Founder of New Anti-Big Tech Caucus

Rep. Ken Buck, a Republican from the 4th Congressional District of Colorado, and Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Texas) announced on Thursday the creation of the Freedom from Big Tech Caucus.

According to a press Release by Buck, big tech companies “rig the free market, crush competitors, stifle innovation, draw closer to China, and censor Americans.” Big tech companies are operating in an “America last” mindset that has hurt consumers and small businesses across the country while benefiting China and strengthening their gatekeeper power. “


The press release says the Freedom from Big Tech Caucus will promote competition and innovation, restore the free digital economy, protect children from harmful online content, protect online privacy and data, end the political censorship and thwart Big Tech’s “court” towards the Chinese. Communist Party.

Buck is the leading member of the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law, which published a 450-page article report last year on its Big Tech investigation. The report declared that Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google had abused their power as monopolies, and he recommended changes to current antitrust laws. Representative Joe Neguse, a Democrat from Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District, is also a member of the committee. Despite different political affiliations, Neguse and Buck have found common ground when it comes to Big Tech: Both representatives believe Congress must take action to limit the power of Big Tech.

Last month, the House Judiciary Committee approved “A Stronger Online Economy: Opportunity, Innovation and Choice,” a package of bills aimed at reducing the power of Big Tech. According to The Washington Post, a bill would prevent tech giants from buying growing competitors, a bill would prohibit large tech companies from giving preference to their own products over the products or services of competing companies, and a bill would make it easier for consumers to use the products of different technology companies together. Buck was an original co-sponsor on all bills in the package.

Democratic representatives are primarily concerned about the market power of Big Tech companies, while many Republican representatives are concerned about what they perceive to be anti-conservative bias in Big Tech.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) criticized the Big Tech package, saying the bills won’t do enough to stop Big Tech from censoring conservative voices. In an opinion piece, Jordan wrote, “Make no mistake, Big Tech is trying to get conservatives and needs to be brought under control. But these bills do nothing to combat anti-conservative biases and Big Tech censorship. These Democratic bills will only make matters worse. If you think Big Tech is bad now, wait until Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google are colluding with Big Government.

During the debate on these bills, Buck appeared to attempt to appeal directly to Republicans such as Jordan, declaring, “These bills are conservative,” in his opening statement.

Buck also shares Jordan’s belief that Big Tech is censoring conservative voices. On June 2, Buck tweeted that “Facebook censors conservative voices, but they allow Communist China to mock and disseminate genocidal propaganda,” in connection with an article from the Media Research Center, a conservative content analysis group that described himself as “a liberal media watchdog”.

It’s unclear when the bills will go to a full vote in the House of Representatives, according to to Representative Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), House Majority Leader and responsible for scheduling House votes.

Gooden, who will serve as the Freedom from Big Tech Caucus co-chair, said the caucus will help prevent what he sees as the exclusion of conservative views. “Big Tech has complete control over the digital public square, ensuring that Americans only see news and information that matches their narrative, which often excludes conservative views,” Gooden said.

Representative Madison Cawthorn (RN.C.), who is vice-chair of the Freedom from Big Tech Caucus, said in a declaration Friday: “For too long, Big-Tech has abused its powers and targeted the constitutional rights of American citizens. The high-tech oligarchs, who silence freedom-loving patriots, have no place in the land of the free. In America, we must always place constitutional values ​​on authoritarian control. “

Other members of the Freedom from Big Tech Caucus include Rep. Burgess Owens (R-Utah) and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Arizona).

Big Tech generally refers to big tech companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. Some Big Tech definitions also include Microsoft, but the Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee’s Investigation Report on Digital Markets Competition focused on Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.

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Utah economy

Representative Harrison distorts Senator Lee and his laws on public lands

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Senator Mike Lee speaks with delegates attending the 2021 Utah Republican Party organizing convention at the Maverik Center in West Valley City on Saturday, May 1, 2021, as ‘They are returning to an in-person format after the pandemic forced the naming convention to go live last year.

In her editorial on public lands, Salt Lake County Democrat Suzanne Harrison distorts both Senator Lee and his laws on public lands. As an elected official who lives, works and serves the Utahns in a rural area, I am disappointed to see another elected official not only denigrate our US Senator, but distort his legislation, the Protect Utah’s Rural Economy Act.

Representative Harrison’s worn talking points generated by the east coast on public lands are not moot to me. They are real. I have seen, with my own eyes, how the abuse of the Antiquities Law by former presidents has reduced the budgets of our cities and counties, putting enormous stress on our local communities. Almost always, this stress is the result of presidential action occurring without ever consulting those who would be most directly affected by the action.

Utah not only has amazing historical artifacts that we all want to preserve, it is full of amazing scenery. Surely no one wants these landscapes more protected than those of us who live both in and beside these beautiful lands. However, the former presidents closed millions of acres of land – far beyond what the law had ever intended to do – on the simple “recommendation” of interest groups and unelected bureaucrats living in the thousands of people. kilometers away. These lands may be their occasional playground, but they are also our home. Senator Lee understands this, which is why his legislation would require the federal government to simply work with locally elected officials as part of this process. As a local elected official herself, I think Representative Harrison would support a process that solicits input from local elected officials, rather than denigrating our US Senator for creating such a process.

Darin Bushman, Piute County Commissioner, Junction

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Utah economy

One of Utah’s most unique natural treasures is disappearing

The Great Salt Lake is also known as the American Dead Sea – due to its resemblance to its much smaller Middle Eastern counterpart – but scientists fear the nickname will soon take on new meaning.

Human consumption and diversion of water has long depleted Lake Utah. His level today is a few inches from a low of 58, state officials say, and Drought conditions in the west fueled by the climate crisis have exacerbated conditions.

The worst part? It’s only july, and the lake historically does not reach its annual minimum until October.

“I’ve never seen it so bad – not in my lifetime,” said Andy Wallace, hovering over the water in a propeller plane, as he did for years as a pilot. professional.

Simply put, the largest salt lake in the Western Hemisphere is shrinking rapidly. Left alone, the lake’s footprint would stretch over 2,100 square miles, more than three times the area of ​​Houston. An analysis released last year showed that water siphoned from the rivers that feed the natural wonder had reduced its level by 11 feet, depleting the lake’s area by more than half.

“Twenty years ago it was under about 10 feet of water,” said Kevin Perry, chairman of the atmospheric science department at the University of Utah, as he rode his bike in July on the dry lake bed.

Dying organisms and arsenic

Perry and other scientists fear they are witnessing a slow-motion disaster. Ten million birds flock to the Great Salt Lake every year to feed on its now struggling marine life. More pelicans breed here than anywhere else in the country.

The problem goes up the food chain. The Utah Geological Survey openly expressed concern on Thursday that the falling lake levels threaten to kill microbials – reef-like underwater mounds that help feed the brine flies, brine shrimp and hence the 338 species of birds that visit each year.

“We consider these structures to be living rocks,” said Michael Vanden Berg, head of the investigation’s energy and mineral program. “The population of the Great Salt Lake is one of the largest accumulations of modern microbials in the world.”

If the lake continues to retreat to historic levels, a hitherto unseen proportion of the lake’s microbials will be exposed, according to a press release. It may only take weeks for the microbial mat to erode from “living rocks,” he said, and it could take years to recover, even if lake levels return to normal.

Brine shrimp, also known as sea monkeys, also struggle with the increasing salinity that comes with less water. It’s not just bird food. They are exported as fish food, and the commercial harvest contributes to an estimated $ 1.5 billion in savings – which, along with recreation and mineral extraction, helps feed the fishermen and others living around the Great Lake. Dirty.

The economic downturn is not the only threat to humans in the region. Utah’s soil is naturally high in arsenic, a toxic compound that causes a frightening range of health problems. When it washes downstream, it lands in the lake, Perry said. When the wind blows, as it regularly does quite violently, it lifts the dusty bed of the lake.

“One of our concerns is that the particles that come out of the lake get into people’s lungs,” he said. “Fifteen to twenty years ago, when the lake was higher, most of those dust spots were covered, and if you cover them with water, they don’t produce dust. And so as the lake receded, it’s more and more exposed more of that lake bed. … As we get more area, we have more frequent dust storms. “

Owens Lake, a mostly dry lake east of California’s Sequoia National Forest, was diverted to the Los Angeles Aqueduct nearly a century ago, Perry noted. Although a little water returns to the lake, its dry bed is the biggest source of PM-10 pollution – large inhalable dust particles – in the country. Great Salt Lake is much larger than Owens Lake, and while the population around Owens Lake is approximately 40,000, there are over 2 million people living around Great Salt Lake, Perry points out.

“This lake could also become one of the largest sources of dust emissions in North America,” he said. “Right now the lake bed is protected by a fragile crust, and if that crust is disturbed or eroded over time, then this lake could start to emit a lot more (dust).”

“We are on the verge of a catastrophe”

Vast swathes of Lake Utah look more like Death Valley than any waterway, with the ground arid and fractured by dry heat. Other areas look like sprawling puddles. Birds wade through the mud of the shore alongside empty marinas, their holds sagging to the ground.

“The saltiest sailors on the planet have seen their sailboats hoisted out of the marinas of the Great Salt Lake by a crane in recent days, due to the drop in the level of the lake”, the Utah Rivers Board wrote in the introduction of a report warning that a proposed dam, pipeline and reservoir in the east will only exacerbate the problems.

While human behavior remains the primary concern of scientists, the lack of rain in the west does not help. The Great Salt Lake is now like water on a plate, while most lakes look like a cup, said Jaimi Butler, co-editor of the 2020 analysis showing that the lake’s area has shrunk by 51% .

Shallow waters are more prone to evaporation in drought conditions, and although the lake level fluctuates in any given year, the lake tends to bottom out in the fall, around October. The lake will continue to drop and shrink over the next three months, and the water level could drop as much as 2 more feet by Halloween, Butler suspects.

“Keeping water in the Great Salt Lake is the most important thing that keeps me awake at night,” said Butler, a wildlife biologist who grew up around the lake and who is the coordinator of the Great Salt Lake Institute of Canada. Westminster College. “We are on the brink of disaster.”

Mother Nature and the inhabitants must join forces

Butler cried as he thought of the ramifications of not taking strong action to save the waterway.

“The Great Salt Lake will be an environmental, economic and, really, cultural disaster at the same time,” she said. “I grew up here. A place becomes you.… We are all from Great Salt Lake. We all are, and we shouldn’t let it go.”

Humans created the problem, and humans will have to be part of the solution, she said. Reducing water use and increasing water utility tariffs to deter waste would be a start, she added.

Despite warning bells, water destined for Great Salt Lake continues to be diverted to farms, ranches and towns – the latter enjoying some of the cheapest water in the country, Butler said.

Salt Lake City residents paid one of the lowest water rates in major US cities, according to an analysis by Circle of Blue, a nonprofit organization that advocates for responsible management of water resources. A family of four using 100 gallons per day paid $ 32 per month in 2018, about half of what New Yorkers paid, one-third of what Atlanteans paid, and a quarter of what San Franciscans paid that year. Among the larger cities, only the people of Memphis paid less.

But it appears residents around the Great Salt Lake have acted more conscientiously, said Marcie McCartney, water conservation and education manager for the Utah Water Resources Division.

“Everyone around and in this basin is doing everything they can to use the water as efficiently as possible,” she said. “We are seeing a lot of (water) savings this year, which is great, but the Great Salt Lake is definitely suffering, and the only way to increase the level of these lakes is a better year of water for our mantle. snowy.”

Those responsible for monitoring snow runoff in streams and reservoirs must calculate the amount of water needed for water supplies – potable, agricultural, etc. – and the rest can be dumped downstream into the Great Salt Lake, McCartney said. This year’s “poor snowpack” has melted too quickly, she said, “and the ground is really thirsty.”

“Mother Nature is going to take her share first, and we’ll have the rest,” she said.

In November, Butler co-wrote an obituary for Great Salt Lake in Catalyst Magazine, based in the Utah capital.

“The Great Salt Lake experienced its last sparkling sunset today, succumbing to a long struggle with chronic diversions exacerbated by climate change,” he began. “Its dusty remains will be scattered throughout the Salt Lake Valley for millennia – our air quality monitors will constantly remind us of its passage.”

The article laid out the history of the reservoir, how it ended up in dire straits, and what the affected Utahans can do to change the narrative and amplify their voices to save the beloved body of water.

“There were measures to prevent the death of the Great Salt Lake, but it was too little, too late,” the obituary read. “She has supported Utah’s economy for many years, but we haven’t adequately funded her health care on time. If we had, we might not be mourning her death today. ‘hui. “

Speaking to CNN, Butler reiterated many of those points, imploring, “We have changed our world and we need to change our behaviors to conserve incredible ecosystems that include humans like here in Great Salt Lake.”

™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

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Utah economy

Where do all these people come from when they move to Utah?

Vinay Cardwell, president of Young Professionals Salt Lake City, poses for a portrait at The Shop co-working space in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – Young, educated and diverse, newcomers are helping to change the face of Utah as they come largely from other western states.

About 133,000 people – the equivalent of more than half of Salt Lake City’s population – moved to Beehive state from 2014 to 2018, according to a new report from the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah.

California contributed the most new faces, at about 18,000 – or 16.6% – the most of any state, followed by Texas at 7.2%; Idaho at 6.6% and Washington State at 5.3%. But the Golden State also received more people from Utah during the same period than anywhere else.

Where they moved from
Where they moved from (Photo: Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute)

Demographer Emily Harris said her findings help answer questions about migration that have arisen in recent years as newcomers further fuel the state’s growth.

“We know Utah is growing. We can feel it on the roads, we can feel it on the trails,” Harris said. “But who are these people and what is that impact on Utah, other than more people?”

Analyzing census data, Harris found that those who moved here within the five-year period tend to be younger than those already here, with a median age of 25. They were also more diverse and more likely to have a bachelor’s degree.

Education levels vary
Education levels vary (Photo: Kem C. Garder Policy Institute)

Many end up rooting and raising their children in their own traditions, resulting in cumulative cultural change over time, Harris noted.

Among them, Vinay Cardwell, 42, from Vancouver, Canada, who attended the University of Utah, found work in the state’s growing tech sector, and started a family in the state. Beehive State. Her son and daughter are now 5 and 8 years old.

Cardwell, president of Young Professionals Salt Lake City, says he wants job seekers to know they can still feel at home in Utah if they’ve never been in the state and aren’t. not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Word is spreading, he said, as more newcomers arrive for jobs at tech startups and stay to ski, hike and take in mountain views.

“You go to New York and it’s just a concrete jungle – or Chicago. But when you can get out into the wild, it’s like, wow. You just get that rejuvenation,” he said. “This is probably one of the most important things people say when I ask them, ‘What brought you here?’ It’s skiing or the outdoors. “

Like Cardwell, whose parents are from Fiji and New Zealand, many are of mixed descent, he said.

Differences in diversity
Differences in diversity (Photo: Kem C. Garder Policy Institute)

The data doesn’t say who’s left for a little while before moving on, but Cardwell says many do after gaining a few years of work experience and taking advantage of the state’s vast outdoor recreation opportunities.

The rise in migration to the state after the Great Recession is linked to a strong economy and low unemployment, Harris said, and is playing a bigger role in Utah’s growth as families have less children and wait longer to do so, she added.

Jobs invite newcomers
Jobs invite newcomers (Photo: Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute)

In what may come as a surprise to some, the Beehive State is not among the top 10 destinations for Californians, Harris noted. Almost three times as many people have moved to neighboring Nevada, for example.

Where the Utahns move
Where the Utahns travel (Photo: Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute)

She found that fewer Utahns leave than they come – around 95,000 left in the same period, although the data does not reveal how many more went overseas. Their median age was 27, compared to 31 for the Utahns who stayed behind during the same period. Those who leave also tend to have a bachelor’s degree and higher degrees at higher rates.

The influx of newcomers, combined with the housing crisis in Utah, threatens to strain the rental and home buying markets and hamper Utah’s ability to attract workers out of state in the future, the report notes.

Who rents and who owns a house?
Who rents and who owns a house? (Photo: Kem C. Garder Policy Institute)

“When we have more migrants coming in than people leaving, it’s an even bigger hole that we dig ourselves into in terms of housing inventory for people who want to live here,” Harris said.

Not everyone who comes to Utah is an outsider. About 1 in 4 are native Utahns who have moved away for a while and are now coming home.

They’re like Steven O’Donnell, a 28-year-old father and real estate agent who lived in Albuquerque, San Diego, and Las Vegas before returning to Utah in 2019. The timeline for his move has accelerated after his move. dad. fell ill with cancer, succumbing to the disease about a month before the birth of O’Donnell’s baby girl.

The girl babbled this week as O’Donnell said he hit the road as a kid with his truck driver dad. He realized in his youth that he preferred the mountains and vast canyons of Utah to the scenery of any other state, he said.

“For my parents in Santaquin, there are three canyons in about 10 minutes,” he said. “I think Utah is just a hidden gem.”


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Utah economy

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

Wednesday morning July 14, 2021


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

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


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.


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.


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.


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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GATHERING IN THE WEST |  The judge blocks the drilling on the sage grouse;  OK sign 'Dixie' ditching

GATHERING IN THE WEST |  US sued to protect Desert Turtle;  Wyoming will acquire a nuclear reactor

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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

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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
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Utah economy

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

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, 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

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 ©, 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 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 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.

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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Utah economy

Beehive Archive — Pleasure Cruising: The Galloway-Stone Expedition

In September 1909, Julius Stone, an Ohio financier, hired Utah adventurer Nathaniel Galloway to take him on a boat trip on the Green and Colorado rivers. It was a time when navigating the rugged and isolated canyons of western rivers was an arduous necessity for scientists and geographers. But Stone and Galloway’s river voyage was the first for the sheer pleasure of boating, and signaled an emerging interest in the idea of ​​discovering remote landscapes just for the fun of it.

Inspired by John Wesley Powell’s travels on these same rivers, Stone was passionate about the wild outdoors. Galloway was a prospector and trapper from Vernal, Utah, known for his experience on the Yampa and Green rivers. Galloway guided the journey and Stone funded it, including building boats built to Galloway’s new design. These flat-bottomed boats were facing forward, so the rower had better control of the vessel and could see – and maneuver through – potential obstacles. Previous boat designs had rowers rowing the backs downstream, resulting in frequent flips.

Galloway, Stone, and a small group of men set off on four boats from Green River, Wyoming. Although the trip was made for fun, it was not without hardships. The men were relatively inexperienced and had to carry their boats and cargo around unmanageable rapids. Only Galloway sailed efficiently through the rough waters, rowing in the current rather than trying to overpower it. Yet the men marveled at their awe-inspiring surroundings and devoted themselves to enjoying the beauty and magnificence of the river. Crossing canyons, catching fish, and exploring distant landscapes left a lasting impression on the group.

The Galloway-Stone expedition ended five weeks later in Needles, California. Pleasure travel foreshadowed the popularity that river racing would enjoy in the 20th century and the impact it would have on the Utah economy. Tourists paid to appreciate the natural beauty of rivers. By the late 1920s, shopping tours were organized from Vernal – and Galloway’s boat design was the preferred choice of river guides until the 1950s.

The Beehive Archive is a project of Utah Humanities, produced in partnership with Utah Public Radio and KCPW Radio with funding from the Lawrence T. and Janet T. Dee Foundation. Find sources and past episodes on Utah Stories from the Beehive Archives.

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Utah economy

Overcoming Michigan regulatory barriers – InsideSources

With the Michigan government lifting all COVID-19 orders on public gatherings and mask requirements, the state economy is poised to recover from public health restrictions imposed by the government. It comes after Governor Gretchen Whitmer unilaterally issued nearly 200 Executive orders suspend, review and modify the main public policies having a direct impact on the behavior of the 10 million citizens and state enterprises. However, this is only the beginning of the regulatory challenge for Michigan small and medium business owners and entrepreneurs planning to fully reopen or start a new business.

Michigan is only one of eight states to report economic status decline above 5 percent in 2020. In addition, the state’s economic output declined 5.4 percent, from $ 471.6 billion in 2019 to $ 446.2 billion in 2020. unemployment rate for May 2021 remained 27% higher than before the February 2020 pandemic, and total employment is down 5.6% over the same period.

Although there is evidence, the Biden administration plans to increase regulation and raising taxes on U.S. businesses, that doesn’t mean state and local governments are powerless to ease potentially negative federal regulatory barriers to entrepreneurship and economic growth at the state level. And for Michigan, a recent study undertaken by Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies at the Cato Libertarian Institute, offers insight into what state entrepreneurs face when it comes to overcoming state and local government regulatory hurdles when starting a new business.

A useful output of this study is the Entrepreneur Regulatory Barriers Index, an empirical calculation based on 17 variables in four general categories of regulatory restrictions. The variables (converted to a standardized score using a formula) measure the restrictions and costs imposed on new businesses in each state, while the four categories consist of small business views (three variables), professional licenses (two variables), other entry barriers (five variables) and costs created by regulation (seven variables).

So how does Michigan stack up against other states in this index? Unfortunately, not well. Michigan ranks 36th out of 50 states, at the bottom of the third quartile. What stands out are the results of the first category – small business views on regulation. While the Michigan government scores relatively high (on a choice scale of “F to A +”) (“B” among respondents on the “ease of starting a business” variable, the state has a lot of leeway. of progression for two variables, “labor and hiring laws” (“D +”) and “licensing laws” (“C-”). Regarding the category “other barriers to entry”, Michigan requires a “certificate of need” for the healthcare industry and is a liquor license quota and alcohol control state. “Whatever happens in Washington, state and local governments can do a lot to improve the business climate by repealing low-value and harmful regulations,” says Cato’s Edwards.

A starting point for the Michigan state government could be Analyzing state professional licensing laws to assess which professions need public regulation, and if so, what type (or “level”) of public regulation is necessary and effective. Such regulatory review of licensing requirements could reduce the cost of entry (a “barrier to entry”) into a trade, and potentially increase competition and lower the cost of service to the consumer.

A second initiative would be to consider the creation of a “regulatory sandbox” at the state level. In March 2021, Utah became the first state adopt bipartite legislation creating an “all-inclusive” or all-industry regulatory sandbox. A regulatory sandbox is a defined environment where innovative companies can safely experiment under the oversight and guidance of regulatory bodies. By reducing the initial regulatory costs for entering entrepreneurs, these early stage companies have the opportunity to become competitors capable of handling normal compliance costs, after which they “step out” of the regulatory sandbox. After the pandemic, this all-inclusive regulatory sandbox initiative would be a proposal that deserves serious consideration by the Michigan legislature.

In September 2020, Yelp Economic impact report estimated that 60% of businesses closed due to COVID-19 state and local government regulatory requirements would be closed permanently. There is no reason to believe that Michigan has not experienced similar business closure rates as the rest of the country. Now is the time for the Michigan Legislature and Governor Whitmer to come up with innovative bipartisan public policy initiatives to help the small and medium-sized businesses and entrepreneurs in the state who have been the businesses hardest hit by the effects of COVID- 19. Over the longer term, Michigan needs to develop its reputation as a destination state for entrepreneurs, and a more supportive regulatory environment will go a long way in achieving this.

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Utah economy

Boise teams face off in the final of the Wild West region youth football tournament

BOISE, Idaho – The Regional Far West The youth soccer tournament features seven boys and girls divisions, 190 teams, and on Sunday two teams from Boise made it to the final.

Boise has hosted teams from 14 different states in the west, tournament officials tell us the tournament brings together around 10,000 people and generates between $ 8 million and $ 10 million for the local economy.

“The excitement this generates is just amazing, just go talk to one of the local restaurants or hotels or one of the local businesses that have received a huge hit and after what we have been facing the month last one is fantastic, ”said Craig Warner of Idaho Youth. Football. “The crowd that we just had, I guess some of them don’t even have kids in football, but they just came to support the home team.”

In the U-14 boys’ final, the Boise Boise faced Los Angeles Total Football Academy as the Boise boys attempted to become the first boys’ team to win this tournament.

The Timbers scored first on a nice goal from Grayson Clark, but LA would respond with two goals to take a 2-1 lead before halftime.

In the second half, the Timbers tied, but three consecutive LA goals were too hard to overcome and LA beat Boise 5-3, but the Timbers still had a great run in this tournament.

“For these guys to go through a full regional roster like they’ve done winning every group game, quarterfinal and semi-final against some powerful states is a statement in itself,” coach Eric Simmonsen said. . You haven’t had one last year as a U-13, they haven’t had such an impressive Cup of State.

The tournament also showcased the talent of football here in the Treasure Valley as the U-19/20 Boise Thorns women’s team and Boise Timbers U-18 advanced to the semi-finals before losing.

“Because you have the best teams from 14 states here, you have a lot of college coaches from different divisions and they can watch these teams,” Warner said. “They can be identified right here in their local town without having to travel halfway across the country.”

Even though the loss to the U-14 Boys hurt, coach Simmonsen believes this group has a good chance of becoming the first boys’ team to win the regional championship, but he also feels they might have to face off against it. the LA club. in the years to come.

“They had 5 or 6 more chances to win the very first men’s regional championship, I think that is a testament to them and what they faced during those times,” said Simmonsen. “I think it’s a good message to people on the whole that unusual times create things that are pretty rare and sometimes it’s okay to be rare.”

The Boise Thorns U-16 girls were beaten by Utah’s La Roca 2-1 in the championship game as the team nearly became the second women’s team to win this tournament.

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Utah economy

How low socioeconomic status influences disparities in diabetes care

Various socio-demographic characteristics fuel the disparities observed in pediatric diabetes care. At the 81st American Diabetes Association Virtual Science Session, Ananta Addala, DO, MPH, Pediatric Endocrinologist and Medical Scientist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., Addressed the role of socioeconomic status in these disparities. .

Addala noted that previous research has shown that minority patients often receive poorer quality health care than their peers. The reasons for the differences in care include environmental factors and discrimination. Clinical judgment on the appropriateness of care as well as patient preferences have also been seen as contributing to the difference in the quality of care, but have long been noted as not contributing to the disparities, but Addala believes both do. Along with the management of diabetes, one of the main places where disparities are seen is access to diabetes technologies such as insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors. Diabetes technology has been shown to improve hemoglobin A1c levels, especially in pediatric cases. Children with low family income as well as public or uninsured insurance have higher hemoglobin A1c levels, indicating less access to diabetes technology.

She then discusses the results of a study comparing insulin pump use and continuous glucose monitoring by socioeconomic status in 2 cohorts: 1 in the United States and Germany, at 2 different times, 2010 -2012 and 2016-2018. The German cohort was selected because it represented an economy similar to that of the United States. In both cohorts, the researchers found an increase in the use of insulin pumps between the 2 periods. However, the American cohort showed that significantly fewer patients from the lowest socioeconomic group used pumps than those from the highest economic group, while in the German cohort, negligible differences were noted between socioeconomic groups. economic. Ongoing blood glucose monitoring saw a significant increase in use for both cohorts, but as with insulin pumps, the US cohort showed significant disparities in use by socioeconomic status. In Germany there was very little difference between them. Therefore, hemoglobin A1c levels are significantly higher in the lowest socioeconomic status level in the United States. Children at the lowest socioeconomic level in Germany also had higher hemoglobin A1c levels than their wealthier peers, but the difference was much less significant.

Insurance may be at the root of these disparities, Addala noted. She discussed a recent comment that showed the variability in the requirements for a child in a Medicaid program to get continuous blood sugar monitoring. Some states like Ohio and Wisconsin do not offer specific requirements for the technology. Others, like Utah and New York State, will only cover the technology for patients with type 1 diabetes who also perform self-administered finger-prick blood sugar tests at least 4 times a day. A final factor of disparities is the prejudices that some providers may have towards patients with lower socioeconomic status. A meta-analysis found that providers often had less empathy for patients from lower socioeconomic groups.


1. Addala A. The state of disparities in the management of pediatric diabetes: the role of socio-economic status. American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions 2021; June 26, 2021; virtual. Accessed June 26, 2021.

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Utah economy

Report: Nevada’s children among the worst affected by pandemic

A new report reveals that children in Nevada suffered more during the pandemic than those in many other states, and that small child welfare gains made before the pandemic may have been reversed.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2021 Kids Count report found that many Latin and black families in particular were going through a difficult time even before the COVID-19 closures resulted in so many job losses.

Tara Raines, Director of Kids Count Initiatives for the Alliance for the Defense of Children, said Nevada needs to tackle some big issues.

“The report released after the pandemic showed that we were suffering more than the national average on the four key points,” she said, “and it was health insurance, parents with feelings of hopelessness and despair. depression, housing insecurity and food insecurity. “

Using data from 2019, the report ranks Nevada 41st in the United States for child economic well-being and 46th for education. It found that 60% of fourth graders read below grade level and 74% of eighth graders do not have proficiency in math. But those statistics represent a gradual improvement over the 2010 figures. Nevada’s teenage birth rate and the number of adolescents in school have also improved.

The report also contained good news, finding that the US economy had started to recover in March. Leslie Boissiere, vice president of external affairs for the Casey Foundation, said child poverty is set to drop significantly in July – once the money begins to flow from the expanded child tax credit under the plan. American rescue.

“For families with children under the age of 6, it is $ 300 per month that these families will receive,” she said. “So at a time when families are worried about being able to pay their mortgage, or paying their rent or providing food for their families, this is a significant amount.”

The child tax credit expires in December; President Joe Biden has asked for his five-year extension. The report recommended that Congress make income supports permanent for low-income families.

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Utah economy

Red state takeover fuels GOP fight against Biden spending plans

Businesses, economists and policymakers are divided over whether the policies of conservative governors on unemployment benefits and Covid-19 restrictions – many of them have chosen not to issue any at all. Stay-at-home orders – are actually helping their savings or so industries in their states simply haven’t fallen as far behind during the pandemic.

Yet the patchy recovery and poor job growth reported in April and May gave Republicans ammunition to repudiate Biden’s costly aid plans. They also stoked Conservative concerns that federal aid, particularly the $ 1.9 trillion American rescue plan which passed without GOP support in March – should have focused more on those most in need.

“Overall, the funds could have been used much better by being more focused,” said Rachel Greszler, economist at the Heritage Foundation. Congress should have tied UI to workers’ incomes or allowed states to use federal aid to distribute their own benefits based on labor market needs “in whatever way they thought best suited them.” , she said.

The seven states that chose not to issue a stay-at-home order last year – Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Utah – were all led by GOP governors.

Republican-led states were also very early to relax trade restrictions in the event of a pandemic and hide mandates: Missouri, Montana, Iowa, and Alaska were among the first states to reduce their trade needs by January and February. Texas, Arizona, Arkansas, New Hampshire and Wyoming followed in March.

Of those states, Montana, New Hampshire, Arkansas, South Dakota, Utah, Missouri and Nebraska returned to pre-pandemic economic activity levels in April and reported lower unemployment. at the national rate of 5.8% in May.

By comparison, states that still have some restrictions on coronaviruses, including California, Connecticut and Hawaii, had the highest unemployment rates in the country in May and were still producing less in April than before the pandemic.

Washington lawmakers sent direct checks to millions of middle- and low-income Americans and supplemented state unemployment benefits with additional weekly payments and coverage for workers traditionally ineligible for unemployment assistance . They also distributed $ 1,000 billion in government guaranteed repayable loans to small businesses under the Paycheck Protection Program, initially on a first come, first served basis.

Other economists wonder if Congress could have maneuvered as precisely as Greszler suggested to save the economy early on, amid a flood of business closures and tens of millions of layoffs caused by health restrictions. pandemic.

“There aren’t a lot of nuances you can use in politics when trying to get the money out as quickly as possible and adapt to local situations for every worker in the state,” said Daniel Zhao. , senior economist. at Glassdoor. “It is very difficult to bring help to all those who need it at the same time, and in a way that is actually targeted at individual situations.

The uneven nature of the recovery partly reflects the diversity of state economies. States like New York, California, Hawaii and Nevada that rely heavily on tourism, as well as food and accommodation, are among the deepest of the economic hole and have the longest way to go, according to the The Federal Reserve’s April State Coincidence Index, which estimates economic conditions based on local employment and wage data corresponding to state GDP trends.

Hawaii’s economic activity in April was 13% lower than it was in January 2020, according to the index. Activity in Nevada and New York is also still down nearly 10% from before the pandemic. Florida, down just 1%, is doing better.

But states like Utah, Idaho, South Dakota, and Nebraska that rely heavily on food processing and manufacturing – industries deemed critical and required to stay open during the pandemic – are falling back to the forefront. normal much faster.

“What we are seeing is the states that were the most down at the start are still the most down, and it’s basically the states that depend the most on travel,” said Michael Ettlinger, founding principal of the Carsey School. of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire. “There’s just more destruction, if you will, in these states, and it’s just going to take longer to come back. “

The advantage that GOP-led states such as Georgia, Mississippi, Arizona and Missouri enjoy in rebounding from the pandemic has fueled Republican attacks on Biden’s policies.

More than two dozen GOP governors have decided to end federally-funded extra unemployment benefits, citing labor shortages they say are triggered by generosity. In Congress, Republican lawmakers use a similar argument against Biden’s plans to spend $ 4 trillion to shore up the nation’s infrastructure and expand social programs.

“Our goal should be to rebuild the economy as quickly as possible, not to subsidize it,” said Sen. Mike Rounds (RS.D.), who cited the extension of unemployment benefits. as a reason to vote against an aid plan put in place by the Democrats in March.

Some economists say it is not clear whether generous unemployment benefits are a factor preventing jobs from being filled.

A June analysis of the United States Chamber of Commerce itself has found that the ratio of available workers to job openings is what it was before the pandemic. Before Covid, “companies struggled to fill openings because available workers lacked the skills companies needed,” wrote senior economist Curtis Dubay. “This problem persists now.”

And an analysis of May from the hiring website Indeed’s chief economist, Jed Kolko, found that job search activity in states ending federal benefits saw a brief temporary jump on the platform shortly after. time after the governors announced they would.

Economists, as well as the Biden administration, also say issues such as lingering hardships for parents at daycare, lingering fear of contracting the virus, and an economy that appears to have gone from zero to 60 in a matter of weeks have likely the strongest effect.

“We have this kind of race to the bottom, state after state, with Republican governors… ending the benefits and, frankly, misleading people,” said Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore .). “They tried to make a big deal by saying we were cutting the extra $ 300. This is simply not true. They cut an extra week, they cut the concert workers, if someone has exhausted state benefits.

With about 4 million Americans – disproportionately workers of color and women – faced “virtually zero income … which makes the need for federal reform much more serious,” he said.

“This crazy quilt of state systems that offer different levels of data, unemployment benefits and approaches to reopening highlights to me the need, the urgency for fundamental reform,” Wyden said.

He campaigns for an overhaul of the unemployment system that would unite all states under a single benefit infrastructure and create automatic triggers that tie benefits to economic conditions, among other things.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Wyden proposed last year to extend the unemployment benefits program until a state’s unemployment rate falls below 6%, but Republicans were hesitant to support a long-term extension of unemployment assistance financed by taxpayers.

Had Congress passed the proposal last July, 27 states would currently have unemployment rates low enough to phase out the extra $ 300 in additional benefits under the program.

“Hopefully this will spark a conversation after the pandemic ends on how to improve our safety net,” Zhao said, “not just in terms of expanding it, but also making sure it actually reaches the people it needs and reaches them quickly when help is needed.

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Utah economy

NM does not have a real strategic plan to make R&D profitable ”Albuquerque Journal

The Albuquerque Journal recently published: “Census Wakeup Call: State’s low growth shows the need for tough conversations and big political improvements.” This column shows where New Mexico’s rank lags behind that of neighboring states. The question is how to solve this problem. New Mexico needs to have a vision for its economic future and a strategy to implement that vision, but where are we now? Let’s take a look at the data comparing Bernalillo County to high tech, Utah County, Utah where Provo is located.

Between 1998 and 2014, Utah County had a median household income that was $ 15,000 higher than that of Bernalillo County. In 2015, Utah County’s median household income was $ 19,000 higher than that of Bernalillo County. By 2019, this difference had grown to $ 23,000. For most states, their largest city leads the economic development of that state.

Cities with high tech and private sector economies eg Austin, Denver, Salt Lake City, Chandler, Provo, etc. In general, high-tech cities have median household incomes of $ 80,000 or more; large cities in the interior of the United States with no private sector, high-tech economy have median household incomes of $ 55,000 to $ 60,000; and rural areas and small towns have median household incomes of $ 40,000 and less.

In 2017, according to a Brookings study, Albuquerque had a per capita investment of $ 259 in academic research and development (R&D) in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), compared to just $ 60 for Provo. More than $ 3,000 per person is spent on R&D in New Mexico – the nation’s fifth largest – while Utah spends $ 1,200. New Mexico is unlikely to prosper from more investment in R&D unless it learns how to get more out of its R&D funds.

Many believe that high-tech jobs like those created in Utah are only available to masters of science and doctorates. STEM graduates. However, the American Association for the Advancement of Science has determined that even though STEM employment supports 69% of U.S. GDP, 60% of STEM professionals hold less than a bachelor’s degree.

………………………………………….. ……………. …………..

The congressional bill, The Endless Frontiers Act, lists key technological areas that the United States must address to be economically and militarily competitive with China: artificial intelligence and machine learning; high performance computing, semiconductors and advanced computer hardware; quantum computing and information systems; advanced robotics, automation and manufacturing; prevention of natural or man-made disasters; advanced communication technology; biotechnology, genomics and synthetic biology; cybersecurity, data storage and management technologies; advanced energy; and materials science, engineering and exploration relevant to other key technologies.

These are the technologies that New Mexico’s defense labs will focus on in the future. At 25% of the state’s GDP, these defense laboratories are our most important economic asset; during their boom, oil and natural gas accounted for 10%.

New Mexico has contracted SRI to lead our state’s strategic planning effort. The state targets the “industries” of outdoor recreation, value-added agriculture, global trade, advanced manufacturing, biosciences, film and television, cybersecurity, aerospace and renewable energies. Four of them are listed in the Endless Frontiers Act. It is imperative that our state does its strategic planning well and does not focus on building industries with low median household income. As the data shows, we went and we did.

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Utah economy

Home improvement could be a first step towards climate justice

Workers stormed Flora Dillard’s home east of Cleveland. There is plastic on everything and no place to sit, but Dillard doesn’t seem to care. “A few days of inconvenience is nothing compared to the results you get,” she says.

It will benefit, and the climate too. Workers patched cracks around the foundation and diverted a vent to reduce the risk of mold growth. They isolate the upstairs bedroom where the drafts are so cold that Dillard used several electric heaters last winter. They also discovered and repaired a gas leak. “I could have exploded,” said Dillard. “Me and my grandchildren and my brother who is here visiting.”

She didn’t pay anything for it. She can’t afford it. But thanks to government and help with utilities, her house should soon be more comfortable, safer and cheaper to heat. It will burn less fuel, thus reducing the amount of greenhouse gases it releases into the air.

The repairs to Dillard’s house are an example of what is sometimes called “climate equity” – efforts to tackle climate change in a way that also attacks the country’s social and racial inequalities. Millions of homes in American cities are in urgent need of rehabilitation. These homes are often concentrated in predominantly African-American neighborhoods, which have suffered from discrimination and redlining. Many contain health threats like mold, lead contamination, and indoor air pollution.

The same homes are often the least energy efficient, requiring more fuel to cool and heat. Residential housing accounts for about one-fifth of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.


Under his sweep infrastructure plan, the Biden administration wants to replicate Flora Dillard’s reparations in millions of homes across the country. The Biden plan would allocate $ 200 billion to renovate and build green homes, especially in what the White House calls “underserved communities.” The goal is to improve people’s homes and create jobs while fighting climate change.

The infrastructure plan, part of which the Biden administration included in its 2022 budget proposal, must be approved by Congress, which is uncertain. The Republican version of an infrastructure package does not include green housing initiatives.

“I feel like this is our lowest fruit and also the means to have the greatest impact, especially in disinvested communities, struggling communities,” said Tony reames, former director of the Urban Energy Justice Lab at the University of Michigan. Reames has just taken a new job as a Senior Advisor at the US Department of Energy.

Cleveland offers a case study on the need and opportunity for home renovation. According to Kevin Nowak, executive director of CHN housing partners, who organized the work at Dillard’s home, tens of thousands of homes have similar problems only in Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland. Most Cleveland homes are at least 40 years old. Almost a third of local households earn less than the poverty line, and many homeowners lack money for renovations.

Cleveland drafted its first climate action plan in 2013. But in 2018, the city tore it up and started again, this time with a new focus on fairness. City officials met with hundreds of people in Cleveland neighborhoods to hear their concerns, and in the end they were given the top spot on the city’s to-do list to make more homes “affordable,” comfortable, healthy and energy efficient ”.

Cleveland’s population has more than halved since 1950, decimating the tax base. It would take $ 781 million to fix every house in the Cleveland metro area that needs repairs, according to to researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. This is way beyond what the city government can afford. This is about double what the city pays each year to operate its public school system.

Some private funds for renovations have conditions attached. The local gas utility, Dominion Energy, helped pay for Flora Dillard’s new, more efficient gas-fired furnace. Under the Dominion program, funding must go for a new gas furnace, rather than an electric heat pump that could significantly reduce greenhouse gas pollution.

Nowak says he would rather maximize the number of homes his organization can reach, rather than using limited funds on more expensive equipment needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a smaller number of homes.

The Biden administration’s plan to pump money into home improvement could dramatically change the situation. White House budget documents forecast a significant increase in funding for a program that pays for the weatherization of homes, from about $ 200 million and $ 300 million annually to $ 17 billion over the next five years. The administration also wants to pour $ 40 billion into the renovation of social housing and $ 27 billion into a “clean energy accelerator” that would act as a non-profit bank that can finance energy saving projects. all kinds.

Cecilia Martinez, senior director of environmental justice at the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality, says the administration’s plan must be ambitious as it tackles huge issues and rooted in a history of discrimination . “We have an opportunity now. This is our key opportunity to transform our economy as well as our infrastructure, ”she said.

Funding alone won’t do the job, even if Congress approves it. Renovating homes on such a large scale will require a rapid increase in hiring by private construction companies and new efforts to reach homeowners whose buildings are in need of work.

Reames, who was interviewed before taking on his new post at DOE, says it might require a new approach as well. Current government programs rely on homeowners to take the initiative and seek help. Flora Dillard, in Cleveland, was lucky: her niece told her about the programs, and when Dillard went to town offices to fill out the paperwork, a former classmate was working there and helped her do it right.

Reames would like cities to see housing as critical infrastructure that they assess regularly, rather than waiting for landlords to contact. “I used to work in local government,” Reames says, “and we would plan our waterline replacements, our streets, based on the age of that infrastructure. And the same goes for housing.

Houses in a particular neighborhood were often built around the same time and can have similar problems. He says cities could put entire neighborhoods on a schedule and go door-to-door, checking out what each needs.

Kimberly Foreman, Executive Director of Environmental health watch who has worked in Cleveland neighborhoods for decades, says these efforts require patience. “We always have to ask the community, what do they want? She said, “rather than saying, ‘We have the answer, you should do it.’ “

You can renovate homes and install new equipment, she says, but these upgrades will only work well if the people who live there understand the changes and actually see the value.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To learn more, visit
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Utah economy

Crowd solutions are needed for crowded Utah national parks

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah’s national parks saw a decline in visits last year due to the pandemic, but most are on course to break records this year.

FOX 13 spoke with a Texan couple who visited Zion and Bryce Canyon in early June. This was Layne and Misty Hill’s first time at both parks and they said they were shocked at the number of people on the trails with them.

“We’ve wanted to do this trip for a long time and we’ve been looking for it for a long time,” Layne said.

“The only thing I wasn’t prepared for when I got there was the number of people,” Misty added.

READ: Yosemite National Park to require reservations from May 21

They expected to spend “time alone” in nature with their children, only to find thousands of other people in Zion National Park as well.

“I thought it would just be more family,” Misty said. “Just us crossing the trails and things and not having to push our way through everyone.”

The hills have avoided some of Zion’s most famous hikes due to overcrowding at the trailhead.

“We were actually going to do Angel’s Landing, but because of the crowds we decided not to do it,” Layne said.

“Yeah, we thought it would be dangerous,” Misty added.

Long queues and waiting times to enter parks are more and more frequent. Zion and Arches are already seeing monthly visit rates exceeding their pre-pandemic levels.

If we had over 610,000 visitors in May of this year alone, compared to over 529,000 in May 2019. The latest data for Arches comes from April, with nearly 194,000 visitors this year compared to more than 168,000 in 2019.

READ: Zion National Park designated as International Dark Sky Park

Bryce Canyon, which has seen a steady increase in visits over the past decade, is still catching up to pre-pandemic rates. It welcomed nearly 299,000 visitors in May and nearly 328,000 people came to the park in May 2019.

High attendance figures have some in communities like Moab and Springdale calling for a reservation system, or scheduled entry, that would stagger entry into the park. Some argue it would help reduce overcrowding and give rangers the ability to maintain the trails.

“I think that would be a good idea. Especially for Angel’s Landing, it’s just too dangerous,” Layne said.

“Just for the security concerns, I think this would be a great option,” Misty added.

Others believe it would hurt local businesses. A 2018 study commissioned by the National Parks Service found that a reservation system would take $ 22 million out of Moab’s economy in its first year.

READ: Zion National Park warns of toxins in Virgin River

Supporters report a reservation program implemented by Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, where the neighboring town of Estes Park saw a sales tax increase as visitors shopped and dined in town in waiting to enter the park.

The Zion National Park information officer was not available for an on-camera interview for this story, but said over the phone that the park has been breaking monthly visitation records since September, and they don’t expect not to stop him at all times. soon.

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Utah economy

American Airlines cancels hundreds of flights through mid-July, in part due to labor shortage

(CNN) – American Airlines cancels hundreds of flights until at least mid-July as company strives to maintain service amid massively surging travel demand as coronavirus pandemic continues to recede in states United, according to an airline spokesperson.

“The first weeks of June brought unprecedented weather conditions to our largest hubs, severely affecting our operations and causing delays, canceled flights and disruption to crew member schedules and our customers’ plans,” airline spokeswoman Shannon Gilson told CNN. . “This, combined with the labor shortages some of our suppliers face and the incredibly rapid rise in customer demand, has resulted in us building the resilience and certainty of our operations by adjusting a fraction of our flights scheduled until mid-July. “

Yet the fraction of targeted cancellations amounts to hundreds of flights up to mid-July. American Airlines recorded 120 cancellations on Saturday and the company expects 50 to 80 flight cancellations per day going forward, according to Gibson.

Industries across the country have struggled to hire employees as the economy tries to return to pre-pandemic normal.

Customers who had been booked through July 15 will be notified or have already received notifications if their flights have been canceled so they can make travel adjustments in advance, Gibson said.

Gibson also said the cancellations will be spread across its system, to minimize the impact in a single area, although there is a larger effect at Dallas-Fort Worth, an American Airlines hub.

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Utah economy

Las Vegas pushes land swap to balance growth and conservation – St George News

This file photo, Feb. 9, 2005, shows the suburbs of Las Vegas from the top of the Stratosphere Tower looking west on Sahara Avenue towards the Spring Mountains. Despite the drought, cities in the American West expect their populations to increase dramatically over the next several decades. From Phoenix to Boise, officials are working to ensure they have the resources, infrastructure and housing supply needed to meet growth projections. In parts of the region, their efforts are limited by the fact that sprawling metropolitan areas are surrounded by federally owned land. US Senator Catherine Cortez Masto Wants To Fix Las Vegas Problem By Tightening Protections Of Some Public Land While Approving The Sale Of Others To Commercial And Residential Developers | Associated Press File Photo by Joe Cavaretta, St. George News

CARSON CITY, Nevada (AP) – The record heat and historic drought in the western United States does little to discourage cities from planning to welcome millions of new residents in the decades to come.

In this October 11, 2016 file photo, a gypsum mine owned by developer Jim Rhodes, who wants to develop housing on the site, is seen in the foreground while the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is seen in the distance . Despite the drought, cities in the American West expect their populations to increase dramatically over the next several decades. | Photo courtesy of LE Baskow / Las Vegas Sun via AP, St. George News

From Phoenix to Boise, authorities are preparing for a future that is both more human and less water-intensive, seeking to balance growth and conservation. Development is constrained by the fact that 46% of the western region of 11 states is federal land, managed by agencies like the US Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management who are responsible for maintaining it for future generations.

This has led officials in states like Nevada and Utah to press the federal government to approve land transfers to allow developers to build homes and businesses on what was previously land. public. Supporters of both states have wowed environmentalists in the past with provisions that allocate revenue to conservation projects, preserve other federal lands, and prevent road construction, logging, or energy exploration.

A small group of opponents argue that the systematic endorsement of this type of “trade” to facilitate growth is not sustainable, especially in areas that depend on dwindling water supplies.

For the seven states that depend on the Colorado River – Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming – a regional drought is so severe that less water is flowing to Lake Mead and Lake Powell, the two artificial reservoirs where the river water is stored.

If the level of Lake Mead continues to decline throughout the summer as planned, the federal government will likely issue its very first official declaration of shortage, leading to reductions in the water share that Arizona and Nevada have. receive.

The situation is playing out in the Las Vegas area, where environmental groups, local officials and home builders have united behind a proposal from U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto that was heard in the Senate this week.

The Nevada Democrat is pushing what she calls the largest conservation bill in state history to designate more than 3,125 square miles of land for additional protections – roughly the size of Delaware and the United States. Rhode Island combined – and 48 square miles for commercial and residential development, which is about the size of San Francisco.

Some environmentalists support the proposal because it would add federal land to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area for recreation and reclassify undeveloped parts of Clark County, where Las Vegas is located, and the Desert National Wildlife Refuge as Bureau of Land Management’s “wilderness areas”, which offer stronger protections than national parks.

Jocelyn Torres, field director for the Conservation Lands Foundation, said during the Senate hearing on Wednesday that the protections would restore the lands to capture carbon more effectively, which would help mitigate rising temperatures.

“Our public lands present our best chance to tackle climate change, our biodiversity crisis and invest in our local communities and economy,” she said.

FILE – In this August 13, 2020 file photo, a light mineral tub ring marks the high water mark of Lake Mead in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area near Boulder City, Nevada | Photo by John Locher / Associated Press, St. George News

The effort reflects land management efforts over the past decade in Washington and Emery counties in Utah to designate the wilderness and sell other plots to developers to meet growth projections. The US Census Bureau reported that St. George, in Washington County, was the fifth fastest growing metropolitan area in the country last year.

In both regions, affordable housing is one of the authorities’ main concerns. Soaring house prices in California have added to a flow of people leaving for neighboring states like Nevada, Arizona and Colorado, where open land, lower tax rates and jobs attract new residents.

The fast growing Las Vegas area lacks housing supply to meet projected population growth. A 2019 study from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, which found that references to Cortez Masto’s legislation predicted that the population of Clark County would increase by 35%, to 3.1 million, from by 2060. This peak will be difficult to manage without building in existing communities or public lands.

“As a result of this federal ownership, our planning and development options are very limited and require constant coordination with federal agencies,” said Marcie Henson, director of the Clark County Air Quality Department.

Growth can stretch an already limited water supply. Water officials back the proposal, which allocates funds for the maintenance of canals used to recycle sewage through Lake Mead. The region has adopted some of the most aggressive conservation measures in the American West, including an outright ban on decorative grass in some places, to prepare for growth.

Last year, water officials predicted a worst-case scenario in which consumption patterns and climate change could force them to find alternative supplies as early as 2056. Critics say the projections are concerning.

“This legislation has no sustainable water supply identified in 50 years,” said Kyle Roerink, executive director of the Nevada-based Great Basin Water Network conservation group. “When you combine that with everything we read about Lake Mead and the Colorado River, it is very precarious to introduce a bill that invites 825,000 more people into the Mojave Desert. “

Southern Nevada Water Authority chief executive John Entsminger said in a statement that the proposal “helps secure the water resources and facilities that SNWA needs to provide reliable and safe water to our customers for decades to come “.

When Cortez Masto’s proposal was brought forward, there was little question of how water accommodates future growth plans or whether the conservation elements of the bill might have an impact.

Roerink said the plan’s funding allocations for water infrastructure must be accompanied by additional “serious and realistic modeling” of the Colorado River.

“When an entity says, ‘Let’s go build houses in this area’, it implies that the water will be there in perpetuity,” he said.

Written by SAM METZ, Associated Press / Report for America.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Utah economy

Moderate Iranian candidate concedes victory for head of the judiciary Ebrahim Raisi

The only moderate in the Iranian presidential election conceded defeat on Saturday morning to the country’s head of radical justice. It signaled that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s protégé won a vote he dominated after his stronger competitor was disqualified.

Former moderate head of the Central Bank Abdolnasser Hemmati and former Revolutionary Guard commander Mohsen Rezaei congratulated Ebrahim Raisi.

In the first results, Raisi won 17.8 million votes, compared to 3.3 million for Rezaei and 2.4 million for Hemmati, said Jamal Orf, head of the electoral headquarters of Iran’s interior ministry. The fourth candidate in the race, Amirhossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi, got around 1 million votes, Orf said.

The first results announced also appeared to show that the race had the lowest turnout in the country since the Islamic Revolution of 1979. However, the vote did not have international observers to monitor the election as in previous years.

This makes Raisi – who faces US sanctions for his role in the mass executions – the clear winner of the race. It was then that his candidacy sparked widespread apathy among eligible voters in the Islamic Republic, which has long retained participation as a sign of support for the theocracy since its 1979 Islamic revolution.

The swift concessions, while not unusual in previous Iranian elections, signaled what semi-official news agencies in Iran had hinted at for hours: that the carefully controlled vote had been a resounding victory for Raisi amid the calls from some for a boycott.

Hemmati offered his congratulations on Instagram to Raisi early on Saturday.

“I hope that your administration is a source of pride for the Islamic Republic of Iran, improves the economy and life with comfort and well-being for the great Iranian nation,” he wrote.

On Twitter, Rezaei congratulated Khamenei and the Iranian people for participating in the vote.

“God willing, the decisive election of my esteemed brother Ayatollah Dr Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi promises the establishment of a strong and popular government to solve the country’s problems,” Rezaei wrote.

As night fell on Friday, the turnout appeared to be much lower than in the last Iranian presidential election in 2017. At a polling station in a mosque in central Tehran, a Shiite cleric played football with a youth. boy while most of his employees were napping in a yard. In another, officials watched videos on their cellphones as state television screamed alongside them, offering only tight shots of locations across the country – as opposed to long election lines. past.

Voting ended at 2 a.m. on Saturday, after the government extended the vote to accommodate what it called “overcrowding” at several polling stations nationwide. The paper ballots, crammed into large plastic boxes, were to be counted by hand overnight, and authorities said they expected to have the first results and turnout numbers by Saturday morning at the most. early.

“My vote will not change anything in this election, the number of people voting for Raisi is huge and Hemmati does not have the skills to do this,” said Hediyeh, a 25-year-old woman who gave only her first name. . rushing to a taxi in Haft-e Tir Square after avoiding the ballot box. “I don’t have a candidate here.”

Iranian state television has sought to downplay participation, singling out the Arab sheikhs in the Gulf around it, led by hereditary rulers and low participation in Western democracies. After a day of escalating authorities’ attempts to get the vote out, state television overnight aired scenes from crowded voting booths in several provinces, seeking to portray a last-minute rush to the polls.

But since the 1979 revolution toppled the shah, the Iranian theocracy has cited voter turnout as a sign of its legitimacy, starting with its first referendum which won 98.2% support and which simply asked if people wanted or not an Islamic Republic.

The disqualifications affected reformists and supporters of Rouhani, whose administration both struck the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and saw it disintegrate three years later with America’s unilateral withdrawal. of the deal by then-President Donald Trump. Former radical president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, also barred from running, said on social media that he would boycott the vote.

Voter apathy has also been fueled by the devastated state of the economy and a moderate campaign amid months of rising coronavirus cases. Poll workers wore gloves and masks, and some wiped the ballot boxes with disinfectants.

If elected, Raisi would be the first sitting Iranian president to be sanctioned by the US government even before taking office for his involvement in the mass execution of political prisoners in 1988, as well as for his tenure as head. of the internationally criticized Iranian justice system – one of the best executioners in the world.

It would also firmly put hard-line supporters in control across the government as negotiations in Vienna continue in an attempt to salvage a tattered deal meant to limit Iran’s nuclear program at a time when Tehran is enriching Iran. uranium at its highest level ever recorded, although it is still short. weapon quality levels. Tensions remain high with the United States and Israel, which reportedly carried out a series of attacks targeting Iranian nuclear sites and assassinated the scientist who created his military atomic program decades earlier.

Whoever wins will likely serve two four-year terms and therefore could lead what could be one of the most pivotal moments for the country in decades – the death of Khamenei, 82. Speculation has already started that Raisi could be a candidate for the post, along with Khamenei’s son, Mojtaba.

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Nu Skin Enterprises to Present at the Jefferies Consumer Conference

Provo – Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: NUS) announced today that President and CEO-elect Ryan Napierski and CFO Mark Lawrence will present at the Jefferies Virtual Consumer Conference on Tuesday, June 22, 2021. They will share their views on the emergence of social commerce and the odd-job economy and how they empower people.

The company presentation will be webcast live starting at 2:40 p.m. ET. Those wishing to access the event can visit the Nu Skin Investor Relations page on The archives of the webcast will be available at the same location until Tuesday, July 6, 2021.

About Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc.
Founded over 35 years ago, Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. (NSE) provides innovative businesses with sustainable solutions, opportunities, technologies and values ​​that improve lives. The company is currently focusing its efforts on innovative consumer products, product manufacturing and agricultural technology in a controlled environment. The NSE family of companies includes Nu Skin, which develops and distributes a full line of premium beauty and wellness solutions through a global network of sales leaders in Asia, the Americas, Europe, Africa and The pacific ; and Rhyz, our strategic investment arm that includes a collection of sustainable manufacturing and technology innovation companies. Nu Skin Enterprises is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “NUS”. More information is available at

SOURCE Nu Skin Enterprises

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Protesters target PayPal after founder backs Trump

It is now well documented that this election harms Donald Trump’s luxury brand, with charities to abandon its properties and new flagship hotel in Washington DC would have desperate for paying customers. Now the damage appears to extend beyond Trump’s name. It is also starting to stick to its supporters.

Recently, Peter Thiel, the internet billionaire who made his fortune by founding PayPal and investing in companies like Facebook, donate $ 1.25 million to the Trump campaign. His outspoken support for the deeply polarizing Republican candidate is rare among the generally young Silicon Valley ensemble, and the news of Thiel’s donation sparked a rapid reaction online, including numerous calls for consumers to boycott PayPal, in especially on social networks.

Spreading on Twitter, in particular, the hashtag #boycottpaypal quickly gained traction. The posts range from sarcastic memes-focused posts …

… to screenshots of the PayPal account cancellation confirmation:

For some, it’s as simple as a message saying “I just closed my PayPal”.

The catch is that Thiel no longer owns PayPal.

While Thiel co-founded the online payment company in 1998, he sold the company to eBay in 2002 for $ 1.5 billion. Last year PayPal officially split from eBay become his own business again… but always without Thiel’s involvement or investment.

For many protesters, current ownership is irrelevant. Thiel’s story as the founder of the company is enough to taint it with a brand they consider toxic. The backlash intensified enough, in fact, that some posters for #boycottpaypal began to target Venmo as well, an electronic payment service owned by PayPal.

Beyond the Twitterverse, Thiel’s colleagues in Silicon Valley have also responded to his decision to support Trump publicly and financially. In an article on Medium, Ellen Pao, former CEO of Reddit, ad that its Project Include will separate from Y Combinator, a business incubator that Thiel advises.

Pao wrote, in part:

“We are struggling to rationalize the power and influence of Peter Thiel as he travels further and further there… But we are completely outraged to read that Thiel has donated $ 1.25 million to Trump, apparently unfazed by the storm surrounding the candidate last week after obscene conversations aired. “

The backlash became intense enough to request the resignation of Y Combinator chairman Sam Altman for keeping the company away from Thiel.

A similar try boycott the Home Depot megastore, after founder Bernard Marcus endorsed Trump, failed to take root earlier this month, but was revived by PayPal’s boycott efforts.

Others have pointed out that while Thiel may no longer own PayPal, he currently sits on Facebook’s board and owns around $ 40 million in shares.

“Ironically,” writtenThe Huffington Post, “Peter Thiel owns a stake in several companies, including Facebook, one of the social media behind the boycott calls… Interestingly, there was no call to boycott Facebook.”

This is not PayPal’s first exposure to political controversy or boycott calls; however, in past news cycles it has drawn anger primarily from the right. Earlier this year, the company announced plans to cancel an expansion in North Carolina due to the state’s discriminatory treatment of LGBT citizens. In a public statement at the time, the company wrote this:

“[L]Legislation was abruptly enacted by the state of North Carolina that invalidates the rights protections of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens and denies these members of our community equal rights under the law. The new law perpetuates discrimination and violates the values ​​and principles that are at the heart of PayPal’s mission and culture. “

In response, conservative outlets such as Breitbart have articles with tips for launching boycotts, including advice on electronic payment alternatives for those who are angry with PayPal’s support for the LGBT community and its related decision to cancel a planned expansion.

Yet other conservatives have called for boycotts on PayPal’s refusal to process transactions involving firearms of any kind.

While Thiel will likely remain a deeply controversial figure, including not only his support for the Trump campaign but also his role in Gawker’s bankruptcy through litigation, severing ties with him is likely a difficult task for the average consumer. As recent Fast businessitem As pointed out, the Silicon Valley investor touched or owned elements of a huge number of now mainstream technology products and services, including:

  • Facebook
  • Airbnb
  • Spotify
  • Lyft
  • Twitter
  • NPR
  • And, in a way, the fbi

However, PayPal remains Thiel’s flagship creation, despite the years that have passed since its involvement. For now, this is where the demonstrators have decided to release their rage.

Do these boycotts even work?

Boycotts have long been a preferred way for consumers to protest against a company’s social or political decisions. From divestment moves across college campuses to Chik-Fil-A’s stalemate with social liberals, fear of lost sales is one of the main reasons many companies are trying to avoid controversy. .

This strategy can be very effective when it comes to forcing a business to change behavior, but the watchword is organized. As Professor Maurice Schweitzer of the Wharton School of Business explained, for a boycott to make a difference it has to have the kind of grip power that social media isn’t often known for.

“For boycotts to be effective, they must be supported,” Schweitzer said. “They need coordinated leadership and they need to have significant economic consequences, and the vast majority of cases never reach that.”

PayPal isn’t the first company in recent years to face organized resistance over social or political issues (indeed, as noted earlier in this article, it’s not even the first time this year that PayPal itself is the target of a boycott attempt). Other companies have included BP in the aftermath of its 2010 oil spill, Kentucky Fried Chicken on the treatment of animals, the 2003 rally to boycott French wines, and many more.

“The list goes on,” said Schweitzer. “There are a lot of boycotts and they tend not to be very effective. The few exceptions are where there has been a substantial and coordinated sustained movement, and I am quite sure that the PayPal boycott movement won’t be one of them. “

“Particularly,” he added, “because Thiel is no longer with PayPal.”

Part of the reason boycotts struggle is that they demand a lot of grassroots protesters. A successful boycott requires that a large number of consumers change their established habits, abandoning or suspending the brand loyalty often accumulated over the years and because a given product is the cheapest or most convenient option.

For a brief period, buyers may be willing to incur additional expense, but once the news gets over that initial outburst of anger often dies down … and with it the incentive to continue a boycott.

“Boycotting PayPal because of its connection to Thiel does not appear to be a textbook case of a successful boycott,” said Gregory Egorov, professor at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Business. “Typically, about half of organized boycotts are successful. Organization means resources and perseverance; there has to be a group – say, activists – that takes responsibility for raising awareness, [and] tell customers how to boycott. ”

“The reason they fail,” he added, “is either the inability to organize properly or the company’s determination to rebuild its reputation for being tough. This makes a lot of sense to high-level companies who know that otherwise they would always be a target of any self-respecting activist. “

While the sustainability of a Twitter campaign is a serious question, there is a more important reason why a PayPal boycott is unlikely to be successful: Boycotts depend on their ability to influence the results of a PayPal campaign. business, and that’s very difficult in a market where PayPal is the dominant force.

Although modern businesses are often very protective of their image, history shows that few boycotts succeed solely through damage to public relations. See, for example, the annual plight of Starbucks, which faces enormous pressure from the American right-wing to adopt a more explicit celebration of Christmas. While the issue could hardly be more widely publicized each December, it has little impact on company policy.

“Companies rarely notice it unless there is an impact on earnings or the share price, which is a signal for future earnings,” Egorov said. “Rarely does negative publicity in itself cause a company to change its behavior. “

In this case, while the PayPal boycott has garnered considerable media attention, it also remains focused on a small handful of users. Other consumers, even if they sympathize with the token cause, would likely be reluctant to cancel their PayPal accounts due to concerns about other options.

There aren’t that many.

According to an analysis, PayPal has an approximate value 80% digital payment market share.

With 184 million users and 14 million participating merchants, there are few viable alternatives to PayPal in today’s market.

It would be potentially impossible for consumers to find an alternative to PayPal without sacrificing ease of use and convenience.

For a boycott without articulated demands, and therefore without real
end date, it would be difficult to convince many consumers to ditch one of the few widely accepted electronic payment platforms.

“Paypal is a platform that has few good substitutes for such transactions,” Egorov said, “if at all. Social media activity would therefore likely come from a few dozen, maybe hundreds, of outraged individuals who are not particularly profitable for PayPal either. Unless there is a group of activists who are taking this matter up and trying to clarify the claims, then they may have some success. “

However, for now, in the absence of an organization, articulable goals, or a meaningful alternative, chances are the PayPal boycott is little more than a chance for consumers to express. their anger on social media.

After all, as Schweitzer noted, the protesters gathered more than 20,000
signatures on a boycott of BP gas stations after its oil spill in the Gulf. Today, their gas stations remain open and are doing very well.

“We have habits,” he said. “On the whole, most people try to get on with their lives. For people to change the way they shop in the long term, the way they refuel, it is difficult.”

“Like dieting, we can do it for a little while, but we have to be motivated enough to maintain sustained change,” he added.

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Rising Sea Levels Of The Islands Of Sicily – Once A Large Landmass?

The islands of Sicily were initially a landmass, according to a recent study published in the journal Scientists progress – which shows how, when sea levels rise, human populations generally adapt to changes rather than just abandon them, as common sense might suggest.


The islands of Sicily were once a single landmass before rising sea levels divided it

Average sea level is rising by about 0.14 inch / year (3.6 mm / year) – a rate of rise unprecedented in millennia, according to the study. But the distribution of this increase in volume is not the same around the world. This means that some areas will experience higher than average sea level rise, making them particularly vulnerable to the risk of submersion.

The climate crisis combined with continued sea level rise will mean that global flood outliers will be extreme, as some regions inevitably experience worse weather conditions than others.

Although projected sea level changes at global and regional levels become increasingly limited, no one can fully predict how cultural and behavioral norms might change. The future risks of coastal flooding to human populations – combined with projected migration patterns are generally based on environmental thresholds – those lacking a defined limit of adaptation based on the culture and perception of risk in human societies.

The climate crisis could lead to technological progress

During prehistoric sea level rise, catastrophic flooding is associated with a migration on a massive scale – but this common sense perception of natural disaster and societal response is oversimplified, according to the study’s authors.

In modern society, the possibility of catastrophic sea level rise will be more complex, involving interactions between climatic factors, subsequent changes in the local environment, and how humans ultimately respond. In the new study, the researchers focused on past changes and human responses that occurred amid the submersion of populated coasts as sea levels rose.

Over the past 11,700 years (also known as the Holocene), cultural transitions have generally spread across entire societies with substantial technological advancements. But these transitions are usually accompanied (and perhaps linked) with climate and environmental changes, including sea level rise, the study notes.

Rising sea levels pose many dangers to society

The rate of global sea level rise during the early Holocene was at or above current rates – and overlaps with the shift from Mesolithic hunter-gatherers to the agricultural way of life of the Neolithic time. This is due to the rapid disintegration of ice caps in Scandinavia and North America.

The subsequent migration of coastal communities amid rising sea levels may have created a need for society to move to a Neolithic standard across Europe. Additionally, rising sea levels may have offered new opportunities for humans to migrate across northwestern Europe via expanding sea lanes.

However, sea level rise is a double-edged sword. While there are benefits and incentives for technological advancement, many threats arise – including coastal erosion, habitat endangerment, land loss, flooding, and land loss. crucial resources – endanger coastal society.

Humans generally adapt rather than flee the effects of rising sea levels

Taken together, these threats make island communities particularly vulnerable to the effects of the climate crisis – due to the scale of the changes taking place in an isolated location.

Scientists in the recent study combined pollen and char data from 17 sediment cores using optically stimulated luminescence and radiocarbon – in addition to population dynamics collected and inferred from regional archeology. Overall, they showed how the prehistoric populations of the region of Sicily (especially during the Bronze Age) adapted – rather than abandoned – to new island distributions in the middle of a period of gradual rise in sea level and major cultural changes.

So while we trade climate crisis memes of Brooklyn and San Francisco sinking into the sea with apocalyptic undertones – this latest study shows how, despite the substantial chaos and danger of sea level changes, human populations are more likely to adapt than to simply running away from a region – a storyline reconstructed in a brilliant piece of speculative fiction titled “New York 2140” by author Kim Stanley Robinson – in which Manhattan has turned into a Venice-like sci-fi metropolis, with new impressive vehicles and technologies.

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Lavrov: US does not want to abandon the “imperfect path” to world domination


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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The United States persists in its desire to continue its world domination, but it is absolutely counterproductive in the multipolar world, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the IRNA news agency.

“The main problem, in our view, is Washington’s continued reluctance to abandon its imperfect path to maintain US world domination, which was adopted in the early 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Today it is evident to everyone that such a policy is totally counterproductive, especially as the objective process of forming a fairer, more democratic and therefore more sustainable multipolar world order is taking hold. ‘magnitude before our eyes,’ Lavrov said in an interview ahead of his visit to Iran.

Despite this, the United States, supported by its European allies, “has taken aggressive steps aimed at destroying the UN-centric international legal architecture and replacing it with what is called” the order-based on the United Nations. rules ”, he continued.

Russia, the minister noted, does not object to the idea of ​​everyone following rules.

“[Y]And these rules should not be developed in a narrow circle including Washington and its satellites and bypassing the United Nations, but in universal formats involving all major global players on the basis of universally recognized standards of international law, ”he said. He underlines.

Russia is actively working to switch to national currencies in trade

Russia is actively working with its trading partners to to abandon West-controlled payment systems, Lavrov also told IRNA news agency.

“It is equally important to redouble our efforts to reduce the risks associated with [US] punishments [on Iran] and the potential expenses for economic operators. In particular, progressive steps should be taken to move towards de-dollarization of national economies and the transition to payments in national or alternative currencies, as well as to stop using international payment systems controlled by the West. Russia has been actively working towards this end, ”Lavrov said in an interview ahead of his visit to Iran.

“We see great prospects for cooperation in this area with all interested international partners,” added the senior Russian diplomat.

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Could Plaid be the next big IPO of 2021?

It has been a little over a year since Visa announced plans to acquire Plaid for $ 5.3 billion. Visa saw the fintech‘s in addition to its existing product line. He also liked how widely Plaid is used and how the company bridges the gap between financial institutions and financial application services.

However, those plans were halted in November when the Justice Department sued Visa to block the deal, citing antitrust concerns. Visa and Plaid canceled the acquisition in January, citing how long it would take to fight the lawsuit.

And just like that, Plaid found himself where he was before last year – all on his own, and considering his options.

I find this company intriguing, and the fallout from its deal with Visa makes me wonder: Could Plaid be the next big fintech to go public in 2021?

Image source: Getty Images.

Connect financial applications and banks

Plaid provides technology that allows customers to connect their bank accounts to apps. When you sign up for Venmo, Square, or Chime, for example, you can connect the app to your bank account just by logging in. The company has effectively created a bridge between consumer financial applications and more than 11,000 banking institutions, making these applications easier to use than ever.

The company earns money on the fees it charges applications that use its service. So if you connect your Square account to your bank account and transfer money, Square pays a fee to Plaid to facilitate the transaction.

What I find most intriguing about Plaid is the sheer number of its partners and the fact that many of them are huge names in fintech. It works with Robinhood, Square, Coinbase, Live Oak Bancshares, and Carvana, Just to name a few. These partnerships place Plaid in a privileged position for growth. As many of these big names go public and continue to grow, Plaid is expected to grow alongside them. In fact, Plaid’s last round of funding rated it three times higher than its rating just a year ago.

Caught in regulatory crosswinds

In January 2020, Visa and Plaid reached a deal valued at $ 5.3 billion. However, the US Department of Justice has Visa more and more scrutinized, claiming that its practices violate antitrust laws. The Justice Department alleged that Visa would block competition by acquiring Plaid, which the Department said was creating its own payments network that competed with Visa.

Visa and Plaid mutually agreed to drop the deal in January. For Plaid, that meant another fundraiser. Sources said recently Barron that Plaid was about to complete a fundraiser in the amount of $ 500-600 million. That would value the company at close to $ 10 billion to $ 15 billion.

The chances of a public offering in the near future are lower

With this funding soon secured, it seems less likely that Plaid will be made public in the near future. Some believed he was exploring a plan to go public via PSPC in January, but those rumors have cooled. A source said Barron that the company would not sell to a SAVS, and that “with $ 600 million, [Plaid] can be independent for a long time. “

The company doesn’t let the blocked acquisition deal deter it. In fact, the pandemic has done wonders for fintech as consumers increased their use of financial apps. John Pitts, policy manager at Plaid, said that “the number of consumer adoptions of fintech that we have seen during the pandemic is considerably higher than anything we have seen in the past five years. ‘previous existence’.

The company is optimistic about its future. Last May, he launched Plaid Exchange, a product that aims to help small financial institutions keep pace with the big players, in part by moving them away from models of credential sharing, thereby increasing privacy and privacy. transparency for consumers.

Not much is known about Plaid’s finances. Forbes reported that according to some estimates, the company’s revenue in 2019 was around $ 100-200 million. Considering the growing use of financial apps during the pandemic and the subsequent expansion of Plaid’s valuation, it’s safe to say that its sales are now much higher. While Plaid may not have plans to go public soon, I will be watching it closely.

This article represents the opinion of the author, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a premium Motley Fool consulting service. We are heterogeneous! Challenging an investment thesis – even one of our own – helps us all to think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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Venmo Touch will help Chicago’s Braintree mobile transactions surpass $ 2 billion annually – TechCrunch

Venmo Touch will help Chicago’s Braintree mobile transactions surpass $ 2 billion annually – TechCrunch

Brain, a payment gateway backed by Accel Partners and NEA, appears to have effectively doubled the volume of mobile transactions it sees per year to $ 2 billion. He now boasts 40 million credit card accounts in his safe.

How does this compare to the competition? eBay, which operates Paypal, said he had 123 million registered accounts in his last earnings filing and that it expects to generate around $ 20 billion in mobile commerce and payments volume. So while Braintree is even smaller, it’s one of the few notable emerging companies in the space. The Combinator’s Stripe is the other with its formidable concentration of technical talent.

Braintree made waves last year when it bought Venmo, a New York-based mobile payment startup that has made it easy and frictionless to transfer money via SMS and email.

The company kept the Venmo brand name when it launched a series of products including Venmo Touch, making it easy for consumers to store their payment information on a network of Braintree-supported apps like Hotel Tonight, Airbnb, and Uber. The idea is to reduce friction when entering credit card information, so that customers don’t give up on potential purchases.

Instead of having to re-enter your credit card information every time you sign up for a new Braintree-supported mobile service, Venmo Touch will automatically remember your payment details with just one click. Venmo Touch was in beta, but it’s now fully released and available to all Braintree merchants.

On top of that, they’re releasing a new iOS SDK, which will make it easier for developers to create a native checkout flow with UI images and text suggestions. It has a payment form, which already has a lot of credit card entry UI elements and other features that help detect typos. They will bring both Venmo Touch and an improved SDK to Android in the near future.

Brain has raised $ 69 million in venture capital to date from New Enterprise Associates, Accel Partners, RRE Ventures and Greycroft Partners. Find out venmo limit here.

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