The Salt Lake Tribune
Jill Robinson’s four kids walked into their mother’s funeral Friday behind her flag-draped casket, holding hands, crying and reflecting on her love for life and her job.
The seats around the Maverik Center, too, were full of friends, family and co-workers who came to say goodbye. Robinson made almost everyone she met smile, and her death last week was a shock to the community.
She was killed Aug. 9 while working as a code-enforcement officer for West Valley City. Robinson had been conducting a routine follow-up at a house that had received a violation notice. The homeowner shot her in his driveway, police say, and set fire to her city vehicle.
Robinson, 52, had worked for the city for 10 years in code enforcement, which includes issuing citations for vehicles parked on lawns, driveways filled with weeds or garbage piled up outside homes.
“She always wanted a position where she could make a difference in the community,” her daughter Katie Merrill said earlier this week.
The remains of Marine Pfc. Robert Kimball Holmes returned to Utah on Friday — nearly eight decades after his death.
Holmes, of Salt Lake City, was aboard the USS Oklahoma when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941. Holmes' remains were identified earlier this year through a DNA match with one of his nephews.
A casket carrying his remains arrived Friday night at Salt Lake City International Airport. About 100 family members were expected to be there to greet the remains in the Delta Air Lines cargo area.
A Marine Corps honor guard was there to carry the casket. Bagpipers played. The motorcycle club Utah Patriot Guard Riders of Utah accompanied a hearse to Larkin Mortuary.
A funeral with full military honors will be at 10 a.m. Monday at the Salt Lake City Cemetery.
Remember last year, when everyone was eyeing the season-opening Alabama-Florida State game as one of the most anticipated matchups?
The third-ranked Seminoles lost that game and several more, barely finishing with a winning record.
Even late in the season, a huge showdown between two top teams might not mean as much in hindsight. Consider the Iron Bowl between No. 1 Alabama and No. 6 Auburn. The Crimson Tide lost but still went on to win the national title.
So predicting the most important games of the regular season is a tricky proposition, but with that caveat out of the way, there are several matchups that already stand out when looking through this year’s schedule. Here are a few of those games to watch in 2018:
Michigan at Notre Dame (Sept. 1)
Jim Harbaugh is 28-11 since taking over the Wolverines. That’s a clear improvement from where Michigan was, but a bit underwhelming considering the hype and expectations that accompanied Harbaugh’s arrival. Specifically, the Wolverines have struggled against their big rivals, going 1-5 against Ohio State and Michigan State. This year’s Michigan team has the potential to be terrific after adding transfer quarterback Shea Patterson, but it also faces a brutal schedule that includes road games against Notre Dame, Michigan State and Ohio State. Win this opener against the Irish, and it’s a big step forward for Harbaugh’s program. Lose, and the honeymoon is well and truly over.
LSU vs. Miami (Sept. 2)
The Hurricanes took a 10-0 record into their regular-season finale in 2017. Then a loss at Pittsburgh started a three-game losing streak that took some of the shine off Miami’s resurgence. Both LSU and Miami may have tougher games down the road in conference play, but the winner of this early-season showdown in Arlington, Texas, will earn some immediate buzz.
Oklahoma at TCU (Oct. 20)
TCU takes on Ohio State in a huge nonconference matchup Sept. 15. If the Horned Frogs win that one, then this showdown a month later with the Sooners becomes even more intriguing. TCU had one of the nation’s top rushing defenses last year, but Oklahoma’s Rodney Anderson gained 151 yards on the ground against the Horned Frogs.
UCLA at Oregon (Nov. 3)
Chip Kelly’s debut season at UCLA includes a trip to Oregon to face the Ducks. Even if neither team turns out to be a title threat in the Pac-12, this should be quite a scene when the star coach takes on his former team. See also: Dan Mullen and Florida playing at Mississippi State on Sept. 29.
Auburn at Georgia (Nov. 10)
These Southeastern Conference rivals split two meetings three weeks apart toward the end of last season. Auburn won 40-17 in November, only for Georgia to take the rematch 28-7 in the SEC championship game. There’s every possibility that this matchup could impact the title race in both SEC divisions.
Wisconsin at Penn State (Nov. 10)
Given the uncertainty surrounding Urban Meyer at Ohio State, it may be Wisconsin that is the Big Ten’s most likely playoff team. The Badgers appear to have a smooth path through their division, but they’ll have a lot to prove in a pair of crossover matchups against teams from the East. Wisconsin plays at Michigan on Oct. 13 and has this trip to face the Nittany Lions.
Donovan Mitchell once seemed surprised that anyone would marvel about how he immersed himself in the community as a Jazz rookie.
“I love it,” he said. “I said that when I first came here. I'm not one to lie or say things to please people. I really enjoy it here.”
That explains how Mitchell so quickly has become the Most Influential Person in Utah Sports, as judged by The Salt Lake Tribune sports staff. Mitchell personally lifted the Jazz to a close-out victory in their playoff series with Oklahoma City by scoring 38 points in Game 6 after Ricky Rubio was injured.
His impact went far beyond the court. The way Mitchell validated Utah as a great place to live and work, the way he treated people and the way he made the Jazz fun again turned him into one of the NBA's biggest stories in 2018.
So for three years in a row, Gordon Hayward has influenced the Most Influential rankings. He was No. 1 in 2016, when everyone figured the free agency decision he would make in the coming year would forever impact the Jazz. Rudy Gobert succeeded him last summer, as Jazz fans rallied around Gobert in an effort to move on from Hayward, who had departed to Boston.
And then came Mitchell, whose emergence has more than compensated for the loss of Hayward. He’s a gift to an entire state, through his personal interactions with fans and his ability to unite fans behind Utah’s flagship pro sports franchise.
Utahns like people who like Utah. Mitchell loves Utah, and Utahns love him. Those mutual feelings seem unlikely to change any time soon.
2 • Dennis Lindsey, Utah Jazz general manager
Previous ranking: 6.
Lindsey lost ground on this list last summer after failing to retain Gordon Hayward in free agency, but he responded impressively by assembling a team that returned to the Western Conference semifinals. The Jazz's investment in Joe Ingles and the discovery of Royce O'Neale were hallmark moves of Lindsey's tenure, beyond the shrewd drafting of Donovan Mitchell. Lindsey finished second in his peers' voting for NBA Executive of the Year.
Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune Utah Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey speaks with the media after the introduction of players George Hill and Joe Johnson at the Jazz training facilities on Friday, July 8, 2016. (Francisco Kjolseth/)
3 • Quin Snyder, Utah Jazz coach
Previous ranking: 3.
Snyder placed second in the media's balloting for NBA Coach of the Year after steering the Jazz through the loss of Hayward and posting one of the league's best records (31-10) in the second half of the 2017-18 season. The Jazz's first-round playoff series victory over Oklahoma City showcased Snyder's skills vs. Thunder coach Billy Donovan. He has adapted to his personnel, building a defense-oriented team while developing a more efficient offense.
(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder speaks with the media during exit interviews at their practice facility in Salt Lake City Wed., May 8, 2018, after losing to the Houston Rockets in game 5 of their Western Conference Finals during the 2018 NBA Playoffs. (Francisco Kjolseth/)
4 • Gail Miller, Utah Jazz owner
Previous ranking: 4.
It never was her goal to move outside of the shadow of her late husband, Larry H. Miller, but Gail Miller has succeeded in creating her own identity as the Jazz's owner for the last nine years. Remarried to Kim Wilson, Miller has a front-row presence at Jazz games and is credited with maintaining the franchise's culture as a Utah fixture. A philanthropist and community leader, Miller recently published “Courage to Be You: Inspiring Lessons From an Unexpected Journey.”
Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune The Larry H. Miller businesses and Utah Jazz have blossomed under the leadership of owner Gail MIller. She has raised her public profile through her community activism on several issues, like the homeless situation and Count My Vote. (Al Hartmann/)
5 • Dell Loy Hansen, Real Salt Lake owner
Previous ranking: 8.
Hansen's stepping forward to acquire a National Women's Soccer League team has widened his profile and expanded the RSL brand to a third league. Hansen is credited as a driver in the growth of women's soccer, with the Royals averaging 8,555 fans. Real Salt Lake, the Utah Royals FC and the Real Monarchs each has a niche in the soccer market, playing in stadiums in Sandy and Herriman, where Hansen has developed the Zions Bank Training Center and the Real Academy.
(Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune) Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen announced that the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) will field a team in Utah for the 2018 season. (Al Hartmann/)
6 • Kyle Whittingham, Utah football coach
Previous ranking: 2.
Whittingham's drop in the rankings stems from Utah's 3-6 record in Pac-12 play last season, combined with the Jazz's resurgence in the market. Even so, his program is positioned for a breakthrough in the next two seasons, with the Utes' best collection of talent in at least a decade. Utah has received endorsements as a Pac-12 South contender in 2018 and should remain strong with only 12 scholarship seniors on the roster and a more favorable conference schedule in 2019.
(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Kyle Whittingham is entering his 14th year as Utah head coach, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018. (Rick Egan/)
7 • Jeff Robbins, Utah Sports Commission CEO
Previous ranking: 9.
The Utah Sports Commission in 2017 reported its partnership in 49 events, resulting in $158 million in economic impact and 723 broadcast hours, promoting the state. Everywhere you look, the commission is bringing another diverse competition to Utah. Due to his work with the Salt Lake Olympic Exploratory Committee, Robbins will become even more of a major player in the coming year. The committee voted in February to pursue the 2026 or 2030 Winter Games.
(Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Sports Commission President and CEO Jeff Robbins watches the United States vs Olympic Athletes from Russia hockey game at Gangneung Hockey Centre during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. Olympic Athletes from Russia defeated United States 4-0. (Chris Detrick/)
8 • Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz center
Previous ranking: 1.
Gobert earned the No. 1 ranking in 2017, having succeeded in rallying Jazz fans who were disturbed about Hayward's departure wondered about the franchise's future. Donovan Mitchell's emergence served to reduce Gobert's profile, but he won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award even while playing in only 56 regular-season games, due to injury. Gobert symbolizes the Jazz's effort to defy NBA trends by building their team around a traditional center.
(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert speaks with the media during exit interviews at their practice facility in Salt Lake City Wed., May 8, 2018, after losing to the Houston Rockets in game 5 of their Western Conference Finals during the 2018 NBA Playoffs. (Francisco Kjolseth/)
9 • Steve Starks, Utah Jazz president
Named in April to Sports Business Journal's “40 Under 40” list of rising stars in sports administration, Starks has a job description that goes beyond the Jazz as the president of Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment. Vivint Smart Home Arena, the Tour of Utah and the Salt Lake Bees impact sports fans. Starks' launch of the Beehive Classic college basketball doubleheader did not go well, however; another test will come in December when the event includes Utah vs. BYU.
Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune Steve Starks got his start in business shadowing Larry H. Miller, now the Weber County man is in charge of Miller's sports and entertainment empire. Starks was photographed at EnergySolutions Arena on Thursday June 4, 2015. (Trent Nelson/)
10 • Kalani Sitake, BYU football coach
Previous ranking: 7.
The perception of Sitake’s program changed dramatically last season, when the Cougars' 4-9 record was their worst winning percentage since 1970. Sitake overhauled his offensive coaching staff in an effort to solve major issues after the team’s 2017 showing, and BYU is viewed as needing to improve just to qualify for a bowl game this season. Anything resembling last year’s record would bring Sitake’s job status into question. He’s 13-13 in two seasons.
(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) BYU hosts their eighth-annual football media day at the BYU-Broadcasting Building on Friday, June 22, 2018, as head coach Kalani Sitake makes the interview rounds. (Francisco Kjolseth/)
11 • Tom Holmoe, BYU athletic director
Previous ranking: 12.
Holmoe moves up in status among the state’s athletic directors after 13 years on the job, with 31-year veteran Chris Hill of Utah having retired. The Cougars' dropoff — or leveling off — in the flagship sports of football and men’s basketball obscures the athletic department’s success in other areas. Holmoe’s tenure, whenever it ends, will be judged by how well independence worked for the football program, with BYU having last played in a conference in 2010.
Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune Tom Holmoe, Athletic Director, Brigham Young University, talks about the new menÕs college basketball showcase featuring BYU, Utah, USU, and Weber State, at Vivint Smart Home Arena, Thursday, July 21, 2016. (Rick Egan/)
12 • Larry Krystkowiak, Utah basketball coach
Previous ranking: 13.
Entering his eighth season with the Utes, Krystkowiak has maintained consistency, while not satisfying all of the program’s fans. The Utes have finished fourth or better in the Pac-12 each of the past four seasons, but have gone two years without playing in the NCAA Tournament. Krystkowiak took Utah to the NIT championship game and has produced his best recruiting class, giving his program much more athleticism going into 2018-19 and beyond.
Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune Utah Utes head coach Larry Krystkowiak salutes the Utah fans as he leaves the court after Utah's 80-72, in PAC-12 Basketball Championship action, at the MGM Arena, in Las Vegas, Thursday, March 10, 2016. (Rick Egan/)
13 • Mark Harlan, Utah athletic director
Previous ranking: NR.
Harlan remains both a novelty and a mystery, being new to the job after being targeted in the school's first search for an AD since 1987. He made a good impression in his introductory news conference and has a strong background, coming from South Florida after stints at Arizona and UCLA of the Pac-12. The proposed expansion of Rice-Eccles Stadium is Harlan's immediate opportunity to impress the Ute fan base, as he formulates that plan.
(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Mark Harlan talks about his first week on the job as Athletic Director at the University of Utah in his new office at the Huntsman Center, Friday, June 29, 2018. (Rick Egan/)
14 • Tony Finau, PGA Tour golfer
Previous ranking: 17.
The West High School graduate is a strong contender for the U.S. Ryder Cup team. An appearance in the high-profile competition vs. Europe in Paris in late September would cap a season when Finau finished in the top 10 of three major tournaments and made the 36-hole cut in the other. Once known for his prodigious drives, Finau has proven to be a well-rounded player, capable of winning majors someday. He's also mindful of his Rose Park roots.
Tony Finau plays his shot from the ninth tee during the final round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship, Sunday, June 17, 2018, in Southampton, N.Y. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/)
15 • Nathan Chen, Olympic figure skater
Previous ranking: 14.
The reality of the Olympics is that casual fans pay attention to sports such as figure skating only every four years, and Chen will remain known for the disastrous short program that placed him 17th in the men's event in Korea. But he deserves credit for coming back to finish fifth overall, thanks to a record six quadruple jumps and a top ranking in free skate. The Salt Lake City native then won a world championship in March and will be a big story in Beijing in 2022.
(Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) Salt Lake City's Nathan Chen practices his Men's Single Skating Short Program for the Team Event at the Gangneung Ice Arena Thursday, February 8, 2018. (Chris Detrick/)
16 • Mike Petke, Real Salt Lake coach
Previous ranking: 21.
Based strictly on his coaching performance, Petke would not move up in the 2018 rankings with RSL standing 10-10-5 prior to Saturday’s game. Judged by the fan base’s regard for him, though, Petke is in a class with Snyder and Whittingham. He’s “Mike Freakin' Petke” to RSL supporters, who love his brash, outspoken way of battling with Major League Soccer administrators. At some point, Petke will have to win playoff games to justify the level of admiration.
(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Real Salt Lake head coach Mike Petke celebrates the win. Real Salt Lake defeated the Colorado Rapids 4-1 for the Rocky Mountain Cup at Rio Tinto Stadium, Saturday, August 26, 2017. (Leah Hogsten/)
17 • Megan Marsden/Tom Farden, Utah gymnastics co-coaches
Previous ranking: 15.
Led by former U.S. Olympic team alternate MyKayla Skinner, the Utes reached the NCAA’s Super Six finals again in 2018, placing fifth. The standards will get higher this season, with the NCAA adopting a final four format. Regardless, Utah gymnastics will remain a marketing phenomenon. The Red Rocks claimed an eighth title in NCAA women’s all-sports attendance, averaging 15,139 fans. Marsden earned her 200th victory as a co-head coach in nine seasons; she’s 201-72-3 in that role.
Lennie Mahler | The Salt Lake Tribune Co-head coach Megan Marsden observes the Red Rocks as they warm up on the uneven bars in a meet against Oregon State, West Virginia, and SUU at the Huntsman Center, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. The Red Rocks edged the competition with a final score of 196.950, followed by Oregon State with a score of 195.950. (Lennie Mahler/)
18 • Craig Waibel, Real Salt Lake general manager
Previous ranking: 16.
The franchise’s acquisition of the Utah Royals FC women’s team expanded Waibel’s duties in a year when he has continued his effort to rebuild RSL into an MLS playoff team. He’s in the last year of his contract and, as will seemingly always be the case in Hansen’s ownership tenure, questions persist about the GM’s future. “I want to be here. I want to finish this,” Waibel told The Tribune in July. RSL’s making the 2018 playoffs undoubtedly would help his cause.
Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune RSL Technical Director Craig Waibel speaks with the media regarding the announcement of player Juan Manuel Martinez, nicknamed 'El Burrito,' who was officially introduced as the newest player at RSL after a standout career at one of the best clubs in South America, Boca Juniors. (Francisco Kjolseth/)
19 • Dave Rose, BYU basketball coach
Previous ranking: 20.
Counting his seven years as the coach of Dixie State, then a junior college, Rose is four wins short of 500 for his career. He has taken BYU to the NCAA Tournament or the NIT in each of his 13 seasons, although the program has leveled off with three straight NIT appearances. The Cougars upset Saint Mary’s to reach the championship game of the 2018 West Coast Conference tournament, but got routed by Gonzaga offset that achievement.
Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune Brigham Young Cougars head coach Dave Rose during the game against San Francisco Dons at the Marriott Center Thursday January 12, 2017. (Chris Detrick/)
20 • Matt Wells, Utah State football coach
Previous ranking: 24.
Wells' tenure is a classic case of providing arguments on both sides. Some observers give him credit for taking the Aggies to four bowl games in five seasons; others point out he has not topped six wins since going 10-4 in 2014. Either way, this is a pivotal year for Wells, whose contract runs through 2019. The Aggies were picked fourth in their division of the Mountain West, but magazine publisher Phil Steele tabbed them the No. 2 most improved team in the country, coming off a 6-7 season.
There are some changes coming to soccer broadcasts in Utah.
Starting this weekend, KMYU will no longer air Utah Royals FC matches live the remainder of the season. Also starting this weekend, Real Salt Lake’s broadcast duo of Brian Dunseth and David James will be off the road and calling matches remotely for the remainder of the 2018 season, a growing trend in the sports broadcasting industry. RSL is in Houston on Saturday night, but there won’t be the familiar welcoming shot of the tandem from a booth inside BBVA Compass Stadium.
Instead, Dunseth and James will be calling the match here in Utah from Rio Tinto Stadium.
The moves come as the respective regular seasons for the clubs start to come to an end, giving the RSL organization a chance to see whether or not these changes will be beneficial in terms of cost-saving moving forward. The Royals, who have three remaining NWSL matches in 2018, will continue to be broadcast live on the KSL app, but unlike the previous 21 matches, the newest professional team in Utah won’t be found on live TV.
The NWSL has a league-wide stream that will be shown on the KSL app for Royals fans the rest of the season. The Royals currently sit in sixth place in the NWSL standings with three matches left, starting Saturday at Sky Blue FC in New Jersey.
Andy Carroll, RSL’s chief business officer, describes both late-season initiatives as trial runs.
“We’re really just going through an evaluation process for everything,” he said. “We’re looking at it as what will this be like, or what kind of quality are we going to have, and is this something we should look at threading into next year or do we really want to go back and do full broadcast?”
Kent Crawford, general manager of KUTV and KMYU, confirmed the changes.
“We are not currently planning on airing more Royals games,” he said, adding that the changes came down to cost-cutting.
The number of RSL games that air on KMYU will not be affected.
Beginning Saturday, RSL’s live feed will be coming from the broadcast in Houston, where RSL TV producers will be tasked with cutting the match more specifically to the viewership of the RSL fans in the region. Carroll pointed to the realities of the industry, saying that big-time networks like ESPN and FOX do so regularly. In fact, most of the matches at this summer’s 2018 FIFA World Cup were called remotely, not in Russia, but from studios in Los Angeles.
“It’s much better to sample it and see how it works,” Carroll said of the approach. “It’s a common industry practice. We can see what affect it has, and then, as we’re looking at 2019, we’ll have a better understanding of if this what we want to implement moving forward, or is this something we want to just look at differently and stay with our live broadcasts with our guys being there.”
When asked how much money this would save RSL, Carroll said they have some current projections, but nothing concrete to report at the moment. That’s part of this testing phase is to see if the advantages of this approach of broadcasting is more beneficial long-term. Carroll vowed that if the club notices a drop-off in the production’s broadcast, however, they’ll make a determination on how long to stick with it.
Carroll confirmed RSL sideline reporter Samantha Yarock will continue traveling with the team and help out during live broadcasts at away matches across the country.
“It’s significant when we send a truck to another stadium. There’s a lot that goes along with it,” Carroll said. “We’re very much committed to our broadcasts and having the best broadcasts we can, but we’re also always constantly evaluating to see how efficient we can be. When you look at MLS, we’d rather be as efficient as we can, because of arriving costs in the league with player costs and player development. For us, it’s just a matter of really taking a look at it and saying, ‘What’s it worth?’ Until you do it, you don’t know.”
This will not be the first time RSL away matches have been called in Utah instead of on the road. Dunseth said during the club’s first contract with KMYU, road matches were called remotely at what is now the Vivint Smart Home Arena around the 2010 and 2011 seasons. And he’s used to calling matches off a monitor rather than a booth. No, it’s not quite the same, but having been the voice on matches for CONCACAF Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Champions League and the Germany Bundesliga, Dunseth said it won’t affect how he prepares to call a match.
“I do miss out on the face-to-face time, there’s no doubt about that,” Dunseth said. “That’s one of the obvious consequences of not being with the team. And I’m not naive enough to assume there’s a divine right to be on the road to call these games. It is what it is, and we’re in an ever-changing market in terms of broadcast and production.
“I would prefer to be on-site, but I understand the dynamics in play at every level.”
Most MLS clubs have their broadcast teams call away matches remotely instead of sending a production crew, truck and talent all over the country. RSL is one of the last to try this approach. But, as Carroll explained, it’s in the testing phase for the remainder of the season.
Tribune reporter Scott D. Pierce contributed to this story.
Utah tight ends coach Freddie Whittingham mentioned a basic blocking technique, and a half-dozen players nodded. Thomas Yassmin just stared straight ahead, his eyes widening.
There's no blocking in rugby. That explains why the Australian is enrolled this month in what Whittingham describes as Football 101, learning the fundamentals of a game that's foreign to him.
Punters such as Ute senior Mitch Wishnowsky and former star Tom Hackett and BYU’s Danny Jones have become common exports from Australia to college football programs, but position players making the journey are rare. Yassmin’s athletic ability made him irresistible to the Utes, who expect him to develop over five years in the program after almost certainly redshirting this season.
“Don't know if it's going to happen this year,” Whittingham said, “but he will turn into a very good player for us.”
Wishnowsky is helping Yassmin adapt to life in America, while acknowledging he's “a little clueless about the game.”
Athletically, though? To play on offense or defense in college football, “You need to be a freak at what you do, and Tom's a freak,” Wishnowsky said. “Tom is huge, he's so fast … just incredible.”
If anything, the legend of Yassmin is likely to keep growing this season, even if he never appears in a game. His athleticism may become slightly exaggerated, like some of his descriptions of Utah’s program in a homeland profile that detailed his recruitment. The 6-foot-5, 248-pound Yassmin was pursued by Oregon and Washington, with a late push from UCLA coach Chip Kelly.
(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah tight end Thomas Yassmin (87) during practice, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018. (Rick Egan/)
Explaining his pick of Utah, Yassmin told Fox Sports Australia, “You’re playing in front of 55,000 people” (that may be true, by the end of his Ute career in 2022). He also said that in the past two years, “all of their seniors have been drafted” (several, but not nearly all) and that the school’s math and business programs were ranked No. 9 in the country (the David Eccles School of Business is No. 8 in the West and No. 56 nationally, according to Bloomberg Businessweek).
In any case, Yassmin is now immersed in learning the Ute offense, having once marveled, “They bloody name their plays after combinations of fruits and colors.”
In this month's preseason camp, Yassmin has absorbed concepts such as why a screen pass must be caught behind the line of scrimmage to allow downfield blocking and the difference between the field and boundary sides of an offensive formation.
“I won't lie, it's been difficult,” he said, speaking of his overall acclimation.
The coaches keep reminding him this is an multiyear process, and they're convinced he will catch onto everything.
“It's just those little things that you kind of take for granted,” Whittingham said. “Now, what I've tried to impress on him is, 'Hey, don't let any question go unanswered. Stop me if you don't understand a term I'm using.' He's a smart kid; he's got a capacity for learning, and he's not shy.”
The culture of American football in Australia is so limited that Yassmin is unaware of recent success stories including Denver Broncos defensive end Adam Gotsis, who played for Georgia Tech and became a second-round pick, and former Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Jesse Williams, who played for two national championship teams at Alabama after attending Arizona Western College.
Yassmin is familiar with Colin Scotts, who's from the same high school and played for three NFL teams as a defensive end after attending Hawaii in the 1980s.
Yassmin also has ambitions of reaching the NFL, once he figures out everything else about football.
He wasn’t supposed to be there.
Not on national television on a picture-perfect Southern California evening in Los Angeles, forced to keep the scoreline from ballooning further in the home team’s favor. Not being the last line of defense in a Western Conference showdown. Not standing on his head as a superstar like Carlos Vela persistently tried to be the first to put one past Andrew Putna in this Major League Soccer debut that came so much earlier than anyone could’ve predicted.
But there he was, the 23-year-old goalkeeper who a few months earlier was still getting used to life as a professional. Plans can get sent through the shredder in an instant. RSL’s hopes of nabbing a result at LAFC Wednesday died when another early road goal conceded was compounded by an injury to goalkeeper Nick Rimando.
A hamstring strain forced off the RSL stalwart at halftime after he played through the injury suffered in the 11th minute of the match.
Putna. Earlier this year, he was the backup keeper for RSL’s USL franchise, the Real Monarchs. Things change swiftly. Seriously. RSL’s primary backup, Alex Horwath who signed with the club in the offseason, suffered a season-ending ruptured right Achilles tendon in May. The third choice, goalkeeper Connor Sparrow, suffered a knee injury this summer and has been sidelined indefinitely.
Suddenly lacking depth behind the 39-year-old Rimando, RSL signed Putna in July. Drafted by RSL in the third round of the 2017 MLS SuperDraft, the University of Illinois-Chicago product had spent his time developing with the Monarchs until RSL had no other choice but to speed it up.
“He’s more of a goalkeeper for the future,” RSL coach Mike Petke said after the loss at LAFC. “That’s why he’s in the USL with the Monarchs. But we had to fast-track him because of the two injuries there. But he has excellent shot-stopping ability, he’s good with his feet out of his back, but what he needs is experience like a lot of the guys on our team do.”
It came Wednesday, in the thick of a heated postseason race, when Putna was put on at halftime and eventually made four saves to keep a second-half shutout and give RSL a fighting chance. Once Rimando relayed that he would no longer be able to go, Putna’s number was called, and between the posts, he rose to the occasion.
“Sometimes as a goalkeeper you need luck,” he said. “I just kind of played in the moment.”
The moment didn’t prove too big. Depending on the severity of Rimando’s hamstring injury, RSL will need its fourth-string keeper to maintain that level. Another quick turnaround awaits. RSL is onto its second of three straight road games Saturday night in Houston, where the forecast calls for temperatures in upper 90s and sweltering humidity.
If Rimando is unable to suit up, RSL does qualify for the MLS extreme hardship rule, which allows clubs to sign goalkeepers from their USL affiliates to short-term contracts. Meaning the odds-on backup keeper in Houston would be Monarchs keeper Jake Leeker. The injury bug is hitting one of RSL’s most stable positions at the worst possible time of the year.
“If Nick’s not ready,” Petke said, “then Putna’s got to be ready.”
Should Putna get the nod Saturday against the Dynamo, which would be his first career start in MLS, he’ll be hoping for a simple touch of the ball. All goalkeepers need that first touch in the match to settle whatever nerves might be rumbling about. The last thing you want is to face a blistering shot headed your way shortly after the whistle sounds.
“That’s what it’s about for me, just becoming comfortable in the moment,” Putna said, “and keeping an even head and not trying to do too much.”
Whatever might help will go a long way. RSL’s brutal road woes (now 1-9-2 in 2018) continue and Houston in late August is probably atop the list of most grueling road trips in MLS. Putna became the 10th RSL player to make his club debut in 2018. How he fares in the meantime could decide where RSL stands in the playoff picture in the coming weeks.
No pressure, kid.
Ogden • Ogden police say the death of a man whose body was found with “visible trauma” is being investigated as suspicious.
The Standard Examiner reports the body was found early Thursday morning in the 21st Street Pond, near a river walkway trail.
Capt. Danielle Croyle says the man was in his late 20s or early 30s, but she did not immediately release his name.
Police say they do not believe there is a threat to the public associated with his death.
Medical examiners will perform an autopsy.
Window Rock • Navajo Nation officials are bidding farewell to their region’s director for the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).
The tribe says Sharon Pinto has been reassigned to the U.S. Bureau of Indian Education as the deputy director.
Her last day as head of the BIA’s Navajo region was Friday. She was appointed to the position in late 2011.
The regional office oversees schools, building, residences, forested land and windmills. It also maintains roads and bridges, and provides social and emergency services.
Navajo Nation Council Delegate Leonard Tsosie says Pinto understood and practiced self-determination and upheld the federal government's responsibility to tribes. Navajo officials had advocated for her to remain in the job.
Pinto thanked tribal officials, her staff and family for their support during a ceremony Thursday in Window Rock.
Ogden • A former Utah bank manager who was convicted of stealing more than $565,000 was sentenced to more than two years in prison.
The Standard-Examiner reports 33-year-old Daniel Scott Frischknecht was sentenced in federal court last week, receiving a more severe sentence than expected after he submitted a forged letter of praise from an employer.
The former manager of a Zions Bank branch in Bountiful pleaded guilty in February after authorities discovered he embezzled money to buy a house.
Before his sentencing previously scheduled for May, prosecutors say they discovered Frischknecht had forged a letter of support from a new employer. Prosecutors sought a harsher sentence as a result with the amended sentencing recommendation describing Frischknecht as "a thief and a liar."
He will have two years of probation following prison.
It’s becoming routine: Utah again led the nation in the percentage of job growth it achieved over the past 12 months, according to federal data released Friday.
The number of jobs in Utah grew by 3.5 percent from July 2017 to July 2018, best in the nation, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Utah has been at or near the top of such ratings for months.
Two of its neighbors were just behind it in the latest rankings: Idaho and Nevada saw increases of 3.4 percent each. Alabama and Illinois had the slowest growth rates, at 1.1 percent each.
The agency reported that Utah added 51,100 jobs over that year-long period.
In July, Utah’s unemployment rate increased by one-tenth of a percentage point from the prior month to 3.1 percent, but was still much lower than the national unemployment rate of 3.9 percent.
Hawaii had the nation’s lowest unemployment rate at 2.1 percent; Alaska had the highest at 6.9 percent.
An estimated 48,700 Utahns were unemployed during July and actively seeking work.
“Utah experienced yet another month of significant growth in the job market,” said Carrie Mayne, chief economist at the Utah Department of Workforce Services. She added the state’s consistent growth in job creation over the past year was “fueled by robust economic conditions.”
DWS said that 9 of the 10 major private sector industry groups posted net job increases over the past year. The one exception was natural resources and mining, which lost 400 jobs.
The largest private sector employment increases were in trade, transportation and utilities (14,100 jobs); education and health services (7,700 jobs); and leisure and hospitality (7,400 jobs).
The Utah job market has been so competitive, for example, that contractors have been having trouble finding enough workers for the $3.6 billion project to build the new Salt Lake City International Airport adjacent to the existing facility.
As airport director Bill Wyatt said earlier this month, “Basically there is zero unemployment in this valley, so go try to find an electrician or carpenter,” adding that if trade people “can stand up and show up to work on time, they’ve got a job because we are desperate.”
He said the airport has about 1,750 construction workers on site daily now. "We’d like to have 2,000 out there by the end of summer, but I doubt we’re going to make it.”
It was a few minutes after 10 a.m. and mostly quiet in the Irvins' small blue house on Rocket Drive. Ten-year-old Toby Irvin had just come downstairs from his bedroom. He pulled out a book of world records and flipped through the pages at the kitchen table.
“The heaviest wedding cake ever made was 6.8 tons,” he rattled off, using his inside voice as instructed. “… The oldest person to live was 122. … The oldest dog was 29 years old.”
Kris and Nate Irvin had sent their son to his room an hour earlier so he couldn’t hear their conversation. The one they’ve had before and will have again. The one that might have broken the record for awkward silences, Kris thought while Toby was reading out loud.
The one about how Kris is transgender, how the couple are Mormon, and how those two identities have collided here inside this blue house in Bluffdale, first straining their marriage and now threatening Kris’ standing in the church and enrollment at Brigham Young University, which is owned by the church.
The conflict that has uncomfortably centered around one thing: Kris’ breasts.
‘Isn’t it my choice to make?’
Westfield, Ind. • Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III spent most of their football careers going head to head.
The two high-profile Texas prep stars were both recruited by Stanford, finished one-two in the 2011 Heisman Trophy race, went first and second in the 2012 NFL draft and were the top two vote-getters in the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year balloting.
Now, the 28-year-old quarterbacks find themselves in an odd place — rooting for each another’s comebacks.
“You know it seems like the combine was just yesterday,” Griffin said after the first of two joint practices on the final weekend of training camp.
“He’s always going to be the geeky guy and I’m always going to be the guy who wears the goofy socks.”
Maybe those sentiments sound strange coming from two guys who were supposed to join the long list of memorable rivals.
But fate, as it sometimes does, changed everything.
Instead of becoming fierce foes, Griffin and Luck developed a mutual admiration for each another’s work. They respect one another so much that Luck even took a moment during a brief stoppage at practice to jog over and give Griffin a hug.
“He’s a really good guy. He’s a Texas guy, so we have some links there,” Luck said earlier this week. “I got to know him at the Heisman and then the combine and draft. I’ve always been a big fan. Our families got to know each other a fair bit. I’m excited to see him.”
Much has changed since these two last threw passes on the same field, six years ago in one of the few highly anticipated preseason games, pitting the seemingly can’t-miss prospects.
Luck was considered the polished, establishment guy, who learned the game from his NFL-playing father, who was groomed in Stanford’s pro-style offense had a resume that resembled Peyton Manning’s.
Griffin was the flashy new guy with plenty of upside, legs that were supposed to be as difficult to stop as his arm, who could make any offense high octane and who took home four of college football’s most prized trophies in 2011.
Both began with a bang.
Luck led the Colts to the playoffs each of his first three seasons, made the Pro Bowl each year and helped lead the Colts one step deeper in the playoffs each successive year, culminating with an AFC championship game appearance following the 2014 season.
Griffin countered by leading Washington to its first playoff appearance in five years, drawing praise from President Barack Obama and making the Pro Bowl as a rookie.
Then things suddenly went awry.
Griffin sprained a ligament in his right knee in December 2012, but was cleared by doctors in time to return for the final two regular-season games and the playoff game against Seattle. During the fourth quarter of the loss to the Seahawks, Griffin’s knee gave out and he wound up needing surgery for two torn ligaments and a torn meniscus.
“I don’t think about the past because otherwise I can’t stay in the present,” Griffin said. “I’m a football player. If they tell me I can go, I’m going to go.”
He was never the same. Since starting 9-7, he is just 6-19 as a starter.
Griffin lost the starting spot in Washington three times over the next three seasons and finally signed with Cleveland in 2016, where he spent most of the season on injured reserve with a fractured bone in his left shoulder. He still holds the distinction as the most recent starting quarterback to lead the Browns to a victory on Dec. 24, 2016.
The Browns released Griffin in March 2017 — before he collected a $750,000 roster bonus — and he was out of football all of last season.
“It was hard, very hard,” Griffin said. “But the Ravens gave me an opportunity and I’m here to make the most of this opportunity.”
Luck, meanwhile, dealt with other obstacles.
He injured his right shoulder in the third game of the 2015 season, ending a starting streak of 57 consecutive games.
Luck finished his fourth pro season on injured reserve with a lacerated kidney, played through the continual pain in his right shoulder in 2016 then opted for surgery on a partially torn labrum in January 2017. The recovery cost him all of last season.
The Colts missed the playoffs all three of those years and now he’s finally back, looking to find his pre-surgery form.
“I know he was just hurting,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “When you miss that much football, you start questioning everything. For him to be back out here has to be a joy for him.”
Luck will continue lining up behind center for the second joint practice Saturday and likely for more than a quarter in Monday night’s game.
Griffin, meanwhile, is trying to restart his career by winning a job behind Super Bowl-winning quarterback Joe Flacco and first-round draft pick and Heisman winner Lamar Jackson, meaning Griffin and Luck could be watching each other’s comebacks.
“I’m always root for quarterbacks,” Griffin said. “I really hope he (Luck) comes back and not just to the level he was before but to the level the Colts expect.”
Chicago Bears linebacker Isaiah Irving, right, tackles Baltimore Ravens quarterback Robert Griffin III (3) during the first half of the Pro Football Hall of Fame NFL preseason game Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018, in Canton, Ohio. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) (Ron Schwane/)
It won’t be easy, inexpensive — or quick — to drop “Mormon” or “LDS” as shorthand substitutes for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but some public relations professionals see benefits in trying.
It is a “pivotal time” for the Utah-based faith, says Christine Denniston, director of marketing and public relations for the Lindquist College of Arts and Humanities at Weber State University. “This is an opportunity for the church to rebrand itself.”
On Thursday, President Russell M. Nelson said in a statement that God had “impressed upon my mind the importance of the name he has revealed for his church, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
The faith’s headquarters in Salt Lake City and Latter-day Saints across the globe have much “work before us to bring ourselves in harmony with his will,” the 93-year-old Nelson added. “In recent weeks, various church leaders and departments have initiated the necessary steps to do so.”
The move to emphasize the church’s full name is “obviously important to President Nelson,” Denniston says. “Other church entities will now follow his lead.”
Denniston, who has lived in Utah for five years and is not a member of the state’s predominant faith, says the terms “Mormon” and “LDS” have created certain perceptions.
“Maybe hearing the full name,” she says, “will alter those perceptions.”
It’s like a “clean slate,” Denniston says, and could help the church “reach new groups” by defining itself in a new way.
Changing websites and online addresses — like lds.org, mormon.org, mormonandgay.org and so forth — could be completed in weeks. Getting media and others across the West, the nation and the world to drop those nicknames, however, could take years, decades, maybe generations.
Denniston says it will be “interesting to watch what happens next week, next month and next year.”
Salt Lake City public relations expert Chris Thomas also sees some positives in the move.
A Latter-day Saint, Thomas says this gives his church the chance to “emphasize its doctrine, mission and foundation as being Christian.”
Benjamin Knoll, a professor of politics at Centre College in Danville, Ky., appreciates another aspect of the verbal dictate: the potential to distinguish between groups that track their history back to church founder Joseph Smith.
“Most people know that there are many different branches of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, etc.,” Knoll writes in an email, “but they don't tend to know that about Mormonism.”
It would be “great,” he says, “if the public knew that the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is one branch of the wider Mormon tradition among many, including the Community of Christ and the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.”
He hopes Nelson’s push to “decouple ‘Mormon’ from ‘The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ will help make that distinction clearer in the public mind.”
Still, public relations experts and other observers are quick to point out the stiff challenge and long haul the church faces in attempting to distance itself from the labels “Mormon” and “LDS” — monikers that have been in the faith’s lexicon since the 19th century.
David Margulies, president of a Dallas public relations firm, told The Associated Press that the term “Mormon” is “ingrained in American culture and has a lot of good equity that the faith would be losing by shifting away from using it.”
Margulies “predicts confusion among people who won’t realize the full name is the same religion as Mormons,” the AP reports, “and said there’s a ‘very slim’ chance the name change will catch on.”
“It’s a recognized, large religion. Mitt Romney is a Mormon,” Margulies said. “It’s well established so if you’re going to change it, you need a reason for changing it that makes sense. ... Changing the name sounds like you’re covering something up.”
Denniston notes that “Mormon” and “LDS” are “long-standing words associated with the church. How do you still convey the faith with a new word? It’s a branding exercise.”
The obstacles are not “insurmountable,” she says, but they are “a reality.”
It likely will take a “significant effort to connect the old name with a new direction,” says Thomas, as well as a “significant sum” of money.
He points out that it was going to cost more than $50 million to rebrand the Utah Transit Authority.
“I would guess [rebranding The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints], he says, “would be exponentially higher.”
So Thursday’s announcement, Thomas says, was just the “start of a long process.”
As a PR professional, he understands the need to convey to outsiders the centrality of Jesus Christ that Latter-day Saints feel in their faith, but he believes it comes down to believers’ behavior.
“Regardless of what name is used, the church will be judged by how members conduct themselves, how they treat other people, and what kind of reputation they have,” Thomas says. “It is essential to see charity and kindness by those who proclaim to be members of the church.”
In the end, it may not matter to Nelson whether media or members adopt his preferred style immediately, or how much money it costs, or how long it takes.
The church prophet said God told him to do it, and so he did.
Washington • The Interior Department has canceled a proposal from the Bureau of Land Management that would have allowed the sale of more than 1,600 acres inside the previous boundaries of southern Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
The department’s deputy secretary, David Bernhardt, sent a memo to BLM officials Friday, reversing part of a management plan for the 900,000 acres that President Donald Trump removed from monument status in December.
Top Interior officials say they were caught off guard by the BLM proposal.
Secretary Ryan Zinke, a former Montana congressman who has insisted that he opposes selling off public lands, read about the management plan in the news media.
“The secretary did not see the proposal before it went out and was not happy about it,” a senior Interior Department official said Friday afternoon.
The proposed management plan would allow large swaths of the former monument to be open to mining and drilling, and the preferred alternative identified 16 parcels that could be sold to private developers.
Among these parcels was one adjoining ranch property held by Utah lawmaker Mike Noel, a vocal leader in the campaign to reduce and block national monuments.
Noel, who handled real estate transactions for the BLM during his 22-year tenure with the agency, said he never asked the BLM to make that acreage available and that he is not interested in buying more property in Johnson Canyon, east of Kanab, where he holds extensive land and water rights.
Tribune photo by Brian Maffly Utah lawmaker Mike Noel owns this ranch in Johnson Canyon on the western edge of the Grand Staircase-Esclante National Monument in Kane County. The BLM proposed selling 120 acres adjoining his property, along with 15 other parcels of public land recently stripped out of the monument. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke overruled the plan on Friday.
“I have no idea why they are proposing to sell that,” Noel said before the Interior Department announced it was pulling back the sale. An environmental impact statement accompanying the draft plan gives no explanation why those parcels were selected.
While serving as an influential rural voice in the Utah Legislature, Noel has been the state’s leading critic of federal land management and an advocate for shrinking the 1.9 million-acre Staircase monument, designated in 1996 by then-President Bill Clinton. The lawmaker had direct access to Zinke during the secretary’s May 2017 tour of Utah.
The land-disposal provision was among many in the draft plan that disturbed environmentalists, who decry the BLM’s preferred alternative as a giveaway to the energy industry and motorized recreation.
Steve Bloch, legal director for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, called the plan “unlawful, plain and simple.”
“Trump doesn’t have the power to undo any national monuments; only Congress can do that, and Congress has taken the opposite approach by ratifying Grand Staircase numerous times over the years,” Bloch said. “With regard to BLM’s proposal in that plan to sell off public lands to the likes of Rep. [Mike] Noel, even if BLM walks this back, it only makes clear that the plan was raced through at a breakneck pace to try and do the most damage in the shortest amount of time.”
Nicole Croft of the conservation group Grand Staircase Escalante Partners said the plan represents a reversal of everything Zinke and other elected officials have said all along [when they declared] ‘This is not about mining. We are not transferring land.’ These were promises made over and over."
Noel said he suspects the BLM had sound reasons for proposing a possible sale of the parcels, especially if they were isolated and difficult to manage.
“Just because they identify it for sale doesn’t mean it will sell,” Noel said. “If the land is not accessible and blocked off by private property or up against a cliff, then what’s the point of BLM owning it? Isn’t the whole idea to have land that is accessible to the public?”
But Interior’s Bernhardt, Zinke’s second in command, says the BLM proposal to privatize these lands was “inconsistent” with department policy and would be changed.
“The failure to capture this inconsistency stops with me,” Bernhardt wrote in the memo, obtained by The Salt Lake Tribune.
Bernhardt's memo says no public lands will be sold.
“As the secretary has made clear throughout his tenure," Bernhardt said, “the Department of the Interior is opposed to the wholesale sale or transfer of public lands to states or private interests.”
But Chris Saeger, executive director for the environmental group Western Values Project, said Zinke’s reversal on the sale amounts to a “sad admission" that the monument should have never been reduced.
“He should call this a good start,” Saeger said, "and restore all the protections he and President Trump lifted in the first place.”
Crews battling the North Eden Fire that started east of Bear Lake narrowly avoided injury Thursday, when the wind-driven blaze moved in on them as they tried to fix a stalled fire engine.
Firefighters had taken two engines to the western flank when one of the vehicles stopped because of an unspecified mechanical issue, according to a news release from state fire officials. Firefighters from both engines tried to fix the vehicle but were stopped short as flames moved toward the area, cutting off their escape route.
The firefighters fled the vehicles and moved into a nearby area that had already burned, known as “the black," to escape the flames. They were unharmed, but the fire destroyed the trucks.
The North Eden Fire started Thursday afternoon. Wind blew the fire into “dense grass plains," and from there it grew so quickly firefighters couldn’t keep up, according to the release.
Crews have been able to control the fire on its western side, but it has burned an estimated 14,000 acres as it moves east into the three-corner border of Utah, Idaho and Wyoming. It was 20 percent contained Friday evening.August 17, 2018
A number of ranches are in the fire’s path, but so far no structures have been lost. No injuries have been reported.
Provo • A couple more rounds like the one he had Friday, and Utah pro Dusty Fielding might have to rethink his plans to retire as a playing professional.
Fielding, 35, who grew up in Richfield and now calls Hurricane home, shot an 8-under-par 64 in the first round of the 92nd Siegfried & Jensen Utah Open at Riverside Country Club and is tied for second place with Arizona pro Blake Cannon in the 54-hole event.
Edward Olson, a former UNLV golfer from Aptos, Calif., leads the chase for the $20,000 first-place check after firing a bogey-free 63 in the morning when conditions were slightly easier. Olson, 31, made nine birdies and nine pars in his first round at Riverside since shooting 65-69-68 last year to take fifth.
“Last year was my first time playing the course, but I absolutely love it,” Olson said. “I had a decent finish last year, so I am happy to be back. It is a wonderful tournament and I’m off to a good start.”
Former BYU golfer Patrick Fishburn, the defending champion who shot 26-under-par last year as an amateur to set a tournament record, has some work to do after shooting 71 Friday. He’s tied for 36th.
“There were zero positives today,” Fishburn said, being somewhat harsh on himself. He couldn’t remember the last time he shot over 70 at par-72 Riverside, the Cougars’ home course.
As for Fielding, the round seemingly came out of nowhere, too, for different reasons.
The former Dixie State golfer who played on the Web.com Tour in 2013 said he is “kinda transitioning” between playing golf for money and getting a “real” job.
“This might be my last tournament as a playing professional, because my golf game hasn’t been cutting it the past couple of years,” he said. “That’s my mentality right now. I have got nothing to lose.”
Would a win or a high finish change his mind?
“It could,” he said. “But in my mind right now, my playing days are about over. I would like to stay in the golf business and then compete in the Utah Section PGA events and stuff like that, though."
Fielding said he didn’t have his best game, but hit some timely drives on the key holes and didn’t make any bogeys. He drove the par-4 second hole and made a 15-footer for eagle and also eagled the par-5 13th hole.
“I caught a couple decent breaks that could have gone the other way, but kept my momentum going,” he said.
Conversely, Olson wondered what might have been. He missed 5-footers for birdies on a pair of par-5s, holes No. 5 and 7, or he could have been in course-record territory.
“That was disappointing, but I am still happy with the round, obviously,” he said. “Whether you shoot 93 or 63, it could always be better.”
Samuel Saunders of New Mexico and Zach Pritchard of Georgia are tied for fourth at 65. Colorado’s Zahkai Brown, the 2016 champion and winner of the first-place check last year because Fishburn was an amateur, is in a group tied at sixth place after a 66.
Amateurs Kirk Siddens, Blake Tomlinson and Ryan Brimley are in the group tied for ninth at 5-under that includes former BYU golfer CJ Lee and former Utah golfer Brandon Kida, who are now professionals.
92nd Siegfried & Jensen Utah Open
At par-72 Riverside Country Club, Provo
Friday’s First-Round Leaders (a-amateur)
63 — Edward Olson
64 — Dusty Fielding, Blake Cannon
65 — Samuel Saunders, Zach Pritchard
66 — Pete Fernandez, Zahkai Brown, Nicholas Mason
67 — CJ Lee, Brandon Kida, Tyler Weworski, a-Ryan Brimley, a-Blake Tomlinson, a-Kirk Siddens
68 — Garrett Fotu, Derek Butts, Davis Garner, Neil Johnson
Competing allegations say that both GOP Rep. Mia Love and Democratic Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams are using illegal campaign donations.
Call it the battle of competing complaints to the Federal Election Commission — an agency that by law cannot comment on complaints, nor confirm their existence, until after final rulings. But that does not stop groups who file from publicizing their allegations.
Earlier this week, The Salt Lake Tribune wrote an online story about Salt Lake County Republican Chairman Scott Miller alleging illegal donations to McAdams. Then McAdams’ campaign pointed out an earlier complaint by the left-leaning American Democracy Legal Fund alleging the same against Love.
“There ought to be reporting on all the FEC complaints, not just the ones that Republicans file against us,” said Alyson Heyrend, spokeswoman for McAdams. She said her campaign gave a heads-up to The Tribune about the complaint filed against Love back in February, but no story had resulted then.
The following is a look at the two complaints — which both campaigns say are groundless:
The left-leaning American Democracy Legal Fund alleges, based on earlier Utah news stories, that the Utah Republican Party gave Love $120,000 illegally by paying for her campaign mailings in 2016.
However, Love’s campaign manager Dave Hansen said, “Candidates will often have the party do mail for them because they get a better postal rate. Republicans and Democrats do it. It reduces the cost on mailings a lot.”
He added, “It’s the Utah Republican Party Victory Fund that basically funded it. There was a debt left over from it,” and he said the Love campaign “tried to raise money to help the party in lots of areas, and if they use it to pay off that debt, that’s their decision.”
But the complaint says the arrangement was “an effort to blatantly evade the United State Postal Service regulations on nonprofit mail rates,” and meant “the Love campaign accepted an excessive in-kind contribution from the Utah Republican Party to the tune of over $120,000.”
(Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Congresswoman Mia Love speaks to the Salt Lake Tribune editorial board Thursday Feb. 22 2018. (Al Hartmann/)
It said paying for the mailing became an illegal, unreported in-kind contribution. It noted parties are allowed to make coordinated expenditures on behalf of congressional campaigns, but that is capped at $54,000 — and the $120,000 far exceeded that. Also, it said no coordinated spending was reported.
It asked the FEC to order the Love campaign to repay the money, and fine Love and the party “the maximum amount allowed by law.” No ruling has been made in the case.
“It’s something that is done by both parties all the time,” Hansen said, adding he feels the campaign violated no laws.
Heyrend said the McAdams campaign did not coordinate with the American Democracy Legal Fund on its complaint, and it came independently.
The group has come under fire as existing only to sue Republicans for ethical and campaign finance violations. It was started by David Brock, a one-time conservative journalist who switched sides to work on Democratic causes.
Miller, the Salt Lake County GOP chairman, filed a complaint with the FEC last week saying two big contributors to McAdams — John and Kristi Cumming — are evading donation limits by purporting to contribute in the names of their teenage children.
Also, Miller said McAdams appears to be improperly funding his signature “Ben Bus” through his old mayoral campaign fund, which has fewer restrictions and limits on donors than the federal rules governing his current congressional campaign.
Miller said he filed the complaint independently, and not in coordination with the Love campaign.
The portion of his complaint about the Ben Bus — a decorated school bus used in parades and an ongoing tour through the district — said McAdams’ mayoral campaign bought and used it in previous years. Miller said disclosures do not show the congressional campaign bought it, or is renting it.
(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Salt Lake County Mayor, Ben McAdams, says a few words during the news conference announcing the new employment program at the First Step House, with KeyBank Foundation and Salt Lake County Housing and Community Development, Friday, June 29, 2018. (Rick Egan/)
“We are renting it from the mayoral campaign,” said Heyrend, spokeswoman for McAdams. She produced an internal campaign accounting document showing a $200 rent payment in June and there will be $200 monthly rent payments going forward. Federal law does not require campaigns to itemize expenses of $200 or less, so Heyrend said the campaign did not list this first payment on federal disclosure forms.
But Hansen, Love’s campaign manager, said McAdams has reported dozens of other expenses less than $200. “That’s also pretty cheap for renting a bus,” he said, noting it came to the penny for how much could be charged without reporting it. Heyrend said the pricing is fair for an old bus.
Heyrend said invoices for a wrap for the bus and for such things as maintenance came in just before the deadline for the last disclosure, and were paid afterward — and will appear in the disclosures for the next reporting period.
“I think that bus is resonating well with voters, and that’s what has them concerned,” Heyrend said about the GOP complaint.
In the other part of the complaint, Miller noted that the Cummings had given the maximum amount allowed to McAdams. John Cumming recently stepped down as CEO of Powdr Corp., but is still chairman of Snowbird and is chairman of American Investment Co.
The complaint alleges the Cummings evaded donation limits by giving another maximum $5,400 each in the name of their three teenage children. It is not illegal or rare for teenagers to donate to political campaigns.
“We acknowledge that it is possible that these contributions were lawfully made,” the complaint says, but calls them suspicious because two of the three had never made political donations before, and the other gave only small amounts.
The Tribune made a request through John Cumming’s office for comment but did not hear back. Miller said he had not talked to the Cumming family about the donations before including it in his complaint.
Heyrend, meanwhile, said, “It’s not unusual for campaigns to receive donations from teenagers. You should ask Mia Love if she’s ever received donations from a teenager.”
A Midvale City councilman is asking the city to reconsider its stance on allowing the Confederate flag to be used in future Harvest Days parades, calling its presence at the event last weekend “indecent.”
Dustin Gettel, who was part of the parade’s planning committee, said he was “shocked” to see members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans there, a “symbol of hate” draped across the back of their truck.
“I’m like, ‘Hmm, that’s not a real good look for us,’” Gettel told The Salt Lake Tribune on Friday. “So, you know, I just kind of brushed it off. People said, ‘Oh, they’re here every year and no one pays any attention to them and everyone just kind of looks down and pretends they don’t walk by when they’re called out in the parade.’”
But Gettel couldn’t get the image out of his head, and he posted a comment questioning the use of the symbol on his council Facebook page and in a public Facebook group of Midvale residents on Saturday. Both generated more than 100 comments — some in defense of the flag and others in opposition to it. Gettel said his position is clear.
First of all, I want to say that Midvale's 2018 Harvest Days was a smashing success in so many ways, and there are so...Posted by Dustin Gettel - Midvale City Council on Monday, August 13, 2018
“I obviously would like to see them just gone from the parade altogether,” he said, “but I know we do have a First Amendment. They do have some rights to be in the parade, but I think at the very least we could maybe get rid of that flag, since it’s pretty offensive to a lot of people. And it has no historical bearing for Midvale, Utah. This state was not a part of the Civil War.”
Gettel raised the issue again at the council’s Tuesday meeting, and the city has since made plans to meet with the group next week to see if they can come to an agreement about how to move forward, according to Mayor Robert Hale.
“It is political, and it has to be dealt with,” Hale said, noting that he thinks the city can find an agreement that will work for all parties.
The Utah chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans seems doesn’t seem to have a website or Facebook page. The national Sons of Confederate Veterans organization did not immediately return a call requesting comment Friday evening.
The local group has marched in Utah with Confederate flags in the past, including in the Draper Days parade in July 2017 and in the Herriman Days Parade in 2015. The Herriman parade entry was sandwiched between a float carrying Miss Bluffdale, a black woman, and Rep. Mia Love, the first black female Republican member of Congress. Herriman’s parade committee later apologized to Herriman residents.
As a number of Confederate statues and monuments have come under question in recent months, Gettel said the presence of the flag in Midvale’s parade must as well.
“The flag does not deserve a place of honor — it belongs only in museums and textbooks, teaching students about the dangers of racism and the American history of slavery."
Washington • As wildfires choke California and other Western states, the Trump administration pledged Thursday to work more closely with state and local officials to prevent wildfires from ever starting.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said the Forest Service and other agencies will step up efforts to cut down small trees and underbrush and set controlled fires to remove trees that serve as fuel for catastrophic blazes, including a series of deadly fires that have spread through drought-parched forests and rural communities in California.
Six firefighters have died in those wildfires.
Perdue, who toured the California fires this week, said they were “stark reminders of the immense forest-fire health crisis in this country, and the urgent need to dramatically increase our preventative forest treatments.”
While officials have boosted forest management efforts in recent years, more needs to be done, Perdue said.
“To truly protect our forests, we must increase the number and the size of our [prevention] projects across the local landscape and across boundaries, and frankly we can’t do this by ourselves,” he said at a news conference at the Capitol.
Perdue pledged a “shared stewardship” approach in which the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and other federal agencies work with state, local and tribal officials to fight and prevent wildfires.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, meanwhile, said national forests have suffered from “gross mismanagement” for decades.
“The fuel loads are up. The density of our forests is historical. We have dead and dying timber,” Zinke said at a Cabinet meeting at the White House.
“This is unacceptable that year after year we’re watching our forests burn, our habitat destroyed and our communities devastated,” Zinke added. “And it is absolutely preventable. Public lands are for everybody to enjoy and not just held hostage by these special-interest groups.”
Zinke has long complained that environmental “extremists” make it difficult for trees to be logged to reduce fire risk.
“Whether you’re a global warmist advocate or denier, it doesn’t make a difference when you have rotting timber, when housing prices are going up … yet we are wasting billions of board feet” of timber that could go to local lumber mills, he said.
The focus on wildfire comes as California and other states face longer and more destructive wildfire seasons because of drought, warmer weather attributed to climate change and homes built deeper into forests.
Yosemite National Park’s scenic valley in Northern California reopened Tuesday after a 20-day, smoke-forced closure, and hundreds of people were evacuated from Glacier National Park in Montana after a wildfire destroyed at least nine homes and cabins in one of the park’s historic districts.
In Washington state, meanwhile, officials have distributed masks to combat unhealthy air filled with smoke from wildfires that have blanketed the Northwest.
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said the current crisis underscores the importance of preventing wildfires. “It is unacceptable to me to have Northwest seniors and young people being afraid to open their doors in the morning because they are afraid of smoke,” he said.
Longer and hotter wildfire seasons are the “new normal,” said Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., “and we have to meet it with a very, very aggressive response” that includes drones, satellites and other technology.
Not all efforts will be popular, Cantwell said, noting that some Seattle-area residents opposed controlled burns this spring because they feared the smoke.
“I guarantee you now, Seattle would definitely take a little bit of smoke instead of the eventual, all-summer-long smoke that we’re getting,” she said.
Perdue and other officials said the focus on prevention could save money, noting that federal wildfire costs approached a record $3 billion last year. “There’s no quick fix,” Perdue said, but increased collaboration could eventually save money or at least “get more done with the same costs.”
Congress earlier this year created a wildfire disaster fund to help combat increasingly severe wildfires. The law sets aside more than $20 billion over eight years to allow the Forest Service and other federal agencies to end a practice of raiding non-fire-related accounts to cover wildfire costs.
The plan takes effect in October 2019.
Going into his second season as a head coach, California's Justin Wilcox fielded the inevitable question about what he has learned.
“How long do you have? I've got a notebook full. I'd hope I'd learn something,” Wilcox said last month during the Pac-12 Media Day. “You're just constantly trying to grow your program and build on what you've established.”
The Bears made some progress last year, mostly in nonconference games. Cal again will miss Utah in the Pac-12 scheduling rotation, but the Bears will visit BYU in a Sept. 8 game that ultimately may determine whether either team qualifies for a bowl.
The Bears will succeed if:
The defense improves and they can pick off a victory over a Pac-12 South team.
The schedule breakdown is fairly simple, in Cal's quest to become bowl-eligible. The Bears have to win their three nonconference games, beat North rivals Oregon State and Washington State and add a win over a South opponent, such as Colorado.
Cal’s defense features linebacker Jordan Kunaszyk, but their linebacking group and secondary each ranks No. 10 in the Pac-12, according to Athlon Sports.
Cal finished 5-7 (2-7 in conference play) in the first year under Wilcox, formerly a longtime defensive coordinator best known for his work at Boise State and Washington. The Bears are picked fourth in the Pac-12 North. Their nonconference schedule includes North Carolina and Idaho State at home and BYU on the road.
The Bears won’t succeed if:
They fail to develop more receiving threats beyond Vic Wharton III and the offense is not quite good enough to compensate for the defense’s problems.
Wharton is a star, having caught 67 passes for 831 yards last season. But three receivers transferred during the season, including Demetris Robertson, who missed most of last season with an injury after making 50 receptions in 2016.
Quarterback Ross Bowers should keep improving, and the Bears love running back Patrick Laird, who emerged with a 181-yard day vs. Weber State last September. Until then, “Not many people even knew his name, I’m sure,” Wilcox said.
Laird finished with 1,127 rushing yards in 2017, after having posted only 65 yards in his first two seasons.
Ogden • Weber State University on Friday announced plans to the construction of a new athletic complex and entry plaza at the north end of Stewart Stadium.
The 27,000-square foot building will include a new state-of-the-art football practice facility, including a strength and conditioning center and football locker rooms. A new plaza and gateway will also be constructed, turning the north end into Stewart Stadium’s main entrance.
The facility will include a new state-of-the-art strength and conditioning facility for all Wildcat student-athletes. It will also feature new football team locker rooms and a new expanded football equipment room, in addition to football coaches offices and position group meeting rooms.
The building will also include a 125-seat team room that will benefit all student-athletes. A new plaza, ticket office, and souvenir shop will also be part of the project.
“This building is transformational to our program,” Weber State Athletic Director Jerry Bovee said in a news release. “Over the last 10 years we have made great strides in improving the athletic and academic facilities for our student-athletes and this is a capstone project that will assist in the development of not only the football program but all of our 16 sports. It also allows for an expanded space for our training and nutrition needs, which will benefit all student-athletes. This is made possible through the generous donations of community members and former student-athletes.”
Added Weber State football coach Jay Hill: “This building demonstrates to recruits, players, coaches, and staff the commitment Weber State University has to its student-athletesl. This new facility is critical for our program’s progress moving forward. It will enable us to have an expanded locker room and weight room and state-of-the-art meeting rooms. It is fundamental for recruiting and the future development of our players.”
Construction will begin on Aug. 28. A groundbreaking ceremony for the building will take place prior to kickoff of the season-opening game on Sept. 15 against South Dakota.
The building is expected to be completed in time for the 2019 football season, which will mark the 100th year of football at Weber State University.
Boston • The pep talk was short and to the point, a reminder to reigning world gymnastics champion Morgan Hurd that all was not lost.
The 17-year-old had just fallen off the beam at the U.S. Classic last month, ending any serious chance she had at making a run at Simone Biles in the Olympic champion’s return to competition after a two-year break. In the moment, Hurd was frustrated.
And then Tom Forster came over. The newly appointed high-performance team coordinator for the embattled USA Gymnastics women’s elite program pulled Hurd aside and put things in perspective.
“He was like, ‘It’s OK because now is not your peak time anyways,’” Hurd said. “That was the exact mindset I had.”
It was a small moment, one of many Forster shared with various competitors as he walked the floor during the first significant meet of his tenure. He plans to do the same when the U.S. championships start on Friday night. He insists he’s not grandstanding or putting on a show or trying to prove some sort of point about a new era of transparency in the wake of the Larry Nassar scandal.
The way Forster figures it, he’s just doing what he’s always done. His title has changed. The way he acts around athletes — many of whom he’s known for years while working with the USA Gymnastics developmental program — will not.
Forster will play an integral role in figuring out which gymnasts will compete internationally for the U.S. His approach is in stark contrast to longtime national team coordinator Martha Karolyi’s aloofness. Karolyi would spend meets not on the floor but watching from a table, lips often pursed and her face betraying little. It was the same during national team camps, with Karolyi often talking to the personal coaches of the athletes rather than the athletes themselves.
That’s not Forster.
“I never envisioned being in this role, so I never really thought about sitting at that big table and just watching,” he said.
It’s a departure, one Hurd called “kind of strange” but welcome.
“He’s walking around practices and interacting with absolutely everyone,” she said. “I think it’s pretty cool.”
USA Gymnastics’ response to the scandal involving disgraced former national team doctor Larry Nassar — who abused hundreds of women, including several Olympians, under the guise of medical treatment — has included a massive overhaul of the leadership and legislative changes designed to make the organization more accountable from the top down. It has also been peppered almost non-stop with buzzwords like “culture change” and “empowerment.”
A true shift will take years. Forster understands that. Still, he’s taken steps during his first two months on the job designed to create a more open, welcoming environment.
For Margzetta Frazier, the proof came in June when her phone buzzed with a number she didn’t recognize. The 18-year-old decided in the spring she was retiring from elite gymnastics and would instead focus on her college career at UCLA. At least, that was the plan until she slid her thumb to the right and answered.
“Tom was like, ‘Hey, I know you retired, but can you come back? We need you,’” Frazier said. “I had no idea he even had my number.”
For the first time in a while, Frazier says she “felt respected” by USA Gymnastics. That wasn’t the case this spring, when she took the unusual step of texting USA Gymnastics president Kerry Perry to express her disappointment in the organization’s decision to fire senior vice president Rhonda Faehn in the middle of a national team camp. Frazier briefly posted her text to Perry on Instagram.
“I was taught to speak my mind respectfully,” Frazier said. “It was so unprofessional to have one of our top coordinators fired. I was mentally distressed. I had to say something.”
So she did. And then she retired. And then Forster called. And she couldn’t say no. So she didn’t say no. Instead, she developed a training plan with Chris Waller and 2011 world champion Jordyn Wieber and will be in Boston this weekend hoping to do enough during the next two months to earn a spot on the world championship team.
All because Forster called her out of the blue. Now Frazier views her second chance as an opportunity to help the athletes steer the culture in a more positive direction. It’s quite literally the “empowerment” that Perry talks about in action.
While Frazier understands Nassar victims — a list that includes Wieber and UCLA teammates Kyla Ross and Madison Kocian — are clamoring for change, Frazier believes the athletes still competing at the elite level can be an integral part of the process.
“We can help change things from the inside out,” Frazier said. “We are hand in hand with the survivors, 100 percent. We want to be the people on the inside helping.”
Forster knows part of his role as one of the most visible people in the sport is to facilitate the change within the elite program. When he took over in June, he talked about the need to create an environment where the athletes felt they had more of a say in how things are done.
He went to the gymnasts and asked what they’d like to see change at selection camps. They wanted open scoring like they receive during a typical meet. So he obliged.
“They have to be able to voice whatever their concern is without fear of any retaliation or that it would impact them not making a team,” Forster said.
It’s one small facet of an overhaul on many fronts over many years. There is no pat on the back or motivational chat or fist bump among teammates that will signal all is well. There shouldn’t be. The Nassar effect will linger for decades. That’s not a bad thing.
“I think we should never try to bury that stuff,” Hurd said. “It happened and it’s an awful thing that happened and such an unfortunate thing. But I don’t think we should ever try to bury that conversation because that’s how it all comes back.”
Yet Hurd, Forster and the current national team members are optimistic there is a way forward.
“I’ve read through all the manuals. There isn’t anything in any of our manuals that demands we win medals,” Forster said. “Not one. No matter what the press has said. There isn’t anything that says we have to win medals. We have to put the best team out on the floor. That’s our job, and we’re going to do it in the very best, positive way we can so that athletes have a great experience doing it. That’s the hope. Well, it isn’t hope. It’s mandatory I do it.”
Editor’s note: A more expansive version of this online article is available here. It includes a separate federal complaint against Rep. Mia Love’s campaign. Her campaign denies that complaint.
The chairman of the Salt Lake County Republican Party is alleging that Democratic Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams is receiving illegal campaign contributions in his congressional campaign against GOP Rep. Mia Love.
The McAdams campaign calls it “totally frivolous and nonsensical.”
Scott Miller, the party chairman, filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission last week saying two big contributors to McAdams — John and Kristi Cumming — are evading donation limits by purporting to contribute in the names of their teenage children.
Also, Miller said McAdams appears to be improperly funding his signature “Ben Bus” through his old mayoral campaign fund, which has fewer restrictions and limits on donors than the federal rules governing his current congressional campaign.
Miller said he filed the complaint independently, and not in coordination with the Love campaign. “I’ve been keeping my eye on McAdams for several years now and noticed several irregularities,” he said.
The portion of his complaint about the Ben Bus — a decorated school bus used in parades and an ongoing tour through the district — said McAdams’ mayoral campaign bought and used it in previous years. Miller said disclosures do not show the congressional campaign bought it, or is renting it.
“By all outward appearances, the McAdams campaign has received one or more in-kind contributions in connection with the ‘Ben Bus’ and has failed to report those,” the complaint says.
“We are renting it from the mayoral campaign,” said Alyson Heyrend, spokeswoman for McAdams. She produced an internal campaign accounting document showing a $200 rent payment in June. Federal law does not require campaigns to itemize expenses of $200 or less, so Heyrend said the campaign did not list it on federal disclosure forms.
She said invoices for a wrap for the bus and for such things as gasoline and repairs came in just before the deadline for the last disclosure, and were paid afterward — and will appear in the disclosures for the next reporting period.
“I think that bus is resonating well with voters, and that’s what has them concerned,” Heyrend said about the GOP complaint.
In the other part of the complaint, Miller noted that the Cummings had given the maximum amount allowed to McAdams. John Cumming recently stepped down as CEO of Powdr Corp., but is still chairman of Snowbird and is chairman of American Investment Co.
The complaint alleges the Cummings evaded donation limits by giving another maximum $5,400 each in the name of their three teenage children. It is not illegal or rare for teenagers to donate to political campaigns.
“We acknowledge that it is possible that these contributions were lawfully made,” the complaint says, but calls them suspicious because two of the three had never made political donations before, and the other gave only small amounts.
The Salt Lake Tribune made a request through John Cumming’s office for comment, but it did not immediately reply. Miller said he had not talked to the Cumming family about the donations before including it in his complaint.
Heyrend, meanwhile, said, “It’s not unusual for campaigns to receive donations from teenagers. You should ask Mia Love if she’s ever received donations from a teenager.”
So, Gov. Gary Herbert, what is Utah going to do with the $1 million that Union Pacific Railroad is donating to the state?
“This is going to help us have a party and celebrate like it’s 1869,” he said Thursday of the plan to mark the 150th anniversary of the May 10, 1869, completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad at Promontory Summit — when the country cheered and rejoiced at the final telegraphic message.
Union Pacific announced Thursday that it would match the $1 million appropriated by the Legislature for upcoming celebrations. Officials outlined some highlights — including the return of the original golden spike, and a visit by the world’s largest steam engine.
Herbert and Union Pacific officials even celebrated early by drinking bubbly in front of an engine, as some did during the big celebration 150 years ago — except Utah’s governor, who is a Latter-day Saint, drank sparkling apple cider.
(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Left to right Historian Brad Westwood, Gov. Gary Herbert, Clint Schelbitski Union Pacific Vice-President, Public Affairs, Doug Foxley, Spike 150 Celebration co-chair, and Nathan Anderson, Union Pacific director of public relations have a toast as they announce the 150 anniversary celebration of the Golden Spike, at the Union Pacific Intermodal Facility, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Egan/)
Doug Foxley spit it out, joking that he didn’t realize it was nonalcoholic. But the chairman of the Spike 150 commission, which is organizing the celebration, acted drunk with excitement as he ticked off a list of events the state has planned.
He vowed that it will be “the biggest and best party ever held in the state of Utah. I mean, move over Winter Olympics … we’re bringing back the golden spike,” the last rail driven to complete the railroad.
Herbert said about the transcontinental railroad: “What a feat. This was done during the Civil War. ... It changed transportation. It changed the way we did business forevermore.”
Herbert added that completing it here also made Utah the literal crossroads of the West, a nickname the state and some of its cities claim. A new inland port in Salt Lake City may use rail, trucks and planes to increase international trade, he said, and make Utah “the crossroads of the world.”
(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Gov. Gary Herbert talks about the world's largest steam locomotive that will be coming to Utah in May, to celebrate the golden spike's 150 year anniversary, at the Union Pacific Intermodal Facility, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Egan/)
Among some events outlined by Foxley and Union Pacific:
• A program and re-enactment of the final spike’s driving on May 10 at Golden Spike National Historic Site, which soon may become Golden Spike National Historic Park. A bill by U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, to make that change has passed in the House and is pending in the Senate.
• A live hourlong program will be broadcast to Utah’s schoolchildren, and Foxley said it will include a choir of children from every county in the state.
• From May 9 to 11, Union Pacific will bring the “Big Boy,” the world’s largest steam engine, along with other steam engines, for display in Ogden. The Big Boy is as long as a modern diesel engine, a school bus and a sedan — combined.
• The Utah Symphony, along with the Sacramento Symphony, the Reno Symphony and the Omaha Symphony — representing key cities on the transcontinental railroad — commissioned a musical piece by composer Zhou Tian for the celebration. The Utah Symphony will give the work’s local premiere May 18 and 19 at Abravanel Hall.
• On the evening of May 10, Foxley said, “There is going to be a major cultural celebration in Salt Lake City at the [LDS] Conference Center with the Utah Symphony, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and a major guest artist.”
• From Jan. 27 through May, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts will host an exhibition of more than 200 photos and stereographs of railroad construction, shot by Andrew Joseph Russell, photographer of the Union Pacific, and Alfred A. Hart, the photographer for the Central Pacific.
More events are listed and will be added at spike150.org.
Vatican City • The Vatican expressed “shame and sorrow” Thursday over a scathing Pennsylvania grand jury report about clergy who raped and molested children in six dioceses in that state, calling the abuse “criminally and morally reprehensible” and says Pope Francis wants to eradicate “this tragic horror.”
In a written statement using uncharacteristically strong language for the Holy See even in matters like the long-running abuse scandals staining the U.S. church, Vatican spokesman Greg Burke sought to assure victims that “the pope is on their side.”
Francis himself wasn’t quoted in the statement, and there was no mention of demands in the United States among some Roman Catholics for the resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington.
The grand jury report made public this week accused the cardinal of helping to protect some molester priests while he was bishop of Pittsburgh. Wuerl has defended his actions there while apologizing for the damage inflicted on victims.
Burke said the incidents of abuse graphically documented in the report were “betrayals of trust that robbed survivors of their dignity and their faith.”
“The church must learn hard lessons from its past,” he said, “and there should be accountability for both abusers and those who permitted abuse to occur.”
Victims and their advocates for decades have lamented that top Catholic churchmen repeatedly put the reputation of the church ahead of obligations to protect children from harm from pedophile priests.
In a sign that Pope Francis wants to end that pervasive mindset among church hierarchy, including bishops and cardinals, he recently accepted the resignation from cardinal’s rank of former Washington archbishop Theodore McCarrick amid allegations that the American prelate had engaged in sexual misconduct.
Resignations by cardinals are extremely rare, and McCarrick’s was the first time a prelate lost his cardinal’s rank in a sexual abuse scandal.
Burke said Francis “understands well how much these crimes can shake the faith and the spirit of believers and reiterates the call to make every effort to create a safe environment for minors and vulnerable adults in the church and in all of society.”
The grand jury report documented how pedophile priests were often protected by church hierarchy or moved to other postings without the faithful being told of the priests’ sexual predatory history.
The long-awaited grand jury report was full of vivid examples of horrendous abuse. In one such example, a young girl was raped by a priest visiting her while she was in a hospital after surgery to remove her tonsils. In another, a priest tied up a victim with a rope in a confessional booth, and when the victim refused to perform sex, the priest assaulted him with a crucifix.
Speaking about Francis, Burke said: “Those who have suffered are his priority, and the church wants to listen to them to root out this tragic horror that destroys the lives of the innocent.”
Even before the report was released, a series of scandals over the last few decades involving pedophile priests and systematic attempts by pastors and bishops to cover up the abuse by shuttling offenders to new parishes had rocked the faith of many Catholics in the United States.
Similar abuse and determination by protect abusers had also stained the reputation of the Catholic Church in many other countries.
Francis recently did a turnaround on how accusations by victims in Chile were viewed by the Vatican. After casting doubt on the victims’ accounts during his visit to Chile earlier this year, Francis apologized to them, hosted the victims at the Vatican and later accepted the resignations of some of the country’s bishops, who offered en masse to step down.
On Thursday, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops invited the Vatican to play a key role in investigating the scandal involving McCarrick, who allegedly engaged in sexual misconduct with minors and adult seminarians.
The conference’s president, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, said he would go to Rome to ask the Vatican to conduct a high-level investigation known as an “apostolic visitation” to deal with McCarrick’s case, working together with a group of predominantly lay experts.
After Thursday’s announcement that “Mormon” and “LDS” are no longer acceptable nicknames for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members — and that its formal title and other polysyllabic variants are preferred — the initial reaction on social media was one of surprise and amusement.
November 2017: Twitter increases limit to 280 characters
August 2018: The Prophet stresses the importance of the name The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The ground was prepared brothers and sisters!
Many practicing Latter-day Saints — the preferred moniker instead of “Mormons” for members — and faith-promoting accounts took to Twitter to parse the practical realities and effects of moving away from shorthand phrases that have come to define the Utah-based religion for generations.
(it's still a huge marketing mess)— BCC (@ByCommonConsent) August 17, 2018
“I believe in Mormonism” is now replaced by “I believe in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.” I like it. It will be a bit of an adjustment but if it puts Jesus Christ in the sentence it is well worth it. 😀— Michael Mower (@MikeLMower) August 17, 2018
While serving as a missionary in Italy, it could be a mouthful to say the name of the Church. In English, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" has 11 syllables - in Italian there are 19. #twitterstake pic.twitter.com/85HMcFxPnc— Kurt Manwaring (@fromthedesk_) August 17, 2018
Jennifer Scott, a communications professional who previously worked on the staff of former Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, suggested that the changes were meant for news organizations and other formal descriptions of the LDS Church, and not for use in the everyday, casual conversations of rank-and-file church members.
This is just a style guide change for media references though. I see no demand that people change the way they personally refer to the Church.— Jennifer Scott (@luv2db8) August 16, 2018
Perhaps supporting Scott’s argument is the official Twitter account for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which continues to use the handle @LDSchurch despite this week’s changes to its style guide, which now discourages use of the LDS acronym.
The church’s announcement, attributed to President Russell M. Nelson, stated that additional information on the changes will be forthcoming. And church spokesman Eric Hawkins was unable to provide clarification or elaboration Thursday on some specific church-produced titles and groups — such as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir — that use the “LDS” and “Mormon” descriptors.August 16, 2018
Doug Wilks, editor of the church-owned Deseret News, told The Tribune on Thursday that his staff will respect the church’s right to self-identify. And News reporter Tad Walch, who covers the faith, posted on Twitter that he will need to review the phrases he regularly uses to describe the faith.
No kidding! LOL. This will change some of the very basic phrases I use in writing about the church, too.— Tad Walch (@Tad_Walch) August 16, 2018
Other Twitter users emphasized the church’s request that, after being identified by its full name, it subsequently be described as “the church," “the Church of Jesus Christ” or “the restored Church of Jesus Christ.” A component of the faith’s doctrine is the belief that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the literal restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
The reason why Latter-day Saints should call it "the Church" is because we are the one and ONLY true Church. No longer to be called #Mormon, we are Christ's restored Church. No room for apostates/anti's. #twitterstake— Michael Crook (@TheMikeCrook) August 17, 2018
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a good title for the Lord’s church because it puts The Saviour at the centre.
My focus will be on actually putting Him at the centre of my own life and worry about my twitter handle later.
(Or until I’m told to stop)
The Mormon Land newsletter is a weekly highlight reel of developments in and about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whether heralded in headlines, preached from the pulpit or buzzed about on the back benches. Want Mormon Land in your inbox? Subscribe here.
This week’s podcast: ‘Jane and Emma’ on the big screen
(Courtesy Excel Entertainment) Danielle Deadwyler and Emily Goss portray Jane Manning and Emma Smith, respectively, in the upcoming feature film "Jane & Emma."
Emma Smith stands alone as the most famous woman in Mormon history. The wife of church founder Joseph Smith is mentioned in histories, journals, even LDS scripture.
Less known is her enduring and endearing friendship with the early church’s most noted black woman, Jane Manning James.
A forthcoming film, titled “Jane and Emma,” documents and dramatizes their relationship.
The movie’s director, Chantelle Squires, and its screenwriter, Melissa Leilani Larson, discuss the film, its title characters and their hopes for what the film might do for race relations within — and without — the church.
‘Preach My Gospel’ preaches the gay policy
The church’s hotly disputed November 2015 policy — declaring same-sex Mormon couples “apostates” and generally forbidding their children from religious rites until they turn 18 — has found a home not only in the faith’s Handbook for bishops and stake presidents but also in its training manual for missionaries.
The updated “Preach My Gospel,” a field guide of sorts for proselytizers, contains the following condition that must be met before missionaries can baptize a minor:
“The child’s primary residence is not with parents who are polygamists or in a same-sex relationship. If one or both of the child’s parents are polygamists, you must contact the mission president for additional information. For additional information regarding children of parents in same-sex relationships, see First Presidency letter, Nov. 13, 2015 (“First Presidency Clarifies Church Handbook Changes,” LDS.org) and “Church Provides Context on Handbook Changes Affecting Same-Sex Marriages,” Nov. 6, 2015 (www.mormonnewsroom.org).”
Addison Jenkins, a Brigham Young University student and an openly gay Mormon, told KUER’s Lee Hale that the addition to “Preach My Gospel” appears to be cementing in place the 2015 policy.
That exclusionary decree, he said, essentially told gay Latter-day Saints: “If you want to be gay and Mormon, OK, but you have to be Mormon. And you can’t really be gay.”
Apostle’s wife remembers challenges of single life
(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Apostle M. Russell Ballard, Dallin H. Oaks, and his wife, Kristen Oaks, after the Saturday morning session of the188th Annual General Conference in Salt Lake City, Saturday, March 31, 2018. (Rick Egan/)
A prominent LDS woman knows something about that challenge. After all, she was single for nearly 53 years — until she married apostle Dallin H. Oaks two years after his first wife died.
“I rejoiced during my single years, and I suffered through them, too,” Kristen Meredith McMain Oaks writes in the LDS Church News, “while I was discovering what Heavenly Father wanted for me.”
Kristen Oaks notes how helpful singles wards can be and how difficult the transition can be for unmarried adult Mormons when they switch to traditional “family” congregations.
“What the singles ward does provide is an environment to associate with others of similar interests and age, where being single is the norm. It is easy to feel accepted when our lives are so much like those around us,” she writes. “... For some, a move to a family ward can seem like a separation from a surrogate family and close friends. It is exacerbated by entering a residential ward and searching for a place to fit in. I personally remember how difficult it was for me as a single to sit alone in church every Sunday.”
How did she cope?
“Service and callings,” she said, “made all the difference.”
The religion of name-dropping
“Thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
So declared Joseph Smith in 1838 in a what he reported as a revelation from God.
More than 180 years later, President Russell M. Nelson proclaimed much the same thing:
“The Lord has impressed upon my mind the importance of the name he has revealed for his church, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” the 93-year-old leader said in a news release urging members, nonmembers, media and others to stop referring to the Utah-based faith by the nickname “LDS Church” or “Mormon church.”
Calling members “Mormons” is out as well. Nelson prefers “Latter-day Saints.”
Some Latter-day Saints doubt the latest renaming move will work as well. Check back in a few years.
Some claims die, but MTC abuse case lives on
(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune) McKenna Denson, the plaintiff in a lawsuit against the LDS Church, talks with the media about her lawsuit, which alleges the former Missionary Training Center president raped her. Thursday, April 5, 2018.
McKenna Denson’s headline-grabbing civil lawsuit has gotten smaller but still in play is one large question:
Did the LDS Church commit fraud by putting in charge of its flagship Missionary Training Center a man it knew had a history of sexual misconduct?
A federal judge has thrown out all of Denson’s other legal claims against the church.
Judge Dale A. Kimball also tossed all the claims against former MTC President Joseph L. Bishop, whom the Colorado woman accused of sexually assaulting her in 1984, when she was a proselytizer-in-waiting at the Provo campus. She waited too long to sue Bishop, Kimball ruled; the statute of limitations had expired.
“We’ve got to prove our case,” Denson’s lawyer Craig Vernon said, and explore “why in the world Mr. Bishop was placed at the MTC.”
Said church spokesman Eric Hawkins: “We remain confident in the legal system to evaluate these claims and determine the truth. As the church has repeatedly stated, there can be no tolerance for abuse.”
Church is moving up in Chicago
Add Chicago to the expanding list of cities where the LDS Church is buying or building housing complexes.
The Utah-based faith recently purchased a 40-story apartment tower in the South Loop, a first for the church in the nation’s Second City.
Property Reserve Inc., the religion’s real estate investment arm, acquired the 2-year-old, 397-unit high-rise, Crain’s Chicago Business reported, for an undisclosed sum.
While the sale price remains a mystery, Crain’s noted the building was refinanced in December with a nearly $149 million loan from a PRI affiliate.
The church built a 30-plus-story apartment tower across the street from its temple in Philadelphia and plans to put 240 apartments and a dozen town houses in a mixed-use development near its Mesa, Ariz., temple, which is being renovated. Of course, the church also erected multiple apartment and condominium towers in the heart of Salt Lake City as part of its City Creek Center.
Where did early LDS leaders consider settling before opting to trek to Utah (Texas, for one, came up)? How did they run Joseph Smith’s presidential campaign (with a focus on minority rights)? What did they think about threats to religious freedom (concerns that persist to this day)?
Those answers and more are a click away with the new online availability of minutes from the so-called Council of Fifty.
In March 1844, Smith formed this group with about 50 of his closest associates and saw it as the beginning of the literal kingdom of God on earth.
The council, he said, “was designed to be got up for the safety and salvation of the saints by protecting them in their religious rights and worship.”
The high-ranking members met in secret but openly discussed theology and theocracy, structures and strictures, governments and governance.
Belle and the Beast invite you to their temple sealing?
(Courtesy of Katie Abernathy Hoyos) A phone case that shows Disney characters in front of the LDS temple in Salt Lake City has taken the internet by storm.
Mormons and Disney; Disney and Mormons.
The twain recently met in the form of a phone case sporting the lead couple from the 1991 classic “Beauty and the Beast” strolling hand in hand outside downtown Salt Lake City’s iconic LDS temple — not your typical newlyweds staging a photo shoot after their “sealing.”
This peculiar blend became so popular that the item sold out online.
Want to read more? Be our guest. Click here.
Plains speaking from female leaders
(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Sharon Eubank, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, speaks at the General Women's Session of the 187th Semiannual General Conference of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. (Trent Nelson/)
Three high-ranking LDS women’s leaders visited Mormons young and old — along with religious and civic authorities — in four Plains states last week.
For starters, according to a news release, Sharon Eubank, director of LDS Charities and first counselor in the Relief Society’s general presidency, met with Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert and the president and CEO of Lutheran Family Services, Stacy Martin, about outreach to refugees.
Becky Craven, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency, spoke in Wichita, Kan., and Lisa L. Harkness, first counselor in the Primary general presidency, traveled to Iowa City.
The three female leaders also hosted training broadcasts and devotionals for area Mormons from four states: Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri.
“I love the humidity,” Craven, who grew up in the Kansas City area, said in the release. “I have reflected back on the times in the past when I was a young woman and the things that happened to me during that time. … So to me this is sacred ground.”
From Japan with love
(Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) Gary E. Stevenson, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, speaks during the morning session of the 186th LDS General Conference at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Saturday, April 2, 2016. (Chris Detrick/)
Japanese Mormons recently enjoyed a first: a face-to-face Q&A with an LDS apostle — the whole discussion in their native tongue.
Named to the apostleship in 2015, Stevenson spent nearly a decade serving the LDS Church in Asia, first as a young missionary in the Japan Fukuoka Mission and later as a mission president and area president.
He has called the Far East his “second home.”
Quote of the week
Mormon Land is a weekly newsletter written by David Noyce and Peggy Fletcher Stack. Subscribe here.
For NBA beat writers, the schedule release is a big occasion: it determines where we’ll be every day for at least six months.
In this week’s edition of the Weekly Run podcast, Tony Jones and new Salt Lake Tribune Jazz beat writer Andy Larsen break down Utah’s 2018-19 schedule. Will the Jazz be able to navigate the early schedule better than last year? What are some of the best and worst trips?
We also talk about Rudy Gobert. Will he take on more of a leadership role, or will he allow Donovan Mitchell to do that? Can he play the way he did in the second half of the year all year long? And what’s next in his development?
And how does Derrick Favors handle his role, now that he’s signed a new contract? Can he develop a corner 3-point shot? Of course, we also discuss Ekpe Udoh and Tony Bradley.
Here’s a rundown of this week’s podcast:
At 3:10 • Is the schedule easier or more difficult than expected?
At 7:05 • How will the Jazz handle the early road-heavy slate?
At 14:55 • Will Rudy Gobert be able to stay healthy and play with full focus all season long?
At 18:10 • What is the worst trip on the schedule? What’s the best trip?
At 22:30 • More Rudy Gobert talk.
At 29:25 • Derrick Favors embracing his role after a new contract.
At 35:45 • What does Ekpe Udoh bring?
At 37:25 • What role will Tony Bradley play in year 2?
You can subscribe and listen on iTunes. Or, hey, just listen below on SoundCloud:
Three people have been charged with kidnapping a West Valley teenager and holding him for ransom.
West Valley Police said the 17-year-old boy was abducted Monday near 3500 S. Redwood Road and held in a room at a Motel 6 in South Salt Lake. According to court documents, the teen was taken at gunpoint and the suspects “demanded a cash ransom” from the teen's mother, telling her “that they would kill or do bodily harm to the victim if their demands were not met” — and they wanted $5,000.
The charging document reports that the “suspects admitted kidnapping victim for money.” And the teenager “believed if he did not go with them his mother would likely be hurt.”
According to WVCPD spokeswoman Roxeanne Vainuku, the Utah County Major Crimes Task Force learned of the kidnapping while workin an unrelated case and alerted West Valley Police and the FBI.
Three Phoenix residents — Juan Carlos Moreno Trinidad, 41, Issa Al-Sadoon, 26, and Nadia Avalos, 31, were arrested Tuesday by West Valley police. On Thursday, they were charged with aggravated kidnapping, theft by extortion and weapons charges in 3rd District Court .
Authorities located the teenager and the three suspects at the motel, and took one of the suspects into custody when he left the room and went to a rented car. According to the charging document, a firearm was found inside the car “and a large knife was found on [his] waistband.”
The other two suspects were talked into surrendering; the teenager was freed unharmed; and a second firearm, several phones and a “small amount of a crystal-like substance that field tested positive for methamphetamine” were found in the room.
According to police, this was not a random kidnapping; the suspects singled out the teenager's mother because of what they said was a drug-related debt.
Court documents state that one of the suspects “admitted to being addicted to heroin and said he was going through withdrawals.”
Unified Police are asking for the public’s help to track down a sexual assault suspect who has accosted several women on or near the Jordan River Parkway in Taylorsville.
According to Sgt. Melody Gray, the suspect has been “grabbing or hitting females on their buttocks and vaginal area" on the trail between 4100 South and 4500 South.
“The suspect has been progressively getting bolder with his actions and we would like to stop him from continuing,” Gray said in a prepared statement.
The man is described as between 20 and 30 years old, between 5-feet 9-inches and 6 feet tall with a skinny/athletic build and black hair. He has been seen “running on the trail behind the victims and hiding in bushes with a backpack,” Gray said, adding that police are looking for any other victims who have not reported attacks to come forward.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Unified Police Department at 801-743-7000.
As a precaution, Main Street was closed for several hours and TRAX traffic was delayed because of a gas leak near the Grand America Hotel on Friday.
The hotel itself was not evacuated; southbound Main re-opened about 11:45 a.m., northbound Main was re-opened not long after. TRAX returned to its regular schedule about 12:20 p.m.
According to a Dominion Energy spokesman, a crew marking underground gas lines was in the area when they detected gas. A Dominion crew arrived and discovered a small area in the parking strip on the southwest corner of the hotel at 555 S. Main Street where sensors indicated 100 percent gas.
Natural gas ignites only when it is a 5-15 percent.
Crews worked to “pinch off” the plastic line both north and south of the area before repairing the leak, said Dominion’s Don Porter. A small leak, perhaps smaller than a paper-hole punch, was found and repaired on a four-inch plastic line.
UTA stopped running TRAX trains through the area, setting up bus bridges and tweeting out adjusted routes.
Honolulu • Mormon critics are asking the IRS to investigate allegations that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints uses a Hawaii cultural center to commit tax fraud.
Gay-rights activist and Mormon critic Fred Karger delivered a complaint to a Honolulu IRS office Thursday asking for an investigation into possible tax abuses involving the Polynesian Cultural Center, Brigham Young University-Hawaii and a Hawaii land management company.
Gay-rights activist and Mormon critic Fred Karger stands outside the Federal Building in Honolulu on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, holding a complaint his group filed against the Mormon church with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Mormon critics are asking the IRS to investigate allegations that the church uses a Hawaii cultural center to commit tax fraud. (AP Photo/Jennifer Sinco Kelleher) (Jennifer Sinco Kelleher/)
The complaint comes after Mormon critics aired television ads last year seeking information that could harm the church’s tax-exempt status.
A church spokesman declined to comment. An IRS spokeswoman says the agency doesn't comment on taxpayer cases and doesn't confirm whether there's an investigation.
Karger says it's unlikely the tax-exempt status will be revoked, but he hopes the attention forces changes. He's also seeking investigations from other government agencies.
The Utah-based church has more than 16 million members worldwide, including 74,000 in Hawaii.
The envelope from Hawaii is postmarked Dec. 6, 1941. Inside is the last letter 19-year-old Marine Pfc. Robert Kimball Holmes sent home to his father in Salt Lake City.
The next day, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Holmes was serving aboard the USS Oklahoma and died with other Marines and sailors aboard it.
Holmes’ nephew, Bruce Holmes, of Sandy, on Thursday thought of his grandfather, who died in 1977, when discussing the funeral Monday for the Marine. (Robert Holmes’ mother died in 1938.) He tried to imagine his grandfather receiving that letter days or weeks after learning his son had perished.
“It must have just really rattled him after his son’s already dead,” Bruce Holmes said. “Gosh. That’d get ya.”
Now, nearly 77 years after the young Marine’s death, Robert Holmes is finally returning home. Thanks to a recent DNA match, a casket carrying his remains will arrive Friday night at Salt Lake City International Airport. A military funeral is set for 10 a.m. Monday at the Salt Lake City Cemetery.
FILE - In this May 24, 1943, file photo, the capsized battleship USS Oklahoma is lifted out of the water at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii. The military says it has identified 100 sailors and Marines killed when the USS Oklahoma capsized during the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor 76 years ago. The milestone comes two years after the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency dug up nearly 400 sets of remains from a Hawaii to identify the men who have been classified as missing since the war. (AP Photo, File)
Bob Holmes, as he was called, was the youngest of seven children. All of his siblings are dead. Bruce Holmes, 76, said his older brother, who remembers his uncle, will speak at the funeral and receive the folded flag.
Bob Holmes attended South High School, which is now the Salt Lake Community College campus on State Street. Bruce Holmes said his uncle enlisted in the Marines at age 18. He was 19 when he was serving aboard the Oklahoma.
Years after his uncle’s death, he said, a man visited another of his uncles. The man said he served with Bob Holmes aboard the Oklahoma, gave the brother a photograph of the young Marine holding a rifle with his platoon and said he saw him as the ship went down, shooting at Japanese planes overhead with his pistol.
“I guess you do what you can do,” Bruce Holmes surmised.
In May 2017, Bruce Holmes read an article about a Pearl Harbor sailor from Monroe, Navy Musician 1st Class Elliott Deen Larsen, whose remains were identified and returned for burial. Holmes decided to submit a DNA sample to the U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency to see if it could find his uncle’s remains.
Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune The Navy Honor Guard rests their hands on the casket of Elliott Larsen whose remains finally came home to the Monroe City Cemetery during graveside service in Monroe, Utah Friday May 26, 2017. Larsen's family recently learned that he died on the USS Oklahoma at Pearl Harbor.
One of Bruce Holmes’ female cousins already had submitted DNA, but he said the agency could not confirm a match. Male DNA was needed.
“About a year later," he said, “I got a call saying they had a match.”
On Thursday, Bruce Holmes had to stop and think of a word to describe how Monday will feel. The family has wanted Bob Holmes’ remains for decades. So Monday, the Sandy resident said, will be “satisfaction day.”
Washington - Aretha Franklin, who died Thursday at 76, was more than the undisputed “Queen of Soul.” She was one of the most important musicians of our time, a genius who soared above genres and expectations to create music that will live forever.
She was not an opera singer, yet she brought down the house at the Grammys in 1998 when she filled in for an ailing Luciano Pavarotti and delivered an unforgettable version of the Puccini aria "Nessun Dorma." She was not a jazz singer, but her renditions of standards such as "Love for Sale" and "Misty" were cited by the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz in awarding her the organization's highest honors. She was not primarily known as a gospel singer, but I defy anyone to hear her sing "Precious Lord" and not feel the spirit.
In 1972, veteran rock critic Robert Christgau set out to "explode the Aretha Franklin myth," using her newly released album, "Young, Gifted and Black," as his vehicle. But after listening to the LP he called it a "triumph" and declared: "Yes, yes, Aretha Franklin is a genius."
Jerry Wexler, the legendary producer at Atlantic Records who shepherded much of Franklin's oeuvre, wrote a piece for Rolling Stone in 2004 in which he recalled the day she told him about her idea for reworking a song that had already been a hit for the great Otis Redding. "It was already worked out in her head," Wexler wrote.
The song was titled "Respect." When Redding heard Franklin's version, Wexler recalled, he said simply, "She done took my song."
Franklin took a lot of people's songs. Dionne Warwick's version of "I Say a Little Prayer," written for her by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, is better than good; she navigates the song's tricky changes in time signature expertly, dancing across the melody. But when Franklin gets her hands on that same song, good Lord in heaven. She turns a bouncy little tune into an anthem of love, yearning and commitment. The quick switches from 4-4 time to 3-4 and back again are still there, but you don't even notice them because all you hear is Franklin's glorious voice telling a story that builds and builds. When she breaks into the chorus for the final time, she says the word "ever" in three very different ways, and just melts every listening heart. Then finally, in the coda, she gives us a moment to catch our collective breath.
"It's a better record than the record we made," Bacharach once admitted to NPR.
Or consider a song like "Angel" from the 1973 album "Hey Now Hey (The Other Side of the Sky)." As a song, to tell the truth, it isn't much to write home about. Cassandra Wilson, acclaimed as one of the best jazz singers alive, covered it in 1991 to little effect. Few others have bothered to try -- perhaps because Franklin's original version is transcendent. Her voice gradually rising in pitch and swelling in volume, she gets to the word "angel" for the last time and makes it "an-geh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-el," turning two syllables into eight and a ho-hum composition into a masterpiece.
Franklin was blessed with great talent. Especially in her earlier recordings, you can hear that her voice had tremendous range, including a powerful upper register. Her father was the pastor of a Detroit church that was known for fiery sermons and sweet music, and she learned piano as a young girl, a skill that served her well. Producer Wexler encouraged her to play on her records.
“She was a brilliant pianist, a combination of Mildred Falls — Mahalia Jackson’s accompanist — and Thelonious Monk,” Wexler wrote. “In other words, Aretha brought a touch of jazz to her gospel piano.”
Franklin also had an acute sense of history. She broke through with "Respect" in 1967, just as the civil rights movement was breaking through. The song became a statement not just of women's empowerment but of African American empowerment as well.
In the end, though, it was Franklin’s brilliant musicianship that allowed her to shape her talent and her ideas into an epochal body of work. Her music was always soulful, whether she was singing a call-and-response gospel number or a spun-sugar confection aimed at the pop charts. Her use of melisma was impeccably tasteful — always just enough, never too much. She told stories in a way that made you dance, cry, love, laugh, even try to sing along.
She was a towering, once-in-a-generation vocal artist. This is a very sad day.
Eugene Robinson writes a twice-a-week column on politics and culture and hosts a weekly online chat with readers. In a three-decade career at The Washington Post, Robinson has been city hall reporter, city editor, foreign correspondent in Buenos Aires and London, foreign editor, and assistant managing editor in charge of the paper’s Style section. Eugene Robinson’s email address is [email protected].
Welcome to The Salt Lake Tribune’s inaugural News Quiz, where you can prove just how up-to-date you are on what’s happening in and around Utah. If you’re using The Salt Lake Tribune mobile app, click here. A new quiz will post every Friday morning.
For clarification and fact checking — but hopefully not cheating — purposes, you can find the stories referenced in each question here: Question 1, Question 2, Question 3, Question 4, Question 5, Question 6, Question 7, Question 8, Question 9, Question 10, Question 11, Question 12.
Ogden • Authorities say evidence found during an Ogden-area traffic stop helped lead to an arrest in the killing of a gunshot victim whose body was found at a transient camp a short time later.
Ogden police say the man arrested in the killing, 35-year-old Cory Fitzwater, was a passenger in a car stopped early Thursday by Weber County sheriff's deputies about an hour before the victim's body was found at the transient camp.
A gun and drugs were found in the car, and investigators later determined that a bullet casing found next to the victim was fired from the gun found in the vehicle.
The victim’s identity was not released.
Remember last year, when everyone was eyeing the season-opening Alabama-Florida State game as one of the most anticipated matchups?
The third-ranked Seminoles lost that game and several more, barely finishing with a winning record.
Even late in the season, a huge showdown between two top teams might not mean as much in hindsight. Consider the Iron Bowl between No. 1 Alabama and No. 6 Auburn. The Crimson Tide lost but still went on to win the national title.
So predicting the most important games of the regular season is a tricky proposition, but with that caveat out of the way, there are several matchups that already stand out when looking through this year's schedule. Here are a few of those games to watch in 2018:
Michigan at Notre Dame (Sept. 1)
Jim Harbaugh is 28-11 since taking over the Wolverines. That's a clear improvement from where Michigan was, but a bit underwhelming considering the hype and expectations that accompanied Harbaugh's arrival. Specifically, the Wolverines have struggled against their big rivals, going 1-5 against Ohio State and Michigan State. This year's Michigan team has the potential to be terrific after adding transfer quarterback Shea Patterson , but it also faces a brutal schedule that includes road games against Notre Dame, Michigan State and Ohio State. Win this opener against the Irish, and it's a big step forward for Harbaugh's program. Lose, and the honeymoon is well and truly over.
LSU vs. Miami (Sept. 2)
The Hurricanes took a 10-0 record into their regular-season finale in 2017. Then a loss at Pittsburgh started a three-game losing streak that took some of the shine off Miami's resurgence. Both LSU and Miami may have tougher games down the road in conference play, but the winner of this early-season showdown in Arlington, Texas, will earn some immediate buzz.
Oklahoma at TCU (Oct. 20)
TCU takes on Ohio State in a huge nonconference matchup Sept. 15. If the Horned Frogs win that one, then this showdown a month later with the Sooners becomes even more intriguing. TCU had one of the nation's top rushing defenses last year, but Oklahoma's Rodney Anderson gained 151 yards on the ground against the Horned Frogs .
UCLA at Oregon (Nov. 3)
Chip Kelly's debut season at UCLA includes a trip to Oregon to face the Ducks. Even if neither team turns out to be a title threat in the Pac-12, this should be quite a scene when the star coach takes on his former team. See also: Dan Mullen and Florida playing at Mississippi State on Sept. 29.
Auburn at Georgia (Nov. 10)
These Southeastern Conference rivals split two meetings three weeks apart toward the end of last season. Auburn won 40-17 in November, only for Georgia to take the rematch 28-7 in the SEC championship game. There's every possibility that this matchup could impact the title race in both SEC divisions.
Wisconsin at Penn State (Nov. 10)
Given the uncertainty surrounding Urban Meyer at Ohio State , it may be Wisconsin that is the Big Ten’s most likely playoff team. The Badgers appear to have a smooth path through their division, but they’ll have a lot to prove in a pair of crossover matchups against teams from the East. Wisconsin plays at Michigan on Oct. 13 and has this trip to face the Nittany Lions.
Ogden • It’s easy to find someone with a love for bicycles in Utah, but Mark Johnson looks at cycling a little different than most.
"I want to ride a bike that's kind of dangerous, that's a little sketchy, that's a little scary," said Johnson.
This hunt for a treacherous bike is what led to Johnson riding around Central Ogden on a summer afternoon atop a giant steel and scrap-metal tricycle known as "The Mastodon." The contraption is just the latest homemade set of wheels that he has built for UpCycle: Bikes and Boards. Johnson hopes to start a business taking old bikes and scraps and rebuilding them into rideable pieces of art.
On Tuesday, Aug. 8, the Mastodon was circling outside of the Ogden Bicycle Collective, a non-profit bike shop. Johnson came by the shop to use the shared tools and community work benches. After a recent crash on the bike, he was looking to straighten the 4 foot long front forks and find new handlebars.
Johnson is built like a jiu-jitsu instructor — which he is — with sleeve tattoos, a greying beard and a tight knot of dreadlocks. While focused on the technical aspects of repairing the Mastodon, he also has an infectious laugh as he and the shop mechanics try to figure out ways to repair a bike that is unlike any other.
In this Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018 photo, Mark Johnson unloads his homemade contraptions known as "The Mastodon" at the Ogden Bicycle Collective in Ogden, Utah. The contraption is just the latest homemade set of wheels that he has built for UpCycle: Bikes and Boards. Johnson plans to start a business taking old bikes and scraps and rebuilding them into rideable pieces of art. (Benjamin Zack/Standard-Examiner via AP) (Benjamin Zack/)
"You never know what he's going to come in with," said J.P. Orquiz, the head mechanic at the collective. On this day, some repairs could be done with a single wrench, while others involved Orquiz and Johnson standing on the bike and using scraps they found around the shop to try and bend the frame.
"Every time I come in here, I borrow some tool that they have to dust off," said Johnson.
When he first came up with the idea for UpCycle, Johnson says he quickly had another realization: "I don't know what the hell I'm doing."
After a little digging, he found out about the Thursday night bicycle mechanic classes held at the collective. Along with the experience he gained at the classes, the shop also became a source for recycled bike parts and frames. That knowledge and raw materials are now being combined into not only the Mastodon, but other UpCycle machines like "the dog bike," ''the surf bike" and "the murder bike."
"They're unique," said Johnson. "Not everyone has a bike like that. Actually, not everyone wants a bike like that."
Johnson's moving sculptures are built for adults, but he describes the designs as ideas that would scare his mother mixed with childlike creativity. The Mastodon, for example, comes from a melding of his own ideas and inspiration from his 9-year-old son's drawings of prehistoric animals.
"When you're a kid, you have all of these ideas that we kind of mash down because we're trying to be adults. The ideas are still there. They're just buried. I try to dig up the old stuff," said Johnson.
In this Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018 photo, Mark Johnson attaches new handlebars to one of his homemade bikes at the Ogden Bicycle Collective in Ogden, Utah. Johnson took mechanic classes at the non-profit bike collective before he started building his own bicycles. (Benjamin Zack/Standard-Examiner via AP) (Benjamin Zack/)
Officially, Johnson wants UpCycle to be a formal business, but he doesn't have much concern about the actual business side of it. His current goal is to have 20 rigs ready to sell next year at Ogden's farmers market. If he sells those bikes, he'll start looking at plans to expand.
“If they don’t sell,” said Johnson, “then I’ll have 20 bikes and that’s awesome. Either way, it’s win-win.”
Dear Mr. President:
Former CIA director John Brennan, whose security clearance you revoked on Wednesday, is one of the finest public servants I have ever known. Few Americans have done more to protect this country than John. He is a man of unparalleled integrity, whose honesty and character have never been in question, except by those who don’t know him.
Therefore, I would consider it an honor if you would revoke my security clearance as well, so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency.
Like most Americans, I had hoped that when you became president, you would rise to the occasion and become the leader this great nation needs.
A good leader tries to embody the best qualities of his or her organization. A good leader sets the example for others to follow. A good leader always puts the welfare of others before himself or herself.
Your leadership, however, has shown little of these qualities. Through your actions, you have embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation.
If you think for a moment that your McCarthy-era tactics will suppress the voices of criticism, you are sadly mistaken. The criticism will continue until you become the leader we prayed you would be.
William H. McRaven
William H. McRaven, a retired Navy admiral, was commander of the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command from 2011 to 2014. He oversaw the 2011 Navy SEAL raid in Pakistan that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
When Megan Browning started her graduate program at the University of Utah a year after having her first son, finding a place to breastfeed seemed like more of a challenge than any of the chemistry coursework.
There weren’t any private rooms in the department building where she could go to pump. There weren’t any refrigerators to store the milk in bottles until she could tote it home. There weren’t any other mothers there who could give advice or point her to one of the few designated lactation spaces on campus, known mostly by word of mouth.
So a few months in, Browning said, “I pretty much had to wean my son.”
Bruce is now 5 years old, and he’s got a little brother, Clark, who’s 1. Before she had her second son, Browning, 30, decided she didn’t want to “surprise wean” again and lobbied university administrators to put a breastfeeding room in the Thatcher Building for Biological and Biophysical Chemistry. They did in January.
But the school also took one more step to help Browning and others with young kids: It added a feature to its campus map this month that pinpoints which buildings have special rooms for nursing moms. That way, students and staffers can look online and find one close to them.
“We’re such a large, spread-out campus, it was just very difficult before to find where those spaces were,” said Shauna Lower, director of the U.’s Center for Child Care and Family Resources.
When Browning first tried the new map feature, she immediately looked for the lactation station that she helped set up in the chemistry department. “There’s my space!” she shouted. She also scanned over the 21 blue dots showing the other buildings that have at least one, including the Marriott Library and the Union.
“It’s so much more convenient to have it on the campus map. If I’m on upper campus for a seminar then I know where to go,” Browning said.
Those who are nursing kids can breastfeed or pump wherever they want on campus, Lower said. The rooms are just for those who prefer to do so in private. Most have a cushioned chair, a sink and a mirror. The doors have a small sign with a mother holding a baby and a lock. A few have fridges for storage.
Before the new map, the Center for Child Care had a list on its website of the different locations. But it wasn’t always up-to-date and it wasn’t as easy to find. It also wasn’t available until five years ago.
“Before that, we didn’t really have any idea where the lactation stations were, how many we had,” Lower said.
Students can go to map.utah.edu, select the “map features” drop-down menu, click “accessibility” and turn on the “lactation rooms” filter. They can also find gender-neutral restrooms (there are more than 60), bus stops (more than 40) and places to eat (28).
The university does not have a lactation room in every building, Lower said, but tries to place them in areas with high need or high traffic. Its campus plan also requires that any new building or any older building undergoing at least $10 million in renovations create a private nursing spot.
Supporting student-parents, Lower said, is a university-wide goal. Giving them a space on campus — and a way to find that space — she hopes, will help them feel supported and, ultimately, keep them enrolled until they graduate.
Browning is starting the fourth year of her five-year Ph.D. program this fall. She pumps twice a day and packs the bottles home in a cooler for her baby. And she promotes the lactation room when talking to chemistry recruits considering whether to attend the U.
“You don’t necessarily have to put off your life,” she tells them. “This makes it feel more welcoming for moms to come and do chemistry.”
A 6-year-old Utah girl’s sneaky Barbie spending spree has become an internet sensation, and an unexpected windfall for Primary Children’s Hospital.
Catherine Lunt had ordered one Barbie — a purple Barbie Dreamtopia Rainbow Cove Fairy Doll, specifically — for her daughter Katelyn, a reward for doing extra chores around the house. When she gave Katelyn permission to check on the order’s status on Amazon.com, Katelyn “went crazy” and ordered what she later called a “Barbie collection.”
Lunt didn’t notice until the next day when she was checking on a different order and saw a long list of Barbie dolls and accessories she didn’t order — like the Barbie Dolphin Magic Transforming Mermaid Doll, which comes with a water-squirting dolphin and costs $18.77.
The toys totaled close to $400. Some items Lunt was able to cancel, but many were already shipped.
The following day, a delivery van showed up at the Lunts’ home in Pleasant View, north of Ogden, with a stack of boxes nearly as tall as Katelyn, who turned 6 on Aug. 2.
“It was hilarious so we had to take pictures,” Lunt said in an email. “Her face pretty much says it all.”
The photos were sent to Katelyn’s cousin, Ria Diyaolu, in Scottsdale, Ariz., who posted them on Twitter last Saturday.
“Next thing you know, she’s getting all kinds of hits on Twitter,” Lunt said. “It was a little crazy, and very surprising.”
The tweet, in which Diyaolu calls Katelyn “my badass little cousin” and includes a photo of the girl standing by the Amazon packages and grinning devilishly, got more than 26,000 retweets and nearly 79,000 likes.
My badass little cousin ordered $300 worth of toys w/o my aunt & uncle knowing. This is a picture of how everyone found out. pic.twitter.com/wHWVhsMBYI— princess ria (@R_tatas) August 11, 2018
The Lunts considered sending the packages back, but decided instead to donate the excess Barbie dolls and accessories to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, where Katelyn spent a week when she was born in 2012. A hospital spokeswoman said the Lunts brought the packages to Primary on Tuesday.
“I guess we used it more as a teaching moment than a time for punishment,” Lunt said.
A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld the conviction of the man who shot and killed a Millard County sheriff’s deputy in 2010.
Roberto Miramontes Roman was sentenced last year to life in federal prison — plus 80 years — for the death of Deputy Josie Greathouse-Fox during a traffic stop outside Delta. A federal jury found Roman guilty of killing Fox five years after a jury acquitted him of similar charges during a trial in state court.
In an appeal to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, Roman’s attorneys argued that the federal jury should have been able to consider the fact that the state jury had deemed him not guilty of the deputy’s killing. The circuit court judges disagreed, ruling that the evidence had little “probative value” and saying it would have been unfair to the government, and could have confused or misled the jury.
Roman’s attorneys have also argued that it’s double jeopardy for the man to stand trial in federal court after being acquitted in state court. The 10th Circuit found in 2015 that the second trial did not violate the law because of “dual sovereignty doctrine,” which holds that two crimes are committed when a defendant commits a single act that violates state and federal laws.
(Photo courtesy of Millard County Sheriff's Office) | Josie Greathouse-Fox
Roman says he didn’t shoot Fox during the Jan. 5, 2010, traffic stop. He testified at both trials that he was in a car with Fox’s brother Ryan Greathouse at the time and says it was Greathouse who shot and killed her with an AK-47 after she pulled them over. The men had been smoking methamphetamine.
Greathouse died of a drug overdose in Las Vegas months after his sister’s death. Before he died, Greathouse told deputies he bought drugs from Roman and another man shortly before his sister was killed, authorities said.
Roman initially confessed to killing Fox but professed his innocence during the trials, saying that Greathouse had threatened him.
To all those supposed constitutional conservatives out there, consider this your call to arms: The First Amendment is under direct attack, and this time from a much more powerful foe than misguided college freshmen.
By whom I mean: the ostensible leader of the free world.
Again and again, President Trump has used the weight of his office and the broader federal government to inflict financial damage upon critics, whistleblowers, journalists and peaceful protesters for exercising their rights to free speech.
Trump's most recent salvo involves former CIA director John Brennan. During his long career in intelligence, Brennan briefed Republican and Democratic presidents alike. Which makes his fierce criticism of Trump, and his characterization of Trump's Helsinki performance as "treasonous," all the more biting.
Such comments led Trump to revoke Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. The administration said Brennan no longer needed clearance because it didn't plan to call on him for consultations. But high-level clearances are valuable for private-sector work as well.
In other words, this was about shutting Brennan's mouth by going after his wallet.
Such actions appear unprecedented. More may be in the offing, however, given that the president is considering stripping clearances from at least nine other former high-level officials.
And that is but one way Trump has tried to silence critics just this week.
A day earlier, Trump's campaign said it had filed an arbitration action against Omarosa Manigault Newman alleging that the former White House aide broke a 2016 nondisclosure agreement by publishing her recent tell-all book.
One need not be a fan of the "Apprentice" villain to understand this as an attempt to visit financial injury upon yet another critic — and, by extension, to intimidate other campaign and White House alumni, who also signed likely unenforceable confidentiality agreements.
That the party bringing the claim here is technically a campaign, rather than, say, the Justice Department, doesn't matter. The First Amendment is supposed to protect those critical of their government, including critics of its highest officeholder, from political retribution. And political retribution laundered through an election campaign at the president's instruction is retribution all the same.
Elsewhere — again, in recent days — the president and his minions have called the press the enemy of the people and the opposition party. Previously they have blacklisted reporters and entire news outlets (including The Post) whose questions Trump disliked. When unhappy with Post coverage in particular, Trump has threatened government action against Amazon in an apparent attempt to financially punish its chief executive, Jeffrey P. Bezos, who independently owns the paper.
Journalists and media owners are hardly the only ones whose job or financial security Trump has targeted from his bully pulpit. He called for the firing of National Football League players who kneel in protest during the national anthem. NFL owners, in a secretly recorded meeting in October, expressed concern about the president's impact on their bottom line.
Curiously, Republican politicians and conservative pundits who call themselves staunch defenders of the Constitution have allowed, and at times encouraged, the president to run roughshod over the First Amendment.
Republican Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.), John Neely Kennedy (La.) and Ron Johnson (Wis.) celebrated Trump's revocation of Brennan's security clearance.
Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), who as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee oversaw a hearing titled "Free Speech 101: The Assault on the First Amendment on College Campuses," refused to condemn Trump's calls for the firing of NFL players engaged in peaceful protest. Instead, in September, he attacked the media for giving the "false impression" that Trump spent too much time attacking the NFL.
Republican lawmakers have likewise done precious little to push back against Trump's attacks on a free press. The toothless Senate resolution adopted by unanimous consent Thursday affirming that "the press is not the enemy of the people" did not mention Trump at all.
And who can blame these lawmakers?
Polls in the past couple of years have shown that pluralities and, quite often, majorities of Republicans say that they, too, consider the media the enemy of the people; believe that the president should have the authority to close news outlets that he believes behave badly; and favor firing NFL players who refuse to stand for the anthem and stripping citizenship from anyone who burns the flag.
Nonetheless: If Republican lawmakers actually give a damn about upholding our most cherished democratic values, now is the time to stand up and fight — and not to be intimidated, whether by the president or his supporters, into silence.
Catherine Rampell is an opinion columnist at The Washington Post. She frequently covers economics, public policy, politics and culture, with a special emphasis on data-driven journalism. Before joining The Post, she wrote about economics and theater for the New York Times. Catherine Rampell’s email address is [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter, @crampell.
I cannot believe the things that Omarosa Manigault Newman shed light on in her new tell-all, “Unhinged,” and her steady trickle of tapes. Among the stunning Trump revelations:
• On Nov. 8, 2016, millions of people across America, including a majority of white women, went to polling places and voted to elect Donald Trump president of the United States.
• On July 21, 2016, Donald Trump stood up in front of a large crowd of Republicans and announced that “I alone can fix it,” and they clapped and cheered and he accepted the party’s nomination for president of the United States. Donald Trump!
• Donald Trump was captured on tape saying that there were good people on both sides at Charlottesville, where a white supremacist allegedly killed a woman by ramming his car into a crowd of protesters.
• The book reveals that Donald Trump and Manigault Newman, two former stars of “The Apprentice,” have both been in the Situation Room, because Donald Trump is the president of the United States.
• Donald Trump has been caught on tape sitting behind the desk in the Oval Office making executive decisions as president of the United States, and sometimes he signs bills into law.
• Donald Trump has still not released his tax returns!
• There are tapes of Donald Trump representing the United States at diplomatic functions in which he insults our allies and shakes everyone’s hand very weird.
• There are tapes of Donald Trump saluting a North Korean general and lavishly praising Kim Jong Un, the North Korean dictator.
• Donald Trump apparently starts each day by watching “Fox and Friends” and live-tweeting his responses to it.
• Donald Trump named his daughter and son-in-law as special advisers. His son-in-law, Jared Kushner, was specifically charged with bringing about peace in the Middle East, although he has admitted to having no particular expertise or experience in this area. His security clearance was for a time lower than that of the White House calligrapher, but he is still supposed to be bringing about peace in the Middle East.
• There was a guy Anthony Scaramucci who served as communications director for only 10 days before he called a writer for the New Yorker and in a profanity-laced tirade accused Steve Bannon of extraordinary flexibility and self-regard, and then he was fired. This really happened!
• Stephen Miller is a human being who is allowed to set policy in the White House, although he frequently says things like The Statue of Liberty Was Meant to Shoo People Away and views even legal immigrants as a threat.
• There are tapes that reveal that Donald Trump went to Puerto Rico after the devastation of Hurricane Maria and threw paper towels into the crowd to show that he was helping.
• Donald Trump revoked the security clearance of John Brennan because he is responsible for a “witch hunt.”
• Donald Trump fired the director of the FBI!
Oh no, I'm sorry. These are not in the book. These are just matters of public record. But I'm sure the book has stunning revelations, too.
Alexandra Petri | The Washington Post (Marvin Joseph/)
Follow Alexandra Petri on Twitter, @petridishes.
After its first year of implementation, how has Operation Rio Grande impacted crime and homelessness in Salt Lake City? The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints bristles against the term “LDS” and asks that its members not be referred to as Mormons. Opponents to Utah’s medical marijuana ballot initiative argue against it on the basis of religious freedom. And the absence of a tiny star on driver licenses may affect Utahns' ability to travel.
At 9 a.m. Friday, Salt Lake Tribune reporter Paighten Harkins, managing editor Dave Noyce and columnist Robert Gehrke join KCPW’s Roger McDonough to talk about the week’s top stories. Every Friday at 9 a.m., stream “Behind the Headlines” online at kcpw.org or tune in to KCPW 88.3 FM or Utah Public Radio for the broadcast.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints really, truly, absolutely wants to be known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Not the LDS Church. Not the Mormon church.
It made that clear Thursday — even though the last attempt to eradicate those nicknames for the Utah-based faith flopped.
“The Lord has impressed upon my mind the importance of the name he has revealed for his church,” Nelson is quoted as saying, “even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
The faith’s headquarters in Salt Lake City and Latter-day Saints across the globe have much “work before us to bring ourselves in harmony with his will,” the 93-year-old Nelson said in the statement. “In recent weeks, various church leaders and departments have initiated the necessary steps to do so.”
Thursday’s statement — released on mormonnewsroom.org — referred readers to the “updated Newsroom style guide,” which calls on news organizations to follow these instructions:
• Use the full name — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — on first reference.
• Refer to “the Church,” the “Church of Jesus Christ” or the “restored Church of Jesus Christ” in shortened or subsequent references.
• Avoid using the abbreviation “LDS” or the nickname “Mormon” as substitutes for the church’s name, as in “Mormon Church,” “LDS Church” or “Church of the Latter-day Saints.”
• Refer to members as “members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” or “Latter-day Saints,” not “Mormons.”
The new guidelines also state that “‘Mormonism’ is inaccurate and should not be used,” and that the term “‘the restored gospel of Jesus Christ’ is accurate and preferred.”
The style edict says “Mormon” is correctly used in proper names such as the Book of Mormon, the faith’s signature scripture, or when used as an adjective in historical expressions such as “Mormon Trail.”
Still, many believing observers are skeptical that this drive will be any more successful than a similar effort to jettison “Mormon” that launched before the 2002 Winter Olympics. That attempt ended a decade later with a return to the long-standing and, in some quarters, beloved nickname “Mormon.”
Rocky Anderson, who was Salt Lake City’s mayor from 2000 to 2008, diligently followed the dominant church’s request back then — even using “the Church of Jesus Christ” on second reference, which sometimes earned jeers even from faithful Latter-day Saints.
“It was really awkward,” Anderson said Thursday. “I did find it a mouthful.”
What’s in a name?
For authorities such as Nelson, the faith’s name is more than branding.
After its founding in 1830, the church was known variously as The Church of Christ, The Church of Jesus Christ and even The Church of the Latter-day Saints. In 1838, it became The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when church founder Joseph Smith received what was recorded as a revelation from God:
“For thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” Smith declared in Doctrine and Covenants 115:4.
Blogger Steve Evans, founder of By Common Consent, sees Nelson’s effort as “fighting for the divinely revealed name of the church in the hearts and minds of the members.”
In a 1990 speech (a year after former church President Ezra Taft Benson sang “I Am a Mormon Boy” from the pulpit), Nelson, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, spoke of the importance of using the church’s full name.
“He views it as something sacred, which I respect,” Evans said. “But the initiative won’t succeed — if success means getting everyone to stop using the terms ‘Mormon’ or ‘LDS Church.’”
Evans predicts this undertaking will only “confuse outsiders,” he said. “I don’t think it substantively alters external perspectives of the church, but I do think it makes us look a little persnickety.”
The church already has “a popular brand — why not embrace it and use it? … We should be leveraging those names instead, while simultaneously teaching the real name of the church and reinforcing why it is something holy to us.”
LDS blogger Jana Riess, a senior columnist for Religion News Service, also believes the drive may fail.
“It would be extremely unlikely for the majority of journalists to adopt this new style,” she said, “in part because the church has not provided a single-word term that is as descriptive as ‘Mormon’ or ‘LDS.’”
When people plug “the Church of Jesus Christ” into a Google search, Riess said, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints “is not going to come up.”
And Latter-day Saints themselves likely will continue to use the only monikers they’ve used their whole lives, she said, but now “might feel guilty about it.”
In academia, “Mormonism” is by far the preferred term, said Patrick Mason, head of Mormon studies at Claremont Graduate University in Southern California.
In addition to Claremont, there are three other professorships in “Mormon studies” — at the University of Utah, Utah State University and the University of Virginia.
“I cannot imagine a university approving a professorship in ‘Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint Studies’ or ‘Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ Studies,’” Mason wrote in an email. “‘Mormonism’ and ‘Mormon’ will continue to be dominant in the academy.”
Mason has a personal stake in this. He has just published a book called “What Is Mormonism?” Still, the LDS scholar concedes that Mormonism “has always been a fraught and imprecise term.”
Beyond the main body
Does “Mormon” apply equally to members of the mainstream LDS Church, the Community of Christ, the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and all other religious descendants of Joseph Smith and the early Latter-day Saint movement, Mason asked, “or just to the LDS Church?”
Some people are upset when “Mormonism” is used synonymously with the LDS Church and its members — as if they are the only “Mormons” and all the other groups don’t exist, he said, while members of the Community of Christ (formerly the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) say “they don’t want to be called ‘Mormons,’ because they associate the term with the Utah-based LDS Church.”
Such confusion may have been part of the reason for this move, said historian Matthew Bowman, author of “The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith.”
“This strikes me as a move toward boundary maintenance, in both the manner of its presentation and the fact of it,” Bowman wrote in an email. “Nelson’s language asserts his revelatory authority and implicitly contrasts that authority with the common vernacular of the world. He frames language use here as a matter of discipline and loyalty. The nomenclature he offers stresses the uniqueness of the church.”
Bowman said that, in the end, “this effort seems to me an attempt to emphasize the distinctiveness of the church.”
A global faith
Wilfried Decoo, a Latter-day Saint writer and professor in Belgium, understands his faith’s desire to be seen as “Christian” by urging everyone to use its full name.
By rejecting “Mormon” as short for the church, Decoo wrote in a 2011 essay, “we give up the key element of our international brand name, recognizable in all languages.”
In another language, for example, “Latter-day Saints” is translated as: “I am a Holy Being of the Almost Final Period.”
“This policy kind of shows how parochial-American someone at the top thinks without any clue of international semantics,” he said Thursday from his home in Europe. “I don’t think it will have any effect outside of the church, and even inside … It’s just impossible to enforce.”
Gordon B. Hinckley, who became church president in 1995, understood the dilemma.
“‘The Mormon church,’ of course, is a nickname. And nicknames have a way of becoming fixed,” he preached in the October 1990 General Conference. “I suppose that regardless of our efforts, we may never convert the world to general use of the full and correct name of the church. Because of the shortness of the word ‘Mormon’ and the ease with which it is spoken and written, they will continue to call us the Mormons, the Mormon church, and so forth.”
Hinckley recalled a member in England telling him: “While I’m thankful for the privilege of being a follower of Jesus Christ and a member of the church which bears his name, I am not ashamed of the nickname ‘Mormon.’”
When someone asked him about it, the man replied, “‘Mormon’ means ‘more good.’”
Hinckley knew that wasn’t the actual meaning, but adopted the man’s thinking about the tag.
“We may not be able to change the nickname,” the affable leader concluded, “but we can make it shine with added luster.”
After all, Hinckley said, Mormon is the “name of a man who was a great [Book of Mormon] prophet who struggled to save his nation, and also the name of a book which is a mighty testament of eternal truth, a veritable witness of the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
A missing South Salt Lake man was located by police Friday morning, and he is safe and well.
Christopher Kingston, 22, who has a mental disability, walked away from his home about 6:30 p.m. on Thursday. According to Gary Keller of the SSLPD, Kingston was located by police as he was walking on Main Street near 3050 South about 7:30 a.m. on Friday.
Kingston was checked by paramedics and returned to his parents.
I’m an ex-cop, taxpayer, father, grandfather, a compliant husband, writer, a churchgoing Mormon and — believe it or not — a regular user of marijuana.
Several times a week, I break the law by resorting to weed for pain control. It’s in the form of a THC-based oil I use to combat arthritis, blown knees and assorted enduring twinges from surgeries caused by a lifetime of immature (but legal) dares to which I should have said no.
Weed also helped me beat an 18-month addiction to Percocet, which was legally dispensed to me during that time by well-trained professionals and approved of by people who thought it in my best interest because it didn’t technically violate the LDS faith’s health code, the Word of Wisdom.
A current initiative — Proposition 2 — is intended to help make medical marijuana more widely available in Utah. That would be nice but not absolutely necessary since I plan on continuing to break the law for as long as it allows me to walk and sleep with less pain and no addiction.
I understand that not all folks see it this way, fearing that legalization of medical weed will infringe on their right to practice their religion.
A leader of the opposition to Prop 2 is attorney and fellow active Mormon Walter J. Plumb III, who sees all kinds of evil in legalizing medical weed, including the trampling of sacred religious freedoms.
“In the United States of America, members of all religions, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, have a constitutional right to exercise their religious beliefs,” his lawsuit reads. “This includes the right not to consort with, be around, or do business with people engaging in activities which their religion finds repugnant.”
Let’s talk about repugnant for a minute, specifically as it relates to religion. Exercising “righteous” belief in a church, including the one I belong to, has regularly proved itself a far greater threat to social welfare than a plant that grows in a ditch.
I am not high right now. I don’t need to be to understand that it wasn’t a bunch of addled potheads who gave us polygamy, racism, massacre, marginalizing women and policies that promote elevated suicide rates among gay people.
While I was conducting personal research on the pain-reducing effect of marijuana, I actually attended church a couple of times while thoroughly baked.
I don’t endorse this behavior, but I should point out that, even in that condition, I couldn’t get my head around barring the baptism of children of gay parents.
This brings us to legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, which I don’t advocate. I speak from experience on both sides of the law. After high school, I once drove to Park City with Jimi Hendrix in my back seat. Pretty sure.
If I could trade booze for weed in terms of legalizing it, I would. As a cop, I always preferred dealing with potheads over drunks for the simple reason that weed never seemed to make people believe they were smarter, stronger, talented, more coordinated and/or better looking.
So, until such time as marijuana can be measured to determine a presumptive level of intoxication, I don’t think we need more impaired people on the highway. But topically applied marijuana doesn’t get you high — or at least it hasn’t me.
But what do I know? I have cannabis oil on both knees right now. Maybe I’m so high that I can’t see the terrible effect it’s having on me.
If there’s solace to be taken, it’s that the charring isn’t much worse than it normally is, and Utah wildfires haven’t killed anyone — at least directly.
Federal statistics show that the Beehive State’s wildfire season is on pace to be the seventh worst since the start of 2002 in terms of territory burned (more than 160,000 acres so far). As far as the number of fires, 2018 is right on average.
Christopher Cherrington | The Salt Lake Tribune
Fire response in Utah has cost $70 million, said Jason Curry, spokesman for the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands. The state’s share of that is $23 million. The federal government will pay the balance.
Even 2018′s big fires haven’t been that big, at least compared with some of the mammoth blazes of the past. The largest so far has been the Dollar Ridge Fire, which has scarred 68,400 acres in Duchesne and Wasatch counties.
If 2018’s wildfire season is exceptional, it might be in two areas. First, about 100 structures have burned this year. A year-by-year count of property damage wasn’t available, but Curry said the figure seems high.
And while wildfires in the state aren’t credited with killing anyone in 2018, the Utah Division of Air Quality says, as of Thursday morning, Salt Lake County already has racked up 45 red-air days this summer. The county had 40 for all of last year’s summer counting period, which ended Sept. 6.
(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) An abundance of dry fuel makes for dangerous conditions as Mount Timpanogos stands higher than the rest with thick smoke enveloping the mountains in Utah County contributing to poor air quality as crews continue to battle the Coal Hollow Fire near Highway 6, Saturday Aug. 11, 2018. (Francisco Kjolseth/)
If Utah’s wildfire season suffers from a perception problem, the air may be to blame. Smoke, from blazes burning in Utah as well as California and other states farther west, has grayed skylines on both sides of the Wasatch Mountains. Sports practices and public events have been canceled or moved indoors so that people don’t feel that burning in their lungs.
Meanwhile, Utah’s grasses, shrubs and trees remain dry from a winter and spring with low precipitation. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert cited the dry fuels last week when he described 2018 in terms it might not otherwise deserve.
"It’s the worst fire season we’ve probably had in memory,” Herbert told FOX 13.
Dryness is a reason conditions remain perilous. Iron County Fire Warden Ryan Riddle said the measurements for fuel humidity and the energy released by burning vegetation have shown the summer to be more parched than normal. That has created fires that are tougher to extinguish than normal.
(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Coal Hollow Fire burns along Highway 6 in Utah County, Thursday Aug. 9, 2018. (Trent Nelson/)
Sagebrush, for example, usually produces flames 5 to 10 feet high. This season, Riddle said, firefighters in his part of the state have seen sagebrush produce flames as high as 20 feet. That can be the difference between needing a shovel or an air tanker to put out a single bush.
“Of course that leads to rapid rates of spread and rapid fire growth,” Riddle said, “and just makes our job a nightmare.”
Riddle credits the restrictions placed on campfires, fireworks and other flaming activities for mitigating the wildfire season. In Iron County, fire restrictions took effect June 1. Many years, those restrictions would have started three to four weeks later.
Curry said firefighters pride themselves on protecting life and property, so the lack of fire deaths on Utah soil — Draper Fire Battalion Chief Matt Burchett died Monday in California after a falling tree hit him — is a point of pride. That doesn’t mean 2018 is a light fire year.
“It’s been busy,” Curry said. “I do know that. Everyone I talk to says this has been one of the busiest fire seasons.”
Salt Lake City’s Tuesday Farmers Market is everything that its Saturday sibling is not.
“It’s small and quaint and more relaxed,” said April Nelson.
The owner of Nelson Farms in Perry, along with other farmers, vendors and customers, shared the five reasons they love this no-nonsense, produce-first market, which continues every Tuesday through September at Pioneer Park, 300 S. 300 West.
Size • With about two dozen vendors, the midweek market is a fraction of the Saturday event, which has more than 120 vendors — including arts and crafts. Tuesday vendors still sell everything most shoppers need: fresh vegetables and fruits, meats, cheese, breads and other prepared food. It’s a great shopping option for residents and commuters on their way home from work, said Alison Einerson, executive director of Urban Food Connections, which operates the market for the Downtown Alliance.
Parking • The Tuesday market runs from 4 p.m. to dusk, making it easy to park around the perimeter of Pioneer Park — for free — and take a quick shopping stroll. No need to pay for parking several blocks away. Nelson said many customers who want large boxes of fruits and vegetables for canning prefer the Tuesday market for this reason.
Meet your farmer • Sometimes the Saturday crowds prevent customers from really talking to the farmers and producers and learning about the food they are buying, which is a big component of such markets. “Saturday is fast and busy," said Raul Rivero, owner of Tequeños Factory, which makes empanadas. “On Tuesday, there is more time to talk and sample and listen.”
(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Heirloom tomatoes from Asian & Heirlooms at the Tuesday Farmers Market in Salt Lake City's Pioneer Park, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. The laid-back market continues now through September and features about 20 vendors. (Trent Nelson/)
Farmer options • When the growing season is at its peak, farmers need to pick — and sell — produce more than once a week, said Amanda Theobald, co-owner with Elliot Musgrove of Salt Lake City’s Top Crops Farms. The Tuesday market “allows us to pick in the middle of the week” and boost sales.
Vibe • Words like “chill,” “low-key” and “relaxed” are how most people describe the Tuesday market scene. “It’s not as chaotic, it’s more, more Zen,” said Fusako Tomiyama, an urban farmer and owner of Asian & Heirlooms farm in MIllcreek. That’s what attracts customers such as Larry Mullin. “I love it,” he said earlier this week. “It’s less crowded; you can browse longer.”
Dear Ann Cannon • I love movies. I love to go to the movies. As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing like seeing a new film on the big screen with a tub of popcorn on your lap with a Coke on the side. The only problem is that my wife never wants to go with me. She’s just not that interested. She’d rather stay home and read a book. I’d really love it if we could go to some movies together and then talk about them after. Any suggestions to help me make my dream for us become a reality?
— Movie Maniac
Dear Movie Maniac • It’s pretty much human nature to want the people we love to love the same things we do, right? However, as your own experience suggests, things don’t always work out that way. So. What can you do? OK, you say your wife likes to read. Ask her if she’s interested in starting a two-person book-and-movie club with you. You read a book of her choice. She goes with you to a movie of your choice. She may not be interested in this arrangement, but who knows? It can’t hurt to ask.
If this doesn’t work, then invite a friend to go with you. Or go by yourself. In other words, be adaptable and don’t pout. I’m not crazy about pouters, and I’ll bet your wife isn’t either. Meanwhile, focus on finding an activity that you both enjoy doing together and put your energy there.
Dear Ann Cannon • Now that school is starting up again, can you recommend any new picture books for young children? Especially for those who are going to school for the first time?
— Ann Cannon
Dear Ann Cannon • I’m so glad you asked, because as it turns out I do have some terrific suggestions for kids and their parents.
My favorite new book is “We Don’t Eat Our Classmates” by Ryan T. Higgins. Yes, you read that right. It’s all about a little T. Rex named Penelope who’s VERY nervous about starting school. What will her classmates be like? Will they be nice? Will they have a lot of teeth? As it turns out, Penelope’s classmates are all children. So she eats them. Why? BECAUSE CHILDREN ARE DELICIOUS! The teacher tells her to spit them out immediately, which she does. But, as Penelope discovers, it’s hard to make friends with classmates if they’re afraid you’re going to eat them.
Higgins is the author/illustrator who created the likable “Mother Bruce,” a story about a grumpy bear who becomes the unwilling parent to a flock of goslings. His trademark wit is on full display in “We Don’t Eat Our Classmates.”
Another choice is “Click, Clack, Quack to School!” by the best-selling duo Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin. Farmer Brown and his animals receive an invitation to visit a local elementary school. The animals are excited to take a field trip — until Farmer Brown starts laying down the law. There will be no mooing or clucking or oinking when they go to school. Hooting and hollering, along with stomping and clomping, are also forbidden, and seriously now — where’s the fun in that?! Fortunately, the animals and the schoolchildren, too, are all in for a happy surprise.
And then there’s “Llama Llama Loves to Read.” Anna Dewdney, the beloved creator of the Llama Llama books, died in 2016. But the character Llama Llama lives on in much the way Curious George has survived (for decades now!) the death of his creators, H.A. Rey and Margret Rey. In this new book, Llama Llama discovers that letters make words and that words threaded together make sentences. And if a llama (or a person) can read that sentence, then guess what. That person (or that llama) is a legit reader.
Hope this helps!
— Ann Cannon
Utah’s largest beer festival — with more than 50 brewers and 200 beers and ciders to sample — takes place Saturday and Sunday at the Utah State Fairpark, 155 N. 1000 West, Salt Lake City.
The Ninth Annual Utah Beer Festival, sponsored by Salt Lake City Weekly, runs both days from 2 to 8 p.m. Those who have purchased VIP tickets or early-entry passes may enter at 1 p.m.
One-day general admission starts at $10; weekend passes begin at $15; and a VIP pass is $45. Prices increase the day of the event. Tickets are available at www.utahbeerfestival.com. Admission includes a mug for sampling beer.
The Utah Beer Festival is a cashless event. To sample beer or food, patrons must pay to load tokens onto a wristband. Samples begin at $1 for a 5-ounce pour. High point beers cost more. Tokens can be purchased and added to wristbands in advance
All Utah Beer Festival tickets include free access to Utah Transit Authority buses, TRAX trains and FrontRunner. A designated-driver pass also is available starting at $5.
In addition to beer, there will be live music, 15 food truck and food vendors, an outdoor recreation area, karaoke, a virtual reality experience and games.
More than a year after moving to the White House last June, Melania Trump remains an intensely private first lady still adjusting to the demands of a new life. Allies describe her as warm, engaging and witty. “She is a woman of grit,” a friend told The New York Times. But because people tend to see in her what they already believe about him, she remains somewhat of a Rorschach test for public perceptions of her husband’s White House. To conservative supporters of Donald Trump, she is a quietly loyal helpmate. To his critics, she is an enabler trapped in a gilded cage. [NYTimes]
Topping the news: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said in a statement that it no longer wants to be referred to as the “LDS Church” or “Mormon church,” and asked for the nickname “Mormon” to be avoided. [Trib] [Fox13] [DNews] [KSL] [ABC4] [KUER]
-> After that announcement, it is unclear whether church-produced products like the Mormon Channel, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and MormonNewsroom.org will continue with continue in their current form and with their current names. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley offers a how-to guide for understanding the LDS Church’s attempt to rebrand itself. [Trib]
Tweets of the day: From @shelbs25: “I will only call it ‘The Church formerly known as The LDS Church’ and there’s nothing you can do to stop me.”
-> From @JakeBGibson: “Light moment in Manafort Trial: After Judge Ellis directed jury to begin deliberations he said ‘Mr. Trump are you here?’ Audible gasp in courtroom, heads spun to see prosecutor Jim Trump present for next case, no relation to the president. Even Paul Manafort laughed...”
-> From @Mikel_Jollett: “Trump’s military parade: $92 million. Clean water in Flint: $55 million.”
Happy Birthday: On Saturday to state Rep. LaVar Christensen and on Sunday to House Minority Leader Brian King, former state Rep. Jerry Anderson, former state Sen. Scott McCoy, and Rhonda Perks, Rep. Chris Stewart’s field representative.
Behind the Headlines: Tribune reporter Paighten Harkins, managing editor Dave Noyce and columnist Robert Gehrke join KCPW’s Roger McDonough to talk about the week’s top stories, including the one-year anniversary of Operation Rio Grande, the LDS Church’s name rebranding and the latest argument against the medical marijuana ballot initiative.
Every Friday at 9 a.m., stream “Behind the Headlines” online at kcpw.org or tune in to KCPW 88.3 FM or Utah Public Radio for the broadcast.
In other news: A transgender Brigham Young University student is facing expulsion for having a breast-removal surgery since it goes against the Mormon teaching that gender is an “eternal identity.” [Trib]
-> Salt Lake County Republican Party Chairman Scott Miller accused Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams of receiving illegal campaign contributions in his congressional campaign against Rep. Mia Love. McAdams' campaign called the allegation “totally frivolous.” [Trib]
-> Senate District 9, which covers Sandy, likely won’t feature a Democratic candidate on the ballot this year due to a dispute over the rules for when a party can submit a name to fill a vacancy. [Trib]
-> The remains of Utah Marine Robert Kimball Holmes, who was killed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, are now being sent to Salt Lake City thanks to a recent DNA match. [Trib]
-> Robert Gehrke outlines seven problems he sees with a recently filed lawsuit alleging Utah’s medical marijuana initiative would violate the religious liberties of Mormons. [Trib]
Nationally: The U.S. Department of Defense abruptly announced that a controversial and costly military parade Trump originally scheduled for Veterans Day will be delayed until 2019. [Politico] [WaPost] [CNN]
-> The owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop — who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple and took his case all the way to the Supreme Court — has filed a new federal lawsuit defending his right not to bake a birthday cake celebrating a gender transition. [Politico] [NYTimes] [WaPost]
-> In a coordinated effort started by The Boston Globe, more than 300 news publications, including The Salt Lake Tribune, issued editorials reaffirming the role of a free press in American society. [BostonGlobe] [NYTimes] [CNBC]
Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Send us a note to [email protected].
-- Taylor Stevens and Connor Richards
With all the lying that President Donald Trump has done and the collusion with Russia to help him in the 2016 election, will this be expected behavior from future presidents?
If we do nothing to Russia for election interference, then why don’t other countries meddle in our election to get a person elected president whose policies will favor their causes? Trump and the Republican leaders in Congress who don’t forcibly disavow the behavior of our elected president are telling the European Union that it is OK to meddle or, to China, go ahead and influence our election process. We won’t do anything about it.
Dale Curtis, Salt Lake City
OK, we get it. President Donald Trump really doesn't like dogs.
On Tuesday, the president uncorked a favorite epithet for fired White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman. She’s “that dog.”
"When you give a crazed, crying lowlife a break, and give her a job at the White House, I guess it just didn't work out. Good work by General Kelly for quickly firing that dog!" Trump wrote on Twitter.
Mitt Romney could have been president, but he "choked like a dog." In a presidential debate, Sen. Marco Rubio started to "sweat like a dog."
Broadcaster David Gregory was "fired like a dog." Brent Bozell of the National Review came "begging for money like a dog." In their Senate testimony, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former acting Attorney General Sally Yates started "to choke like dogs."
All this is a puzzle. Dogs don't beg for money. They rarely get fired. They barely sweat.
They certainly don't choke. Thousands worked as sentries in World War II. Right now, about 1,600 military working dogs are in the field or assisting recuperating veterans. Some are trained to detect explosives, and put their lives on the line to protect soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. One bomb detector was with the Navy SEAL team that raided Osama bin Laden's compound.
It’s instructive to compare Trump’s frequent use of the D-word with a famous passage in a speech by one of his predecessors, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The speech was nominally about dogs — or, a particular dog — but it was actually about decency and civility.
The date was Sept. 23, 1944, and it was the height of an ugly campaign season. Roosevelt, who was seeking his fourth term, began by noting that "Republican leaders have not been content with attacks on me, or my wife, or on my sons." They have gone much further and "now include my little dog, Fala."
Roosevelt was telling the truth. Republicans had charged that the president had left Fala behind on a trip to the Aleutian Islands, and then had to send a Navy destroyer back to get him, costing American taxpayers millions of dollars.
With mock outrage, Roosevelt said, "I don't resent attacks, and my family doesn't resent attacks, but Fala does resent them."
Roosevelt added quietly and with resignation, “I am accustomed to hearing malicious falsehoods about myself.” But — his killer line — “I think I have a right to resent, to object to libelous statements about my dog.”
The speech worked in part because Fala was known and beloved throughout the nation. He traveled frequently with the president. Movies were made about him.
During the Battle of the Bulge — a major battle with Germany toward the end of World War II — American soldiers tested the identity of suspected German infiltrators by asking them to name the president’s dog.
As the historian Doris Kearns Goodwin put it, the laughter produced by the Fala speech "reverberated in living rooms and kitchens throughout the country, where people were listening to the speech on their radios. The Fala bit was so funny, one reporter observed, that 'even the stoniest of Republican faces cracked a smile.'"
But it wasn’t just funny. Roosevelt’s remarks about Fala were in the context of a speech that touched directly on the Great Depression, the fight against fascism and the right to vote. Defending his beloved dog, Roosevelt was showing his own gentleness, and making a point about the cruelty and absurdity of personal attacks in politics. He was saying that we should be kind to one another — and focus on what matters.
Like a dog.
Cass R. Sunstein | Bloomberg Opinion
Cass Sunstein is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is the author of “The Cost-Benefit Revolution” and co-author of “Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness.”
The Mountain Accord has lost some accord.
After five years and millions of dollars of work to establish a viable future for the mountains east of east of Salt Lake Valley, the unprecedented effort hasn’t reached its summit.
The key component is getting a bill through Congress intended to cap ski resort growth and address decades-old disputes over public and private property rights. It has never gotten to the point of satisfying everyone, but Mountain Accord has gone further than any previous effort to bring together the resorts, the backcountry skiers, property owners and Salt Lake City’s watershed managers.
Still, a current bill hasn’t even been introduced, and the fragile coalition is getting anxious.
Now Alta Ski Resort wants to go its own way. After first showing a willingness to trade its land in Grizzly Gulch to the Forest Service, resort management now says it wants to hang on to the land so it may one day put a ski lift there. That would cost backcountry skiers the experience of hiking the ridgeline to be rewarded with less tracked slopes.
A bill is still possible without Grizzly Gulch. In addition to trades, the legislation would create a national conservation and recreation area stretching from Utah County to Millcreek Canyon. It provides a framework for keeping the area wild and pristine despite a million people at its feet.
The original bill was introduced by Rep. Jason Chaffetz before he quit. Rep. Mia Love took the lead after that, although an updated version of the legislation has never been introduced.
Politics being what it is, the bill probably won’t be filed before the November election. While the legislation is viewed as non-partisan, one of Mountain Accord’s early champions, Salt Lake County Ben McAdams, is now the Democrat running against Republican Love. Awkward.
Mountain Accord wasn’t just about a bill in Congress, and its successor, the Central Wasatch Commission, still has plenty on its plate, including working with the Utah Department of Transportation to solve gridlock in the two Cottonwood canyons.
But federal legislation is the big prize, and time is not an ally. The longer it takes, the harder it is to keep everyone on board. Let 2019 be the year of the Central Wasatch National Conservation and Recreation Area.
President Donald Trump’s decision, announced Wednesday, to revoke the security clearance held by former CIA Director John Brennan demonstrates that the president has learned the lesson of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the travel ban case, Trump v. Hawaii: He can get away with violating core constitutional principles if he clothes his action in a simulacrum of “executive power.”
As with the travel ban, Trump is taking an action that would have been unimaginable by any other modern president. It is (or rather was) a bipartisan norm to allow former high-ranking officials to keep their clearances.
That doesn't mean ex-officials are being regularly briefed on classified material. They're out of the loop. Rather, they retain their clearances so they can be informed of classified information should it be necessary or helpful to the government.
For example, a president might want to get former officials' advice about an ongoing challenge in foreign policy or intelligence. Or current leaders might want to ask their predecessors about some issue on which their past knowledge is essential. All that is much easier if the officials remain cleared.
The practice also helps with government continuity. Past officials might later return to their agencies, and it will save time and effort if they don't need to be recleared. They can walk into their jobs ready on Day One. Trump is painfully flouting the forward-looking interests associated with this norm.
As with the travel ban, Trump’s action this time is rather obviously motivated by an illegitimate purpose: punishing a retired public official for the exercise of free speech. Brennan — and the other Barack Obama administration officials whom Trump is considering banning — have done nothing whatsoever to merit having their clearances pulled. But they and Brennan have been criticizing the president.
It's preposterous to think that criticizing Trump makes Brennan somehow "erratic" as Trump has suggested. Everyone knows that Trump is targeting him on the basis of his views.
Pulling Brennan's clearance violates the spirit, and conceivably the letter, of the First Amendment. It abridges the freedom of speech to change an official's clearance status based on the content of his expressed beliefs.
In the same way, the travel ban violated the basic notion that the government must not discriminate on the basis of religion.
And in the case of Brennan, as with the travel ban, Trump knows or has been advised that the courts will let him get away with flouting constitutional values because his action is nominally at the core of his presidential power.
In Trump v. Hawaii, Chief Justice John Roberts's opinion emphasized that making immigration decisions pursuant to congressional authorization was "within the core of executive responsibility." He used that characterization as an excuse not to delve into Trump's true motives, instead insisting that it mattered that the travel ban was "neutral" on its face.
Security clearance is another area where the Supreme Court has long considered the president’s power to be a reason for judges not to review executive decisions. In the most prominent case, Department of the Navy v. Egan, the court essentially said that because the president is commander in chief, he has the discretion to rule on security clearances — and the courts shouldn’t second-guess the substance of his determinations.
The legal issues regarding Brennan are more complicated than that, to be sure. A good explanation of the possibility of reviewing the president's procedures (not the substance) of revoking clearance can be read here. And it has also been argued that the courts might conceivably not want to allow the president to blatantly target free speech by pulling clearances.
But technicalities aside, the bottom line is that the Supreme Court could very easily hold — and almost certainly would hold if asked — that Trump’s decision is essentially unreviewable provided he gave a decision for his action that was neutral on its face.
The precedent for that holding would be, you guessed it, Trump v. Hawaii, where Trump also gave a veneer of neutrality to the ban in its third iteration.
Here, the veneer of neutrality is that Trump can say that Brennan was showing "erratic conduct and behavior." It's absurd, to be sure. But here's the thing: So was Trump's claim that the travel ban wasn't motivated by anti-Muslim bias.
All this means that the disaster that was Trump v. Hawaii decision is already having real-world consequences.
The conservative justices, especially Roberts, may have consoled themselves about backing Trump by telling themselves that the travel ban was a one-off. It wasn't.
To the contrary, the Supreme Court enabled Trump in the travel ban case by letting him violate basic constitutional values. The Brennan security revocation follows.
And there will be more.
Noah Feldman | Bloomberg View
Noah Feldman is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is a professor of law at Harvard University and was a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter. His books include “The Three Lives of James Madison: Genius, Partisan, President.”
Utah law still maintains a relic of the drug war proven to be a roadblock to the successful rehabilitation of drug offenders by suspending their driver licenses for certain drug offenses, even though they are unrelated to any driving offense.
Suspending a driver license for a non-driving-related behavior creates an unnecessary harm that can result in a person’s inability to obtain or maintain gainful employment, which is harmful not only to the offender, but to their family.
A lack of gainful employment is a roadblock to successful rehabilitation, and it tends to push people deeper into the criminal justice system. When funding and public safety resources are diverted from addressing dangerous and unsafe driving behaviors in order to address non-driving-related license suspension activity, our roads are made less safe. Unnecessary license suspensions increase the number of uninsured drivers, since many unlicensed people will end up driving out of necessity, especially in areas where public transportation is inadequate or unavailable, as is the case in much of Utah.
Driver license suspension for non-driving-related offenses is counterproductive, bad policy, a waste of public resources, and a deterrent to a drug offender’s successful completion of probation and rehabilitation.
Robert Bohman, Morgan
If you have a need to visit the Social Security Administration at 175 E. 400 South in Salt Lake City, you are in for a surprise.
Some years ago, it was moved from 202 W. 400 South. It was a bit crowded there. However, who would have thought of moving to the current location? Someone with myopia or an interest in the paid parking lot? With no other parking to enter the building, someone is reaping a ton of money from those who need to visit the SSA. Each parking stall is numbered with instructions to prepay at the kiosk near the stairs. One hour will cost you $2. If you're not sure that's enough time (and it isn't), then select two hours. That will cost you $6. Two hours is also a bit tight. It goes up from there.
The kiosk is not user-friendly and doesn't give change. If you need one hour and only have $5, it will cost you $5. I have no clue what the penalty is for exceeding the time, but I have visions of the commercial parking lot police hauling away my car.
The system is disgraceful.Surely the SSA can do better than sign up with a commercial organization that is reaping (close but not the right word) those who are there to handle their SSA benefits.
Richard Johnson, Centerville
President Donald Trump challenged President Barack Obama’s birth certificate to identify the extent to which voters would ignore facts to feed their own prejudices.
This is a nuanced understanding of the human psyche, most likely developed by the KGB and given to Trump by Vladimir Putin. Trump is too clueless to have seized on this approach himself.
The relentless investigation of Russian malfeasance by the press ignores the role played by the U.S. voters who choose to ignore facts in favor of their racial prejudice, synonymous with the name “Obama.”
The campaign, too, used chain emails denigrating Obama, and the Republicans I challenged tried to dismiss my objections as my not having a sense of humor, so as to hide the pernicious nature of the email content.
Even today, Trump will use the name of Obama whenever he needs a “dog whistle” to lead his minions dedicated to white supremacy!
Russia’s efforts would be ineffectual were it not for America’s racial prejudice, which is not nearly as subtle today as that portrayed in “A Gentlemen’s Agreement” in 1947 starring Gregory Peck.
Raymond Ridge, Murray
I received a fundraising email from Alliance for a Better Utah. In it, former Salt Lake County Mayor and Utah Democratic Party Chairman Peter Corroon alleges he has personally witnessed legislators being offered campaign contributions in exchange for votes on controversial issues.
This allegation is alarming. More alarming is that Corroon is evidently willing to provide cover for such crimes. One must wonder why a former party chairman wouldn’t come forward with the names of these legislators, unless they’re members of his own party.
Alternatively, as happens in these things, perhaps Corroon is embellishing. Regardless, he must answer for his claims.
If these events he claims he witnessed indeed took place, alert the lieutenant governor’s and attorney general’s offices. Name names. If he’s been less than honest, he needs to apologize, as does Alliance for a Better Utah.
Jeremy Roberts, Draper
As two of the so-called “Big Four” bands of thrash metal, Anthrax and Slayer have a long and loud history together. So it only made sense that the former would join the latter for their retirement tour.
As it turns out, Anthrax agreed to come along for the ride before they even knew it would be the last one of Slayer’s career.
“We’re very close, good friends with Slayer, for forever. … I’d heard rumors about it and I’d talked to the guys about it, and they said, ‘Yeah, soon, soon, soon.’ And after we were booked, that’s when we found out it was the farewell tour,” Anthrax bassist Frank Bello said in a phone call from the tour bus on the way to Dallas. “And that made it all even deeper, in a sense, for us, because of course you wanna see your buddies out and be there with them the whole time. We’ve toured with Slayer a whole lot in our careers. And just to be here right now is really special, because you see the impact that they’ve left on people.”
“The Final World Tour,” which also includes Lamb of God, Testament and Napalm Death, visits USANA Amphitheatre in West Valley City this Sunday.
(Photo courtesy of Anthrax) Frank Bello, front, and Anthrax, shown performing at the 02 Forum in Kentish Town, London, on Feb. 10, 2017, will visit USANA Amphitheatre in West Valley City on Sunday, Aug. 19, in support of Slayer.
While Bello said the two bands had enough crazy moments together over the years that “I could write a book on those stories,” he didn’t hesitate when asked if he had a personal favorite.
“We’re in the dressing room, the guys in the bands and the crew guys all hanging out, and the shots of Jägermeister start going. It never really ends. One time in Europe, I remember specifically, the party carried over into their tour bus. I didn’t know this at the time, I’d heard a rumor, but there was a frozen Jägermeister machine in their tour bus. And that was the ruination of me!” Bello said with a laugh. “That night, I puked everywhere — from their tour bus, there was a trail to my tour bus, and continuing in my bathroom in my tour bus. I remember waking up, and I was hugging the bowl, and it was 7 a.m., I think, and I was still puking. It was one of those really horrible hangovers. And it was a show day, by the way. I didn’t realize we had a show that day, and I paid for it dearly, with a great hangover. The Jägermeister on the tour bus — very dangerous!”
Of course, the retirement of one legendary speed-metal outfit has naturally led to questions about whether Bello and his Anthrax bandmates have begun to consider their own musical mortality. The band, after all, was formed in Queens back in 1981. And there’s been no shortage of lineup turnover throughout the years, though Bello (who started as a roadie and took over for founding bassist Dan Lilker in ’84) has been one of the group’s constants over that time, along with rhythm guitarist Scott Ian and drummer Charlie Benante.
Still, he doesn’t see the band’s finish line on the horizon. If anything, he said, this decade has actually sparked renewed interest in Anthrax from music fans.
The Big Four — Anthrax, Slayer, Megadeth and Metallica — joined forces on the same bill for the first time ever in 2010, with seven performances at the Sonisphere Festival across Europe proving enormously popular. Furthermore, the return of longtime singer Joey Belladonna helped make the group’s two most recent albums (2011’s “Worship Music” and 2016’s “For All Kings”) their highest-charting debuts ever. (The band also released a live DVD, “Kings Among Scotland,” on April 27 this year.)
“There’s been, like, this rebirth of people noticing the band … and it makes you hungrier,” Bello said, his staccato accent picking up speed. “This is a very, very hungry band, Anthrax. Maybe it’s our New York mentality; I don’t know what it is, but there’s a very fierce energy going on within the band. We can’t wait to see what’s next. So, if anything, we’re just getting started, I think. There’s a whole new generation of kids and fans coming out. I think our fanbase is growing big-time.”
Part of what’s next is another album. Bello said they were supposed to be writing a record right now, “but this Slayer tour came up, and you can’t say no to this, because of the obvious reasons.” So instead, the group will convene in January to start the songwriting process.
He said he’s expecting something of a shift in the tone of the new material.
“We’re gonna go heavy — heavier than ever, I think,” Bello said. “That’s just the vibe. There’s an inner anger, which I think is great for songwriting.”
That said, he doesn’t want brutality at the expense of musicality. This is, after all, a man who cited The Beatles’ “Revolver” and U2’s “The Joshua Tree” as two of his all-time favorite albums. “I just wanna hear melody with my music,” he said. “… Anthrax has always been a melodic metal band.”
And so it becomes a matter of trying to strike the right balance between heavy riffs, melodiousness and standout vocal performances. In that respect, Bello said, they are copying the template established by metal icons such as Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest — “That’s what we grew up on, so why not just follow through with that?” — while trying to put Anthrax’s unique spin on the formula.
(Photo courtesy of Andy Buchanan) Anthrax (from left: Joey Belladonna, Frank Bello, Jonathan Donais, Charlie Benante, Scott Ian) perform at the Barrowland Ballroom in Glasgow, Scotland, on Feb. 15, 2017. (Photo Credit:/)
“It’s not your generic metal, let’s face it. We care about our songs. It’s not just that we need to put out a record, we need to put out the record. It’s about living with these songs — that’s why it takes us a while to write,” he said. “It’s about songwriting, man. It really is. It’s about every little nook and cranny on that song. Anthrax has never phoned anything in, and I don’t see us ever doing that.”
The same applies to their live performances.
“Nah, dude — can’t do that. It’s not in our makeup. It’s not in our DNA,” Bello said. “We genuinely love playing together. We’ve been doing it for so long. But that energy you create that’s between you and the audience, that’s the drug that you can’t do without.”
Jäger, though, might be a close second.
“I’ve fallen out of a lot of bars in Utah!” Bello conceded with a chuckle. “There’s a great metal fanbase there. We look forward to it. We try to bring the party wherever we are. We want people to have a good time — come to the show, forget about your issues. And again, it’s the Slayer farewell tour, so we’re all tipping our hats to them and just supporting them and having a great time. The great thing about this tour, that all metal fans in Utah should see, is metal is alive and well.”
And maybe a bit hung over, too.
There likely won’t be a Democratic candidate on the ballot in the Sandy area’s Senate District 9 this year — and the reason why comes down to who’s considered a “physician” under Utah code.
A few days after Senate District 9 candidate Abigail Wright stepped aside on May 18, her physician assistant sent a letter to Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen that said a family health issue would “make it very difficult for Abigail to continue running for office.”
Utah’s election code says the state central committee of a party can submit a name to fill a vacancy if the original candidate resigns “because of acquiring a physical or mental disability as certified by a physician.”
But the lieutenant governor’s office said in a statement Thursday that the definition of “physician” in state code does not include physician assistants. Therefore, the office “does not believe that any letters submitted to this point by Ms. Wright or medical professionals on her behalf” meet those requirements.
That means any candidate who tries to fill the Democratic vacancy in the race to replace Senate President Wayne Niederhauser could be challenged, the office said.
“The law is very clear,” Justin Lee, the director of elections in the lieutenant governor’s office, told The Salt Lake Tribune.
After they heard the Democratic State Central Committee planned to meet Wednesday to nominate a replacement for Wright, Utah Republican Party Chairman Rob Anderson and Salt Lake County Republican Party Chairman Scott Miller wrote an email complaint to the lieutenant governor’s office. In that letter, they asked state election officials to tell the Democrats “that their election is not valid, and will not be recognized as it fails to meet the standards set forth in Utah election code.”
A few hours later, Democratic Party insiders decided not to vote officially on the issue — but chose Monica Zoltanski as an unofficial candidate for the district just in case.
“I support Monica Zoltanski, the presumptive nominee in filling the vacancy and my hope is that this matter can be resolved in a way that provides the voters in Senate District 9 with a Democratic candidate on the ballot,” Wright said in a written statement.
Q. Dang, Salt Lake County Democratic Executive Committee chairman, acknowledged that the door to getting a Democrat on the ballot is most likely closed. But he said he’s holding out hope that Wright could provide the lieutenant governor’s office with information that would change its stance before the certification deadline.
If Wright obtained and submitted a letter to the county clerk from a certified physician, Lee said, “that would certainly be different than what we’re talking about now,” but he noted that there would still be questions about whether that documentation should have been submitted at the time of Wright’s withdrawal.
Dang said that while he respects the opinion of the lieutenant governor’s office, he sees the Republican Party’s complaint as a political move. He said it was “actively trying to block something that hasn’t even happened yet,” since the committee ultimately decided not to nominate a candidate.
“They weren’t concerned with the process, they just didn’t want a challenge to a race," he said. "And that’s not democratic in my book.”
While Anderson believes placing a Democrat on the ballot “at the eleventh hour” would put Republican candidate Kirk Cullimore Jr. at a disadvantage, he denied that the complaint was politically motivated.
“Our platform says we abide by the rule of law," he said, “and I think it’s important that we do so.”
Orem • The Bingham Miners have churned out a bunch of state championships lately with an offense that methodically takes over games in the fourth quarter.
Bingham opened the 2018 season Thursday night with a decidedly different method of winning. The formula went something like this: Interception, touchdown. Another interception, another touchdown.
That’s how the Class 6A defending champion Miners pulled away to a 39-22 victory over Orem, the reigning 4A state champions.
The Tigers had scored two third-quarter touchdowns to get within 25-22. Orem then used the sound strategy of trying to get the football to star receiver Puka Nacua, who already had caught two touchdown passes, including an 80-yard sprint with a short pass. Bingham’s secondary responded wonderfully — and, in each case, so did the Miners' offense.
Jared Greenfield’s 20-yard interception return led to Andrew Wimmer’s 46-yard touchdown run on Bingham’s first play. Next Orem possession, same story. Porter Hawkins' interception set up Raymond Lewis' 35-yard touchdown run — again, on the first play.
So after the the Miners failed to do anything on their first two drives of the fourth quarter, an offensive line that includes two sophomores and two juniors opened big holes that Wimmer and Lewis exploited on their way to the end zone. Their big runs came after Bingham running back Braedon Wissler was injured late in the first half.
That’s what the Miners needed to beat a team that has to rank in the state’s top three, regardless of classification. Coach John Lambourne’s team, having beaten 28 straight Utah opponents, will visit East next week in another showcase game.
Peyton Jones passed for 178 yards and three touchdowns in the first half as the Miners took an 18-7 lead. Bingham missed two extra-point kicks and failed on a 2-point try.
After a scoreless first quarter, Jones' 42-yard pass to Wimmer led to his 24-yard touchdown toss to Wissler. Orem answered with Puka Nacua’s leaping catch of Cooper Legas' pass in the back corner of the end zone, before Bingham scored twice in the last three minutes of the half.
Jones hit Avi Parikh for a 13-yard touchdown, then his 39-yard completion to Greenfield gave Bingham another scoring chance. Jake Cragun made an 18-yard touchdown reception with four seconds remaining.
August is not an evaluation period for college coaches; otherwise, a bunch of them would have visited Orem to see this display of talent. In late July, after the Tigers' first official practice of the season, coach Jeremy Hill sat in the stands and marveled, “We’ve got some of these kids who will be Sunday players, playing on the field right now. It’s pretty surreal.”
If that’s true, the Miners' visit likely added to the collection of future NFL talent. Simote Pepa and Junior Tafuna were impressive defensively for Bingham. They’re among seven of the top 10 recruits in the state who were on the field Thursday, according to 247Sports.com. And that’s not including Orem’s Noah Sewell, an aggressive linebacker who also played running back and scored the touchdown that made it 25-22. The transfer from Desert Hills High School in St. George is already ranked Utah’s No. 1 player in the class of 2020 by 247Sports.com.
Nashville, Tenn. • Tennessee Titans running back Dion Lewis has been so focused on football with his new team that he didn’t realize until a few days into training camp just how special the benches on each sideline really are.
Now he takes a couple of minutes whenever possible during practice to sit and cool off.
“It’s great,” said Lewis, who spent the past three years with New England. “It’s real hot ... so whenever you use anything to make you cool down a little bit, I think it’s a great tool. It’s been here for the whole time, but I just realized it like probably last week. So definitely take advantage of that whenever I get a chance.”
Keeping football players cool during the sweltering days of training camp is critical, especially in the wake of the heat-related death of Minnesota offensive tackle Korey Stringer in August 2001 and the June death of Maryland offensive lineman Jordan McNair. An attorney for the McNair family says a preliminary death certificate indicates the cause of death was heatstroke.
Old-fashioned tubs filled with water and bags of ice await NFL players, even for teams staying at their headquarters this time of year. A few minutes provides a quick, but very wet, recovery once practice is over.
The Titans and New Orleans Saints both decided to give players a chance to cool off during practice, improving both safety and the workouts.
With a new coach in Mike Vrabel, the Titans put a bench on each side of their three practice fields, giving players a chance to recover when the temperature during morning practices can feel like 90 degrees.
“I don’t think our players have done a good enough job of taking advantage of it, but, we’re trying it out,” Vrabel said.
“Going to Miami and Jacksonville in the early games here, if there’s anything we can do to keep our guys as fresh as possible on the sideline, we’re going to try.”
In hot and humid Jacksonville, the Jaguars have had such cooling benches for years in the shade and near huge fans to use during breaks.
The New Orleans Saints have used a cooling tent for years, even when holding training camp at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. With the tent kept off to the side of the football fields, it wound up too far away for the Saints to slip over during practices.
This August, an 18-wheeler dropped off what looks like a massive storage trailer. Inside, it’s actually a chilly 25 degrees featuring dim lighting and black padded folding chairs.
The Saints can walk in for a quick refresher or sit down to drop the body temperature. If needed, coach Sean Payton can put a whole position group inside at once, especially effective for big men such as offensive or defensive linemen.
“As bodies go in there, it goes to 28,” Payton said. “But it’s almost three times colder than a tent.”
Payton said colleges such as LSU and Alabama are among those already using the cooling trailer. Being in muggy Louisiana, the Saints didn’t have to go far to find a company that could help them out.
Payton said when the temperatures soar, teams can’t cool players down enough. The trailer allows New Orleans to keep the Saints refreshed enough to practice, not just survive until the final horn signals a blissful end.
“You want to not just be running plays, and then you also have an answer if someone is going through a second-level heat illness or God forbid something more serious,” Payton said.
“But, the first thing we want to be able to do is cool the core temperatures down. We’ve always taken a lot of breaks, so we’ve handled the heat well. We’ve had to. But if you went back to Millsaps even, we had a cool tent. This is just much colder.”
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers don’t use cooling benches. For the first time, they are making good use of an indoor practice facility — complete with air conditioning — that was completed earlier this year.
Despite playing in Florida, the Buccaneers had never had an indoor practice field before now, and coach Dirk Koetter has used it liberally.
He’s started several practices outdoors before going inside where the Bucs even installed bleachers for fans attending open sessions. Koetter also keeps the Bucs inside for walkthroughs to avoid the heat.
Just standing near the cooling bench is comfortable enough to watch an entire practice without even needing to sit on the chilled aluminum seats. Titans running back Derrick Henry tested the cooling bench last weekend and liked what he found. A big man at 6-foot-3, Henry says he won’t use it too much to avoid stiffening up.
Walking by to cool off?
“It feels good, especially because it’s hot out here,” Henry said. “It’s camp, and we got to put it to use. It’s a good tool for us to cool our body off, so we’re ready when we go back out there.”
On Wednesday, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints may have watched the documentary film “Meet the Mormons” before listening to recordings of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on the Mormon Channel or browsing through content on MormonNewsroom.org, Mormon.org or MormonAndGay.lds.org.
But after Thursday, it’s unclear which of those church-produced products — or any of a number of third-party “Mormon” creations — will continue in their current form or with their current names.
“All good questions,” church spokesman Eric Hawkins said after being asked about the above examples. “Unfortunately, I don’t have any clarification beyond the last line of the statement.”
The statement he refers to is one released Thursday and attributed to Mormon prophet Russell M. Nelson — who, after updates to the church’s style guide, prefers now to be described as the prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ — at least on subsequent references to the Utah-based faith. It encourages the use of the church’s full name or specific variations, and asks that it and its members no longer be identified by the acronym “LDS” or the nickname “Mormons.”
“Additional information about this important matter," Nelson said, “will be made available in the coming months.”
The change, which Nelson explained as necessary to bring the church into harmony with God’s will, prompted an array of surprised reactions on social media. After past attempts to distance the church from its “Mormon” nickname — stemming from the faith’s signature text, the Book of Mormon — leaders had seemingly embraced the shorthand descriptor in recent years through initiatives like the “I’m a Mormon” campaign and other church-produced content under a Mormon title.
We embraced "Mormon."
Then we shunned "Mormon."
Then we re-embraced "Mormon."
Now, we're shunning it again.
Probably nothing to get worked up about. Give it 20 years & we'll be embracing "Mormon" again. #FullNelson #LDS
One of the most visible uses, by the church, of the word “Mormon” is likely its Mormon Tabernacle Choir, casually known as the “MoTab," an internationally recognized and award-winning musical group whose weekly performances have been broadcast on the program “Music and the Spoken Word” since 1929, making it the nation’s longest-running continuous radio program.
The updated style guide does include a section stating that “Mormon” can be correctly used in proper names, citing the Book of Mormon. That provision also could apply to things like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir or other church-produced Mormon titles. Another exception would be historical expressions as in the “Mormon Trail,” the westward path early Latter-day Saint pioneers took before settling in the Salt Lake Valley.August 16, 2018
Several private but topically related entities utilize the “Mormon” and “LDS” terms in their names, including some which church leaders probably would like to distance the faith from. The popular “Mormon Stories” podcast, for instance, is hosted by excommunicated member John Dehlin. Other critical sites are the ex-Mormon page on Reddit and the transparency website MormonLeaks.
The change poses challenges for media organizations that cover the church, and which have come to rely on “Mormon” or “LDS” as convenient and widely understood descriptors of the religion. The church itself owns several publishing titles, like Mormon Times and LDS Living — which are contained within the Deseret News and Deseret Book arms of the church’s corporate structure — that now run afoul of the Latter-day Saint style guidelines.
The faith’s Thursday news release noted that “in the coming months, church websites and materials will be updated to reflect” Nelson’s direction.
🔘 a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I ask that the term "Mormon" or "LDS" not be used, except in proper names or as an adjective in historical expressions or in times of winter or famine
According to its updated style guide, the church prefers that “the restored gospel of Jesus Christ” be used in place of “Mormonism” to refer to the broader doctrinal, cultural and social aspects of the faith. That preference, however, may conflict with objective practices of news and journalistic organizations.
In a statement, Deseret News Editor Doug Wilks suggested the newspaper would adhere to the church’s preferences for its name and identification.
“Journalists, whether here at the Deseret News, The Salt Lake Tribune or elsewhere, typically allow organizations and individuals to self-identify,” he said. “I see no reason not to maintain this same level of journalistic integrity.”
Tribune Editor Jennifer Napier-Pearce doesn’t foresee any changes to this paper’s practices.
“The Tribune’s style has always been to refer to an organization’s full name in its reporting but to shorten to commonly used phrases or nicknames throughout a story for clarity and flow,” she said in an email. “For example, the University of Utah becomes the U., Utes or even just Utah in context. Another example would be Utah GOP for the Utah Republican Party. I don’t see any reason to veer from this standard.”
Provo • By most accounts, BYU’s offense embarrassed the defense at last Saturday’s first scrimmage of preseason training camp, racking up more than 40 points on an assortment of big plays and dominating drives.
The tables were turned — if only slightly — on Thursday at LaVell Edwards Stadium, according to most coaches and players who described the workout that was closed to the media until the last few minutes.
“I think the defense kind of got fed up hearing about the offense, and what they were doing,” head coach Kalani Sitake said. “They wanted to do something about it. That’s kind of what happens in camp.”
Cornerback Chris Wilcox concurred with Sitake, who is spending more time with the defense this month than he did in his first two years at the helm.
“I mean, they scored probably like 40-something points on us last time, so it was different this time,” said Wilcox, who is competing with Michael Shelton, Keenan Ellis and Beau Tanner for one of the two starting cornerback spots. “I feel like the defense came through, and I will leave it at that.”
The offense put up 34 points, according to the scoreboard, which showed BYU 34, Arizona 0 at the end. Sitake said it ran 90 plays, compared to 120 last Saturday.
“I thought the defense did pretty good today,” the coach said. “I will have to watch the film. The first half was really controlled by what the defense did.”
Sitake said the defensive line played particularly well, after apparently getting pushed around last time. It came up with five or six sacks and forced a fumble as the offense was going in to score.
The offense’s best play was a 50-yard touchdown pass from Zach Wilson to Aleva Hifo. Tanner Mangum and freshman tight end Dallin Holker connected on a big passing play, quarterbacks coach Aaron Roderick said.
Freshman kicker Skyler Southam booted a 48-yard field goal, but also missed a much shorter one.
“I don’t think [the offense] performed as well as we have in some other practices and scrimmages,” offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes said. “We just didn’t make as many plays as we have in the passing game or the running game.”
Grimes said the offense played better in the second half.
Roderick said “it was a pretty even battle” between the offense and defense.
“But we gotta clean up some things, for sure,” he said.
As for the starting quarterback competition, neither Sitake, Grimes nor Roderick would say who played better — Wilson or Mangum — until they had the chance to watch film. Cougar Club members were allowed to watch the entire scrimmage, and several said Wilson played better as they exited the stadium in the 90-degree heat.
“They compete like crazy every day, and the competition is really close,” Roderick said. “What keeps me up at night is at some point I have to give someone the bad news. And that’s hard. I want to do right by the team and our quarterbacks that are competing for the job.”
“When you do this job, you get used to it,” said the veteran of many quarterback competitions when he was at Utah. “Everyone has their critiques and advice. It’s part of the job. I am glad people care. If people didn’t care, I wouldn’t have a job, so I really do appreciate all of them.”
Sitake said the Cougars will only lift weights on Friday, then get the weekend off before getting back at it on Monday. Specific preparations for the opener on Sept. 1 at Arizona will begin at the end of next week, probably after another Thursday scrimmage at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
If BYU’s quarterback battle really is as close as indicated by coaches, there’s only one thing for them to do, for many reasons: Start Tanner Mangum.
If it’s not that close, there is the alternative.
Not sure that Kalani Sitake, Jeff Grimes and Aaron Roderick will follow the logic here. Just saying they should follow it, even as whispers leak out one day that Zach Wilson is edging ahead, and the next that coaches are giving Mangum every opportunity to close the deal.
Here’s the reasoning:
There’s a mighty chance that BYU, no matter how effectively the Cougars bounce back from the competitive disaster that last season caromed into, will face an arduous climb in the early part of this season, commencing as they do against Arizona, Cal and Wisconsin in the first three weeks, and then Washington two weeks later.
Unless the freshman Wilson clearly has blown past the senior Mangum, there’s no reason for BYU to chuck the kid out into the path of that oncoming road grader. Mangum, at least, has faced those kinds of challenges before.
Three seasons back, he beat a number of good teams in pressure situations, including Nebraska on its home field and Boise State at LaVell’s Place, and kept the Cougars close in other big games. Last year, absorbing too much of the blame himself when that blame should have been hauled by an entire offense, an offense that was beyond pathetic, Mangum struggled in a way nobody expected.
And then, he blew out his Achilles tendon.
Staring down those troubles, as well as responsibly working through periods of depression, Mangum ascended over and bored through a dark competitive span that would have roughed up any collegiate athlete, earning him the respect of his teammates by fighting back. He rehabbed hard. He lost 20-plus pounds. He got stronger. He threw himself into a crowded race for his old starting spot. He chased away the shadowy notions that he wasn’t a leader, wasn’t one of the guys. He studied Grimes’ new offense. And he matured as a person.
Listen to what the senior said:
“My time here has been full of some highs and full of some lows. It’s taught me about handling adversity and maintaining a sense of enthusiasm and energy despite feeling down or discouraged. It’s something I”m going to carry with me the rest of my life. Sometimes things aren’t going to go your way. You might feel frustrated and disappointed, but at the end of the day you have to keep going and get back to work and keep fighting.”
So he did. He narrowed a crowded QB race down to two, alongside Wilson, a young prodigy with time on his side and the ease of manner that comes with it.
If the final stages of that race remain neck and neck, Mangum deserves another shot. He was ill-suited to run former offensive coordinator Ty Detmer’s offense, just as every other player on that offense seemed to be. He piled up all kinds of promising yardage, though, even as he was unprepared to do so, coming directly off an LDS mission, running Robert Anae’s attack. Taysom Hill’s injury forced him onto the field, and he responded.
(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) BYU football practice in Provo, Friday March 23, 2018. Quarterback Zach Wilson. (Trent Nelson/)
If Mangum gets the chance to start again, his football story will be completely on the line, wholly vulnerable to risk, wholly positioned for reward. Against that kind of competition, there are no guarantees of victory.
But that last part is also true for a 19-year-old freshman who never before has played college football, let alone college football against outfits like Wisconsin and Washington, who could each be among the best fistful of teams in the country.
Better to start the veteran, then. See if his experience of the past, including overcoming an inability to even walk on that busted Achilles, has steeled him to the point where he can face down this challenge, too.
If he can’t, and BYU loses, and the season starts to lurch, that’s when you bring in the freshman, especially as the schedule lightens a bit.
That’s a good move for the psyche of the program, for the psyche of the fans, for the longevity of the coaches, who feel the pressure that’s real. If defeat comes early, and the kid is spared, standing on the sideline, watching and learning, remaining unscathed, and then beatable teams arrive, enabling the new quarterback to gain confidence and, at some level, shine, now Sitake and his staff have new hope in the numbers. Even if the Cougars end up with five or six wins, the coach can dial up Tom Holmoe, point to the new guy behind center and lay claim to the dawn of a new day.
Starting Mangum, either way, no matter how the record runs, is the smartest move.
If the senior shows well, and the Cougars win a couple of early games, all good. If he struggles, and Wilson is brought in, then there’s that aforementioned promise. It’s certainly easier to go with the experienced quarterback, and then, if needed, bring in the inexperienced one in relief than it is to demote and embarrass the veteran, start Wilson, watch the rook’s confidence fritter away in defeat, and then turn back to the vet, lying to him, telling him you never doubted his abilities from the jump.
Falling onto that path could lead to another disastrous season, with the entire team losing faith not just in themselves, but in the decision-makers leading the program.
Unless, of course, Wilson is far ahead. If he is, and the team knows it, then … never mind.
GORDON MONSON hosts “The Big Show” with Jake Scott weekdays from 3-7 p.m. on 97.5 FM and 1280 AM The Zone.
A Utah County resident has contracted West Nile virus, the first human case recorded in Utah this year, according to the county’s Health Department.
Officials are unsure whether the person got the virus in Utah County or while traveling, a news release from the department states.
It’s uncommon to see so few cases of West Nile virus in humans in Utah, according to the news release. Since 2013, Utah has averaged 18 humans cases. Last year, 17 people contracted the virus.
Relatedly, officials have found fewer West Nile virus-positive mosquitoes in Utah this year. In 2017, crews found 74 pools — or collections of mosquitoes — that tested positive for the virus, compared with 27 this year, according to the news release.
"This is should serve as a reminder to all residents to take steps to prevent mosquitoes and West Nile virus,” Health Department spokeswoman Aislyn Tolman-Hill said in the release. “The importance of using insect repellent with DEET cannot be overstated.”
While many who contract the virus show no signs of being infected, the mosquito-borne illness can cause mild to severe symptoms, including fever, headache and body aches. Severe infections, which occur in less than 1 percent of people who contract the virus, can lead to death or long-term complications, according to the news release.
To avoid mosquitoes, the health department suggested the following tips:Drain standing water.Stay inside at dusk and dawn.Wear long sleeves and pants when outside.Use insect repellent with DEET.Ensure that door and window screens are sealed.
Englewood, Colo. • John Elway might find himself in the market for a veteran backup quarterback soon, yet there’s one man who won’t be getting a call: Colin Kaepernick.
“Colin had his chance to be here,” Elway said Thursday when asked if the former San Francisco 49ers QB would be an option if he decides Case Keenum’s backup isn’t already on Denver’s roster.
“We offered him a contract. He didn’t take it,” Elway said. “And as I said at my deposition (in Kaepernick’s collusion lawsuit against the NFL) — and I don’t know if I’m legally able to say this — but he’s had his chance to be here. He passed.”
Kaepernick declined to take a pay cut from his $11.9 million salary to facilitate a trade to the Broncos in 2016 following Peyton Manning’s retirement.
Unable to get a discount from Kaepernick or a rebate from the 49ers, Elway moved up in the draft to select former Memphis QB Paxton Lynch in the first round of the draft that spring.
Lynch has been a flop and this week was demoted to third string behind Chad Kelly, last year’s “Mr. Irrelevant,” who missed his rookie season while recovering from knee and wrist surgeries.
Kaepernick contends he’s no longer in the NFL because he’s the one who started the protests during the national anthem that have engulfed the league ever since. At first he sat down, then later took a knee during “The Star-Spangled Banner” to highlight social injustices against minorities.
Several players joined in, and President Donald Trump criticized them for disrespecting the flag and U.S. military by not standing during the anthem.
Lynch was beaten out in 2016 and ‘17 by seventh-round QB Trevor Siemian, who was traded to Minnesota in the offseason following Keenum’s free agent signing. Elway declared the backup job up for grabs between Lynch and Kelly.
Lynch was demoted after failing to read defenses correctly and throwing for just 24 yards in seven series in Denver’s preseason opener against the Vikings.
Kelly threw for 177 yards and two TDs in mop-up duty, but that was his first game in more than 640 days. And he’s had a tougher time this week while running with the second string against the Bears’ backups in joint practices at the UC Health Center.
Kelly will get a long look Saturday night against Chicago as Elway determines whether he can trust him to step in and win games if necessary.
What he’s looking for in a backup QB is a guy “who has the experience and the ability to come in and help you win a football game,” Elway said. “It’s a different quality because you have to be ready all the time, and mentally be ready all the time and you don’t get a chance to play all the time.
“And as hard as it is to find a starter, it’s just as hard to find a guy that can back up. And so, we’re always looking for those.”
If Elway doesn’t feel comfortable with Kelly as his backup, he could sign a free agent next week who isn’t in anyone’s camp or wait for final cuts on Sept. 1 for more options.
“We’ll wait through this week and see what happens,” Elway said. “I feel like we still have time.”
Elway said he’s been pleased with Keenum, save for his pair of three-and-outs in the preseason opener.
“I was hoping to get off to a better start than we had the first week in the preseason,” Elway said. “But it’s been a good week of practice and Case has had a good camp. So, hopefully we dig in a little bit more this week and get off to a better start.”
And he’s hoping Kelly provides a better performance with the second string than Lynch did.
Elway might soon have to cut the man he once thought was his next franchise quarterback.
“We haven’t played two preseason games yet,” Elway said, “so I’m not going to get into hypotheticals.”
Notes: Newly signed S Shamarko Thomas had to leave practice early because of the heat. ... Coach Vance Joseph declined to say whether Von Miller will be held out again Saturday: “We’ll see with Von. Last year he didn’t play until Week 3. I think he had four plays, one sack and one quarterback pressure.”
Walnut Creek, Calif. • Just like Steph, seventh-grader Amanda Kerner stood before a big crowd and knocked down shot after shot from five different spots on the court — 20 makes in 2 1/2 minutes, complete with a buzzer-beater.
For one afternoon, Stephen Curry ensured that 200 girls in his camp had as real a chance as possible to try to be a little bit like him, down to the fancy dribbling work and competitive shooting drills he does daily alongside Kevin Durant throughout the season.
Curry went nuts for Kerner’s success.
Her summer? Absolutely made.
“It was the best thing in my life that ever happened,” the 12-year-old said, recalling her thrilling moment. “He was jumping around afterward. He seemed really excited. He slammed the ball on the floor. He’s the best shooter in the world and I want to be like him, so to see him supporting girls, it’s really cool.”
For the first time, Curry hosted all girls for a free, Warriors-run camp Monday and Tuesday at Walnut Creek’s Ultimate Fieldhouse. Last week at the same facility that he has also chosen in recent years, the Golden State star held his Under Armour “Stephen Curry Select Camp” with two of the nation’s top high school girls playing mixed right in with the best boys.
The two-time MVP and father of two young daughters has made it his mission to better support the girls’ game. He asked longtime Warriors camp director Jeff Addiego to plan an all-girls session this summer.
That gesture goes a long way with everyone Curry influences as he takes a giving approach off the court in the offseason. After two straight NBA titles and three in four years, Curry easily could be spending more time at home with newborn son, Canon, working on his own skills, or even improving his golf game.
“Anytime you have a guy of Steph’s notoriety, his caliber of play, everything that he has going, to take the time to do this and do it for all girls, it just speaks volumes,” said Olympic gold medalist and former WNBA star Jennifer Azzi, who coached at the University of San Francisco and is now the NBA’s global director of special initiatives. “In my experience with the guys around the NBA, they’re very supportive of women, but for him to go the extra mile and do this, I think it means the world to young girls to see that caliber of NBA male is taking an interest in them. I think it’s really exciting, and really it’s not about gender. It’s about your passion for the game.”
After Kerner’s remarkable shooting performance, Curry brought her up in front of the other campers to talk about the triumph and then signed a pair of his custom shoes for her on the spot. She had been camper of the week at a session two years ago in San Ramon, so Kerner received an invite to this camp based on past participation.
“It was special,” Curry said. “We had four girls go through the shooting drill. They had to make two in a row from five spots around the court and back. The first three girls, two of them made it to the top of the key on the way back but didn’t make it all the way around. Amanda got up, she made her first four practice shots. I was worried she wasted all her makes in the practice, so when the actual competition started, the timer started, she made it around to the left wing and got a little cold and the time started ticking. It was kind of one of those photo finishes. She made eight in a row to finish off the last four spots and the last one was at the buzzer. So we had one girl finish the competition, which was a perfect way to end my segment, end the day at camp. And for Amanda, I know that’s probably a highlight that she’ll remember for a long time.”
When someone of Curry’s stature insists your shot is top-notch, it means everything.
So imagine how high school players Azzi Fudd and Cameron Brink felt about the high praise when they took part in Curry’s select camp as the first females to ever participate.
“It’s really cool that he’s saying that because he’s definitely one of the best shooters at least in my generation, and I’ve grown up watching him play,” said Fudd, who will be a high school sophomore at St. John’s in Washington, D.C.
Brink described herself as “completely humbled.”
It wasn’t only the star point guard noticing the girls’ shooting touch, either — Curry’s father, Dell, who is Brink’s godfather, and Warriors development coach Bruce Fraser, who works with Curry daily, brought them up as two of the best.
“We did a couple competition drills with all the campers and they were definitely in the top 10 in the first run through,” Curry said. “It’s a new look. Cameron is my god-sister and her being the No. 1 rising junior in the country is pretty crazy, and then you’ve got somebody that’s been touted in the Maya Moore category as well, so I think it’s a pretty cool dynamic to have them eager to learn and be around the guys and play and compete and push themselves in this atmosphere.”
Dell Curry loved watching the girls’ success, proud of his son for inviting them.
“He’s always trying to make this camp a little better and put a special touch to it, so having the two ladies here really does that,” Dell said.
Curry would motion to Brink to calm down when she was overcome by nerves: playing with boys, shooting a bigger ball, just the anxiety that came with the enormity of this moment.
“It’s been surreal,” said Brink’s mom, Michelle, who played at Virginia Tech where she met Dell and Sonya Curry, her college roommate.
Curry takes pride in having a Bay Area presence “to reach out to the next generation of basketball players from all different ages, all different skill levels, boys and girls.” His two daughters, Riley and Ryan, are impressed with the girls.
“To have an all-girls camp, one for me, it’s going to be an eye-opening experience to really truly understand the talent that’s out there on the basketball court for the next generation of women that are playing the game,” Curry said. “For me, I have two daughters that are excited just to find what they’re passionate about, what they’re interested in. So hopefully they’ll get inspired in that sense to see those girls that are a little older, a little bit more developed that enjoy playing the game and have such high skill levels.
“It’s been fun, just enjoying the opportunity. This is still very surreal to have a camp like this knowing that when I was in high school I probably wouldn’t have been invited to my own camp, so it’s pretty cool.”
Health officials say a hepatitis A outbreak that spread from San Diego has killed three people in Utah, but it’s now waning.
Epidemiologists told state lawmakers on Wednesday that no cases were detected in connection with restaurants where patrons were warned to get tested after workers became infected.
No additional details were released about the deaths. Health officials have said two people who died belonged to one or more at-risk groups that include homeless people, drug users and people recently incarcerated.
Health officials have identified 272 cases of hepatitis A in the state since last May.
Michelle Vowles with the Salt Lake County Health Department says a number of states have also experience recent outbreaks, including Michigan, Kentucky, West Virginia and Tennessee.
Morgan Scalley is not interested in becoming known as the manager, mayor or council chair of Sack Lake City.
He just wants to stop the run.
Utah’s defense has lost its status as the country’s top sack-producing group, having registered 55 in 2014. Last season, the Utes' 25 quarterback sacks were the program’s fewest since 2006 and tied for 72nd in the country.
So you would think the number “25” would have been posted somewhere in the Spence and Cleone Eccles Football Center, or least imprinted in Scalley's mind. And you would be wrong.
“That's not the No. 1 statistic we worry about,” Scalley said this week.
And that’s why “205” and “347” are more concerning numbers to him. Those were the rushing yardage totals for Arizona State and Oregon in Utah’s consecutive losses last October, ruining the defense’s otherwise solid season. The Utes ranked No. 2 in the Pac-12 and No. 27 nationally in rushing defense, allowing 131.3 yards. ASU and Oregon far exceeded that figure — especially the Ducks, whose backup quarterback completed only nine passes that afternoon, while their running backs kept exploiting the perimeter of Utah’s defense.
Scalley wants to pressure an opposing quarterback, hitting him often enough to “let him get rattled a little bit,” he said.
Sack Lake City, though? The mythical town may never come back to life. In the era of run-pass options and other offensive schemes that offset or even take advantage of aggressive pass rushers, sacks are tougher than ever to produce in the Pac-12.
“The ball's getting out quicker,” Scalley said. “So if you're just trying to get sacks for sacks' sake, your defensive ends are going to be playing undisciplined football, running up the field all day long just trying to get to the quarterback. And then you're creating creases.”
That's the dilemma for end Bradlee Anae, who's proud to be part of Utah's defensive line tradition and knows the outside world is judging him by sack totals. Anae led the Utes with seven sacks as a sophomore and is expected to be highly productive again, trending toward an NFL career. He also remembers the defense's struggles in stopping the run, explaining why he's already thinking about November when the Utes again meet ASU and Oregon in back-to-back games.
“We have a chip on our shoulder about those games,” he said.
Utah’s defense in the Kyle Whittingham era — entering a 25th season, counting his 10 years as defensive coordinator and one season as the line coach — is framed by an aggressive, blitzing scheme and strong individual performances up front. The Utes play mostly man-to-man coverage in the secondary and have a variety of pressure packages. This season, they will feature linebackers Cody Barton and Chase Hansen, who was an adept blitzer as a safety.
Yet when their pass rush is most effective, it usually stems from defensive linemen with a knack for getting after the quarterback. Other than Anae, that’s what Utah lacked in 2017, three years after Nate Orchard terrorized QBs and one year after Hunter Dimick and Pita Taumoepenu were disruptive forces in Scalley’s first season as defensive coordinator.
It may be unfair to connect the decisions of Filipo Mokofisi and Lowell Lotulelei to quickly halt their NFL pursuits this past spring and their stats as seniors. Their numbers did drop off last year, regardless.
So if the Utes hope to be more harmful to QBs in 2018, they need Leki Fotu and some combination of fellow tackles Hauati Pututau, Pita Tonga and John Penisini to collapse the pocket. On the edge, they need Caleb Repp, Mika Tafua or Maxs Tupai to complement Anae.
Scalley said of Fotu, “There's a guy who understands that running to the football is going to get him a lot of money.”
As for Tupai, Scalley said, “We've been waiting for the light switch to come on, and it's come on.”
That's a good sign for Utah's defensive line, although not quite the kind of catchy slogan that launched the production of those “Sack Lake City” T-shirts.
For the Utes to get where they want to go this season, they’ll have to do less glamorous things defensively. It starts with stopping the run, and making sure this November doesn’t resemble last October.
Concord, N.C. • Kasey Kahne announced Thursday that he will retire from full-time racing in NASCAR and plans to focus on the sprint car team he owns.
Kahne said in a Twitter post that he is at ease with the decision after 15 years racing in NASCAR. Kahne, from Enumclaw, Washington, made it to NASCAR via sprint car racing and his Kasey Kahne Racing team competes in the World of Outlaws series.
KKR driver Brad Sweet won the prestigious Knoxville (Iowa) Nationals last weekend and the 38-year-old Kahne was present for the victory.
“I’m not sure what the future holds for me,” Kahne said. “The highs don’t outweigh the lows and the grueling schedule takes a toll on your quality of life. I need to spend more time doing the things I enjoy and love and that’s spending time with (son) Tanner and my sprint car teams.”
The former Hendrick Motorsports driver has 18 victories, including a playoff-clinching win last season at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. That win came amid speculation that Hendrick would part ways with Kahne following six seasons, and Hendrick made it official two weeks later.
Kahne signed with Leavine Family Racing for 2018. He has one top-five finish in 23 starts for Leavine, and said the team offered him a ride for next year but Kahne did not want to commit to NASCAR. The Cup schedule is 38 weekends.
Kahne’s announcement came one day after 43-year-old Elliott Sadler said he will walk away from NASCAR after 21 seasons.
Sadler is 43 and currently drives for JR Motorsports in the second-tier Xfinity Series. He spent 12 full-time seasons in the Cup Series driving for Wood Brothers Racing, Robert Yates Racing, Evernham Motorsports and Richard Petty Motorsports. He is retiring to spend more time with his two young children.
They are the latest in a growing list of NASCAR drivers who have hanged up their helmets in recent years, following Danica Patrick, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, three-time champion Tony Stewart and four-time champ Jeff Gordon.
Sacramento, Calif. • A refugee from Iraq was arrested Wednesday in Northern California on a warrant alleging that he killed an Iraqi policeman while fighting for the Islamic State group. Prosecutors allege Omar Abdulsattar Ameen and other members of ISIS killed the officer after the town of Rawah, Iraq, fell to the Islamic State in June 2014.
Ameen, 45, arrested at a Sacramento apartment building, lived in Utah through much of 2014 and 2015 after initially entering the United States.
Ameen wrote in a resume, filed among federal court papers that were unsealed Wednesday, that he worked as a laborer and truck loader for a Salt Lake City thrift store for most of 2015 before moving to Sacramento the following year.
Catholic Community Services in Utah confirmed Thursday that Ameen was their client for six months in 2014, but declined to comment on his case or provide any other details, citing the ongoing federal investigation.
Ameen was arrested by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, acting on a warrant issued in May by an Iraqi federal court in Baghdad. U.S. officials plan to extradite him back to Iraq under a treaty with that nation, and he made his first appearance in federal court in Sacramento on Wednesday.
Ameen could face execution for the "organized killing by an armed group" according to Iraqi documents filed in U.S. federal court.
Prosecutors say Ameen entered the U.S. under a refugee program and attempted to gain legal status in the United States.
He arrived in Turkey in 2012 and began applying to the refugee status by claiming to be a victim of terrorism, according to a court document. He was granted refugee status in June 2014, but returned to Iraq to commit the slaying before traveling to the United States in November 2014, the document says.
The Trump administration has sharply criticized the Obama-era settlement program, questioning whether enough was done to weed out those with terrorist ties.
Officials said Ameen also kept secret his membership in two terrorist groups when he applied for a green card in the United States.
State Department and Department of Homeland Security officials did not immediately respond to questions about Ameen.
Benjamin Galloway, one of Ameen’s public defenders, said he had just 10 minutes to meet with his client prior to his initial federal court appearance Wednesday, and attorneys hadn’t decided whether to contest that Ameen is in fact the man wanted by Iraqi authorities.
Ameen was identified by a witness to the slaying who viewed a series of photographs of ISIS members, according to the Iraqi documents.
The FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force has been investigating Ameen for filing fraudulent travel or immigration documents since 2016, according to a court filing. It says the FBI independently corroborated Ameen's involvement with the terrorist organizations and participation in the slaying.
Ameen remained dressed in street clothing including a light blue T-shirt as he appeared in court handcuffed to a chain around his waist. U.S. Magistrate Judge Edmund Brennan ordered him detained until his next court appearance set for Monday, accepting prosecutors' argument that Ameen is dangerous and a flight risk.
Prosecutors said in court filings that the release of an alleged member of a designated foreign terrorist organization would be a national security risk.
The Iraqi arrest warrant and extradition request say that Ameen entered his hometown of Rawah in the Anbar province of Iraq with a four-vehicle ISIS caravan and drove to the home of Ihsan Abdulhafiz Jasim, who had served with the Rawah Police Department. He and at least five other named suspects opened fire and the man shot back, but the documents allege that Ameen fatally shot the man in the chest as he lay on the ground.
The militants later claimed responsibility for the slaying on social media.
The FBI has interviewed at least eight witnesses who identify the Ameen family — including Ameen himself, his father, brothers, and paternal cousins — as affiliated with al-Qaida and ISIS, prosecutors said.
Court documents say Ameen’s family also aided al-Qaida in Rawah and that Ameen was a member of both al-Qaida in Iraq and ISIS. The documents allege that he did a number of things in support of the groups, including helping plant improvised bombs, transporting militants, soliciting funds and robbing supply trucks and kidnapping drivers on behalf of al-Qaida.
The FBI quotes one witness as saying Ameen’s vehicle in 2005 was a Kia Sportage flying a black al-Qaida flag with a cut-out roof and a machine gun mounted on the rear.
Associated Press journalist Sophia Bollag contributed to this story.
Provo • Getting around LaVell Edwards Stadium will be a bit easier in the future.
BYU announced Wednesday that it will be making several improvements to the stadium at the end of the 2018 season, but won’t increase its capacity, which currently sits at 63,470.
Most notably, BYU will add structural sections at the four corners of the stadium to connect the stands at the mezzanine level. The sections, which will not include seating, will let fans walk between the stands without having to return to ground level.
An artistic rendering of the plan is not yet available but should be within the next few months, according to a school news release. The project is still in the design process and construction will begin at the latter end of the football season, but will not impact game-day access.
It is the first major renovation since 2012, when new LED video boards replaced the existing scoreboards in the north and south end zones and video ribbons were added that stretched along the top of the north and south stands.
Also, the elevator shafts were painted blue and topped with the oval Y logo.
In 2010, capacity was reduced to its current number when the stadium was altered to allow for more wheelchair accessibility.
The project to add walkways between the four separate stands will also increase the number of restrooms by adding women’s, men’s and family-friendly facilities on the north and south mezzanine levels. It is expected to be completed before the 2019 season begins.
At June’s Football Media Day, athletic director Tom Holmoe announced a variety of upgrades to the fan experience that already are in place or will be in place before the home opener on Sept. 8 against California.
The upgrades include a state-of-the-art, large-venue WiFi system similar to many used in NFL stadiums. With that improved mobile connectivity in place, BYU has launched a new game-day mobile application built specifically for the stadium.
The app will provide real-time statistics, on-demand highlight videos, social media components and more.
BYU has also adopted the NFL’s clear bag policy for all home games. Approved bags must be made of clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and should not exceed 12 x 6 x 12 inches. Season ticket holders have received a BYU-branded clear bag with their season tickets.
Greensboro, N.C. • Brandt Snedeker predicted low scores at the Wyndham Championship — but not this low.
Snedeker shot an 11-under 59 on Thursday, falling one shot shy of matching the PGA Tour record.
He made a 20-foot putt on his final hole to become the 10th player in tour history to break 60. Jim Furyk set the record with a 58 in the final round of the Travelers Championship in 2016.
“I better be smiling,” Snedeker said. “I don’t do this every day.”
This is the third consecutive year the PGA Tour has had a sub-60 round. Snedeker is the first to shoot 59 since Adam Hadwin in the third round of the 2017 Careerbuilder Challenge.
It gave him a four-stroke lead after one round. Ryan Moore and John Oda shot 63s, and Martin Flores, D.A. Points, Brett Stegmaier, David Hearn, Abraham Ancer, Ollie Schniederjans and Jonathan Byrd had 64s.
Snedeker — who said a day earlier that the tournament would turn into a “birdie-fest” — began the round at par-70 Sedgefield Country Club with a bogey at No. 10, and took off from there. He played the front nine in 27, including an eagle 2 on the par-4 sixth hole when he holed out from 176 yards.
After that shot, Snedeker said a 59 felt like a real possibility. He remembered a non-tour event he played in China in which he was one putt from that score, but those thoughts “got in the way.”
“To know what you’re trying to do and step up and have a 20-footer (on the final hole) and know what it means, I was very aware of what was going on, and to knock that putt in was really special,” Snedeker said. “To know I’m a part of a small club on tour and not very many people have done this, really cool feeling right now.”
Snedeker, the 2012 FedEx Cup champion, won the Wyndham in 2007. He broke Si Woo Kim’s 2-year-old Wyndham record of 60 and had the best opening round in this event’s history. Arjun Atwal had a 61 in 2010.
“The trick for him is, he’s playing great. Now he’s just got to rest, relax and start over tomorrow from scratch and go play three more good rounds,” said Furyk, who also shot a 59 at the BMW Championship in 2013. “It’s awesome to see.”
It’s been a somewhat frustrating, turbulent year for Snedeker. He has three top-10 finishes and two missed cuts in his last seven events and has not won on tour since 2016. During his first 16 tournaments of the season, he finished in the top 10 just once.
“Nobody could see this coming — trust me,” Snedeker said. “As much as I tried to positive self-talk myself into playing good, I didn’t see 59 coming today, to be honest with you. ... Luckily, it kind of clicked all day today, and hopefully it will keep clicking for the next three days.”
At No. 80 on the points list entering the final event of the tour’s regular season, he’s nowhere near the playoff bubble and his spot at The Northern Trust next week in New Jersey seems safe. But that ranking is his lowest since the tour’s postseason format debuted in 2007.
During his tie for 42nd at the PGA Championship last week in St. Louis, Snedeker says he “kind of found something” when he simplified some swing fundamentals and began to feel better about that part of his game.
Then, he spent the first round showing it off.
Snedeker, who began his round on the back nine, reeled off four consecutive birdies on Nos. 13-16. He then got even hotter on his final nine holes, with six birdies in addition to the shot of the day on No. 6. But he missed a 3-foot birdie putt on No. 8 that would have made a 58 possible.
“Could have been even more special,” he said, “but happy with the way everything turned out.”
Moore, who won here in 2009, made a move up the leaderboard in the afternoon with five birdies in a six-hole span on the front nine. Oda, a second-year pro coming off a tie for third earlier this month in the Barracuda Championship, had three consecutive birdies on the back nine to pull even with Moore.
“You see a round like (Snedeker’s) and maybe kind of encourage you there’s birdies out there, that the course is playing scorable and there’s rounds to be had,” Moore said. “I kind of took that mindset of, well, better get out there and make some birdies if you don’t want to be 10, 11 shots behind by the end of this day. Like, let’s try and close that gap a little bit.”
This Pat Bagley cartoon appears in The Salt Lake Tribune on Friday, Aug. 17, 2018. You can check out the past 10 Bagley editorial cartoons below:Take Me to Your Leader?Misinfo WarsThe Good Old DaysInsurance Magic TrickThe Air We BreatheOrrin’s OutrageEnemy of the PeopleBringing Copiers to a Gun FightSmoke Gets in Your EyesWilderness Trafficking
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Provo • Texas-based sports agent Rocky Hambric has an eye for rising golf talent, and is widely credited for discovering and promoting two of the top golfers in the world, No. 1-ranked Dustin Johnson and recent U.S. Open and PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka.
Hambric, who has represented professional golfers for more than 40 years, looks for taller, athletic golfers who recently turned pro and can hit the golf ball ridiculously far.
His latest recruit just happens to be from Utah.
Former BYU star Patrick Fishburn, the 6-foot-4 bomber who was an all-state point guard at Fremont High, recently signed on with Hambric Sports. Fishburn will take a break from the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and defend his title at the 92nd Siegfried & Jensen Utah Open this week at Riverside Country Club in Provo.
“Rocky kind of came after me and said I have some of the same characteristics as [Koepka and Johnson] do and I kind of reminded him of them,” Fishburn said. “So coming from him, that kind of meant a lot.”
Hambric has already helped Fishburn get a deal with Titleist and is working to get the Ogden native into some PGA Tour and Web.com Tour events so he doesn’t have to go through Monday qualifying.
“He is really influential in the golf world,” Fishburn said. “He can go to tournament sponsors and say, ‘Hey, you should invite this Fishburn kid, who is kind of a bigger, athletic kid like Koepka and Johnson.’”
Since graduating from BYU, Fishburn has mostly been playing in Canada, where he ranks 43rd on the Order of Merit with $12,170 in winnings in five events, having made the cut in all five. He missed the first two tournaments because he was still playing for BYU and two in July because he was playing in the Web.com Tour’s Utah Championship at Oakridge Country Club and the Pinnacle Bank Championship in Omaha, Neb.
Using his prodigious length off the tee, Fishburn cruised to the Utah Open championship last year with a three-day total of 26-under-par and a nine-shot win over Zahkai Brown of Colorado, the defending champion.
Fishburn shot 63-64-63 to break the tournament record by four shots. Brown got the $20,000 first-place check, however, because Fishburn was an amateur.
“I’d love to take my same scores from last year,” he said, “and maybe get to collect that check this time.”
With his caddy, Ryan Sarlo, along for the ride, Fishburn made the 15-hour drive from events in Calgary and Edmonton the past two weeks to Utah and says he’s playing well enough to defend. He’s played hundreds of rounds at Riverside, BYU’s home course, and figures he can “knock it on the green, or greenside,” on holes 1, 2, 8, 14 and 16 and maybe 10.
“I hit my driver really well last year and it gave me a lot of opportunities to score well,” he said. “My game really doesn’t change — I play aggressively and when the chance comes to bang a driver at the green I do it. My game plan will be like last year — try to birdie every single hole.”
Other locals to keep an eye on include the top five in the Utah Section PGA Player of the Year race: Riverside’s Chris Moody and Matt Baird, Salt Lake City’s Tommy Sharp, Delta’s Casey Fowles and Davis Park’s Zach Johnson, who recently competed in the PGA Championship but did not make the cut.
Fishburn is paired Friday with two-time champion Clay Ogden and 2017 State Am champ Kelton Hirsch, his former BYU teammate.
“It’s a great pairing for me,” he said. “I really like those guys. I’ll be comfortable.”
The 54-hole tournament begins Friday and runs through Sunday. Admission is free.
The opponents to Utah’s medical marijuana initiative are looking a little desperate.
On Wednesday, the Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Utah (great name by the way, but they should’ve worked “and Puppies” in there somewhere) filed a lawsuit alleging the initiative would violate the religious liberties of Mormons who don’t want to associate or have to rent apartments to people who use medical marijuana.
The lawsuit is easily one of the flimsiest, most baseless cases I’ve seen, and I’ll explain why.
First, a little disclaimer: The extent of my legal training is a correspondence course from Trump University (and all I got was this stupid hat). OK. That’s not true. I have no legal training, so you can take what follows with a grain of salt or a healthy dose of cannabis. You choose.
1. The LDS Church doesn’t prohibit medical marijuana.
We’ve written about this before, but the LDS Church doesn’t have an explicit doctrinal provision relating to medical marijuana. The policy has been that it is an issue between the patient, his or her bishop and his or her doctor.
Indeed, Mormons in states that have a medical marijuana program can and do use medical marijuana and remain in good standing.
So there is literally no merit to the argument that legalizing medical marijuana would violate any dearly held tenet of the faith, because there is nothing in the initiative that runs afoul of church doctrine.
2. Do we outlaw liquor, tea, coffee and cigarettes?
One of the arguments in the lawsuit is that the LDS Church has a strict dietary and health guideline that includes not partaking of mind-altering drugs. It doesn’t explicitly name the Word of Wisdom, but I think we all know that’s what it is talking about.
The Word of Wisdom also prohibits consumption of wine, strong drinks, tobacco and hot drinks. Sorry, Starbucks, you’re out of business because we can’t force Mormons to associate with such types of people.
The lawsuit also argues that landlords shouldn’t have to rent to someone who isn’t aligned with their moral code — which would mean now landlords could also prohibit your morning coffee or an after-work cocktail in your apartment.
They base this, in part, on the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, but …
3. That’s not what they said.
The Masterpiece case got a lot of attention because it was supposed to be the court’s edict on a high-profile and divisive question: Can a business be required by law to provide services to an event that goes against the owner’s religious and moral beliefs — in this case, a cake for a gay wedding?
But the court punted. They issued a very narrow ruling that Colorado’s enforcement division did not neutrally apply the law and cracked down on Masterpiece out of bad faith. It reversed the lower court’s ruling on narrow grounds, but did not rule directly on whether a law compelling the bakery to make the cake was unconstitutional.
4. Can landlords discriminate based on medicine?
A central contention in the lawsuit is that the initiative prohibits landlords from discriminating against renters who have a medical cannabis card (unless such a rental would jeopardize federal grants the landlord receives, like Section 8 housing vouchers).
A handful of others states, like Rhode Island, have similar language in their medical cannabis laws.
The notion is, essentially, that landlords can’t discriminate against someone who takes Benadryl for allergies, or insulin for diabetes, or Prozac for depression, or fentanyl for intense pain. If cannabis is a medicine, it should be treated the same.
To force an applicant to open up medical records so a landlord can screen based on what medicine he or she is taking gets into some perilous waters. And denying housing to someone who is using cannabis to treat, say, multiple sclerosis would almost certainly violate federal prohibitions on housing discrimination on the basis of disability.
5. That other part of the First Amendment.
The major thesis of the lawsuit is in the 38th paragraph, which says: “[Mormons] have a constitutional right to exercise their religious beliefs. This includes the right not to consort with, be around, or do business with people engaging in activities which their religion finds repugnant."
That theory — that the right to free exercise includes lawful prohibitions on anything that their religion finds repugnant — weaponizes the First Amendment, essentially outlawing anything that violates any faith’s views.
Taken to an extreme, every restaurant would all have to be kosher and halal, for example.
But imposing one’s religious beliefs via the law violates the first part of the First Amendment, that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Utah’s Constitution goes quite a bit further than that, explicitly because there were fears that the predominant Mormon culture would become a theocracy (which some would argue it did).
“There shall be no union of Church and State, nor shall any church dominate the State or interfere with its functions,” the Utah Constitution reads.
The Free Exercise clause ensures just that — you can exercise your religion. It can’t be used to shelter you from having to “be around” activities you find repugnant. That, in the LDS faith, relies on your own free agency.
6. We’re not that hegemonous.
The plaintiffs contend that Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, when he was deciding whether the initiative should go on the November ballot, should have weighed “its interest in promoting the availability of cannabis for medicinal use against the religious beliefs of its citizens.”
First of all, no such obligation exists anywhere in the law. They’re making that up out of thin air.
But second, if it did exist, which religious beliefs of which citizens would need to be weighed? Yes, the state is predominantly Mormon, although the majority is shrinking.
And which Mormons’ beliefs should be weighed? As mentioned above, there’s no doctrinal ban on medical marijuana. And a recent Tribune poll found that two-thirds of self-described Mormons supported the legalization of medical marijuana.
So if the beliefs of the religious majority were to be taken into account — which, again, is a concocted exercise — it would weigh in favor of putting the initiative on the ballot.
Additionally, the religious beliefs of all Utahns can’t be disregarded. The law and the First Amendment applies equally to all of them, so giving special weight to one set of beliefs because they are the religious majority once again would likely run afoul of that “union of Church and State” ban in the Constitution.
7. You can’t sue over an idea.
This is probably the most basic flaw, out of many, in the lawsuit and the main reason none of these ridiculous arguments will ever even be considered: There is no law to challenge.
The plaintiffs are claiming that Mormon landlords MAY have their constitutional rights infringed upon IF the initiative passes. But the courts don’t deal in that kind of pie-in-the-sky hypothetical.
This case isn’t even ripe to be considered by a judge until the initiative passes, the state takes steps to implement it, and then some landlord is somehow damaged by the enforcement of the law.
Filing a lawsuit now over potential harm at some future date would be akin to filing a lawsuit to block a bill a legislator introduces before it even is voted on. It’s not how the system works.
Lionel Hutz, the inept lawyer from The Simpsons, set the standard for making horrible legal arguments.
I kind of feel bad for the poor assistant attorney general who has to take an afternoon writing a motion to dismiss this nonsense. But hey, feel free to copy and paste. I don’t mind.
If the best these medical cannabis opponents can come up with is this Lionel Hutz-worthy lawsuit, then things are looking good for the ballot initiative. But I suspect there is a more legitimate and well-funded opposition movement being organized and we’ll see many more attacks between now and November.
Lehi • Playing tour guide at his company’s just-opened new headquarters, Podium CEO Eric Rea shows off the spacious conference room, the custom-built boardroom table, the pickleball court just outside and the soft-serve Dole Whip dispenser by the reception desk.
“We don’t want [people] to walk in feeling they’re coming into any old tech building. We want to feel different from any other tech company,” Rea said Wednesday, just minutes after he, company officials and Utah Gov. Gary Herbert performed the ritual ribbon-cutting to the five-story edifice along Interstate 15.
Podium, which makes software products to help small businesses maintain their online presence, has 340 employees working in the new Lehi offices — and it aims to hire 400 more by 2020.
Rea and co-founder Dennis Steele bragged about Podium’s rapid growth, touting the just-released Inc. 5000, a list by Inc. magazine of the 5,000 fastest-growing small companies in the country. Podium ranked 13th overall on the list, the highest charting for any Utah company.
“Four years ago, we were in a spare bedroom in my apartment,” Rea told reporters. “Two years ago, we were upstairs from a bike shop.”
(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Eric Rea, co-founder and CEO, in the bike shop at Podium's new Lehi headquarters, Wednesday Aug. 15, 2018. Podium helps small businesses manage their web presence. (Trent Nelson/)
There’s a replica of sorts of that bike shop on the new building’s fifth floor, a reminder of the space above Provo’s old Canyon Bicycles, where he and Steele were getting Podium off the ground. It also, Rea said, embodies the company motto, “Always above the bike shop.”
The decor around the office has some eccentric turns, often based on street art. For example, there’s a massive second-floor mural by Swedish artist Johanna Burai that depicts “Seinfeld’s” George Costanza and “Game of Thrones’” Jon Snow on a tandem bike.
(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) A mural by artist Johanna Burai in Podium's new Lehi headquarters features George Costanza from Seinfeld and Jon Snow from Game of Thrones, Wednesday Aug. 15, 2018. Podium helps small businesses manage their web presence. (Trent Nelson/)
Rea said the aesthetic was inspired by the streetwear brands his young employees favor. The sneakers-and-jeans vibe of the employees at the ribbon-cutting was a contrast to Herbert, dressed in his customary business suit. “One of us didn’t get the memo on the dress code,” Herbert joked.
Providing offbeat perks for employees is often a way new companies can compete for talent, said Brad Williams, director of the entrepreneur program at the University of Utah’s Eccles School of Business.
“With the unemployment rate at 3.9 percent, there’s a battle for talent, especially engineering talent,” Williams said.
Some early-stage companies, Williams said, may use office perks as compensation for lower salaries, or other long-term benefits like health insurance or a 401(k). “It’s a better way to spend money on a one-time splurge,” he said.
Other perks, like free lunches in the cafeteria, can be “another incentive to stay in the office and continue working,” Williams said. Podium does breakfast in the cafeteria on Mondays and has “smoothie Thursdays,” Rea said, but it doesn’t go overboard on free food to stay fiscally responsible.
Some perks are used to show employees, customers and even the competition “that these companies walk the talk,” Williams said. He cited a company he once worked for, the headphone-maker Skullcandy, which has a skateboard halfpipe in its Park City office. “It proves that we do what we say we do,” he said.
PluralSight, an online education company based in Farmington, has a Tesla that employees can borrow, Williams said. The Lehi offices of software giant Adobe, up the road from Podium, has a gym and a yoga studio, among other amenities. Another Lehi company, the silicone fashion accessory-maker Enso, appeals to employees’ better natures by plowing some of its profits into charitable causes.
The Podium building includes spaces designed to bring the engineers and the salespeople and the customer service people together. “We didn’t want the floors to be symbolic of separation,” he said.
Rea said he wanted to follow the model of Pixar Animation Studios, whose Emeryville, Calif., building had the cafeteria, mailroom and even the restrooms in the center of the building, so employees from different departments would run into one another.
“We really just want to create community,” Rea said. “It’s easy to get siloed. … We want [people] to be intermingling and communicating constantly.”
Boston • Madison Kocian and Kyla Ross watched the women they won Olympic gold with step forward one by one over the last 18 months to detail their abuse at the hands of disgraced former USA Gymnastics national team doctor Larry Nassar.
The more their Olympic teammates talked, the more Kocian and Ross began to examine their own interactions with Nassar. Over time they realized their experience mirrored those of hundreds of other women who were abused by Nassar under the guise of treatment. They realized they hadn’t been spared but instead were victims, too.
It took months for them to process and even longer to go public. Yet they’re doing it now — months after Nassar was sentenced to an effective life sentence after being convicted of federal child pornography and state sexual abuse charges — to both help themselves heal and to send a message to victims of sexual abuse everywhere that there is no timetable on coming to grips with the trauma and it’s never too late to speak up and say “hey, me too.”
“Everyone copes in their own way,” said Ross, a member of the “Fierce Five” that stormed to gold at the 2012 Olympics.
“It doesn’t matter how old you are and what happens to you. I’ve come to the point in my life this is something I want to share my story and move on,” Ross told The Associated Press.
Ross and Kocian, a member of the “Final Five” that won team gold at the 2016 Olympics, have retired from elite gymnastics and now compete collegiately as teammates at UCLA. They both say they were in denial about their abuse. The turning point came in January as they watched nearly 200 women come forward to read victim impact statements to Nassar.
The group included Jordyn Wieber, who competed alongside Ross at the 2012 London games and now serves as an assistant coach with the Bruins. Until she stood in front of Nassar, Wieber had never spoken publicly about her abuse. Ross and Kocian both leaned on her before deciding to join the army of survivors.
“Just seeing the process through her view had helped me find my voice and be confident in myself and realize I was a victim,” Ross said. “But we don’t want to be viewed as victims. This is something we have to grow through. Now we’re just trying to find our voice and help.”
All five members of the 2012 Olympic team — Ross, Wieber, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney — have revealed they were abused by Nassar. Kocian is the fourth member of the 2016 Olympic team to come forward, joining Raisman, Douglas and Simone Biles. Ross and Kocian have both filed civil lawsuits against Michigan State — where Nassar worked for decades — and plan to do the same against the United States Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics.
They place part of the blame for their abuse on what they described as a toxic culture around the USA Gymnastics elite program that allowed Nassar’s treatment to run unchecked.
Ross described getting a “pit” in her stomach every time she visited the Karolyi Ranch near Houston that served as the longtime training home for the senior national team. Kocian felt she and her teammates were “voiceless” thanks in part to the tone set by former national team coordinator Martha Karolyi. Karolyi retired in 2016.
“You live under a fear of not being able to speak up because this was our only avenue to accomplish our dreams and make the Olympic team,” Kocian told the AP.
Both women, now 21, stepped away from elite competition following the 2016 Olympics. While there has been significant change within USA Gymnastics over the last two years, including a new president and board of directors, they’d like to see more.
“There are still people at the top that I feel have overseen this issue for a long time and I think that needs to be changed as well as the whole culture around everything,” Kocian said. “I don’t think enough has been changed from the coaching standpoint. There are still coaches under that abusive style of coaching whether it’s verbal abuse, that’s what enables all of this.”
USA Gymnastics said in a statement it is “heartbroken” that Ross and Kocian are among Nassar’s victims, adding “their powerful voices and stories will continue to be a basis for our future decisions.”
Kocian or Ross, who helped UCLA to an NCAA title last spring, have no plans to return to elite competition. Kocian described a lack of empathy from USA Gymnastics throughout her career as part of the problem.
“Possibly if maybe more people had reached out to my parents to see if I was OK when so many people knew about this and they went through whole Olympic Games knowing and not doing anything,” Kocian said. “Even to this day have heard nothing support wise from them. I think my decision might have been different (otherwise)."
Emma Smith stands alone as the most famous woman in Mormon history. The wife of church founder Joseph Smith is mentioned in histories, journals, even LDS scripture.
Less known is her enduring and endearing friendship with the early church’s most noted black woman, Jane Manning James.
A forthcoming film, titled “Jane and Emma,” documents and dramatizes that friendship.
The movie’s director, Chantelle Squires, and its screenwriter, Melissa Leilani Larson, discuss the film, its title characters and their hopes for what it might do for race relations within — and without — the LDS Church.
Red All Over is our weekly newsletter on all things Utah athletics, with stories from The Salt Lake Tribune, and other local and national media outlets who are weighing on on the Utes. Subscribe here.
The Utah Utes are two weeks away from their first football game of 2018. That’s exciting, for those of us who spend eight months of the year waiting for this stuff.
And then the season flies by, of course, but that's a problem for another day.
Today marks the reintroduction of The Salt Lake Tribune’s newsletter covering University of Utah Athletics. I’ll use this medium as a chance to share some observations, connect with fans and highlights the stories that I, my Tribune colleagues and others have written about the Utes lately.
This should be a fun season to cover Utah football. The Utes are loaded with talent, the only asterisk — as I’ve been pointing out for months — being a conference schedule that sends them against the top three teams from the Pac-12 North — Washington, Oregon and Stanford.
My biggest questions about the Utes' personnel have been answered through 13 practices. The receiving corps definitely has improved, with Demari Simpkins, Britain Covey and Siaosi Mariner looking particularly good. I wondered about pass protection early in camp, but offensive coordinator Troy Taylor was happy with that aspect in the team’s first scrimmage last week.
(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Receiver Britain Covey, #18, tries to clear his cover from Tareke Lewis, #5, as the Utah football team takes to the practice field for day one of the season on Wed. Aug. 1, 2018. (Francisco Kjolseth/)
I’ll also say I may have underestimated BYU transfer Francis Bernard’s ability to make an impact this season, amid Utah’s deep linebacking corps. He looked good in the media-viewing portion of Wednesday’s practice, his first day in pads.
Monday's start of Utah's 2018-19 academic calendar makes Saturday the official end of camp, with the Utes launching their weekly routine for the season. The first game is not until the following Thursday, Aug. 30 vs. Weber State at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Food for thought
This month, I've tried to do a mixture of stories, from player profiles to strategic elements of the game. These subjects have been my favorites:
• I’ve said that access to Britain Covey’s quotes is the No. 1 reason I accepted the Ute assignment, and I was only partly kidding. A story about Covey after the first day of practice was a little gift to myself, sort of like the times I would cover hockey during the Winter Olympics. Here’s Brit on living up to expectations in his return to the program. (Tribune)
• The zone read, especially when quarterback Tyler Huntley keeps the ball, is a big issue for many Ute fans. Many people just wish the play-call would be designed to give the ball to Zack Moss. In this piece, coaches explain why the option element is vital to combat modern defenses. And Huntley acknowledges he maybe should have handed off the ball more often last season. (Tribune)
• My colleague Christopher Kamrani jumped on a subject that came up during the Pac-12 Media Day, when coach Kyle Whittingham talked about Lewis Powell’s becoming the program’s international recruiter. He landed Australian tight end Thomas Yassmin, about whom I’ll have more to say later this week. (Tribune)
• If you read this story about the new kickoff rule, you’ll be able to impress your friends the first time Covey or another Ute fair-catches a kickoff at his own 5-yard line, and they wonder why. (Tribune)
• Redshirt freshman Nick Ford is a fun guy to interview, with a good story of how he went from 160 pounds as a high school freshman to double that weight in just five years. (Tribune)
• Circling back to Moss, Amy Donaldson of the Deseret News collected some good insight from his teammates. (DNews)
• And speaking of Australians, punter Mitch Wishnowsky made Sports Illustrated’s preseason All-America team. Kicker Matt Gay is on the second team. (SI)
There’s more to discuss between now and Aug. 30, such as Gary Andersen’s role in his return to the program and how Gay’s extended field-goal range will create some dilemmas for Whittingham.
Red All Over is our weekly newsletter on all things Utah athletics, with stories from The Salt Lake Tribune, and other local and national media outlets who are weighing on on the Utes. Subscribe here.
Eye on the Y is our weekly newsletter on all things BYU athletics, with stories from The Salt Lake Tribune, and other local and national media outlets who are weighing on on the Cougars. Subscribe here.
Hello friends, and welcome to the inaugural edition of The Salt Lake Tribune’s newsletter on BYU athletics, which we’re calling “Eye on the Y” — at least until we think of something better.
Why? To bring you more coverage of BYU sports — primarily football and basketball, but we won’t completely rule out anything else — to your email inboxes, mobile devices and laptops.
We will highlight stories we’ve done on the Cougars, pass along some observations and analysis, and even recommend work from other outlets in the state and around the country.
The 2018 football season, a crossroads season for third-year coach Kalani Sitake, begins Sept. 1 at Arizona. Beyond that opener in which the Cougars are two-touchdown underdogs, the likes of California, Wisconsin and Washington await. And that’s just in September. It should be quite a ride in BYU’s eighth season of independence.
I’ve tried to make sense of the biggest storylines of preseason training the past two weeks — you’ll see some of the stories below — but above all is the question everybody wants to know: Will the Cougars be better this year?
My short and easy answer to that is yes. The bits and pieces of practice that reporters have been able to watch have shown a more energetic, speedier and more disciplined group. And the Cougars will have to avoid the rash of injuries that plagued them last year and led to the 4-9 season.
Will that translate to more than four wins? Of that, I am not completely sure. I realistically see the Cougars going 5-7, maybe 6-6, but being more competitive in the games against Power 5 foes than they were last year. As Kalani Sitake likes to say, we will see.
DIFFERENT CAMP, SAME DRAMA
What will it be this year?
That’s the question BYU beat reporters and other media members who cover the preseason training camp ask each other every time BYU’s football team convenes to begin preparations for a new season. We don’t call it “fall camp” around here, because, well, August is still considered part of the summer, isn’t it?
Something bizarre, controversial or just plain odd seemingly happens every August to spice up camp.
Five years ago, players showed up for Photo Day at the Indoor Practice Facility with the words Spirit, Tradition and Honor on the backs of their jerseys. Those were coach Bronco Mendenhall’s buzzwords, and he planned to replace players’ last names on the jerseys with one of those three words.
Well, it didn’t go over very well. The Cougars' tough linebacker, Kyle Van Noy, was nearly brought to tears when he was asked for a response. Others posed for their photos as if in a trance. It was clear that the players hated the idea.
To his credit, Mendenhall held an impromptu meeting after all the photos had been taken, listened to the players’ wishes to have their own names on the backs of their own jerseys, and a compromise was reached: Spirit, Tradition and Honor would be recognized at one game and the players could “represent their families” in the other 12.
Last year, the biggest news in camp came when BYU issued a news release saying star linebacker Francis Bernard was going to redshirt for undisclosed reasons and sit out the entire 2017 season. We all know how that turned out: Bernard joined the Utes earlier this week.
And then on Wednesday, with camp reaching its midpoint, former NFL star Merril Hoge, father of quarterback-turned-running back Beau Hoge, went on BYUtv — of all outlets — to blast BYU coaches’ decision to turn his son into a running back — the same position, ironically, that Hoge played in eight seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Bears.
The elder Hoge used words such as dumb, weird, bizarre, stupid and smelly to describe the decision.
Later that night, Beau Hoge issued a mature and heartfelt statement via Twitter to diffuse the situation.
In 2014, star running back Jamaal Williams announced his own one-game suspension the first day of camp.
In 2015, the big news occurred a few days before camp opened when BYU announced that Williams was withdrawing from school and would miss the entire 2015 season. A few weeks later, Mendenhall announced sophomore linebacker Sione Takitaki would miss the opener against Nebraska because he allegedly stole apparel from the school’s soccer and track teams while he worked on the custodial staff at Smith Fieldhouse.
Like we said, never a dull moment in Provo when August rolls around.
THE QUARTERBACK DERBY
Anyone notice that we’re not calling it the “quarterback battle” this time around? Back in 2010, when Jake Heaps and Riley Nelson were dueling for the starting spot, that’s what it was called by yours truly on an almost-daily basis.
Derby is a much better word for it, without the connotations of violence that “battle” suggests; I believe that my colleague Kurt Kragthorpe, who now covers the Utes, is the first scribe to call it a derby in our particular media market.
Monday, offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes announced the competition to be the starter was down to freshman Zach Wilson and senior Tanner Mangum. That came as no surprise whatsoever, since The Tribune reported the previous week that the other QB in the competition, sophomore Joe Critchlow, was no longer receiving reps with the first- or second-team offense.
Obviously, the bigger question is who will line up under center on Sept. 1 at Arizona?
It would take a considerable amount of intestinal fortitude on the part of Grimes and Aaron Roderick to roll out a true freshman in hostile territory while an experienced, healthy senior watches from the sidelines. So I’m saying it is going to be Mangum, the safest choice, but not the sexiest.
I’m also saying I could be wrong.
ROUNDING THEM UP
In case you missed them, here are some of the stories, player profiles and position previews I’ve written the past week:
• Kalani Sitake’s standout defenses when he was defensive coordinator at Utah were based on speed — and the ability to stop the run. The third-year coach is employing that strategy at BYU by making several defensive position switches to get more speed on the field. Tribune
• It is great to have former Cougar defensive back Preston Hadley back at BYU, this time in a coaching role. Hadley gave me the scoop on how the safeties he oversees are coming along. Tribune
• It wasn’t much of a secret that Mangum and Zach Wilson were the finalists in the quarterback derby when neither Joe Critchlow nor Jaren Hall got reps with the first team in an 11-on-11 scrimmage last week. Monday, offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes made it official. Tribune
• You’ve heard of the game Angry Birds, right? Well, meet BYU’s angry receivers. The pass-catchers say they have a chip on their shoulder in 2018, and for good reason. Tribune
• Some fans are going to be shocked when they see kick returners make fair catches inside the 25 when the season opens in a few weeks. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Tribune
VIEWS FROM ELSEWHERE
• The Associated Press says Boise State is going to be good again, to absolutely no one’s surprise. BYU plays at Boise State on Nov. 3. Will coach Brian Harsin get one of his kick returners to lay down on the blue turf again in hopes that the Cougars’ kick coverage team doesn’t see him? Tribune
• Brad Rock of the Deseret News weighed in on Merril Hoge’s lambasting of the BYU coaching staff over its decision to move Beau Hoge to running back. DNews
• Jared Lloyd of the Daily Herald in Provo got some interesting comments from defensive lineman Brayden El-Bakri on the closed scrimmage the Cougars held last Saturday at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Daily Herald
Speaking of Bernard’s move to the rival Utes, BYU coach Kalani Sitake had a wonderful response Monday when he was asked to comment on the star linebacker’s landing at Utah.
“I am happy for Francis. He has an opportunity to get a degree, and play for great coaches. So I am really excited for him and his future,” Sitake said.
That’s called taking the high road.
The Cougars will scrimmage again in the stadium on Thursday afternoon, with some media availability after the closed workout. The next media availability won’t take place until Monday as the final week of preseason camp begins. Sitake has said they will turn their focus to Arizona at the end of next week. I will still be heading down to Provo on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to cover the Utah Open golf tournament at Riverside Country Club, where ex-BYU golfer Patrick Fishburn will try to defend the title he won last year as an amateur. Fishburn is a pro now, and wants that $20,000 first-place check after having to settle for just the trophy last August.
Also, BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe will make his annual appearance at Education Week on campus and answer questions regarding the state of the BYU athletics program. I wonder if anybody will ask him about the quarterback race?
Eye on the Y is our weekly newsletter on all things BYU athletics, with stories from The Salt Lake Tribune, and other local and national media outlets who are weighing on on the Cougars. Subscribe here.
Millcreek • Maria’s Mexican Grill has been open just eight months and already it’s racked up more than 60 five-star reviews on Facebook. In fact, all of its Facebook reviews are five stars.
This is not one of them.
To be fair, our scale reaches only four stars. But I can’t, in good conscience, match the enthusiasm of those diners and give Maria’s full marks on our scale either.
I’m not saying don’t eat there. You just need to manage expectations.
Maria’s will be wholly satisfying for many people. The menu at the Millcreek restaurant offers dozens of Tex-Mex dishes including fajitas, burritos and chimichangas. There are more traditional Mexican dishes like mole and tamales, too.
But the menu falls a bit short.
Mexican cuisine is defined by herbs and spices, slow cooked and marinated meats, and complex sauces. Maria’s too often presents the opposite — an underseasoned, sometimes chewy, muddled mess lacking depth.
“They played it right down the middle when they have an avenue and cuisine that demands spice and flavor,” one friend lamented.
Take the Chorizo con Huevos ($9.99), which implies spicy sausage with eggs. Yet the chorizo offered little heat, despite being the focal point of the dish that also included refried beans, rice and the thickest flour tortillas I’ve seen.
I also wanted more heat in the tortilla soup ($6.99), which also needed more tortilla chips and a thicker broth.
Other letdowns included Maria’s Super Fries ($10.99), a heap of french fries, carnitas, chile verde, cheese and green onions, and the Puntas de Filete ($13.99), a plate of sirloin tips sauteed with bacon, jalapeño, onions, tomatoes and topped with monterey jack cheese and green onions. Both oozed grease, and the bitter and acidic taste from the accompanying jalapeños overwhelmed other flavors.
(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Holy mole. Maria's Mexican Grill in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. (Trent Nelson/)
The sauce with the Chile Colorado Plate ($9.99) was an improvement, but the chewy and tough cubed pork highlighted a disconnect in Maria’s food preparation — cooking the meat separately and then smothering it with sauce when plating. Simmering the two together would allow the flavors from the sauce to soak into and tenderize the meat.
Maria’s Mole ($14.99), our overall favorite dish, had the spice and depth other dishes lacked. In fact, we could zero in on the pumpkin seeds and cocoa in the thick red sauce also made with sesame seeds, peanuts, almonds, raisins and dried chiles and poured over shredded chicken. That same sauce also stars in the on-and-off special, the Holy Mole ($10.99), that resembles Mexico’s flag with its green, white and red mole-smothered enchiladas.
Apparently, we should have tried the smothered burrito (starting at $7.99), voted No. 1 in USA Today’s 2018 Readers’ Choice contest.
(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Sergio, Alex and Maria Vazquez. Maria's Mexican Grill in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. (Trent Nelson/)
“The smothered burrito is really popular. … We won the best smothered burrito in Utah, and that surprised us because we just started this place seven, eight months ago,” said Sergio Vazquez, who owns the restaurant with his wife, Maria. Although the couple have worked in the industry about 20 years, Maria’s is their first restaurant.
Another standout was the refried beans — included with most dishes or purchased as a side for $3.99.
My companions praised the side dish, saying they could tell Maria’s really took time to develop its rich flavor and creamy texture. Vazquez, understandably, didn’t want to tell me the secret behind the beans, simply saying, “We make them different than other places.”
Ultimately, I wished every dish tasted as if it had been prepared with that much care. The mole and beans made clear that Maria’s Mexican Grill knows how to deliver more nuanced flavors. The question is whether the owners really want to aim higher.
Sixty five-star reviews might suggest they don’t have to.
Frederick, Colo. • The body was found of a pregnant Colorado woman whose husband was arrested in the disappearance of her and her two young daughters, and investigators were trying to recover what they believe are the remains of the girls, authorities said Thursday.
Chris Watts, 33, was taken into custody Wednesday in the town of Frederick, about 28 miles (45 kilometers) north of Denver. His 34-year-old wife, Shanann Watts, and their two daughters, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste, were reported missing Monday by a family friend.
"As horrible as this outcome is, our role now is to do everything we can to determine exactly what occurred," said John Camper, director of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
Chris Watts was being held in jail and will appear in court Thursday. He has not yet been charged, and it wasn't known if he had a lawyer who could speak on his behalf.
This booking photo from the Weld County Sheriff's Office shows Chris Watts. Authorities say Watts, the husband of a missing family in Colorado has been arrested in connection with the case. Watt's pregnant wife, 34-year-old Shanann Watts, and their two daughters, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste were reported missing Monday, Aug. 13, 2018. (Weld County Sheriff's Office via AP)
Chris Watts spoke previously with Denver TV outlets about missing his family and his hopes for their safe return. He said his wife returned home about 2 a.m. Monday after a flight for a work trip was delayed.
He said the two had an "emotional conversation" before he left for work a few hours later and that he became concerned after she did not return his calls or texts or that of her friends. He said he came home to an empty house after a friend knocked on the door at noon and got no answer.
He told KMGH-TV about how traumatic it was to spend the night in the family's unusually quiet home and missing telling his daughters to eat their dinner and turning on their bedroom monitors.
"Last night I had every light in the house on. I was hoping that I would just get ran over by the kids running in the door, just barrel-rushing me, but it didn't happen," he said.
Shanann Watts' Facebook account paints a portrait of a happy family, with a constant feed of photos and videos of her family, friends and herself. Her comments are typically upbeat and say how happy she is, whether she's running errands, playing with her kids or promoting a health program.
She posted selfies of her and her husband smiling in restaurants, in front of the ocean on vacation and at their house. On one from May 5, she wrote: "I love this man! He's my ROCK!"
She posted a photo on June 19 of some texts with her husband after sending him a sonogram. He replied that he loved the baby already. She posted: "I love Chris! He's the best dad us girls could ask for."
Her page has photo collages and video slide shows praising Chris Watts for taking care of her and their girls, how their love was growing stronger and how he was why she was brave enough to agree to a third child.
The couple filed for bankruptcy protection in 2015. They estimated they had the same range of assets as liabilities, according to court records.
Shanann Watts was from North Carolina, and her parents' next-door neighbor, Joe Beach, said he had just seen her when she visited the neighborhood of modest homes in Aberdeen.
"She was here for about three weeks. I talked her a couple times," he said in a phone interview. "We were talking about general things, about how her two girls were doing and how life was out in Colorado. She didn't give me an indication that there was anything wrong. She seemed pretty happy."
He said he knew her parents well and had known Shanann since she was a teenager. Beach said she was a nice person with two lovely children, both of whom he had seen on their recent visit.
"They were sweet kids. The oldest child was quite talkative for her age," he said.
He said he hasn't spoken to her parents since the tragedy, but a neighbor told him they flew to Colorado.
"I'm surprised that it happened," he said. "I wouldn't expect for anything like that to happen. She was good people."
Shanann's father, Frank Rzucek, said on Facebook that the family didn't want to talk to the media.
She moved to Colorado from North Carolina with her husband in 2012, according to property records and her social media accounts. She had been in a hurry to sell a house in Belmont, west of Charlotte, and left behind the furniture as part of the sale, said the man who bought it, Byron Falls.
Drew reported from Raleigh, N.C. Associated Press writers Colleen Slevin in Denver and Courtney Bonnell in Phoenix and researcher Jennifer Farrar in New York contributed to this report.
This Saturday is the most popular wedding day of the year, according to data released by the Knot. Almost 30,000 couples are set to marry, with associated guests spending an estimated $1 billion on gifts and attire for the happy events, says the site.
In advance of this very hectic day, the multiplatform wedding-planning brand (part of XO Group Inc.) released its 2018 Guest Study on Tuesday, revealing average attendee expenses per wedding, as well as factors contributing to whether invitees accept or decline, and the thinking behind choosing an appropriate gift.
Per the Knot's membership data, 28,633 weddings are scheduled for Aug. 18 in the U.S.
"A lot of couples picked it for the significance of the date, it's a palindrome month-eight, one, eight, one, eight," says senior editor Ivy Jacobson. She also notes that summer and early fall months are the sweet spot for couples planning a wedding, generally due to weather concerns.
An average of 136 guests per wedding will attend this weekend's celebrations. Those estimated 3.9 million guests will, on average, each spend $261 on the event, including the gift, attire, and accessories, which adds up to an estimated $1 billion weekend-and that's without travel costs. Guests traveling for a wedding spend an average $901 for the event total, including costs for accommodations, travel, gifts, attire and accessories, while members of the wedding party spend $928.
While the average spends above for the wedding day are similar, Jacobson says it's worth taking into account the extra costs involved for those in the wedding party. "You have the additional cost of the bachelor/bachelorette party, engagement party, bridal shower on top, so the cost goes up from there," she says.
Of the 1,337 qualified responses (recruited via Facebook) for the study, 83 percent were a guest invited to attend a wedding celebration and 17 percent were a member of a wedding party, with the demographic breakdown of responders being 89 percent female and 11 percent male.
A national survey by Bankrate.com released in March found similar results, with the total average spend, including travel, on someone else’s happiness to be $728; in the Northeast that number spiked to $1,070.
So while you may be invited to fewer weddings, expenses are rising.
"There can be some sticker shock at first," says Jacobson. "But if you are choosing to spend this money, this person is important to you in some way and people are excited to celebrate." Overall, 70 percent of those surveyed said they enjoyed the last wedding they attended, especially if it was well-organized.
When considering an RSVP, guests say their relationship to the couple is the most important factor regarding attendance (71 percent). Other considerations include date (50 percent), cost of travel (40 percent), whether their children were also invited (42 percent), and if they received a plus one option (34 percent).
As for that all-important gift? Thirty-four percent of the Knot study responders said they purchase a gift off the couple's registry, with 29 percent gifting cash or check, and 10 percent proffering gift cards. On average, members of the wedding party spend $107 on the gift, while wedding guests spend an average of $88. The following five items rank as the most popular gifts for Knot-registered couples on Aug. 18: the KitchenAid stand mixer, Ninja blender, Dyson vacuum, iRobot Roomba, and an air fryer.
After Aug. 18, Saturday, Oct. 6 ranks as the second most popular date in 2018 with 24,359 weddings planned on the Knot. For users of the site, September is the most popular month to wed (165,157 weddings scheduled), ahead of October (152,521) and June (135,140).
Marking 22 years in the business this year, Jacobson says the Knot helps plan 8 out of 10 weddings conducted in the U.S. annually, listing the national average cost per wedding in 2017 at $33,391. If you’re keeping track, that’s $956 million more pumped into the wedding-industrial complex this weekend.
Flagstaff, Ariz. • A Chicago-based company in negotiations to take over a coal-fired power plant in northern Arizona said it would run the generating station at less than half its existing capacity to ensure it’s economical, a company official said Tuesday.
Fewer employees, and a new lease and coal supply agreement also are in the mix as Middle River Power pursues a takeover of the Navajo Generating Station. The current owners of the 2,250-megwatt plant near the Arizona-Utah border are planning to shut it down next year unless someone else buys it, saying power produced by natural gas is cheaper.
Joseph Greco, a senior vice president for Middle River Power, told Arizona utility regulators the company would operate the plant at 44 percent of its capacity, and differently during peak and off-peak demand, making it more economical while ensuring a steady power base. The company offered few other details, citing non-disclosure agreements.
"We believe there is a solution to be made," Greco said.
The power plant sits on the Navajo Nation and is fed by coal jointly owned by the Navajo and Hopi tribes.
Navajo President Russell Begaye has said a lease agreement with Middle River Power and its parent company, New York-based Avenue Capital, could come before tribal lawmakers at their October session. Still, a sale is considered a longshot.
Tuesday's meeting before the Arizona Corporation Commission was meant as an update on the plant's future. The Arizona Corporation Commission doesn't regulate the power plant or its majority owner, the Salt River Project. But it oversees two Arizona utilities that own shares of the power plant, Tucson Electric Power and Arizona Public Service Co.
The Salt River Project said it’s been in talks with Middle River Power but couldn’t discuss specifics because of a non-disclosure agreement. In the meantime, the utility is working to place employees at the Navajo Generating Station in other jobs at SRP. Deb Scott, senior director of regulatory policy at SRP, said 140 of the 443 employees have left for other jobs, and their previous positions are being filled by contractors.
One of the bigger hurdles for Middle River Power is finding utilities that will buy power from the coal plant.
California and Nevada already are moving away from coal-produced energy. Middle River Power has focused its attention on the Central Arizona Project, which has used the power from the Navajo Generating Station to move water through a canal system to Arizona's most populous areas but has said it can save money buying power on the open market. Middle River says natural gas is too volatile.
The Navajo Generating Station once was predicted to stay open until 2044, and it's unclear how long Middle River would run it if a sale is finalized.
Clark Tenakhongva, vice chairman of the Hopi Tribe, said Tuesday that the tribe needs another five to 10 years to better chart its future. Coal revenue provides about 85 percent of the Hopi Tribe's budget, and thousands of people rely on coal to heat their homes on the Navajo and Hopi reservations.
"If the plant does shut down, that's another part of the headache I'll have to address, how am I going to provide heating to all my people up north?" he said.
Coal and lease payments supply about 22 percent of the Navajo Nation budget.
Nicole Horseherder, a Navajo woman who is advocating for the plant to shut down, said she wanted more answers about Middle River's plans, particularly when it comes to cleaning the site and impacts to tribal members.
“To date, MRP has offered to provide power at competitive prices without a shred of detail on how they will do so or evidence that doing so is even economically feasible,” she wrote to utility regulators.
Denver • A vital reservoir on the Colorado River will be able to meet the demands of Mexico and the U.S. Southwest for the next 13 months, but a looming shortage could trigger cutbacks as soon as the end of 2019, officials said Wednesday.
A forecast from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation echoes previous warnings that a nearly 20-year trend toward a drier regional climate coupled with rising demand could drain so much water from the Lake Mead reservoir that cutbacks would be mandatory.
The report increases the pressure on seven U.S. states that rely on the river to finish a long-delayed contingency plan for a shortage.
"If these projections materialize, we're very quickly going to lose control of how to manage the deteriorating conditions on the Colorado River," said John Entsminger, general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, which serves 2.1 million people, including the city of Las Vegas.
The Colorado River system — including the giant Lake Mead and Lake Powell reservoirs — serves about 40 million people and 6,300 square miles (16,300 square kilometers) of farmland. Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming rely on the river, along with native American reservations and northwestern Mexico.
The water is divided under international treaties, court rulings and interstate agreements. If there's not enough water to go around, Mexico, Arizona and Nevada would be the first to see their shares reduced.
The Bureau of Reclamation forecast says all the users will get their usual share through September 2019. But the report projects that by October 2019, the surface of Lake Mead could fall below 1,075 feet above sea level, the agreed-upon point that would trigger an announcement of cutbacks that would occur sometime in the following 12 months.
The bureau operates on a water year that runs from October through September, tied to the cycle of winter snow and spring runoff.
"If everything holds true and the hydrology matches the models, then that's probably where we're going to be," agency spokesman Marlon Duke said.
The chances of a shortage in late 2019 remain at 52 percent, the same odds the bureau announced in May, he said. Lake Mead has never had a shortage and if next winter provides enough snow in the mountains that feed the river, it could be averted, Duke said.
"It really depends on what kind of snowpack and precipitation we get across the basin throughout the coming winter," he said.
The Colorado River states agreed to come up with contingency plans to conserve water and avoid mandatory cutbacks in the event of a shortage. But negotiations have been slow and difficult, in part because Arizona's largest river users are still trying to agree on a unified state position, water experts said.
"Right now the thing that's holding it up is Arizona and the inability to come together," said John Fleck, director of the University of New Mexico's Water Resources Program. "The whole system is at risk."
A spokeswoman for the Central Arizona Project, the state's largest water supplier, declined to comment. Officials of the Arizona Department of Water Resources did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
The Bureau of Reclamation dates the Colorado River region's drought to 2000, but a small group of academics called the Colorado River Research Group said the river might be experiencing a longer-term shift to a more arid climate.
"Perhaps the best available term is aridification, which describes a period of transition to an increasingly water scarce environment," the group said in a March paper .
The bureau report underscores the underlying problem that Southwestern states face, said Jennifer Pitt, director of the Audubon Society's Colorado River Program.
The demand exceeds the supply, she said. “Anyone who has managed a bank account for families knows that over time, that spells disaster.”
Aretha Franklin, a singer who began her career with gospel music and was later crowned the “Queen of Soul,” died Thursday after battling a range of health issues.
Often simply called “Aretha,” Franklin, 76, got her start in the Detroit church of her pastor father, the Rev. C.L. Franklin. She was first recorded at his New Bethel Baptist Church on the album “Spirituals” at age 14.
“Aretha, like Al Green, is one of the few artists who is universally accepted in the black church,” Bil Carpenter, author of “Uncloudy Days: The Gospel Music Encyclopedia,” told Religion News Service. “The church often shuns artists who sing R&B as backsliders and reject them when they come back and sing gospel. However, Aretha’s always been given a pass.”
When Franklin, a Memphis, Tenn., native, who was raised in Detroit, was awarded the 2005 Presidential Medal of Freedom by then-President George W. Bush, the citation noted: “Her instantly recognizable voice has captivated listeners ever since she toured with her father’s gospel revue in the 1950s.”
Gospel and soul singer Candi Staton, who traveled on the gospel circuit with Franklin during that decade when they were teens, recalled that her friend was a “gifted singer even as a young girl,” though no one knew then all the hits that would follow with her unique voice.
“What I love about it is that she never lost her connection to the church and that church training was always channeled through her music regardless of what she was singing,” Staton told RNS. “She took you to church even if she was singing about a no-good man.”
Carpenter said Franklin, a lifelong Baptist whose mother and sisters were gospel singers, continued to represent her church roots on stage and on some of her secular albums for decades after that, and influenced artists in genres stretching from R&B to country. But Franklin also inspired a range of gospel artists, from Richard Smallwood and The Hawkins Family to artists who came after them, such as Karen Clark Sheard, Donald Lawrence and Anita Wilson.
“It’s the sheer power of her voice and the unique phrasing that distinguish her from her peers. In her prime, Aretha’s voice took listeners to a place that few other artists’ voices could take them,” Carpenter said. “Whether she was singing a Broadway tune, a Jazz standard or an R&B song, she always brought that authentic black gospel flavor to it.”
The singer who is known for “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” and “Respect” gave a nod to faith in the toe-tapping love song “I Say a Little Prayer.” She begins her solo with “The moment I wake up/Before I put on my makeup/I say a little” before backup singers chime in with “prayer for you.”
Her best-selling album, “Amazing Grace,” a 1972 release, is among five Franklin recordings that are featured in the Grammy Hall of Fame.
“Critics always talked about the gospel feeling in Aretha’s voice so it was a very big deal when she finally made a proper gospel album like ‘Amazing Grace,’” Carpenter said. “For years, it was the best-selling gospel album by a woman ever … until Whitney Houston’s ‘The Preacher’s Wife’ stole that top position at 3 million units.”
Franklin’s two-record set includes the classic hymn by John Newton as well as “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” and “God Will Take Care of You.”
A Rolling Stone reviewer said Franklin “sings like never before on record” on that live album.
“‘Amazing Grace’ is more a great Aretha Franklin album than a great gospel album,” wrote Jon Landau at the time. “The liberation and abandon she has always implied in her greatest moments are now fully and consistently achieved.”
Clara Ward, of the Ward Singers, and Mahalia Jackson were among Franklin’s mentors. She sang “Precious Lord, Take My Hand,” at Jackson’s funeral and also performed the song, which was one of the favorites of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., at the 2011 dedication of the Washington memorial in his honor.
Sometimes Franklin spoke, rather than sang, about her beliefs.
When asked in 2017 by the Chicago Sun-Times about the importance of her faith, Franklin said: “It is very important. It certainly has sustained me to this day.”
Earlier, in 2013, she told The Associated Press that her healing from an undisclosed condition was considered “absolutely miraculous” after she had been ill for several months.
“I was talking to Smokey Robinson, my oldest best friend Smokey, talking about the fact that some doctors are not very well acquainted with faith healing,” she told the AP. “And Smokey said, ‘Well, they just don’t know who your healer is.’”
Franklin, who received a Kennedy Center honor in 1994, was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, in 1987.
“In Aretha Franklin’s sprawling career, she has taken on many roles — the devout gospel singer, the sensual R&B siren, the pop crossover phenom, Lady Soul — and dominated them all,” the hall’s website says.
The same year the hall of fame honored her, Franklin again recorded sacred music at New Bethel for the album “One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism,” which won a Grammy for best soul performance.
One of her most recent Grammy wins was in 2007 for “Never Gonna Break My Faith” with Mary J. Blige. The song was featured on the soundtrack of the film “Bobby,” which was about the 1968 assassination of U.S. Sen. Robert Kennedy. In 2010, she won a Grammy for “You’ve Got a Friend,” recorded with Ronald Isley.
As news broke of her failing health, celebrities including Ciara, Missy Elliott and Mariah Carey tweeted that they were praying for her.
Franklin, who had announced retirement plans in 2017, had hoped to continue touring in 2018. After receiving a doctor’s recommendation, she had been forced to cancel concerts in several North American cities.
Detroit • Aretha Franklin, the undisputed "Queen of Soul" who sang with matchless style on such classics as "Think," ''I Say a Little Prayer" and her signature song, "Respect," and stood as a cultural icon around the globe, has died at age 76 from advanced pancreatic cancer.
Publicist Gwendolyn Quinn tells The Associated Press through a family statement that Franklin died Thursday at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit. The statement said "Franklin's official cause of death was due to advance pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type, which was confirmed by Franklin's oncologist, Dr. Philip Phillips of Karmanos Cancer Institute" in Detroit.
The family added: "In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds."
The statement continued:
"We have been deeply touched by the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from close friends, supporters and fans all around the world. Thank you for your compassion and prayers. We have felt your love for Aretha and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time."
Funeral arrangements will be announced in the coming days.
Franklin, who had battled undisclosed health issues in recent years, had in 2017 announced her retirement from touring.
A professional singer and accomplished pianist by her late teens, a superstar by her mid-20s, Franklin had long ago settled any arguments over who was the greatest popular vocalist of her time. Her gifts, natural and acquired, were a multi-octave mezzo-soprano, gospel passion and training worthy of a preacher's daughter, taste sophisticated and eccentric, and the courage to channel private pain into liberating song.
She recorded hundreds of tracks and had dozens of hits over the span of a half century, including 20 that reached No. 1 on the R&B charts. But her reputation was defined by an extraordinary run of top 10 smashes in the late 1960s, from the morning-after bliss of "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," to the wised-up "Chain of Fools" to her unstoppable call for "Respect."
Her records sold millions of copies and the music industry couldn't honor her enough. Franklin won 18 Grammy awards. In 1987, she became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Fellow singers bowed to her eminence and political and civic leaders treated her as a peer. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was a longtime friend, and she sang at the dedication of King's memorial, in 2011. She performed at the inaugurations of Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, and at the funeral for civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks. Clinton gave Franklin the National Medal of Arts. President George W. Bush awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, in 2005.
Franklin's best-known appearance with a president was in January 2009, when she sang "My Country 'tis of Thee" at Barack Obama's inauguration. She wore a gray felt hat with a huge, Swarovski rhinestone-bordered bow that became an Internet sensation and even had its own website. In 2015, she brought Obama and others to tears with a triumphant performance of "Natural Woman" at a Kennedy Center tribute to the song's co-writer, Carole King.
Franklin endured the exhausting grind of celebrity and personal troubles dating back to childhood. She was married from 1961 to 1969 to her manager, Ted White, and their battles are widely believed to have inspired her performances on several songs, including "(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone," ''Think" and her heartbreaking ballad of despair, "Ain't No Way." The mother of two sons by age 16 (she later had two more), she was often in turmoil as she struggled with her weight, family problems and financial predicaments. Her best known producer, Jerry Wexler, nicknamed her "Our Lady of Mysterious Sorrows."
Franklin married actor Glynn Turman in 1978 in Los Angeles but returned to her hometown of Detroit the following year after her father was shot by burglars and left semi-comatose until his death in 1984. She and Turman divorced that year.
Despite growing up in Detroit, and having Smokey Robinson as a childhood friend, Franklin never recorded for Motown Records; stints with Columbia and Arista were sandwiched around her prime years with Atlantic Records. But it was at Detroit's New Bethel Baptist Church, where her father was pastor, that Franklin learned the gospel fundamentals that would make her a soul institution.
Aretha Louise Franklin was born March 25, 1942, in Memphis, Tennessee. The Rev. C.L. Franklin soon moved his family to Buffalo, New York, then to Detroit, where the Franklins settled after the marriage of Aretha's parents collapsed and her mother (and reputed sound-alike) Barbara returned to Buffalo.
C.L. Franklin was among the most prominent Baptist ministers of his time. He recorded dozens of albums of sermons and music and knew such gospel stars as Marion Williams and Clara Ward, who mentored Aretha and her sisters Carolyn and Erma. (Both sisters sang on Aretha's records, and Carolyn also wrote "Ain't No Way" and other songs for Aretha). Music was the family business and performers from Sam Cooke to Lou Rawls were guests at the Franklin house. In the living room, the shy young Aretha awed friends with her playing on the grand piano.
Franklin occasionally performed at New Bethel Baptist throughout her career; her 1987 gospel album "One Lord One Faith One Baptism" was recorded live at the church.
Her most acclaimed gospel recording came in 1972 with the Grammy-winning album "Amazing Grace," which was recorded live at New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in South Central Los Angeles and featured gospel legend James Cleveland, along with her own father (Mick Jagger was one of the celebrities in the audience). It became one of of the best-selling gospel albums ever.
The piano she began learning at age 8 became a jazzy component of much of her work, including arranging as well as songwriting. "If I'm writing and I'm producing and singing, too, you get more of me that way, rather than having four or five different people working on one song," Franklin told The Detroit News in 2003.
Franklin was in her early teens when she began touring with her father, and she released a gospel album in 1956 through J-V-B Records. Four years later, she signed with Columbia Records producer John Hammond, who called Franklin the most exciting singer he had heard since a vocalist he promoted decades earlier, Billie Holiday. Franklin knew Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr. and considered joining his label, but decided it was just a local company at the time.
Franklin recorded several albums for Columbia Records over the next six years. She had a handful of minor hits, including "Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With a Dixie Melody" and "Runnin' Out of Fools," but never quite caught on as the label tried to fit into her a variety of styles, from jazz and show songs to such pop numbers as "Mockingbird." Franklin jumped to Atlantic Records when her contract ran out, in 1966.
"But the years at Columbia also taught her several important things," critic Russell Gersten later wrote. "She worked hard at controlling and modulating her phrasing, giving her a discipline that most other soul singers lacked. She also developed a versatility with mainstream music that gave her later albums a breadth that was lacking on Motown LPs from the same period.
"Most important, she learned what she didn't like: to do what she was told to do."
At Atlantic, Wexler teamed her with veteran R&B musicians from Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, and the result was a tougher, soulful sound, with call-and-response vocals and Franklin's gospel-style piano, which anchored "I Say a Little Prayer," ''Natural Woman" and others.
Of Franklin's dozens of hits, none was linked more firmly to her than the funky, horn-led march "Respect" and its spelled out demand for "R-E-S-P-E-C-T."
Writing in Rolling Stone magazine in 2004, Wexler said: "It was an appeal for dignity combined with a blatant lubricity. There are songs that are a call to action. There are love songs. There are sex songs. But it's hard to think of another song where all those elements are combined."
Franklin had decided she wanted to "embellish" the R&B song written by Otis Redding, whose version had been a modest hit in 1965, Wexler said.
"When she walked into the studio, it was already worked out in her head," the producer wrote. "Otis came up to my office right before 'Respect' was released, and I played him the tape. He said, 'She done took my song.' He said it benignly and ruefully. He knew the identity of the song was slipping away from him to her."
In a 2004 interview with the St. Petersburg (Florida) Times, Franklin was asked whether she sensed in the '60s that she was helping change popular music.
"Somewhat, certainly with 'Respect,' that was a battle cry for freedom and many people of many ethnicities took pride in that word," she answered. "It was meaningful to all of us."
In 1968, Franklin was pictured on the cover of Time magazine and had more than 10 Top 20 hits in 1967 and 1968. At a time of rebellion and division, Franklin's records were a musical union of the church and the secular, man and woman, black and white, North and South, East and West. They were produced and engineered by New Yorkers Wexler and Tom Dowd, arranged by Turkish-born Arif Mardin and backed by an interracial assembly of top session musicians based mostly in Alabama.
Her popularity faded during the 1970s despite such hits as the funky "Rock Steady" and such acclaimed albums as the intimate "Spirit in the Dark." But her career was revived in 1980 with a cameo appearance in the smash movie "The Blues Brothers" and her switch to Arista Records. Franklin collaborated with such pop and soul artists as Luther Vandross, Elton John, Whitney Houston and George Michael, with whom she recorded a No. 1 single, "I Knew You Were Waiting (for Me)." Her 1985 album "Who's Zoomin' Who" received some of her best reviews and included such hits as the title track and "Freeway of Love."
Critics consistently praised Franklin's singing but sometimes questioned her material; she covered songs by Stephen Sondheim, Bread, the Doobie Brothers. For Aretha, anything she performed was "soul."
From her earliest recording sessions at Columbia, when she asked to sing "Over the Rainbow," she defied category. The 1998 Grammys gave her a chance to demonstrate her range. Franklin performed "Respect," then, with only a few minutes' notice, filled in for an ailing Luciano Pavarotti and drew rave reviews for her rendition of "Nessun Dorma," a stirring aria for tenors from Puccini's "Turandot."
"I'm sure many people were surprised, but I'm not there to prove anything," Franklin told The Associated Press. "Not necessary."
Fame never eclipsed Franklin's charitable works, or her loyalty to Detroit.
Franklin sang the national anthem at Super Bowl in her hometown in 2006, after grousing that Detroit's rich musical legacy was being snubbed when the Rolling Stones were chosen as halftime performers.
"I didn't think there was enough (Detroit representation) by any means," she said. "And it was my feeling, 'How dare you come to Detroit, a city of legends — musical legends, plural — and not ask one or two of them to participate?' That's not the way it should be."
Franklin did most of her extensive touring by bus after Redding's death in a 1967 plane crash, and a rough flight to Detroit in 1982 left her with a fear of flying that anti-anxiety tapes and classes couldn't help. She told Time in 1998 that the custom bus was a comfortable alternative: "You can pull over, go to Red Lobster. You can't pull over at 35,000 feet."
She only released a few albums over the past two decades, including "A Rose is Still a Rose," which featured songs by Sean "Diddy" Combs, Lauryn Hill and other contemporary artists, and "So Damn Happy," for which Franklin wrote the gratified title ballad. Franklin's autobiography, "Aretha: From These Roots," came out in 1999, when she was in her 50s. But she always made it clear that her story would continue.
"Music is my thing, it's who I am. I'm in it for the long run," she told The Associated Press in 2008. "I'll be around, singing, 'What you want, baby I got it.' Having fun all the way."
AP National Writer Hillel Italie in New York contributed to this report.
So far this year, more than 5.7 million acres have burned in this nation due to wildfire.
In California, some 750,000 acres have been destroyed, along with thousands of structures. And on Monday, Draper Battalion Chief Matthew Burchett died after a tree fell on him while he was helping fight blazes in that state.
In Utah, more than 160,000 acres have been charred and state Forester Brian Cottam told legislators Wednesday that this could be one of the worst fire years on record.
Then we have Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who this week, while touring firefighting operations in California, rejected the notion that climate change has anything to do with the tragic infernos.
“I’ve heard the climate change argument back and forth. This has nothing to do with climate change. This has to do with active forest management,” Zinke said, deploying his pleasant-sounding euphemism for logging.
Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune The Salt Lake Tribune staff portraits. Robert Gehrke. (Francisco Kjolseth/)
“America is better than letting these radical groups control the dialogue about climate change,” he told KCRA, a California television station.
His comments came on the heels of an interview with Breitbart Radio where he blamed “environmental terrorist groups” for the fires, and a similar opinion piece published in USA Today.
Despite the rhetoric, over the past 15 years there have been a total of six environmental lawsuits in Utah related to timber projects, according to figures from the U.S. Forest Service’s Intermountain Region office.
But in trying to pin the blame on environmental groups, Zinke ignores the growing body of scientific research that the climate is, indeed, exacerbating fire conditions. Instead, he buries his head in the sand while forests burn and the financial and human toll mounts.
“It’s almost like a gaslighting,” said Robert Gillies, the Utah state climatologist.
In 2015, Gillies co-authored a study that found that severe drought conditions have increased the area of California at risk for wildfires dramatically since 1990, and the fire season — the period of the year when the risk of fires is the highest — also has gotten longer.
Basil Newmerzhycky, a meteorologist and manager of the Bureau of Land Management’s fire forecasting operation, worked in California for 15 years and says, while climate change has affected various parts of the country differently, California has seen a longer fire season and intense warming and dryness in the past decade.
“There is a definite, clear correlation between the warming and the length of the fire season,” he said.
Across the West, the wildfire season is two months longer than it was 50 years ago, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, and the number of large wildfires has increased by nearly two-thirds since the 1980s.
Here in Utah, the story is very much the same. Gillies said that, especially at the lower mountain elevations, we are seeing less snow and more rain. That means less snowpack and, coupled with higher temperatures — Utah’s temperatures have increased two to four times as much as the rest of the planet — translates into conditions ripe for a blaze.
Newmerzhycky said that when trees dry out they are vulnerable to bark beetle infestations that have wiped out huge swaths of forest.
The decreased snowpack, the hotter, drier temperatures and the beetle infestation “significantly worsen our fire season, both in length and severity, from basically the mountains outside of St. George and Cedar City, all the way up to the Wasatch-Cache [forest] and Uintas,” he said.
Nationally, the Forest Service estimates that about 80 million acres of U.S. forests are at risk of insect disease and wildfire. About a third of those acres are at very high risk.
Gillies said there is nothing in the forecasting models that show any sign of change.
“It’s been an uphill battle to have politicians sometimes listen to the science, nevermind accept it,” Gillies said. “This subject has been highly politicized and it’s almost intractable when it becomes so at that level.”
Some in the Republican Party are getting it.
Last week, after the Hilltop fire burned nearly 2,000 acres near his home in Sanpete County, Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox acknowledged “There’s very clear evidence of a climate change — that the climate has been changing for a long time. … Certainly, this feels much more like the new norm when it comes to fires.”
U.S. Senate candidate Mitt Romney criticized the government for not doing more to control wildfires, but even he said that “Climate realities mean they will be a recurring menace every year.” His Democratic opponent, Jenny Wilson, was more direct, saying what we know: Global warming is exacerbating the fires and we need to treat it as “a national crisis.”
But we can’t even have that discussion in a meaningful way if people like Zinke and his boss, President Donald Trump, are more focused on using tragedies to score political points while suppressing scientific research.
Until that changes, they’ll fiddle while the West continues to burn.
Hundreds of predators. Over a thousand victims. Sadism rings, child pornography, “sharing” victims and cover-up that reached, in some cases, all the way to the top, by men in positions of trust and authority, men of God, they called themselves.
The scathing, almost 1,400-page report from a Pennsylvania grand jury lays out a sordid and disturbing tale of decades of abuse and cover-up within six Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania. The grand jury met for two years, reviewed a half a million pages of documentation received from the dioceses themselves and identified more than 300 predator priests and more than 1,000 child victims. The report also adds, “We believe that the real number — of children whose records were lost, or who were afraid to ever come forward — is in the thousands.
“Most of the victims were boys; but there were girls too. Some were teens; many were prepubescent. Some were manipulated with alcohol or pornography. Some were made to masturbate their assailants or were groped by them. Some were raped orally, some vaginally, some anally. But all of them were brushed aside, in every part of the state, by church leaders who preferred to protect the abusers and their institution above all.”
In one disturbing example, a priest raped a girl, got her pregnant and then arranged an abortion. The bishop wrote a letter expressing his feelings: “This is a very difficult time in your life, and I realize how upset you are. I too share your grief.” But the letter was not for the girl. It was for the rapist.
The report details what the grand jury describes as a “playbook for concealing the truth.” Use euphemisms for sexual assault. Choose fellow clergy members rather than unbiased professionals to "ask inadequate questions and then make credibility determinations about the colleagues with whom they live and work.” Send priests for “evaluation” to church-run psychiatric treatment centers. Never say why a priest is removed. If a predator’s conduct does become known to the community, don’t remove him from the priesthood. Instead, transfer him to a new location where no one will know he is a child abuser. “Finally, and above all, don’t tell the police,” says the grand jury report. Don’t treat it like a crime. “Handle it like a personnel matter, ‘in house.’”
The grand jury report also reveals a consistent practice of attempting to discredit victims with “unrelated and irrelevant attacks” on their character, including spreading reports that one victim was a “go-go dancer” after she was molested by her priest and religion teacher. Another was kicked out of her Catholic school for reporting the abuse she suffered at the hands of that same priest.
There is a disturbing pattern of hush money being paid, with “nondisclosure agreements” preventing recipients from ever discussing the abuse or taking further action. In 2010, in his book “Vow of Silence,” author and journalist Jason Berry found that the Catholic Church had, to that point, spent $2.6 billion to keep victims quiet.
No bishop, no priest, no ecclesiastical authority should ever abuse a child without being subject to the full weight of the law.
The statute of limitations needs to be changed, in every state across the nation. Many predators seem to know if they can just cover up long enough for the time limit to expire, they can continue on their predatory way with few consequences or repercussions. I agree with the grand jury’s recommendation that the criminal statute of limitations on childhood sexual abuse needs to be eliminated. “We want future victims to know they will always have the force of the criminal law behind them, no matter how long they live. And we want future child predators to know they should always be looking over their shoulder — no matter how long they live.”
The grand jury has three additional recommendations. First, a “civil window” law that would let older victims sue the diocese for the damage inflicted upon them when they were children. Next, improvement on the laws for mandated reporting to avoid any “wiggle room.” Finally, they recommend new laws concerning nondisclosure agreements. “There should be no room for debate,” the report says; “no nondisclosure agreement can or should apply to criminal investigations.”
The damage that has been done been done by decades of abuse, cover-up and victim-shaming and blaming is incalculable. The price the victims and survivors pay is high — far higher than the perpetrators. Sometimes, the victims try to escape the pain by ending their lives. Poignantly, while the grand jury was deliberating, one of the victims who testified in front of them tried to end her life. From her hospital bed, she asked for one thing: that the grand jury finish its work and tell the world what really happened.
It is up to us to ensure their telling actually makes a difference.
(Photo Courtesy Holly Richardson)
Holly Richardson, a regular Tribune contributor, aches for the victims of sexual abuse and aligns herself with the New Testament saying about millstones and depths of the sea.
— Chico Marx (“Duck Soup,” 1933)
The president of the United States is going to great lengths to undermine the credibility of American institutions that are not subject to his personal beck and call.
The courts. The FBI. And, of most concern in this corner, the press.
This is a serious threat to the future of our democracy, affecting people of all parties and political ideologies.
The president attacks the institution of the free press as “the fake, fake disgusting news.” He takes obvious joy in lathering up people who attend his campaign-style rallies to boo, shout at and threaten the reporters covering the event. Clearly, this is all designed to lay the groundwork for his followers to ignore, belittle or distrust news reports covering everything from the separation of children from their parents at the border to the special counsel’s investigation of the presidential campaign’s alleged collusion with the Russian government.
It is not at all unusual for presidents to have had their fill of the press.
Thomas Jefferson, who once said he would rather live in a country with newspapers and no government over government and no newspapers, was later heard to lament that people who don’t read newspapers are smarter than those who do, because knowing nothing is preferable to knowing things that aren’t true. RIchard Nixon temporarily blocked the publication of the Pentagon Papers by The New York Times and threatened to cancel the licenses of TV stations owned by The Washington Post.
But the Current Occupant attacks the whole of the American news media. He calls us “the enemy of the people.”
He leads a party where, according to a recent Ipsos poll, 48 percent of Republicans agree that the media are “the enemy of the people,” and 43 percent support the idea that “the president should have the authority to close news outlets engaged in bad behavior.”
“Bad behavior” being, almost certainly, anything the president doesn’t like.
This attitude is not in the tradition of the American Constitution. It is a step toward the kinds of dictatorships and totalitarian states the president clearly admires and wishes he could emulate.
He wants the press and the people to close their eyes to anything that does not put him and his policies in a good light. He and those who support him in this forget that an independent press is the eyes of the people, alerting them to failures, problems and disagreements that, ultimately, are our responsibility.
This editorial is one of more than 200 such pieces running today in newspapers across the nation, in an effort led by our colleagues at The Boston Globe — a publication with a stellar record of going public with things some in power did not want revealed. As such, it runs the risk of being seen as a mass collusion on the part of the media against the president.
But this is a fight he chose. And it is essential that the press stand up for its right — its duty — to tell what may be unpleasant or unpopular truths.
Kellyanne Conway, President Donald Trump’s loyal adviser, is the woman who carried him over the finish line to the White House. But her husband, George, is one of the president’s most notable conservative critics and wishes he’d never introduced his wife to Trump in the first place. At the Conways', it’s a house divided, and their feud is playing out for more than just the neighbors to see as George has increasingly taken to Twitter to call out what he sees as Trump’s “absurd” and “unconstitutional” behaviors. [WaPost]
Topping the news: Opponents of Proposition 2, a medical marijuana ballot initiative, filed a second lawsuit to block the item from November’s ballot, arguing that legalization would violate Mormons' religious beliefs. [Trib]
-> If Proposition 2 passes this fall, the nonpsychoactive cannabis component CBD could be moved from stores to dispensaries. [Trib]
-> The Trump administration released a draft of plans that, if implemented, would make most of the land removed from Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument available to coal mining and oil or gas drilling. [Trib]
-> Lawyers for the Count My Vote initiative, which seeks to solidify a new state election law, asked the Utah Supreme Court to place the measure on the ballot, arguing that its signature gathering process was unfairly torpedoed. [Trib] [Fox13] [DNews]
Tweets of the day: From @sbg1: “If this is how Trump reacts to the Omarosa book, imagine what’s going to happen when Bob Woodward’s book comes out...”
-> From @ktumulty: “Mark Burnett called me to tell me there is no video of me eating that last piece of chocolate cake that was in the refrigerator.”
-> From @PhilipRucker: “As Trump retaliates against political critics by revoking or reviewing their security clearances, it is worth remembering that the president himself revealed highly classified information to Russians in an Oval Office meeting.”
Happy Birthday: To former state Sen. Brent Goodfellow and Mike Jerman, who served as legislative director to former Rep. Jason Chaffetz.
Trib Talk: Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes, R-Draper, and Tribune reporter Benjamin Wood discuss the one-year anniversary of Operation Rio Grande, its successes and ongoing challenges. [Trib]
In other news: Utah Catholic Bishop Oscar A. Solis expressed “personal shame” for a report that revealed priests in Pennsylvania had committed massive sex abuse and vowed that the Diocese of Salt Lake City would review its own policies to “prevent these sins from happening again.” [Trib] [KSL]
-> The federal government may require Utah to reprint and reissue all drivers licenses to include a gold star on the front that would easily prove citizenship to security officers — and it could cost the state up to $5 million. [Trib] [DNews]
-> The Judiciary Interim Committee voted to take up the issue of clarifying the process for legally changing genders as a potential committee bill, which would give the item a better chance of succeeding in the next legislative session. [Trib] [DNews]
-> The state’s Transportation Interim Committee took a first chance to discuss dockless e-scooters and how to regulate them, noting that some state laws complicate their use on roads with higher speed limits or more lanes of traffic. [Trib]
-> Utah Democratic Senate nominee Jenny Wilson called the planned Orrin Hatch Center, a $40 million library and think tank to be located in Salt Lake City, an “offensive” example of how out of touch Hatch is. [Trib]
-> Salt Lake City officials began a series of meetings with the public to find out what kind of regulations residents think should be imposed on businesses looking to operate within the boundaries of a controversial inland trading hub being built in the city’s northwest corner. [Trib]
-> As his body was returned home, hundreds of Utahns met in South Jordan to pay respect to Matthew Burchett, a Draper firefighter who was killed fighting the Medocino Complex fire in California. [Trib]
Nationally: Trump has revoked the security clearance of former C.I.A. director John O. Brennan and threatened to do the same to other former national security officials who have antagonized him. [NYTimes] [WaPost] [CBS] [BusinessInsider]
-> Even as Trump engages in a trade war abroad with U.S. rivals and allies, he met with Mexican Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo on Wednesday and discussed making a deal on the North American Free Trade Agreement that could be drafted by the end of August. [Politico] [Rueters]
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-- Taylor Stevens and Connor Richards
“What would it take for Mormons to dump Trump?” Robert Rees and Clifton Jolley asked in the Aug. 12 Tribune.
First, we have to ask, why would Mormons choose Donald Trump as our world leader? It appears that Mormon support for Trump is the highest of any religious group in our nation at 61 percent.
Evidently, immorality “trumps” the morality of our sovereign nation under the raunchy, scandalous leadership of “the Donald.” Evidently, making a profit, lying, money laundering and womanizing are not bad enough, but are applauded by some who embrace Trump’s foul language along with his bravado.
Tell me, what would it take?
Rosemary A. Holt, Salt Lake City