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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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Salt lake city government

AM News Brief: Stargazing at Eagle Mountain, Parade Traffic in SLC and Smoky Air, and Exercise (everywhere)

Friday morning July 23, 2021

Northern Utah

Days of ’47 impacts the roads of downtown Salt Lake City

There are road closures in downtown Salt Lake City on Friday due to the Days of 47 parade and festivities. The Salt Lake City Police Department said the roads would be closed from 6 a.m. to around noon. The marathon and other races started at 5:30 a.m. Traffic may only cross intersections along the marathon route between runners; which includes Sunnyside, 1300 East and South Temple. Intersections will be fully closed along the parade route that begins at State and South Temple, heads south on 200 East, and turns on 900 South toward Liberty Park. UTA has increased TRAX and FrontRunner service before the parade begins at 9 a.m., but buses will run on Saturdays. – Elaine clark

Looking Up In Eagle Mountain

A new stargazing park is in the works at Eagle Mountain, Utah. The city announced Thursday that it is working with Utah Valley University and Facebook, which is giving the city a $ 250,000 grant for the project. The city plans to build an observatory and increase parking and toilets in the neighborhood. Officials said they were hopeful the new park would be designated as one of Utah’s Dark Sky sites. The construction schedule has not yet been determined. – Ross Terrell

Editor’s note: Facebook also supports KUER.

Southern Utah

Businesses struggle to find employees in Cedar City

Utah’s unemployment rate was the second lowest in the country last month, but businesses are struggling to find workers as the state’s economy rebounds from the pandemic. Shane Behunin owns All American Diner in Cedar City. He said it was one of the best years in terms of business – with everyone traveling and spending money. But he struggles to hire workers, even when he says he offers competitive wages and frequent bonuses. So now he’s spending more to have the employees work overtime just to keep the restaurant open. Toro Vaun owns Donuts Town in Cedar. He was looking for a baker, but said he was having a hard time keeping people around. Read the full story. – Lexi peery

Region / Nation

Home Secretary on drought strategies

US Home Secretary Deb Haaland said significant federal infrastructure investments were needed to protect existing water supplies. Haaland spoke Thursday at the start of a three-day visit to Colorado. His comments come as a historic drought grips the American West, and Haaland said all levels of government must work to reduce demand, including promoting water efficiency and recycling. She will also visit the new headquarters of the Bureau of Land Management in Grand Junction, which was moved from DC by the Trump administration in 2019.

Where there is smoke, there is air pollution

How too smoky is it to exercise outside? Boise State University environmental toxicologist Luke Montrose said it was essential to check the area’s Air Quality Index or AQI. From there, Montrose said the decision depended on factors like age or health risks, like asthma. He said the harder a person breathes, the shorter their exposure to poor air quality conditions should be. Everyone should definitely avoid going out when the AQI is above 200. In Utah, information is available at air.utah.gov. – Maggie Mullen, Mountain West Information Office


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Salt lake city

Visiting Greek Orthodox Archbishop meets Interfaith Council

The ties between Eastern and Western Christianity were fully visible on Tuesday when the head of the Greek Orthodox Church in America visited Utah’s top Roman Catholic leader.

Together, they – and representatives of the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable – emphasized the importance of dialogue and the need for interfaith unity.

The meeting was part of the visit to Salt Lake City by the Greek Orthodox Bishop Elpidophoros (Lambriniadis), the first trip to Utah by a Greek Orthodox archbishop since 2000, according to information from local Greek Orthodox leaders.

Tuesday evening’s reception was hosted by Bishop Oscar Solis, who leads more than 300,000 Roman Catholics in Utah, at the pastoral center of the Diocese of Salt Lake City.

The group subsequently toured downtown Salt Lake City. Madeleine Cathedral.

In his remarks to the Interfaith Roundtable, Elpidophoros underlined the meaning and impact of dialogue in interfaith relations.

The word “dialogue” in Greek generally refers to “an unusually diverse range of realities,” a definition which he says “resonates strongly” in an interfaith context.

“Dialogue becomes the key,” he said, “in which we are all called to dissolve our divisions, to heal hatred, to foster resilience, to fight against prejudices… [and] promote peace and reconciliation.

Elpidophoros said the Greek Orthodox Church recognizes differences but believes in cooperation and peace between religions. It really means listening to other points of view and accepting common values.

The real dialogue, Elpidophoros said, begins in families and communities.

“Make your faith, make your tradition richer,” he said. “Wealth comes from ecumenical values [of] listen to others [and] to receive all that is good.

Solis said Catholics follow Pope Francis’ advice in creating human relationships with people of all other faiths.

These relationships “define the course of our vision and our mission as a Catholic community,” he said. “We come from one God and we are all children of God. … and this is why we can easily see each other as brothers and sisters.

Muslim makes his own sacrifice

Elpidophoros especially thanked Zeynep Kariparduc, president of the Salt Lake City Interfaith Council and a Muslim woman, for attending the event when she could have celebrated Eid al-Adha, or the feast of sacrifice, with her family and friends.

As a native of Turkey, Elpidophoros said he understood the importance – indeed the sacrifice – of Kariparduc missing part of the Islamic holiday by several days.

He presented him with a silver medallion made in Istanbul that depicts Abraham or Ibrahim (a revered prophet in Christianity, Islam and Judaism) and his wife Sarah harboring three angels.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Archbishop Elpidophoros of America presents a medallion to Zeynep Kariparduc during a visit to the Cathedral of the Magdalen in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 20, 2021.

He also presented Solis with a silver cross made in Istanbul.

Kariparduc said people of different faiths should get to know each other so that they can better practice their own faith.

Tuesday night’s meeting was important, she said, because as religious leaders come to an agreement, so will their followers.

“Without the other, we cannot create a diverse society,” she said. “Religious leaders play a crucial role in establishing[ing] peaceful societies.

“Keeping our identity alive”

In an interview with The Salt Lake Tribune, Elpidophoros said it was important for him to visit every state and parish in the United States

In Salt Lake City, he said, there are two big parishes, “so we had to come.”

Although New York’s Greek Orthodox community is present across the country, Elpidophoros said these members have a lot in common with their brothers and sisters in Salt Lake City. Many of them have ancestors who came to the United States to pursue the American dream; they pray, go to school and participate in cultural events together.

“The church is for us always the place where we keep our identity alive”, he declared, “… [our] cultural, linguistic and religious identity.

At the same time, said Elpidophoros, each parish adapts to its state and community in different ways. That is why he wants to know first-hand the needs and expectations of each parish.

Other appointments await you

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Archbishop Elpidophoros of America and Bishop Oscar A. Solis meet at the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 20, 2021.

This week’s historic visit to Elpidophoros comes as the Utahns mark the entry of Mormon pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley 174 years ago.

It is “a bit unprecedented” for an archbishop to visit a place for almost a week, the archbishop said. Rev. Archimandrite George Nikas, the presiding priest of the Great Salt Lake Greek Orthodox Church. “So we are very excited and very honored to have this happen.”

Throughout his visit, Elipidophoros met with a number of senior government and religious leaders.

He is scheduled to meet with Governor Spencer Cox on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning with the ruling First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall. He is due to meet with Rep. Burgess Owens, R-Utah, on Saturday.

The Archbishop will also spend time in the Greek Orthodox churches of the Wasatch Front, including Holy Trinity Cathedral in downtown Salt Lake City, Prophet Elias in Holladay, St. Anna in Sandy, and the Church of the Transfiguration in Ogden. .

Nikas said he and other Greek Orthodox leaders in Utah would brief Elpidophoros on the community’s philanthropic work, as well as the progress of building the church’s proposed $ 300 million Greek town around the cathedral. of the Holy Trinity.

Nikas said Elpidophoros, who moved to his new post in 2019, is from Istanbul and a longtime theology professor. He made headlines last year when he attended a Black Lives Matter protest in Brooklyn.

“It is our moral duty and our obligation to defend the sanctity of every human being. We have faced a pandemic of serious physical illness, but the spiritual illness in our country runs even deeper and must be healed with actions as well as words, ”he told Greek journalist at the time. “And so, I will continue to stand on the sidelines with all those who are committed to preserving peace, justice and equality for every goodwill citizen, regardless of race, religion, gender or ethnicity. . “


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Utah economy

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

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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.

Conclusion

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 www.ascendantagriculture.com.

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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Salt lake city

This Fox Group-designed Salt Lake City home features a sleek underground basketball court

When you think of a laundry room, what do you imagine? A dark, oversized closet, maybe – with a waste sink, if you’re lucky? The husband and wife designer duo Cara and Tom Fox, founders of The Renard Group, will not tolerate such a boring space. You will never find a part that is not both functional and beautiful in all the houses they touched.

So, in a recent project for a family in Salt Lake City, Cara Fox designed a laundry room that was both stylish and practical. “The client isn’t afraid to be girly and who she is,” says Fox. To that end, the room features Schumacher floral wallpaper, pink and white striped tiled floors, and a bespoke giant pink table with a marble top. Christopher Scott Cabinetmaking. As for function: there’s an oversized farmhouse sink with a Carrara marble backsplash, as well as plenty of cabinetry.

Thanks to Fox’s impeccable attention to detail, it’s not just the sunny laundry room that has received special favor. In the kitchen, for example, Fox wanted to showcase the unique floor-to-ceiling slabs of Calacatta Gold marble that adorned the walls. Rather than covering them with cupboards, she moved most of the storage into a sleek butler’s pantry tucked away in a hallway behind the main cooking area. To boot, she created a large, bespoke room to hide the fridge and other kitchen appliances like the toaster and stand mixer. “I call it the home appliance center,” she said. “It’s super functional, but very cleverly hidden.”

Lindsay Salazar

The family, who love to host events big and small, turned to Fox to revamp several entertainment spaces in the 8,000 square foot sprawl. This includes the formal dining room, which has custom built-in storage space on either side of the fireplace and houses the client’s substantial porcelain and silverware collection. Thoughtful touches make cabinets more than just a grouping of shelves and drawers. Fox chose a revolutionary design to make the rooms more consistent with the classic Dutch colonial exterior of the mansion, and also added details like sculpted flowers that match the golden handles. An ethereal mural by local artist Tyler Huntzinger brings more nature with images of native sycamores, oaks and junipers.

As sophisticated as the residence is, it is home to four children. Fox therefore made sure that its interior would also appeal to the little ones. Good to know: One of the girls’ bedrooms, straight out of an English garden with Schumacher floral-print wallpaper and white lattice details, features a bespoke alcove bed and wardrobes and creative shelves that have room for everything from toys to shoes. “The room looks like a cohesive space,” says Fox. “You don’t really realize, ‘Oh, that’s the closet right there, and there’s the shoe storage.'”

“The client is not afraid to be girly and to be who she is”

If there’s one space in the house that perfectly combines adults’ appreciation for high-end design with children’s high energy, it’s the underground basketball court. “We thought, ‘let’s make this ground beautiful,’” says Fox. The result: a herringbone white oak courtyard. Unique? Certainly. But more importantly: the kids approve.


Cooked

cooked

Lindsay Salazar

cooked

Lindsay Salazar

“We took our inspiration from the English office cabinets and made it a specific size for everyday dishes and cups,” Fox says of the cabinets on either side of the range. Vary: Workshop with a custom walnut hood designed by The Fox Group. Wall lights: Julie Neill Lighting. Walls: Calacatta Gold marble. Brass pendant lights: Ralph Lauren with a custom shade of Schumacher Fabric. Tap: Water stone. Sink: Shaws.


Music chamber

Music chamber

Lindsay Salazar

“I think the stars of this room are the fitted wardrobes. They have a real barrel arch inside the shelves, ”says Fox. The piano is a heirloom from the client’s grandmother. Fireplace tiles: Delftiles. Integrated: Christopher Scott Cabinetmaking. Couch: Customer’s own, re-upholstered in Schumacher Fabric. Slipper chairs: Phew. Low table: Phew. Chandelier: Périgold. Lattice wall: Made from custom hand cut diamond shaped boxes.


Dining room

dining room

Lindsay Salazar

The mural here, painted by Tyler Huntzinger, features Utah landscapes that guests love, from seas of trees to mountain scenes. The local artist also painted details in 24k gold on the floor and ceiling. Built-in and dining table: Customized by Christopher Scott Cabinetmaking. Chairs: Customer’s own, covered with Schumacher Fabric.


The living room

the living room

Lindsay Salazar

the living room

Lindsay Salazar

“We knew we wanted this room to have a ‘wow’ factor with the two story windows facing the pool,” says Fox. “But we softened the look with the curtains.” Curtains: Schumacher Fabric. Plants: Source by EBW design. Chandelier: Ralph Lauren. Fireplace: Made of bluish limestone. TV: Samsung, with a personalized gold frame. Couch: Customer’s own, covered with Schumacher Fabric. The couches: Customer’s own, covered with Sister parish Fabric.


Main bathroom

bedroom

Lindsay Salazar

The chic master bathroom features white paneling and bespoke vanities. Bathtub: Aqueduct. Vanities: Custom designed by The Fox Group. Mirrors: The Fox Shop.


Master bedroom

bathroom

Lindsay Salazar

For the master bedroom, “we wanted to bring that garden feel,” says Fox. “The flowers, the butterflies, the birds and all the open light.” Wallpaper: Schumacher. Curtains: Schumacher. Chairs: Customer’s own, re-upholstered in Schumacher Fabric. Bed: Custom made by The Fox Group. Sheets: Matouk. Wicker vase: Mainly baskets. Ground: White oak herringbone.


Bathroom

Bathroom

Lindsay Salazar

Although guests live in Salt Lake City, they love the East Coast. For the office powder room, Fox used a preppy nautical print to evoke this region of the United States. Vanity: Aqueduct. Mirror: The Fox Shop. Wall lights: Visual comfort. Wallpaper: Schumacher.


Laundry room

Laundry detergent

Lindsay Salazar

This area is decidedly girly. “The client is not afraid to be who she is,” says Fox. Wallpaper: Schumacher. Sink: Shaws. Board: Customized by Christopher Scott Cabinetmaking.


Girls bathroom

bathroom

Lindsay Salazar

The two girls share this bathroom, which they nicknamed “Jill and Jill”. Bathtub: Vintage Tub & Tub, with a custom color. Tile: Carrara marble. Paintings: Vintage.


Basketball court

basketball court

Lindsay Salazar

The sleek basketball court reinforces the home design game with a cool herringbone pattern. Ground: White oak.


Doll house

doll house

Lindsay Salazar

The dollhouse is huge – five feet tall! – and an exact replica of the real house, having been built from the same materials.


Butler’s Pantry

butler's pantry

Lindsay Salazar

The Butler’s Pantry features the same fabric that Jackie Kennedy used when she remodeled the White House. Curtain fabric: Schumacher. Tiles: Carrara and Bardiglio marble. Drawers: Personalized in 24 karat gold. Sink: Shaws.


Girl’s room

bedroom

Lindsay Salazar

“We wanted this room to look like a secret garden,” says Fox. Bed and built-in wardrobes: Custom designed by The Fox Group. Wallpaper: Schumacher. Pouf: Made to measure by Lee Industries. Sheets: Matouk.


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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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Salt lake city government

Drought in Utah City Halts Growth

OAKLEY, Utah – In the western United States, a summer of record drought, heat waves and mega-fires exacerbated by climate change is forcing millions of people to face an inevitable series of reshuffling disasters. question the future of growth.

Groundwater and vital waterways for farmers and cities are drying up. Fires devour homes built deeper into the wilderness and forests. The extreme heat makes working outdoors more dangerous and life without air conditioning potentially fatal. While the summer monsoon rains have recently brought some relief to the southwest, 99.9% of Utah is locked in severe drought conditions and the reservoirs are less than half full.

Yet cheap housing is still scarce than water in much of Utah, whose population grew 18% from 2010 to 2020, making it the fastest growing state in the world. country. Cities across the west fear that stopping development to conserve water will only worsen an accessibility crisis that spans Colorado to California.

In the small mountain town of Oakley, about an hour’s drive from Salt Lake City, the spring that pioneers once used to water their hay fields and fill people’s taps for decades has shrunk to a trickle. in the scorching drought of this year. City officials have therefore taken drastic measures to preserve their water: they have stopped building.

During the pandemic, the real estate market in their city of 1,500 people exploded as remote workers poured in from the west coast and second home owners staked out ranches on weekends. But these newcomers need water – water that disappears as a mega drought dries up reservoirs and rivers in the West.

So this spring, Oakley imposed a moratorium on the construction of new homes that would be connected to the city’s water system. It is one of the first cities in the United States to deliberately slow down growth due to a lack of water. But it could be a harbinger of things to come in a warmer, drier West.

“Why do we build houses if we don’t have enough water? Said Wade Woolstenhulme, the mayor, who in addition to raising horses and judging rodeos, has spent the past few weeks defending the building moratorium. “The right thing to do to protect the people who are already here is to restrict the entry of people. “

Farmers and ranchers – who use 70 to 80 percent of all water – let their fields turn brown or sell cows and sheep they can no longer graze. Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said all fields on the family farm, except one, had dried up.

“It’s just brutal right now,” said Mr. Cox, who also called on worshipers to pray for rain. “If we continue to grow at the current rate and experience another drought like this in 10 years, there will be real implications for drinking water. That’s what worries me the most. “

For now, most places are trying to avoid the worst of the drought through conservation rather than turning off the growth tap. State officials say there is still plenty of clean water and there are no plans to prevent people from moving in and building.

“An important consideration for many politicians is that they don’t want to be seen as an under-resourced community,” said Katharine Jacobs, who heads the University of Arizona’s Climate Adaptation Research Center.

In states in the region, Western water providers have threatened $ 1,000 fines or arrests if they find customers flouting restrictions on lawn sprinklers or flushing the driveway. Governments are spending millions to pull up grass, reuse wastewater, build new storage systems and recharge depleted aquifers – conservation measures that have helped desert cities like Las Vegas and Tucson reduce their water use even as their populations exploded. In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom has called for 15% reductions in water use, but so far these have been largely voluntary.

But the water now hangs over many construction debates. Water authorities in Marin County, California, which has the lowest rainfall in 140 years, are considering stopping allowing new water connections to homes.

Developers located in a dry desert expanse between Phoenix and Tucson must prove they have access to 100 years of water to get permits to build new homes. But the extensive pumping of groundwater – mainly for agriculture – has left the region with little water for future development.

Many developers see the need to find new sources of water. “Water will and should be – as far as our arid southwest is concerned – the limiting factor for growth,” said Spencer Kamps, vice president of legislative affairs for the Home Builders Association of Central Arizona. “If you can’t guarantee the water supply, obviously development shouldn’t take place. “

At the end of last month, the state’s water department announced that it would not approve any applications for developers seeking to use groundwater in the region. The move raised concerns among local developers, who said the restrictions would make it more difficult to meet the needs of Arizona’s voracious housing market.

In Utah, Oakley and the nearby farming town of Henefer pledge not to expand until they can get reliable new water sources by drilling or pumping – a costly and uncertain prospect.

“These towns are canaries in the coal mine,” said Paul D. Brooks, professor of hydrology at the University of Utah. “They can’t count to go to the tap and turn on the water. Climate change is coming home right now, and it’s hitting us hard. “

In the 1800s, water was one of Oakley’s main draws for white settlers. The town sits next to the Weber River, and its water and other mountain sources irrigated farmland and supported the dairies that once dotted the valley.

It’s still a conservative farming community where the ragged Trump flags of 2020 fly and the mayor doubts man-made climate change. Its beauty and location half an hour from the glitz of Park City Ski Resort made it a good deal for foreigners.

Utah law has allowed Oakley City Council to pass only a six-month moratorium on construction, and the city hopes it can tap into a new water source before deciding whether to reactivate the moratorium or to let it expire.

A project that would build up to 36 new homes on a tree-covered pasture near the town’s glacier is on hold.

“You feel bad for the people who saved up to build a house in Oakley,” said Mr Woolstenhulme, the mayor, as he drove through town pointing out the dusty fields that would normally be rich in alfalfa. The distant mountains were blurred by the haze of forest fires. “I hate government violations in people’s lives, but it’s like having children: every once in a while you have to get tough. “

Oakley plans to spend up to $ 2 million to drill a 2,000-foot-deep water well to reach what authorities hope is an untapped aquifer.

But 30 miles north of Oakley, past dry irrigation ditches, crumpled brown hills, and the Echo Reservoir – 28% full and down – is the town of Henefer, where new construction has been arrested for three years. Right now, Henefer is trying to tap into new sources to provide water for landscaping and outdoor use – and save its precious drinking water.

“The people of the city don’t like it,” Mayor Kay Richins said of the building moratorium. “I do not like it.”

Experts say smaller towns are particularly vulnerable. And few places in Utah are as small or dry as Echo, a jumble of homes squeezed between a freight railroad and stunning red rock cliffs. Echo was already having trouble hanging on after the two cafes closed. Then, its spring-fed water supply hit critical lows this summer.

Echo’s water manager transports drinking water by truck from neighboring towns. People fear that the water needed to put out a single bushfire could deplete their reservoirs.

At home, JJ Trussell and Wesley Winterhalter have let their lawns turn yellow and shower sparingly. But some neighbors still let their sprinklers spray, and Mr Trussell feared the small community his grandparents had helped build was about to dry up and fly away.

“It is very possible that we will lose our only source of water,” he said. “It would make life here almost impossible.”


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Salt lake city

Salt Lake City Council candidate claims to be the target of politically charged vandalism

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – A candidate for Salt Lake City city council claims to be the victim of politically charged vandalism. Nigel Swaby is running to represent the residents of Salt Lake City’s Second District.

Swaby believes he is being targeted for comments he made at a city council meeting regarding police funding and developments in the neighborhood.

“Try to explain to a six-year-old why your house is painted overnight,” Swaby said.

Swaby told ABC4 he was under attack for having opinions different from others.

“I went to take my daughter to Lagoon for her birthday yesterday morning and when I stepped back, on the fence there were two spray painted slogans with my name on it,” Swaby said.

Graffiti claiming he is racist and “hates the poor” covered his fence Sunday morning.

“For someone to tell me something like that… has no basis in reality,” Swaby said.

The graffiti comes just a day after he claims to have found a tire on his lawn.

“They absolutely do not want me to be elected to city council. They think I’m a developer, I’m not… I’m a real estate agent, ”Swaby said.

Swaby is running for a seat on Salt Lake City Council. However, he said he was harassed because of what he said at city council meetings recently.

“One of the comments I made to the planning committee was that I wish it was a ‘for sale’ project instead of all these rentals that are hurting a lot of people in Salt Lake City.” , Swaby said.

He also says his take on police funding adds fuel to the fire.

“That was about a month ago when Salt Lake City was considering side hiring for its budget and I spoke up for that. I think Salt Lake City needs more cops, not fewer cops, ”Swaby said.

Swaby did not want to name the group he says is behind the vandalism.

“They are definitely part of the free speech ecosystem. But when you go from an organized protest to graffiti on the house of someone you don’t agree with, I think you’ve crossed the line, ”Swaby said.

Although he fears being targeted again, he has said he will not back down.

“It’s not going to work. I’m not going to stop running for District Two because of the paint on my fence,” Swaby said.


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