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Utah economy

Housing market 2022: how will rising interest rates affect prices?

The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates this week – likely by 0.25% – for the first time in three years, in hopes of containing soaring inflation.

As a result, mortgage rates will also rise. So what will this mean for the housing market?

In the West, especially for high-demand states like Utah, it’s not good.

“It’s bad,” said Dejan Eskic, senior fellow at the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, who specializes in housing research.

While the nation’s average 30-year fixed mortgage rate has edged closer to 4%, 67% of Utah households are “locked out” of the state’s median price home, according to Eskic’s calculations.

The median priced single-family home in Utah was $512,000 statewide in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to the National Association of Realtors.

“A full two-thirds of Utah can’t afford the median-priced home anywhere because of how quickly rates have gone up over the past two months,” Eskic said.

The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate in the United States hit a record low of 2.65% in January 2021, but has jumped to 3.85% in the past three months.

If interest rates rise even further, approaching 4.5% or 5%, that percentage of Utahns who can’t afford the median-priced home could jump even closer to 70%, Eskic said.

“If you had to wait to buy in the spring, you’re probably out of luck,” Eskic said, as rising interest rates push even more homes out of reach with higher monthly loan payments.

Wait, shouldn’t higher interest rates help lower demand?

Utah’s housing problem continues to be a supply and demand issue. Shouldn’t the rise in interest rates therefore help to curb demand?

Not in today’s market, Eskic said.

Rising interest rates will slow demand, he said, but not “enough to completely slow the market because there is nothing to buy.”

Low inventory remains a big problem that is sending home prices skyrocketing.

“Typically when we see rates go up, we see a slowdown in demand. We are seeing a slowdown in prices. Sometimes the price actually goes down,” Eskic said, like when they did from mid-2018 to January 2019. Then rates hit nearly 5% and the state saw its median sale price go from $310,000 to $301,000.

But in today’s market? Don’t expect to see prices drop, he said.

“Over the past two months, rates have gone up dramatically, and we haven’t seen anything like it,” he said. “We don’t see any indication of (price) falling because stocks are so low.”

“In a normal environment,” or if the housing market was the same as it was in 2019, Eskic said interest rate hikes would cause prices to “decelerate.”

But Utah’s 2022 market is far from normal.

“The inventory is so low it’s non-existent,” he said, noting that at this time of year UtahRealEstate.com would typically have between 7,000 and 9,000 active homes for sale. “And right now, we probably have 2,000.”

“Because of that, we’re still expecting to see some pretty healthy price increases,” he said.

Even with so many Utahns sold out, Eskic said there are plenty of buyers still driving demand up, many of whom have migrated to Utah.

“It’s those two factors,” he said, “low inventory and immigration.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended housing markets across the country as thousands of Americans reassessed their lives and left big cities in search of more space at lower prices. Many looked west, especially to states like Utah, where jobs were booming, and Idaho, where housing was relatively affordable.

As a result, states like Utah and Idaho had record years for home sales and price increases. In Utah, experts have warned of a “severely unbalanced” housing market as demand continues to dramatically outpace supply.

But it’s not just the pandemic’s fault. This has only worsened and accelerated the housing problem in Utah. The housing shortage in the West began years ago in the midst of the Great Recession, after the subprime mortgage crisis sent the national and global economy into a death spiral. After the crash, homebuilding contracted and the market has struggled to keep up with demand ever since.

Will higher interest rates lower prices?

Higher interest rates may slow price increases, Eskic said, but it won’t stop them.

It will only lift what Eskic called a “mask” that has essentially hidden or softened the impact on homebuyers’ monthly payments.

In 2021, Utah home prices rose 27% statewide, breaking the 20.1% record set in 1978, set 43 years ago, according to the Salt Lake Lake Board of Realtors.

Unfortunately, in 2022 there isn’t a lot of good news for potential buyers. Prices are expected to rise further thanks to low inventories – but the good news is that they will only rise by perhaps 10%, Eskic said, instead of more than 20%.

This slice of good news rings hollow, however, when prices reach record highs.

“It will only slow the acceleration,” Eskic said. “That won’t stop him.”

So in 2022, “we’re still in a sore housing market,” he said, and he doesn’t see relief until “later in the decade, unfortunately,” when aging Utahns decide to trade in their large batches against “simplified”. », smaller batches.

For aspiring homebuyers who have been waiting, hoping prices might come down — hoping the bubble will burst like it did in 2008 — Eskic said there’s no indication the wait will lead to lower prices. price.

Even though prices are painful today, if it makes sense for you and your family, Eskic advised pulling the trigger now rather than waiting.

“It will be much cheaper to buy now,” he said, “than it will be two or three years from now.”

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Utah economy

Economic Impacts of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine: What Can Utah Expect?

Gas prices in Utah and across the country have soared in recent weeks, largely due to the economic fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and further compounded by President Joe Biden’s decision , announced Tuesday, to ban US imports of Russian oil and gas.

But alongside record high gasoline and diesel prices, which not only hit consumers on a daily basis, but can drive up the prices of a wide variety of goods and services, what other economic impacts will residents and businesses in Utah expect to see as Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine approaches the three-week mark?

On Tuesday, the Salt Lake House convened a panel of local economic and business experts, along with Republican Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, to discuss how Utah is dealing with the unrest as they continue to unfold and disrupt global economic systems.

Romney, who is a member of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he supports Biden’s actions in response to Russia’s invasion, but also noted that current and previous administrations have not done so. enough to help build a bulwark in Ukraine to deter Russian aggression.

“I think you have to give the president and his administration real credit for bringing together so many nations, within NATO and some outside of NATO, to come together to put in place the sanctions that have been established,” Romney said. “And they got tougher partly because public opinion around the world…has been so overwhelmingly opposed to Russia that nations have been willing to sign tougher sanctions than I think could have been expected. .

“The big mistake of this administration was not providing enough weapons to Ukraine to really scare Russia off and I think that was a mistake not only of this administration but of previous administrations, Republican and Democratic alike. We we simply did not take the threat of a Russian invasion seriously enough to ensure that Ukraine had the defensive armament necessary to repel an attack.

Romney noted that several commodity indices were at or near historic highs this week and said it was too early to predict what future volatility to expect in global markets. He shared his concerns that European nations, which are much more dependent on Russian exports of energy and raw materials, could be pushed into an economic recession that has a chance of dragging the United States down with it. And, he noted that the global impacts were almost certain to fuel further inflationary pressures on consumers in Utah and across the country.

While escalating gasoline prices may be the earliest and most visible evidence of global market disruptions – Utah’s average price per gallon rose nearly 70 cents last week and was at $4.19 Wednesday according to AAA, just three cents off the state’s all-time high. – the Beehive State, on average, uses less gas than most.

Natalie Gochnour, associate dean at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business and director of the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at U., attended Tuesday’s economic forum and said the great outdoors of Utah may lead to believe the state’s residents are, collectively, doing a lot of driving. But the data suggests otherwise.

“We are one of the lowest users per capita in the country,” Gochnour said. “It might surprise people because you would think we all drive long distances, but (our population) is very compact, very urban.”

Gochnour also noted that the high prices at the pump reflect that oil producers are getting the best price for the crude oil they extract and that Utah is one of the best states in the country when it comes to oil production, producing 87,000 barrels per day based on 2020 data.

And it’s a boon for local oil companies.

“When oil prices go up, if you’re not an energy-producing state, you’re only doing harm,” Gochnour said. “But when you’re an energy-producing state, you can benefit…and Utah is the 11th-largest oil-producing state in the nation.”

Gochnour said that in addition to oil and gas exports, other commodity markets in which Russian producers play an important role, such as wheat and some metals, are experiencing price escalation and that these factors come at a time when US inflation rose at its fastest. rate in decades. And this convergence of factors is likely to further fuel inflationary pressures.

But there is another factor that is likely to work in Utah’s favor when it comes to weathering the negative economic repercussions of sanctions aimed at isolating Russia from the rest of the world.

Gochnour cited pre-pandemic data indicating that of Utah’s $17 billion in exports in 2019, only about $20 million went to Russian markets. The state’s major international economic export markets are, in order, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Mexico. Russia ranked 43rd, by dollar value, in terms of export volumes that year.

Of these $20 million in Russian exports, about $6.3 million were food products, while machinery accounted for about $3.2 million and miscellaneous manufacturing generated about $3.2 million in value of goods. ‘export.

Miles Hansen, panel member and president/CEO of the World Trade Center Utah, who also spent years in the Middle East and Eastern Europe working for the US State Department, said a growing list of companies were restricting their activities in Russia and noted the impacts, due to the sanctions and the invasion itself, were also disrupting European markets in a way that required new calibrations for Utah companies there present.

“(Utah’s business community) needs to buckle up and focus on resilience,” Hansen said. “We cannot apply the practices of doing business in Europe as usual. This is going to have lasting impacts not only on raw materials, mining and energy, but also on other aspects of the economy.

But Hansen said he believes Utah is entering the current turmoil in a very strong economic position, and new opportunities will likely arise for Utah businesses that are nimble and looking for new markets.

Gochnour also sees Utah’s diverse and growing economy well positioned to meet the challenges ahead emanating from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“In Utah, we go into this global conflict in a very strong position,” Gochnour said. “We have the fastest growing economy in the country and we are one of only four states whose economy has grown in the last two years.”

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Utah economy

“Blindfolded, Balaclavas, and Handcuffs”: How Some Teens Access Utah’s Youth Treatment Programs

Katey Handel still remembers the fear she felt more than a decade ago when – at 17 – she woke up to a scruffy man towering over her.

“We can do it easily,” she recalled telling him. “Or we can do it the hard way. But you come with me.

It was 2008. Handel was living in Louisiana and had just found out she was pregnant. It had been a crisis for her family, she recalls. His older sister had come to visit and found them a hotel room to talk and spend time together.

Handel had no idea why there were now two strangers in this room, one of them grabbing her from her bed.

“I felt like I had no choice,” she said. “So I went with him. I knew then that I was pregnant. So, I didn’t want to go the hard way, whatever route that meant.

That man was Daniel Taylor, who at the time ran a youth treatment center in Cedar City, Utah called Integrity House. He had gone to Louisiana to bring Handel to his establishment with his parents’ permission. Surprising her in the middle of the night was part of the plan.

Outside the hotel room, Handel’s father was waiting in his SUV, she recalled. He was told to ride in the back with Taylor. Her father then drove them to the airport and Taylor flew with her to Cedar City, where she would stay for the next four months.

The way Handel was taken to Utah is a common tactic in the so-called “troubled teen” industry. With a parent’s consent, two people are sent to surprise their child while he is sleeping and forcibly take him to a wilderness program or residential treatment center.

These programs, many of which are based in Utah, sometimes send staff like Taylor to pick up the children. Parents can also hire a “safe transport” company whose sole purpose is to accompany teenagers to treatment centres.

This shadowy corner of the teen treatment industry is almost entirely unregulated. Carriers hired by parents can drag children from their beds, handcuff them, hold them or blindfold them. Oregon is the only state that has restricted how these companies can bring children across state lines.

In Utah, a lawmaker who recently sponsored a bill bringing regulatory reform to the state’s burgeoning teen treatment industry said he wanted to take a closer look at how children in people from all over the country travel to Utah for treatment.

Some former residents say the experience had traumatic effects that lingered into adulthood, long after leaving a treatment center.

Integrity House in Cedar City, Utah.

Integrity House in Cedar City, Utah.


Lea Hogsten | The Salt Lake Grandstand

A booming industry in Utah

There are over 100 accredited youth treatment programs in Utah. They are aimed at parents and outside agencies dealing with troubled adolescents.

Some are smaller group homes, tucked away in suburban neighborhoods like Integrity House, where Handel was sent. Others are vast horse ranches or large boarding schools. There are also wilderness therapy programs, which require teens to trek across Utah’s vast deserts and public lands.

Since 2015, some 20,000 children have been sent to adolescent treatment programs in Utah. The children come from wealthy families and foster families. Some are on juvenile probation. They may be struggling with drug abuse or eating disorders. Some are depressed or defiant. Some cut themselves or attempted suicide.

Teenagers contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to Utah’s economy each year, according to University of Utah estimates. And new data analysis from APM Reports, The Salt Lake Grandstand and KUER shows how outsized this industry is in Utah compared to other places.

For more than six years, from 2015 to 2020, 34% of teens who crossed state lines to enter a youth treatment center landed in Utah. This means that Utah receives many more children than any other state. On average, Utah receives nearly 3,000 children per year. Virginia and Texas — the next two most popular destinations where troubled teens are sent for treatment — receive between 1,200 and 1,300 children a year.


More children are placed in Utah than in any other state

Every year, thousands of children and adolescents cross state lines and are placed in treatment centers. Utah, which hosts nearly 3,000 placements a year, dominates the sector. The table below shows child placements in Utah and the 15 closest states. Unrepresented states conduct an average of less than 100 internships per year.

SOURCE: Interstate Child Care Compact (ICPC) data, 2015-2020, requested from each state. Not all states provided data for every year, and one state provided no data. The ICPC counts each time a child is placed in a treatment centre. A child could be placed in different treatment centers over the course of a year and would be counted each time they are placed in the care of a facility. To compare annual averages, APM reports normalized the number of placements using the number of years of data reported. DATA: Will make

Many of these children bound for Utah arrive through a “secure transportation” company, where parents pay thousands of dollars to have someone pick up their child and take them away.

At a St. George transportation company, parents pay nearly $2,500, plus airfare for two employees and their teenage boy, if needed.

Taylor, who helped run Integrity House for nearly a dozen years, often picked up residents. Whether or not the transport was a surprise, he said, often depended on the child’s parents. “Sometimes parents worry about not coming, or running away or whatever,” Taylor said in an interview with a reporter on the Sent Away podcast. “So they’ll keep it hidden until we show up.”

A vote for transport regulation

Stephanie Balderston will never forget when Taylor got her into the back seat of a car, taking her from her life in Colorado to Integrity House in 2008.

She still has nightmares, she said, waking up in the middle of the night crying after reliving that moment Taylor pulled her into a car as she screamed for help. Her parents were watching nearby, she recalls, crying but doing nothing to intervene.

“It really is like the most inhumane, craziest thing you’ve ever experienced in your life,” she said.

This memory also haunts Balderston during his waking hours. She sees men who look like Taylor in a store and she is seized with a wave of fear.

“Like at Costco or something, and you look up and you see a random person. And in my head, it’s him,” she said. “And I’m freezing. And I’m terrified. And I’m starting to have flashbacks of my transportation and being at Integrity House.

Last year, Utah State Senator Mike McKell sponsored legislation that marked the first reform of Utah’s troubled teen industry surveillance in 15 years.

The law placed limits on the use of restraints, drugs, and seclusion rooms in youth treatment programs. It required facilities to document any instances in which staff used physical restraints and seclusion, and it required them to submit reports to state licensors. It also increased the required number of inspections that state regulators must perform.

But that legislation placed no limits on what people who transport children to adolescent treatment programs can do — something McKell said he hopes to address in the future. “I don’t think the way we transport children is appropriate,” he said. “I’m convinced that if you start a treatment program with extreme trauma, common sense says it can’t be good for children. And I just think it should be completely banned.

Oregon’s limits on what carriers can do when bringing children into its state for treatment were only recently enacted, in 2021.

Utah <a class=State Senator Mike McKell” srcset=”https://img.apmcdn.org/90dc8976afaed9818db7c7294a73f45247c18555/uncropped/354271-20220302-utah-state-sen-mike-mckell-2000.jpg 2000w, https://img.apmcdn.org/90dc8976afaed9818db7c7294a73f45247c18555/uncropped/74e1a0-20220302-utah-state-sen-mike-mckell-1400.jpg 1400w, https://img.apmcdn.org/90dc8976afaed9818db7c7294a73f45247c18555/uncropped/512f56-20220302-utah-state-sen-mike-mckell-1000.jpg 1000w, https://img.apmcdn.org/90dc8976afaed9818db7c7294a73f45247c18555/uncropped/272284-20220302-utah-state-sen-mike-mckell-600.jpg 600w, https://img.apmcdn.org/90dc8976afaed9818db7c7294a73f45247c18555/uncropped/23ee2b-20220302-utah-state-sen-mike-mckell-400.jpg 400w” src=”https://img.apmcdn.org/90dc8976afaed9818db7c7294a73f45247c18555/uncropped/272284-20220302-utah-state-sen-mike-mckell-600.jpg”/>

Utah State Senator Mike McKell


Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Grandstand
Oregon State Senator Sara Gelser Blouin

Oregon State Senator Sara Gelser Blouin


Kaylee Domzalski | Oregon Public Broadcasting

This legislation, introduced by Oregon State Senator Sara Gelser Blouin, requires people who transport children to Oregon facilities to be registered with the state Department of Social Services. It also prohibits carriers from using mechanical restraints, such as handcuffs, when taking children to facilities.

“No more balaclavas, blindfolds or handcuffs,” Gelser Blouin said during a floor debate last June. “It is not children who have committed crimes. These are just children that parents have a hard time with. And some are in dire need of care or support, but not blindfolds, hoods, and handcuffs. »

McKell said he sees this as a problem that can only be solved by federal regulations. Since children move from state to state, he said, it is difficult to regulate conduct that occurs outside of Utah before a young person arrives for treatment. .

There has recently been a push to bring federal oversight to adolescent treatment programs nationwide, but the Collective Care Accountability Act has yet to be formally introduced or debated.

In the meantime, McKell said he wants to start understanding the scope of the transportation services industry in Utah. He sponsored a bill this session that will now require transportation companies to carry insurance and be licensed by the state — but he is not enacting any regulatory or oversight measures.

“There have been serious allegations of abuse in the past,” McKell said. “I am concerned about children being picked up in the middle of the night and the trauma that creates.”

Sent Away is an investigative podcast from APM Reports, KUER and The Salt Lake Grandstand. The report is funded in part by Arnold Ventures, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Hollyhock Foundation. See more collaborative reports.

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Utah economy

How should Utah spend the extra taxpayer money this year? Utahns weigh in

Amid another strong economic year — but also record inflation — the state’s final budget estimates show the Utah Legislature once again has plenty of fresh cash to spend.

As in over $2 billion more.

After new revenue estimates added an additional $432 million in one-time revenue and $384 million in ongoing funds over what was previously forecast, the Utah Legislature has approximately $1.46 billion available this year. dollars in one-time money and $570 million in new funds to be spent.

“I know that sounds like a lot of money. That’s a lot of money,” House Budget Chairman Brad Last, R-Hurricane, told lawmakers in the House last week when the final budget projections were released. But he warned that “it’s not enough” to meet budget requests that exceed $2.4 billion in one-time requests and more than $1 billion in ongoing requests.

As lawmakers worked to prioritize those demands — saying they planned to be careful with spending, concerned about the impact of inflation on the economy — Utahns weighed in on how they would like to see the money spent.

As they have in recent years, most Utahans want this year’s extra revenue to be spent on education. Tax cuts are the second priority.

That’s according to a new Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics poll, which asked Utahns how they would prefer the Legislature to spend this year’s budget surplus. The largest share of residents – 43% – said they would like the money to go to increasing education spending, while 25% want it to fund tax cuts.

A smaller number, 17%, said they would like the money to fund transport and road infrastructure projects, while 6% said it should be used to bolster the Rainy Day Fund of Utah. Nine percent said they didn’t know.

Dan Jones & Associates conducted the poll for the Deseret News and the Hinckley Institute of Politics among 808 registered voters in Utah from Feb. 7-17. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.45 percentage points.

The poll results come as lawmakers enter the final week of the 2022 legislative session and put the final touches on the budget. On Friday, the Appropriations Executive Committee is expected to release a final appropriations list and establish the budget.

What are the priorities of legislators?

Senate Budget Chairman Jerry Stevenson, R-Layton, told reporters Thursday to expect big victories for education in the budget.

“Education has been very well taken care of,” Stevenson said, noting that public and higher education will be “very well funded.” He said he expects to see a significant increase in the weighted student unit — the public school funding formula — and dollars for a variety of programs.

But he also added that there will likely be a good amount of money hidden away in the savings.

“This economy is a little scary,” he said, noting that economists are wary of the impact of federal stimulus money and inflation on the state budget.

“I hope our constituents will be very happy with what we have done with education,” he said, “but this is not the year to spend it all because of insecurity.”

House Speaker Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, told the Deseret News in an interview Thursday that lawmakers will make “additional and significant investments” in public and higher education this year. That’s on top of big infrastructure spending, especially transportation investments and funding to help relieve overcrowded state parks.

“I think both education systems are going to do very well,” Wilson said, although he had the same warnings as Stevenson. “It’s still tricky. We recognize that there is high inflation at this time, and so we try to take care of our teachers and other educators as well as state employees and balance all interests across the state.

Jason Perry, director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah, said “everything indicates” so far this session that “the intentions of the legislature are aligned with the desires of Utah voters. I expect a lot of that money to go into education.

It is important to note that much of the state money this year has already been set aside for priorities, especially ongoing funds.

In December, before the legislative session even began, the Executive Appropriations Committee set aside approximately $354 million (including $19 million in one-time funds) for public education enrollment growth, inflation and d other public education needs.

As for the tax cuts? Lawmakers have already earmarked $193 million for tax cuts, including $163 million for a comprehensive income tax rate cut for all Utahans, lowering the tax rate on Utah’s income from 4.95% to 4.85%. Lawmakers also approved a $15 million non-refundable income tax credit for low-income Utahns and a $15 million expansion of the state Social Security tax credit.

Senate Speaker Stuart Adams, R-Layton, said this year’s budget will be characterized by “tax cuts and record, if not near-record, spending on education.”

“When you can cut taxes and do big funding at the same time, that means we’re doing something right,” Adams said, adding that the budget will also include a big increase in spending for state employees and infrastructure.

“The budget won’t be perfect, there’s no such thing,” Adams said. “But it’s going to be a damn good budget.”

What about the debate over constitutional education spending?

There is a catch that complicates the state’s relationship with education spending.

Under the Utah Constitution, the legislature is required to spend income tax money on education — but legislative leaders are proposing a future constitutional amendment to effectively eliminate that earmarking. They say a change is needed to give lawmakers more budget flexibility at a time when sales tax revenues are not growing at the same rate as income tax. It’s a problem lawmakers have been voicing for years.

According to tax analysts in the Legislative and Governor’s Office, about 70% of the state’s newly projected permanent disposable income comes from the education fund (supplied by income taxes) and 30% from the general fund (supplied by sales tax).

It would be up to the voters to decide whether or not to change the state constitution. In order to put the issue on the ballot, a joint resolution would have to pass both legislative bodies by a two-thirds majority vote.

Such a resolution has yet to surface in the 2022 session. On Thursday, lawmakers involved in those discussions, House Speaker and Sen. Ann Millner, R-Ogden, said there was only one left. week and that they were unlikely to make it through this year. It’s a conversation that will likely continue beyond this year’s session and into next year, they said.

“When we do this, we want it to be good,” Millner told reporters. “So we’ll work on that after the session… In my mind, I think we kind of put that on hold.”

Adams said the state’s structural funding imbalance “is a problem, and whether it’s resolved this session or the next, we need to bring awareness to those who don’t live, eat, drink, don’t sleep on this budget that this is a significant issue in the state. We’re not going to give up on working on it.”

Wilson said “these big challenges usually take time, and we just wanted to make sure we measured twice on this one, and we didn’t feel like we had time to do that.”

So this year, nothing will change lawmakers’ constitutional constraints on income tax revenue, which means lawmakers will be required to spend most of the surplus on education anyway.

In total, lawmakers have about $617 million in one-time funds and $429 million in permanent funds in the general fund, and an additional $1.68 billion in one-time funds and $1.07 billion ongoing in the fund. for education to spend, according to tax analysts.

The debate over Utah’s constitutional requirements to spend income tax on education does not go far, however. The challenge for lawmakers moving forward will be to frame the constitutional amendment as a solution to correct the state’s structural funding imbalance while sending a message to Utahns they always put education first. .

“Their success will be tied to their ability to convince the public that education is still the Legislature’s top priority as it brings about change,” Perry said. “To the extent that they can ensure that the balance is struck and that those assurances are received and believed, that will determine how successful they are in bringing about change.”

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Salt lake city government

Utah legislature decisions reflect tensions between local and state government

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Local control “railing”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

National model

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Salt lake city

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

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

It was time to act.

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

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

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

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

This interest extended beyond political hopes to political donors.

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

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

Various candidates emerge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fears of gentrification

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Utah economy

The major Utah earthquake is still imminent; here’s how lawmakers can prepare |Opinion

At 6:35 a.m. on August 30, 1962, an earthquake struck the town of Logan hard. It was one of those life-changing events – something the rest of us would be wise to remember.

Witnesses said it started with a rolling rumble that quickly dissolved into the sound of breaking glass and falling bricks.

Official sources differ as to its potency. The United States Geological Survey marked it at 5.9 on the Richter scale. The University of Utah’s Intermountain Seismic Belt Historic Earthquake Project calls it a 5.7, similar to the one that struck the Salt Lake Valley in March 2020.

But that’s about the only thing the two have in common.

A small breakfast crowd sat at the counter of Model Billiards on West Center Street in Logan that morning in 1962 when the walls parted and the roof collapsed. Fortunately, no one got hurt.

The roof collapsed on the chapel of the Logan Fourth Ward building of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to a Deseret News account at the time. Walls crumbled all over the city. On Federal Avenue, the Smith Printing Company lost 40 feet of its west-facing wall.

Windows large and small shattered and left debris all over the city. Cans, broken glass and groceries littered grocery store aisles. At Logan Temple, plaster fell from the ceilings and a weather vane and lightning rod collapsed.

Nearby Richmond suffered the worst damage. The LDS Benson Stake Tabernacle, a stately brick building built in 1904, was so badly damaged that it later had to be razed.

Remarkably, the only reported injury involves a girl from Richmond, who suffered a cut on her foot from a broken bottle.

In contrast, the Salt Lake earthquake 48 years later caused little damage except to one type of building – those constructed with unreinforced masonry.

Judging by the reports from 1962, this is the only common thread. Bricks crumbling, walls separating and falling, resulting in collapsed roofs – these are the telltale signs of buildings held together by nothing but bricks and mortar, with roofs held in place by nothing more than gravity.

A new report from the Utah Seismic Safety Commission repeats a long-held estimate that 140,000 of these unreinforced buildings exist along the Wasatch front, ranging from single-family homes to apartments and office buildings. They were built before the strict building codes of 1976. Experts say most injuries and deaths, especially in an earthquake much larger than the one in 2020, would occur in and around these buildings .

The report provides five recommendations for ways this year’s Utah legislature can prepare for the big one now, reducing the overall damage. It involves improving the four major aqueducts that deliver water to more than 2 million Utah residents; fund an ongoing study on the repair of school buildings that may be vulnerable; ensure that buildings larger than 200,000 square feet or otherwise serving vital purposes (hospitals, schools, police stations) undergo rigorous structural review; that an early warning system be put in place; and that the public be made aware of these 140,000 vulnerable buildings.

Frankly, the latter is not enough. With all the extra money lawmakers have this year, they should be funding programs that help homeowners with their problems. Some cities already have Fix the Bricks programs in place, but these tend to be underfunded. Unfortunately, many people who live in these structures have meager means. Many of them are tenants.

So the other thing lawmakers should do is pass a law requiring sellers to notify buyers that a home is unreinforced and vulnerable to an earthquake. This could be coupled with requirements to inform potential buyers of state programs to help them resolve the issue.

I have heard that real estate agents oppose such a requirement. It’s natural. But the requirement would begin to put pressure on landowners to fix the problem.

Mere awareness is not enough.

It’s one of those issues that makes everyone a gamer, betting they won’t have to deal with it in their lifetime. The report says the odds of the Wasatch Front having an earthquake of magnitude 6.75 or greater within the next 50 years are essentially a toss-up. Do you feel lucky?

If that happened, such an earthquake could change this place forever, ruining our economy and our way of life for many years. FEMA officials predict it could be one of the deadliest natural disasters in US history, rivaling the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

In Logan, the damage caused by this relatively mild earthquake of 1962 is forever etched in our memories. In 2012, the Logan Herald Journal reported on a 50th anniversary commemorative event.

Former Richmond Mayor F. Richard Bagley told the newspaper that the earthquake changed his town forever, destroying two churches and many homes. “It just changed our appearance,” he said.

Utah leaders should do everything they can now to ensure that a Wasatch front that’s far more populated than Logan’s in 1962 will be altered as little as possible if a big hit.

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Salt lake city

Despite struggles on beam, Red Rocks roll to win Arizona State

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) — The top beam team in the nation didn’t look like it Friday night at the Huntsman Center.

But Utah’s gymnastics team is so deep and so talented that they had more than enough to pull off another win, posting season-high scores on bars and floor.

The No. 2-ranked Red Rocks easily beat No. 13 Arizona State at the Huntsman Center, 197,400 to 196,100.

Maile O’Keefe clocked 9.90 on beam and floor. Jillian Hoffman (floor) and Cristal Isa (beam) tied for the highest score in all events at 9.975.

“The ultimate conclusion tonight is that we have to run all four events,” said head coach Tom Farden. “Coming into the warm-ups I saw the vibe from the start and as coaches we need to help them prepare a bit more and be more intentional from the start. I know when they’re on and it’s was last weekend. I know when they have some quirks and it was this weekend.

Utah started the night with a solid vault production, led by Alexia Burch and Lucy Stanhope, who went on to claim a share of the event title. Utah combined for a 49.275 on vault to lead Arizona State, which posted a 49.225 on bars, in the first event.

The Utes appeared to have some momentum in the bar rotation after posting a season-high 49.425 as a team. Amelie Morgan set the tone early on posting a season high of 9.875. In her first barre routine of the season, Burch battled her way to a career-high 9.90 to keep the start going. Sage Thompson followed with a 9.85 before McCallum collected a season-high 9.925 that would earn him the first uneven bars title of his career.

Working with a slim 98.700-98.400 lead over the Sun Devils, Utah opened the beam with a 9.775 from Morgan but struggled to find any kind of consistency throughout the next three gymnasts. After a fall from Grace McCallum and a pair of scores in the 9.6 range, Isa had a huge rebound routine and got the crowd on their feet as she rolled in a career-high 9.975. The routine seemed like the momentum-changer the Red Rocks needed as O’Keefe stepped in next and worked his way to a 9.95 to wrap up an otherwise sub-par rotation for Utah .

Utah held a .250 lead going into the final rotation after 49.025 on beam. Continuing the momentum, Hoffman led the team on floor with a career-high 9.975 in his first-floor routine of the year. Hoffman’s routine, which became the first win of his career, sparked the rest of the roster as the Utes finished with four floor scores of 9.90 or better, combining for a 49.675.

Stanhope posted a 9.875 in second place, while Rucker hit a 9.925. With the game seemingly under control after Arizona State had their own problems on the beam, O’Keefe and Sydney Soloski closed the night in style with a pair of 9.95s.

Utah will be back in action next Saturday, Jan. 29, to host Stanford.

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Utah economy

Creating a Healthy Work Culture Requires Empathy and Vulnerability, Says Utah Executive Coach

(ABC4) – In case you haven’t heard, the Great Resignation is a real thing in America and can have reverberating effects in the modern workplace.

The latest data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics from November 2021 shows that of the 6.3 terminations this month, 4.5 million were voluntary employee decisions.

They stopped, and they continue to stop now more than ever.

According to Dean Baker, who co-founded the Center for Economic Policy and Research at the University of Utah, one of the main reasons for the mass exodus of employees is the confidence that they will find better jobs elsewhere.

“The unemployment rate has come down much faster than most people expected,” he says, referring to the rebound in the US economy after the pandemic hit. So that means people have a choice.

Rich Baron, workplace expert and executive coach at the Kaysville office of Intelligent Leadership Executive Coaching (ILEC), thinks this could be a defining time for American workers. Not only can they now feel the freedom to leave for a better paying job, but they can also choose the kind of culture that will make them stay.

The latter, he says, is much more important.

“Everyone is paying higher salaries,” Baron tells ABC4.com. Now, the top salary is relatively easy to find. What’s not easy to find is a company that truly has a culture of inclusion and a culture of engagement, where everyone in the organization is set up to succeed.

One of his observations, particularly regarding a younger workforce, is that those with strong leadership and empathy skills will have the opportunity to move up quickly in an organization. For a generation of tech-savvy, wide-eyed people who may be at the start of their careers, learning how to be an effective leader will be in high demand.

“What they’re looking for are the soft skills: accountability, leadership, creativity, problem-solving skills. And when we talk about those skills, those are actually the hardest skills to find,” says Baron. “But those are the skills that people want to develop. They want to develop these skills in order to not only advance themselves, but also help the organization. »

The old days of a dictatorial leadership attitude are dead and gone, says Baron. The idea of ​​a leader who rules his kingdom of work with an iron fist, repressing with a hard and rigid approach is neither realistic nor effective these days. What really matters now, not only for employees, but also for employers, is to be flexible, supportive and understanding.

It’s a lesson that Apple founder Steve Jobs learned towards the end of his life, mindful of his personal legacy and the legacy he would leave for his company. One of the key takeaways that ILEC founder John Mattone left Jobs with was the power of vulnerability.

This can be a difficult thing for many to master, Baron says.

“You have to step out of your own comfort zone and be able to be vulnerable to learn not only what your strengths and weaknesses are, but also how to retrieve that information from the people around you,” he says. “And I’m not talking about being so vulnerable that you lose your confidence – to be vulnerable is to be open to change.”

This, along with changing the mindset from a sense of entitlement to duty, can be essential to creating a culture where people would want to work in the modern era.

To borrow a phrase from one of Apple’s best-known marketing campaigns under Jobs, you have to think differently, Baron says.

“When you talk about thinking differently and thinking big, Steve’s philosophy was to get out of your comfort zone and disrupt yourself, change yourself and not be in that comfort zone, which is really a killer. jobs and it’s a career killer.”

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Salt lake city

Mountaineer turned conservationist Rick Reese leaves a monumental outdoor legacy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Salt lake city

Spy Hop tackles vaccine hesitation + SLC winter shelter now open

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


First of all, the weather forecast for the day:

Foggy sun. High: 44 Low: 26.


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

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

From our sponsor:

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Today in Salt Lake City:

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

From my notebook:

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

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


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

Joseph peterson

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

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Salt lake city government

Keith Squires hired as the next security director of the U


Keith Squires is the University of Utah’s new security officer.

Utah’s former public safety commissioner had held the acting position since last June. Squires has over 30 years of law enforcement experience and was a member of the independent review committee who examined the school’s handling of Lauren McCluskey’s murder.

He did 30 recommendations for changes expected to be made in the wake of the tragedy – all of which have since been implemented, according to University officials.

He takes over the post after Marlon Lynch – the first to hold the post – left for a similar post at Michigan State University.

Lynch’s departure, as well as that of the former police chief Rodney Chatman and the lingering concerns about the way the university handled McCluskey’s case, have complicated the relationship between students and administrators and increased skepticism about their commitment to security and transparency.

“A lot of students just don’t trust the campus police,” said Tiffany Chan, third-year student and vice president of academic relations for the U. student government group. “They don’t trust what an authority figure has to say and that’s what causes a lot of tension between the students and the administration.”

Squires said rebuilding trust was one of his main concerns. He said there had been important developments in this area, including the creation advisory committees with the participation of the students and the SafeU Student Ambassador Program.

He also said he made a point of soliciting feedback from the campus community on changes to police procedures and policies, such as with the recently approved rule regarding body cameras.

“I feel like the amount of time spent on that and what we ended up with at the end of the day really reflects what the community is comfortable with,” Squires said. “It also gave us the opportunity to explain what our desires are and why we think it is a valuable tool.”

He said he is working to increase collaboration within the university’s police department and between various organizations on and off campus, such as the Salt Lake City Police Department and the Huntsman Mental Health Institute. The isolation of the campus police was one of the main failures leading to McCluskey’s death, he said.

“We really want that officer answering a call or some member of our community who needs it to be able to assess the situation and be able to keep the peace, but also be able to look at what other resources are available to them. “Squires said.” If these resources aren’t really coordinated, they’re just missed opportunities. “

Luis Ramirez, a junior and intern in the office of the university president who works on campus safety initiatives, said he believes the administration has done a good job providing more resources to students and opening up dialogue on security efforts.

He said he was impressed with Squires’ willingness to have public conversations with students about campus safety issues, such as a recently launched series called “Courageous Conversations.” Ramirez said he attended the first event last semester and was surprised to see security officials engage with students advocating for the complete abolition of campus policing.

“I found it very interesting that there is this dialogue between the chief of police and a student and how there are these two different opinions,” he said. “But we were able to come together in this space and have this conversation.”

Maryan Shale, vice president of student relations for the student government, said she supports the hiring of Squires and believes he really cares about students and improving the climate on campus. But she will also monitor her presence on campus and her openness to student feedback.

She said signs of a safer and more inclusive campus environment would be increased student engagement in clubs and organizations and better outcomes for students, especially among those from marginalized backgrounds.


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Salt lake city government

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy 2022!


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Salt lake city government

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Federal COVID-19 Plan

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

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

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

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

New cases in Utah

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cases reported in the last day • 811.

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

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

Deaths reported in the last day • 21.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Salt lake city

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The student was immediately transferred to new accommodation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Utah economy

Utah population growth 2021: fertility is falling, but migration is on the rise

The Beehive state is growing, and is doing so rapidly. Even if its fertility rate is declining, its migratory balance is rising sharply.

Key elements for tracking this growth in a sustainable manner include housing affordability, air quality control, energy planning and water policy, among others.

Population estimates from the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute released Wednesday during its monthly Online Breakfast Newsmaker indicate that the state has added about 71,936 people since the 2020 census, reaching a estimated total of 3,343,552 Utahns. From July 1, 2020 to July 1 of this year, the population increased by 58,729 people. This annual growth rate of 1.8% is the highest since 2017.

These estimates, created by the Utah Population Committee, were compiled from the most recent decennial census.

“For the state of Utah, we have welcomed an average of 160 new residents per day over the past year,” said Emily Harris, senior demographer at the Gardner Institute and lead author of the report. “The state also saw the second recorded net migration and the smallest natural increase since 1975. Estimates for this year indicate a slight rebound as the Utahns navigate a global pandemic and attempt to find a new normal.”

The main findings of the report include:

  • Natural increase: Since July 1, 2010, Utah has experienced an annual decline in the natural increase in population due to fewer new births, while annual deaths increase. National trends during this same period depict a declining fertility rate strongly impacted by the Great Recession. Utah’s total fertility rate fell from 2.45 in 2010 to below the replacement level (1.99 in 2019), from the country’s highest rate to third.
  • Net migration: Utah’s net migration in 2021 is 34,858, nearly 10,000 more than last year’s estimate. This is the highest net migration since 2005 and the seventh year that net migration has exceeded 20,000. Net migration has contributed 59% of Utah’s population growth in the past year. , compared to 49% the previous year.
  • Regional and County Level Results: Iron County saw the fastest growth at 6.2%, followed by Tooele County (4.1%), Washington County (4.0%) and Utah County (2.9% ). Utah County had the highest natural increase, net migration, and population growth in the state, far outpacing Salt Lake County‘s 0.8% growth.

One-third of the statewide growth between July 1, 2020 and July 1, 2021 came from residents of Utah County. Salt Lake County contributed 15.9% of the growth and Washington County 12.5% ​​of the growth. Davis, Weber, Cache, Iron and Tooele counties each contributed between 7.7% and 5.1% of the state’s overall growth. Garfield County was the only county to lose population in 2021.

  • Impacts of COVID-19: Although the anticipated impacts of COVID-19 on births were not apparent in the data, the significant increase in deaths has changed the way the state and many counties have grown. Net migration has become the engine of growth statewide, increasing 15% from the previous year and driving growth in three-quarters of counties. While net migration varies each year in Utah, the natural increase (outside of a global pandemic) generally does not vary. Once COVID-19-related deaths decline, the natural increase is expected to stabilize.

“The secret is revealed”

House Speaker Brad Wilson of R-Kaysville said the growth was “remarkable”.

“The secret is out, how great our state is and how many people want to be here for so many different reasons, and there isn’t just one (reason),” he said, adding that growth presented a unique challenge for the state. but also a great opportunity.

“We’ve benefited as a state for a generation or two from having people who really thought about this stuff and how we can really be collaborative, be responsible, but manage our growth in a way. that benefits every Utahn; and we have to go on and work really hard on this, ”Wilson said.

Laura Hanson, state planning coordinator in the Utah Governor‘s Planning and Budget Office, said she felt lucky to be able to reflect on the direction Utah is taking in long term and stressed that growth offers many opportunities for the state.

“We have jobs, we have new creative ideas, more shopping, more restaurants – although (the growth) is a little scary at times, it is bringing some really good things to our state,” Hanson said. “Unfortunately, some surveys have shown, recently, that the majority of Utahns feel that we are growing too quickly. They feel that the character of their community has changed – we are experiencing more traffic congestion, our areas of recreation is overcrowded. But sadly, we really can’t close the doors or slow down this growth. “

Wilson and Hanson have both said that Utah’s current growth slowdown will lead to a struggling economy and an increase in the cost of living, which neither sees as beneficial.

“What we need to do is really connect with the Utahns and better understand what values ​​you think could be threatened by this growth and what policies or investments the state can take to help us navigate the path. growing and sustaining what makes Utah, Utah, ”Hanson said.

Putting systems in place to cope with Utah’s growth

Wilson said the state-level and political-level goal is to make sure the state is in a better place “than we have found.”

“We need to have processes that lead to longer term thinking and broader thinking about where we are headed, so that we make better decisions in the moment,” Wilson said.

The groundwork for some of that long-term thinking was laid in Utah Gov. Spencer Cox’s $ 25 billion budget proposal for next year, Hanson said.

“I think people who are focusing on growth issues will be really happy with some of the recommendations that are included there,” she said.

The budget proposes about half a billion dollars in investments in the planning and management of water infrastructure, including the financing of the Great Salt Lake, and incentives for water conservation at all levels, from the agriculture to single-family homes.

In addition, the budget includes $ 46.2 million for investments in active transportation to fight air quality problems.

“These are bicycle facilities, sidewalks and pathways so people don’t have to drive a car if they don’t want to and get people off the road,” Hanson added. “We’ve actually had a drop in emissions over the last few years. It shows that when Utah is focused on one goal… we’re really effective at meeting those goals. So I think the air quality in is one that will continue to be at the center of our concerns. “

Hanson also spoke about energy planning and the state’s energy needs which continue to increase with a growing population and an increased focus on electrification.

“We will need to continue to diversify our energy resources, which means investing in new transmission corridors, the basic infrastructure to support charging (of electric vehicles) along the highways in our state,” she said. . “This is another goal and priority for the governor and in his roadmap he identified updating an energy plan – all these different pieces need to come together and we need to keep working together to meet these challenges. “

While the budget also includes $ 228 million to tackle affordable housing and homelessness, Wilson said the problem is more supply-side and demand-side.

“We need to do a better job of getting more supply to market faster; and we need our municipalities, in particular, to be a little more agile and a little faster in the way they approve projects so that we can solve this problem – this is the only solution to increase the supply on the market, ”Wilson added. “My concern about the affordability of housing is how will our children and grandchildren afford to stay here? “

The full population estimates from the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute are available online here.

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Utah economy

Omicron COVID variant set to hit Utah in days – if it’s not already here

If the latest variant of COVID-19 known as omicron isn’t already circulating in Utah, it’s only a matter of days before it arrives, a disease doctor warned on Friday. pediatric infectious diseases from the University of Utah Health.

And no one knows for sure just how bad the new variant is going to be, said Dr Andrew Pavia, chief of the division of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Utah Health and director of epidemiology at the University of Utah Health. Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. .

This includes children in Utah, who account for about 1 in 5 cases of COVID-19 in the state, who remain high due to the highly contagious delta variant here since the spring, and could rise even more due to the gatherings. holiday during Thanksgiving.

“Children are at quite a significant risk of contracting COVID disease in general, and we cannot pretend that children are completely safe,” Pavia said. “But whether omicron will be the same as delta, softer or worse, it will take a little while for us to figure it out. “

This does not mean that the Utahns should refrain from getting vaccinated or having their children aged 5 and over vaccinated against the deadly virus, the doctor said, calling it “a real problem” that the 1,4 million Utahns eligible to be vaccinated did not get the shots.

“I think delta alone should have been reason enough to get the vaccine. But maybe omicron concerns should really grab people’s attention, ”Pavia said, citing new data suggesting the new variant is“ very good ”at re-infecting those who have had COVID-19.

The Utahns shouldn’t rely on immunity from a previous fight with the virus, he said. Vaccinating both completely – two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one from Johnson & Johnson – plus a booster provides stronger protection, Pavia said.

He said vaccines provide almost 100% protection for adolescents, according to recent studies. The injections were only recently approved for children aged 5 to 11, but the vaccines have been shown to be over 90% effective in clinical trials.

More information is needed, Pavie said, before the age limit for booster shots, now 18, can be lowered. He said it’s possible the vaccines could be reformulated due to the omicron variant, but determining their effectiveness would take months.

Where is omicron already in the United States?

By the time of Pavia’s mid-morning virtual press conference, 10 cases of the omicron variant had been detected in the United States, California, Colorado, Minnesota, Hawaii and New York, which have reported five cases.

The new variant, first seen a week ago in South Africa, triggered worldwide travel restrictions and other actions, including a new plan to deal with COVID-19 announced Thursday by President Joe Biden calling for more vaccinations and testing.

What is known about the omicron variant is that it spreads quickly.

“We don’t have all the answers on omicron. Everything we are saying is based on very old and provisional data. People just need to be patient until we have better science, ”Pavia said. “But we do know that it has spread quite widely around the world.”

Public health officials across the country, including Utah, are sequencing COVID-19 test results for the omicron variant. Pavia said he expects to find out in the next few days that there are many more omicron variants in the United States, including Utah.

“I think it’s very likely that if he hasn’t reached Utah it’s just a matter of days,” the doctor said, noting Utah has a better system. than many states to identify variants. “I think it’s in Utah. If not, it will be soon.

Utah has “the tools to fight omicron”

Even as Utah prepares for the omicron variant, Pavia said the risk of new variants emerging is “very high. This virus mutates and it has been shown to be really flexible. It’s changing. It evolves to become a better pathogen, to better infect us and spread. “

Still, he said there was reason to be optimistic.

“We have the tools to fight omicron. This is not the end of the world. But we don’t use them, ”Pavia said, urging Utahns to get vaccinated, including a booster if they are eligible, and to take precautions against the spread of the virus, such as wearing a mask in public. .

“You might be fed up with masks, but they’ve been with us for a while and they really, really make a difference. So go ahead and protect yourself, ”he said. The doctor said he was concerned Utah, recently one of the country’s coronavirus hotspots, could peak after Thanksgiving.

This may already be happening, with the Utah Department of Health reporting 1,873 new cases of COVID-19 and 19 more deaths from the virus since Thursday, bringing the seven-day moving average to 1,407 more cases per day.

“We are not done with the delta surge,” Pavia said, adding: “Everyone is focusing on omicron and the press is naturally very interested in it. But we are still hammered by delta and we have to get it under control. . “

Han Kim, professor of public health at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, said the president’s new plan, which includes hundreds of new family vaccination clinics nationwide and insurance reimbursement for tests at home, would help but could have arrived sooner.

“I think everything he does should have been done months ago with delta. We still don’t know what Omicron will do, but these programs will be effective in dealing with the delta surge right now, ”Kim said.

Making home testing for COVID-19 more accessible is particularly important, the professor said.

“If everyone had easy and inexpensive access to home testing, it would go a long way in dealing with the surges without bringing the economy to a complete stop. “

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Salt lake city

Omicron COVID variant will reach Utah sooner or later, researchers believe


Kimberly Desmond, a registered nurse, draws a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe in Salt Lake City on September 22. Researchers said on Friday they believed the omicron variant would reach Utah sooner or later. (Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

Estimated reading time: 1-2 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah health officials say they are closely monitoring the new variant of COVID-19 coming from South Africa, but how worried should we be in the state of? hive? Researchers say it’s likely to happen in Utah, the real question is when.

Officials at the World Health Organization classify the omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus in the same category as the highly contagious delta variant. And they believe the newer form of the virus is highly transmissible. However, University of Utah virologist Dr Stephen Goldstein says scientists still have a lot of questions about the omicron, especially since it is so new. For example, they don’t know if the new variant is deadlier than the others.

“We don’t know anything about whether it causes more serious or less serious disease. There are early indications that it can be highly transmissible, although it is really still too early to tell,” he said. he declares.

Goldstein says the omicron is not an offshoot of the delta variant, so researchers are trying to learn as much as they can. He believes the variant will eventually arrive in Utah, but no one knows when.

Should we cancel Christmas plans? Maybe not yet, although doctors still recommend masks, limiting crowd sizes and social distancing to limit any kind of viral spread.

Read the full article on KSLNewsRadio.com.

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Salt lake city

🌱 Fatal motorcycle crash + violent fight in downtown SLC


Happy Monday, people of Salt Lake City! Here’s everything you need to know to get started today on an informed note. Here is what is happening in the city today.


First of all, the weather forecast for the day:

Cloudy and sunny weather. High: 53 Low: 41.


Here are the best stories today in Salt Lake City:

  1. Authorities have released the identity of a motorcyclist who died in a crash that closed southbound lanes of I-15 on Friday evening. According to Utah Department of Public Safety, Michael rogers, 42, from Lehi, is said to have switched to HOV lanes in the 12300 South in clothier, but he did not leave enough space between him and the vehicle in front of him. (KUTV 2News)
  2. Three people are in jail after a violent brawl breaks out in the city center Salt lake city Saturday morning. Authorities said they received reports for the first time of a “big fight” near 39 E. Place of exchange around 2 a.m. When police arrived at the scene, they found three people injured. The Salt Lake City Police Department said one of those arrested was 23 years old Your Uelese who faces a charge of aggravated assault. (ABC 4)
  3. The J. Willard Marriott Library to University of Utah opened a new exhibition created by the Indigenous and Allied Students Association in celebration of Native American Heritage Month. (ABC 4)
  4. Salt lake city leaders unveiled a new arboretum on Saturday morning at the town’s historic cemetery, dedicated to its oldest sexton, Marc Smith. (Salt Lake City Tribune)
  5. The Utah Legislative Redistribution Committee released its proposed maps late Friday night. Salt Lake County was divided into four congressional districts, which is perhaps the most controversial part of the proposal. The current map of Congress divides it into three districts. (KUER 90.1)

today Salt Lake City Daily is brought to you through Newrez, one of the nation’s leading mortgage lenders. Make a smart move for your future and refinance with Newrez today. Call 844-979-1707 to get in touch with a Newrez loan officer. Newrez, LLC (NMLS # 3013)


Today in Salt Lake City:

  • City Council Meeting – Town of Mill Creek (5:00 p.m.)
  • Community reinvestment agency meeting (7:00 p.m.)

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That’s all for today. See you soon! If you like these newsletters, consider inviting some of your friends and neighbors to read them. You can send them this link to subscribe.

Sean peek

About me: Sean Peek is a writer and entrepreneur who graduated in English Literature from Weber State University. Over the years, he has worked as a copywriter, editor, SEO specialist and marketing manager for various digital media companies. He is currently the co-owner and operator of the content creation agency Lightning Media Partners.


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Salt lake city government

Labor shortage hard for employers, a boon for job seekers


SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Concerns over critical labor shortages have crossed the boundaries of the business community and are now shared by more than two-thirds of Utahns, according to a new survey.

The Deseret News / Hinckley Institute of Politics poll conducted earlier this month found that 68% of Utah voters polled are concerned about the number of unfilled jobs while 27% identified themselves as not concerned about the question and 5% were not sure of their position. The results come from a poll of 764 registered Utah voters and have a 3.54% margin of error.

Utah’s current unemployment rate of 2.4% maintains second place in the country, edged only by Nebraska’s 2% for the month of September according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Low unemployment is one of the main indicators of positive economic health, but it also serves as a litmus test for how difficult it can be for a typical business to hire the workers it needs, especially before seasonal spurts, such as the onset of the holiday shopping season.

Survey participants had mixed responses when asked who is responsible for adopting measures to address the state’s labor shortage dilemma, but 44% said they thought it was a problem for the private sector to deal with. Of those who think public entities should play a role in crafting a fix, 22% said it is the state government‘s responsibility and 19% think federal agencies should work on a resolution.

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said he shares the concerns of most Utahns, as evidenced by the new Deseret News poll, and that he is taking a close look at all aspects of faster-than-recovery recovery. Most of the state of the worst impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While we are thrilled with Utah’s 2.4% unemployment rate, we are very concerned about the labor shortage affecting every industry in every community in Utah,” Cox told Deseret. News. “We are currently working with experts and economists to learn more about changes in worker participation and expectations in the wake of the pandemic.


“As markets continue to adjust, government officials need to be vigilant to ensure that we avoid discouraging work.”

This spring, Cox announced his own decision to help remove some perceived work disincentives and force more vigorous job search efforts among unemployed Utahns when he announced his decision to suspend federal benefits from unemployment insurance linked to the pandemic on June 26, more than two months before their scheduled expiration.

But data from a study released in August suggests the plan didn’t quite lead to those results, and the nation’s leading economy in Utah could be at least in part 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 went 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 respondents say that the expiry of (unemployment) benefits will have no impact on their efforts to find work or their saving behavior.

While Utah currently has more jobs than before the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 53,000 cumulative new positions added since September 2019, the state’s employment participation rate is still at the bottom. lags behind pre-pandemic levels. And, the most recent data available shows that the 131,000 job postings in July far exceeded the 79,000 hires this month.

“Utah’s economy is still moving strongly through the biggest pandemic event,” said Mark Knold, chief economist at the Department of Workforce Services in a statement accompanying the agency’s monthly employment report for the week. last. “Utah’s economy has more jobs now than it did before the pandemic began, and that is a testament to Utah’s economic resilience. There is still room for improvement as the engagement of the workforce in the labor market is lower than it was before the pandemic.

“For some, apprehension persists about returning to work, that is, interacting with the public. We see this as a natural and short-term condition and not as a new normal. “

As Utah companies looking to build their own workforce face stiff competition in the state’s current work environment, the circumstances are of huge benefit to those on the research side. employment out of the equation, and wages are rising and especially for those on lower wage levels, according to state labor services economists.

Salt Lake Chamber President / CEO Derek Miller said Utah companies across multiple industries are struggling to fill critical positions.

“We really can’t overestimate the magnitude or impact of the problem,” Miller said. “I was in St. George last week and walked into an ice cream shop. There were three teenage girls there who worked all over the place, struggling to keep up with business. They tried their best and apologized to customers, but also informed people that there would be a 45 minute wait.

“This is the case wherever you go in the state, and it’s not just consumer-oriented businesses like an ice cream shop trying to meet the challenges.”

Miller also fears that President Joe Biden’s upcoming implementation of vaccine mandates for large private companies will further exacerbate staffing issues for employers as some workers bail out to protest vaccine or forced testing requirements. .

“I’m worried about the labor shortage that the federal mandate could make matters worse,” Miller said. “I don’t know how it’s going to play out, but I’m trying to keep an eye on the horizon on this issue.”

For current Utah job seekers, however, the horizons have never been brighter.

In an interview with Deseret News, Michael Jeanfreau, senior economist with the Utah Department of Workforce Services, said the state’s current job market is a boon for those looking to find a first job as well as for those who wish to increase their income by moving to a new position. . This, he said, is especially true for positions with lower education requirements.

“What we are seeing right now are worse circumstances from an employers’ point of view, but better circumstances for employees,” Jeanfreau said. “If Amazon is hiring 250 new drivers right now and I work at a gas station, this looks like a great opportunity.”

Jeanfreau said that competition for workers resulting in increases in pay rates is a factor that improves the quality of life for employees in all fields and makes Utah an even more attractive environment for workers in all sectors.

“When the bottom goes up, everyone goes up too,” Jeanfreau said. “From an economic point of view, they are all linked. Positive upward economic mobility concerns everyone.


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Salt lake city government

Redistricting in Utah: Lawmakers make no promises for independent cards


Utah’s controversial and condensed redistribution process is about to come to a head.

In a few days, the lawmakers leading the Utah Legislative Redistribution Committee aim to have a set of cards they will be ready to bring to their committee and then to the entire Utah legislature. . In just a week, members of the Legislative Redistribution Committee are expected to meet once again to finalize their maps, just a day before November 9, the date they already have on their calendar for when the legislature meets in extraordinary session to vote on the cards.

“So we hope it’s all over on Monday?” Senator Gene Davis, D-Salt Lake City, asked fellow Republicans on the GOP-controlled Utah legislative redistribution committee. “Holy smoke. ”

Davis’ comments came near the end of an almost four-hour committee hearing, at which about 150 Utahns showed up to listen to members of a separate body – the Utah Independent Redistribution Commission – showcase the product of their work after spending hundreds of hours traveling. the state to hear the Utahns’ wishes and live stream their map design on YouTube as they seek to redraw Utah’s political districts in a process that only happens every 10 years.

The independent commission, which sought to protect itself from influence or partisan data, came up with 12 proposed maps – three for each of the boundaries of Congress, State House, Senate, and the School Board of the Utah.

“I want to be very clear,” independent commission chairman Rex Facer told lawmakers. “We did not use partisan political data in drafting our maps. Our cards have been extensively reviewed by national experts and they were identified as fair cards (based on) our criteria. ”

Throughout the meeting, members of the Utah Independent Redistricting Commission explained in detail the methods they used to draft their maps and answered questions from lawmakers before an overwhelming majority of speakers urged lawmakers to choose from independent commission maps, praising transparency and the data-driven process.

But the Legislative Redistribution Committee does not have to adopt the independent commission’s maps. The chairmen of the committee told reporters after Monday’s meeting that they would take the committee’s proposals “into consideration”, but they made no promises.

“That’s what we’ve been saying from the start,” said Senator Scott Sandall, R-Tremonton. “We will examine them carefully. We’re going to overlay a lot of our data on it. We’ll see if there are any lines that make sense and where those lines intersect and where they don’t.

While the independent commission did not take into account where cardholders live when crafting its cards, the legislative committee will.

And even as members of the independent commission sought to show how their process was as fair, evidence-based, and politically impartial as possible, one of the chairpersons of the legislative redistribution committee attempted to question this claim when of Monday’s meeting.

It was a poignant moment, eliciting murmurs and sidelong glances from some members of the public sitting in the committee hearing.

Sandall asked Facer if he was aware that one of the congressional map proposals recommended by the commission – the only map drawn by a member of the public, University of Utah student Stuart Hepworth, from southern Jordan – was drawn with a clipping tool that used partisan data. .

“My point is not to incriminate,” said Sandall, “but to make a point, there is always a political bias that moves into anything when we put a line on a map.”

Sandall said “this weakens your principle of not using partisan data a bit,” calling the committee’s adoption of the card recommendation “a little disturbing.”

“It just illustrates how easily political data becomes a part of this process, and no one is immune to it,” Sandall said.

Facer defended the card, saying they were aware of the tool Hepworth was using, but determined his card met the criteria of the Independent Redistribution Commission and saw no political data influencing him.

As one of a few dozen members of the public who lined up to address the legislative committee, Hepworth took the microphone to also defend his card, which he said had been ‘under attack’.

“It is true that I was aware of the political data when I was drawing the map, but it did not consciously impact the decisions I made when drawing the map,” Hepworth said, noting that his card was chosen because it “outclassed” the other card that the redistribution commission was considering. “So I don’t think my political biases had any impact on the map.”

Hepworth told lawmakers it was “essential in the interests of maintaining voter confidence in government” for the legislative redistribution committee to adopt the independent commission’s mapping recommendations. He challenged lawmakers to do better.

“If the legislature thinks it can do better than the commission, then it must demonstrate that by showing their cards outperforms the commission’s cards by all commission criteria and by subjecting those cards to a vigorous and transparent process,” the commission cards went through to get here, ”Hepworth said.

Hepworth’s comments drew applause from the crowd, which was not allowed under the committee’s rules of decorum. Representative Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, co-chair of the committee, quickly suppressed the applause by saying, “No applause.”

What got Utah to this point?

The redistribution process takes place every 10 years. The maps that are ultimately adopted will determine the boundaries of Utah’s political districts for the next decade, from school boards to the state legislature to Congress.

The commission was created after Utah voters in 2018 narrowly approved a voting initiative calling for an independent redistribution commission to draw new cards that will be used to help decide who voters can vote for to represent. the interests of their region. The purpose of the commission was to ensure that Utah’s next set of political boundaries would be decided independently of politics and without partisan gerrymandering.

But the GOP majority in the Utah Legislature, fearing the commission was usurping the legislature’s constitutional duty to oversee the redistribution, intervened.

In 2020, the legislature struck a deal with supporters of Better Boundaries, designating the Utah Independent Redistribution Commission as sole adviser to state legislators, which will ultimately decide which maps to approve.

The seven-member independent Redistribution Commission was created to represent the people of Utah, 80% of whom live on the Wasatch Front while the remaining 20% ​​live in more rural areas scattered across larger areas of the state. . Five members live in areas of Wasatch Front which generally have more urban characteristics, while two members live in more rural areas.

But last week, former congressman Rob Bishop abruptly resigned from the independent redistribution commission, complaining that the commission was unfairly weighted to favor urban rather than rural interests.

Days after Bishop resigned, House Speaker Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, admitted that “the ink is still wet” on the cards recommended by the independent commission and that it was too early to say if The Legislative Redistribution Commission would accept the map proposals, but he suggested that the Utah legislature may completely reassess the independent commission and its process.

The speaker said Bishop’s resignation “highlights that it may not be working as expected”.

“And so, maybe we need to go back to the drawing board and figure out if this process makes sense and if so, what does it look like?” Wilson told reporters last week.

Following Bishop’s resignation, Wilson appointed former Rep. Logan Wilde, who until earlier this year served as Utah’s Agriculture and Food Commissioner, to fill the vacant position of Bishop on the Independent Redistribution Commission. Wilson said Wilde, as “rural Utahn,” would bring “a unique perspective” even though his term on the commission would only last a few days.

Asked by Rep. Brad Last, R-Hurricane, what scenario would be “offensive” to the Independent Redistribution Commission, depending on what happens next, Facer said that “the thing that would be the most offensive would be for the commission not to remade more surface. ”

“The work of the commission has been productive,” he said. “Colleagues from across the country have told us that our function is truly a model of a cooperative function. … So I think what would be really offensive is if this work does not go ahead.

‘Good luck’

Former Senator Lyle Hillyard – a Logan Republican who was the longest-serving member of the Utah legislature before losing reelection in 2020 – hailed the commission and its process as fair and without any political motivation.

“I am convinced that if we had entered partisan politics,” said Hillyard, the maps “would never have been completed.”

On the contrary, Hillyard said the commission had focused on “keeping the cities together” and that if they were to be divided, members made sure it was a “clean cut.”

Lawmakers on Utah’s legislative redistribution committee have asked members of the independent commission many questions about the boundaries of the cards and why they were drawn in certain ways. Facer and other members, including Hillyard, answered every question in detail, explaining instances where commission members had to make tough technical choices while trying to balance the numbers while not dividing the communities that did not want to be divided.

“We did our best,” Hillyard said, although he added that while the independent commission was responsible for choosing a single card recommendation from Congress, State House, State Senate and the school district, “we wouldn’t agree.”

“Now we’re going to kick you in the ball and say, ‘Good luck,’” said Hillyard, noting that while the independent commission had only seven members, the Utah legislature has 104 voting members, therefore choosing a card for each political jurisdiction will be a challenge.

Hillard’s advice? “I learned a long time ago that politics is the art of compromise.

“For my part,” Hillyard added, “will never criticize what you do because I know how difficult it is going to be. … Good luck.”



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Salt lake city

Tokyo Olympics: Tokyo Olympics: The Meaning of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Cauldron at the University of Utah


Much of Friday’s event was spent remembering and sharing stories about the 2002 Games. As for the cauldron, there are plenty of crazy stories to share even after the organizers have passed. flag poles and railings. The design itself was quite a challenge. Once the “light the fire inside” theme was selected, organizers told Romney they likely needed a cauldron that somehow reflected that. An idea emerged to make it out of glass so that it could appear as if the Olympic flame was burning inside. But this concept encountered several logistical problems. WET Design, co-founded by University of Utah graduate Mark Fuller, was chosen to design the cauldron. Eccles remembers that the flame, spanning over 10 feet, was visible throughout the Salt Lake valley once the cauldron was lit. This, Romney said, required a lot of gas to power – so much he was told that “several people cooking had their stoves turned off” when the first lighting test occurred at the company’s California studio. . Now, as the 20th anniversary of the Salt Lake City Games approaches, the cauldron has been officially re-ignited – temporarily, at least – in a new plaza in a new location just outside of the University’s Rice-Eccles Stadium. from Utah. Romney, Eccles and others who have worked behind the scenes to organize or participate in the games gathered on Friday afternoon to unveil the new Olympic and Paralympic Games in Salt Lake City and light the cauldron once more after its recent renovation .

Tokyo Olympics: The Meaning of the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic Cauldron at the University of Utah It makes the glass black, so you’re going to quickly have it all black and you’re not going to see the fire, ” Romney recalled Friday. Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

That night, however, the navigation was not easy. Romney explained that in order to light the cauldron during the ceremony, you must have a nightlight that lights the cauldron. Two night lights were installed at the time to ensure that if one goes out before the cauldron is lit, a second is still there. Senator Mitt Romney explores the location of the 2002 University of Utah Olympic and Paralympic cauldron during an unveiling ceremony at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Friday.

Disclaimer: If you need to update / change this article, please visit our help center. For the latest updates Follow us on Google News The final product was constructed of hardened steel and 738 pieces of glass designed to remind of an ice cube, assembled just in time to be lit on February 8, 2002. Senator Mitt Romney explores the University of the 2002 Utah Olympic and Paralympic Cauldron Plaza in an unveiling ceremony at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Friday.

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  • Title: Tokyo Olympics: The Meaning of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Cauldron at the University of Utah
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Utah economy

Changing EPA Policies in a Changing Environment – The Daily Utah Chronicle

The EPA is responsible for regulating the production and manufacture of chemicals and other pollutants. The agency enforces its regulations through fines and penalties, among other methods.

The Trump administration has favored a more lenient EPA policy towards businesses and the fossil fuel industry. The administration sought to limit the agency’s ability to enforce environmental regulations with various procedures such as the cost-benefit rule, which CNBC said “imposed restrictions on cost-benefit analyzes for rule making. of the Clean Air Act without explaining why these requirements were necessary. “

The Biden administration is currently in the process of overturning Trump-era EPA policies in a bid to tackle climate change and other issues the administration sees as imminent threats to the United States.

Juliet Carlisle, professor of political science at the University of Utah, said the major shift between the Trump-era EPA and the current administration’s EPA policies is who is in charge and who is in charge. how committed this person is to the protection of the environment.

“Trump appointed an EPA director who sought to dismantle the EPA from within and cripple its ability to do its job,” Carlisle said. “Biden’s goal is to tackle the climate crisis and other environmental issues and knows the EPA has an important role to play in making that happen. “

Carlisle said federal policy can have a strong and direct impact on the environment.

“Specific policies aim to protect the environment to varying degrees, for example,” she said. “However, some policies, not directly related to the environment, can still have an environmental impact.”

Every four to eight years, when a new president takes office, the policy of that administration is adopted.

These changes across jurisdictions can thwart environmental conservation goals and efforts, Carlisle said.

“Presidents can appoint and Congress approves cabinet officials,” she said. “Majorities in Congress can influence policies that are introduced, voted on, and presidents decide what to sign and what not to sign into law… President Trump, for example, unilaterally [decided] withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement. Environmental changes can happen quickly or rather slowly. The reality is that we are facing dire circumstances with climate change and the effects are already there. “

The environmental effects of these policies can be seen in Utah. For example, cleaner air initiatives are a common priority in the Salt Lake Valley, as the region is reaching record levels for air quality this year alone.

“The policies of the Trump era reversed many environmental protections,” Carlisle said. “One in particular was to change the designation of bear ears. In addition, many of Trump’s regulatory setbacks concerned the production of fossil fuels. The burning of fossil fuels has a direct and negative impact on the climate, exacerbating the effects of climate change. In Utah, climate change is having real and significant consequences for our state. “

For many in Utah – a state with five national parks – protecting the environment is important. Plus, a good business atmosphere may be a priority for many, especially with the high economic growth rates seen in Utah and Washington counties in recent years, according to St. George News.

Tyler Boyles, president of the Republicans at U College, said he believes Utah should be both pro-business and pro-environment.

“We don’t have to choose one or the other,” he said. “The Green New Deal is not a solution, and killing our environment is not the solution. The solution enables companies to innovate and create new ways of being environmentally friendly.

According to Boyles, the nation can see significant progress if businesses and enterprises are guided to create these solutions. He said it can be done without hurting the economy.

“I think when you allow the private sector to innovate and inspire them to create better and cleaner solutions, you can be much more effective in ensuring that we have a clean environment that we can pass on to our future generations. “, did he declare.

Boyles said the Trump administration has done a good job of securing this by making the United States energy independent.

“We need to take sound environmental approaches that can benefit both [business and the environment], “he said.” The US private sector is the most efficient, and if the big government stepped aside, we could really see significant progress in climate and environmental solutions. “

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Salt lake city

The University of Utah: Build Your Village with Komae


It really takes a village to raise a child, and Komae (Greek for “village”), a company providing an innovative and participatory childcare solution, is bringing that colloquial expression into the 21st century. The University of Utah is partnering with Komae to address relevant issues many may have in ensuring high-quality, affordable care for their children.

Essentially, Komae allows users to interact with other parents and create little “pods” with similar parenting styles and COVID-19 safety practices. They can then provide and receive childcare services, setting dates and times through the app. Komae provides an innovative point redemption system to ensure that the service can essentially remain “free forever” for users. Parents earn and spend “points” for the hours of child care they use. One hour of care given or used is equivalent to one point. A more detailed explanation can be found in the Instruction guide for families.

Through U’s partnership with Komae, parents and families associated with the university can use the ONEU code, which offers a host of benefits to the user. Using the code provides free tickets for parent and family workshops. You might like to attend a seminar on “Escape the Guilt Trap of Working Parents” or bring your child to a workshop, such as “Music Game for Babies and Toddlers”. These and other activities are all provided for free with the use of the ONEU code.

The ONEU code will also allow you to obtain exclusive discounts on points. Parents who need to spend more points than they normally earn must purchase additional points at the rate of $ 15 per point. However, with the discount offered by the university, the additional points cost only $ 1. That’s over 90% off.

The exclusive ONEU code will also guarantee access to the Utah Co-op on the Komae app. Until now, the cooperative has been open to everyone, but from November the ONEU code will be required to access it. Utah Co-op members receive four free points each month, starting in December. This is sufficient for an entire session.

There’s a lot going on with Komae at U. To start, create your account on Komae and join the University of Utah group. And if you haven’t already had the chance, be sure to explore other resources for dependents available to all U employees. For the latest events and how-to guides, visit the resources page at mykomae.com/Utah.


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Salt lake city government

Utah health care provider to demand COVID vaccines


SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Intermountain Healthcare, Utah’s largest healthcare provider, announced Wednesday that it will require all of its caregivers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to comply with pending federal rules.

Dr Mark Briesacher, chief medical officer of Intermountain Healthcare, said the hospital system will comply with federal immunization requirements announced by President Joe Biden in September.

“Following this government rule will allow us to continue caring for patients and members of our communities and to help keep our caregivers as safe as possible, which is essential to our mission,” he said in a statement. communicated.


Around 80% of Intermountain healthcare providers are already fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated employees can request medical or religious exemptions as part of a process already in place for other vaccinations, Briesacher said.

Employees will have until January 5 to get their first injection. Those who do not comply will be placed on administrative leave.

The University of Utah Health, the state’s second-largest healthcare system, approved a resolution requiring employees to be vaccinated in August.


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Salt lake city

Will the new TRAX station solve an unprecedented problem for Salt Lake City International Airport?


Trains come and go as officials gather to celebrate the Utah Transit Authority’s TRAX Airport Station, marking the culmination of 20 months of construction extending TRAX to the new airport terminal in Salt Lake City Monday. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

Estimated reading time: 6-7 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY – Earlier this month, during the Utah school system’s fall recess, staff at Salt Lake International Airport encountered an issue they had not addressed since the the new airport terminal opened last year.

All airport parking lots have been taken. Its parking lot was completely full because of nearly 30,000 travelers coming to catch the plane elsewhere.

“It is a bit disturbing because it means that it is quite likely that there were people driving to the airport, bags in the trunk, tickets in hand, who could not find a place. to park, ”said Bill Wyatt, manager of Salt Lake City. International airport.

While he maintains that airport executives like him will work on parking management in the future, he used this recent example to emphasize the importance of another solution: public transit. In particular, a new tram station.

On Monday, Wyatt, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall and leaders of the Utah Transit Authority welcomed the opening of the new TRAX station at Salt Lake City Airport. They did this by boarding a special Green Line tram that arrived just outside the main terminal at the airport. The train was supposed to pierce a specially designed banner to symbolize an inauguration ceremony, but high winds tore the banner to shreds before the train arrived.

Time could not stop the celebration; it marked the end of 20 months of construction that were delayed due to economic and pandemic issues. City, airport and UTA leaders say the station will be a convenient alternative to driving to the airport, much like the old airport station did for the old one. Salt Lake City airport.

“It’s an exciting day for us,” Mendenhall said. “The way we move people matters. The way you move when you go on a business trip, when you take your family on vacation, and how you see and experience this place has so much to do with the beginning and the end. the end of your commute from home, and the opening of this TRAX (station) is changing the fabric of the experience of Salt Lake City and all of Utah today.

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall, Carlton Christensen, chairman of the board of the Utah Transit Authority, and Bill Wyatt, executive director of <a class=Salt Lake City International Airport, and other officials alight from a train as they gather to celebrate the new UTA TRAX Airport Station, marking the culmination of 20 months of construction extending TRAX to the new airport terminal, in Salt Lake City on Monday, October 25, 2021.”/>
Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall, Carlton Christensen, chairman of the board of the Utah Transit Authority, and Bill Wyatt, executive director of Salt Lake City International Airport, and other officials alight from a train as they gather to celebrate the new UTA TRAX Airport Station, marking the culmination of 20 months of construction extending TRAX to the new airport terminal in Salt Lake City on Monday, October 25, 2021 (Photo: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

Kaitlin Eskelson, president of Visit Salt Lake, said the resort is not only exciting for Utahns heading to the airport for travel. She said the resort’s “ease of access” is one of its main selling points for people coming to Salt Lake City for travel. It only takes 20 minutes to get from the airport train station to the City Creek Center station in downtown Salt Lake City.

Visits to Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County, heavily driven by people entering the state from the airport, play a key role in Utah’s tourism economy. In 2019, before COVID-19, tourism brought in more than $ 10 billion. Salt Lake County accounted for almost half of business and leisure visits.

As the Salt Lake City airport begins to move closer to pre-COVID-19 passenger numbers – levels that fill its parking lot – and business conventions slowly return to downtown Salt Lake City, Eskelson is optimistic that tourism spending numbers will return to normal soon. This is facilitated by the presence of a light rail station just outside the airport which can take people directly into the city. From there, those looking to get to Utah ski resorts can use other UTA services or other means of transportation.

“(Less minutes) they can spend getting to or from the airport, they can spend more time on the runways and more time in our communities,” she said.

Nancy Volmer, spokesperson for the airport, added that the train station and the normal green line service are also invaluable for the nearly thousands of employees who travel to and from the airport just for work.

The airport’s first station opened in April 2013 as part of an extension of what was then the new green TRAX line connecting Salt Lake City International Airport to West Valley City, passing through the center. -City of Salt Lake City. Carlton Christensen, chairman of the UTA board, said there have been 2.7 million trips to the airport since the line opened.

The Green Line has connection points to the Red Line, which goes to the University of Utah and the Daybreak District in southern Jordan, and the Blue Line, which connects downtown Salt Lake City to Drape. There is also a connection point with UTA’s FrontRunner, which is a commuter train service that connects Ogden to Provo. All of this is in addition to the many bus stations that connect several other routes through Salt Lake County.

Construction on the new airport station began in March 2020. Christensen said the line was extended by 1,500 feet. The whole project cost $ 22 million, which was obtained through local funding.


Hopefully we’ll see a slight uptick now that people know it’ll be a little more convenient – or maybe a lot more convenient – just to jump on the green line and hike it all the way here.

–Carl Arky, Utah Transit Authority spokesperson


The new airport station itself may seem familiar to those who used TRAX to get to the old airport. That’s because materials from the old station have been moved to the new location, according to UTA spokesperson Carl Arky. He said recycling the items saved both time and money. The project was originally slated for completion in July, but COVID-19 issues and concrete supply shortages delayed the project for a few more months.

Until Monday, passengers could take the green TRAX line to the airport, but had to take a bus to the terminal. The bus also took passengers from the terminal to the green line; however, the process has resulted in delays ranging from a few minutes to an hour in some cases.

It is not clear whether these delays resulted in a drop in ridership on the Green Line. UTA has seen a massive drop in ridership system-wide since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which hit Utah in mid-March 2020. While ridership is still significantly lower at pre-pandemic levels, the agency reported an increase in ridership during recent times.

UTA reports that it made an average of 33,704 weekday boardings in September, up 54% from the previous September, but still 45% below the September 2019 averages. In addition, the agency continues report new post-pandemic monthly records. September 2021 also marked the first time UTA has returned to 30,000 or more runners on weekdays since April 2020.

“Hopefully we’ll see a slight uptick now that people know it will be a little more convenient – or maybe a lot more convenient – just to jump on the green line and hike it this far,” Arky said. . “It just takes time.”

Carlton Christensen, chairman of the board of the Utah Transit Authority, speaks as officials gather to celebrate the new TRAX airport station, marking the culmination of 20 months of construction extending TRAX to the new airport terminal, in Salt <a class=Lake City on Monday, October 25, 2021.”/>
Carlton Christensen, chairman of the board of the Utah Transit Authority, speaks as officials gather to celebrate the new TRAX airport station, marking the culmination of 20 months of construction extending TRAX to the new airport terminal, in Salt Lake City on Monday, October 25, 2021 (Photo: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

As ridership continues to increase, UTA is looking for ways to help it grow further. Christensen said UTA will extend Sunday service at the airport from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. starting December 12. This is a return to the hours of service that existed before the pandemic.

He added that the agency was also preparing to launch an incentive that will allow travelers with a “current day” boarding pass to travel for free on TRAX in an effort to encourage people to use the service.

Meanwhile, Arky said he thinks it is “critical” that the project be completed before the next vacation travel season and as air travel increases.

“This airport is already attracting more and more traffic. So I think more and more people are going out and starting to travel again and we are getting closer to vacations, and Salt Lake City and the metro area continues to grow organically as we go. and as we go, I think every mode of transportation we can offer that offers a better solution… wouldn’t be fast enough, ”he said.“ It’s great that we have done this now. We have seen nothing but continued growth and continued use of the airport. “

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Salt lake city government

Inside the lawsuit that ended the patenting of genes in the United States


Protesters outside the United States Supreme Court in 2013 as arguments were heard over patenting genes.Credit: Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call

Defense of the genome: in the epic legal battle to determine who owns your DNA Jorge L. Contreras Algonquin (2021)

Not that long ago, if you were to ask someone about the practice of the United States Patent and Trademark Office of granting patents on human genes, you would probably get one of two answers. . Biotech insiders would shrug their shoulders – such patents had been common practice for decades. They were considered a mainstay of the nascent genetic testing industry. Those who are less intimate with the inner workings of biotech often have a different reaction: “But that’s just… wrong,” lawyer Chris Hansen said. “Who can we sue?” “

In 2009, Hansen, a veteran of civil rights cases at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in New York City, engaged in a lawsuit that ended the patenting of genes in the United States. The effort seemed doomed to fail, but Hansen won in the United States Supreme Court, challenging the very idea of ​​what patents are and what they should do.

The unexpected twists and turns of this case – as well as its impact on medicine, and in particular on the lives of women affected by breast and ovarian cancer – are skillfully and lovingly detailed in Defense of the genome. Its author, patent specialist Jorge Contreras, has strongly criticized overly broad patents and universities which grant exclusive licenses to their intellectual property, especially when they maintain monopolies and cede the responsible management of their patents to the licensee (JL Contreras and JS Cherkow Science 355, 698-700; 2017).

This spirit is evident in the book. But readers should note that Contreras is now employed by the University of Utah at Salt Lake City, which historically generated some of the patents Hansen ultimately decided to challenge. (Contreras accepted the Utah job after starting the book; he argues that its themes go beyond a set of patents to describe the tensions between the law and the pace of technology.)

These patents claimed rights to the sequencing of two genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2. Some variations of these are associated with breast and ovarian cancer. The University of Utah licensed some of the relevant patents exclusively to Myriad Genetics in the 1990s. The Salt Lake City company used its intellectual property to create a monopoly on certain cancer risk tests and threatened its potential competitors of legal action. At the time, tests cost thousands of dollars and, in large part thanks to the vagaries of the U.S. health care system, were not always available to the people who needed them.

Personal stories

The consequences of this lack of access could be devastating. Contreras makes no effort to detail the stories of women who failed to get tested, only to find out later that they had life-threatening cancer that could have been prevented.

But in the 2000s, gene patents were common. In 2005, a team estimated that 20% of the human genome had been patented (K. Jensen and F. Murray Science 310, 239-240; 2005). Although nature’s products are not patentable under US law, some lawyers have argued that the isolation of a gene from its surrounding chromosome fundamentally alters DNA and is therefore an invention. Another, more utilitarian defense argued that genetic patents were necessary to foster innovation in health care.

There’s a reason few thrillers have been based on patent law. Patents are hard to digest, sometimes by design. The more ambiguous they are, the more opportunity a patentee may have to claim that his intellectual property encompasses someone else’s invention. “The first part of a patent reads like a scientific article written by a lawyer, and the last part reads like a legal document written by a scientist,” Contreras writes. “Either way, you get the worst of both worlds.”

Fortunately, Contreras spares us the details, removing only the nuggets necessary to understand the case. It explains the scientific and legal arguments clearly and succinctly. (He does a better job than some of the lawyers and judges involved, who spoke of painful analogies throughout the four-year process: Genes have been likened in various ways to chocolate chip cookies, baseball bats. and kidneys.)

For me, the most interesting parts of the book were its tangents. Myriad’s story highlights the convoluted incentives in the genetic testing industry that sometimes work against the best interests of patients. I was keen to learn more about how the Supreme Court ruling – as well as other recent court decisions on what can and cannot be patented – affected the industry. The book also lacks any international context for gene patents, which are alive and well in Europe. A 2017 survey of European genetic testing laboratories revealed that 14% of nonprofit respondents had refrained from offering genetic testing due to patent issues (J. Liddicoat et al. EUR. J. Hum. Broom. 27, 997–1007; 2019).

But Contreras succeeds in his main mission: to detail the narrative story of a historic patent case. The personal stories of the key players are rich in detail. We meet Tania Simoncelli, who, as an ACLU intern with a passion for science and social justice issues, first brought gene patents to Hansen’s attention. And we meet Herman Yue, who at the time the case was brought was an intern for a federal district judge, and who had just completed a doctorate in molecular biology. Yue played a central role in crafting a surprise court ruling in favor of the ACLU.

Readers are also treated within the history of the schism in the US government, with some agencies, notably the Patent Office, in favor of patents on genes, and the National Institutes of Health, among others, against them. It was up to Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal to walk a tightrope between the arguing parties, ultimately developing a federal government position: namely, entire gene sequences as found in genomes should not be patentable, but the assembled regions encoding the proteins of a gene – minus the intermediate pieces of non-coding DNA often scattered throughout – should. Compromise does not completely satisfy anyone.

By 2013, when the Supreme Court rendered its unanimous decision in favor of the ACLU, gene patents and Myriad-like tests on single genes were already out of fashion. Medical diagnostics have shifted to multigene testing, and now, more and more, the focus is on whole genome sequencing. But this story is a guide to the forces shaping a growing industry – and the thwarted influence of patents.

Competing interests

The author declares no competing interests.


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Salt lake city government

Utah faces repercussions for failing to adopt federal emergency standard for COVID-19


A University of Utah health worker prepares to treat patients in the medical intensive care unit at the University of Utah hospital on July 30. (Charlie Ehlert, University of Utah)

Estimated reading time: 4-5 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY – Because Utah has not accepted a temporary federal emergency standard to protect healthcare workers from COVID-19 or provided a sufficient alternative, the Federal Safety and Health Administration at Labor said on Tuesday it was reconsidering and proposing to revoke the state’s current approval to run its own occupational safety and health program.

This decision would put the program back under the authority of the federal administration.

On June 21, the US Department of Labor released a temporary emergency standard to help protect healthcare workers from COVID-19. Utah is one of 22 states that have an approved state plan, state-run occupational safety and health program for workers in the private sector and state and local governments. This standard included preventative safety measures such as masks and social distancing as well as time off for workers who contracted COVID-19. It applies to healthcare workers in occupations at high risk of exposure to the coronavirus.

Due to OSHA’s declaration of the emergency standard, these states had to either adopt the standard or create an alternative that was at least as effective.

Of the 28 other states and territories that have state plans in place, only three have not adopted any part of the Temporary Emergency Standard or provided no alternatives – Utah, South Carolina and Arizona. The Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration sent letters of courtesy to these states advising them of these failures.

“OSHA has worked in good faith to help the three state plans comply with their requirement to adopt an equivalent emergency temporary standard, but their continued refusal is a failure to keep their state plan commitments. to provide both a program for employee health and safety protection that meets the requirements of the OHS Act and is at least as effective as the federal program, ”said Jim Frederick, Assistant Under Secretary of Labor for OSHA.

States had until July 6 to inform the administration of what they would face with this non-compliance with the standard. Even after Utah was notified, it missed that deadline as well as the 30-day deadline to provide an “at least as effective” alternative, the administration said. The state also failed to inform the administration of the reasons for not meeting these deadlines and has consistently refused to indicate whether it intends to adopt the federal standard or an effective alternative standard.

Due to these failures, the administration said it was starting review proceedings and offered to revoke the state’s final approval.

“The more they refuse, the more they needlessly endanger thousands of workers,” said Frederick.

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox and Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson challenged the Department of Labor’s assessment in a statement released Tuesday night.

“We are very disappointed with the US Department of Labor’s claim that the Utah state plan is less effective than the federal one. In a July 21, 2021 letter to Secretary of Labor (Marty) Walsh, the governors of Utah, Wyoming and Nebraska have expressed concern that health care (temporary emergency standard) places an unfair burden on the health care sector and noted that our states do not have the regulatory power to require employers to pay sick leave to their employees, ”wrote Cox and Henderson.

“We reject the claim that the Utah state plan is less effective than the federal plan. While we have not refused to adopt the standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, we will again request the opportunity to discuss with the Biden administration our legitimate concerns regarding compliance with the proposed HTA for healthcare. Despite today’s communication, we are still happy to have the opportunity to further explain our position and our recommendations. ”

There are several stages of federal approval of a state plan, and the first is called “initial approval”. During this stage, the state and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration maintain shared authority that “may be exercised if OSHA deems it necessary and appropriate.” Utah also needs to prove that its state-run program is at least as effective in protecting workers and preventing workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities as the federal government’s plans.

Once a state plan reaches final approval status, the federal government does not enforce the program and leaves it to the state. The Utah State Plan achieved final approval status in 1985, meaning the state was fully responsible for enforcement rather than the federal government, as long as it is overseen and approved by administration. Utah receives $ 1.6 million in grants from the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The next step in the reconsideration process is to notify the state federal registry and then offer a 35-day comment period for interested parties to discuss the proposed revocation. Commentators with substantial objections could raise an audience. At the end of the process, the administration will make a decision regarding the revocation at that time.

“We need to fully understand the comments we received and understand the views expressed. We will analyze the comments and make sure we move forward properly at that time,” Frederick said.

The decision is motivated by the administration’s desire to maintain safety, because “OSHA’s job is to protect workers,” he added.

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Utah economy

Here’s How You Can Help Solve Southern Utah’s Housing Crisis

Adam Lenhard, City Manager of St. George
Housing is a regional issue. It concerns us all. It is not something that St. George alone can solve.

Tai Christensen, head of diversity at CBC Mortgage, owned by Utah Paiute, said she understands why residents don’t want to see high density housing in their neighborhoods.

“But unfortunately, we are experiencing a housing shortage and low inventory like we haven’t seen in almost 100 years,” she said. “And so we need to open ourselves and our communities to affordable housing solutions. And affordable housing solutions mean mass housing… And while that may not be visually appealing, it does offer people the opportunity to live in good quality neighborhoods and afford to pay where they are. they live.

With Utah’s ever-growing population, in part due to tourism, employment opportunities and large families, more affordable housing is needed if families are to stay close to each other, said Dejan Eskic, researcher. principal at the Gardner Institute at the University of Utah. .

“I think we are all NIMBYs [Not In My Backyard]. I think we just have to make it happen and change is difficult, ”Eskic said.

Even though locals feel there is a way to avoid the growth, some say it is inevitable.

“We have to recognize that communities are going to be built somewhere, right? Olga Hernandez-Favela, Racial and Economic Disparities Coordinator for the Utah Housing Coalition. “We’re talking about community members, we’re talking about neighbors, we’re talking about people who could potentially help our economy.”

Problems and Solutions: How You Can Help With Southern Utah’s Housing Crisis

Chris Caldwell, K. Sophie Will and Sean Hemmersmeier, St. George Spectrum & Daily News

“I know the market will adapt”

For those who feared this economy could be another real estate bubble and lead to a recession like the one in 2008, experts say it’s quite the opposite.

“What the financial crash of the mid-2000s did, COVID did the opposite – it sped up house prices,” said Dejan Eskic, senior researcher at the Gardner Institute at the University of Utah. “So it’s a horrible housing market. You could say it’s as bad as last time. But on the flip side, because it’s so unaffordable.

However, there is still residue from 2008 on this issue.

“I think there is probably still resentment from the latest housing boom and collapse where cities need to protect themselves,” Eskic said. “I think it’s the public sector and the private sector that communicate more.

He believes the state and the country are entering an economic recovery phase, and economists in the Utah Department of Workforce Services know the market will adjust.

“I know the market will adjust, what I don’t know is when it will adjust and what the adjustment will look like,” said regional economist Lecia Langston. “We can see that we cannot continue as we are right now. There has to be some kind of market adjustment.

Langston posed the question to everyone with “how do we get through the short term until the economy takes care of itself in the long term?”

In the Springdale tourism hub, former Springdale City Associate Planner Sophie Frankenburg said tourism won’t slow down, it’s just a matter of where to place people now.

“I think right now the immediate response should be to look for housing outside of exclusive single-family homes,” she said.

The proposed solutions to the Springdale housing crisis.
City of Springdale / Zions Public Finance, Inc.

Springdale’s Strategic Housing Plan offers many solutions, including a community land trust, increasing the number of secondary suites, rezoning, transferable development rights, public infrastructure neighborhoods, tax credit for low income rents and a loan fund for low income projects, all of which are in effect around the state and neighboring Colorado.

When it comes to the environment around Springdale and southern Utah, the biggest concern right now is water.

With 2.5 million or more people expected to become Utahns by 2050, the state needs more water to support everyone.

“With careful planning and stewardship, the people of Utah can have enough water to support agriculture, wildlife and recreation while providing enough water to meet the needs of growing communities,” said advocacy group Your Utah Your Future said on its website.

Who is responsible?

Some believe it is the cities and counties that have the power to help solve the housing crisis, such as Don Willie, president and CEO of the St. George’s Area Chamber of Commerce.

“But the municipalities are the ones that really have to own it. And, you know, they have to have a policy, ”Willie said. “It’s a community effort, we look to examples outside of our region of how this is being managed, so we would like municipalities to do more to lead this conversation. “

The Gardner Institute agrees, with a report last November saying, “The best chance of reducing shortages and improving affordability depends on local policies and practices.

Some local leaders are all ready to discuss high density, such as St. George City Councilor Dannielle Larkin.

Danielle Larkin, St. George City Councilor
High density belongs to our community and we desperately need it. Who is moving into this accessible accommodation? Your children, your parents, your great aunt and your uncle.

“High density belongs to our community and we desperately need it,” she said. “Who is moving into this accessible accommodation? Your children, your parents, your great aunt and your uncle.

Washington County Commissioner Almquist said the housing crisis was “constantly” on the agenda and had considered using low interest rates to borrow money and build more homes, but decided not to.

Almquist said he has seen affordable housing work in major cities and the county can harness their techniques.

“There are two things: great design and great management,” he said. “So if we can bring these two together, then even some communities will tolerate and neighbors can tolerate a denser, properly designed and managed area for those who simply cannot afford it.”

Washington County Commissioner Gil Almquist comments during an emergency session to declare a local <a class=state of emergency on March 20, 2020.” height=”3744″/>
Washington County Commissioner Gil Almquist comments during an emergency session to declare a local state of emergency on March 20, 2020.
Chris Caldwell / The Spectrum & Daily News

Governor Spencer Cox told The Spectrum that the housing crisis is also an issue close to his heart.

“We are doing everything we can, there is not much the state can do,” he said.

But some residents might think the government is doing too much, said City Manager Lenhard.

“And it’s a tricky place because we are balancing the quality of life and the pace of growth as we try to meet the demand,” he said.

Companies are doing everything they can to balance a good salary with a profit, Langston and Willie said.

To help minorities receive fair housing, every member of the community needs to have difficult conversations about the racist past and help communicate resources in the future, said Hernandez-Favela of the Utah Housing Coalition.

Olga Hernandez-Favela, Racial and Economic Disparities Coordinator for the Utah Housing Coalition
We need to have really honest and vulnerable conversations about racism, and we need to figure out how to make room at the table.

“So to move forward, I think we have to hold ourselves accountable for what has happened, which means we have to have really honest and vulnerable conversations about racism, and we have to figure out how to do it. the place at the table, ”she said. .

A June report from the Utah Department of Multicultural Affairs said targeted education and resources for the Black, Indigenous and Colored (BIPOC) community are essential to equality.

“More initiatives are needed to encourage tenancy to members of BIPOC communities, such as grants or tax breaks,” he said, also calling on the state legislature to review potentially eviction laws discriminatory.

“It’s hard to see such a huge problem,” Barben said. “And everyone’s waiting for the next person to take the lead and go do something, you know, let’s make a difference here. But it only takes one person at a time. And if we can rally everyone, I think we have a bright future. “

And in the end, that’s pretty much how every Southern Utahn treats their neighbors.

“It’s about helping your neighbor. It’s about recognizing the humanity of the person, ”said Hernandez-Favela. “I think it’s a very good starting point.

To explore the extent of this crisis, The Spectrum produced a seven-part series on the housing crisis in St. George and southern Utah.

From more information on the city’s reports to zoning to minority issues to tourism management to struggles for students and the elderly and solutions to this problem, we’ve got it all covered.

Sean Hemmersmeier contributed reporting for this article.

K. Sophie Will is the National Parks reporter for The Spectrum & Daily News for the GroundTruth Project’s Report for America initiative. Follow her on Twitter at @ksophiewill or email him at [email protected] Donate to Report for America to support their work here.

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Salt lake city

Demolition begins on former Raging Waters water park in Salt Lake City


SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – As of 2018, the former Raging Waters water park has been a fading stain in the southern part of Salt Lake City. Now the city and the entrepreneurs are ready to make way for a new feature.

Before becoming Raging Waters, in 2016, the park changed ownership and changed its name from Seven Peaks Water Park. In 2019, tall grass and dry weeds near the slides ignited in July, but Salt Lake City fire crews were able to save the structures. Less than two weeks later, on August 4, flames ravaged the vacant park office.

When the Seven Peaks deal expired, a company called Blue Island took over and had big plans to renovate the park into a resort town with new pools, slides, restaurants, retail spaces and even the longest river. lazy of the world. Eventually, this company withdrew and attempts to reach them failed.

Last fall, the Glendale Community Council held an onsite visionary conversation about the future of the property. This summer, the Glendale Community Council hosted discussions on the condition and potential of the old water park.

After working with contractors over the summer to remove hazardous buildings, Salt Lake City is now ready to move on to the next phase of its deconstruction of the Raging Waters site, removing paving, certain features in the soil and the slides this fall.

“We want this land to become a valuable community asset again,” said Mayor Erin Mendenhall. “The water park is an important part of the history of our city and of its future. We look forward to learning from the Glendale community and other Salt Lake residents what this site means to them and how it could be transformed.

The City plans to recycle and reuse most of the infrastructure left in the park. This includes site concrete, which will be crushed and recycled as a road base. Some of the slides will be stored for potential future use and other site features will be removed or adapted while retaining their potential for integration into future design.

In addition, contractors take precautions to protect healthy trees living on the site.

Salt Lake City Public Lands has initiated a planning process to create a vision for the new regional park at the former Glendale Water Park site. Public engagement will begin in November with a vision plan slated for spring and the implementation of some amenities starting in summer 2022. More details on the project can be found found here.


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Salt lake city government

Can Complicated Land Trade Fix Red Butte Garden Fence Snafu?


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Salt lake city

UTA says plans will cause service delays at Salt Lake City, U. of U.


Passengers arrive by TRAX train at Salt Lake City International Airport on May 13, 2013. The airport’s new station is nearing completion, according to UTA. (Ravell call, Deseret News)

Estimated reading time: 2-3 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Transit Authority advises passengers at Salt Lake City International Airport and the University of Utah to expect light rail delays this month due to nearby projects of both sites.

UTA on Monday began a bus bridge on its green TRAX line to and from Salt Lake City International Airport. The crews are currently working on the construction of a new station which will eventually lead passengers to the new main terminal of the airport.

While passengers were able to exit at a temporary stop near the airport and take a short bus ride to it, passengers are now advised to exit at 1940 West Station and then proceed. a longer bus ride to the airport. Buses will also take passengers from the airport to the 1940 West Station.

Transit officials say passengers should expect delays of 15 to 30 minutes due to the bus bridge, which will run until October 21. Buses will run every 15 minutes between 5:32 a.m. and 11:06 p.m. on weekdays, every 30 minutes between 6:25 a.m. and 11:25 p.m. on Saturdays, and every 30 minutes between 6:25 a.m. and 8:05 p.m. on Sundays for the duration of the project.

Meanwhile, UTA officials said red line runners trying to reach the University of Utah should also expect delays of 15 to 30 minutes from Saturday as the crews replace the tracks near Mario Capecchi Drive. From Saturday to Wednesday, passengers heading to the University of Utah will need to exit at UTA Station 900 East, where a bus will take them to Stadium, South Campus and University Medical Center stations.

UTA officials added that the bus will not travel to Fort Douglas station during the bus bridge service, so those who would normally use this station are encouraged to use the South Campus station instead. . Regular service is scheduled to resume on October 14.

According to the University of Utah’s semester schedule, fall vacation is expected to begin next week, so the delay in service will not impact travel to classes.

The project also involves road closures. Westbound traffic from Mario Capecchi Drive at 1850 East and the bends from Mario Capecchi Drive northbound and southbound at South Campus Drive westbound were closed on Monday due to the project. Two lanes are still open from South Wasatch Drive to Gibbon Street on Mario Capecchi Drive southbound. All closures will remain in place until next Wednesday.

All lanes will be open on South Campus Drive eastbound for the duration of the project. The project could cause delays of up to 30 to 60 minutes for motorists.

The project is similar to the rail replacement that happened near Rice-Eccles Stadium in August. UTA officials said the project would add noise to residents and businesses in the area.

“Residents and local businesses should expect noise all day and night as well as dust, vibration and nighttime lighting during work activities,” they wrote in a press release. . “Barriers will be used to reduce noise.”

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Salt lake city

Utes uses football to heal over death of Aaron Lowe


SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Sports) – It has been over a week now since University of Utah football player Aaron Lowe was shot and killed at a house party.

And even though a week has passed, the coaches, players and the program are still in mourning.

“The tragic and devastating loss of Aaron Lowe still weighs heavily on our hearts and our program, we miss Aaron,” said Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham. “For our team to know the loss we had less than a year, with Ty and Aaron it was a challenge.”

“It’s not an easy time, what happened was terrible,” Utah quarterback Cam Rising said. “It doesn’t make sense, it still baffles me to this day just thinking about it.”

“This program has been through a lot of emotions and outside of football and this is something people tend to forget, at the end of the day we always take our pads off and we are still human,” said the offensive lineman Nick Ford. “So I think the best thing is that we are really a family. “

“It was the most difficult year of my coaching career, without a doubt,” said Whittingham.

With Aaron Lowe’s loss still on his mind, the Utah football team are looking to use this tragic moment to bring the team together and try to achieve their goals.

“Football is a big distraction and having Aaron’s mom come over to talk to us and tell us to keep going because that’s what Aaron would want is kind of the last thing we needed before we went. really be able to deal with it, “wide receiver Britain Covey said.

“The best way to heal is to go through this together and come back to a certain sense of normalcy, but at the same time you never remember it,” Whittingham said. “But it’s therapy to get back into the field. You won’t see anyone wearing 22 in this program anymore, at least while I’m the head coach. We would like to see him retire permanently, it is our wish and I think you will see it happen.

After a well-deserved week off, Utah travels to Los Angeles, Calif., To face USC on October 9.


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Utah economy

COVID-19 has environmental takeaways – The Daily Utah Chronicle

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

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

Environmental origins

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stop of industrial activity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Poor random elimination

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[email protected]

@sarah_buening

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Salt lake city

Real Salt Lake remember Utah DB Aaron Lowe ahead of LA Galaxy game


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah –Real Salt Lake remembered Utah Utes defensive back Aaron Lowe from before the club’s game against LA Galaxy.

RSL hosted Los Angeles at Rio Tinto Stadium on Wednesday, September 29.

Lowe was killed in a shooting in Salt Lake City on Sunday, September 26.

Before kicking off against the Galaxy, Real Salt Lake remembered Lowe and posted a photo of the late defensive back on social media.

“# 22Forever,” RSL tweeted alongside a red heart emoji.

Real Salt Lake’s game against LA kicked off at the same time the University of Utah held a candlelight vigil for Lowe.

The Real Salt Lake game against the Galaxy is streamed on the KSL Sports app and on KSLSports.com.

About Aaron Lowe

Aaron Lowe was the first recipient of the Ty Jordan Memorial Scholarship and changed his number from 2 to 22 during the offseason to honor the life of his childhood friend.

Before the BYU game, the Cougars walked out of their tunnel with an “LLTJ” flag. As Utah came out of its tunnel, former Ute Samson Nacua handed the flag to quarterback and captain Cam Rising, who handed the flag to Aaron Lowe.

Lowe signed with Utah in 2019 as a three-star rookie from West Mesquite High School. He played in 11 games on special teams in his freshman year. During COVID-19’s shortened season, Lowe played in all five special team games in 2020.

SLCPD chief Mike Brown has confirmed that Aaron Lowe was shot and killed in a Sugarhouse neighborhood.

According to a press release sent by the SLCPD, they received a call around 10:30 p.m. MDT on Saturday, September 25 for a noise complaint about a house party at 2200 block of South Broadmoor Street. At approximately 12:30 a.m. MDT on Sunday, September 26, SLC911 received a call from a local person reporting a fight involving a weapon. Police were dispatched immediately after the changed circumstances changed the appeal from a noise complaint to an ongoing emergency.

The statement also said he was under investigation for homicide.

Police tweeted an update at 8:30 a.m. MDT stating that the on-site investigation is complete and all street closures have been lifted. They ask anyone with information about the case to call 801-799-3000 and reference case number 21-176828.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes insider for KSLSports.com, co-host of the Faith, Family and Football podcast with Clark Phillips III and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASports.



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Utah economy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related stories

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Salt lake city government

How a federal government shutdown would affect Utah


SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Congress is negotiating in Washington DC on Wednesday, in hopes that a resolution can be found to maintain funding for government agencies until early December.

If enough votes are not obtained – Democrats will need help reaching the 60 votes needed to pass the resolution in the Senate – the government will enter a shutdown when the clock strikes at 12:01 am Friday.

The effects of a potential shutdown would certainly be felt in the Hive State, according to Jason Perry, director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah.

They were felt during the last government shutdown from December 22, 2018 to January 25, 2019, Perry says.

“The Utahns pretty much know since the last shutdown, it had an impact here,” he told ABC4.com, mentioning that the university’s Gardner Policy Institute estimated that around 10,000 government employees in Utah were on leave or working without pay during the previous stoppage.

These employees included a large portion of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), about 1,000 in total, living in the Davis and Weber County area, which Perry said is the highest concentration of federal employees in the western United States, who was asked to work without pay while on vacation during that 35-day period between 2018 and 2019.

Other government agencies that have a major impact on daily life in Utah would also be affected, one of the most notable perhaps being the National Parks Services (NPS). Any government shutdown would result in the closure of national parks, of which Utah has the most in the country. The impact could reverberate through communities who depend on parks for their livelihoods.

“When it comes to a national park, for example, all the hotels, the restaurants, the people who work for them, they are all affected to some extent, and that also has an impact on the state of the ‘Utah,’ illustrates Perry. “There is also an economic impact there, and most definitely an impact on the paychecks of these workers and the impacts on their families.”

During the 2018-19 shutdown, state funds were reallocated to keep Utah national parks open, due to fears of economic disaster in their communities.

ABC4.com contacted the IRS and was directed to resources provided by the US Department of the Treasury. Although part of a 130-page IRS overview states “While we do not plan to use the plan, prudent management requires agencies to prepare for this eventuality,” a plan is in place at worst case scenario and a shutdown is activated.

According to the IRS contingency plan, a percentage of employees would be retained in the event of a business interruption. If a shutdown were to occur during a non-filing season (which coincidentally begins on Friday, when that potential shutdown would go into effect and last until the end of 2021), 39% of employees would stay on the job. On a hypothetical shutdown during the filling season, that number would drop to 57.6%.

ABC4 also contacted an NPS spokesperson, who said the organization was reviewing its contingency plan while adding “Decisions regarding specific operations and programs have not been made.”

If the figurative doors of Congress were to be slammed for an indefinite period of time, Perry worries it will become some sort of humming affair, with voices on both sides blaming the other. That, along with an already widespread mistrust of the government on the part of some, could make things ugly.

“Besides the other implications of the shutdown, this is becoming a serious messaging problem on both sides of the aisle,” Perry speculates. “This is what happens after a government shutdown. People start to wonder who is to blame, and both parties will try to blame the other party.

But as talks continue in the nation’s capital, Perry hopes government leaders can avoid a shutdown that would be the first to occur during a global pandemic.

“From my observations, negotiations are taking place in Washington in earnest and there appears to be a desire to ensure that a government shutdown does not happen.”


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Salt lake city government

A march for climate change + a souvenir for homicide victims


Have a nice day, neighbors! Sean Peek here with a brand new edition of the Salt Lake City Daily.


Are you a local business owner or a merchant in Salt Lake City? Our premium local sponsorships keep you on top of inboxes in town every morning. Contact us here for the truth.


First of all, the weather forecast for the day:

Clear all day. High: 84 Low: 62.


Here are the best stories today in Salt Lake City:

  1. Utah children, adolescents and young adults marched Utah Capitol Friday as part of a global climate strike calling for action on climate change. The local march was led by Fridays for the Future of Utah, which is part of a global movement initiated in 2018 by Greta Thunberg. A press release from Utah The organization said the protesters called on government leaders to “intervene now to stop behavior that harms the systems that support human life.” (Salt Lake Tribune)
  2. saturday was National Day of Remembrance for Homicide Victims. Groups of loved ones and advocates gathered at the Utah Capitol measures Saturday to honor those who lost their lives in a homicide. More than 100 people were murdered in Utah last year, which is a record in the state. (KSL.com)
  3. University of Utah football player Aaron Lowe died Sunday after being shot at a house party. (KSL.com)
  4. Salt Lake City Police say a 50-year-old woman is in critical condition after being struck in an auto-pedestrian accident on Saturday morning. (ABC 4)
  5. Salt Lake City Fire Department answered the call for a fire that broke out around 6 a.m. on Saturday morning in an old vacant steakhouse slated for demolition. (fox13now.com)

Today in Salt Lake City:

  • Community Reinvestment Agency Meeting – Town of Mill Creek (7:00 p.m.)

Did you know you can feature your local business here in the newsletter for only $ 79 / month? Click here to begin.


You are officially in the know for today. See you tomorrow morning for another update! If you enjoy these newsletters, consider inviting some of your friends and neighbors to read them. You can send them this link to subscribe.

Sean peek

About me: Sean Peek is a writer and entrepreneur who graduated in English Literature from Weber State University. Over the years, he has worked as a copywriter, editor, SEO specialist and marketing manager for various digital media companies. He is currently the co-owner and operator of the content creation agency Lightning Media Partners.


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Salt lake city

Utah football player Aaron Lowe, “a rock of resilience and courage”, shot dead at SLC party


Police made no arrests in the shooting, which also injured a woman.

(Chris Samuels | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Utes cornerback Aaron Lowe waves a Ty Jordan commemorative flag before the Utes play soccer against the Brigham Young Cougars on Saturday, September 11, 2021 in Provo. Lowe was shot and killed at a party in Salt Lake City on Sunday, September 26, 2021.

University of Utah football player Aaron Lowe was shot and killed early Sunday morning at a house party at Sugar House, the Salt Lake City Police Department confirmed.

Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown said Lowe, of Mesquite, Texas, died at the scene after being shot by one or more unknown people. Paramedics transported a second person who had been shot, an adult female, to a local hospital in critical condition. The police did not disclose his name or age.

Lowe’s death is the subject of a homicide investigation.

“I am deeply saddened by the shooting death of Aaron Lowe,” Brown said in A declaration. “This talented young man touched the lives of so many here in Salt Lake City and Texas. The Salt Lake City Police Department mourns and offers condolences to the Lowe family and the University of Utah community. Our condolences also extend to the other person injured in this shooting. I hope for their speedy recovery. These investigations are complex. Our detectives have worked hard to try to identify the suspect (s) in this case. “

Before the SLCPD released Lowe’s name as a victim, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox confirmed in a tweet earlier Sunday morning that Lowe had passed and expressed his condolences to the football player’s family.

The SLCPD received a noise complaint at around 10:30 p.m. on Saturday about a house party in the 2200 block of South Broadmoor Street, near the mouth of Parleys Canyon. Hours later, someone called 911 to report a fight involving a weapon, and a second caller said they heard gunshots.

Lowe was the guest of a house party, police spokesman Brent Weisberg said.

“The people who organized the party wanted it to be a relatively small party. The people who showed up were not guests. They were asked to leave and that’s when this fight took place, ”Weisberg said at a morning press conference.

Officers did not come to the house after receiving noise complaints Friday night due to other higher priority calls, Weisberg said. After receiving reports of a fight involving a weapon, police went to the neighborhood and were making a “tactical approach” to the house when they were told that shots had been fired, Weisberg said.

“The reasons the officers formed their tactical approach were for the safety of the officers and everyone on the scene,” Weisberg said. “They were going into an unknown situation. They knew there was a fight and a gun involved. … They approached together. They wanted to make sure they had enough resources to deal with any potential threat that was on the scene and to immediately deal with the victims. “

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Salt Lake City Police spokesman Brent Weisberg speaks about the shooting death of University of Utah football player Aaron Lowe during a press conference in Salt Lake City on Sunday, September 26, 2021.

The police spokesperson could not say how far away the police were when the shots were fired.

Officers who answered the call found Lowe and the second person who had been shot, and provided first aid to both.

Police said several people who were at the party may have witnessed the shooting but left before police arrived. They are hoping that some of these people have photos or videos that could help resolve the matter.

No arrests were made. The SLCPD asks anyone with information about the case to call 801-799-3000 and reference case number 21-176828.

“We are devastated to learn of the passing of Aaron Lowe,” Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Aaron’s family and friends, as well as the other person who was injured in this tragic incident. Aaron was a great teammate, friend, brother and son and was loved by everyone who crossed paths with him. He will be sorely missed. “

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Utes cornerback Aaron Lowe (22) with teammates as the University of Utah hosts Washington State Football, NCAA in Salt Lake City on Saturday 25 September 2021.

Utes sporting director Mark Harlan added: “We are devastated by the loss of Aaron Lowe earlier this morning. Aaron was a wonderful young man, a leader of our football team and a rock of resilience and courage. Our prayers are with Aaron’s family, friends, teammates, and all who knew and loved him. We also express our deepest concern for the other person who was hospitalized as a result of this tragic incident. We communicate with and support Aaron’s family, as well as student-athletes, coaches and staff in all of our athletic programs, and we will stay focused on them.

Lowe, a high school teammate of the late Ty Jordan at West Mesquite High School in Texas, was named the first recipient of the Ty Jordan Memorial Scholarship on August 31. Lowe has gone from No.2 to No.22 this season in an effort. honor the heritage of Jordan.

“Ty made everyone around him better,” Lowe said after receiving the scholarship. “He made me better. My friendship with Ty means a lot because he always pushed me to give the best of myself. He never let me settle for less. I want to make sure his legacy lives on through me.

Jordan died on Christmas night from an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound.

– This story will be updated.



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Salt lake city 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.


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Salt lake city government

How would you design the Utah voting cards? Here’s how these residents drew theirs


Voters cast their ballot at Trolley Square in Salt Lake City on November 3, 2020. With 2020 census data in hand, Utah is in the process of creating new riding maps for the next 10 years. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

TAYLORSVILLE – When it comes to reconstructing representative boundaries, Stuart Hepworth sees roads as a key part of bringing different neighborhoods together.

For him, it’s important that someone can drive from one Utah electoral district to another without randomly crossing another district in between. This is something that can be difficult in the Beehive State.

“The geography of Utah is quite difficult for someone who values ​​the cohesion and contiguity of roads. Compared to other states, it is much more difficult to create compact districts and contiguous to roads,” a- he said at a meeting of the Utah Independent Redistribution Commission on Tuesday night. . “With the geography of Utah, you have areas that look like they need to be connected on a map, like Uintah and Grand counties for example, where there is no real way to get between them.”

As Utah’s Independent Constituency Commission continues to gather feedback on the state’s new voting cards for the next decade, its leaders spent most of Tuesday’s 2.5-hour meeting listening how a handful of residents of the state designed their own maps of Congress, Parliament and the school board. .

A card creation feature, launched last month, is one of the innovative ways the Utah Independent Redistribution Commission is trying to compile public commentary by trying to come up with more fair voting cards for the public to consider. ‘Utah. Legislature later this year.

The commission has received a modest number of responses in recent weeks. Commission staff said they received more than a dozen card submissions from Congress, but struggled with school boards, only receiving two in that category.

The system allows anyone to design cards and send them to the committee. It drew in people like Hepworth, a native of southern Jordan and a current University of Utah student. Hepworth may have been the star of Tuesday’s meeting, showcasing not only his designs for the four voting cards, but several Congressional District options based on various definitions of the mission.

Explaining his map of the Utah House of Representatives to the commission, he said that in addition to his road theory, he wanted to focus more on neighborhoods and similar communities – a redistribution term called communities of interests – rather than keeping cities in the same neighborhoods. .

A redistrict design for the Utah House of Representatives submitted by Stuart Hepworth.  The University of Utah student said he tried to make sure each district was designed so that someone could drive from one Utah polling district to another without randomly crossing another district in between.
A redistrict design for the Utah House of Representatives submitted by Stuart Hepworth. The University of Utah student said he tried to make sure each district was designed so that someone could drive from one Utah polling district to another without randomly crossing another district in between. (Photo: Utah Independent Redistribution Commission)

“I tried to avoid dividing neighborhoods into cities with very well established neighborhoods,” he said. “One of the (big) things in all of my maps is to keep districts contiguous to roads, so you can drive from one district to another without crossing another district.”

Communities of interest are an important component of redistribution. They are neighborhoods and communities with common interests. So if you want to be in the same electoral district as your neighbor, that’s a community of interest. The same goes for a specific neighborhood in a city, like Glendale in Salt Lake City or East Bay in Provo.

What is a community of interest? Trying to keep a county in the same district, which is part of the comments the commission received, according to Joey Fica, GIS and logistics specialist for the Utah Independent Redistribution Commission.

The commission allows residents who may not be interested in designing maps to display on the map the community of interest they wish to preserve. The commission considers economic, educational, environmental, ethnic, industrial, linguistic, local, neighborhood and religious communities as examples of communities of interest.

These comments can be viewed online for everyone to see. For example, a resident of the Sugar House neighborhood of Salt Lake City said he saw “traffic, air pollution or safety issues” as unifying topics for their area, as a reason they would like be in the same neighborhoods. A resident of Vernal wrote that it was important to keep the Native American lands and reservations of eastern Utah together so that they could “maintain the culture and … the rights.”

Provo resident Daniel Friend argues that rural Utah is potentially the state’s largest community of interest. That’s why he designed a congressional map that features one giant district for rural communities and three smaller districts that divide the Front Wasatch population group.

“Despite being geographically very large, rural Utah shares so much,” he said. “One thing the census brought up is that a lot of rural Utah is losing population, a lot of Front Wasatch is gaining some. I don’t know how a (representative) can represent these two interests as they are directly opposed. “

A Utah Congressional District project submitted by Daniel Friend, a resident of Provo.  He said his design was inspired by keeping rural Utah connected to a unifying district.
A Utah Congressional District project submitted by Daniel Friend, a resident of Provo. He said his design was inspired by keeping rural Utah connected to a unifying district. (Photo: Utah Independent Redistribution Commission)

He told the committee that he was aware that the current congressional districts are divided in such a way as to ensure that the four districts have at least urban and rural communities; in fact, he said he heard comments from a rural Utah resident who prefers it. However, he is concerned that some districts are already determined by urban participation and that all four districts will eventually become so if demographic trends continue as they have.

Unlike Hepworth, Friend also believes cities should stick together as much as possible. That’s why its Utah legislative districts – a map that would not be accepted as is due to issues with borderline population size – kept places like Eagle Mountain and Riverton in the same House Districts. representatives, as well as combining Cedar City and Enoch together.

Travis DeJong, a Utah resident and Draper City employee, shared his cards with a similar approach. He said his goal was to keep counties and towns intact as much as possible. He and Friend also tried to divide major cities by neighborhood boundaries instead of placing the lines directly across them.

Another approach was to take the current limits and adjust them to new populations, which Kevin Jones did. Still, the Utah resident was ready to crown Hepworth the champion for having the “best house card on this whole earth.”

The Utah Independent Redistribution Commission has until Nov. 1 to finalize the cards to send to legislative leaders. Gordon Haight, executive director of the commission, said they had entered a “critical period” in their process.

The Utah Legislative Redistribution Committee, which is made up of Utah lawmakers, is also considering public comment before also recommending potential voting cards for the next decade. Despite long delays in receiving the 2020 census data that is used to help determine voting cards, the state is still on track to complete the process before the end of the year.

It is possible that one of the models shared on Tuesday will be selected by the committee before the end of October, when the committee will complete public comments and submit a model to heads of state. It could also become the state’s final voting card.

Even if not, Rex Facer, the chairman of the Utah Independent Riding Commission, told residents who shared their cards that he appreciated their efforts.

“There is something very useful about seeing alternate visions of how we can group things together,” he said.

Meanwhile, the commission also voted to add and modify some of its public comment tour which is already underway. He added a new event at Mexican Hat in San Juan County on September 29 at the request of the Navajo Nation, according to staff members. He will also hold a new meeting in Moab on October 13.

The commission also moved its October 9 meeting from Saratoga Springs to Eagle Mountain and moved its Herriman meeting to October 22-21. The commission still has 10 public feedback events scheduled across the state through October 23.

Facer said on Tuesday that the commission would continue to accept public comments and also card designs until October 23. All of this can be done through the commission’s website.

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Salt lake city government

Salt Lake allocates $ 8 million to tackle housing crisis and increase affordable housing


Ana Valdemoros, chair of the board of directors of the Salt Lake City Redevelopment Agency, speaks at a press conference Tuesday announcing a notice of funding availability for affordable housing development in the city. (Shafkat Anowar, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Salt Lake City redevelopment agency on Tuesday released $ 8 million for the construction and preservation of affordable housing projects. The city continues to experience growing economic inequality as housing rates rise faster than the incomes of residents.

“This is the commitment we are showing with the resources we have to provide solutions to this statewide housing crisis that we are experiencing, it may not be the complete solution, but it is the most that anyone has done, “Ana Valdemoros, president of the board of directors of the GDR and a city councilor, said at a press conference on Tuesday. “I really appreciate the other members of council, the mayor and the staff, for focusing on the resources we have and dispersing them so that we can at least make a dent for the residents of Salt Lake City.”

The $ 8 million will be allocated under the GDR Housing Development Loan Program. A portion of this funding, $ 2.7 million, is spent on projects located in what are considered “high potential areas”. These areas are places in Salt Lake City that are believed to provide conditions that will expand an individual’s possibilities for social mobility.

These high opportunity areas are identified using indicators such as homeownership rate, poverty, household financial burden, education level, unemployment rate and labor market participation. work, according to the director of the GDR, Danny Walz. The agency is made up of the seven members of the Salt Lake City council, with Mayor Erin Mendenhall as executive director.

Applicants must develop and plan a project that meets the city’s affordable housing goals to be eligible for funding. Some of the city’s goals include:

  • Residential units targeted at underserved populations
  • Accommodation for families
  • Housing for affordable home ownership
  • Equitable access to a variety of transportation options
  • Equitable geographic distribution of affordable housing
  • Long-term affordability.

“It’s not just the money that’s going to help us make geographic equity more possible in our city, when it comes to affordability, and that’s why that’s so important. whatever the gap for the current owners, ”Mendenhall said.

<a class=Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall speaks at a press conference Tuesday announcing a notice of funding availability for affordable housing development in the city.”/>
Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall speaks at a press conference Tuesday announcing a notice of funding availability for affordable housing development in the city. (Photo: Shafkat Anowar, Deseret News)

The City’s goals demonstrate a variety of needs that residents face during the affordable housing crisis.

The federal government defines affordable housing as any housing unit whose gross monthly costs, including utilities, do not represent more than 30% of a household’s gross monthly income. But state data has revealed that more than 183,000 low-income households pay more than half of their income for rent and move closer to homelessness with deteriorating economic conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This same data showed that from 2009 to 2016, incomes grew by 0.31% per year, while rents increased at a rate of 1.03% per year in 2017. In addition, the recent population growth of cities like Salt Lake City led to a concentrated increase. required. For example, the average rent for an apartment in Salt Lake County was $ 647 in 2000, but the average monthly payment rose to $ 1,153 in 2018, according to an analysis by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute of the University of Utah.

Unaffordable housing leaves residents with less money to pay for food, utilities, transportation to work, health and child care, among other expenses. Mendenhall said the city takes these elements into account when allocating funds, noting that 90% of housing units built in Salt Lake City since 2019 are within walking distance of public transportation, helping to keep costs down. transport which represent on average 20% of the expenses of a resident. total income.

Part of this housing growth includes 333 affordable units, funded in part by the RDA, which were added in the past year. According to Valdemoros, 181 more units are expected to come online by the end of this calendar year, with more than three-quarters of these rented at affordable rates for those earning 60% or less of the region’s median income.

These units may look like “micro-units” seen in newer developments like the Mya, located at 447 South Blair Street. Property manager Alicia Anderson said the building offers different units with varying rates depending on applicants’ incomes. The building has market-priced units, which allows “a mix of different demographics and different incomes and makes people feel like they live in any other building.”

But Valdemoros said the focus should not be on micro-units, but on a variety of housing that meets a complex need. The council member pointed out that residents find it difficult to accommodate a growing family in smaller homes.

“We hear churches, we hear schools, we hear neighbors say, ‘Hey, you know I’m having a second child – I don’t think I can live in the city anymore. “It’s hard for me to hear as a board member because I always thought I wanted everyone to live, work and play in Salt Lake City,” said Valdemoros.

Developers can attend a virtual meeting hosted by the Salt Lake City Redevelopment Agency on Friday, September 24 at 11 a.m. to receive an overview of the application, requirements, and selection process. For more information or to attend the meeting, visit slc.rda.com.

A list of Utah housing resources is available at https://www.hud.gov/states/utah/renting. In Salt Lake County, affordable housing resources are available at https://housingconnect.org.

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Salt lake city government

Utah residents use the most water of any western state. They also pay some of the lowest water rates.


When a St. George homeowner turns on his sprinklers in midsummer, the water that turns green on his lawns has already traveled from mountain springs and wells through an 850-mile pipeline system.

The 50 million gallons of water used in the southwestern Utah city on a peak summer day has already been stored in one of 22 tanks and propelled by one or more of the 16 stations overpressure pumping. It was treated and distributed to homes through city water pipes.

Owner-paid utility bills for all of this infrastructure in one of the driest parts of the country, however, are modest. The water utility charges less than $ 2 for every 1,000 gallons of water city residents use to irrigate their gardens, even if a household uses tens of thousands of gallons per month.

In Moab, rates are lower, with water users paying between $ 1.13 and $ 1.88 per 1,000 gallons of water per month in midsummer, even if a single homeowner uses more than 60 000 gallons.

Utah as a whole, 88% of which currently experiences exceptional drought conditions, has the highest per capita municipal water use in the United States. Zach Frankel of Utah Rivers Council believes it’s because of the low water prices the Utahns pay.

“Utah is the second driest state in the country,” he said, “and we have the cheapest water in the United States. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”

The low tariffs enjoyed by water users in Utah, including on the Wasatch front, are something of an anomaly in the arid West. In Phoenix, for example, water users pay a small monthly connection fee and then get their first 7,000 gallons of water for free, which is more water than typical household use for indoor needs like cooking, cleaning and showering.

But if residents are using more than 7,000 gallons – to, say, water a large green lawn – then the rates are skyrocketing. Phoenix homeowners who use more than 10,000 gallons per month pay more than $ 12 per 1,000 gallons, which is ten times more than a resident of Moab. Even rain-drenched Seattle, Washington has water rates almost three times higher than many communities in Utah.

The disparate rates likely influence the landscaping decisions made by homeowners. In Phoenix, the average resident uses 111 gallons per day, according to the most recent analysis by the US Geological Survey. In Washington County, Utah, where St. George is located, the average resident uses 306 gallons per day.

“If you drive 90 minutes,” Frankel said, “away from Washington County in Las Vegas – where you have the same hydrogeography, the same climate, the same patterns of water precipitation from the sky – water consumption is nearly a third of water use in Washington County.

Utahns pay lower water prices and higher property taxes

But just looking at utility bills to determine the cost paid by Utah water users is misleading. Utah’s extensive network of reservoirs, pipelines, canals, treatment facilities, and water pipes are just as expensive to build and maintain as they are in neighboring states.

Utah residents pay low water rates – “artificially low,” according to Frankel – because most of Utah’s water districts are heavily subsidized by property taxes.

When you pay taxes on a Utah home, business appraisal, or even automobile, chances are that some of that money will be used to fund water infrastructure owned by municipal suppliers or to wholesalers who sell water to cities. A 2019 report from the Utah Foundation found that 90% of Utahns live in a jurisdiction that collects property taxes for water.

The Washington County Water District, for example, a water wholesaler and retailer that supplies water to St. George, collected two-thirds of its revenue from property taxes and impact fees, according to a bulletin that he published in 2015. Only 22% of his income came from utility bills. Water wholesalers who are funded by property taxes often store, transport and treat water before selling it to municipalities at a reduced rate, allowing local water utilities to charge less on utility bills .

The Utah Rivers Council conducted a survey of the watershed districts in the western United States and found Utah to be an exception in this regard. Most of the river basin districts studied do not levy any property taxes, and those that do often use bonds that are voted on by taxpayers and expire when the debt is paid off. The property taxes that fund the vast majority of Utah’s river basin districts, by contrast, are permanent and are not subject to voter approval.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Lone Rock in Lake Powell, Sunday September 6, 2020 and Tuesday August 3, 2021.

“By nature unfair”

In addition to doing little to encourage conservation, the use of property taxes to subsidize water supplies creates an “inherently unfair” situation, according to Robin Rothfeder, assistant professor of natural resource policy at Colorado State University.

As a doctoral student at the University of Utah, Rothfeder studied water use and the socioeconomic status of households in the Salt Lake City area in 2014. He and his colleagues found that in winter, when little water is used for landscaping, postal codes along the Wasatch front used quantities of water, regardless of average income level. During the summers, however, a significant gap appeared. Homeowners in the wealthiest neighborhoods used up to five times more water than those in the poorest neighborhoods.

“The richest homes use a lot more,” said Rothfeder, while “the poorest households pay a higher proportion of their total summer water costs through property taxes, compared to richer people. “.

While Utah’s river basin districts eliminated property tax subsidies and increased utility bills for larger water users by implementing a tiered pricing structure like those used in other Western cities, families in low income would benefit the most, Rothfeder said.

Plus, some of Utah’s biggest water users – churches, schools, universities, municipal golf courses, which are largely exempt from property taxes – are expected to start paying more.

Conservative groups support reform

The idea has the backing of environmentalists and politically conservative groups who support lowering taxes.

The Utah Taxpayers Association argued that removing the subsidies would help Utah better respond to drought conditions. “The total cost of water use should be contained in the prices paid by consumers,” the association argued in a July blog post, “to ensure that consumers are motivated to conserve water. in a desert state “.

The libertarian-leaning Libertas Institute made a similar point by supporting legislation backed by the Utah Rivers Council in 2017 that would have reduced the amount of tax revenue that river basin districts can collect.

“Instead of seeing the real costs on a water bill,” the think tank wrote, “the real costs are hidden in property taxes. Consumers have little incentive to monitor their own consumption because at first glance, water seems extremely cheap. The bill failed in committee before being voted on.

Utah’s powerful water lobby argued that reducing the ability of water districts to collect taxes would limit flexibility to adapt to changing needs and could affect high grades of state bonds. Water managers have also opposed legislation that would restructure the current system, citing substantial disruptions to current tariffs.

In a summary of watershed district reports compiled by the Utah Foundation, eliminating or reducing property taxes could remove all costs of operating water for owners of undeveloped land while other users could see tariffs more than double, a sudden increase in costs that could be difficult for businesses and institutions to absorb.

But Frankel is hoping the matter will gain more attention as Lake Powell surpasses its all-time low and Utah’s population continues to grow rapidly. He also thinks reforming the system makes sense for the Utahns’ wallets. Conservation not only keeps more water in lakes and streams, Frankel said, but it cuts costs.

“The point of reducing water consumption is to save taxpayers’ money,” he said. “When you increase water use, you increase delivery costs; you increase the amount of treatment you need to do … you increase your operating and maintenance costs as a water supplier. Reducing water use is the key to avoiding unnecessary public spending by water districts.

Zak Podmore is a Report for America member of the Salt Lake Tribune Corps. Your matching donation to our RFA grant helps her continue to write stories like this; please consider making a tax deductible donation of any amount today by clicking here.


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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


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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


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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.

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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


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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.”


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Utah economy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.


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Salt lake city government

FCC Announces 2 New Innovation Zones to Advance Research Efforts in 5G Technology and Open RAN


5G technology

The Federal Communications Commission has designated new innovation zones near Northeastern University in Boston and North Carolina State University in Raleigh to allow qualified licensees to conduct research and test the network open radio access, 5G technologies and other advanced wireless communications and networking platforms.

The Northeastern University Innovation Zone will further support the research community by moving the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Colosseum network emulator to a shared platform, the FCC said Thursday.

The North Carolina State University Innovation Zone will host the Advanced Wireless Aerial Experimentation and Research Platform, which will address new use cases involving unmanned aerial systems and aircraft. wireless communications.

FCC already has two innovation zones in New York and Salt Lake City. The commission also announced the expansion of the New York City Innovation Zone or COSMOS with the addition of three campus zones at Columbia University and City College of New York. The COSMOS area will focus on low latency, ultra-high bandwidth wireless communications with tightly coupled state-of-the-art computing.

The Salt Lake City Innovation Zone, also known as POWDER, serves as a corridor connecting several areas of the University of Utah campus.

The Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research project office funded by the National Science Foundation oversees the innovation zones established by the commission. The designation will last for five years.

POC - Fall 2021 5G Summit

If you are interested in 5G technology and the impact of 5G integration on the public and private sectors, then check out Potomac Officers Club Fall 2021 5G Summit coming September 16. To subscribe to this virtual forum and see other upcoming events, visit POC Events page.


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Salt lake city

Shopping for legislation? Why Utah’s part-time legislature can be vulnerable.


This story is part of the Salt Lake Tribune’s ongoing commitment to identifying solutions to Utah’s biggest challenges through the work of the Innovation Lab.

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At American Legislative Exchange CouncilAt last week’s annual meeting in Salt Lake City, all eyes were on the keynote speakers – high-level governors from across the country.

State and local policymakers across the country trawling vendor stands received far less attention.

At the ALEC, a conservative national organization that has been criticized for connecting local and state policymakers with business interests, you’ll find a few staffing tables of specialist government software vendors, but most people are there to sell ideas. Legislation. From human trafficking opponents to advocates of legalizing the sex trade, to major conservative think tanks like the Heritage Foundation and local newcomers like Utah’s own Libertas Institute.

“My team loved the event, we thought it was great,” said Michael Melendez, executive vice president of the Libertas Institute, who explained that Libertas was not there to focus on issues “legacies” like abortion and education, but in new areas. “For us, it’s a question of what are the gaps in the policy market? “

The CAFTA is far from the only place offering access to the “policy market”. Numerous national conferences, of various political stripes, provide a marketplace for state and local decision-makers to effectively research ideas for legislation.

With its part-time and understaffed legislature, Utah may be more likely to buy policies, experts say. Other states, meanwhile, have found solutions that give legislators less reason to turn to outside interests.

What you will find

Vendors who buy space at the ALEC take a variety of approaches to their work. Some offer nothing more than a conversation with an expert. Others have 24-foot tables filled with leaflets, booklets, coasters, pens, stickers and mouse pads, as was the case with the “Save Our States” booth – a dedicated organization. to the protection of the Electoral College.

“Alright, how do you stop them?” A Florida state lawmaker asked as he approached. “That’s all I want to know, how to stop the Socialists? “

Much of the booty on the stand made bold, red lettered references to stopping socialists or socialism.

It took three laps around the vendor room and instructions from a helpful staff member to locate the counter position booth, the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, tucked away in one corner.

Ray Haynes, former Republican state senator of California and former national chairman of the ACLA, occupied the national voting booth. He had two offerings.

“If you’re in a rush, here’s the leaflet, and if you’re not, there’s this,” he said, lifting up a book called “Every Equal Vote” that weighed 1,059 pages.

Haynes said there was a “strong conservative argument” for deciding the presidency via the national popular vote.

“I believe in the ACFTA,” said Haynes, who added that he was confident he was supporting the movement through a conversation at an ACFTA meeting.

The Libertas booth offered local Utah legislative victories to lawmakers in other states – arguing primarily for digital privacy and the first universal regulatory sandbox of its kind adopted by the Utah legislature this year.

Melendez, of Libertas, acknowledged that since the regulatory sandbox program will not be launched until the fall, “we don’t know yet.” He cited the effectiveness of other narrower regulatory sandboxes, but not the one that Libertas shared as a model at the ALEC.

Why Utah is particularly vulnerable

The Utah Legislature is less professionalized than most (lower pay for lawmakers, fewer staff, shorter legislative sessions) and therefore more likely to rely on outside sources for policy, a said Adam Brown, associate professor of political science at Brigham Young University.

“If you don’t have as much time to work on the invoices yourself, and if you don’t have as much help from the staff, then you are relying more on what external actors can do for you,” he said. Brown said. “It could be lobbyists that you have worked with in the past and that you trust; it could mean digging less deeply into the governor’s proposals; or it could mean relying on a group like the ACFTA.

Utah lawmakers are not staffed like members of the United States Congress. The only one-on-one support they receive comes from undergraduate interns who serve during the 45-day legislative session (and even interns are sometimes split among lawmakers). Non-ruling Utah lawmakers must either do the work themselves or look to an outside group to prepare the legislation before the session.

Brown says having personal staff doesn’t remove the need or temptation to consult outside interests. “But the lack of personal staff will certainly fuel an additional desire to seek information from others,” he said, “and that takes away a source of information that lawmakers could use to verify what groups outside them. say. “

Data-driven legislation?

Providing personal staff, even shared personal staff, to Utah lawmakers could be costly. This is not the only solution, however.

Two years ago, North Carolina established the Office of Strategic Partnerships (OSP), which aims to strengthen governance and data-driven policy-making in the state by connecting government leaders, academia and local philanthropy.

The OSP holds monthly online discussions, helps connect academia experts with state agency executives, and vice versa, and formalizes connections between these organizations. The aim of these activities is to make partnerships easier and more effective, with the aim of developing evidence-based policies.

“Lots, lots of states want to do something like this,” said Jenni Owen, director of OSP, “and you don’t have to do the full model to see the benefits.

She pointed out that just having a coordinating body to help make connections could leverage the talent that Utah already has in its state agencies, academic centers and research institutes.

“At the end of the day,” Owen said, “it’s about starting those conversations.”

She said openness and transparency in PSO’s conversations, dialogue and data are essential ingredients in creating objective and evidence-based policy.

At the ALEC, on the other hand, most working sessions take place behind closed doors.

____________________

Solutions in Practice – Policy Hacking

Outside organizations are not the only source of influence on state and local lawmakers. As a voter, you can help build an evidence-based DIY policy by working with your local legislator. Here is a step-by-step guide to “policy hacking”.

  1. Pick a question that’s important to you. Try to be as narrow, local and specific as possible. Be clear on “What is the problem that needs to be solved?” “

  2. Identify your local legislator (you can find your state representative and senator here).

  3. Find an expert (s) on your policy issue (for example, you can search for experts at the University of Utah by subject, here – be careful, loading the results may take some time).

  4. Do your research, prepare questions, then schedule a call with your expert (s). Find out what information, data and guidance they can provide.

  5. Contact your legislator (s) and schedule a time to discuss the matter. Prepare yourself with a one-page memo describing the problem and what the data and experts are telling us.

  6. Be persistent, become a data hunter, and don’t hesitate to contact The Tribune’s innovation lab with any questions.

____________________


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Salt lake city

The University of Utah: Center for Student Equity and Belonging


Pamela Bishop: Hello everyone, my name is Pamela Bishop (her) and I am the Director of Marketing and Communications for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI).

Today I’m here to talk about some of the changes happening in equity, diversity and inclusion, and I have two special guests with me. We have Tricia Sugiyama (her / her), who is the director of the Center for Ethnic Student Affairs, and we also have Dan Cairo (he / him / her) who is the special assistant to the vice-president for equity, the Diversity and Inclusion responsible for strategy and operations.

And they’re going to talk a little bit about what’s going on in EDI.

Tricia, I understand that there are a lot of changes happening in CESA. Can you tell me a bit what’s going on?

Tricia Sugiyama: Oh Pamela, thank you. I’m so glad you asked. So, in addition to the growth of our team, we are excited to present a new program that will provide support to students and critical areas such as mental health and student leadership, but on top of that we are very happy to ” announce a new look and a new name for our center which will be the Center for Equity and Student Belonging.

Pamela Bishop: Wow, that’s awesome! Thus, the CESA is transformed into a Center for equity and student belonging. Looks like the acronym is CESB. Was it on purpose?

Tricia Sugiyama: It was! It was because we really wanted to honor who we were and look to the future of what we become.

Pamela Bishop: Awesome. So, what motivated this change from CESA to CESB, as we’ll call it?

Tricia Sugiyama: As the University of Utah continues to grow and change, so does our office. Thus, this fall, CESA will experience a jump. Moving from the 1960s Center for Minorities to the 1970s era of the Center for Ethnic Student Affairs, we now look to the future as we align with the new Equity, Diversity and Inclusion division and focus on service to the increasingly diverse student body at U by becoming the Center for Student Equity and Belonging.

Pamela Bishop: So, Dan, tell us. What do you think this means for the students?

Daniel K. Cairo: Thank you. I’m glad you asked that question because all of the work we do is really for the students, isn’t it?

People who knew about CESA, you were lucky if you found out who the center was and then connected with them, but a lot of our students who keep coming to U, don’t know that this space exist.

So what this means for the students… it means that before the first day of school, our goal is to make sure they know who we are. They know how CESB is a place where they can build a community, where they can get support, where they can really develop both their academic skills and their social skills and they can create a belonging here on campus.

But it’s not just that, right? It’s not just about coming in and staying connected with CESB. It’s about how our center, our communities and our partnerships truly support them on their journey through the institution. If you have first generation students, new to the state, or whatever they are, they have a support network at CESB – and not just there, but a support network that allows them to move around the world. campus.

If engineering sounds scary, hey, you don’t have to! We are actually here to support you and be there with you and also nurture your own development. If art scares you, hey, we have some great friends at the College of Fine Arts that you can connect with.

This therefore means that it is a support network that allows students to flourish and achieve academic excellence on campus.

Pamela Bishop: It’s awesome. I’m really excited to hear about all of the changes that are happening. It really seems like we’re evolving, like you said Tricia, trying to grow up and be this type of new century CESA and CESB, and I’m just excited to hear it all! So how can people find out more about the new CESB?

Tricia Sugiyama: We would love it.

So this fall, we’ll invite you all to join us for an open house and to celebrate our new name and new look. In addition, we will unveil a new web page that we can find on diversity.utah.edu, and as always we invite you to stop by our space. Come meet our new staff, discover our new design, and then come see us too! We’re in the Union building on the main level across from ASUU, so stop by because we really want to see you in our space.

Pamela Bishop: Well, thank you very much, Tricia and Dan. It has been really great, and I know the students will be excited to see what happens at the new Center for Equity and Student Belonging. Thank you.


This press release was produced by University of Utah. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.


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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.”

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Salt lake city government

Drought in Utah City Halts Growth


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Salt lake city

Salt Lake Community College and University of Utah begin construction of new campus in Herriman


The Juniper building is the first on the SLCC Herriman campus, where students can earn two- and four-year degrees from SLCC and the University of Utah.

SALT LAKE CITY, July 17, 2021 / PRNewswire-PRWeb / – Salt Lake City Community College and the University of Utah innovated today on a joint $ 57 million campus in Herriman. The Juniper building on the Herriman campus will provide thousands of people with academic and professional opportunities through improved access to education and training.

The Juniper Building on the new 90-acre campus will open in 2023 and make the pursuit of graduate studies more convenient for residents of fast-growing cities of Herriman, Riverton and clothier. Students will be able to earn an Associate’s Degree from SLCC and then attend the University of Utah to get a bachelor’s degree, all in one place. The campus will welcome more than 2,000 students in its first year and nearly 7,000 students by 2025.

“This partnership between SLCC and the University of Utah will help maintain the state’s high quality of life, ”said SLCC President Deneece G. Huftalin. “Education enables people to build prosperity and a bright future for themselves and their families. This new facility will play a key role in making the college more accessible to those who live in this region.

The campus will offer degrees in high demand areas including nursing, business, computing and information systems, social work, and teaching license in primary, secondary and special education. Essential student services for both schools will also be available, including admissions, counseling, disability assistance, financial assistance, transfer assistance and tutoring.

“The Juniper building at the Herriman campus arrives just in time to help meet the demand for education and employment created by the incredible growth in the southwestern region of the Salt Lake Valley,” the president said by interim of U. Michael L. Good. “The University of Utah and SLCC have worked together for a long time to support student success. We look forward to this campus paving the way for more Utahns to graduate.

Funding for the building was allocated by the Utah State Legislature in 2021, with additional support from SLCC, the University of Utah, private donors and investments in health infrastructure Herriman City. You can find more information at slcc.edu/juniper.

Salt Lake City Community College is that of Utah the largest open-access college, proudly educating the state’s most diverse student body in eight fields of study at 11 locations and online. The majority of SLCC graduates transfer to four-year institutions, and thousands more are trained in programs directly aimed at the labor market. In 2023, the institution will celebrate 75 years of teaching Utah residents in areas that contribute to the state’s vibrant economy and high quality of life.

the University of Utah is the state’s flagship higher education institution, with 18 schools and colleges, over 100 undergraduate and 90 graduate programs, and an enrollment of over 32,000 students. In 2019, the university was selected as a new member of the Association of American Universities, a prestigious, invitation-only group of 65 leading research institutes characterized by excellence in academic expertise and the impact of research, student success and obtaining resources to support missions. The U’s reputation for excellence attracts top faculty and motivated students from across the country and abroad.

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Erika Shubin, SLCC (385) 489-0695
Christophe nelson, U of U, (801) 953-3843

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Stephen speckman, Salt Lake City Community College, 801-957-5076, [email protected]

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Utah economy

One of Utah’s most unique natural treasures is disappearing


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

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

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

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

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

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

Dying organisms and arsenic

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

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

“We consider these structures to be living rocks,” said Michael Vanden Berg, head of the investigation’s energy and mineral program. “The population of the Great Salt Lake is one of the largest accumulations of modern microbials in the world.”

If the lake continues to retreat to historic levels, a hitherto unseen proportion of the lake’s microbials will be exposed, according to a press release. It may only take weeks for the microbial mat to erode from “living rocks,” he said, and it could take years to recover, even if lake levels return to normal.

Brine shrimp, also known as sea monkeys, also struggle with the increasing salinity that comes with less water. It’s not just bird food. They are exported as fish food, and the commercial harvest contributes to an estimated $ 1.5 billion in savings – which, along with recreation and mineral extraction, helps feed the fishermen and others living around the Great Lake. Dirty.

The economic downturn is not the only threat to humans in the region. Utah’s soil is naturally high in arsenic, a toxic compound that causes a frightening range of health problems. When it washes downstream, it lands in the lake, Perry said. When the wind blows, as it regularly does quite violently, it lifts the dusty bed of the lake.

“One of our concerns is that the particles that come out of the lake get into people’s lungs,” he said. “Fifteen to twenty years ago, when the lake was higher, most of those dust spots were covered, and if you cover them with water, they don’t produce dust. And so as the lake receded, it’s more and more exposed more of that lake bed. … As we get more area, we have more frequent dust storms. “

Owens Lake, a mostly dry lake east of California’s Sequoia National Forest, was diverted to the Los Angeles Aqueduct nearly a century ago, Perry noted. Although a little water returns to the lake, its dry bed is the biggest source of PM-10 pollution – large inhalable dust particles – in the country. Great Salt Lake is much larger than Owens Lake, and while the population around Owens Lake is approximately 40,000, there are over 2 million people living around Great Salt Lake, Perry points out.

“This lake could also become one of the largest sources of dust emissions in North America,” he said. “Right now the lake bed is protected by a fragile crust, and if that crust is disturbed or eroded over time, then this lake could start to emit a lot more (dust).”

“We are on the verge of a catastrophe”

Vast swathes of Lake Utah look more like Death Valley than any waterway, with the ground arid and fractured by dry heat. Other areas look like sprawling puddles. Birds wade through the mud of the shore alongside empty marinas, their holds sagging to the ground.

“The saltiest sailors on the planet have seen their sailboats hoisted out of the marinas of the Great Salt Lake by a crane in recent days, due to the drop in the level of the lake”, the Utah Rivers Board wrote in the introduction of a report warning that a proposed dam, pipeline and reservoir in the east will only exacerbate the problems.

While human behavior remains the primary concern of scientists, the lack of rain in the west does not help. The Great Salt Lake is now like water on a plate, while most lakes look like a cup, said Jaimi Butler, co-editor of the 2020 analysis showing that the lake’s area has shrunk by 51% .

Shallow waters are more prone to evaporation in drought conditions, and although the lake level fluctuates in any given year, the lake tends to bottom out in the fall, around October. The lake will continue to drop and shrink over the next three months, and the water level could drop as much as 2 more feet by Halloween, Butler suspects.

“Keeping water in the Great Salt Lake is the most important thing that keeps me awake at night,” said Butler, a wildlife biologist who grew up around the lake and who is the coordinator of the Great Salt Lake Institute of Canada. Westminster College. “We are on the brink of disaster.”

Mother Nature and the inhabitants must join forces

Butler cried as he thought of the ramifications of not taking strong action to save the waterway.

“The Great Salt Lake will be an environmental, economic and, really, cultural disaster at the same time,” she said. “I grew up here. A place becomes you.… We are all from Great Salt Lake. We all are, and we shouldn’t let it go.”

Humans created the problem, and humans will have to be part of the solution, she said. Reducing water use and increasing water utility tariffs to deter waste would be a start, she added.

Despite warning bells, water destined for Great Salt Lake continues to be diverted to farms, ranches and towns – the latter enjoying some of the cheapest water in the country, Butler said.

Salt Lake City residents paid one of the lowest water rates in major US cities, according to an analysis by Circle of Blue, a nonprofit organization that advocates for responsible management of water resources. A family of four using 100 gallons per day paid $ 32 per month in 2018, about half of what New Yorkers paid, one-third of what Atlanteans paid, and a quarter of what San Franciscans paid that year. Among the larger cities, only the people of Memphis paid less.

But it appears residents around the Great Salt Lake have acted more conscientiously, said Marcie McCartney, water conservation and education manager for the Utah Water Resources Division.

“Everyone around and in this basin is doing everything they can to use the water as efficiently as possible,” she said. “We are seeing a lot of (water) savings this year, which is great, but the Great Salt Lake is definitely suffering, and the only way to increase the level of these lakes is a better year of water for our mantle. snowy.”

Those responsible for monitoring snow runoff in streams and reservoirs must calculate the amount of water needed for water supplies – potable, agricultural, etc. – and the rest can be dumped downstream into the Great Salt Lake, McCartney said. This year’s “poor snowpack” has melted too quickly, she said, “and the ground is really thirsty.”

“Mother Nature is going to take her share first, and we’ll have the rest,” she said.

In November, Butler co-wrote an obituary for Great Salt Lake in Catalyst Magazine, based in the Utah capital.

“The Great Salt Lake experienced its last sparkling sunset today, succumbing to a long struggle with chronic diversions exacerbated by climate change,” he began. “Its dusty remains will be scattered throughout the Salt Lake Valley for millennia – our air quality monitors will constantly remind us of its passage.”

The article laid out the history of the reservoir, how it ended up in dire straits, and what the affected Utahans can do to change the narrative and amplify their voices to save the beloved body of water.

“There were measures to prevent the death of the Great Salt Lake, but it was too little, too late,” the obituary read. “She has supported Utah’s economy for many years, but we haven’t adequately funded her health care on time. If we had, we might not be mourning her death today. ‘hui. “

Speaking to CNN, Butler reiterated many of those points, imploring, “We have changed our world and we need to change our behaviors to conserve incredible ecosystems that include humans like here in Great Salt Lake.”

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Utah economy

Where do all these people come from when they move to Utah?

Vinay Cardwell, president of Young Professionals Salt Lake City, poses for a portrait at The Shop co-working space in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – Young, educated and diverse, newcomers are helping to change the face of Utah as they come largely from other western states.

About 133,000 people – the equivalent of more than half of Salt Lake City’s population – moved to Beehive state from 2014 to 2018, according to a new report from the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah.

California contributed the most new faces, at about 18,000 – or 16.6% – the most of any state, followed by Texas at 7.2%; Idaho at 6.6% and Washington State at 5.3%. But the Golden State also received more people from Utah during the same period than anywhere else.

Where they moved from
Where they moved from (Photo: Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute)

Demographer Emily Harris said her findings help answer questions about migration that have arisen in recent years as newcomers further fuel the state’s growth.

“We know Utah is growing. We can feel it on the roads, we can feel it on the trails,” Harris said. “But who are these people and what is that impact on Utah, other than more people?”

Analyzing census data, Harris found that those who moved here within the five-year period tend to be younger than those already here, with a median age of 25. They were also more diverse and more likely to have a bachelor’s degree.

Education levels vary
Education levels vary (Photo: Kem C. Garder Policy Institute)

Many end up rooting and raising their children in their own traditions, resulting in cumulative cultural change over time, Harris noted.

Among them, Vinay Cardwell, 42, from Vancouver, Canada, who attended the University of Utah, found work in the state’s growing tech sector, and started a family in the state. Beehive State. Her son and daughter are now 5 and 8 years old.

Cardwell, president of Young Professionals Salt Lake City, says he wants job seekers to know they can still feel at home in Utah if they’ve never been in the state and aren’t. not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Word is spreading, he said, as more newcomers arrive for jobs at tech startups and stay to ski, hike and take in mountain views.

“You go to New York and it’s just a concrete jungle – or Chicago. But when you can get out into the wild, it’s like, wow. You just get that rejuvenation,” he said. “This is probably one of the most important things people say when I ask them, ‘What brought you here?’ It’s skiing or the outdoors. “

Like Cardwell, whose parents are from Fiji and New Zealand, many are of mixed descent, he said.

Differences in diversity
Differences in diversity (Photo: Kem C. Garder Policy Institute)

The data doesn’t say who’s left for a little while before moving on, but Cardwell says many do after gaining a few years of work experience and taking advantage of the state’s vast outdoor recreation opportunities.

The rise in migration to the state after the Great Recession is linked to a strong economy and low unemployment, Harris said, and is playing a bigger role in Utah’s growth as families have less children and wait longer to do so, she added.

Jobs invite newcomers
Jobs invite newcomers (Photo: Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute)

In what may come as a surprise to some, the Beehive State is not among the top 10 destinations for Californians, Harris noted. Almost three times as many people have moved to neighboring Nevada, for example.

Where the Utahns move
Where the Utahns travel (Photo: Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute)

She found that fewer Utahns leave than they come – around 95,000 left in the same period, although the data does not reveal how many more went overseas. Their median age was 27, compared to 31 for the Utahns who stayed behind during the same period. Those who leave also tend to have a bachelor’s degree and higher degrees at higher rates.

The influx of newcomers, combined with the housing crisis in Utah, threatens to strain the rental and home buying markets and hamper Utah’s ability to attract workers out of state in the future, the report notes.

Who rents and who owns a house?
Who rents and who owns a house? (Photo: Kem C. Garder Policy Institute)

“When we have more migrants coming in than people leaving, it’s an even bigger hole that we dig ourselves into in terms of housing inventory for people who want to live here,” Harris said.

Not everyone who comes to Utah is an outsider. About 1 in 4 are native Utahns who have moved away for a while and are now coming home.

They’re like Steven O’Donnell, a 28-year-old father and real estate agent who lived in Albuquerque, San Diego, and Las Vegas before returning to Utah in 2019. The timeline for his move has accelerated after his move. dad. fell ill with cancer, succumbing to the disease about a month before the birth of O’Donnell’s baby girl.

The girl babbled this week as O’Donnell said he hit the road as a kid with his truck driver dad. He realized in his youth that he preferred the mountains and vast canyons of Utah to the scenery of any other state, he said.

“For my parents in Santaquin, there are three canyons in about 10 minutes,” he said. “I think Utah is just a hidden gem.”

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Utah economy

Does the media create sexism against women in politics? – News from Saint-Georges

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File photo courtesy of USU Extension, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Research over the past decades indicates that female politicians continue to be disadvantaged in the way they are covered by the media, and that women are often discouraged from entering politics due to sexist media reporting.

File photo by Unsplash, St. George News

To determine how female political candidates were represented in the Utah media, researchers at the Utah State University Utah Women and Leadership Project assessed media coverage from 1995 to 2020. News articles were collected from The Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News, Weber’s Standard-Examiner. County and The Daily Herald in Utah County. For analysis, 383 articles were reviewed.

According to Susan Madsen, founding director of the Leadership Project and one of the study’s five authors, the research did not include a benchmarking of media focused on Utah’s men running for office, but each section of the study provides a comparison with other studies. which focused on men.

“Our research may help Utah residents and the media become more aware of gendered language that could negatively impact female applicants, as most people still view ‘leadership’ as a male trait or activity.” , she said.

The study’s research was divided into 12 areas, in order of frequency of mention: candidate background, viability, general tone, mention of gender, leadership traits, male versus female issues, family life, male versus female traits. , physical appearance, personality traits, sexist comments and level of government. Highlights of the research follow.

File photo by Unsplash, St. George News

More than men, women benefited from coverage focused on their background, family life and personality. The media tended to emphasize the lack of viability of the candidates, focusing more on “horse racing” or the predictive aspects of the results of their campaigns.

One politician said: “When a woman is in a leadership position, we expect her to be tough. However, if she is too harsh, she looks “witchy.” But it cannot be too soft, because then it is labeled as “not strong enough for the job.” This is consistent with research indicating that the perceived characteristics of women conflict with the demands of political leadership.

Published research suggests that male candidates are much less likely than women to be referenced by their gender, as men are accepted as the norm in politics, while women are viewed as historical figures at best – or at worst. as abnormal. Repeatedly emphasizing gender underscores the perceived scarcity of female politicians in Utah.

“Compassion issues” are called female issues which focus on people-related topics such as poverty, education, health care, child care, environment, social issues (including LGBTQ) and issues related to women’s experiences (e.g. abortion, violence against women / domestic violence, gender quotas).

Conversely, men’s issues focus on “hard issues”, such as foreign policy, foreign affairs, natural resources, armed forces / military, budget and finance, taxes and the economy. In addition, the media more frequently reported the candidates’ personal information, including marital and parental coverage. In contrast, male applicants are more likely to be described based on their occupation, experience or achievement.

File photo by Unsplash, St. George News

When a candidate got emotional, the Utah media called him out, often in a way that suggested women need to bottle their emotions and bury themselves in their jobs to be tough enough. One candidate was described as “disastrously tearful” and “involuntary”.

Physical appearance was identified in 52 articles, with women’s clothing, age and race being mentioned most frequently. There were also references to her shoes, hair, makeup, height, weight, fitness, beauty or physical attractiveness, and appearance of tired, stressed, or energized. Focusing on a candidate’s personal style and attributes, but not providing comparable ratings for men, diminishes the way women are viewed, ignoring their substance and leadership abilities.

Media coverage has shown subtle forms of sexist language, including things like ambitious, fiery, or compassionate, which only reinforce gender stereotypes. Women tend to be seen as ice queens, grandmothers, mothers or “steel in a velvet glove”. Such comments reduce a candidate’s credibility, respectability and sympathy.

Sheryl Allen, former Davis County state lawmaker, said women have a different perspective and if we are to have good government we need a diversity of opinions and expertise.

Madsen said it was in Utah’s best interests to prepare and support more women in political leadership positions and to provide them with more equitable and representative media coverage.

“The research clearly shows that by doing this, we can uplift our residents and strengthen our businesses, communities and the state as a whole,” she said.

Written by JULENE REESE, USU Extension.

The other authors of the study are Rebecca B. West, Lindsey Phillips, Trish Hatch and April Townsend. The full study is available online. You can find more information about the UWLP here.

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

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Salt lake city

The University of Utah: Building More Inclusive Systems


June 25, 2021

“These are two important changes as we work to create more inclusive systems at U,” said Clare Lemke, director of the LGBT Resource Center. “It’s now easier for individuals to use whatever name they choose in more academic systems and communications. We hope that many students will choose to update their CIS page with data on gender and sexual identities so that we can better serve everyone. “

Gender and gender identity information

Lemke said giving students a way to share information about their identity will help the university better understand how to recruit, retain and graduate students of diverse identities. The goal is to use this data to improve the resources, programs and policies that support a diverse campus.

Name chosen / preferred

Previously, U employees and students had the option to update their chosen / preferred first names in HR and CIS systems. Now, chosen / preferred names will be automatically updated in multiple systems across campus so students and employees no longer have to ask each department to replace their legal first name in HR systems or the campus directory.

“As we celebrate Pride Month, it is significant that we, as an institution, are making university-wide system changes that more include LGBTQIA + people who live, work and learn here. Making it easier to navigate our institution and making sure we know who the students are is important, ”said Lemke. “At the same time, we know there is still work to be done and we are motivated to continue to make meaningful structural changes with real impacts.”


This press release was produced by the University of Utah. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.


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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=”https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/OhJ–bMQQvUxFVfEX8PQyD_b84M=/0x0:3000×2071/1200×0/filters:focal(0x0:3000×2071):no_upscale()/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/22675676/merlin_2875060.jpg”/>

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 jobs.utah.gov/jobseeker/career/index.html and uselessah.org/learn-work.


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Salt lake city government

USU Data Law Expert Appointed To State Privacy Commission – Cache Valley Daily


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Chris Koopman, executive director of the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University, has been appointed by Governor Spencer Cox to the state’s new Privacy Oversight Commission.

SALT LAKE CITY – Governor Spencer Cox has appointed the executive director of Utah State University’s Center for Growth and Opportunity as part of a new state privacy watchdog group.

USU’s Chris Koopman will bring his expertise in data privacy law to Utah’s new Personal Data Privacy Oversight Commission.

Koopman was one of 12 legal and technology experts named to this panel Thursday in a joint announcement by Cox, Attorney General Sean Reyes and State Auditor John Dougall.

“Protecting the privacy of all Utahns has become even more important as technology has progressed,” Cox explained. “I am delighted to see this new Privacy Commission convening and look forward to developing policies that will hold the state accountable for the use of personal data and information of the Utahns.”

Spokeswoman Nicole Davis of the State Auditor’s Office explained that the Privacy Oversight Commission was created by the passage of Bill 243 during the 2021 general session of the Legislative Assembly.

The objective of this legislation is to provide guidelines for the use of emerging technologies for public officials, in particular law enforcement.

As Executive Director of the USU Center for Growth and Opportunity, Koopman specializes in technology regulation, competition and innovation.

His research and commentary have been published in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, as well as on the Bloomberg Network and National Public Radio.

Prior to joining USU, Koopman was a senior researcher and director of the technology policy program at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

He is currently an Affiliate Principal Investigator at the Mercatus Center and a member of the Information Technology and Emerging Technologies Working Group of the Federalist Society Regulatory Transparency Project.

Other Utahns appointed to the Personal Data Privacy Oversight Commission by Cox include Quinn Fowers, a Weber County internet technologist; Aliahu “Alli” Bey, cybersecurity expert; Nayana Penmetsa, representing private companies; and Keith Squires, the acting security officer at the University of Utah.

Reyes’ panel appointments include Jeff Gray, representing the attorney general’s office, and Utah County Sheriff Mike Smith.

Dougall’s appointments include Matthew Weller, president of All West Communications; Amy Knapp, cybersecurity expert; Brandon Greenwood; representing the interests of private technology industries; Phillip J. Windley, an expert in data privacy law from Brigham Young University; and Marina Lowe, representing the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah.

Under state law, the Personal Privacy Oversight Commission is responsible for developing best practices for privacy protection that state agencies can adopt. The panel is also empowered to conduct reviews of government uses of technology to protect privacy and data security.






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Salt lake city

Jen Shah is a “Real Housewives of SLC” star, and her legal issues will take center stage in Season 2


For most TV stars, getting arrested for cheating on little old ladies with their savings would be the end of their careers. Even before the case goes to trial, it would, in all likelihood, force their shows to be canceled.

This is true even at a time when it has become common practice for politicians to tell us that what we saw happen on television did not actually happen.

But that is not true if you are one of the “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City“. Jen Shah’s arrest and impending trial is potentially the biggest thing that can happen for the Bravo series.

Are you kidding? “Real Housewives” is a TV set about a train wreck – we can’t help but watch the carnage – and it could turn out to be one of the biggest pile-ups in franchise history. And there have been almost 1,500 episodes of “Real Housewives” to date, with all the different players in all the different cities.

“Real Housewives” is all about the drama, and what better drama than when – in the middle of filming – your most controversial actor is handcuffed and arrested, facing allegations that she and her assistant “flaunted their lifestyle lavish to the public as a symbol of their success “as they carried out a fraudulent telemarketing scheme that took advantage of hundreds of” vulnerable, often elderly, working class people “?

(Photo courtesy of Fred Hayes / Bravo) The fallout from the brawl at the surprise birthday party two episodes ago continues to plague Whitney Rose, Meredith Marks, Jen Shah and Lisa Barlow in “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City “.

Sounds like golden notes for Bravo! Don’t you see executive producer Andy Cohen and the Bravo executives jumping up and down and clapping wildly when they hear the news?

To be clear, neither the show’s producers nor Bravo executives have commented on all of this. (This is nothing new. Bravo has a long-standing policy of not releasing any information about the cable channel’s reality shows until a new batch of episodes air.) Officially, they don’t even have to. confirmed which Housewives will be featured in season 2 of “RHOSLC. Unofficially, the six cast from season one are all said to be back, along with at least one newcomer.

(I would have predicted that Lisa Barlow, Heather Gay, Meredith Marks, and Whitney Rose would be likely to return. But, while it’s true that Mary Cosby is back, I’m a little surprised after she’s all but gone by several. Season 1 episodes – and looked like a pretty terrible person when she appeared, most of the time.)

(Photo courtesy of Fred Hayes / Bravo) Jen Shah and Mary Cosby in “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City”.

As for Shah, it’s an open secret that she resumed filming after her arrest in March.

The latest development in the court case is that Shah’s lawyers have requested that the case be dropped. This is not an unusual gesture, and it usually does not work. And it should be noted that Shah has pleaded not guilty.

Shah’s lawyers argue that the indictment “is not at all clear” about how a crime was committed, and the prosecution has mostly refused to clarify. And they’re not happy that prosecutors threw more than 1.3 million documents – along with hundreds of electronic devices – into the mix. “This information cannot be adequately examined over the course of a lifetime,” they argue.

I am not a lawyer, but that seems to be a valid point.

The 57-page dossier contains a lot of legal jargon that will not appear on the show. It boils down to this: Shah’s lawyers claim she hasn’t committed any crime – and they want the charges dropped.

But the case file may give us a glimpse of what we’ll see happen when “RHOSLC” returns for Season 2 – including that Shah wants his post-arrest statements deleted because detectives allegedly lied to him and that ‘she was’ in a very emotional state due to the combination of strange phone calls she received on the morning of her arrest and her history with a convicted felon who had victimized her in New York City.

And giving up her right to remain silent shouldn’t be taken into account, her lawyers say, as her contacts had dried up, her vision was blurry and she didn’t know what she was signing.

THIS IS THE Jen Shah we came to know and love (or hate) in Season 1!

Do not mistake yourself. This is serious stuff. If found guilty, Shah could be sentenced to decades in prison.

But, clearly, that will be the big news for season 2 of “RHOSLC”. Which is, like it or not, Bravo continues to transform into intelligently constructed entertainment. This is the really juicy stuff, and it happens to the most convincing housewife in Utah.

Jen Shah is a lot of things, but she’s not. Her often temperamental demeanor – followed by the inevitable excuses and explanations, sometimes accompanied by abject apologies – drove the series narrative more than any other woman in Season 1. She looks absolutely charming for a minute and angry, resentful. and vindictive the following.

In a recent edition of the “So Bad It’s Good With Ryan Bailey” podcast, compatriot Heather Gay, who has had a top-down relationship with Shah, said, “He’s a star. When you’re in the room with she is magnetic and charismatic.

For the record, my few contacts with Shah let me love him. And, more often than not, sympathize with her.

(Photo courtesy of Bravo) Sharrieff and Jen Shah in episode 10 of “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City“.

Jen has a lot to deal with, but watching her husband, University of Utah assistant football coach Sharrieff Shah, do just that was a surprisingly charming aspect of the series.

Again, I have no legal training and no idea how this is going to turn out. I have no way of knowing if Shah is guilty of anything. For the sake of her family, I hope she isn’t.

And, to complicate matters even further, what about the little old ladies (and men) she’s accused of making fun of?

It will be interesting to see how the producers play this out. They love to create suspense, but it won’t be a surprise when Shah is arrested. And, assuming it goes to mid-October, as planned, that’ll be well after Season 2 production ends. (And maybe even before it starts airing.)

We don’t know when it will be. Season 1 premiered in November 2020, but we’ll have to see if Season 2 follows the same timeline.

Whenever that happens, Season 2 will show us how other housewives are reacting to Shah’s arrest and its aftermath. Like Bravo, this will be their chance to rise above – or sink into – the gutter.

The highway could be a more noble choice for all concerned; getting deeper into the mud will be more entertaining.


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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.

Truly,

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.


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Salt lake city government

Amos Guiora: Israel’s new eight-party coalition government


For the first time in 12 years, the Israeli parliament voted to overthrow Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister in favor of a new coalition government made up of eight different political parties that range from right to left on the political spectrum . The coalition appointed Naftali Bennett, leader of the right-wing Yamina party, as prime minister for the first two years of the coalition’s four-year term. The last two years will be led by Yair Lapid of the centrist Yesh Atid party, which built the coalition.

AtTheU spoke with Amos Guiora, a law professor at SJ Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah. Guiora has published extensively on issues related to enabling factors in sexual assault, institutional complicity, bystanders, national security, interrogation limits and human rights. He served in the Israel Defense Forces as a colonial lieutenant for 19 years, including as legal advisor to the Gaza Strip.

Guiora divides his time between Salt Lake City and Jerusalem, Israel, where he has lived for two months.

You are in Israel right now. What do you think of the coming to power of the new coalition government?

Full disclosure: I participated in weekly rallies against Benjamin Netanyahu at the Prime Minister’s home. The reason is that I believe that a prime minister who has been charged with corruption, bribery and breach of trust cannot be prime minister, even if the law does not prohibit it. The law prohibits a minister from serving in the government if indicted, but not the prime minister.

For people of my political inclination, there is a sense that Netanyahu was destroying state intuitions – he was actively trying to cause significant harm to the Justice Department, courts, and other organs of the state. He is on trial as we speak and, those of my political ilk suggest that he is doing everything possible to ensure that the trial does not proceed.

This election has been described as historic. Why is this this?

The new government is called the government of “change”. It is a unique coalition made up of eight different parties ranging from the political left to the political right. In Israel, the words right and left have only one definition – that’s how you see the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

What makes it unique are a number of things. We certainly haven’t had such a broad coalition government spanning the spectrum from left to right, but there are two other important reasons. One is that for the first time in Israel’s history, a member of an Israeli Arab party is part of the government. The second thing that makes him unique is that the new prime minister, Bennet, is what we in America would call modern orthodoxy and here we would call him religious nationalist. He is the first prime minister to wear a kippah, also known as a kippah, in the Israeli government. It is also the first time in at least 12 years that Orthodox Jewish parties have not been represented in government. Orthodox parties are seen as allies of Netanyahu’s Likud party.

In terms of the right-left make-up of the coalition, there is Meretz, which is the left-wing party and Labor, which is center-left, and they would be all in favor of a Palestinian state to resolve the issue. conflict. Bennet’s party is right-wing and opposes a Palestinian state; however, he is considered liberal on social issues. The other parties are centrist. But frankly, on Bennet’s to-do list, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not a priority. All parties want to preserve-restore the country’s institutions and ensure the proper functioning of the government.

How will the management work?

It is a rotating government, Bennet will be prime minister for the first two years, Lapid thereafter for the next two years. Lapid’s party is the largest in the coalition, but Bennet’s party is the swing party. In order to get them into the coalition to defeat Netanyahu, Lapid had to offer Bennet the prime minister’s first rotation. It’s not just for votes – if this government lasts four years, Lapid will be prime minister for the last two years.

Why would these disparate parties come together?

I think the reason these eight parties got together is one, they’re against Netanyahu, and two, I think they’re going to seek to reestablish a sense of normalcy like in respect for norms, respect for democratic values. But – and there are buts here, because there will be challenges. We have violence in Gaza, there are obviously other tensions, especially in Iran. Bennet will have to face Hamas, he will have to establish relations with President Biden, especially concerning Iran, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, while trying to restore standards of democracy and a civil society.

Are you optimistic about the survival of this coalition?

Well, it’s too early. Am i happy Yes, absolutely because I am convinced that the eight of them understand the task at hand, I am convinced that they are not corrupt, I am convinced that they have no intention of destroying the institutions of the state. And I believe – I’m not naive, I’ve been around the block – that they will respect justice. The government ministers who have been appointed seem to me competent and will not engage in disorderly incitement unlike the Netanyahu government. Netanyahu incited against the left, incited against the media, incited against the Arabs, and that just won’t be how this government works. For me, this is a welcome relief.

I am also aware that they have enormous challenges. But I have a feeling that they will be guided by the interest of the state rather than by self-interest.


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Salt lake city government

This week’s winners and losers in Utah politics


Hello Utah and TGIF!

Thanks for reading “The Rundown”.

Do you have a tip? Some interesting political gossip? Do you just want to discuss politics? Email me or find me on Twitter @SchottHappens.

Receive this newsletter in your inbox every morning of the week. Sign up for free here.

This Week’s Winners and Losers in Utah Politics

⬆️ Winner: The Utah State School Board. Board members have been battered by the current panic over critical breed theory. Republicans in the Legislature are eager to get involved in the issue. But the board has apparently taken enough action this year against classroom race that lawmakers say they don’t see the need to do anything just yet. But, this respite will be short-lived because there could be several laws next year on the subject.

⬇️ Loser: Representative Chris Stewart. In a controversial interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, Chris Stewart falsely claimed he voted to remove Georgian Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committee assignments in February. This claim was not true. The next day, Cuomo and Don Lemon toasted Stewart for not reaching out to correct the record. It wasn’t Stewart’s best hour.

⬇️ Loser: Utah taxpayers. One year ago, the New Yorker reported big issues with TestUtah, the effort to use technology to improve approach to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the Salt Lake Tribune reports that the SEC was investigating the co-diagnosis, which provided testing for the effort. In the end, Utah taxpayers spent $ 15 million on testing through TestUtah, far more than any other vendor paid.

Here’s what you need to know for Friday morning

Local News

  • Gov. Spencer Cox expressed frustration Thursday because so many Utahns refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19, which has resulted in more preventable deaths. Since the vaccines were made available to all Utahns 16 and older, nearly all of the COVID cases in the state have been unvaccinated. [Tribune]

  • Governor Cox explained that he could not ban fireworks in the state despite the extreme fire danger, because it was outside the powers of his governor. The legislature could take such a step, but there doesn’t appear to be the political will to do so, Cox said. [Tribune]

  • Some aligned with the #DezNat group, an online effort to defend the doctrines and practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are deleting their social media accounts for fear they will be identified publicly. [Tribune]

  • Utah County has managed to cut chronic homelessness in half over the past three years. [Tribune]

  • Some owners in Utah require potential renters to pay for DNA testing of their pets. The tests will help them identify who is not cleaning up after their dog or cat when they poop outside. [Tribune]

  • An investment group is turning to technology as a way to help conserve water. [Tribune]

National News

  • A great day at the Supreme Court. The judges rejected another challenge to the Affordable Care Act. [Scotusblog]

  • The court also sided with a faith-based organization, ruling that Philadelphia violated the group’s First Amendment rights when the city stopped working with them when they refused to certify same-sex couples as as potential adoptive parents. [Scotusblog]

  • Both rulings highlighted growing cracks within the court’s conservative wing. [Politico]

  • Unemployment claims jumped unexpectedly last week after several weeks of falling numbers. [WSJ]

  • President Joe Biden signed a bill designating Juneteenth as a federal holiday. [NYT]

  • Schools in the Washington, DC area are closed today for the new June vacation. The last-minute shutdown is pushing parents apart. [WaPo]

  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell pledges to block voting rights legislation as it relates to the Senate. [WaPo]

  • The sizzling US economy is driving inflation globally, forcing foreign banks to raise rates in response. [WSJ]

  • The Biden administration will invest $ 3 million to develop antiviral treatments for COVID-19. [CNN]

  • The U.S. Department of Education is forgiving more than $ 500 million in student debt for 18,000 former students of the ITT Technical Institute, which closed in 2016. [AP]

  • 13 Republican members of Congress signed a letter demanding that President Biden undergo a cognitive aptitude test. The group is led by Florida Republican Ronny Jackson, former President Donald Trump’s White House doctor. [MyHighPlains.com]

Utah Politics Podcast

In this week’s episode, we let you listen to a conversation between Rep. Blake Moore and the Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board.

It’s a fascinating peek behind the curtain as board members engage in a freewheeling chat with Moore that touches public lands, Hill Air Force Base, and investigates the attack on the January 6 against the US Capitol.

You can listen and subscribe for free.

Friday’s Utah News Summary

Utah

  • The United States Court of Appeals rules against citizenship for nationals of American Samoa. [Tribune]

  • The University of Utah, BYU is rolling out name, image and likeness plans as NCAA legislation looms. [Tribune]

  • Deseret Management Corp. appoints director of strategic initiatives and new president of Deseret Digital Media. [DNews]

  • Cox issues a proclamation commemorating June 19 as Juneteenth in Utah. [FOX13]

  • Equality Utah welcomes the Supreme Court ruling that balances religious beliefs with equal protection. [FOX13]

  • 41% of Utah CHIP beneficiaries lost their coverage in May due to a government overthrow. [KSL]

  • BYU-Hawaii will require COVID vaccinations; BYU strongly encourages. [Daily Herald]

COVID-19[feminine

Environnement

  • Le ministère de l’Agriculture a une surveillance faible, des « problèmes de contrôle », constate l’audit. [KSL]

Local government

  • Sunset skid keeps city council optimistic out of poll; the city recorder reprimanded. [Standard Examiner]

  • Former transportation manager selected to fill vacant position on Spanish Fork City Council. [Daily Herald]

  • The still difficult PCMR talks may be coming to a conclusion. [Park Record]

  • Dozens of Utah election officials are participating in the new VOTE certification program. [ABC4]

Infrastructure

  • Experts say Utah is unprepared for large-scale power outages. [KUTV]

  • Boil order issued to Mapleton after bacteria was found in a water source. [FOX13]

  • St. George issues the first energy saving alert. [FOX13]

Housing

  • Can’t keep track of all those new apartments in or coming to Salt Lake County? This card will help you. [Tribune]

  • End of the moratorium on evictions: who to turn to if you run out of rent. [KSL]

  • Ogden City Council is considering an ordinance to ease restrictions on non-residential housing. [Standard Examiner]

On opinion pages

  • Robert Gehrke: Ban fireworks in times of drought and destroy the Utahns that light them. [Tribune]

  • Scott Williams: The governors of Utah have a 50-year legacy of opposing radioactive waste. [Tribune]

  • Tribune Editorial Board: Just get the Utah landmarks back to where they were and get to work. [Tribune]

  • David R. Irvine: We’re not the America we think we are anymore. [Tribune]

  • Richard D. Burbidge: It’s up to you what kind of guinea pig you will be. [Tribune]

  • Steven Collis: Stop asking the Supreme Court to resolve the LGBTQ religious conflict. [Tribune]

🎂 You say it’s your birthday? !!

Happy birthday to Tiffany Gunnerson, spokesperson for the Purposeful Planning Institute, Joel Campbell, associate professor of journalism at BYU, and Eric Peterson, founder of the Utah Investigative Journalism Project.

On Saturday, Thom Carter, energy advisor and executive director of the Office of Energy Development, celebrates.

State Senator Jerry Stevenson and former State Senator Steve Urquhart mark another year on Sunday.

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

– Tribune reporter Connor Sanders contributed to this report.



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