united states

Utah economy

President Biden makes the world a more dangerous place

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stewart represents Utah’s 2nd District.

read more
Salt lakes real estate

Real estate transfers | News from Mount Airy

After years spent in craft circles – from a decade touring with a famous roots band to making beautiful furniture for the Hanes family at Roaring Gap – Joe Thrift moved to Elkin to teach the craft. luthier, which he studied in England in the mid-1970s.

Her students are typically violinists drawn to the process of making their own violins out of a desire for meaning and connection.

Student Cailen Campbell’s goal is to someday make a violin from a tree he himself cut. Thrift said violins are often made of maple for the bottom of the instrument and spruce for the top. The violin neck is often maple and the fingerboard is ebony.

“I know people who are experimenting with other woods,” like red spruce, Campbell said. “I just connected to the process. I would love to have an instrument that I knew as a tree – that would be really rewarding for me.

Campbell, who also hopes to someday make a violin for his young son, comes from Weaverville, near Asheville, for a weekly double-class session, which is nine hours of lessons in one day.

Most of Thrift’s students come from beyond the Elkin area, commuting for the day to attend class or, in Kelly Sivy’s case, uprooting and moving to Elkin to devote years to studying with Thrift. She brings her blind sheepdog, Dill, to class with her. When a classmate recently sang Irish tunes on Sivy’s first violin, Dill sang with soft howls.

Sivy, from Fairbanks, Alaska, wanted to study with a master luthier, but most programs offering this experience involved an expensive four-year college degree. Sivy is already a highly educated wildlife ecologist and was looking for a more affordable educational path. Until recently, Thrift taught his classes at Surry Community College, and Sivy was drawn to the reasonable rates to take continuing education classes with him.

Surry and Thrift have gone their separate ways during the pandemic, with Thrift seeking to adjust his student-teacher ratio in a way that meets his desire for social distancing amid the risks of COVID-19, perhaps one-on-one or to several students at the same time.

At the height of the pandemic in 2020, he taught students from his home and now has a studio in the former Chatham Mill complex which is now the Foothills Arts Center. Last August, he kicked off his first full semester of classes, teaching 27 students over five days a week, sometimes late into the evening.

Among her classes is a special intensive instructional session with a student who is also a craftsman at Old Salem in Winston-Salem, and Sivy, thanks to a grant from the NC Arts Council.

His studio at the arts center, which is a collection of around five small pieces, houses a range of tools, from fine scrapers used to delicately carve wood by hand, to power tools as large as a human as the one sees in any fine woodworking. store.

Thrift grew up in Winston-Salem, where he graduated from Reynolds High School.

“My father was a pipe organ builder and my mother was an organist at the Moravian church, where my father was also choir director,” he said. “I have never been in the choir.

Thrift heard his two older brothers complain every week about choir practice, and so he opted for the instruments instead, taking the piano and clarinet.

“I grew up in a family of musicians,” he says. “I played in the Moravian Easter band every year and stuff.”

After high school, during the Vietnam War, Thrift joined the Naval Reserve, hoping to avoid deploying for the war itself.

“I decided to join the Naval Reserve, which was a huge mistake on my part,” he recalls. “I hated it. When I got off the bus at training camp and the guy started cursing and yelling at me, I realized I had made a mistake.

He worked mainly in Florida, “teaching people how to pack parachutes and handle survival gear, and I was in Guantanamo Bay for several weeks,” Thrift said.

After completing his service, Thrift traveled to Europe with friends on a shoestring budget of $ 1,000 for a month, which included his share of buying a car with his friends. They have driven 11,000 miles in that month.

Back in the United States, Thrift apprenticed at a guitar factory in Piney Creek, making everything from mandolins and banjos to dulcimers. He was part of a group that traveled playing the instruments they made at the factory, and he just learned to play them on the fly.

“Once I started playing the violin, I started wanting to know more about it,” Thrift said.

He researched famous instrument makers and players of the past.

“I was looking for someone to hire me as an apprentice, and no one had an order for it,” Thrift said of the low demand every luthier had for people wishing to buy handmade instruments.

Yet he strove to meet influential players and luthiers in the violin and violin circles, and learned through them from a school in England which taught a classical form of violin making. He wrote a letter to the school.

“I got an interview for August, and I flew to England and did the interview,” Thrift said. “I was accepted and started the following month. It was a three-year program.

“We were the fourth class they ever had and our class became the really famous class because of the people who were in that class,” he said, dropping the names of classmates who have become certain. of the greatest violin craftsmen in the world.

Thrift returned to Winston-Salem and ran a violin shop for a while. It quickly turned into repairing and selling strings, and less into making instruments. He eventually closed his shop and got a job as a gardener in Roaring Gap.

Martha Hanes Womble, who he gardened for, found out he made violins and asked him if he could make furniture too.

“Well I never did but told him I could,” Thrift said.

She would bring him an old piece of furniture, he would make two copies and she would sell them in his store. He made the parts in a makeshift store under a tarp, outside a 7ft by 14ft trailer he lived in that was on a property his girlfriend owned in Mountain Park. He used electricity from a temporary utility pole to power his tools. His girlfriend, whom he later married, is local artist Tory Casey. They have been together for 38 years now.

One day, Thrift visited a music store and was buying a synthesizer keyboard. He just played the instrument and “hadn’t played a keyboard since fifth grade.” Members of the up-and-coming group Donna The Buffalo were in the store at the time and they exchanged contact details. Soon after, they invited him to meet in Philadelphia, so he went.

“I go up there and it’s like an audition. I just made things up, ”Thrift said.

He got the job and went on tour.

“I had never played electric music at all,” he admitted.

He spent nine years with the group, but became exhausted after touring and returned to the Yadkin Valley.

It had been 25 years since he had worked seriously on violins, other than the occasional repair or maintenance of his own instruments or those belonging to friends.

“The good thing is that I forgot a lot of things I learned in school,” Thrift said. “I totally changed my way of making violins. The whole method is different now.

He has mixed his classical training with learnings from the accomplishments of his famous classmates, but is primarily guided by his own freewheeling artistic style. And now the thousands of miles he has driven and the songs he has played influence the lessons he teaches. It’s a different kind of show. A different scene.

His classes this semester are full.

read more
Salt lake city government

COVID-19: More than 3.9 million vaccines have been distributed in Utah. This is the number that the state has actually distributed


It has now been 40 weeks since the first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine were sent to states, launching the largest vaccination campaign in human history. As of September 23, 469,561,625 doses of the vaccine had been shipped across the country, equivalent to 143.1% of the US population.

While the initial vaccine distribution took longer than federal projections indicated, in recent months the United States has made great strides in the global race to deliver the vaccines – and some states are doing so. come out much better than others. In the current system, led by the White House COVID-19 response team, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sends states limited vaccine shipments along with funding and directs them to distribute the vaccine in accordance with relatively flexible federal guidelines.

Each state has developed its own deployment plan, prioritizing different age groups and classes of essential workers. The mix of policies and logistical challenges across the country has led to large variations between states in both the percentage of vaccines that have been administered and the percentage of the population that has been vaccinated.

In Utah, 85.7% of allocated vaccines had been administered to residents as of Sept. 23, higher than the national average of 82.6% and the ninth highest share of all states.

Doses administered amount to 105.8% of the state’s population, lower than the national figure of 118.2% and the 20th smallest share of all states.

While a majority of Americans are not vaccinated due to a lack of supplies, some have no intention of receiving a vaccine at all. According to a US Census Bureau survey, 59.2% of American adults aged 18 and older who have not yet received the vaccine likely or certainly will not receive a COVID-19 vaccine in the future. In Utah, 53.7% of adults who have not yet received the vaccine say they likely or certainly will not receive a vaccine in the future, the fifth smallest share of all states. The most common reason for not wanting a vaccine is fear of possible side effects. Other commonly cited reasons include that they were planning to wait and see if it’s safe, not to trust the COVID-19 vaccines and not to trust the government.

To determine how states are doing with the vaccine rollout, 24/7 Wall St. looked at data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. States were ranked based on the number of vaccines administered in a state as a percentage of the number of vaccines distributed to that state by the federal government as of September 23. Data on confirmed COVID-19 cases as of September 23 came from various states and local health departments and were population-adjusted using data from the 2019 American Community Survey from the US Census Bureau. Data on the percentage of adults who are unlikely or certainly will not receive a COVID-19 vaccine and their reasons for not receiving one comes from the Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey, conducted on August 18, 2021. until August 30, 2021.

read more
Salt lake city government

COVID-19 vaccines for children: what parents need to know

Children as young as 5 years old could be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Halloween, now that Pfizer and BioTech report that lower doses of their vaccine have been shown to be safe while producing a “robust” antibody response in this group of people. ‘age.

The results announced by the companies earlier this week are yet to be submitted to the United States Food and Drug Administration, which will decide whether to change the emergency use order allowing teens ages 12 to 15 years to receive the vaccine to include children aged 5 to 11. .

While the data shared so far appears to be good news for parents concerned about protecting their young children from the deadly virus, experts are waiting to see details of the latest clinical trial that involved some 2,300 children aged 5 to 11. years.

“A press release is just a press release, and we want to see the rest of the data. But I hope that happens very soon, and I hope that a good close review of the data set will be just as encouraging as what they published in the press release, ”said Dr Andy Pavia to journalists in a recent virtual news. conference.

Pavia, chief of the division of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Utah Health and director of hospital epidemiology at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, said “this is really the point at which we can. say, “Yeah, that sounds awesome.” We are delighted to give it to our children.

How serious is COVID-19 for children?

Lately, there are typically eight to 10 children hospitalized in elementary school for children with COVID-19, Pavia said, “far more than we’ve seen at any time in the past year. I think this reflects both the spread among children that we are seeing this year and the increased infectivity of delta, ”the highly contagious viral variant.

School-aged children also account for about 1 in 4 new cases of the virus in Utah during the current outbreak, he said, a number likely higher because many parents do not test their children for the virus because that they are worried. having to prevent them from going to school.

There have been nearly 60,000 cases of the virus in Utahns aged 14 and under, representing 12% of all cases in the state, according to the Utah Department of Health. Nearly 500 have been sick enough to be hospitalized and two young people in Salt Lake County have died of the disease, including an unvaccinated teenager.

What parents should do

Deciding whether to vaccinate children against COVID-19 means assessing the risks involved, Pavie said. Children get sick enough to be hospitalized or die, but even in the mildest cases they miss school and face the possibility of dealing with what is known as the long COVID-19 – fatigue, fog and other persistent symptoms.

“You have to balance these risks, which people don’t always fully appreciate,” he said, with the potential risks of injections which, so far, “have been shown to be as safe as any vaccine like us. let’s use “. But Pavia said that in children aged 5 to 11, the study was not large enough to know what he called rarer side effects.

This information will come as the vaccine rolls out to the younger group, he said, adding that if his own children were 5 to 11, they would be on the front line for vaccines on day one. where they were available – if they had not already been enrolled in a clinical trial.

“What I would say is if your child goes to school in Utah, he’s at a pretty high risk of contracting COVID and a pretty high risk of complications,” Pavia warned. However, he said, “if they stay home, if they are in a state where there is universal masking and very low infection rates, their risk is lower.”

For low-risk children, the doctor said parents “might want to wait a little longer until we know more about rare or minor safety effects.” The best source of information for parents, Pavia said, is a family pediatrician or other health care provider.

The bottom line for him, however, is that the risk presented by COVID-19 is great while the risk of the vaccine “is almost certainly much, much smaller.”

Will the vaccine really be available by Halloween?

Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, said there was a good chance the injections would be approved for children before they were go to therapy.

FDA officials pledged earlier this month to “carefully, thoroughly, and independently review the data to assess the benefits and risks and be ready to complete its review as quickly as possible, possibly within a few minutes. weeks rather than a few months ”.

But in the same statement, Dr. Janet Woodcock, acting commissioner of the FDA, and Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Assessment and Research, also said, “Like every vaccine decision that we took during this pandemic, our assessment of data on COVID-19 vaccine use in children will not cut corners. “

Pavie said that in the past, similar decisions were made within weeks of submitting the application, so late October or early November could be the date when clearance could be anticipated. But he also admitted that it was only a matter of “looking at a crystal ball”.

After FDA approval, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is to meet to develop clinical recommendations. It usually only takes a day or two.

And once the federal government gives the green light, Pavia said he expects injections to be given to children in the same places as teens, teens and adults, including doctors’ offices. , clinics and pharmacies.

Parents planning ahead for the holidays should realize that it takes five weeks from the first dose to be fully immunized. In addition to the three week wait between the two injections, it takes another two weeks after receiving the final dose before a person is considered fully immune to the virus.

How the vaccine was tested

The trial tested two doses of the vaccine given 21 days apart, the same regimen currently given to people 12 years of age and older, but the doses were one-third less than the standard 30 micrograms. However, the immune response generated seemed to be equivalent to larger doses in adolescents.

That’s all the companies had to show since vaccines had been shown to be effective in stopping COVID-19 infections in studies in older groups, including one trial in 44,000 adults, USA Today reported. Trials are currently underway for children 2 to 5 years old and 6 months to 2 years old.

Pfizer and BioTech said the children involved in the studies of the three age groups came from more than 90 locations in the United States, Finland, Poland and Spain, and some had already had COVID-19, according to USA Today .

The other two coronavirus vaccines approved for use in the United States, the two-dose Moderna and the single-dose Johnson & Johnson, are also under study in children. Pfizer’s injections are the only COVID-19 vaccine approved for adolescents and adolescents,

What about “off-label” clichés for children under 12 now?

This question arose last month, when the Pfizer vaccine was fully approved by the FDA, paving the way for prescribing “off-label” injections for different age groups, conditions or other indications than those stated by the manufacturers. authorities.

But experts say it’s not a good idea and have advised to wait until federal authorities have approved the safety concerns and looked into issues such as the proper dosage for young children. Pfizer shots are available under emergency use authorization for ages 12 to 16.

Utah Department of Health on COVID-19 Vaccines for Children

“There is a common misconception that children do not contract COVID-19 or are not at risk of serious illness from the virus. However, some children get sick enough to require hospital treatment. We still don’t know much about how COVID-19 will continue to impact children in the long term, ”the department said in a statement.

“COVID-19 is far more dangerous than any potential risk involved in getting a vaccine. Children suffer from serious and potentially long-lasting side effects at rates similar to those of adults, even if they have never had symptoms or had only mild symptoms at the time of their infection. Many children continue to suffer from fatigue, headaches, abdominal, muscle and joint pain, and difficulty remembering and processing information, ”the statement continued.

“The Utah Department of Health is eagerly awaiting further recommendations from the FDA and CDC to vaccinate children under 12 years of age. If you have young children, talk to your healthcare professional about the best ways to protect them until a vaccine is available.

read more
Salt lake city

The best takes of season 2, episode 2

Fans of “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” Look forward to the shocking scenes they saw on this season’s Bravo reality show teaser release.

Jen Sha was seen leaving the shuttle to flee to an undisclosed location, and authorities picked her up minutes after she left.

One of the housewives later revealed that she had been arrested for fraud and charged with aiding and abetting a scam that seniors targeted across the United States.

The teaser then moved on to a scene where Shah was arguing with another housewife, Meredith Marks, accusing him of going after her.

Well, the dust has yet to settle on this drama, as episode two of the reality TV series has just unveiled some searing new details on the matter.

Read on to see the full story.

The quarrel continues

Episode two titled “Icy Apology” seemed to show that Mark’s beef with Shah from last season has been dragged into the new season. During this season, viewers have seen Marks accuse his co-worker of exposing her vagina while having a drink at her house. Apparently, Mark’s son Brooks had a full view of Shah’s lower regions and reacted uncomfortably.

For this and many other reasons, she believes her co-star is on a quest to ruin her son’s image on social media.

Instagram | Jen Shah

“She wants to take control of Brooks’ life and define who he is,” Marks told her husband, Seth, in the episode.
It came after Shah liked a tweet that suggested she should slap Brooks and call him a “sissy b ****”.

Marks continued to complain to her husband about Shah’s questionable actions.

“He didn’t label himself as gay, and she’s been busy labeling herself that way.” “I would never have ‘liked’ something like that in his children. Retweeting something is as good as saying it. Stop fucking with my kid and my family, ”added the reality TV star. For fans, their relationship has only turned from bad to worse.

Did Meredith Marks Admit She Missed Shah?

Some viewers may have drawn a parallel between Shah’s current troubles with the law and his feud with Marks. Those who shared this point of view have just received one more reason to believe that Brooks’ mother did something fishy.

Marks and Brooks appeared as guests on Andy Cohen’s late night show right after episode two of the new season aired.

The show, titled “Watch What Happens Live,” saw the reality TV star talk about many aspects in episode two of the reality TV series. However, the highlight of the interview was Mark’s response to a question posed by a viewer of both shows.

The viewer asked Marks if she criticized her colleague by calling federal authorities on her. Marks’ response was obscured by mystery. “Andy, haven’t you heard me tell everyone not to hurt my family?” ” she asked.

Viewers probably would have felt the response said more than it looks.

Shah and Gay Heart to Heart Talk

Besides Marks’ booming beef with Shah, Gay’s relationship with the indicted star was investigated in episode two.

A new scene showed Shah and Gay discussing some derogatory comments she allegedly made about him, including calling her a racist, a manatee and “Shrek.”

“Why are you throwing stupid little digs behind my back?” Gay asked.

A photo of Jen Shah in a gray fur coat, and she looks gorgeous.
Instagram | Jen Shah

“You hurt me too,” Shah replied, recalling their previous conversation during the season one reunion.

Shah then refuted Gay’s charge and became cranky about “not feeling good enough” and “standing on a different level.”

In the episode, Gay revealed that even though they would no longer be confidants, she still considers Shah a friend. It is not known if the couple reconciled, but there is still hope between them.

More scenes from episode two

Marks’ continued drama with Shah and the ensuing conversation between Shah and Gay weren’t the only hot moments in the episode.

Another notable scene revealed that the housewife, Whitney rose was not happy with the amount of sex she was having with her husband, coupled with her dream of making her Iris + Beau business worth $ 1 billion.

In another scene, viewers realized that the new housewife, Jennie Nguyen, was a wedding singer and she showcased her beautiful talent on camera for everyone to see.

Finally, colleague, Marie cosby, planned to remodel her home after bored with her design due to life at home from the pandemic.

read more
Salt lake city government

Citizen revolt: week of September 23 | Citizen revolt | Salt lake city

Click to enlarge

Stop the Gerrymander
This is your last chance to influence the redistribution process, something that only happens once every 10 years after the census. After a slew of public hearings by the Utah Legislature and Independent Redistribution Commission, maps will be drawn and sent to the almighty legislature to make the final cut. You can influence where they draw those boundaries. Attend all or part of Public hearings of the legislative delimitation committee and / or the Utah Independent Constituency Commission Public Hearings. In person or virtual: Friday, September 24, Cedar City, 1 p.m. and Roosevelt, 6 p.m. Saturday, September 25, St. George, 10 a.m.. and Ephraim, 11 a.m., free.

Overview of the Supreme Court
Despite exhortations to the contrary, the Supreme Court of the United States is steeped in partisan politics. Take a few minutes to explore what the judges will decide on at their next session at Overview of the Supreme Court’s mandate 2021-2022. The list of topics on the court’s docket include abortion, 2nd Amendment, religious freedom, disability discrimination, national security and more. Two prominent Supreme Court litigators will guide you through cases such as New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, who is examining whether New York’s restrictive gun licenses violate the Second Amendment. Or there is Carsen v. Makin, in which the High Court will determine whether a state violates the First Amendment or the 14th Amendment if it excludes religious schools from state-funded student aid. Virtual, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 11 a.m., free.

Climate strike
The world is killing itself and most people agree that climate change is the reason. Yet they do nothing. “It’s time to act against climate change”, say young people Global climate strike, which ends with a walk to the State Capitol. Without a rapid and dramatic reduction in carbon emissions, the effects of climate change will be catastrophic, warnings from the International Panel on Climate Change. “Parents, grandparents, teachers and government officials: do you love us, do you love your children? Asks 14-year-old Natalie Roberts. “If you really did, we wouldn’t be afraid of what our future holds. We wouldn’t be on strike every week demanding action on the climate crisis you have caused.” Washington Square Park, North Side, 451 S. State, 11 a.m., free.

Candidates Forum
It is that time of year when politics are unleashed and candidates try to get their message across to the public. Be a better voter and learn about some of these important events ahead of the election. Cottonwood Heights Candidate Forum features city council districts 3 and 4 and the mayoral race. Bountiful Meet the Candidates: General Election presents four candidates for the city council and three candidates for mayor. Cottonwood: Cottonwood City Hall, 2277 E. Bengal Blvd., Cottonwood Heights, Tuesday, September 28, 5:30 p.m., free. Bountiful: Bountiful Town Hall, 795 S. Main Street, Bountiful, 6:30 p.m., free.

read more
Utah economy

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

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

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


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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

read more
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.

read more
Salt lake city government

‘Remember the 43 Students’ art installation, series of events about missing students comes to DSU – St George News

ST. GEORGE – To mark the seventh anniversary of the disappearance of 43 students who went missing after visiting Iguala, a city in the state of Guererro in Mexico, Steve Lee, the dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Dixie State University is producing a series events at the university.

Photo of the characters who make up the installation “Remember the 43 Students” at Dixie State University, St. George, Utah, date unspecified | Courtesy of Dr Steve Lee, St. George News

The students, who attended Raul Isidro Burgos Teachers’ College, traveled to Igaula on September 26, 2014 to secure buses to Mexico City.

Instead, after attending a political rally in the town square, they were reportedly forced into police trucks and were never seen again.

Seven years later, the students have joined tens of thousands of other Mexican citizens who have gone missing and whose whereabouts are unknown.

The producer

Photo of the characters who make up the installation “Remember the 43 Students” at Dixie State University, St. George, Utah, date unspecified | Courtesy of Dr Steve Lee, St. George News

Filmmaker Lee came up with the idea of ​​producing an art installation that will be staged in nine campus buildings.

The idea for the installation, which features 43 characters with photos and biographies of each missing student, came while Lee was at the University of Santa Clara, California. But his connection to the material, he said, took root long ago.

“I grew up in El Paso, Texas,” Lee told St. George News. “I worked in a demolition site located 200 feet from the border. I could see the cardboard barracks across the border. This made very clear the boundaries between the haves and have-nots. “

As Lee recounts, one of his colleagues was a Mexican. One day, Lee asked the man, who spoke little English, where he was from.

“And he pointed the finger at the cabins,” Lee said. “At that point, I decided to try to find a way to use education to avoid poverty. “

But when Lee became a filmmaker and earned his own degrees – a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of San Francisco, as well as a master’s and doctorate in communication from the University of Texas – Austin – he felt a sense of kinship with its neighbors. South.

Photo of a reflective figure from the installation “Remember the 43 Students” at Dixie State University, St. George, Utah, date unspecified | Courtesy of Dr Steve Lee, St. George News

This sense of kinship, he said, compelled him to prepare students to become citizens of the world. That’s why he often thinks of the 40 Dixie State University students who traveled to Salt Lake City several months ago to urge lawmakers to vote on a bill to change the name of Dixie State University.

While the reasons for the rallies in Iguala and Salt Lake City may not be comparable, Lee said the results should be carefully considered.

“Our students were allowed to speak out without fear of death or imprisonment,” he said. “Whereas those students who disappeared seven years ago weren’t.”

Lee and others are trying to draw attention to what happens when elected officials become corrupt and citizens remain silent. His team includes Mexico City-based journalist John Gibler, who has covered extensively on the missing students.

“We’re talking about people who were helpless,” Lee said. “In some cases, they are displaced. In more extreme cases, they are murdered or disappeared.

Silence, Lee said, can become a form of acceptance when violence is used as a political tactic.

“And that is why we cannot allow leaders, wherever they are, to act with impunity,” he said. “Through this series of events, I try to get students to see with their heads and their hearts. They may be American, but we still have to speak up when injustices occur. “

Keilani Young assembles booth for one of the figures, St. George, Utah September 14, 2021 | Photo by David Dudley, St. George News

The journalist

Mexico City-based journalist John Gibler has been reporting from Mexico since 2006. He focuses on issues of social movements and political violence. Previously, he had worked as a human rights volunteer in the state of Guerrero since 2000.

“When I saw the headlines about the September 26-27, 2014 police attacks on Ayotzinapa students, I literally couldn’t believe what I read,” Gibler told St. George News. “The first incorrect headline on Saturday September 27, 2014 read: ‘6 dead, 57 students missing.’

On October 3, 2014, Gibler took a bus to Chilpancingo, Guerrero and went to school the next day.

“Due to the confusion in the press and conflicting official statements about the events, I decided to focus my reporting on interviews with survivors and witnesses,” Gibler said.

Since then, he has published numerous articles, like this one, as well as an oral history for City Lights editions. Gibler said the initial investigation, carried out by the government of former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, was in itself an act of administrative enforced disappearance.

“The government lied, tortured, fabricated false evidence and false testimony and destroyed real evidence,” Gibler said, “all to describe a series of events that never happened and thus hide, or cover up , the logic, the motive, the chain of command and the complete list of the participants in the attacks.

“We know that over 100 city, state and federal police officers have all coordinated to attack, murder and forcibly disappear students,” Gibler continued. “We know the Mexican military was monitoring the attacks in real time and took full control of the city shortly after the police left with the 43 students. We know that the Federal Attorney General’s office committed the atrocities listed above in order to cover up the government’s involvement in the attacks.

The current administration of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has completely distanced itself from the previous administration’s investigation, Gibler said. They have issued arrest warrants against numerous federal officials and at least one military officer for their involvement in the crimes.

“The ongoing investigation has located two other small bone fragments belonging to two students in a location half a mile from the landfill that was the center of the cover-up story,” Gibler said.

Lee contacted Gibler to ask if he could use some of Gibler’s text in the original installation in Santa Clara. Gibler will discuss the events and its coverage with Vince Brown, director of the Institute of Politics at Dixie State University, in the Gardner Center ballroom on September 23 at 4 p.m. ET.

When asked why these events matter to him, Gibler said he cares about the world.

“I care about justice,” he said. “I care about people and people’s stories. I believe in investigating and sharing stories that reveal violently hidden truths about our world.

Gibler said he thinks Americans would do well to care about Mexico, a neighboring country that shares 1,954 miles of borders. Utah was part of Mexico until the Treaty of Hidalgo in 1848.

“Mexico shares an incredibly deep and often charged history with the United States,” Gibler said. “I hope people will be inspired to learn more about what happened to the students and their families’ struggles for truth and justice. I also hope that people will be inspired to think critically about the issues of police brutality and social struggle in their own communities. “

The stage store assistant

Dixie State University senior Keilani Young works in the varsity theater stage store. Young, who graduated from Tuacahn High School for the Arts, divides her time between her work in the costume shop at the Tuacahn Center for the Arts and the theatrical store at Dixie State University. A stage salesperson, she will have spent around 40 hours painting and making materials that will allow the characters to stand in their place on campus.

“What turns me on about a project like this is that I can use my skills to build something that serves a story,” Young told St. George News.

Young grew up near Logan, Utah, so she’s not very familiar with the events that inspired the installation. When the numbers arrived, Young said she called them “the shadow guys,” which seems fitting. After spending over 30 hours cutting and assembling their stands, she has come to call them figurines.

In some ways, she is the installation’s primary audience, as she moves the characters around the store. After assembling a minifigure that displays a photo of Martin Getsemany Sanchez Garcia, one of the missing, she moves it near the center of the workshop. She plants the stand, then steps back to assess her work. Once satisfied, she moves the figure into a dark recess near the elevator.

“With a project like this, I feel like I’m building a world,” she said. “As I learn more about the numbers, the more I feel like I’m building to create mood and tone. If I feel it, I can do it.

Visit their site for a list of special events taking place over the next two weeks.

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

read more
Utah economy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


Follow AP’s coverage of migration at

read more
Utah economy

BLM headquarters returns to Washington

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

read more
Salt lake city government

Finding a job in the United States: NPR

Ahmad Zai Ahmadi began performing for US forces in Afghanistan as a teenager. Since arriving in the United States as a recipient of a Special Immigrant Visa, he has mainly relied on work to support his family.

Andrea Hsu / NPR

hide caption

toggle legend

Andrea Hsu / NPR

Ahmad Zai Ahmadi began performing for US forces in Afghanistan as a teenager. Since arriving in the United States as a recipient of a Special Immigrant Visa, he has mainly relied on work to support his family.

Andrea Hsu / NPR

Ahmad Zai Ahmadi was just a teenager when he encountered a group of US Marines in a bazaar in his hometown of Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 2003.

“I just started saying ‘Hi’ and ‘How are you’, and they say ‘Okay, you speak English. Do you want to translate for us?’ I say: ‘Of course, yes!’ “Recalls Ahmadi, now 36 years old.

He then worked as an interpreter for US forces for nearly a decade, a job that took him all over Afghanistan. He befriended US servicemen, including a number of high-ranking officers. His nickname was Rock.

In 2009, he applied for a special immigrant visa to come to the United States, a program set up for Afghans who had served the US government and faced threats because of their jobs.

It took 11 years to get his visa.

At that time, he had a wife and three children. And soon after arriving in the United States in early 2020, he discovered his biggest test yet: he had to find a way to support his family.

This is the central challenge facing tens of thousands of Afghans who have fled their homeland in recent months as the United States retreats from a 20-year war. In the first few months, the US government provides a safety net for newcomers – refugee resettlement agencies help families with immediate needs such as food, medical assistance, shelter, and schools for children . But when it comes to finding a job, Afghans who have come to the United States in previous years say they were largely alone.

Noah Coburn, anthropologist at Bennington College and author of Under contract: America’s invisible world war workers, interviewed more than 100 Afghans who visited the United States

Afghan refugees arrive at Dulles International Airport on August 27, 2021 in Dulles, Virginia, after being evacuated from Kabul following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

Olivier Douliery / AFP via Getty Images

hide caption

toggle legend

Olivier Douliery / AFP via Getty Images

Afghan refugees arrive at Dulles International Airport on August 27, 2021 in Dulles, Virginia, after being evacuated from Kabul following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

Olivier Douliery / AFP via Getty Images

Over the years, he has heard countless stories about their struggles to find employment despite their skills and experience, often acquired while working for American entrepreneurs.

“They end up doing things like landscaping. They end up driving for Lyft, for Uber. They end up working in some of these big box stores, because it’s really the best they can do,” Coburn explains.

A recent survey by the nonprofit No One Left Behind found that up to half of Afghan special immigrant visa holders drive for Uber, Lyft or Amazon.

Coburn calls on the many private companies that held important US government contracts in Afghanistan to step up and do more.

“The subcontractors who have benefited so much from the war in Afghanistan, and who have benefited so much from the relatively low wages of these Afghans, really have a real moral obligation here,” he says.

Ismaeil Hakimi, originally from Ghazni province, Afghanistan, trained as a lawyer in Iran. Shortly after the fall of the Taliban in 2001, he returned home to help rebuild his country. After working with the United Nations, he was hired by American entrepreneur PAE to work on his Justice Sector Support Program, to help build a just and efficient criminal justice system for Afghanistan.

After surviving a Taliban attack on the Justice Department and many other threats, a colleague urged him to apply to come to the United States through the special immigrant visa program. His application was approved in 2014, and he and his family moved to San Diego, where thanks to a friend, he found work as a teacher’s assistant at a prep school.

Ismaeil Hakimi worked for American entrepreneur PAE until 2014, helping to build Afghanistan’s criminal justice system. After arriving in the United States, he struggled to find work, but eventually landed a job at the University of Utah library. He and his family visited the Statue of Liberty on August 5, 2021.

Ali hakimi

hide caption

toggle legend

Ali hakimi

Ismaeil Hakimi worked for American entrepreneur PAE until 2014, helping to build Afghanistan’s criminal justice system. After arriving in the United States, he struggled to find work, but eventually landed a job at the University of Utah library. He and his family visited the Statue of Liberty on August 5, 2021.

Ali hakimi

The cost of living in Southern California was high, so after a few years, Hakimi moved his family to Salt Lake City where the scenery was reminiscent of his home. His children, then of working age, found work at Target, Walmart and the airport, but he struggled more. He didn’t expect to be able to use his legal training given his unfamiliarity with the US legal system, but he couldn’t even land a job at the local Harmons grocery store.

Hakimi was out of work for three months until he finally got what he considers a big break. He was hired at the Marriott Library at the University of Utah, to help students and other patrons with their research. Today, he is working on building the library’s Middle East collection.

He considers himself lucky. Her children are now at the University of Utah studying computer science and medicine.

“We are very happy here,” he says.

Jina Krause-Vilmar, CEO of Upwardly Global, a nonprofit that helps refugees find professional jobs, says Afghans often arrive with skills that aren’t exactly what employers are looking for.

“They get lost in limbo a bit,” she says.

Some people need additional certifications to work in the United States. Some need to be introduced to jobs that did not exist in their country of origin. Often what they need most is help in presenting their experience in a way that makes it more marketable to American employers.

She points out that many of the Afghans who arrive here are university graduates. They are lawyers, engineers, accountants.

“It’s talent that we leave at the table,” says Krause-Vilmar. “This is a missed opportunity for our country.”

At this particular time, it’s a huge opportunity, given how desperate employers are to find workers, she says. There are currently nearly 11 million jobs open in the United States.

Ahmad Zai Ahmadi arrived in the United States just as the pandemic forced a halt. He began delivering food for Grubhub and DoorDash to support his family, working 12 hours a day.

Andrea Hsu / NPR

hide caption

toggle legend

Andrea Hsu / NPR

Ahmad Zai Ahmadi arrived in the United States just as the pandemic forced a halt. He began delivering food for Grubhub and DoorDash to support his family, working 12 hours a day.

Andrea Hsu / NPR

This was not the case when Interpreter Ahmadi landed in the United States in January 2020. The coronavirus was taking off around the world. In the spring, tens of millions of Americans were made redundant.

Taking into account the advice of the Afghan community in northern Virginia, Ahmadi obtained his driver’s license. With the help of a retired American colonel, he was able to buy a car. He started delivering food for Grubhub and DoorDash, working 8 am-8pm, seven days a week. Later, he also started driving for Uber and Lyft.

It’s decent money, but the labor costs in the odd-job economy are high. He has to pay for gasoline and insurance, and he cannot see his children.

Last year, he got a job at McDonald’s for five months as a cashier and customer service representative. But the hourly wage of $ 10 was not even enough to cover the rent. He then moved to Walmart, which was paying $ 12 an hour, but the hours were irregular and the pay was still not enough.

Ahmadi has a high school diploma and various certifications in Afghanistan. Over the many years it took to get his U.S. visa, he worked as the managing director of a fuel delivery company and established his own travel agency, accumulating a multitude of skills including database programming.

But he has yet to find the opportunity to put those skills to good use in the United States.

“My certification doesn’t work here,” he says.

He would like to get an American degree but cannot afford to take time off work to enroll in classes.

The United States’ exit from Afghanistan opened up a brief opportunity, one that allowed Ahmadi to take a break from work for a few weeks.

He heard that interpreters were needed at the exhibition center near the Washington Dulles airport to help process Afghans arriving in the United States.

The pay was good, so he doubled down from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. to put as much money as possible in the bank while he could. What he saw during those long hours was sobering. Many of the newcomers he has met don’t even speak English.

“I am so worried about these people,” Ahmadi said. “Life is very difficult in the United States.”

read more
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.

read more
Utah economy

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

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

Listen to this story

Enjoy more audio and podcasts on ios Where Android.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

read more
Salt lake city government

Governor Cox provides update on arrival of Afghan refugees in Utah

SALT LAKE CITY (September 15, 2021) – Today, the US State Department confirmed that Utah can expect to resettle 765 incoming Afghans in the coming months. The first Afghans in this group will begin arriving in October, although details on the timing are still being worked out. Governor Cox made the following statement on what we know so far:

“We are working closely with the Utah Refugee Services Office, resettlement agencies, humanitarian groups, private sector leaders, Afghans in Utah and engaged citizens to put processes in place for support newcomers. We are grateful for providing a safe landing place for 765 Afghans and recognize the new perspectives and compassion they will bring to our State.

“There is still work to be done to prepare and we are awaiting further information from the State Department. We have a fantastic record in refugee resettlement with our resettlement agencies: Catholic Community Services and International Rescue Committee. We know they will use their expertise to make this transition a smooth one, and we will have resources ready to fill in the gaps and offer support in this process.

Last update

  • Today, the US State Department informed the state of Utah that it is authorized to receive 765 Afghan refugees. This number may change in the future and is in addition to the state’s plan to resettle more refugees in the coming year.
  • The International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Catholic Community Services (CCS) are the state’s two resettlement agencies and manage the resettlement of all refugees who come to the state. Donations and volunteers are welcome for both agencies.
  • Currently, most of these refugees are on military bases in the United States. They received security checks, medical assessments and vaccinations. They are expected to start traveling to other states, including Utah, after Oct. 1, and relocation agencies will be given a week’s notice prior to their arrival. Arrivals are expected to take several months.
  • The Governor’s Refugee Advisory Council has brought together three working groups – housing, basic needs and community – to prepare for the arrival of Afghan refugees. These working groups bring together businesses, homeowners, government agencies, advocacy groups, service providers and the public to meet the needs of newcomers.
  • This group of refugees will include a large number of humanitarian parolees who have been evacuated due to their vulnerabilities but who have not yet been granted refugee or asylum status. Humanitarian parolees can apply for asylum, which currently takes around two years, although there are discussions to speed up the process. They will be eligible to work in Utah and will receive employment assistance from the Department of Workforce Services, however, they are not currently eligible for other benefits. The State Department offers this population a small monetary assistance for reception and placement (R&P).
  • In order to provide benefits to humanitarian parolees, the US Congress will consider an ongoing resolution that would include $ 6.4 billion to assist with the resettlement of refugees, including humanitarian parolees. The deadline for passage is October 1st.
  • For general information about the Utah State Refugee Resettlement Program, visit the Office of Refugee Services (RSO) at
  • To assist with the resettlement of refugees, please support Utah resettlement agencies:
    • International Rescue Committee:
    • Catholic Community Services:
    • The two resettlement agencies, IRC and CCS, provide initial resettlement services to newly arrived refugees, including picking them up at the airport, providing them with accommodation, furniture and food, initial orientation and support. additional services. Their support is continuous for the first three months and in some cases up to six months. These will also be the agencies that will welcome the Afghan arrivals.
    • The Utah State Office of Refugee Services (RSO) provides funding for case management support for up to two years, which is provided by the IRC and CCS. Refugees can access services funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR within the Office of the US Department of Health and Human Services). RSO manages the distribution of funding, which pays for English language learning, school support, youth mentorship, and medical support. RSO also provides refugees with access to training and education, employment and career assistance, support for community-based refugee organizations, a gathering place at the Utah Refugee Center, and social workers. approved clinics for ongoing mental health assistance. The Utah Refugee Center also provides walk-in support for any services refugees may need.

For more details, please visit the following sites:

Utah Refugee Services Office

Utah Catholic Community Services

International Rescue Committee

Download a copy of this press release here.


read more
Salt lakes real estate

Weber State wants to preserve Great Salt Lake during record decline with new research

OGDEN, Utah (ABC4) – As Utah continues to face unprecedented drought, a University in Utah hopes to better understand and preserve the narrowing Great Salt Lake.

Weber State University (WSU) focused its efforts on studying the lake, which was made more serious due to record low water levels.

As the largest natural lake west of the Mississippi River, the Great Salt Lake has prehistoric roots and covers much of western Utah. The iconic lake’s impact extends beyond its fame as a tourist attraction – it actually plays a vital role in Utah’s biological and economic ecosystems.

“It has been evident for more than a decade that climate change could cause the Great Salt Lake system to dry up, if our water use practices do not keep pace,” says Dan Bedford, professor of geography at the WSU. “Unfortunately, this prediction is playing out before our eyes. Globally, the Earth has warmed, but at the level of individual regions, global warming is driving other climate changes, including more intense droughts in already dry places like the western United States. .

WSU students and faculty focus on the organisms, wildlife, and natural features of the lake to better understand the long-term effects of recession.

When it comes to organisms, research has focused on species such as brine shrimp and brine flies, which are among the only species capable of thriving in a high salt environment.

Brine shrimp play an incredibly important role in the Great Salt Lake as an essential food source for the millions of migratory birds that visit the lake each year. Shrimp also supports Utah’s local economy as a major source of a multi-million dollar harvest supplier.

WSU is also studying the growth of algae and microbes in the lake, which are the primary sources of food for microscopic organisms and shorebirds that depend on the lake for survival.

“The lake is a precious natural resource for Utah,” says Jonathan Clark, professor of zoology at WSU. “It provides habitat for millions of birds and is a factor in the heavy snowfall the Wasatch Front receives. It also offers economic benefits, including mineral extraction and brine shrimp production. Unfortunately, the lake is under many pressures that threaten not only its health, but its very existence. We need to understand the lake better so that it can be better managed.

Another goal looks at the mercury levels on the lake. Higher mercury levels will negatively affect the reproductive health of shrimp, which can cause a negative chain reaction.

In particular, WSU wants to better understand the impact of human activity on the progressive shrinking of the lake.

Commercial and residential development, water diversions and rising temperatures with dry climates have all contributed greatly to the historic lows that the Great Salt Lake is experiencing today.

“The Great Salt Lake has provided people with a livelihood since before the European colonization of northern Utah,” says Carla Trentelman, professor of sociology. “Its resources got some families through the Great Depression, and the lake currently offers enormous economic benefits to the state’s economy. The extraordinary conditions facing the lake create problems not only for the entire lake ecosystem, but also pose threats to industries that depend on the lake. A dry lake also presents risks to human health, as dry and exposed areas of the lake bed are prone to dust storms and exacerbate air quality problems.

The US Congress is currently trying to understand the decline of salt lakes with Senator Mitt Romney working with others to pass the Saline Lake Ecosystems in the Great Basin States Program Act, which would provide funding to monitor the health of salt lakes and ecosystems. who depend on it.

WSU hopes that their research efforts can lead to massive support for the preservation of the Great Salt Lakes for generations to come.

read more
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.

read more
Salt lakes real estate

Everything you need to know about the booming upstate New York real estate market

This article is reproduced with permission from The escape house, a newsletter for secondary owners and those who want to be. Subscribe here. © 2021. All rights reserved.

Living outside of major US cities has become expensive but potentially lucrative for buyers and sellers. One of the hottest real estate markets in the United States right now is upstate New York, which is loosely defined as the cities and suburbs north of the New York metropolitan area. Low mortgage rates and people wanting to flee big cities for quieter, less crowded towns and neighborhoods have contributed to the boom.

The whole country has seen a real estate resurgence, with 94% of metropolitan areas experiencing double-digit growth in the second quarter of 2021, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The median selling price of existing single-family homes in the United States rose 22.9% to $ 357,900, an increase of $ 66,800 from a year ago.

New York City has long had some of the highest real estate prices. As the city recovers from the pandemic, many people are looking to escape to more rural areas of the state. Here’s what you might end up paying for some of the most popular cities in upstate New York:

From the second quarter of 2020 to the second quarter of this year, Kingston saw a 22.5% increase in the median price of existing single-family homes to $ 338,300, the NAR reported. Glens Falls saw an 18.2% jump from the median price to $ 232,900. Elmira saw a 10.4% increase to $ 141,800.

The Escape Home spoke with realtors in upstate New York to find out what it was like to buy and sell a property during all the madness. Here’s what they had to say:

Mary Lou Pinckney, Director of Corporate Relocation for Select Sotheby’s International Realty

Q: What is the life of a real estate agent like in upstate New York like now compared to before the pandemic?

A: Life as a real estate agent in upstate New York is both very lucrative and challenging. Before the pandemic, we had a large stock and the price was right. Since the pandemic, residents of the tri-state area – New York City, Connecticut, New Jersey – have flooded the Adirondacks and the Finger Lakes, wanting space, property as well as square footage. They worked and continue to work remotely and just love it.

Our markets – Saratoga Springs, Hudson, Adirondacks, Finger Lakes – have exploded so much because they were discovered. People fleeing the city have come north and found a tremendous quality of life with vibrant small towns with a lot to offer in terms of restaurants and art.

Q: What are the most active markets right now and what types of housing are people looking for?

A: The hottest cities are Hudson, Saratoga Springs, Bolton Landing, Lake Placid, and the Finger Lakes in central New York City. People are looking for open-plan homes that have a separate and quiet space for home offices, spaces for home gyms, Pelotons, etc., pools, outdoor patios, and three to four season porches. Many are looking for properties by the water or by bike, within walking distance of town.

Q: Do you see more bidding wars?

A: There are definitely bidding wars. Houses stay on the market from 24 hours to a week. I have seen the prices climb to over $ 100,000 from the asking price.

I missed at least four offers because the sellers accepted higher prices or better terms or both. For example, [buyers] forgo inspections or pay cash to evade a bank valuation.

Q: What’s the most expensive property you’ve sold recently?

A: The most expensive house I just closed was $ 3 million. We had a lot of interested parties, but the couple who bought it acted quickly, not to get into a competitive bidding situation, and they put a really big down payment with the contract.

Q: Do you see more foreign buyers?

A: We have had foreign buyers. However, they were from New York and Connecticut.

Q: Do you still hold open houses?

A: Open doors are non-existent. I think you will see less and less. People are always afraid of being in spaces that they are not sure are “safe”. We are not yet out of this pandemic, in my opinion.

Q: Do you think that sellers were pricing houses too high and buyers were willing to pay too much?

A: Yes, the sellers were pricing houses too high, and if the location was right, people were definitely paying too much. I had an ad that had multiple offers and sold way beyond demand as the location was great but the house needed a lot of work. Location is a determining factor and if the square footage is there, buyers are willing to spend more on purchase price and more on updating homes.

Q: What is your best advice to people trying to buy in this market?

A: The best advice is to hire a professional broker / agent who seriously listens to your needs and your price, who will be willing to go the extra mile and network and be proactive in finding you that special home.

Timothy Sweeney, President of Hudson Valley Catskill Region Multiple Listing Service and Owner of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Nutshell Realty

Q: How does the upstate New York real estate market look like compared to pre-pandemic levels?

A: The market we know now is similar to what happened after [the] Terrorist attacks of September 11. When September 11 happened in 2001, a wave of buyers from the New York metropolitan area flocked to the central Hudson Valley. At that time, the average selling price in Ulster County was $ 218,000. Six years later, mainly due to the migration of buyers from the New York subway, the average selling price has reached $ 303,000. The mortgage crisis of 2008 caused homes to depreciate by about 25%. When Covid-19 hit, the market had fully recovered to reach $ 300,000 plus the average selling price. The big difference between the market driven by 9/11 and the post-Covid-19 market is that the 9/11 buyer typically bought a second or weekend home. A large portion of post-Covid-19 buyers have purchased a full-time residence. The ability to work remotely has been a game-changer for real estate in the upstate market.

Q: Do you see continued low housing supply and continued price appreciation?

A: Significant development in the majority of communities in our region is not viewed favorably. When combined with the difficulty and cost of navigating planning council approvals, we will most likely see a continuation of the low inventory of existing homes. As long as this continues, home prices will experience some level of appreciation.

Q: Do you see multiple offers in your properties?

A: We are seeing many multiple offer situations. In fact, multiple offers are more the norm these days. There are also a huge number of cash buyers in the market.

Q: Is there still a need for open days?

A: Open days in our market are very rare due to the rural nature of our region. Plus, with such a hot market, open doors aren’t really necessary. New listings, if priced right, sell out within days.

Joan Roberts, Associate Real Estate Broker at Coldwell Banker Timberland Properties who focuses on the Catskills Mountains, Ulster County and other areas of New York

Q: How has the Catskills market changed since the start of the pandemic?

A: [It is always] busy in our Catskills region, but the pandemic has brought two to three times as much business. Most of Brooklyn, Manhattan, Long Island and northern New Jersey. But Brooklyn is definitely the winner. It hasn’t really calmed down yet and now we’re gearing up for another wave.

Q: What caused this real estate boom?

A: Fear of being among too large a population and realizing that they can get away from city life in two to three hours. Many of our residents work from home and many areas of the Catskills now have all the necessary amenities: Internet, WiFi, cell service. In addition, we offer many recreational activities: Skiing. [There are] five major ski slopes in this region alone. Swimming, golf, hiking, boating, kayaking.

Q: What are the hottest cities / markets in upstate New York right now?

A: Most of Ulster County has been a hot spot, even before the pandemic. Cities like Woodstock, New York and Kingston have experienced tremendous growth. But the Middle / Western Catskills have also become very popular. The Margaretville / Roxbury areas have developed and become a tourist mecca. Home sales have led this trend and townhouse sales are finding the same popularity. There are fabulous gourmet restaurants in the Catskills, as well as delicious organic, vegan and trendy places.

Q: What are the most popular types of properties?

A: All types of homes, from cabins to log cabins. Most want at least an acre or 10. And then there are those who prefer a townhouse community where there is great amenities and full maintenance. These all sold out very quickly. In Roxbury Run Village, a townhouse community in Roxbury, NY, there are 120 units and typically 10% have been for sale at some point. We went through the inventory available during the pandemic and now maybe there was one on the market. And they sell out really fast, for cash and involving bidding wars and escalation clauses.

Q: Do properties receive multiple offers?

A: There are certainly bidding wars, many of which exceed current property values.

Q: What is your best advice for home buyers?

A: The best advice is to do your homework to find out what you want. Then get pre-approved by a credit institution or your personal investments. People are looking for quick closings. The best deals are the cash deals – no mortgage, no inspection, no appraisal. Clean and fast.

This article is reproduced with permission from The escape house, a newsletter for secondary owners and those who want to be. Subscribe here. © 2021. All rights reserved.

read more
Salt lake city government

Bus driver shortages are the latest challenge hitting U.S. schools

HELENA, Mont. – Montana school district offers bonuses of $ 4,000 and invites people to test drive big yellow school buses in hopes of getting them into jobs schools struggle to fill as kids return to classes in person.

A Delaware school district offered to pay parents $ 700 to arrange for their own transportation, and a Pittsburgh district delayed the start of classes and said hundreds more children would have to walk to get to the school. ‘school. Schools across the United States are offering hiring bonuses, providing the training needed to obtain a commercial driver’s license, and increasing hourly wages to attract more drivers.

The shortage of bus drivers complicates the start of a school year already besieged by the highly contagious delta variant of COVID-19, a controversial disagreement over masking requirements and the challenge of catching up on lost educational ground as the pandemic raged last year.

The shortage of drivers is nothing new, but a labor shortage in many sectors and the lingering effects of the pandemic made it worse, as around half of the workforce was over 65. years and older vulnerable to the virus, said Joanna McFarland, co-founder and CEO of school bus service company HopSkipDrive, which tracks school bus problems.

A d

His company conducted a survey in March which found that nearly 80% of the districts that responded were struggling to find enough bus drivers.

“It’s really at a breaking point,” McFarland said.

First Student, a company that outsources bus service to county school districts, held test driving events this summer they called “Big Bus, No Big Deal” in Montana and many other places. many other states to give people the opportunity to try their hand at driving. The hope was that this could remove a barrier for those who might otherwise be interested in helping children get to and from school safely, said Dan Redford, of First Student in Helena, in Montana.

“We actually set up a closed course at the fairgrounds, and we invited the public to come in and learn that it’s okay to drive a big bus,” Redford said. “They’re actually quite easy to drive. You sit high. You have a lot of eyesight.

In Helena, the company has 50 bus drivers and needs 21 more before classes start on August 30, a deficit Redford called unprecedented.

A d

Attendance ended up being low at Helena’s event, but similar demonstrations, like the one held recently in Seattle, led to more entries.

The delta variant has also led the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to recommend the universal wearing of the mask in schools, especially for children too young to be vaccinated. But in many areas there is a fierce wave of protest against the masks.

First Student has lost drivers from Helena to hide the demands of the buses, Redford said.

“I know I’ve had a lot of drivers who don’t believe it and don’t want to have to deal with this,” Redford said.

For parents, school bus headaches come at a particularly difficult time.

Monica Huff was at home in quarantine with a probable case of COVID-19 on Wednesday when she learned that her 14-year-old son’s school bus had failed to show up at her stop in suburban Houston.

“I was worried. I was scared.… I didn’t know where he was,” she said. She felt particularly helpless because she couldn’t go and look for him on her own without putting the others on. in danger of infection.

A d

Eventually, she learned that the primary school bus driver picked up the older children and took them to high school. She was relieved to know that he had arrived at school, although his late start time was also a concern as he is still catching up on his studies after falling behind in distance learning early in. Last year.

“There is cause for concern this year with people getting angry with masks,” she said.

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott initially banned Texas school districts from requiring masks, but successful court challenges on Thursday led the Texas Education Agency to suspend enforcement of its ban while challenges go through court.

In Florida, many of the largest school districts are using managers as drivers and are implementing other interim measures to bring students to class as the school year begins against a statewide political struggle for masks between Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who wants to ban mask warrants, and districts convinced they are necessary to keep children safe.

A d

President Joe Biden on Wednesday ordered his Education Secretary to explore possible legal action against states that have blocked warrants for school masks and other health measures designed to protect students from COVID-19 .

Economic forces are also at play in the shortage of bus drivers. Driving a school bus requires a commercial driver’s license which can take weeks to obtain. And people who do can often find a better paying job that doesn’t require dividing the day for pickup and return. The demand for commercial drivers is only increasing with the surge in online shopping linked to the pandemic, McFarland said with HopSkipDrive.

But working with kids who drive a bus can be a rewarding profession, and the hours work well for stay-at-home parents or retirees looking to supplement their income, entrepreneurs say. There is no obligation to work at night, on weekends or on public holidays. Field trips and sporting events can add more hours for those who wish, Redford said with First Student.

A d

His business allows bus drivers whose children are at least 1 year old to get on the bus with them while they work, saving on child care costs, Redford said.

A Michigan school district was able to find enough drivers by ensuring they could work enough hours in the district, including as janitors or in catering, to have health insurance coverage, said Dave Meeuwsen, executive director of the Michigan Association of Pupil Transportation.

In the suburb of Salt Lake City, the Canyons School District was in dire straits about a month ago. It was down by around 30 drivers, so its workforce would have been too small to handle all of its routes, spokesman Jeff Haney said. Administrators have said office workers may need to get their commercial driver’s licenses just to get all the kids to and from school.

“It was very alarming and very worrying,” he said.

The district also increased the wages of bus drivers and offered a program to help people get their business licenses. In the weeks that followed, it saw a slight increase in applications. If they continue to arrive at the same rate, the district should be staffed for the year, Haney said.

A d


Whitehurst reported from Salt Lake City.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

read more
Utah economy

Wild horse roundups intensify as drought grips the West

read more
Utah economy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

States whose unemployment rates rebound the most

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

US, Germany advise against going to Kabul airport amid evacuation chaos

US soldiers assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division arrive Friday to provide security at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Senior Airman Taylor Crul / US Air Force / Document via Reuters)

KABUL – The United States and Germany on Saturday urged their citizens in Afghanistan to avoid traveling to Kabul airport, citing security risks as thousands of desperate people gathered to try to flee almost a week after the takeover by the Taliban Islamists.

Taliban co-founder Mullah Baradar has arrived in the Afghan capital for talks with other leaders. The group is trying to forge a new government after its forces swept the country as US-led forces withdrew after two decades as the West-backed government and military collapsed.

Crowds have multiplied at the airport in the heat and dust of the day over the past week, hampering operations as the United States and other countries attempt to evacuate thousands of its diplomats and civilians as well as many Afghans. Mothers, fathers and children collided with concrete blast walls in the crush as they sought to fly away.

The Taliban have urged those without travel documents to return home. At least 12 people have been killed in and around the single-track airfield since Sunday, when the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, NATO and Taliban officials said.

“Due to the potential security threats outside the gates of Kabul airport, we advise US citizens to avoid going to the airport and avoid the airport gates at this time. , unless you receive individual instructions from a US government official to do so, “a US Embassy notice said.

The German embassy also advised its citizens not to go to the airport, warning in an email that Taliban forces were carrying out increasingly stringent checks in its immediate vicinity.

The opinions highlighted how volatile the security situation remains. A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the US military was looking for alternative routes for people to reach the airport due to threats from militant groups such as Al Qaeda and Islamic State. .

A baby is handed over to the US military over the perimeter wall of the airport for evacuation in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday.
A baby is handed over to the US military over the perimeter wall of the airport for evacuation in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday. (Photo: Omar Haidari, Reuters)

Army Maj. Gen. William Taylor, along with the US Army Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Pentagon briefing that 5,800 US troops remained at the airport and the facility “remained secure “. Taylor said some airport gates were temporarily closed and reopened over the past day to facilitate a safe influx of evacuees.

A Taliban official, speaking to Reuters, said security risks could not be ruled out but the group “aimed to improve the situation and provide a smooth exit” for people trying to leave over the weekend. -end. The Taliban takeover sparked fears of retaliation and a return to a harsh version of Islamic law that the Taliban exercised when they were in power two decades ago.

Taylor said the United States evacuated 17,000 people, including 2,500 Americans, from Kabul last week. Taylor said that in the past day 3,800 people were evacuated on US military and charter flights.

The Biden administration has told U.S. airlines they may be ordered to help transport evacuees from Afghanistan, two officials said on Saturday.

Speaking a day after President Joe Biden promised to evacuate “any American who wants to go home,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said he did not have a “perfect number” on the number of US citizens remaining in Kabul and Afghanistan in general, although officials have indicated that it is in the thousands.

Kirby declined to describe Kabul’s specific “threat dynamics”, but called the security situation “fluid and dynamic”.

“We are fighting against time and space,” Kirby said.

“Defy life”

In Qatar, which hosts thousands of evacuees until they can enter a third country, Afghans who have fled have described in interviews with Reuters the desperation of leaving loved ones behind while coping with their own uncertain future.

A law student spoke of looting by the Taliban as they took control of Kabul, with armed militants intimidating people on their way to the airport. He left behind his wife, whom he married on a video call before evacuating.

“Our spirits are back home because our families are staying,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity like the other evacuees over concerns about loved ones left behind.

“It will be a very, very different and difficult life ahead,” said another man, a lawyer who arrived in Doha with his wife, three children, parents and two sisters.

The Qatar Air Force has evacuated Afghan nationals, students, foreign diplomats and journalists from Afghanistan, the Gulf country’s government media office said on Twitter, without giving further details.

Switzerland has postponed a charter flight from Kabul due to chaos at the airport.

Crisis management

The Taliban official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Baradar would meet with militant commanders, former government leaders and decision-makers, religious scholars and others. The official said the group plans to prepare a new model of government for Afghanistan in the coming weeks, with separate teams tackling internal security and financial issues.

“Experts from the former government will be called in for crisis management,” the official said.

The new government structure will not be a democracy according to Western definitions, the official said, but “will protect the rights of everyone”.

The Taliban, whose chief general Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada has so far remained publicly silent, must also unite disparate groups within the movement whose interests may not always coincide now that victory is achieved.

The Taliban follow an ultra-tough version of Sunni Islam. They have sought to present a more moderate face since their return to power, saying they want peace and will respect women’s rights under Islamic law.

When in power from 1996 to 2001, also guided by Islamic law, the Taliban prevented women from working or going out without wearing a wrap-around burqa and prevented girls from going to school.

Individual Afghans and international aid and defense groups have reported harsh retaliation against protests and roundups by those who had previously held government positions, criticized the Taliban, or worked with US-led forces.

“We have heard of some cases of atrocities and crimes against civilians,” said the Taliban official.

“If (members of the Taliban) tackle these public order issues, they will be investigated,” he said.

Contributing: Rupam Jain, James Mackenzie, Tom Sims, Idrees Ali, Humeyra Pamuk, Alexander Cornwell and Charlotte Greenfield


Related stories

More stories that might interest you

read more
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.

[Subscribe to our newsletter here.]

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.


read more
Utah economy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

read more
Salt lakes real estate

Palm Harbor apartments sell for $ 67 million, former Rays manager lists house • St Pete Catalyst

A Palm Harbor apartment complex is selling in a big acquisition. Leading hotel developer working with large flags buys hotel in Clearwater Beach. Another important apartment acquisition takes place. A doctor’s office next to St. Anthony’s Hospital in St. Pete is recovered. Film and media company buys warehouse to expand studios. A former Rays manager’s house hits the market. A house linked to actor John Travolta has a new owner.

Here is this week’s roundup of local real estate offers:

Stillwater Palms apartment complex sells for nearly $ 67 million

A large multi-family operator has purchased the 396-unit Stillwater Palms apartment complex in Palm Harbor.

Los Angeles-based multi-family investment firm TruAmerica Multifamily has taken over ownership of 2350 Cypress Pond Road in a deal worth around $ 67 million.

The Stillwater Palms Apartments. Google Maps.

The group took out a mortgage of $ 58.8 million for the purchase. The group also completed a separate transaction, purchasing another 20 units for $ 3.525 million.

TruAmerica Multifamily is a leading management company aspiring to be the leading multi-family investor and operator in the United States. The group usually buys class B apartment complexes and renovates them.

The acquisition of the Stillwater Apartments represents the largest purchase of the group’s recent acquisitions totaling $ 209 million.

The company’s portfolio of properties includes other complexes in Palm Harbor, such as the 292-unit Lakeview at Palm Harbor complex, which was acquired in late 2020, and the 262 Twin Lakes units in North Palm Harbor, acquired in 2019.

Other nearby resorts include the 329 Aspire at Gateway units in Pinellas Park, the 212 Bayou Point units in Pinellas Park, and the 461 Four Lakes units at the Clearwater property.

Beachview Suites hotel in Clearwater Beach sells for $ 27 million

A Tennessee-based developer has acquired the Beachview Suites Hotel and its adjacent property on Clearwater Beach.

The two plots were sold to the 3H group as part of a $ 27 million deal.

Beachview Suites Hotel in Clearwater Beach. Google Maps.

The 3H Group is a leading developer of hotels, retail businesses, residential real estate and office spaces.

The five-story, 38,450-square-foot hotel has over 60 units and is located along Clearwater’s waterfront promenade. The property is nestled between the popular Surf Style retail store and Crabby’s Bar and Grille restaurant.

The hotel is not the first Clearwater property in the group’s portfolio. The 3H group also owns the 115 SpringHill Suites / Residence Inn by Marriott Clearwater Beach rooms at 309 Coronado Drive.

The apartments on 2nd street are acquired

The Four Square Management group acquired the 2nd Street Apartments building for $ 4 million.

The apartments on 2nd street. Google Maps.

The three story complex, located at 711 3rd Ave. S., was built in 1929. It measures over 28,500 square feet and has 74 residential units.

The Fort Myers-based company also took out a $ 6.5 million mortgage to purchase the complex, occupying multiple lots.

St. Anthony’s Hospital Large Doctor’s Office Sold

An approximately 14,000 square foot medical office located at St. Anthony’s Hospital sold for $ 2.3 million.

The property at 1401 5th Ave. N. Google Maps.

The Pennsylvania home buying group Fifth Avenue Property Group is the new owner of the property at 1401 5e Ave. N. located in historic Uptown.

The property was built in 1977 and appears to have been used as a residential property.

Fifth AVG typically purchases properties that are vacant and in distress.

The production and cinema company takes over the headquarters of ComDesign

St. Pete-based Litewave Media, a production company known for working on local films, has purchased a warehouse that it will reuse for additional and advanced studio space.

Litewave Media

The group purchased an 11,412 square foot office warehouse at 9850 16th St. N. in a $ 1.4 million deal and also took out a $ 1.12 million mortgage for the purchase.

The warehouse was the headquarters of telecommunications cabling supplier ComDesign.

The plan would be to build three new studios in the warehouse over the next two months and have the fourth studio in the warehouse in 2022.

Former Rays manager’s house hits market

Former Rays manager Joe Maddon is selling his home on Bayshore Boulevard.

Maddon was hired to work for the Rays in 2006 as the team manager. Today, he is the manager of the Los Angeles Angels.

The house at 1001 Bayshore Boulevard.

However, Maddon still has ties to Tampa. He is a partner of the Ava restaurant in South Tampa. Her charity, the Respect 90 Foundation, is still based in Tampa.

He and his wife, Jaye, bought the 1917 home at 1001 Bayshore Boulevard in 2012 for $ 1.76 million.

The 5,403 square foot Dutch colonial house was previously the home of former Bucs coach John McKay.

The asking price is $ 3.9 million.

The main house has four bedrooms upstairs, three full bathrooms and a powder room.

The kitchen.

The Maddons completely renovated the house, including installing a new roof and gutters, windows and HVAC systems (in the main house), updating the water filtration system and installation of new electrical panels.

There is a guest suite above the three car detached garage which includes two bedrooms and a bathroom.

There is also a separate room described as a media room / music studio / theater room with five televisions.

Outside the main house there is an updated and remodeled salt filtration pool with a pool deck, outdoor kitchen and propane gas fireplace.

Home linked to actor John Travolta has a new owner

A Clearwater home linked to Hollywood actor John Travolta has been sold.

The Waterfront Home at 1012 Osceola Ave. N., in the Old Clearwater Bay neighborhood, sold for $ 4 million, according to Pinellas County records.

The buyer was listed as Edward Fay who is a local specialist in wealth management. Fay took out a $ 3 million mortgage for the purchase.

Travolta has a long involvement with the Church of Scientology; the house is approximately one mile from the Scientology International Spiritual Headquarters in downtown Clearwater.

the The 4,346 square foot home was built in 1988. It offers panoramic views of Clearwater Harbor which can be admired from the outside where there is an infinity pool and dock.

read more
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.

read more
Utah economy

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

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

Top 3 US Labor Markets

1. Dallas-Fort WorthArlington, Texas

2. PhoenixMesaScottsdale, Arizona

3. Austin-Round Rock, TX

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

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

LaborIQ® The index ranks the best performing labor markets

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

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

Top 10 Best Performing US Labor Markets

Reported by LaborIQ® Index: July 2021

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

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

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

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

The best performer of July: DenverDawnLakewood, CO

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

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

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

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

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

Industry performance and recovery prospects

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

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

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

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

About LaborIQ by ThinkWhy

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

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


read more
Salt lake city government

Politics is central to DeSantis’ approach to the COVID-19 outbreak

No mask required in classrooms. No vaccination “passports”. And no more business closures.

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ handling of COVID-19 has bolstered his nationwide cachet among fellow Republicans as he seeks re-election to governor’s mansion next year and considers a presidential bid in 2024 .

But the governor’s insistence on staying the course amid a growing number of infections – as of Monday, Florida had the nation’s highest COVID-19 hospitalization rate – is firing as Democrats point the finger at the Republican holder.

The attitudes and actions of elected officials regarding masks and vaccinations have become a flashpoint in the increasingly tribal nature of partisan politics. The ideological schism over preventive protocols in Florida helped DeSantis become a national presidential candidate and, at the same time, became the cornerstone of Democrats’ efforts to oust him.

“I think it’s crass politicization, and I think it’s shameful, and I think it’s based on a guy who has his eyes on the ’24 Republican nomination instead of the governor. and the people of Florida in ’22. Obviously that’s it, ”Congressman Charlie Crist, a Democrat from St. Petersburg who is running to try to topple DeSantis next year, told the News Service of Florida in an appearance in Tallahassee. . Crist was governor as a Republican before becoming a Democrat and losing a candidacy for governor in 2014.

DeSantis, however, isn’t backing down from its largely laissez-faire approach, even as the highly transmissible delta variant of the novel coronavirus is tearing the Sunshine State apart.

“We are not closing,” DeSantis told reporters on Tuesday. “We are going to open schools. We protect the work of every Floridian in this state. We protect small businesses from people. These interventions have failed repeatedly throughout this pandemic, not only in the United States but abroad. They haven’t stopped the spread, especially with the delta.

With DeSantis focused on an economic rebound, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who is running against Crist for the Democratic nomination for governor next year, has taken on the role of COVID-19 chief information officer of the state. She has held press conferences to discuss data on infection rates and hospitalizations in Florida and used social media to explode DeSantis’ approach to the pandemic, such as her issuing an executive order to prevent school districts to require students to wear masks.

“We stand in solidarity with our local school boards who have the constitutional power to protect our children and will not be intimidated or funded by our authoritarian aspiring governor,” Fried tweeted Wednesday.

DeSantis made headlines last week when he released the executive order, which came after mocking the federal government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations during an appearance at the American Conservative’s annual meeting. Legislative Exchange Council.

“We say no to lockdowns, no to school closures, no to restrictions and no warrants,” DeSantis said at the Salt Lake City event, adding that people “should not be condemned to live … in a faucian dystopia “.

DeSantis made Anthony Fauci, a highly respected infectious disease expert who served on the White House’s COVID-19 advisory team, a frequent object of contempt. The governor’s political committee, for example, capitalizes on Republicans’ animosity towards the public health veteran through the sale of merchandise emblazoned with messages such as “Don’t Fauci My Florida.”

DeSantis’ anger isn’t limited to the 80-year-old doctor, however. The governor has taken an equally combative stance with the CDC — he sued the federal agency for refusing to lift cruise restrictions — and President Joe Biden’s administration.

But with Florida and Texas responsible for a third of COVID-19 cases in the United States last week, the White House is fighting back. Biden on Tuesday accused DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott of “poor health policy” amid peaks in both states.

“I’m saying to these governors, please help yourself,” Biden said. “If you’re not going to help, at least avoid the people who are trying to do the right thing. Use your power to save lives.

Critics accuse DeSantis of bowing to grassroots GOP voters – who show up in large numbers for the primaries – on issues such as face masks and his reliance on scientists and data seen as outliers in the medical community.

But skepticism about masks and vaccines isn’t limited to Republicans, GOP political consultant Anthony Pedicini said in a phone interview with the News Service.

“By nature, Americans don’t want the government to tell them to do anything,” Pedicini said. “Honestly, the very essence of who we are as Americans is evident in this mask debate.”

The sentiment about health care precautions “is not part of a party,” Pedicini added.

“It rips apart the core of who we are as Americans. We love freedom. The government should never tell us what to do.

The governor of Florida isn’t telling anyone he can’t wear masks. So if you feel uncomfortable or feel like it is putting your life in danger, put the mask on, put the mask on your kids and go about your day, ”said Pedicini, who had COVID- 19 in November, received vaccination this year and urges others to get vaccinated.

DeSantis has advocated for the use of vaccines but, unlike some other GOP governors in states experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, has not pushed Floridians to get vaccinated. About half of eligible Floridians are not fully immunized.

“Should the Governor of the State of Florida be an activist? Yes. And I think he is, in the sense that he takes the side of freedom, ”said Pedicini. “I think it served him quite well politically.”

With the most recent polls showing DeSantis the frontrunner in the gubernatorial race, the Republican leader “feels strongly that he is going to win his re-election” and “looks to the next game, which is clearly the presidential game,” political consultant Steve Vancore, who advises Democrats, said in an interview.

“You have to be the most conservative, pro-Trump Republican in the business, and as such he seems to stick with a custom scenario for his far-right base. There is no part of Ron DeSantis playing in the middle. He plays basic every step of the way, ”said Vancore.

COVID-19 health care protocols are “being used as a political pawn because our governor and others have discovered it is a political tool, as Floridians die or fall ill and people across the country are, “US Representative Val Demings, a Democrat who is trying to topple Republican US Senator Marco Rubio, said in an interview.

“Why can’t we just listen, our governor and others, to be guided by science, to be guided by information from medical experts, to follow their directions? ” she said. “I really wish this issue wasn’t politicized, but it has been from the very beginning.”

read more
Salt lakes real estate

First Oreo Café opens in New Jersey

Oreo cookies have been around for a long time (and were made in New Jersey), but now there’s a cafe devoted to all things Oreo, and that’s in New Jersey.

The new Oreo Café is open at the American Dream Mall in East Rutherford. It is described by Oreo as “a one-of-a-kind candy bar, where visitors can personalize candy or choose from a delicious menu of decadent Oreo-inspired desserts.”

According to Food and Wine, the cafe’s menu is split into three categories: desserts with Oreo versions of cheesecake, a waffle sundae, and a brownie sundae. The second section of the menu includes drinks with coffee and tea and an Oreo smoothie and an Oreo cold brew. The final menu category is Twist Your Oreo, which allows customers to customize their ice cream or milkshake with all kinds of Oreo toppings.

People say there’s a secret menu item too: the Oreo Donut S’Morewich which is “scoops of Oreo ice cream sandwiched between pieces of chocolate waffle cone, then topped with a marshmallow.” giant, glazed donut, fudge, sprinkles and – you guessed it – Oreo cookies. “

According to their website, more than 60 billion OREO cookies are sold each year, of which more than 20 billion are sold in the United States each year. It is estimated that 500 billion OREO cookies have been sold since the first OREO cookie was developed in 1912.

The cafe also sells limited edition Oreo varieties and Oreo products.

The Oreo Café is located on the third floor of the mall with the IT’S SUGAR store.

The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. All opinions expressed are those of Bill Doyle.

15 sensational places to visit in Seaside Heights and Seaside Park

From the rides to all the food on the boardwalk and plenty of water fun, Seaside Heights and neighboring Seaside Park has remained a family friendly place for all ages.

Along the way, the Seaside Heights Boardwalk and Casino Pier were hit by tragic disasters, such as a fire, Super Storm Sandy, and another fire. Both have proven their resilience through reconstruction and expansion.

Magnificent Views: 13 Home Rentals on Lake NJ in North Jersey

Life on the lake – it’s one thing in New Jersey. The counties of Sussex, Passaic and Morris have their own shores, dear to visitors and locals alike.

Here’s a look at a dozen breathtaking lakefront rentals in North Jersey, many along Lake Hopatcong or Lake Upper Greenwood.

Popular childish stars of each year

Below, Stacker sifted through movie databases, movie stories, celebrity bios, and digital archives to compile this list of popular pint-sized actors from 1919-2021.

read more
Salt lake city government

Utah has bet on cutting pandemic benefits to get people back to work. He hasn’t yet

A roadside banner invites potential employees outside a business in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, March 27, 2021. Utah Governor Cox hopes that by removing COVID-19 unemployment benefits, the unemployed from Utah will return to work. (Rogelio V. Solis, Associated Press)

SALT LAKE CITY – Gov. Spencer Cox was hoping to force jobless Utahns to look for work more aggressively when they decided to suspend pandemic-related federal unemployment insurance benefits on June 26, more than two months before they expire planned.

But data from a new study suggests the plan didn’t quite lead to those results, and Utah’s leading economy may be at least partially to blame.

A two-part survey conducted in June by researchers at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business sampled the feelings of jobless business owners and Utahns, including 500 households, about the outcome of the changes. in state unemployment benefits, among other issues.

One of the most notable data points goes to the heart of Cox’s hopes that the removal of benefits and extended benefits would entice job seekers.

“To assess the impact of the expiration of additional (unemployment insurance) payments, we asked respondents if this expiration would influence the time and effort they devote to job search or financial planning. “Says the investigation report. “More than 90% of those polled say that the expiry of (unemployment) benefits will have no impact on their efforts to find a job or their saving behavior.”

Unemployed survey respondents also weighed in resoundingly when asked whether the early cancellation of extended federal benefits would cause them to consider lower-paying employment opportunities – none said the change would make them feel better. would push them to take a lower paying job.

While the U.S. business school survey may not reflect the outcome Cox was looking for, one of the report’s authors said the circumstances behind these responses from the unemployed in Utah revolved around vibrant economic health and still in improving the state.

Nathan Seegert is a professor of finance at the Eccles School of Business and co-author of the report, which he says is part of an ongoing project to track Utah economic indicators and sentiment.

Seegert said a combination of factors, all of which are indicators of a strong economy, put the unemployed in a position of power when it comes to seeking that next opportunity.

“The model would predict that if UI wages went down, you would be more likely to accept a lower wage to get out of unemployment,” Seegert said. “But that’s not what we’re seeing at all and in our survey no one said they would take a lower paying job.

“This is in part due to consumer expectations regarding rising prices for goods and services as well as the housing market. While price increases are evidence of an economic recovery, it puts job seekers in a hurry. mind that they can’t afford to jump to a lower level. salary. “

And Seegert said Utah’s ultra-low unemployment rate, another positive economic indicator, also strengthens the ability of the unemployed to be picky.

“The state’s unemployment rate is very low,” Seegert said. “If employees feel like they can get a new job tomorrow, it puts them in a much better bargaining position.”

The market should not compete with the government for workers.

– Utah Governor Spencer Cox

Cox spokeswoman Jennifer Napier-Pearce said the Eccles report, which also highlighted a plethora of positive data from workers and business owners, was further proof that Utah was on track to fully recover from recessionary conditions caused by COVID-19.

“These data continue to show what we were hoping for: a return to normal in the economy and the labor market,” Napier-Pearce said in a statement. “We want to continue to help every Utahn find meaningful employment and help every business thrive.

“We are experiencing labor shortages again and although it is a challenge for companies, we hope that each Utahn takes this opportunity to improve their respective professional opportunities.”

In May, Cox said his decision to end pandemic-related federal unemployment benefits to some 24,000 Utahns before the scheduled end of benefits in September was the right move amid the rise in employment in the Status and robust recovery from the impacts of COVID-19.

“This is the next natural step in getting the condition and people’s lives back to normal,” Cox said when the decision was announced. “I believe in the value of work. With the lowest unemployment rate in the country… and many well-paying jobs available today, it makes sense to move away from those added benefits that were never intended to be. be permanent.

“The market should not be competing with the government for workers.”

He also noted that other “safety net programs” such as assistance with rent, utilities, food and medical bills will still be available.

Cox is among about 20 Republican state governors across the United States who made similar decisions about ending federal pandemic benefits in June, saying the added benefit keeps people from wanting to work .

Labor experts say the nationwide labor shortage isn’t just about the additional $ 300 payment. Some unemployed people have also been reluctant to look for work because of fear of catching the virus. Others have found new occupations rather than returning to their old jobs. And many women, especially working mothers, have had to leave the workforce to care for children.

In early June, the Utah Department of Workforce Services reported that just over 24,700 residents were receiving some type of unemployment benefit, of which about 12,000 were on traditional benefits as well as the pandemic allowance of $ 300 per week funded by the federal government. About 11,000 others were still receiving unemployment insurance benefits under federal extensions also created to mitigate the economic impacts of COVID-19 on American workers. And about 1,200 Utah workers – people employed by companies like Uber, Lyft, GrubHub and others who are classified as contractors exempt from typical unemployment benefits – have also received benefits under warrants. federal emergency. While federal deadlines for most pandemic-related benefits for the unemployed are due to expire in early September, Cox’s order cut them 10 weeks earlier than expected.

As of July 24, Workforce Services reported that 11,768 Utahns were still registered as unemployed.

Some Utah lawmakers saw the early cancellation of benefits as an unwelcome change.

Following Cox’s announcement, Utah House Minority Leader Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, highlighted these factors while expressing frustration with the governor’s decision to end the benefits. in Utah.

“I mean, it’s the perfect example of a disconnect between people in normal life and people who are struggling to get back on their feet,” King said. “There are many, many people who are worried – afraid – of going back to work.”

What “frustrates me the most,” King said, is that Cox’s decision “reflects this thinking from many across the aisle that people don’t want to work. This is fundamentally wrong. “

Seegert said Utah’s current enviable economic vitality must pay tribute to the actions taken by Cox and state lawmakers, as well as the federal economic stimulus measures related to the pandemic, which have enabled the state to perform better than almost any other place in the country.

“The Utah government has responded extremely well to the economic conditions of the pandemic,” Seegert said. “The state’s social safety nets have worked very well … and the leaders just had the foresight to do a lot of things to keep the economic engine running.”

Related stories

More stories that might interest you

read more
Utah economy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

read more
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.

read more
Salt lakes real estate

These are some of the most racially diverse second home markets to consider

This article is reproduced with permission from The escape house, a newsletter for secondary owners and those who want to be. Subscribe here. © 2021. All rights reserved.

Many of the nation’s well-known second home destinations – think Nantucket, Cape Cod, East Hampton – aren’t exactly known for their diversity. But what if it’s something that’s important to you as a potential buyer?

The Escape Home worked with Redfin to identify which second home markets in the United States are the most diverse. The real estate company determined the metropolitan areas with the highest number of non-white second home owners using the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act to extract data on census racial makeup and second home mortgages.

Here’s what Danielle Hyams from The Escape Home found:

Pine Bluff, Arkansas

64.71% of owners of second homes are not white.

Wikimedia Commons

Pine Bluff is full of year-round outdoor activities, like kayaking along the world’s longest bayou, which stretches 364 miles into Louisiana. It is a historically rich place with serious civil rights credentials and deep ties to the worlds of jazz, blues and gospel music.

On the market: This charming four bedroom, three and a half bath home is listed at $ 184,900.

Rocky Mount, North Carolina

64.29% of second home owners are not white.


Located in East Carolina, Rocky Mount is a charming town with a promising food scene as well as plenty of local wineries and craft breweries. The town is located along the Tar River and it is possible to go kayaking in the town center.

On the market: This four bedroom, two and a half bath home features an inground pool and is listed at $ 279,900.

San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, California

31.99% of second home owners are not white.


Welcome to the land of wine! Located midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the area offers residents a laid-back California vibe, close to plenty of beaches and hot springs, and a burgeoning food scene. And of course, lots and lots of good wine; there are hundreds of cellars.

On the market: This historic four bedroom, two and a half bath house built in 1890 is listed at $ 1.25 million.

Farmington, New Mexico

38.55% of second home owners are not white.

@ terry.rowe

It’s the city of choice for outdoor enthusiasts: Located in the San Juan River Valley, Farmington is in the heart of the Four Corners region, which includes Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New -Mexico, and offers easy access to three rivers, five lakes and six national parks. Native American tradition remains strong in the area, and there are many art galleries, museums, and trading posts in the historic downtown area.

On the market: This five-bedroom, four-bathroom desert-style home is listed at $ 410,000.

Savannah, Georgia

31.35% of owners of second homes are not white.


This charming coastal town, located along the Savannah River, is known for its parks, architecture and vibrant history, and is just a 50-minute drive from Hilton Head Island.

On the market: This three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath waterfront home is listed at $ 1.28 million and has the most breathtaking porch.

Virginia Beach, Virginia

36.15% of owners of second homes are not white.


Known for its beaches and boardwalk, Virginia Beach is also home to one of the last great salt marsh habitats on the East Coast, which boasts hundreds of miles of inland water and thousands of acres of parkland.

On the market: This three bedroom, three and a half bath home located just steps from the beach is listed at $ 639,900.

This article is reproduced with permission from The escape house, a newsletter for secondary owners and those who want to be. Subscribe here. © 2021. All rights reserved.

read more
Salt lake city

This is where Utah ranks in drug overdose deaths in 2020


More than 93,000 people died from drug overdoses in the United States in 2020, an increase of almost 30% from 2019 and the most on record in a single year, according to recently released data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Drug addiction experts say the increase in overdose deaths is largely due to the increased presence of the potent synthetic opioid fentanyl in the United States. Other contributors include issues related to the coronavirus pandemic, such as increased isolation and job losses.

Utah is the state with the 17th lowest number of drug overdose deaths per capita in 2020. There were 19 fatal overdoses per 100,000, for a total of 622 drug overdose deaths.

Last year, most reported an increase in drug overdose deaths after seeing a decrease in deaths in 2019. In Utah, there were 18 fatal drug overdoses in the state per 100,000 population, for a total of 575, in 2019.

The average number of overdose deaths in Utah between 2015 and 2019 was 20 per 100,000 people per year, the 25th of all U.S. states, or an average of 630 overdose-related deaths per year.

To determine which states had the highest drug overdose death rates, 24/7 Wall St. looked at the CDC’s recently released preliminary estimates of drug overdose deaths. States are ranked by the number of drug-related deaths per 100,000 population. These are the states with the most drug overdose deaths per capita in 2020. These are the states with the most drug overdose deaths in 2020.

read more
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. . “

read more
Salt lake city

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

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

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

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

Lindsay Salazar

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

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

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

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



Lindsay Salazar


Lindsay Salazar

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

Music chamber

Music chamber

Lindsay Salazar

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

Dining room

dining room

Lindsay Salazar

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

The living room

the living room

Lindsay Salazar

the living room

Lindsay Salazar

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

Main bathroom


Lindsay Salazar

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

Master bedroom


Lindsay Salazar

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



Lindsay Salazar

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

Laundry room

Laundry detergent

Lindsay Salazar

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

Girls bathroom


Lindsay Salazar

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

Basketball court

basketball court

Lindsay Salazar

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

Doll house

doll house

Lindsay Salazar

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

Butler’s Pantry

butler's pantry

Lindsay Salazar

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

Girl’s room


Lindsay Salazar

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

Follow House Beautiful on Instagram.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported to this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and other similar content on

read more
Salt lake city government

Drought in Utah City Halts Growth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

read more
Salt lake city government

Will masks be mandatory as cases increase? Utah Legislature Has Final Say on COVID-19 Restrictions

SALT LAKE CITY – As the number of cases and hospitalizations for COVID-19 continue to rise, mask warrants are back in a few cities in the western United States.

In Los Angeles and Las Vegas, residents and visitors should wear a mask for indoor events, even if they are vaccinated, to slow the transmission of the delta variant.

But is it likely to return to Utah, or is it even possible?

“I think going back to a mask mandate, or going back to restrictions, is the opposite direction to where we need to go right now,” said Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield.

He told KSL-TV that Utah lawmakers are highly unlikely to ever bring back a mask warrant, even as new cases increase. Ultimately, they have the authority over emergency health orders.

“It comes down to a personal choice,” said Ray. “It’s not the government’s role to do that, especially with the vaccine. You educate people about the benefits of the vaccine. If you want to get vaccinated, you get vaccinated. If you don’t, then you take the risk of coming down with COVID. “

Utah’s COVID-19 emergency orders ended five months ago and the state legislature further restricted how they could be implemented.

So if a city or county in Utah wanted to bring back a mask warrant, could they do so?

“Local Utah health departments have the power to issue mask warrants if they have the support of their elected officials in their jurisdiction,” said Nicholas Rupp, spokesperson for the Salt County Department of Health. Lake.

A county health department executive can issue a new emergency health declaration as a mask warrant as long as local officials, like the mayor and commission, are in favor.

It is not the government’s role to do that, especially with the vaccine. You educate people about the benefits of the vaccine. If you want to get vaccinated, you get vaccinated. If you don’t, then you run the risk of falling with COVID.

-Representative. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield

But according to Evan Vickers, co-sponsor of Senate Bill 195, the legislature can end any order or restriction issued by a health department. So the legislature has that authority in Utah.

Rupp said they would never remove this mask warrant option, but the county health department is currently focusing on vaccine distribution as the most effective tool to fight the pandemic.

“Right now, while we have a vaccine that is still very effective against all of the circulating variants, we are more likely to focus our efforts on promoting this more effective intervention,” Rupp said.

He said masks were a very effective tool in 2020 when there was no vaccine, but at this time Salt Lake County is not likely to re-implement a mask mandate.

“We will focus on vaccination for now, as long as the vaccines continue to be as effective against the variants,” Rupp said.

Related stories

Jed boal

More stories that might interest you

read more
Salt lake city

Salt Lake couple cross Summit County for fundraiser from Canada to Mexico

Dean and Lorri Zenoni from Salt Lake City pose for a photo together at the Canada-U.S. Border as they begin their journey to the Mexican border as a fundraiser for the Semper Fi & America’s Fund.
Photo of Dean and Lorri Zenoni

On Thursday morning near Kremmling, a Salt Lake City cycling couple discovered the majesty of the Rocky Mountains during a 2,495-mile bike fundraiser between the Canada-US border and the southern border with Mexico.

Before retiring, U.S. Marine Corps Master Sgt. Dean Zenoni and his wife, Lorri, started their bike ride from Kremmling to Ute Pass and up to Summit County this week, they admired the awe-inspiring orange sunrise over the low clouds and the magnificent Gore mountain range.

In the foreground were the stars and stripes of the American flag. And Dean – a veteran of four tours of Iraq as well as deployments to Somalia, Haiti, Cuba, Liberia and many other places – was sure to salute Old Glory.

For the Zenonis, this was one of the most memorable moments in 36 days after starting their June 11-August 11 hike along the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route to raise money for the Semper Fi & America’s Fund, which recently merged with the Vail Veterans Program. The fund is a veteran nonprofit charity that has provided $ 246 million in aid to more than 26,000 military personnel.

And Dean is one of them.

“On that ride you see all the farms, all the farms on the county roads with pride, everyone wearing the American flag,” Dean said. “This morning with sunrise, we passed a ranch flying both the Marine Corps and the United States flags. Seeing this dedication on the part of fellow Americans touches me.

It hits Dean because during his 24th year in the Marines he suffered a career-ending cervical spine injury after being slammed into a military vehicle in Iraq.

The injury left Dean with a ruptured disc which required surgery and caused a lot of pain as it damaged a few nerves that went to Dean’s upper chest and triceps.

With the injuries, Dean looked for a way to manage his pain and stay in touch with his service brethren. Through his connection with a battalion of wounded warriors, Dean found the fund.

Unable to lift weights as he loved before an injury, Dean was introduced by the fund to cycling as a form of healing and therapy. It’s something the 51-year-old knew he would challenge but not make his injuries worse. The Semper Fi & America’s Fund also helped Dean become a certified USA Cycling trainer, and he also used the GI Bill to go to bicycle mechanic school.

“The fund was essential for my transition,” Dean said. “I was ready to do 30 years of service. I wasn’t ready to be a civilian all of a sudden.

Dean and Lorri Zenoni of Salt Lake City pose for a photo together next to an American flag on their bike ride from the Canadian border to the Mexican border as a fundraiser for the Semper Fi & America’s Fund.
Photo of Dean and Lorri Zenoni

Over a decade after entering the fund, Dean wanted to find a way to give back to the organization that was so instrumental in his recovery while also improving his own health – hence his fundraising odyssey.

The Zenoni cycle north to south on Trek 1120 hard-tail mountain bikes with 3-inch tires. The back roads and trails of the Rocky Mountains are a far cry from the isolation at home Dean experienced last fall, which he believes motivated him to take the trip.

“I was getting bogged down and depressed a little bit last fall, and with all the COVID stuff, we had to get out of the house,” he said. “So I looked for something we could do this summer that wouldn’t be affected by any of the COVID stuff. At the beginning of December, we started to buy the bikes.

Dean and Lorri Zenoni from Salt Lake City pose for a photo together at the Continental Divide during their bike ride from the Canadian border to the Mexican border as a fundraiser for the Semper Fi & America’s Fund.
Photo of Dean and Lorri Zenoni

Lorri said she enjoys seeing the sparsely populated back roads of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and now Colorado. Another favorite memory was the ridge over Gore Pass and the fall into Radium north of Summit County for their first glimpse of Gore Canyon and the mighty Colorado River.

At 60 miles a day, the ride is grueling in places. And it will be again this weekend as the group passes through Hartsel and Salida after leaving Summit County. But the couple’s main goal is to reach their goal of $ 100,000 for the fund. Dean said he chose this number after seeing other people raise smaller donations for 5 and 10 kilometer runs.

“I haven’t counted the number of ‘K’s’ between Canada and Mexico, but there are a lot,” he said.

On Friday, including matching pledges to be added later, the couple exceeded $ 30,000.

Time will tell how much they harvest. For now, Lorri is thrilled to be getting back to soaking up the sights while riding the bike.

“Our country is so beautiful,” she said. “We have some amazing areas of the backcountry that we got to walk through that we probably would never have seen.

“And the other thing, there are some amazing people we’ve met along this trail. We have matching jerseys – red, white, and blue – for people to notice, and people to stop us and ask us what we’re doing. And then once I get a signal and get to a town, I can see there has been a donation to the page. Did someone we just met that day after stopping by and talking to us donated? We have just been overwhelmed. “

Dean and Lorri Zenoni from Salt Lake City woke up to this sight in Kremmling on Thursday, July 15, during their bike ride from the Canadian border to the Mexican border as a fundraiser for the Semper Fi & America’s Fund.
Photo of Dean and Lorri Zenoni

read more
Salt lakes real estate

Things to do in Miami: AIRIE 20th anniversary exhibit

Click to enlarge

Franky Cruz’s A kind of heron

Photo courtesy of Franky Cruz

Donna Marxer grew up in the 1930s and 1940s in Miami, before invasive pythons and voracious real estate developers encroached on the Everglades’ homeland, at a time when its vastness and rich ecology were not as threatened as it was. ‘today.

Over time, Marxer pursued a career as an artist and moved to New York City, but his concern for the Everglades remained. In 2001, a year after the publication of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), Marxer came up with the idea of ​​contributing to conservation efforts in the best way she knew how: through art. She will spend the rest of her life devoting herself to her two greatest passions, art and the Everglades.

When Marxer learned that Congress was signing CERP, a major wetland restoration project underway to restore and protect what remains of Florida’s “river of grass”, she was full of hope.

Recalling her childhood memories of a less threatened wetland, she realized that art could be a tool to help people see the beauty of the land she worshiped. She wrote a letter to her congressman proposing an artist residency program inside Everglades National Park as a way for artists to record and perform the earth and, through this intimate experience, to become ambassadors of the Everglades.

The letter was quickly passed on to Alan Scott, then District Interpreter for Everglades National Park. Together, Scott and Marxer created the Artists in Residence in Everglades (AIRIE) program.

Twenty years later, AIRIE celebrates its commitment to conservation through art by exhibiting an investigation of the works of art created by AIRIE artists in Everglades National Park. Since its founding in 2001, AIRIE has brought over 190 artists to the park for month-long residencies during which they live and work in the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. Opening on July 19, the show will feature works by Marxer, who died in 2018 at the age of 84, and other artists who have become loving ambassadors of the Everglades through the program.

“It was a passionate job for her,” says Scott, current head of resource education and interpretation. “People know about Marjory Stoneman Douglas and her support for the Everglades. Donna Marxer was the same. She basically decided to do something for the Everglades, and she did.

By partnering with AIRIE, the Everglades National Park has raised awareness of the threatened resource on a larger scale and to an audience who would otherwise have no interest in wildlife.

“What goes outside the park boundaries affects wildlife, and the park itself is the downstream recipient of all sins committed by the people and the state of Florida,” Scott said. “AIRIE is a way for people who would never normally be involved in the Everglades or Everglades restoration to get involved. Each of them thus became a speaker, a spokesperson or an ambassador of the Everglades. ”

The exhibition will present photographs, paintings and video works produced by scholarship holders during or after their stay at AIRIE.

Jose Elias, who was in residence in January 2016, focused his work on communication between species, traveling to Lake Okeechobee and across the backcountry to capture the audio of the animal kingdom in the field. Five years later, thanks to a process he describes as “osmosis”, he created the “Everglades Songbook Suite” in collaboration with Live Arts Miami and various musicians.

Click to enlarge Always "Everglades Songbook Suite" - PHOTO COURTESY OF RANDY VALDEZ

From “Everglades Songbook Suite”

Photo courtesy of Randy Valdez

The “Everglades Songbook Suite,” which will be on display at the Anniversary Show, is a collection of improvised compositions and soundscapes that celebrates the sights and sounds of the Everglades by juxtaposing a variety of acoustic instruments with recordings on field. The short honors the natural flow of the Everglades, featuring compositions ranging from a peak sunrise on the Anhinga Trail to an intimate prayer song on the Mahogany Trail performed by Seminole artist Samuel Tommie, with the aim ultimate to attract people to the majesty of the glades.

“The Everglades are tough, but they’ll never be the same again,” says Elias. “We are the stewards of the earth. Hope this project moves forward so that people are aware of their footprint no matter where you live, be it Hialeah, Miami Lakes or Westchester – it was all swampy.

One of the projects launched by AIRIE in 2015 was the purchase of promotional advertising space to highlight the work of scholarship holders. As a federal agency, the National Park Service cannot do marketing on its own. While many other national parks receive tourism money from the state to market their parks, the state of Florida has other tourism destinations that have historically taken precedence in the marketing budget.

“We’re one of the most treasured national parks here, and the state of Florida doesn’t see us as the main thing – not in a marketing sense, at least,” Scott said. “AIRIE put up the billboard for people to experience the art of the Everglades as they walked down the toll highway or 95, and it had a lot of impact.”

Franky Cruz’s photo series and performance, A kind of heron, presented on an AIRIE billboard in 2015 and part of the anniversary show, presents the artist transformed into a heron at the bottom of a cypress dome. During his residency in 2015, the local artist ingested information about the plume early 19th century trade that saw hunters almost wipe out the native heron population. Two weeks after his stint at AIRIE, he decided to honor the bird and everything he had endured playing the prized heron.

“Art in itself is a tool of communication, and maybe an object will touch someone in a way that someone preaching to it won’t, or an advertisement won’t.” , explains Cruz. “Something like this photo that I took – it’s like you’re in that environment, it’s such a thing outside of what people do in their daily lives, it makes them curious about it. ”

Cruz, who grew up in Hialeah, always felt intrinsically connected to nature but never had direct access to it until he intentionally searched for it via AIRIE and the Everglades. While there, a park ranger took him on off-road tours, giving him a deeper admiration for the delicate cycles of the earth and how his work could leave a lasting impact. He experimented with natural pigments and learned to pay more attention to his imprint.

“I am nature,” he said. “For a long time I used to spray paint on the walls. I realized what I was doing. Do I just paint more and splash harmful chemicals on things? Why can’t I find another way that matches what my footprint will be, what my impact will be on how the job is done.

After 20 years and nearly 200 artists in residence, AIRIE will continue to highlight the state of the Everglades in the hope of supporting the earth’s natural cycles as Marxer and Scott always intended.

20th anniversary exhibition of AIRIE. On view until March 2022, at the AIRIE Nest Gallery inside the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center, 40001 State Hwy. 9336, family property; Free entry.

read more
Salt lake city government

Utah City Leaders Call on Senators Romney and Lee to Support Immigration Reform Bills

Mikhail Shneyder, President and CEO of Nightingale College, joins a group calling on Utah senators to support bipartisan immigration reform at a press conference at the World Trade Center Utah offices in Salt Lake City on Wednesday July 14, 2021 (Scott G Winterton, Déseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah civic and business leaders, DACA recipients, and former undocumented immigrants have called on the Senses. Utah’s Mike Lee and Mitt Romney on Wednesday backing bipartisan immigration reform bills on Wednesday, citing economic and moral imperatives.

Executives at the event, held at the Utah World Trade Center, highlighted the important role immigrants play in Utah’s economy. As Utah emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, like most countries, it faces a severe labor shortage. The labor shortage is expected to persist as Utah’s unemployment rate trims to pre-pandemic levels and nearly 95% of Utah’s DACA-eligible population is employed.

Utah continues to be a place where immigrants contribute to the rich fabric of our community. Immigrants to Utah are entrepreneurs, they are teachers, they are leaders, they are part of our family.

–Derek Miller, President and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce

Bob Worsley, founder of SkyMall and co-chair of the Intermountain chapter of the American Business Immigration Coalition, said immigration reform is critical to the growth of the United States as it faces declining birth rates and a generation which withdraws in waves. Worsley stressed that in order to continue competing with countries like China or India, the United States must view immigration as an immediate solution.

“With the passage of the House of dream act and the Agricultural Workforce Modernization Act we are on the verge of enacting much-needed bipartisan immigration reform to help move our economy forward. Immigration is the main engine of economic growth in the United States and that means welcoming new immigrants, ”said Worsley, a former Republican state senator.

He continued, “We need to change the rhetoric in America about immigration. We need to stop slandering them and help Americans understand that large numbers of future Americans must enter legally through modern ports of entry with visas. legal issues issued by modern immigration systems. Nativism will not lead to growth in the United States (gross domestic product). Translation: Significant legal immigration leads to prosperity for all. “

The group also advocated for the adoption of the Law on the Safe Environment of Countries Subject to Repression and State of Emergency or SECURE act.

Data from New American Economy, which describes itself as a bipartisan research and advocacy organization and which was a co-sponsor of Wednesday’s event, showed that in 2019, Utah had 272,134 immigrant residents who paid about $ 1.8 billion in taxes and $ 5.8 billion in expenses. Power.

Mikhail Shneyder, President and CEO of Nightingale College, left, shakes hands with Derek Miller, President and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, after a press conference at the offices of the World Trade Center Utah in <a class=Salt Lake City on Wednesday, July 14, 2021, where they called on Utah senators to support bipartisan immigration reform. They were joined by representatives from the Intermountain section of the American Business Immigration Coalition, the New American Economy, the Salt Lake Area Restaurant Association and the Mormon Women for Ethical Government.”/>
Mikhail Shneyder, President and CEO of Nightingale College, left, shakes hands with Derek Miller, President and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, after a press conference at the offices of the World Trade Center Utah in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, July 14, 2021, where they called on Utah senators to support bipartisan immigration reform. They were joined by representatives from the Intermountain section of the American Business Immigration Coalition, the New American Economy, the Salt Lake Area Restaurant Association and the Mormon Women for Ethical Government. (Photo: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

“Utah continues to be a place where immigrants contribute to the rich fabric of our community. Immigrants to Utah are entrepreneurs, they are teachers, they are leaders, they are part of our family. billions of dollars in economic activity and they brighten up the landscape of our state. Utah is a place of compromise and goodwill and we call upon these virtues to be a guide for our national leaders, “he said. said Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce.

Data provided by New American Economy indicates that immigrant entrepreneurs in 2019 generated total business income of $ 349 million. Among these entrepreneurs is the CEO of Nightingale College, Mikhail Schneyder.

“The issue of immigration reform is deeply personal to me. I came to the United States at the age of 19 to escape persecution in my homeland, ethnic persecution and in the hope of finding the American dream, ”Schneyder said.

Schneyder learned English, became a registered nurse, obtained American citizenship, earned an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley, and then built and ran Nightingale College. Schneyder said Nightingale relies on a diverse workforce, looking for immigrants to fill positions ranging from service to leadership.

The variety of labor needs is reflected in immigrants who are more likely to have a graduate degree than those born in the United States, but are also less likely to have less than a degree. ‘secondary studies. The spectrum allows immigrants to fill shortages at both ends of employment needs, from high-tech fields to agriculture, hospitality and service industries.

Several leaders expressed the labor shortage in the service industry and stressed the importance of immigrants who are ready to fill these roles.

Mayra Cedano, executive director of Comunidades Unidas, calls on Utah senators to support bipartisan immigration reform during a press conference at the offices of the World Trade Center Utah in <a class=Salt Lake City on Wednesday, July 14, 2021.”/>
Mayra Cedano, executive director of Comunidades Unidas, calls on Utah senators to support bipartisan immigration reform during a press conference at the offices of the World Trade Center Utah in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, July 14, 2021. (Photo: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

But Mayra Cedano, a former undocumented immigrant and current executive director of Comunidades Unidas, said this crucial moment for immigration reform goes beyond the economy.

“When this country called on our workers to step up and support our communities as frontline workers, the undocumented workers were there. They quickly became the essential workers who chose the food we eat, built the neighborhoods we live in, cleaned homes and businesses, stocked our shelves, taught our own children, ”Cedano said. “Essential immigrant workers have continually put their health and that of their families on the line to protect us all, but many immigrant workers fear that they will not be able to see their families at the end of the day due to the risk of deportation.”

Sixty-nine percent of all immigrant U.S. workers and 74 percent of undocumented workers are essential workers, according to data from the Center for Migration Studies.

“We cannot be both deportable and essential. The time has come for a grateful nation to step up. Essential workers without permanent legal status should be recognized as the Americans they already are,” Cedano added.

The event was sponsored by the American Business Immigration Coalition Intermountain Chapter, Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, New American Economy, Salt Lake Area Restaurant Association, Utah World Trade Center, and Mormon Women for Ethical Government.


Related stories

More stories that might interest you

read more
Salt lakes real estate

The risk of flooding at high tide accelerates, endangering the coastal economy

As the sea level rises, it’s easy to overlook the intricacies of higher waters. It is much harder to forget that salt water floods the streets more often, disrupting everyday life and exacerbating existing problems.

The frequency of high tide floods along the U.S. coast has doubled since 2000 and is expected to increase five to fifteen times over the next 30 years compared to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Warning with new report Posted July 14, 2021.

I work with the coastal community The northern Gulf of Mexico faces the risk of sea level rise in an effort to avoid damage and avoidable costs, such as infrastructure disruption, declining value of assets and declining returns. Information such as the NOAA report is important in supporting the success of these communities.

The United States experienced an average of four days of storm surge flooding across the country last year, but the numbers alone don’t tell the whole picture. In some areas, many more areas were observed. There were record numbers of high tide flood days in 2020 along the Gulf of Mexico and the southeast Atlantic coast. The city of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, has gone from a three-day storm surge in 2000 to 22 days in 2020.

NOAA’s annual storm surge report is the national average of high tide floods for 3-7 days this year. Differences are expected depending on the region. The western part of the Gulf, including Texas and Louisiana, is expected to experience the heaviest flooding within 7-15 days. High tide flooding is expected to occur in the northeast Atlantic Ocean for 6 to 11 days. The Pacific coast is expected to last 3 to 7 days, but flooding will occur further north.

The so-called “nuisance” floods neglect the damage

Flooding at high tide impedes the use of roads and increases wear and tear on stormwater and drainage systems. The impact may seem minor, but as the frequency increases, these seemingly inconvenient flood days can have long-term consequences.

Areas Already Threatened by Sea Level Rise Property values ​​are declining, especially if cities and landlords have not taken steps to improve flood resistance. Insurance premiums are starting to rise.

Flooded roads can create dangerous situations where first responders find it difficult to reach people in need safely. Businesses receive fewer visitors. I feel a depressed loss of income. The more often this happens, the more it spreads to the entire coastal economy. It affects tax revenues and can undermine community ties.

rising sea levels disproportionately affect poor and marginalized communities, and the effects of flooding at high tide were no exception. People living in some of the underserved coastal areas face higher premiums due to the risk of floods and storms. Sometimes more than 90% An increase in insurance policies with a single zip code is to be expected.

How to reduce the threat of flooding at high tide

NOAA’s forecasts provide valuable foresight to help local governments, property owners and other coastal stakeholders act before the sea level rises.

The community has improved its infrastructure, such as the elevation of roads and the installation of backflow prevention devices in the rainwater systems, the increase in freeboards, the required distance between the ground floor causeway and base flood level, and base outside of the current FEMA flood zone. You can change building standards such as the designation of the flood level. Help the community prepare to withstand the high seas. Communities can also work with nature to protect and restore coastal habitats that provide natural protection against flooding, such as wetlands and barrier islands.

An example of an aggressive city is Pensacola, Florida. Recently completed Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Analysis To determine where high tide flooding begins to strain infrastructure, low income areas, economic hot spots and critical facilities. The city could recommend where to prioritize actions and what actions are needed to prevent high tide flooding from being costly or damaging.

The message of the new report is clear. High tide flooding and other more severe types of flooding have already increased with rising sea levels and are expected to accelerate in the coming years. The community has the opportunity to act now to reduce its impact.

Coastal residents can contact local governments to encourage positive thinking. For more information on how to participate in Coastal Resilience, there are Coastal Resilience Specialists in almost all Coastal and Great Lakes states. Sea Grant Program..Each region NOAA Office for Coastal Management We can also provide advice on how to participate.

[You’re smart and curious about the world. So are The Conversation’s authors and editors. You can read us daily by subscribing to our newsletter.]

Author: Renee Collini-Coastal Climate Resilience Specialist, Mississippi State University

Source link The risk of flooding at high tide accelerates, endangering the coastal economy

read more
Utah economy

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

Wednesday morning July 14, 2021


First data shows revenue gains for the state

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

Special units to correct conviction errors

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

Region / Nation

Man found unfit to stand trial in Nevada church shooting

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

Accomplice sentenced in adoption fraud case

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

The way to regulate drinking water contaminants

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

read more
Salt lake city

Wildfires in Utah: Smoke in Salt Lake from Idaho, Oregon, California

Wildfires in Idaho, California, Oregon and Washington brought smoke to northern Utah over the weekend, resulting in hazy skies and unhealthy air quality for sensitive groups , according to the Utah Department of Environmental Quality.

And officials warn the Hive State could get even smokier.

“Do you think today’s smoke is bad? It could get worse! ”The Salt Lake City office of the National Weather Service tweeted Saturday alongside a model showing a three-day smoke forecast.

According to the National Forest Service, 33 fires are currently burning in the aforementioned states, including four Type 1 incidents in northern California, one in Oregon and one in Idaho. This is an increase of 10 incidents reported from Saturday afternoon.

Type one refers to a “large and complex incident” requiring multi-agency and national resources, according to the National Parks Service.

One of those incidents is the biggest fire of the year in California. Ignited on July 2, the Beckwourth Complex fire burned about 83,926 acres, the Sacramento Bee reported, prompting evacuation orders in eastern Plumas County, about 45 miles north of Lake Tahoe. On Sunday, the fire, which is currently only 8% under control, reached the town of Doyle and burned several buildings, according to the Bee.

Much of the smoke in northern Utah can be attributed to the fire at the Beckwourth complex, the NWS said on Sunday.

Another culprit is Oregon’s Bootleg Fire, a Type 1 incident that has nearly tripled in size since Friday, according to InciWeb data. The fire burned approximately 143,607 acres southwest of the Winema National Forest in southern Oregon.

Although the fires do not appear to be slowing down, the NWS says that on Tuesday central and southern Utah could see improved air quality thanks to a change in weather conditions and an increased likelihood of thunderstorms in the afternoon.

However, the NWS has warned that northern Utah could remain smoky depending on upstream fire conditions. Air quality forecasts in seven Utah counties – Carbon, Davis, Salt Lake, Tooele, Utah, Weber and Box Elder – remain unhealthy for sensitive groups until Tuesday.

The smoky skies arrive as Utah and the West are in the midst of a historic drought. June was the hottest on record in Utah, according to the NWS, and an excessive heat warning remains in effect for most low-lying parts of the state.

Temperatures in St. George hovered around 117 degrees on Saturday, tying the all-time record for Hive State “pending further investigation of the data,” the NWS said.

In addition to Utah, eight states – Arizona, California, Idaho, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island – experienced their hottest June on record, while six states – Connecticut, Maine, Montana, Oregon , Washington and Wyoming – had their second warmest June, according to the NWS.

In total, June 2021 was the hottest June on record for the United States.

read more
Utah economy

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


Stimulated by drought, grasshoppers threaten rangelands

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recall petition begins against Cowboys for Trump founder

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Orthwestern Band of Shoshone sues Idaho over hunting rights

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

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

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

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

Governor signs bills on elections, tribal nations and broadband expansion

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

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

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


Drunk and messy Yellowstone tourist gets 60 days in jail

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

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

Committees met to advise re-introduction of wolves in Colorado

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

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

GATHERING IN THE WEST |  Anti-government activist launches campaign in Idaho;  bankers see growth soar

GATHERING IN THE WEST |  The judge blocks the drilling on the sage grouse;  OK sign 'Dixie' ditching

GATHERING IN THE WEST |  US sued to protect Desert Turtle;  Wyoming will acquire a nuclear reactor

read more
Salt lake city

Federal forecasters issue the La Nina watch. What does this mean for next winter in Utah?

A map of a typical winter of La Nina. The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center released a La Nina watch on Thursday, July 8, 2021. Forecasters say it looks like the trend will return this winter. (National Meteorological Service)

SALT LAKE CITY – The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center released a La Nina watch on Thursday, indicating that trends show the oceanic event to emerge between September and November with a 66% chance that it will last all winter .

La Nina is the result of stronger Pacific trade winds that generally flow from South America to Asia. It pushes the warm ocean water with it westward, unlike its El Niño counterpart. This allows cooler ocean waters to replenish off the west coast of South America, according to the National Ocean Service, which is a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

This is important because ocean trends impact weather conditions in the United States.

Based on an average of previous La Nina winters, La Nina’s models result in a polar jet model that provides wetter conditions in the Pacific Northwest and Great Lakes regions, as well. than colder air in the northern parts of the West and Midwest. This also results in warmer conditions in the southeast and drier in the southwest and southeast.

It differs from El Nino in that conditions during El Nino are generally wetter and cooler in the southern United States due to an extensive jet stream from the Pacific. This generally results in warmer conditions in the northern United States and Canada, as well as drier conditions in the Midwest.

Interestingly, neither model gives definite weather trends for most of Utah – at least historically speaking. This means it’s hard to tell if Utah is heading for a wet, dry, hot, or cold winter.

“Our signal is not very strong,” said Christine Kruse, chief meteorologist in the Salt Lake City office of the National Weather Service. “There are La Ninas where we might see more precipitation than normal), some average, some below normal. It just doesn’t have any consistency due to the way the jet stream is. installs with a typical La Nina. “

A typical La Nina might have a more negative impact on the southern tip of Utah, like St. George. The area is located just at the northern limit of where drier conditions normally emerge from the mid-polar jet stream.

Again, this dry area is based on the average winter of La Nina. Where the jet stream settles will ultimately determine whether Utah is heading for a desired wet, cold winter or a dreaded hot, dry winter due to the ongoing drought.

It also means meteorologists will have to wait for the jet stream to set in before they have a better idea of ​​what to expect this winter. Cruse said it usually starts to develop in the fall around the same time of September through November, when the Prediction Center expected La Nina to set in.

“(The jet stream) can change. You can start part of the winter with a particular storm path and a higher level ridge develops in a new location and things change,” she said. “But you’re starting to see a little bit of what winter can look like from late fall to early winter.”

The Climate Prediction Center typically publishes its outlook for the winter months beginning around mid-October.

This winter is already considered by state water experts to be a major winter due to the statewide drought. The US DroughtwMonitor currently lists about 98% of Utah in at least one extreme drought and nearly two-thirds in exceptional drought.

A large majority of Utah’s water comes from the snowpack during the winter, so experts say a strong winter is what is needed to help lift the state out of drought.

On a more regional scale, a La Nina event is good news for parts of the West, which is dry everywhere. The US Drought Monitor also lists 93.7% of the entire region – a collection of Utah, Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico , Oregon and Washington – experiences at least moderate drought.

Almost 60% of the West is considered to be in extreme drought and just over a quarter of the region is in exceptional drought. Many areas of the Pacific Northwest, where a La Nina winter typically produces more rain, are currently in these more severe categories.

Conversely, a normal La Nina is potentially bad news for southwestern areas like Arizona and New Mexico, which are also covered by some of the more severe drought categories.

More stories that might interest you

read more
Salt lake city government

Will there be COVID-19 booster injections? Not yet, say the experts

With the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Utah, is it time for fully vaccinated people to receive booster shots?

Pfizer and its partner company in the production of one of three coronavirus vaccines approved for use in the United States, Bio-Tech, on Thursday announced a new study showing promising results from the administration of a third vaccine , six months after the first two, and plan to submit their findings to federal authorities for clearance.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration responded by a joint declaration, “Americans who have been fully immunized do not need a booster at this time,” but said the issue was under review and the recommendation may change.

“We are ready to receive booster doses if and when science shows they are needed,” the statement said. A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their last dose of vaccine – two injections for Pfizer or Moderna and one for Johnson & Johnson.

Utah health experts also say not yet, although they recognize there is growing interest, especially among those who have received the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine, to provide greater protection. against the highly contagious delta variant of the virus first detected in India now dominant in Utah and the rest of the country.

“This one is touchy,” said Dr Michelle Hofmann, deputy director of the Utah Department of Health, calling for a question about the extra blows raised at a recent virtual press conference to encourage vaccinations “to the tip of where we can be Go. “

Some countries already allow the administration of a different type of vaccine as a second dose after a vaccine similar in composition to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. J&J shot is less effective against the original coronavirus, with around 60% effectiveness compared to 95% for Pfizer and Moderna.

All three vaccines largely prevent hospitalization and death in fully vaccinated people, but the decline in their performance compared to the delta variant is now a problem. Studies have shown that both doses of Pfizer – and possibly Moderna, which uses the same new technology – are needed, but there is little data on Johnson & Johnson.

It is official CDC policy that vaccines are not interchangeable, although the The National Institutes of Health announced in June that a clinical trial was underway To determine the safety and effectiveness of administering booster doses of various COVID-19 vaccines to fully vaccinated adults.

“We don’t currently recommend this in the United States,” Hofmann said, citing potential safety concerns. “We are starting to hear from people who are interested and wondering about this, but this is currently not a recommendation.”

Yet not everyone is ready to wait. Hofmann was responding to a question posted on Facebook by a woman who said she knew “several people who had the J&J vaccine who went and received a second dose of Moderna or Pfizer. Is it recommended, safe or necessary? “

There are several media reports of people who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine but then surreptitiously sought out Pfizer injections in hopes that the higher efficacy associated with the new type of vaccine will make them less likely to know a revolutionary case of COVID-19.

A few, including Angela Rasmussen, a virologist with the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization at the University of Saskatchewan, are experts in the field. Rasmussen, an American working in Canada, tweeted at the end of June that she had received an injection of Pfizer “to supplement the J&J vaccine I received in April” and was feeling well.

“I think I did what it took to make sure I was as protected as possible from the delta variant and thus protect the others who only have one chance,” she said. in his widely-read Twitter feed, adding, “Sometimes public health requires making tough decisions without a full data set to back it up.

Shortly before the July 4th recess, the region’s largest healthcare provider, Intermountain Healthcare, told patients vaccinated in a blog post it’s too early to roll up their sleeves for another dose because, “So far the signs are good that we won’t need any reminders anytime soon.

The publication said federal agencies were assessing the risk of additional vaccines by looking at various factors, including whether breakthrough cases in fully vaccinated people increased, whether booster doses or the combination of different types of vaccines offered more protection, and if the variants were more difficult to fight. .

It remains to be seen how long it will take to make this decision, said Dr Tamara Sheffield, medical director of preventive medicine at Intermountain Healthcare. This could happen sooner rather than later once the effectiveness of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine against the delta variant is known.

“At this point, we don’t have anything that tells us we should do this yet. But that could change quickly, ”Sheffield said. In the meantime, she offered some advice to Utahns who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine – less than 130,000 compared to nearly 1.5 million in the state who received Pfizer or Moderna.

“I tend to be a more careful person,” she said. “I would say to anyone who is wondering if they are fully protected to follow prudent collection behaviors. If you are indoors with a group of people who may not have been vaccinated, then people should mask themselves. “

Han Kim, professor of public health at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, said data on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are difficult to come by because relatively few people have received a single injection, adding that “it may not be. not be a bad idea to get a vaccine. booster.”

A federal government decision on such vaccines could move closer to fall, Kim said, when COVID-19 cases could rise even more as students, especially those under the age of 12 who are not eligible for the vaccine, return to classrooms and people spend more time indoors when temperatures drop.

Pfizer’s announcement of the booster injections raises questions, he said.

“There is a lot of discussion among epidemiologists and public health specialists that this is completely unnecessary,” Kim said, noting that the vaccine should remain “fairly effective” for at least a year and that injections do not need to be. started only last December and became widely available months later. .

“We live in a world where there is enormous injustice in terms of vaccine distribution and we will start prioritizing a third vaccine for Americans, in a country that is still struggling to reach 70% of the population. adult population with a pull? A lot of people say it’s way too premature, ”he said.

Gov. Spencer Cox said Utah has met that 70% goal, if vaccine doses administered by federal state agencies are counted. But many areas of the state, including Utah County and rural communities, have much lower vaccination rates and less than 45% of the overall population is fully vaccinated.

“We should be focusing on getting people, in fact, their first shot, let alone a third,” Kim said. He said that not only would administering a third dose be logistically difficult, but it was also seen by some as “Pfizer taking advantage of this situation to request a third dose”.

read more
Utah economy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related stories

More stories that might interest you

read more
Salt lake city government

Fewer pets euthanized in Utah, but rescuers fear the future of some adopted during pandemic

Tiny Tot and Little Bitty are waiting for their adopters to arrive and pick them up from the Best Friends Animal Society in Salt Lake City on Friday, February 26, 2021. Utah has cut its shelters killed by 1,161 in 2020, a 58% reduction from compared to the previous year, which rescuers attribute in large part to the pandemic. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah reduced its shelters killed by 1,161 last year – a 58% reduction from the previous year – making the state the 13th in the country for rescuing the most dogs and cats, according to new data from Best Friends Animal Society.

But animal rescuers fear that some animals adopted during the pandemic may end up at the shelter or be donated as many owners return to their workplaces.

Last year, 44,767 cats and dogs entered shelters. Of these, 39,358 found new homes and 829 were killed for lack of housing, according to the Best Friends Animal Society.

Company spokesperson Temma Martin said that in the first week of the pandemic, many residents “rallied to welcome record numbers.”

The country saw a 90% increase in foster homes as schools, businesses and recreational activities began to close. Many decided it was a good time to adopt because they expected to spend more time at home, Martin said.

“So we saw a huge increase just thanks to Best Friends in the number of foster families and adoptions at the start of the pandemic,” she said.

COVID-19 has also changed how shelters operate, she added. While they quickly closed, many of their animals were placed in foster homes. When a person was interested in adopting an animal, they would virtually meet the animal’s foster family, a counselor, and the animal – a more comfortable and happy environment for the animal to meet a prospective adoptee. This format has led to more adoptions, Martin said.

Shelter organizations always provided all the supplies to foster families, “but it’s great just because the animal lives in a comfortable home environment and shows itself better than in a cage or kennel,” said said Martin.

“A lot of shelters don’t plan to go back to a shelter full of animals and adopt people from there,” she added.

In the United States, there has been a 40% decrease in the number of animals killed or euthanized – a trend rescuers hope not to reverse. In some states, however, reports indicate that pets adopted during the pandemic are being returned at a high rate.

Salt Lake County Animal Services now has 26 dogs in its shelter, up from an average of 10 to 15 at some point before the pandemic, said Randee Lueker, relief and events coordinator. These are dogs that animal services save on the streets because the shelter generally does not accept drops.

At the same time, adoptions from the shelter are on the decline, she said.

The surge in the number of dogs entering shelters does not appear to be a statewide trend more than a year after COVID-19 hit the state, according to Martin.

“It seems to be staying pretty stable, but of course we’re worried. We want to make sure that people, when they return to work, have a plan for their new pets and prepare them for anxiety. separation and also train them, especially if they have a puppy, train them to be good family members so that they don’t now have a one year old dog that doesn’t have good manners to looking after a new home or dealing with new people, ”Martin said.

She said it’s common for people who adopt puppies to face issues as the puppies get older. Some puppies during the pandemic did not receive professional obedience training due to COVID-19 closures.

Martin said it was not too late – families should play ‘catching up’ now to train their dogs if they are unable to do so during the pandemic. She said she had heard of people wanting to relocate their pets now due to behavioral issues, but if the animal hasn’t been trained it will likely create problems for future owners.

The best thing an owner can do in this situation is spay or neuter the dog if he hasn’t already done so, and find some training advice, according to Martin. Virtual training is available through Zoom and other apps, she said. Outdoor classes are also available.

“I know the temptation is there to just find another home for the animal, but if it behaves in a way that is inconvenient for your family, it will probably be inconvenient for the next family as well,” said Martin. . “These animals were there for us during the pandemic at a difficult time to provide us with companionship.… We owe it to them to help them become a good member of the family, and that involves training.”

For those worried about leaving their pets at home when they go to work, Martin noted that many people were doing so long before the start of the pandemic. Owners can train their pets to be alone for short periods of time and then have them work for longer periods. Dogs typically sleep most of the day when they’re alone, Martin said, so it’s possible to work full-time and have a pet to greet you when you get home.

“This is something we want to make sure people are prepared for so that there isn’t a flood of animals being turned into shelters,” Martin said.

Millions of people bought puppies at the start of the pandemic, Martin said, noting that they were not initially refuge animals and did not come with training. If a lot of homeowners decide to abandon them, “it would have a huge impact on the shelters,” she said.

Most dogs at the Salt Lake County Animal Shelter are between 1 and 3 years old, according to Lueker. Almost a third are huskies, several are shepherds and some are working dogs. She said the shelter has seen an increase in the number of dogs with behavioral issues, but workers at the shelter aren’t sure why.

Lueker urges interested residents to consider adopting or fostering a dog from the county shelter. More information can be found at

About 70% of Utah animal shelters are designated as no-kill shelters, meaning they only kill animals that are not adoptable, whether due to medical or behavioral issues. They also aim to adopt at least 90% of the animals housed at the shelter.

Those who want to help the state reach the threshold set by the No-Kill Initiative Utah can make an impact by choosing to adopt from a shelter or rescue group, spaying or neutering their pets, adopting pets, volunteering and spreading the word about welfare issues -be animal, said Martin.

For areas with higher death rates, this is usually due to cats in the community, she said, encouraging people to find out if their local government supports programs that trap, neuter and return feral cats. in the colonies. If more shelters adopt such programs, it can help prevent hundreds of animal deaths, Martin said.

Utah County is the only county along the Wasatch Front that does not have a “back-to-the-field” program for stray cats.

Related stories

More stories that might interest you

read more
Utah economy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The country faces a constitutional crisis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He still struggles to recover from a crippling earthquake

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

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

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

A devastating cholera epidemic

This earthquake was followed by another deadly force: cholera.

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

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

Gangs are multiplying

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

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

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

Haiti has yet to deliver vaccine doses as COVID rises

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

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

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

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

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

There is a power struggle

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

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

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

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

Copyright 2021 NPR. To learn more, visit
read more
Salt lake city government

1,149 weekend COVID-19 cases, 7 deaths, over 13,000 vaccinations reported as Utah hits 70% vaccine target

Jamie Bone, a nurse with the Davis County Department of Health, prepares a syringe of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Legacy Center Indoor Arena in Farmington on Tuesday, January 12, 2021. Seventy percent of all adults in Utah now have at least a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, Governor Spencer Cox’s office confirmed on Tuesday. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Department of Health reported the following update on COVID-19 in the state from Saturday to Tuesday:

  • 1,149 new cases
  • 7 deaths
  • 13,878 vaccines administered

The seven-day moving average for positive cases in the state is now 386 per day.

Seventy percent of all adults in Utah now have at least a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, Governor Spencer Cox’s office has confirmed Tuesday, although the state appears to be using outdated demographics to calculate that vaccination rate.

The governor’s office had set a goal of seeing 70% of Utahns aged 18 and over receive at least their first shot of the vaccine by July 4. The state achieved that target on Tuesday.

“This is really a milestone that deserves to be celebrated,” Cox’s office said on Twitter. “Most of all, we are grateful to all the nurses, doctors, healthcare workers, hospitals and volunteers… who continue to work tirelessly to get us all vaccinated!

Since July 4, the Utah Department of Health reported that 65.2% of adults in Utah had received at least their first dose, Cox’s office said. However, that percentage does not include 114,908 doses of the vaccine that were administered in Utah by federal government agencies such as the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Indian Health Services.

With those additional doses, 1,596,999 Utahns received their first dose of vaccine, Cox’s office said. The governor’s office reported that Utah’s adult population was 2,274,774, so about 70.2% of the adult population now has at least their first dose.

“And that number will only increase,” Cox’s office tweeted.

But that’s an older figure for the population of Utah. The United States Census Bureau most recent data estimates the total population of Utah at approximately 3,271,616, of which approximately 948,769, or 29%, are under the age of 18. Using this data, the percentage of Utah adults who receive at least a first dose is closer to 68.75%.

However, Utah executives, including Cox, said the 70% target was somewhat arbitrary. They will continue to work to vaccinate as many people and exceed the statewide target of 70%, the governor’s office added in a statement on Tuesday. Press release.

“Even if we hit 70%, that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the game,” Cox said at a press conference last week.

Cox’s office thanked those who got vaccinated, as well as the Utah Department of Health and local state health departments for their efforts to get as many people vaccinated as possible.

“They have been striving to take the initiative to set up mass vaccination sites statewide and continue to provide vaccines in their communities,” the press release said.

Cox’s office also thanked the Salt Lake Chamber for launching the “Bring it Home” campaign, which encourages companies to support employees who want to get vaccinated.

Cox’s office added that the pandemic is not over and the state is not out of the woods just yet. Utah has seen a small increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, which is believed to be mainly due to the spread of the delta variant among unvaccinated people.

“We are still very concerned about the recent increase in cases and hospitalizations,” the statement said. “And parts of the state, including many of our rural areas and communities of color, remain under 70% immunized.”

This story will be updated.

More stories that might interest you

read more
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 / 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.

read more
Utah economy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


Related stories

More stories that might interest you

read more
Utah economy

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

Crypto Coin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is signed by the major companies in the sector.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pulse Market

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The outlook, however, is encouraging.

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

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

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

read more
Salt lake city government

Owens slams Olympic athlete for protesting flag

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

I want to hear from you! Let me know how to make this newsletter more useful. Email me or find me on Twitter @SchottHappens.

Get this newsletter delivered to your inbox every morning of the week. Sign up for free here.

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


  • 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]


  • 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



  • 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.

read more
Salt lake city government

Drought issues in dry western US raise fears of July 4th fireworks

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Many Americans seeking normalcy as pandemic restrictions end are anxiously awaiting the traditional July 4 fireworks display. But with a historic drought in the western United States and fears of another devastating wildfire season, authorities are canceling exhibits, banning setting off fireworks, or calling for caution.

Fireworks have already caused a few small wildfires, including one started by a child in northern Utah and another in central California. Last year, a pyrotechnic device designed to celebrate a baby’s gender reveal sparked a fire in California that killed a firefighter during a season of wildfires in the United States that burned the second largest land area in nearly 40 years.

Parts of the American West are experiencing their worst drought conditions in more than a century this year, said Jennifer Balch, director of the Earth Lab at the University of Colorado. People setting off fireworks in the home are of concern due to both the powder magazine conditions conducive to wildfire outbreaks and the threat of injury. Last year, injuries hit their highest level in 15 years after the pandemic canceled large gatherings, federal data showed.

“As a fire specialist, I am preparing for this fire season due to the drought and heat already present,” Balch said. “I think the fireworks right now is a terrible idea.”

Fireworks industry professionals, who have also stressed caution in drought-prone areas, expect strong sales despite a shortage caused by pandemic-related manufacturing downturns and disruptions commercial.

“We think we’re going to have a great year,” said James Fuller, a fireworks safety expert at Alabama-based TNT Fireworks.

While fireworks are an integral part of the nation’s Independence Day celebrations, they light thousands of fires a year, including one that burned down Bobbie Uno’s home in Clearfield, Utah, l ‘last year. She had to jump out of the way before it hit the side of her house.

“In five seconds my house, from the bushes to the roof, was on fire,” Uno said. The fire caused $ 60,000 in damage and forced her family out of their home for weeks.

“I want everyone to be aware of the danger because it’s scary even in a little cul-de-sac,” Uno said.

Several Utah cities are banning people from setting off their own fireworks this year during the record drought, but many Republicans are against a statewide ban. Salt Lake County Councilor Aimee Winder Newton supports the restrictions but thinks this year is a bad time for a blanket ban.

“We’re just coming out of this pandemic where people already felt like the government was restraining them in so many ways,” she said. “When you pronounce bans arbitrarily, we might have a situation where people who weren’t going to light fireworks will voluntarily buy fireworks just to send a message to the government.”

State fireworks laws vary widely across the United States, but local bans on personal fireworks are appearing from Montana to Oregon, which has been hit by massive wildfires the last year.

In Arizona, already ravaged by more than a dozen wildfires, many cities have called off their public fireworks displays. The Yavapai-Apache Nation typically holds an exhibit outside of their casino near Camp Verde in central Arizona.

“This year, with worse conditions than last year, we decided in May that we would not have fireworks,” said James Perry, spokesperson for the tribe’s Cliff Castle Casino Hotel. “Based on the large fires currently burning in and around our community, we are happy with our decision. “

It’s a similar story in Colorado, where dozens of shows have been scuttled, most notably in Steamboat Springs, a ski town where firefighters are already scattered around.

“The grass always catches fire… why are we doing something that causes fire when fire is our biggest problem?” Said Winnie DelliQuadri, the city’s special projects manager.

But in neighboring Wyoming, business is booming in fireworks shops, including sales of banned items elsewhere. Parking lots fill up on weekends and many cars have foreign license plates.

“It’s not just Colorado,” said Ben Laws, director of Pyro City. “We see people from Nebraska, we see people from Montana, we see people from all over come and buy.”

Other cities, including Boise, Idaho and Santa Fe, New Mexico, are working to ban personal fireworks while keeping their exhibits public, where safety precautions are often stricter and firefighters are in alert.

In North Dakota, where more than two-thirds of the state experiences extreme or exceptional drought – the two worst categories – some areas are passing local bans. In South Dakota, where conditions are a little less difficult, the governor is fighting the federal government to organize a fireworks display at Mount Rushmore.

A show that draws tens of thousands of people to Lake Tahoe, Nevada, near the California state border, was initially canceled for the second year in a row, but organizers subsequently decided to host an “experience of smaller and safer fireworks “. Holding fireworks over the water is one of the safest ways to celebrate, said Professor Balch.

The industry is urging people who light their own fireworks to follow local restrictions, choose a flat location a safe distance from homes, have a source of water on hand to extinguish used products and dispose of with care.

Some security officials would prefer people to avoid lighting their own fireworks all together. Michele Steinberg of the National Fire Protection Association pointed to federal data showing 15,600 Americans attended emergency rooms with fireworks-related injuries last year, thousands more than the year before.

“I love watching fireworks, but honestly they’re not safe in the hands of consumers,” she said. “Even a sparkler can reach up to 1,200 degrees, which is actually the heat of a forest fire.”


Associated Press editors Felicia Fonseca in Flagstaff, Arizona; Mead Gruver in Cheyenne, Wyoming; Cedar Attanasio in Santa Fe, New Mexico; Scott Sonner in Reno, Nevada; and Associated Press / Report for America, Corps member Patty Nieberg in Denver, contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2021. All rights reserved. This website is not intended for users located in the European Economic Area.

read more
Salt lake city

Drought brings more snakes to Utah yards – what are you doing?

As a scorching drought sweeps through Utah, more critters are entering public parks and backyards.

This is nothing new to the Utahns, but an increased frequency of snakes in the Salt Lake Valley and elsewhere for the summer means caution and preparation are needed, according to reptile experts.

“We’re getting calls earlier this year than ever,” said Terry Messmer, Utah State University Extension’s wildlife specialist. “All of them occurred in early June, while other instances of snake sightings and bites occurred in late June of previous years. A fatal incident last year was with a person recreating themselves on trails, and these are all sightings in parks. “

Among the calls Messmer received, most of the non-poisonous snakes got lost in the valley. Although most poisonous snakes remain in mountainous areas or in sagebrush, two types of poisonous snakes have been sighted in areas around St. George: the Great Basin rattlesnake and the Mojave sidewinder.

Other snake sightings are typical of the summer season and during times of high drought, according to Wild Aware Utah, an information website in partnership with the USU Extension, the Salt Lake City Hogle Zoo, and the Department of Resources. natural areas of Utah. Snakes don’t need as much water as humans, but still need a little moisture and often seek it out in areas that are actively watered. Farmers may see more of it in irrigation areas, and homeowners should watch out for snakes in wood and garbage piles, which can act as shelters from the sun.

A western rattlesnake used by Haley Bechard of the Utah Rattlesnake Avoidance is pictured in Salt Lake City on Thursday, June 24, 2021. In response to the drought, many snakes search for food and water, and some have recently been spotted in the wetlands of city parks and courtyards. Of the 31 species of snakes found in Utah, seven are poisonous.
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Food is a major concern for crawling reptiles as well, and they often seek out rodents that scavenge in garbage or compost piles left in backyards.

Drought conditions also exacerbate other problems. As wildfires continue to burn in Utah due to parched grass and high temperatures, snakes are displaced from their natural habitat and may seek refuge elsewhere. According to the Utah Department of Wildlife, all snakes, non-poisonous and poisonous, may move more through backyards and fields this year in search of water.

One of Messmer’s main concerns is that people who have never encountered snakes before now see them crawling on their back porches. When it comes to preparing snakes, knowledge and caution are key to enjoying their presence without encroaching on their space.

Of the 31 snake species found in Utah, seven are poisonous. These are known as pit vipers because of the pit between their nostrils and eyes. Poisonous snakes have shorter nostrils, triangular heads, and slit pupils. Most poisonous snakes are found in sagebrush, juniper pine forests, sand dunes, rocky hills, meadows and mountain forests. Wild Aware Utah advises that if you can’t tell if the snake is poisonous from a distance, leave it alone and treat it as if it were. Even if a snake is not poisonous, it can still react to agitation by biting, which can cause lasting damage to skin and tissue.

Although only about six people die each year from snakebites nationwide, about 6,000 to 8,000 people are bitten by poisonous snakes each year, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control. Many of them are the result of an attempt to illegally handle or kill the snake, according to the Utah Department of Wildlife. Leaving the reptile alone is usually sufficient to avoid a bite and make sure children and pets follow suit.

Hannah Hausman and Ethan Watts walk the Living Room Trail in <a class=Salt Lake City on Thursday, June 24, 2021. In response to the drought, many snakes are searching for food and water, and some have recently been spotted in wetlands from the city. parks and courtyards. Of the 31 snake species found in Utah, seven are poisonous.” data-upload-width=”3000″ src=”×1985/1200×0/filters:focal(0x0:3000×1985):no_upscale()/”/>

Hannah Hausman and Ethan Watts walk the Living Room Trail in Salt Lake City on Thursday, June 24, 2021. In response to the drought, many snakes are searching for food and water, and some have recently been spotted in wetlands from the city. parks and courtyards. Of the 31 snake species found in Utah, seven are poisonous.
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

When hiking, avoid sticking any part of the body in a crevice, as these are areas that snakes tend to frequent. Always travel with a friend or tell someone where you will be and how long you will stay there, and dress in shoes that cover the entire foot, as most unprovoked snakebites are inflicted on the extremities that end wrong. place at the wrong time.

If you are at a sufficient distance, you can pull out your phone to document the snake using the iNaturalist app. This app allows you to submit photos, find data on the location of species and identify species that are crawling in front of you.

“It’s really beneficial for us to collect data on different sightings,” said Faith Heaton Jolley, public information officer for the Utah Department of Wildlife. “We don’t have an exact number of snakes reported recently, but a database like this helps us get a better idea.”

In the event of a bite from a poisonous animal, the Department of Wildlife Resources, Utah’s Division of Wildlife, and Wild Alert Utah all advocate that the bitten person remain calm, avoid running or lifting the bitten area overhead. heart and contact emergency services. as quickly as possible. Attempting an emergency solution, such as tying a tourniquet to the affected area, can actually do more harm than good.

“Emergency services can give you the best up-to-date advice,” Jolley said. “Some information online is out of date, so call your nearest emergency department and get professional help.”

Haley Bechard of Utah Rattlesnake Avoidance holds a Western Rattlesnake which she uses during training in Salt Lake City on Thursday, June 24, 2021. In response to the drought, many snakes are in search of food and water, and some have recently been spotted in wetlands in city parks and courtyards.  Of the 31 species of snakes found in Utah, seven are poisonous.

Haley Bechard of the Utah Rattlesnake Avoidance holds a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake which she uses during her training in Salt Lake City on Thursday, June 24, 2021. In response to the drought, many snakes are looking for foraging for food and water, and some have recently been spotted in the wetlands of city parks and courtyards. Of the 31 snake species found in Utah, seven are poisonous.
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

read more
Utah economy

How low socioeconomic status influences disparities in diabetes care

Various socio-demographic characteristics fuel the disparities observed in pediatric diabetes care. At the 81st American Diabetes Association Virtual Science Session, Ananta Addala, DO, MPH, Pediatric Endocrinologist and Medical Scientist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., Addressed the role of socioeconomic status in these disparities. .

Addala noted that previous research has shown that minority patients often receive poorer quality health care than their peers. The reasons for the differences in care include environmental factors and discrimination. Clinical judgment on the appropriateness of care as well as patient preferences have also been seen as contributing to the difference in the quality of care, but have long been noted as not contributing to the disparities, but Addala believes both do. Along with the management of diabetes, one of the main places where disparities are seen is access to diabetes technologies such as insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors. Diabetes technology has been shown to improve hemoglobin A1c levels, especially in pediatric cases. Children with low family income as well as public or uninsured insurance have higher hemoglobin A1c levels, indicating less access to diabetes technology.

She then discusses the results of a study comparing insulin pump use and continuous glucose monitoring by socioeconomic status in 2 cohorts: 1 in the United States and Germany, at 2 different times, 2010 -2012 and 2016-2018. The German cohort was selected because it represented an economy similar to that of the United States. In both cohorts, the researchers found an increase in the use of insulin pumps between the 2 periods. However, the American cohort showed that significantly fewer patients from the lowest socioeconomic group used pumps than those from the highest economic group, while in the German cohort, negligible differences were noted between socioeconomic groups. economic. Ongoing blood glucose monitoring saw a significant increase in use for both cohorts, but as with insulin pumps, the US cohort showed significant disparities in use by socioeconomic status. In Germany there was very little difference between them. Therefore, hemoglobin A1c levels are significantly higher in the lowest socioeconomic status level in the United States. Children at the lowest socioeconomic level in Germany also had higher hemoglobin A1c levels than their wealthier peers, but the difference was much less significant.

Insurance may be at the root of these disparities, Addala noted. She discussed a recent comment that showed the variability in the requirements for a child in a Medicaid program to get continuous blood sugar monitoring. Some states like Ohio and Wisconsin do not offer specific requirements for the technology. Others, like Utah and New York State, will only cover the technology for patients with type 1 diabetes who also perform self-administered finger-prick blood sugar tests at least 4 times a day. A final factor of disparities is the prejudices that some providers may have towards patients with lower socioeconomic status. A meta-analysis found that providers often had less empathy for patients from lower socioeconomic groups.


1. Addala A. The state of disparities in the management of pediatric diabetes: the role of socio-economic status. American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions 2021; June 26, 2021; virtual. Accessed June 26, 2021.

read more
Salt lake city government

PM Newsletter: Asylum Discrimination, Pioneer Park Map and Trauma at Boarding School

Friday evening June 25, 2021


US Department of Justice rules on behalf of asylum in discrimination case

The US Department of Justice settled a discrimination claim with a Utah company. Easterseals-Goodwill is based in Montana but has offices throughout the region, including Utah. A woman filed a complaint against the office here, claiming that her proof of work documents were illegally rejected. She said she was asked to provide additional documents to verify her eligibility to work due to her immigration status. She was asking for asylum in the country. Other non-US citizens have been urged to do the same. As part of the settlement, ESGW was ordered to pay approximately $ 6,200 in civil penalties. They also need to review their policies and train their employees on anti-discrimination laws. – Ross Terrell

SCOTUS rules on exemption from the Air Quality Act

More small refineries can apply for exemptions from certain renewable fuels requirements that are part of the Clean Air Act. That’s from a 6-3 U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Friday. The court ruled that a small refinery that had already been granted a hardship exemption can get an extension. This is even if the refinery allowed a previous exemption to expire. The Biden administration argued that in order to get an extension, a refinery had to maintain a continuous exemption since 2011. Refineries in Wyoming, Utah and Oklahoma have argued that siding with the Biden administration would eliminate the exemption for most small refineries in the United States. – Associated press

Northern Utah

Little Cottonwood Canyon Traffic Plan Update

The Utah Department of Transportation has accepted two proposals to reduce traffic in Little Cottonwood Canyon, the often congested road from the Salt Lake Valley to Alta and Snowbird ski resorts. The two finalists increased the bus service while widening the route or a gondola above the canyon. Josh Van Jura of U-DOT said each proposal serves a different purpose: speed or reliability. The bus is the fastest option, while the gondola offers more regular travel times. The decision comes after three years and 124 initial proposals. The public now has 45 days to weigh in on their preferred option. Read the full story. Jon reed

Salt Lake Valley fire chiefs ask people not to use personal fireworks

Salt Lake Valley fire chiefs are asking people not to use personal fireworks this year. They are just the latest group to call for restraint due to Utah’s extreme drought and dry conditions. The governor and other elected officials have done it too. In a video released on Friday, chiefs across the valley said responding to fireworks incidents prevented them from being able to respond to medical emergencies. Last year alone, they were needed for over 650 fireworks-related calls. People are encouraged to view public postings only. If you are caught lighting fireworks illegally, you can be fined up to $ 1,000. You may also be held responsible for the cost of fighting fires and any damage that occurs. – Ross Terrell

Salt Lake City Seeking Pioneer Park Reviews

Salt Lake City is seeking public input on the revitalization of Pioneer Park. The city launched a poll on Friday to gauge what the public expects from the downtown park. He also organizes a field day and a movie night on Saturdays. The park is home to the city’s weekly farmer’s market. It is also traditionally a gathering place for people experiencing homelessness in the city. Earlier this month, a woman was stabbed in the park. Police arrived and shot the man after charging the officers with a knife. The investigation will be open until July 21. – Caroline ballard

Region / Nation

Supporters of worried history of boarding schools can lead to trauma

News of another unmarked mass grave discovered at a residential school has had an emotional impact on residential school survivors and their loved ones in the United States. But mental health care resources for survivors and their loved ones are limited due to severe underfunding of the Indian Federal Health Service. Advocates call on the Home Office to increase funding before asking survivors to share their stories. Crisis counseling services are available to those dealing with the news on the Residential School Survivors’ website and hotline. – Savannah Maher, Mountain West Press Office

Navajo President Jonathan Nez comments on anonymous graves

The US Department of the Interior announced this week that it would investigate the residential schools it ran for Native American children in the 19th and 20th centuries. It follows the discovery of hundreds of anonymous graves at a residential school for Indigenous students in Canada. Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez told KUER he was happy the United States was paying attention to a dark period in its history. “Put these types of stories in the textbooks of every school across the country so people know what indigenous people went through,” Nez said. The US government operated a residential school for native children in Brigham City, Utah, from 1950 to 1984. Children from several tribes, including the Navajo nation, were sent there. Listen to the full interview with Nez here. – Kate Groetzinger, Bluff

read more
Utah economy

Report: Nevada’s children among the worst affected by pandemic

A new report reveals that children in Nevada suffered more during the pandemic than those in many other states, and that small child welfare gains made before the pandemic may have been reversed.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2021 Kids Count report found that many Latin and black families in particular were going through a difficult time even before the COVID-19 closures resulted in so many job losses.

Tara Raines, Director of Kids Count Initiatives for the Alliance for the Defense of Children, said Nevada needs to tackle some big issues.

“The report released after the pandemic showed that we were suffering more than the national average on the four key points,” she said, “and it was health insurance, parents with feelings of hopelessness and despair. depression, housing insecurity and food insecurity. “

Using data from 2019, the report ranks Nevada 41st in the United States for child economic well-being and 46th for education. It found that 60% of fourth graders read below grade level and 74% of eighth graders do not have proficiency in math. But those statistics represent a gradual improvement over the 2010 figures. Nevada’s teenage birth rate and the number of adolescents in school have also improved.

The report also contained good news, finding that the US economy had started to recover in March. Leslie Boissiere, vice president of external affairs for the Casey Foundation, said child poverty is set to drop significantly in July – once the money begins to flow from the expanded child tax credit under the plan. American rescue.

“For families with children under the age of 6, it is $ 300 per month that these families will receive,” she said. “So at a time when families are worried about being able to pay their mortgage, or paying their rent or providing food for their families, this is a significant amount.”

The child tax credit expires in December; President Joe Biden has asked for his five-year extension. The report recommended that Congress make income supports permanent for low-income families.

read more
Salt lake city government

Can Utah – and its residents – survive the cut in federal COVID-19 unemployment assistance?

Is Utah’s economy and tens of thousands of workers still out of work ready for a change on Saturday that comes with a $ 50 million prize?

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said his decision to end pandemic-related federal unemployment benefits to some 24,000 Utahns two months ahead of the deadline was the right call amid rising employment from state and robust recovery from the impacts of COVID-19.

But some say they face constant challenges finding work even as the state’s unemployment rate drops to 2.7% and employers advertise 70,000 current job openings. A southern Utah resident recently wrote to the governor describing the hardships he and his wife face as she struggles to find work after losing her job during the pandemic.

“It affects us personally,” said Barry Brumfield of St. George.

The governor gives the reason for the cut

“This is the next natural step in getting the condition and people’s lives back to normal,” Cox said in May when the decision was announced. “I believe in the value of hard work. With the lowest unemployment rate in the country … and many well-paying jobs available today, it makes sense to step away from those added benefits that were never meant to be permanent.

“The market should not be competing with the government for workers. “

He also noted that other “safety net programs” such as assistance with rent, utilities, food and medical bills will still be available.

Stephen Cashon, employment counselor with the Utah Department of Workforce Services, helps Juan Rodriguez apply for a new piece of ID so he can apply for jobs at the department's offices in <a class=Salt Lake City on Tuesday, June 22, 2021.” data-upload-width=”3000″ src=”–bMQQvUxFVfEX8PQyD_b84M=/0x0:3000×2071/1200×0/filters:focal(0x0:3000×2071):no_upscale()/”/>

Stephen Cashon, employment counselor with the Utah Department of Workforce Services, helps Juan Rodriguez apply for a new piece of ID so he can apply for jobs at the department’s offices in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, June 22, 2021.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Cox is one of some two dozen Republican state governors across the United States who have made similar decisions regarding the early end of federal pandemic benefits, saying the added benefit keeps people from wanting to work.

Labor experts say the shortage isn’t just about the $ 300 payment. Some unemployed people have also been reluctant to look for work because of fear of catching the virus. Others have found new occupations rather than returning to their old jobs. And many women, especially working mothers, have had to leave the workforce to care for children.

Following Cox’s announcement, Utah House Minority Leader Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, highlighted these factors while expressing frustration with the governor’s decision to end the benefits. in Utah.

“I mean, it’s the perfect example of a disconnect between people in normal life and people who are struggling to get back on their feet,” King said. “There are many, many people who are worried – afraid – of going back to work. “

What “frustrates me the most,” King said, is that Cox’s decision “reflects this thinking from many across the aisle that people don’t want to work. This is fundamentally wrong.

In early June, the Utah Department of Workforce Services reported that just over 24,700 residents were on some type of unemployment benefit, of which about 12,000 were on traditional benefits plus the federally funded pandemic allowance of $ 300 per week. About 11,000 others were still receiving unemployment insurance benefits under federal extensions also created to mitigate the economic impacts of COVID-19 on American workers. And about 1,200 Utah gig workers – people employed by companies like Uber, Lyft, GrubHub, and others who are classified as contractors who are exempt from typical unemployment benefits – have also received benefits under federal emergency warrants. While federal deadlines for most pandemic-related benefits for the unemployed are due to expire in early September, Cox’s order suspends them 10 weeks ahead of schedule.

And it’s a decision that worries Barry and Stacey Brumfield.

An IT position is available for a job seeker at the Utah Department of Workforce Services in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, June 22, 2021.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

The experience of a family

In an interview with Deseret News, Barry Brumfield said he was a longtime Republican who also voted for Cox in the 2020 Utah gubernatorial election, but felt that the governor’s decision to reduce early federal pandemic benefits was a bad call.

“We are very unhappy with this decision,” said Brumfield. “We truly believe in the individual rights and benefits of your own hard labor, but we have come to the point where we feel our hard work has been lost.

“We support the other things that (Cox) does, but that’s our only argument because it affects us personally.”

Brumfield, who is retired, said his wife lost her 13-year job at SkyWest last year as the air travel industry was nearly at a standstill by the pandemic. As Stacey Brumfield continues to look for work, Barry Brumfield said the only offers she had had so far were for minimum wage jobs and at 63 she was unable to start a new job. new career.

In a letter to Cox, Barry Brumfield wrote that his wife’s job search experiences have led her to believe that employers in their area are looking for younger prospects.

“Governor, you may think you are doing what is best for your constituents, but my wife and I are among those who will be greatly affected and hurt by your decision,” Brumfield wrote. “My wife’s job is ‘essential’ so that we can pay the bills and stay out of poverty.

“However, my wife, who worked in the airline industry for 13 years, lost her job due to the pandemic and the drastic decline in airline operations. Now she is unemployed by the state and the federal government, which is vital for us. She is 63 years old and has been looking for a job since the start of the pandemic. His attempts to find a job were unsuccessful due to his age !!! Businesses want someone younger !! said the letter.

The Brumfields aren’t the only Utahns who find themselves both nearing the end of their career and currently looking for a job. As of June 17, the Department of Workforce Services reports 13% of those currently unemployed are 60 years or older.

But the majority – 68% – of those who will be affected by the suspension of federal pandemic benefits are in the “peak working age” category of 25 to 54.

And that’s a statistic that some economists say bodes well for Utah’s overall economy, which continues to outperform the rest of the country.

Utah can absorb lost federal aid

Phil Dean, former director of the state budget and current senior public finance researcher at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah, said Utah’s economy is well positioned to absorb the $ 50 million that will be lost in the suspension of federal benefits in the event of a pandemic.

“I just think we’re at a point in the economic recovery where it really makes sense to do it,” Dean said. “Overall, the elimination of the benefits will have a negligible impact on the economy … although some pockets will recover more slowly than others and some households will feel these changes.”

Dean said it’s important to remember that standard UI benefit programs will remain in place and those who fail to find employment will still have access to the standard claims process.

He said that while the programs launched by the federal government to mitigate the worst economic impacts of COVID-19 on individuals and families were the right answer at the time, current circumstances no longer demand the additional benefits.

“The scale of the challenge we had in the midst of the pandemic along with the government’s involvement in restricting the private sector made the initial response entirely appropriate,” Dean said. “And it’s entirely appropriate now to take those enhanced benefits and go back to the traditional programs and system.”

At a virtual Facebook event on June 15, Cox reiterated his belief that his decision to end the pandemic-related benefit and allowance extensions was the right economic call and highlighted efforts to channel additional funds towards worker retraining programs.

Cox said the state has spent $ 16.5 million to help more than 5,700 people get training and find better employment opportunities through the Learn and Work program. He also noted in a press release that the state has committed an additional $ 15 million that will go to Utah training institutions to help those who want to upgrade their skills improve their employment opportunities.

You can find more information on the possibilities for retraining at and

read more
Utah economy

Red state takeover fuels GOP fight against Biden spending plans

Businesses, economists and policymakers are divided over whether the policies of conservative governors on unemployment benefits and Covid-19 restrictions – many of them have chosen not to issue any at all. Stay-at-home orders – are actually helping their savings or so industries in their states simply haven’t fallen as far behind during the pandemic.

Yet the patchy recovery and poor job growth reported in April and May gave Republicans ammunition to repudiate Biden’s costly aid plans. They also stoked Conservative concerns that federal aid, particularly the $ 1.9 trillion American rescue plan which passed without GOP support in March – should have focused more on those most in need.

“Overall, the funds could have been used much better by being more focused,” said Rachel Greszler, economist at the Heritage Foundation. Congress should have tied UI to workers’ incomes or allowed states to use federal aid to distribute their own benefits based on labor market needs “in whatever way they thought best suited them.” , she said.

The seven states that chose not to issue a stay-at-home order last year – Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Utah – were all led by GOP governors.

Republican-led states were also very early to relax trade restrictions in the event of a pandemic and hide mandates: Missouri, Montana, Iowa, and Alaska were among the first states to reduce their trade needs by January and February. Texas, Arizona, Arkansas, New Hampshire and Wyoming followed in March.

Of those states, Montana, New Hampshire, Arkansas, South Dakota, Utah, Missouri and Nebraska returned to pre-pandemic economic activity levels in April and reported lower unemployment. at the national rate of 5.8% in May.

By comparison, states that still have some restrictions on coronaviruses, including California, Connecticut and Hawaii, had the highest unemployment rates in the country in May and were still producing less in April than before the pandemic.

Washington lawmakers sent direct checks to millions of middle- and low-income Americans and supplemented state unemployment benefits with additional weekly payments and coverage for workers traditionally ineligible for unemployment assistance . They also distributed $ 1,000 billion in government guaranteed repayable loans to small businesses under the Paycheck Protection Program, initially on a first come, first served basis.

Other economists wonder if Congress could have maneuvered as precisely as Greszler suggested to save the economy early on, amid a flood of business closures and tens of millions of layoffs caused by health restrictions. pandemic.

“There aren’t a lot of nuances you can use in politics when trying to get the money out as quickly as possible and adapt to local situations for every worker in the state,” said Daniel Zhao. , senior economist. at Glassdoor. “It is very difficult to bring help to all those who need it at the same time, and in a way that is actually targeted at individual situations.

The uneven nature of the recovery partly reflects the diversity of state economies. States like New York, California, Hawaii and Nevada that rely heavily on tourism, as well as food and accommodation, are among the deepest of the economic hole and have the longest way to go, according to the The Federal Reserve’s April State Coincidence Index, which estimates economic conditions based on local employment and wage data corresponding to state GDP trends.

Hawaii’s economic activity in April was 13% lower than it was in January 2020, according to the index. Activity in Nevada and New York is also still down nearly 10% from before the pandemic. Florida, down just 1%, is doing better.

But states like Utah, Idaho, South Dakota, and Nebraska that rely heavily on food processing and manufacturing – industries deemed critical and required to stay open during the pandemic – are falling back to the forefront. normal much faster.

“What we are seeing is the states that were the most down at the start are still the most down, and it’s basically the states that depend the most on travel,” said Michael Ettlinger, founding principal of the Carsey School. of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire. “There’s just more destruction, if you will, in these states, and it’s just going to take longer to come back. “

The advantage that GOP-led states such as Georgia, Mississippi, Arizona and Missouri enjoy in rebounding from the pandemic has fueled Republican attacks on Biden’s policies.

More than two dozen GOP governors have decided to end federally-funded extra unemployment benefits, citing labor shortages they say are triggered by generosity. In Congress, Republican lawmakers use a similar argument against Biden’s plans to spend $ 4 trillion to shore up the nation’s infrastructure and expand social programs.

“Our goal should be to rebuild the economy as quickly as possible, not to subsidize it,” said Sen. Mike Rounds (RS.D.), who cited the extension of unemployment benefits. as a reason to vote against an aid plan put in place by the Democrats in March.

Some economists say it is not clear whether generous unemployment benefits are a factor preventing jobs from being filled.

A June analysis of the United States Chamber of Commerce itself has found that the ratio of available workers to job openings is what it was before the pandemic. Before Covid, “companies struggled to fill openings because available workers lacked the skills companies needed,” wrote senior economist Curtis Dubay. “This problem persists now.”

And an analysis of May from the hiring website Indeed’s chief economist, Jed Kolko, found that job search activity in states ending federal benefits saw a brief temporary jump on the platform shortly after. time after the governors announced they would.

Economists, as well as the Biden administration, also say issues such as lingering hardships for parents at daycare, lingering fear of contracting the virus, and an economy that appears to have gone from zero to 60 in a matter of weeks have likely the strongest effect.

“We have this kind of race to the bottom, state after state, with Republican governors… ending the benefits and, frankly, misleading people,” said Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore .). “They tried to make a big deal by saying we were cutting the extra $ 300. This is simply not true. They cut an extra week, they cut the concert workers, if someone has exhausted state benefits.

With about 4 million Americans – disproportionately workers of color and women – faced “virtually zero income … which makes the need for federal reform much more serious,” he said.

“This crazy quilt of state systems that offer different levels of data, unemployment benefits and approaches to reopening highlights to me the need, the urgency for fundamental reform,” Wyden said.

He campaigns for an overhaul of the unemployment system that would unite all states under a single benefit infrastructure and create automatic triggers that tie benefits to economic conditions, among other things.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Wyden proposed last year to extend the unemployment benefits program until a state’s unemployment rate falls below 6%, but Republicans were hesitant to support a long-term extension of unemployment assistance financed by taxpayers.

Had Congress passed the proposal last July, 27 states would currently have unemployment rates low enough to phase out the extra $ 300 in additional benefits under the program.

“Hopefully this will spark a conversation after the pandemic ends on how to improve our safety net,” Zhao said, “not just in terms of expanding it, but also making sure it actually reaches the people it needs and reaches them quickly when help is needed.

read more
Utah economy

NM does not have a real strategic plan to make R&D profitable ”Albuquerque Journal

The Albuquerque Journal recently published: “Census Wakeup Call: State’s low growth shows the need for tough conversations and big political improvements.” This column shows where New Mexico’s rank lags behind that of neighboring states. The question is how to solve this problem. New Mexico needs to have a vision for its economic future and a strategy to implement that vision, but where are we now? Let’s take a look at the data comparing Bernalillo County to high tech, Utah County, Utah where Provo is located.

Between 1998 and 2014, Utah County had a median household income that was $ 15,000 higher than that of Bernalillo County. In 2015, Utah County’s median household income was $ 19,000 higher than that of Bernalillo County. By 2019, this difference had grown to $ 23,000. For most states, their largest city leads the economic development of that state.

Cities with high tech and private sector economies eg Austin, Denver, Salt Lake City, Chandler, Provo, etc. In general, high-tech cities have median household incomes of $ 80,000 or more; large cities in the interior of the United States with no private sector, high-tech economy have median household incomes of $ 55,000 to $ 60,000; and rural areas and small towns have median household incomes of $ 40,000 and less.

In 2017, according to a Brookings study, Albuquerque had a per capita investment of $ 259 in academic research and development (R&D) in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), compared to just $ 60 for Provo. More than $ 3,000 per person is spent on R&D in New Mexico – the nation’s fifth largest – while Utah spends $ 1,200. New Mexico is unlikely to prosper from more investment in R&D unless it learns how to get more out of its R&D funds.

Many believe that high-tech jobs like those created in Utah are only available to masters of science and doctorates. STEM graduates. However, the American Association for the Advancement of Science has determined that even though STEM employment supports 69% of U.S. GDP, 60% of STEM professionals hold less than a bachelor’s degree.

………………………………………….. ……………. …………..

The congressional bill, The Endless Frontiers Act, lists key technological areas that the United States must address to be economically and militarily competitive with China: artificial intelligence and machine learning; high performance computing, semiconductors and advanced computer hardware; quantum computing and information systems; advanced robotics, automation and manufacturing; prevention of natural or man-made disasters; advanced communication technology; biotechnology, genomics and synthetic biology; cybersecurity, data storage and management technologies; advanced energy; and materials science, engineering and exploration relevant to other key technologies.

These are the technologies that New Mexico’s defense labs will focus on in the future. At 25% of the state’s GDP, these defense laboratories are our most important economic asset; during their boom, oil and natural gas accounted for 10%.

New Mexico has contracted SRI to lead our state’s strategic planning effort. The state targets the “industries” of outdoor recreation, value-added agriculture, global trade, advanced manufacturing, biosciences, film and television, cybersecurity, aerospace and renewable energies. Four of them are listed in the Endless Frontiers Act. It is imperative that our state does its strategic planning well and does not focus on building industries with low median household income. As the data shows, we went and we did.

read more
Salt lake city

Salt Lake City Continues Olympic Bid Discussions With LA 2028; IOC President minimizes urgency to organize 2030 Winter Games

Salt Lake City’s increased efforts to host a second Olympic Winter Games include ongoing discussions with organizers of the Los Angeles 2028 Summer Games, Susanne Lyons, president of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee confirmed on Monday. (USOPC), from its headquarters in Colorado Springs.

Rice-Eccles Stadium and the 2002 Olympic Cauldron in Salt Lake City. SLC 2002 generated an operating surplus of over US $ 50 million.

The talks show the Utah capital is keen to run for the previous Games in 2030, even as organizers say they may have to wait until 2034.

Holding the Games just 18 months apart in the United States could be financially inefficient for both events and the USOPC, as the exclusive sponsorship windows will overlap and there is a risk that some disposable income will be split. Organizers in Los Angeles, who won the Games in 2017, are expected to sign the Salt Lake City 2030 Games and may ask for concessions in return.

Other insiders have suggested that the double blow of the back-to-back Summer and Winter Games could be a marketing boon for sponsors and provide efficiencies that reduce the costs of hosting both events.

“We are very much aware that there are interlocking threads,” Lyons said. by conference call referring to conversations between the Salt Lake City-Utah Games Committee (SLC-UTAH), the LA 2028 Organizing Committee and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Last week, SLC-UTAH took it up a notch by appointing Olympian Catherine Raney Norman as the new bid chair and adding top athletes to the board including Lindsey Vonn, Apolo Ohno and Monte Meier.

SLC-UTAH President Fraser Bullock was frank with The sports examiner when he indicated a clear preference to host in 2030 over 2034. He said that “our sites are well supported by the [2002] endowment, but the endowment is decreasing, and over time it’s going to get smaller and smaller, and can we keep our sites active? It was never intended to last this long, so there are going to be financial hardships to keep everything alive until 2034. Frankly, the numbers don’t add up.

“I think the other thing is – very important – back to the athletes. “34 is a long wait for the Games to come back here, and if we’re going to re-energize the USA team in winter sports, I think ’30 would be a lot stronger for us. “

But Lyons stressed that no decision has been made and that opportunities exist either year “if and when we bring the Winter Games back to the United States.”

Lyons also pointed out that there would be little movement with the bid ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which is slated to open on July 23.

Earlier this month, IOC President Thomas Bach downplayed the urgency of awarding the next available Winter Games slated for 2030 despite news that Brisbane is set to sign the host city contract to host the Summer Games two years later in 2032, when members meet to vote on plans in Tokyo next month.

Bach said “We’re in no rush, you know we’re still nine years ahead of these Winter Games, so it’s a work in progress. Let’s see when when [the IOC Future Host Commission] will find something [to report to Executive Board].

He added: “The organization of the Winter Games is somewhat more complex than the organization of the Summer Games because Olympic size swimming pools are available almost everywhere in the world, but there are not so many of mountains where you can organize a descent. Some of them therefore require further study.

The Winter Games are usually awarded seven years in advance, but in 2019 new reforms eliminated the deadlines and now allow the IOC Executive Board to nominate a candidate for election at any time. Interested cities engage in an ongoing dialogue with future IOC Host Commissions until a preferred candidate is recognized. With Salt Lake City, 2030 bidders emerged from Vancouver in Canada, Sapporo in Japan and Pyrenees-Barcelona. Quebec in Canada has also expressed interest and other jurisdictions may be involved, but the IOC has said it will keep the names of interested bidders confidential.

Beijing is expected to host the 2022 Winter Games in February and Milan-Cortina is preparing to host the event in 2026.

read more
Salt lake city government

PM News Brief: Wildfire Preparedness, Utah Transportation Authority Oversight, and Rise in COVID-19

Monday evening June 21, 2021


Utah sees increase in COVID-19 cases

Utah is seeing a slight increase in new COVID-19 cases and test positivity rates. This is according to data from the state Department of Health. The weekly average of daily new cases is currently 293. The positivity rate is now 5.5%. Both figures are up from a week ago. Over 60% of eligible Utahns have now received at least one dose of vaccine and just over half are now fully immunized. – Caroline ballard

Utah Transit Authority Ends Federal Government Oversight

The Utah Transit Authority will no longer be overseen by the federal government. In 2017, the transportation authority and the United States Attorney’s Office in Utah agreed to the surveillance. Prior to that, UTA had been investigated for such things as its service operations, the use of federal funds, and grant applications. As a result, an independent law firm took a look at how he was doing his business. In a letter on Monday, the prosecutor’s office said it was satisfied with the results of the surveillance and the UTA’s commitment to “do it right.” – Ross Terrell

Northern Utah

Plane crash in Tooele County kills two, forest fire

A small plane crash in Tooele County killed two people and started a forest fire. The accident happened Thursday evening. A small plane crashed southwest of Salt Lake City, near Rush Valley. The cause of the accident was not immediately clear. The identity of the deceased was not immediately disclosed. According to Utah Fire Info, the Morgan Canyon Fire burned 157 acres over mostly steep and rugged terrain. – Associated press

Responsibly Recreating in Utah Reservoirs

At least four people drowned in Utah tanks last week. Now state and local authorities are urging people to use caution when recreating themselves this summer. Three of those deaths have occurred at Deer Creek Reservoir since June 17. None of them wore life jackets. There was also a big blow to Jordanelle over the weekend. State law requires everyone to have a life jacket handy on the water. Devan Chavez, of the state’s Parks and Recreation Division, said they all appeared to be “unfortunate accidents.” He said it may sound simple, but wearing life jackets saves lives. Read the full story. – Lexi Peery, Saint-Georges

Region / Nation

People overestimate forest fire preparedness

New research from the Institute of Behavioral Science at the University of Colorado at Boulder shows how residents of mountain communities can underestimate wildfire risk and overestimate their preparedness. In the town of Bailey, Colorado, 22% of those surveyed rated their property as high risk, while professional wildfire appraisals showed a rate of 61%. – Maggie Mullen, Mountain West Press Office

read more
Salt lakes real estate

Idaho’s drought could be solved by borrowing the Great Lakes

Do you think it’s hot for June? You haven’t seen ‘nuthin’ yet! A forecast I looked at this morning suggested triple-digit highs should become a routine at the end of next weekend and into the next week. The forecast also indicates that it is not raining. Keep in mind that these same long term forecasts are frequently subject to change, but I would like to make another point. Once a summer model sets in, they often stay with us for a while.

The water going down a pipe is already running. It is also not usually an environmental threat if water is leaking.

This is the second year of our drought. Some are seeing indications that it started even earlier. Last week, one of our gun show hosts recounted a previous seven-year drought. During its lifetime.

An old friend recently retired from a post as director of a science museum. He told me that in the past some parts of the west have experienced droughts that have lasted 200 years. I’m not sure we’re headed there, but I also remember a conversation from my days on TV 25 years ago.

The demographics already showed the enormous displacement of the population towards the west. Las Vegas was growing like gangbusters, and Scottsdale, Ariz. Did the same in the 1980s. Some guy told me the water would be shipped west of the Great Lakes. How? ‘Or’ What? By pipeline.

When you consider the opposition we have seen in recent years to building pipelines, it might sound silly. Or maybe not. The water going down a pipe is already running. It is also not usually an environmental threat if water is leaking.

Popular will is the key. Millions of thirsty Western voters will have a lot of influence on politics. As the region grows, so does its power in the United States House of Representatives. By design, the Senate is already sympathetic to Western concerns.

Lake Michigan could arrive in Idaho.

WATCH: Here are America’s 50 Best Beach Towns

Each beach town has its own set of pros and cons, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best to live in. To find out, Stacker took a look at WalletHub data, released on June 17, 2020, which compares US beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The towns had a population of 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From these rankings, we have selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will not be surprised to learn that many of the cities featured here are in one of these two states.

Read on to see if your favorite beach town has made the cut.

read more
Utah economy

Las Vegas pushes land swap to balance growth and conservation – St George News

This file photo, Feb. 9, 2005, shows the suburbs of Las Vegas from the top of the Stratosphere Tower looking west on Sahara Avenue towards the Spring Mountains. Despite the drought, cities in the American West expect their populations to increase dramatically over the next several decades. From Phoenix to Boise, officials are working to ensure they have the resources, infrastructure and housing supply needed to meet growth projections. In parts of the region, their efforts are limited by the fact that sprawling metropolitan areas are surrounded by federally owned land. US Senator Catherine Cortez Masto Wants To Fix Las Vegas Problem By Tightening Protections Of Some Public Land While Approving The Sale Of Others To Commercial And Residential Developers | Associated Press File Photo by Joe Cavaretta, St. George News

CARSON CITY, Nevada (AP) – The record heat and historic drought in the western United States does little to discourage cities from planning to welcome millions of new residents in the decades to come.

In this October 11, 2016 file photo, a gypsum mine owned by developer Jim Rhodes, who wants to develop housing on the site, is seen in the foreground while the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is seen in the distance . Despite the drought, cities in the American West expect their populations to increase dramatically over the next several decades. | Photo courtesy of LE Baskow / Las Vegas Sun via AP, St. George News

From Phoenix to Boise, authorities are preparing for a future that is both more human and less water-intensive, seeking to balance growth and conservation. Development is constrained by the fact that 46% of the western region of 11 states is federal land, managed by agencies like the US Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management who are responsible for maintaining it for future generations.

This has led officials in states like Nevada and Utah to press the federal government to approve land transfers to allow developers to build homes and businesses on what was previously land. public. Supporters of both states have wowed environmentalists in the past with provisions that allocate revenue to conservation projects, preserve other federal lands, and prevent road construction, logging, or energy exploration.

A small group of opponents argue that the systematic endorsement of this type of “trade” to facilitate growth is not sustainable, especially in areas that depend on dwindling water supplies.

For the seven states that depend on the Colorado River – Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming – a regional drought is so severe that less water is flowing to Lake Mead and Lake Powell, the two artificial reservoirs where the river water is stored.

If the level of Lake Mead continues to decline throughout the summer as planned, the federal government will likely issue its very first official declaration of shortage, leading to reductions in the water share that Arizona and Nevada have. receive.

The situation is playing out in the Las Vegas area, where environmental groups, local officials and home builders have united behind a proposal from U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto that was heard in the Senate this week.

The Nevada Democrat is pushing what she calls the largest conservation bill in state history to designate more than 3,125 square miles of land for additional protections – roughly the size of Delaware and the United States. Rhode Island combined – and 48 square miles for commercial and residential development, which is about the size of San Francisco.

Some environmentalists support the proposal because it would add federal land to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area for recreation and reclassify undeveloped parts of Clark County, where Las Vegas is located, and the Desert National Wildlife Refuge as Bureau of Land Management’s “wilderness areas”, which offer stronger protections than national parks.

Jocelyn Torres, field director for the Conservation Lands Foundation, said during the Senate hearing on Wednesday that the protections would restore the lands to capture carbon more effectively, which would help mitigate rising temperatures.

“Our public lands present our best chance to tackle climate change, our biodiversity crisis and invest in our local communities and economy,” she said.

FILE – In this August 13, 2020 file photo, a light mineral tub ring marks the high water mark of Lake Mead in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area near Boulder City, Nevada | Photo by John Locher / Associated Press, St. George News

The effort reflects land management efforts over the past decade in Washington and Emery counties in Utah to designate the wilderness and sell other plots to developers to meet growth projections. The US Census Bureau reported that St. George, in Washington County, was the fifth fastest growing metropolitan area in the country last year.

In both regions, affordable housing is one of the authorities’ main concerns. Soaring house prices in California have added to a flow of people leaving for neighboring states like Nevada, Arizona and Colorado, where open land, lower tax rates and jobs attract new residents.

The fast growing Las Vegas area lacks housing supply to meet projected population growth. A 2019 study from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, which found that references to Cortez Masto’s legislation predicted that the population of Clark County would increase by 35%, to 3.1 million, from by 2060. This peak will be difficult to manage without building in existing communities or public lands.

“As a result of this federal ownership, our planning and development options are very limited and require constant coordination with federal agencies,” said Marcie Henson, director of the Clark County Air Quality Department.

Growth can stretch an already limited water supply. Water officials back the proposal, which allocates funds for the maintenance of canals used to recycle sewage through Lake Mead. The region has adopted some of the most aggressive conservation measures in the American West, including an outright ban on decorative grass in some places, to prepare for growth.

Last year, water officials predicted a worst-case scenario in which consumption patterns and climate change could force them to find alternative supplies as early as 2056. Critics say the projections are concerning.

“This legislation has no sustainable water supply identified in 50 years,” said Kyle Roerink, executive director of the Nevada-based Great Basin Water Network conservation group. “When you combine that with everything we read about Lake Mead and the Colorado River, it is very precarious to introduce a bill that invites 825,000 more people into the Mojave Desert. “

Southern Nevada Water Authority chief executive John Entsminger said in a statement that the proposal “helps secure the water resources and facilities that SNWA needs to provide reliable and safe water to our customers for decades to come “.

When Cortez Masto’s proposal was brought forward, there was little question of how water accommodates future growth plans or whether the conservation elements of the bill might have an impact.

Roerink said the plan’s funding allocations for water infrastructure must be accompanied by additional “serious and realistic modeling” of the Colorado River.

“When an entity says, ‘Let’s go build houses in this area’, it implies that the water will be there in perpetuity,” he said.

Written by SAM METZ, Associated Press / Report for America.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

read more
Utah economy

Moderate Iranian candidate concedes victory for head of the judiciary Ebrahim Raisi

The only moderate in the Iranian presidential election conceded defeat on Saturday morning to the country’s head of radical justice. It signaled that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s protégé won a vote he dominated after his stronger competitor was disqualified.

Former moderate head of the Central Bank Abdolnasser Hemmati and former Revolutionary Guard commander Mohsen Rezaei congratulated Ebrahim Raisi.

In the first results, Raisi won 17.8 million votes, compared to 3.3 million for Rezaei and 2.4 million for Hemmati, said Jamal Orf, head of the electoral headquarters of Iran’s interior ministry. The fourth candidate in the race, Amirhossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi, got around 1 million votes, Orf said.

The first results announced also appeared to show that the race had the lowest turnout in the country since the Islamic Revolution of 1979. However, the vote did not have international observers to monitor the election as in previous years.

This makes Raisi – who faces US sanctions for his role in the mass executions – the clear winner of the race. It was then that his candidacy sparked widespread apathy among eligible voters in the Islamic Republic, which has long retained participation as a sign of support for the theocracy since its 1979 Islamic revolution.

The swift concessions, while not unusual in previous Iranian elections, signaled what semi-official news agencies in Iran had hinted at for hours: that the carefully controlled vote had been a resounding victory for Raisi amid the calls from some for a boycott.

Hemmati offered his congratulations on Instagram to Raisi early on Saturday.

“I hope that your administration is a source of pride for the Islamic Republic of Iran, improves the economy and life with comfort and well-being for the great Iranian nation,” he wrote.

On Twitter, Rezaei congratulated Khamenei and the Iranian people for participating in the vote.

“God willing, the decisive election of my esteemed brother Ayatollah Dr Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi promises the establishment of a strong and popular government to solve the country’s problems,” Rezaei wrote.

As night fell on Friday, the turnout appeared to be much lower than in the last Iranian presidential election in 2017. At a polling station in a mosque in central Tehran, a Shiite cleric played football with a youth. boy while most of his employees were napping in a yard. In another, officials watched videos on their cellphones as state television screamed alongside them, offering only tight shots of locations across the country – as opposed to long election lines. past.

Voting ended at 2 a.m. on Saturday, after the government extended the vote to accommodate what it called “overcrowding” at several polling stations nationwide. The paper ballots, crammed into large plastic boxes, were to be counted by hand overnight, and authorities said they expected to have the first results and turnout numbers by Saturday morning at the most. early.

“My vote will not change anything in this election, the number of people voting for Raisi is huge and Hemmati does not have the skills to do this,” said Hediyeh, a 25-year-old woman who gave only her first name. . rushing to a taxi in Haft-e Tir Square after avoiding the ballot box. “I don’t have a candidate here.”

Iranian state television has sought to downplay participation, singling out the Arab sheikhs in the Gulf around it, led by hereditary rulers and low participation in Western democracies. After a day of escalating authorities’ attempts to get the vote out, state television overnight aired scenes from crowded voting booths in several provinces, seeking to portray a last-minute rush to the polls.

But since the 1979 revolution toppled the shah, the Iranian theocracy has cited voter turnout as a sign of its legitimacy, starting with its first referendum which won 98.2% support and which simply asked if people wanted or not an Islamic Republic.

The disqualifications affected reformists and supporters of Rouhani, whose administration both struck the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and saw it disintegrate three years later with America’s unilateral withdrawal. of the deal by then-President Donald Trump. Former radical president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, also barred from running, said on social media that he would boycott the vote.

Voter apathy has also been fueled by the devastated state of the economy and a moderate campaign amid months of rising coronavirus cases. Poll workers wore gloves and masks, and some wiped the ballot boxes with disinfectants.

If elected, Raisi would be the first sitting Iranian president to be sanctioned by the US government even before taking office for his involvement in the mass execution of political prisoners in 1988, as well as for his tenure as head. of the internationally criticized Iranian justice system – one of the best executioners in the world.

It would also firmly put hard-line supporters in control across the government as negotiations in Vienna continue in an attempt to salvage a tattered deal meant to limit Iran’s nuclear program at a time when Tehran is enriching Iran. uranium at its highest level ever recorded, although it is still short. weapon quality levels. Tensions remain high with the United States and Israel, which reportedly carried out a series of attacks targeting Iranian nuclear sites and assassinated the scientist who created his military atomic program decades earlier.

Whoever wins will likely serve two four-year terms and therefore could lead what could be one of the most pivotal moments for the country in decades – the death of Khamenei, 82. Speculation has already started that Raisi could be a candidate for the post, along with Khamenei’s son, Mojtaba.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To learn more, visit
read more
Salt lake city

The University of Utah: Celebrate and Reflect on June

June 18, 2021

On the eve of June 17 of this year, we reflect on the significance of June 19, 1865, a day now commemorated as a federal holiday to mark the end of slavery in the United States. As leaders of the University of Utah, we echo the call to use this new national holiday as a day of reflection and action.

While we recognize this important national legislation as a critical step in our country’s work to address our history of racism, we recognize that there is still a lot of work to be done. Our efforts to dismantle systemic racism require continued attention and a strong commitment to fostering this work on our campus.

To that end, the university fully endorses the June resolution of the Utah higher education system which calls on higher education to continue its commitments and actions to advance fairness, justice and accountability. You can read the full resolution from USHE here.

As you reflect on Juneteenth, we ask that you take the time to learn about the ongoing work of our Equity, Diversity & Inclusion team, as well as what Juneteenth means to members of our University community. Both of these resources are available here:

We look forward to celebrating and commemorating this important day in the years to come with programming and events that mark the significance of this event. We encourage everyone at all levels of the university to do the same.


Michael Bon | Acting President

Dan Reed | Senior Vice-President, Academic Affairs

Mary Ann Villarreal | Vice President for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Lori McDonald | Vice-President of Student Affairs

Jeff Herring | Human Resources Director

This press release was produced by the University of Utah. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.

read more