The Salt Lake Tribune
Rep. Mia Love says the Federal Election Commission has cleared her of illegal fundraising for a primary that didn’t happen, but the FEC isn’t officially commenting on the issue. Also, four women ask the Utah Supreme Court to assign a special prosecutor to sexual assault cases that the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s office declined to pursue. And the story of an unsolved murder from 1978 shows how evidence is maintained--and how cold cases are investigated today.
At 9 a.m. Friday, Salt Lake Tribune reporter Erin Alberty, government and politics editor Dan Harrie, Utah Investigative Journalism Project’s Eric S. Peterson 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”at kcpw.org, or tune in to KCPW 88.3 FM or Utah Public Radio for the broadcast.
Rep. Mia Love says challenger Ben McAdams is so “unethical” he should drop out of their race — a call made after she obtained belated written proof that the Federal Election Commission will let her keep most of the $1 million she raised for a never-held primary.
“I honestly believe that Mayor McAdams should pull out of this race. I think it’s that unethical that he should pull out of this race if he is willing to try and destroy totally a fellow Utahn for political gain,” she said Thursday on KSL Radio’s “Dave and Dujanovic Show.” Love blames her Democratic rival for fanning flames over whether that $1 million was raised illegally — and says she is now cleared.
The McAdams campaign disagrees and says the Salt Lake County mayor has no intention of withdrawing from a race that a recent poll shows is tied.
“Her own filings with the FEC acknowledge that she messed up,” said Alyson Heyrend, spokeswoman for McAdams. The filings this week show Love has refunded $29,000 this election cycle, and her campaign earlier this week said it had either refunded or reallocated money for the never-held primary to other elections.
Heyrend also said the left-leaning Alliance for a Better Utah received notice last week from the FEC that it will investigate its complaint about Love’s raising of the $1 million — and would provide any updates in writing. None has been received.
“That doesn’t say to me that she’s been cleared,” Heyrend said.
The issue became superheated this week when Love, a two-term Republican, asserted Monday at their one and only debate that the FEC had notified her campaign that it had essentially cleared her. She told reporters, “The FEC actually said that if you call them, they will corroborate what we have said.”
Congresswoman Mia Love and Salt Lake County mayor Ben McAdams shake hands as they take part in a debate at the Gail Miller Conference Center at Salt Lake Community College in Sandy as the two battle for Utah's 4th Congressional District on Monday, Oct. 15, 2018. (Scott G Winterton/)
However, when The Salt Lake Tribune called the FEC on Tuesday, the agency had no comment on the matter, neither confirming nor denying what Love said. That led to an embarrassing story for her.
After subsequent prodding by the Love campaign, an attorney at the FEC finally sent Love’s attorney an email saying the agency has concluded the Love campaign “could retain the primary election contributions it received prior to April 21, 2018, the date Ms. Love became the nominee at the party convention.”
The Love campaign already agreed to redesignate or refund some $370,000 raised after the GOP convention for a primary election that never happened.
With that FEC confirmation finally in hand, Love went on the radio Thursday to say she was cleared — and called for McAdams to withdraw.
Raising money for a primary that isn’t held could allow donors to sidestep donation limits ($2,700 per individual or $5,000 for a political action committee) that apply separately to each election. In most of the country, congressional candidates have a possibility of facing only two elections — a primary and a general election. Utah’s unusual laws allow the possibility of three — a convention along with the primary and general.
If candidates win by a big-enough majority at a convention or are unopposed within the party — as Love was — they skip the primary. In such cases, the FEC allows Utah candidates to raise donations for just two races, not three.
(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Ben McAdams in Salt Lake City, Wednesday Oct. 17, 2018. (Trent Nelson/)
But after Love reported raising $1 million for a primary, the FEC sent a letter raising questions about whether it was legal — and instructed that anything raised for that race should be refunded or reattributed with the permission of donors.
Love’s campaign then argued that two years ago, the FEC allowed Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, to raise and keep money he raised for a potential primary up to the point of the convention. Lee had faced opposition within the party before the convention, making a primary a possibility, while Love did not — which was known after no candidate filed against her by the March deadline.
The new email shows the FEC agrees with Love. “We concluded that the substantive facts at issue were indistinguishable from those presented in the Friends of Mike Lee request,” it said.
With that in hand, Love went on the radio and bitterly attacked McAdams on Thursday for pushing allegations that the $1 million was raised illegally.
“Am I disappointed that he is willing to sacrifice his political integrity to win a seat in Congress? Yes,” she said. “He is showing who he is. He is following the liberal strategies and politics of personal destruction that we have seen in Washington.”
She added, “If Ben McAdams is willing to do this sort of thing to win a seat in Congress, imagine what he will do once he is elected. You can’t trust him to act with integrity….
“Ben is OK with undermining anyone’s personal integrity, including mine, with attacks delivered through his liberal allies,” she said. “I’ve had to keep my kids from TV. This is something that just really affected me.”
She also attacked the Alliance for a Better Utah, which filed the FEC complaint against her, as a group run by donors and allies of McAdams and charged that it was acting at McAdams' behest. Heyrend said McAdams had nothing to do with that group’s complaint.
The alliance also issued a news release disputing Love’s claim of exoneration.
Chase Thomas, the group’s executive director, said that the email Love received “does not change anything — the status of our complaint today is the same as it was yesterday and the same as it’s been since we received official notice of receipt via letter from the FEC last week. The email Love received was not a response to our official complaint.”
Meanwhile, Heyrend with McAdams campaign, said, “Once again, Representative Love is being deceptive. She has a pattern of lying to Utahns and misleading the press when backed into a corner.
“She lied to us when she got caught using taxpayer dollars for travel to a posh D.C. party," Heyrend said. “She got caught misleading voters using taxpayer-funded mail and is currently still under investigation for raising money in violation of the law.”
Reactions were divided Thursday to a social media post by former Rep. Jason Chaffetz that poked fun, perhaps indelicately, at the claims of native ancestry by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
The post shows Chaffetz posing next to a wooden, cigar store-style American Indian statue and references the recent controversy over Warren releasing results of her DNA testing that suggest a distant native ancestor.
“At Disneyland today with Senator Elizabeth Warren,” reads a caption accompanying Chaffetz’s photo.
At Disneyland today with Senator Elizabeth Warren pic.twitter.com/37rvaSOVGl— Jason Chaffetz (@jasoninthehouse) October 18, 2018
The post by the congressman-turned-Fox-News-contributor quickly racked up thousands of comments, likes and retweets on Twitter, with responses ranging from amusement to allegations of racism.
Mark Maryboy, a Navajo elder and former San Juan County commissioner, said he considered the post to be racist.
“He has been so opposed to everything the San Juan County Navajo have been doing,” Maryboy said. “I’m not surprised he made that statement.”
President Donald Trump has repeatedly mocked Warren, calling her “Pocahontas," due to the Massachusetts politician’s claims to native ancestry.
This week, Warren released the results of a DNA test indicating a small percentage of genetic markers in her profile that are related to indigenous peoples.
The test results were met with widespread criticism, with some conservative leaders pointing to them as proof of Warren’s exaggerated diversity and liberals and tribal leaders condemning the use of race as a political tactic.
Asked about his Disneyland photo, Chaffetz told The Salt Lake Tribune that it was Warren, not him, who has acted with insensitivity.
“She thought those results were positive for her,” he said. “She has made a mockery of Native Americansm and I think it’s disgusting what she did.”
Chaffetz said most of the reactions to his post were sympathetic to his intended criticism of Warren.
“It’s overwhelmingly supportive of how ridiculous Senator Warren’s assertions are,” he said.
Maryboy, a Democrat, said he’s comfortable with Warren releasing her DNA results. The native American population has shrunk to very few people, Maryboy said, and he’s happy that Warren shares an indigenous ancestry.
“Any person, any member joining our group is welcome in my book,” Maryboy said.
Among those who were not amused by Chaffetz’s post was Shireen Ghorbani, a Democratic candidate for Utah’s 2nd Congressional District who tweeted her own critical reaction to the photo.
“An unacceptable embarrassment to my fine state,” Ghorbani wrote. “Do better.”
Ghorbani told The Tribune that Chaffetz’s tweet is indicative of why people disengage with politics. She said she’s troubled by the divisive rhetoric of Trump and politicians who support him, which distracts from debate on important topics like ballooning health care costs.
“The line is crossed when we engage in mocking tweets or behaviors that have really nothing to do with the everyday issues that people are facing in this country.”
Jack Tuttle, the best quarterback recruit Utah has ever landed — no, I did not say the best quarterback — is transferring and we’ve got to find somebody to blame. It is our duty. You don’t just let a four-star guy coming out of California’s quarterback hotbed, a QB who was wanted by Alabama, LSU, Wisconsin, a fistful of teams in the Pac-12, and a bunch of other programs, just walk away without exacting a pound of flesh.
From who, though?
He’s the head coach who favors a dual-threat quarterback because his defense-oriented mind tells him those are the toughest guys on the college level to defend. He wants a player who can gain 10 yards whenever it’s necessary without risking a throw that could get picked or a hand-off that could be fumbled.
As an extension, maybe it’s the offensive system at Utah, a structure that does everything just mentioned, even though it doesn’t work so well in the NFL. It does in college because school-boy defenders aren’t fast enough to bother a quarterback who can run and pass. That’s why dual threats are so coveted, at least at some schools, where traditional pocket passers have been stashed at the bottom of the depth chart, left to collect dust and hold clipboards and signal in plays from the sideline to the mobile guys on the field.
Maybe Whittingham should have thrown the hot-shot recruit a bone, just to keep him and his personal entourage — parents, family members, friends — happy about his prospects for playing in the future. Maybe Whittingham should have ignored the fact that junior Tyler Huntley and redshirt freshman Jason Shelley outperformed Tuttle in fall practices, and elevated him at least to the backup role, just to appease him.
On the other hand, if he had done that, all the other players would have known what was going down, and disapproved. That’s the thing about depth charts. The players themselves know who’s playing best. Messing with that could cause a revolt that would be difficult to explain and even more difficult to overcome.
Maybe Whitingham could be blamed for ever recruiting Tuttle, because he knew all along that he was a pocket passer, not the kind of quarterback he valued.
Or maybe we could blame Tuttle himself, considering he must have known what kind of offense Whittingham preferred, even back when Aaron Roderick was the coordinator and the main recruiting contact with Tuttle. Conversely, Troy Taylor, who replaced A-Rod, came in prior to last season. He coached Jake Browning — a drop-back passer — in high school to great success, so perhaps coaches led Tuttle to believe he could thrive at Utah.
Maybe we could blame Taylor for last year’s benching of senior Troy Williams, who had won nine games for the Utes the previous season, in favor of Huntley. The then-sophomore would subsequently clog the QB pipeline for seasons to come, including this one, when Tuttle would clearly see that his path to the field is fogged over to the point where he should bolt.
Tuttle, even as a teenager, still had the best arm in fall camp. He just didn’t have the other stuff, the experience, the grasp of the offense, the trust of the coaches, the wheels. He arrived early out of high school, in time for spring ball, but that wasn’t enough to redirect the course that was unfolding, a course that a blind man could and should have seen.
Had he studied the situation a bit better, he might never have come to Utah.
And, now, being in the kind of hurry so many kids are in, so many parents are in for their kids, he wishes he never had.
Making matters worse, many believe that Zach Wilson, the freshman quarterback at BYU, would have signed with the Utes had a QB opportunity at the school presented itself. It did not because Whittingham promised Tuttle, if he did come to Utah, he wouldn’t sign any other quarterbacks.
Now Wilson is a Cougar.
And Tuttle is gonzo.
Some say, just trust the coaches, they know what they’re doing and they determined Tuttle to be worth the recruiting promises and then figured him to be a third-string talent for the time being. That’s a contradiction. Others look at the facts, especially in hindsight, and say the whole thing got goofed over, that there are group politics at play, biases that have little to do with individual talent.
Which was the case regarding Tuttle at Utah?
Either way, people wonder what the effect moving forward will be on Utah’s recruiting, especially as it pertains to quarterbacks. Put it this way: If you were a highly recruited pocket passer, a sky-high talent, if you were John Freaking Elway, would Utah be your preferred destination coming out of high school based on what happened in this case, and based on the program’s recent track record of developing — or not developing — NFL-caliber quarterbacks?
Jack Tuttle, Utah’s best quarterback recruit ever, came, anyway.
Now, he’s leaving.
No matter who you choose to blame, the former is a much bigger surprise than the latter.
GORDON MONSON hosts “The Big Show” with Jake Scott weekdays from 3-7 p.m. on 97.5 FM and 1280 AM The Zone.
It is, perhaps, a less-than-ideal situation that, in their season debut Thursday night, the Utah Jazz struggled mightily to vanquish a Sacramento team that has not qualified for the NBA Playoffs since the 2005-06 season.
Fortunately, however, the Jazz should have every opportunity to put on a more dominant display in the follow-up, considering Friday’s nationally-televised home opener at Vivint Smart Home Arena comes against an apparently middling opponent that Utah absolutely owned a season ago — the Golden State Warriors.
The Jazz won three of the teams’ four matchups last year, and prevailed in those victories by 30, 19, and 40 points, respectively, did they not?
So then, it’s settled — Friday’s affair is bound to be a cakewalk.
Maybe. And maybe not in a good way.
Turns out, the Warriors are actually pretty good — at least, if you put much stock in winning back-to-back championships, and three of the past four, for that matter.
Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey, for one, apparently gives more credence to the Warriors’ title pedigree and All-Star-laden roster than to the 2017-18 regular-season results, anyway.
“As for Golden State … we can’t do anything about Kevin Durant and Steph Curry other than compete great, be great defensively, be very unselfish offensively, and then grow each player’s individual skills,” he said. “And then hopefully the collective will be a little bit better than the 16th-overall-rated team offensively from last year.”
Oh, that’s right — the Warriors have Kevin Durant, a one-time Most Valuable Player, a two-time Finals MVP, a four-time scoring champion, an eight-time All-NBA selection, and a nine-time All-Star. Curry, meanwhile, is a two-time MVP, a five-time All-Star, a five-time All-NBA honoree, a former scoring champ, and the single-season record-holder for 3-pointers made.
Beyond that, the Warriors don’t really have much, though — just Draymond Green, who’s only a three-time All-Star, two-time All-NBA honoree and former Defensive Player of the Year; and Klay Thompson, a mere four-time All-Star, two-time All-NBA selection, and the first player in NBA history to score 60 points in less than 30 minutes of game time.
Derrick Favors acknowledged in a radio interview on Thursday that the Jazz know what they’re up against.
“They’re the world champions, you know, two, three times,” he told 1280 The Zone. “They’re obviously a much better-accomplished team than we are.”
OK, so how exactly did the Jazz beat this team three times last year?
Actually, looking back, it’s difficult to tell what, if anything, those results mean, considering only one game of the four featured both teams at something close to full strength.
The teams’ first meeting of the season, on Dec. 27 in Oakland, came during the Jazz’s Rudy Gobert-less early funk, and proved to be the Warriors’ only win, as they overcame not having Curry to beat Utah 126-101. Rodney Hood scored 26 for the Jazz, who could not sustain a strong start.
In Game 2, on Jan. 30 in Salt Lake City, Utah responded, getting 23 points and 11 assists from Ricky Rubio, 18 points and 10 rebounds from Derrick Favors, and 20 points apiece from Donovan Mitchell and Joe Ingles for a 129-99 win. The Jazz shot 58 percent from the field and 50 percent on 3s. Golden State, which had all four of its All-Stars playing, made just 5 of 25 tries from 3-point range.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr was fuming about the ease of the Jazz’s win afterward.
“I think our guys will tell you that was a pathetic effort out there. That was disgusting basketball,” he told reporters. “… I saw one team get their ass kicked. That's what I saw."
By their third meeting, in Oracle Arena on March 25, the Jazz had turned their season around and were in the midst of their brilliant stretch run. Utah saw seven players score in double-figures, led by Mitchell’s 21, while Gobert contributed 17 points, 15 rebounds, and four blocks. Counterintuitively, despite the Warriors not playing Curry, Durant, Thompson, or Green, the 110-91 result was the teams’ closest of the season.
Conversely, the April 10 matchup at The Viv, in Utah’s penultimate game of the regular season, proved the biggest blowout. The Warriors were again missing Curry, and hit just .349 from the field and .263 (5 for 19) from deep. The Jazz, meanwhile, shot .533 from the field, .371 from deep (13 for 35), led by 17 after one quarter, by 29 at halftime, and cruised to a 119-79 beatdown.
So, what does any of it mean? Who knows?
Like the Jazz, Golden State was hardly sharp in its season-opening 108-100 victory over the Thunder, which had Kerr saying afterward, “We didn’t look much like ourselves. It’s not surprising either. We need a couple more weeks.”
Gobert, asked after Wednesday’s victory in Sacramento what it would be like going from playing the Kings to playing the Warriors, gave a typically stoic response.
“It’s a different team — different game, different [style of] play, so we have to get home and start getting ready for them,” he said.
Favors, meanwhile, told The Zone that even should the Jazz prevail on Friday, he doesn’t know if that will mean anything, either.
“It’s a long season,” he noted. “We can beat them and still not win a championship, or we can lose to them and [still] be right there at the end.”
Jack Tuttle smiled and laughed Tuesday afternoon as he walked off Utah’s football practice field with starting quarterback Tyler Huntley. That scene became a clue regarding the future of the freshman QB, who has left Utah’s program and intends to transfer.
In August and September, Tuttle usually was among the last players to leave, doing individual drills and working with receivers. But he exited right after Tuesday's session ended, and now he's gone from the team after never taking the field in a game as the most celebrated quarterback recruit in school history.
Tuttle’s status as Utah’s No. 3 quarterback, with Huntley scheduled to return as the starter in 2019 and redshirt freshman Jason Shelley ahead of Tuttle on the depth chart, suggested his future may come into question after this season. The effect came sooner than almost anyone could have anticipated. Utah has not confirmed the move; weekly media availability ended Tuesday.
Tuttle committed to Utah in December 2016, just prior to Troy Taylor’s replacing Aaron Roderick as offensive coordinator and eight months before Huntley was promoted over senior Troy Williams as the 2017 starter. Tuttle stuck with the Utes. He endorsed Taylor’s offense, signed last December, then graduated from high school and enrolled at Utah in January, hoping that participating in spring practice would enable him to play or even start this season. Multiple quarterbacks in the class of 2018 are doing so in Power Five programs — notably USC’s JT Daniels, who will oppose the Utes on Saturday.
Utah's staff never wavered about Huntley's hold on the job. In late August, Taylor and coach Kyle Whittingham could have named Tuttle the No. 2 QB in an effort to keep him happier. They made a calculated choice of Shelley, believing he was better prepared to play.
Standing on the sideline in the season opener, signaling plays to Huntley and Shelley, was “a weird feeling,” Tuttle acknowledged in a Salt Lake Tribune interview a few days later, adding, “We’ll have the season review after the season, but right now, I’m just focused on week by week.”
Tuttle stayed only until midseason. Utah intended to redshirt Tuttle as part of a five-year plan — although coaches could have played him in as many as four games while preserving his year’s eligibility, according to a new NCAA rule.
In that context, explanations exist for the timing of Tuttle’s move. Utah’s staff unwittingly may have accelerated his departure by not using him in Friday’s 42-10 win over Arizona. Shelley quarterbacked all three offensive possessions of the fourth quarter. The NCAA’s transfer database took effect Monday, along with new rules that prevent athletic programs from blocking transfers. And Friday is the last day to withdraw from fall-semester classes at Utah.
The convergence of the calendar and that missed opportunity to play probably influenced Tuttle and his family. The news surprised Chris Hauser, his coach at Mission Hills High School in southern California. Hauser has communicated regularly with Tuttle this season, offering support and hearing only that Tuttle was persevering in the program. Hauser, though, started receiving messages from college coaches, wondering what he knew about Tuttle’s plans.
“It's just kind of a bummer,” Hauser said Thursday, not having spoken with Tuttle this week. “The kid was so excited about Utah; he didn't take any other visits. That's just the nature of the business, I guess.”
Former Ute quarterback Jordan Wynn, who was involved in Tuttle's recruitment as an off-field staff member in 2016, had the same response: “Nature of the game,” he said.
Quarterback transfers certainly are not uncommon in the landscape of college football. Tuttle’s case is meaningful, because his arrival was a major development for a program that has sent only 1986 signee Scott Mitchell and 2002 recruit Alex Smith on to significant careers as NFL quarterbacks in modern history.
Utah fulfilled its promise to Tuttle of not signing other quarterbacks in the class of 2018. Otherwise, the Utes may have landed Corner Canyon High School’s Zach Wilson, now starting for BYU, or Lehi’s Cammon Cooper, a Washington State freshman.
Tuttle’s move coincides with Saturday’s game vs. USC, the school that made a late recruiting push for him. Mix in this weekend’s official visit to Utah by highly ranked southern California prep quarterback Jayden Daniels (not related to JT Daniels), and the result is a multilayered story, with the kind of drama that only teenage quarterbacks can generate.
Low- and middle-income Utahns pay a significantly bigger share of their income for taxes than do the rich, a new study says.
The poorest 20 percent of Utah households — which earn less than $23,000 a year — pay 7.53 percent of their income for taxes. The top 1 percent pay 6.68 percent, says the study by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy and Voices for Utah Children.
Meanwhile, the middle 60 percent of Utahns pay an average tax rate of 8.3 percent.
The study looked at similar statistics in all 50 states — and included a “tax inequality index.” It said Utah has the 40th most unfair state and local tax system in the country, and that incomes are more unequal in Utah after state and local taxes are collected than before.
“Rising income inequality is unconscionable, and it is certainly a problem that local, state and federal lawmakers should address,” said Meg Wiehe, deputy director of ITEP and an author of the study.
“It’s reasonable to expect the highest-income residents and corporations to pay their fair share of state and local taxes, said Patrice Schell of Voices for Utah Children. “It only makes sense since the wealthiest Utahns have benefitted most from our booming economy.”
The groups said Utah’s overall tax system is more unfair than most because it relies more heavily on sales and excise taxes than on personal income tax. With income tax, the higher one’s income the higher the effective tax rate tends to be. The poor tend to spend high percentages of their income on necessities, and the sales tax on them, while the wealthy spend lower percentages of their income on them.
Also, the groups said that recent property taxes on the state and local level hurt lower-income groups because the poor pay the highest share of their income of any group for property taxes.
Schell urged, “Utah should become the 30th state to enact its own earned-income tax credit, which would lower taxes for the lowest income Utahns and thus make our tax system less regressive.” Such credits can give the poor refunds that are greater than the taxes they actually owed.
The study also warns that if the nation fails to address growing income inequality, states will have difficulty raising the revenue they need over time.
The more income that goes to the wealthy (and the lower a state’s overall tax rate on the wealthy), the slower a state’s revenue grows over time, the groups said.
A 14-year-old boy who says he was sexually assaulted by three members of his high school football team last month in rural Gunnison has filed a federal lawsuit alleging school officials knew the players had a “pervasive and extensive history” of harassment stretching over the past two years and did nothing to address it — leaving him vulnerable to the attack.
The discrimination lawsuit comes after prosecutors filed charges of rape and forcible sexual abuse against the 16-year-old classmate alleged to have led the assault against the boy and two students who reportedly helped hold him down.
Since then, at least a dozen other students, mostly boys, have come forward reporting similar cases of misconduct dating back to October 2017.
The plaintiff is a freshman at central Utah’s Gunnison Valley High School. He is identified as “Child Doe” in the complaint filed Wednesday but appeared with his mother at a news conference Thursday at the Salt Lake City law offices of Bob Sykes. His mother asked that reporters identify him only by his first name, Greg.
“If I didn’t say anything," Greg said, “it could happen to somebody else."
Greg credited his mother for giving him the courage to speak out. He said he is still attending Gunnison Valley and finished the season on its junior varsity football team, where he played linebacker and running back. He stayed at the school to help make change there, he said, though he added that he still has “good days and bad days" recalling what happened outside the boys' locker room.
“The days that are bad I think, ‘Why did this happen when the school could have stopped it?’" Greg said.
His mother, Misty Cox, also is a plaintiff. She told reporters that after her son’s assault was reported, she started receiving messages from other parents saying something similar had happened to their sons.
“I am so upset," Cox said, “because if someone else, like the school, would have done something, then my son wouldn’t have been assaulted.”
The Salt Lake Tribune typically does not identify victims of sexual assault and does not identify youth defendants unless their case has been moved to the adult court system.
The filing says “Child Doe” started at the high school this year. Within weeks of his first day, the 16-year-old boy started teasing him. On Sept. 17, he alleges, the older boy caught him before a football practice; he had the other two players hold the younger boy down while he rubbed his genitals on his face in front of about 15 teammates.
Greg on Thursday said the varsity quarterback came out of the locker room and shoved the assailants out of the way to stop the assault.
“Child Doe," according to the complaint, told a school resource officer — former state Rep. Carl Wimmer, who also works for Gunnison City Police Department — that day what had happened, and he opened an investigation. Sanpete County prosecutors filed charges in early October, calling it a case of hazing that went too far.
The boy’s attorneys say that’s too simple of a reduction for the case of harassment, bullying and sexual violence. And they’ve named the school district, superintendent, principal, vice principal and athletic director as being complicit in allowing the three boys to assault multiple students “unchecked.”
They allege that the school officials — particularly South Sanpete School District Superintendent Kent Larsen — knew of previous reports of misconduct by the same boys and dismissed them as “horseplay” and “boys being boys,” which they say showed “deliberate indifference.”
“My son deserves an apology from him,” Cox said. "We sat in his office, and he dismissed what happened to my son in front of him.”
Cox and her attorneys also criticized the punishment the three boys received from the school. The complaint says the boys “essentially were rewarded” with a three-day suspension from school but were allowed to continue practicing with the football team.
Larsen has told The Tribune that the incidents first came to light at the end of September. He also said the 16-year-old will not be allowed back at the school until the case is resolved.
The lawsuit says that after the boy reported the assault, the three boys and their friends taunted him and called him derogatory names. The school reportedly suspended them for three days, but they still showed up at football practice, according to the family.
The boy and his mother are asking for a trial by jury to determine damages, including compensation for emotional trauma. They’re alleging the school and district violated Title IX, a federal law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in education, and equal protection laws.
Lehi • It’s late fourth quarter of a close game at Viewmont High School. The Skyridge High School football team is on the verge of its fourth straight win to start the 2017 season. Naturally, the Falcons turn to then-junior star running back Ma’a Notoa to make a play.
Notoa receives the handoff and looks up the field. He sees a defender looking to make a tackle. Notoa has two options: turn the corner and run upfield, or cut inside the opposing safety. He chose to cut. He’s tackled.
Notoa is known among his teammates as a tough player. No matter how hard the hit, he always pops back up. But he stayed down this time. His face filled with anguish.
“We knew something was wrong with him,” said Ioholani Raass, Notoa’s teammate and brother through adoption.
Notoa didn’t know. At least not yet. He left the game briefly, knowing something didn’t feel right in his knee. But adrenaline rushed through his body. He told the team he was fine because he wanted to help the team win, and returned to the game for a full drive.
After the game, however, Notoa couldn’t walk. About two weeks later, he visited the doctor for an MRI. It revealed a torn ACL, MCL and meniscus in his right knee.
“I definitely cried,” Notoa said. “I tried to hold it in, but I just couldn’t.”
Notoa knew his season was over. But the news cut deeper than that. He thought the football career he’d been nurturing since third grade was over, too.
“I thought I was going to be just another kid who just had a dream but didn’t do anything,” Notoa said.
The Falcons didn’t feel Notoa’s absence right away. In the team’s first game with Notoa on the sideline, Skyridge blew out their opponent.
At the time, the extent of Notoa’s injury was unknown. He was actually cleared to play and dressed for that game. But it turned out the team didn’t need him. In a way, that game’s result was fool’s gold, Falcons head coach John Lehman said.
“It was easy to say, ‘We’re going to be OK,’” Lehman said.
But once the team’s schedule strengthened, the team found itself longing for Notoa — or at least a situation in which it could replace him by committee. Lehman said there were several games where the team’s offense stagnated. The coaching staff tinkered with lineups to find a solution.
“It was a challenge having someone else out on the field that you didn’t know was going to perform to his level,” Raass said. “It was just different having someone else running the ball for him.”
Eventually, the Falcons got their groove back. They made it all the way to the state championship game, but lost to Lehi.
Throughout Skyridge’s entire run, Notoa ached to be out there with teammates. He said watching the Falcons fight for a state title wasn’t fun for him. But he showed up to every game, sat at the end zone in his BYU chair with his crutches by his side, and tried to be the best cheerleader he could.
“Any time we score, you see his crutches fly up in the air and he’d be hobbling on one leg,” Raass said.
It was the least Notoa could do for his teammates after they supported him throughout his arduous rehab process, which lasted from last October until August. There were times he felt frustrated, that he wasn’t getting any better. But his attitude stayed positive.
“Not once did I see him hang his head and pout and wonder, ‘Why me,’” Lehman said. “He just kept rolling forward.”
But about eight months in, he started to feel himself inching closer to his old self.
Notoa felt sick to his stomach as he prepared to step on the field for the first time in almost a calendar year. It was the first game of the regular season for Skyridge, and Notoa did not play in scrimmages over the summer or in another other type of competitive football until that night.
“I would’ve told you I was ready to go out there,” Notoa said, “but deep down inside, I was nervous.”
Skyridge lost that game. Notoa got 80 yards on 21 carries. His father, Vai Notoa, who helped rehab his son, could see he still wasn’t completely comfortable. It showed in Notoa’s body language, Via Notoa said.
It took two full games for Notoa to find his footing, to rediscover his confidence, to put his knee out of his head and focus on football. Since that first loss, the Falcons are on an eight-game winning streak behind Notoa’s 1,165 rushing yards.
Lehman said much of the team’s success this season has been because Notoa is back on the field where he belongs.
“He’s a big part of everything we do,” Lehman said. “He can be on the field all the time no matter what you’re going to ask him to do.”
Lehman said every local university in Utah has Notoa on its radar, and the senior running back has even made visits to some of them. But Notoa’s main focus right now is helping the Falcons win the state championship that eluded them last season.
With Notoa back to full health this season, he is position to do just that.
“I definitely feel like I can help out a lot,” Notoa said.
A man is in critical condition after he was shot by an officer Wednesday following an alleged robbery at a Mexican restaurant in Kearns.
Unified Police Department detectives responded to Fiesta Olé, at 4098 W. 5415 South, on a robbery call at about 1 p.m. James Lyle Kuehn, who was reportedly armed with a knife, took off when he saw the officers, said UPD Sgt. Melody Gray.
Police confronted Kuehn at a nearby house, and he reportedly threatened them. Gray said she did not know whether he had a weapon at that point. One officer fired his gun, Gray said, hitting him. Kuehn, 61, was taken to a nearby hospital.
Officers retrieved a knife from the scene, Gray said.
The incident is now under investigation by the Salt Lake City Police Department.
Kuehn has an extensive criminal history — stretching back to 1987 in Utah — that includes dozens of misdemeanors for theft and possession of drugs. One was filed as recently as Sept. 10.
The share of women in the ranks of American clergy has doubled — and sometimes tripled — in some denominations during the past two decades, a new report shows.
“I was really surprised, in a way, at how much progress there’s been in 20 years,” said the report’s author, Eileen Campbell-Reed, an associate professor at Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Nashville, Tenn. “There’s kind of a circulating idea that, oh well, women in ministry has kind of plateaued and there really hasn’t been lot of growth. And that’s just not true.”
The two traditions with the highest percentages of women clergy were the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ, according to the “State of Clergywomen in the U.S.,” released earlier this month. Fifty-seven percent of UUA clergy were women in 2017, while half of clergy in the UCC were female in 2015. In 1994, women constituted 30 percent of UUA clergy and 25 percent of UCC clergy.
UUA President Susan Frederick-Gray credits the increase to a decision by her denomination’s General Assembly in 1970 to call for more women to serve in ministry and policymaking roles. She noted that as of this year, 60 percent of UUA clergy are women.
“All that work in the ’70s and ’80s made it possible for me, in the early 2000s, to come into ministry and be successful and lead thriving churches,” said Frederick-Gray, “and now be elected as the first female, first woman minister elected to the UUA presidency.”
Campbell-Reed and a research assistant gathered clergywomen statistics that had not been collected across 15 denominations for two decades.
The Rev. Barbara Brown Zikmund, who co-wrote the 1998 book “Clergy Women: An Uphill Calling,” welcomed the new report as a way to start closing the gap in the research.
“While the experiences of women and the evolution of church life and leadership have changed dramatically over the past two decades,” she said, “there have been no comprehensive studies on women and church leadership.”
Reached between recent convocation events at Andover Newton Seminary, the Rev. Davida Foy Crabtree, a retired UCC minister, said the report’s findings were reflected around her.
“I was sort of looking around and seeing so many women and remembering that in my years in seminary in the ’60s how few of us there were,” said Crabtree, a trustee and alumna of the theological school. “So it’s definitely a sea change in terms of women’s ordination.”
Campbell-Reed’s research found a tripling of percentages of clergywomen in the Assemblies of God, the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America between 1994 and 2017.
But Campbell-Reed also found that clergywomen — with the exception of Unitarian Universalists — continue to lag behind clergymen in leading their churches. In the UCC, for example, female and male clergy are equal in number, but 38 percent of UCC pastors are women.
Instead, many clergywomen — as well as clergymen — serve in ministerial roles other than that of pastor, including chaplains, nonprofit staffers and professors.
Paula Nesbitt, president of the Association for the Sociology of Religion, said other researchers have long observed “the persistent clergy gender gap in attainment and compensation.”
For women of color, especially, significant gaps remain, and for women in some conservative churches, ordination is not an option.
Campbell-Reed noted that clergywomen of color “remain a distinct minority” in most mainline denominations. Those who have risen to leadership in the top echelons of their religious groups, she said, have done so after long years of service.
“Some of them are also being recognized for their contributions and their work, like any other person who’s got longevity and wisdom, by being elected as bishops in their various communions,” she said of denominations such as the United Methodist Church and the ELCA.
Campbell-Reed also pointed out the role of women who serve churches despite being barred from pastoral positions in congregations of the country’s two largest denominations, the Southern Baptist Convention and the Roman Catholic Church.
Former Southern Baptist women like herself have joined the pastoral staffs of breakaway groups such as the Alliance of Baptists, which have women pastoring 40 percent of their congregations. And Catholic women constitute 80 percent of lay ecclesial ministers, who “are running the church on a day-to-day basis,” she said.
Patricia Mei Yin Chang, another co-author of “Clergy Women: An Uphill Calling,” said the new statistics prompt questions about the meaning behind them, such as changing attitudes of congregations or decreases in male clergy.
“Those are two really different causes,” she said, “and they may differ across denominations.”
Campbell-Reed, whose 20-page report concludes with two pages of questions for seminaries, churches, researchers and theologians, said the answers about the often-difficult job hunt for clergywomen relate to sexism.
“Just because more women enter into jobs in the church or are ordained does not mean that the problems of sexism have gone away,” she said. “At times, the bias is more implicit but no less real.”
Some women are reaching “tall-steeple” pulpits — leadership in prominent churches — instead of being relegated to struggling congregations, often in denominations on the decline.
Frederick-Gray said her denomination, which is working on race equality as well as gender equality, is seeing greater opportunities for women to preach in its largest churches. Of the 41 largest congregations in the Unitarian Universalist Association, 20 are served by women senior ministers.
Women’s leadership, Frederick-Gray said, is necessary at a time of decline for many religions.
“The decline is not the responsibility of women,” she said. “But maybe we will be the hope for the future.”
A progressive group is condemning a Republican state House candidate for offensive social media posts, such as one calling a woman who’d reported sexual assault a “psycho gold digger.”
The organization, Alliance for a Better Utah, on Wednesday released a collection of screen grabs taken from the Facebook and Twitter accounts of Fred Johnson, a West Valley City resident who’s running to represent Utah House District 31.
In one tweet from January, he compared Women’s March participants to “pigs” based on an Infowars reporter’s account of the mess the demonstrators left behind.
As usual, when pigs get together they leave a mess for someone else to clean up.— didisaythatoutloud? (@outlowd) January 29, 2018
When commenting on a video of a teachers strike in 2012, he wrote, “Looks like most of those fatties can use the exercise." He ended the tweet with an emoji winking and sticking its tongue out. In response to a 2015 Washington Post article about how black men are at greater risk than whites of being killed in police shootings, he said, “Maybe they should rethink their lives of crime.”
Reached by phone Wednesday, Johnson, a 69-year-old craftsman, didn't contest that he'd posted the comments and apologized if anyone was offended by them.
"I've been told I should post more like a politician and less like a bricklayer," he said.October 29, 2016
But he charged Alliance for a Better Utah with cherrypicking his worst tweets and launching a “smear attack” to derail his campaign against the Democratic incumbent, Rep. Elizabeth Weight. The district is a competitive one, he said, noting he lost the seat to a Democrat in 2012 by a mere 77 votes.
Johnson was the Republican nominee last election in state Senate District 1, where he lost to Democratic incumbent Sen. Luz Escamilla.
Signs look good in your front yard, and the make excellent targets after the election! Picture shooting the stars off the elephant! pic.twitter.com/jiePRzhpRM— didisaythatoutloud? (@outlowd) October 4, 2016
Katie Matheson, spokeswoman for Alliance for a Better Utah, said the social media posts aren’t just poorly worded — they contain reprehensible ideas.
"I don't live in that district, but as a woman, it's incredibly disturbing to hear the things that he said about women. And as a woman with children, it's disturbing to hear the things he said about teachers," she said.
And some of the troubling tweets are from earlier this year, not from the distant past, she said. In March, news broke about a woman who’d alleged the former president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Missionary Training Center in Provo had sexually assaulted her in the 1980s. In response, Johnson tweeted, “Can you say, ‘psycho gold digger’?”
Can you say ‘psycho gold digger’?— didisaythatoutloud? (@outlowd) March 22, 2018
Johnson acknowledged the post was inappropriate, explaining that he’s sometimes too hasty to defend the LDS Church.
“It seems like there’s a lot of people attacking it for no reason,” he said.
As an uncle to several police officers, it can also touch a nerve with him when people criticize law enforcement, he said.
Weight, a former educator, said Johnson’s comments about teachers and others are "unfortunate.”
“I’m astounded that someone would make public statements of that type,” she said.
Johnson acknowledged he’s outspoken — his twitter username is “didisaythatoutloud?” — and believes political correctness is stifling free discourse across the nation. On the other hand, he does believe people should use judgment in their online commentary.
Logan • The Democratic and United Utah Party candidates in Utah’s 1st Congressional District came out swinging against incumbent Rep. Rob Bishop, a Republican, at the Utah Debate Commission’s debate on Wednesday night.
It will be up to voters in November to decide whether they landed any of their punches.
Bishop’s opponents seemed to take little notice of one another but aimed to paint the Republican as a career politician who represents special interests rather than Utah voters.
The United Utah Party’s Eric Eliason critiqued the congressman, for example, for pushing to diminish the size of Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument without protecting those areas from mining extraction.
“Follow the money,” Eliason said. “Ninety percent of Mr. Bishop’s campaign finances come from out of the state of Utah. I think it’s around 80 percent right now and No. 1 on the list, or No. 2 depending on the year, is oil and gas. His committee has received $6 million from the oil and gas industry. I have a hard time seeing how our congressman can be objective when that is the case.”
Bishop touted his long experience in government and Congress and his position as the only conservative in the race — values he says have served him well in Washington, D.C., and with the majority of Utah voters.
Eric Eliason (United Utah Party) talks to the media while standing next to his wife Shannon Eliason after taking part in Utah's 1st Congressional District Debate, on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018, at Utah State University in Logan. (Eli Lucero/Herald Journal/)
As for campaign donations? Bishop said they don’t play into his decisions.
“Nobody really knows and sees my heart,” he said. “I find it somewhat unfair and somewhat offensive when people say I do things because of money. I do not sell my votes.”
“I find that hard to believe,” Castillo countered.
The stage Wednesday was the most crowded of the Utah Debate Commission series, as Eliason was the only third party candidate in any major race to make the commission’s cut.
It’s unusual to see three candidates on stage at a debate, but this isn’t the first time the fledgling United Utah Party has qualified under the commission’s rules. Last year, UUP candidate Jim Bennett narrowly qualified to join Democrat Kathie Allen and now-Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, at a 3rd Congressional District debate.
Even facing two candidates who have earned enough support to stand in the debate, Bishop appears best positioned for November’s election. A new Salt Lake Tribune-Hinckley Institute of Politics poll found he has a clear path to re-election, with some 52 percent of voters favoring the congressman — a 32-point lead over Democrat Lee Castillo. Support for Eliason was at 10 percent.
(Christopher Cherrington | The Salt Lake Tribune)
Federal Election Commission filings also show Bishop has far more spending power than either of his opponents. The congressman has raised more than $243,800 from July 1 to Sept. 30 — and he has around $525,700 in cash on hand. Eliason, a Logan businessman, has outraised his Democratic opponent this quarter, but his numbers seem miniscule in comparison. He’s raised just over $22,000 to Castillo’s $13,000.
Rep. Rob Bishop (R) speaks during Utah's 1st Congressional District Debate, on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018, at Utah State University in Logan. (Eli Lucero/Herald Journal/)
Immigration and border control
On the issue of immigration, Bishop said “compassion and security have never been mutually exclusive.”
But when asked if he would support a path to citizenship for ‘Dreamers’ — who were brought to the United States illegally as children — he said the country needs to focus on securing its borders first and then on creating a pathway for legal immigration.
“The first thing is to lower the anger and the anxiety that people have so that you can look people in the eye and say, ‘Yes, we have control of the border and then these issues … are going to be easy to solve," he said. "But it can’t happen until we actually have control of the border.”
A Salt Lake Tribune-Hinckley Institute of Politics poll conducted in June found that 71 percent of registered voters statewide support allowing those in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to remain in the country.
Castillo and Eliason both expressed support for creating a pathway to citizenship for ‘Dreamers’ and opposed policies enacted by President Donald Trump’s administration that led to the separation of families at the southern border.
“This administration is an issue,” Castillo said, “and we have to have a congressman who is not afraid to stand up to the administration as well as their own party and speak out against these and act in a humane way.”
The Trump administration has imposed tariffs in recent months on steel, aluminum and thousands of other products traded around the world, arguing that unfair trade practices threatened American manufacturers. While the trade war and its effects have hit multiple countries, the United States’ primary target has been China, and it has levied tariffs on at least $200 billion worth of goods from that country.
Castillo says he “absolutely” opposes the tariffs and their impacts on foreign relations.
“We are alienating our allies,” he said. “We are creating problems where there were none before. We’re putting American people, Utah people out of work by these tariffs.”
Eliason also raised concerns about the tariffs, noting that they have increased costs for a wastewater treatment center in Logan by $25 million and said he thinks some tariffs conditions could be renegotiated.
While Bishop said the president has taken an “unusual” approach to trade, he countered that the tariffs have been positive for some industries — including a steel company he said “has been fighting unfair competitive advantages from people dumping steel and rebar especially from Turkey into our district for a long time.”
Both Castillo and Bishop agreed that the legislative branch should take over the job of levying tariffs — a power it had given up, Bishop said, long before he arrived.
Bridging a growing divide
Eliason said the main reason he’s running for Congress is to address growing division and hostility along partisan lines.
“That is why I’m running as a United Utah candidate that’s there in the center, and hopefully I can bridge some of those gaps,” he said, promising to work with both sides of the aisle, if elected.
He said he would start by joining the Problem Solvers Caucus, he said, a group of 24 Republicans and 24 Democrats who meet once a week to see where they have common ground and begin developing bipartisan legislation.
Castillo also critiqued the divide in Congress but said he’d look at taking a more systemic approach to solving the problem.
Rep. Rob Bishop (R), left, speaks as he and Lee Castillo (D) take part in Utah's 1st Congressional District Debate, on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018, at Utah State University in Logan. (Eli Lucero/Herald Journal/)
“Term limits come to mind,” he said, in what appeared to also be a subtle jab at Bishop. “I think the problem that we have are career politicians. We need to implement term limits because people get so comfortable in Washington that they are not willing to work across the aisle.”
Bishop, chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, said “Washington sucks” but that the divide in Congress isn’t as bad as it seems. His committee, for example, has passed 220 bills over the last few years, he said — a third of which were proposed by Democrats.
“In my committee we have reached across the aisle and we are working together and you will never hear about that, because people working together and actually passing things — which does happen all the time — doesn’t sell papers and it doesn’t sell air space," he said. "You hear the conflicts. It’s not as bad as what you see.”
Las Vegas • The hierarchy in the West Coast Conference men’s basketball race is often referred to as the “Big Three” because Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s and BYU — usually in that order — have ruled the league since the Cougars joined it in 2011.
In reality, it should be called the Big One, because the Zags are so far above everyone else in terms of national prestige and profile that mentioning another WCC program in the same sentence is usually a waste of time.
“They have created the standard for what the conference should be,” new San Diego coach Sam Scholl said Thursday at the eighth annual WCC Tip-Off media event at Orleans Arena, site of the WCC men’s and women’s basketball tournaments in March.
Surprisingly, the league’s nine dwarfs, including BYU, haven’t developed a case of Gonzaga Fatigue quite yet. That was true at Thursday’s gathering even though the Zags threatened to bolt the conference for the Mountain West last spring.
Around here, what Gonzaga wants, Gonzaga gets. And nobody seems bitter about it.
“You want to compete against the best, and we are lucky enough to have one of the very best in the country in our conference,” School said.
Added new Pepperdine coach Lorenzo Romar: “Gonzaga, for our league, we need to embrace that [dominance]. They give you national recognition.”
Even less of a surprise is that Gonzaga is picked to win the WCC for the umpteenth straight time in the annual preseason poll of the league’s 10 coaches. Saint Mary’s is picked to finish second and BYU third.
“Gonzaga has been doing their thing, and they are the champs until somebody knocks them off,” shrugged BYU junior forward Yoeli Childs, the only Cougar named to the 10-member preseason all-conference team.
The Zags got nine first-place votes (coaches can’t vote for their own teams), while BYU got Gonzaga coach Mark Few’s vote but still finished a point behind SMC, 68-67.
“I think we have a group of guys that has a chip on their shoulder and wants to prove that we are a special team and that we have a lot of talent,” Childs said. “I think this [BYU] team is very capable of being the best team in this conference and that’s what we are aiming to do.”
It will take a lot to topple Gonzaga, which put four players — forwards Killian Tillie and Rui Hachimura and guards Josh Perkins and Zach Norvell Jr. — on the preseason all-conference team and also has San Jose State transfer Brandon Clarke ready to join the race for Player of the Year honors.
“I think people are going to be shocked by his skill development,” Few said of Clarke, a 6-8 forward who averaged 17.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per game before leaving the Mountain West school.
Few and Dave Rose pushed through changes last spring that basically kept Gonzaga in the league, so BYU’s head coach isn’t about to complain that the Zags’ presence in the WCC means everyone else is playing for second place.
“The most important thing for us to realize is there is a national presence in our league, and we have to recruit to it and compete with it,” Rose said. “I think that is a good thing for our league. Our guys get excited to play that game. Consistency is the key. They have been able to consistently year in and year out go on the road and win games with their depth and their talent.
“What we need is we need teams to start beating them,” Rose continued. “And if we get three or four teams to start chipping away and beating them in our league, we will get them back to a place where we can have two or three teams competing for a league championship.”
BYU’s Childs was also named to the 2019 Karl Malone Power Forward Award watch list on Thursday, with 19 others.
“It’s cool, but I don’t look at these preseason things much,” Childs said. “They have the preseason all-conference guys and they are never going to be exactly right. They are never going to be exactly right with the predictions for who are going to be the best teams. I wouldn’t be shocked to see anything out there.”
Rose said placing only Childs on the all-conference team “surprised me a little bit” and mentioned that coaches may have forgotten that the Cougars have two other returning all-league players — guards Nick Emery and TJ Haws — from past years. Emery will sit out the first nine games due to NCAA sanctions.
Regarding more sanctions, which Rose acknowledged at BYU’s media day could be coming around Nov. 1, the coach said he’s not sure what those sanctions could entail.
“You don’t know how they are going to respond,” he said. “But the people we’ve talked to at the university, they think this team will be able to play and not be affected by it. That’s my core belief, that this team will be able to achieve everything that it wants as a result of whatever comes down [from the NCAA].”
Washington • The Justice Department has launched an investigation into alleged sexual abuse of youths by Catholic clergy across Pennsylvania, according to people familiar with the matter.
The move by the Justice Department to launch such a probe, even one limited to a single state, marks a major escalation in the government’s response to allegations that the church spent decades hiding the extent of the sexual abuse problem among its priests, and allowing pedophiles to continue to work and live undetected in communities.
“This is just a breathtaking, stunning and very welcome development,” said Michael Dolce, a lawyer who represents victims of sexual abuse.
The U.S. attorney’s office in Philadelphia began issuing subpoenas recently, according to one person familiar with the matter. A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney, William McSwain, declined to comment, though church officials around the state confirmed having received subpoenas.
The subpoenas seek years of internal church records, including any evidence of church personnel taking children across state lines for purposes of sexual abuse, any evidence of personnel sending sexual material about children electronically and any evidence church officials reassigned suspected predators or used church resources to try to further or conceal such conduct, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The investigation was sparked after a state grand jury issued a scathing report in August finding that more than 300 Catholic priests in Pennsylvania had sexually abused children over seven decades, protected by a hierarchy of church leaders who covered it up.
The lengthy report identified about 1,000 children who were victims but concluded there were probably thousands more.
“Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all. For decades,” the grand jury wrote in its report.
The report was the product of an 18-month investigation into six of the state’s dioceses — Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton — and follows other state grand jury reports that revealed abuse and cover-ups in two other dioceses.
The federal investigation was first reported by The Associated Press.
Dolce said federal laws involving conspiracy and sex crimes across state lines could give investigators legal tools to investigate conduct that reached back over decades.
The decision to launch the investigation was made by federal prosecutors in Philadelphia, not senior Justice Department officials in Washington, according to the person familiar with the matter.
Since the Catholic clergy’s sexual abuse scandal became a nationwide story in 2002, the Justice Department has largely stayed away, leaving the issue to local prosecutors to pursue whatever cases they could under their states’ statutes of limitations. The church has also struck a series of financial settlements with those who have pursued lawsuits seeking damages.
In Allentown, the diocese said in a statement it “will cooperate fully with the request, just as it cooperated fully with the information requests related to the statewide grand jury. The Diocese sees itself as a partner with law enforcement in its goal to eliminate the abuse of minors wherever it may occur in society.”
The move from the Justice Department comes as the Pennsylvania General Assembly has balked at taking action on the issue of clergy abuse in the state.
The grand jury that released its report in August made recommendations for legislators, including extending the criminal statute of limitations for sexual abuse of children and opening a two-year window for victims to sue their abusers. Under current state law, the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office was only able to charge two of the 301 priests named in the report; the second pleaded guilty this week.
The state House passed a bill that would have enacted the grand jury’s recommendations, but on the final day scheduled for voting on Wednesday, the Senate did not pass the bill.
The state attorney general’s office has strongly urged the Senate to pass a bill.
“We’re fighting the fight in the Pennsylvania legislature. That led to a standstill last night, but it’s not over,” attorney general’s office spokesman Joe Grace said on Thursday. He urged Senate leaders to call legislators back to Harrisburg for another day of voting. “The attorney general made clear that we’re not going away. Neither are the victims.”
Pennsylvania is believed to have conducted more investigations of institutional child sex abuse than any other state, but there is no full accounting of abuse in the Catholic Church in the United States.
Peter Isely, a longtime advocate for victims of sexual abuse, said groups have long been pressing the U.S. government for a national investigation of child sex abuse, especially in the Catholic Church. Isely, who was abused and is a spokesman for the global group Ending Clergy Abuse, said that a five-year inquiry in Australia is “the gold standard,” but that other nations, including Canada, Germany and Ireland, have conducted national forensic reviews.
“Imagine if they did what was done in Pennsylvania, but nationwide,” he said, arguing that the problem needs to be solved by the Vatican.
In America, the most far-reaching study was one conducted in 2004 by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York. It reviewed abuse by priests and deacons from 1950 until 2002.
Worldwide, national law enforcement agencies are targeting abuse within the church. In Chile, prosecutors and police this summer raided church offices, confiscating documents and looking for evidence of crimes that went unreported to police.
New York • The company that runs the beleaguered MoviePass discount service for movie tickets is being investigated by the New York Attorney General on allegations that it misled investors.
Parent company Helios and Matheson of New York said in a prepared statement that it is aware of the investigation, but that it believes, "our public disclosures have been complete, timely and truthful and we have not misled investors."
The investigation was first reported by CNBC.
Helios and Matheson has struggled financially and is facing class-action lawsuits filed on behalf of investors claiming the company failed to disclose aspects of a business model that were unsustainable.
MoviePass drew in millions of subscribers, luring them with a $10 monthly rate. But that proved costly. Because MoviePass typically pays theaters the full cost of tickets — $15 or more in big cities — a single movie can put the service in the red. At one point Helios and Matheson had to take out a $5 million emergency loan to pay its payment processors after missed payments resulted in service outages.
Shares of Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc., which is in danger of being delisted by Nasdaq because they had fallen to about a penny, plunged in afternoon trading Thursday.
Donald Trump could have been somebody. He could have had a positive legacy, instead of the one he has now and will forever wear.
Simply appointing a woman to the Supreme Court would have given him some grace in history and demonstrated his open, forward thinking and show he is really not a total swine. But apparently he can’t see past it, so his legacy will be that of the pig icon in the times of #MeToo.
William Bradford, Murray
A man accused of sexual assault has a lifetime appointment on the country’s highest court in spite of allegations of sexual misconduct from at least three women.
Christine Blasey Ford courageously came forward to testify even though she knew she faced the possibility that her words would be disbelieved, her pain disregarded and her life upended — and rightly so. Sen. Mitch McConnell described assault survivors as “bullies who didn’t care about facts.” Sen. Orrin Hatch told the protesters to “grow up.” And Donald Trump, our sexual-predator-in-chief, mocked her at a rally and lamented that it was a “hard time for young men.”
The GOP has no problem shaming survivors while elevating abusers because, frankly, they don’t think what Brett Kavanaugh is accused of doing was wrong. But midterm elections are less than a month away and a good time to remember that every Republican who voted for Kavanaugh cares more about power than women’s lives.
Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” The midterm 2020 election is our time to say enough! Tell Republicans that women will never again give them consent to make us feel inferior. Vote!
Susan Christensen, Salt Lake City
When I raised my hand to be sworn in as Utah’s attorney general in 1993, that moment represented a first for Utah, as I was the first woman to be elected statewide in Utah. At the time, I assumed I was the first of many. Sadly, 25 years have passed and I remain alone as the only woman elected statewide in Utah.
But we can change this in November by electing Jenny Wilson to the U.S. Senate.
Utah women were among those leading the rallying call for a woman’s right to vote, and Utah was the first to have a woman elected to a state house. Yet today only 20 percent of Utah’s legislators are women, and there are no women serving in statewide office. Electing Wilson would be historic; Utah has never had a female U.S. senator.
I worked with Wilson while I was serving as attorney general and she served as the chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Bill Orton. She was based in Washington and was the effective right hand, chief of staff and key policy maker to the congressman. Together and with Orton we worked on issues of federal concern to Utah. I couldn’t have been more impressed with Wilson’s abilities.
She is focused, hard-working and relentlessly positive, honoring the Wilson family legacy of leadership and compassion of her father, Ted Wilson.
After leaving Washington, receiving a graduate degree from Harvard and having a family, Wilson won a seat on the Salt Lake County Council, where she is now serving her second six-year term. She has prioritized issues of concern to families: fighting for wage fairness, protection of our environment, and health care.
Most important, she works across party lines to get things done — something desperately needed in Washington.
What a wonderful moment it would be to stand by and watch Jenny Wilson raise her hand to take the oath of office as a U.S. senator to represent the entire state of Utah.
It’s about time.
Jan Graham, St. George
War, famine, disease, global warming, drug epidemics, human trafficking, human rights abuses, Donald Trump, sexual assault (oh, I’m sorry, the last two were redundant) and God picks up the phone and calls Russell Nelson about nicknames.
I am fairly certain, President Nelson, that this was a prank call. You had better check your caller ID.
I am always disinclined to denigrate any belief system; after all, I was raised in a church that teaches I am eating the body and blood of a guy who has been dead for 2,000 years and gave us the Inquisition. None of us has a high horse to climb on. But if you are going to climb on one, please have the good sense to speak on a topic that might seem as if God might be concerned with it. And at least makes it into the top 1,000 things that are real issues.
All due deference to my good and devout neighbors and friends of all religions, no matter how unwieldy their names.
Bob Barr, Salt Lake City
I recently returned from a three-week work-related trip to Europe. It was encouraging to see steps being taken there to mitigate the effects of climate change.
National governments are passing fossil fuel cap-and-trade laws. In Germany, mile after mile of solar panel arrays flank freeways. In Amsterdam, bicycling is not just a sport. It’s also a free, healthful and environmentally friendly means of commuting to work. One of the days I was in Paris was car-free to celebrate the Paris Agreement of 2015. Only commercial vehicles were permitted within city limits, and the Champs-Élysées, usually clogged with traffic and redolent of noxious exhaust fumes, was transformed into a tranquil, congenial pedestrian mall.
In Europe the climate change debate is pragmatic, not political.
Here in the U.S. many individuals, corporations and local governments are taking positive steps to reduce our carbon footprint. However, the urgency expressed by the recent IPCC report makes it clear we need to do much more.
The federal government must pass a fee on carbon production, reflecting its true cost to society, and pass the revenue directly to consumers, as proposed by Citizens’ Climate Lobby.
When President Donald Trump takes a break from his campaign rallies and visits the devastation wrought by Hurricane Michael, whose destructive force was exacerbated by increasingly high ocean temperatures, I hope he will revise his views on climate change, because if we’re to learn anything from the recent, painful past, it’s that, unless we step up to the challenge, future Michaels are only going to get worse.
Gerald Elias, Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City voters will have the final say on an $87 million road bond city leaders argue is needed to fix failing streets.
The question on residents’ ballots asks voters whether they want to authorize the city to execute a 20-year bond that would “pay all or a portion of the costs to improve various streets and roads throughout the city and related infrastructure improvements."
While supporters cite a desire to improve street conditions, opponents express concern about debt, recent unrelated tax increases and a lack of trust in city finances.
Y2 Analytics, a Salt Lake City-based market research group, told the City Council in August that it expects the bond will have “exceptionally high” support in November based on a survey the company conducted on behalf of the city. After informing respondents of the rationale for the bond, support for the initiative reached 79 percent.
Here are five things Salt Lake City residents should know about the proposed bond:
1. If the bond passes, your taxes will go up — slightly.
If voters give it a green light, the bond would likely add an additional $5 in annual property taxes per household. If it fails, the city estimates average property taxes would decrease by $41.35. That’s because the city is paying off existing bonds in 2019 for the Main Library and The Leonardo museum, so residents will no longer see tax bills for those.
2. The bond is separate from the city’s sales tax increase and the county’s sales tax increase.
The Salt Lake City Council approved a half-percentage-point sales-tax increase in May. That revenue, estimated at about $33 million annually, will go toward road maintenance (the bond would address reconstruction) and to other initiatives, like expanded bus service and more police officers.
Salt Lake County separately endorsed a $58 million sales-tax hike for roads and transit in June. That sales tax will bring more than $5 million a year to the capital.
With both taxes, the city’s sales tax climbed from 6.85 percent to 7.6 percent this month. The road bond would be levied as a property tax and would have no effect on the sales tax rate.
3. Salt Lake City’s roads are deteriorating.
Two-thirds of Salt Lake City’s roads are in poor or worse condition, according to a pavement survey the city commissioned last year. The backlog is a result of aging streets, coupled with a lack of prioritization and underfunding in city budgets for maintenance before and after the 2008 recession.
Putting resources into maintaining the roads before they fail can decrease expenses, extending the life of a street by 25 to 30 years. And it’s much less costly to do maintenance every seven years than to wait until a road needs to be reconstructed. Without maintenance, a road could go from very good condition to very poor condition in 12 to 18 years.
The city said it plans to couple reconstruction efforts with maintenance and recently employed a second maintenance crew, using funds from the sales tax, in an effort to keep the roads from going back to their current state of disrepair.
Officials have said they have no estimate for how much taxpayer money could have been saved with improved road maintenance over the past few years.
4. The worst roads will get fixed first, but the bond won’t fix all the ones that need repair.
Eighty percent of the bond money would go toward fixing heavily traveled roads, while the rest would go toward repairing roads with less traffic.
Using the data from its road survey, the city says it will work to mend failed streets first, while taking into consideration current projects. That means that before breaking ground, city officials will partner with public works to ensure utilities, like waterlines, are replaced at the same time, so a road isn’t torn up twice.
5. It’s unclear what would happen next if the bond fails.
The roads won’t stop deteriorating if the bond doesn’t pass, but Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski and City Council Chairwoman Erin Mendenhall have said they want to see what happens with the bond before coming up with a Plan B.
Biskupski did acknowledge that failure would make it “very difficult” for the city to fund full reconstruction projects.
“We know that we have roads that are completely failed,” she told The Salt Lake Tribune in July. “So [the bond] is really a critical piece to this big puzzle of repairing and replacing roads that … have been put on the back burner for too long.”
Red All Over is a weekly newsletter covering University of Utah athletics. Subscribe here.
Amid the news last week that BYU was switching quarterbacks, I jokingly wished that Utah’s QBs would do something to drive interest.
No, I didn't see Jack Tuttle's transfer coming this week.
I did wonder about the coaching staff’s failure to use him against Arizona, with five minutes left and Utah leading 42-10, but it’s also true that No. 2 QB Jason Shelley needed work. Shelley had taken only seven snaps Friday, after not appearing in a game since the Aug. 30 season opener.
As to the bigger question of what Utah’s staff could or should have done to keep Tuttle happy, I would say the coaches owed the 2018 team its best chance to win games. And if they thought Shelley deserved to be No. 2, while preparing him to play if needed, that’s how they should have proceeded — as opposed to favoring Tuttle, for any reason that extended beyond this season. The best players should play, and the next-best players should be the top backups.
After the Utes went winless in October 2017, this month is shaping up to be memorable. (TRIB)
Tribune columnist Gordon Monson reviewed the career arc of Ute defensive star Chase Hansen. (TRIB)
Ute defensive lineman John Penisini is a success story, thanks to his relentless effort. (TRIB)
The controversial USC-Washington State game could end up affecting Utah in the Pac-12 South. (TRIB)
USC will miss linebacker Porter Gustin, a Utah high school graduate who’s out for the season. (TRIB)
This Ute men’s basketball team will be fun to watch, although injuries are a factor already. (TRIB)
Pac-12 expert Jon Wilner analyzes the Pac-12 football landscape and Utah’s place in it. (MERC)
Trent Wood of the Deseret News asked the Ute defensive backs to evaluate themselves. (DNEWS)
The Utes hope Saturday’s game vs. USC showcases the program to some high-profile recruits (247)
• Utah’s women’s volleyball team keeps coming up with intermittent upsets in the Pac-12. The Utes beat then-No. 14 Oregon in four sets Sunday the Huntsman Center, improving to 11-8 overall and 3-5 in the conference with a sweep of the Oregon schools. The Utes are on the road this weekend, visiting Arizona State on Friday and No. 25 Arizona on Sunday.
• The Utah women’s soccer team (7-6-1, 4-2) is making life difficult for opposing offenses. The Utes have won four straight conference games, all shutouts, including last weekend’s 2-0 defeat of Oregon State. Utah visits No. 1 Stanford on Thursday (6 p.m. MDT, Pac-12 Networks) and play at California on Sunday.
Hartford, Conn. • Former educators in the Connecticut town where 20 children and six adults were shot to death in an elementary school are pushing back against a state report that was critical of how the shooter’s education was handled.
The former Newtown officials gave state senators Thursday a 22-page rebuttal to the 2014 report by the state child advocate's office on the upbringing and education of Adam Lanza.
The 20-year-old Lanza, who grew up in Newtown, killed 26 people and himself at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012.
The former Newtown officials cited the school system's efforts to help Lanza with his mental problems when he was in school and called his mother a "tremendous obstacle" to those efforts.
The child advocate’s office is defending its report.
A new poll shows the incumbent Republican congressmen in Utah’s 1st and 3rd districts appear safe as they head into the final weeks of the election, with what seem to be insurmountable leads over their opponents and strong job-approval ratings.
A Salt Lake Tribune-Hinckley Institute of Politics poll, conducted Oct. 3-9, shows Rep. Rob Bishop, who serves northern Utah’s 1st District, with a 32-point lead over his opponents. In the 3rd District, Rep. John Curtis is ahead by an even wider margin of 54 points.
That doesn’t come as a surprise to Jason Perry, director of the Hinckley Institute at the University of Utah, who said incumbents always have a “considerable advantage” in an election.
“They have a platform,” he said. “They have the podium to push their issues forward. They usually have had a chance to raise some money. Their name ID has had a chance to increase in the state. And the reality is it’s just hard to take on an incumbent — particularly an incumbent that has a high approval rating.”
The poll, with an average of about 150 registered voters in each district, has a margin of error of plus or minus 8 percentage points. It shows Curtis and Bishop both with a 57 percent approval rating among registered voters in their areas.
Curtis, who has been seemingly nonstop campaigning since before he took over former Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s seat in last year’s special election, said he’s happy to see his approval numbers trending “in the right direction.”
But because 23 percent of the respondents said they didn’t know enough to rate his performance, and with a 20 percent disapproval rating overall, Curtis said “there’s still a lot of work to do” to reach out to voters who haven’t heard his message yet.
Still, the poll shows he’ll likely earn his first full term in November, with 67 percent of respondents expressing support for the former Provo mayor. Those numbers are “gratifying,” he said, but they won’t change his campaign strategy.
(Christopher Cherrington | The Salt Lake Tribune)
“As a candidate, you never take it for granted, no matter what the polls say,” he said. “You still keep your head down and work hard and keep working like every vote matters.”
Curtis faces a challenge in November from Democrat James Singer. The sociologist and millennial may also be the first Navajo candidate to run for the U.S. House in Utah, and he and Curtis remain split on a number of issues — from public lands to the president and reproductive health rights.
Just 13 percent of the voters polled in the 3rd District said they would support Singer. But he said those numbers are not reflective of “the kind of responses that I’ve been getting talking to people” in the field.
He believes a number of competitive ballot initiatives, a national desire to flip Congress blue and a distaste in Utah for President Donald Trump among both conservatives and liberals may work in his favor to bring people to the polls.
“I’m more concerned with making sure we have a good get-out-the-vote campaign,” he said. “So this kind of poll doesn’t take that into account. I’m curious to see how it will turn out in the end and if it ends up being how the polls say, well, that’s where the cards will fall, and that’s fine.”
(Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune) James Singer speaks at the rally entitled "#SummerResistance Day of Action: Protecting DACA," put on by the Utah State Democratic Party and Utah State Democratic Hispanic Caucus at the Centro Civico Mexicano, Sunday, August 20, 2017. (Scott Sommerdorf/)
Singer raised concerns about the accuracy of polls, pointing to numbers in the 2016 presidential election that incorrectly projected Hillary Clinton would win and, more recently, predicted socialist New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would lose to the incumbent.
Even so, Perry said he doesn’t predict there will be a blue upset in this reliably red district.
“The reality is having 67 percent of the voters say they would vote for [Curtis] today shows he has really hit his stride,” Perry said. “He’s tackled some of the very difficult issues head-on and he even has four significant pieces of legislation going in Congress. I think people right now that are getting to know him seem to be happy with what he’s doing.”
‘Conservative Utah values’ in 1st District
Some candidates may see a 32-point lead from an incumbent candidate as insurmountable — but not Lee Castillo, the Democrat running against Bishop in the 1st District. Some 20 percent of the voters surveyed said they plan to throw their support behind him, and Castillo said “that excites the heck” out of him.
Like Singer, Castillo predicts that a wave of previously unregistered or disenfranchised voters will come out to the polls in November to throw their support behind him.
“We’re going to win,” he said. “I’m excited. Those numbers are… it’s a good outlook. We have people coming out that haven’t voted in so long because they’re inspired by our campaign.”
(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Lee Castillo answers questions during the1st congressional district Democratic debate between Lee Castillo and Kurt Weiland at KBYU studios in Provo, Tuesday, May 29, 2018. (Rick Egan/)
In an unexpected twist, United Utah Party candidate Eric Eliason qualified at the beginning of last month for the Utah Debate Commission’s 1st Congressional District debate with the support of 6.6 percent of the district’s voters. He was the only third-party candidate in any major race to make the commission’s cut.
The Tribune-Hinckley poll has Eliason positioned similarly, with the support of 10 percent of the district’s voters. The majority of those are Democrats or independents, which is consistent with the way the party — which formed last year — has polled so far, according to Perry.
“The United Utah Party is starting to have more consistent candidates,” he said, but noted “they will need some time to establish their brand.”
Eliason, a Logan businessman, said that his campaign had almost half its sizable budget still available for campaigning at the beginning of October and has “considerable dry powder left.”
“It’s great that we’re polling higher than any third party has polled before,” he said. “Every vote is a statement that we need more bipartisan government that puts country before party, and we think that’s a good thing.”
(Jeremy Harmon | The Salt Lake Tribune) Congressional candidate Eric Eliason meets with The Salt Lake Tribune editorial board on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018. (Rick Egan/)
Even facing two candidates who have earned enough support to stand in the debate, Bishop — chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee and an eight-term member of the House — is still best positioned for November’s election, Perry said.
“At this point, Rob Bishop is sitting with a 57 percent approval rating,” Perry said, with 28 percent expressing disapproval. “He’s a very well-known commodity, and 52 percent of Utahns said they would vote for him today. That is a considerable lead, and he is in a very good position.”
Bishop, who told The Deseret News last week that he has “no idea” how his re-election campaign is going, was traveling and was not available for comment. But his campaign manager, Kyle Palmer, said he was pleased with the results of The Tribune’s poll.
“Congressman Bishop is honored with the support that his constituents, once again in this poll, have shown him,” Palmer said in a message. “He is the only person in this race who shares their conservative Utah values and they recognize that.”
(Christopher Cherrington | The Salt Lake Tribune)
The New Yorker was a downtown dining staple for 40 years — first as a private club and later as an upper-end restaurant. It served its last meals recently. We’d like to hear from you about your memories of this iconic restaurant.
The ranks of Utahns worried about affordable housing have grown dramatically since 2015 and conditions appear to be the worst for renters living in Salt Lake County, according to a new study.
The nonprofit Utah Foundation reports that of 20 measures in its yearly Community Quality of Life Index, public perceptions on housing affordability have seen the largest declines in recent years.
In 2015, nearly 16 percent of the state’s population labeled the availability of quality affordable housing in Utah as “poor,” the foundation said. That share rose to 28 percent in 2018.
Statewide, about 12 percent of respondents to Utah Foundation surveys said their personal housing costs were not affordable this year. That number hovered between 7 percent and 8 percent in Utah, Weber and Davis counties, and at 6 percent for Utah’s rural counties.
But in Salt Lake County — home to a third of the state’s population — that number was at 20 percent, or one in five residents.
"That's a big difference," Utah Foundation President Peter Reichard said in an interview. "That indicates the sore spot is Salt Lake County."
Renters and those with lower incomes were also more likely to say their housing was unaffordable, according to the report, titled “What’s the View From Your House? Housing Affordability Concerns in Utah.”
In a statement issued with the study’s release Thursday, foundation analysts said the findings suggested campaigns to improve housing affordability that are “targeted at renters deserve the lion’s share of attention from policymakers, particularly in Salt Lake County.”
Reichard said the findings also suggested a need for programs that help renters transition to homeownership.
The Utah Foundation study comes as government and business leaders have been highlighting a lack of affordable housing for residents at all income levels.
The trend threatens to dampen the state’s record economic growth, officials warn, as home prices and rents continue to climb at the same time new families and those moving to the state struggle to find housing that matches their budgets.
Housing advocates with Salt Lake City estimate a gap of at least 7,500 apartments affordable to low-income renters making $20,000 or less.
Not surprisingly, income appeared to be an influential factor in whether respondents to the Utah Foundation’s survey found their housing costs affordable.
Fully 27 percent of those living in households earning less than $30,000 said their housing costs were unaffordable, compared to 3 percent of respondents in households earning more than $100,000.
And one in four renters told the Utah Foundation their housing was unaffordable, compared to 4 percent of homeowners.
Foundation analysts said that contrast was probably due to a relative stability in costs in recent years for homeowners with fixed-rate mortgages, while rents have risen much faster than the cost of living, especially in Western states and those enjoying rapid economic growth, including Utah.
The LDS Church’s First Presidency of today is the oldest threesome in the faith’s nearly 200-year history.
According to statistician Christian Anderson, the male trio governing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has gotten older and older as the religion moved from its beginnings in 1830 to its just-completed 188th Semiannual General Conference.
Founder Joseph Smith was 26.3 years old in March 1832, when he organized the fledgling faith’s original First Presidency — with himself as president and Jesse Gause (46) and Sidney Rigdon (39.1) as the two counselors.
The average age of that initial presidency was 37.4, Anderson notes.
When Gause was excommunicated, the average age dropped to 33.4 years, the researcher says, but it rebounded to 37.5 with the calling of Frederick G. Williams (45.3) as a replacement.
The first major jump upward occurred when Brigham Young (46) succeeded Smith, who died in 1844. Young moved his band of believers across the country to the West and, in late 1847, reorganized the First Presidency with counselors Heber C. Kimball (46) and Willard Richards (43). The average age then became 45.5.
The average age of the First Presidency “increased fairly steadily after that, reaching an absolute peak of 88.7 under Gordon B. Hinckley (97) and Thomas S. Monson (80),” Anderson says, in the time between “the death of [counselor] James E. Faust but before the calling of Henry B. Eyring in October 2007.”
In March 2015, the average age of the top 15 men — the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelves Apostles — turned 80 for the first time in the church’s history.
Nearly three years later, Russell M. Nelson ascended to the church presidency at 93.6, making him the second oldest man ever to assume that role (behind Joseph Fielding Smith).
When Nelson organized his First Presidency, Anderson says, the average age was 87.8 — with first counselor Dallin H. Oaks at 85 and Henry B. Eyring at 84 — not quite the oldest intact presidency.
Some nine months later — with Nelson now 94, Oaks, 86, and Eyring, 85 — the average has risen to 88.56, the researcher says, “which makes it the oldest complete presidency ever.”
Despite their advanced ages, all three remain active. They handled full speaking loads at the recent conference. In fact, Nelson is scheduled to depart Friday on yet another tour abroad, this time to five South American countries in nine days.
The Eagle Building, former home of the Fraternal Order of Eagles and more recently The Bay dance club, is the new home of Salt Lake City’s Caffe Molise and its affiliated BTG Wine Bar.
The Italian restaurant and bar officially moved into the historic spot at 404 S. West Temple in mid-September, after spending 25 years near the Salt Palace Convention Center.
The move was necessary to make way for a possible development.
But it required months of renovations, which focused on updating the building’s plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems and filling in its pool, while maintaining its Neo-Renaissance style, said chef Fred Moesinger, who co-owns the business with his wife, Aimee Sterling. “It was important for us to keep it true to the historic nature of the building.”
The grand staircase and arched windows remain, but the owners have added a new kitchen and two elevators (one of which is on street level on West Temple) to make it accessible and comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. The elevator’s housing is made of reclaimed bricks.
(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Caffe Molise chef and owner Fred Moesinger takes a ride in the elevator of the new location inside the old (but completely updated) Eagle Building on the southwest corner of 400 South and West Temple. (Francisco Kjolseth/)
The new location includes a patio, something that was a favorite among patrons at the old location at 55 W. 100 South. It will be open on the few sunny days left before the weather turns too cool, Moesinger said. In the spring, retractable awnings will be added, allowing for even more evenings outdoors.
Caffe Molise’s new home offers more square footage. The upstairs banquet room can handle parties from 10 to 200 people. Despite being farther away from the Salt Palace, the new location is closer to many hotels.
(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Caffe Molise recently opened in its new location inside the old (but completely updated) Eagle Building on the southwest corner of 400 South and West Temple. The wood frame and mirror in the bar were salvaged from the old Dead Goat Saloon, where owners Aimee Sterling and Fred Moesinger met. (Francisco Kjolseth/)
The menu hasn’t changed, but Moesinger anticipates a few updates while maintaining the core favorites.
Those who remember Salt Lake City’s Dead Goat Saloon should stop into BTG on the lower floor. The wood frame and mirror behind the bar were salvaged from the popular saloon where Moesinger and Sterling met.
Caffe Molise • 404 S. West Temple, Salt Lake City; 801-364-8883 or http://www.caffemolise.com/ Open Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday until 10 p.m. BTG is open daily from 5 p.m. until midnight.
Miami • The G League will begin offering “select contracts” worth $125,000 next year to elite prospects who are not yet eligible for the NBA, a move that could slightly lessen the handful of one-and-done players at the college level.
It is unclear how the players would be selected, but the league said Thursday it is establishing a working group to identify players who could be offered the contract.
Players will be eligible to sign the select deal if they turn 18 by Sept. 15 prior to the season that they would spend in the G League. The move follows recommendations released earlier this year by the Commission on College Basketball, a group that was chaired by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and was tasked with reforming the college game.
The commission report said "elite high school players with NBA prospects ... should not be 'forced' to attend college."
G League President Malcolm Turner said the move addresses that concern.
"Select Contracts are an answer to the basketball community's call for additional development options for elite players before they are eligible for the NBA," Turner said.
Under current rules, players are not eligible to enter the NBA draft until they are a year removed from high school — though that is expected to change through an amendment to the collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and its players in time for the 2022 draft.
The G League has allowed 18-year-old players in the past, but never before under any elite designation.
While it is apparent there are still details to be ironed out, NCAA President Mark Emmert said he appreciates the G League's plan.
"Obtaining a college education continues to provide unmatched preparation for success in life for the majority of student-athletes and remains an excellent path to professional sports for many," Emmert said. "However, this change provides another option for those who would prefer not to attend college but want to directly pursue professional basketball."
Earlier this year, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James called the NCAA model "corrupt" and said he would suggest to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver a plan to expand the G League and turn it into more of a farm system with an eye on truly preparing young talent for the NBA.
"As the NBA, we have to figure out a way that we can shore up our farm league," James said in February, when he was still with the Cleveland Cavaliers. "And if kids feel like they don't want to be a part of that NCAA program, then we have something here for them to be able to jump back on and not have to worry about going overseas all the time."
Through the first two nights of this NBA season, 35 rookies — most of them having left college early — made their debuts. Of the 35, only five scored more than 10 points in their first game.
The Logan man charged with sending ricin in the mail to the White House, the Pentagon and FBI headquarters pleaded not guilty on Thursday.
William Clyde Allen III entered the plea despite confessing to the crime when interviewed by authorities. A four-day trial is scheduled to begin on Dec. 26.
According to an affidavit from the FBI, Allen admitted to mailing envelopes that contained crudely ground castor beans — used to make the poisonous ricin — to President Donald Trump, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John M. Richardson and FBI Director Christopher Wray.
The letters were intercepted on Oct. 2 before they reached their intended destinations; Allen was arrested at his home in Logan the following day.
Allen also confessed to sending “letters with the same contents to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Queen of England, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the secretary of the Air Force” — although there has been no evidence released by the FBI that those letters were either sent or received.
In a hearing on Monday, federal Magistrate Judge Dustin B. Plead ordered Allen to be held without bail.
Support has grown for a ballot initiative seeking to fully expand Medicaid and provide health care to roughly 150,000 low-income Utahns, according to a new Salt Lake Tribune-Hinckley Institute of Politics poll.
The poll shows 59 percent of Utah voters favor Proposition 3, up from 54 percent in a similar survey conducted in June. The share of voters opposing the initiative fell slightly from 35 percent to 33 percent between the two polls.
“This is fantastic,” Prop 3 campaign manager RyLee Curtis said. “We’re reaching the people we need to reach, and our message is resonating with them.”
If approved by voters in November, Prop 3 would combine roughly $90 million — through a state sales tax increase of 0.15 percent — with $800 million in federal funding to provide medical coverage to Utah’s poor. Utah lawmakers approved a partial Medicaid expansion plan earlier this year, which relies on work requirements and increased federal funding to cover a smaller population of Utahns without raising state taxes.
The Legislature’s plan requires approval from the federal government — which has not yet granted or denied the state’s application — because it falls short of the technical requirements of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.
(Christopher Cherrington | The Salt Lake Tribune)
The new poll was conducted by the Hinckley Institute between Oct. 3 and 9. It included responses from 607 registered Utah voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
One survey participant was Thom Harrison, a Salt Lake City resident who said he initially opposed full Medicaid expansion but now plans to vote in favor of Prop 3.
“There are individuals who, because of their circumstances, are not able to provide medical care or medical help for themselves,” Harrison said. “I think it’s appropriate that we assist them in this.”
Harrison said he’s reluctant to back a tax increase. But in the case of Medicaid expansion, he said, the personal cost is outweighed by the potential to help others.
“There are people who need these services,” he said, “and the only way they’re going to receive them is with an increase in our taxes.”
Among the groups opposed to Prop 3 is the Utah chapter of Americans for Prosperity. State director Heather Williamson said her team will continue making thousands of calls each week to talk to voters about what full Medicaid expansion and another proposed tax increase on the ballot mean for the state.
“Utahns are compassionate, and we want to help people,” Williamson said. “We are confident that once Utahns learn that Proposition 3 will harm Utah’s most vulnerable and raise our taxes, they’ll see why they should vote no.”
Williamson’s group hosted a news conference Wednesday in the state Capitol Rotunda featuring a dozen Republican lawmakers opposed to full Medicaid expansion. House Speaker Greg Hughes, R-Draper, said expansion “comes at a price” to other state programs, and Sen. Jacob Anderegg, R-Lehi, said he’s prepared to sponsor a repeal of Prop 3 if it passes in November.
“With the public vote, I don’t think that’s sacrosanct,” Anderegg said. “If we don’t [repeal Prop 3] and the numbers turn out where we think they are, I don’t know how we’re going to fund it.”
But Rep. Ray Ward, R-Bountiful, disagreed with his colleagues and said he supports Prop 3. Budget challenges will exist with or without full expansion, said Ward, who also works as a physician, and no state that already expanded Medicaid has reversed that decision.
“Other states have figured out a way to make this work," Ward said. “Their people are benefiting. And we can figure out a way to make this work.”
Curtis said the Prop 3 campaign is encountering significant support as it discusses Medicaid expansion with voters. By failing to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, she said, the state has experienced a coverage “gap," which leaves many low-income Utahns struggling without adequate health care.
“A lot of people know somebody who is in this coverage gap,” Curtis said. “They’re thinking about them as they go to vote this November.”
She said she expects critics to be won over in time if the initiative passes. Most full-expansion states have seen positive results, she said, including decreased costs to state budgets as residents are able to obtain preventive and routine medical care.
“[Political] healing will take place when we see overall healthier communities,” Curtis said, “and Utahns not having to quit their jobs because they’re not healthy enough.”
The Weber State men’s basketball has been picked to finish second in the Big Sky for the second straight season, according to a vote of the league’s head coaches and media. The Wildcats were picked second in both polls, with Montana tabbed as the preseason favorite.
Montana had 10 first-place votes in the coaches poll and 33 first-place votes in the media poll to finish first in the voting.
Weber State had been picked first in the preseason polls in eight of nine years prior to last year, and has now been picked second two-straight years. The Wildcats had one first-place vote in the coaches poll. WSU picked up two first-place votes in the media poll.
Northern Colorado was selected third in both polls with Eastern Washington fourth. Portland State was fifth in the coaches poll, followed by Montana State, Southern Utah and Idaho State. In the media poll, Montana State was fifth, followed by Idaho, Portland State and Idaho State.
The Wildcats are coming off a 20-11 overall record last season, their third-straight season winning 20 or more games. WSU finished in a tie for third in the Big Sky with a 12-6 conference record.
Freshman quarterback Jack Tuttle intends to transfer from the Utah football program, the Ute Zone website, affiliated with 247 Sports, reported Wednesday night.
Tuttle has not made any announcement and Utah Athletics has not confirmed a move, but another source familiar with Tuttle’s thinking told The Tribune that he intends to leave. The Utah Rivals website also reported the impending move.
Considered the most prized quarterback recruit in school history, Tuttle has not appeared in any of Utah's six games. When the Utes' preseason camp ended in August, redshirt freshman Jason Shelley was named the No. 2 quarterback, behind second-year starter Tyler Huntley. Shelley has played in the fourth quarters of two games, the season opener vs. Weber State and last Friday's win over Arizona.
Tuttle, from Southern California, graduated early from high school and enrolled at Utah in January.
Utah offensive coordinator Troy Taylor had said Shelley and Tuttle were even after spring practice. In naming Shelley No. 2 on Aug. 27, Ute coach Kyle Whittingham said Shelley had “just slightly edged out” Tuttle.
The week after the opener, Tuttle told The Tribune, “We’ll have the season review when the season’s over, but right now, I’m just focused on week by week.”
Tuttle has joined the other quarterbacks in signaling plays from the sideline during games. After the first game, he said, “I felt like I was a good teammate; I was good [helping] Tyler.”
After practice Tuesday, the last day of the week that media interviews are conducted, Tuttle walked off the field with Huntley, smiling and laughing.
Tuttle's departure would be a hit to Utah's quarterbacking future, although Huntley is scheduled to return in 2019 as a third-year starter and Shelley likely would remain the backup. The Utes had promised Tuttle that if he maintained his commitment to them, they wouldn't sign another quarterback in the class of 2018. Otherwise, they may have landed Corner Canyon High School product Zach Wilson, who originally committed to Boise State and then switched to BYU, where he's now the starter. Utah also backed away from Lehi's Cammon Cooper, who signed with Washington State.
By transferring to another FBS school, Tuttle would have to sit out the 2019 season and lose a year’s eligibility, then play as a sophomore in 2020. According to new NCAA rules, Utah could not block him from transferring to any school.
Tuttle’s remaining on the bench for the Utes has come during a season when true freshman quarterbacks have started games for multiple Power Five schools – including JT Daniels for USC, Utah’s opponent Saturday night at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Salt Lake City’s Downtown Farmers Market comes to a close on Saturday, Oct 20.
Celebrate the final day of this popular summertime event from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Pioneer Park, 300 South and 300 West. Farmers still have plenty of local produce to sell, organizers say.
(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) In 2017, Snoopy dressed as a lion and Lucy dressed as a pig for the Downtown Farmers Market's Howl-o-Ween Pet Costume Contest. (Leah Hogsten/)
Other activities include:
9 a.m. to 1 p.m. • Pumpkin decorating on the east lawn for children of all ages.
9 a.m. • Tsunami Restaurant & Sushi Bar will present Urban Food Connections of Utah, which runs the market, with a $3,000 check from sales of a special roll that featured fresh market vegetables.
11 a.m. • Howl-o-ween Pet Costume Contest begins. Pets can win prizes, get a photo taken with their humans and watch the other contestants vie for best in show. Proceeds support the Humane Society of Utah and the Downtown Farmers Market. Register online at https://www.slcfarmersmarket.org/ or starting at 9:30 a.m. on the day of the contest. Cost is $5.
Guests only have to wait three weeks for the weekly Winter Market to begin. It kicks off Saturday, Nov 10, at the Rio Grande Depot and continues every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m until spring.
(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Lenny, the Chihuahua, walks the catwalk during the Howl-o-ween Pet Costume Contest in 2017 (Leah Hogsten/)
Eye On The Y is a weekly Salt Lake Tribune newsletter covering all things BYU athletics. Subscribe here.
Remember when former BYU football coach Bronco Mendenhall was interrupted by an elderly gentleman during a speech at a booster gathering a few years ago? The fan stopped Mendenhall in mid-sentenced to remind him that BYU home football games were no longer played in the afternoons anymore.
He was mostly right, which is why the humorous interaction got plenty of air-time play.
I’ve been told that particular fan has passed away, but I had to smile anyway when it was announced Monday that the Oct. 27 game against Northern Illinois at LaVell Edwards Stadium will kick off at 1:30 p.m. Yes, that’s in the afternoon.
The game will be televised by ESPNU.
BYU fans everywhere are rejoicing, especially those that sat through last week’s 49-23 win over Hawaii that kicked off at 8:26 p.m. when the temperature was 51 degrees. With a stiff breeze making it much colder, thousands of fans left early due to the sub-40 temperatures in the fourth quarter.
Rounding Them Up
In case you missed them, here are some of the stories, player profiles and columns the Tribune has brought to you this past week:
• The Cougars played well in all three phases to knock off Hawaii 49-23 last Saturday at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Trib
• Tribune columnist Gordon Monson caught up with senior quarterback Tanner Mangum after the six-game starter in 2018 was replaced in the starting lineup by freshman Zach Wilson. Trib
• BYU coaches made the right move in starting Wilson against Hawaii, if only because it somehow inspired the other guys to play better. Trib
• No fewer than six players who were born in countries other than the United States are on the BYU women’s basketball team this year — two from Brazil, three from New Zealand and one from Sweden. Trib
• It could be a rough season for the BYU women’s basketball team, but West Coast Conference coaches still voted them to finish third in the WCC race, behind Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s. Trib
Views From Elsewhere
• Deseret News columnist Doug Robinson outlined the various other times BYU has made a midseason quarterback switch. Dnews
• Deseret News columnist Dick Harmon reminisces on the life and talents of the Voice of the Cougars, Paul James, who passed away last week. Dnews
Of course, the big news last week was the coaches’ decision to start Wilson against Hawaii. Here’s what coach Kalani Sitake had to say after the game about why he made the change:
“You guys have heard us say that guys are competing every day,” Sitake said. “Every position gets evaluated. We feel like everyone has to compete for their job every week and there are a lot of positions where we’ll be making some changes, and that just happened to be one of them this week. The last couple of weeks, we felt like [Wilson] was doing a good enough job to give him the starting spot because he deserved it.”
• BYU’s women’s volleyball team swept Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine last week to hold on to the No. 1 spot in the national rankings for the sixth-straight week. The Cougars (18-0, 8-0 WCC) host LMU on Thursday at Smith Fieldhouse.
• BYU’s women’s soccer team dropped its first conference game last week, falling to Pepperdine 2-1 at Malibu. The Cougars had defeated Portland, Gonzaga and San Diego before losing to the Waves. BYU is at Pacific on Thursday and Saint Mary’s on Saturday.
• BYU’s men’s golf team placed fourth at the Jerry Pate Intercollegiate in Alabama earlier this month and will hit the links against this weekend at the Pacific Invitational in Stockton, Calif.
• BYU’s women’s golf team hasn’t played since finishing seventh at the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational in Seattle Oct. 9-10 and will be back in action Oct. 29-31 at the Rainbow Wahine Invitational in Honolulu.
A note from Karen Attiah, Washington Post Global Opinions editor:
I received this column from Jamal Khashoggi’s translator and assistant the day after Jamal was reported missing in Istanbul. The Post held off publishing it because we hoped Jamal would come back to us so that he and I could edit it together. Now I have to accept: That is not going to happen. This is the last piece of his I will edit for The Post. This column perfectly captures his commitment and passion for freedom in the Arab world. A freedom he apparently gave his life for. I will be forever grateful he chose The Post as his final journalistic home one year ago and gave us the chance to work together.
I was recently online looking at the 2018 “Freedom in the World” report published by Freedom House and came to a grave realization. There is only one country in the Arab world that has been classified as “free.” That nation is Tunisia. Jordan, Morocco and Kuwait come second, with a classification of “partly free.” The rest of the countries in the Arab world are classified as “not free.”
As a result, Arabs living in these countries are either uninformed or misinformed. They are unable to adequately address, much less publicly discuss, matters that affect the region and their day-to-day lives. A state-run narrative dominates the public psyche, and while many do not believe it, a large majority of the population falls victim to this false narrative. Sadly, this situation is unlikely to change.
The Arab world was ripe with hope during the spring of 2011. Journalists, academics and the general population were brimming with expectations of a bright and free Arab society within their respective countries. They expected to be emancipated from the hegemony of their governments and the consistent interventions and censorship of information. These expectations were quickly shattered; these societies either fell back to the old status quo or faced even harsher conditions than before.
My dear friend, the prominent Saudi writer Saleh al-Shehi, wrote one of the most famous columns ever published in the Saudi press. He unfortunately is now serving an unwarranted five-year prison sentence for supposed comments contrary to the Saudi establishment. The Egyptian government’s seizure of the entire print run of a newspaper, al-Masry al Youm, did not enrage or provoke a reaction from colleagues. These actions no longer carry the consequence of a backlash from the international community. Instead, these actions may trigger condemnation quickly followed by silence.
As a result, Arab governments have been given free rein to continue silencing the media at an increasing rate. There was a time when journalists believed the Internet would liberate information from the censorship and control associated with print media. But these governments, whose very existence relies on the control of information, have aggressively blocked the internet. They have also arrested local reporters and pressured advertisers to harm the revenue of specific publications.
There are a few oases that continue to embody the spirit of the Arab Spring. Qatar’s government continues to support international news coverage, in contrast to its neighbors’ efforts to uphold the control of information to support the “old Arab order.” Even in Tunisia and Kuwait, where the press is considered at least “partly free,” the media focus on domestic issues but not issues faced by the greater Arab world. They are hesitant to provide a platform for journalists from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Yemen. Even Lebanon, the Arab world’s crown jewel when it comes to press freedom, has fallen victim to the polarization and influence of pro-Iran Hezbollah.
The Arab world is facing its own version of an Iron Curtain, imposed not by external actors but through domestic forces vying for power. During the Cold War, Radio Free Europe, which grew over the years into a critical institution, played an important role in fostering and sustaining the hope of freedom. Arabs need something similar. In 1967, The New York Times and The Washington Post took joint ownership of the International Herald Tribune newspaper, which went on to become a platform for voices from around the world.
My publication, The Post, has taken the initiative to translate many of my pieces and publish them in Arabic. For that, I am grateful. Arabs need to read in their own language so they can understand and discuss the various aspects and complications of democracy in the United States and the West. If an Egyptian reads an article exposing the actual cost of a construction project in Washington, then he or she would be able to better understand the implications of similar projects in his or her community.
The Arab world needs a modern version of the old transnational media so citizens can be informed about global events. More important, we need to provide a platform for Arab voices. We suffer from poverty, mismanagement and poor education. Through the creation of an independent international forum, isolated from the influence of nationalist governments spreading hate through propaganda, ordinary people in the Arab world would be able to address the structural problems their societies face.
Jamal Khashoggi | The Washington Post
Jamal Khashoggi is a Saudi journalist and author, and a Washington Post Global Opinions contributing columnist.
Expanding Medicaid under Proposition 3 would turn Utah’s budget on its head and put the state on a road to bankruptcy, a dozen Republican lawmakers warned Wednesday.
And Sen. Jacob Anderegg, R-Lehi, said he’s prepared to sponsor legislation repealing Proposition 3 if voters approve the initiative in November.
“With the public vote, I don’t think that that’s sacrosanct,” he said. “If we don’t [repeal Prop 3] and the numbers turn out where we think they are, I don’t know how we’re going to fund it.”
Utah’s Legislature has defeated past attempts at full expansion of Medicaid in the state. But while individual lawmakers have voiced opposition to Proposition 3, Wednesday’s statements — delivered in the state Capitol Rotunda — was the most visible and aggressive attack against the initiative in the current election cycle.
The gathering of legislative opponents — which included House Speaker Greg Hughes, R-Draper — was also held on the same day that the Prop 3-backing Utah Health Policy Project (UHPP) released a report estimating the creation of roughly 14,000 jobs in the first year after implementation of full Medicaid expansion.
“A healthier population helps all of us,” UHPP policy analyst Stacy Stanford said. “We see huge economic benefits that come from expansion."
Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune l-r RyLee Curtis, with Utah Decides Healthcare and Rep. Ray Ward, R-Bountiful, listen as House Speaker Greg Hughes, R-Draper and fellow legislators against Proposition 3 talk against expanding Medicaid in Utah, Wednesday Oct. 17, 2018, in the rotunda of the Capitol. UtahÕs Legislature has defeated past attempts at full expansion of Medicaid in the state. (Leah Hogsten/)
If approved by voters, Proposition 3 would combine roughly $90 million — through a state sales tax increase of 0.15 percent — with $800 million in new federal funding to provide health care coverage to 150,000 low-income Utahns.
The coverage level would exceed that of a partial expansion plan approved earlier this year by lawmakers, which has not yet received federal approval.
Hughes said he’s spoken with the leaders of other states where Medicaid has been expanded. The consistent message, he said, is that Medicaid costs have exceeded expectations and put a strain on government spending.
“That budget grows,” he said. “And they don’t have ways to slow that down and it comes at a price.”
It would be wrong to make promises to those in need that the state can’t deliver, Hughes said. And the way for lawmakers to help low-income Utahns, he said, is through the careful allocation of state resources.
“We can’t ignore the bottom line,” he said. “We can’t ignore the budget.”
Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, is the co-chairman of the Social Services Appropriations Committee. He said Medicaid costs will “skyrocket” under a full expansion plan, which will require him to pull funding from other programs.
“I’m going to cut [services for] children and I’m going to cut disabled people because I have no other option,” Ray said. “This is really a terrible idea. It’s not needed and it’s going to be very expensive to the taxpayers.”
But Rep. Ray Ward, R-Bountiful, disagreed with his colleagues in the Legislature. He said budget challenges related to health care are universal, in states that both have and have not expanded Medicaid.
And while full-expansion states have seen their costs rise, Ward said, none have attempted to pull back from expansion.
“Every one of them fully intends to continue the program and keep those people covered,” said Ward, a physician. “Other states have figured out a way to make this work — their people are benefitting. And we can figure out a way to make it work.”
Stanford said there’s a “ripple effect” to expanding Medicaid, as federal dollars are injected into the state’s health-care system and a healthier workforce contributes to the economy.
And Utah taxpayers are currently subsidizing Medicaid patients in other state, she said, instead of the individuals and families in their own communities.
“When we shift that money back to Utah, we see a really direct benefit in our economy," Stanford said, “including the creation of thousands of jobs every year.”
A new poll released Thursday by The Salt Lake Tribune and Hinckley Institute of Politics shows a 59 percent majority of registered voters in support of Proposition 3. And the opposition by lawmakers arrived late in the election cycle, with less than three weeks to go before balloting and by-mail voting underway.
Anderegg said he’s not worried about the political blowback of potentially repealing a voter-approved initiative.
“In my Senate district?” he said. “Not at all.”
He said he expects the partial expansion bill approved earlier this year to continue to have support among lawmakers. And he will work to persuade any of his colleagues who are reluctant to overturn a vote of the public.
“It may sway some,” he said. “I don’t know.”
The Texas indictment of former USA Gymnastics president Steve Penny for allegedly tampering with evidence is the latest fallout from the sexual assault investigation of now-imprisoned gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.
Numerous other people have been criminally charged, fired or forced out of their jobs during the investigations into the once-renowned gymnastics doctor. He was sentenced to decades in prison after hundreds of girls and women said he sexually abused them under the guise of medical treatment, including while he worked for Michigan State and Indiana-based USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians.
A look at some of the individuals and organizations that have been charged, ousted, opted to quit, taken leaves or had ties cut:
MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY
• Lou Anna Simon: The university president and school alumna resigned in January amid growing pressure from students, lawmakers and some members of the school’s governing board. She acknowledged being “the focus of this anger” but has denied any cover-up by the university. The governing board later hired former Michigan Gov. John Engler as its interim president . The school has already settled lawsuits totaling $500 million.
• Mark Hollis: The athletic director and a Michigan State alumnus called his January departure a retirement, but he, too, had faced pressure to leave. Hollis had been on the job for 10 years. He said he made the choice because of “the scope of everything,” adding that he hoped his departure would help the “healing process.”
• Kathie Klages: The former head gymnastics coach resigned last year after she was suspended for defending Nassar over the years. Klages was charged with lying to investigators. If convicted, she could face up to four years in prison. She has denied allegations that former gymnast Larissa Boyce told her Nassar had abused her in 1997, when Boyce was 16. Boyce has said Klages dissuaded her from taking the issue further, even after another young gymnast relayed similar allegations.
• Brooke Lemmen: The former school doctor resigned last year after learning the university was considering firing her because she didn’t disclose that USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians, was investigating Nassar.
• William Strampel: The former dean of the university’s College of Osteopathic Medicine is awaiting trial after being charged in March amid allegations that he failed to keep Nassar in line, groped female students and stored nude student selfies on his campus computer. Strampel, who has also been named in lawsuits, retired June 30, even as Michigan State was trying to yank his tenure and fire him. He had been on medical leave since December.
• Bob Noto: The university in February announced the departure of its longtime vice president for legal affairs. The school called it a retirement. Noto had been Michigan State’s general counsel since 1995. Trustee Brian Mosallam had sought Noto’s resignation.
• Valeri Liukin: The coordinator of the women’s national team for USA Gymnastics announced in early February that he was stepping down, less than 18 months after taking over for Martha Karolyi. Liukin said that while he wanted to help turn the program around, “the present climate causes me, and more importantly my family, far too much stress, difficulty and uncertainty.”
• USA Gymnastics said in January that its entire board of directors would resign as requested by the U.S. Olympic Committee. The USOC had threatened to decertify the gymnastics organization that picks U.S. national teams and is the umbrella organization for hundreds of clubs across the country.
• Steve Penny: The former president and CEO of the organization resigned under pressure in March 2017. He was replaced by Kerry Perry, who took over in December. Penny was charged Wednesday with a third-degree felony alleging he ordered the removal of documents relating to Nassar from the Karolyi Ranch near Huntsville, Texas.
• Perry resigned as president in September after the U.S. Olympic Committee questioned her ability to lead a path forward for an organization rocked by the scandal.
• Former California Congresswoman Mary Bono was hired late last week as the interim president for USA Gymnastics only to resign four day later. Bono said she felt her affiliation with the embattled organization would be a “liability” after a social media post by Bono criticizing Nike and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick drew widespread scrutiny within the gymnastics community. Six-time Olympic medalist Aly Raisman had also questioned Bono’s association with a law firm that advised the organization on how to handle portions of the Nassar scandal.
TWISTARS GYMNASTICS CLUB
• John Geddert: The owner of the Michigan club was suspended in January by USA Gymnastics and announced his retirement. He was the U.S. women’s coach at the 2012 Olympics. Geddert has said he had “zero knowledge” of Nassar’s crimes.
• USA Gymnastics said in January that the ranch outside Huntsville , Texas, would no longer serve as the national training center where a number of gymnasts said Nassar abused them. Owners Martha and Bela Karolyi have since sued the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics, seeking damages for a canceled sale of the property. They also have been named in lawsuits .
• Debra Van Horn: Texas prosecutors in June filed sexual assault charges against Nassar and Van Horn, a trainer who worked at his side at the Karolyi ranch. She had also worked at USA Gymnastics for 30 years. She was charged with second-degree sexual assault of a child. The local prosecutor said Van Horn was charged with “acting as a party” with Nassar, but didn’t elaborate.
U.S. OLYMPIC COMMITTEE
• Scott Blackmun: The CEO resigned in February, citing difficulties with prostate cancer and the federation’s need to urgently move forward to deal with the sex abuse scandal. He was diagnosed with cancer earlier that winter. There had been calls for his departure, including from two U.S. senators who said neither he nor the USOC at large properly reacted to sex abuse cases involving Nassar. The USOC is conducting an independent review of when Blackmun and others learned the details about abuse cases at USA Gymnastics and whether they responded appropriately.
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 the newsletter in your inbox? Subscribe here.
This week’s podcast: A British bishop’s reflections
Bishop. It’s the toughest assignment in the church.
A lay calling, it brings no pay but heavy demands. The bishop is responsible for the spiritual and temporal well-being of hundreds of families and individuals. All of this on top of the needs of his own loved ones and a full-time job.
Ross Trewhella has been serving in this taxing but rewarding task for nine years, shepherding his Latter-day Saint flock in Cornwall, England. Hear his thoughts on the pending shift from three hours of Sunday services to two hours, the appeal to stop using the word “Mormon," the challenges the faith faces in the United Kingdom and more.
A new whiskering campaign at BYU
(Illustration by Christopher Cherrington | The Salt Lake Tribune) (Christopher Cherrington/)
Brigham Young University isn’t becoming a haven for the unshaven, but beards are a growing trend on the Provo campus.
No, there aren’t new rules — just new roles.
Movie roles, to be precise.
The school’s Daily Universe reports that more students are popping up in classes, cafeterias, dorms and elsewhere with longer hair on their heads and chins as they prepare for parts in the church’s Book of Mormon videos, set to resume filming in the spring.
Cast members must receive waivers from the school’s grooming policy, which generally bars beards. But that may not exempt them from enduring sideways glances from fellow students.
“Without context, these students may be mistakenly viewed as noncompliant or rebellious when, in fact, they’re preparing to share the most important stories ever recorded,” BYU food science professor Laura Jefferies told the paper. “I’m thrilled that they have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
So, it’s lights, camera, action, Cougars, and skip the razor.
Less is Mor-mon
President Russell M. Nelson said as much in August when he announced the renewed emphasis on using the faith’s full name while eliminating “Mormon” and “LDS” as nicknames for the church and its members.
“We have work before us to bring ourselves in harmony with [God’s] will,” he said in that initial news release. “... Various church leaders and departments have initiated the necessary steps to do so.”
“Newsroom, like other church channels, is following the counsel of church leadership regarding the direction and timing of changes to MormonNewsroom.org.”
So expect these and other “Mormon” monikers to go the way of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, now called The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square, and get new titles.
On that subject, this group adopts a new stand
(Keith Johnson | Special to The Tribune) President Russell M. Nelson speaks about the name of name of the church during the 188th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Oct. 7, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (Keith J. Johnson/)
Mormon Women Stand — a website independent of but loyal to the church and its leaders — has changed its name to Latter-day Saint Women Stand.
“When members of the [administrative] team read President Russell M. Nelson’s words,” the group writes in a blog post, “ ... we all quickly came to the consensus that it was best to change our name.”
How great the wisdom and the love of new sacrament focus
(Courtesy photo of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) A young Latter-day Saint boy passes the sacrament.
As part of the change from three hours of Sunday services to two hours, the governing First Presidency is calling for hourlong sacrament meetings to be “focused on deepening conversion to Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthening faith in them.”
Amen to that, says By Common Consent blogger Jared Cook.
“The purpose of sacrament meeting is not to be instructed on various doctrines or exhorted to obey the commandments or follow the prophet or any of the other good things we are regularly encouraged to do at church, but to increase faith in Christ and conversion to him,” Cook writes. “ … The message of conversion from the Book of Mormon is not about being committed to the institution of the church, as admirable as it may be to be committed to the institution; it is about being converted — this is, changed — by Jesus through faith in him.”
Reimagining the religion
Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune Writer Mette Harrison at her home on Feb. 16, 2015. (Rick Egan/)
Among her suggestions:
• Envision a heaven where “gender, sexual orientation and race are not part of God’s inherent qualities.”
• Edit the faith’s signature scripture, the Book of Mormon, to “deal with racism and gender issues.”
• Showcase and commission better art in church meetinghouses.
• Put forth a revised history that lets “our leaders be truly flawed. Let God be missing from some events. Let God be truly present in others.”
• Adopt greener policies, exhibiting more care for the environment at church and in homes.
Help for Indonesians
Tsunami- and earthquake-plagued Indonesians are getting help from landlocked BYU professors and students so they will be better prepared when cruel nature strikes again.
Geography professor Chad Emmett and geology professor Ron Harris have teamed up on efforts to school Indonesians on the importance of getting to higher ground after the quakes rock and before the killer waves roll.
“When the earth shakes (soft or hard) for more than 20 seconds, there is a high possibility that a tsunami will follow,” Emmett explains in a post on the website of BYU’s College of Family, Home and Social Sciences. “ …To save themselves, people have 20 minutes to flee to an elevation of at least 20 meters.”
Emmett and a group of BYU and Utah Valley University students journeyed some 9,000 miles to Indonesia in 2016 and 2017 to teach this 20-20-20 rule and other lifesaving measures.
Quote of the week
(Keith Johnson | Special to The Tribune) Elder Robert C. Gay, a member of the Presidency of the Seventy, speaks during the 188th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Oct. 7, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (Keith J. Johnson/)
Mormon Land is a weekly newsletter written by David Noyce and Peggy Fletcher Stack. Subscribe here.
I’m a big believer that television should reflect diversity, multiculturalism and progressive attitudes toward gender. But I’m also willing to admit it’s unrealistic — and unnecessary — to expect every show to conform to that standard.
Like when one of my colleagues asked the creator of the new ABC sitcom “The Kids Are Alright” why he didn't add some girls to the cast. This question came after Tim Doyle told us that the show “is inspired by my childhood.”
(Photo courtesy ABC/Image Group LA) Michael Cudlitz, Mary McCormack and Tim Doyle, the creator/executive producer of “The Kids Are Alright,” take questions from members of the Television Critics Association. (Image Group LA/)
“The most contrived part of the pilot is that the family [has] eight boys, which is also extremely accurate,” he said. “I grew up in a family of eight boys, no girls.”
Write what you know works in sitcoms.
Would someone ask if the Huangs on “Fresh Off the Boat” should add a girl? If the Johnsons on “Black-ish” should add a Latino child? If “The Goldbergs” should add a Christian child?
Of course not. And, not coincidentally, those three shows are also based on real families.
No, they’re not documentaries. Yes, changes were made. “Goldbergs” creator Adam F. Goldberg had two brothers and no sisters; the fictional Adam (Sean Giambrone) has a brother and a sister — the real Eric became Erica (Hayley Orrantia). Because that show was not about a house full of boys.
And the premise of “The Kids Are Alright” is about the singular dynamic of harried parents (Mary McCormack and Michael Cudlitz) raising eight boys in 1972 Los Angeles. It would be a very different show if it included a daughter or two.
(Photo courtesy Richard Cartwright/ABC) Sawyer Barth, Caleb Foote, Santino Barnard, Michael Cudlitz, Jake Gore, Mary McCormack, Andy Walken, Sam Straley and Christopher Paul Richards star in “The Kids Are Alright.” (Richard Cartwright/)
There are certainly similarities, but “The Kids Are Alright” is not “The Wonder Years.” It’s not an idyllic look back, it’s about a rough-and-tumble competition among the eight boys. (Well, among seven — the eighth is an infant.)
“You’re always left wanting a little more from your parents than you’re ever going to be able to get,” Doyle said, “not to mention fighting over that extra pork chop or whatever.”
He would know.
“The Kids Are Alright” is about boys, but it’s not just about boys. The mom, Peggy, is the strongest character on the show. And Catholic guilt plays a big part. In Tuesday’s second episode (7:30 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4), Timmy copies someone else’s poem and wins a prize for it — and he knows his mother knows what he’s done.
“The big win for Mom here is getting you to confess,” says brother No. 4, Joey (Christopher Paul Richards). “Then she gets to punish you, pretend you learned a valuable lesson and feel like she’s a really good mother — the Catholic guilt trifecta."
“Just like Jesus taught us,” adds brother No. 6, William (Andy Walken).
This is a very promising comedy. Not every TV couple has to have both sons and daughters.
A Navy veteran in Utah accused of sending letters to President Donald Trump and other leaders containing substance from which the poison ricin is derived is set to appear in court.
William Clyde Allen III is expected to enter a plea on Thursday on charges including threatening to use a biological toxin as a weapon.
Authorities say the envelopes containing ground castor beans were intercepted after being mailed to Trump, the FBI director, secretary of defense and the Navy’s top officer. They allegedly had Allen’s return address.
A judge decided earlier this week the 39-year-old should stay in jail ahead of trial because he might be a danger to the community despite concerns that he’s needed at home to care for his sick wife.
The original White team that basketball coach Larry Krystkowiak dressed for the Night with the Utes resembled a starting lineup, if the Utes had opened the season Wednesday.
So the Reds' victory in the first half of the scrimmage at the Huntsman Center could be viewed either of two ways: The Utes may have more depth than ever, or they may lack a clear-cut top five.
Krystkowiak's answer was a mixture of the two theories.
“I'd say we've got maybe three guys that are really good one-on-one defenders,” he said. “And we've got maybe three, four guys that are pretty special offensively. But unfortunately, I'm not coaching the football team, where we can send 'em out in shifts.”
The White lineup of guards Sedrick Barefield, Donnie Tillman and Sedrick Jones Jr. and forwards Novak Topalovic and Timmy Allen lost 34-31 to the Red in the 20-minute opening half. Several players switched teams for the 16-minute second half, with Barefield leading the Red to a 36-25 win. The combined scoring leaders for the night were Barefield with 19 points and Tillman and freshman Both Gach with 15 each.
Allen was declared the winner of a dunk contest (determined by fans' cheers) and the Ute men's and women's teams split two 3-point shooting contests.
As for the men's team's progress, “We're still getting better every single day,” Barefield said.
By the Nov. 8 season opener vs. Maine, Barefield added, “We don't want to be figuring ourselves out, we want to be ready to go.”'
Tillman said of freshman such as Allen and Gach, “These guys just get it, man. It's just amazing, because you tell 'em something once, and boom, let's go.”
Utah’s personnel outlook has been affected by injuries to junior forward/center Jayce Johnson and freshman forward Lahat Thioune — each with a broken foot. Johnson’s injury is less severe; he’s expected to be available by the end of October. Thioune will miss about three months, Krystkowiak said.
Thioune had proven to be shot-blocking force in practice, Krystkowiak said. He may be able to return for a significant portion of the Pac-12 schedule; if not, redshirting will become a likely option.
The Utes will play a closed scrimmage against a Division I opponent Oct. 27, then host College of Idaho in an exhibition game Nov. 1.
The NCAA is allowing teams to conduct 30 practices over six weeks, in advance of their regular-season openers. Utah reached the three-week mark Wednesday and Krystkowiak said, “It's getting close to the dog days, where you need to play.”
Krystkowiak’s immediate job is to create about an eight-player rotation, after using a variety of combinations in practice. “We’ve kind of been in scramble mode,” he said. “It’s probably time to start identifying some roles.”
It’s the toughest assignment a member can get in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — bishop.
It’s a lay calling that brings with it no pay but heavy demands. The bishop is responsible for the spiritual and even temporal well-being for hundreds of families and individuals in his area. All of this on top of the needs of his own loved ones and full-time job.
Ross Trewhella has been serving in this taxing but rewarding task for nine years, shepherding his Latter-day Saint flock in Cornwall, England. Hear his thoughts on the shift coming in January from three hours of Sunday services to two hours, the appeal to stop using the word “Mormon," the challenges his faith faces in the United Kingdom and more.
The president is once again ramping up anti-illegal immigration rhetoric. Utah lawmakers make it clear the medical marijuana compromise bill is not sacrosanct. A fundraising effort on behalf of Rep. Mia Love by the Republican Party of the Virgin Islands is a scam.
Happy Thursday. President Donald Trump has been cajoling Republicans to make immigration the centerpiece of their midterm campaigns and he’s ramped up his own rhetoric, threatening to call out the military to close — not just secure — the U.S.-Mexican border amid news of an immigrant caravan headed north from Honduras. In a tweet storm, Trump vowed to call out the troops, stop foreign aid payments and threatened to junk a new trade deal with Mexico if the caravan isn’t stopped. [WaPost]
Topping the news: House Speaker Greg Hughes made it clear during the first public hearing on the new medical marijuana compromise legislation that it is not a “porcelain doll” that needs to be handled carefully and is immune from amendments. [Trib][DNews]
-> School safety recommendations in Utah would cost an estimated $100 million the first year to implement, including providing students in every school access to mental-health counseling and altering school buildings to provide a single point of access. [Trib]
-> The Virgin Islands Republican Party has reported spending $204,000 to support Rep. Mia Love, however Mia Love’s campaign says it’s seen none of the money and calls the fundraising effort a “scam.” [Trib]
-> Utah lawmakers speak out against Proposition 3 to fully expand Medicaid in the state and Sen. Jacob Anderegg, Lehi Republican, went so far as to vow to overturn the initiative if voters pass it. [Trib]
Tweets of the Day: From @aedwardslevy: “My favorite thing about poll stories is that it’s an entire beat devoted to the idea that what the public thinks truly matters.”
-> From @jenspyra: “I was too lazy to get a DNA test so I just checked my phone to see how many times I’d called my mother in the past 24 hours. Just as I suspected: 98% Ashkenazi.”
Happy Birthday: to State Rep. Sue Duckworth and state Sen. David Hinkins.
In other news: Utah’s 1st Congressional District debate featured two challengers — one Democrat and one United Utah Party candidate — going after longtime incumbent Rep. Rob Bishop, accusing him of being a career politician and being beholden to special interests. [Trib][ABC4][Fox13]
-> But a new poll shows Bishop doesn’t have much to worry about, with 52 percent of registered voters favoring him in the race, far ahead of his opponents. [Trib]
-> Lawmakers are concerned about the watershed protection law that some say threatens private homeowners and give municipalities too much power. [DNews]
-> Democratic and Conservative superPACs are now both airing ads against Rep. Mia Love and challenger Ben McAdams. Some $1.5 million in outside money is funding new attack ads in the state. [Trib][DNews]
-> The Utah State government ended its fiscal year with a $265 million surplus. Some $107 million has gone straight into reserve accounts and $158 million is available for spending. [Trib]
-> A Ute Tribe case has made its way to the Federal District Courts in Washington, D.C., staking claim to 2 million acres in Eastern Utah. The US Department of the Interior has disputed the case, alleging that the tribe forfeited the land in 2012. [Fox13]
-> Lawmakers are pushing to address a problem that threatens to block Utahns from getting through airport security with a driver license. [Trib]
-> A proposed new Utah law would make it so the victims or families of victims of violent crimes would be able to request a review of their case if a year has passed and it still hasn’t been solved. [DNews]
-> The Alliance for a Better Utah has condemned Utah House District 31 candidate Fred Johnson for offensive social media posts. In one post about a woman who reported a sexual assault, he referred to her as a “psycho gold digger” and in January referred to people participating in the Women’s March as “pigs”. [Trib]
-> A Utah legislative committee gave its support to a measure which would increase access to attorneys for children in the Juvenile Court system in Utah. [DNews]
-> Pat Bagley illustrated a member of the GOP “marrying the mob”. [Trib]
Trib Talk: The Trib Talk podcast features investigative journalist Eric S. Peterson who reported and wrote a two-part series on the 40-year-old unsolved murder of gay, black Socialist Anthony Adams and the problems of missing evidence in Salt Lake City police cold cases. [Trib]
Nationally: A 144 year-old postal treaty has allowed China to ship small packages to the United States at a greatly discounted rate that has flooded markets with cheap Chinese goods and undercut American competitors. President Trump has decided to pull the United States out of this treaty in order to open up a new front in the trade war between the two countries. [NYTimes][BBC][WSJ]
-> Senator Elizabeth Warren’s DNA test demonstrating that she had a Native American ancestor 6-8 generations ago has sparked criticism for Republicans, some Democrats, and Native American tribes. Among critiquing tribes were the Cherokee Nation, who said that tribes determine their own citizenship and that a DNA test neither specifies that she is a Native American, nor which tribe she belongs to. [NYTimes][BBC]
-> The Florida Panhandle was ravaged last week by Hurricane Michael, which has left 200,000 voters in communities devastated by the storm and without electricity, cell phone service, and fulfillment of basic needs. Election day is a mere three weeks away, and officials are working tirelessly to find ways to make it safe and accessible for victims of the storm to vote in the 2018 midterm elections. [NYTimes]
-> Top White House advisor Jared Kushner has stayed in the background in the past few weeks in the wake of controversy over Saudi Arabia and their alleged connection to the death of missing dissident Saudi journalist, Khashoggi. Kushner has cultivated close ties with the crowned prince of Saudi Arabia, but has stayed out of the way of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as the sensitive issue is handled. [CNN]
-> Canada became the second country to legalize recreational marijuana on Wednesday. [BBC]
-- Dan Harrie and Cara MacDonald
For the first time in franchise history, the Jazz began the season with the same starting lineup that they used in the previous season’s opener.
It didn’t go well. After a preseason finale in which the Jazz got out to a 47-12 run against the Kings, this time, it was Sacramento who jumped all over Utah early, to the tune of a 25-9 lead after six minutes.
Maybe continuity isn’t everything.
“The continuity that we have as a team isn’t an end in itself,” Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said. “But it allows us the opportunity to study our team, to learn about our team from last year, anticipate certain things we can do better, and to make adjustments with the group that we have.”
Adjustments were made quickly, and unlike last Thursday’s contest, the team that was down fought back, to the tune of a 123-117 win over the Kings.
In fact, the Jazz did so quickly, thanks to the insertion of backup guard tandem Dante Exum and Alec Burks. Both players showed off their remade skillsets, making their 3-point shots and making the right read in pick and roll situations. Going to a smaller lineup also helped open up the space for those players to succeed. In the end, the Jazz cut the lead to four by the end of the first.
By the second quarter, the Jazz’s offense was rolling again. Joe Ingles caught fire, scoring 17 first-half points thanks to 3-of-3 3-point shooting and crafty finishing around the rim. The end result was a 68-55 halftime lead that made it seem like nothing had ever gone wrong.
But just as they did in the first half, the starters again scuffled to begin the second half, even losing the lead. Snyder, having learned from what had happened an hour earlier, put Exum and Crowder in quickly, just three minutes into the third quarter. Again, the Exum-led small lineups had more success, and he ended up finishing the game, playing 27 minutes.
It wasn’t a shining first game back for Ricky Rubio, who struggled with many of the same things he did in his sketchy start to his 2017-18 campaign. He missed layups, lobbed Rudy Gobert with passes that were even too high for the lanky Frenchman, and tried to draw fouls that ended up just looking like ugly plays. In the end, Rubio finished with only 1 point, plus just four assists, and a team-worst -16 plus-minus.
Donovan Mitchell started slowly, but ended up finding his game late. Despite his calm demeanor before the game, he forced some iffy looks and wild drives. But despite that, he ended up as the Jazz’s leading scorer with 24 points on 8-21 shooting. That being said, he wasn’t the Jazz’s best player of the game: that title belonged to Ingles who had 22 points on only 12 shots, plus a team-high six assists.
Defensively, the Jazz weren’t anywhere near their usual standard. They allowed 110 points per 100 possessions to the Kings, and gave a lot of easy baskets to Willie Cauley-Stein, Nemanja Bjelica, and others. Gobert did finish with 19 points and 15 rebounds, but the Defensive Player of the Year wouldn’t have earned the same award for his defensive play in Game 1 of 82.
But while it may have not been in their traditional manner, the Jazz’s familiar cast of characters pulled out a win. And Snyder is happy about that, if not the overall performance.
“It’s a group that I really like, so I’m glad they’re back,” Snyder said.
Three thoughts on the Utah Jazz’s 123-117 win over the Sacramento Kings from Salt Lake Tribune beat writer Andy Larsen.
1. Jazz starting guards struggling, backup guards winning
This was a surprise. After the Jazz came out and just stomped all over the Kings early last Thursday, Sacramento coach Dave Joerger changed up his starting lineup Wednesday night, putting in Nemanja Bjelica and Yogi Ferrell. That unit started the game on a 25-9 run, and will probably be one of the best stretches of play the Kings will have all season.
Part of it, though, was that the Jazz’s starting guards weren’t playing well. Donovan Mitchell ended up being the game’s leading scorer, with 24 points, and did find his shot late. But early on, he was forcing shots (by his own admission), trying to make things happen that just weren’t going to happen. It’s somewhat incredible that a bad game from Mitchell still leads to 24 points, though.
“I was just pressing, trying to make something out of nothing instead of making the simple play that I’ve been working on all summer. I just got away from it, but it’s one game," Mitchell said. “The biggest thing is just staying under control and fixing it and I’ll be good.”
A bad game from Ricky Rubio, however, did not lead to points in the plural. In fact, Rubio had only one point all night, a technical free-throw. He missed his four shots, including a layup, and the offense struggled with him in the game. But more problematic was the defense, as DeAaron Fox had little problem getting penetration against the slower Rubio. Fox is one of the fastest players in the league, and Rubio just wasn’t a good matchup, at least not on this night.
So enter Dante Exum and Alec Burks. Exum ended up playing 26 minutes on the night, more than Rubio, and made a difference from the get go, knocking down a three, then finding Rudy Gobert for easy points inside. Exum has more speed than Rubio, and did a much better job of staying in front on defense as well.
Exum’s offensive game can be a little predictable: it’s built around his speed and attacking the basket when given a sliver of a window. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially if a team can’t keep up. But think about how frequently he drives baseline, especially in comparison to other Jazz players. Tonight, though, those drives worked, thanks to some tremendous timing with his teammates' cuts to the rim, and some really nice reads by Exum.
Burks was the second man off the bench for Snyder Wednesday, after Jae Crowder. Burks, too, made an impact just as soon as he stepped on the floor. He attacked wisely, made all three of his 3-point shots, and made the right reads in pick and roll and transition, finishing with four assists. He ended up with a game-high +25 in only 18 minutes on the floor. Look at that!
Again, the knock on Burks for his career is that he’s empty calories: good at getting points, but not great at helping your team on the scoreboard overall. But if what we’ve seen from him in preseason and game one is real, he’ll shake that reputation in a big way.
2. Joe Ingles' shot variety
Joe Ingles was phenomenal tonight, in my mind the Jazz’s best player. He finished with 22 points on 9-12 shooting, as well as picking up six assists and four steals.
I continue to be blown away by the way Ingles has expanded his game, at an age where most players are peaking or declining, not continuing to improve. But watch this compilation of his baskets tonight:
Here’s the list of different ways Ingles scored:He dunked in transition, even though it was contested. Dunks per season Ingles has averaged in his career: 4.25.He had a 15-foot mid-range floater. The number of floaters Ingles made in the first three entire seasons of his career: five. A 3-point shot after a direct hand-off from Derrick Favors, when the defender went under. He’s certainly taken more of these, but is far more likely to take this shot now.A straight-line drive layup after just beating his man off the dribble using his blazing speed. Okay, admittedly, his defender was Bjelica. But still!A casual semi-fast break pull-up three. The number of times he’s made a pull-up three with 22-18 seconds left on the shot clock in his career: three.A step-back pull-up three after Bjelica died on the screen. This is a shot we’ve seen from Ingles before, but is still a difficult look that he made look easy.A snaking pick and roll 12-foot floater. See point number two.A catch-and-shoot three after a beautiful “elevator doors” play, the first Jazz play after halftime. This is more “normal” Ingles stuff, but it’s still fun to see. A quick layup way up off the top of the backboard that sank in for two points over Willie Cauley-Stein. This was an impressive finish.
Just look at the variety there. Ingles isn’t just a catch-and-shoot player anymore, he’s a versatile scorer.
To be fair, he did collect five turnovers as well, but he was such an integral part of the Jazz’s offense that it’s a little bit understandable. That has been a knock on Jingles' game in the past, though, and it’s something to watch moving forward.
3. Gobert and Favors inside
Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert didn’t have their best defensive games. The easiest way to tell, obviously, is that 117 Kings point total, though there were a ton of possessions in this game, and the Jazz’s defensive rating ended up being about 108.3. That’s not catastrophic, but it’s not great either; it would have ranked 16th in the league over the full course of the season last year.
In particular, Cauley-Stein and Bjelica had a lot of success inside. Cauley-Stein, especially, just jumped over Favors and Gobert at times, an impressive feat. Gobert credited that to being “a step too slow” on the defensive end, something that he vowed to fix before Friday’s game against Golden State.
But Favors and Gobert were fantastic at finishing around the rim tonight. Gobert finished with 19 points on 7-9 shooting, and Favors finished with 18 points on 7-8 shooting. Both showed good patience and improved core strength to be able to catch, readjust, and get dunks or layups with relative ease.
Favors and Gobert's shot chart against the Kings. (NBA.com)
When two players combine for nearly 40 points on 17 shots, it can make up for many sins. In tonight’s case, the Jazz survived taking 16 fewer shots than the Kings (95-79), allowing 93 points from the Kings' starters, and turning the ball over 18 times because of their success from their most efficient scoring options.
“You’re not worth it.”
While not the exact words the accountant used, that was the stinging message that was recently received by a friend of mine. She had gone to consult with her accountant to talk about her return to school, and his response cut deep.
What he actually said was that the “cost-benefit analysis” indicated that it was “not a financially wise decision to educate” her. Same thing.
I had two immediate thoughts. First of all, I would fire that accountant on the spot. How dare he?! Second, no education is wasted and especially not for women.
An old African proverb says, “Educate a man and you educate a man. Educate a woman and you educate generations.”
Research from the Utah Women and Leadership project details a multitude of benefits of higher education for women. Almost all study participants could list a higher-paying job as an advantage of acquiring more education. But an increase in earnings is only one of many additional benefits for women who pursue a college education.
Slightly more than half (54 percent) identified college as something that would help them increase their “knowledge, intellect and lifelong learning” skills. However, barely 8 percent of women surveyed knew that college could help them develop important life skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, decision-making skills and an increased tolerance for differences in others.
College-educated women are healthier overall, live longer lives, are less overweight, have a higher level of life satisfaction and happiness, are more resilient and less depressed. They give birth to healthier babies and, overall, have children who have healthier lifestyles. They spend more time reading to their children, send them off to school better prepared academically and, no surprise, are more likely to have children who themselves graduate from college. (So, if you’re a mom who wants your kids to go to college, set the example and go to college yourself!)
Women with more education participate substantially more in civic activities, including voting and volunteering in the community. They have stronger social skills, a better self-concept, better leadership skills, stronger teamwork and interpersonal skills and stronger analytical abilities.
If you’re like my friend, you might wonder if you can justify the expense of college. Good question, especially in light of this week’s audit of higher-ed tuition rates. The good news is there are a number of ways to pay for college that don’t involve breaking the bank or going deeply into debt. Each institution will have information for students and potential students, but options can include grant money, academic scholarships, financial need scholarships and scholarships based on niche categories, work programs that exchange work for tuition and other possibilities as well.
You might also be a multipotentialite like my friend — interested in and good at many things. How do you choose a major if so many classes sound interesting?! Just start, take a class or two from some of your areas of interest, pick a focus and then stay in your lane. Use your elective options to take classes in other areas of interest. The great thing about lifelong learning is that you hopefully have many years after completing a degree to pursue other areas of interest.
If you are wondering if you are too old to continue your education, you’re not. In 2007, Nola Ochs graduated with a bachelor’s degree — at age 95. She earned a master’s degree three years later, at age 98. Amy Craton earned a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and English in 2017 — at age 94. She immediately started working on a graduate degree.
There are definite advantages to being a nontraditional student. You will almost certainly realize that you already know a lot. You will quickly learn that your life experience will help you anchor your textbook learning. You probably don’t need to “find yourself,” or at least not like a teenage college student, and you won’t be mired in teenage angst. That alone will save you oodles of time. Managing stress is likely easier, as is juggling multiple roles and multiple tasks. Professors seem less intimidating, and you will discover just how willing they are to help you succeed.
Is it worth it to go back? Absolutely.
You’ve got this.
(Photo Courtesy Holly Richardson)
Holly Richardson realizes you do not need a college degree to do some pretty amazing things in this life, but if college is your path, go for it! Accountants don’t know everything.
Almost lost amidst all the fuss over the three controversial voter initiatives on this year’s Utah ballot are three proposed amendments to the Utah Constitution. Amendments proposed by the Legislature and for, in one case, the benefit of the Legislature.
What the three petition-driven initiatives have in common, as we have explained, is that they are popular responses to the long-standing failure of the Utah Legislature to address the issues — medical marijuana, Medicaid expansion and an independent redistricting process — to the satisfaction of the populace. That is a large part of the reasoning behind The Salt Lake Tribune’s decision to editorially support all three.
The amendments, on the other hand, are an expression of what lawmakers think is important. And what they have placed before the voters are a small but good idea, a small but not-so-good idea and a really awful idea.
Amendment A would tweak the part of the state Constitution that offers a property tax exemption to state residents who are also members of the U.S. armed forces when they are called upon to serve overseas — or just out of the state. Under the current provisions, the tax exemption is only available to those who are on duty out of state for 200 or more days in any calendar year. If the voters approve, the provision would be changed to offer the exemption to those called out of state for 200 or more days in any 365-day stretch.
The measure placing the question on the ballot was approved unanimously by both the Utah House and Utah Senate. It would make a small difference to most taxpayers, even though they would have to absorb the taxes not paid by their military-serving neighbors.
It is an idea that deserves to be approved.
Amendment B is another property tax break idea that was offered to the voters — and rejected by them — once before. It deserves to be rejected again.
The idea is to exempt from property taxes buildings and facilities that are privately owned but leased to local governments. The idea is that property owned by those governments is automatically tax-exempt, and so the properties they rent should be, too. The claim is that it would actually save those governments some money because private owners, knowing there will be no property taxes to pay, can charge lower rents.
The problem with that idea is that landlords are unlikely to cut local governments break in their rent if they get a break in their taxes. They’ll just pocket the savings. Savings that will have to be made up by raising property tax rates on everyone else. Rates charged not only by the, say, city that is leasing the property, but also by the county, school district, library and every other taxing district affected.
The proposal is an unneeded boost for the landowning few. It should be rejected.
Amendment C is a pernicious idea that is designed to upset a constitutional balance of power that has been working rather well in Utah for more than a century.
For all that time, only the governor has had the power to convene the Legislature at any time other than the regular 45-day session set out in the Constitution. And only the governor has the power to say what matters will be put before that special session. (Lawmakers can convene on their own authority only to reconsider any bill vetoed by the executive.)
Many lawmakers over the years have felt unduly constrained by that limitation. And, in theory, if anyone were today writing a constitution for, say, a newly formed Martian colony, those founders might not think it was a good idea to copy that part of Utah’s basic law, especially given the limitations of what can be done in a mere 45 days.
But the question here is not about some Platonic ideal of a Constitution and Legislature, but about the known proclivities of the Utah Legislature. This is a body that already has a nasty habit of cooking up, rushing through and adopting major policy decisions, effectively in secret due to the inability of the press and public to keep up. This is a habit that would only be made more troublesome and more common if lawmakers had the power to call snap special sessions for purposes that would likely become clear only after the dirty work was done.
The part of the Utah Constitution that Amendment C would fix is not broken. It should be rejected by the ultimate authority of the state, the voters.
Dear Tribune Readers • You know how I occasionally like to make book recommendations? Well, October seems like the perfect month to talk about “horror” as a genre — which, btw, I never read, unless you count the daily news. So I asked my friend Claire Margetts, bookseller and horror aficionado extraordinaire, to a) explain why she loves herself some horror and b) to make a few recommendations for you.
“I like the feeling of being scared for characters,” Claire says, “and I know this sounds crazy, but I like the blood and guts and screams. Sometimes it’s really fun to look at a page and think, ‘GROSS!!’”
Claire goes on: “The stories usually have interesting characters that you can root for — and you can invest more of your emotions in them since you know so much more is at stake. And the feeling of being scared for them and not knowing what’s around any corner is thrilling!” She acknowledges that the emotional roller-coaster ride that good horror novels provide can be cathartic. And, finally, Claire observes that horror is “just far-fetched enough that it’s not like reading about real life. Sometimes dramatic realistic literature hits too close to home with the real horrors we encounter in everyday life. Even though horror can get serious, you know there is going to be at least SOME victory in the end, which I like. In a way, horror books are super optimistic because usually at least one person makes it out alive!”
Here are a few of Claire’s recommendations, her comments included:“We Sold Our Souls” by Grady Hendrix — funny and intense. What happens when the frontman of a metal band sells the souls of his bandmates without them knowing it?“The Troop” by Nick Cutter — it’s like “Lord of the Flies” meets “The Thing.”“NOS4A2” and “Wraith” (a graphic novel) by Joe Hill — Hill is Stephen King’s son and has the vibe of a young Stephen King. Take a trip into Christmas Land … if you dare!“Lost Gods” by Brom — a journey through hell but with great world-building.“The Boy Who Drew Monsters” by Keith Donohue — atmospheric and good for someone who isn’t into blood and guts.“The Hunger” by Alma Katsu — something plagues the Donner Party more than just their usual nightmare scenario, and that’s saying a lot!“Little Star” by John Ajvide Lindqvist — the music industry has never been so horrifying.“Through the Woods” by Emily Carroll — a beautifully illustrated graphic novel with short stories. It’s simply gorgeous, and the bite-size chilling stories are incredible.
I also solicited recommendations from members of Utah’s thriving community of writers for children and young adults. A few of their suggestions (not for children) are listed alphabetically by author below. Enjoy!“Anna Dressed in Blood” by Kendare Blake“World War Z” by Max Brooks“The Halloween Tree” and “The October Country” by Ray Bradbury“House of Leaves” by Mark Danielewski“The Haunting of Hill House” and “We Have Always Lived in the Castle” by Shirley Jackson“Salem’s Lot,” “The Stand,” “Misery,” “Bag of Bones,” “Needful Things,” “IT” and just about anything else by Stephen King“Odd Thomas” by Dean Koontz“The Historian” by Elizabeth Kostova“Songs of a Dead Dreamer” and “Grimscribe” by Thomas Ligotti“Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales of H.P. Lovecraft” by H.P. Lovecraft“Bird Box” by Josh Malerman“I Am Legend” by Richard Matheson“Hellboy: Into the Silent Sea” by Mike Mignola“Slade House” by David Mitchell“Swamp Thing” by Alan Moore“Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley“Summer of Night” by Dan Simmons“Dracula” by Bram Stoker“A Head Full of Ghosts” by Paul Tremblay
Cooper Baskett embodied Jack-Jack from the movie “The Incredibles 2” as volunteers at Shriners Hospitals for Children in Salt Lake City transformed his wheelchair into the Incredimobile. Mimicking a fight scene with a raccoon from the movie, Cooper, 3, put his fists up as he delighted in the attention.
“This is something he gets to have all his own,” said his mother, Tonya Baskett, as they got their first look at his Halloween costume. Cooper, who has skeletal dysplasia, doesn’t get to run around like his cousins, which usually makes the holiday difficult. However, this year the whole family plans to dress up as characters from the same family of superheroes.
For the third year in a row, Shriners put on a costume clinic to trick out and transform the wheelchairs for kids. In its first year, the volunteers helped eight children. On Wednesday, it was 28.
Volunteers tried to cater to the desires of each kid, crafting costumes out of cardboard, fabric, PVC pipe, paint and foam.
Gathered under seven canopies, crews worked on the chairs of four kids throughout the day, with a two-hour window for each transformation.
With a little bit of advance planning, the teams were ready for each kid turning their chairs into Batmobiles, monster trucks, cupcakes, princess carriages, Millennium Falcons, pirate ships and fighter jets.
Employees with Spirit Halloween, a costume retailer, volunteered during last year’s event and saw the need for wheelchair costumes. This year, the company helped craft four costumes.
One of those was a monster truck assembled around Jonathan Clark, 6, who has cerebral palsy. His dad, Jeremy, who’s in the process of adopting his fourth child with special needs from Bulgaria — was excited to watch his son’s eyes light up. Jonathan, who is part of a special needs baseball league in West Jordan, will get to move around in his new wheels for the upcoming showcase indoor baseball game. Clark said: “It will be cool to see him run the bases in a monster truck."
Retired Utah Utes football coach Ron McBride and his family have filed a lawsuit against a Murray dog kennel, accusing the facility of negligence for letting their German shepherd get mauled to death by two aggressive dogs.
According to the lawsuit filed Tuesday in Third District Court in Salt Lake City, the incident happened May 1, when Ron McBride and his wife, Vicky, along with daughter Kelly Redican and her husband, Mark, were hosting a wedding for friends at their house. The family decided to board their three dogs — Coach, a Labrador retriever; Flipper, a golden retriever/poodle mix; and Christa, a 10-year-old purebred German shepherd — so they wouldn’t go unsupervised during the ceremony.
Kelly Redican researched pet facilities, the lawsuit says, and chose Unleashed Dog Hotel in Murray. Unleashed’s website promised “our highly trained staff is present 24/7,” which the McBrides say was important for Christa, who tended to sleep more than play.
(photo courtesy the McBride family) Christa, a 10-year-old purebred German shepherd that was mauled to death by two other dogs in a Murray dog kennel on May 1, 2018. The dog's owners, the family of former Utah Utes football coach Ron McBride, are suing the kennel, Unleashed Dog Hotel, for damages related to Christa's death.
The lawsuit says Christa was left sleeping in an enclosed play area when Unleashed personnel moved the other dogs out. The employees then let two dogs into the area. The owner of those dogs warned the facility that they “were dog-aggressive and ‘ganged up’ on other dogs.”
The other dogs were left with Christa, unsupervised, for 35 minutes, the lawsuit says. In that time, the dogs attacked Christa, dragged her around the room and mauled her until she died.
Later that afternoon, during the wedding, Unleashed’s owner, Billy Meadows, contacted Mark Redican with the news of Christa’s death. Mark Redican sought an incident report and video footage of the incident, that were never provided.
When he called Unleashed back to arrange transportation of Christa’s body, an employee said the kennel had already disposed of the dog’s remains. When pressed, the lawsuit says, Meadows “became hostile and started yelling at Mark on the phone.”
The McBride family — Ron and Vicky McBride, the Redicans and the McBride’s daughter Jill Baxter and her husband John (who originally owned Christa) are plaintiffs in the case — report they were “overcome with shock and grief” at Christa’s death. Also, the dog’s death “entirely ruined the wedding and guests were shocked and horrified” at the news, the lawsuit says.
On June 29, Mark Redican posted about the incident on Facebook. The lawsuit says Meadows left a note of apology at the McBride house the same day — the only contact Meadows had with the family since Christa’s death.
The family is accusing Unleashed of negligence, gross negligence, negligent misrepresentation, intentional misrepresentation and breach of contract. They are seeking unspecified damages, to be determined at trial, for costs associated with Christa’s death, emotional distress and punitive damages.
A call to Unleashed seeking comment was not immediately returned Wednesday.
This story will be updated.
Early in his Marine Corps career, which he concluded as a four-star general, Walt Boomer was decorated for valor in Vietnam. He distilled into three words the lesson of that debacle: “Tell the truth.” Max Hastings, an eminent British journalist and historian, has done that in a book that is a painful but perhaps inoculating reimmersion in what Americans would prefer to forget.
“Vietnam: An Epic Tragedy, 1945-1975” is a product of Hastings’ prodigious research and his aptitude for pungent judgments. It is an unsparing look, by a warm friend of America, at the mountain of mendacities, political and military, that accumulated as the nation learned the truth of the philosopher Michael Oakeshott’s axiom: “To try to do something which is inherently impossible is always a corrupting enterprise.”
Vietnam remains an American sorrow of squandered valor, but it was vastly more a tragedy for the Vietnamese, 2 million to 3 million of whom died during the 30-year war — around 40 for every American who died during the 10 years of intense U.S. futility. U.S. statesmen and commanders, Hastings writes, lied too much to the nation and the world but most calamitously to themselves.
In 1955, Hastings writes, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles sent a cable to Saigon authorizing the removal of South Vietnam Prime Minister Ngo Dinh Diem, “much as he might have ordered the sacking of an unsatisfactory parlor maid.” Six hours later, Dulles changed his mind, so Diem lived until he was murdered in the 1963 coup authorized by John Kennedy. Hastings’ tangy writing tells us that as the coup approached, a U.S. operative arrived at the South Vietnamese army’s headquarters “carrying a .357 revolver and $40,000 in cash, which he deemed the appropriate fashion accessories for an afternoon’s work overthrowing a government.”
“Old Ho [Chi Minh] can’t turn that down,” said Lyndon Johnson of his offer to buy North Vietnam out of the war with $1 billion for a Mekong River dam. America’s president fit part of Graham Greene’s description of the title character in the novel set in Saigon, “The Quiet American”: “I never knew a man who had better motives for all the trouble he caused” and who was “impregnably armored by his good intentions and his ignorance.” Except Johnson’s intentions were often self-serving.
In 1964, he unnecessarily sacrificed truth and, as an eventual result, young men to achieve a 44-state landslide, which was won three months after confusions compounded by lies produced the Tonkin Gulf Resolution’s limitless authorization for warmaking. Eight years later, Richard Nixon twisted military strategy, diplomacy and the truth for domestic political advantage — while cruising to a 49-state romp.
Soldiers and Marines died because their M16 rifles were given to malfunctioning in combat. The manufacturer’s response was what Hastings calls “a barrage of lies,” with which the Army was complicit.
Almost every Hastings page contains riveting facts, such as these about the French, whose Indochina miseries preceded America’s: “While they abolished the old custom of condemning adulteresses to be trampled to death by elephants … opium consumption soared after the colonial power opened a Saigon refinery.”
Eddie Adams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph of Saigon’s police chief shooting a Viet Cong in the head during the 1968 Tet Offensive seemed to validate some Americans’ sympathies for enemy. Hastings casts a cold eye, noting that the Viet Cong was in civilian clothes and had just cut the throats of a South Vietnamese officer, his wife, their six children and the officer’s 80 year-old mother.
Hastings’ detailed reports of battles — a few famous ones; others unremembered except by participants on both sides, some of whom Hastings tracked down — are as successful as printed words can be in achieving his aim of answering the question “What was the war like?” “This,” says Hastings, “was a ‘Groundhog Day’ conflict, in which contests for a portion of elephant grass, jungle, or rice paddy were repeated not merely month after month, but year upon year.” America’s inevitable failure there might, however, with Hastings’ help, prevent America from having a “Groundhog Day” foreign policy.
A history book can be a historic act if, by modifying a nation’s understanding of its past, it alters future behavior. Obviously Vietnam itself was insufficiently instructive. On page 752, the book’s concluding words are Gen. Boomer’s: “It bothers me that we didn’t learn a lot. If we had, we would not have invaded Iraq.” Sometimes, contrary to Marx, history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then not as farce but as tragedy again.
George F. Will | The Washington Post
George F. Will writes a twice-weekly column on politics and domestic and foreign affairs. He began his column with The Post in 1974, and he received the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1977. @georgewill [email protected].
Despite the reportedly painstaking negotiations that went into crafting a medical cannabis accord, House Speaker Greg Hughes assures Utah lawmakers that an amendment or two won’t shatter it.
The bill “is not a porcelain doll. It is not a Cinderella slipper that you can’t touch,” Hughes told lawmakers Wednesday.
Sure enough, after the House leader finished introducing the drafted Utah Medical Cannabis Act, the questions began.
Lawmakers on the Health and Human Services Interim Committee wondered why the bill counts autism as a qualifying condition for receiving medical cannabis. What would stop the so-called “cannabis pharmacies” from competing to offer the most potent product? And why are physician assistants and nurse practitioners disqualified from recommending medical cannabis to a patient?
Rep. Brad Daw, the committee chairman, said legislators will have more opportunities to dissect the bill during the November special session on medical marijuana. But he said Wednesday’s meeting gave them a jumpstart.
"Now, the legislators can begin to tear through it, pick it apart and have their amendments ready to go," Daw, R-Orem, said in a phone interview after the meeting.
Overall, Daw said, lawmakers on his committee seem to like the legislation, unveiled by a group of Utah power brokers earlier this month as an alternative to Proposition 2.
Even Sen. Allen Christensen declared during the meeting that he would likely vote for the bill, Daw noted.
“He’s been one who’s been most adamantly opposed to anything cannabis. And if he says he’s voting for it, my guess is we’ve captured the vast majority of the Legislature,” Daw said.
Prop 2, on the other hand, has even encountered resistance from people who support medical cannabis in theory, Hughes said. In an attempt to find common ground, Hughes said he began meeting with medical marijuana advocates and a lobbyist with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and eventually, the compromise legislation was born.
Gov. Gary Herbert presented the proposal during a news conference earlier this month and promised to call a special session whether or not Prop 2 succeeds on the Nov. 6 ballot.
However, some marijuana advocates aren’t so convinced the special session – expected to fall on Nov. 14 – will be a win for Utah patients.
Christine Stenquist, president of TRUCE Utah, said the legislation is filled with “poison pills” that will ensure its failure. “You guys have introduced a compromise bill that is not finished,” she said. “You’ve told the entire state that you’ve got this, and I’m concerned that you don’t have this.”
While other advocates have backed off their campaigns, Stenquist has continued to push for passage of Prop 2, which she believes is a better bet for establishing a medical cannabis program.
She also expressed frustration that her group was not part of designing the consensus bill with Hughes and members of the Utah Patients Coalition.
A Patients Coalition leader, Connor Boyack, sat at Hughes' side Wednesday to field questions about the bill.
Boyack explained to lawmakers that the proposed list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis was based on scientific research, marijuana programs in other states and anecdotal evidence from patients. By passing the bill, Utah would not be sanctioning cannabis treatment for any particular ailment, he and Hughes said.
Answering Christensen’s concern that cannabis pharmacies would tout their products from billboards, Boyack noted that the legislation specifically bars businesses from advertising. And the potency of the product is controlled, with doctors and pharmacists setting the dosages, he added.
Boyack also reviewed some of the most significant differences between the ballot initiative he helped spearhead and the legislation that will come before lawmakers next month.
Critics of Prop 2 warned the initiative would allow medical marijuana dispensaries stocked with gummies, brownies and suckers that would appeal to Utah’s youth, with untrained workers behind the counter selling the products. The system would give the marijuana industry a foothold in Utah and lead the state toward complete legalization of recreational cannabis, they said.
To allay these concerns, Boyack said the Utah Medical Cannabis Act rebrands dispensaries as “cannabis pharmacies,” where licensed pharmacists would be on hand at all times to advise patients. Medical cannabis also would be dispensed through a state-run pharmacy that would ship orders for patients to pick up at their local health department.
Gone are most of the edibles, although gummies are still permitted if they’re cube-shaped. Unprocessed cannabis flowers must be sold in a blister-pack to control the dosage delivered to the patient, he explained.
Unlike Prop 2, the legislation would not allow physician assistants and nurse practitioners to recommend medical cannabis for patients, Boyack said, and doctors would have to complete four hours of specialized training before they’d be qualified to do so.
High on the list of groups making outside “independent expenditures” to help re-elect Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, is something unusual: the Virgin Islands Republican Party reports spending $204,000 to support her this election cycle.
Why would a group in the faraway Caribbean U.S. territory spend so much to help Love in Utah?
“It’s a scam,” says Dave Hansen, Love’s campaign manager, an assessment shared by watchdog groups and reporting by some newspapers nationally.
Hansen says the group sends solicitations to Republicans nationally that say Love “is a black Republican and we need to support her. Then they raise money and we get none of it. Basically, it’s a fundraiser for whoever is running the group.”
The thousands that the group reports spending on Love’s behalf went mostly for consultants who send letters to raise more money, disclosure forms show.
Congresswoman Mia Love answers a question as she and Salt Lake County mayor Ben McAdams take part in a debate at the Gail Miller Conference Center at Salt Lake Community College in Sandy as the two battle for Utah's 4th Congressional District on Monday, Oct. 15, 2018. (Scott G Winterton/)
"Some have called the Virgin Islands Republican Party a ‘scam PAC,’” says Brendan Fischer, director of the federal reform project of Campaign Legal Center, a watchdog group in Washington, D.C. While the committee is indeed operated by the Republican Party in the island territory, he notes it is not registered as a party arm but as a nonparty political action committee (PAC).
“The markers of a scam PAC are when a committee raises a lot of money from small-money donors with promises the funds will be used to support candidates or causes, and instead the money is used to support the PAC,” Fischer said.
Disclosure forms filed with the Federal Election Commission show that the Virgin Islands Republican Party raised about $2 million this election cycle — and about two-thirds of it came from small donors who gave less than $200, so their names are not disclosed. The committee donated only $5,000 to one candidate — which happened to be Love.
The rest was spent on PAC expenses such as fundraising. “The funds raised often benefit the political operatives associated with the PAC rather than the candidates or causes that they claim to support,” Fischer said. Often with scam PACs, he added, “The fundraising firms are associated with individuals running the PAC.”
Unusual ties, targets
The treasurer of the Virgin Islands Republican Party, Scott Mackenzie, does not live in the islands. He lives in the Virginia suburbs of Washington and helps operate several other conservative PACs.
One of them, Conservative StrikeForce, lost a court fight in 2015 after Ken Cuccinelli, a failed GOP gubernatorial candidate in Virginia, accused it of wrongly using his name to raise money. In a settlement, the PAC agreed to pay $85,000 and turn over donor lists.
Disclosure forms report that 10 Utahns gave at least $200 each to the Virgin Islands Republican Party this cycle. All of them are older — ranging in age from 61 to 98 with most in their late 80s or 90s, according to the Nexis backgrounding service. Most donors nationally to the group list their profession in forms as “retired.”
Fischer said a tactic of “scam PACs” is to target senior citizens “who may not regularly use the internet to do research into the groups they are supporting.”
None of those older Utah donors wanted to speak on the record. One said she does not remember donating to the group. The caretaker for a 98-year-old said that woman had been donating most of her savings to solicitors until the family stopped it recently — but she had no direct knowledge of the woman giving to the VIGOP.
One donor had died since his last contribution.
The San Antonio Express-News found in 2016 that several older Texans had also been targeted then by the Virgin Islands Republican Party with solicitations purporting to help Rep. Will Hurd of Texas, one of three black Republicans then in Congress (along with Love and Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.).
The Express-News reported that the Virgin Islands group sent an urgently worded appeal then that “liberal groups are attacking three black Republican candidates” — Scott, Love and Hurd — “and we must fight back before the Democrats destroy them.”
The chairman of the Virgin Islands Republican Party is John Canegata. He did not respond to Salt Lake Tribune questions about whether his group is a “scam PAC,” nor requests to explain more about its ads and operations.
He did say in an email why his group reports spending on behalf of Love.
“Congresswoman Love is a conservative hero and the VIGOP proudly supports her campaign," he wrote. “We do not discuss our campaign strategies before Election Day for the obvious reason that we don’t want our opponents to know what we plan to do to elect more solid Republicans such as Mia Love.”
Group faces little regulation
How is such a PAC allowed to operate? Fischer said the “FEC’s ability to go after scam PACs is fairly limited.” As long as they disclose their correct names somewhere on their solicitations, “there’s not much the FEC can do. The rules on fraudulent misrepresentation of campaign authority are pretty limited.”
He also said while federal rules ban candidates from using donations for personal purposes — from haircuts to mortgages or vacations — “those same personal-use restrictions do not apply to non-candidate political committees like the Virgin Island Republican Party. There really are no limitations whatsoever.”
He said the FEC has asked Congress for years to address problems with scam PACs. “But thus far, Congress has failed to act.”
He adds, “This not only hurts the donors who are getting ripped off, it also hurts the candidates by depriving them of resources.”
News stories nationally have explored controversy involving the Virgin Islands Republican Party.
Politico earlier this year reported that Canegata suggested that his group’s “behind the scenes” relationship with and donations to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke improved federal response to hurricane damage in his island.
U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, center, stands by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert during the Days of '47 Rodeo, on the Utah holiday Pioneer Day, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, in Salt Lake City. It's one of several events on the Pioneer Day holiday that celebrates the arrival of Mormon pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer) (Rick Bowmer/)
The Campaign Legal Center has also filed a complaint with the FEC contending that news stories said the Virgin Islands Republican Party had a 2017 fundraiser — in which attendees paid thousands of dollars to have their picture taken with Zinke — but said the group never disclosed who those donors are.
The Source, a news site in the Virgin Islands, reported this year that the GOP in the islands earlier had split in a raucous fight — with the faction headed by Canegata winning but being accused of running a scam PAC.
The New York Times in 2014 reported how money raised by the VIGOP went mostly to raise more money, and ended up in a bank in Virginia. It noted the PAC spent little in the Virgin Islands but donated to some other Republicans nationally.
The party also received attention when it elected nonresidents of the islands, including a political consultant from Michigan, as its delegates to the Republican National Convention in 2016 to help nominate President Donald Trump.
The West Jordan Jaguars were losing by 35 points late in the game, but defensive lineman John Penisini kept playing so relentlessly that the opposing coach became frustrated enough to order one more touchdown pass.
The coach apologized afterward to West Jordan’s Danny DuPaix, using the illogical explanation that Penisini’s unwavering effort “got me fired up.”
Label that episode an unintended consequence of Penisini's drive, the trait that has made him a valuable defensive tackle for Utah. He ranks third on the team with five tackles for loss in six games, and that statistic only begins to describe how well he's doing his job as a junior.
The website Pro Football Focus, with an army of analysts studying every play for FBS teams, made Penisini one of the Pac-12's five highest-graded defensive players through six weeks of the season. PFF labeled him “dominant” during his 32 snaps per game as part of Utah's rotation of tackles.
“You watch him practice, and it’s no surprise,” said Utah defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley. “He gets after it. Those guys are usually productive — high-motor guys that care and have the power and explosion he does, they’re going to make plays.”
That's what he did in West Jordan's program, then in a rebuilding stage. “He was a monster for us,” said DuPaix, who's now the offensive coordinator at Southern Virginia University. “You could tell that he was something special.”
Penisini played for WJ only as a senior in 2014, but DuPaix credits him with influencing the program even now. His presence in the weight room made an impact on future Jaguars, as coaches would bring junior high students to the school in hopes of encouraging them to stay in their boundaries.
Gary Andersen, then Oregon State's coach and now Penisini's position coach at Utah, was among the first recruiters to discover him. Andersen and Ilaisa Tuiaki, then OSU's defensive coordinator, offered him a scholarship but hoped to keep him a secret, knowing Penisini initially would have to attend a junior college for academic reasons.
But after Penisini posted OSU’s offer on social media, Scalley immediately called DuPaix to ask about him. Utah was where he wanted to go, and he stuck with the Utes through two years at Snow College. Penisini redshirted in his second season in Ephraim, having injured his shoulder and wanting to preserve a year’s eligibility at Utah. “He had a mature plan,” DuPaix said.
“I got myself back on track,” said Penisini, who thrived academically in Snow’s program for first-generation college students. “It’s a blessing.”
Ute defensive lineman John Penisini talks about his position group and the USC offense. pic.twitter.com/CqgyTJ1WxM— Kurt Kragthorpe (@tribkurt) October 17, 2018
Penisini played regularly for Utah last year and blossomed this season, after Ute coach Kyle Whittingham suggested he lose about 15 pounds. “He’s a svelte 315 now, which is prime weight for him,” Whittingham said. “He’s tough, he’s active, he plays with great pad level. He’s got great, natural use of hands. He’s strong at the point of attack, he’s a slippery pass rusher. I think he’s one of the most underrated defensive tackles in the conference.”
Penisini is not one of the Utes' most glamorous defensive players, and he's not even a starter. He's not a self-promoter, either. Requested for a post-practice interview this week, he brought the other defensive tackles: starters Leki Fotu and Pita Tonga and backup Hauati Pututau. Tonga and Pututau have two of Utah's five interceptions and end Bradlee Anae leads the team with 6½ sacks. But no defensive tackle has made nearly as many tackles as Penisini's 18.
And the linebackers appreciate how he occupies blockers, freeing them to make plays. “He's fun to play behind, because he holds double-teams,” said Cody Barton, who made a point of watching him during Monday's film session. “He does a great job. He's super strong. It doesn't look like he moves fast, but he's really quick.”
And he never stops competing. These days, that attribute is only helping his team.
The NBA regular season is here, and so is the Weekly Run.
On this week’s episode, Andy Larsen introduces new Jazz beat writer Eric Walden. How did Eric find himself as a Jazz beat writer, what will he bring to the job, and how can we best make fun of him?
Then, we talk about the Utah Jazz, and in particular, Vegas' over-unders for the important Jazz players. Will Ricky Rubio score 13 points per game? Will Rudy Gobert get 12 rebounds per contest? All that and much more is discussed.
Here’s a rundown of this week’s podcast:
At 1:05 • A revelation about Eric’s past.
At 2:30 • Getting to know Eric Walden
At 8:15 • Concerts in stadiums: good or not good?
At 10:40 • Jazz over-unders begin: how many points will Donovan Mitchell score?
At 15:20 • Rudy Gobert’s scoring and rebounding totals
At 21:50 • Ricky Rubio’s points and assists per game
At 28:20 • Derrick Favors' points and rebounds per game
At 33:18 • Joe Ingles' points per game and 3-point shooting percentage
You can subscribe and listen on iTunes. Or, hey, just listen below on SoundCloud:
When a person dies by suicide, those left behind are “catapulted on an emotional journey,” says Ronnie Walker, an advocate for survivors of suicide loss.
Walker — whose stepson, Chan, a promising Stanford student who struggled with bipolar disorder and died by suicide at 21 in 1995 — said that when it happens, often the first kind stranger a family member encounters is the person arranging the funeral.
“The grief is bigger than, say, the grief I felt when my mother passed [at 91],” said Walker, founder of Alliance of Hope for Suicide Loss Survivors, an online resource. She spoke at a seminar Tuesday during the National Funeral Directors Association’s international convention, held this week at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City.
A suicide in the family can often make people feel anxious, agitated, numb, confused, sad or dissociated from what’s going on around them, Walker said. She cited statistics that people close to someone who has died by suicide are 10 times more likely to have suicidal thoughts than other people — and are 80 percent more likely to drop out of school or quit their job than those grieving over someone who died of natural causes.
“You really do have to be quite delicate,” said Kurt Soffe, co-owner of Jenkins-Soffe Funeral Chapels in Murray and South Jordan. “The families will experience this explosion of emotion — they’ll get this raw, suffocating emotion. … You walk very slow with that family. If that family is not in a place to make decisions, you invite them to come back the next day.”
Soffe, who is a national spokesman for the convention, said his mortuary may handle around 40 suicide cases a year, among the 650 families for whom it provides funeral services. That number may be low, he said, because often the funeral director is at work before a medical examiner has made an official ruling if, for example, a drug overdose was accidental or deliberate.
“There are times we don’t know the cause of death until the family walks in the door,” Soffe said.
Walker asked people on the forums of Alliance of Hope’s website for comments to pass along to funeral directors, and most expressed gratitude for how directors handled the funeral. Some praised the funeral directors for their professionalism, their calm compassion, and for acting as a go-between for the media and badly behaved family members.
The two suggestions suicide loss survivors made, Walker said, were to ask funeral directors to help decrease the stigma of suicide and to provide specific resources for suicide loss survivors — like the resources Walker’s nonprofit provides.
Soffe said funeral directors understand they are dealing with families often at the lowest point in their lives.
“The No. 1 thing,” he said, “is to reassure them that the manner of death has no bearing on how to pay tribute to a life that’s lived.”
Anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts is asked to call the 24-Hour National Suicide Prevention Hotline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Utah also has crisis lines statewide and the SafeUT app offers immediate crisis intervention services for youths and a confidential tip program.
Albuquerque, N.M. • A popular language-learning app is adding Navajo to its portfolio.
KOB-TV reports that Duolingo has begun offering Navajo, or Dine, as a language option for learning on the mobile app.
Clayton Long, who is the head of the bilingual education for San Juan School District in Utah, tells the station that he and his students collaborated to develop the language lessons on the app.
The first of the courses were unveiled last week.
Long says a total of nine lessons he and others developed will be released in the coming months as part of the ongoing Duolingo project.
Los Angeles • Clayton Kershaw bounced back from one of his worst postseason starts with one of his best, pitching the Los Angeles Dodgers past the Milwaukee Brewers 5-2 Wednesday to move one win from a return trip to the World Series.
The Dodgers took a 3-2 lead in the NL Championship Series, boosted by Max Muncy’s go-ahead single in the sixth inning. Kershaw held the lead, scoring an insurance run in the seventh and then exiting.
Game 6 is Friday night in Milwaukee. The Brewers will start left-hander Wade Miley, who walked Cody Bellinger to open Game 5 before getting pulled in an interesting piece of strategy by manager Craig Counsell. Lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu will go for the Dodgers.
The Dodgers haven’t been in back-to-back World Series since losing to the Yankees in 1977 and ‘78. They were beaten by Houston in Game 7 last year.
The teams reconvened less than 15 hours after the Dodgers eked out a 2-1 victory Tuesday night on Cody Bellinger’s RBI single with two outs in a 13-inning game that lasted over five hours.
Kershaw was well-rested and masterful in allowing one run and three hits over seven. He struck out nine, all on breaking pitches, and walked two.
Kershaw recovered from the shortest postseason start of his career. He lasted just three innings in losing the NLCS opener while giving up five runs — four earned — at Miller Park.
“I don’t know if it was that much better, just a little bit better execution maybe. Maybe I threw some more curveballs today than I did in Game 1,” Kershaw said.
The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner pitched in and out of trouble in the third, when the Brewers loaded the bases and scored their lone run. Kershaw struck out Jesus Aguilar to end the third, the first of 13 consecutive batters that the left-hander retired.
Curtis Granderson hit an RBI double in the ninth. Kenley Jansen, the Dodgers’ third pitcher of the ninth, came in for the last two outs and the save.
Brewers star Christian Yelich, who nearly won the NL Triple Crown this season, was hitless in four at-bats. He is 3 for 20 without an RBI in the NLCS.
The Dodgers’ offense broke loose with five runs over the fifth, sixth and seventh innings that had the sellout crowd of 54,502 on its feet whipping blue towels and cheering loudly.
The team that hit a franchise and NL-leading 235 home runs in the regular season did it playing small ball instead, driving in all but one of its runs on singles.
Tied 1-all, Muncy grounded a 1-2 pitch from Brandon Woodruff into left field, scoring Justin Turner, who led off wiht a single. Pinch-hitter Yasiel Puig singled to center with two outs, bringing home Manny Machado after he was hit by a pitch from Corbin Burnes.
Los Angeles extended the lead to 5-1 in the seventh on Turner’s RBI single that scored Kershaw, who walked, and pinch-hitter Brian Dozier’s RBI groundout.
Kershaw has struggled in the postseason during his career, with his numbers never matching his excellence during the regular season.
But his outing Wednesday nearly matched what he did in Game 2 of the NL Division Series against Atlanta. Kershaw allowed two hits over eight shutout innings, struck out three and walked none in the best postseason outing of his career.
The Brewers led 1-0 in the third on Lorenzo Cain’s RBI double to deep center.
Milwaukee had gone scoreless over the final eight innings Tuesday and the first two innings Wednesday.
When legislators meet in a promised special session next month to address medical marijuana, they may also try to fix a problem that could in the next couple of years prevent Utahns from using their driver licenses to pass through airport security.
The Legislature’s Transportation Interim Committee took an initial step Wednesday to make that happen — endorsing a bill to make the fix, and calling for it to be considered in the expected special session.
The problem comes because the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is requiring Utah to reissue all of its driver licenses by Oct. 1, 2020 — to include a gold star on the front as a sign that Utah reviewed birth certificates or passports to prove license holders are U.S. citizens.
(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune) Security line at the Salt Lake International Airport in Salt Lake City Thursday October 5, 2017.
Without the gold star — which allows officers to see compliance at a glance — DHS is warning it would no longer accept Utah driver licenses at airport security or to enter federal facilities after the 2020 deadline.
The problem is, the Legislature in 2010 banned any further steps to comply with the federal REAL ID Act. Because of that state law — which was a protest over unfunded federal mandates — state officials say they cannot now legally add the required gold star without action by lawmakers to allow it.
Sponsors of the protest legislation, HB234, have both moved on from the Legislature. Former Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, retired earlier this year and then-Rep. Steve Sandstrom, also R-Orem, left in 2012.
State officials say the law presents a problem that could cost up to $5 million if the state moves slowly to address it, but perhaps only $3.4 million if it moves quickly. The cost might be even less, an estimated $2 million, if it acts in a special session next month.
That’s because more soon-to-expire licenses could be replaced with new ones containing a gold star at the same time drivers renew licenses, rather than sending a duplicate with the proper symbol later.
Christopher Caras, director of the Utah Driver License Division, said his agency could add the star to new licenses beginning in December, if the special session authorizes it in November.
“It will be critical to citizens of Utah who want to travel,” he said Wednesday. Caras added that every month of delay will cost about $80,000 in additional costs.
Gov. Gary Herbert promised earlier this month to call a special session next month regardless whether the Proposition 2 initiative on medical marijuana is approved by voters to consider compromise legislation hammered out in weeks of behind-the-scenes negotiation among state lawmakers, faith leaders and medical cannabis advocates.
This Pat Bagley cartoon appears in The Salt Lake Tribune on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018. You can check out the past 10 Bagley editorial cartoons below:Eat the PoorTrump’s BFFsFirst LadiesThe Face of the Supreme CourtGeneral Conference Closed Captioning Scary for Young MenA New Trail of TearsBelieve HerWomen’s WorkKavanaugh’s Gang
Want more Bagley? Become a fan on Facebook.
Washington • Outside groups are pouring more than $1.5 million into television ads in Utah amid a neck-and-neck race between Rep. Mia Love and Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams.
The bulk of the money, some $1.14 million, is coming from the Congressional Leadership Fund, a political action committee aligned with House Speaker Paul Ryan who is trying to retain a GOP majority in the chamber against a possible blue wave.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has reserved $235,000 in commercial time in Salt Lake City as Democrat McAdams attempts to unseat Republican Love in a bitterly fought campaign.
Another Democratic group, Patriot Majority USA, is expected to toss in some $500,000 in the state for commercials raising questions about Love’s campaign contributions and office spending.
The outside spending, which is not directly tied to either campaign, is detailed in reports filed by television stations and cable networks with the Federal Communications Commission as well as media buyer information.
Outside groups can legally run such ads as long as it is not in concert with a candidate's committee.
“The choice is clear,” says a narrator in the Congressional Leadership Fund ad. “Mia will help grow the economy. McAdams will grow government. We can’t afford Ben McAdams.”
The ad echoes the argument Love has made about McAdams.
Patriot Majority USA's ad hits Love on accepting $1 million in campaign donations for a primary she never faced, an issue the Federal Election Commission has said may have violated the law. (Love said the FEC has cleared her of any wrongdoing, a point the FEC has not confirmed.)
“It’s another scandal for Mia Love,” the narrator intones, citing news stories about the primary contributions and older articles about reimbursing her congressional office for flights to Washington to attend the swanky White House Correspondents' Association dinner.
This year's race between Love and McAdams appears to be a nail-biter.
A Salt Lake Tribune-Hinckley Institute of Politics poll recently found the race for the 4th Congressional District a dead heat with each grabbing 46 percent of voters and 8 percent undecided. The Cook Political Report, a political handicapper, calls the race a “toss up” after moving it from a previous rating as “lean Republican.”
The DCCC, the Democrat's House campaign arm, is spending millions across the country trying to win back the chamber. A spokesman for the group says McAdams is a solid candidate and the DCCC wants to have his back.
"Ben McAdams is a game-changing candidate – he puts this seat in play,” said DCCC spokesman Andrew Godinich. “No question at all about that."
Republicans hold a 42-seat majority in the House but are defending a large number of GOP-leaning seats in the midterm election. Political forecasters say Republicans are likely to lose a slew of seats and, possibly, control of the chamber.
FiveThirtyEight, a date-driven analysis outlet, says Democrats have an 83 percent chance of winning the House.
The Congressional Leadership Fund, which is backed by GOP leaders, did not respond to questions about its Utah ad buys but noted in a news release recently that its ad against McAdams “contrasts Mia Love’s efforts to rein in government spending and lower taxes” with McAdams spending in Salt Lake County.
Neither the Love nor McAdams campaign can tell the outside groups what to say or how much to spend and both camps say they’re focused on their own messages to voters.
“We just have to deal with it,” says Love campaign manager Dave Hansen. “Obviously we can't coordinate with them or their messages or anything like that.”
He called the Patriot Majority USA ads “over-the-top false” but praised the Congressional Leadership Fund spots as fair in showing a contrast between the candidates.
McAdams' campaign manager, Andrew Roberts, said his team isn't paying attention to the outside ads other than monitoring what they say.
“The mayor has run a strong campaign up to this point and has been able to make his case to the voters without their help,” Roberts said.
A Utah Valley University wrestler has been charged with rape and suspended from the team.
Dayton Lee Racer, 22, has been charged with first-degree felony rape after a 20-year-old woman reported on June 24 that he sexually assaulted her at the Bonanza Campout Music Festival at River’s Edge Resort in Heber.
According to the probable cause statement, the woman told police she was attending the event with friends when she entered Racer’s tent. She told him “multiple times that she was not there for anything sexual.” She said the two of them took the drug Molly and drank alcohol, and “the next thing she remembered was waking up in the tent in the morning” with Racer sexually assaulting her.
A UVU spokesman confirmed that Racer is a student there and joined the wrestling team this season. He spent the previous two seasons wrestling at Iowa Central Community College, where he won a NJCAA national championship in 2017, and Oregon’s Clackamas Community College.
UVU said in a statement that Racer has been suspended from the team, adding, “We are aware of the allegations, but can’t comment on a pending investigation.”
Racer’s initial court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 7.
A list of recommendations aimed at improving school safety in Utah, including on-campus mental-health professionals and the retrofitting of aging buildings to restrict access, could cost the state nearly $100 million in its first year, according to numbers provided to lawmakers on Wednesday.
The recommendations, similar to the recent findings of the Utah School Safety Commission, were presented to members of the Education Interim Committee by State Superintendent Sydnee Dickson and Christy Walker, a safety specialist with the Utah Board of Education.
“There’s been a lot of mental-health concerns growing in our communities and our schools,” Walker said.
Lawmakers were pitched on the idea of providing funding to create threat assessment and student support teams at Utah’s public schools, and a coordinating school safety center at the Utah Board of Education.
But significant cost estimates came in the form of $30 million annually to hire or contract with mental-health professionals for on-site work with students, and $65 million to create single points of entry and add other security measures at the state’s existing schools.
After the first year, the retrofitting costs could be reduced to $33 million to maintain and upgrade surveillance technology and security software, Dickson said.
During the presentation, Rep. Eric Hutchings, R-Kearns, emphasized that the state’s priority should be the physical safety of students, rather than emotional well-being.
Both approaches are “critical," he said, but schools already sponsor clubs aimed at inclusion and an employee hired to assess threats should not be involved in advising things like LGBT support groups.
“I would want to make certain that we don’t have a position that forgets that they’re there to keep kids from getting shot and physically harmed,” Hutchings said, “and instead focuses on positive affirmations.”
The committee did not take a vote on any of the proposals Wednesday. And additional legislation aimed at gun ownership and the seizure of weapons through court order is anticipated in the upcoming legislative session.
Dickson said a school safety advisory committee — composed of representatives from the Utah Board of Education, Department of Public Safety, Division of Human Services and other education and government entities — would continue to meet quarterly to evaluate initiatives.
“It’s not just about meeting a few times and coming up with recommendations,” she said. “It’s really about ongoing coordination.”
And Rep. Ray Ward, R-Bountiful, who facilitated the meetings of the Utah School Safety Commission, said he plans to sponsor legislation based on Dickson’s presentation.
“I will be bringing back to you a bill that reflects, in large part, many of these priorities you have heard,” he said.
Utah state government ended the fiscal year with some $265 million in surplus, elected leaders announced Wednesday.
Under state budget law, $107 million will automatically go into so-called “rainy day” or reserve accounts as a buffer against down times. That leaves an additional $158 million — $150 million from state income tax and another $8 million in sales tax revenue.
The state’s fiscal year ended June 30.
“This one-time surplus revenue will help our Legislature lend short-term support to our education system for one-time expenses such as buildings," Gov. Gary Herbert said in a prepared statement. "But we still need a long-term solution to fund excellence in our classrooms.”
Automatic transfers totaling $107 million were made to reserve accounts, with $65 million of that going into the education reserve, $30 million in Medicaid reserve and $12 million into other rainy day accounts.
Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, said the estimated surplus reflects "our growing economy, but we must continue to be conservative when planning the entire state budget to ensure we find the correct fiscal balance.”
Speaker Greg Hughes, R-Draper, echoed the slow-as-you-go message. "We must remain vigilant as we plan for our future to continue investing in critical areas such as education, transportation, public safety and our rainy day fund,” Hughes said in a prepared statement.
Sacramento, Calif. • The spotlight will be squarely on Donovan Mitchell as the Jazz start the season, but Mitchell doesn’t want to change how he approaches his job: “I have to treat it the same as I did last year: being humble, coming into it with a selfless mindset.”
But Mitchell is smart enough to know he will be treated differently; he’ll be at the top of opposition scouting reports.
“The game plan for the other team [changes] — the way they guard me in the pick and roll, the way they guard me off the ball,” Mitchell said before Wednesday’s season-opening tipoff against the Sacramento Kings. “I’m not going to be able to sneak around like I did last year.”
He also says he’s more “poised”, and more “relaxed” coming into the season this year, as opposed to last season where Mitchell’s youthful energy got him into occasional trouble. But he acknowledges that there’s an additional factor, too: playing the Kings on the road Wednesday is an easier test compared to what comes later in the week: a Friday home matchup on national TV against the defending champion Golden State Warriors.
Allen ready to start career against old teammate
Grayson Allen thinks he might feel some of those first-game jitters.
“I’m really excited for it to be my first official game now. I feel like I kind of got the nervousness of it out of the way, but we’ll see. When the game time comes I’ll probably be nervous, it’ll probably come back, but I’m just really excited to get this going,” Allen said.
With the arrival of the regular season comes an entirely different schedule, too. Preseason is played at an almost collegiate pace: with five games in 23 training camp days, it’s very different than the regular season. Now, though, the Jazz play their first five games in an 11-day stretch.
″Things are starting to go by a lot faster since we’re traveling and playing a lot more games now, but I know it’s going to be fun," Allen said. "I’m going to enjoy every moment of it.”
Allen, by the way, will see a familiar face in the opposition: rookie Marvin Bagley Jr., who also played for Duke last year. They talked after last Thursday’s preseason game against the Kings, though not since.
Raul Neto will miss at least the next week with what the team is calling a right hamstring injury. He’s scheduled to be re-evaluated next Wednesday. Thabo Sefolosha is suspended for the first five games after violating the terms of the NBA’s Anti-Drug Program last season.
For the Kings, former Jazz draftee Kosta Koufos is out with a hamstring strain of his own. Sharpshooting Bogdan Bogdanovic will also miss Wednesday’s game, he’s recovering from minor knee surgery.
Cafe Trio Park City closed its doors recently, about 18 months after opening in Kimball Junction.
Owner Mikel Trapp is not sure why the popular restaurant chain — which has two successful locations in the Salt Lake Valley — didn’t work in Park City. But he has a few theories.
One is the Park City employee pool, which is more seasonal than Salt Lake City; as a result, it’s more difficult to find long-term employees. Additionally, the Park City market is extremely competitive.
Trapp expressed disappointment that the location didn’t pan out, especially because so many employees depended on the work. But in closing the location, at 6585 N. Landmark Drive, he tried to ensure the majority of the Park City employees could relocate to Trio’s other locations.
As for future endeavors, Trio and its affiliated restaurant Current Fish and Oyster have made a bid to open a location at the Salt Lake International Airport, now under construction. If they succeed, the new site would join the Salt Lake City and Cottonwood Heights locations.
The BYU women’s basketball team faces a rebuilding season after losing three starters to graduation last year, but the coaches in the West Coast Conference are still giving the Cougars plenty of respect.
BYU was picked to finish third in the WCC women’s basketball race this upcoming season by the 10 WCC coaches who voted in the preseason poll.
BYU junior Brenna Chase, the team’s leading returning scorer, and sophomore Sara Hamson made the preseason team.
Gonzaga received seven of 10 first-place votes and put a league-high three players on the preseason All-WCC team. The Zags went 27-6 last year and won their second-straight WCC regular-season title.
Saint Mary’s received two first-place votes and was picked to finish second. BYU, which went 16-14 last year, received one first-place vote. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own teams.
Chase, from Thornton, Colo., was an WCC first-team selection last year and Hamson was the WCC Defensive Player of the Year. Hamson, who also plays volleyball for the Cougars, sustained an ACL injury last summer and is not expected to return to the team until Dec. 1.
Woodstock, Conn. • The puppeteer who has played Big Bird on “Sesame Street” is retiring after nearly 50 years on the show.
Caroll Spinney tells The New York Times that Thursday will be his last day on the program, which he joined from the start in 1969. In addition to Big Bird, the 84-year-old was Oscar the Grouch. Spinney says, “I always thought, how fortunate for me that I got to play the two best Muppets.”
He says the physical requirements of performing the characters had become difficult and he developed problems with his balance. He stopped doing the puppeteering for Big Bird in 2015 and now only provides the voices for him and Oscar.
His apprentice, Matt Vogel, will succeed him in the Big Bird role. Vogel also plays Kermit the Frog.
As he stepped on to the field for his first Major League Soccer start in July, Real Salt Lake right back Aaron Herrera felt the nerves flow though him. And while he had spent the week leading up to the game making sure he was as mentally sharp as possible, it still took a while for the butterflies to float away.
Even now, with almost an entire regular season under his belt, Herrera still can’t comprehend the idea that he is a professional soccer player.
“I still don’t think it’s hit me,” Herrera said. “Sometimes I sort of forget that this is my job now.”
But the MLS rookie and homegrown player has proven he belongs in the league. He has started the last 12 games for RSL and averaged 89.2 minutes in those starts — numbers commensurate with veterans. And it’s all come as somewhat of a surprise to him.
Herrera wasn’t supposed to see the field with RSL much at all this season. He expected to spend the majority of the time playing with the Monarchs. If he did get to share the field with RSL’s first team, he thought, it would only be during the occasional training session.
But during the preseason, injuries to other players and the lineup shifts that followed allowed Herrera to sneak in to the list of available players. He was slated to play against FC Dallas in the season’s opener before he suffered a hamstring injury that kept him out six weeks.
“It was tough,” Herrera said of the injury. “Ever since then, I had to work my way back in.”
That did not prove too cumbersome for Herrera, who has worked his way in to beneficial situations for his entire soccer career. Growing up in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and playing for club teams as a boy, Herrera always competed with and against players a year older than he, said RSL assistant coach Freddy Juarez, who is from Las Cruces and coached a young Herrera.
When it got the point where competition in his hometown was too easy for him, Herrera moved to Arizona and joined RSL’s academy.
“He needed a different level,” Juarez said. “There was only so much home could do.”
At first, however, Herrera struggled to compete at the same level as his academy teammates. Physically, he was much smaller at the time. But Herrera became a gym rat, lifting weights before and after practice. He was a frequent participant in soccer tennis. Anything Herrera could do to improve, he did.
“The dedication has always been there,” said RSL defender Justen Glad, who attended the academy with Herrera. “That’s just how he is.”
Meanwhile, Jeremy Fishbein, head coach of the University of New Mexico’s men’s soccer team, watched Herrera from afar. Fishbein saw potential in him since his days at the academy. But it wasn’t until Herrera’s final year, when he started to match and surpass his competition, that Fishbein thought he could mold Herrera into a professional.
Herrera’s last year at the academy coincided with his involvement in the U.S. Soccer’s under-20 men’s national team. In 2017, he went South Korea and competed in the U-20 World Cup with Glad, Sebastian Saucedo, Brooks Lennon and Danny Acosta.
That experience told Fishbein that Herrera was ready for the next level. He recruited Herrera to UNM, where he played three seasons before signing his contract with RSL.
Herrera said his rookie season has gone better than he could have imagined. But it hasn’t been without its adjustments.
While he is primarily a left-footed player, Herrera has been relegated to playing on the right side of the field. RSL head coach Mike Petke, who said he saw “something special” in Herrera, likes how the rookie defender has adjusted to that role.
“He’s playing out of position a little bit, but he’s still taking the opportunity and running with it,” Petke said.
Accepting his role is not the only way Herrera has shown his professionalism over the course of the season. He said he has picked up weightlifting and training habits from veterans like Damir Kreilach and Kyle Beckerman. About a month ago, he started going to Juarez and asking to review film so he can see what areas of his game he can improve.
“As a young player, [if] you get too confident, you start getting complacent and you start thinking that you’ve made it and stuff like that,” Saucedo said. “He’s just complete opposite.”
But in some ways, soccer still feels to Herrera like it did at UNM. Like it did when he was a skinny teenager at the RSL academy. Like it did when he was a little boy from New Mexico who once scored on a goal in the wrong net after being asked to switch teams in the middle of a U-6 practice.
“It still just feels the same,” Herrera said. “I just enjoy it like I always have when I was young.”
Over the last 40 years, the brutal murder of Anthony Adams has been described as a hate crime, a political assassination and a robbery gone bad. But one description never applied is “solved.”
The cold case is one of many being re-examined by the Salt Lake City Police Department. And Adams’ murder is notable not only for its enduring mystery, but also for the evidence that has allegedly gone missing as the city continues to try to find his killer.
On this week’s episode of “Trib Talk,” Eric S. Peterson, founder and director of The Utah Investigative Journalism Project, joins Tribune reporter Benjamin Wood to explore the ongoing investigation into Adams' death. The case includes old history, new leads and a breakdown in evidence handling before and after the creation of a state crime lab.
A word for young people, people of color and, in particular, young people of color:
The Republicans are scared of you.
Maybe you find that hard to believe. Maybe you wonder how the party can be scared of you — or of anybody — given that it controls all three branches of the federal government and most of the nation’s statehouses. You’re worried about paying your student loans, putting food on the table, getting home without becoming some cop’s mistake, and the GOP is scared of you?
In a word: Yes.
See, the party knows that if everybody votes, it can’t win. That’s simple math. The Republican electorate skews sharply older and white. Polling from The Roper Center at Cornell University says whites went for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016 by 57 percent to 37 percent, while people of color strongly supported her, African Americans giving her 89 percent of their vote. Trump also lost big among young voters, but won big among their elders.
This dependence on older whites is a problem for the GOP, given that the United States is fast moving toward a younger, nonwhite majority. The Census Bureau predicts that, well before midcentury, America will be a nation where no racial group enjoys a numerical advantage. And the authoritative FiveThirtyEight blog reports that the white median age in this country is 43, while for Asians it’s 36, for African-Americans 34 and for Latinos 29.
As the trend lines are clear, so is the party’s solution: Keep you from voting. Thus, as we approach a critical midterm election, the GOP is embracing voter suppression with a brazenness not seen since Bloody Sunday in 1965.
In Bismarck, N.D., lawmakers have passed a photo ID law that requires residents to show a current street address. And surely it’s only unfortunate coincidence that many American Indians live on reservations that don’t use street addresses, only P.O. boxes, which the law doesn’t recognize.
In Georgia, Secretary of State and GOP gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp is being sued over the state’s so-called “exact match” law, in which voter registration applications are flagged if the voter’s identifying information fails to match state records, down to such picayune matters as missing hyphens and transposed letters. More than 53,000 people are said to have been affected, most of them people of color.
In Tallahassee in July, a federal judge decried “a stark pattern of discrimination” against young people in Florida’s blocking of early voting at colleges and universities. Across the country, nearly a thousand polling places have been shut down in recent years, many in Southern black communities. In Cuthbert, Ga., in August, the elections board beat back a plan to close seven of the nine polling places in a county that just happens to be majority black. Meantime, Stacey Abrams just happens to be running to become Georgia’s — and the nation’s — first black woman governor.
If you are a young person, a person of color or a young person of color, then, you may well face long lines, paperwork and other headaches as you seek to exercise your constitutional rights next month. Please persevere. That’s the only way to elect people who understand that access to the ballot is a fundamental principle of democracy. It is the only way to rescue this country.
Don’t let anyone tell you your vote doesn’t matter. Ask yourself: If your ballot weren’t important, would Republicans work so hard to keep you from casting it? Of course not. I’ll say it again: They are scared of you.
Please show them that they have reason to be.
Leonard Pitts Jr. (CHUCK KENNEDY/)
Leonard Pitts is a columnist for The Miami Herald. [email protected]
There’s a question I’ve been asked several times since voters received their ballots in the mail: Why on earth are we being asked to raise the gas tax to pay for education?
It does seem odd. Gas taxes usually pay for roads. Hiking the tax at the pump to pay for schools makes about as much sense as taxing liquor to help pay for school lunches (which, by the way, we also do in this state).
So voters are, perhaps justifiably, a little wary. As one reader who called me recently wondered, if she voted for the gas tax increase, would all the money just end up going to road construction?
Understand this: At its core, a vote for Question 1, while technically nonbinding, is a vote to support infusing about $120 million into our lagging education system. A defeat would doom any chance for a major boost to our schools.
That’s the big picture. The mechanics are a little more complicated — and opponents have used the complexity to their advantage. So, let me break it down.
For decades, Utah lawmakers bent over backward to avoid raising taxes. It forced them to play a shell game, taking money meant for one purpose and using it to try to meet other demands.
Let’s start with the gas tax. Historically, the idea behind the gas tax has been that it should fund construction and maintenance of roads. And for decades, that worked. But as demands increased, legislators resisted increasing the gas tax to keep up with inflation.
By 2013, Utahns were paying a lower percentage of their income toward the gas tax than they had at any time since its inception in 1929, when Studebakers and Ford Model A’s ruled the road, according to a report by the nonpartisan Utah Foundation.
Instead of raising the gas tax, lawmakers would siphon money from other programs, and that got a lot easier in 1996. Until then, K-12 education was paid for exclusively by income tax revenue, and higher education was paid for by sales tax. But voters approved an amendment to the constitution that allowed income tax money to pay for both public and higher education.
The 1996 amendment meant that all that sales tax money that had been paying for colleges and universities could suddenly be spent on other things — things like, you probably guessed it, roads.
On top of that, the Legislature passed a substantial income tax cut under Gov. Jon Huntsman that eroded the education fund, right in time for the state to be walloped by the recession.
Higher ed became the Legislature’s piggy bank as lawmakers pulled money out and spread the education money thinner and thinner.
Nowhere was this diversion more evident than in 2011, when the Legislature adopted SB229, sponsored by Sen. Stuart Adams, which earmarked sales tax money to cover a shortfall in the road construction needs.
In 2015, the Legislature finally found the courage to raise the gas tax, but just by a nickel. With Utah facing a projected $11 billion shortfall in road funding, it’s not nearly enough.
Utah’s shell game of a tax system is broken and unsustainable. And the blame for that falls squarely on state legislators who are more concerned about political fallout than making smart choices about balancing the state’s needs and the state’s revenue.
Senate President Wayne Niederhauser said that a few years ago education advocates came to him proposing an increase in the income tax. The solution, he suggested, wasn’t income tax; it was raising the gas tax and rebalancing the entire tax structure.
Which brings us back to Question 1, the ballot question asking voters to support a 10-cent-per-gallon gas tax increase.
If we vote for this, then legislators have said they would put the $120 million in gas tax money into roads, and all that money that had been diverted to asphalt can go back into education.
It won’t simply go back into some giant pool of education dollars — it will go directly to local schools, where local councils can decide how it can best be used. On average, per-pupil spending will increase by $150. If you want, you can go to ourschoolsnow.com and see exactly how much will go directly to your child’s school.
“I think it’s a giant step in the right direction to create a better balance for both our infrastructure and education,” Niederhauser said. “We have limited funds, and we need to address that.”
Unfortunately, opponents of the education increase, namely the Koch Brothers-bankrolled Americans for Prosperity, are using the complexity to confuse voters. And it may be working.
The poll by The Salt Lake Tribune and Hinckley Institute of Politics out this week showed that 51 percent of registered voters oppose the gas tax increase — a really bad spot for proponents to be in, since typically undecided voters end up voting no on ballot propositions, especially tax hikes.
Theoretically, the Legislature could still boost education funding if the ballot question fails.
“They won’t. I guarantee it,” said Niederhauser, who is retiring at the end of the year. It would be better not to have put it on the ballot at all, he said, than have it fail, “because then you have a public opinion of voters that don’t want the increase … almost a mandate not to do more.”
It would relegate Utah schools to the bottom of the pack for the foreseeable future; it would mean years of graduates unprepared for college or the job market; and it would leave businesses without a qualified workforce.
We can’t let that happen. Don’t let the opponents muddy the waters. Understand the issue and talk to your friends and neighbors; encourage them to vote for Question 1. It’s the best way — the only way, really — we will see a measurable improvement in the state’s starved school system.
The Weekly Run is The Salt Lake Tribune’s weekly newsletter on the Utah Jazz. Subscribe here.
While the NBA season officially kicked off Tuesday night with Celtics-Sixers and Warriors-Thunder, most of the rest of the league tips off tonight, including the Jazz, who will face the Sacramento Kings at 8 p.m. MT.
There’s more hype surrounding this iteration of the franchise than there has been in years. A 29-6 stretch run, a playoff series victory, and the return of almost everyone from that roster will have that effect.
When asked how this team compares to last year’s at the same time, Donovan Mitchell was initially self-deprecating.
“To be honest with you, I barely remember! I’d like to forget the first 10 games of [last] season,” he said.
Ultimately, though, he expressed excitement, noting that an extra year of experience for almost everyone on the roster ought to make a huge difference.
“The one thing I did notice, for me personally … there was a lot of uncertainty last year. We didn’t know what the hell to expect. Obviously, losing Gordon was tough, we had six or seven new guys trying to learn the offense,” Mitchell said. “Now this year, we really only have Tyler, Grayson as the only two new guys. And those guys are catching on so fast. We know where we need to be, we know our spots. So it’s a lot easier for us to come in this year with the expectations and knowing what we need to do.”
Because we’re not all stuck in a time-warp (as far as we know), some things will be different, of course. Derrick Favors was “dead-ass serious” in working on his long-range shooting. Quin Snyder is emphasizing taking more 3s in general. Ricky Rubio has gotten more acclimated to playing off the ball. Dante Exum expects to spend some time at the 3, and Thabo Sefolosha, once he returns from suspension, figures he’ll get plenty of minutes at the four.
One thing that won’t change, so long as Snyder is around, is the team’s commitment to defense.
The coach acknowledged that it wasn’t where he wanted it to be in a couple of the preseason games. But he also feels like it’s coming around, just in time for the games that count.
“A lot of it, for us, is just focus, mentally. Some of our habits are there. But like anything, if you don’t do it, it can cease to become a habit. Sometimes there’s a sense that, in practice you work on those things but in a game you get to do whatever you want to, and there’s maybe less attention to detail in that sense, less concentration,” he said. “I feel like, the last couple games, we’ve been able to drill down on that. I think that’s what competition does for you. Sometimes, in the moment, competition helps you focus.”
THE WEEK IN REVIEW
• Sans Gordon Hayward and off to a 19-28 start a year ago, both pundits and opponents may have overlooked and underestimated the Jazz. They know that won’t be the case this season. [Tribune]
• For more than a decade under Jerry Sloan and Ty Corbin, the Jazz were always one of the league’s worst teams in free throws allowed, which hindered the efficacy of the defense. The Trib’s Andy Larsen explains how Snyder has been changing that. [Tribune]
• Obliteration. Annihilation. Total and utter destruction. Whatever you label it, that’s what the Jazz did to the Kings in their preseason finale. So with the rematch coming in tonight’s season opener, how does Utah avoid being overconfident based on that result? [Tribune]
• More from Andy: The last time Alec Burks was totally healthy and playing a major role for the Jazz was 2013-14. But he’s been one of the team’s best off the bench this preseason. Longtime teammate Derrick Favors declared AB is back to where he was. Burks says he’s actually much better now. [Tribune]
• More still from Andy: Thabo Sefolosha will sit out the season’s first five games after being suspended for violating the NBA’s anti-drug program. His absence could be an opportunity for former G-League standout Georges Niang, who will be with the Jazz full-time this year. [Tribune]
• The Tribune’s Digital Life reporter, Sean P. Means, came upon a Vice food blog which revealed that London restaurateur Gordon McGowan has a trendy cocktail bar there named after former Jazz point guard John Stockton. [Tribune]
ICYMI … THE SEASON PREVIEW SECTION
• Mitchell became beloved in the community not merely for his on-court exploits, but for scheduling events at high schools, attending college football games, attending random pool parties, even buying people’s groceries, the Trib’s Christopher Kamrani wrote. Mitchell is learning, though, that much as he may want to, he can’t say yes to everything. [Tribune]
• There were no expectations of the Jazz a season ago. There sure are now. So what do we expect now that we’re expecting? What exactly is this team’s ceiling? [Tribune]
• Rudy Gobert is on record as saying, “We want to be world champs.” Tribune columnist Gordon Monson takes a look at whether the Defensive Player of the Year is delusional or actually on to something. [Tribune]
• Andy explores the intriguing tale of Grayson Allen, from how he wound up in a Jazz uniform, to the surprising contributions he may make as a rookie, at least if his preseason performance means anything. [Tribune]
• Many fans of the team got sticker shock when restricted free agent guard Dante Exum was retained with a new three-year, $33 million contract. But the former lottery pick and oft-injured Aussie is determined to prove he can still be the player the team thought it was getting five years ago. [Tribune]
SOME OTHER PERSPECTIVES
• Deseret News columnist Brad Rock takes note of the fever pitch going on locally about the Jazz and issues words of caution that it may be best to not expect too much. [DN]
• Meanwhile, Reid Forgrave of cbssports.com went the opposite direction in his “Bold NBA predictions” column, prognosticating an NBA Finals matchup between the Toronto Raptors … and the Utah Jazz. [CBSSN]
• Jonathan Tjarks of The Ringer also gives the Jazz a shot at the Finals in his “Best Case, Worst Case” assessment. The latter, at least, simply has the Jazz making the playoffs but going nowhere in them. [Ringer]
• Analytics website fivethirtyeight.com rates the Jazz as the fifth-best team in the league, and gives them a 98-percent chance to make the playoffs, a nine-percent chance to make the Finals, and a five-percent chance to win it all. [fivethirtyeight]
THE WEEKLY RUN PODCAST RETURNS
The podcast is back! I make my debut, and the deceptively benevolent-looking Andy quickly throws me to the wolves by revealing my deepest, darkest, dirtiest secret. Also, we take a took at some Jazz over/unders from Bovada.
In its push to address affordable housing, the Salt Lake City Council voted Tuesday to loosen zoning rules on so-called mother-in-law apartments with hopes of opening up new, smaller dwellings across the city’s residential neighborhoods.
A common feature of the city’s housing stock decades ago, so-called accessory dwelling units — basement apartments, ones inside or above garages and those in separate buildings in yards — have for years been limited in Utah’s capital to locales a half-mile or less from Salt Lake City’s TRAX stops.
But after years of debate and public input, the City Council voted 5-1 late Tuesday to approve zoning changes that essentially allow such dwellings citywide, although with some conditions on permitting in certain areas dominated by single-family homes. Only Councilman Charlie Luke was opposed, calling the new rules “unenforceable.”
The city’s new approach also eases some requirements on entrances and setbacks for ADUs, as well as rules for parking by letting driveways and available street parking spaces suffice.
The new rules would require that a property owner live in either the accessory dwelling or the main residence, a move planners said was designed to curtail private absentee owners from buying up ADUs as commercial rentals. Accessory dwelling owners also would be licensed by the city.
The changes are welcomed by many city residents as a way of easing an ongoing housing crunch and helping give homeowners new flexibility. But many other residents have been deeply opposed, warning that large numbers of new pocket dwellings could disrupt parking and the quality of life in established residential areas.
Council Chairwoman Erin Mendenhall urged passage of the changes and praised her colleagues for the “blood, sweat and tears” in analyzing city policy on ADUs over the years. She said the issue not only centered on housing affordability but also would allow residents to “age in place” and not be forced to move as their housing needs change.
“This is not about cheap apartments created overnight, but rather access to housing for the longer term,” Mendenhall said.
After hearing public testimony Tuesday, Councilman Derek Kitchen rejected staff recommendations to delay final approval of the ADU changes for further review. He asked colleagues to overlook uncertainties and approve the measure, “see how it shakes out in our community” and then revisit the ordinance in a few years.
“This will not fix the affordable housing crisis,” but it was worth trying, Kitchen said, even if the dwellings it added to the housing market pushed down rents “only nominally.”
Councilman Chris Wharton said new ADUs spurred by the changes could also provide housing for students, young professionals and lower-income residents in “higher-opportunity” neighborhoods that were safer, had better schools and offered historic character.
Based on a study of similar zoning changes in Denver and Portland, planners estimate they could spur construction of between four and 25 new ADUs per year in Salt Lake City neighborhoods. Officials expect the first ADUs created under the new ordinances to be in homes, although the new rules cover attached and detached dwellings.
But Luke said that after years of discussion, the new rules remained too vague and “had the potential to drastically change the look and feel of neighborhoods.”
“In nine years [of debate],” Luke said, “nobody has been able to tell me how this is going to be enforced and how we’re going to protect the neighborhoods we have.”
WASHINGTON -- Poor Elizabeth Warren.
She took President Trump's bait and submitted to a DNA test to demonstrate her Native American genealogy -- and, in so doing, may have doomed her presidential campaign before it began. Now the Massachusetts senator is not only enduring Trump's "Pocahontas" insults (at least when he's not calling another woman "Horseface") but also being disparaged by Indian tribes.
"Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage," proclaimed the Cherokee Nation, decrying her "inappropriate and wrong" use of a DNA test, a "mockery" that dishonors "legitimate" tribal citizens.
Ouch. But I can understand why the Cherokees -- and indeed all people of good taste -- might wish to disavow Warren: It's the crab mayonnaise.
Among the many unfortunate results of Warren's recent DNA test suggesting she's somewhere between 1/64th and 1/1,024th Native American by ethnicity: It inevitably draws attention to her contribution to the '80s cookbook, "Pow Wow Chow: A Collection of Recipes from Families of the Five Civilized Tribes." Under "Elizabeth Warren, Cherokee," it lists five recipes, three of which were apparently cribbed from the New York Times and Better Homes and Gardens.
Worse, one of the recipes she submitted: "Crab with Tomato Mayonnaise Dressing." A traditional Cherokee dish with mayonnaise, a 19th-century condiment imported by settlers? A crab dish from landlocked Oklahoma? This can mean only one thing: canned crab.
Warren is unfit to lead.
Yet it is difficult not to feel sorry for Warren. Though she doesn't claim tribal membership, she clearly wants to be embraced. And so I extend an invitation to the senator to join my tribe. Warren should become a Jew. As Trump said when asking for African-American votes shortly before praising Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee: "Honor us."
The Tribes of Israel have little to do with Native American tribes beyond the Yiddish-speaking Indians in Mel Brooks' "Blazing Saddles." But no DNA test is required. A stickler might require Warren to ask three times before becoming a Member of the Tribe -- "MOT" -- but for many, being Jewish is a state of mind, as comic legend Lenny Bruce explained decades ago:
"If you live in New York or any other big city, you are Jewish. It doesn't matter even if you're Catholic; if you live in New York, you're Jewish. If you live in Butte, Montana, you're going to be goyish even if you're Jewish. Evaporated milk is goyish even if the Jews invented it. Chocolate is Jewish, and fudge is goyish. Spam is goyish, and rye bread is Jewish. Negroes are all Jews. Italians are all Jews. Irishmen who have rejected their religion are Jews. Mouths are very Jewish. And bosoms. Baton-twirling is very goyish."
The same applies to current politics. If you work in the Trump administration, you are goyish even if you are Jewish. The House is goyish, the Senate is Jewish. Jeff Flake: Jewish. Dianne Feinstein: goyish. Sonia Sotomayor: very Jewish. Steny H. Hoyer: crazy goyish.
Warren would have some work to do. Her demeanor screams white bread and Jell-O molds. But a few adjustments might help: Stop calling herself "an Okie to my toes." (Even Jews who live in Oklahoma are goyish.) And, for heaven's sake, stop with the crab mayonnaise.
Of course, I don't actually desire to have Warren join my "tribe" -- which, in any event, is only part of my heritage. Like most in the American melting pot, I'm a mutt: a stew of English and German, western pioneers and sharecroppers, immigrants from the shtetl and a great-great-great-grandfather who died fighting for the Iowa 39th Infantry in the Civil War.
This is why Warren's DNA stunt was such a blunder: She took Trump's DNA-test dare and let him divide us -- again -- by race and ethnicity, just as he did when he goaded President Barack Obama to prove his legitimacy by producing his birth certificate.
It's sad that the Cherokees responded by noisily rejecting Warren, but that's their right.
It's disgusting that the episode has also set off the worst in some, such as Sen. Lindsey O. Graham, R-S.C., who joked on Fox News that it would be "terrible" if a DNA test found he had Iranian ethnicity.
No, Senator. What's "terrible" is that Trump has found a new, high-tech way to stoke tribalism and division. And Warren fell for it.
Dana Milbank | The Washington Post
Follow Dana Milbank on Twitter, @Milbank.
Video: President Trump on Oct. 15 said he did not owe $1 million to a charity of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) choice because he did not ‘personally’ test her DNA. (The Washington Post)
Seattle • The Army Corps of Engineers has revived an environmental review of a controversial coal-export project in Washington a year after state environmental regulators denied the project a key permit.
Washington Ecology Director Maia Bellon expressed concerns about the Corps' decision to restart work on the federal permitting process while some U.S. senators in the coal-producing states of Montana and Wyoming have urged the federal agency to push ahead with permitting the $680 million terminal along the Columbia River to export coal to Asia.
The state agency last fall denied Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview a key water quality permit needed for the project. It cited significant and unavoidable harm to the environment, including damage to wetlands and increased vessel traffic. The proposed port would handle up to 44 million metric tons of coal per year.
The ongoing fight over the coal-export facility in Longview comes as the Trump administration considers using West Coast military installations or other federal properties as it seeks to pave the way for more U.S. fossil fuel exports to Asia. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told The Associated Press that it's in the interest of national security but officials in West Coast states have rejected private-sector efforts to build new coal ports.
Corps spokeswoman Patricia Graesser said that staff is proceeding with the permit evaluation process "while still recognizing that there are actions and outcomes outside of the Corps' control yet to be resolved, including the state's denial of the water quality certification."
But Bellon told the Corps last month that it is prevented under the federal Clean Water Act from issuing a permit after a state has denied a water quality certification. In her letter to Col. Mark Geraldi, the Corps' Seattle district commander, she urged him to follow "long-standing Corps procedure and precedent by respecting Washington's decision."
Four Republican U.S. senators, including Steve Daines of Montana and Wyoming's Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, have asked the Corps to complete its environmental review and process the permit, while also determining the state has waived its authority to issue a water quality permit.
The Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians last month passed a resolution opposing the Corps continuing the federal permitting process for the coal-export facility in Longview.
Millennium Bulk Terminals and its parent company Utah-based Lighthouse Resources have filed multiple lawsuits in state and federal court to challenge the decision to deny key permits. They have accused state officials, including Bellon and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee of being anti-coal and basing decisions on political considerations. State regulators have dismissed those claims as nonsense, saying they followed state and federal laws to protect the state's people and environment.
Wendy Hutchison, Millennium's senior vice president of external affairs, said the Corps' "ongoing permit and design review work demonstrates the Millennium project is continuing to move forward."
She added: "We are confident the Army Corps of Engineers will conclude that Millennium will build the terminal the right way."
The state and federal government worked separately on environmental reviews of the project. The Corps released a draft report in September 2016 and took public comments soon afterward but never finalized that report.
Jasmine Zimmer-Stucky with the Power Past Coal coalition, opposed to new fossil fuel terminals, said the Corps is “attempting an end-run around state laws.”
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is expected to issue findings on core aspects of his Russia probe soon after the November midterm elections as he faces intensifying pressure to produce more indictments or shut down his investigation, according to two U.S. officials.
Specifically, Mueller is close to rendering judgment on two of the most explosive aspects of his inquiry: whether there were clear incidents of collusion between Russia and Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, and whether the president took any actions that constitute obstruction of justice, according to one of the officials, who asked not to be identified speaking about the investigation.
That doesn't necessarily mean Mueller's findings would be made public if he doesn't secure unsealed indictments. The regulations governing Mueller's probe stipulate that he can present his findings only to his boss, who is currently Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. The regulations give a special counsel's supervisor some discretion in deciding what is relayed to Congress and what is publicly released.
The question of timing is critical. Mueller’s work won’t be concluded ahead of the Nov. 6 midterm elections, when Democrats hope to take control of the House and end Trump’s one-party hold on Washington.
But this timeline also raises questions about the future of the probe itself. Trump has signaled he may replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions after the election, a move that could bring in a new boss for Mueller. Rosenstein also might resign or be fired by Trump after the election.
Rosenstein has made it clear that he wants Mueller to wrap up the investigation as expeditiously as possible, another U.S. official said. The officials gave no indications about the details of Mueller's conclusions. Mueller's office declined to comment for this story.
With three weeks to go before the midterm elections, it's unlikely Mueller will take any overt action that could be turned into a campaign issue. Justice Department guidelines say prosecutors should avoid any major steps close to an election that could be seen as influencing the outcome.
That suggests the days and weeks immediately after the Nov. 6 election may be the most pivotal time since Mueller took over the Russia investigation almost a year and a half ago. So far, Mueller has secured more than two dozen indictments or guilty pleas.
Trump's frustration with the probe, which he routinely derides as a "witch hunt," has been growing, prompting concerns he may try to shut down or curtail Mueller's work at some point.
There's no indication, though, that Mueller is ready to close up shop, even if he does make some findings, according to former federal prosecutors. Several matters could keep the probe going, such as another significant prosecution or new lines of inquiry. And because Mueller's investigation has been proceeding quietly, out of the public eye, it's possible there have been other major developments behind the scenes.
Mueller only recently submitted written questions to Trump's lawyers regarding potential collusion with Russia, and his team hasn't yet ruled out seeking an interview with the president, according to one of the U.S. officials. If Trump refused an interview request, Mueller could face the complicated question of whether to seek a grand jury subpoena of the president. The Justice Department has a standing policy that a sitting president can't be indicted.
At the same time, Mueller is tying down some loose ends. Four of his 17 prosecutors have left the special counsel's office in recent months. Three are going back to their previous Justice Department jobs, and the fourth has become a research fellow at Columbia Law School.
After several postponements, Mueller’s team has agreed to a sentencing date for Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, who pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements last year. The Dec. 18 date comes more than a year after Mueller secured a cooperation deal with Flynn, suggesting that Mueller’s team has all it needs from him.
Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, struck his own cooperation agreement with Mueller last month, after being convicted at trial in Virginia on eight counts of bank fraud, filing false tax returns and failure to file a foreign bank account. The plea agreement let him avoid a second trial in Washington. The judge in the Virginia trial, who wasn’t part of the plea agreement, has scheduled a sentencing hearing Friday, which could complicate Manafort’s cooperation agreement with Mueller.
Mueller’s prosecutors also have met with Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer. Cohen pleaded guilty in New York in August to tax evasion, bank fraud and violations of campaign finance laws. That separate investigation, headed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan, is one of several New York probes involving the Trump Organization, and could ultimately prove to be more damaging to the president than Mueller’s work.
Former federal prosecutors said that Manafort's plea deal probably advanced Mueller's timeline for determining whether there was collusion.
Manafort could be assisting Mueller’s team on questions related to whether the Trump campaign changed the Republican party’s stance on Ukraine as part of an understanding with the Russian government, and whether the Russians helped coordinate the release of hacked emails related to Democrat Hillary Clinton with members of Trump’s campaign, said another former prosecutor who asked not to be named.
Manafort is also key to understanding a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between Donald Trump Jr. and a group of Russians who had promised damaging information concerning Clinton, the former official said.
Manafort appears to have good material to offer, said Samuel Buell, a former federal prosecutor who teaches at Duke University School of Law. "He's not going to get that deal unless he can help Mueller make a case against one or more people," Buell said. Cooperators can't expect leniency unless they provide "substantial assistance in the prosecution of others," Buell added, citing sentencing guidelines.
Although the days and weeks after the election might test Mueller in new ways, he has confronted pressure before to shut down.
Trump's lawyers have attempted to publicly pressure Mueller into wrapping up his investigation, setting artificial deadlines since the early days of the probe when they predicted it would wrap by the end of 2017. In August 2017, then-White House lawyer Ty Cobb said he would be "embarrassed"if the investigation dragged on past Thanksgiving.
Even if Mueller's probe stretched through 2019, the timeline wouldn't be unprecedented. Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr spent four years investigating President Bill Clinton before releasing his report on the Monica Lewinsky affair, which spun out of a probe into an Arkansas land deal known as Whitewater.
It took almost two years for Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald to indict Scooter Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, for lying to investigators and obstruction of justice in October 2005 in the investigation into the public outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame.
Thanks to boasting an ebullient and upward-trending star guard, the NBA’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year, one of the most respected coaches in the game, and arguably their deepest bench in years, there’s an awful lot of optimism surrounding the Utah Jazz.
Most pundits are projecting the team to finish top-four in the West, maybe fifth at worst, and one even forecast Utah’s first NBA Finals appearance in two decades.
So, as the Jazz prepare to build on their surprising 48-win campaign of a season ago when they kick off the 2018-19 season Wednesday night in Sacramento, they all realize they’re not going under the radar this time.
Exactly what that means differs greatly depending on who you ask, though.
Second-year guard Donovan Mitchell said how the team perceives itself is far more important than the fickle whims of former critics now jumping on the bandwagon.
“I always say this — the same people that have us on the radar [now] were the same people that didn’t have us on the radar last year. We’re gonna take that for what it’s worth,” he said. “We’re not gonna look and say, ‘Ohhhh, now we’re — what is it? — five or six in the power rankings. Oh yay!’ We’re the same team that people overlooked and we’re the mindset, the same character. The only difference now is we play on TV a little more.”
Veteran forward Joe Ingles took a more pragmatic approach on the subject.
The issue, as he sees it, is not one of tuning out the noise or avoiding getting caught up in others’ expectations, or lack thereof.
Rather, it’s about the ability to recognize and adjust to and respond to the increased efforts from opponents that the Jazz will surely encounter this season.
“I think we were going into places, and teams were probably either not worried about us or weren’t too concerned, or whatever their thoughts were,” Ingles acknowledged. “We know we’re gonna be scouted, we know Donovan’s gonna be scouted better, or more I should say. That’s just the way it is as you go through years and years and years in the league. It’ll be good for him. But we’ve got to worry about our group. And if we’re prepared like we are, I think we’ll be fine.”
And they all insist they are, indeed, prepared.
“I’m never gonna say we’re where we wanna be, because we can always get better, but we’re where we want to be for starting the season,” said Rudy Gobert. “The goal is to keep getting better, but … I think we’re in a good place.”
Perhaps both figuratively and literally.
After all, starting the season off in Sacramento, the place where the Jazz annihilated their final preseason opponent, would seem to bode well.
While nobody is taking anything for granted, the team does enter its season opener with confidence. Not because of the result itself, but because of how it was achieved.
Gobert cited the team’s “mindset of being physical and trying to stop everything they do. And when we do that, we’re not gonna be easy for anyone to play.” Ingles noted that the Jazz “got better as [preseason] went on.” And Mitchell was pleased that “we played our best basketball the last game,” and expects he and his teammates to “come up with that same type of fire.”
That shouldn’t be a problem.
They’re all eager to start playing games that actually matter.
“Yeah, it’ll be fun. … Even though there were five preseason games, it felt like a long preseason,” Ingles said. “It was really not that long, but yeah, we’re ready to get going. We’re mentally ready, we’re physically ready.”
“The main thing is, it counts now,” added Mitchell. “… Obviously, we’re excited for the season starting. I’m excited to watch basketball too, to be honest with you — to turn the TV on as much as playing. At the end of the day, we cannot come out there and say, ‘Oh, we’re happy to be back.’ We gotta be ready from the beginning.”
Because, this time around, you know everyone will be ready for them.
Those with juvenile offenses on their record have a shot at getting them removed Thursday during Utah’s first ever juvenile expungement clinic.
The clinic will run from 3 to 6 p.m., beginning after the Utah Board of Juvenile Justice’s Clean Slate event for Juvenile Justice Awareness Month. Both events will be held at Weber Valley Youth Services, 1305 S. 700 West, in Ogden.
A person’s juvenile record can affect their ability to get a job and keep custody of their children — even if the charges have been dismissed, according to a news release from the Utah Board of Juvenile Justice.
To qualify for expungement, the applicant must be at least 18. In addition, one year must have passed since they were released from custody or since the case’s termination from juvenile court jurisdiction.
The clinic will put those with juvenile offenses in contact with attorneys, judges and advocates who can help them navigate the expungement process. Records from all judicial districts are eligible for review, according to the news release. Those who apply for expungement at the clinic will have all application fees waived.
Those interested must come to the event in person and provide a valid form of government-issued photo ID. Utah Driving Privilege Cards won’t be accepted. No appointments are necessary.
For more information on the Clean Slate event visit bit.do/cleanslate.
By a 2-to-1 margin, Utahns support Proposition 4 to create an independent commission to redraw the state’s political boundaries in its once-every-decade redistricting, a new poll shows.
Even a plurality of Republicans support it, although Democrats charged for decades that big-majority GOP legislators unfairly gerrymandered boundaries here — and Prop 4 grew largely out of that.
“It’s those Ronald Reagan ads they are running,” said Utah Senate Majority Leader Ralph Okerlund, R-Monroe, a Prop 4 opponent. Supporters’ ads show a video of the late president pushing for independent, bipartisan redistricting commissions to combat “un-American” gerrymandering.
“That has a lot of Utah Republicans thinking they are supporting something that is Republican,” Okerlund said. But he contends Prop 4 aims to help Democrats create a safe Democratic congressional district in Salt Lake County and give unelected officials who are not beholden to voters control of drawing districts.
Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune Senate Majority Leader Ralph Okerlund, R-Monroe, answers a question about tax legislation during media availability at the Utah Capitol in Salt Lake City, Friday, March 3, 2017.
A new poll by the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics for The Salt Lake Tribune shows likely Utah voters favor Prop 4 by a 58 percent to 22 percent margin, with 20 percent undecided.
(Christopher Cherrington | The Salt Lake Tribune)
That is up from a June poll, which showed a 50-28 percent margin with 23 percent undecided.
Republicans now favor Prop 4 by a 48-27 percent plurality, while Democrats favor it by a 76-10 spread and unaffiliated voters give it a 63-21 margin.
Supporters have raised big money to put Prop 4 on the ballot and campaign for it — while no organized groups are running ads against it. Utahns for Responsive Government, a political issues committee for supporters, raised $1.46 million this year, with 67 percent of the group’s money coming from out of state.
Jeff Wright, co-chairman of the Better Boundaries group that gathered signatures to put it on the ballot, is a former GOP congressional candidate. Ralph Becker, a Democrat who was two-term mayor of Salt Lake City and a state legislator, is the other co-chairman.
“We’re excited to see an uptick with undecided voters [moving to support Prop 4],” Wright said in a written statement. “As Utahns continue to learn about what Proposition 4 does to improve accountability with the redistricting process, they overwhelmingly support it.”
Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune Former Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, right, and Jeff Wright talk about the formal launch of the Better Boundaries initiative, which will ask voters to create an independent commission to redraw political districts. The pair spoke from the Cicero Group offices in Salt Lake City Thursday, July 20, 2017.
In official arguments for Prop 4 on the state’s election website, vote.utah.gov, Wright and Becker wrote, “Voters should choose their representatives, not vice versa. Yet under current law, Utah politicians can choose their voters.”
They complain, “Legislators draw their own districts with minimal transparency, oversight or checks on inherent conflicts of interest.”
They say examples of problems that creates include that Holladay “is splintered into four state House districts, two state Senate districts and two congressional districts. Who benefits from this? Holladay voters don’t, but politicians do.”
The proposed commission would be appointed by the governor and legislative leaders, and at least two of its members must be politically unaffiliated. The Legislature could reject any plan proposed by the commission and adopt its own, but would need to outline why — and that could become problematic with voters.
Okerlund, who was co-chairman of a joint redistricting committee in 2011, said members “held over 30 public, open and transparent meetings throughout the state. They received and considered hundreds of public comments and even provided a dedicated website for citizens to draw, submit and comment on maps.”
Okerlund contends in written comments on vote.utah.gov that Prop 4 “is a cleverly disguised partisan plan to stifle the voice of the people of Utah as represented by the Legislature” to “create an overwhelmingly Democrat congressional district around Salt Lake City.”
He also says gerrymandering is in the eye of the beholder. “Every map that isn’t drawn by me is gerrymandering,” he joked, but said many groups actually feel that way.
Prop 4 comes amid persistent allegations of gerrymandering, including the last time the state redrew boundaries after the 2010 Census — including charges that Democratic areas in Salt Lake County were diced and sliced to dilute that party’s power.
Then-Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson accused GOP legislators of splitting up his old district three ways to make re-election impossible in the district where he lived — so he chose to run in an adjacent one that included more of his old constituents.
With the unusual move, Matheson barely won re-election — by 768 votes — over GOP challenger Mia Love in 2012. Two years later, he chose not to seek re-election, and Love won the seat. Now Utah’s all-Republican U.S. House delegation has no member from Salt Lake County, the state’s most populous.
Last year, a nationwide Associated Press analysis said Utah Republicans won an average of 64 percent of votes in each legislative district, but gained 83 percent of the seats. It concluded Utah Republicans won three more seats than they likely would have had districts been drawn more objectively.
The new poll was conducted Oct. 3-9 and surveyed 607 likely voters. Its margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Utah’s ACT scores inched up again this year — edging closer to but still falling below the national average.
“The needle is moving in the right direction,” said Mark Peterson, spokesman for the Utah Board of Education. “We just wish we could move it a lot further and faster.”
The state’s 2018 graduating class scored an average of 20.4 points on the college readiness exam, which has a 36-point scale. The national average, which dipped slightly this year, was 20.8.
Utah administers the test to 100 percent of its public-school seniors, which means its average score tends to be lower than states where the ACT is voluntary and more likely to be completed by only high-achieving or college-bound students.
Because of that, its performance ranks 28th nationwide. But it places second among the 17 states that also give the exam to every graduating student (coming in behind Wisconsin and ahead of Ohio).
(Christopher Cherrington | The Salt Lake Tribune)
“You’re testing not only students who are going to college but also those who aren’t necessarily preparing for that outcome,” said ACT spokesman Ed Colby. “The scores tend to be lower — and in most cases significantly lower.”
But Utah’s average, he added, has ticked up for the past two years. In 2017, the state’s average composite score was 20.3. In 2016, it was 20.2.
One-tenth of a point may not seem like much, Colby said, but it’s actually a significant gain for a year’s difference. And it continues an upward trend. “That’s a really good sign. The numbers are encouraging.”
Meanwhile, the nation’s average composite went from 21 last year to 20.8 this year. That’s likely due to more students taking the test and causing a small dip.
Utah’s ACT data include 43,791 students — about 1,600 of whom attend private school or are home-schooled, Peterson said, and tend to bring the score up slightly.
Among demographic groups, white and Asian students in Utah scored the highest, with an average of 21.4 points. Black and American Indian students scored the lowest, with 16.2.
“We need to continue to focus on closing achievement gaps and ensuring each student is academically prepared to succeed after high school,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sydnee Dickson said in a statement.
ACT also sets college-readiness benchmarks, which indicate the likelihood that a student would earn a B grade in an entry-level university course. In Utah, 24 percent of students met that for all four test subjects — English, reading, science and math. Nationally, 27 percent did.
The state saw the highest average scores in English: 58 percent. But the majority of students fell below the benchmark in reading at 43 percent, science at 34 percent and math at 36 percent.
“We’re not hiding this,” Peterson said. “There’s plenty of work to do.”
The national score fell to its lowest point in the past 14 years for math, as well, with 40 percent meeting the mark. The results released Wednesday show more than 1.9 million students completed the ACT, amounting to about 55 percent of seniors who graduated in 2018.
The majority of Utah students sent their scores to schools in the state. The top three were the University of Utah, Utah Valley University and Utah State University.
Four women who say the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office mishandled their sexual assault reports are asking for an unprecedented step: They want the Utah Supreme Court to assign a special prosecutor to bring their cases to court.
One woman was 17 years old when she says another student sexually assaulted her while they worked on a school project. Another says she was abused by a former coworker. A third says the former Provo police chief raped her. And the fourth reported she was assaulted by a massage therapist.
Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill’s office has declined to file charges against each of the accused men, their petition said.
University of Utah law professor Paul Cassell said the petition filed Tuesday highlights a troubling gap in the criminal justice system: Alleged victims have limited ways to challenge decisions by prosecutors.
“If prosecutors don’t file charges, victims don’t get rights at all,” he said.
The petition is based on a provision in Utah’s original constitution that allowed for the appointment of a lawyer if a county attorney failed to prosecute “according to law.” That appointment power was transferred from district courts to the state supreme court in 1984.
Multiple sexual violence prevention groups issued statements in support of the request for a special prosecutor, calling it an innovative remedy to what they describe as systemwide reluctance to charge sex crimes.
But Gill and attorneys in his office argue the petition ignores multiple options that victims have, and they criticize its timing — three weeks before the general election. Gill is facing a challenger from within his office, deputy district attorney Nathan Evershed.
Gill said Cassell, a former federal judge representing the women along with other attorneys, didn’t try other avenues — including seeking a meeting to ask prosecutors to reconsider — before filing the petition.
Cassell’s strategy “is as irresponsible as it is self-serving,” Gill said in a statement.
Cassell said lawyers had been working on the petition for months and filed it when it was complete. And three of the four women petitioning the state supreme court said they did meet with prosecutors after their cases were declined, asking the office to re-evaluate.
Crystal Madill said she and the officer investigating her case repeatedly asked prosecutors to reconsider and file charges.
Madill, now 30, told police she was assaulted by a massage therapist in Salt Lake City during a February 2017 appointment. She said prosecutors’ refusal to file charges made her feel “unsafe.”
“It made me feel like anything bad could happen to me anywhere and I’d have to have my own back because the justice system doesn’t,” she said.
She and a second woman in the group told The Salt Lake Tribune they unsuccessfully sought help from Utah Attorney General’s Office, another option listed by Gill.
‘There was nothing’
Madill reported her alleged sexual assault to Salt Lake City police two days after her appointment. As she was lying on a table, naked with a sheet over her, she said, the therapist repeatedly touched her genitals and pressed his genitals against her arm.
“I just froze because I didn’t know what to do,” Madill said. “I was naked on a table with a man bigger than me.”
She said she didn’t plan to file a report at first, but then decided to, hoping to prevent the therapist from hurting another client.
A nurse who specializes in sexual assaults found a laceration in Madill’s anus, she said, and prosecutors had that report. Madill said she repeated her account to several prosecutors, reliving the painful experience each time.
“It was almost harder than the assault,” said Madill, who agreed to the use of her name.
Two months after Madill’s initial report, prosecutors concluded there was “insufficient evidence” to move forward, she said.
“I did everything that I needed to do and I did it as strongly as I could and there was nothing,” she said. “I didn’t realize how disappointing and heartbreaking it would be.”
Prosecutors questioned why she sought a massage that would be performed while she was nude, and asked her to think about the impact of charges on the man’s future, she said.
“It was like they were trying to find a vulnerability in me to just accept that I shouldn’t go forward with this,” she said.
The officer she was working with pushed back and met with a senior deputy district attorney, who told him in an email that a prosecution likely wouldn’t be successful, she said. The officer tried again, noting that Madill had a rape kit pending, but prosecutors said even a positive result wouldn’t be enough proof for a conviction, she said.
Madill said she called the Utah Attorney General’s Office, hoping it would pursue charges, but never received a response.
Filing the petition, Madill said, has been encouraging because she’s felt part of a team of women trying to change the process.
‘It’s discouraging, frustrating’
The woman who reported being sexually assaulted as a 17-year-old initially didn’t want to go to police, she told The Tribune, because she was afraid her classmate would retaliate. She said only made a report because she was worried about pregnancy, and she believed she couldn’t tell her pediatrician without mandatory reporting laws forcing a police investigation.
Sure enough, she said, her classmates found out.
“It turned everybody against me,” said the woman, now 18. “I lost all of my friends.”
The Tribune generally does not identify alleged victims in sex crimes.
A Sandy police detective interviewed the teen. The teen’s mother said she asked the detective what her conclusion was.
“She looked at me in the eye and said, ‘She was violently raped,’” the mother recounted.
But the accused classmate refused to interview with police, and the prosecutor’s office declined to file charges, the petition said.
In a six-page letter, the prosecutor who evaluated the teen’s case wrote that he and four other prosecutors agreed that they couldn’t prove a rape case. The teen had told police she froze in fear when her classmate began kissing her in her basement and then rapidly and aggressively removed her clothes.
“However, she failed to say or physically manifest any lack of consent at this time, other than not actively participating,” the letter states.
It is “reasonably possible,” the prosecutor concluded, that the teen’s classmate “liked” her and “wanted to have sex, began kissing her, didn’t notice her giving any indication that she didn’t consent, quickly moved into sex, and still never noticed any lack of consent, as [she] simply didn’t participate.”
The petition for a special prosecutor argues that the district attorney’s office downplayed an important factor: The woman suffers from muscular dystrophy, and her classmate knew that she couldn’t physically fight him or run away.
“She’s delayed physically, she’s home alone in the basement with this individual, and she also has delayed speech as well, so her physical limitations are [significant] in all regards,” said Greg Ferbrache, the woman’s attorney.
Ferbrache asked the Utah Attorney General’s Office to review the case; it found prosecutors had not abused the discretion they have to decide whether to file cases. The woman’s parents met with Gill and another prosecutor to ask why charges were declined. The mother said, “Sim Gill had no answers.”
Gill said his prosecutors reopened the case and re-examined the evidence. They asked the parents for medical records, he said, and when the family refused to provide them, prosecutors couldn’t move forward.
The woman’s mother said collecting hundreds of pages of medical records after years of surgeries and therapies wasn’t realistic, and the family was dubious that prosecutors would take the case seriously, even with those documents. They told Gill they believed enough information about the woman’s disability already had been provided and referred prosecutors to Ferbrache, who said he has received no further contact.
“It didn’t seem to matter to anybody, because a male wanted to do something,” the mother said. “How do you put ‘He liked her’ into a declination [letter]? … She did everything that was asked, and basically was told, ‘Yeah, it happened and we’re not going to do anything.’”
The woman said it’s dangerous for a prosecutor to hold that someone may lawfully escalate sexual contact as long as he or she moves “too fast to notice” signs that a person does not consent — especially from a victim with a disability.
“It’s discouraging, frustrating … and it’s making me regret my decision [to report],” she said.
After her experience, she said, she’d encourage victims to report “only if it were more productive, and not just humiliating.”
Two additional cases declined
The petition also describes the case of a woman who accused former Provo police chief John King of raping her in 2017, when she was volunteering with the department. She was one of five women who this summer settled a lawsuit with the city over sexual misconduct allegations against King, who was asked to resign in March. King had been forced out of the Baltimore Police Department in 2012 after a report that he had sexually assaulted a coworker.
Salt Lake County prosecutors reviewed the woman’s case and declined it because of “evidence problems,” the petition states.
The fourth woman, a 38-year-old who has cerebral palsy, said she was assaulted by a former coworker multiple times in his apartment in 2016. According to the petition, he told her he was a sex offender; he later made inconsistent and evasive statements to police; and DNA samples from the woman’s sexual assault exam matched him. Prosecutors would not charge him, “citing an alleged lack of evidence,” the petition said.
Gill noted that of the sexual assault cases presented to his office by Salt Lake County police agencies over the past two years, his office has filed charges in roughly 39.5 to 45.5 percent, similar to state and federal averages.
(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill speaks at a news conference in Salt Lake City announcing Salt Lake County's lawsuit against big pharma, Tuesday April 10, 2018. (Trent Nelson/)
His office is ethically obligated to not prosecute if there is insufficient evidence, in order to protect taxpayer resources and to respect the due process rights of the accused, he said.
"The biggest disservice we could do is file every case that’s brought to us and let the system figure it out,” Gill said.
Appointing a special prosecutor for these four cases raises “a bunch of questions and potential problems that I don’t see the answers to right now,” said Steve Burton, president of the Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
“How do you remove a special prosecutor who oversteps his bounds or abuses his power? How is the person funded? Can a judge remove a special prosecutor?” Burton asked. “It sure seems like it has the potential to create grave disparities between suspects. Everybody else’s case in Salt Lake County is handled the same except for a handful of cases that this one attorney is asking to be looked at and handled differently.”
Sometimes, Burton said, cases simply aren’t provable beyond a reasonable doubt.
“For the D.A.’s office to decline cases, there really must be a dearth of evidence," Burton said. He added: “It seems unethical to accuse someone of a crime, force them to get an attorney, bring public allegations against them … if you as prosecutor believe there’s simply not enough evidence to prove the case.”
But groups supporting the petition said often, the quality of evidence is not the problem.
“We know too well that the analysis that leads prosecutors to the decision that a sexual assault case is ‘unlikely to succeed,’ despite sufficient evidence, is rooted in the myths and misconceptions which decades of research has debunked,” wrote leaders of Legal Momentum, a national women’s legal defense and education nonprofit.
The low prosecution rate for sex offenses “denies victims of these life-altering and devastating crimes from having any type of justice; likely contributes to a public perception of a prevalence of false reports; and prevents other victims from reporting similar crimes,” wrote Karen Baker, CEO of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.
“As a result, public safety is compromised, perpetrators continue to victimize people, and victims are further silenced and traumatized,” her statement said.
Gill defended his prosecutors and said they make themselves available if a survivor wants to challenge a decision. He said those dissatisfied with a charging decision can talk to him, or the Utah attorney general, or can petition for a grand jury. He noted the attorney general pursued a rape case in 2017 after Gill’s office declined to file charges, adding it was later dismissed by a judge.
He critiqued Cassell’s approach of seeking a special prosecutor from the Supreme Court as too expensive, making that kind of aid “available only to victims of wealth" with connections to lawyers or the money to hire them. Gill said he’s willing to work with the professor and lawmakers to draft other solutions.
Petitionby on Scribd
Pahrump, Nev. • America’s most famous pimp partied for days with porn stars, political pals and others to celebrate his 72nd birthday, but the revelry ended when Dennis Hof was found dead in one of his Nevada brothels.
Hof, a Donald Trump-style Republican who won a GOP primary for a seat in the state Legislature this year, spent his last nights in a series of celebrations across Nevada that drew notables from politics and the sex industry — two worlds he managed to bridge.
His final party Monday night at the Pahrump Nugget hotel-casino, about an hour's drive outside Las Vegas, included aging porn star Ron Jeremy, tax-cut activist Grover Norquist, one-time "Hollywood Madam" Heidi Fleiss and ex-Arizona sheriff and politician Joe Arpaio.
"Boy, that's shocking," Arpaio, the former six-term sheriff of metropolitan Phoenix, said of Hof's death. He said Hof was in good spirits when Arpaio left the party around 10 p.m.
Hof didn't drink, smoke or use drugs, Hof's campaign consultant Chuck Muth said. Despite the rigorous schedule, Hof seemed in a "perfect mood" and in "perfect health" at the parties.
"He was sitting on a stool talking with people when I left about 10," said Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly, who guessed more than 100 people attended the Pahrump event. "I guess that's partying at 72."
Jeremy, who also attended the Pahrump Nugget party, told The Associated Press that he and Dasha Dare, a prostitute from one of Hof’s brothels, found the pimp’s body Tuesday morning in Hof’s residence at his Love Ranch brothel.
Dare, who Jeremy said spent part of the evening with Hof, did not immediately respond to email and Twitter messages.
Sheriff's deputies were summoned and Hof was pronounced dead, said Wehrly, who also serves as county coroner.
Wehrly said there was no preliminary indication of foul play but her office was investigating and an autopsy was scheduled by the Clark County coroner in Las Vegas. Wehrly said results of the medical examination could take six weeks.
Outside the brothel Tuesday, sheriff's employees and several women watched as Hof's body was carried on a stretcher beneath a red shroud past lawn furniture, Grecian-style statutes and signs advertising the bordello as, "Always Open, Always Tasty, No sex required."
Muth said Friday night's celebration in northern Nevada had been a "Save the Brothels" concert raising funds to fight a ballot initiative that would shutter brothels in northern Nevada's Lyon County, where Hof owned four properties.
Saturday featured a bash at Hof's Bunny Ranch bar and restaurant near Carson City, followed by a party at Hof's northern Nevada home Sunday and the party in southern Nevada Monday night, Muth said.
Hof was the Republican candidate in a heavily GOP state legislative district who brought in popular Trump supporters in his campaign, including Trump adviser Roger Stone and Arpaio, the Arizona sheriff.
Arpaio, known nationally for his positions on illegal immigration, lost a primary bid for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate from Arizona. He said Hof asked him to speak at his party.
"The thing I liked about him: He was with Trump and was for the Second Amendment and lower taxes," Arpaio said.
Hof owned a handful of brothels in Nevada, the only state that allows them to legally operate.
His Love Ranch brothel is the place where NBA player Lamar Odom was found unconscious in 2015.
The brothel was temporarily shuttered twice this year by regulators who said Hof failed to renew licenses and get proper permits for renovations.
About 20 brothels operate in Nevada, mostly in rural areas.
In addition to his legislative campaign, Hof fought a push to outlaw brothels and had problems with local regulators in the two counties where he ran licensed bordellos.
Hof had also been accused of sexual assault on at least four occasions. The Nevada Department of Public Safety has said it was investigating an allegation made in September but has released few details.
Hof had denied wrongdoing.
Besides "Cathouse," the flamboyant Hof wrote a book titled "The Art of the Pimp," a play on Trump's book "The Art of the Deal."
Wayne Thorley, deputy Nevada secretary of state for elections, said Hof's name will remain on the November ballot. Thorley said ballots with Hof's name have already been mailed to voters but signs will be posted at polling places notifying voters of his death.
If Hof wins in the heavily GOP assembly district, officials will nominate another Republican to fill the vacancy, Thorley said.
Hof was running against Democratic Las Vegas educator Lesia Romanov in the race for a sprawling assembly district that touches both California and Utah, covering rural southern Nevada, largest stretches of desert and the Nevada National Security Site where nuclear weapons were tested.
Hof also ran for the state Legislature in 2016 as a Libertarian but lost the race.
He upended Nevada politics this summer when he ousted an incumbent Republican lawmaker in a primary, celebrating at an election night party with Fleiss.
Hof said in interviews that he believed the anti-brothel push and regulatory problems he's faced this year were political retribution.
Associated Press writers Ken Ritter and Regina Garcia Cano in Las Vegas and Jacques Billeaud in Phoenix contributed to this report.
Mia Love claimed during a debate Monday night that the Federal Election Commission decided she violated no laws by raising $1 million for a primary she never faced — and she urged reporters to call the agency to verify that.
“The FEC actually said that if you call them, they will corroborate what we have said,” she told reporters.
But on Tuesday, the FEC said it had no comment on the situation — neither verifying nor denying Love’s claim that an FEC analyst had called her campaign with that news.
Myles Martin, an FEC press officer, said such analysts are not allowed to speak to the press and cannot talk on the record about any FEC positions.
He initially said any official position would be put in a letter and posted online, which had not occurred. But another press officer, Judith Ingram, later in the day said in an email that the FEC “does not as a rule memorialize in writing any ‘official position’ on a matter raised in a Request for Additional Information” sent to Love that raised the issue initially.
With the agency not verifying Love’s claim, it leaves Democrat Ben McAdams still contending that Love raised and used $1 million illegally in their close race — and Love saying she broke no laws.
Andrew Roberts, campaign manager for McAdams, said Tuesday, “Representative Love continues to have a difficult relationship with the truth. She lied to Utahns and to the press last night. In fact, the FEC has not cleared her for raising over $1 million in violation of federal law. The investigation is ongoing.”
He added, “We expect D.C. politicians to lie when they’re embroiled in scandal. Utahns expected better from Mia Love, and we can do much better.”
On Monday just before her debate with McAdams, Love issued a statement condemning him for “peddling lies about me” on the fundraising issue. She said the FEC now told her “that my campaign was legally allowed to raise … and that we may retain” the $1 million raised for the primary before the state GOP convention nominated her and allowed her to skip that later election.
She added, “He knew full well that no illegal fundraising had taken place. … I am asking McAdams to hold himself accountable by acknowledging and apologizing for his false commercials and mailers. My family and the voters deserve an apology.”
Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams answers a question as he and Rep. Mia Love take part in a debate at the Gail Miller Conference Center at Salt Lake Community College in Sandy as the two battle for Utah's 4th Congressional District on Monday, Oct. 15, 2018. (Scott G Winterton/)
The controversy comes after the FEC wrote the Love campaign in August questioning the legality of $1 million she raised for a primary election she knew she would never face — no GOP challenger ever filed to run against her.
“Since the candidate will not participate in the 2018 primary election, any contribution received must be returned to the donors or redesignated to another election” with written permission of donors, the FEC letter also instructed.
Love’s campaign then argued it broke no laws and that the FEC previously allowed Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, to raise and keep money for a primary that he might face — even though he actually did not.
Matthew Sanderson, attorney for Love’s campaign, said on Tuesday, “I’m not surprised [the FEC] are not making a reports division analyst available” to verify what they told the campaign. “There are very few people in the agency who are authorized to talk to the press.”
Still, he said the analyst had called to give the campaign a “heads-up” that agency lawyers had determined no laws had been violated, and the campaign could keep money it raised for the primary before the state GOP convention. The campaign had already agreed to refund or redesignate primary election money raised after the convention.
Rep. Mia Love and Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams shake hands as they take part in a debate at the Gail Miller Conference Center at Salt Lake Community College in Sandy as the two battle for Utah's 4th Congressional District on Monday, Oct. 15, 2018. (Scott G Winterton/)
“They will eventually memorialize that [in writing], but I don’t know what their timeline will be,” Love’s attorney said. “We are talking about a federal agency that operates kind of at its own pace.”
Meanwhile, the left-leaning Alliance for a Better Utah — which had filed a complaint with the FEC over the $1 million raised for the primary — said it had been notified that the FEC still had an open investigation into that matter.
“Let’s be clear: A conversation with an FEC staffer … is not an official clearance from the FEC,” said Chase Thomas, executive director of the alliance. “The fact that our complaint is still under review and could lead to a full investigation means that this issue is far from over. Our complaint process will only be final after we receive a final response from the FEC.”
Thomas also argued that Love’s campaign should be forced to refund the $370,000 it raised for the primary after the state convention was held because the campaign missed legal deadlines for reallocation.
Dave Hansen, Love’s campaign manager, said it has refunded or reallocated all the money raised for the primary — before and after she was nominated at the state convention.
“It’s not that we did anything wrong. The money certainly was not raised illegally. It’s a process you go through,” he said.
He noted that Utah law allows a potential of three races for federal candidates: a state convention, a primary election and a general election. For each one faced by a candidate, individual donors may give up to $2,700 and political action committees may give $5,000.
If donors exceeded limits because they gave for three elections when only two were held, money was refunded, Hansen said. If they gave money designated for the primary, the campaign obtained letters allowing it to be reallocated to the general election, he added. If they gave money with no designation, it has been directed to the general election.
Meanwhile, both campaigns filed new quarterly financial disclosure forms late Monday with the FEC.
During the three-month period ending Sept. 30, Love raised $1.06 million compared with $866,506 for McAdams. Love has raised $4.3 million during the two-year election cycle (including the disputed $1 million for the primary), compared with $2.5 million by McAdams.
In the last quarter, Love also outspent McAdams $1.8 million to $1.4 million. McAdams had more cash on hand on Sept. 30 for the final campaign push — $724,913 to $541,410 for Love.
A higher percentage of Love’s money came from PACs, which is not unusual for an incumbent — but McAdams has attacked that as a sign that Love is beholden to special interests. PACs have now given her $947,430 during the cycle, compared with $331,33 for McAdams.
This year’s midterm elections are more vigorously contested than those in the past — mostly because more Democratic women are running for office. Another trend shows Democrats are challenging Republican incumbents far more often than Republicans are challenging Democratic incumbents. Among the 435 House seats, Democrats are running in 428, while Republicans are running in only 393. The number of contested seats has increased even more dramatically in state legislative elections, where this year’s uncontested rate is the lowest it’s been in 46 years. [WaPost]
Topping the news: Four women who say Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill’s office mishandled their sexual assault cases want the Utah Supreme Court to assign a special prosecutor to bring their cases to court — a way to remedy what sexual violence prevention groups describe as systemwide reluctance to charge sex crimes. [Trib] [Fox13]
-> Support for Proposition 2, Utah’s medical marijuana ballot initiative, has declined in recent weeks, according to a new poll by the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah. The survey found that 51 percent of people said they were voting for Prop 2 — a significant decline in popularity likely caused by a new compromise proposal pitched for a special legislative session in November. [Trib]
-> The Federal Election Commission did not back a claim U.S. Rep. Mia Love made during a debate on Monday night, saying it had not made a statement that the House candidate hadn’t violated any laws or rules by raising $1 million for a primary election that never occurred. [Trib] [Fox13]
Tweets of the day: From @kylegriffin1: “TORONTO (AP) — Retail marijuana sales begin in Canada, now largest country with legal national pot marketplace.”
-> From @RobynUrback: “I have a feeling that the legalization of marijuana will follow the Extremely Canadian™ path of things that we talk about ad nauseam until just after it happens and then just largely forget about (aside: BRING BACK THE PENNY)”
Happy Birthday: To state Rep. Michael Noel, lobbyist Steve Barth and Kelli Lucero, constituent services director for Gov. Gary Herbert.
In other news: The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah is critiquing Operation Rio Grande, which seeks to reduce lawlessness around Salt Lake City’s homeless shelter, for making too many arrests without improving other programs to decrease homelessness and drug abuse. [Trib] [DNews]
-> The Utah Department of Workforce Services is planning to reallocate funds for underutilized after-school programs to help families on the brink of homelessness. [KUTV]
-> The fate of the Utah Science, Technology, and Research initiative — which helps support the pipeline that carries research innovations into for-profit commercialization — is still in question after the Legislature temporarily delayed a vote on the program on Tuesday following concerns about its efficacy. [DNews]
-> A measure passed in March that would make it possible for pharmacists to give birth control over the counter, provided that a patient has a two year standing order from a doctor prescribing it, still needs to be approved by the executive branch before it can be officially implemented. [DNews]
-> A private sector group is one step closer to resurrecting the Wingpointe Golf Course near the Salt Lake City International Airport, thanks to a bill signed into law recently by President Donald Trump. [Trib]
-> The Salt Lake City Council is considering a new ordinance that would prohibit pet stores from selling animals obtained from puppy mills, in the hopes of preventing animal cruelty and pet overpopulation. [Trib]
-> With a 5-1 vote, the City Council voted Tuesday to loosen rules on so-called mother-in-law apartments, which have been welcomed by some Salt Lake residents as a way of easing an ongoing housing crunch but opposed by others, who warn large numbers of new pocket dwellings could disrupt parking and quality of life in established residential areas. [Trib]
-> Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch joked in a tweet that he is 1/1032 T-Rex after Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, released her DNA test results on Monday in an effort to prove her Native American heritage. [KUTV]
-> The owners of The Complex, a well-known concert venue in downtown Salt Lake City, have been accused by federal prosecutors of drug trafficking and using the money earned to pay for concerts. The trial is set for December. [Trib] [ABC4] [KUTV]
-> The Unified Fire Authority took its next step Tuesday in determining whether to attempt recovering hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer funds that state auditors last year concluded were misused by its top administrators. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley illustrates a member of the GOP indulging in incentives brought by stripping government programs away from those in lower income brackets. [Trib]
Nationally: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Tuesday with the Saudi Arabian king, the crown prince and other top officials to discuss the death of a prominent Saudi journalist in the country’s consulate in Turkey. Trump said that serious punishments would result should it be proven that the journalist was killed by the Saudi throne, but he doesn’t want it to affect U.S.-Saudi trade agreements. [NYTimes] [BBC] [CNN] [WSJ]
-> In key congressional races, Democratic candidates have been raising more funds than their GOP rivals, out-financing Republicans in 32 out of 45 of the closest House races. But conservative candidates have a lot of big checks coming in as well, keeping them financially competitive going into the midterm elections. [NYTimes]
-> Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sought to dismiss reports that his job is in danger and said he identifies as neither a Democrat or a Republican, one day after Trump suggested Mattis is a democrat. The defense secretary said he is “proudly apolitical” and was brought up to obey the elected commander in chief — “whoever that may be." [NYTimes]
-- Taylor Stevens and Cara MacDonald
There's a particular hell we are all dragged back to with nearly every thoughtful #MeToo conversation, and that hell is Bill Clinton. Whether he was an abuser. Whether he was just a horndog. Whether women can still support him (Do they still support him? Which women? Support how?).
On Sunday morning, those questions came up again via the morning news shows, when CBS correspondent Tony Dokoupil asked Hillary Clinton whether her husband should have resigned after the Lewinsky affair.
"Absolutely not," replied the former senator, presidential candidate and secretary of state.
"It wasn't an abuse of power?" Dokoupil pressed.
"No, no," she said. And as Dokoupil raised a skeptical eyebrow at the notion of "the president of the United States (having) a consensual relationship with an intern," she hastened to interject that Lewinsky, 22 at the time, "was an adult."
This, of course, is a preposterous sidestep. Most big-name harassment cases over the past year have involved adult women and adult men. That's what abuse of power in the workplace looks like. Ashley Judd was an adult woman; so were all of Leslie Moonves' alleged victims and all the women Louis C.K. called into a room and whipped out his penis for.
And if you read the preceding paragraph and thought, "Bill Clinton is no Les Moonves, he's more like ____" and if you were then unable to fill in the blank, well, welcome to Bill Clinton hell. Because figuring out how to feel about Bill Clinton seems instrumental in figuring out how to process the current moment, and the discussions always get slippery.
Particularly, I think, for the supporters who looked approvingly at the Family Medical Leave Act, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and other things Clinton had done for women in general, and who then politely averted their eyes when it came to what he might have done to women in the specific.
Bill Clinton conversations get slippery because he's not in office anymore, so if he was a monster, he's a defanged one now (albeit a former president with a global platform).
Bill Clinton conversations are slippery because 20 years later, we are still wrestling with how to judge the events of less-woke eras.
As Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation dragged on excruciatingly last month, Bill Clinton's own misdeeds were the whataboutisms brought up by every conservative pundit who wanted Kavanaugh on the bench.
It was a bad-faith argument - what, because we've had sketchy dudes in power in the past, we're now committed to accepting them for all time? - but still: What about Bill Clinton? What kind of psychic reckoning are we overdue to confront?
If the man deserves redemption, he hasn't done much to help his own case. In June, he told NBC's Craig Melvin that he's never apologized to Monica Lewinsky, and that he wouldn't approach the situation any differently today. "I don't think it would be an issue," he said, growing increasingly flustered that the topic was raised at all: "Two-thirds of the American people sided with me," he insisted.
I don't know a single woman who hasn't spent the past year privately litigating every uncomfortable sexual experience of her life - what she did or didn't do, or should or shouldn't have done. So the fact that Clinton apparently hadn't given America's biggest sex scandal much thought made him look like he was either shockingly clueless or a liar.
Or, like he was so hopelessly entitled that he ended up making #MeToo's point even better than its most vocal activists. Yes, Bill. Two-thirds of the American people might had sided with you then. That's because our problems with misogyny are systemic, and not the fault of individual bad men. A large percentage of the American people have been wrong for a very long time.
In today’s Democratic Party, Bill Clinton’s past almost certainly would have ruined him. Multiple allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct, including a rape accusation by Juanita Broaddrick — today, those would be investigated and taken seriously. We would talk about Monica Lewinsky as a human and not as a fat joke.
And many of the people who voted for him in 1992 and 1996 would not vote for him today. That's the refrain I kept hearing from liberal friends and acquaintances, all through the Kavanaugh hearings, and the Donald Trump "Access Hollywood" tape saga, and the wave of powerful men revealed to be serial harassers: If Bill Clinton were running for office now, I would not vote for him.
Add JFK to that list. Add Thomas Jefferson. The list of men we would not vote for now is long.
But the hell of Bill Clinton is that he won't go away. He won't account for his own actions, so we have to account for him.
Bill Clinton conversations get slippery because, at the end of the day, feelings about his guilt or innocence, or his goodness or badness, often came down to whether a person liked him in office.
How much did that cloud our judgment and lower our standards? How did it pave the way for where we are now, where opinions about harassment cases live or die based on whether the accused had a D or R after his name?
The hell of Bill Clinton is the hell of this whole moment in time: Plenty of Americans might make different choices now, but we’re still paying for the choices we made then.
Monica Hesse | The Washington Post
Monica Hesse is a columnist for The Washington Post’s Style section and author of “American Fire.” @MonicaHesse
As hard as it is to resist writing about the fact that today the president of the United States called the porn star to whom he paid hush money "Horseface," I want to focus on a different aspect of this presidency that we're seeing play out right now.
As the apparent murder of Saudi journalist and Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi complicates our relations with Saudi Arabia, we have to ask what the implications are of having a fully transactional presidency, one not just built on "deals" but where policy is determined by what is financially beneficial to the president.
We should begin by reminding ourselves that as awful as Khashoggi's apparent murder is, it's only the latest in a long list of Saudi abuses that administrations both Democratic and Republican have chosen to overlook for decades. The country is a cruel dictatorship that embodies none of the values we as a nation hold dear, like democracy, freedom of expression, freedom of the press, or freedom of religion. But we decided long ago that since the Saudis have a great deal of oil and they provide us with a strategic ally in the Middle East, we'll overlook all that.
There is something unsettling about the fact that Saudi intervention in Yemen's civil war, in which they have reportedly killed thousands of civilians, has received steady American support, while the murder of a single journalist threatens to upend the relationship between the two countries.
Or so you might think. But here's the reality: This will blow over, not only because of the complex relationship between the two countries, but because everything in foreign policy is personal with Trump, and he likes the Saudis.
And why does he like them so much? Because they pay him.
This is not something Trump has been shy about saying. "Saudi Arabia, I get along with all of them. They buy apartments from me. They spend $40 million, $50 million," he said at a rally in Alabama in 2015. "Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much."
Trump says so many shocking things that it's sometimes easy to slide right past the most appalling ones, but read that again. Here you have a candidate for president of the United States saying that he is favorably disposed toward a foreign country because they have given him millions of dollars, and all but promising to shape American foreign policy in their favor for that very reason.
"Am I supposed to dislike them?" he asks. How could I possibly dislike them when they pay me?
We should note that it's more than just apartments. Trump has sold many properties to Saudis, and Saudis have invested in Trump projects. And as David Fahrenthold and Jonathan O'Connell report:
"Business from Saudi-connected customers continued to be important after Trump won the presidency. Saudi lobbyists spent $270,000 last year to reserve rooms at Trump's hotel in Washington. Just this year, Trump's hotels in New York and Chicago reported significant upticks in bookings from Saudi visitors."
This is precisely the reason the Framers put in the Constitution a provision saying that neither the president nor other officials could "accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State." If a foreign country is putting money in the president's pocket on an ongoing basis, how in the world can we trust that the decisions he makes will be based on the best interests of the United States and not on his bank account?
This is of more concern with Trump than with any other president in American history. His entire life has been devoted to the accumulation of wealth, as though there were no other goal anyone should consider seeking ("My whole life I've been greedy, greedy, greedy. I've grabbed all the money I could get. I'm so greedy," he has said). He made sure that upon assuming office his businesses would continue to operate and continue to provide avenues for those wishing to further enrich him to do so. And he refuses to release his tax returns, so we have no idea exactly how much money he's getting and from whom.
But today, Trump tweeted this:
"For the record, I have no financial interests in Saudi Arabia (or Russia, for that matter). Any suggestion that I have is just more FAKE NEWS (of which there is plenty)!"
This is the same claim Trump has made with regard to Russia, and it's the same dodge. The point isn't whether Trump has interests in Saudi Arabia, it's whether Saudi Arabia has interests in him. And just as is the case with Russia, they do.
If you're the Saudis, the nice thing about Trump is that he lacks any subtlety whatsoever, so you don't have to wonder how to approach him. He has said explicitly that the way to win his favor is to give him money. He has established means for you to do so - buying Trump properties and staying in Trump hotels. And with his combination of narcissism and insecurity, if you invite him to your country and give him a gold medal, he'll forever be your friend.
Every president has to balance the desire to honor American values with more crass interests like whether a country will buy weapons from us, which Trump also cited as a reason we shouldn’t punish Saudi Arabia for Jamal Khashoggi’s murder (even though they aren’t actually buying what Trump claims). But only Trump gets direct and significant payoffs from other countries, and only Trump is so clear that if you pay him he’ll do what you want. That may not have changed the American stance toward Saudi Arabia too much yet, but we have no idea what’s to come.
| Courtesy Spike Paul Waldman, op-ed mug.
Paul Waldman is an opinion writer for the Plum Line blog. @paulwaldman1
In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, political insiders talked about a permanent realignment of the political map. After years in the blue column, the Rust Belt and Upper Midwest were now going to move toward Republicans, we were told. Older white, working-class voters were easy pickings for President Donald Trump’s brand of politics — built on resentment and aimed at retaliation against urban elites, immigrants and globalization itself. Well, it worked once — with a seriously flawed Democratic presidential nominee — and only barely (a shift of fewer than 80,000 votes in three states would have spared us from the entire Trumpian ordeal).
The 2016 results nevertheless prompted Democrats to agonize over their failure to represent the interests of white, working-class voters, especially men. Should they dump cultural issues? Maybe they, too, should start talking about putting the brakes on immigration?
It seems that the freakout was unnecessary and overwrought, and the GOP's grip on formerly blue states was illusory.
“Democratic Senate incumbents in Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan — all states won by Trump — now appear solid favorites for re-election,” Ronald Brownstein writes. “The party is favored for the governorships in Michigan and Pennsylvania and locked in close races in Wisconsin, Ohio and Iowa — the fifth Midwestern state key to Trump’s 2016 victory. And it could pick up as many as four House seats combined in Iowa and Michigan.” He surmises that Trump “appears to have suffered genuine erosion among working-class white women, largely because of his attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and a sense among many that the improved national economy hasn’t provided them appreciably more security. If that crack in Trump’s armor persists to 2020, it would arguably provide the single most important advance for Democrats in the midterm election.”
Several other factors are likely at play.
First, we cannot stress enough that Hillary Clinton simply was not an option for many voters. It's why Trump keeps bringing her up almost two years after she lost. The Republicans' supposed inroads in the Midwest were in fact just as much a rejection of Clinton, personally and as a representative of the Washington status quo. The voters who switched from President Barack Obama to Trump in the Midwest might have been misguided in their expectations for Trump, but their votes had an internal consistency: They hate professional politicians and feel that the global economy has left them behind. Remove Clinton and find some solid candidates, especially first-time candidates, and Democrats are back in the game.
Second, Trump’s populism was a canard from the get-go, and now it’s obvious even to those who supported him in 2016. When you pass tax cuts for the rich, propose cutting Medicaid, support repeal of the ACA that would hit rural communities hardest, inflict tariffs and defend an administration rife with corruption, good luck trying to convince working-class voters that you are “on their side.” Democrats' bread-and-butter economic appeal — which works for white, working-class voters as well as for suburbanites and urbanites — worked for Obama and still can resonate with many voters.
Third, Trump's misogyny and male grievance crusade come with a cost. Republicans face a problem not just from Democratic and independent women who have been energized, but also from women who are no longer Republican. E.J. Graff writes:
“Fewer and fewer American women identify as Republicans, and that slow migration is speeding up under Trump. ... Trump’s election put this gender shift “on steroids,” [Democratic pollster Anna] Greenberg says. According to Pew, the share of American women voters who identify with or lean toward the Republican Party has dropped 3 percentage points since 2015-from 40 percent to 37 percent-after having been essentially unchanged from 2010 through 2014. By 2017, just 25 percent of American women fully identified as Republicans. That means that when, say, 84 percent of Republican women say they approve of Trump and his actions, or 69 percent of Republican women say they support Kavanaugh, or 64 percent say they, like Trump, don’t find Ford very ‘credible,’ those percentages represent a small and shrinking slice of American women.”
In short, without adopting spurious positions (e.g. limiting legal immigration) or abandoning support for its traditional issues (e.g. gun safety, women's rights), Democrats seem poised to win back what they lost in the Midwest in 2016. The lesson they should take away is simple: Get good candidates and articulate an effective economic message. This really isn't rocket science.
Jennifer Rubin | The Washington Post
Jennifer Rubin writes reported opinion from a center-right perspective for The Washington Post.
LOS ANGELES - Cody Bellinger singled home the winning run in the 13th inning, lifting the Los Angeles Dodgers over the Milwaukee Brewers 2-1 on Tuesday night and tying the NL Championship Series at two games apiece.
Bellinger grounded a 3-2 pitch from Junior Guerra into right field, scoring Manny Machado, who slid home and touched the plate with his left hand to beat the tag and finally end an October thriller that took 5 hours, 15 minutes.
Game 5 in the best-of-seven series is Wednesday afternoon at Dodger Stadium, with Wade Miley going for the Brewers against fellow lefty Clayton Kershaw. The teams return to Milwaukee for Game 6 on Friday.
With one out in the 13th, Machado had a broken-bat single to left field and went to second on Guerra's wild pitch. With first base open and slumping Yasmani Grandal on deck followed by the pitcher's spot, the Brewers chose to pitch to Bellinger — and it cost them.
"Honestly, I didn't think he was going to throw me a strike," Bellinger said. "And then once I noticed he was attacking me, I just tried to put the ball in play and hopefully find a hole this time."
Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said: "I thought it was worth the risk of trying to expand to Bellinger, and if the at-bat goes to Grandal, we walk Grandal."
Bellinger, who entered as a pinch hitter in the sixth, also had the defensive play of the game. He made a diving catch on his belly of a ball hit by Lorenzo Cain leading off the 10th, spreading his arms out and sliding like a snow angel in right field.
"I haven't been out there much," Bellinger said. "But I played right field in the minor leagues a little bit, so it was kind of second nature to me, and I just saw it up in the air, so I just tried to run and grab it."
Both teams used all their position players and wasted numerous chances. Los Angeles went through its entire bullpen.
The Dodgers struck out 17 times — all against Milwaukee relievers — and have whiffed 49 times in the series. The Brewers fanned 15 times.
Los Angeles • Southern California outside linebacker Porter Gustin underwent surgery to repair a broken ankle Tuesday.
He is looking at a four-month recovery after having a metal plate and screw inserted in his right ankle, Trojans coach Clay Helton said Tuesday night, a timetable that would likely allow the talented pass rusher to participate in workouts ahead of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Gustin suffered the injury that ended his senior season late in the fourth quarter of USC’s 31-20 win over Colorado on Saturday night. He had 21 sacks and 33 tackles for loss during his college career, with seven sacks and 10 tackles for loss this season to lead USC in both categories, and projects as one of the top edge defenders available for NFL teams to draft next year.
Helton said it would be impossible for USC to replace Gustin’s contributions to the team on and off the field.
“There’s only one Porter,” Helton said. “I’ve been doing it 24 years and I can count on one hand guys you’ll always remember, and that guy, he’s the definition of what a Trojan is.”
This is the second straight season in which Gustin sustained a season-ending injury. He was limited to four games in 2017 because of toe and biceps injuries, missing the Pac-12 title game and Cotton Bowl.
Gustin graduated from Utah’s Salem Hills High School.
USC (4-2) plays at Utah (4-2) on Saturday night.
FOX 13 has found a new anchorwoman for its flagship newscasts — and it’s a familiar face. As of Monday, Kelly Chapman will anchor the 4, 5, 5:30 and 9 p.m. shows.
“Kelly is a dedicated journalist and an outstanding communicator whose personality shines through the screen,” said KSTU news director Marc Sternfield. “She has been an important part of our successful morning newscast and will be a strong addition to our afternoon and evening news.”
Chapman replaces Hope Woodside, who recently left the station after nearly 23 years behind the anchor desk.
A Utah native who was Miss Utah USA in 2003, Chapman signed on with KSTU in 2013 as a weekend morning news anchor, later moving to weekdays. She previously worked at KUTV-Channel 2 in Salt Lake City and two sister stations in Sacramento, Calif. — KMAX and KOVR.
She will co-anchor FOX 13’s 4 p.m. news with Max Roth, and the 5, 5:30 and 9 p.m. newscasts with Bob Evans.
“Kelly is not only a great news anchor, she also cares deeply about the community,” said Tim Ermish, FOX 13’s general manager. “Whether she is emceeing fundraisers for local nonprofits, joining her co-workers at public outreach events, or helping individuals through FOX 13’s ‘Dream Team’ stories, Kelly is always looking for ways to give back.”
Houston • Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a grand slam, Nathan Eovaldi hushed Houston a day after some social media trash talk and the Boston Red Sox beat the Astros 8-2 on Tuesday to take a 2-1 lead in the AL Championship Series.
Steve Pearce hit a tiebreaking solo homer for Boston off Joe Smith in the sixth inning, a drive that sailed just inside the foul pole in left field for a 3-2 lead.
Bradley’s slam capped a five-run burst in the eighth against Roberto Osuna. The Astros closer got two outs but allowed two singles and plunked consecutive batters to force in a run. Bradley then crushed a 1-1 fastball into the right field seats to send Houston fans streaming toward the exits.
Game 4 is Wednesday night, with Boston’s Rick Porcello opposing Charlie Morton.
With his childhood hero and fellow Alvin, Texas, native Nolan Ryan sitting behind the plate, Eovaldi turned in another solid start. Red-hot slugger Alex Bregman had shared video Monday on Instagram of Houston hitting back-to-back-to-back home runs off Eovaldi in his previous outing against the Astros.
When Salt Lake City Councilman Charlie Luke saw the puppy, he and his family “fell in love.”
They didn’t know anything about owning a dog, Luke said at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, but they brought him home and made him part of their family. They were at a loss when, two days later, their new pet went into a coma with giardia, an upper respiratory infection and pneumonia.
“I called the pet store back and I’m like, ‘Look, you know, we just got this dog. Can you help us?’” he recounted. “And they said, ‘Well, yeah, you can bring him back and we’ll give you a refund.’ I mean, he’s a puppy. My kids had fallen in love with it, I fell in love with it, my wife was totally attached. You know, it’s not a commodity, yet the pet store treated it as such.”
The family was able to nurse the dog back to health with the help of a veterinarian. Nine years later, he cited the story as a reason he plans to support a new city ordinance that would prohibit pet stores from selling animals not obtained from an animal shelter, control agency, humane society or nonprofit rescue organization.
If passed, the restrictions would aim to prevent “puppy mills” from taking hold in the city, reduce pet overpopulation and ensure animals sold in commercial animal establishments are treated “appropriately and humanely,” according to council documents.
“I think moving in this direction is smart because not only is it the right thing to do, but I think there are a lot of folks who don’t know better,” Luke said.
Pet rescue organizations, including the Humane Society of Utah, have advocated for such an ordinance to the Mayor’s Office and City Council.
“The motto ‘adopt, don’t shop’ is more than a moral and ethical issue, it is a public health and community safety issue as well as fiscally responsible move to avoid tax money used to shelter additional animals in local shelters that already face the challenging endeavor to control pet homelessness,” Gene Baierschmidt, the executive director of the Humane Society of Utah, said in a news release.
Before the council’s meeting on Tuesday, Biskupski’s office welcomed rescue animals from the Humane Society in an effort to promote the proposed regulations. Biskupski has adopted two dogs from local rescue organizations this year — Ava and Ember — and said they are two of the “strongest proponents of this ordinance” in her life.
(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Mayor Jackie Biskupski with Jasper in Salt Lake City on Tuesday Oct. 16, 2018. Several rescue animals visited City Hall from the Humane Society of Utah to promote a proposed ordinance which would prohibit pet stores from selling dogs, cats, and rabbits unless the animals were obtained from an animal shelter, control agency, humane society, or non-profit rescue organization. (Trent Nelson/)
“I believe there’s tremendous support for this,” she told The Salt Lake Tribune on Tuesday. “We are a community that has very strong values around our pets, and I see this as in line with those values. I’m very excited to see what happens with the council, but I believe that we’ll see full support from the council on this and be able to move it forward quickly.”
Council Chair Erin Mendenhall and Councilman Chris Wharton also expressed support for the ordinance at the council’s work meeting on Tuesday.
“Unfortunately a lot of times the law treats animals, you know, as chattel or personal property the same as a lamp or a couch, but they’re not the same,” Wharton said. “And when we have laws like this that recognize and protect these members of the family — especially in District 3, where there are more pets in households than there are children — I think we send a message that we recognize that in Salt Lake City.”
The proposal mirrors regulations passed in unincorporated Salt Lake County and in Sandy, which in May became the first Utah city to prohibit the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores within city limits.
If adopted, pet store operators would have 90 days to comply with the new rules and any violations of the ordinance would result in a misdemeanor citation. But council staff said Tuesday that all licensed pet stores in Salt Lake City already meet the criteria established in the proposed ordinance.
The council is expected to approve the ordinance at its Nov. 13 meeting.
As he drove one of his out-of-state clients to the Salt Lake City International Airport, local businessman David Shipley tried to explain the abandoned clubhouse and dead grass in an adjacent parcel that was once home to a “world class” golf course.
Wingpointe, operated by Salt Lake City, was shuttered in 2015 after a series of events involving land use costs and the federal government, Shipley told the businessman, and it has since fallen into disrepair.
“And he looked back at me and he just kind of said, ‘Well, why don’t you do something about it?’” Shipley recalled. “And so that was the motivation for me to get involved.”
Shipley is now the president of Wingpointe Community Inc., a private sector group that’s working to resurrect a golf course once thought dead.
It won’t come cheap. The irrigation system will have to be rebuilt, the course redesigned, cart paths pulled up, greens resurfaced and bunkers replaced — all to the tune of around $10 million or $15 million, Shipley said. But he said he and other investors are committed to putting in the money needed to return the course to its former glory, without any cost to taxpayers.
“We want to make sure that when this renovation is completed that the redesign of the golf course, the enhancement of the facilities, is going to be something that will be commensurate with the entrance to a $4 billion airport project,” Shipley said after a public announcement of the plans at a news conference on Tuesday. “The gateway to the city.”
The Arthur Hills-designed links-style course, which lies south of the airport, opened in 1990. The airport bought the site in the 1970s and was leasing it to the city for $1 per year before the Federal Aviation Administration stepped in, in 2012, to insist the airport charge a fair-market rate for the property.
That led to an agreement under which the city, via its dedicated Golf Fund, would pay an increasing annual lease to the airport starting at $55,000 in 2014, rising to a full market-rate price of $150,000 the next year.
City officials said last year that a fair-market rent for the property could be as high as $2.4 million per year — more than twice Wingpointe’s highest-ever annual revenues.
Besides the lease payments, the City Council had in 2016 authorized $67,000 to keep up watering and other minimal maintenance to prevent the course from reverting to its natural state. But last November, the council voted to stop putting money into the course altogether, since it seemed unlikely to ever see action again.
President Donald Trump, however, recently signed a bill that included language from Utah Rep. Chris Stewart allowing the federal government to waive a property tax requirement on property like Wingpointe — making it much more feasible to reopen the course.
“Our objective was just to reauthorize the federal government to waive that property tax requirement,” Stewart told The Salt Lake Tribune on Tuesday. “We want to have that beautiful course back. It’s a beautiful thing for the city and for the community.”
The only obstacle that remains in the way for a projected 2020 reopening of the course — timed with completion of the first phase of reconstruction of the Salt Lake City International Airport — is Salt Lake City’s approval of a long-term land lease for use of the property.
Mayor Jackie Biskupski said she’s been working with Stewart for years on efforts to reopen Wingpointe and is excited to have a conversation with business leaders about what comes next now that Congress has weighed in on the issue.
“That first hurdle was a big hurdle that had to be overcome, and now that we have accomplished that, now we can sit down and work together on what is possible,” Biskupski said. "And that’s an exciting thing for me. It’s an exciting thing for many people in this community and in this state who were big fans of Wingpointe.”
While the project is still in its early phases, Shipley said he wants to see the new course become a permanent, dedicated home for the First Tee of Utah, a nonprofit organization dedicated to getting young people involved in golf. He’d also like the course to become home to the University of Utah’s golf team and to provide anti-recidivism landscaping programs for inmates from the new nearby state prison.
“This golf course is something more than just another course in the city,” Stewart said. “It really had a reputation of being one of the great courses in the country, and I look forward to going out and I want to be there the first day it opens and golf with those guys as we bring back this great course and one more reason for people to visit Salt Lake City.”
The board overseeing the Unified Fire Authority voted Tuesday to hire outside legal counsel to advise it on whether to attempt recovering hundreds of thousands of dollars in public funds that state auditors last year concluded were misused by top administrators.
The money the board would seek to recover includes at least $370,000 in public funds the audit concluded former chief and current Salt Lake County Councilman Michael Jensen and ex-Deputy Chief Gaylord Scott had improperly received.
“Our board takes very seriously the fact that these funds, which we believe were misappropriated funds, are public funds,” said Millcreek Mayor and UFA board member Jeff Silvestrini. “We believe the board was misled and/or circumvented with respect to some of these expenditures, and as a board we don’t believe that we can accept that type of conduct.”
The Unified Fire Authority operates fire and emergency services throughout most of Salt Lake County under contract with individual cities. The Unified Fire Service Area is a separate but related taxing district made up of municipalities that levy property taxes to build fire stations operated by UFA. The service area board is also seeking legal advice on a potential suit.
Though a decision was expected Tuesday, the board decided after a closed session to seek legal advice before going forward with litigation against Jensen, Scott and perhaps also former Chief Legal Officer Karl Hendrickson and former Chief Financial Officer Shirley Perkins.
(Christopher Cherrington | The Salt Lake Tribune)
The board directed its legal team and staff to review all the available information about the case to decide how to proceed civilly at its meeting last month. A civil lawsuit would likely be the only way to go after that money because a more-than-yearlong investigation by the Utah Attorney General’s Office, released last month, ended with no criminal charges.
The state audit and the 196-page investigative report from the Attorney General’s Office found the agency’s top administrators had received exorbitant bonuses, been reimbursed for personal vacations attached to official travel, purchased electronic equipment for personal use and hired close family members outside UFA rules.
The payouts included sizable severance checks to the two — $93,000 to Jensen and $42,000 to Scott — even though they resigned in 2016 under a cloud of suspicion. Additionally, Jensen, Scott, Perkins and Hendrickson received more than a combined $400,000 in bonuses, or “incentive pay,” between 2011 and 2015.
Chief Dan Peterson, who took over the agency in January 2017, has since eliminated the agency’s bonus program altogether, and the board has worked through about 100 of the 126 recommendations included in the state auditor’s report to address the culture and practices at UFA.
Silvestrini said he expects the board will make a decision about whether to move forward with a lawsuit at its November meeting.
Emery County Sheriff Lamar Guymon carried extra flashlights and glow sticks when he entered the Wilberg Mine. He didn’t like the dark and was afraid of getting lost inside the mine, but he had jobs to do.
A fire on Dec. 19, 1984, killed 27 coal miners. It took 11 months of depriving oxygen to the mine to stop the blaze. Guymon took miner and rescue training during those months so he could enter to retrieve the bodies and investigate the cause of the fire.
Almost 23 years later, Guymon helped Emery County through another mining catastrophe — at Crandall Canyon. By then, Guymon was comforting people who weren’t even born when he was first elected sheriff.
Guymon, who died Friday at age 71, served as the Emery County sheriff for 36 years and was thought to be the longest-sitting elected official in Utah when he lost re-election in 2010.
Al Hartmann | Tribune file photo Former Emery County Sheriff Lamar Guymon stands outside the Emery Mining Co. office in Huntington. It was ground zero for Wilberg mine company officials and media from around the world that invaded the small town after 27 coal miners died in the Dec. 19, 1984, disaster. (Al Hartmann/)
He was elected mayor of Huntington last November but had little opportunity to serve. Guymon’s wife, GayLa Guymon, on Monday said that her husband suffered a heart attack Dec. 21 — about 2½ weeks before he took his oath as mayor. His last 10 months, she said, were filled with efforts by his family and doctors to get him healthy, including the installation of a pacemaker, but the effects of that heart attack caused his death.
Even Guymon’s widow was perplexed at what drove him to spend so many years as a public servant.
“It was definitely where he was supposed to be,” GayLa Guymon said, “taking care of people’s problems.”
Emery County sits in the middle of Utah, where Interstate 70 runs through the San Rafael Swell, and has an estimated population of 10,077. There are no city police departments. The sheriff’s office is the first responder to any call for law enforcement in the county.
The two mining disasters during Guymon’s tenure as sheriff drew national and international attention. For the Wilberg fire, Guymon helped retrieve the bodies and investigate accusations of arson. It was eventually determined an unattended air compressor with defective safety devices combusted and ignited the blaze.
In the years that followed, Guymon and his staff found themselves responding to calls about and trying to aid families who lost sons, brothers, husbands and fathers in the mine.
“Wilberg taught me a lot about life and people, about how good people are and how bad people are,” Guymon told The Salt Lake Tribune for an article on the 30th anniversary of the fire. “Some people capitalize on other people’s misery. Others step right up and give everything they’ve got.”
Emery County Sheriff’s Capt. Kyle Ekker, who worked for Guymon for 25 years, said Tuesday that his former boss would ask the people he encountered sometimes personal questions about their spouses, children or other aspects of home life. It wasn’t to investigate them for a crime, Ekker said, but to find out how the person was doing.
“He was concerned about everybody in his county,” Ekker said.
Guymon and his deputies responded to another coal mine on the morning of Aug. 6, 2007. This time, walls at the Crandall Canyon Mine — not far from Guymon’s home in Huntington — collapsed. Six miners were unaccounted for.
While trained mine rescuers tried to find the missing, Guymon again found himself comforting mining families and acting as a liaison — and sometimes buffer — between the families and the mine’s blustery owner, coal magnate Bob Murray.
(Tribune File Photo) Emery County Sheriff Lamar Guymon, left, speaks with Crandall Mine part owner Robert Murray on Aug. 12, 2007. Rescue crews at the Crandall Canyon Mine tried unsuccessfully to free six trapped miners. (Danny Chan La/)
A report by the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration criticized Murray’s behavior during family briefings. Guymon eventually barred him from attending such briefings.
The six miners have never been recovered. Three rescuers died at Crandall Canyon in a collapse 10 days after the first one.
Lamar Edward Guymon was born Dec. 30, 1946, in Huntington to Starr Hal and Ina Madge Johnson Guymon. The family had a cattle farm and Hal Guymon, as he was known, also worked as a mechanic.
Lamar married GayLa Jensen in 1966. GayLa Guymon said her husband worked construction before deciding to become a deputy in 1970. At that time, the sheriff’s office consisted of the sheriff and one deputy. Guymon became the second deputy.
“Needless to say, he was never home,” GayLa Guymon said in a phone interview. “He probably worked 15- or 20-hour shifts.”
Guymon was elected sheriff for the first time in 1974 at age 27. Through all nine of his terms, he bucked a Utah trend. He was a Democrat in a part of the state where voters heavily favor Republican candidates.
He was both an administrator and an investigator. When Heber James Norton murdered bank tellers Vicki Grange and Lorraine Wiseman during a robbery in Huntington in 1979, it was Guymon and an FBI agent who performed the interrogation.
At Norton’s trial in 1980, Guymon quoted Norton as saying, “If I shot one person, I might as well shoot both.” Norton was convicted of murder and robbery charges and died in prison.
Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune Emery County Sheriff Lamar Guymon speaks at a news conference Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2010, describing the murders of William and Charmane Sharp in Castle Dale. (Al Hartmann/)
Through the years, the sheriff’s office grew to about 30 officers. Guymon also worked to ensure there was adequate ambulance service in each of Emery County’s towns, Ekker said.
Guymon lost his re-election bid in 2010 to one of his former deputies, Greg Funk, who received 67 percent of the vote. Guymon attributed the result to the nationwide landslide in favor of Republicans. Funk was re-elected in 2014.
Even after the results rolled in on election night in 2010, Guymon was upbeat, saying he had no plans to retire from public life.
“I’ve enjoyed every day of” being sheriff, he said.
Besides his wife, Guymon’s survivors include daughters DaShai Nelson, of Ferron; Stephanie Adams, of St. George; Melany Weaver, of Huntington; and Karlee Leonard, of Price; sons Jeremy Guymon, of Ferron, and Tim Guymon, of Huntington; sister Kaye Phillips, of Heber City; brothers Courtney and Vaughn Guymon, both of Huntington; 15 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Another brother, Larry Guymon, died in 1991.
A viewing for Guymon will be held from 4:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and 9:30 a.m. Thursday at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stake center at 240 N. Main St. in Huntington. Services will be there at 11 a.m. Thursday, followed by burial at the Huntington City Cemetery.
Civil liberties advocates are faulting Operation Rio Grande for an overemphasis on policing Salt Lake City’s homeless population, reporting the initiative has so far yielded about 13 arrests for every new treatment program placement.
When Operation Rio Grande launched last August, its creators said they were seeking to reduce lawlessness around the city’s homeless shelter through a two-year effort that would target the “worst of the worst” for arrest and expand treatment options and job training for others. But the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah says many minor offenders are also getting caught in the law enforcement net.
“Being homeless is not a crime, yet thousands of individuals living in or frequenting the Rio Grande neighborhood were detained, jailed and released with no additional help and the added burden of warrants, fines and a criminal record,” the ACLU wrote in an eight-page report released Tuesday.
Since Operation Rio Grande’s launch in August 2017, police have made more than 5,000 arrests as part of the initiative, more than three-quarters of them for misdemeanors or active warrants. That figure dwarfs the number of new beds added to local social service agencies (243) and the number of people who have pleaded into drug court (120) during the operation’s first year, the report states.
Jason Stevenson, an ACLU spokesman, said the imbalance exists because Operation Rio Grande was “designed as a hammer” and has had a law-and-order emphasis since its inception. Granted, he said, it’s easier to send squad cars to the Rio Grande neighborhood than to create new treatment beds. But it’s not the most efficient tactic in the long term, he said.
“It’s not necessarily cheaper to focus on law enforcement, but that machine is much easier to ramp up than the treatment side,” he said.
House Speaker Greg Hughes, one of the main architects of Operation Rio Grande, said he was disappointed by the ACLU report and felt it mischaracterized the operation as a heavy-handed effort. It has helped numerous people get back on their feet, he said.
“Not only am I proud of the work that people have done, I’m happy for and inspired for the people who have been able to turn their lives around,” he said.
Operation Rio Grande’s three-pronged plan began with law enforcement to address crime around the city’s homeless shelter, said Nate McDonald, spokesman for the Utah Department of Workforce Services.
“We definitely knew it could not just be about law enforcement, but there was a need to get things going right away,” he said.
The operation’s second and third phases aim to help people access mental-health services, recover from addiction and find jobs.
Officials involved in Operation Rio Grande have pointed to sinking crime statistics as evidence of success. Crimes decreased by 26 percent across the city in the operation’s first year, with the biggest drop documented in the Rio Grande area.
Hughes noted that the neighborhood drew national attention in the summer of 2017 after a Las Vegas minor league baseball player was attacked in broad daylight by a homeless Salt Lake City man wielding a tire iron.
“We were making USA TODAY in terms of urban chaos going on,” Hughes, R-Draper, said.
Because of the past year’s work, people now feel secure entering the Rio Grande area to seek help from service providers, he added.
However, the ACLU report states that officials often improperly conflate issues of homelessness and crime, a symptom of the law enforcement-heavy approach that the group says has underpinned Operation Rio Grande.
Many of the individuals who have landed in jail have been released because of space shortages, The Salt Lake Tribune has reported. Often, this brush with the justice system serves only to lengthen people’s criminal records and make it more difficult for them to find secure housing and permanent employment, Stevenson said.
“A lot of people are being arrested, but it’s a revolving door,” he said. “They’re not getting the help they need.”
But McDonald said an arrest can steer people into treatment programs and divert them into drug court. On Wednesday, Salt Lake County officials will hold a graduation ceremony for the first batch of participants in its Operation Rio Grande drug court program.
Many of the people who end up in treatment at First Step House come by way of the criminal justice system, said Shawn McMillen, the organization’s executive director. The nonprofit provides residential and outpatient treatment services for low-income men, and McMillen said quite a few clients have been referred through Operation Rio Grande.
He’s witnessed program participants express gratitude for their arrests, which gave them a chance to detox in jail and pursue recovery.
“You see men cry out of gratitude,” he said. “So I get that perhaps the number of arrests was beyond the capacity of the system, but I also know that there’s another side to the story.”
Matt Melville, homeless services director for Catholic Community Services, said he does wish that treatment beds had come online sooner through Operation Rio Grande. The spate of arrests is also problematic for his nonprofit, as it seeks to get people off the streets, he said.
“Anytime there’s more barriers being put up to get people to employment or housing, it’s concerning for us,” he said.
He recognizes the Rio Grande neighborhood had hit a crisis when the operation started; drug dealing and violence had become such a problem that some of his volunteers no longer felt safe enough to show up, he said.
“There were definitely some predators that were down here and a heavy, heavy drug trade,” he said.
The two-year operation precedes the expected 2019 closure of The Road Home shelter and the planned opening of three smaller shelters. State, county and city leaders have partnered on the project, which carries an estimated $67 million price tag — some of that represents reallocated resources, and about $15 million to $20 million of the total is new spending, McDonald said.
Stevenson said his group’s goal is to start a conversation about Operation Rio Grande so its leaders can adjust the effort during its final months.
“We believe the data we’ve analyzed shows we’re heading in the wrong direction, but there is still time to change course,” he said.
The organization is hosting a panel discussion on Operation Rio Grande at Centro Cívico Mexicano Thursday evening, with participation from service providers, a defense attorney and the deputy chief for the Salt Lake City Police Department.