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Broadband internet service is coming to rural Box Elder communities – Cache Valley Daily

Governor Spencer Cox hailed the benefits of broadband internet service at a press conference in Mantua on March 10.

MANTUA – High-speed Internet service is coming to currently isolated communities in Box Elder County and the price for this improved connectivity will be nearly $9.5 million.

On March 10, Governor Spencer Cox announced the awarding of $5.86 million from the state’s $10 million Broadband Access Grant to connect rural households in Box Elder County via a high speed fiber optic cable.

“What broadband does is turn any home into a school,” Cox explained at the press conference at Sydney’s Restaurant in Mantua. “It can turn any house into a hospital. It can turn any home into a movie theater. It can turn any home into a workplace.

The number of Box Elder County households affected by the state grant will be about 2,400, according to Ryan Starks, director of the governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity.

Communities with faster internet access will include Bear River City, Elwood, Howell, Mantua, Penrose, South Willard, Thatcher and Willard.

Cox said funding for the state’s broadband access grant was secured through President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Bailout Act (ARPA) of 2021.

ARPA aims to facilitate the United States’ recovery from the devastating economic and health effects of the coronavirus pandemic by providing federal funds to state governments.

While many other states are using these funds to boost their economies, Cox said Utah is free to use ARPA funds for investments such as fiber optic expansion because its economy has been down. wisely managed during the pandemic.

Local funding of approximately $3.46 million will cover the remainder of the cost of broadband expansion in Box Elder County, according to County Commissioner Stan Summers.

While visiting Mantua, the governor also encouraged all Utahns to participate in the Internet Speed ​​Test, a campaign recently launched by the Utah Broadband Center.

This campaign is a statewide initiative for residents to self-report their internet speed at home, work, or wherever they connect to the internet. This data will help identify areas of the state that are most in need of internet upgrades.

Utahans can complete the speed test by going to www.speedtest.utah.gov.

The Utah Governor‘s Office of Economic Opportunity provides resources and support for starting, growing, and recruiting businesses. It also leads to an increase in tourism, film production, outdoor recreation, and mixed martial arts in Utah.

The Utah Broadband Center advances economic opportunity, energy efficiency, telecommuting, education, and telehealth functions that rely on broadband infrastructure. It works with broadband providers; local, state, and federal policy makers; consumers; community institutions; and other stakeholders to support statewide broadband rollout





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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

Biden discusses Putin and inflation in the first State of the Union

(NewsNation Now) — Amid escalating conflict in Europe, President Joe Biden devoted much of his first State of the Union address to pledging to check Russian aggression, saying that it is important to fight the “dictators” before they “cause more chaos”. .”

“Throughout our history, we’ve learned this lesson: When dictators don’t pay the price for their aggression, they cause more chaos,” Biden said. “They keep moving. And the costs and threats to America and the world continue to mount.

As he began his speech, Biden asked lawmakers thronging the House chamber to stand up and salute Ukrainians who have been fighting in their home country against a Russian attack for nearly a week. Biden said he and all members of Congress, regardless of political differences, were united “with an unwavering determination that freedom will always triumph over tyranny.”

It was a remarkable show of unity after a long year of bitter acrimony between Biden’s Democratic coalition and the Republican opposition.

“Putin can surround Kiev with tanks, but he will never win the hearts and souls of the Ukrainian people,” Biden said. “He will never quench their love of freedom. He will never weaken the resolve of the free world.

Biden highlighted the bravery of Ukrainian defenders and the commitment of a newly reinvigorated Western alliance that has worked to rearm Ukraine’s military and cripple Russia’s economy through sanctions.

As Biden spoke, Russian forces were stepping up their attacks in Ukraine, after bombing the central square of the country’s second-largest city and Kiev’s main TV tower, killing at least five people. The Babi Yar Holocaust memorial in Kyiv was also damaged.

During his speech, Biden said the United States was following Canada and the European Union in banning Russian planes from its airspace in retaliation for the invasion of Ukraine. He also said the Justice Department was launching a task force to prosecute the crimes of Russian oligarchs, whom he called “corrupt leaders who have cheated billions of dollars from this violent regime.”

“We come for your ill-gotten gains,” he said, saying US and European allies were looking for opportunities to seize their yachts, luxury apartments and private jets.

Pivoting on domestic concerns, Biden then addressed what has become a top concern for voters: inflation and the economy. Even before the Russian invasion sent energy costs skyrocketing, prices for American families had risen, and the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hurt families and the nation’s economy.

Biden outlined plans to fight inflation by reinvesting in U.S. manufacturing capacity, speeding up supply chains and reducing the burden of childcare and elder care for workers.

“Too many families are struggling to keep up with the bills,” Biden said. “Inflation robs them of the gains they might otherwise feel. I understand. This is why my absolute priority is to control the prices.

Biden’s speech came amid public disapproval of his handling of the economy and the pandemic. Results from a recent NewsNation/Decision Desk HQ poll found that 57% of respondents disapproved of Biden’s handling of his presidency. Another 55% say he is not a clear communicator. And 88% said they were at least somewhat concerned about inflation, with 55% saying it was an even bigger concern than COVID-19 or unemployment.

As he denigrated the impact of the 2017 tax cuts, which primarily benefited the wealthiest Americans despite cutting taxes for a large majority of the country, Biden was booed by Republicans at bedroom.

In a rare jarring moment, Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado shouted that Biden was to blame for the 13 service members who were killed during the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan last August.

“You put them in, 13 of them,” Boebert shouted as Biden mentioned his late son Beau, a veteran who died of brain cancer and served near widely used toxic military burns in Iraq. and in Afghanistan. Biden is pursuing legislation to help veterans suffering from exposure and other injuries.

Rising energy prices following Russia’s war in Ukraine are likely to exacerbate inflation in the United States, which is already at its highest level in 40 years, to eat into people’s incomes and threaten economic recovery after the pandemic. And while the geopolitical crisis in Eastern Europe may have helped calm partisan tensions in Washington, it has not erased the political and cultural discord that casts doubt on Biden’s ability to deliver on his promise to promote the national unity.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, chosen to give the Republican response, said Biden’s speech was a blast from the past with rising inflation, rising crime and a resurgent Russia, making it feel more like the 1980s than today.

“Before he was even sworn in, the president said he wanted to — I quote — get America respected around the world again and unite us here. It failed on both fronts,” she said.

Biden used his speech to return the country “to more normal routines” after two years of a pandemic that reshaped American life.

“It’s time for Americans to get back to work and fill our great downtowns again,” he said. He said people will be able to order another round of free tests from the government and that his administration is launching a “test to treat” initiative to provide free antiviral pills at pharmacies to those who test positive for the virus.

While his speech to Congress last year saw the rollout of a massive social spending package, Biden this year has largely repackaged past proposals in search of workable measures he hopes can win support. bipartisanship in a bitterly divided Congress ahead of the election.

The president also pointed to investments in everything from high-speed internet access to building bridges from November’s $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill as an example of government achieving a consensus and bringing change for the nation.

As part of his speech to voters, he also placed new emphasis on how proposals such as the extension of the child tax credit and the reduction of childcare costs could provide relief to families. as prices rise. It was said that his proposals on climate change would reduce costs for low- and middle-income families and create new jobs.

Biden has called for lower health care costs, outlining his plan to allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, as well as an extension of more generous health insurance subsidies now temporarily available through the Act’s marketplaces. affordable care where 14.5 million people are covered.

Biden also called for action on voting rights, which failed to garner GOP support. And as gun violence escalates, he returned to calls to ban assault weapons, a direct request he hadn’t made in months. He called for “funding the police with the resources and training they need to protect our communities.”

He led Congress in a bipartisan tribute to retired Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and highlighted the biography of Federal Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, his nominee being the first black woman to serve on the high court.

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Utah economy

Outdoor retailer: Governor Spencer Cox sends mixed signals as he returns to Utah

Utah Governor Spencer Cox sent decidedly mixed signals Thursday regarding his feelings about the potential return of lucrative outdoor retailer shows to Salt Lake City after the event owner moved the shows to Denver. five years ago amid swirling controversy over federal land use issues.

Event owner Emerald X is set to announce where the shows will be held under a new contract that begins in 2023. Salt Lake City competes with Denver and other potential venues for the gatherings which, before the COVID-19 pandemic, regularly attracted tens of thousands.

And, earlier this week, dozens of outdoor companies, including industry heavyweights Patagonia, REI, North Face and others, vowed to boycott Outdoor Retailer shows if they return to the Utah.

On the one hand, Cox said at his monthly KUED press conference on Thursday that the roughly $50 million in economic inflow that comes with each of the biannual shows — hosted by Salt Lake City for 20 years before coming out in 2017 — n were no longer needed. in Utah’s booming economy.

“We were told (the Outdoor Retailer shows leaving Utah) would be the end of the world, that our economy would collapse, that businesses would never move here, it would be awful for our state,” Cox said.

“Turns out none of that happened. We have the best economy in the country. Our outdoor industry is thriving, it’s stronger than it’s ever been. That’s one of the reasons they’re trying to bring him back here.

Cox said show owners and exhibitors had the worst end to the exit decision because they lost their “seat at the table” to engage in meaningful discussions about land use and policies with the governor and state legislators when the end result for the state was “we didn’t miss them at all.

But some of the same people in the outdoor industry who threatened to leave in 2017 over GOP state leaders’ support for cuts to federal land protections issued an apology after Emerald announced the shows were moving. in Denver, Cox said. And, he would still like to see the shows return to Utah.

“If Patagonia and these other companies really care about this issue, they’re going to want to be here having this discussion, not going somewhere where everyone thinks exactly like them,” Cox said. “We would like them to come back. We desperately want them back.

While bringing the shows back to Utah, Cox said, would give Outdoor Retailer attendees a direct link to elected officials to discuss policy issues, he pointed out that the boycotts promised, if the shows return to Utah, will not will have no impact on his position. on matters of use and protection of federal lands.

“That kind of boycott will do absolutely nothing to change the politics that’s going on here in the state of Utah,” Cox said. “Not even an inch. We won’t think about it anymore. »

While dismissing the effectiveness of boycott threats, Cox also said he’s open to finding common ground with outdoor industry representatives and believes Salt Lake City easily beats Denver when it comes to the best locations for Outdoor Retailer events.

“Obviously coming back to Salt Lake makes sense,” Cox said. “Our airport is closer, our venues are cheaper, our locations are much closer. Come back and join the discussion. You can help make a difference. You can help temper some of the things that are happening.

“We can find common ground. We may not agree on everything, but I think there are some things we definitely agree on.

On Tuesday, the Deseret News reported on a letter signed by more than two dozen outdoor industry companies promising to boycott Outdoor Retailer shows if the biannual events return to Salt Lake City.

The letter was released on Monday by The Conservation Alliance, a group dedicated to land conservation efforts that counts more than 270 companies as members. The website posting urges Emerald X to stay out of Utah due to members’ objections to the longstanding stance taken by state leaders to oppose federal land protections.

“We have united in declaring that we will not support or attend a trade show in Utah as long as its elected officials continue to attack national monuments and the protection of public lands,” the letter reads. “Industry leaders express their support for the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition and its longstanding efforts to protect the homelands of tribes and pueblos with cultural ties to the Bears Ears landscape, as well as the overwhelming majority of the outdoor industry and America’s public.

“Despite widespread industry objections, Emerald has demonstrated continued interest in moving the Outdoor Retailer show to Utah, a state that is leading the fight against designated national monuments and public lands.”

Cox was specifically named in the letter as the leader of Utah’s effort to “strip these magnificent lands from federal protection while simultaneously trying to woo Emerald to move the Outdoor Retailer show from Denver to Salt Lake City.” .

The Utah capital lost its contract with Denver in 2017 as plans announced by then-President Donald Trump to cut several areas of federally protected land angered the environmental community, outdoor enthusiasts and companies specializing in outdoor products and services. At the center of the controversy was Trump’s stated intention to reduce the 1.35 million acre Bears Ears National Monument, created by President Barack Obama in a 2016 proclamation issued just before he left office. .

Utah state legislators and government at the time. Gary Herbert backed the Trump plan by passing a resolution during the 2017 legislative session declaring “strong opposition to the designation of Bears Ears National Monument” and urging Trump to rescind his predecessor’s executive order.

Following President Joe Biden’s decision to reverse Trump’s cuts in Utah, Cox, GOP state legislative leaders and all six members of Utah’s congressional delegation have declared their opposition to reinstatement protections. Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said he intends to take legal action against Biden’s land protection changes.

Emerald X is expected to announce the new host city for Outdoor Retailer soon, and Marisa Nicholson, Senior Vice President and Show Manager of Outdoor Retailer, said her company evaluated all issues and options before entering into a new contract.

“Outdoor Retailer and Emerald remain committed to supporting the outdoor and winter sports industries by hosting gatherings that both meet business needs and foster the spirit of our community,” Nicholson said in a statement. “We have had ongoing conversations with many in our industry and consider all input and perspectives, including responses to recent surveys – we value the passion and respect everyone’s point of view.

“As we continue the process of evaluating all possible and realistic options, we remain thoughtful in our deliberations. Our goal is to stage a dynamic event that not only reflects today’s new normal, but also presents an engaging event that brings more people to this community in an authentic and affordable way. No decisions regarding future dates or location have been made at this time, and we look forward to sharing our thoughts in the coming days.

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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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Utah economy

Political and business trends threaten the future of outdoor entertainment

DENVER (AP) — A ski business owner leans against a wall with his skis, arranged to dazzle passers-by.

“What am I doing? I feel like I’m wasting my time,” Meier Skis owner Ted Eynon said. “Man, that ain’t what it used to be.”

The Outdoor Retailer Snow Show was just a shadow of its former self at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver last month. Perhaps a third of its size in 2019. The coronavirus is the easy scapegoat.

But historic schisms in the outdoor community are resurfacing and threatening to tear apart not just an event that, before the pandemic, drew tens of thousands of buyers, sellers and outdoor community leaders. The fight for the future of Outdoor Retailer threatens a vibrant outdoor community that influences national policy on public lands, climate and diversity.

As Denver negotiates a new long-term contract to keep Outdoor Retailer shows twice a year, Utah is courting the industry it lost in 2017 when outdoor leaders lambasted the state’s stance on public land and left the show’s 20-year-old home in Salt Lake City for Colorado.

These same outdoor businesses and community leaders continue to criticize Utah’s continued opposition to the restoration of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. Amid political clamor, pandemic upheaval, supply chain challenges and growing demand for outdoor recreation, the outdoor industry is fragmenting into divisive camps, threatening the carefully constructed unity that positioned the outdoor recreation community as a political and economic force capable of changing the country. Politics.

Major ski and snowboard brands have decamped to Outdoor Retailer for their own show in Utah. Winter sports enthusiasts say Salt Lake City is a third cheaper than Denver. Emerald X, the publicly traded owner of Outdoor Retailer that hosts 141 other conventions, asks attendees about a possible return to Salt Lake City.

The biggest outdoor brands, such as Burton, Patagonia, Arc’teryx and The North Face, were not present at the Denver show. Many are pushing the show owner to include consumers, which would change the historic business focus of Outdoor Retailer. Outdoors industry advocates who left Salt Lake City years ago because of Utah’s support for a Trump administration move to reduce the size of national monuments oppose the possibility of a return to Beehive State.

And behind the political shenanigans on public lands are retailers and manufacturers who are completely questioning trade shows. For decades they met twice a year to buy and sell. Over the past two years of pandemic-related events, they have learned to ride and manage without coming together.

“The real issue here isn’t Colorado versus Utah or public lands. It’s about the longevity of an industry trade show,” said Nick Sargent, director of Snowsports Industries America, a non-profit, member-owned organization that has held its Snow Show once a year since 1954 before selling to Emerald and merging with Outdoor Retailer in 2017. .

Hundreds of ski and snowboard brands gathered in Salt Lake City for their very own Winter Sports Market show the weekend before OR. They did not attend the Outdoor Retailer Snow Show, as they had in previous years. Last summer, 421 retailers and hundreds of gear brands attended the new Big Gear Show in Utah, competing with the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market.

The winter sports brands heading to Utah weren’t a political statement, Sargent said.

“For them, it’s just good business,” he said.

These winter marks tell Sargent that the Colorado is too expensive. That’s why they left Outdoor Retailer and moved to the competing show in Utah, he said.

“You have to look at this thing holistically and say what the problem is? Well, winter sports will tell you that’s the price. In Denver, with the unions, the space, the hotels…it’s about 33% more expensive here than Salt Lake,” Sargent said. “You have values ​​and you have business. Winter sports are business. That’s not to say that values ​​aren’t important because they are really, really important. But we put business first.

But for others in the outdoor community, values ​​trump dollars when it comes to trade shows. The Outdoor Industry Association met with Emerald and told them that as long as Utah opposes President Joe Biden’s recent restoration of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, the outdoor industry is totally opposed. at a trade show in that state.

“We’ve learned over the past few years in Denver that we’re stronger when we’re together,” said Outdoor Industry Association executive director Lise Aangeenbrug. “We have an economy of scale with a show that serves everyone. So the idea of ​​not having everyone together at a concert really bothers us.

“At the same time, we really care deeply about public lands,” she added. “We hear that ski brands think Denver is expensive. We believe that the majority of our brands would consider public lands rather than other issues. »

Many brands are asking Emerald to consider a user-friendly item for a revamped outdoor retailer in Denver. Since its inception 40 years ago, Outdoor Retailer has been a business-to-business event and closed to the public. It may be time to welcome consumers. In this way, the brand could highlight not only its novelties, but also its policies on climate, diversity and public lands.

“They really want to speak directly with the consumer and having a closed, industry-only show doesn’t meet a lot of their goals,” Aangeenbrug said. “So maybe there’s a way to do both?”

Jake Roach has taken the Eagle-based QuietKat e-bike team to numerous trade shows over the past year, including the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and the Hunting and Fishing Shot Show. All shows saw record crowds as COVID kept people home.

He sees new people moving to Colorado for an outdoor lifestyle and he would love to see Outdoor Retailer harness that energy. He thinks the show should stay in Colorado, but open up to more people.

“How can the show include the passion of all these people who come to Colorado? How can we make it interactive and open to everyone? Roach said. “This model, right now, it feels old and stale.”

When Emerald’s Interbike bike show in Las Vegas collapsed in 2019, the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California became a place where brands, retailers and consumers mingled around a race of bike.

“Outdoor Retailer should become an experience for everyone,” Roach said. “That way, everyone will come. That way, it will be an event where, when it’s over, everyone looks forward to the next one, not wondering if they’re even going to the next one.

Marisa Nicholson, Emerald X’s Director of Outdoor Retailer Shows, has spent the year “taking the pulse” of show attendees. A survey in June found the outdoor industry is stressed about safeguarding the supply chain of products from Asia, impacting lead times for retailers and brands to place orders in the rays.

Before Emerald signed a new long-term deal with Denver, Nicholson sent out another survey two weeks ago to thousands of outdoor retailer attendees asking for show dates and location.

The results of those two investigations will inform a decision that Nicholson says should come within the next two weeks.

It balances the business needs of manufacturers and retailers with the values ​​industry places on public lands. “How can we ensure that we support each other’s business needs and those initiatives that are essential for the business and for our planet and our ability as humans to continue to connect with nature?” she asked.

Nicholson said many of the biggest brands in the industry have grown into massive corporations with business models that don’t need trade shows. (It’s a common whisper heard in the world of outdoor retailers: Big brands have wanted to get out of national shows for years, and the political tussle on Utah’s public lands provides an exit strategy that allows them to give feel like they are leaving the salons in a noble fight.)

“But for 80% of our customers who are small and medium-sized, they don’t have these big buying groups and they have a big representative force and showrooms. They need this show to write orders and do business,” she said.

Sargent, with SIA, said it’s entirely possible to passionately support public lands and do business in Utah, where he lives.

“We have to be smarter about it and we have to use our political power and we have to use our industry vote to say, maybe we’ll come to Utah, but if we do, we have some caveats. , we want to work on these public land issues,” he said. “COVID has shown us that we don’t really need a trade show. But we need community. We are stronger together under one roof. If we can find a place where we can be together, we are strong, our voices are better, and we can do more.

Eynon had a quiet show. Its Denver-based Meier skis were one of the few ski makers at last week’s Outdoor Retailer Snow Show. It was one of hundreds of ski brands.

It does not interfere in public land policy. He’ll take his 13-year-old business to any trade show where he can reach new retailers and sell more skis. But it makes a statement in other ways.

Meier Skis, which uses Colorado-harvested beetle wood for ski cores, has always been an eco-friendly brand, Eynon said. This season, he’s partnered with the Colorado State Forest Service to plant a sapling in a burnt-out Colorado forest for every pair of skis he sells. Last season, it removed single-use plastic from all of its products and production processes.

“Look, we can’t lose half of our customer base, whether it’s retailers or consumers, by taking a grand position. If our participation in a show in Utah makes sense for us as a company, we will,” he said. “In the meantime, we’ll continue to pioneer meaningful, eco-friendly practices that make a difference.”

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North Korea tests longest-range missile since 2017

Updated January 29, 2022 at 11:20 p.m. ET

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea on Sunday fired what appeared to be the most powerful missile it had tested since U.S. President Joe Biden took office. Launch may have violated a self-imposed suspension of longer-range weapons testing as it revives its old tightrope playbook to wrest concessions from Washington and its neighbors amid a prolonged deadlock in diplomacy.

The Japanese and South Korean militaries said the missile was launched on an elevated trajectory, apparently to avoid neighboring territorial spaces, and reached a maximum altitude of 2,000 kilometers (1,242 miles) and traveled 800 kilometers (497 miles) before landing at sea.

Flight details suggest the North has been testing its longest-range ballistic missile since 2017, when it twice flew intermediate-range ballistic missiles over Japan and separately flight-tested three ballistic missiles at intercontinental reach that demonstrated the potential reach to reach deep into the American homeland. .

Sunday’s test was the North’s 7th round of weapons launches this month. The unusually rapid pace of testing indicates North Korea’s intention to pressure the Biden administration over long-stalled nuclear talks as pandemic-related difficulties unleash further shock to an economy shattered by decades mismanagement and crippling sanctions directed by the United States against its nuclear weapons program.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in called an emergency National Security Council meeting where he described the test as a possible “medium-range ballistic missile launch” that brought North Korea to the brink of breaking its 2018 suspension in nuclear and longer-range device testing. ballistic missiles.

Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi told reporters it was clear the missile was the longest-range weapon the North had tested since launching its Hwasong-15 ICBM in November 2017.

The launch came after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un chaired a ruling party meeting on January 20, during which senior party officials made a veiled threat to lift the moratorium, citing what they perceived as American hostility and threats. In April 2018, Kim said “no nuclear testing or intermediate-range and intercontinental-range ballistic rocket test firings” were no longer needed for the North as he pursued diplomacy with the then US president. , Donald Trump, in an effort to leverage his nuclear weapons for much-needed economic benefits.

/Korea Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP

/

Korean Central News Agency/Korean News Service via AP

In this photo taken last month and provided by the North Korean government on January 1, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party Central Committee in Pyongyang, North Korea.

The latest details of the missile’s flight suggest that the North Korean moratorium has already been broken, said Lee Choon Geun, a missile expert and honorary researcher at South Korea’s Institute for Science and Technology Policy. He said the data suggests the North tested an intermediate-range ballistic missile or perhaps even a weapon approaching ICBM capabilities.

In his strongest comments to the North in years, Moon said the situation around the Korean peninsula was starting to look like 2017, when North Korea’s provocative rush into nuclear and long-range missile testing took off. resulted in a verbal exchange of war threats between Kim and Trump.

Moon described the North’s latest tests as a violation of UN Security Council resolutions and a ‘challenge to international society’s efforts to denuclearize the Korean peninsula, stabilize peace and find a diplomatic solution’ to the stalemate. nuclear.

The North “should stop its actions that create tension and pressure and respond to offers of dialogue from the international community, including South Korea and the United States,” Moon said, according to his office.

Moon, who had ambitiously pushed for inter-Korean engagement, held three summits with Kim in 2018 while pushing to hold Kim’s first summit with Trump in 2018, where they issued vague ambitious goals for a nuclear-free Korean peninsula. without describing when and how it would happen. But diplomacy was derailed after the failed second Kim-Trump meeting in 2019, when the Americans rejected North Korea’s request for major sanctions relief in exchange for a partial surrender of its nuclear capabilities.

Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, Hirokazu Matsuno, said Sunday’s missile flew for about 30 minutes and landed in waters outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone. There were no immediate reports of damage to boats or planes.

The US Indo-Pacific Command said the United States condemns North Korea’s testing activities and calls on the North to refrain from further acts of destabilization. He said the latest launch “did not pose an immediate threat to U.S. personnel, territory or that of our allies.”

The launch came three days after North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea on Thursday. The North also flight-tested a pair of alleged long-range cruise missiles on Tuesday while pledging to strengthen its nuclear “war deterrent” and to build more powerful weapons.

Experts say the North may halt its round of testing after the start of the Winter Olympics in Beijing next week out of respect for China, its main ally and economic lifeline. But it is also expected that the North could raise the bar for weapon displays significantly once the Olympics are over in February to attract the attention of the Biden administration, which has focused more on confronting China and Russia over its conflict with Ukraine.

“North Korea is launching a missile spree ahead of the start of the Beijing Olympics, mostly as part of military modernization efforts. Pyongyang also wants to boost national pride as it prepares to mark political anniversaries in the context of economic struggles,” said Leif-Eric. Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul.

“He wants to remind Washington and Seoul that trying to unseat him would be too costly. By threatening stability in Asia as global resources dwindle elsewhere, Pyongyang is asking the world to compensate it for acting as one.” “responsible nuclear power,” Easley added.

North Korea has justified its testing activity as an exercise of its right to self-defense and threatened to take stronger action after the Biden administration imposed new sanctions following two tests of an alleged hypersonic missile earlier this month.

Desperate for outside help, Kim has shown no willingness to surrender the nuclear weapons and missiles he sees as his best guarantee of survival. Analysts say Kim’s pressure campaign is aimed at forcing Washington to accept the North as a nuclear power and convert its nuclear disarmament diplomacy into aiding negotiations for a mutual arms reduction.

Last year, Kim announced a new five-year weapons development plan and released an ambitious wish list that includes hypersonic weapons, spy satellites, solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine-launched nuclear missiles. .

State media said on Friday that Kim had visited an unspecified munitions factory producing a “major weapons system” and that the workers had sworn loyalty to their leader who “crushes with his bold courage the challenges of the American imperialists and of their vassal forces”.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To learn more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Trump, Biden, vaccine terms, infrastructure bill – one year in politics

2021 has been a fascinating political year. We take a look at some of the things learned over the past 12 months.

For Democrats at the national level, controlling Washington, 2021 has started with high hopes for major legislative achievements. Republicans have been playing defense all year, overshadowed by the former president’s presence Donald trump. What are the lessons of their successes and their failures?

Pignanelli: “The history of politics of the year has been one of partisan, cultural and ideological divisions that defy easy resolution. Neither side has the strength to really impose its will. So, in 2021, governing was just plain difficult. “- Gerald Seib, Wall Street Journal

For political observers, 2021 has confirmed that traditional rules of politics remain important. For example, an understanding of mathematics is essential for success. A three-vote majority in the United States House and a one-vote majority in the United States Senate is not a mandate. Instead, these numbers signal an absolute requirement for collaboration to be successful at anything.

President Joseph biden, when he was a senator, was a past master in the art of concocting coalitions on major legislative initiatives. So, it was no surprise that the bipartisanship of Congress achieved the greatest legislative achievement, the $ 1.2 trillion in infrastructure improvements. But for everything else, the progressives on the left apparently need tutoring on this lesson.

Election activities in 2021 further underscored that voters care about the future, not the past. Democrats who sent messages against Trump and Republicans who kissed the former president have behaved badly. The “things happen so be prepared” rule has been ignored, at a cost. Variants of the coronavirus, the withdrawal from Afghanistan, and price inflation have all raised jurisdictional issues with the Biden administration.

The principle “Democracy is disorderly” was obvious. Americans are struggling to teach about race, mandatory vaccinations, the principles of non-discrimination, and climate change. While seeming confusing and traumatic, all Americans are engaged in conversations about these issues.

The overarching lesson of 2021 is that Americans cannot be taken for granted. They rightly ask for explanations and participation in the process. It is truly heartwarming.

Webb: The biggest political lesson of 2021 is: don’t go too far; don’t assume you have a mandate to take the country in a radical new direction when you don’t. A corollary is this: understand the state of mind of the country, especially the inner-city working class citizens, before you try to force radical change. Don’t try to rule the whole country through the prism of East Coast and West Coast values.

Democrats won the Presidency and the United States House and Senate fairly (despite Trump’s protests). But the margins of victory were tiny. The Senate is 50-50. Republicans won many seats in the House. And Joe Biden barely won the presidency.

But instead of ruling with a bit of humility, from the center, reaching out to the other side, Democrats have turned to a left-wing grand slam home run, defending every ultra-progressive problem and agenda imaginable.

Now Biden suffers from near-historically low approval ratings, the progressive wing of the party is angry and disillusioned, and the stage is set for Republicans to win big midway through 2022. He’s never been realistic. for progressive democrats to try to transform society.

Meanwhile, Republicans have effectively played the loyal opposition all year. But when they have to happen in elections and political initiatives, the wild card that is the Trump card could mess things up.

In Utah, the priorities of a new governor, a stubborn Republican legislature, a vibrant economy, and the dangers of a redistribution combined to produce an intriguing year. What have we learned about our state policy?

Pignanelli: The Utahns are a pragmatic people, and many actions of our state officials reflected this virtue. Controversial social issues have been reviewed, but also confined to prevent them from entering into deliberations on other topics. The critical attention to the issues of water, air quality, climate change and growth was subtle but very real.

Utah thrives with a diverse demographic flavor. We are a global center of innovation for technology, financial services and healthcare. However, the “Utah Way” remains a priority. Another refreshing sign of the times.

Webb: Utah is by no means perfect. We face our share of problems. We have to do a better job with education, for example. But we have good governance in Utah. Our state and local leaders are not ignorant of the problems. They resolve them in a thoughtful and reasonable manner. They look after basic needs and balance budgets. They are in line with the priorities and values ​​of citizens. Now is a good time to be a Utahn.

The COVID-19 pandemic was over everything in 2021. What political impact has the dreaded coronavirus had?

Pignanelli: The response to the pandemic has become a litmus test for many office holders across the political spectrum. This will influence cross-party competitions in 2022.

Webb: It is regrettable that the pandemic has turned into a political issue that divides. Trump has been vilified by his opponents for not controlling the pandemic. But Biden and the Democrats did no better. It’s a tough battle, tougher than we expected. Biden’s struggles with COVID-19 – including not being prepared with millions of test kits needed right now – are contributing to his low approval ratings.

The reality is that neither Biden nor Trump deserves criticism for things beyond their control. But when bad things happen, those responsible are blamed.

Republican LaVarr Webb is a former journalist and semi-retired smallholder farmer and political consultant. E-mail: [email protected]. Frank Pignanelli is a lawyer, lobbyist, and political advisor from Salt Lake who served as Democrat in the Utah Legislature. E-mail: [email protected].

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


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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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EXPLANATION: How will Biden’s COVID-19 testing giveaway work?


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WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden has said the federal government will buy half a billion COVID-19 rapid test kits and distribute them free to people to use at home. But despite strong public demand for testing, it will be several more weeks before these kits are available to ship. The administration is still working on the details of how the program works.

DOES THE GOVERNMENT HAVE THE TESTS?

Not yet. As of this week, the Defense and Health and Human Services departments are “executing what is called a ‘fast-track emergency contract’,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. The contract should be signed soon.

WHEN WILL THE TEST KITS BE DELIVERED?

The first delivery is scheduled for early January. The 500 million kits will not arrive at the same time but will rather be delivered in batches.

MY PHARMACY HAS NO TESTS. HOW CAN I GET A FREE GOVERNMENT KIT?

You’ll go to a new government website to request a kit, but the site won’t be functional until after the first batch of test kits have been delivered, Psaki said. She said the process was handled that way to avoid creating more confusion for the public. But the idea is that anyone who wants a test kit should go to this website and request one.

“We’re obviously not going to get the website up and running until tests are available,” Psaki said.

WHAT AT HOME TEST WILL I DO?

It’s unclear. But Psaki noted that the United States Food and Drug Administration has approved several different brands of rapid home tests that are currently on the market.

WILL I BE LIMITED TO ONE TEST OR CAN I REQUEST MORE THAN ONE?

TBD, Psaki said.

WHY BIDEN PURCHASES THESE TEST KITS?

This represents recognition by the President that the administration must do more to increase access to COVID-19 testing, which is an important tool in helping to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

In cases where infected people show symptoms or not, testing is the only way to find out if they have the virus in order to avoid coming out and potentially spreading the disease.

But the demand for test kits has skyrocketed as the holidays approach and people have become anxious to test themselves and their families before traveling and as the easily transmissible omicron variant has spread rapidly within a matter of a few. weeks only to become the dominant strain in the United States.

Biden’s pledge of 500 million test kits builds on the administration’s earlier pledge to send 50 million rapid tests to community health centers across the country.

HOW MUCH IS THE PROGRAM?

The purchase will be paid for with money from the $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill that Biden signed in March, the White House said. The exact cost will be known shortly.

IS THERE ANY OTHER WAY TO GET A FREE TEST KIT

Biden said in a speech on Tuesday that starting in January, private insurers would cover the cost of home testing. Thus, people will have the option of purchasing tests in a store or online and then requesting reimbursement from their health insurance.

The government will also give access to free home tests to people who may not have health insurance, Biden said.

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

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


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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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How the region’s congressmen voted on economic diplomacy, religious freedom and military spending | News

WASHINGTON – Here’s a look at how members of Congress in the region voted over the past week.

Along with this week’s roll-call votes, the Senate also passed by voice vote the following legislation: A Bill (HR 6256), to ensure that products made with forced labor in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region do not enter the United States market; and the Accelerated Access to Critical Therapies for ALS Act (HR 3537), to direct the Department of Health and Human Services to support research and expanded access to investigational drugs for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis .

VOTING AT HOME:

Chamber 1 vote:

RESOLUTION ON THE OUTRAGE OF MEADOWS: The House passed a resolution (H. Res. 851), sponsored by Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, D-Miss., To find Mark Meadows, President Trump’s chief of staff, in contempt of Congress for not being complied with a subpoena from the Special House Committee to investigate the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol. Thompson said: “This is Mr Meadows’ refusal to comply with a subpoena to discuss the files he himself handed over. Now he is hiding behind an apology.” An opponent, Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., Said the select committee had no legal authority because it failed to adhere to the House charter which required it to have 13 members rather than its actual nine. . The vote on December 14 was 222 yes to 208 no.

YES: Pressley D-MA (7th), Clark (MA) D-MA (5th), Keating D-MA (9th), Auchincloss D-MA (4th), McGovern D-MA (2nd), Trahan D- MA (3rd), Neal D-MA (1st), Moulton D-MA (6th), Lynch D-MA (8th)

Chamber 2 vote:

ISLAMOPHOBIA: The House passed the Tackling International Islamophobia Act (HR 5665), sponsored by Representative Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., To establish the Office for Monitoring and Combating Islamophobia at the State Department. Omar said: “Islamophobia is global in scope and we must lead the global effort to address it. An opponent, Representative Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said: “This legislation is dangerously vague and needlessly redundant. It doesn’t frame things in terms of anti-Muslim persecution. The vote on December 14 was 219 yes to 212 no.

YES: Pressley D-MA (7th), Clark (MA) D-MA (5th), Keating D-MA (9th), Auchincloss D-MA (4th), McGovern D-MA (2nd), Trahan D- MA (3rd), Neal D-MA (1st), Moulton D-MA (6th), Lynch D-MA (8th)

Chamber 3 vote:

DEBT CEILING: The House passed a resolution (SJ Res. 33), sponsored by Sen. Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., to increase the federal government’s debt ceiling by $ 2.5 trillion. One supporter, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, said the increase was necessary to “preserve the sanctity of the full faith and credit of the United States, protect American jobs and businesses of all sizes and ensure the continued growth of the economy. “One opponent, Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, said the increase was” to make room for new, unnecessary spending, billions of dollars that will further fuel the fire. inflation that marks Joe Biden’s presidency, the highest rate in decades. ”The vote on December 15 was 221 yes to 209 no.

YES: Pressley D-MA (7th), Clark (MA) D-MA (5th), Keating D-MA (9th), Auchincloss D-MA (4th), McGovern D-MA (2nd), Trahan D- MA (3rd), Neal D-MA (1st), Moulton D-MA (6th), Lynch D-MA (8th)

VOTES TO THE SENATE:

Senate Vote 1:

JUSTICE OF THE COURT OF APPEAL: The Senate confirmed Lucy Koh’s appointment as a judge on the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Koh, currently a Federal District Judge for Northern California, was previously a private lawyer and federal prosecutor. One supporter, Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., Said Koh “is well known not just in her district but across the country as talented, thoughtful, intelligent and fair.” An opponent, Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, criticized the White House for not giving it the chance to meet with Koh to assess him before the confirmation vote, and said Koh was unaware of the unique laws that apply to the native tribes of Alaska. . The vote on December 13 was 50 to 45 against.

YES: Warren D-MA, Markey D-MA

Senate Vote 2:

DEBT CEILING: The Senate passed a resolution (SJ Res. 33), sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., to raise the federal government’s debt ceiling by $ 2.5 trillion. Schumer said the increase was necessary to avoid default on the debt. Opponent Senator Mike Lee, R-Utah, said the increase was excessive and, by requiring only a simple majority rather than a 60-vote majority, would undermine the Senate’s use of the systematic obstruction in the future. The vote on December 15 was 50 to 49 against.

YES: Warren D-MA, Markey D-MA

Senate Vote 3:

MILITARY SPENDING: The Senate approved the House Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (S. 1605), sponsored by Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., To authorize spending for fiscal year 2022 for the army, military construction projects and military-related programs. at the Energy Department. One supporter, Sen. Jack Reed, DR.I., said the bill “allows for a significant increase in military construction projects, modernization of our nuclear triad and missile defense systems, and investment in advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, microelectronics, advanced materials. , 5G and biotechnology. ”The vote on December 15 was 88 to 11 against.

AGAINST: Warren D-MA, Markey D-MA

Senate vote 4:

SECOND JUSTICE OF THE COURT OF APPEAL: The Senate confirmed Jennifer Sung’s appointment as a judge on the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Since 2007, Sung has been a lawyer in private practice specializing in labor law and workers’ rights. One supporter, Senator Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Called Sung a “distinguished lawyer who will bring a vital and under-represented perspective to the federal judiciary.” The vote on December 15 was 50 to 49 against.

YES: Warren D-MA, Markey D-MA

Senate vote 5:

JUDGE OF THE NEW HAMPSHIRE: The Senate has confirmed Samantha Elliott’s appointment as a judge at the US District Court in New Hampshire. Elliott has been a lawyer in private practice since 2006, focusing on commercial and employment law. One supporter, Senator Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Said: “With her extensive knowledge of the state’s legal system and her impartial approach to the law, she will make an outstanding federal judge.” The vote on December 15 was 62 yes to 37 no.

YES: Warren D-MA, Markey D-MA

Senate vote 6:

AMBASSADOR IN CHINA: The Senate confirmed the appointment of Nicholas Burns as US Ambassador to China. Burns, a long-time State Department diplomat, served as Ambassador to NATO and Greece. One supporter, Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho, said Burns “has done an outstanding job, has an outstanding reputation among the group of ambassadors” and could handle a difficult mission in China. The vote on December 16 was 75 to 18 against.

YES: Warren D-MA, Markey D-MA

Senate Vote 7:

ECONOMIC DIPLOMACY: The Senate confirmed the appointment of Ramin Toloui to the post of Deputy Secretary of State for Economic and Commercial Affairs. Toloui, currently a professor of economics at Stanford University, was previously an investment manager at PIMCO and an official in the Treasury Department during the Obama administration. One supporter, Senator Robert Menendez, DN.J., said Toloui would help the government “reinvigorate the instruments of our economic diplomacy.” The vote on December 16 was 76 yes to 13 no.

YES: Warren D-MA, Markey D-MA

Senate vote 8:

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM: The Senate confirmed the appointment of Rashad Hussain as the State Department’s Goodwill Ambassador for International Religious Freedom. Hussain held several positions under the Obama administration, including that of special envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. One supporter, Senator Robert Menendez, DN.J., said: “Throughout his impressive public service, Mr. Hussain has demonstrated his strong commitment to protecting the rights of religious and ethnic minorities. The vote on December 16 was 85 to 5 against.

YES: Warren D-MA, Markey D-MA

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Utah economy

Region 8 EPA Appointed KC Becker aims to restore protections abandoned under Trump

Stricter regulations for the oil and gas industry, clean air and water, and funding shortages are expected to be top priorities for KC Becker as she takes over as administrator for Region 8 of Environmental Protection Agency, conservationists and tribal officials said.

Not only should Becker, who is the former Colorado House chairman, help the federal agency rebuild the reduced protections under former President Donald Trump, advocates say, but she should also lobby to expand them further.

In her new role, Becker said she would oversee around 500 employees, help develop and enforce national policies to protect the environment and public health. It will also distribute millions of dollars in federal funding to help clean up contaminated areas, improve infrastructure and monitor polluting industries.

Becker’s Region 8 covers Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. Three of those states – Colorado, North Dakota and Utah – have some of the fastest growing populations in the country, according to census data. And the region covers some of the country’s most valuable lands like Arches, Badlands, Glacier, Grand Teton, Rocky Mountain, and Yellowstone National Parks.

“Yes, there are these amazingly beautiful places,” said Stephanie Kodish, senior director and board of the National Parks Conservation Association.

But there are also some very significant challenges, Kodish added.

Becker said she was ready to meet these challenges, adding that climate change, environmental justice and degraded infrastructure were also high on her priority list. Federal officials do not want to provoke a “boost”, but will take stronger action than the last administration.

“No progress had been made in the past four years,” Becker told The Denver Post. “Really, I’m focused, and Administrator (EPA) (Michael) Regan is focused on making real changes on the ground that improve air quality, water quality, and the quality of life of the community. all.”

Dan Grossman, of the Environmental Defense Fund, said Becker is well suited for the role, especially as President Joe Biden’s administration moves away from the lax rules and regulations set by Trump’s EPA.

“I am very grateful that we are under new leadership,” said Grossman, who heads the national office of the environmental nonprofit Rocky Mountain. “We are already seeing a lot of progress.

Biden appointed Becker, a Democrat, to the post last month. For a limited term, she stepped down from the legislature last year, and her time at State House was marked by the promotion of aggressive climate action policies and a 2019 law revising industry regulations. state oil and gas. Democrats and environmentalists hailed the move, though industry leaders accused lawmakers behind the legislation of operating “in the middle of the night” and warned it could cripple the economy. the state.

Regulation of the oil and gas industry

Colorado, North Dakota and Wyoming are still home to “booming” oil and gas developments polluting the air, Kodish said. Industry, along with gasoline-powered vehicles, is one of the main sources of ozone pollution.

These pollution levels have peaked so high along the Front Range this year that the EPA is likely to downgrade Colorado’s air quality violator status from “severe” to “severe.”

Becker must not only work to tighten regulations on the industry, but she must also strengthen enforcement to force violators to reduce their emissions, Kodish said.

Colorado Oil & Gas President and CEO Dan Haley has repeatedly urged regulators to curb certain regulations – like continuous emissions monitoring requirements – and warned of rising fuel costs and the damage to an industry that produces millions of dollars for Colorado’s economy.

“Conversations about complicated technologies and emission reductions need to be rooted in facts, not scare tactics or guesses,” Haley said in a 2019 press release responding to new Oversight Commission regulations. air quality in the state.

Haley and other industry officials did not respond to messages seeking comment for this article.

Under the Biden administration, stricter industry regulations are already underway.

A plan released last month by the EPA would force oil and gas companies to detect and reduce methane emissions more aggressively. The goal is to reduce these emissions by 74% from 2005 levels by 2035.

Once the plan is finalized, individual states will likely have to draft plans to apply the new rules to businesses, Grossman said. And Becker will be able to act as a “validator” to ensure that the plans for the Region 8 states meet federal requirements.

New regulations must also take into account that communities of color and those whose low-income residents most often bear “disproportionately bear the burden of pollution,” Becker said.

“There’s a lot going on in the clean air space,” she added.

Protect waterways from pollution

Likewise, there’s a lot going on in the area of ​​clean water, said Jen Pelz, wild rivers program director at the environmental nonprofit WildEarth Guardians. And the priority for many environmentalists is knowing which waterways need to be protected.

Trump’s EPA has removed protections against “fleeting” and intermittent flows, which only flow during storms or at certain times of the year, Pelz said. About 68% of Colorado’s waterways fall into this category.

“If all of this Colorado water isn’t protected and clean, then these pollutants or developments are causing problems further downstream as well,” Pelz said.

Colorado Farm Bureau officials welcomed the move in late 2019. Old regulations, enacted under President Barack Obama, masked land use rights for farmers in the state, the then President of Colorado said at the time. Farm Bureau, Don Shawcroft.

Becker, however, said the Trump administration had gone “far too far” and that the Biden administration is now working to restore many of those lost protections.

But Pelz said it was not enough.

“Don’t just restore the protections that were there before,” Pelz said. “Think about the challenges we face in the future and offer the broadest protections possible. “

As populations continue to grow and climate change dries up many of the country’s rivers and streams, clean water will be all the more important in the years to come, Pelz said.

Looking to the future, Colorado Farm Bureau executive vice president Chad Vorthmann said in a statement he hopes Becker and the rest of the EPA will protect the agriculture industry from “unnecessary regulations” and ensure that farmers have a say in new policies.

“KC Becker is a tough negotiator but knows how to bring stakeholders together to discuss concerns,” Vorthmann said. “She knows important issues like natural resources and water and we look forward to working with her in her new role.”

Native American tribes and funding

As water supplies dwindle in the West, so does the money allocated to the 28 Native American tribes in Region 8, said Rich Janssen Jr., chief of the natural resources department for the Confederate Salish and Kootenai Tribes in northwestern Montana.

“It becomes frustrating to see that, year after year, tribal funding continues to be cut,” Janssen said.

Each tribe sets its own standards for water and air quality, among other protections, and uses EPA money to pay inspectors and enforce those regulations, Janssen said. And during the Trump administration, funding for the Confederate Salish and Kottenai tribes declined by as much as 25%, he said.

Becker said she would push for more money for the tribes and that some of them should already be on track from the bipartisan $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure bill passed by the tribes. Congress in November.

Millions more of the bill will be set aside for the six states in the Becker region, she said. And its responsibility will be to allocate money to local governments looking to replace lead service lines, replace diesel school buses with electric buses, soil remediation programs and more.

All in all, Becker said her appointment represents a “huge opportunity” for her to use her past experience to protect not only the environment but also public health. And the historic spending program, coupled with the Biden administration’s environmental goals “is going to have a truly measurable impact on people’s daily lives.”

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Salt lake city

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Utah economy

The 12 states where the Omicron variant has been detected – 24/7 Wall St.

The world has been shaken by the spread of a new variant of COVID-19 labeled by the WHO as Omicron. It was first discovered in South Africa less than a month ago. As of yesterday, it had been discovered in 38 countries.

One of the main concerns with the Omicron variant is that it could spread faster than the Delta variant which has spread rapidly around the world in recent months. The Washington Post reports, “While much remains unknown about omicron, health experts are concerned that its many mutations make it much more heritable than variants such as delta. “

Another critical issue is the extent to which current vaccines protect against the new variant. There is a school of thought. New vaccine versions will need to be created to provide better protection, which will be especially necessary if the Omicron variant spreads rapidly.

The CDC takes the arrival of the Omicron variant seriously. It recently tightened testing times for people traveling abroad. And, the threat of the Omicron variant in the United States is already real. Anthony Fauci, senior medical adviser to President Joe Biden, told Bloomberg: “There’s no way you won’t be seeing more and more cases.”

The Hill performed an analysis of the states that have officially announced cases of Omicron variants. These are California, Colorado, Georgia, New Jersey, Hawaii, Maryland, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania, and Utah.

This list is likely to grow by several states per day. And, when the holidays arrive, he may be in all 50.

According to our own 24/7 Wall Street research:

It has now been 50 weeks since the first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine were sent to states, launching the largest vaccination campaign in human history. As of December 2, 578,263,565 doses of vaccine had been shipped across the country, equivalent to 176.2% of the US population.

Some trends by state are troubling. In West Virginia, only 62.4% of available vaccine doses were administered. This contrasts with 88.3% in Minnesota, the state with the highest rate.

Click here to read COVID-19: States that are fighting it most successfully

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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 government

“Stop the attacks”: Tribal leaders and activists call for an end to “political football” on Utah landmarks


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Supporters of the recent restoration of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments attend a rally at the Utah Capitol on Thursday. The group wants Utah not to challenge President Joe Biden’s recent decision to restore monuments to their original size in court. (Carter Williams, KSL.com)

Estimated reading time: 6-7 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY – Standing by the steps inside the Utah Capitol was like déjà vu for Olivia Juarez on Thursday night.

Juarez, the Latino community organizer for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, was quick to point out that it was on this day four years ago that she and more than 6,000 others stood outside the building. to protest ahead of a presidential proclamation that ended up dramatically reducing the size of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments.

“You’ll hear me reuse the word more times than I would like because we’ve been here before,” she said, looking at a group of just over 100 activists and Native Americans on Capitol Hill. “We have been in the Capitol, on the streets over and over again.”

But Thursday’s rally was completely different from that of 2017 as the dimensions of both monuments were restored almost two months ago. This time around, the focus has been on Governor Spencer Cox and Attorney General Sean Reyes, as the state is signaling it will likely challenge the ruling in court.

Those who attended the rally on Thursday came to express their displeasure with the tactics. Tribal leaders and activists argue that challenging the court’s ruling will end up costing taxpayers millions of dollars and likely come to naught, based on past court cases.

“A lawsuit challenging the restoration of Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is a horrific misuse of state tax money,” Juarez said.

President Joe Biden restored the size of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments through a pair of proclamations issued on October 8. . “

But the debate over the two monuments has been far from easy in recent decades. Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, both Democrats, created the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (1996) and Bears Ears National Monument (2016), respectively. Together they have an area of ​​approximately 3.25 million acres.

President Donald Trump, a Republican, signed a proclamation in 2017 that divided the monuments into five smaller zones with a total size of just over a third of the original boundaries. A review of the decision four years ago was one of the first things Biden, also a Democrat, ordered when he took office in January.

Most of Thursday’s rally focused on what might happen next in the process. Cox, Reyes, Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson and senior members of the Republican-led Utah legislature all lambasted Biden’s decision in October.

“President Biden’s decision to expand the monuments is disappointing, but not surprising,” the group said in a combined statement, as news of the president’s decision emerged. “Over the past 10 months, we have consistently offered to work with the Biden administration on a permanent legislative solution, which would end the ever-expanding and shrinking of these monuments and bring certainty to their management. has been to perpetuate progress in the management of our public lands for the benefit of all those who use them, in particular those who live on and near these lands. ”

At the time, they involved possible legal action. Then on October 22, just weeks after Biden signed the proclamation, Reyes began the process for law firms to assist the state of Utah in a possible dispute over the legality of Biden’s proclamations. . The state has yet to file a legal challenge in federal courts.

Juarez said the fees and expenses for a legal fight could easily reach $ 10 million. Brooke Larsen, a grassroots activist who spoke at the event, was quick to point out that many states, including Utah, have already failed in their attempts to overturn a proclamation made under the Laws on antiques.


The Bears Ears region is not a series of isolated objects but the entire landscape itself.

–Malcolm Lehi, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe Council Member and Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition Co-Chair


Hopi Tribe President Timothy Nuvangyaoma, Ute Mountain Tribe Council Member and Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition Co-Chair Malcolm Lehi, and Utah Dine Bikeyah Board Chair Davis Filfred , all traveled to the Utah Capitol to represent some of the Native American tribes who supported the original designations of the monuments and then the restoration of the monuments.

“It’s not a political football game, going back and forth,” Nuvangyaoma said. “Governor Cox, political leaders around you, stop. Stop the attacks.”

Filfred feels the same. As the representative of the Navajo Nation, he said he never really got to meet former Governor Gary Herbert. He added that he had heard Cox say that there should be an end to the “ping-pong” battle, but he feared a legal battle would do just that.

“That’s exactly what we’re doing, and I’ve come here to say stop,” Filfred said, as the crowd in front of him cheered him on.

Tribal leaders said Thursday that money used in a court could easily be used to help residents near monuments or anywhere else in Utah. Filfred, for example, looked at a large Christmas tree inside the Capitol and said there were many Navajo Nation residents who would like to light a Christmas tree but they don’t have electricity. Some, he added, don’t even have flush toilets.

“All this money could be put to good use,” he continued. “I tell them what we need to do is help others.”

Davis Filfred, Chairman of the Utah Dine Bikeyah Board of Directors, speaks at a rally at the Utah State Capitol Thursday to support the recent restoration of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments.
Davis Filfred, Chairman of the Utah Dine Bikeyah Board of Directors, speaks at a rally at the Utah State Capitol Thursday to support the recent restoration of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. (Photo: Carter Williams, KSL.com)

Executives added that there are currently bigger issues with the monuments, which they say are in desperate need of a new management plan to accommodate the growing popularity of the area.

The land at Bears Ears is considered sacred and a homeland for the Ute, Hopi, Navajo, and Zuni tribes, Lehi said. He said their ancestors lived, hunted and gathered, prayed and participated in rituals there, among other activities, for centuries. These are all traditions that continue to this day.

Referring to the 2017 proclamation that reduced Bears Ears by 85% with two protected areas, Lehi said the land should be conserved as a whole as it was originally designated because the land is a representation of the people.

“The Bears Ears region is not a series of isolated objects but the landscape itself. It is the object itself that deserves tribal and federal protection,” he said. “Bears Ears is a living connected landscape where people (are) inside, not a collection of objects – it needs to be protected.”

This is in addition to concerns about drilling and mining at both monuments, Indigenous leaders and Larsen said they were concerned.

Supporters of the recent restoration of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments attend a rally at the Utah Capitol on Thursday.  The group wants Utah not to challenge the ruling in court.
Supporters of the recent restoration of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments attend a rally at the Utah Capitol on Thursday. The group wants Utah not to challenge the ruling in court. (Photo: Carter Williams, KSL.com)

A final argument made by attendees on Thursday is that they say most Utahns don’t want monuments to be altered again. A Colorado College study of public lands in the West released earlier this year found that nearly three-quarters of Utah voters surveyed supported restoring national monument protections.

Lehi added that the vast majority of public commentary also supported the monument’s restoration.

But if the state takes legal action, it’s likely that crowds will return to the Utah Capitol to support the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments.

Nuvangyaoma said, “I think it’s very clear that the people of the United States, the people of Utah, the people of the tribal nations want these areas protected for others to enjoy.”

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US to release 50 million barrels of oil to cut energy costs

Storage tanks are shown at a refinery in Detroit on April 21, 2020. The White House announced Tuesday it has ordered 50 million barrels of oil from the strategic reserve to reduce energy costs. (Paul Sancya, Associated Press)

Estimated reading time: 4-5 minutes

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden on Tuesday ordered 50 million barrels of oil from the strategic reserve to help reduce energy costs, in coordination with other major energy consuming countries including China, India and the United Kingdom.

The move targets global energy markets, but also voters facing higher inflation and rising prices ahead of Thanksgiving and the winter holidays. The price of gas is about $ 3.40 per gallon, more than 50% more than a year ago, according to the American Automobile Association.

There was no noticeable impact on the benchmark US crude barrel price following Tuesday’s announcement. Prices have gone up and down all month and are up less than 1% so far in this shortened holiday week.

Biden was quick to reshape much of his economic agenda around the issue of inflation, saying his recently passed $ 1 trillion infrastructure package will reduce pricing pressures by making freight transportation more efficient and less expensive.

Republican lawmakers hammered the administration so that inflation peaked in 31 years in October. The Consumer Price Index climbed 6.2% from a year ago, the biggest 12-month jump since 1990.

Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell burst into the White House in a speech last week, claiming the victims of the price hike were middle-class Americans.

“The top three drivers of the staggering 6.2% inflation rate we recorded last month were housing, transportation and food,” the Kentucky senator said. “These are not luxury goods, they are essentials, and they occupy a much larger share of the budgets of families from the middle class to the bottom.”

The Strategic Oil Reserve is an emergency stockpile to preserve access to oil in the event of natural disasters, national security concerns and other events. Maintained by the Department of Energy, the reserves are stored in caves created in salt domes along the Gulf coasts of Texas and Louisiana. There are approximately 605 million barrels of sweet and sour oil on the reserve.


As we emerge from an unprecedented global economic crisis, the supply of oil has not kept up with demand, forcing working families and businesses to pay the price.

–Jennifer Granholm, Energy Secretary


“As we emerge from an unprecedented global economic crisis, the supply of oil has not kept up with the demand, forcing families and businesses to pay the price,” said Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm in a press release. “This action underscores the president’s commitment to use the tools available to reduce costs for working families and continue our economic recovery.”

The Biden administration has argued that the reserve is the right tool to help alleviate the supply problem. Americans used an average of 20.7 million barrels a day in September, according to the Energy Information Administration. This means that the release almost equates to about two and a half days of additional supply.

The pandemic has turned energy markets – like everything else – out of whack on several fronts. When the closures began in April 2020, demand collapsed and oil futures prices turned negative. Energy traders didn’t want to end up with crude they couldn’t store. But as the economy recovered, prices hit a seven-year high in October.

American production has not recovered. Figures from the Energy Information Administration indicate that national production averages around 11 million barrels per day, up from 12.8 million before the start of the pandemic.

Republicans have also taken advantage of Biden’s efforts to minimize drilling and support renewables as the reason for the decline in production, although there are multiple market dynamics at play as fossil fuel prices are higher in the world. world.

“President Biden’s policies increase inflation and energy prices for the American people. Tapping into the strategic oil reserve will not solve the problem,” said Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyoming. “We are experiencing higher prices because the administration and Congressional Democrats are waging a war on American energy.”

The White House decision comes after weeks of diplomatic negotiations and the release will be taken in parallel with other nations. Japan and South Korea are also participating.

The US Department of Energy will make oil available from the Strategic Oil Reserve in two ways; 32 million barrels will be released in the coming months and will return to the reserve in the years to come, the White House said. An additional 18 million barrels will be part of an oil sale that Congress previously authorized.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday evening that the White House would also keep an eye on oil companies.

“We will continue to put pressure on the oil companies that have made record profits and watch what we see as lower prices there when there is a supply of oil or the price of oil goes down and the price goes down. gas is not going down, ”Psaki says. “It doesn’t take an expert in economics to know this is a problem.

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SLC Mayor Mendenhall on Transgender Day of Remembrance: “Our city is here for you”


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Friday marks Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day dedicated to remembering those who have been murdered due to transphobia.

In Salt Salt Lake City, 320 flags have been placed outside the Salt Lake City and County Building, each bearing the name and biography of a transgender person who has lost their life in the past year.

The exhibit is part of several events taking place in the city, including a Transgender Day of Remembrance program that takes place at the Capitol Rotunda and a memorial service and candlelight vigil scheduled for Saturday night among the flags in Salt. Lake City and County Building.

“Transgender Day of Remembrance is an opportunity for us to reflect on the beautiful lives we have lost to transphobia and reaffirm our commitment to fight hate and protect trans lives,” said Erin Mendenhall, Mayor of Salt Lake City. tweeted. “To our SLC transgender community, I see you, I love you and our city is here for you.”

President Joe Biden also issued a statement Friday, urging the Senate to pass the equality law so that “everyone can live free from fear and discrimination”.

“This year, at least 46 transgender people in this country – and hundreds more around the world – have been killed in horrific acts of violence,” the statement said. “Each of those lives was precious. Each of them deserved freedom, justice and joy. Today on Transgender Day of Remembrance, we mourn those we lost during the year. deadliest on record for transgender Americans, as well as countless other transgender people – disproportionately black and brown transgender women and girls – who face brutal violence, discrimination and harassment. “

He said transgender people still live in fear and face systemic barriers to freedom and equality, and he highlighted what he called the “worrying proliferation of discriminatory state laws” that has been enacted across the country and targets transgender people.

Utah lawmakers are currently considering a bill that would regulate the participation of transgender athletes in high school sports, despite the Utah High School Activities Association have no records of transgender children playing on any team.

According to a study from the UCLA School of Law Williams Institute, transgender people are more than four times more likely than cisgender people to experience violence.

“Transgender people are some of the bravest Americans I know,” Biden said. “But no one should have to be brave just to live in safety and with dignity. Today we remember. Tomorrow – and every day – we must keep taking action.”

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Utah US Officials Blow Up $ 1.85 Billion Build Back Better Act, Mainly Due to Price | News, Sports, Jobs

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Utah delegation to the US House of Representatives, clockwise from top left: Representatives Blake Moore, Burgess Owens, Chris Stewart and John Curtis. All are Republicans.

WASHINGTON, DC – President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Act may have gotten the go-ahead in the United States House of Representatives, but it wasn’t thanks to the four members of the Utah House.

All four of them, Representatives Blake Moore, Chris Stewart, Burgess Owens and John Curtis, voted against, like everyone else in the House.

The $ 1.85 trillion measure was passed on Friday largely along partisan lines in a vote of 220-213 and is now going to the US Senate. It contains a series of provisions increasing childcare assistance, improving access to kindergarten, reducing prescription drug costs and helping efforts to slow climate change, according to the Associated Press. .

It got a lot of criticism, not least because of the cost, and here’s what the four members of the United States House from Utah had to say:

Blake Moore: “These federal spending envelopes are directly hurting working families in Utah,” the 1st District representative said. “Rather than pushing this massive spending, our government must focus on tackling crippling inflation, supply chain and labor shortages resulting from liberal policies. I will continue to work with my colleagues on ways to more responsibly respect U.S. tax dollars and improve our economic outlook.

Moore lambasted what he called the House Democrats’ “sweeping tax and spending agenda”, saying their policies had caused inflation on everything “from gasoline to the grocery store.”

Burgess Owens: “America currently has $ 28 trillion in debt, inflation is at a three-decade high, and consumer prices are rising at the fastest rate since 1990,” said Owens, representative of the 4th. district. “Instead of easing those burdens and leading our country through an economic crisis, this far-left kitchen sink set uses budget gimmicks and sunsets to spend what we don’t have on programs we don’t need. “

Citing a Congressional Budget Office estimate that the measure would increase the US deficit by $ 367 billion, he said “generations of Utahns will bear the brunt of today’s vote.”

John Curtis: “There is no doubt that injecting more government money into the economy will worsen inflation, especially at such a high rate,” said the representative of the 3rd arrondissement.

Friday’s action comes following the approval of other spending plans pushed by Biden and the Democrats, he said, and as “Americans across the country are reeling from the effects of rising inflation, supply chain issues and some of the highest gas prices in history. There is no question that pumping more government money into the economy will worsen inflation, especially at such a rapid rate. “

Chris Stewart: “President Biden must accept these basic realities: the American people are the key to our nation’s success; spending more of the taxpayer’s money to expand government control is our loss, ”said the representative of the 2nd district. “Until we start prioritizing individual freedom over big government, we will continue to suffer the same economic consequences.”

In a statement, Biden hailed the Build Back Better Act as “another giant leap in my economic plan to create jobs, cut costs, make our country more competitive, and give working people and the middle class a boost. chance to fight “.

He said it would reduce the US deficit in the long run. “It’s all paid off by ensuring that the wealthiest Americans and the biggest corporations start paying their fair share of federal taxes,” Biden said.

On Monday, Biden enacted the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the $ 1.2 trillion measure to improve U.S. infrastructure. All four of Utah congressmen also voted against the bill earlier this month. Utah senators have split, with Senator Mike Lee voting against and Senator Mitt Romney voting for.

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Biden administration to announce diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics, report says


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The Biden administration is set to announce that neither the president nor any other U.S. government official will compete in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, according to a report.

Citing several sources familiar with the plans, The Washington Post reports that a diplomatic boycott is intended as a protest against human rights violations by the Chinese government without preventing American athletes from competing.

A formal recommendation has been made to President Joe Biden and he is expected to approve it before the end of November.

The timing of the announcement would not be linked to Monday night’s virtual meeting between Mr Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Information before the meeting suggested that Xi intended to bring up the Olympics during the meeting and even personally invite him to attend, but the matter was not discussed at the meeting according to a senior official. responsible for administration.

A reading from the White House virtual meeting reads: “President Biden has raised concerns about the [People’s Republic of China’s] in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong, as well as human rights in general.

There was no prior word from the administration on the possibility of a boycott. Human rights groups and activists have called for a total boycott of the athletes.

In May, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for a diplomatic boycott to protest China’s human rights record without punishing American athletes.

Senator Mitt Romney, who oversaw the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, also called for an economic and diplomatic boycott in a New York Times editorial in March, arguing that a full boycott would be counterproductive.

He cited President Jimmy Carter’s decision to boycott the 1980 Moscow Olympics as giving the Soviet Union a propaganda victory.

It is unclear whether a US diplomatic boycott would result in similar action by Washington allies or whether the move would be unilateral.

When Beijing last hosted the Olympics in 2008, President George W Bush accepted an invitation to attend despite the Chinese crackdown in Tibet. As a sign of support for human rights causes, the previous year it hosted the Dalai Lama and awarded him the Congressional Gold Medal.

Both the Biden and Trump administrations have called the Chinese government’s abuses against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province an ongoing “genocide”.

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Labor shortage hard for employers, a boon for job seekers


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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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2021 election day results

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

Send me your story ideas, tips, questions, comments or anything else that comes to your mind. You can reach me by e-mail. You can also find me on social networks: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Reddit

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Here’s what you need to know for Wednesday morning

Utah Election Coverage

Utah election roundup: Park City could have a new mayor. [Tribune]

🗳 City councilor is expected to lead West Valley City, as tight races emerge in Sandy, Midvale. [Tribune]

🗳 Two new west faces ready to join Salt Lake City City Council. [Tribune]

🗳 Election night follow-up: New leadership in Davis County and Moab mayoral races. [Tribune]

🗳 Classified choice voting. Passing fashion, or here to stay? [Tribune]

All election coverage from The Tribune is free to the public. To support work like this, become a subscriber today. https://www.sltrib.com/subscribe/

national

🗳 Republican Glenn Youngkin wins the race for governor in Virginia. Joe Biden won Virginia in 2020 by 10 points.

  • Former President Donald Trump performed a victory lap after Youngkin’s victory, even though he did not show up to the state to campaign for him. [New York Post]

🗳 Other key election results:

  • The race for governor of New Jersey is surprisingly close. Democratic Gov. Phillip Murphy is running for another term, but gets a solid challenge from Republican Jack Ciattarelli. [NYT]

  • Democrat Shontel Brown and Republican Mike Carey each win vacant congressional seats in Ohio. [Politico]

  • Florida’s Democratic primary for a congressional seat is heading for a recount. [Politico]

  • Democrat Eric Adams picked up an easy victory in the New York mayoral race. [WSJ]

  • Michelle Wu became the first woman and person of color to be elected mayor of Boston. [NBC News]

  • Minneapolis voters reject a voting measure to fund the city’s police department. [Fox News]

Tuesday’s election results hold very bad omen for Democrats as they approach the midterms of 2022. [AP]

⚖️ The Supreme Court challenges a New York gun law. Judges will decide whether Americans have a constitutional right to carry loaded and concealed firearms outside the home. [WSJ]

🏛 Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that Democrats had reached agreement on a bill to cut prescription drug prices. [The Hill]

Democrats hope to reach a final deal on President Biden’s spending plan before Thanksgiving. [CNN]

💉 The CDC has approved immunizations for children aged 5 to 11, clearing the way for medical providers to begin administering the vaccines immediately. [WaPo]

Facebook is ending the use of its facial recognition software. The company claims to have deleted the data of more than a billion people. [WaPo]

Protest or futile gesture?

Far-right social media is inundated with messages urging “patriots” to participate in two upcoming actions designed to cripple the economy and bring the forces of tyranny to their knees.

Today it’s a call for a “nationwide shutdown” not to go to work protesting masks, vaccines or COVID testing. There is not a lot of information online about who is hosting the event.

Social media post calling for a national strike on November 3, 2021

The publication calls on several professions to join the walkout, such as law enforcement, paramedics and retail. However, only one “firefighter” should participate instead of all of them (are they pulling straws?). Obviously, the proofreaders decided to join the closing early.

The biggest event will take place next weekend, with calls for a four-day nationwide strike against employers who are forcing the COVID-19 vaccine on employees.

Post on social networks calling for a national strike from November 8 to 11 to protest against employee vaccination warrants.

It is not known how effective either of these events will be. Whether the previous right-wing boycotts of Nike, Whole Foods, Diet Coke, Keurig, Kellogg Grains, Major League Baseball, NFL, Walmart, Netflix, Starbucks, Oreos or CNN (to name a few) are a guide, it will be more hype than impact.

Wednesday Morning Utah News Summary

Utah

  • Forest Service OKs right of way for the Utah Oil Railroad. [Tribune]

  • Find out which Utah companies are leading the way in values, direction, innovation, benefits and more. [Tribune]

  • The Ogden officer who shot and injured the man was not wearing a body camera, the chief said. [Tribune]

  • Prices outside of Park City: More affordable housing needed in resort town. [FOX13]

  • The Bluffdale mayoral candidate remains under investigation as the vote draws to a close. [KUTV]

COVID-19[feminine

  • L’Utah signale 1 250 nouveaux cas de coronavirus. [Tribune]

  • What we know about when 5-11 year olds can get vaccinated in Utah. [Tribune]

  • A Latter-day Saint missionary has brought the first case of the coronavirus to Tonga. [Tribune]

Washington

  • My condiments for you: Senator Mike Lee sends an original from Utah to Apple CEO Tim Cook. [Deseret News]

  • One of Mitt Romney’s arguments against eliminating filibustering in the Senate? Donald Trump could be elected president in 2024. [Deseret News]

Education

  • Doctors in Utah explain how to approach mental health issues with children. [KUTV]

  • UVU and USU receive funding for new technology program partnership. [Daily Herald]

  • Masks are required at Parley’s Park Elementary School after reaching the COVID threshold. [Park Record]

Election day

  • “Safe and Secure”: How Utah County makes sure every vote counts. [ABC4]

  • Unified Police Department hired to secure SLCo ballots. [ABC4]

Opinion

  • Scott Williams: Utah shouldn’t bet on unproven nuclear power without public input. [Tribune]

  • Opinion: Honor the will of the people, the legislators. [Deseret News]

  • Opinion: “Pushing Too Much In Too Small A Pipe” means it’s time to build an Inner Harbor. [Deseret News]

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Salt lake city

Ken Ivory wants to return to the Utah legislature


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

📬 Send me your story ideas, tips, questions, comments, or anything else that comes to mind. You can reach me by e-mail. You can also find me on social networks: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn Where Reddit

Get this newsletter delivered to your inbox every morning of the week. Sign up for free here.

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

The return of Ken Ivory?

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

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

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

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

HD47 delegates chose Christiansen to replace Ivory after her resignation.

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

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

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

Here’s what you need to know for Monday morning

Utah

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

national

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kinzinger backs McMullin in race for US Senate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday Morning Utah News Summary

Utah

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COVID-19[feminine

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

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

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

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

Education

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

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

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

Religion

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

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

Opinion

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

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

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

🎂 You say it’s your birthday? !!

Happy Birthday to Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson.

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Governor of Utah makes his pitch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why return to Salt Lake City?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Utah health care provider to demand COVID vaccines


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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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AG Reyes: Biden administration’s IRS proposal is illegal / cumbersome


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SALT LAKE CITY – Today, in a letter to President Joe Biden and Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen, Utah Attorney General, Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes and 19 other attorneys general states, have expressed opposition to the administration advocating a policy that would provide the federal government with access to nearly all U.S. bank accounts and financial transaction information.

In the letter, the attorneys general argue that banks across the country will need to transform the way they do business to comply with proposed reporting requirements, including investing significant sums in data collection and other systems. The letter argues that consumers will be punished in several ways, as banks would likely pass on costs in the form of fees or higher interest rates, not to mention centralized storage of sensitive information would provide cybercriminals with an additional target to exploit. with information on almost all Americans.

The group says that if arresting financial criminals or punishing tax evaders is the administration’s goal, they will gladly join together to find the right solutions based on the rule of law, but violate the rights of virtually all Americans with a bank account is not the answer.

In addition to Utah, the coalition also includes the attorneys general of the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma , South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia.

A copy of the letter is attached.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Biden’s approval rating drops to new low, poll finds

In this September 24, 2021 photo, President Joe Biden listens during the Quad Summit in the East Room of the White House. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

(NEXSTAR) – Americans’ approval of President Joe Biden’s professional performance has fallen to a new low in a Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday.

Only 38% of Americans polled approved of Biden, up from 42% three weeks ago. Fifty-three percent of those polled gave it a negative opinion.

When broken down topic by topic, Biden doesn’t fare much better. Only 25% approved of his handling of immigration, 39% approved of his management of the economy and 37% approved of his work as commander-in-chief.

His best score reported by Quinnipiac was on handling the coronavirus pandemic: 48% approval versus 50% disapproval.

“Beaten on confidence, questioned on leadership and challenged on overall competence, President Biden is hammered from all sides as his approval rating continues to drop to a number not seen since the scrutiny of it. ‘Trump administration,’ Quinnipiac poll analyst Tim Malloy said in a press release.

The way people view the president’s performance is clearly divided along party lines: 94% of Republicans polled said they disapproved, while 80% of Democrats said they approved.

President Biden’s ratings have plummeted in recent months as the Delta variant ravaged the country, prompting some places to reinstate mask warrants and overcrowded hospitals to cancel elective surgeries. At the same time, Biden oversaw a messy and deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan. To make matters worse, its legislative priorities, like a massive infrastructure package, have stalled in Congress.

“Everyone is frustrated, it’s part of being in government, of being frustrated,” Biden told reporters on Saturday. He pledged to “work like hell” to get the pillars of his national program adopted.

See the full breakdown of survey results on the Quinnipiac University website.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Biden gets booster, urges unvaxxed to get dosed

CDC said 25% of eligible Americans had not received any doses

WASHINGTON (Nexstar) – “I’m over 65,” President Joe Biden said with a laugh, as he publicly received his COVID-19 reminder on Monday morning.

Biden, 78, rolled up his sleeve for the encore. He is one of the millions of Americans now eligible for the additional dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Anyone 65 years of age or older or with underlying health risks is eligible, as well as those in high-risk jobs like first responders, healthcare workers, and grocery store workers – as long as that. been over 6 months since their second Pfizer vaccine.

But Biden said there was something more important than booster shots, and it convinces the unvaccinated to get the shot initially.

The CDC said 25% of eligible Americans had not received any doses.

“We know that in order to beat this pandemic and save lives, to keep our children safe, our open schools, our economy, we need to get people vaccinated,” Biden said in remarks before receiving the booster.

Unvaccinated Americans put others at risk, the president said. “This is why I am moving forward with immunization requirements wherever I can. “

However, there is still no date when Biden’s vaccine mandate for employees of large companies will take effect.

“We knew it would take a little while, given that there are some very understandable and good questions from the business world,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. “We want to make sure there is clarity when they are making the rules.”

When it takes effect, Republicans – including a group of 24 state attorneys general – threaten to sue the administration.

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


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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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United States continues to end American Airlines and JetBlue deal

(AP) – The Justice Department and officials from six states have filed a lawsuit to block a partnership formed by American Airlines and JetBlue, saying it would reduce competition and lead to higher fares.

The Justice Department said on Tuesday that the deal would eliminate significant competition in New York and Boston and reduce JetBlue’s incentive to compete with Americans in other parts of the country.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said the lawsuit was aimed at ensuring fair competition that allows Americans to fly affordably.

“In an industry where just four airlines control over 80% of domestic air travel, American Airlines’ alliance with JetBlue is, in fact, an unprecedented move to further consolidate the industry,” Garland said in a report. communicated. “It would mean higher prices, less choice and lower quality service if it were allowed to continue. “

American and JetBlue have vowed to fight the lawsuit and continue their alliance unless a court orders them to stop.

American and JetBlue announced their deal last year and have already started coordinating their flights in the Northeast. They argue that this is a consumer-friendly deal that has already helped them launch 58 new routes from four airports in New York and Boston, add flights on other routes and plan to new international destinations.

US CEO Doug Parker said blocking the deal “would take away consumer choice and inhibit competition, not encourage it.” This is not a merger: American and JetBlue are – and will remain – independent airlines. “

The lawsuit comes two months after President Joe Biden issued an executive order calling on government agencies to help consumers by increasing competition in the airline industry and other sectors of the economy.

The Department of Transportation approved the deal, under certain conditions, in January, during the dying days of the Trump administration. Airlines have waived certain take-off and landing slots at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City and Reagan Washington National Airport outside Washington, and have agreed not to cooperate to set prices.

“Instead of suing now, the (justice department) should have waited, watched and held us accountable for the benefits we said it would bring,” JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes said in an interview.

Hayes challenged the Justice Department’s belief that the deal will prevent his airline from competing with American outside of the Northeast. He noted that JetBlue this year started flying from New York to London and between Miami and Los Angeles, important routes for Americans.

Despite the green light from the Department of Transport, antitrust lawyers at the Department of Justice began to examine the agreement more closely this spring and requested interviews and documents from the airlines, according to an airline lawyer involved in the ‘case.

Over the past three weeks, it has become clear that the Justice Department is likely to take legal action, said the lawyer, who requested anonymity because discussions with regulators were private.

Airlines call their partnership Northeast Alliance or NEA. It allows American and JetBlue to sell seats on each other’s flights and offer customers reciprocal benefits under separate loyalty programs.

American and JetBlue argue the deal benefits consumers by making their combination a stronger competitor in the Northeast. Together, the airlines say, they controlled 16% of the region’s air travel market before the partnership, and that figure has risen to 24%.

The airlines argue that the Justice Department has no evidence that their deal results in higher fares. Air travel prices have been hit by the pandemic, which continues to reduce travel demand and lower fares.

American and JetBlue argue that nothing in their agreement controls prices and that each airline will continue to set its own rates.

Southwest Airlines and Spirit Airlines have filed formal complaints against the American-JetBlue alliance, arguing that with a similar West Coast deal between American and Alaska Airlines, it will make American too big.

The Justice Department lawsuit was filed in Massachusetts federal district court. The department was joined by attorneys general from California, Massachusetts, Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Arizona, and the District of Columbia.

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Utahns’ selfish opposition to vaccinations shows how far we’ve fallen since 9/11, writes George Pyle

Service to a greater good was the image of patriotism then and irrational selfishness is the ascendant now

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Staff Sergeant Colin Green, a Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan veteran, waves the American flag at sunrise on Saturday September 11, 2021 at the Utah Healing Field in Sandy .

If Americans had responded to the September 11 terrorist attacks the way far too many of us face the coronavirus pandemic, not only would Osama bin Laden still be alive, but he would be having tea in the White House.

It’s not that everything our nation has done in the past 20 years is something to be proud of. Torture. CIA black sites. Guantanamo golf course. The Ministry of Homeland Security. Two decades of war in Afghanistan and a totally unwarranted incursion into Iraq.

But the orgy of journalistic memories we have just experienced highlights how much we have changed. How service to a greater good was the image of patriotism then, and how irrational and potentially deadly selfishness takes over now.

Then people waved flags, donated blood, donated to the Red Cross, became firefighters, joined the Marines, raised children who joined the Marines, held annual commemorations, built monuments and impressive museums. It was all about us.

Now it’s all about me, me, me. I don’t want to wear a mask. You can’t get me vaccinated. We have become, for all outward appearances on social media, a petulant 12-year-old nation. And too many of our elected officials, almost exclusively Republicans, are doing it.

Utah Governor Spencer Cox, Attorney General Sean Reyes and Senator Mike Lee have shamefully collapsed under the ignorant fringe of their own Republican Party. They align themselves with the idea that President Joe Biden’s plan to use OSHA as a tool to demand vaccinations or weekly tests as a workplace safety requirement is somehow a threat to our inalienable rights, while the contrary is true.

The Utah Legislature‘s Health and Human Services Committee committee held a public bulls session on Wednesday, raising ideas to block the Biden Ordinance, lending unsatisfactory credibility to the idea that vaccination is a personal choice affecting only the person with the blow to the arm.

It is shameful that our leaders do not take every opportunity available to them to tell their constituents that this is a blatant lie. Our grandchildren – if there are any left – will marvel at how stupid people can be when they are without real leadership.

It is or should be the responsibility of each holder to explain that accepting responsibility for immunization is a fundamental requirement of civilization. That you get the jab for me, and I get it for you, and we both get it for kids who are too young or for people who are immunocompromised and at significant risk of death in a culture of irrational selfishness.

Utah politicians, including State Representative Paul Ray and Senator Jake Anderegg, who promote anti-vaccination medical and biological ignorance – who stand still for the idea that another wave of disease and of death is less threatening to the economy than a simple series of vaccinations – represent a clear and present danger to our society and have been shown to be unfit for public office. It probably won’t matter to their constituents (survivors) in the next election.

At the very least, they should be honest about it and change the name of their panel to the Committee on Death and Human Injury.

It might make sense that the lessons of the War on Terror have left many Americans with distrust of the government, pundits, and government experts that threaten us now. Two decades of being told that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, that the 9/11 hijackers were Iraqi agents when they really came from Saudi Arabia, of accepting the Patriot Act and the permissions military force and warrantless telephone tapping may well leave our national dialogue overshadowed by suspicion.

To be fair to Lee, it should be noted that while many on his side of the aisle totally accept every Big Brother, it is for your good, as since 9/11 our Senior Senator has been courageously skeptical of the regard to all this rotting.

So now the nation that honors the sacrifice of the passengers of Flight 93 – the normal Americans who crashed in the Pennsylvania countryside rather than letting their plane become the missile that would destroy the Capitol or the White House – is seeing passengers who have to be glued to their seats because of their violent objection to the mask rules.

Sweet Zeus, people. No one is asking you to stumble upon a burning skyscraper, give up a lucrative football career to join the military, crash the plane you are on, torture someone, be tortured or even take off your shoes.

All we need is people to make the smallest effort to protect your own life, the lives of your loved ones, your coworkers, and a group of people you will never know. Is it too much to ask?

Apparently, if you’re a Republican from Utah, it is.

George Pyle, reading the New York Times at The Rose Establishment.

Georges pyle, Opinion writer for the Salt Lake Tribune, has vivid memories of the whole city showing up for polio vaccinations. And not to have polio.

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Utah economy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Follow AP’s coverage of migration at https://apnews.com/hub/migration

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Salt lake city

Salt Lake City protesters denounce vaccine and mask warrants


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About 100 protesters gathered for the Rally for Freedom to oppose government mandates that aim to protect public health.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Protesters gathered along 700 East in Liberty Park to protest vaccines and masks, as well as other public health measures against the pandemic.

About 100 protesters waving US flags and holding placards denouncing mask and vaccine warrants gathered along the sidewalk of 700 East in Liberty Park on Saturday, making Salt Lake City one of dozens of cities in the world to protest against restrictions related to public health.

The international group World Wide Demonstration on Saturday promoted such events – called Rally for Freedom – everywhere from Denmark to South Africa to Taiwan. The group has held other rallies throughout the pandemic to protest public health mandates as well.

One of the main topics among the protesters was President Joe Biden’s executive order asking companies to require vaccines if the company employs 100 or more people, a move that could affect around 100 million Americans. Federal employees will also be required to show proof of vaccination.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Protesters waving US flags and holding placards denouncing the mask and vaccine warrants gathered along the sidewalk of 700 East in Liberty Park on Saturday, making Salt Lake City one of the dozens of cities around the world protest against public health restrictions, September 18, 2021.

Protester Andrea Woolley, of Sandy, said she “could face a job loss very soon” because of the executive order because she does not want to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

“I’m glad Utah is… standing up against the warrant,” Woolley said, referring to Attorney General Sean Reyes’ opposition to the warrants. Reyes and 23 other state attorneys general signed a letter calling the warrant unconstitutional.

Woolley and the other protesters likened many public health measures put in place during the pandemic to tyranny.

“A government shouldn’t be able to impose anything on humans,” Harris said.

Harris, of Logan, said he thought he and millions of other Americans who contracted COVID-19 and recovered are now protected by natural immunity, much like someone who contracted chickenpox would be. immune to this virus after recovering.

A study from Emory University found that patients who had previously contracted the flu kept “Broad and lasting immunity” months after infection. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that people previously infected without a vaccine were twice as likely to contract COVID-19 again compared to previously infected people who received the vaccine.

Not all protesters aligned with the severity of the pandemic. Harris, who said his symptoms of COVID-19 resembled those of the flu, said the pandemic is a “huge” problem. Woolley said she does not “recognize” the pandemic and has lived life unchanged for the past year and a half.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Protesters waving US flags and holding placards denouncing the mask and vaccine warrants gathered along the sidewalk of 700 East in Liberty Park on Saturday, making Salt Lake City one of the dozens of cities around the world protest against public health restrictions, September 18, 2021.

“I’m dedicated to my own business, to my own life,” said Woolley.

In Utah, 2,776 people died from COVID-19 on Friday and more than 21,000 people were hospitalized for COVID-19. More … than 665,000 people died of the virus nationwide, according to the CDC.

Ray Adams, of Tooele, called the pandemic “tampering” and that he has resisted public health measures against COVID-19 “every hour”.

Adams has said he is not a conspiracy theorist because there are too many facts that he believes prove there is a global organization benefiting from the pandemic.

“I believe the vaccine is how they’re going to purge Americans,” Adams said.

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Utah economy

BLM headquarters returns to Washington

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Utah economy

Carr, 23 other Republican GAs urge Biden administration to drop vaccine mandates

WASHINGTON – Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr joins more than 20 other Republican state attorneys general in threatening to sue the Biden administration over his mandate that large employers require their employees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus or are tested weekly.

“Yet another example of blatant disregard for the rule of law, the command and control strategy of the Biden-Harris administration is patronizing and counterproductive, harmful to our state’s economy and – most importantly – unconstitutional.” , he added. Carr said in a statement. “We will fight against the abuse of power by the administration and protect the citizens and businesses of our state.”

In a letter Thursday, the 24 GAs urged the administration to remove the requirement that would affect nearly 80 million Americans and let employees make their own decisions about vaccinations.

“There are many less intrusive ways to combat the spread of COVID-19, other than COVID-19 vaccinations or testing,” they wrote. “The risks of the spread of COVID-19 also vary widely depending on the nature of the business in question, many of which may have their employees work, for example, remotely. “

On September 9, President Joe Biden called on the Department of Labor to issue a temporary emergency rule under the Occupational Safety and Health Act to force employers to put in place a vaccine requirement , to impose weekly COVID-19 tests or to fire employees who refuse to do so. to get vaccinated.

He then met with business leaders “who champion vaccine mandates that … will ensure that businesses stay open and workers stay safe,” he said, highlighting support for a traditionally group’s mandate. republican.

State attorneys general argue that Biden’s tenure is not legal.

“If your administration does not change its course, the attorneys general of the undersigned state will seek all available legal options to hold you to account and uphold the rule of law,” they wrote.

Besides Georgia, these states also include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.

They argue that to justify OSHA’s emergency standard, the administration must prove that employees are in serious danger.

“In addition, many Americans who have recovered from COVID-19 have achieved a level of natural immunity, and statistics clearly indicate that young people without comorbidity have a low risk of hospitalization from COVID-19,” said they declared. “So you can’t plausibly shoulder the high burden of showing that employees in general are in grave danger. “

However, some studies have shown that COVID-19 infections increase rapidly in children. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that as of September 9, nearly 5.3 million children have tested positive since the start of the pandemic and 243,000 cases were added in one week in September, the second highest number. high in a week since the start of the pandemic.

The academy states that “at present it appears that serious illnesses from COVID-19 are rare in children. However, there is an urgent need to collect more data on the long-term impacts of the pandemic on children, including the ways in which the virus may adversely affect the long-term physical health of infected children, as well as its effects on the disease. emotional and mental health. “

Nearly 700,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 and there have been more than 44 million cases of the virus. Some of those who recovered from the virus suffered long-term symptoms of COVID-19, as reported by Atlantic.

State AGs also argue that putting in place vaccine requirements is “likely to increase vaccine skepticism.”

More than 180 million Americans, or at least half of the American population, are fully immunized, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Georgia Recorder’s Associate Editor-in-Chief, Jill Nolin, contributed to this report.

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Salt lake city government

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


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

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

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

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

A d

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A d

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

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

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

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

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

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Whitehurst reported from Salt Lake City.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Defy life”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Crisis management

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Salt lake city government

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Utah economy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Utah economy

Great American Outdoors Act Anniversary Announces Free Day on Public Lands this Week – St George News

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Undated 2017 file photo shows hiker descending Angels Landing Road with nearly 1,000-foot falls on both sides, Zion National Park, Utah | Photo by Caitlin This / Zion National Park, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – On Wednesday, designated as “Great American Outdoors Day”, the Home Office will celebrate the first anniversary of the signing of the Great American Outdoors Act. The law, which was passed with strong bipartisan support, makes unprecedented investments in national parks, public lands and Native American schools.

Hiked Snow Canyon State Park, Utah, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Red Mountain Resort, St. George News

To support the department’s commitment to ensure equitable access to public lands, entrance fees will be removed on Wednesday on all fee-paying public lands managed by the department, according to a press release issued by the department. Other charges, such as overnight camping, cabin rentals, group daytime use, and use of special areas, remain in effect.

“Creating new jobs and growing our economy is a top priority for the Biden-Harris administration. Through the Great American Outdoors Act, we are investing in the American people and in the future of our public lands and sacred spaces, ”Home Secretary Deb Haaland said in the press release. “I invite all Americans to experience the beauty and bounty of our nation’s public lands – not just August 4, but every day of the year.”

The Great American Outdoors Act helps support the goals of President Joe Biden’s America the Beautiful initiative to support locally-led efforts to conserve, restore and protect lands and waters across the country to help cope with crises in the climate and biodiversity, increase equitable access to wide open spaces and strengthen the economy, the statement said.

This summer is particularly busy on many public lands. While most of the 423 national parks are open, visitors may find limited services in and around the national parks. Check each park’s websites or download the NPS app for specific details on their operations. Learn more about alternatives to popular parks on the Interior blog. Public land enthusiasts are encouraged to similarly plan their visits with the Bureau of Land Management and the Fish and Wildlife Service.

Photo by Yobro10 / iStock / Getty Images Plus, St. George News

The Act provides for full and permanent funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund to the tune of $ 900 million per year. The Land and Water Conservation Fund was established by Congress in 1964 to fulfill a bipartisan commitment to protect the nation’s natural areas, water resources, and cultural heritage, and to provide recreational opportunities for all Americans.

The Act also established the National Parks and Public Lands Heritage Restoration Fund to provide the necessary maintenance of essential facilities on public lands and Indian schools. The projects funded by the restoration will help reduce Interior’s deferred maintenance backlog by more than $ 22 billion and improve recreation facilities, dams, water and utility infrastructure, schools and other historic structures. Other projects aim to increase public access by restoring and repairing roads, trails, bridges and parking areas.

By FY2022, Great American Outdoors Act-funded indoor projects are expected to support more than 17,000 jobs and generate $ 1.8 billion in local communities. Between the funding planned for FY2021 and the funding proposed for FY2022, Interior has deferred maintenance plans for the Legacy Restoration Fund in all 50 states and several U.S. territories.

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

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Utah economy

Katherine Heigl joins Wild Horse And Burro Rally at the Utah Capitol – Deadline

Utah’s wild Onaqui horses have a key ally in actress Katherine Heigl, who joined several groups today in the Utah state capital to call attention to a crucial looming roundup. for animals.

Heigl, joined by Animal Wellness Action, the Center for a Humane Economy, the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation, Wild Horse Photo Safaris, the Red Birds Trust and the Cloud Foundation, have come together to raise awareness of the plight of horses, which face a massive helicopter raid from July 12.

The roundup. the groups say they will send 80 percent of the herd to BLM corrals, injuring or even killing some of the frightened animals. While the horses will be offered for adoption, groups say some will end up in foreign slaughterhouses.

Related story

“Firefly Lane” renewed for season 2 by Netflix

The Federal Bureau of Land Management, which will handle the roundup, says an overpopulation of horses in the Grand Bassin has left insufficient fodder.

Heigl, a Utah resident best known for her work in the TV series Grey’s Anatomy and now featured in Netflix Alley of fireflies, and leaders of the groups involved, spoke to rally participants before heading straight to the pastures where Onaqui’s wild horses roam free and roam.

On July 1, President Joe Biden’s Bureau of Land Management, dubbed in a press release announcing that they would proceed with the roundups.

“We are doing everything we can to pressure President Joe Biden to stop the roundup and eradication of the iconic wild horses of Onaqui in Utah and call on the president to implement a course correction before he quits. ‘It’s not too late,’ said a statement from Heigl, herself a horse owner.

Erika Brunson, philanthropist and member of the World Council for Animals, also called for an end to the planned roundups.

“With over 52,000 feral horses and burros currently in government facilities, it’s time to stop the roundups and focus on a strong cruelty-free fertility control program using PZP,” Brunson said. “Currently only 1% of the population is approached, which is ridiculous.”

Descended from horses used by pioneers and native tribes in the late 1800s, Onaqui horses are known for their rugged beauty and ability to thrive in the harsh desert environment of the Great Basin of western Utah. . They are a favorite among photographers and wild horse enthusiasts and are considered the most popular and photographed wild herd in the country.

Visit the campaign website at www.SaveTheOnaqui.org for more details.

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Salt lake city government

Was Trump one of the worst presidents of all time?


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Good Thursday morning Utah! Welcome to July and thank you 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.

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Was Trump one of the worst presidents of all time?

If more than 140 presidential historians are to be believed, former President Donald Trump will become one of the worst presidents in history.

Trump ranked 41st out of 44 presidents in quadrennial survey of historians made by C-SPAN. Only Franklin Pierce, Andrew Johnson and James Buchannan ranked lower. Trump was ranked behind William Henry Harrison, who had only been in office for a month, Zachary Taylor, who served just over a year, and James Garfield, who died from an assassin bullet. months after his inauguration.

Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Franklin and Teddy Roosevelt were at the top of the list. The first 5 are unchanged from the last poll.

Historians have been asked to rank CEOs on 10 characteristics. Trump ranked first in public persuasion (# 32) and economic management (# 34). Trump ranked dead last among presidents in terms of moral authority and administrative skills. His constant time of lies and turmoil in the White House probably had something to do with his low ranking.

Ronald Reagan placed 9th overall, just ahead of Barack Obama, who was 10th. Obama was ranked 12th in the 2017 survey.

Here’s what you need to know for Thursday morning

Utah News

  • The leader of the Utah Republican Party wants to sit down with Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell to discuss Critical Race Theory and why he thinks it shouldn’t be taught in schools across the country. Utah. [Tribune]

  • Utah leaders are pleading with the public to ditch the fireworks this year amid severe drought and high fire danger. [Tribune]

  • President Joe Biden has pledged to help Western states fight forest fires in the region. [Tribune]

  • Representatives Blake Moore and Chris Stewart voted to remove the Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol, while Representatives John Curtis and Burgess Owens opposed the move. [Tribune]

  • The Utah County commission voted Wednesday to lower taxes, overturning a decision to increase property taxes two years ago. [Tribune]

  • Utah residents are moving into RVs, trailers, or vans due to rising rents and house prices. [Tribune]

National News

  • Alan Weisellberg, the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, surrendered to authorities Thursday morning after a grand jury indicted him and the company in a tax investigation. [NYT]

  • The House of Representatives has approved the formation of a committee to examine the events and causes of the Jan.6 assault on the U.S. Capitol by a host of supporters of former President Donald Trump. All four representatives from Utah voted against the investigation. [Politico]

  • More than a dozen arrests in connection with the Capitol bombing were announced on Wednesday, the most in a single day. [WaPo]

  • It’s amazing. The New York Times assembled videos of the Capitol Riot to investigate how the attack happened. [NYT]

  • Republican members of Congress have traveled to the US-Mexico border to cheer on former President Trump during his visit to the region. [AP]

  • Donald Rumsfeld, who served under four different presidents, has died at the age of 88. Rumsfeld served two non-consecutive terms as Secretary of Defense and was the youngest and oldest person in that post. [NYT]

  • Recently updated vote numbers show the New York mayoral race is tightening, with Eric Adams ahead of Kathryn Garcia by around 2%. [NYT]

  • Bill Cosby was released from prison after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned his sexual assault conviction. [CNN]

  • The death toll in the Miami condominium collapse has risen to 18. The bodies of two children were found in the rubble on Wednesday. Hundreds of people are still missing. Rescue work was halted early Thursday morning over fears the rest of the building might collapse [Miami Herald]

  • The horrific heat wave hitting the Pacific Northwest may have already killed hundreds of people. [AP]

  • The Chinese Communist Party celebrated its 100th anniversary. Xi Jinping, the Chinese leader, said countries attempting to “intimidate” China would face stiff resistance. [CNN]

  • Online brokerage firm Robinhood has agreed to pay a $ 70 million fine to settle a regulatory investigation. [WSJ]

  • Every college athlete in the country is now able to earn money through endorsements. On Wednesday, the NCAA suspended rules prohibiting athletes from selling rights to their names, images and likenesses. [ESPN]

A golden birthday

Today is the 50th anniversary of the ratification of the 26th Amendment, which granted the right to vote to 18-year-olds.

The White House issued a proclamation to mark the milestone, which came into effect on July 1, 1971.

Gen Z voters overwhelmingly voted for Joe Biden in 2020, with 65% voting for the Democratic candidate. This was 11% more than any other age group.

Thursday Morning Utah News Roundup

Utah

  • Latter-day Saint leaders can no longer perform civil marriages among nonmembers. [Tribune]

  • Texas Instruments will acquire the Micron chip factory in Lehi for $ 900 million. [DNews]

  • The downtown USPS offices are moving to a new location Thursday. [KUTV]

  • Experts say gas prices will be the highest since 2014 before the holiday weekend. [Standard Examiner]

  • UTA is considering a major expansion of the Ogden facility prior to the completion of the BRT. [Standard Examiner]

COVID-19[feminine

  • L’Utah signale 574 nouveaux cas de COVID-19 – le plus en plus de deux mois. [Tribune]

  • Health care workers, officials concerned about the recent wave of COVID-19. [FOX13]

Legislature

Local government

  • The Summit County official has “zero aspirations” for the Park City mayor‘s office after soil criticism. [Park Record]

  • Federal funds could flow into Summit County. [Park Record]

Housing

  • A Utah woman is suing after being evicted from student housing in Orem for “expressing suicidal tendencies.” [Tribune]

  • Habitat for Humanity is completing a house, starting another in the same cul-de-sac. [Daily Herald]

Environment

  • More flash floods are “likely” even as Zion National Park attempts to clean up. [Tribune]

  • Snowbird expects emissions to drop sharply with a new energy system. [KSL]

  • More towns in Weber County are warning against fireworks, with vendors crossing their fingers. [Standard Examiner]

Education

  • American Preparatory Academy ordered to pay $ 2.8 million – this time for real. [KUTV]

  • Salt Lake School Board appoints replacement for former board member facing child pornography charges. [DNews]

  • Ogden High principal named new district superintendent after nationwide search. [KSL]

On opinion pages

  • Robert Gehrke: Romney and Curtis are the Utahns with a chance to mend our broken Congress. [Tribune]

  • Andrew Stoddard: My faith LDS leads me to support equality law. [Tribune]

  • Chris Stewart: Yes, there is a win / win on LGBTQ rights and religious freedom. [DNews]

🎂 You say it’s your birthday? !!

Many happy returns to former Taylorsville Mayor Russ Wall; Ben Horsely, communications director for the Granite School District; and also Bob Springmeyer, president of Bonneville Research

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

– Tribune reporter Connor Sanders contributed to this story.


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Utah economy

Report: Nevada’s children among the worst affected by pandemic

A new report reveals that children in Nevada suffered more during the pandemic than those in many other states, and that small child welfare gains made before the pandemic may have been reversed.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2021 Kids Count report found that many Latin and black families in particular were going through a difficult time even before the COVID-19 closures resulted in so many job losses.

Tara Raines, Director of Kids Count Initiatives for the Alliance for the Defense of Children, said Nevada needs to tackle some big issues.

“The report released after the pandemic showed that we were suffering more than the national average on the four key points,” she said, “and it was health insurance, parents with feelings of hopelessness and despair. depression, housing insecurity and food insecurity. “

Using data from 2019, the report ranks Nevada 41st in the United States for child economic well-being and 46th for education. It found that 60% of fourth graders read below grade level and 74% of eighth graders do not have proficiency in math. But those statistics represent a gradual improvement over the 2010 figures. Nevada’s teenage birth rate and the number of adolescents in school have also improved.

The report also contained good news, finding that the US economy had started to recover in March. Leslie Boissiere, vice president of external affairs for the Casey Foundation, said child poverty is set to drop significantly in July – once the money begins to flow from the expanded child tax credit under the plan. American rescue.

“For families with children under the age of 6, it is $ 300 per month that these families will receive,” she said. “So at a time when families are worried about being able to pay their mortgage, or paying their rent or providing food for their families, this is a significant amount.”

The child tax credit expires in December; President Joe Biden has asked for his five-year extension. The report recommended that Congress make income supports permanent for low-income families.

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Salt lake city government

This week’s winners and losers in Utah politics


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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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