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Here are the 14 Salt Lake City schools proposed for possible boundary changes or closures

The proposed list is on the agenda for the Tuesday school board meeting.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Mr. Lynn Bennion Elementary School in Salt Lake City is featured in 2019, when it was proposed for closure. School board members decided to keep the school open, but it is now on a proposed new study list of schools that might be considered for boundaries or closure.

In the face of declining enrollment that accelerated in the fall of 2020, Salt Lake City School Board members began the process of evaluating schools for potential boundary changes or closures.

Council members asked Superintendent Timothy Gadson to develop a study list earlier this month, after hearing that the expected continued decline in enrollment next year would support 76.5 fewer teaching positions, according to its school staffing formula. The council voted to cut 42 jobs instead, which district officials expect to be able to do through retirements and attrition, without layoffs.

Tuesday’s board meeting agenda includes a proposed study list in Gadson by Paul Schulte, Executive Director of District Auxiliary Services, Feb. 17. He suggests rating 14 elementary schools into five groups, based on building age, enrollment, usage, and proximity to other schools. Franklin Elementary School is the only school listed in multiple groups.

(The original list released by the district incorrectly included Wasatch Elementary twice and omitted Washington Elementary. This story has been updated to reflect and link to the corrected list.)

(Christopher Cherrington | The Salt Lake Tribune)

Schulte’s list will be presented for further questions and advice from council members on Tuesday, district spokesman Yándary Chatwin said.

Under district procedures for boundary changes and school closuresGadson was expected to gather information to present to the board by the end of February.

The next step outlined in the procedure is for the board to approve an official study list, and then from March through May, district staff would meet with representatives from each school. From May to June, an options committee – convened by Gadson – would develop a list of suggestions he considers viable, for presentation to the board in July.

The Gadson-appointed options committee may create a different list than Schulte’s proposal, Chatwin noted.

School board members are not expected to comment on Schulte’s list at their Tuesday meeting, Chatwin said. Her suggestion to assess schools in clusters allows the board to consider the impact closing one school would have on others around it, she added.

Some schools on Schulte’s list offer unique options that may need to migrate elsewhere if closed. For example, Franklin and Emerson Elementary Schools offer special education programs. Mary W. Jackson, Emerson, and Hawthorne Elementary Schools offer dual-immersion Spanish learning. Emerson’s program is also part of the district’s gifted classes, known as the Extended Learning Program, and Hawthorne is also a loving ELP school.

Several of the schools on the proposed new list were evaluated in 2019 by a committee of district employees and parents. The group suggested the closure of Mr. Lynn Bennion Elementary, located near downtown at 429 S. 800 East.

Although the school board did not close Bennion at this time, his enrollment continued to decline, and he is on the proposed new list of studies.

Bennion and six other schools on the proposed new list were identified as “underutilized” in the 2019 review, meaning they can accommodate an additional 250 or more students. These schools are Ensign, Franklin, Nibley Park, Parkview, Riley, and Washington.

Bennion, Edison and Riley are the three Salt Lake City elementary schools on the proposed list where all students come from low-income families. (There are five such elementary schools in the district, including Liberty and Meadowlark, according to the district. 2021 Enrollment Report.)

Bennion parents, teachers and students opposed the suggested closure at an emotional meeting in February 2019. They told the council that more than a quarter of Bennion students were homeless and that at least 30 children lived in the nearby women’s shelter for victims of domestic violence. a few blocks. Nearly 65% ​​of the students belonged to minorities.

As a Title I school, Bennion receives additional federal funding due to its proportion of low-income families—one of several such schools on the proposed new list.

(Christopher Cherrington | The Salt Lake Tribune)

Resources

• District neighborhood maps and the school board member from each constituency.

• The neighborhood procedures for reviewing boundary changes and school closures.

• The District’s Fall 2021 Enrollment Report. The numbers for each school are usually slightly lower than the numbers used in a more recent budget report to the blackboard.

• The 2019 Fair Use of Buildings report.

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Latest cut shows Salt Lake City is plagued by poor homelessness policy

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Salt Lake City Police participate in the clearance of Fort Pioneer, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022.

Recently, I witnessed another example of the failure of Salt Lake City‘s homeless policy when the residents of Fort Pioneer were evicted. The reduction of the camp, under an anonymous, industrial overpass far removed and ironically within sight of the Deseret Industries “welfare plaza” silo, displaced more than a hundred people.

Some people left early for the sake of self-preservation, but many couldn’t or simply refused. Living on the streets cost these workers and all those who refused to be evicted their means of survival – tents and warm bedding, work tools and clothing, and anything else worth preserved, from life-saving medicines to the ashes of family members, even the identification needed to access future services.

And what is the cost to taxpayers of this abuse of power? We will never know the true cost of the countless cops in bulletproof vests doing the time and a half, the multiple dump trucks driving back and forth to the dump, the tow trucks dragging cars and RVs to pounds already overcrowded with other roaming city sweeps, health department and pickups. All those resources we repeatedly assign to repeatedly disrupt the lives of a few wandering humans and then do it again next week. The dollar cost of each operation is surely measured in the hundreds of thousands, not to mention the fundraisers that follow for impound fees and bail. The emotional trauma and fallout of losing your home and having nothing is even harder to measure, let alone overcome.

Mayor Mendenhall blames other towns in the valley for kicking the homeless. Other valley mayors blame the state legislature or the health department for the cuts. If you ask around enough, the swipes would seem like nobody’s responsibility.

But the police don’t fund themselves, they tend to do as they are told.

Although no one with the required power wanted to stop this particular reduction (despite only four shelter beds available that day), the recent sweep was just one of many, and it won’t be. surely not the last. The evictees are probably camping in another unnamed location; I hope their sleep will not be interrupted.

Rather than continuing to spend taxpayers’ money on police-enforced sanitation cuts, why not just provide the missing services such as bathrooms and showers, trash removal, tents and electric blankets? ?

Jake Trimble, Salt Lake City

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See the latest $20 million vision for Salt Lake City’s Pioneer Park upgrade

New plans call for the addition of trees, a clubhouse, and pickleball and basketball courts, while improving walkways and spaces for the popular downtown farmers’ market.

(Salt Lake City) A conceptual vision of improvements to Pioneer Park in downtown Salt Lake City, a glimpse of the renovated park looking south.

Editor’s Note This story is available only to Salt Lake Tribune subscribers. Please support local journalism.

Salt Lake City is finalizing a new $20 million vision for the renovation of Pioneer Park as the downtown area surrounding it continues to grow in population.

The latest of many plans for this premier urban green space was presented to a positive but cautious city council this week. Concepts developed by city staff and the Salt Lake City-based design studio — and gleaned from public feedback — include new groves of trees, remodeled walkways, better lighting, a performance pavilion , additional sports facilities and other amenities intended to make the 10-acre park more inclusive and attractive.

There would also be a new drought-sensitive water misting feature, a playground, two new nearby transit stations and improved spaces for the park’s popular downtown farmers’ market, according to reports. newer concepts, which city officials say are still being worked on.

(Salt Lake City) A conceptual vision for improvements to Pioneer Park in downtown Salt Lake City. (1) A water mist feature. (2) and (3) signs. (4) transit station stops. (5) self-cleaning toilets.

It’s the oldest park in Utah’s capital, with 175 years of history and a reputation in recent decades for being run down and prone to crime and vagrancy. After many discussions and several proposals for improvement put aside since 2003, these plans could become reality as early as 2023.

Assuming, that is, the city leaders choose to allocate the money.

“The project looks amazing,” said new council member Alejandro Puy, representing District 2 on the West Side. “Hopefully we can do that.”

The area has added more residents since 2010 than any other part of the city, and at least 1,016 more homes are now planned within a 15-minute walk of the block-sized park. Still, parks in general remain scarce in the urban core and rising land values ​​are making it harder for the city to create new green spaces, according to city manager Kristin Riker. Public Lands Department.

(Salt Lake City) A conceptual vision for improvements to Pioneer Park in downtown Salt Lake City. This east-facing view illustrates some of the plan’s visions for the downtown farmers’ market.

Residents of the park and across the city have consistently been supportive of its improvement in a series of surveys. The latest survey reveals that half of those questioned are extremely or somewhat dissatisfied with the park in its current state.

The latest plan, Riker said, focuses on improving the park’s natural features with more shade trees planted than would be removed and new expanses of natural vegetation. The upgrades would also aim to increase comfort in hopes of attracting more visitors, with new seating, toilets, a cafe and a ranger station.

Security would also be enhanced, Riker said, with more round-the-clock operations, staff, and designs that provide open sightlines across the park. And there would be new basketball and pickleball courts, lawn games and improvements to the dog park.

“This will truly be your downtown park,” Riker added, echoing the city’s theme as he solicited public input on his new designs.

(Salt Lake City) A conceptual vision for improvements to Pioneer Park in downtown Salt Lake City. This southeast view shows part of a proposed pavilion and reconfigured walkways.

History also looms large in the city. External consultants made Pioneer Park the subject of the very first “Cultural Landscape Report”, detailing its rich past as a guide for future upgrades. Plans for the park will get their second airing before the city Historic Monuments Commission early March.

The city has $3.4 million in park impact fees charged to developers, which could help propel Pioneer Park’s new vision, Riker said. The wave of downtown apartment construction could generate an additional $2.9 million in costs.

Meanwhile, discussions are underway at City Hall about putting a new bond in front of voters to help pay for a host of new open-air amenities, including Pioneer Park. Regardless of the city’s efforts, businesses supported Pioneer Park Coalition is seeking an additional $15 million for the park from the Utah Legislature.

(Salt Lake City) A conceptual vision for improvements to Pioneer Park in downtown Salt Lake City. This north-facing view depicts a proposed concert and event pavilion in the park.

Coalition lobbyist Scott Howell said Pioneer Park’s request has so far received a mixed reception from state budget lawmakers as they approach their March 4 adjournment. But the idea, Howell said, is that any money from state coffers would be matched by surrounding business owners.

“We’re not there yet,” Riker said of the $15 million request. “We are still waiting to see if the funds arrive.”

For its part, Salt Lake City is expected to incur new Pioneer Park spending as part of its annual program. capital improvement budget — and it is not done.

While receptive to the new vision, Puy and other council members said Tuesday that before allocating additional funds to Pioneer Park, they wanted to balance the budgetary needs of other city parks. Also vying on that priority list, they said, are Allen Park on the east side; a new regional park being considered to replace the now closed Glendale Water Park on the west side; and the possibility of creating new public green space on the city-owned Fleet Block on the eastern edge of the Granary district.

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We elected the most diverse city council in history. Now what?

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Alejandro Puy, District 2, is sworn in as a member of the Salt Lake City Council, Monday, Jan. 3, 2022.

Last November, when thousands of West Salt Lake voters cast their ballots, I became the first-ever Latino elected to represent Salt Lake City‘s most diverse community. (District 2 is a predominantly Latino district, with a very diverse mix of cultures and nationalities.)

If you’re surprised by this, you wouldn’t be the first, and you’re certainly not the only one. The truth is that critical barriers to entry still exist for minorities seeking to run for office. Only when we understand what barriers exist can we break them down, paving the way for a new generation of diverse representation in Salt Lake City and our state. The incredible time commitment, the expectation of a traditional education in a decidedly non-traditional world, economic demands, trust, and political connections can leave everyday Utahns behind when it comes to representation.

But politics – becoming an elected official and serving your community – shouldn’t be open only to white, educated, wealthy people. We always talk about the lack of diversity in elected and volunteer positions; how valuable voices from different backgrounds are in our government. We desperately need diverse voices, but now this City Council I serve on, in tandem with Salt Lake County and the State of Utah, must do all we can to break down the walls we’ve had to cross to get here, when no one else ever has to fight.

I know the walls first hand. As a recently naturalized immigrant, I had to balance my personal obligations, putting many of them on hiatus, and my desire to serve my community. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to take time off from work from the day I filed my application until the end of our campaign. I am single and I have no children. I worked in politics, made connections, and knew what it took to run in Salt Lake City for years before I decided to file a case. I was lucky, and the system shouldn’t just reward the lucky ones.

But how do you open up the opportunity to others: the single mother on the West Side, who works two jobs, who wants to serve her community to create a better future for her children — how to create a town where she can volunteer for a city council or run for office without it creating an undue burden on his life?

Provide plenty of affordable and accessible childcare opportunities, expand public access to technology like a working computer and webcam that is imperative for joining boardrooms, running and showing up at virtual town halls and meetings constituencies, and making advanced civic education easily accessible to all are good starts. Yet they demand that all of our city councils, our county council, and our state legislature come together to make representation for all of us truly possible for all of us.

I will continue to work to make the application more accessible to everyone. And if you are eager to serve your neighbors as a volunteer or elected official, I hope you will join me in breaking down barriers and creating a stronger, more representative Salt Lake City where all voices are heard and valued.

Alejandro “Ale” Puy | Salt Lake City Council

Alejandro “Ale” Puy represents District 2 on the Salt Lake City Council.

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Utah legislature decisions reflect tensions between local and state government

The Utah State Capitol Building reflects sunlight. Recent legislative decisions targeting education and public health reflect a pattern of disagreement between state and local government. (Decker Westenburg)

Recent decisions by the Utah legislature targeting education and public health reflect a pattern of disagreement between state and local government.

The Utah legislature ended mask mandates in Salt Lake and Summit counties from Jan. 21 to SJR3, despite conflicting views from local leaders. Earlier this month, Governor Spencer Cox signed into law HB183 which suspended the “test to stay” requirement in public schools and said instead that local leaders make the final decision on whether a school district becomes remote.

Cities and local governments are “creatures” of the state and have the legislature’s permission to make decisions, said University of Utah political science professor Dave Buhler.

“But if the legislature doesn’t like the way it wields its power, it can step in and change the rules,” Buhler said.

Buhler has seen many examples throughout his political career of conflicting decisions between the local and state level. As a state senator, he introduced bills to override city council decisions he disliked. But a few years later, as a member of the Salt Lake City Council, he had a different view and thought: “The Legislature leaves us alone, we get it.

He shared an old saying in politics: “Where you stand depends on where you sit.”

Angela Dunn, MD, is executive director of the Salt Lake County Health Department. Dunn acknowledged lawmakers had the power to overturn the county’s mask mandate in a Jan. 20 interview with KSL NewsRadio.

“I think it’s unfortunate given their priority of keeping control at the local level for the COVID response,” she said.

According to Buhler, it is not an excess of state power for the legislature to terminate local public health orders because it has the power to do so.

“It’s not that unusual, but I feel like the legislature over time has become more and more assertive, both about local governments and in its dealings with the state executive. “, did he declare.

Local control “railing”

HB183 sponsor rep Jordan Teuscher, R-South Jordan, said local control is extremely important to him, but as a state legislator, it’s part of his job to put up “guardrails.” around him. SB107, signed into law in March 2021, had already had heads of state approve a district’s request to go remotely. The new law gives additional procedures for districts to follow and requires approval from the Governor, Speaker of the Senate, Speaker of the House, and State Superintendent before logging on.

Teuscher said school districts did not have enough COVID-19 tests to implement testing to stay through the omicron spike when required by law. Heads of state decided to suspend the test to remain in response to these concerns. If the districts want to test to stay, they can, but there is no longer an obligation.

“So in some ways it made local control over the test to stay and then just set the parameters to how someone would request remote days,” he said.

But state involvement in local issues like education and public health is a concern for some.

“I think it’s more political than anything else,” said Steven Sylvester, a political science professor at Utah Valley University.

Parents already have a democracy — school boards and city councils — where they can voice their objections, Sylvester said. “Why does the state need to get involved? »

According to Adam Brown, a BYU political science professor who studies state constitutional politics, there is no doubt that the legislature has the power to set broad policies at the local level. For example, states have independent authority while cities, counties, and school districts only have delegated state powers. States have their own constitutions, cities do not.

But HB183 raised constitutionality issues because it gave the Speaker of the House and the Speaker of the Senate vetoes over certain school district decisions, even though they don’t have the executive power to do so under the constitution of the state.

“The Utah Constitution gives the President and the Speaker of the Senate the power to organize the business of their respective chambers, but not to make binding decisions on their own authority,” Brown said. tweeted. “Changing that would presumably require an amendment to the Utah Constitution, not just a law.”

Attorneys Brent D. Wride and Paul C. Burke called on Governor Cox to veto HB183 in an op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune and claimed he violated Utah’s separation of powers doctrine by assigning powers executives to legislative officers.

“The constitutional flaw in House Bill 183 is that it violates our state’s constitution by granting legislative officers the power to interpret and apply the law,” they wrote.

In response, Teuscher and prosecution sponsor Senator Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, wrote in another op-ed that Article III of the Utah Constitution requires the legislature to establish and maintain the education system. public: the system will be, and any exceptions that might apply.

National model

The United States and Utah flags flutter in the wind at the Utah State Capitol. Some of Utah’s political science professors view the legislature’s involvement in local issues as a broader pattern both in the state and nationwide. (Emma Gadesky)

Some of Utah’s political science professors view the legislature’s involvement in local issues as a broader pattern both in the state and nationwide.

“Whenever the federal government proposes an action that would force states to follow a particular course, you can expect Utah lawmakers to kick and shout and insist on the virtue of local control,” Brown said.

But in Utah, that faith in local control does not extend to restricting the legislature’s control over cities, counties and school districts, he said: ‘And maybe that is logically inconsistent.”

Josh McCrain, a professor of political science at the University of Utah, said state interference in local issues such as education has no basis in real conservatism. It’s counterintuitive to classic party beliefs like individual choice, freedom and small government, he said.

In 2018, Utahans voted to legalize medical marijuana in Proposition 2. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, state lawmakers replaced the voter-approved proposition with the Cannabis Act. Utah Medical. Democrats have argued that the legislature should not overrule voters who approved the ballot initiative the previous month.

Further overbreadth issues arose after former Governor Gary Herbert signed into law HB3005 in May 2020. The law required the governor to notify certain members of the legislature before declaring a state of emergency. Rep. Merrill Nelson, R-Grantsville, worried the legislature was overstepping the bounds and said it seemed unnecessary and excessive, The Daily Universe reported.

Beyond Utah, state governments have a history of getting involved in social issues at the local level. In North Carolina, McCrain said some cities were willing to have progressive gender bathroom policies, but the Republican state government disagreed.

Utah lawmakers in the House of Representatives and Senate are 78 percent Republican and 22 percent Democrat, but the Salt Lake area is more liberal. (Made with Adobe Illustrator by Emma Gadeski)

North Carolina passed House Bill 2 in 2016, which required people in public buildings to use the bathroom that matches the sex on their birth certificate, regardless of their gender identity. This led to boycotts and cost the state millions in lost tourist revenue.

“It had a massive economic backlash because a ton of industry left the state after that, which of course is something that can happen at any time,” McCrain said.

Utah’s legislature is 78% Republican in 2022, but Salt Lake is more liberal. In 2020, 53.6% of Salt Lake County voted for President Joe Biden in the presidential election, compared to 37.6% statewide.

McCrain said it’s important for Utah to control what happens in Salt Lake City because it’s the “economic powerhouse” of the state.

“We usually see this in contexts where it’s a conservative state government and a city, which are usually very liberal,” he said.

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Why West Valley City is cold-eyed about a renewable energy plan

While all roads lead to clean energy in Utah, some municipalities like West Valley City are leaning towards taking an alternative route to get there.

A 2019 Renewable Energy Bill promised a steady path for local governments to achieve 100% clean energy by 2030. The plan was to push the development of energy infrastructure that would interconnect and power the solar, wind and other carbon-free sources of electricity. directly into the Rocky Mountain Power system.

The Community law on renewable energies, an interlocal agreement born from HB411, began when nearly two dozen Utah cities and counties pledged to achieve the 100% clean energy goal by passing a qualifying resolution, though many other local governments stayed put. touches. The legislation passed with Rep. Stephen Handy, R-Layton, and then the senator. Daniel Hemmert, R-Orem, as sponsors.

However, the implementation of the initiative did not stop there. This multi-year effort required several steps. Currently, advocates are trying to get those eligible cities and counties to sign up for a governance agreement so they can continue in the program.

Membership means cities and counties would pay Phase 1 costs. They would also be part of groups that would work alongside Rocky Mountain Power in designing utility programs.

Until now, 15 local governments joined the interlocal agreement to activate HB411. Salt Lake City, Summit County, Grand County, Moab, Millcreek, Park City and Castle Valley have signed and made additional voluntary payments to help fund these implementation costs, which total approximately $700,000. Alta, Cottonwood Heights, Francis, Holladay, Kearns, Ogden, Salt Lake County and Springdale are also participating in the second stage of the process.

Eight other communities that initially adopted the project have not committed to continue – even though they have been eligible since passing resolutions supporting 100% renewable electricity for their communities by 2030.

West Valley City, the second most populous city in the state, is one of them, along with Bluffdale, Coalville, Emigration Canyon Township, Kamas, Oakley, Orem and West Jordan.

Cost remains a concern

(Chris Samuels | The Salt Lake Tribune) West Valley City Hall, Thursday, February 10, 2022.

After two years of talks, a change of mayor and two council seats — and even with a new deadline that would allow the city to register by May 31 — the city seems unlikely to sign and go. his first Payment of $47,899.22 for stage 1.

A major concern is the impact the switch to clean energy would have on the city’s low-income residents.

City Manager Wayne Pyle recommended that City Council not take the next step to register with the Community Renewable Energy Act. He warned that the city would not be able to control its own destiny once committed to the plan.

“You are a small part of the whole,” he said.

“We are always skeptical and look closely at any new organization before joining,” Pyle said. “My main big concern with Bill 411 is that I have 140,000 residents here, and what they are proposing would include an indefinite financial burden on residents.”

The city council is still discussing the deal. If West Valley City eventually signs on, residents would automatically be included in the clean energy switch. They can opt out by ticking a box on their electricity bill.

New mayor Karen Lang has doubts about the program.

“I don’t think we have enough solid information from Rocky Mountain as to what it would cost residents,” she said. “They just don’t have the details, or they don’t share them. And so I’m not comfortable engaging our residents in anything without all the information.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) West Valley City Mayor Karen Lang at her home on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021. She is suspicious of the city’s commitment to an interlocal renewable energy deal.

There is no precise prediction as to the increase in energy prices. A study 2017 found that with this program, “rates would be 9% to 14% higher in 2032 for communities compared to the status quo”. Since then, solar prices decreased by about 25%Utah 100 Communities, the agency administering the program, said on its website.

Go it alone

(Chris Samuels | The Salt Lake Tribune) A UTA bus picks up passengers in West Valley City, Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022.

Advocates of the program argue that this represents a rare opportunity to achieve a key environmental goal. Electricity is one of the biggest sources of carbon emissions nationwide, and this program has the potential to dramatically reduce them and make clean energy accessible to people who can’t afford it. initial investment in solar panels and other energy efficiency tools.

“This program is not coming back. This opportunity is not something there is a political appetite to recreate,” said Sierra Club campaign representative Lindsay Beebe. “It took huge political capital to create this in the first place. And it is currently the only program in Utah, and also in the country, that allows cities to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2030.”

For his part, Pyle doubts that West Valley City is missing an opportunity. The city, he said, is working towards the same goal of 100% clean energy by 2030 on its own.

The city moved to four-day work weeks for its employees in the early 2000s, for example, and converted part of its fleet to hybrid vehicles, including cars for police detectives.

(Chris Samuels | The Salt Lake Tribune) West Valley City Police Department Headquarters, Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022.

“We invested $1 million in federal partnerships for emissions reduction efforts that would result in energy efficiency improvements here at City Hall,” Pyle said. “We did the same thing at the Family Fitness Center. It’s a 100,000 square foot facility. We’ve done it at the Maverik Center, indoors, and we’re working on the exterior, to get the lights to fit into an all-LED structure up there.

The city approves 400 residential rooftop solar projects a year, according to Pyle, and has raised about 4,500 in total. He estimates that this type of action will accelerate and continue over the next eight years.

“We are not perfect. We’re not there yet,” Pyle said. “But we have accelerated and are making great strides in that direction.”

Carmen Valdez, political associate at the environmental nonprofit Heal Utahdiscussed the program with city officials and worked with businesses to encourage them to advocate for HB411.

Valdez said government officials need to know that being part of the interlocal agreement doesn’t mean they’re tied to a program they can’t control.

“What we’re hoping for is that they see that by becoming a member of the committee and the board of directors that come up with this plan and bring it to Rocky Mountain Power,” she said, “you can actually make sure any concerns you have are addressed and include things like making sure there are opportunities for utility expansion in terms of local source power.

Alixel Cabrera is a Report for America member of the corps and writes about the status of communities on the west side of the Salt Lake Valley for the Salt Lake Tribune. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps him keep writing stories like this; please consider making a tax deductible donation of any amount today by clicking here.

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Salt Lake City officer justified in shooting suicidal man, prosecutors say

Navada Escholt shot three officers, police said. He later died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

(Salt Lake City Police Department) Body camera footage shows Officers Benzon (left) and Abel Bromley (right) standing outside Navada Escholt’s apartment on July 20, 2021, moments before Escholt doesn’t shoot officers. Bromley fired back but missed. Escholt later died of a self-inflicted gunshot, police said.

A Salt Lake City officer who shot a suicidal man after the man opened fire on police last July will not face criminal charges, prosecutors said Friday.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said officer Abel Bromley reasonably believed — as Utah law stipulates — that he and other officers were in imminent danger after the man , Navada Escholt, shot them.

Bromley returned a single shot, which did not hit Escholt. Escholt, 42, shot himself shortly afterwards, according to Gill’s discovery letter.

Three officers – Bromley and two others, identified only as “Dunn” and “Benzon” – responded to Escholt’s apartment near 1600 West and 800 North on July 20, just after noon. Escholt’s wife had called police to say he was suicidal, had a gun and needed an ambulance, the letter said. She told police that Escholt had been drinking and had not taken her prescription medication.

Officers knocked on the door of Escholt and others in the apartment complex and tried to call Escholt. When no one responded, officers moved about 90 feet from the apartments to the sidewalk, Gill said.

Dunn called Escholt’s wife and asked if she could try to talk to Escholt. He said the officers did not want to force their way inside and escalate the situation.

During that phone call, Escholt opened his front door and fired a single shot at officers who took cover. Bromley fought back from behind a tree. Dunn and Benzon pulled up behind a truck in a neighbor’s driveway.

Escholt fired about 20 minutes after officers arrived. Shortly after that first volley of fire, Escholt apparently shot himself in his apartment.

Officers learned he later died after sending a police robot into the house and finding Escholt in a bedroom.

Escholt had been charged earlier in the day with witness tampering and retaliation. He was being investigated for aggravated assault and allegedly sent threatening messages on Facebook to someone involved in the case. His wife told investigators he had recently lost his job and was suffering from a “nervous breakdown”.

Gill praised the “incredible restraint” of the officers, noting that they tried to contact Escholt several times and kept their distance from the apartment to buy time and defuse the difficult scene. Gill said they had to deal with multiple concerns at once – the cares of the caller, an armed person in mental health crisis and an apartment complex with “people and thin walls”.

Gill said officials could do more to ensure people with mental health needs receive adequate treatment, and that police could receive more training for situations involving people going through such crises.

“But unfortunately tragedy happens because sometimes the people who are hurting can also escalate into a really violent situation, and then we have to respond as law enforcement to protect everyone else as well,” Gill said.

(Paighten Harkins | The Salt Lake Tribune) Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill reviews body camera footage during a news conference on Feb. 11, 2022. Gill ruled that an SLCPD officer was legally justified in shooting Navada Escholt after Escholt shot officers on July 20, 2021.

All three agents from Salt Lake City were certified in crisis intervention.

A Salt Lake Tribune analysis of a decade of police shooting data found that more than 40% of police shootings in the state involved someone in mental health crisis. More than half of those cases involved someone with a gun, and 80% of those cases involved someone who was suicidal.

The shooting marked the 17th in Utah in 2021. Police shot 31 people last year, surpassing the previous record of 30 police shootings, which was set in 2018 and tied in 2020. Records show more more officers have been shot at least a year than in recent history.

Editor’s note If you or people you know are at risk of self-harm, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24-hour assistance at 1-800-273-8255.

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Feds dismiss lawsuit against BYU over school’s treatment of LGBTQ students

This is not the outcome that LGBTQ students had hoped for.

After months of investigation, the US Department of Education has dismissed a complaint filed against Brigham Young University over the private religious school’s treatment of its gay students.

In a letter this week, investigators said the school was rightly exempt from federal laws prohibiting gender discrimination. The university will be allowed to continue disciplining those who break its rules prohibiting same-sex relations.

“I wanted to believe something would come out of it,” said Madi Hawes, a BYU sophomore who is bisexual. “I had hope, but that was it, hope.”

Disappointment spread through the LGBTQ student community on Thursday. Many saw the move as the latest in a string of recent events they see as targeting those who are gay at the school, run by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some said on Twitter that they don’t know how to move forward now. A few said the decision brought them to tears.

Hawes added: “We knew the church, and therefore our school, was OK to discriminate against us. But now the government has approved it. We do not agree.

BYU, however, released a statement on Thursday, announcing the decision to drop the investigation. He said he had foreseen that he would be absolved. And some joined in patting the school on the back for what they saw as a victory. That includes U.S. Senator Mike Lee, R-Utah, who defended the decision on Twitter as a triumph for “religious freedom and higher education”.

The school said the dismissal affirms “the freedom to operate a religious university without sacrificing distinctive religious beliefs.”

Federal investigators were first alerted to a possible problem at the school after a complaint was filed in response to changes to the school’s strict honor code in the spring of 2020.

At the time, the university removed a controversial section of the rules that prohibited “homosexual behavior”. Some students celebrated, coming out openly queer after, they said, some school officials told them it was OK. But a few weeks later, the school clarified that same-sex partnerships would still be banned, even though the prohibition was no longer expressly written.

Those who act against this instruction by holding hands or kissing, according to the administrators, could continue to be sanctioned. LGBTQ students protested, with some saying they felt cheated into coming out.

The investigation, led by the Office of Civil Rights within the Department of Education, sought to determine whether such actions by BYU are permitted because it is a private school or whether they violate the rights of LGBTQ students, disciplining them more harshly than their heterosexual peers. who do not suffer the same consequences for similar romantic behavior.

The department’s letter said that because BYU had 15 approved exemptions to Title IX, the federal law that protects against gender discrimination in schools, it was acting within its rights. Investigators also noted that as such they had no authority to investigate further.

They ended the letter by noting that BYU cannot “harass, coerce, intimidate, discriminate against, or retaliate against any individual” who filed the complaint. They also said the school could still face federal prosecution, even if a violation was not found.

LGBTQ student reaction

For many, the decision seems to be the end of the road.

“I don’t know how long we’ll let ‘religious freedom’ supersede gay rights,” said Zachary Ibarra, a gay Latter-day Saint who graduated from BYU in 2018. “I shouldn’t be surprised, but this is always deeply disappointing. When will the rights of gay students be respected by law without exception? »

Some had seen the federal inquiry as a chance for change and for gay students to be accepted into school.

This type of federal review is rare and usually only occurs in places where there are believed to be potential systemic or serious issues. The students say they believed it was happening at BYU and expected the government to intervene to end the discrimination.

Now, they say, they are disappointed but not surprised.

“The Department of Education’s decision is almost as heartbreaking as BYU’s coordinated campaign against its gay students,” said Cal Burke, a recent BYU student who is gay.

Last year, a professor publicly referred to Burke as a Book of Mormon term associated with an antichrist. The school declined to say whether it would take action against the teacher. He thinks BYU picks and chooses what it wants to enforce, creating an especially difficult environment for LGBTQ students who don’t know if they’ll be reported for something minor.

But Burke said Thursday he did not plan to end the fight.

“We gay students will never give up because we are right and God is on our side,” he said. “We will not give up until all gay Latter-day Saints are free, safe, and loved.”

(Isaac Hale | Special for The Tribune) People join in for a Utah Pride Week party on Sunday, June 6, 2021.

The investigation into BYU, which was officially opened in October last year, came after the school has repeatedly been in the national spotlight over the past two years for its treatment of LGBTQ students. and which many have rejected.

Last year, several students signed a lawsuit, alleging they were discriminated against because of their identity. And a group of students spoke out against the school’s policy by lighting up the iconic “Y” on the mountain above BYU in rainbow colors.

In response, the university has now banned protests on that property.

And, last fall, a high-ranking LDS Church apostle came to campus and criticized faculty members and students who challenge the faith’s teachings on same-sex marriage. Leader Jeffrey Holland said they should instead take up their intellectual “muskets” to uphold “the doctrine of the family and…marriage as a union of one man and one woman”.

It’s been a back-and-forth that Burke says won’t end with this decision by federal investigators.

Hawes also added, “It’s not an exemption from a privilege like scholarships or internship opportunities, it’s an exemption from the human right to a safe environment.” And she plans to continue to raise this concern.

Religious exemptions

The Salt Lake Tribune submitted a public records request for a copy of the complaint and other documents. That’s still pending, but in response, a department official called the school’s investigation “extensive” and “systemic,” saying there were hundreds of pages of documents collected.

It is unclear what was collected by investigators and why so much was invested in an investigation that was quickly closed. The Ministry of Education only confirmed on Thursday that the case had been closed.

While glad it was opened, attorney Paul Southwick guessed it wouldn’t amount to any action against BYU.

Southwick is the director of the Religious Exemption Accountability Project, which is leading the lawsuit against BYU and other religious schools on Title IX. They are pushing for private schools not to have exemptions from the law as long as they accept federal funding, which BYU does with student grants and loans.

He said he has seen other cases in religious schools that were quickly closed because they have exemptions.

On Thursday, he called the result “disappointing and difficult for students hoping for help from their government, but not unexpected in light of the broad religious exemption that is part of Title IX.”

(George Frey | Special for The Tribune) Students and others gather outside the Ernest L. Wilkinson Student Center on the Brigham Young University campus to protest BYU’s reversal of a recently announced policy change on LGBTQ students on March 5, 2020, in Prov.

BYU began receiving Title IX religious exemptions in 1976, becoming the first school to do so and leading the charge for private universities across the country to follow.

In a strongly worded letter to the then-Department of Education, then-BYU President Dallin Oaks bristled at the fact that the federal government had the power to control or limit BYU, according to an article on Title IX in Higher Education from the Kansas Law Review.

These exemptions continue to apply at BYU today, among 15 total exemptions the school has now related to sexuality and gender expression.

Its protected actions include the ability to enforce its own preferences when recruiting and admitting students and granting financial aid. For example, if a student is openly gay, BYU is allowed by law to deny them a scholarship. The school may also limit toilet use based on the sex assigned at birth.

In its Thursday statement, BYU noted, “Title IX also states that it ‘does not apply’ to a religious institution to the extent that the requirements of Title IX are inconsistent with the organization’s religious principles. nun who controls the institution. BYU has long recognized that it is subject to Title IX, and over the years the OCR has recognized the university’s religious exemption on certain matters.

‘Agree to respect’

The university’s current president, Kevin Worthen, had written in a letter to the Department of Education last November, shortly after receiving the notice of investigation, that all students were held to the same honor code.

“All BYU students, faculty, administrators, and staff,” he wrote, “agree to the honor code of the Church’s educational system and thereby ‘voluntarily pledge to lead their lives in accordance with the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ”.

Removing the section on “homosexual behavior” in February 2020 does not matter. The rule can still be enforced, he said. It was supported by the dismissal of the complaint.

The school president also wrote that he cannot be forced to implement policies “that contradict the doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ concerning the distinction between men and women, the eternal nature of gender or God’s laws of chastity and marriage”.

He says the school will welcome and support all students, including those who are LGBTQ, as long as they “agree to live by the principles of The Church of Jesus Christ.”

(Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) BYU Chairman Kevin J. Worthen speaks at the Marriott Center Thursday, April 21, 2016.

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Salt lake city

Why the West Side’s political clout may increase in Salt Lake City

Victoria Petro-Eschler has always been interested in politics, but when the smell of smoke from a burning chemical-coated railroad bridge engulfed her home west of Salt Lake City in 2021 and she found no official answer, she decided it was time to make Sequel.

It was time to act.

“I could see stuff falling from the sky. You could feel it in the air. People were having headaches,” she said. “I just realized that getting the city to connect with our neighborhood in a way we care about is a skill, it’s an art, and the city needed help with that.”

So she ran for the Salt Lake City Council District 1 seat, which includes Rose Park and Jordan Meadows, and won.

Like Petro-Eschler, many others also eyed the two city council seats on the West Side last fall. In the end, eight candidates — three in District 1 and five in District 2 — were on the November ballot.

(Chris Samuels | The Salt Lake Tribune) Salt Lake City Councilwoman Victoria Petro-Eschler speaks at a press conference announcing a new ride-sharing service in conjunction with Salt Lake City and Utah Transit Authority for the west side of the city, Monday, Dec. 13, 2021.

This interest extended beyond political hopes to political donors.

In District 1, candidates raised $74,000 — a far cry from the millions racked up in some congressional races, but 13 times more than the $5,700 raised in 2017.

In District 2, which covers Fairpark, Glendale and Poplar Grove, contestants raised nearly $105,000, a whopping 850% jump from the $11,000 raised in 2019.

Various candidates emerge

Interest grew with no popularly elected incumbent seeking another term from the West Side.

District 1 Representative James Rodgers resigned in early October after already ruling out a third term. District 2 council member Andrew Johnston left in the spring to become the city’s director of homelessness policy and outreach. The board selected attorney Dennis Faris to fill this position. (Faris raced in the fall but failed to defeat eventual winner Alejandro Puy.)

This left the field open to a range of newcomers. New faces emerged from non-traditional backgrounds, often encouraged by specific organizations or individuals to come forward.

“A lot of people feel that we need to have a wider range of people running and getting elected,” said Matthew Burbank, a professor of political science at the University of Utah and a longtime Salt Lake City City Hall watcher. “And so I think there was a bit more value in having a diverse pool of applicants.”

The ranked voting system also eliminated the need for primaries and allowed candidates to continue running and raising funds until election day.

“As a result,” Burbank said, “I think what you’re likely to see is we’ll see more spending, given the nature of these types of elections.”

Voter turnout for District 1 has increased from 25% in 2017 to nearly 33%. Engagement has also increased, Petro-Eschler said, particularly on issues such as unresolved homelessness and soaring housing prices.

“There is optimism on the west side. And having choices makes people optimistic,” she said. “So now our job is to harness that optimism to remind those people that they are being heard.”

In District 2, however, turnout fell from 37% in 2019 to 29% last year.

“The municipal elections are difficult. It is sometimes difficult to hire certain people, especially in neighborhoods like mine where it is a popular neighborhood with a minority majority,” said Puy. “It’s not because people don’t care. It’s because of the challenges and barriers my community faces.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Alejandro Puy, District 2, says a few words after being sworn in as a member of the Salt Lake City Council, Monday, Jan. 3, 2022.

It was the political consultant’s first candidacy for public office. Puy prevailed after an exhaustive campaign that focused on knocking on doors and including Spanish speakers in the conversation.

One of his opponents, Nigel Swaby, who heads the Fairpark Community Council, doesn’t think there’s necessarily a growing interest in West Side politics. He credits the growth of fundraising to the ability to select new leaders without the challenge of incumbents. It also points to a demographic shift in the West Side neighborhoods.

“People who live here are wealthier than they were in the past because home values ​​have gone up so much,” Swaby said. “You have a lot of new blood, which will also increase participation, and that includes financially.”

Fears of gentrification

This real estate explosion leads to a new concern: gentrification.

“We have huge gentrification forces going on,” said Petro Eschler, who is also executive director of Salty Cricket Composers Collective, a cultural nonprofit. It can bring in new people to improve the fabric of West Side neighborhoods, she said. “But, if left unchecked, gentrification has left communities like mine in ruins and other towns.”

Puy, an Argentine-born and recently naturalized U.S. citizen who has made his understanding of the Latino community a guiding principle of his campaign, said he is seeing these neighborhood shifts — and not always for the better.

“A lot of Latin American families and minority families are moving out of the West Side because of gentrification and the cost of living,” he said. In a neighborhood where Hispanics often seek multigenerational homes, he added, the growing volume of small studio apartments won’t be enough.

“We have to work really hard to look where the city needs to look, because that’s where our families with kids are on the west side of Salt Lake City,” Puy said. “That’s where we have a disproportionate impact from the homeless shelter crisis that we have in our city. We still have some issues with crime.”

In the end, Salt Lake City has reached an important milestone: electing its most diverse city council in history. For the first time, most members (four out of seven) are racial and ethnic minorities. And, for the first time, a majority (four more) are openly LGBTQ.

What this historical diversity leads to City Hall remains to be seen. The trend of growing political interest on the West side, however, is set to continue with competition between candidates and potential challengers, according to Burbank in the United States, especially now that these new council members have shown the way. in the future. generations.

“Things that have motivated people to think about more diversity, to think about representing a wider range of people and on city council,” the political scientist said, “I don’t think that’s all going to go away.”

Salt Lake City Council. Top row, left to right: Ana Valdemoros; Amy Fowler; and Alexandre Puy. Center: Darin Mano. Bottom row, left to right: Chris Wharton; Dan Dugan; and Victoria Petro-Eschler.

Alixel Cabrera is a Report for America member of the corps and writes about the status of communities on the west side of the Salt Lake Valley for the Salt Lake Tribune. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps him keep writing stories like this; please consider making a tax deductible donation of any amount today by clicking here.

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Salt lake city government

Faced with a terminal illness, Kylie wanted to die with dignity. But the state said she had no right.

It’s time for Utah to pass a “Death with Dignity” law, writes Robert Gehrke, so that patients don’t have to suffer needlessly.

(Courtesy of Tammy Allred) A photo of Kylie Kaplinis from 2019. Kaplinis was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease three years ago. As the disease progressed, she made it clear to her family that she wanted a dignified death, but Utah state law prohibits assisted suicide. Her mother, Tammy Allred, is fighting to change that in her daughter’s honor through a bill in the Legislative Assembly.

About three years ago, Kylie Kaplinis was living the life of a normal 25-year-old, hanging out with friends, going dancing, hiking, hitting the gym and getting ready to start cosmetology school.

“He was my baby,” his mother, Tammy Allred, told me. “She was a great, amazing person. She brought a lot of light and happiness to everyone she touched.

Then one day, Kylie’s foot started hurting, like she had somehow twisted her ankle. When it didn’t improve, she went to doctor after doctor. They identified it as a probable neurological problem and performed test after test as the pain rose in his leg.

Kylie has lost the use of her foot. She had to use a cane, and later a walker.

She went to the Mayo Clinic in Arizona where they ordered all possible tests and concluded it could only be Lou Gehrig’s disease, known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS.

The neurodegenerative disease causes patients to lose muscle control, spreading throughout the body until the patient dies.

There is no cure and no effective treatment. Kaplinis had indeed been sentenced to death and she wanted out on her own terms, her mother said.

(Tammy Allred) A photo of Kylie Kaplinis on December 25, 2021. Kaplinis was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease three years ago. As the disease progressed, she made it clear to her family that she wanted a dignified death, but Utah state law prohibits assisted suicide. Her mother, Tammy Allred, is fighting to change that in her daughter’s honor through a bill in the Legislative Assembly.

“To sit there and cause her to lose her ability to use her legs, lose her ability to walk, lose her ability to use her hands,” Allred said, “she didn’t want to go through all those stages. She had a fine line that once she couldn’t use her arms and hands, she wanted to be completed. She wanted death with dignity.

Kaplinis had researched the issue even before his diagnosis and believed strongly in giving terminally ill patients a choice. When she learned of her own fate, Kaplinis told her mother that once she got to the point where she could no longer take care of herself, she wanted to end things.

But in Utah, it’s illegal for a doctor to prescribe drugs that would end a patient’s life. The legislature makes the ultimate decision about life or death, suffering or relief.

“She had been in a wheelchair for about a year and a half. It first took her legs and moved up into her arms and hands and she became pretty much a vegetable,” Allred said. “She wanted what was left of her dignity. She meant when she was done.

On January 20, at just 27 years old, Kylie passed away. A week later, her family buried her.

This week, Allred will be on Capitol Hill when HB74 — which would allow doctors to prescribe life-ending drugs when a terminally ill patient makes a clear, written request to end their life — is expected to get a legislative hearing.

“She should have had that opportunity and that comfort and relief of knowing it was in place if that’s what she chose to do,” Allred said. “She wanted it so badly.”

“I believe [I] to fight for this on her behalf, to be able to try and get this bill passed in her honor and in the honor of so many other people who should at least have a choice,” Kylie’s mother said.

The fight will not be easy. Similar legislation has been sponsored several times in the past. Former Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck has sponsored the measure previously and Rep. Jennifer Dailey-Provost, D-Salt Lake City has sponsored it three of the past four years. It didn’t go over well, and for the past few years it hasn’t been heard from.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Robert Gehrke.

This time it looks like it will, and Dailey-Provost said opponents are rallying against the measure again, but she hopes her colleague’s feelings have changed – as they have over time. in other states.

Currently, 10 states allow physician-assisted suicide. Three of them, including Colorado, were adopted by voters through a ballot initiative.

Since 1997, when Oregon passed the nation’s first “Death with Dignity” law, 1,905 people have chosen to end their lives through the program, according to data through 2020. So it’s not commonly used.

But for people with terminal illnesses – whether it’s an elderly person with cancer or a young one like Kylie – it gives those people some control in their final days.

“It’s important to know what you would do in this situation,” she said, “but to say it’s not an option to let people give up pain in a terminal situation is inhumane. .”

It’s inhumane. And for a legislature that likes to talk about the “proper role of government” and bodily autonomy (when it serves its purposes), it is cruel and wrong for the state to force a human being to suffer such immense pain and implacable.

It’s time to change that law and restore ultimate individual freedom and ease the suffering of the next Kylie Kaplinis.

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Salt lake city

A storm is brewing. How much snow will Utah get?

Most of the snow will be in the mountains, but the storm should help clear the air.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Poor air quality clouds the Salt Lake Valley on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022.

The big news of a storm that will continue through Friday morning in Utah is not what it will bring, but what it will take away.

According to the national weather service, the winter storm will drop maybe a few inches of snow – maybe more in some areas. But the great news is that it should stir up the air and eliminate the inversion and at least some of the smog plaguing the valleys of northern Utah.

A trace of 2 inches of snow is forecast for the northern Utah valleys and 3 to 7 inches in the mountain passes.

The storm is not expected to make the air crystal clear at lower elevations, but it is expected to improve air quality. According to the Utah Air Quality Division, Salt Lake, Cache, Davis, Tooele, Utah and Weber/Box Elder counties are expected to move to yellow/moderate air on Friday.

In Salt Lake City, the National Weather Service predicts a 70 percent chance of snow Friday, mostly before 8 a.m., with 1 to 3 inches of accumulation possible. Daytime temperatures will be in the low to mid 30s, with nighttime lows in the 20s.

Once the storm leaves Utah, there won’t be another in the forecast until the middle of next week. Expect mostly sunny skies, daytime highs in the low to mid 30s and overnight lows in the low 20s – and reversals should occur.

Southern Utah is in even more of a weather rut. The Thursday-Friday storm will not reach St. George, where the forecast is for sunny skies with highs in the mid-50s and overnight lows in the 30s through Wednesday.

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Salt lake city

Mountaineer turned conservationist Rick Reese leaves a monumental outdoor legacy

Pioneering educator-activist and Salt Lake City native dies at 79 after a life of saving lives and landscapes.

(Todd Wilkinson | Mountain Journal) Rick Reese, pictured on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail above Salt Lake City, was a pioneering environmental activist, outdoor educator and mountaineer. The Utah native, who helped found the Greater Yellowstone Coalition and the Utah nonprofit that established the famous trail along the shore of ancient Lake Bonneville, died on 9 January 2022 at age 79.

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Rick Reese, who influenced a generation or two of environmental activists, outdoor educators and mountaineers in his native Utah and beyond, died Jan. 9 at his home in Montana. During his 79 years, he built a conservation legacy that celebrated a broader view of what environmental protection means and led to the creation of Utah’s beloved Bonneville Coastal Trail.

While Reese was best known for his activism in Montana, as co-founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, he was one of the native sons of Salt Lake City who pushed the boundaries of Wasatch climbing when the sport was in its infancy, according to longtime friend and climbing partner Ted Wilson.

Wilson remembers first meeting young Reese when Reese was still a student at East High School and had just returned from climbing Mount Rainier in Washington. That was in 1959 and they have remained close friends ever since, sharing many adventures and occasional disagreements.

Over the years of setting up routes in the Wasatch, Wilson observed how Reese combined courage and physical strength with caution.

“He could do both at the same time. He approached life that way,” said Wilson, who became mayor of Salt Lake City. “He was strong, but he understood that there were forces bigger than himself, in life and in climbing, that he had to honor. He did it with pure principles.

Reese was born in Salt Lake City in 1942. Fresh out of high school, he joined the National Guard and was deployed to Germany during the Berlin Airlift, according to Reese’s obituary. He returned home to study political science at the University of Utah, where he met his wife Mary Lee, and later graduate school at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. .

Reece would later serve in the United States as Director of Community Relations. While pursuing his undergraduate studies, he worked summers as a climbing ranger at Grand Teton National Park and later pioneered routes in the Wasatch that remain unmatched to this day.

“The thinnest line of the Wasatch for traditional climbers and the most natural line is Triple overhangs which he created in the 1960s in the Lone Peak Circus” with Fred Beckey and Bob Irvine, said Peter Metcalf, co-founder of Black Diamond Equipment. “But when it comes to conservation, his legacy is incredible. He was one of Utah’s greatest conservationists, if not the greatest in Utah history, not to mention a pioneer mountaineer.

As park rangers in the 1960s, Reese and his colleagues invented the techniques, virtually on the fly, to rescue people in vertical terrain. Along with Wilson, Pete Sinclair and four other rangers, he pulled off what is considered “the most advanced, technical, daring and courageous rescue” on the Grand Teton North Face in 1967, according to Metcalf. This feat was commemorated in a 2013 film, The great rescue, by Wilson’s daughter Jenny Wilson and Meredith Lavitt.

“Reese was known as the best climber on the team,” said Reece’s biography for the film. “It was not just his ability to move quickly over mountainous terrain that set him apart, but also his calmness when things got serious.”

The Rees then moved to Helena, Montana in 1970 with their children Paige and Seth while Reece taught at Carroll College. In Montana, the couple were recruited to lead the Yellowstone Institute by Yellowstone Park Superintendent John Townsley.

It was this experience that helped Reese refine his famous idea of ​​a “Greater Yellowstone”.

“When we were Jenny Lake rangers, he was like, ‘Yellowstone and Teton [national parks] are great places, but they need to be bigger. These animals do not stop at the border; they graze, the grizzly is threatened. We have to protect their food sources,” Wilson said. “And he went on and on about it, and he just kept talking to people. He met with the Park Service folks and expanded the idea.

This led to the creation of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition in 1983, promoting the concept that protecting Yellowstone also means protecting the ecosystem surrounding the two national parks.

“He made it a strength for a new wilderness,” Wilson said. “There’s a lot of new wilderness up there because of Rick.”

It was this kind of thinking that inspired the designation of vast Western national monuments—Missouri River Breaks, Basin and Range, Grand Staircase-Escalante, and Bears Ears—that sought to protect entire landscapes.

Reese confused later mountain diary with journalist Todd Wilkinson, who continues to report on the relationship between the people and the land of the Greater Yellowstone region.

Reese also served as a mentor and advisor for Save Our Canyons, according to executive director Carl Fisher, who relied on Reese’s advice to push back development in the Wasatch Central Range.

“His love of Western landscapes is rooted in the Wasatch,” Fisher said. “He went on to accomplish great things.”

Among these was the creation of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail Committee in the 1990s with Jim Byrne to develop the now famous path following the contours of the former Bonneville lake. Today, the trail is used daily by thousands of Wasatch Front residents seeking respite from nature on the edge of Utah’s bustling cityscape.

Celebrations of Reese’s life will be held this spring in Bozeman, Montana, and Salt Lake City.

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Salt lake city

2 children killed, 1 injured in West Valley City high school shooting, police say

The shooting follows a scuffle between two groups of students, police said.

(Chris Samuels | The Salt Lake Tribune) Onlookers take comfort as police investigate a fatal shooting near Hunter High School in West Valley City on Thursday, January 13, 2022.

Two high school students were shot and killed and a third was injured Thursday in West Valley City, police said.

The shooting occurred on the sidewalk along 4100 South, between the northbound and southbound lanes of the Mountain View Corridor, according to West Valley City police. Three suspects were initially arrested and a fourth was taken into custody Thursday afternoon, police said.

The two students killed were 14 and 15 years old, police said. The injured student was 15 years old and was hospitalized in critical condition.

The shooting follows a scuffle between two groups of high school students, West Valley City police spokeswoman Roxanne Vainuku said at a press conference Thursday. The students involved knew each other, she added, and some of them went to Hunter High School.

Nearby, many people gathered on Thursday afternoon on the lawn of the Latter-day Saint seminary building on the edge of the high school campus, as well as on the sidewalk along 4100 South.

Behind the crime scene tape, they watched investigators examine the scene of the shooting. The children were playing on the nearby seminary lawn, chasing each other and playing a game of beating, undeterred by the strong wind and the dark scene.

Many onlookers embraced, some crying, some parading on their phones. A few stood wrapped in flannel blankets.

(Chris Samuels | The Salt Lake Tribune) Onlookers watch police investigate a shooting near Hunter High School in West Valley City on Thursday, January 13, 2022.

When approached by a Salt Lake Tribune reporter, a woman said she did not know any students at Hunter High. “We’re just here to support,” she said.

A man and a woman in separate groups both said they were there because their nephew was involved in the shooting. On the sidewalk, another woman cried as someone hugged her tightly, her moans filling the cold air.

The shooting took place along a main thoroughfare, bordered on either side by patches of weed-covered land. Two smaller crime scenes in nearby neighborhoods were also under investigation, Vainuku said.

The students at Hunter High School were released early in the day at 1 p.m. after taking shelter in place as a precaution. No extracurricular activities took place on Thursday. Hunter High is located at 4200 S. 5600 West, just east of where the fight broke out.

Three other schools – Hunter Junior High, Hillside Elementary and Whittier Elementary – also sheltered in place, but the protocols were lifted around noon.

(Chris Samuels | The Salt Lake Tribune) Police are investigating a shooting near Hunter High School in West Valley City on Thursday, January 13, 2022.

In a letter to parents, Hunter High School principal Ryan Oaks said grief counselors were available to support the students. in high school and Hunter Junior High. The school’s crisis team will also be available on Friday, Oaks said.

The Hunter High School girls and boys varsity basketball teams were scheduled to play against Roy High School on Friday, but Roy High announced Thursday afternoon that all games against Hunter would be postponed until February 9 due to the shootout.

“Our thoughts and condolences are with the communities of West Valley & Hunter High School,” a statement read.

The children killed were not immediately identified on Thursday. More information on the circumstances of the brawl that led to the shooting was not disclosed. Police continue to investigate.

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Salt lake city government

Work begins on the Astra Tower, soon to be the tallest skyscraper in downtown Salt Lake City

Undeterred by the resurgence of the pandemic, developers in Boston are continuing to build a new luxury residential building on State Street, which is expected to be Salt Lake City’s tallest skyscraper.

Astra Tower will rise 450 feet tall at its highest point and bring approximately 372 upscale apartments spread across 40 floors in the city’s growing downtown core, according to delighted backers from Kensington Investment Company, based in Boston, which kicked off Wednesday with a short groundbreaking ceremony.

The new tower launched at 200 S. State Street – the former site of a Carl Jr. fast food restaurant and an adjacent surface parking lot – is expected to be completed by October 2024.

(Courtesy of Kensington Investment Company, via Jacobsen Construction) A rendered view looking west along the 200 South of the Astra Tower, a new 372-unit luxury apartment complex under construction at 200 S. State Street which will be Utah’s tallest building, when completed in fall 2024.

The tower will be built to some of the highest environmental standards in the world and will join at least half a dozen new high-rise office and residential buildings under construction or under construction in the Utah capital, in the midst of ‘an unprecedented increase in development along the Wasatch front. .

We took a dream and today we turn it into reality, ”said Ed Lewis, CEO of the private company. The Astra Tower has faced “several obstacles” over the past three years – even taunts that the project was “silly or a little bit crazy,” Lewis said, “and maybe they’re right.”

“Either way, Utah is our home. Either way, we’re not going, ”Lewis told several dozen people who gathered in advance at the Gallivan Center. Salt Lake City is fast becoming a world class city, and I think the tower will be the future of apartment living in Utah.

Astra Tower was designed by HKS, a Dallas-based architectural firm with offices in Salt Lake City, looks like The Kensington, an apartment tower built by the same developer in Boston in 2013.

Salt Lake City’s latest luxury studio skyscraper, one- and two-bedroom apartments – likely to reach the city’s upper echelons with monthly rents – will be capped by two floors of exclusive penthouses, serviced by a dedicated high speed elevator.

Other top-notch Astra Tower amenities will be spread over three separate floors, according to plans approved at City Hall, and will include a rooftop swimming pool, clubhouse, park, sky lounge and a terrace with panoramic view.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) A groundbreaking ceremony takes place on Wednesday, January 12, 2022 for Astra Tower, a 372-unit luxury residential tower that will rise to 200 S. State Street in Salt Lake City. It will be Utah’s tallest building, built to the city’s new sustainability standards, and is slated to open in fall 2024.

Joined by other city and state officials, Salt Lake City Councilor Ana Valdemoros praised the company’s decision to build to what’s known as LEED Gold, a certified sustainability approach. by the US Green Building Council which, among other things, carbon footprint.

Valdemoros said the skyscraper project was emblematic of the city center‘s “inevitable” new direction in town planning, towards denser housing and vertical construction. Astra, she said, put forward a long-held vision for “a walkable downtown with taller buildings and busier streets filled with new residents.”

And at its intended height, Astra is expected to overtake the Wells Fargo Center (422 feet) and the LDS Church Office Building (420 feet) as the tallest building in town. It joins the newly constructed tower called 95 State Street at City Creek, a 395-foot office building at 100 South and State State, west of the downtown Harmon grocery store.

Just two blocks away, the new 700-room Hyatt Regency Salt Lake City – the new Salt Lake County Convention Center hotel in West Temple and 200 South – reached its full height of 375 feet in November and is slated to open. its doors in the fall of 2022.

Renderings indicate that Salt Lake City’s last skyscraper – in recent years referred to as the Kensington Tower until Wednesday’s official name change to Astra Tower – will have a sleek rectangular glass-clad exterior and a two-story lobby overlooking State Street.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) A piece of cleared land is pictured in May 2021, as it prepares for the new Astra Tower, a 372-unit luxury residential tower that will rise to 200 S. State Street in Salt Lake City. A groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2021, marked the debut of Utah’s tallest building, built to the city’s new sustainability standards and is slated to open in fall 2024.

Salt Lake City is on the rise: economically, socially, statistically,” said Dee Brewer, who heads the Downtown Alliance of the Salt Lake Chamber. He called the Astra Tower “a remarkable indication of this ascent”.

Boosters for Utah said the Astra Tower will increase the city’s ability to attract new professionals, businesses and investors to Utah.

“It tells them that we have arrived as a city,” said Stephanie Frohman, senior vice president of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah. “We not only have the lifestyle, the cultural and recreational opportunities that their talent seeks, but also the residential. “

Astra is also at least the sixth new skyscraper currently under construction in downtown Salt Lake City in the past three years – and one of four rising along a three-block stretch. of State Street.

Other State Street projects include the 24-story luxury apartment tower called Liberty Sky at 151 S. State Street; 95 State at City Creek, built by City Creek Reserve, a developmental arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; and a two-tower residential project at 255 S. State by Chicago-based developer Brinshore, with financial support from the city’s redevelopment agency and other government agencies.

When completed, the Astra Tower will also mark a milestone in luxury high-rise life for tenants and is part of a larger apartment building boom.

(Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file photo) Salt Lake City’s skyline is changing rapidly, with at least six skyscrapers soaring and several large multi-story apartment and office complexes under construction along its main streets.

Astra’s living units are likely to compete with nearby Liberty Sky with its 272 high-end apartments and amenities, completed this year by Boyer Co. and Cowboy Partners, both located in Utah. Liberty Sky Studios are currently priced between $ 1,499 and $ 2,199 per month.

Texas-based developer Hines is also suing a new 31-story residential skyscraper a few blocks at 150 S. Main, on the site of the historic Utah Theater, ready for demolition. This 392-foot tower – called Main Street Apartments and backed by Hines, based in Houston and the city’s GDR – will feature 400 new units including 40 more affordable, 355 at market rates and five penthouses, as well as a sky lounge, d other characteristic luxuries and an adjoining pocket park.

A development company in New York, The Domain Cos., Also announced plans for its own residential skyscraper with 342 apartments at 370 S. West Temple, two blocks east of Pioneer Park, and proposed to make 26 floors.

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Salt lake city

Spy Hop tackles vaccine hesitation + SLC winter shelter now open

Happy Wednesday, Salt Lake City! Let’s start this day off on the right foot. Here is everything happening in the city today.


First of all, the weather forecast for the day:

Foggy sun. High: 44 Low: 26.


Here are the top 3 stories in Salt Lake City today:

  1. the CDC Foundation wants to reach a younger audience with youth-focused, digitally native and creative content. Thus, the local association, Spy Hop – a digital media arts center for young people – will be receive funds from the foundation use the power of art to activate media projects on the topic of vaccine reluctance. The association will collaborate with the Salt Lake County Department of Healtht on his Vax2theMax 2.0 project. (ABC 4)
  2. Finally, a winter hideaway in Salt Lake City is open for use and will be house 35 people not sheltered. While still feeling the effects of a labor shortage that has significantly delayed the opening of several seasonal shelters, county and state employees are volunteering to no longer delay opening. from this refuge. Other shelters are planned, but manage organizations like The road home are still in the process of overcoming the hurdle of their full staffing. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  3. the Salt Lake County Council has the power to repeal the Ministry of Health’s most recent mask mandate, and they already did. But in the wake of the hugely contagious omicron variant, with a record number of new cases every day, the County council won’t repeal mask mandate this time. City Councilor Aimee Winder Newton spoke in favor of the term, marking a change from her previous position. (KSL Newsradio)

From our sponsor:

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Today in Salt Lake City:

  • Learn it the basics of pointillism and how to paint a winter scene from the Wasatch Range surrounded by a spectrum of blue dots in this DIY workshop from Elizabeth walsh. All equipment is provided, and beginners are welcome! Presented by Craft Lake City at Valley Fair Mall. (6:00 p.m.)
  • Attend a cooking class with Butte Rouge garden course series Cooking with plants for a healthier U. “This series of courses aims to give individuals the tools and the confidence to redefine healthy cooking while striving for delight!” Participants will enjoy a meal after the cooking demonstration. (6:00 p.m.)
  • See Phantom like you might never have imagined? Desert Star Playhouse brings its signature hilarious twist to the classic show in its musical parody of the Phantom of the Opera. (7:00 p.m.)
  • the Utah Jazz take on the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight for a home game in Salt Lake City at Vivid arena. From the arena: “Masks are mandatory and all guests aged 12 and over must show complete proof of vaccination against COVID-19 OR a qualified negative COVID-19 test performed within 72 hours of the event to access at the arena. “(7:00 p.m.)

From my notebook:

  • “If you went out along the Wasatch facade, you’ve probably seen the telltale haze. Yes, high pressure means inversion conditions at least mid-week, causing a drop in air quality. Carpool or use public transport whether you can.” (United States National Meteorological Service Salt Lake City Utah)
  • “Even superheroes have to wear face masks. Salt Lake County’s New Mask Mandate, masks, worn correctly, will now be compulsory in Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum, regardless of vaccination status. “(Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum)
  • UMOCA is looking for a proactive autodidact with fundraising, grant development and management experience to hold the position of Grants and Strategic Funding Manager. “(Utah Museum of Contemporary Art)
  • “Submissions are now open for our Folk Arts Apprenticeship Scholarships, which aim to enable qualified people to study with traditional master artists of Utah’s Ethnic, Indigenous, Rural, and Professional Communities who demonstrate a commitment impart cultural knowledge.⁠ “(Utah Arts and Museums)

Do you like the daily life of Salt Lake City? Here are all the ways to get more involved:


Finally, looking for some inspiration for your social life during the winter season? You may want to check out these 8 great ideas for winter dates in Utah Utah Stories. OK, now you are up to date and ready to start Wednesday off on the right foot! See you tomorrow morning for your next update.

Joseph peterson

About me: Joseph is a writer and marketing communications strategist, graduating in Mass Communications and Public Relations from the University of Utah. He is passionate about city life, public libraries, national parks and promoting events that strengthen community.

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Historian sheds light on who else is buried near Brigham Young


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

Historians have shed new light on some small mysteries surrounding the Salt Lake City tomb of Mormon pioneer prophet Brigham Young.

Teams from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are renovating the small cemetery in the avenues as part of work that includes the addition of improved lighting and other upgrades to better protect the historic site of ‘a recent increase in vandalism and trespassing.

Radar penetrating the cemetery floor before construction detected “more than 40” burial sites, of which only about a dozen have been marked, a church historical curator told city officials earlier this year. .

Church officials have since declined to elaborate on comments on the graves of Emily Utt, a Utah-based curator of historic sites for the faith, delivered to the city’s city council in July. Historic Monuments Commission in its review of the renovations.

But a retired church historian who has studied relics from Utah’s pioneering past said the results came as no surprise. Nearly 48 graves are documented in burial lists and death records related to the family cemetery at 140 E. First Avenue, said Randy Dixon, including wives, children, grandchildren and a few neighbors from the polygamous leader of Latter-day Saints.

The radar investigation, according to Dixon, was not intended to locate all of the burial plots in the cemetery, but rather to locate those located in the sections where the walkways, trees and the wrought iron fence of the cemetery are being overhauled. .

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Brigham Young Family Cemetery, 140 E. First Avenue, Saturday, November 27, 2021.

The burials at the cemetery, located on land once owned by Young, predate the powerful leader’s death in 1877, said Dixon, who retired from the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City. One-third of an acre site was used long after his burial for extended family members and those associated with larger households who survived him.

“Over the years those markers have deteriorated and gone, but, at this point anyway, they’re not trying to identify all of these other graves,” he said. “They just wanted to make sure it wouldn’t disturb anything in the area where they were working.”

As with Temple Square a block to the west, the border-era cemetery, which is now surrounded by houses and apartments, is being improved, according to church plans released in the ‘city Hall.

As part of replacing its separate stone paths, walls, lights and mature trees, church officials in April asked for approval to increase the height of the decorative wrought iron fence. of 32 inches around the cemetery, also known as the Mormon. Commemorative monument to the pioneers.

Church officials have sought to raise the fence to between 5 and 9.5 feet as an additional safety measure in light of an increase in vandalism over the past two years, including graffiti on Young’s plaque and the theft of several tombstones.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Aerial view of the Brigham Young Family Cemetery, 140 E. First Avenue, Saturday, November 27, 2021.

The Brigham Young Family Cemetery is a designated Historic Landmark in the City’s Historic Avenues district. This gives the Historic Monuments Commission authority over the proposed changes, and commission members refused in July and September to approve the church’s plans to change the fence.

The wrought iron fence mounted on top of a stone wall around the cemetery and a similar enclosure around Young’s grave were both designed and manufactured by William J. Silver, a metalwork operator in Salt Lake City.

Although they expressed sympathy for the security concerns, commission members and city employees concluded that the church’s plans to temporarily weld new wrought iron bars to the bottom of the existing fence, then to attach this taller structure to the stone wall surrounding the cemetery “have no historical basis.

Then, around Thanksgiving, as the church unsuccessfully appealed the commission’s decision, the fence disappeared from the cemetery, in apparent violation of a city order that approved further work on the site.

In documents filed three days before Christmas, officials essentially sought permission retroactively with a request for approval. “We are proposing to remove the perimeter fence to make necessary repairs and improve structural performance,” church officials wrote – after the fence was gone.

“These repairs are easier to do in a store than on-site,” they wrote, noting that the removal would also spare neighbors the noise of sandblasting and painting the fence and “minimize potential damage to other features of the fence. site”.

“Each section of the fence will be labeled and cataloged before being removed to ensure all parts are reinstalled in the original location,” church officials wrote. The same care, they said, would be taken with a smaller fence surrounding Young’s white tomb maker, which was also removed around Thanksgiving.

Offsite work on the perimeter fence was to include lengthening its anchor points in the stone wall, depending on the application, replacing and repairing missing or damaged parts and removing some L-shaped brackets. added to the fence over the years.

And as per the city’s approval of the application on December 22, there are no changes to the height of the existing fence at this time.

In a statement issued on Dec. 7, a church spokesperson said that “the historic wrought-iron fence that surrounds the cemetery has been carefully removed and is being temporarily stored off-site for preservation.”

“It will be restored and relocated as part of the project,” the spokesperson said. Meanwhile, a 6-foot chain-link perimeter fence still surrounded the cemetery on Monday as renovations continued.


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Salt lake city government

Robert Gehrke looked at Utah’s future for 2022, here’s what he saw


From redistribution to Mitt Romney and the Real Housewives, Robert Gehrke offers his annual forecast for 2022.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Robert Gehrke.

Like every year around this time, I spent the last weekend lighting incense and sage, reading tea leaves, consulting maps, and shaking a magic eight ball.

I even killed a chicken to try to guess what to expect in Utah in 2022.

OKAY. It was a chicken sandwich, and I ate it. The point is, I am committed to helping each of you prepare for what lies ahead in the coming year.

First, a recap of my predictions for 2021, in which it was predicted that former President Donald Trump would spend the year ranting, expressing grievances and generally slamming (it’s nailed down); the legislature would ignore the Utah Independent Redistricting Commission and Gerrymander Salt Lake County (of course); President Joe Biden would restore Utah’s national monuments and the state would go on (yes); and selfish vaccine deniers would prolong the pandemic (and, boy, have they ever done that!).

I also predicted that Senator Mitt Romney would be key if Congress is to do something (see also: the Infrastructure Bill); the legislature would avoid large-scale tax reform, Rep. Burgess Owens would say something bizarre and embarrassing (a giveaway, really).

There were a few hiccups. I didn’t think Democrats could win both Georgia Senate elections and hope no one wasted too much money on my prediction that the Utah Jazz would advance to the Western Conference Finals (they lost in the semi-finals).

Still, a decent record proving that I am listening more and more to the universe. So as long as the chips in my vaccines don’t cause too much interference, here’s what’s in store for 2022.

From the “Hope I’m Wrong” files, Senator Mike Lee will be re-elected.

I’ve said before that Ally Isom and former Rep. Becky Edwards are good candidates and would be a big improvement over Lee, but Lee is popular with the fundamentalist Republican wing and beating him will be very difficult, especially s ‘they split the dissenting vote. . I don’t see any challenger giving up at this point.

On paper, it’s safe to say that anti-Trump independent challenger Evan McMullin has a shot at beating Lee, but it feels a bit like hitting a hole in a blindfold. He will fight well, but despite clear differences between Lee and McMullin, he will fail to convince Democrats who see it as a trade of Lee for another Republican.

In the aftermath of the redistribution, Republicans will win the US House, but I think Democrats barely manage to keep the Senate – if you consider what they have now, it’s the Senate’s “hold”. The divided Congress means nothing will be done and Biden’s presidency will be mostly inconsequential.

Better Boundaries continue to send emails asking for money for a possible lawsuit challenging the Legislative Redistribution, but my magic ball doesn’t predict that they actually pull the trigger. The legislature will not empty the independent commission, at least not right away. They have nine years to do so and voters have short memories. The Utah Democrats will lose two House seats within the redesigned boundaries.

Right-wing activists pushing a voting initiative with a host of terrible ideas to make voting more difficult – restrict registration, end postal and early voting and revert to hand-marked paper ballots – don’t will not even come close to doing it on the ballot. The Legislative Assembly’s audit of Utah’s voting system will come back perfectly, proving that state elections are up. It won’t matter for the aforementioned crowd of tin foil hats. And, despite positive reviews from voters, ranked voting will not be extended (at Mike Lee’s request).

• Utah will experience another severe drought, which is evident since we have experienced drought for the past 25 years. Lakes and reservoirs will remain low and large fires will burn. But some initial, late action will be taken in water conservation.

• In the face of a host of lost rights for transgender Utahns, critical racial theory and anti-government bills, Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith and the recently formed Silicon Slopes Political Action Committee will be pushed. to take a leading role as the voice of reason and perhaps provide a little cover for Governor Spencer Cox to push back the legislature.

• One of Salt Lake City‘s real housewives will file for divorce, but she won’t be the one you expect!

• In the sports world, The University of Utah will shock Ohio State in THE Rose Bowl; this time, the Jazz will really make the final of the Western Conference; Salt Lake City will attempt to host the 2030 Olympic Winter Games; and my Detroit Lions will make the playoffs next season (no, really).

• This one’s more of a wish than a prediction, but we’ll finally put COVID-19 in our rearview mirrors (mostly) and we can stop worrying about what anti-vaxxers or anti-maskers or merchants think. conspiracy. We can return to a semblance of pre-pandemic life, filled with well-deserved peace and prosperity.

Happy 2022!


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Salt lake city government

Ahead of vacation gatherings, ‘omicron is here’, warns Utah virologist


Editor’s note: The Salt Lake Tribune offers free access to critical articles on the coronavirus. Register for our Top Stories newsletter, sent to your inbox every morning. To support journalism like this, please make a donation or become a subscriber.

Ahead of the vacation travel buzz, which is expected to reach pre-pandemic levels at Salt Lake City International Airport this month, a Utah virologist on Tuesday expressed concern over the recent increase in the omicron variant. of the coronavirus.

“Omicron is here, and its frequency is increasing rapidly,” said Stephen Goldstein, virologist and postdoctoral researcher at the University of Utah School of Medicine.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Monday that the omicron variant had overtaken delta as the most dominant strain of the coronavirus in the United States, accounting for about 73.2% of all COVID-19 cases last week.

In an area including Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and North and South Dakota, model projections released on Monday estimated that omicron accounted for about 62% of new coronavirus cases.

The emerging prevalence of Omicron in Utah continues to be studied. According to Utah Department of Health spokesperson Charla Haley, a genome sequencing test performed at Intermountain Healthcare found the absence of a particular protein – believed to be an indicator of the omicron variant – in 30 % of state tests completed in recent weeks. .

Using the same sequencing test, the Utah Public Health Laboratory also found this missing protein in 11 of 29 COVID-positive samples, or 37.9%, Haley said. She added that the lab would have to completely sequence all 11 to be sure the samples contain the omicron variant or not. So far, the state lab has definitively identified seven cases of omicron in the state, Haley said.

Goldstein said early data from South Africa indicates that the rate of protection offered by current COVID-19 vaccines against all symptoms, mild to severe, has fallen to around 35% – from 65% to 70% effectiveness against other variants.

But that protection rate rises to 70% to 75% for people who have received their third booster dose of the Pfizer or Moderna versions of the vaccine.

Protection against serious illness – something strong enough to land a person in the hospital – remains robust, around 75% effective, compared to 95% effective as vaccines against the delta variant, Goldstein said. .

Federal COVID-19 Plan

President Joe Biden announced updates to his administration’s COVID-19 winter plan on Tuesday afternoon. As part of the plan, the Associated Press reported, the federal government would buy 500 million rapid tests for the coronavirus and send them free to Americans starting in January. People will be able to use a new website to order the tests, which will then be sent free by US mail, the White House said.

Biden’s plan to distribute 500 million free tests is a good start, Goldstein said. “We just need more of them. We need it in stores and pharmacies, not on empty shelves. “

Goldstein also said he would like the federal government to do something similar “to provide people with high quality, reliable masks they can use.” Many KN95 masks available online are fake, Goldstein noted.

Biden’s plan also called for more support to hospitals and increased vaccination and booster efforts.

New cases in Utah

On Tuesday, the Utah Department of Health reported 811 new cases of coronavirus in the past day. The seven-day moving average of new cases stands at 964, the lowest since August 16.

The Department of Health also reported 21 more deaths from COVID-19 on Tuesday. A third of them were people aged 45 to 64.

Nine of the deaths reported on Tuesday occurred before December 1 and were only recently confirmed to have been caused by the coronavirus after further testing.

The number of children vaccinated continues to increase: 88,892 children aged 5 to 11 have received at least one dose since becoming eligible. That’s 24.4% of children that age in Utah, according to the Department of Health. And 54,554 of those children were fully immunized, or 15% of this age group.

State intensive care units remain close to capacity. The UDOH reported Tuesday that 93.2% of all intensive care beds in Utah and 96.3% of intensive care beds in major medical centers in the state are occupied. (Hospitals consider anything above 85% to be functional.) Of all critical care patients, 37.9% are treated for COVID-19.

Vaccine doses administered during the last day / total doses administered • 14,003 / 4,448,663.

Number of Utahns fully vaccinated • 1,880,852 – 57.6% of the total population of Utah. It is an increase of 2,660 in the last day.

Cases reported in the last day • 811.

Cases among school-aged children • Kindergarten to grade 12 children accounted for 93 of the new cases announced on Monday, or 11.5% of the total. There have been 45 reported cases in children aged 5 to 10 years; 22 cases in children 11-13; and 26 cases in children aged 14-18.

Tests reported in the last day • 7 393 people were tested for the first time. A total of 14,694 people have been tested.

Deaths reported in the last day • 21.

There have been five deaths in Utah County – two men and a woman aged 45 to 64, and a man and woman aged 65 to 84.

Salt Lake County has reported three deaths – a man and woman aged 45 to 65 and a woman aged 85 or older. There have also been three deaths in Washington County – one man and two women aged 65 to 84. And there have been three deaths in Weber County – a man and woman aged 65 to 84 and a woman aged 85 or older.

Davis County has reported two deaths – both men aged 65 to 84. There have also been two deaths in Box Elder County – a man and a woman aged 45 to 64. And there have been two deaths in Tooele County – two women aged 65 to 84.

Cache County has reported the death of a woman aged 65 to 84.

Hospitalizations reported during the last day • 444. This is 12 less than what was reported on Monday. Of those currently hospitalized, 182 are in intensive care, 10 fewer than reported on Monday.

Percentage of positive tests • According to the original state method, the rate is 11% over the last day. This is below the seven-day average of 11.9%.

The state’s new method counts all test results, including repeat testing of the same individual. Monday’s rate was 5.5%, below the seven-day average of 8.2%.

[Read more: Utah is changing how it measures the rate of positive COVID-19 tests. Here’s what that means.]

Risk ratios • During the past four weeks, unvaccinated Utahns have been 15.6 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than those vaccinated, according to an analysis from the Utah Department of Health. The unvaccinated were also 9.7 times more likely to be hospitalized and 3.7 times more likely more likely to test positive for coronavirus.

Totals to date • 621,008 case; 3,738 deaths; 27,093 hospitalizations; 4,153,440 people tested.


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University of Utah investigates reports of KKK group in dormitories, droppings strewn on black student’s door


The incidents drew further criticism after a student asked on social media why they had not been approached.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) The University of Utah is pictured Wednesday, March 11, 2020. The Salt Lake City school is investigating reports of a KKK group on campus, as well as a debriefing of excrement spread out on a black student door.

University of Utah investigating a report that a group of men entered a dormitory dressed like the KKK, in hooded white robes, in early October.

And the school is investigating a second incident a month earlier, when a black student reported that a substance that appeared to be feces was smeared on the door of a dormitory in the same building.

The two incidents gained attention Sunday night after a student at the Salt Lake City school posted about them on Instagram, wondering why they had not been approached. Now, a U.S. spokesperson has said residential housing officials and campus police are re-examining the incidents, after initial investigations were inconclusive.

Cases are also reviewed by the Racist and Partial Incident Response Team at U., which is expected to issue a statement on its findings this week. After initially saying that the team’s review did not begin until after the student was posted, a U.S. spokesperson later said on Monday that it was not clear whether the team had been informed of the reports earlier.

In the first incident, which happened on September 1, a black student said he returned to his dorm to find him covered in a brown substance, with a paper towel resting on the handle, according to the US spokesperson. . The student believed it was feces and cleaned it up with help from the staff before reporting to his Resident Advisor, or RA.

The United States Housing Bureau reviewed the footage throughout the day and saw no one approaching or at the door. The school spokesperson, however, said the cameras may not have covered the specific area. They did not publicly identify which dormitory the student lived in.

The student was immediately transferred to new accommodation.

In the second case, which allegedly occurred on October 1, an RA reported hearing students in the students’ original dormitory talk about seeing men dressed in KKK clothes trying to recruit students into a supremacist group. White. READ. again scanned three days of video but found nothing matching that description, the spokesperson said. She then clarified that the report noted that the men in white robes were inside the dormitory.

After this RA report, another student’s report from the same day was added to this record. The student said he found a substance he also believed to be feces smeared on his door. The spokesperson initially thought it could be a car door, but later said he was not sure. The student did not immediately contact the police and the school was unable to corroborate this report.

The spokesperson said he was not sure either of these incidents was considered a possible hate crime, but police are re-examining both.

The incidents are the latest to occur in the United States. The school also opened a case in September after two students allegedly shouted racist slurs at a contract worker as he made a delivery to a dormitory loading dock. The students then apparently threw sunflower seeds and coffee pods at the worker.

The worker immediately reported the interaction to university officials, who were able to identify responsible students “and hold them accountable throughout the conduct process,” according to an earlier statement from the U.

At the time, US President Taylor Randall said, “Let me be clear, racist and hateful behavior on our campus is an offense to our entire community, especially our communities of color.”

Prior to that, in January 2020, a car was marked with the N word on campus – shortly before the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations.

University officials say the racist-tagged insult was made by someone pressing their finger in the frost on the car’s windshield and was not permanent. They identified several people involved, according to a school statement, and took “appropriate action.”

The school – along with others in Utah – recently had problems with white supremacist groups coming to campus, hanging up posters and stickers and trying to recruit new members. It culminated in February 2019 when Identity Evropa, which is named as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, climbed the hill to the concrete block U above the university and put up a banner. who declared: “End immigration!” “


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Utah Olympic Group meetings with IOC pile up as both await USOPC green light


Salt Lake City committee glean information from IOC appeal, to travel to Beijing despite US government boycott

Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune men in the men’s 50km race compete in the 15th Anniversary of the 2002 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games at Utah Olympic Park, Soldier Hollow Nordic Center, Saturday, February 4, 2017.

The group trying to bring more Olympics to Utah continues to knock on the door.

At any moment, he thinks, the door of opportunity could open.

But, for now, the International Olympic Committee and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee have the keys. And this week, a delegation from Utah spent two and a half hours trying to pick the locks, or at least the minds of the IOC staff, to figure out what steps still need to be taken to ensure the return of the Winter Games. in the Salt Lake Valley.

“We assume that the Games can be awarded at any time, which is fair,” said Fraser Bullock, president and CEO of the Salt Lake City-Utah Games Committee. “So we’re rushing through our preparations to be ready for when that door might open, because we never know when it might open.”

In a video call that IOC President Thomas Bach briefly joined, the Utah group sought to present themselves as a worthy host of the 2030 or 2034 Winter Games and gain more clarity on what steps it can take to make it happen.

“It has been a great exchange, a collaborative dialogue between the two of us, so that we can better understand their approach and they can give us feedback on where we are today,” said Bullock. “We have received great feedback and great ideas as we move forward. “

The meeting was initially scheduled for three days in Switzerland at the end of November. This trip was postponed to early December due to scheduling conflicts. It then morphed into a virtual reunion amid the uncertainties in international travel that arose with the discovery of the new omicron variant of COVID-19.

It “was really just postponed, because we’re going to see people in Beijing,” Bullock said. “We will postpone this visit until the spring of next year.”

Shortly after the Utah group’s meeting with the IOC, President Joe Biden announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing 2022 Games in February to protest the numerous human rights violations in China. Bullock said, however, that he, committee chair Catherine Raney Norman and Games advisor Darren Hughes were still planning to attend. Bullock said that’s because their focus isn’t on politics, but rather to learn more about the mechanics of the Games.

“Our goal is to be behind the scenes,” he said, “to understand what they are doing in terms of hosting the Games, new ideas that we can bring to our Games and talking with people from our future hosting opportunity. “

Beijing will be the Utah group’s third hearing with the IOC in four months. In a brief November 12 Zoom call joined by USOPC President Susanne Lyons, Utah organizers met with the Future Olympic Winter Games Host Commission, which oversees the IOC’s revamped bid process. . Around this time, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall and Utah Governor Spencer Cox expressed support for Utah’s efforts to host its second Games.

The future host commission also met with other potential hosts recently, but the IOC declined to say which ones.

Strong interest in the 2030 Games came from Sapporo, Japan; Vancouver, Canada; and Barcelona and the Pyrenees in Spain. A The candidate for the presidency of the German Olympic Committee has also expressed support for a candidacy for 2030. Ukraine has also spoken about accommodation, but is seen as a more likely candidate for 2034 or beyond.

In terms of public support, Salt Lake City clearly has the advantage. Sapporo lost considerable support of the Japanese people following the expensive Tokyo Games which they were unable to attend. Spain and Vancouver’s offers also had waning public interest, according to recent polls. Utah, meanwhile, had an 89% approval rating in the most recent poll, although that was in 2017 before the pandemic.

Raney Norman said he saw this enthusiasm in the volunteers who worked in the World Cup long track speed skating event at the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns last weekend.

“We have this stronghold here as people who support and believe in the Olympic and Paralympic movement that continues,” said Raney Norman, quadruple Olympic speed skater. “And it’s something really special and unique that I think sometimes sets us apart a bit too.”

Sustainability is another area where Salt Lake City’s bid shines. The Utah group plans to reuse all venues from the 2002 Games, Bullock said. And while there has been a 40% increase in the number of events since then, including new ones like big air skiing and snowboard cross, he said all of them can fit into existing venues.

Bullock said the IOC emphasized sustainability in its part of Monday’s presentation.

“So it was really a bit of a symbiosis,” he said, “in terms of what they’re trying to accomplish and what we’re trying to accomplish.”

So what’s standing in the way of Utah? At present, the USOPC. Although it has named Salt Lake City its host city for the next Winter Olympics it is bidding on, the organization has not indicated whether it would prefer to host the Games in 2030 or 2034. Part of the delay is due to fact that Los Angeles is hosting the 2028 Summer Olympics and concerns that having two Games two years apart could create sponsor shortages.

The SLC-UT committee will then meet on December 13 for strategic and board meetings. Next, during the US Olympic Short Track Speed ​​Skating Trials at the Olympic Oval on December 17-19, the USOPC plans to hold its own board meeting in Salt Lake City.

Bullock did not indicate that an announcement on the date would be made at either of those meetings.

“After Beijing,” he said, “we think there will be an intensification of activity.”


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Salt lake city

Check out these lesser-known resources at a Salt Lake City or county library near you


Libraries offer more than just books. These are life enriching resource centers today, and the Salt Lake City Public Library and Salt Lake County Library are no exception.

If you’re new to Salt Lake City, here’s a breakdown of the two major library systems in the area.

– The Salt Lake City Public Library System (aka the City Library) is headquartered in the Downtown Main Library and also has seven smaller branches in city neighborhoods. All residents of Salt Lake City or Salt Lake City County can obtain a free library card from the municipal library. For more information visit SLCPL.org.

– The Salt Lake County Library System (aka the County Library) covers a much larger area than the City Library, with 18 branches spread across the Salt Lake Valley. All county residents can get a free library card from the county library. For more information visit SLCOlibrary.org.

Trish Hull, director of the County Library’s Kearns branch, said libraries are “the heart of democracy” because they provide everyone with equal access to information and education.

“We are an equalizer,” she said. To access everything in the following list, all you need is a free library card.

Cultivate your garden

Established in 2019 – in partnership with Wasatch Community Gardens – the City Library’s free seed library allows anyone to request seeds, then bring them home and plant them. Initially based only in the Main Library, the Seed Library has expanded to include Day-Riverside, Marmalade, Glendale and Sprague branches.

Just read the seed catalog – which features an ever-changing variety of vegetables, herbs and flowers – then place your order in line or in person.

Once your garden is finished, save plant seeds and share them, either by giving them to a friend or neighbor or by returning them to the library.

The Seed Library encourages people not to waste seeds, which have the potential “to be a plant that can nourish others in the community,” said Liesl Jacobson, deputy director of community engagement for the library. from the city.

Where: Browse the seed catalog on services.slcpl.org/theplot and pick up orders at the Main Library in downtown Salt Lake City. Or visit a participating branch in person.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Seed Library, at the Marmalade branch of the SLC Public Library System, Thursday, November 18, 2021.

Take food for the brain

The city and county library systems have partnered with the Utah Food Bank to provide free food to children and teens under the age of 18 as part of the Kids’ Cafe program.

The municipal library distributes snacks at its Marmalade and Glendale branches, as well as at the main library. For hours and other information, visit services.slcpl.org/kids-cafe.

The County Library provides free lunch bags for children at the following locations: Hunter, Kearns, Magna, Smith, Tyler and West Valley. For hours and other information, visit https://www.slcolibrary.org/information/FAQs.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Kid’s Cafe is offering free meals for children up to 18 years old at the Kearns Library on Wednesday, June 30, 2021. Here are some non-book resources available at Utah libraries for you. may not be familiar with about including to the new Kearns library. From access to a sound studio, 3D printers, bike repair tools and more, libraries are sources for a variety of rewarding resources, not just books.

Improve your skills

When a car’s brake pads squeal or a kitchen faucet leaks, ignore the repair bill and learn how to fix it yourself with digital how-to guides.

You can also learn to write a resume, take arts and crafts classes, or become a Microsoft Excel assistant. Selection varies by library system and branch.

Where: at SLCPL.org, click on “Explore”, then on “Digital Library”, then search by subject. TO SLCOlibrary.org, click on the “Learn” tab. Then under “Popular Topics” click on “How To”.

Read the newspaper

All library patrons across the state have unlimited access to The Salt Lake Tribune at sltrib.com, including subscriber-only stories.

Thanks to the municipal library website, you can also read The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, as well as 600 international, national and regional newspapers through ProQuest Newsstand (in the digital library).

Borrow from the Library of Things

Discover new technologies and even new worlds with the growth of the County Library Library of things. The equipment collection is free for adult customers and includes Internet hotspots, Chromebooks, tablets, and telescopes for stargazing.

The “Preserve Memory” equipment also available will allow you to start digitizing those shoeboxes of old photos, films, slides and cassettes for future generations.

Where: Selection varies by branch and is subject to availability. Go to SLCOlibrary.org for more information. The municipal library also digital conversion equipment.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) One of the telescopes that can be checked out, at the Marmalade branch of the SLC Public Library System, Thursday, November 18, 2021.

Listen to local tunes

Find something truly unique to hum by browsing the HUM database at hum.slcpl.org. Organized by a group of musicians, writers and producers, HUM is a treasure house of local music ranging in style from rock to country.

Use your library card to stream and download for free.

To show creativity

The cost of high-quality equipment needed for 3D printing, embroidery, engraving, robotics, design or sound production shouldn’t hold back your creativity.

The County Library’s selection of equipment and software will allow any artist to explore and grow. For a full list of everything available, visit slcolibrary.org/information/create.

The municipal library also offers a large material selection for photography, sewing (bring your own yarn and fabric), graphic design, button making, lamination, video production and more.

Where: County Library’s Holladay, Kearns, and Magna branches, or the Town Library’s Main Library, as well as Marmalade, Glendale, and Sprague branches.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Marmalade branch of the Salt Lake City Public Library System has sewing machines, as reported on Thursday, November 18, 2021.

Play the game

Discover your next favorite board game at the Marmalade Game Exchange, the latest addition to the Marmalade branch of The City Library.

Just bring a lightly used board game (make sure all the pieces are inside) to the library and exchange it for a new game that you can take home and keep.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Game Exchange, at the Marmalade branch of the SLC Public Library System, Thursday, November 18, 2021.

Remember the good times

Memory care kits, designed for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia, are now available through the municipal library.

The kits come in five different themes: music, travel, pets, the outdoors or transportation. Each kit contains DVDs, toys, books, CDs and other items that can “spark conversations, provide respite for caregivers and come up with activities that can stimulate memories,” the library said.

To browse the different kits, visit SLCPL.org.


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Utah economy

Urban Utah is priceless. His voices deserve to be heard in Congress.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Members of the public react to public comments in House Building, Room 30, November 8, 2021. The public was able to respond to the only public hearing of the Legislature’s Redistribution Committee on Monday. ‘Utah for the map proposals.

When the legislative redistribution committee presented its grotesque map, Rep. Paul Ray pontificated, “Rural Utah is the reason there is food, water and energy in urban areas of the state.

Agriculture makes up only 2% of Utah’s economy. (Utah Department of Agriculture and Food)

Rural areas cannot take credit for the Colorado River, boasting the poisonous coal that uses over 80% of our water while exporting 27% of their hay.

My urban area offers:

• A world-class research university

• Hospitals with the most advanced treatments available

• Eminent medical specialists

• Shelters for the homeless who migrate here to seek help

• Hundreds of millions of tax revenues

• Innovative companies offering jobs to children in rural areas

• Installations of trucks and trains (with their pollution, noise and traffic) to transport rural goods to foreign markets

• Various shopping opportunities

• A symphony orchestra, an extraordinary theater and museums

• Professional basketball, hockey, baseball and soccer teams.

• Professional ballet and modern dance companies

• An international airport

• Jobs for thousands of commuters

• Polluting refineries providing rural energy

• Wasatch Mountain Recreation

• Arenas large enough to attract world famous celebrities

And last but not least, my urban area offers diversity.

It offers neighborhoods where people of all colors, ages, genders, religions, ethnicities, languages, skills, political parties and opinions can find friendship and acceptance.

We offer the diversity and tolerance that rural children cannot find anywhere else. Our voices deserve to be heard in Congress.

Anne Florence, Murray

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Utah economy

‘Shop Small Crawl’, Other Events Encourage Utah Residents to Shop Local During Decisive Holiday Season

Shop Small Crawl and other events promote local shopping this weekend.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Salt Lake City Winter Market at The Gateway on Saturday, November 14, 2020. Small businesses in Utah rely on community members to shop this weekend and all. throughout the holiday season. .

Small businesses in Utah rely on community members to shop this weekend and throughout the holiday season, according to the owners.

“Every dollar you spend on a locally owned independent business stays here in our community – 55% of that dollar stays in our community,” Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said this week. “That is compared to just 13% you spend at any big box store. “

If you shop locally on Saturday, you can even win $ 500 in spending money – a prize that Local First Utah is promoting ahead of its “Shop Small Crawl” that day, featuring dozens of local businesses.

“You keep more money in our economy, you increase the prosperity of Utahns of all types and you celebrate what it feels like to be in a place with friends and neighbors, which we have been missing,” he said. said the executive director of Local First Utah. Kristen Lavolette said this week she goes shopping small.

On Saturdays, crawl buyers, whether online or in person, can scan a QR code to enter the contest. For a list of participating businesses, visit localfirst.org/shop-small-crawl-guide.

Personalized recommendations

A term first coined by American Express in 2010, “Small Business Saturday” encourages shoppers to buy local after Black Friday, which injects billions of dollars into the economy, primarily for the benefit of national and international retailers.

“Retailers like us operate at a loss for much of the year,” Matt Caputo of Caputo’s Market and Deli said this week. “Having a very busy vacation period is really where we take a big part of it. “

Buying local doesn’t necessarily mean ignoring large online retailers and big box stores, Caputo said. But he encouraged residents to spend time browsing local business districts, where Mendenhall said small business owners and employees can offer personalized recommendations that outperform most “25 best gifts” lists.

King’s English Bookstore, for example, prides itself on finding the perfect match for every guest reader.

“There could be a lot of books that are on containers somewhere in the ocean,” said Anne Holman of The King’s English. “But I promise we have a lot more books in the store than you will find and love.”

Holiday markets

The Shop Small Crawl isn’t the only way to find unique gifts this weekend and throughout the holiday season: Wheeler Holiday Market, 6351 S. 900 East, opened in Murray for its weekend. end of annual shopping with more than 30 sellers.

At the Bountiful Davis Art Center, located at 90 N. Main St., vendors from across the state will be selling handmade products Tuesday through Saturday through December 23.

The Neighborhood Hive Small Business pop-up also features a variety of vendors at 2065 E. 2100 South, Salt Lake City, every Saturday of the holiday season from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

And the seasonal Winter Farmers Market has recently started at The Gateway, located at 400 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City. It operates from Saturday to April from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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Salt lake city government

Scientists strive to understand the record of mine-related contamination in sediments under Lake Powell


The first data from a 2018 research project is now published.

(Jerry McBride | The Durango Herald via AP) In this file photo from Thursday, August 6, 2015, people kayak in the Animas River near Durango, Colo. In water colored yellow by a garbage spill mining. A team overseen by the US Environmental Protection Agency has been accused of causing the spill as it attempted to clean up the area near the abandoned Gold King mine. Tribal officials in the Navajo Nation declared a state of emergency on Monday, August 10, as the massive plume of contaminated sewage flowed down the San Juan River to Lake Powell in Utah, which provides a much of the water to the southwest.

The 2015 Durango Herald photograph was instantly recognized as the scene of an environmental disaster: three kayakers paddling the Animas River in southwest Colorado, the water below them as orange and radiant as a Creamsicle.

A containment pond near Silverton, Colo., Was accidentally drilled at the Gold King mine and 3 million gallons of metal-laden sludge was released into the Animas, flowing downstream into the San Juan River.

The river cleared again within days, but much of the heavy metals and other pollutants released from the spill made their way downstream until they hit Lake Powell, along with all of the other sediments that had been transported downstream by the Colorado River and its tributaries since the completion of the Glen Canyon Dam in 1963.

“Lake Powell is the integrator of the entire upper Colorado River basin,” said Scott Hynek, a hydrologist for the United States Geological Survey (USGS) at the Utah Water Science Center. “Once they closed that dam, whatever went through there that was sediment stayed. “

[Related: As Lake Powell shrinks, the Colorado River is coming back to life]

The federal government, which oversaw the cleanup of the Gold King mine when the accident occurred, then paid hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements to affected areas of Utah, New Mexico and the Navajo Nation. . He also earmarked funding for the USGS to study sediment samples in Lake Powell, a project led by Hynek in late 2018.

A rotating crew of 20 to 30 people spent more than a month on the reservoir in what Hynek describes as a “kind of floating city” consisting of two to three barges, a barge pusher, a platform. form of a well, a working laboratory and an office. 24 hours a day. The USGS team partnered with the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, the United States Bureau of Reclamation, and the United States National Park Service to extract 30 cores from the beds of the San Juan and Colorado rivers.

(USGS) Drill rig used to collect sediment samples on Lake Powell in 2018.

The objective was to understand not only the potential impacts of the Gold King mine disaster, but also to analyze the record of sediment trapped in the upper part of Lake Powell and 50 feet thick in places.

Initial data collected on the project has just been released and Hynek made a public presentation on the preliminary results earlier this month. He hopes the project will be useful to scientists working across the river basin on a variety of projects. The sediment recording, he explained, “is like the ultimate ground truth about what happened in the upper Colorado River basin on a massive scale over 70 years.”

Core samples taken from the San Juan arm of the reservoir show spikes of lead and zinc that may have been deposited by the Gold King mine spill in 2015, but there are much larger – and more concerning – spikes in the metals. which were likely deposited in the 1970s, when larger mine waste disasters occurred in the watershed.

“More important things happened in the ’70s in San Juan than the Gold King,” Hynek said.

(USGS) Scott Hynek, hydrologist at the Utah Water Science Center, presents preliminary results from the Lake Powell coring project on November 1, 2021.

The San Juan and its tributaries have a long history of hard rock mining, and copper and lead concentrations are higher in sediment cores from the San Juan River than those collected from the Colorado River arm. The Colorado side had a more active history of uranium mining and processing, including near Moab, and the core showed higher concentrations of uranium in the Colorado River Arm.

But some of the metal peaks found in the silt from the reservoir aren’t necessarily related to historic mining. The San Juan River, for example, has seen an increase in lead concentrations after monsoon rains fell on burn scars from wildfires.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) The so-called Dominy Formation, clearly illustrated by high walls of sediment in Waterhole Canyon, one of the tributaries of the Colorado River in Cataract Canyon, is studied by a team of scientists during ‘a recent trip as part of the Returning Rivers project. The informal term is named after the controversial former Bureau of Reclamation commissioner, Floyd Dominy, who was the main architect of Lake Powell and many other Western dam projects.

Hynek pointed out that the project’s data is only being analyzed now and that much more detailed reports are expected to be released over the next 18 months with more raw data, which he hopes will be used by university professors for a number of research projects. .

“We have a chance to provide a better view of history now than first-hand recordings [from the time]”Hynek said.

Zak Podmore is a Report for America corps member and writes about conflict and change in San Juan County for the Salt Lake Tribune. Your matching donation to our RFA grant helps her continue to write stories like this; please consider making a tax deductible donation of any amount today by clicking here.


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Salt lake city

Group Serves Gratitude Day Dinner to SLC Homeless Community


Black Lives for Humanity also distributed clothes and blankets to participants.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Dave John cooks beans for Navajo Tacos, as he teams up with volunteers from Black Lives for Humanity to serve a ‘gratitude dinner’ to over 100 homeless people , on 500 West in Salt Lake City on Thursday, November 25, 2021.

More than 100 homeless people had a hot Thanksgiving meal Thursday at a “Gratitude Dinner” hosted by the group Black Lives for Humanity.

The meal included Navajo tacos, fruit, and a pumpkin and apple pie, and was served at a wasteland near 400 South and 500 West in Salt Lake City. Dave John, who is Navajo, cooked the Navajo tacos with the help of volunteers. John is known for traveling with a portable kitchen and preparing meals for homeless people.

The group also distributed clothes and blankets to the participants. Lane Neaman drummed and sang round dance songs in southern Oklahoma.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Dave John cooks beans for Navajo Tacos, as he teams up with volunteers from Black Lives for Humanity to serve a ‘gratitude dinner’ to over 100 homeless people , on 500 West in Salt Lake City on Thursday, November 25, 2021.

Also on Thursday, volunteers delivered nearly 100 additional meals to homeless people in camps across the city.

Black Lives for Humanity is led by Ty Bellamy and works to support the homeless community.


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Salt lake city government

Let me count the many ways the madness bubbled up in Utah


(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Carson Jorgensen, President of the Utah Republican Party, center, was surrounded by members of the public reacting in accordance with the public’s comments by raising their hands in solidarity against the new cards House Building Redistribution Panel, Room 30, November 8, 2021. The public was able to respond to the Utah Legislature’s Redistribution Committee’s only public hearing on Monday for the map proposals.

I guess I’m not the only person in Salt Lake City today who feels like I’m sinking into a bottomless pit of despair. We all knew there was an undercurrent of madness lurking in our state, but it has now bubbled over the state pot.

If it was just madness, but, unfortunately, it is multiple: the indictment of an entire county for blatant racial discrimination, a group of young students and a teacher from an elementary school responsible for the suicide of ‘a ten year old black autistic child, the Utah legislature and governor turn their backs 100% on voters’ rights to a fair redistribution, three of our four lawmakers voting to block Utah from us money for new roads and infrastructure, and, as Geoge Pyle said so clearly, our own lawmakers are clearly setting us on the path to a national fascist government in the not-so-distant future.

I’m starting to believe that the Davis District isn’t alone in its stupidity and high opinion of itself, that our own government has made Utah an oligarchy-ruled state with very little actual electoral representation. , and that many Utah residents are wondering how we can escape the democratic ghetto of Salt Lake City before his clear and present death. And our majority religious institution in this not-so-fair state must ask itself when and where it all went so horribly wrong.

Bev Terry, Salt Lake City

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Salt lake city

Maverick Sports Bar at Salt City Best Fest


The Wendover Nugget and Maverick Gaming sponsor the Salt Lake Tribune’s first annual Salt City Best Fest.

(Maverick) Maverick spread

The Wendover Nugget and Maverick Gaming sponsor the Salt Lake Tribune’s first annual Salt City Best Fest.

On December 4, 2021, guests will explore three levels of the Leonardo Museum, sampling over 30 of the best restaurants, bars, and distilleries Salt Lake has to offer.

With live music from artists such as Blane Long from The Voice, this is sure to be one of the best December events in Salt Lake City.

Salt City’s first annual Best Fest, sponsored by Wendover Nugget, promises to be Salt Lake City’s hottest new festival

Salt Lake City‘s newest festival, Best Fest, celebrates and features the area’s best businesses as voted by locals.

Visitors may be surprised that there is no shortage of Salt Lake City nightlife, but locals know it better. That’s why earlier this year, the Salt Lake Tribune announced Salt City Best, a competition for local businesses to be selected as the best in the region.

The winner’s magazine comes out on December 5, 2021, but locals can get a glimpse of the valley’s top sellers by attending the event itself on December 4.

Discover new favorites with friends and family, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. or 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Leonardo Historical Museum downtown.

Sponsored by the Wendover Nugget Hotel and Casino, the Salt City Best Fest reflects Utah’s vibrant, foodie and musical culture.

The new and improved Wendover Nugget hotel and casino

Gambling was first legalized in the 1930s in the state of Nevada. Since then, Wendover has been a hot spot for Utahns looking for a little Vegas-style fun (but maybe don’t want to make the trip to Las Vegas).

Originally, the Wendover nugget was a rest station for travelers crossing the desert between Utah and Nevada. It later became the State Line Casino and Hotel, one of the the oldest casinos in the state of Nevada.

Now, under new ownership, it has been completely revitalized as the self-proclaimed “best place to play and stay” in Wendover. With 500 deluxe rooms, luxury bathrooms and suites, free shuttle service, premium sports betting and casino games, it is sure to have an amazing stay in Wendover.

Taste food from the updated Nugget Steakhouse

Only the finest hand-cut steaks are grilled to perfection at Nugget Steakhouse.

Recently updated as one of Wendover’s best dining experiences, the Nugget’s famous steaks will be available to be tasted at Salt City Best Fest.

Find out what’s on the menu and why people are scrambling to try these award-winning steak dishes. Plus, find out which drinks pair best with each dish!

You won’t want to miss it.

Win a trip to the Wendover Nugget at Salt City Best Fest!

Participants will have the chance to participate in freebies for a trip to the Wendover Nugget, as well as dinner vouchers, loot and more.

Simply enter the raffle during the event to win trips, dinners and prizes. Visit the kiosks for Maverick game and The Wendover Nugget during the event for extra chances of winning!

If you’ve been wishing for more concerts and live music in Salt Lake City, this event is for you. It’s hard to beat the live music, free travel, and the best sellers the city has to offer.

Book your ticket now, before the Salt City Best Fest is sold out!


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Salt lake city

Major road improvements are underway for Mill Creek, but will they improve the popular canyon?


Acre for acre, few outdoor recreation areas in Utah are used more than Mill Creek Canyon, the heavily forested destination where a nine mile drive connects Salt Lake City to many backcountry trails in the Wasatch Mountains.

So many people visit to hike, fish, cycle, have a picnic, ski, and most noticeably run their dogs that the road is crowded with cars under the winter gate most weekends. weekends and evenings all year round and above the door in summer.

Salt Lake County posted a plan to widen the upper canyon narrow winding road in the hope of reducing congestion and protecting the watershed. But some canyon enthusiasts wonder if pouring more asphalt would really help or just make matters worse.

County officials on Wednesday proposed nearly $ 20 million in upgrades for the upper canyon, which they say are needed to accommodate the growing number of cars in the canyon. Salt Lake County and the US Forest Service are looking to widen the 4.5-mile road beyond the Winter Gate to the Big Water Trailhead in a primarily funded $ 38 million program speak Federal Land Access Program, or FLAP.

“We know this canyon is loved by so many people and it’s really about preparing for the future,” Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson said at an event at the now closed gate. ‘winter. “This is a plan to improve access, manage access, and build the amenities we all need when we recreate ourselves here. One of them being efficient parking, one of them being better trailheads [and] in appropriate places, widening of the road. I know the Forest Service is very sensitive to this topography and we’re not going to do anything that doesn’t make sense.

(Brian Maffly | The Salt Lake Tribune) Salt Lake District Ranger Bekee Hotze of the US Forest Service reveals plans to upgrade the deteriorating narrow road at the top of Utah’s popular Mill Creek Canyon, shown behind her on Wednesday, November 3, 2021. Also pictured, left to right, Salt Lake County Planning Officer Helen Peters, Mayor Jenny Wilson and Millcreek Mayor Jeff Silvestrini.

The road would be closed during construction from fall 2024 to spring 2026, while the high canyon backcountry would still be accessible by trail from the terraces, pipeline and nearby Lambs Canyon.

Many people cherish the upper Mill Creek Canyon as it is today, with its narrow, low-speed road, and fear that road improvements could alter the character of the canyon. A wider road could bring even more traffic to an already saturated place, Carl Fisher, executive director of Save our canyons.

“Improvements are needed, of course, but are we building more things in the canyons to accommodate more people? The answer seems to be yes, ”Fisher said in an interview. “We’re on the verge of losing any semblance of Wasatch we once knew.”

About five miles from the canyon, the road is closed for at least eight months a year, from November 1 or earlier to June 30. Although closed to cars, it sees even more traffic during this time when it is used by cyclists, cross-country skiers, hikers, children in sleds and canine companions. Widening the route would do little to improve the experience for these seasonal users and would likely degrade it, critics say.

Some stakeholders have explored a shuttle system for the canyon, but that idea has not caught on with the Forest Service, which oversees public lands in the mountains above Salt Lake City.

The agency is proposing to completely rebuild the road and widen it 29 feet from the winter gate at Elbow Fork and up to 24 feet for the last three miles to the Big Water Trailhead.

“Access to Mill Creek Canyon and facilities in the canyon is deteriorating and not keeping up with current use,” said Bekee Hotze, Salt Lake City District, Forest Service. “Where possible, the road will be widened to accommodate the multiple uses we currently see in the canyon. “

Parking would be improved at high-traffic areas such as Alexander Basin, Big Water, and Elbow Fork, but would be eliminated along the roadway where the parking lot broke the sides of the road.

“You want the road base to stay on the road, you don’t want that in your feed. The road is made of tars and chemicals which, when thrown into the waterway, are not good for the fish, ”Hotze said. “So this project will add retaining walls where needed to ensure the base of the road stays where it is intended.”

Bike paths would be added, but not everywhere.

“In some parts of the route it is not possible to widen the route enough and maintain the character of the canyon,” Hotze said.

Officials will host an open house on November 9 at Millcreek Town Hall from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. and will be accepting public comment until December 9.

A $ 15 million FLAP grant would fund this work in the Upper Canyon with local sources, adding a matching $ 4 million. An equal-sized FLAP investment is being considered for the lower canyon, which is open to cars all year round, but at a later date.

Like the neighboring canyons of Big and Little Cottonwood, Mill Creek has seen a significant influx of recreational use in recent years as more Utahns discover natural wonders just outside of the major population centers of the State along the Wasatch front. Since the start of 2020, the pandemic has pushed many people outside, accelerating overcrowding in Utah’s canyons and other destinations.

Even before the pandemic, traffic in Mill Creek was skyrocketing from 192,000 vehicles in 2013 to 1 million last year, according to county spokeswoman Jordan Carroll. Mill Creek is especially popular with dog owners, whose furry friends aren’t allowed in protected watersheds, such as Cottonwood, City Creek, and Parleys Canyons.

Julie Jag | The Salt Lake Tribune Although some trees have lost their leaves, many are still colorful along the Red Pine Road Trail in Mill Creek Canyon on Thursday, October 7, 2021.

“It’s so beautiful and natural. And sadly, as our population in Utah grows, these places can be loved to death. And the purpose of this grant is to close that gap and do some things that are necessary to preserve the wilderness of this canyon, preserve the watershed, provide better access so people can get up here and park, ” said Jeff Silvestrini, Mayor of Millcreek. . “Mill Creek Canyon is an asset that everyone in Salt Lake Valley appreciates, but it’s the backyard of Millcreek, and that’s why my town is particularly interested in this canyon. This is why we organized the open day on this subject.

The Uinta-Wasatch Cache National Forest oversees Mill Creek Canyon in partnership with the county, which charges visitors $ 5 per vehicle exiting the canyon to generate revenue to cover maintenance of the many amenities that line the causeway. Annual passes cost $ 50.

Revenue generated from the fees, which had been increased in January 2020, has nearly doubled since 2016, from $ 583,000 to over $ 1 million last year, according to county data.

These revenues generally do not fund upgrades, such as new parking at Rattlesnake Gulch or new trails at Rattlesnake and Alexander Basin. But some could be tapped to meet local matching requirements for FLAP grants, according to Carroll.


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Salt lake city

Ken Ivory wants to return to the Utah legislature


Good Monday morning Utah! Thanks for reading “The Rundown”.

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(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Rep. Ken Ivory asks a few questions about the broad tax review bill during his first public hearing at a committee meeting on Friday, March 1, 2019.

The return of Ken Ivory?

Former Rep. Ken Ivory is considering returning to Capitol Hill in Utah.

The sudden resignation of Representative Steve Christiansen last week means Republican delegates in HD47 will choose his replacement for the 2022 session. Ivory, who resigned that seat in 2019, has informed Salt Lake County GOP leaders that he was a candidate to replace Christiansen.

Ivory resigned from the legislature in August 2019 to take a job at a company that won a $ 700,000 state contract that he helped lead through the legislature before stepping down.

During his previous term in the legislature, Ivory advocated for states to gain more control over their public lands. He has had ethical complaints filed against him, claiming that his work with the American Lands Council, a nonprofit organization he began advocating for transferring public lands to states, scammed counties into they donate money to this organization.

HD47 delegates chose Christiansen to replace Ivory after her resignation.

Sources say “The Rundown” Ivory is already reaching out to delegates for their support ahead of the special election.

So far, the other declared candidate in the race is Nathan Brun, who lost the GOP primary to Christiansen last year by 834 votes.

The the special election will take place on November 15, which means that the HD47 seat will be vacant during the special redistribution session. Candidates can enter the race until November 13.

Here’s what you need to know for Monday morning

Utah

🚨 Before resigning suddenly last week, Rep. Steve Christiansen was looking to get his hands on the personal information of thousands of voters in Utah. It appears he would give this information to a far-right group aiming to go door-to-door to match voters with votes seeking electoral fraud. [Tribune]

🚨 Robert Gehrke of the Tribune reports that Republicans in the Utah Senate have had a preview of their new district maps, including partisan breakdown. This was before the independent redistribution commission finished its work. [Tribune]

💉 Utah joins several other states in a lawsuit against the federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate for employees of government contractors. [Tribune]

Tomorrow is election day in Utah. Preferential voting could delay results in several cities. [Tribune]

  • Mysterious text messages rock a race at city council in Draper. [Tribune]

  • Policing is the number one issue for voters in the Salt Lake City District 5 contest. [Tribune]

🏛 Representative Adam Kinzinger visited Utah last week. He exclusively explained to The Tribune why Republicans have become so enthralled with former President Donald Trump, the Jan.6 inquiry and political tribalism. [Tribune]

🥾 Utah wants to attract the Outdoor Retailers Trade Show to Salt Lake City, but one wonders if the political environment in the state of Beehive is to the liking of the organizers. [Tribune]

🌎 Representative John Curtis and his Conservative climate caucus are traveling to Glasgow this week for the COP26 climate talks. [Tribune]

🤦‍♂️ Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert’s campaign has erroneously stated that she represents Utah in her FEC disclosure documents. [Forbes]

national

➡️ READ: FBI and Other Law Enforcement Agencies Missed Warnings While Others Failed To Pass Out Critical Information Ahead of Jan.6 Attack on U.S. Capitol . [WaPo]

The House plans to vote on two spending bills on Tuesday. The $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure package and a $ 1.75 trillion social program proposal are critical parts of President Joe Biden’s agenda. [CNN]

📊 Approval for President Biden’s job drops to just 42% in a new poll. [NBC News]

The race for governor in Virginia is heading towards the wire. This could cause big problems for Democrats. [WSJ]

⚖️ The Supreme Court will hear two challenges to the near-total ban on abortions in Texas. [NYT]

⚖️ A challenge to New York’s gun licensing law is on the Supreme Court’s record on Wednesday, which could lead to a significant extension of gun rights. [AP]

✈️ American Airlines canceled hundreds of flights over the weekend due to staff issues and bad weather. [WaPo]

💉 More than 24,000 New York City municipal workers were not vaccinated against COVID by today’s deadline. These employees will be put on unpaid leave and the city is bracing for a staff shortage. [Bloomberg]

🦠 COVID-19 has killed more than 5 million people worldwide. [CNN]

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Representatives Adam Kinzinger and Evan McMullin in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, October 27, 2021.

Kinzinger backs McMullin in race for US Senate

Representative Adam Kinzinger traveled to Utah last week to do a small fundraiser for his PAC and endorse Evan McMullin, who is running for the US Senate as an independent.

“He’s someone who loves his country, and I think we’re at a time when people are putting their loyalty to a party rather than their loyalty to the country,” Kinzinger said.

Kinzinger and McMullin have known each other for several years, starting when McMullin was a member of the House Foreign Affairs committee.

Kinzinger’s endorsement is important, if only for his role on the House committee investigating the January 6 attack. Kinzinger was one of the strongest supporters of the attempted insurgency that day and the role played by former President Donald Trump.

It’s a stark contrast to Senator Mike Lee, who McMullin will likely face next November. We recently learned that Lee was aware of the memo from Trump’s attorney John Eastman explaining how the 2020 election could be called off, but said nothing. Even knowing this, and following the violent attack on the United States Capitol, Lee voted to acquit Trump in his second impeachment trial.

Endorsements don’t usually decide who wins or loses an election, but they do help candidates build a narrative. If McMullin decides to make 1/6 a problem, that might draw a clear line.

(Read my exclusive one-on-one interview with Kinzinger here)

Monday Morning Utah News Summary

Utah

  • The Salt Lake City Convention Hotel takes to the skies. Will the conventions bounce back? [Tribune]

  • The coal miner who failed to restore farmland will be shut down if he does not repair his “fraudulent” link, regulators say. [Tribune]

  • The state is considering the northern Utah Valley to store water from the Bear River. [Tribune]

  • Utah hospitals are collecting used crutches, walkers and canes in response to supply chain issues. [Tribune]

  • Utah Supreme Court Justice Deno Himonas retires, plans revert to private sector. [Tribune]

  • After COVID, employees in Utah will see more flexibility in how and where they work. [Tribune]

  • Some Utah resorts already have enough snow to open, but do they have the employees? [Deseret News]

  • Utah Small Businesses Share Tales of Struggle with the Governor. [Fox 13]

  • Almost 20 years later, a study examines the Olympic impacts on the Park City community. [KPCW]

COVID-19[feminine

  • Au milieu de COVID-19, les vaccinations infantiles ont considérablement diminué dans l’Utah. [Tribune]

  • Children who contract COVID-19 can suffer from serious illness, warns a leading Utah doctor. [Tribune]

  • Unified firefighter captain dies of complications from COVID-19. [Tribune]

  • More children hospitalized with COVID-19, according to a Utah doctor, because the vaccine is licensed for ages 5 to 11. [Deseret News]

Education

  • Utah universities aren’t disclosing computer science students quickly enough for Silicon Slopes. That may soon change. [Tribune]

  • The Utahns’ top priority for the budget surplus? Spend it on education, poll shows. [Deseret News]

  • A Minnesota company will donate $ 3.3 million to the Utah Board of Education after technical issues botched student tests. [Deseret News]

Religion

  • Religious Tribune reporter Peggy Fletcher Stack will lead an international journalism group. [Tribune]

  • Leading Latter-day Saint leaders visit refugees in northern Iraq. [Tribune]

Opinion

  • Ben Anderson: Utah should focus on fair cards, not political games. [Tribune]

  • Mitt Romney isn’t mean, but that doesn’t mean he’s right about taxes, writes George Pyle. [Tribune]

  • Opinion: Here’s why Utah lawmakers should adopt the independent commission’s political maps. [Deseret News]

🎂 You say it’s your birthday? !!

Happy Birthday to Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson.

Do you have a birthday that you would like us to recognize in this space? Send us an e-mail.



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Salt lake city government

Could Outdoor Retailer come back to Salt Lake City? Utah wants it, but does it want Utah?


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

Four years ago, the biannual Outdoor Retailer show left Salt Lake City angry with Utah’s stance on public land management, especially its hostility to national monument designations.

Upset at Utah’s efforts to pressure then-President Donald Trump to erase the Bears Ears National Monument, industry executives pushed the show’s owner, Emerald Expositions, to to bail out Salt Lake City after a 20-year run that had been a boon to both the city and the show, which drew 45,000 people who contributed $ 40 million to the region’s economy.

As of 2018, the show has been held in Colorado, where the political climate is more to the liking of the companies that make camping gear, climbing gear, and outdoor clothing – and the retailers that sell it.

The monument is now back, by order of President Joe Biden. Will Outdoor Retailer, or OR, also come back to Utah? Denver’s contract to host the event expires at the end of 2022, and some industry insiders are wondering if the show would be better off in Hive State. Salt Lake City’s nightlife and dining may not be on par with Denver, but costs are lower and access to recreation sites is much better.

Utah’s capital is the only city in the country that can accommodate 30,000 conventioneers, but it’s also close enough to recreation venues for those attendees to enjoy the outdoors, according to Tom Adams, who headed the Recreation Bureau. outdoor station in Utah when the show retired in 2017.

Prior to his government service, Adams was an operating theater exhibitor as an employee of French gearmaker Petzl.

“I can’t tell you what a great relationship I’ve had with the people I’ve been able to ski, ice climb or rock climb with around the living room as opposed to going to dinner,” Adams says. , who returned to work for Petzl as part of its operations in the United States. “It’s so much nicer to connect with someone while recreating yourself. You can’t do it in Denver.

Visit Salt Lake confirmed it had developed a proposal to host the show at Salt Palace from 2023, but declined to discuss it. Other cities in the running, in addition to Denver, are Anaheim, California; Orlando, Florida; and Las Vegas.

Show director Marisa Nicholson said there are many factors that will come into play in a final decision, including the opinions of outdoor industry representatives who were interviewed.

“Easy access to the outdoors is also extremely important to our community,” she said. “The magic of Outdoor Retailer is that it goes beyond business. It’s about unifying the industry so that we can collectively improve the outdoor experience.

The Outdoor Industry Association, the trade group that lobbied for the release of OR from Utah, has made no one available for an interview for this story.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Show attendees overlook the Ortovox booth as Outdoor Recreation holds its final show in Utah on Wednesday, July 26, 2017, before relocating to Denver after two decades in Salt Lake City.

Governor of Utah makes his pitch

Utah Governor Spencer Cox added his voice to the discussion with a video love letter to leaders in the outdoor industry, begging them to return home to Salt Lake City. His post highlighted the advances in Utah’s hospitality industry, which can be attributed to the OR show.

“Of course your salon has also seen incredible growth during this time, and I’d like to think we’ve played a very positive role,” Cox said in his video. “We have missed you for the past few years and we have made some improvements while you were gone. “

Outdoor recreation is at the heart of the Utah brand and state leaders, including Cox, have highlighted it by attracting tech employers to the Wasatch Front. According to data cited by state officials, it represents $ 12 billion in economic activity, employs 110,000 people and generates $ 737 million in tax revenue.

In his video, the governor highlighted the $ 4 billion Salt Lake City airport upgrade and the 700-room Hyatt Regency under construction near the Salt Palace, where the show has been on for years.

“And we are working with key stakeholders and the Home Office to establish sustainable ways to manage Bear Ears National Monument and other cherished public lands,” Cox said. “The outdoor industry is important to Utah, and the outdoor retailer show is important to Utah. We invite you again and we will take great care of you.

Eh? Cox’s immediate predecessor Gary Herbert basically told the industry to take a hike if they didn’t like Utah’s public land policies.

Times and attitudes have changed since then, but Utah’s political leaders and the outdoor industry remain miles apart over land management controversies.

Why return to Salt Lake City?

And that’s okay, says Kenji Haroutunian, who ran the OR show from 2007 to 2014. He thinks the outdoor industry would likely have more influence on Utah politics if it held its more. large trade show in Salt Lake City.

“It’s a philosophical question: do you want a seat at the table to speak in Utah? Says Haroutunian, who helped launch a new outdoor trade show in Utah this year.

“How much influence does the outdoor industry have on Utah politics now?” Not that much because you took your ball and walked away, ”he says. “It would be better to stay and engage and be able to share points of view.”

He hopes to steer the debate towards maintaining the vitality of the industry and promoting outdoor recreation as a means of improving people’s mental and physical health and economic prospects.

“It’s part of the fabric of the state. It’s a paradise, ”says Haroutunian, based in Southern California. “We can discuss land management, but in the meantime let’s make sure the industry is healthy.

The show’s return to Utah largely depends on the preferences of members of the outdoor industry, and convenience may end up playing a bigger role than politics. Nicholson staff gathered feedback from all aspects of the industry, including brands and retailers of all sizes, product representatives, nonprofits and the media.

“We surveyed the industry this summer to assess both the location and timing of the summer and winter show,” she said. “From preferred locations, we work with cities to find dates that match preferred time frames, leaving plenty of time to move in, put on the show, and relocate. We also work with local hotels and assess other resources needed to create the best opportunity for everyone to have a successful experience.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for the trade show industry as industries have struggled to adjust to life without large gatherings. OU was no exception.

“Outdoor recreation has seen tremendous growth throughout the pandemic, which has been great for our industry. At the same time, we’ve all learned to work in new ways in order to stay connected and reach the growing consumer base, ”Nicholson said. “As the digital space continues to streamline the way we do business, we are incorporating new opportunities in conjunction with in-person shows, such as online matchmaking and year-round content through our magazine. “

OR resumed operations in August at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver with about a quarter of the attendance it saw at the show’s pre-pandemic peak in 2019.

“While a larger portion of the outdoor community wanted to attend, not everyone could at the time. Now, with international travel opening next month, and as we continue to weather the pandemic, we expect 2022 shows to see more brands and retailers ready to come together again, ”Nicholson said. . “People are gradually moving around the world, realizing the benefits of face-to-face conversations and the impact of live events.”

But Haroutunian, Nicholson’s predecessor as the show’s director, believes the drop in attendance may be part of the trend, rather than just a fender-bender.

“Big trade shows can disappear overnight. Once they lost their momentum, they struggled to come back or didn’t come back, ”Haroutunian said. “It feels like investing in an outfielder who is past his prime as a player. Past strength and prowess are no guarantee of future returns. “

This year, Haroutunian helped launch what he sees as the future of outdoor trade shows in Utah.

Held annually in Deer Valley, the Big Gear Show represents a new direction in trade shows. It takes place entirely outdoors and combines cycling and paddling – sports no longer on the OR show menu – with other outdoor activities. It is also much cheaper to attend. Indeed, the promoters of shows take care of the accommodation of the participants.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Big Gear Show, a new outdoor convention now in its first year, takes place at the base of Deer Valley Resort for a 3-day event on Tuesday, August 3, 2021. At In the years to come, he can hope to compete with Outdoor Retailer, the huge outdoor convention that left Utah because of a political fight over the Bear’s Ears National Monument.

“It’s an experiential event based on participation,” said Haroutunian. “Instead of wandering around an indoor setting, you can throw your leg up on a bicycle or light a stove to see if it can simmer or not. You can really do more to figure out the equipment, play with it, get it dirty, dirty and wet it and see what happens.

Salt Lake City should have many advantages over Denver for hosting an outdoor industry show regardless of the show structure.

Other observers wonder if the OR show has run its course and if it’s time to reconsider whether such massive gatherings are really serving the outdoor industry well.

“Outdoor recreation is a low-margin business. Most people are there for the passion, ”Haroutunian said. “They love to be outside. They like to participate. They try to maintain their lifestyle by being in the business. A trade show should reflect this business environment.


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Salt lake city

Utah can expect clear skies on the weekend


The National Weather Service is planning a sunny weekend.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Waves of birds fly west under a golden sunset over Great Salt Lake on Thursday, October 14, 2021.

Warmer temperatures and clear skies are expected in Utah after a week of frost and snow warnings, according to the National Weather Service.

Although temperatures will remain below average for this time of year, Saturday’s high is forecast at around 62 degrees with clear skies and light winds in the afternoon. A low of 40 degrees is expected on Saturday evening, the weather service reported.

Sunday will bring a high near 69, which matches the mid-60s average temperatures for mid-October. However, it will be colder next week.

The forecast for Salt Lake City calls for a high of 59, 55, 61 and 63 degrees on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. The lows of the night should be in the 30s and 40s.

There is a 50% chance of showers on Monday, but the weather service does not predict any precipitation for the rest of the week.

Temperatures in southwest Utah will hit 70 degrees over the weekend with a high of 78 expected on Saturday and 79 on Sunday. The middle of the week should be quite temperate with highs in the mid-70s Monday through Thursday and lows in the 40s.

Temperatures are starting to line up with mid-October averages in St. George, where average highs are in the 1970s and lows in the 1960s.


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Salt lake city government

October 11 is Indigenous Peoples Day, and many Indigenous people say there is still a lot of reconciliation work to be done for the Utahns.


Local leaders say they would like to see it recognized statewide and have Columbus Day abolished.

(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune) Carl Moore, President of Peaceful Advocates for Native Dialogue and Organizing Support, listens to Salt Lake City City Council vote unanimously in favor of establishing the second Monday in October as People’s Day natives at their regular council meeting in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, October 3, 2017. The League of Native American Voters of Utah worked with council member Charlie Luke (District 6) to put this resolution to a vote. If successful, Salt Lake City will join 26 other cities across the country in adopting Indigenous Peoples Day. Replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day is an important step towards historical truth and cultural reconciliation in this country.

Indigenous Peoples Day is October 11, and many Indigenous peoples know that there is still a lot of reconciliation work to be done for the Utahns to understand the Indigenous experience in the state’s eight sovereign nations.

This includes the elimination of Columbus Day as a statutory holiday.

While the progressive pockets of Salt Lake City support and honor Indigenous Peoples Day on the second Monday in October, Utah does not. That needs to change immediately, say Diné organizer and activist Denae Shanidiin, Restoring Ancestral Winds (RAW), and Paiute Indian tribe president of Utah, Corrina Bow.

On the same day Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument were restored by proclamation, President Joe Biden also signed a federal proclamation to designate each October 11 as Indigenous Peoples Day.

“From time immemorial, Native Americans, Alaska Natives and Hawaiians have built vibrant and diverse cultures – protecting the land, language, spirit, knowledge and traditions through generations, ”Biden said in the proclamation. “On Indigenous Peoples Day, our nation celebrates the invaluable contributions and resilience of Indigenous peoples, recognizes their inherent sovereignty, and commits to honoring the federal government’s trust and treaty obligations to tribal nations.

Shanidiin’s RAW group seeks to end violence – physical, sexual, spiritual and mental – in Utah’s eight Indigenous communities.

“The next step in honoring indigenous peoples is to abolish Columbus Day, a symbolic day of white supremacy, shamelessly celebrating the story of a mass murderer, rapist and enslaver of indigenous peoples,” Shanidiin said, adding Nor does Utah’s celebration of Pioneer Day in July tell the true story of how Mormon settlers and their colonization across Utah amounted to Columbus Day.

Bow, who is the leader of his people, added that it is important for Utah to recognize the natives of the state as Nung’wu, or the people, who lived here long before the arrival of white settlers. .

“We must not forget those who fought for this day,” said Bow. “I asked an elder what Indigenous Peoples Day meant to you and she said every day is Indigenous Peoples Day. Yes, she is right. Children, we are taught that every day that you wake up is a gift and that you should celebrate life.

As Diné heading the highest state office in the Indian Affairs Division of Utah, Dustin Jansen, executive director, notes that Utah has the opportunity to officially recognize Indigenous Peoples Day. More than a dozen states do.

“The state has not substituted Columbus Day for Indigenous Peoples Day,” Jansen said. “There have been attempts to officially recognize Indigenous Peoples Day, but these attempts have not been successful. “

Instead of honoring Indigenous Peoples Day today, Utah will recognize it on Nov. 12 in a proposed proclamation, Jansen said. November is also Native American Heritage Month.


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Salt lake city government

Can Complicated Land Trade Fix Red Butte Garden Fence Snafu?


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

In the 1980s, a historic stone structure in the foothills behind Red Butte Garden became a popular party spot, where people gathered to enjoy sunsets, beer, and the company of others.

But the trash and vandalism that accompanied the fun posed a tall order for the US Forest Service, which oversees the land towering above Salt Lake City. So an agreement was reached which seemed to offer a lasting solution. As part of the deal, the University of Utah extended the botanical garden fence to capture 40 acres of national forest that included what is now called Quarry House or Stone House to ensure its preservation. The classic two-hearth sandstone dwelling was built by Utah pioneers in the 1800s.

Although without a roof, the structure is still standing, but there is a new problem that is entirely bureaucratic in nature, according to Bekee Hotze, the Salt Lake City District Ranger for the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. Fencing off Forest Service lands is not entirely legal.

Hotze explored ways to deal with the situation with the law. Finding a solution was not easy.

“When we started the discussion of land swaps, the university had just sold a piece of land in Red Butte Canyon to a private family, which the Forest Service just bought,” she wrote in an e- mail “This plot would have been ideal to do a land swap with the University for the plot they fenced off in Red Butte Garden.

The Fenced National Forest is an undeveloped, albeit vital, part of the United States’ signature natural amenity. It now has an extensive network of trails through undulating terrain covered with oak trees with great views over the Salt Lake Valley.

This mess caught Hotze’s attention when Red Butte began planning their Six Bridges Trail, nearing completion along Red Butte Creek, which will eventually connect to trails on Forest Service lands. Unless a solution is found, the United States may have to rebuild the fence to exclude federally owned land in the Wasatch foothills, returning the Stone House to Forest Service management.

Now, state trust land officials are to the rescue, coming up with an idea that could put the case to rest and ensure that the Stone House remains inside the United States’ umbrella of protection.

The Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration, or SITLA, has emerged as a potential intermediary.

(Brian Maffly | The Salt Lake Tribune) This part of Red Butte Garden features national forest lands that may have been illegally incorporated into the University of Utah’s signature natural setting.

Here’s how the deal would work, according to Michelle McConkie, SITLA’s deputy surface manager. The agency would trade some of its land with the Forest Service for the 40 acres of national forest and then lease those acres to the United States, which happens to be one of its institutional beneficiaries.

“This proposed exchange is a win-win for all parties. He helps the university, he helps the Forest Service and he allows SITLA to help one of its beneficiaries. If we can help in this situation, we are happy to be involved in doing so, ”said McConkie. “We wouldn’t be doing this if the United States wasn’t one of our beneficiaries.”

SITLA manages 3 million acres of state-owned land for the benefit of public education and several state entities. The agency is legally obligated to manage this land to earn as much money as possible for the Utah Schools Trust Fund.

It contains many patches adjoining the Utah National Forests that are of little use to the school trust, but are perhaps better suited to be included in a national forest where they can be managed for wildlife habitat, the watershed. or recreation.

McConkie said the swap process has only just begun and SITLA has yet to identify a plot it would like to swap with the Forest Service, or assess the Red Butte plot. Trade would have to have value for value to be legal. With its proximity to Utah’s largest city and university, the Red Butte land would likely be worth much more, acre for acre, than any parcel SITLA could offer in exchange.

READ. was unable to make anyone available to comment on this article.

Red Butte Garden occupies over 100 acres on the south side of the mouth of Red Butte Canyon. In the years since the fence was raised, it has become a major cultural attraction in the Wasatch Foothills, with a popular open-air concert hall, botanical research, and educational programming, in addition to its 21 acres of exhibition gardens. Visited by 200,000 per year, it charges $ 14 admission for adults.

READ. established the botanical garden here in the 1980s following the designation of the U. as a State Arboretum, setting aside the land that has become the Red Butte Garden & Arboretum.

The arrangement that has led to the current stalemate appears to have been swaddled with good intentions. Vandalism at Stone House was a serious problem, and Red Butte officials provided what at the time seemed an ideal solution.

In the early 1990s, then-district manager Michael Sieg struck a memorandum of understanding with Red Butte manager Mary Pat Matheson, according to Hotze. The garden fence was then enlarged to include the Stone House and National Forest Land that was to be used as an outdoor classroom for Red Butte’s environmental education programs.

“Unfortunately, the District Rangers do not have the authority to authorize an entity to fence off the lands of the National Forest System, charge a fee to enter the land and manage the land,” Hotze said in his email. “Since then, we have researched a number of potential solutions to the problem. “

Hotze investigated whether the federal Small Plots Act could be used to make necessary adjustments to property lines, but the 40 acres do not qualify under that law. The United States cited this law to adjust property lines where parking lot construction encroached on national forest lands.

The district ranger also considered issuing a special use permit, allowing the United States to use the land for a fee, but the uses of the garden did not meet Forest Service policies.

The realignment of the Red Butte fence is something no one wants to see. But it may be the one selected by default if agencies can’t navigate the bureaucratic maze the federal government has created for land swaps.


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Salt lake city

1,000 rallies for the Women’s March in Utah to protest against anti-abortion laws


The Salt Lake City rally was one of 620 events scheduled to advocate for access to abortion after Texas lawmakers passed a controversial abortion law.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) State Street was packed with hundreds of people during the SLC Women’s March for Reproductive Rights and Access to Safe Abortions on October 2, 2021. Saturday’s march ended. held in conjunction with other marches across the country.

It has been nearly 50 years since the Supreme Court ruled in the Roe V. Wade case, which granted pregnant women the right to an abortion without undue government restrictions.

Yet ACLU Utah’s Niki Venugopal told a crowd of over 1,000 on Saturday, “We continue to march and sue and demand our rights.

Most recently in Utah, the group, alongside Planned Parenthood, sued in 2019 after state lawmakers passed a bill banning abortions after 18 weeks of gestation. A federal judge has put this law on hold as it makes its way through the courts.

“What if our Utah lawmakers try to pass other abortion restrictions, or something similar to what we’re seeing in Texas (which just passed the country’s toughest laws on abortion? abortion), we brought one of our lawyers here today to send this message, ”said Venugopal, passing the microphone to her colleague Valentina De Fex.

De Fex took the microphone and said simply, “We’ll see you in court.”

The crowd erupted into cheers.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) State Street was packed with hundreds of people during the SLC Women’s March for Reproductive Rights and Access to Safe Abortions on October 2, 2021. Saturday’s march ended. held in conjunction with other marches across the country.

The group met outside Salt Lake City city hall on Saturday to send a message to lawmakers and the Supreme Court: that access to abortion is a basic right to health care.

The rally was one of more than 620 planned across the country, organizers said. This follows Texas’ decision to pass a law banning abortion as early as six weeks pregnant and allowing people to report and prosecute anyone who helps a pregnant person have an abortion after doctors detect heart activity.

The Department of Justice sued Texas. The case is pending.

The crowd grew from a few hundred on Saturday morning in front of Salt Lake City City Hall to more than a thousand as the group began their march down State Street to the Capitol.

Before the group left, the crowd heard from several speakers, including new Black Lives Matter frontman Rae Duckworth, who said reproductive rights impact all women – but the impact on black women is greater. pronounced.

According to family planning, “Due to systemic oppression, blacks face greater barriers to accessing sexual and reproductive health services than white Americans. As a result, black people experience some of the highest rates of cervical cancer, unwanted pregnancy, maternal mortality and sexually transmitted infections in the country.

As the crowd walked up the hill to the Capitol, they chanted “my body, my choice” and “separation of church and state” as they greeted passing motorists. Some drivers honked their horns.

A woman paraded in a red dress and white bonnet, like the handmaids in Margaret Atwood’s dystopian 1985 novel “The Handmaid’s Tale”, carried a sign that read “Make Margaret Atwood fiction again”.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) State Street was packed with hundreds of people during the SLC Women’s March for Reproductive Rights and Access to Safe Abortions on October 2, 2021. Saturday’s march ended. held in conjunction with other marches across the country.

Another carried a pink notice board that read, “No uterus. No opinion. “

A man wearing a disposable blue mask held a sign saying, “Imagine if a group of women made laws governing men’s bodies. “

The rally ended at the Capitol after a mile-long hike on State Street and after several people spoke, including Democratic Representative Angela Romero, who told attendees that there is a small but strong group of Utah lawmakers determined to protect access to abortion in the state.

Ma Black, DJ at KRCL, took the mic shortly after and told the crowd that access to abortion and other reproductive rights had been fiercely fought for for racial and ethnic minority groups and women. people with lower socio-economic status. She said that many women have had choices made for them by the state regarding their reproductive health, such as forced sterilizations.

“Now is the time to raise your voice to push for change,” she said.

To pave the way for future generations of daughters, sisters and mothers.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) State Street was packed with hundreds of people during the SLC Women’s March for Reproductive Rights and Access to Safe Abortions on October 2, 2021. Saturday’s march ended. held in conjunction with other marches across the country.


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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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Salt lake city government

State school mask bans tangled with budget plans and controversy


AP covers complex legal movements in Arizona over school mask bans and the state budget. The Detroit Free Press covers similar maneuvers in Michigan. Separately, reports state that the Department of Education will cover the salaries of members of Broward County school boards withheld due to school mask rules.

AP: Arizona High Court allows upholding of school mask ban

The Arizona Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to immediately reinstate a series of new laws that include measures that prevent schools from requiring masks and remove the power of local governments to impose COVID-19 restrictions. The High Court rejected the request of the Attorney General of the Republic, Mark Brnovich, to allow the entry into force of the provisions of three state budget bills and one entire budget bill. Instead, the court set a briefing schedule for it to consider Brnovich’s request to bypass the Court of Appeal and hear the case directly. (Christie, 9/29)

Detroit Free Press: Whitmer: Budget coins canceling local mask orders unconstitutional

Michigan lawmakers cannot use the state budget to threaten funding for local health departments that institute local school mask rules, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a letter to lawmakers on Wednesday. The governor considers this pandemic provision in the nearly $ 70 billion budget unconstitutional and therefore unenforceable. “Lawmakers cannot roll out the public health code into a budget bill or inappropriate funds because they challenge the actions of local health departments,” Whitmer wrote in the letter. (Boucher, 9/29)

WLRN 91.3 FM: Federal government covers Broward school board salaries that state withheld due to mask policy

The US Department of Education announced Tuesday that it is awarding more than $ 420,000 to the Broward County School Board to cover state financial penalties on the salaries of school board members. The grant is intended to pay the salaries of eight Broward board members who voted for a student mask term that allows exceptions only for medical reasons during the COVID-19 pandemic. (9/29)

Salt Lake Tribune: Here’s where the masks have gone that Utah officials promised schools in Salt Lake City County

To help keep Utah’s children “as safe as possible” from COVID-19, Governor Spencer Cox in August pledged to provide more than a million masks to students in Kindergarten to Grade 12, at the Both surgical style masks and higher quality KN95 masks in small and large sizes. As of Tuesday, 2.2 million masks had been shipped to schools, according to Tom Hudachko, spokesman for the Utah Department of Health. Of these, 310,000 were pediatric-sized fabric masks, 700,000 were pediatric-sized three-layer surgical masks and the rest were KN95s, he said. But low demand for the masks means some Salt Lake County school districts have left them in storage. “I would say that every day, on average, throughout the building, about a quarter of my children wear masks,” John Paul Sorensen, director of Neil Armstrong Academy in West Valley City, said Tuesday. (Jacobs, 9/29

In updates on quarantines and vaccines –

AP: Louisiana school chief removes COVID quarantine suggestion

Going against health advice, the Louisiana Department of Education announced on Wednesday that it no longer recommends that public school systems quarantine asymptomatic students who have come in close contact with a person who tests positive. for COVID-19. Louisiana’s 69 local school districts already had the opportunity to determine whether they wanted to send students home for days due to exposure to the coronavirus disease. But most districts had followed the state’s education department’s recommendation that these students should be quarantined, even if they did not show symptoms of COVID-19. (Deslatte, 9/29)

The Charlotte Observer: Union County’s New COVID Quarantine Agreement with Schools

After threats of legal action, the Union County Public School District has agreed to work with the county health department to ensure that COVID-19 contact tracing steps and quarantine requirements are followed. The Union County Public Health Department and Union County Public Schools agreed on Wednesday on a process to identify and exclude students and staff identified as a positive case or close contact of a person who tested positive for COVID-19. (Costa, 9/29)

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Illinois teachers sue districts over statewide immunization warrant

Ten teachers in the eastern metropolitan area who refuse to comply with statewide vaccine and mask mandates are suing their school districts over the policies. The lawsuit against Triad, in Troy, and the Edwardsville school districts and their superintendents indicates that the warrants were issued illegally. The Madison County Circuit Court lawsuit calls for teachers to be allowed to continue working in their schools. School districts “do not have the delegated authority to mandate vaccination or testing,” said lawyer Thomas DeVore of Greenville. “They could have defended their educators… but they don’t want to face the governor. “(Bernhard, 9/29)

AP: University of Colorado faces COVID religious exemption lawsuit

A pediatrician and a medical student at the University of Colorado medical campus at Anschutz are contesting denials of their requests for religious exemptions from the school’s COVID vaccination mandate, arguing in a lawsuit filed Wednesday that administrators are ruling ” truth ”of personal religious beliefs in violation of the First Amendment. The U.S. District Court lawsuit filed by the Thomas More Society, a Chicago-based conservative nonprofit, is the latest clash over a growing number of private and public sector vaccine mandates across national government to stem the spread of the coronavirus, which has killed more than 600,000 people in the United States (Nieberg, 9/30)

In other school news –

The Washington Post: School nutrition programs face new crisis as supply chain disruptions and labor shortages limit food deliveries

Square pizza and chicken fillets are suddenly swapped for pieces of meatloaf and zucchini. American school children and lunch ladies make faces. And now the federal government is stepping in to help. Kansas school districts cannot get whole wheat flour, ranch dressing, or Crispitos taco rolls at this time. In Dallas, they can’t get their hands on cutlery, plates, and napkins. In New York City, school districts are unable to find chicken, condiments or carrots without antibiotics. (Reiley, 9/29)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of coverage of health policies by major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.


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Salt lake city

Coachman’s Restaurant Could Return As Part Of New Salt Lake City Condo Project


This is the “intention,” says the owner. Designs for a new 112-unit State Street resort include space for a renovated version of the popular restaurant.

(Rendered by AE Urbia Architects and Engineers, via Salt Lake City) Render of Coachman Mixed Use, a proposed 112 condominium and retail development project at 1301 S. State Street in Salt Lake City, to replace Coachman’s Dinner & Pancake now closed House and adjoining shops to the south.

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

New plans for a 112-unit condominium complex to replace the shuttered Coachman’s Dinner & Pancake House on State Street include enough space for a revived version of the popular restaurant, its owner confirmed on Monday.

But whether that means a return to the famous stacked buns, fried chicken and Greek salads from the vintage Salt Lake City restaurant is unclear, longtime owner Mike Nikols said.

“It was the intention; let’s put it that way, ”Nikols said of Coachman’s reopening at 1301 S. State St., which closed in April. “I can’t say it’s 100%.”

The city agreed to rezone the property earlier this year. As part of a newly formed company called Reality Development, Nikols has since submitted designs for a six-story residential, office and retail project anchored at the southeast corner of State Street and 1300 South and s ‘extending south along State.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Coachman’s Dinner & Pancake House at 1301 S. State St. closed after 60 years to make way for new development. There is a chance it will reopen.

News that Coachman’s was shutting down to make way for a redevelopment – a farewell from the restaurant’s iconic sign on State Street – sparked a wave of support from longtime patrons, filling the cozy restaurant with customers remembering his last days.

But as quickly as Utah’s capital is growing now, Nikols said, once the 60-year-old restaurant and an adjacent two-story office building are demolished and the new residential complex built, “it will take a year. and a half or less People’s lives change and you never know what’s going to happen.

Coachman Mixed Use, as the new condo project has been dubbed, will offer cheaper one and two bedroom condos for sale with structured parking as well as retail space on the ground floor and office space on the second floor. in this prominent corner, according to the plans deposited at the town hall.

It’s part of an ongoing construction boom across the city, including an increase in residential construction often replacing older commercial structures.

Coachman’s owner said the condo project was “not motivated by money” and was aimed at providing an “affordable homeownership option for people who are just starting out in life.”

He also hopes the approach will foster additional long-term investment in the surrounding neighborhood along State Street, which is being targeted by city officials for redevelopment.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Coachman’s Dinner & Pancake House at 1301 S. State St. closed after 60 years to make way for new development. There is a chance in May to reopen.

“It could be very positive and a way to create something for the community,” Nikols said. “I’m not looking to make a fortune with these places. I just want to make a profit and help people too.

“It’s going to be neat,” he added.

His plans also point to a large corner space on the ground floor, where the old restaurant is located, for a new “Coachman restaurant”. There is also talk, Nikols said, of salvaging and reusing the iconic angled lamp sign, designed by Nikols’ father, longtime restaurateur John Nikols, and which remains a familiar landmark in the neighborhood.

Discussions with historical curators raised the possibility of cutting the panel into pieces and incorporating them into the new construction.

“We’ll see if it can be done,” Nikols said.

Salt Lake City Council unanimously accepted its request to zoning the 1.77 acres under Coachman’s offices and adjacent to it in March, shifting from one commercial use to one more conducive to mixing land uses and buildings over four storeys.

Nikols asked to treat the project as a planned development, which, if approved, would give him more leeway to make the project compatible with neighboring properties, he said. Its latest designs also require approval from city planners as the building’s facade along State Street appears to extend beyond a 200-foot city limit.

The city’s redevelopment agency, meanwhile, has created a new project area covering portions of land on either side of State Street between 300 South and 2100 South – an initiative designed to attract additional development to aid. tax incentives and other financial tools.


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Salt lake city government

A march for climate change + a souvenir for homicide victims


Have a nice day, neighbors! Sean Peek here with a brand new edition of the Salt Lake City Daily.


Are you a local business owner or a merchant in Salt Lake City? Our premium local sponsorships keep you on top of inboxes in town every morning. Contact us here for the truth.


First of all, the weather forecast for the day:

Clear all day. High: 84 Low: 62.


Here are the best stories today in Salt Lake City:

  1. Utah children, adolescents and young adults marched Utah Capitol Friday as part of a global climate strike calling for action on climate change. The local march was led by Fridays for the Future of Utah, which is part of a global movement initiated in 2018 by Greta Thunberg. A press release from Utah The organization said the protesters called on government leaders to “intervene now to stop behavior that harms the systems that support human life.” (Salt Lake Tribune)
  2. saturday was National Day of Remembrance for Homicide Victims. Groups of loved ones and advocates gathered at the Utah Capitol measures Saturday to honor those who lost their lives in a homicide. More than 100 people were murdered in Utah last year, which is a record in the state. (KSL.com)
  3. University of Utah football player Aaron Lowe died Sunday after being shot at a house party. (KSL.com)
  4. Salt Lake City Police say a 50-year-old woman is in critical condition after being struck in an auto-pedestrian accident on Saturday morning. (ABC 4)
  5. Salt Lake City Fire Department answered the call for a fire that broke out around 6 a.m. on Saturday morning in an old vacant steakhouse slated for demolition. (fox13now.com)

Today in Salt Lake City:

  • Community Reinvestment Agency Meeting – Town of Mill Creek (7:00 p.m.)

Did you know you can feature your local business here in the newsletter for only $ 79 / month? Click here to begin.


You are officially in the know for today. See you tomorrow morning for another update! If you enjoy these newsletters, consider inviting some of your friends and neighbors to read them. You can send them this link to subscribe.

Sean peek

About me: Sean Peek is a writer and entrepreneur who graduated in English Literature from Weber State University. Over the years, he has worked as a copywriter, editor, SEO specialist and marketing manager for various digital media companies. He is currently the co-owner and operator of the content creation agency Lightning Media Partners.


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Salt lake city

Utah football player Aaron Lowe, “a rock of resilience and courage”, shot dead at SLC party


Police made no arrests in the shooting, which also injured a woman.

(Chris Samuels | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Utes cornerback Aaron Lowe waves a Ty Jordan commemorative flag before the Utes play soccer against the Brigham Young Cougars on Saturday, September 11, 2021 in Provo. Lowe was shot and killed at a party in Salt Lake City on Sunday, September 26, 2021.

University of Utah football player Aaron Lowe was shot and killed early Sunday morning at a house party at Sugar House, the Salt Lake City Police Department confirmed.

Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown said Lowe, of Mesquite, Texas, died at the scene after being shot by one or more unknown people. Paramedics transported a second person who had been shot, an adult female, to a local hospital in critical condition. The police did not disclose his name or age.

Lowe’s death is the subject of a homicide investigation.

“I am deeply saddened by the shooting death of Aaron Lowe,” Brown said in A declaration. “This talented young man touched the lives of so many here in Salt Lake City and Texas. The Salt Lake City Police Department mourns and offers condolences to the Lowe family and the University of Utah community. Our condolences also extend to the other person injured in this shooting. I hope for their speedy recovery. These investigations are complex. Our detectives have worked hard to try to identify the suspect (s) in this case. “

Before the SLCPD released Lowe’s name as a victim, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox confirmed in a tweet earlier Sunday morning that Lowe had passed and expressed his condolences to the football player’s family.

The SLCPD received a noise complaint at around 10:30 p.m. on Saturday about a house party in the 2200 block of South Broadmoor Street, near the mouth of Parleys Canyon. Hours later, someone called 911 to report a fight involving a weapon, and a second caller said they heard gunshots.

Lowe was the guest of a house party, police spokesman Brent Weisberg said.

“The people who organized the party wanted it to be a relatively small party. The people who showed up were not guests. They were asked to leave and that’s when this fight took place, ”Weisberg said at a morning press conference.

Officers did not come to the house after receiving noise complaints Friday night due to other higher priority calls, Weisberg said. After receiving reports of a fight involving a weapon, police went to the neighborhood and were making a “tactical approach” to the house when they were told that shots had been fired, Weisberg said.

“The reasons the officers formed their tactical approach were for the safety of the officers and everyone on the scene,” Weisberg said. “They were going into an unknown situation. They knew there was a fight and a gun involved. … They approached together. They wanted to make sure they had enough resources to deal with any potential threat that was on the scene and to immediately deal with the victims. “

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Salt Lake City Police spokesman Brent Weisberg speaks about the shooting death of University of Utah football player Aaron Lowe during a press conference in Salt Lake City on Sunday, September 26, 2021.

The police spokesperson could not say how far away the police were when the shots were fired.

Officers who answered the call found Lowe and the second person who had been shot, and provided first aid to both.

Police said several people who were at the party may have witnessed the shooting but left before police arrived. They are hoping that some of these people have photos or videos that could help resolve the matter.

No arrests were made. The SLCPD asks anyone with information about the case to call 801-799-3000 and reference case number 21-176828.

“We are devastated to learn of the passing of Aaron Lowe,” Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Aaron’s family and friends, as well as the other person who was injured in this tragic incident. Aaron was a great teammate, friend, brother and son and was loved by everyone who crossed paths with him. He will be sorely missed. “

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Utes cornerback Aaron Lowe (22) with teammates as the University of Utah hosts Washington State Football, NCAA in Salt Lake City on Saturday 25 September 2021.

Utes sporting director Mark Harlan added: “We are devastated by the loss of Aaron Lowe earlier this morning. Aaron was a wonderful young man, a leader of our football team and a rock of resilience and courage. Our prayers are with Aaron’s family, friends, teammates, and all who knew and loved him. We also express our deepest concern for the other person who was hospitalized as a result of this tragic incident. We communicate with and support Aaron’s family, as well as student-athletes, coaches and staff in all of our athletic programs, and we will stay focused on them.

Lowe, a high school teammate of the late Ty Jordan at West Mesquite High School in Texas, was named the first recipient of the Ty Jordan Memorial Scholarship on August 31. Lowe has gone from No.2 to No.22 this season in an effort. honor the heritage of Jordan.

“Ty made everyone around him better,” Lowe said after receiving the scholarship. “He made me better. My friendship with Ty means a lot because he always pushed me to give the best of myself. He never let me settle for less. I want to make sure his legacy lives on through me.

Jordan died on Christmas night from an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound.

– This story will be updated.



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Salt lake city

The fleeing train from the inner port must slow down


Salt Lake City is right to question plans to issue millions of taxpayer-guaranteed bonds without public participation.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Deeda Seed of Stop the Polluting Port Coalition presents an in-release report outlining the potential environmental damage from the Utah Inner Harbor project at a press conference on the US Capitol Utah on Wednesday January 22, 2020.

Recently, the runaway train known as Utah’s Inner Harbor slowed slightly.

Due to the combined efforts of committed community members and Salt Lake City officials, a vote to fund the development of a transshipment facility and other port infrastructure has been postponed. In previous weeks, the port authority had rushed to commit $ 255 million in debt, backed by property tax revenues, for purposes the port authority had not described in detail.

Without the Utah Legislature’s creation of the Utah Inner Port, these property tax revenues would have flowed into the Salt Lake City General Revenue Fund. The city will be responsible for providing a range of municipal services to the inner port area – such as water and sewer pipes, water treatment, road maintenance and public safety services – without the revenue stream typically used to fund these services. And, if the port authority does not have the revenue to pay off that debt, the responsibility could fall on Salt Lake City. All of this should be alarming for Salt Lake City taxpayers.

The director of the Port Authority said the delay was intended to bring back the “discussion on merit arguments”. We are waiting to hear what the “merits” are, but we will not hold our breath.

Summary information available to the public of the plans for the transshipment facility shows its intended location adjacent to the existing Union Pacific intermodal facility on the west side of Salt Lake City. Its goal is to process thousands of shipping containers from California ports. They will arrive in Salt Lake City on trains to be unloaded into trucks. The transshipment facility will also support the development of new warehouses.

We don’t know anything about the health consequences of all these trucks, trains and warehouses, the expected volume of traffic, and the structure and design of this facility.

We know that the ports of Long Beach and Oakland, whose air quality is drastically degraded by truck traffic, are understandably excited to dump this pollution elsewhere. But bringing this pollution into the Salt Lake valley, which has already dramatically altered air quality, doesn’t make sense. And asking taxpayers to pay for it is outrageous.

The beneficiaries of this program are the usual suspects – business interests such as Rio Tinto, Union Pacific and warehouse developers. In the port authority’s strategic business plan, the promoters cited additional rail and transshipment facilities as the keys to their profitable development.

The bottom line is that Utah taxpayers are paying for a transshipment facility that will increase pollution so that a few already wealthy corporate interests can rake in bigger profits.

To make matters worse, the port authority has created an artificial emergency, when it really should put the whole thing on a long hiatus until it can produce detailed plans outlining what it intends to do. build, exactly how much it will cost, and the human health impacts of the development.

This break should also include awaiting the outcome of the litigation filed by Salt Lake City over whether the creation of the Port Authority by the Utah Legislature was legal under the Utah Constitution. . This spring, the Utah Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case, and a decision may be released soon.

For those who haven’t followed the Inner Harbor saga closely, it is important to note that supporters of the port like to pretend that this is a “done deal”, to appease the opposition and create a feeling of inevitability, when the truth, which spread during the last legislative session, is not really so. For example, as several port leaders have told lawmakers, “this is not an inland port without a transshipment facility”.

So it’s far from a done deal, and the affected public and elected officials still have an important role to play in what’s going on with development in the northwest quadrant of Salt Lake City.

We must continue to hold the port authority to account and urge our local and state elected officials to help us end the damage caused by this costly and damaging mess.

Deeda seed is a former member of the Salt Lake City Council and a member of the Stop the Polluting Port Coalition


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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, https://trustlands.utah.gov/

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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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Salt lake city

Gardeners, beware! Severe frost is expected in parts of Utah on Monday evening


Temperatures will start to climb on Tuesday.

Trent Nelson | Hikers from Salt Lake Tribune in a snowy landscape near Jordan Pines in Big Cottonwood Canyon on November 2, 2014. Severe frost is expected in parts of Utah Monday evening and Tuesday morning.

Unusually cool Monday temperatures will turn positively cold Monday evening, with severe frost expected in parts of Utah, according to the national meteorological service.

The cold air mass moving through the state caused temperatures to drop 10 to 15 degrees below normal Monday with an expected high of just 63. Hard frost is expected between midnight Monday and 9 a.m. Tuesday in the Bear River Valley, the Wasatch Dos, the Sanpete Valley and Sevier River Valleys.

There is also the possibility of severe freezes in Cache Valley and parts of Iron County. Temperatures of 28 and below are expected, and the towns of Huntsville, Park City, Heber City, Woodruff, Randolph, Garden City, Manti, Ephraim, Mount Pleasant, Panguitch, Circleville and Koosharem could all be affected.

Frost could kill crops and other sensitive plants and stands and damage unprotected outdoor plumbing.

It’s a taste of fall – the first day of fall is Wednesday – and it’s only temporary. Temperatures are expected to rise during the week.

The normal Sept. 20 high in Salt Lake City is 79 degrees, gradually decreasing to 76 over the next week. Current forecasts call for highs in the 70s on Tuesday, in the upper 70s on Wednesday, and in the 80s on Thursday through Sunday.

The St. George area will benefit from a one-day break from the heat, with a high of nearly 86 on Monday. Then it’s back to the low to mid 90s Tuesday through Sunday.

There is no precipitation in the forecast.

According to the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, Air quality will be green / good through Wednesday in Cache, Carbon, Duchesne, Iron, Tooele, Uintah, Washington and Weber / Box Elder counties.

Forecasts are green / good Monday in Salt Lake, Davis and Utah counties, changing to yellow / moderate Tuesday and Wednesday.


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Salt lake city government

Utah residents use the most water of any western state. They also pay some of the lowest water rates.


When a St. George homeowner turns on his sprinklers in midsummer, the water that turns green on his lawns has already traveled from mountain springs and wells through an 850-mile pipeline system.

The 50 million gallons of water used in the southwestern Utah city on a peak summer day has already been stored in one of 22 tanks and propelled by one or more of the 16 stations overpressure pumping. It was treated and distributed to homes through city water pipes.

Owner-paid utility bills for all of this infrastructure in one of the driest parts of the country, however, are modest. The water utility charges less than $ 2 for every 1,000 gallons of water city residents use to irrigate their gardens, even if a household uses tens of thousands of gallons per month.

In Moab, rates are lower, with water users paying between $ 1.13 and $ 1.88 per 1,000 gallons of water per month in midsummer, even if a single homeowner uses more than 60 000 gallons.

Utah as a whole, 88% of which currently experiences exceptional drought conditions, has the highest per capita municipal water use in the United States. Zach Frankel of Utah Rivers Council believes it’s because of the low water prices the Utahns pay.

“Utah is the second driest state in the country,” he said, “and we have the cheapest water in the United States. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”

The low tariffs enjoyed by water users in Utah, including on the Wasatch front, are something of an anomaly in the arid West. In Phoenix, for example, water users pay a small monthly connection fee and then get their first 7,000 gallons of water for free, which is more water than typical household use for indoor needs like cooking, cleaning and showering.

But if residents are using more than 7,000 gallons – to, say, water a large green lawn – then the rates are skyrocketing. Phoenix homeowners who use more than 10,000 gallons per month pay more than $ 12 per 1,000 gallons, which is ten times more than a resident of Moab. Even rain-drenched Seattle, Washington has water rates almost three times higher than many communities in Utah.

The disparate rates likely influence the landscaping decisions made by homeowners. In Phoenix, the average resident uses 111 gallons per day, according to the most recent analysis by the US Geological Survey. In Washington County, Utah, where St. George is located, the average resident uses 306 gallons per day.

“If you drive 90 minutes,” Frankel said, “away from Washington County in Las Vegas – where you have the same hydrogeography, the same climate, the same patterns of water precipitation from the sky – water consumption is nearly a third of water use in Washington County.

Utahns pay lower water prices and higher property taxes

But just looking at utility bills to determine the cost paid by Utah water users is misleading. Utah’s extensive network of reservoirs, pipelines, canals, treatment facilities, and water pipes are just as expensive to build and maintain as they are in neighboring states.

Utah residents pay low water rates – “artificially low,” according to Frankel – because most of Utah’s water districts are heavily subsidized by property taxes.

When you pay taxes on a Utah home, business appraisal, or even automobile, chances are that some of that money will be used to fund water infrastructure owned by municipal suppliers or to wholesalers who sell water to cities. A 2019 report from the Utah Foundation found that 90% of Utahns live in a jurisdiction that collects property taxes for water.

The Washington County Water District, for example, a water wholesaler and retailer that supplies water to St. George, collected two-thirds of its revenue from property taxes and impact fees, according to a bulletin that he published in 2015. Only 22% of his income came from utility bills. Water wholesalers who are funded by property taxes often store, transport and treat water before selling it to municipalities at a reduced rate, allowing local water utilities to charge less on utility bills .

The Utah Rivers Council conducted a survey of the watershed districts in the western United States and found Utah to be an exception in this regard. Most of the river basin districts studied do not levy any property taxes, and those that do often use bonds that are voted on by taxpayers and expire when the debt is paid off. The property taxes that fund the vast majority of Utah’s river basin districts, by contrast, are permanent and are not subject to voter approval.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Lone Rock in Lake Powell, Sunday September 6, 2020 and Tuesday August 3, 2021.

“By nature unfair”

In addition to doing little to encourage conservation, the use of property taxes to subsidize water supplies creates an “inherently unfair” situation, according to Robin Rothfeder, assistant professor of natural resource policy at Colorado State University.

As a doctoral student at the University of Utah, Rothfeder studied water use and the socioeconomic status of households in the Salt Lake City area in 2014. He and his colleagues found that in winter, when little water is used for landscaping, postal codes along the Wasatch front used quantities of water, regardless of average income level. During the summers, however, a significant gap appeared. Homeowners in the wealthiest neighborhoods used up to five times more water than those in the poorest neighborhoods.

“The richest homes use a lot more,” said Rothfeder, while “the poorest households pay a higher proportion of their total summer water costs through property taxes, compared to richer people. “.

While Utah’s river basin districts eliminated property tax subsidies and increased utility bills for larger water users by implementing a tiered pricing structure like those used in other Western cities, families in low income would benefit the most, Rothfeder said.

Plus, some of Utah’s biggest water users – churches, schools, universities, municipal golf courses, which are largely exempt from property taxes – are expected to start paying more.

Conservative groups support reform

The idea has the backing of environmentalists and politically conservative groups who support lowering taxes.

The Utah Taxpayers Association argued that removing the subsidies would help Utah better respond to drought conditions. “The total cost of water use should be contained in the prices paid by consumers,” the association argued in a July blog post, “to ensure that consumers are motivated to conserve water. in a desert state “.

The libertarian-leaning Libertas Institute made a similar point by supporting legislation backed by the Utah Rivers Council in 2017 that would have reduced the amount of tax revenue that river basin districts can collect.

“Instead of seeing the real costs on a water bill,” the think tank wrote, “the real costs are hidden in property taxes. Consumers have little incentive to monitor their own consumption because at first glance, water seems extremely cheap. The bill failed in committee before being voted on.

Utah’s powerful water lobby argued that reducing the ability of water districts to collect taxes would limit flexibility to adapt to changing needs and could affect high grades of state bonds. Water managers have also opposed legislation that would restructure the current system, citing substantial disruptions to current tariffs.

In a summary of watershed district reports compiled by the Utah Foundation, eliminating or reducing property taxes could remove all costs of operating water for owners of undeveloped land while other users could see tariffs more than double, a sudden increase in costs that could be difficult for businesses and institutions to absorb.

But Frankel is hoping the matter will gain more attention as Lake Powell surpasses its all-time low and Utah’s population continues to grow rapidly. He also thinks reforming the system makes sense for the Utahns’ wallets. Conservation not only keeps more water in lakes and streams, Frankel said, but it cuts costs.

“The point of reducing water consumption is to save taxpayers’ money,” he said. “When you increase water use, you increase delivery costs; you increase the amount of treatment you need to do … you increase your operating and maintenance costs as a water supplier. Reducing water use is the key to avoiding unnecessary public spending by water districts.

Zak Podmore is a Report for America member of the Salt Lake Tribune Corps. Your matching donation to our RFA grant helps her continue to write stories like this; please consider making a tax deductible donation of any amount today by clicking here.


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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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Salt lake city

Salt Lake City protesters denounce vaccine and mask warrants


About 100 protesters gathered for the Rally for Freedom to oppose government mandates that aim to protect public health.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Protesters gathered along 700 East in Liberty Park to protest vaccines and masks, as well as other public health measures against the pandemic.

About 100 protesters waving US flags and holding placards denouncing mask and vaccine warrants gathered along the sidewalk of 700 East in Liberty Park on Saturday, making Salt Lake City one of dozens of cities in the world to protest against restrictions related to public health.

The international group World Wide Demonstration on Saturday promoted such events – called Rally for Freedom – everywhere from Denmark to South Africa to Taiwan. The group has held other rallies throughout the pandemic to protest public health mandates as well.

One of the main topics among the protesters was President Joe Biden’s executive order asking companies to require vaccines if the company employs 100 or more people, a move that could affect around 100 million Americans. Federal employees will also be required to show proof of vaccination.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Protesters waving US flags and holding placards denouncing the mask and vaccine warrants gathered along the sidewalk of 700 East in Liberty Park on Saturday, making Salt Lake City one of the dozens of cities around the world protest against public health restrictions, September 18, 2021.

Protester Andrea Woolley, of Sandy, said she “could face a job loss very soon” because of the executive order because she does not want to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

“I’m glad Utah is… standing up against the warrant,” Woolley said, referring to Attorney General Sean Reyes’ opposition to the warrants. Reyes and 23 other state attorneys general signed a letter calling the warrant unconstitutional.

Woolley and the other protesters likened many public health measures put in place during the pandemic to tyranny.

“A government shouldn’t be able to impose anything on humans,” Harris said.

Harris, of Logan, said he thought he and millions of other Americans who contracted COVID-19 and recovered are now protected by natural immunity, much like someone who contracted chickenpox would be. immune to this virus after recovering.

A study from Emory University found that patients who had previously contracted the flu kept “Broad and lasting immunity” months after infection. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that people previously infected without a vaccine were twice as likely to contract COVID-19 again compared to previously infected people who received the vaccine.

Not all protesters aligned with the severity of the pandemic. Harris, who said his symptoms of COVID-19 resembled those of the flu, said the pandemic is a “huge” problem. Woolley said she does not “recognize” the pandemic and has lived life unchanged for the past year and a half.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Protesters waving US flags and holding placards denouncing the mask and vaccine warrants gathered along the sidewalk of 700 East in Liberty Park on Saturday, making Salt Lake City one of the dozens of cities around the world protest against public health restrictions, September 18, 2021.

“I’m dedicated to my own business, to my own life,” said Woolley.

In Utah, 2,776 people died from COVID-19 on Friday and more than 21,000 people were hospitalized for COVID-19. More … than 665,000 people died of the virus nationwide, according to the CDC.

Ray Adams, of Tooele, called the pandemic “tampering” and that he has resisted public health measures against COVID-19 “every hour”.

Adams has said he is not a conspiracy theorist because there are too many facts that he believes prove there is a global organization benefiting from the pandemic.

“I believe the vaccine is how they’re going to purge Americans,” Adams said.


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Salt lake city

Not everyone is happy Salt Lake City has suspended work on the trails


Public outcry over the new trails crossing the Salt Lake City foothills caused the mayor to put future work on hold, stoking the frustrations of residents who loved the trails and wanted to see more.

Mayor Erin Mendenhall announced on Tuesday that an order she issued in May to stop work on the trail system would last until at least June 2022.

The mayor, city council and city staff have filed numerous complaints about the trails, which deviate from the master plan in some places, are prone to erosion in others and have resulted in the closure of legacy trails on the trails. ridge lines. Other stakeholders called on the city to give more consideration to any impact on the environment and Indigenous history of the foothills.

But strong contingents support the new trail plan and many are disappointed to see the new construction halted.

“It was a well thought out plan,” said Michael Yount, a resident of the city, a former staff member of the Salt Lake Tribune. “Nothing is ever perfect, but they did a great job of separating the traffic with the new trails. “

Opponents of the new trails complained that they were cut to such low levels that they appear to have been built with cyclists in mind, not hikers.

Yount disagrees. He argued that new and future trails built for downhill cycling only help reduce conflict between users.

“They created a much nicer trail for hiking and biking,” he said.

Yount added that he had not blamed the mayor for suspending future track work, given all the outcry.

But “I have the impression that it is a vocal minority” which complains, he says. “… Daily users do not put up road signs. “

Nancy Schmaus, head coach of the Salt Lake City Composite Mountain Bike Multi-School Team, said she was excited about the plan for new trails as the foothills became increasingly crowded.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) A mountain biker shares the MeadowTrail with a pair of hikers in the Salt Lake City foothills on Friday, September 17, 2021.

“Space is really limited to allow us to ride Salt Lake,” she said. “My kids are bored walking the same trails.”

She added that interest in mountain biking is increasing, particularly amid the coronavirus pandemic. Cycling has allowed children and adults to recreate themselves outdoors at safe distances. This year, she had to turn 20 children away from the team because she lacked the capacity to keep up with the influx of interest.

“The demand is increasing,” Schmaus said. “Now we are remitting [trail work] for a whole other year? “

The coach added that the city was “late” with building trails compared to nearby mountain bike magnets like Park City and Corner Canyon.

She also pointed out that the city had started planning its new 106 mile foothills trail map several years ago – a process that included public education and gathering of feedback.

“Then they start cutting the trails and all of a sudden there’s a huge uproar,” Schmaus said. “I find it disappointing that they don’t continue to build the trails. I just don’t understand how they’re going to change what they’ve already spent four years doing. How well are they going to get away with it? “

The elected officials react

City council member Chris Wharton, who represents the avenues area where most of the new trails have been cut, said the comments he received were mixed.

“Many residents are relieved that there is a review of what has been done,” Wharton said Thursday, “and more careful planning going forward.”

The city councilor added that there are also frustrations among residents who have waited a long time for new trails and recreational opportunities.

“Ultimately, however, I think most people agree that waiting another 10 months is a small price to pay,” said Wharton, “if that means we have 100 years of more sustainable trails for all of our work. users. “

In an interview on Friday, Mendenhall acknowledged that the city had already completed a massive public education effort on trail plans starting in 2017.

(Leia Larsen | The Salt Lake Tribune) Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall discusses the way forward for the foothills trails at a press conference on Tuesday, September 14, 2021.

“We know that work has taken place,” said the mayor. “… In my years on City Council and now in this role, there have been many public processes that have been solid and lengthy. Yet when [we] concluded and decisions were made and projects funded, we heard from people who felt that no process had taken place.

Mendenhall said in the last feedback process, the city received around 30 letters which were mostly positive. The mayor added that the few residents who shared their disappointment with the work break were generally concerned that a single user group would gain the city’s attention when trail construction resumes.

“I tried to reassure these people that this is the very reason why we need more time to engage,” she said, “so that we can fully integrate the voices we need. and that we want. “

The mayor said she was particularly excited to work with the tribal chiefs.

“Frankly, the lack of a relationship between our governments,” Mendenhall said, “is so important that [we haven’t had] the best information on areas that are sacred or should be protected.

This relationship, she said, “is something that we are building now.”

Those interested in providing feedback and taking a trail survey during the Mayor’s Moratorium can visit slctrails.com.

A new trail defense group?

Kenton Peters, longtime Salt Lake City resident and trail user, said he was in the early stages of forming a pro-trails and pro-mountain biking group to ensure balanced hearing at the to come up.

“We respect what other groups are saying,” said Peters, “but we want to make sure the mountain bikers aren’t harmed during the break.”

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) A bicycle-only sign along the 19th Avenue Trailhead in the Salt Lake City foothills on Friday, September 17, 2021.

Still, Peters said he agreed with some of the concerns raised by organizations such as Save Our Foothills and Save Our Canyons, which have called for a reassessment of the trail plan.

“There are issues with the current trail layouts and approach,” said Peters. “We don’t like to see the underdeveloped and marked foothills … [hiking trails] on Morris Meadows, they’re of a terribly shallow quality.

He added that he was “disappointed” that the old trails along the ridge had been removed from the system and that parking at the trailheads was an issue for the Avenues neighborhoods.

“But our group is different,” said Peters, “in that we try to speak on behalf of the hundreds of young riders and adults. [cyclists] which is, really, the growth area in the use of buttresses and the future of it.

Most of the new trails were intended for mountain bikes, and Peters said he feared the break might mean they might never be built.

“We hope to work with the other groups and the city to come up with win-win solutions for everyone involved,” he said. “… What we heard [so far] seems to put the bikes in part of the problem. We want to be seen as part of the solution.


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Salt lake city

Intermountain to merge with Colorado hospital system


A previously planned merger with a different system has failed.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Intermountain Medical Center in Murray on Friday August 13, 2021.

Utah’s largest hospital system, Intermountain Healthcare, plans to merge with Colorado-affiliated, Catholic Church-affiliated SCL Health, executives of both companies said Thursday.

The two systems have “complementary” assets and will operate healthcare facilities from Nevada to Kansas, Intermountain CEO Dr. Marc Harrison said at a press conference. Harrison will be chairman of the combined company, which will be headquartered in Salt Lake City. A regional office will be located at SCL’s head office in Broomfield, Colorado.

Intermountain, with 25 hospitals and 225 clinics, is the larger of the two systems, and SCL will take its name – although its eight hospitals and 160 clinics will retain their own names and Catholic ties, said Lydia Jumonville, CEO of SCL. . Intermountain was established as a lay entity in 1975 when it took over healthcare facilities owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“Intermountain just embraced us by continuing to maintain our catholicity,” Jumonville said. “We will follow all Catholic guidelines and [Ethical and Religious Directives], and all the values ​​of Catholic hospitals will be there.

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ ethical and religious guidelines prevent Catholic hospitals from providing contraceptives, performing surgeries to prevent or terminate pregnancy, or performing in vitro fertilization. While Jumonville stressed that SCL hospitals would continue to follow Catholic guidelines, neither she nor Harrison indicated that those guidelines would be adopted at Intermountain’s facilities.

Meanwhile, there is no plan yet as to what role SelectHealth – Intermountain’s health insurance – will play in the merger, Harrison said. The moderator of Thursday’s digital press conference did not relay a question from The Tribune as to whether or how SCL’s religious health care guidelines might impact coverage of family planning services, whether SelectHealth plans were offered through SCL entities.

The combined system will operate 33 hospitals and 385 clinics, with more than 58,000 employees. Intermountain’s facilities are located in Utah, Idaho and Nevada, while SCL’s facilities are located in Colorado, Montana and Kansas.

“We believe that the contiguous nature provides a real opportunity for the region,” said Harrison.

Patients and employees are unlikely to notice significant changes at individual facilities, Jumonville said, although she noted that SCL’s telehealth and digital options could benefit from the merger. The two systems aim to make health care affordable and accessible, including in rural areas, the two leaders said.

“Individually and collectively, we have both avoided some of the rural health care deserts” that have formed in other parts of the country, Harrison said.

About a year ago, Intermountain announced plans to merge with Sanford Health, which operates hospitals in the Dakotas. But Sanford put those plans on hold in December, shortly after its CEO resigned following criticism of remarks he made that downplayed the transmissibility of COVID-19.

This attempted merger with Sanford, however, signaled Intermountain’s desire to expand further outside Utah, Jumonville said, and sparked subsequent talks with SCL.

Harrison estimated that hospital systems would generate around $ 14 billion in annual revenue after the merger.

The two systems come to the agreement from positions of financial and operational strength, he said. Without the geographic overlap of their services and other factors, this could be seen as a “merger model,” he added.

It’s not about cutting costs or staff, Jumonville said, and only a “handful” of jobs may require relocation, Harrison added.

They plan to sign a definitive deal by the end of 2021 and complete the deal in early 2022, with a two-year integration process to follow, Harrison and Jumonville said.


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Salt lakes real estate

Developers say they budgeted $ 6 billion to ‘fix’ Utah Lake


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

On a recent walk along the eastern shore of Lake Utah, Ryan Benson reflected on a technical solution to the long chain of environmental insults that have made the lake surrounded by mountains an ecological basket, largely unusable for humans and animals.

Looking out from Lindon Marina, the site of Lake Utah’s worst algae blooms, he described a vision of many man-made islands created from dredged material. These islands would safely contain the polluted sediments of the lake bed, keeping them out of the water column where they would otherwise feed on the algae known to poison the lake.

“These projects have been carried out in the United States for over 100 years. [Florida’s] The Venetian Islands were created in the 1920s, Balboa Island in San Diego, ”said Benson, a political consultant and lawyer from Utah who recently took over the company behind the controversial proposal. . “There are really good technologies that have developed.

In his new role as CEO of Lake Restoration Solutions, Benson hopes to execute his ambitious plan to dredge 1 billion cubic meters of sediment, lower the lake bed 3-6 feet, and carve those elements into 20,000 acres. new lands. A deeper and less shallow lake would calm the action of the waves which stir up sediment and reduce evaporation. That’s the theory anyway, but would that work?

This project is said to be one of the largest island building projects ever attempted in history and could, according to critics, cause far more damage than benefit to the environment.

“There are almost always scientific disagreements and [water] management community on what to do about the big problems, ”said Ben Abbott, professor of ecology at Brigham Young University. “I’ve spoken to almost 100 experts from across the state and haven’t met any who think it’s a good idea.”

But Benson said his company is organizing the research, data and engineering studies that show island building will not only work, but also clean up the lake and restore miles of habitat. He said he had secured pledges from private investors to cover nearly all of the $ 6.4 billion in project costs, but is now seeking buy-in from government agencies.

Great demand

In an application submitted almost three years ago to the Forestry, Fire and Crown Lands Division, Lake Restoration Solutions, or LRS, is seeking title to the lake bed and sediment-formed islands. dredged. Currently, the bed is “sovereign” state land which is supposed to be managed in the public domain.

Called Arches Utah Lake, the man-made islands would then be used for residential development connected to the shore and to each other via a system of causeways.

In return, the project would restore the ecology, habitat and water quality of the third largest freshwater lake in the West, and transform it into a recreational destination comparable to Lake Payette in Idaho, in Coeur d’Alene and other large mountain lakes in the region, according to Benson. .

In 2018, the Utah legislature ordered state land managers to review the company’s proposal, but LRS has yet to file an application or associated documentation with state or federal agencies that would review the project.

Benson said the company planned to submit a “notice of intent” in the coming weeks with the US Army Corps of Engineers, which would begin a federal review under the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA. He pledged a public rollout, making LRS experts and engineers available to explain the project and the research to support their claims that building an island would benefit the environment and the public.

He said he couldn’t identify who is providing financial support.

“These commitments are in place. These are commitments signed with some of the world’s largest environmental and impact-focused funds, ”said Benson. “A lot of these relationships are confidential, so we need to be given permission before we can discuss them.”

Meanwhile, more than three years after assembling a team to review the request, the state licensing agency has yet to receive anything to move the project forward.

“We haven’t audited any of these financial statements,” said Jamie Barnes, director of the FFSL. “We haven’t received anything other than what’s on our website and that’s just the proposal.”

A big dumping ground

The people of Utah have used the lake as a toilet for decades, dumping sewage, agricultural runoff, industrial waste and invasive fish into its waters. As a result, algae sometimes explode into toxic blooms and invasive grasses clutter its shores. Had it not been contaminated, Lake Utah would likely be a natural gem, home to diverse populations of migratory birds, wildlife, and native fish.

Instead, its murky waters are infested with invasive non-native plants and fish, especially carp that had been deliberately introduced in 1883. It’s no wonder that few people visit Utah’s namesake lake in the United States. heart of its second most populous county.

Benson and his partners want to change that, but doubts remain about their ability to do so.

At the heart of the project is the deepening of the shallow lake by sucking 1 billion cubic meters of sediment from the lake bed.

“The main goal is to remove total dissolved solids… but also phosphorus, nitrogen, stuff,” Benson said. “He’s in the sediment until a wave event suspends him. Then it’s in the water column and it causes algae blooms.

Its plan is elegantly simple: to permanently sequester contaminated sediments in artificial islands.

“Think about 500,000 tonnes of total dissolved solids,” Benson said. “A lake cannot naturally process this amount of biological material.”

Imperfect sales work?

Abbott argues that Benson exaggerates the magnitude of the nutrient problem on the one hand and overestimates the benefits of dredging on the other.

Polluted sediment from Lake Utah is concentrated in Provo Bay, where agricultural runoff entered through the Provo River, and along the northeastern shore where sewage and later treated sewage was discharged, according to Abbott, who hosted a forum last month to voice concerns about the project.

“It’s a tiny fraction of the sediment in the lake that’s polluted the way they claim,” he said. “There is no ecological benefit to dredging the main body of Lake Utah because the sediment is not polluted. “

According to Benson, LRS is performing an analysis of the lake bed to determine the true extent of nutrient contamination.

Regardless, Abbott and others suspect that dredging could even worsen algal blooms and disrupt the lake’s ecology in other ways. This is because a deeper lake could ensure that the natural nutrients end up nourishing the flowers. The lake bed contains background levels of nutrients that predate the arrival of the settlers, according to Abbott. These nutrients are not available to the algae because the lake water is generally rich in oxygen and the nutrients remain bound to the mineral particles.

“You can mix the water and these nutrients are not released. It’s not available for algae, ”Abbott said. “However, once you have a deep lake, you get areas where oxygen is drawn. Then you get a massive release of nutrients. It is a well-established phenomenon that occurs in man-made reservoirs around the world. “

“Beneficial” uses

The other big technical problem that LRS has to solve is where to put a billion meters of mud? Transporting it for disposal in the Western Desert is not an option. Again, Benson’s solution is simple: create new land.

“The new gold standard is to use the material advantageously and the recommended uses of it are threefold. One concerns habitat restoration. The second is for beach replenishment, or you could say recreation, ”Benson said. “And then the third is for development.”

Arches Utah Lake would include all three uses by enclosing the sediments in “geotextile” tubes that would form the foundations of the islands.

“Some of these islands will be just for recreation,” Benson said. “Some will be conservation tools, estuaries or barrier islands. “

And about half will support residential development that could accommodate up to half a million people, according to project founder Ben Parker. The prospect of a sprawling suburb in the lake alarms many environmentalists, but without development the project would not be economically feasible.

Real estate sales are what will pay for the project.

Government financial assistance

The company also seeks loans of unspecified amounts from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act. This federal program finances billions of low-interest loans to support projects that benefit water quality.

According to the EPA, Lake Restoration has submitted letters of interest to participate in 2020 and 2021. The company was not invited to apply after the first application, while its second application is still under review, according to the EPA. agency spokesperson Barbara Khan.

In the meantime, the last session of the Utah Legislature approved $ 10 million in loan guarantees for the project without any of the usual public audits for such funding requests. These guarantees must be administered by the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunities, or Go Utah.

To get the money, LRS has to go through the Industrial Assistance Fund, but the company has yet to submit any documents, so that money has not yet been committed, according to the deputy director of Go Utah, Benjamin Hart.

“If there is ever a feeling that this project is going to collapse or not going to be worth taxpayer dollars, we are not absolutely obligated to make that investment,” Hart said.

Benson said the guarantees are intended to secure the necessary funding for the pre-construction phases of the project.

“This is an important signal from our state partners of their commitment to restore Lake Utah,” he said. “This money actually stays in the state coffers. “

Unless, of course, the project goes bankrupt. In this case, the $ 10 million goes to creditors and the state can start cleaning up Utah Lake the old fashioned way again.


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Salt lake city

Shopping for legislation? Why Utah’s part-time legislature can be vulnerable.


This story is part of the Salt Lake Tribune’s ongoing commitment to identifying solutions to Utah’s biggest challenges through the work of the Innovation Lab.

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At American Legislative Exchange CouncilAt last week’s annual meeting in Salt Lake City, all eyes were on the keynote speakers – high-level governors from across the country.

State and local policymakers across the country trawling vendor stands received far less attention.

At the ALEC, a conservative national organization that has been criticized for connecting local and state policymakers with business interests, you’ll find a few staffing tables of specialist government software vendors, but most people are there to sell ideas. Legislation. From human trafficking opponents to advocates of legalizing the sex trade, to major conservative think tanks like the Heritage Foundation and local newcomers like Utah’s own Libertas Institute.

“My team loved the event, we thought it was great,” said Michael Melendez, executive vice president of the Libertas Institute, who explained that Libertas was not there to focus on issues “legacies” like abortion and education, but in new areas. “For us, it’s a question of what are the gaps in the policy market? “

The CAFTA is far from the only place offering access to the “policy market”. Numerous national conferences, of various political stripes, provide a marketplace for state and local decision-makers to effectively research ideas for legislation.

With its part-time and understaffed legislature, Utah may be more likely to buy policies, experts say. Other states, meanwhile, have found solutions that give legislators less reason to turn to outside interests.

What you will find

Vendors who buy space at the ALEC take a variety of approaches to their work. Some offer nothing more than a conversation with an expert. Others have 24-foot tables filled with leaflets, booklets, coasters, pens, stickers and mouse pads, as was the case with the “Save Our States” booth – a dedicated organization. to the protection of the Electoral College.

“Alright, how do you stop them?” A Florida state lawmaker asked as he approached. “That’s all I want to know, how to stop the Socialists? “

Much of the booty on the stand made bold, red lettered references to stopping socialists or socialism.

It took three laps around the vendor room and instructions from a helpful staff member to locate the counter position booth, the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, tucked away in one corner.

Ray Haynes, former Republican state senator of California and former national chairman of the ACLA, occupied the national voting booth. He had two offerings.

“If you’re in a rush, here’s the leaflet, and if you’re not, there’s this,” he said, lifting up a book called “Every Equal Vote” that weighed 1,059 pages.

Haynes said there was a “strong conservative argument” for deciding the presidency via the national popular vote.

“I believe in the ACFTA,” said Haynes, who added that he was confident he was supporting the movement through a conversation at an ACFTA meeting.

The Libertas booth offered local Utah legislative victories to lawmakers in other states – arguing primarily for digital privacy and the first universal regulatory sandbox of its kind adopted by the Utah legislature this year.

Melendez, of Libertas, acknowledged that since the regulatory sandbox program will not be launched until the fall, “we don’t know yet.” He cited the effectiveness of other narrower regulatory sandboxes, but not the one that Libertas shared as a model at the ALEC.

Why Utah is particularly vulnerable

The Utah Legislature is less professionalized than most (lower pay for lawmakers, fewer staff, shorter legislative sessions) and therefore more likely to rely on outside sources for policy, a said Adam Brown, associate professor of political science at Brigham Young University.

“If you don’t have as much time to work on the invoices yourself, and if you don’t have as much help from the staff, then you are relying more on what external actors can do for you,” he said. Brown said. “It could be lobbyists that you have worked with in the past and that you trust; it could mean digging less deeply into the governor’s proposals; or it could mean relying on a group like the ACFTA.

Utah lawmakers are not staffed like members of the United States Congress. The only one-on-one support they receive comes from undergraduate interns who serve during the 45-day legislative session (and even interns are sometimes split among lawmakers). Non-ruling Utah lawmakers must either do the work themselves or look to an outside group to prepare the legislation before the session.

Brown says having personal staff doesn’t remove the need or temptation to consult outside interests. “But the lack of personal staff will certainly fuel an additional desire to seek information from others,” he said, “and that takes away a source of information that lawmakers could use to verify what groups outside them. say. “

Data-driven legislation?

Providing personal staff, even shared personal staff, to Utah lawmakers could be costly. This is not the only solution, however.

Two years ago, North Carolina established the Office of Strategic Partnerships (OSP), which aims to strengthen governance and data-driven policy-making in the state by connecting government leaders, academia and local philanthropy.

The OSP holds monthly online discussions, helps connect academia experts with state agency executives, and vice versa, and formalizes connections between these organizations. The aim of these activities is to make partnerships easier and more effective, with the aim of developing evidence-based policies.

“Lots, lots of states want to do something like this,” said Jenni Owen, director of OSP, “and you don’t have to do the full model to see the benefits.

She pointed out that just having a coordinating body to help make connections could leverage the talent that Utah already has in its state agencies, academic centers and research institutes.

“At the end of the day,” Owen said, “it’s about starting those conversations.”

She said openness and transparency in PSO’s conversations, dialogue and data are essential ingredients in creating objective and evidence-based policy.

At the ALEC, on the other hand, most working sessions take place behind closed doors.

____________________

Solutions in Practice – Policy Hacking

Outside organizations are not the only source of influence on state and local lawmakers. As a voter, you can help build an evidence-based DIY policy by working with your local legislator. Here is a step-by-step guide to “policy hacking”.

  1. Pick a question that’s important to you. Try to be as narrow, local and specific as possible. Be clear on “What is the problem that needs to be solved?” “

  2. Identify your local legislator (you can find your state representative and senator here).

  3. Find an expert (s) on your policy issue (for example, you can search for experts at the University of Utah by subject, here – be careful, loading the results may take some time).

  4. Do your research, prepare questions, then schedule a call with your expert (s). Find out what information, data and guidance they can provide.

  5. Contact your legislator (s) and schedule a time to discuss the matter. Prepare yourself with a one-page memo describing the problem and what the data and experts are telling us.

  6. Be persistent, become a data hunter, and don’t hesitate to contact The Tribune’s innovation lab with any questions.

____________________


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Salt lake city

Toxins in the atmosphere threaten fetal health in western Salt Lake City


Every source of pollution and exposure to toxic chemicals steals a little bit of our children’s future.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Marathon Refinery at 474 W 900 North in Salt Lake City.

Imagine a young couple, John and Jane Doe, living in the western part of Salt Lake City in 2024. They decide it’s time to have a baby.

Unbeknownst to them, the chromosomes of Jean’s sperm and Jane’s eggs suffered a little from the Pollution and pesticides they inhaled and ingested when they were younger. Their chances of conceiving are a bit lower, and if they are successful, the baby’s chromosomes will have some imperfections that will increase their chances of developing multiple chronic diseases decades later. Nevertheless, in April, a baby is conceived by the happy couple.

In May, Baby Doe enters the embryonic stage and her organs begin to develop. Over the next few months, extremely precise signaling will result in rapid cell division, and each new cell will be programmed to follow genetic directions to form new critical tissues and organs, including the most biologically complex organ in the known universe. – the human brain.

Thanks to the awe-inspiring new airport, I-80 traffic, the Rio Tinto mine, smelter and tailings piles, and emissions from the refinery row, the Joneses live where pollution is already the highest on the front line. Wasatch. Part of this pollution will handicap the performance of genes in the nucleus of embryonic cells. The delicate process of brain development will suffer, at least a little, and possibly a lot more, especially if it’s a male.

But the danger for Baby Doe has only just begun. In 2024, the inland port added tons of new pollution from thousands of diesel engines. Jane Doe will inhale some of it and more pollution nanoparticles will end up in the placenta, travel through the umbilical cord and enter the fetus, interfering with the construction of the brain and other organs.

In June, other dangers arrive. Salt Lake City Mosquito Control District is aerial spraying a potent, neurotoxic organophosphate pesticide, naled, over the area, a small amount of which will be inhaled by Jane Doe at the worst possible time for Baby Doe and will join the pollution particles to make his way to the baby.

Week after week, throughout summer and into early fall, Jane will inhale a little more neurotoxin with each spray, while Baby Doe adds 250,000 cells per minute to her tiny brain. If these cells don’t get to where they are supposed to and on time, overall brain function will be irreversibly impaired.

By July, smoke from forest fires restrict the blood supply in the placenta, reducing the flow of oxygen and essential nutrients. Summers in 2024 are getting hotter and hotter because of the climate crisis, and if the state’s call for the EPA to allow higher ozone levels is successful, Baby Doe will face more danger and could end up becoming one of the most 8,000 babies per year in the United States who were stillborn from ozone, some from a surge in ozone just the week before childbirth.

More ozone will be an additional risk from the mosquito control district aerial spraying, as the pesticide is heavily diluted with an oil-based carrier, leaving a trail of volatile organic compounds, a precursor to ozone.

Because the couple also live near the airport, where small piston-engine planes are still allowed to use leaded gasoline, Jane Doe will be exposed to a fine mist of lead and other heavy metals that will what lead always does, impair the development of the brain’s prefrontal cortex.

Fortunately, in December, Baby Doe enters the world as a “healthy” newborn baby, but perhaps without the best brains he could have had. On her first birthday, with her brain still in a fragile and critical developmental stage, Baby Doe’s cycle of exposure resumes: no more ozone, lead, forest fire smoke, and pesticides, but now with a new threat; mosquito pesticides in its main food source – mother’s breast milk.

This medley of toxins will wreak havoc. For the lucky ones, like Baby Doe, the toll may be minimal – a brain not as extraordinary as it could have been. In others, it will be much bigger – a failed conception, miscarriage, stillbirth or lifelong disability due to autism.

Every source of pollution and exposure to toxic chemicals steals a little bit of our children’s future.

Every branch of public policy that turns a blind eye, allowing this to continue, is a moral failure for all of us.

Dr Brian Moench | President, Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment

Brian Moench, MD, is president of the Utah Physicians for Healthy Environment (UPHE).

Sara johnson, MD, is a pediatrician and a member of the UPHE Board of Directors.

Marina Capella, MD and Louis Borgenicht, MD, are pediatricians.


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Salt lake city

Utah Jazz forward Elijah Hughes uses summer league to show he’s getting better every day


The second-year forward says he sees the coming season as another rookie campaign and is delighted to show off his defensive sense.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Jazz goalie Elijah Hughes (33) is put under net pressure by San Antonio Spurs goalie Anthony Mathis (34) as Utah Jazz White take on the San Antonio Spurs during the Salt Lake City League Summer on August 3, 2021 at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.

It’s safe to say that after hearing his name called on draft night, the rest of Elijah Hughes’ rookie season in the NBA didn’t quite go the way he had hoped.

As a second-round pick on a Utah Jazz team with championship aspirations, regular season minutes were always going to be hard to come by. They became even rarer when the coronavirus pandemic reduced the G League season to a few handfuls of games, and when, on top of that, Hughes sprained his ankle in one of them.

In total, the high-scoring Syracuse product has appeared in just five games with the Salt Lake City Stars and has played a total of 64 minutes in 18 appearances for parent club Jazz. Which is why, in some ways, he’ll treat his upcoming sophomore campaign like almost some kind of rookie.

“Absolutely. I’m really looking forward to it,” Hughes said ahead of the Salt Lake City Summer League at Vivint Arena.

Jazz fans and coaches are also looking forward to it.

The unwavering prowess he has displayed with the Orangemen has convinced many that he has a legitimate role to play on an NBA roster.

So, naturally, he intends to show his progress at the other end of the court in the weeks to come.

“I’m trying to focus on defense, number one, and let my offense come to me,” Hughes said. “… I look forward to showing my versatility in the Summer League, keeping one to four, sometimes even five to a small ball. I’m ready to show what I can do in defense. I’m a guy from Syracuse, so I know there’s a stigma on guys coming out who aren’t good defenders, so I just want to erase that stigma.

Jazz assistant coach Bryan Bailey, who leads the Utah-White entry into the SLC Summer League, agreed defensive consistency is key to Hughes’ future in the NBA.

“For him, the challenge is just to defend at a high level,” Bailey said. “If he can do it, that would be good for us. “

The 6-foot-5 winger performed well on this side in Tuesday night’s game against San Antonio, albeit against a Spurs roster largely devoid of players with NBA-level experience. Ironically, Hughes couldn’t find much rhythm to score the ball in play, sending his first 3-point attempt off the rim and backboard and then later having a engulfed rim drive. After a scoreless first half, he totaled seven points.

Anyway, when asked if he thought he was a better player than a year ago, he said, “Yes, 100%. “

He cited his improved footwork, communication, understanding of how he fits into patterns, and conditioning as the areas where he has improved the most.

He will have many more opportunities in the next few days to show them off. In the meantime, he’s just happy to have a few chances to play. What kept him sane last year, he explained, were the 3-on-3 games played by members of the organization who were not part of the regular rotation.

Being in live matches against opponents he doesn’t see every day is a bit special at this point.

“I love basketball. I have been playing this game since I was 4 or 5 years old. That’s what I prefer to do, ”he said. “… I love what I do. So just so I can play in the Summer League for the next few weeks, I really tried to focus on taking everything in its time. I can’t look too far. I want to. just make sure I’m better today. “What did I do today to get better?” It’s a bit summer [my] mentality.”


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Salt lake city

Fenice Mediterranean Bistro and The Capital Grill steakhouse will open on Regent Street in Salt Lake City.


The former Utah Power & Light building will house an upscale steakhouse.

(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune) New restaurants are planned for Regent Street in Salt Lake City, located behind the Eccles Theater.

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

New restaurants will soon open on Regent Street in Salt Lake City, the redeveloped block behind the Eccles Theater.

Fenice Mediterranean Bistro plans to open in a few weeks at 126 S. Regent, where Fireside on Regent was once located. As its name suggests, it will offer Italian and Mediterranean dishes as well as wood-fired pizzas.

This is the second restaurant for Jeff and Lisa Ward, who also own Park City’s popular Silver Star Cafe.

The grill of the capital, according to the company site, will launch in winter 2022 in the former Utah Power & Light building at the corner of 100 South and Regent streets. It will be Utah’s first restaurant for the national steakhouse chain, which has more than five dozen locations in the United States and Mexico City.

The building is owned by Taubman Properties, which operates the City Creek Center and the mall’s other two national restaurant chains – The Cheesecake Factory and Brio Tuscan Grille.

Fenice and The Capital Grill received full-service liquor licenses from the state last week, which will allow diners to have wine, beer or spirits with their food.

Regent Street, which is located between Main and State streets and 100 and 200 South, was once home to the Utah dailies and, before that, the Salt Lake City red light district.

As part of the construction of the Eccles Center, the street also received a facelift and was designed to be a pedestrian-friendly way to connect the City Creek Center to the north and the Gallivan Center to the south.

While there has been a rotating list of restaurants across the street, the most popular current restaurant today is Pretty Bird, a laid-back Nashville-style hot chicken restaurant. Other current occupants include Honest Eatery and FreshFin Poke.


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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

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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Salt lake city

Salt Lake City business owner sues DABC after revoking bar license


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

Kimi’s Chop and Oyster House, like many restaurants and bars, has been closed for almost a year due to the pandemic.

And even when the Salt Lake City business, located at 2155 S. Highland Dr., was able to reopen in February 2021, social distancing requirements limited the number of diners that could be seated in the downstairs restaurant. .

The upstairs Oyster Bar lounge – for those 21 and over – also sat empty for many nights as bars were considered a high risk of spreading the virus.

However, when a routine audit of the Utah Alcoholic Beverage Control Department showed that during three different periods in March and April 2021, Kimi’s Oyster Bar did not sell any alcohol – it raised flags. red wines for the liquor agency beyond a simple COVID-19 slowdown.

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In May, the DABC Liquor Commission confiscated Kimi’s bar license, claiming the company had violated state law by shutting down operations without first obtaining approval.

Owner Kimi Eklund insists the bar – as well as the adjacent restaurant – has still been open since it reopened in February and believes the commission acted arbitrarily.

She recently filed a lawsuit with the 3rd District Court asking a judge to reinstate the bar’s license – a license that is rare in Utah.

While Eklund awaits a decision, Kimi’s Chop House will continue to sell alcohol to patrons under its Restaurant Liquor License – which allows patrons to order alcohol only when they are also ordering food. .

(Isaac Hale | Special for The Tribune) An upstairs space formerly used as a bar remains vacant at Kimi’s Chop and Oyster House at Sugar House on Friday, July 9, 2021.

DABC spokeswoman Michelle Schmitt said the agency “cannot comment on pending legal issues.”

But under state law, a licensed business “cannot shut down or cease operations for a period longer than 240 hours” unless the owner receives approval from the company. the agency.

The DABC audit said Kimi’s Oyster Bar was “closed without prior approval” because there were no alcohol receipts between February 27 and March 9; April 4 and 13; and April 28 and May 11.

When the days were combined, according to the DABC audit, the closures exceed the 240-hour limit set by state law.

Eklund’s legal complaint, however, points to several examples showing that the oyster bar was open but no customers had ordered from the bar. He had a valid business license with the city, his website advertised that the bar was open; and its OpenTable reservation site offered tables at the bar.

“Kimi’s was indeed open and operational during times when the DABC Commission found Kimi’s to be closed,” the complaint said, “and, during alleged shutdowns, Kimi’s offered for sale alcohol or beer as permitted by their license. “

The DABC based its decision, the complaint added, “solely on when the alcohol sales took place, and not on whether the establishment was open and operational or whether Kimi was offering alcohol or beer for sale “.

While the circumstances surrounding The Oyster Bar remain controversial, this is not the first time that the DABC has revoked a liquor license due to “unapproved shutdown” violations.

In April 2020, Scott Evans lost his liquor licenses for the George Restaurant and adjoining George Bar, both located at 327 W. 200 South. At the time, Evans was facing “automatic forfeiture” for not producing alcohol distribution records, and Bar George was closed for more than 10 days without departmental approval.

(Isaac Hale | Special for The Tribune) Marissa Nichols Giron and her husband Trevor Giron prepare for a meal as they dine at Kimi’s Chop and Oyster House at Sugar House on Friday, July 9, 2021.

The bar license was sold

To complicate matters, Eklund was also in the process of selling the bar license to the owner of the ‘Bout Time Pub and Grub Sports Bar franchise.

In April 2020 – at the height of the pandemic when things looked financially dire for Kimi’s Chop and Oyster House – Eklund decided to sell.

Eklund told the liquor board during its May hearing she made the decision when she was “extremely upset” by the company and before knowing that federal coronavirus help would become available.

“I don’t think you realize the intensity that those of us in the industry were facing,” she said, adding that she had 26 employees and several food vendors to pay. with only $ 35,000 in his bank account.

“At that point, that was the only thing I could think of to survive,” she told the commission, adding that “that’s also the only reason we’re having this conversation – because that you think I’m keeping this license just so I can sell it.

Commissioners have previously said they don’t like business owners keeping bar licenses to make money, especially when they’re limited. Currently, eight business owners have applied and are waiting to receive a state bar license.

Typically, those who wish to obtain a hard-to-obtain license must apply to DABC and then wait – sometimes several months or more – until a license becomes available due to an increase in population or from another bar closure.

Businesses can also purchase bar licenses from other owners. But they can be pricey, selling for $ 30,000 and up in recent months.

Eklund told the commission she regrets her decision to sell. “I don’t want to give up the bar license,” she said, “but at the same time, I made a commitment.”

However, before the sale could be finalized, the DABC lost the bar’s license and Kimi’s and ‘Bout Time were left empty-handed.


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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, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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Salt lake city government

Here is the latest Idaho news from the Associated Press at 1:40 a.m. MDT.


PORTLAND, Oregon (AP) – The governor of Oregon has said a heat wave in the Pacific Northwest has killed at least 95 people in that state alone. Democratic Governor Kate Brown told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that government officials had warned people of the heat, scattered water to vulnerable people and set up cooling stations. Even so, Brown calls the death toll “absolutely unacceptable.” Hundreds of people are believed to have died from the heat over the past week in the northwestern United States and southwestern Canada. Record temperatures included 116 degrees in Portland and 108 in Seattle. Warm weather is heading east, with temperatures well above 100 predicted Sunday for parts of Idaho and Montana.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Wildlife officials say a rare animal spotted in a Utah neighborhood is likely on the move looking for a new place to live. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that a home doorbell camera captured the wolverine on video Thursday in West Layton about 15 miles west of Salt Lake City. Utah Wildlife Division officials believe it is the same animal seen on nearby Antelope Island in early May. Wolverines have only been seen six times in Utah. The last time before this year was in 2016. Wolverines look like a combination of skunk and bear and can reach 40 pounds.

KETCHUM, Idaho (AP) – The Nature Conservancy has closed its Silver Creek reserve in central Idaho to fishing due to low water levels and extreme heat. The Idaho Mountain Express reports that the group announced the closure Thursday night. The reserve is one of the most popular trout fishing destinations in the region. The Nature Conservancy says the water temperature recently hit 73 degrees. Warm water means less dissolved oxygen for the fish. The group says closing the reserve to fishing will reduce stress on fish when they experience prolonged stressful conditions. There is no estimate of when fishing might be re-authorized.

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) – Observers say the housing boom in metro Spokane, Wash., Is a problem of numbers. Far too many people are moving in, far too few homes are being built and prices have skyrocketed to unprecedented levels. In May, the Wall Street Journal / realtor.com Emerging Housing Markets Index ranked Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, which is part of that combined metropolitan statistical area, as having the fastest rising home prices in the country. Spokane County came in at No.5. The median price of homes in Spokane County in May was $ 375,000, up 29% from the median of $ 289,900 in May 2020.


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Salt lake city government

Family history library to reopen with some changes


The research center took advantage of the closures linked to COVID-19 to renovate itself.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Family History Library will begin a gradual reopening on July 6 with limited hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Hours will stretch from there, so check the Family History Library website for the most recent visitor information.

When the Family History Library in downtown Salt Lake City reopens on July 6, visitors will find it’s not quite their memory.

The Family History Library, owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, closed in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the church used this time to renovate itself, adding improved technology, better lighting, new office book scanners, expanded space for interactive experiences and more, according to a recent one. FamilySearch blog post.

The Family History Library will begin a gradual reopening on July 6 with limited hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Hours will stretch from there, so check the Family history library website for the most recent visitor information.

Local FamilySearch libraries and family history centers will open based on direction from church leaders and government direction. Remote services are always available.

According to the blog post, each of the library’s five floors has been revamped to improve the space and help visitors find what they’re looking for.

On all floors, referral desks have been relocated in front of elevators, and new desks also serve clients better, as per the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The remodel also added “a lot more” shelves to accommodate more than 40,000 volumes, the blog says.

Many visitor computer stations now have two or three monitors, and all stations can accommodate visitors’ laptops. Up-to-date microfilm readers and scanners now work with the computers of many visitor workstations so that visitors can examine books and microfilm and make copies of digital images at their workstations, rather than going to a shop. designated scan or copy area.

Other changes include computer stations redistributed to make room for expanded research equipment and an expanded break room with a small kitchenette and ice maker for guests.


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Salt lake city government

Owens slams Olympic athlete for protesting flag


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Owens criticizes Olympic athlete for turning away from American flag

Representative Burgess Owens tore hammer thrower Gwen Berry, who turned away from the American flag during the national anthem during the track and field trials in the United States over the weekend, accusing her of trying to return “His small community of other happy leftists” while disrespecting America.

“She’s going to be a footnote,” Owens said during an appearance on Newsmax. “The only reason to go to the Olympics is to wear red, white and blue and represent your country.”

“If you are ashamed of America, don’t represent America on the international stage,” Owens added.

Berry says playing the national anthem was a “setup.” She claims organizers told her they would play “The Star-Spangled Banner” before she stepped onto the podium with the other qualifiers. Berry turned away from the flag and draped a t-shirt that read “Activist Athlete” over his head as the anthem played.

“The anthem does not speak for me. It never was. Berry told the AP.

Berry, who competed in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, was sanctioned by the U.S. Olympic Committee after throwing her fist on the podium after winning the hammer throw at the 2019 Pan Am Games. The committee has since apologized to Berry.

Here’s what you need to know for Wednesday

Local News

  • Utah’s coffers are overflowing as state tax revenues exceed forecasts by billions of dollars. This usually means that officials will look to cut taxes, but that might not happen. [Tribune]

  • Utah Representatives Burgess Owens and John Curtis voted against a bill to remove Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol, while Representatives Blake Moore and Chris Stewart voted in favor of the measure. The bill was adopted by 285-120 votes. [WSJ]

  • The Dixie State University Board of Trustees has decided not to change the school’s name to Utah Polytechnic State University. Instead, they recommended Utah Tech University. [Tribune]

  • Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, will travel to southern Utah this week. [Tribune]

  • Governor Spencer Cox has appointed Marlo M. Oaks as the next state treasurer, replacing David Damschen, who resigned earlier this year. [Tribune]

  • Heavy rains cause flash floods in southern Utah. [Tribune]

National News

  • The Supreme Court rejected a request to lift the national moratorium on evictions due to the pandemic on a restricted vote. [WSJ]

  • Gasoline prices hit a 7-year high due to shortages ahead of the July 4th weekend. [ABC News]

  • The New York mayoral race was plunged into chaos when election officials mistakenly included test results in the latest vote count update. [Politico]

  • Arizona Representative Paul Gosar denied attending a fundraising event with a white nationalist group despite an online invitation promoting their presence. [WaPo]

  • South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem sends 50 National Guard soldiers to the US border with Mexico. A private donation pays for the deployment of a GOP megadonator. [AP]

  • The record-breaking heat wave in the Pacific Northwest sent hundreds of people to hospital. The roads are also deformed in the intense heat. [BuzzFeed]

  • Iranian-backed militias in Syria fired rockets at US troops. US forces responded by firing artillery at the rocket firing positions. [WSJ]

  • Dr Anthony Fauci warns that the COVID-19 Delta variant will create “two Americas” as the gap between vaccinated and unvaccinated areas widens. [CNN]

  • The US real estate market continues to be hot. The average price of homes in major metropolitan areas has increased almost 15% in the past year. [WSJ]

  • Walmart is launching a cheaper version of insulin that will cost around $ 73 per vial. [CNBC]

  • Fox News host Tucker Carlson claimed the National Security Agency was spying on him. The agency basically called Carlson a liar. [Twitter]

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has berated senior officials in that country for failing to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak. [AP]

  • Video of the day: 87-year-old Senator Chuck Grassley pulled off 22 push-ups in a contest against much younger Senator Tom Cotton. [Twitter]

Wednesday Morning Utah News Roundup

Utah

  • A blood shortage could force Utah hospitals to delay procedures. [Tribune]

  • The “unofficial” LGBTQ pride march at BYU draws hundreds of people. [Tribune]

  • Utah is named the most independent state before July 4. [FOX13]

  • What will a gondola look like through Little Cottonwood Canyon? [KSL]

  • Investigators are examining the similarities between several apartment fires. [ABC4]

  • The Summit County Sheriff’s newest patrol sergeant is the first woman on duty. [Park Record]

COVID-19[feminine

  • Près de 1,4 million d’Utahns sont entièrement vaccinés contre le COVID-19. [Tribune]

  • COVID-19 is jeopardizing progress in children’s well-being, according to the KIDS Count report. [DNews]

  • UTA is extending its free rate for COVID-19 vaccinations by 3 months. [Standard Examiner]

Local government

Environment

Education

  • New SLC Schools Superintendent says students need someone like him. [KUTV]

  • Parents of children with disabilities struggle to find inclusive classrooms. [KUTV]

On opinion pages

  • Rachel Rueckert: Accept the bans. Fireworks kill you. [Tribune]

  • I found an apartment, but it certainly wasn’t easy, says the newly arrived Salt Lake Tribune reporter. [Tribune]

🎂 You say it’s your birthday? !!

Happy Birthday to Former State Representative Carl Wimmer and Former State Representative Sheryl Allen.

Do you have a birthday that you would like us to recognize in this space? Send us an e-mail.

– Tribune reporter Connor Sanders contributed to this story.



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Salt lake city government

Olympian’s company received $ 10 million in pandemic bailout despite conflicting figures


PARK CITY, Utah – Allison Baver had a dream come true when she won an Olympic medal in short track speed skating.

In October 2019, she set her sights on the film and television industry by incorporating her own production company. When the pandemic arrived months later, Baver was among the business owners who sought help from the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP.

The Small Business Administration reports that the average PPP loan was $ 206,000. Allison Baver Entertainment received the maximum amount of the program – $ 10 million.

Why Baver Entertainment needed so much is unclear. By email, Baver declined to answer FOX 13 questions and said she was not available until the end of July. Neither Baver nor anyone associated with his company has been charged with any crimes.

On social media, Baver recently posted articles saying she was visiting film festivals and filming locations.

According to data released by the Small Business Administration, which administers the PPP, Baver Entertainment said $ 8.6 million in aid was for payroll. The company said it has 430 employees.

But Baver Entertainment was telling the Utah Department of Workforce Services that it has between one and four employees.

The lower numbers would be more typical of a production company, says Marshall Moore, vice president of operations at Utah Film Studios in Park City. Production companies will hire more workers — actors, crew and support staff — when they shoot.

“You’ll get small budgets under a million dollars and sometimes they’ll work with 30 to 50 people,” Moore said. “And then you can go further. “

“Over a million dollars, 5 million to 10 million dollars, sometimes these teams are about 120 people and that includes the producers, the cameramen, the handles, the electricity,” he added.

What would it take to employ more than 400?

“I mean, for me it would be ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’,” Moore said. “It would be Marvel.”

The P3 is often described as a loan, but the loan can be canceled if the recipient maintains their payroll and only uses the money for other approved expenses, including utilities and rent or mortgage. Candidates were supposed to describe the expenses they had in February 2020.

“The purpose of the Paycheque Protection Program was to reduce unemployment,” said Richard Gordon, professor of law at Case Western Reserve University and director of its financial integrity unit.

He says the PPP did not require banks processing applications to verify that the borrower was telling the truth about their employees and their needs.

With the PPP, “the US government is actually the co-signer,” Gordon said. “So if the borrower doesn’t pay the US government back, that is, we, the taxpayer, will eventually pay off the loan.”

Baver is a native of Pennsylvania who moved to Utah to train. She made three Olympic teams. Baver won a bronze medal with a relay team at the 2010 Games.

For the PPP loan, Baver Entertainment turned to Pennsylvania-based Meridian Bank to process its request. The bank’s CEO declined to discuss the app with FOX 13.

Baver Entertainment has production credit this year for a drama starring actor Elijah Wood titled “No Man of God”. IMDB says Baver Entertainment provided funding.

Gordon, who hasn’t researched Baver Entertainment and only talks in general, said PPP can’t be used as capital to grow. He also doesn’t think funding for a film would be allowed under the PPP unless everyone on set is on the recipient’s payroll in February 2020.

“I think Congress could have made this pretty close to the absence of fraud if it was handled by the Internal Revenue Service,” Gordon said.

The IRS “knows our employees. They know exactly how much they are paid because they know how much they are being withheld. Only three other Utah companies have received $ 10 million, according to a Salt Lake Tribune analysis of PPP data. These three were all in business long before Baver Entertainment.

Some more established production companies have received much less from the PPP. The Jim Henson Co. asked for $ 2.3 million and said it has 110 employees.

New Regency Productions, the film company behind films such as “The Revenant,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and the latest release of “Little Women,” received $ 1 million and reported 50 employees.

In December, Variety attributed to Baver that his upcoming productions included a horror comedy now called “Monsters.” When FOX 13 reached out to the writer-director named in the article, his rep responded by saying that the project had been put on hold when the pandemic arrived and they had heard nothing more.

Baver also told the news site that his company was working on a horror film called “Dead Princess”. Production was halted by the pandemic and is expected to resume this year.

Baver Entertainment’s listed address is the former Olympian’s townhouse in Taylorsville. According to documents filed with the Salt Lake County Recorder, the Baver Homeowners Association filed a notice in January 2020 that the townhouse was behind on its fees; the HOA was planning to sell the property to settle the debt.

In July 2020, about three months after Baver Entertainment received the $ 10 million, the HOA filed a new notice stating that the debt had been paid. The sale was canceled.


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Salt lake city government

Utah Senate Speaker Calls “Regarding” Tribune Report on Co-Diagnosis


Stuart Adams says the legislature has already authorized an audit, which is expected in the fall.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Senate Speaker Stuart Adams, R-Layton, during a special session at the State Capitol in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, May 19, 2021.

After a recent Salt Lake Tribune report that the Securities and Exchange Commission investigated how Salt Lake City Co-Diagnostics COVID-19 tests were used during Silicon Slopes’ TestUtah initiative, the Senate Speaker Stuart Adams, R-Layton, information as “relating to”.

The Tribune’s investigation found that a Silicon Slopes board member used his connections with Senator Mitt Romney’s office to seek help with FDA approval for the tests. Adams said in an email that the legislature authorized an audit of the Utah Department of Health by the legislative auditor general in October, and that he expects them to present their findings this fall when the audit will be completed.

According to legislative site, the legislative audit subcommittee decided to “prioritize an efficiency and effectiveness audit of the Utah Department of Health” on October 13, as well as “an audit of data and criteria that government entities use to make critical decisions related to COVID-19 ”. The motion was carried with a 5-0 vote.

“Last year we were in the middle of a pandemic and we were trying to save lives and livelihoods,” Adams wrote in an email. “We were informed that there was a charitable effort from these companies to help during this crisis. It is baffling to learn of the financial gains and the SEC investigation. We need more information to fully understand what happened.

Last year, state officials, including Adams, wanted to make the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine available to the Utahns as an off-label treatment for COVID-19.

Meds In Motion Pharmacy CEO and pharmacist Dan Richards, who admitted to mislabeling one of his imported drugs as a herbal supplement, contacted state officials in March to alert them that he had purchased approximately 1,760 pounds of crude hydroxychloroquine. His efforts to stock the drug have drawn support from officials like Adams, who was with the pharmacist at a March press conference at the State Capitol to promote the drugs.

Utah officials contacted by Richards insist they did not know Richards was mislabeling the drug until he was charged.


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Salt lake city government

This week’s winners and losers in Utah politics


Hello Utah and TGIF!

Thanks for reading “The Rundown”.

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This Week’s Winners and Losers in Utah Politics

⬆️ Winner: The Utah State School Board. Board members have been battered by the current panic over critical breed theory. Republicans in the Legislature are eager to get involved in the issue. But the board has apparently taken enough action this year against classroom race that lawmakers say they don’t see the need to do anything just yet. But, this respite will be short-lived because there could be several laws next year on the subject.

⬇️ Loser: Representative Chris Stewart. In a controversial interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, Chris Stewart falsely claimed he voted to remove Georgian Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committee assignments in February. This claim was not true. The next day, Cuomo and Don Lemon toasted Stewart for not reaching out to correct the record. It wasn’t Stewart’s best hour.

⬇️ Loser: Utah taxpayers. One year ago, the New Yorker reported big issues with TestUtah, the effort to use technology to improve approach to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the Salt Lake Tribune reports that the SEC was investigating the co-diagnosis, which provided testing for the effort. In the end, Utah taxpayers spent $ 15 million on testing through TestUtah, far more than any other vendor paid.

Here’s what you need to know for Friday morning

Local News

  • Gov. Spencer Cox expressed frustration Thursday because so many Utahns refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19, which has resulted in more preventable deaths. Since the vaccines were made available to all Utahns 16 and older, nearly all of the COVID cases in the state have been unvaccinated. [Tribune]

  • Governor Cox explained that he could not ban fireworks in the state despite the extreme fire danger, because it was outside the powers of his governor. The legislature could take such a step, but there doesn’t appear to be the political will to do so, Cox said. [Tribune]

  • Some aligned with the #DezNat group, an online effort to defend the doctrines and practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are deleting their social media accounts for fear they will be identified publicly. [Tribune]

  • Utah County has managed to cut chronic homelessness in half over the past three years. [Tribune]

  • Some owners in Utah require potential renters to pay for DNA testing of their pets. The tests will help them identify who is not cleaning up after their dog or cat when they poop outside. [Tribune]

  • An investment group is turning to technology as a way to help conserve water. [Tribune]

National News

  • A great day at the Supreme Court. The judges rejected another challenge to the Affordable Care Act. [Scotusblog]

  • The court also sided with a faith-based organization, ruling that Philadelphia violated the group’s First Amendment rights when the city stopped working with them when they refused to certify same-sex couples as as potential adoptive parents. [Scotusblog]

  • Both rulings highlighted growing cracks within the court’s conservative wing. [Politico]

  • Unemployment claims jumped unexpectedly last week after several weeks of falling numbers. [WSJ]

  • President Joe Biden signed a bill designating Juneteenth as a federal holiday. [NYT]

  • Schools in the Washington, DC area are closed today for the new June vacation. The last-minute shutdown is pushing parents apart. [WaPo]

  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell pledges to block voting rights legislation as it relates to the Senate. [WaPo]

  • The sizzling US economy is driving inflation globally, forcing foreign banks to raise rates in response. [WSJ]

  • The Biden administration will invest $ 3 million to develop antiviral treatments for COVID-19. [CNN]

  • The U.S. Department of Education is forgiving more than $ 500 million in student debt for 18,000 former students of the ITT Technical Institute, which closed in 2016. [AP]

  • 13 Republican members of Congress signed a letter demanding that President Biden undergo a cognitive aptitude test. The group is led by Florida Republican Ronny Jackson, former President Donald Trump’s White House doctor. [MyHighPlains.com]

Utah Politics Podcast

In this week’s episode, we let you listen to a conversation between Rep. Blake Moore and the Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board.

It’s a fascinating peek behind the curtain as board members engage in a freewheeling chat with Moore that touches public lands, Hill Air Force Base, and investigates the attack on the January 6 against the US Capitol.

You can listen and subscribe for free.

Friday’s Utah News Summary

Utah

  • The United States Court of Appeals rules against citizenship for nationals of American Samoa. [Tribune]

  • The University of Utah, BYU is rolling out name, image and likeness plans as NCAA legislation looms. [Tribune]

  • Deseret Management Corp. appoints director of strategic initiatives and new president of Deseret Digital Media. [DNews]

  • Cox issues a proclamation commemorating June 19 as Juneteenth in Utah. [FOX13]

  • Equality Utah welcomes the Supreme Court ruling that balances religious beliefs with equal protection. [FOX13]

  • 41% of Utah CHIP beneficiaries lost their coverage in May due to a government overthrow. [KSL]

  • BYU-Hawaii will require COVID vaccinations; BYU strongly encourages. [Daily Herald]

COVID-19[feminine

Environnement

  • Le ministère de l’Agriculture a une surveillance faible, des « problèmes de contrôle », constate l’audit. [KSL]

Local government

  • Sunset skid keeps city council optimistic out of poll; the city recorder reprimanded. [Standard Examiner]

  • Former transportation manager selected to fill vacant position on Spanish Fork City Council. [Daily Herald]

  • The still difficult PCMR talks may be coming to a conclusion. [Park Record]

  • Dozens of Utah election officials are participating in the new VOTE certification program. [ABC4]

Infrastructure

  • Experts say Utah is unprepared for large-scale power outages. [KUTV]

  • Boil order issued to Mapleton after bacteria was found in a water source. [FOX13]

  • St. George issues the first energy saving alert. [FOX13]

Housing

  • Can’t keep track of all those new apartments in or coming to Salt Lake County? This card will help you. [Tribune]

  • End of the moratorium on evictions: who to turn to if you run out of rent. [KSL]

  • Ogden City Council is considering an ordinance to ease restrictions on non-residential housing. [Standard Examiner]

On opinion pages

  • Robert Gehrke: Ban fireworks in times of drought and destroy the Utahns that light them. [Tribune]

  • Scott Williams: The governors of Utah have a 50-year legacy of opposing radioactive waste. [Tribune]

  • Tribune Editorial Board: Just get the Utah landmarks back to where they were and get to work. [Tribune]

  • David R. Irvine: We’re not the America we think we are anymore. [Tribune]

  • Richard D. Burbidge: It’s up to you what kind of guinea pig you will be. [Tribune]

  • Steven Collis: Stop asking the Supreme Court to resolve the LGBTQ religious conflict. [Tribune]

🎂 You say it’s your birthday? !!

Happy birthday to Tiffany Gunnerson, spokesperson for the Purposeful Planning Institute, Joel Campbell, associate professor of journalism at BYU, and Eric Peterson, founder of the Utah Investigative Journalism Project.

On Saturday, Thom Carter, energy advisor and executive director of the Office of Energy Development, celebrates.

State Senator Jerry Stevenson and former State Senator Steve Urquhart mark another year on Sunday.

Do you have a birthday that you would like us to recognize in this space? Send us an e-mail.

– Tribune reporter Connor Sanders contributed to this report.



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