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Utah economy

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.

Reference

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.

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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 https://www.npr.org.
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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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