The Salt Lake Tribune

    ‘It’s a direct hit’: 9th and 9th businesses worry about loss of parking spaces in an area where they’re already scarce

    ‘It’s a direct hit’: 9th and 9th businesses worry about loss of parking spaces in an area where they’re already scarce


    As Salt Lake City breaks ground on a reconstruction project at 900 South, business owners in the eclectic 9th and 9th neighborhood are raising concerns that a resulting reduction of parking could also reduce their bottom lines.The project is meant to...

    As Salt Lake City breaks ground on a reconstruction project at 900 South, business owners in the eclectic 9th and 9th neighborhood are raising concerns that a resulting reduction of parking could also reduce their bottom lines.

    The project is meant to improve mobility and access to the area, as well as “to prolong the life span of the roadway” with the creation of a five-leg roundabout at the intersection of 900 South and 1100 East, improved bike lanes, a dropped lane of traffic and better bus services, according to city documents.

    The area will lose a net total of 20 parking spots from about 950 East to 1300 East as a result, including to upgraded bus stops to meet Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines, to the roundabout, to a new 9-Line Trail and to improved crosswalks.

    In a community that has already struggled with parking — with the East Liberty Park Community Organization going so far as to sue a developer a few years ago due to a lack of parking for a proposed development — business owners say that’s a problem.

    “It’s a direct hit to the success of our business district,” said Sheridan Mordue, owner of the women’s lifestyle store Hip & Humble. “I think there’s a misconception that the people that shop and frequent 9th and 9th are neighbors. And they might be our biggest fans, but they aren’t personally my best customers. My best customers are on the upper east side or they’re in Sandy or in Millcreek, and they’re getting to my store by car and they have to have a place to park.”

    City documents recognize a need to weigh “the needs and desires of businesses and residents in the area” but state that the reconstruction will better serve a variety of visitors.

    "This section of 900 South will now be more accessible to those that choose not to drive with improved bus service and bike-trail connections,” documents state. “This will free other parking spots for those that still want or need to drive.”

    Overall, the reconstruction represents a $3 million investment from several funding sources, including impact fees and a Salt Lake County active-transportation grant.

    The city has conducted an extensive public engagement process on the project, which started in 2016 with stakeholder interviews and online and on-street surveys. Transportation officials also conducted short-term street design trials called “pop-ups” to test various options at the intersection on 900 South and 1100 East before settling on the roundabout.

    Parking concerns have sprung up in just the past few weeks after outreach on the final plan that left many feeling blindsided.

    “There was a missed opportunity in the engagement and the city recognizes that and transportation sort of acknowledged that in the last meeting we had,” Matthew Rojas, a spokesman with the Salt Lake City mayor’s office, acknowledged in a recent interview. “The conversation around parking didn’t occur because while transportation knew that there would be some lost parking spots, they didn’t know how many in that time period when we were doing the engagement.”

    After establishing the number of eliminated spaces, the city conducted property-by-property engagement rather than having communitywide conversations, since the loss was mostly concentrated at a single intersection.

    Mordue said she didn’t find out about the parking issues until sometime in late March or early April and noted that she and many other business owners believe the city was not transparent about the losses.

    “We didn’t really know until really late in the game, and that was really hard for us to then start to lobby for our business district when they’ve already hired a contractor to come in and do the work,” she said. “It puts us in a really bad position.”

    Since hearing from upset business owners, the city has made some changes to the project. While the reconstruction would initially have resulted in a loss of 29 spaces, the project team has since reduced that number to 20 with “minor changes to design elements.”

    And Rojas said it’s possible there could be more amendments.

    “There’s two locations where some businesses have said, 'What if you [put more parking] here?’” he said. “We’ll look at those. We don’t expect them to yield a lot of parking, to be quite honest. But the mayor still wants to look at the cost-benefit analysis that comes from both public utilities and engineering.”

    Dave Iltis, editor and publisher of “Cycling Utah” and a biking advocate, has spoken in support of the 900 South reconstruction and told The Salt Lake Tribune that the project will be positive not only for cyclists and pedestrians but also for businesses.

    “From my point of view as a cyclist, I travel to 9th and 9th quite a bit, and if there are safe ways to get there and safe ways to ride there, it’s more likely that cyclists are going to ride there and patronize those businesses,” he said. “I think overall that this project is going to be a really good thing for the area. It’s going to ultimately be really good for the businesses, and it’s going to make Salt Lake a more comfortable place to move about in.”

    Around 140 people showed up at YouthCity in Liberty Park for a recent discussion about 9th and 9th parking and the reconstruction project — a larger crowd than organizers expected. There, Jason Stevenson, co-chairman of the East Liberty Park Community Organization, said residents and business owners engaged in a wide-ranging discussion that reflected the complexity of the project and its impacts.

    But what they all have in common, Stevenson said, is that “everyone is interested in preserving 9th and 9th as a low scale (in other words, not a very tall) commercial district that is easily accessible, eclectic, fun, not cookie cutter and is a place that doesn’t have a lot of chain shops but more homegrown established businesses and new ones coming in.”

    “How we get there, I think, is where the differences arise,” he said.

    Salt Lake City has committed to conducting a parking survey in the 900 South area once reconstruction is completed later this year in an effort to see if there are any changes that can be made to address future parking concerns.

    Warriors rally past Trail Blazers 110-99 for 3-0 series lead


    Portland, Ore. • Draymond Green had 20 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists, and the Golden State Warriors beat the Portland Trail Blazers 110-99 on Saturday night for a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference finals. Green had his seventh career postseason...

    Portland, Ore. • Draymond Green had 20 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists, and the Golden State Warriors beat the Portland Trail Blazers 110-99 on Saturday night for a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference finals.

    Green had his seventh career postseason triple-double and Stephen Curry scored 36 points for Golden State, which moved a win away from a fifth straight trip to the NBA finals with Game 4 set for Monday.

    CJ McCollum had 23 points for the Trail Blazers, who led by 18 points in the second quarter. Damian Lillard added 19 points, but Portland was hurt at the line, making just 20 of 33 attempts.

    After trailing 66-53 at the half, the Warriors mounted a third-quarter comeback to lead 82-79 going into the fourth. Jonas Jerebko’s jumper pushed the lead to 90-82 with 7:26 left.

    Curry’s 3-pointer made it 98-87 with just under five minutes to go, and Portland struggled to catch up — similar to their fourth-quarter fade in Game 2.

    Game 3 was the first conference finals game in Portland since 2000. The Blazers lost that series to the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers in seven games.

    No team has ever come back from an 0-3 deficit to win in the playoffs. Only three series have gone to a seventh game after one team opened with a 3-0 lead.

    On Thursday, the Blazers were up 15 at halftime and led by eight with 4½ minutes left before the Warriors rallied — boosted by Kevon Looney’s dunk with less than a minute left, and a game-sealing steal from Andre Iguodala — for a 114-111 Game 2 victory.

    Both teams switched up their lineups for Game 3, with Portland’s Meyers Leonard making his first start of the playoffs at center. Enes Kanter, despite sustaining a separated shoulder in the first-round series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, started in all the previous games. Leonard provided a spark and finished with a career playoff-high 16 points.

    Warriors coach Steve Kerr started Damian Jones, who hadn’t started since December and had made just two previous appearances in the playoffs. Jones, who played in just 24 games in the regular season because of a torn pectoral muscle, collected three fouls in the game’s opening three minutes and headed to the bench.

    The Warriors remained without Kevin Durant, and it’s unlikely he’ll return during the conference finals. The two-time reigning NBA Finals MVP is still out with a right calf injury and isn’t set to be re-examined until next week.

    Durant, who didn’t travel with the team to Portland, averaged 34.2 points in the playoffs before he was injured in the third quarter of Golden State’s Game 5 victory over Houston.

    Portland was boosted by the home crowd at the start, going up by 10 points in the first quarter. Seth Curry’s jumper made it 60-42 with 2:28 left until halftime.

    The Warriors roared back, closing within 76-75 on Alfonzo McKinnie’s basket and pulling ahead on Looney’s layup to cap a 10-0 run.

    This story will be updated

    Columbine school shooting survivor found dead in home


    Steamboat Springs, Colo. • A Colorado man who survived the 1999 Columbine school shooting and later became an advocate for fighting addiction has died.Routt County Coroner Robert Ryg said Saturday that 37-year-old Austin Eubanks died overnight at his...

    Steamboat Springs, Colo. • A Colorado man who survived the 1999 Columbine school shooting and later became an advocate for fighting addiction has died.

    Routt County Coroner Robert Ryg said Saturday that 37-year-old Austin Eubanks died overnight at his Steamboat Springs home.

    There were no signs of foul play. A Monday autopsy was planned to determine the cause of death.

    Eubanks was shot in the hand and knee in the Columbine attack that killed 12 classmates and a teacher, including Eubanks' best friend.

    He became addicted to drugs after taking prescription pain medication while recovering from his injuries. He later worked at an addiction treatment center and travelled the U.S. telling his story .

    Eubanks' family says in a statement that he "lost the battle with the very disease he fought so hard to help others face," KMGH-TV reports.

    The family added: “We thank the recovery community for its support. As you can imagine, we are beyond shocked and saddened and request that our privacy is respected at this time.”

    Father of man killed by Salt Lake City police is suing the city and department for alleged failures in how it trains officers

    Father of man killed by Salt Lake City police is suing the city and department for alleged failures in how it trains officers


    The father of a man who was killed by Salt Lake City police last April is suing Salt Lake City and its police department, saying the officer who shot the 32-year-old didn’t act like a reasonable officer would in that situation.The lawsuit alleges the...

    The father of a man who was killed by Salt Lake City police last April is suing Salt Lake City and its police department, saying the officer who shot the 32-year-old didn’t act like a reasonable officer would in that situation.

    The lawsuit alleges the officer — who has not been identified — was not properly trained to handle individuals in a mental health crisis, as Delorean Pikyavit was that day, and that the city and department haven’t done enough to prepare for those situations. That “failure," the lawsuit alleges, has “created an atmosphere and culture within law enforcement in the Salt Lake City area wherein deadly force is improperly used, and later ratified.”

    Salt Lake City spokesman Matthew Rojas declined to comment on the pending litigation. Salt Lake City’s police department has received national attention because of its focus on de-escalation tactics and training after controversial deaths at the hands of police in 2014 and 2015.

    For more than an hour on April 18, 2018, a police negotiator tried to get Pikyavit to come outside of his girlfriend’s home. The girlfriend had called police earlier because she and Pikyavit had gotten into a fight, and he had held a pair of scissors to his neck.


    (Photo courtesy of Julia Peterson) In a recent photo, Delorean Pikyavit holds one of his children during a visit. Pikyavit was shot and killed by Salt Lake City police Wednesday, April 18, 2018.

    He finally came outside, holding a half-pair of scissors and a knife, yelling, “Shoot me!” Less than two minutes after he stepped onto a porch outside the home, and after dropping one of the weapons, an officer did.

    In body camera footage released after the shooting, an officer can be heard telling another to stop shouting commands at Pikyavit and to let the negotiator talk.

    Attorneys for Pikyavit’s father point to this in the lawsuit, saying officers were yelling “multiple, inconsistent commands” and that many were “difficult to distinguish from the overall noise and confusion.”

    It states that an officer telling another to “let the negotiator talk” is proof that that officer acted unreasonably and excessively. The lawsuit also notes that Pikyavit “had shown substantial steps in complying with officers’ commands” by leaving the home and discarding one of the weapons he was holding.

    The lawsuit accuses the shooting officer of excessive force and battery and Salt Lake City and its police department of failing to train its officers, negligence and other claims, including wrongful death.

    The allegations, the lawsuit states, “are more than momentary lapses in judgment, thoughtlessness, or mere accident, and go beyond negligence; they are evidence of a more pervasive, overarching, and systematic deprivation of citizens’ civil and constitutional rights that plagues the law enforcement and oversight bodies of Salt Lake City.”

    Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill has not yet determined if his office will file criminal charges against the police officer who killed Pikyavit. That officer’s name hasn’t been released.

    In a statement, Neil Pikyavit’s attorney Travis R. Marker said, “On the day Delorean Pikyavit lost his life, his father and his two young children were left with a number of questions. Those questions have remained unanswered. Delorean’s family hopes that by filing this action, it will help them get the answers they deserve, and the answers that any of us would want in the event a loved one’s life is taken by police.”

    Traumatized ex-soldier died trying to ‘find peace’ on Appalachian Trail


    The physical injuries kept Ronnie Sanchez Jr. from moving as fast as he wanted on the Appalachian Trail, but it was the unseen wounds that almost made him quit.After 16 years in the Army and three tours in Iraq as a combat engineer, it took the...


    The physical injuries kept Ronnie Sanchez Jr. from moving as fast as he wanted on the Appalachian Trail, but it was the unseen wounds that almost made him quit.

    After 16 years in the Army and three tours in Iraq as a combat engineer, it took the 43-year-old veteran years to emerge from a cloud of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder that had kept him locked up in his house in Oklahoma City and avoiding other people.

    But he did it, little by little, slow and determined, by rediscovering his love of the outdoors. He biked. He raced dragon boats. He learned how to ride horses. And in February, Sanchez decided to take on another challenge in a life full of them.

    He would attempt a “thru-hike” of the Appalachian Trail — all 2,192 miles from Georgia to Maine — beginning the journey earlier than most because his pace would be slow. Of the 5,000 hikers who would register this season, Sanchez was No. 21 on the list. Partway in, problems with his knees and shoulders - the subject of repeated surgeries after years in the military - forced him off the trail for weeks.

    “If you get discouraged, it’s hard to come back from that,” said hostel owner Colin Gooder, who persuaded Sanchez to take a break and work for him at his North Carolina shelter — a rest that gave Sanchez the strength to continue hiking.

    Sanchez adopted the trail name “Stronghold.” And by early May, he had made it to southwestern Virginia — 545 miles into his odyssey.

    Then, sometime early on the morning of May 11, a man who had frightened others along the trail with his erratic behavior allegedly invaded the camp that Sanchez and three others had set up in Wythe County. The man threatened to burn the hikers' tents, and they decided to leave, the FBI said. But as they tried to leave the campsite, the man confronted the group with a long knife, and eventually stabbed two of them, killing Sanchez.

    The alleged attacker, James Louis Jordan, 30, of Yarmouth, Massachusetts, was charged with murder and assault, and ordered held for a psychiatric evaluation. Sanchez's family, friends and the hiking community were left mourning.

    "His heart was really big," said Sanchez's ex-wife, Elizabeth Sanchez, who said she had remained good friends with Sanchez even after their separation. "He would help anybody. He was excited to get to Maine.

    "It's so devastating he died like this," Sanchez said, "after all those deployments."

    Ronald Sanchez Jr. was born and raised in Garden Grove, Calif., near Anaheim, along with three brothers and one sister, his ex-wife said. He graduated from Santiago High School in 1994 and entered the Army in April 1995, Army records show. He deployed to Iraq in 2003, 2005 and 2007, the Army said, and retired from the Army in 2011. In Iraq, he worked on bridges and construction projects and was also tasked with driving top commanders around the country, Elizabeth Sanchez said.

    After he left the Army, he lived in Missouri and fell into a deep depression. His ex-wife said he spent his days sleeping and his nights watching television and playing video games. Sanchez told the Oklahoman last year that he rarely went outside and did so only late at night to avoid being around people. "I sat around and ate junk food," he said.

    But Veterans Affairs suggested that he should move to Oklahoma City, where VA administers many recreation programs for recovering vets. He began cycling, and he told the Oklahoman, "These programs at the VA just kind of opened it up for me." He had just finished a 64-mile ride, and Elizabeth Sanchez said he also had become involved with dragon boats, in addition to the hiking he had always done with his family and his ex-wife.

    Elizabeth Sanchez said that in addition to hiking the Appalachian Trail, "he really wanted to ride a bike across the U.S., to raise veteran awareness. It meant a lot to him to help veterans."

    Gooder, owner of the Gooder Grove Adventure Hostel, said he was surprised by the number of veterans he'd encounter on the trail.

    "When I first started operating a hostel, there were a number of veterans that came through that were trying to heal wounds," he said. "The trail helps them heal. Nature deserves all the credit for that."

    Sanchez was no exception. The pain was intense when he first came to the hostel, and he was not sure he could not continue. But Gooder said he wouldn't let Sanchez give up. He offered Sanchez a place to stay in exchange for helping him run the place for a few weeks.

    The hostel had only three rules: "Be kind. Be kind of clean and just be," he said.

    Sanchez helped Gooder turn over rooms. He said Sanchez took meditative walks to test his legs as he recovered. Gooder taught him some tai chi techniques he had learned to help him align his knees correctly when he hiked. But there were other problems that required more time.

    "He was looking to find peace because he had what we call the 'monkey mind' in tai chi," Gooder said. "He couldn't shut his brain off and the memories kept coming through."

    After a time fortifying his mind and body, Sanchez set out again.

    They spoke for only a few minutes, but hiker Dawn Maxwell won't soon forget her passing encounter with the veteran. It was Feb. 25, and Stronghold was pushing north. His build and gait signaled to Maxwell that he was ex-military. The braces on his knees told her he was suffering. And a soft smile beneath the black scruff of his mustache telegraphed the contentment of a man who had overcome.

    On that sunny, unseasonably warm winter day, he was the only person on the trail. Maxwell, a Chicago attorney known as "Tinkerbell" on the trail, was headed south. Sanchez was going in the other direction. When he saw her, the Army veteran moved to the side to let her pass and she stopped to talk.

    "He was just a real gentleman," Maxwell said. "I had a 15- to 20-minute conversation, and I just remember thinking it was a beautiful day and I was having the most pleasant conversation with this man."

    Sanchez confessed he was in pain. They talked about the terrain, the weather, what to expect next on the trail and shuttles he could catch to a hostel. It occurred to Maxwell to connect him to another hiker and soldier also suffering from PTSD.

    "It happens all the time on the trail," Maxwell said. "People really open up to other hikers. People get lonely out there. And I'm a real talker, and he was very open."

    Other hikers who met Sanchez along the trail were effusive in describing his compassion and kindness. They posted their remembrances on the Hiker Yearbook Facebook page, echoing memories of a man who they imagine tried to protect those around him when the group was ambushed.

    "If God had asked for someone to raise their hand to volunteer and save everyone else on the trail from being hurt or killed, Ron would've been the guy to raise his hand," Gooder said. "It almost makes sense that it was him. He was that selfless."

    Elizabeth Sanchez said her ex-husband was an experienced camper and calm in dangerous situations. During one trip in California, a bear wandered into their campsite, taking food and making eye contact with him. It then turned and walked away.

    "He was really cautious," she said, noting that he carried a knife but never a gun on the trail. "He felt safe out there."

    Elizabeth Sanchez said she believed the woman who was also stabbed during the incident, who survived, was a recent acquaintance who had just met Sanchez. Canadian media have described her as being from Nova Scotia.

    "You can't help but try to picture it," she said. "I just picture him telling the guy, 'Get out of here, just leave us alone.' "

    The FBI said in an affidavit that Sanchez, an unidentified woman and another man and woman were in the process of packing up their campsite to escape the threatening hiker when he attacked. The man and woman fled into the woods, and the man chased them but did not catch them, the affidavit said. Then the man returned to the campsite and repeatedly stabbed Sanchez while the unidentified woman fled, the FBI alleged.

    The attacker then tracked down the woman and stabbed her until she lay down and pretended to be dead, authorities said. She then fled into a neighboring county.

    Local authorities said Sanchez had managed to send an SOS signal from his phone. But when sheriff's deputies found him he was dead, with a 20-inch knife near his body. A short distance away, they found Jordan in bloody clothes.

    The traumatized trail community - or the "AT tramily" - plans to gather this weekend to honor "Stronghold" in a vigil that will bring hundreds of hikers to Damascus, Virginia, for the annual Appalachian Trail Days Festival.

    Matthew "Odie" Norman is a trail angel - someone who helps hikers along their way - who met the accused killer in early May, gave him a ride and bought him a bus ticket to get him away from the trail. On May 15, Norman posted a black-and-white photo on his well-read "Hiker Yearbook" page of three pairs of feet he said belonged to the survivors of the attack: "They are all doing well, a little broken, but no where near defeated."

    When tragedy strikes the Appalachian Trail, it is tradition for fellow hikers to find ways to continue the journey for those who can no longer walk. Sometimes, they carry a photo of their comrade. Sometimes they take a piece of gear to the peak of a mountain as a memorial. But there is only one true way to honor an Appalachian Trail hiker, they say.

    Finish the trail.

    virginia-attack

    George F. Will: Blaine paid a steep price for his bigotry, but children shouldn’t have to

    George F. Will: Blaine paid a steep price for his bigotry, but children shouldn’t have to


    Washington - Republican James G. Blaine (1830-1893) was a House speaker, senator and two-time secretary of state, but he is remembered, if at all, for this doggerel: “Blaine, Blaine, James G. Blaine/ the continental liar from the state of Maine.” His...

    Washington - Republican James G. Blaine (1830-1893) was a House speaker, senator and two-time secretary of state, but he is remembered, if at all, for this doggerel: “Blaine, Blaine, James G. Blaine/ the continental liar from the state of Maine.” His lasting legacy, however, is even more disreputable than his involvement in unsavory business deals while in elective office: the Blaine Amendments that have been in 37 state constitutions.

    Soon, the Supreme Court will decide whether to hear an appeal from Montana's high court. Accepting the Montana case will enable the Supreme Court to end the conflict among federal circuit courts of appeal and state courts of last resort.

    In the 19th century's second half, fear and loathing of Catholic immigrants were ubiquitous and forthright. In 1854, Massachusetts' governor and all but three members of the Legislature were members of the anti-Catholic Know Nothing party, and the Legislature's Nunnery Committee searched for underground dungeons in convents. Protestantism was effectively a semi-established religion, widely taught in public schools with hymn singing and readings from the King James Version of the Bible. And many states enacted constitutional provisions such as Montana's, adopted in 1889 and readopted in the 1972 constitution: There shall be no "direct or indirect appropriation or payment" of public monies "for any sectarian purpose" or to aid any institution "controlled in whole or in part by any church, sect, or denomination."

    In 2015, in order "to provide parental and student choice in education" from grades K-12, Montana's Legislature enacted legislation providing a small tax credit of up to $150 for individuals or businesses donating to private, nonprofit scholarship organizations that award scholarships for children to attend private schools, a program similar to those in 18 states. However, Montana's Department of Revenue quickly issued a rule forbidding recipients from using their scholarships at religious schools. The department said this was required by the Blaine Amendment quoted above. Montana's Supreme Court has upheld this rule, which cripples an organization called Big Sky Scholarships.

    This organization formed to receive and distribute funding targeted exclusively to low-income families and children with disabilities. One of the petitioners seeking a U.S. Supreme Court hearing is Kendra Espinoza, an office assistant and single mother who took a second job, as a janitor, to help pay her two daughters’ tuition at a nondenominational — not a Catholic — school. Without a Big Sky scholarship, her daughters will likely have to leave their school. As might the adopted daughter (from China) of another petitioner, Jeri Anderson.

    The petitioners argued in Montana's Supreme Court that the Blaine Amendment is not applicable to Big Sky scholarships because it applies only to public funds, not private donations, which are not transformed into public funds merely because they — like most charitable contributions — are incentivized by a provision of the tax code. Furthermore, the money comes to religious schools not as "aid" from a state institution but from parents choosing those schools from a number of options. They also argued that making religious schools ineligible for funds such as Big Sky's would implicate both the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of the "free exercise" of religion and the "equal protection of the laws."

    For 24 years lower courts, federal and state, have differed concerning (in the language of the Institute for Justice's brief on the petitioners' behalf) "whether the government may bar religious options from otherwise neutral and generally available student-aid programs." Perhaps the court should not take cognizance of this fact, but the rest of us should: Aggressive secularists, and persons bent on defending public education from competition, favor Blaine Amendments.

    In a 2000 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court noted that in Blaine Amendments such as Montana's, "it was an open secret that 'sectarian' was code for 'Catholic.'" So, beyond the deceptively bland text of Montana's Blaine Amendment, the Supreme Court should again recognize the context of its origin — the 19th century's "pervasive" (the court's 2000 language) anti-Catholic animus that continues inflicting harm in the 21st century.

    Blaine came within 1,047 votes of becoming president when, in 1884, hoping his anti-Catholicism would propel him to victory, he lost New York by that margin to Grover Cleveland. A large multiple of that number of New York's Irish and other Catholic immigrants had become incensed when a prominent Protestant minister, speaking at a rally in New York City with Blaine present, said the Democratic Party's antecedents were "rum, Romanism and rebellion."

    Blaine paid a steep price for his bigotry. More than 13 decades later, schoolchildren in Montana and elsewhere should not have to pay for it.


    George F. Will | The Washington Post

    George Will’s email address is georgewill@washpost.com.

    Dana Milbank: Our states are laboratories — run right now by mad scientists

    Dana Milbank: Our states are laboratories — run right now by mad scientists


    Louis Brandeis imagined that states could serve as laboratories of democracy. At the moment, they are serving as a bunch of mad scientists.The late Supreme Court justice envisioned states trying "novel social and economic experiments." But he could not...

    Louis Brandeis imagined that states could serve as laboratories of democracy. At the moment, they are serving as a bunch of mad scientists.

    The late Supreme Court justice envisioned states trying "novel social and economic experiments." But he could not have anticipated just how novel the thinking would be of Alabama state Sen. Clyde Chambliss (R), author of the state's toughest-in-the-nation law, which bans virtually all abortions, even in cases of rape and incest.

    "I'm not trained medically so I don't know the proper medical terminology and timelines," the legislator-scientist said during this week's debate on his bill. "But from what I've read, what I've been told, there's some period of time before you can know a woman is pregnant. ... It takes some time for all those chromosomes and all that."

    Chambliss then argued that, under his law, women would be free to get abortions during this period of time — so long as they don't yet know they are pregnant. So a victim of incest could get an abortion? "Yes, until she knows she's pregnant," he reasoned, as journalist Abbey Crain recounted.

    The genius behind the abortion law elaborated: "She has to do something to know whether she's pregnant or not. It takes time for all the chromosomes to come together."

    The poor fellow seems to have confused chromosomes, the genetic material that combines during fertilization, with the hormones detected in pregnancy tests.

    So, once an egg is fertilized, no more abortions? Chambliss floundered: “I’m at the limits of my medical knowledge, but until those chromosomes you were talking about combine — from male and female — that’s my understanding.” Contradicting himself, he also said that throwing away eggs that were fertilized in vitro wouldn’t land you in jail because “it’s not in a woman. She’s not pregnant.”

    He similarly was confused about how a doctor, who under the law would face imprisonment for assisting with an abortion, would discern between the identical symptoms of a woman miscarrying (which would still be legal) and one having a medication-induced abortion. “The burden of proof would be on the prosecution,” he said — thus opening the 25 perent of pregnancies that end in miscarriages to law enforcement probes.

    When one woman in the chamber questioned his familiarity with female reproduction, Chambliss replied: "I don't know if I'm smart enough to be pregnant."

    The better question is whether he's smart enough to be writing laws.

    Thus did Chambliss join the vanguard of clueless male legislators telling women what to do with their bodies. In Ohio, the author of a bill banning insurance coverage for non-life-threatening abortions included an exception for a fictitious procedure in which a doctor implants the fetus from an ectopic pregnancy in the uterus. The bill also appears — inadvertently — to ban coverage of IUDs and possibly birth control pills.

    And Georgia, in its bill banning abortion after six weeks, designated "unborn children as natural persons" with "full legal recognition" — thus inviting questions about whether it's legal for fetuses in the uteri of female inmates to be imprisoned without charges, whether women who have abortions could theoretically be charged with murder and whether, if a tax deduction is claimed for the unborn child, it would be repaid after miscarriages.

    And: If fetuses are full persons, could we at least start teaching them biology?

    After Justice Brett Kavanaugh provided the Supreme Court with a likely decisive vote to repeal Roe v. Wade, abortion opponents in state legislatures — Georgia, Alabama, Missouri, Louisiana, Ohio, Mississippi, Kentucky, North Dakota, Iowa and elsewhere — have joined a pell-mell rush to come up with restrictive laws to serve as test cases. They say science has improved since Roe, but clearly the scientific knowledge of those writing the laws has not.

    The new abortion bans are commonly dubbed "heartbeat" bills because pulsing cells can be detected as early as six weeks — but embryos don't have hearts at that point. Women may be near or past the six-week abortion window before they know they're pregnant. And though lawmakers may not intend to ban birth control or to jail women who have abortions, those possibilities are far more realistic than Trump's claim that Democrats like to "execute" swaddled newborns.

    No wonder House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who claims Democrats favor "infanticide," had difficulty with a question this week about whether Republicans would now be identified with the new laws. McCarthy opposes the Alabama bill, saying the state took an "extreme" position.

    So extreme that it departed not just from legal convention but from medical science.


    Dana Milbank | The Washington Post

    Follow Dana Milbank on Twitter, @Milbank.

    Judge dismisses lawsuit against Salt Lake City over officer’s shooting of Dillon Taylor


    A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed against Salt Lake City by the family of an unarmed Utah man who was fatally shot by a police officer in 2014.The judge dismissed the case Friday, saying that because the city officer didn’t violate any laws or...

    A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed against Salt Lake City by the family of an unarmed Utah man who was fatally shot by a police officer in 2014.

    The judge dismissed the case Friday, saying that because the city officer didn’t violate any laws or constitutional rights by shooting and killing Dillon Taylor, the city can’t be held liable for the officer’s conduct.

    Taylor’s family filed the lawsuit in October 2015, just more than a year after Taylor, 20, was killed outside a convenience store near 2100 South and State Street. They first alleged wrongful death, denial of family association and excessive force claims, but dropped all but the excessive force claims in August 2017.

    The shooting death sparked protests in Salt Lake City and South Salt Lake because Taylor was unarmed when he was killed.

    Salt Lake County prosecutors determined the shooting was legally justified because a 911 caller near the store had said Taylor and people he was with were “flashing” a gun. When the officers confronted Taylor, he didn’t immediately respond to Officer Bron Cruz’s orders to stop and show his hands.

    Instead, he kept his hands in his pants and tried to walk away. When Taylor did turn around and pull out his hands, Cruz shot him twice. Taylor didn’t have a gun, and was wearing headphones, attached to a phone in his pocket, when he was killed.

    “Although it is now clear that Mr. Taylor was not armed,” U.S. District Judge David Nuffer wrote in the ruling, “Officer Cruz’s decision to employ deadly force was objectively reasonable under the totality of the circumstances.”

    The case was dismissed with prejudice, meaning it cannot be filed again.

    “Of course we’re disappointed in the ruling, not only for our clients but also for everyone who lives in Salt Lake City,” Taylor family attorney Kelly Fowler told FOX 13. “We respect the court’s decision and careful evaluation, but disagree.”

    Fowler told FOX 13 that she may appeal the ruling.

    ---

    Editor’s note • FOX 13 and The Salt Lake Tribune are content-sharing partners.

    Sophomore Attlyn Johnston pitches Tooele to Class 4A softball championship


    Two championships in Class 4A were scheduled to be decided on Saturday across the state in baseball and softball. The baseball laurels will have to wait, thanks to rain on Friday, but the Tooele Buffaloes took advantage of good weather to grab their...

    Two championships in Class 4A were scheduled to be decided on Saturday across the state in baseball and softball. The baseball laurels will have to wait, thanks to rain on Friday, but the Tooele Buffaloes took advantage of good weather to grab their eighth softball title in school history.

    Tooele beat Spanish Fork 3-1 in the second meeting of the day between those two schools. Sophomore Attlyn Johnston pitched a complete game victory for the Buffaloes, who won their first title since 2010.

    The final games of the 4A softball tournament were played in Spanish Fork and the Dons, who were after their seventh school championship, beat Bear River 8-6 in eight innings in an elimination contest to start the day.

    In the first meeting between Tooele and Spanish Fork, the Buffaloes grabbed a 2-0 lead behind early solo home runs from juniors Bryerly Avina in the first inning and Natalee Bevan in the second.

    But Tooele’s defense let down in the fifth and sixth innings, committing four errors, as Spanish Fork scored five runs and ultimately forced another game with a 5-2 win.

    Entering the day, the Buffaloes were the only team in the 4A draw without a defeat in the two-loss elimination format.

    In the finale, Tooele (27-3) got two runs in the second inning. The first score came when Bevan, who had doubled to start the frame, stole third and then crossed the plate on a wild throw trying to catch her stealing.

    Emma Higley then singled and scored on an Avina double for a 2-0 lead. In the third Higley hit an RBI single for another run. Spanish Fork (29-8) got one back in the fifth when Briley Young, who pitched both games against Tooele, singled and then scored on a sacrifice bunt by Marae Condie.

    The Class 4A baseball tournament, originally slated to be played in Ogden on Friday and Saturday, was rescheduled and moved. The tournament will resume on Monday at Dixie State in St. George with Salem Hills playing Desert Hills in a battle of the tourney’s only remaining unbeaten squads. The loser of that contest will also play Monday against the winner of the Spanish Fork/Dixie game.

    Community says farewell to 60-year-old West Jordan Middle School, which will be torn down and replaced

    Community says farewell to 60-year-old West Jordan Middle School, which will be torn down and replaced


    West Jordan • Former students, teachers, staff and members of the community said farewell to the 60-year-old West Jordan Middle School on Saturday. The school, at 7550 S. Redwood Road, will be torn down shortly after the last day of school on May 31...

    West Jordan • Former students, teachers, staff and members of the community said farewell to the 60-year-old West Jordan Middle School on Saturday. The school, at 7550 S. Redwood Road, will be torn down shortly after the last day of school on May 31 and a brand-new school will open on site for the 2019-20 school year. During an open house, the community was able to tour the building, share memories and watch a slide show and video that recognized former principals.

    Horsing around: Riderless colt races to Preakness finish


    Baltimore • Unencumbered by a jockey and suddenly free to run wherever he darn pleased, Bodexpress decided to take a shot at winning the Preakness.Taking one of the most memorable trips in the 149-year history of Pimlico Race Course, Bodexpress...

    Baltimore • Unencumbered by a jockey and suddenly free to run wherever he darn pleased, Bodexpress decided to take a shot at winning the Preakness.

    Taking one of the most memorable trips in the 149-year history of Pimlico Race Course, Bodexpress followed the leaders without a rider on board and at one point appeared to be a contender in the 13-horse race.

    "You've got to be careful because some of them try to win," said trainer Bob Baffert, who saddled race favorite Improbable. "I've had horses that try to win. They actually run a great race sometimes."

    From the moment the frisky 3-year-old hopped from the gate, ejecting Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, craziness ensued . Running on his own in the second jewel of the Triple Crown, Bodexpress began his obligatory trip around the track, driven either by instinct or the desire to be part of the crowd.

    Fortunately, Velazquez quickly rose from the dirt and scooted off the track without injury.

    "When the doors opened, I was off right from the start. He kind of jumped sideways," Velazquez said. "I had my feet out of the irons so I lost my balance then, I went off."

    There was an indication that things weren't going right when Bodexpress veered left from the post parade instead of right, along with the other horses.

    "He was just not behaving good in the gate. He was not sitting really well," Velazquez said. "He got me against the wall and the gate."

    Coming out of the nasty spill with his health was a positive, but the 47-year-old jockey won't soon forget this (non) ride.

    "When you come in here to a big race and then things like this happen with the horses, it's disappointing," Velazquez said.

    An outrider tried to corral Bodexpress at the top of the stretch, but he wasn't about to let the horseplay come to an end. The colt sped up and passed a few competitors near the finish line and kept going.

    In fact, he ran the entire track again before finally calling it a day — a veritable victory lap for the social media champion who was still trending on Twitter hours later.

    Bodexpress, the Florida Derby runnerup in March, was placed last and officially gets a did-not-finish.

    When has was finally done running, Bodexpress was fine. The son of 2003 Belmont Stakes winner Empire Maker and career non-winner was finally brought under control after taking another lap around the track.

    Turns out, Bodexpress wasn't the only horse getting antsy in the gate. The same applied to favored Improbable, whose pre-race dance turned into a sixth-place finish.

    "He was acting pretty well and then he got fired up and then after that, when horses do that it just takes a lot of energy out," said Baffert, who was denied a record-setting eighth Preakness win. "He got in the gate, and when he did that, I knew that was it."

    Regarding Bodexpress, Baffert could sympathize with Velazquez and appreciate what the other riders (and horses) were thinking as the jockey-less horse strode by.

    "There are so many things that can go wrong in a horse race," Baffert said. "It's scarier for the horses that are in there because they've got to watch him the whole way."

    Although it doesn't usually happen in a Triple Crown race, this isn't the first time a horse has thrown his rider.

    "I've seen everything. I've seen that, yeah, of course," Baffert said. "I had one that did it. I was a heavy favorite a while back that did it. I never had one before and it happened to me this year. I thought I'd seen everything."

    The good news is, Velazquez — winner of four Triple Crown races — emerged unscathed and said he won't be seeing a doctor.

    "He had that look of disappointment," Baffert said. "It's like a bull rider getting bucked off the first jump."

    Velazquez can take consolation in that Mark Casse, the trainer of Preakness winner War of Will , hopes the first-place finishing jockey, Tyler Gaffalione, can one day match the fallen jockey's greatness.

    “One ironic thing is,” Casse said, “I call Tyler the next Johnny Velazquez.”

    Protect your kids, visiting Latter-day Saint leader Russell Nelson tells Samoans

    Protect your kids, visiting Latter-day Saint leader Russell Nelson tells Samoans


    LDS Church President Russell M. Nelson’s nine-day Pacific tour made its first stop on foreign soil Saturday, touching down in Samoa for meetings with government officials and rank-and-file members.“There are difficult days ahead,” the 94-year-old...

    LDS Church President Russell M. Nelson’s nine-day Pacific tour made its first stop on foreign soil Saturday, touching down in Samoa for meetings with government officials and rank-and-file members.

    “There are difficult days ahead,” the 94-year-old leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints warned Samoan parents during an outdoor devotional near the faith’s temple in the capital of Apia. “Please protect your children. Help them to know the Lord and love him and keep his commandments and be free from the shackles of addiction and bondage.”

    According to a church news release, the South Pacific island nation’s head of state, Tuimaleali’ifano Va’aletoa Sualauvi II, greeted Nelson earlier at his official residence, while Prime Minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi met with the visiting church leader at a reception before the devotional.

    Hundreds of Samoans lined the streets from the airport to Apia to catch a glimpse of the Latter-day Saint leader and his wife, Wendy Nelson. Nearly 83,000 Samoans — representing about 42 percent of the populace — belong to the Utah-based faith.


    (Photo courtesy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Samoans welcome President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. About 42 percent of Samoans belong to the Utah-based faith.

    Latter-day Saint Samuelu Te’o Atiifale, a member of the Samoan Parliament, praised Nelson’s call to personal responsibility and communal service.

    “It’s like he’s speaking directly to us in what is exactly happening at the moment in families, in communities and in the government as well,” Atiifale said in the release. “It’s a reminder of our responsibility, so we go back and evaluate ourselves, where we are, and where to improve from here, to be good members and good citizens to others, to our fellow men, to do servicing.”

    Nelson, who met with Hawaiian Latter-day Saints on Friday before jetting 2,500 miles southwest, told a Samoan journalist that his “main message” for everyone, everywhere is to follow Jesus.

    “Everyone has a choice — either to choose to follow the Lord Jesus Christ or to choose another path,” he said in the release. “And, as his disciple, I invite people to come unto Christ because it will make life better for you.”

    Nelson — accompanied by Gerrit W. Gong (the first Asian American in the church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles) and his wife, Susan — will next go to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Tahiti.

    After logging his stop in Australia, Nelson will have trekked to every continent since becoming church president in January 2018 but one: Antarctica.

    Police: 1 killed in Navajo Nation shooting; officer not injured


    Tuba City, Ariz. • The Navajo Police Department said one person was killed Saturday in a shooting involving an officer who was not injured in the incident.The department said in a brief statement that the incident occurred in Tonolea but did not...

    Tuba City, Ariz. • The Navajo Police Department said one person was killed Saturday in a shooting involving an officer who was not injured in the incident.

    The department said in a brief statement that the incident occurred in Tonolea but did not provide any information about the person killed or what precipitated the shooting.

    The statement said the incident is being investigated by the Navajo Division of Public Safety and the FBI.

    Tonoleah is approximately 68 miles north of Flagstaff.

    After months of red tape, Salt Lake City’s German-inspired beer garden gets a permanent liquor license

    After months of red tape, Salt Lake City’s German-inspired beer garden gets a permanent liquor license


    The outdoor beer garden adjacent to Salt Lake City’s Mountain West Hard Cider — which for months operated in limbo because it didn’t qualify for a permanent liquor license from the state — has officially become a bar.It took owners Jeff and...

    The outdoor beer garden adjacent to Salt Lake City’s Mountain West Hard Cider — which for months operated in limbo because it didn’t qualify for a permanent liquor license from the state — has officially become a bar.

    It took owners Jeff and Jennifer Carleton months of red tape and thousands of dollars in remodeling to get approval from the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control for its new 21-and-older cider house and bar, called The Garten.

    “But we’re happy about the outcome,” Jeff Carleton explained. “We’ve struggled with how to best use the space.”

    The new bar — located inside the production facility at 417 N. 400 West in the transforming Marmalade neighborhood — will hold a grand opening May 24-27 with live music, food and games.

    Last year, when designing Mountain West Hard Cider’s new patio, the Carletons tried to re-create an outdoor venue reminiscent of an Old World German beer garden.

    They brought in long, communal tables and a large awning for shade. They landscaped with gravel walkways, wood planter boxes and hanging flower baskets, and invited a rotating list of food trucks to park on-site and serve food.

    But the 8,000-square-foot patio couldn’t get a permanent liquor license. The Garten didn’t qualify for a restaurant liquor license, because it doesn’t have an on-site kitchen; and the Utah attorney general’s office said it couldn’t be licensed as a reception center either.

    A bar license was an option, but the Carletons were hesitant because they wanted patrons to be able to bring their minor children for food and live music.

    The owners found a temporary solution by getting single-event permits from the DABC, which allowed the venue to sell beer, wine and spirits for up to three days at a time. But groups and businesses are allowed only 12 special-event permits a year, under state law. That limited when The Garten could be open and was confusing for customers.

    After months of discussion with the DABC, the Careltons decided to expand the indoor tasting room at Mountain West Hard Cider’s production facility and turn it into a bar.

    The Garten area is now an “extension of the premises,” Jeff Carelton said, which means bar guests can enjoy hard cider, craft beer, wine and distilled spirits in the outdoor venue during regular business hours. It’s open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

    The Carletons still hope to accommodate families at least a few times a year. They plan to apply for single-event permits from the DABC. On those occasions, The Garten will be blocked off into a separate space — and not be part of the bar — so minors will be allowed on the premises.

    “It will be a lot of rules to figure out,” Carleton said. “But it’s a good compromise, given Utah’s liquor laws.”

    Some BYU alumni plan to withhold donations and skip sporting events until enforcement of the Honor Code changes

    Some BYU alumni plan to withhold donations and skip sporting events until enforcement of the Honor Code changes


    Celia Ockey and her husband have donated to Brigham Young University nearly every year since they graduated in the 1980s.By now, she estimates, they’ve given the private Provo school about $40,000. They’ve earmarked most of it for the basketball...

    Celia Ockey and her husband have donated to Brigham Young University nearly every year since they graduated in the 1980s.

    By now, she estimates, they’ve given the private Provo school about $40,000. They’ve earmarked most of it for the basketball team, which they love to support by going to games and funding scholarships.

    But the Ockeys aren’t planning to give any more money to their alma mater. Not this year, at least. And not, Ockey said, until BYU changes how it enforces its strict Honor Code.

    “It’s just putting a black mark on the university,” she said. So for now, she added, “we will donate elsewhere. There are other schools.”

    The religious university, owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has faced renewed criticism in the past few months for how its Honor Code Office handles allegations of misconduct and imposes punishment. Students have come forward to talk about their experiences, including being asked probing questions without knowing what they’re accused of, being encouraged to turn in their peers and being threatened with suspension for actions such as holding hands with a person of the same sex.

    BYU decided in 2017 to grant amnesty for Honor Code violations to students reporting sexual assaults, after victims said they were being punished. The new discussion has again garnered national attention, prompting the school this week to announce that it’s beginning to update its policies to be more transparent.

    For many alumni, though, doubts remain. And it’s causing some to reconsider their ties and contributions to the school.

    Ockey, her husband and others are cutting off their donations. Some have pledged to no longer attend football games. A few say they’re worried about having the school listed on their résumés.

    “It’s all very disappointing,” said Ockey, 56, who suggests shutting down the Honor Code Office. “I’m just appalled that there hasn’t been more action.”

    When BYU alumnus Joshua Butler bought a new car two years ago, it was an easy decision to get a license plate with the school’s signature "Y" on it. He enjoyed his time at the school, and he knew the $35 he paid yearly would go toward student scholarships — which was important to him because he received similar financial help when he attended the Provo university between 2010 and 2015.

    But, after reading stories on a popular Instagram page about how students say they were treated by the Honor Code Office, he feels “a little bit embarrassed” driving around with such a public sign of support for the school.

    "I love BYU, and I think it's a great school," he said. "But there's some crap that I wasn't aware of that needs to be changed."

    Now 32, Butler said he came out as gay during his time at BYU and had a positive experience. He felt safe there. But when he scrolls through the Instagram account and sees stories of LGBTQ students who say they were punished by the office or lived in fear of being turned in, it bothers him.

    "I just have this sense of survivor's guilt," he said. "I feel terrible for these other [students] who didn't have as good of an experience as me.”

    The issue of LGBTQ students feeling targeted by the Honor Code Office was raised frequently during a protest held on campus last month, which more than 500 people attended. Some said they were punished for being in a same-sex relationship or identifying as transgender.


    Hundreds of students gather on the campus of Brigham Young University, for a rally to oppose how the school's Honor Code Office investigates and disciplines students, Friday, April 12, 2019, in Provo, Utah. A strict set of rules at Mormon-owned Brigham Young University banning things commonplace at many campuses such as drinking, premarital sex, beards and piercings is under new scrutiny — this time from students who want their university to be more compassionate with the punishments for violators. (Rick Egan/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP) (Rick Egan/)

    The Honor Code forbids “not only sexual relations between members of the same sex, but all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings.” It also prohibits premarital sex, sets certain rules for when and how dating occurs, contains a dress code and bans the consumption of alcohol, drugs, coffee and tea.

    Butler said he’s struggled with what to do about his license plate. He wants to support other young students — especially those like him — but he worries that his money could be a waste if a student who benefited from his donations ended up getting kicked out of school for something minor.

    He’s decided that if BYU doesn’t make changes soon, he’ll switch out his license plate for a different one.

    BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins said Thursday that the university has found that communicating with its alumni, including sending updates from new Honor Code Office director Kevin Utt, has helped address their worries. That communication also has helped the university “correct the misinformation” shared online, Jenkins said, adding that it’s important that alumni know many of the concerns raised “do not reflect current practice.”

    “Alumni everywhere, like our students, have reminded us of their commitment to the principles of the Honor Code,” she said. “We will continue to make them aware of the improvements we are making to our procedures and practices.”

    Utt said this week that the school will start updating how it enforces the rules. Part of that will be ensuring students know what they are accused of at the beginning of the process — a disclosure the school’s spokeswoman acknowledged hasn’t always happened.

    Plenty of alumni say that the criticism hasn’t changed their support for the school.

    Chuck Beckstead went to BYU in the late 1970s, and three of his children attended school at the Provo and Idaho campuses. He signed the Honor Code when he was a student, he said, and had no issues at the university.

    “I see no problem with the Honor Code,” he said. “Someone is always going to be disappointed about how they were treated. There are always two sides to a story, and reality is somewhere between the two.”

    Chad Wright, who earned a bachelor’s in history in 1999, said those going to BYU should go in with the intention of keeping the Honor Code. The people “griping and complaining,” he said, too often are not committed to the rules and are “the small minority.”

    He liked having the code because he felt it brought a greater sense of morality and unity to campus. It’s a big part of why he chose to go there. Like many who feel the same as he does, he’s encouraged students to go to another school if they can’t handle the enforcement of the rules.

    “I praise BYU for having standards that are more than your typical college,” Wright said. “I think it’s a shame that the media uses 500 or 600 people to help paint BYU in a bad picture.”

    Many of those who have challenged the enforcement of the Honor Code have said they support the church, BYU and the campus rules. Their objections focus on whether the school cares more about punishing students than helping them.

    As a new alumna, 23-year-old Maddie Whitten hopes the university will do more to address the fear and stigma around being called into the Honor Code Office. Young people, the April graduate said, are going to make mistakes, and the process should be about forgiveness and empathy.


    (Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Maddie Whitten, 23, a recent graduate from BYU with a degree in psychology and family life feels the Honor Code at the school needs more changes and doesn't like the way it is enforced. (Francisco Kjolseth/)

    Whitten was turned into the office in August 2018, as a senior, by her landlord. She said the landlord accused her of lying after Whitten reported the woman for collecting money on building repairs that were never made.

    “I freaked out,” she said. “I had no idea what I had done wrong. I was going through everything I had [ever] done.”

    When she finally found out, and explained her experience, the school still gave her a warning, Whitten said, and told her not to violate the code during her last year at the school. That made her paranoid about all of her actions from then on.

    “I did everything right, and I was still brought in,” she said. “It ruined my last year. It’s tinged every happy memory I had there.”

    Whitten said she doesn’t want to donate to the school and wants to move away from Provo now. Her little brother will be going there in the fall, and she’s warned him: “You have to be careful.”

    John, who asked to be identified by only his first name because of the tension this issue has caused in his marriage, said he doesn’t want any of his five kids to go to the school after reading about the treatment some students have faced.

    When he attended BYU from 1996 to 2006, he was called into the Honor Code Office and asked to talk about allegations that his roommate let a girl stay over one night. He was taking a semester off at the time and, he said, administrators told him that if he didn’t talk, they’d evict him from his campus apartment.

    At the time, he thought that was normal. As he’s read the stories of other students, John added, he’s come to realize that it wasn’t.

    “It’s a religious school,” he said, noting that he understands that it will have rules, “but I feel like the gestapo enforcement and telling on your neighbors needs to stop. It’s not a safe place.”

    Others told The Salt Lake Tribune that because of the controversy, they don’t plan to attend alumni events, cheer for BYU at games or wear the school’s fan gear. One man said he doesn’t tell people he graduated from BYU. A woman said she would have transferred from the school if she had known what some students were experiencing.

    If enough alumni share their concerns, it could impact the school’s fundraising, or potentially push it to make changes.

    J. Dee Itri, who earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree at BYU, said most alumni still largely love the school. But the only way they can make their opinions known and potentially influence change, he said, is to do things like withhold donations and stop attending events. He plans to do both.


    Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune BYU fans and school mascot Cosmo look on as Utah holds a 35-0 lead over BYU in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl, NCAA football at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Saturday December 19, 2015. (Trent Nelson/)

    Itri bought a house in Orem so he could regularly go to basketball, baseball and football games at his alma mater. For now, he said, he intends to stay home.

    “It’s just a matter of principle,” the 35-year-old said. “I’m not going to go until they figure their stuff out.”

    He graduated in 2008 and estimated he’s donated more than $1,000 since then. He hopes to be able to continue that again one day — possibly contributing as much as the Ockey family over his lifetime. But first, he said, he wants to see significant change and maybe an apology from the Honor Code Office.

    “It’s not a BYU thing. It’s not a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint thing. It’s a humanity thing,” Itri said. “They’re treating people in less than human ways. You’re holding over them their diplomas. You’re threatening to kick them out of school. No one should have to feel like that kind of anvil is hanging over their head.”

    Monson: Can RSL become MLS champions? Sebastian Saucedo thinks so.

    Monson: Can RSL become MLS champions? Sebastian Saucedo thinks so.


    SandyAs Real Salt Lake crushed Toronto FC, 3-zip, on Saturday afternoon at Rio Tinto Stadium, one word kept emerging as the best to describe what was happening on the pitch for the home team. The same word that’s been most fitting for a couple of...

    Sandy

    As Real Salt Lake crushed Toronto FC, 3-zip, on Saturday afternoon at Rio Tinto Stadium, one word kept emerging as the best to describe what was happening on the pitch for the home team. The same word that’s been most fitting for a couple of seasons now.

    Transition.

    And there was another word.

    Inconsistency.

    On this particular occasion, RSL was on the more positive end of both of those words, so much so that worthwhile change and consistency stuck their collective nose just over the horizon. Was it Pinocchio’s elongation, just another fib?

    Here’s the truth about Salt Lake’s soccer team: Real can be real good or real bad.

    You’re never exactly sure before any game. It could go either way.

    On Saturday, for the second consecutive game, darn near everything went real well.

    When the game was finished, one of RSL’s young standouts suggested there was no reason his team couldn’t win the MLS Cup.

    What emboldened him was this: RSL scored first on a sweet cross from Albert Rusnak to Damir Kreilach and then … Sebastian Saucedo, a youngster at 22, took matters onto his own feet, blasting a screamer from 30 yards out for a two-goal lead midway through the first half. It was about as beautiful a goal as you’ll see, like a Steph Curry bomb from mid-court. In the second half, Jefferson Savarino, another 22-year-old, broke free for still another goal.

    Where were we? Oh, yeah …

    Old standards, foremost among them Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando — only Rimando played in this game, getting one more shutout — are piece by piece being replaced by what the club hopes will be rocksteady new ones, mainstays of the here and now and of the future, such as Rusnak, Corey Baird and Saucedo. There are others, too.

    On the whole, this team is a shout and a yell from the title team RSL fielded 10 years ago. Its players are different. Its coaches are different. Its owner is different. Its attack is different. Its success is different.

    If the team is still the star, that star floats a galaxy away.

    But sometimes it floats nearer and nearer the desired space. RSL, now 5-6-1, completely dominated Toronto FC, a side that came into Rio Tinto with a record of 5-4-2, having gone 2-2 on the road thus far. Real may have benefited from a tired opponent, Toronto having played five games in 15 days, including a scoreless draw against DC United, in which it fired off 36 empty shots, just a few days earlier.

    With the talent RSL currently has, so much of it shining in Saturday’s sun, even with some of it in still-embryonic form, this iteration can be formidable. The difference, though, between a great team and a mediocre one is being formidable day after day after day.

    And RSL does not have the talent and seasoning for that. They need more speed, more strength, more precision, more growth, more … everything.

    But, as was on display here, Real is edging forward, trying to develop its players while winning enough games to qualify for the playoffs, again, as it did last season.

    It’s just that too often in the early going, this group hasn’t blown anybody away. Not until now. It is teetering on the back edge of qualifying position for a postseason that is yet a long way off. Which is to say, there’s time to allow this whole thing to get better, to make it better. There’s the chance it also could get worse, relative to the opposition.

    The club is attempting to build its talent, in part from within its academy, from within its training structure, as well as from scouring various options for additional help. It has not spent the same money as some of the top teams in MLS for preeminent skill players. Whispers around the team are that it can’t and won’t.

    Mike Petke is an intense, competent coach, a strong motivator attempting to steer the wheel, push in the clutch and find the right gear at the right time without too much swerving and grinding. And while he seems to embrace the challenge, it is a challenge, nonetheless.

    In the aftermath of Saturday’s impressive win, asked about the state of his team, Petke said: “It’s always good and bad. Well, bad’s probably not the right word. It’s always good and things we need to work on. … There were moments when I saw it and moments when I didn’t. It’s making progress … I’m hoping that we keep going on a trajectory that … forget about wins and losses, that we’re improving play.”

    When Saucedo was asked the same question, he listed some weaknesses that require addressing, but finished on a most hopeful note.

    “We knocked out LAFC last year, and [Toronto] two years ago were champs,” he said. “ … So why can’t we do it? Why can’t we be Western Conference champions? Why can’t we be MLS Cup champions?”

    Those were more statements than questions. He paused, then concluded.

    “We have it in us.”

    GORDON MONSON hosts “The Big Show” with Jake Scott weekdays from 3-7 p.m. on 97.5 FM and 1280 AM The Zone.

    Sebastian Saucedo scores first goal of season as Real Salt Lake blanks Toronto FC 3-0 for second straight win

    Sebastian Saucedo scores first goal of season as Real Salt Lake blanks Toronto FC 3-0 for second straight win


    Sandy • After he scored his screamer in the first half, Real Salt Lake forward Sebastian Saucedo ran over to coach Mike Petke and embraced him tightly. It was Saucedo’s first goal of the season and helped give RSL a two-goal cushion.But the moment...

    Sandy • After he scored his screamer in the first half, Real Salt Lake forward Sebastian Saucedo ran over to coach Mike Petke and embraced him tightly. It was Saucedo’s first goal of the season and helped give RSL a two-goal cushion.

    But the moment pointed to more than what had just transpired on the field. It was the culmination of several talks between the two, trying to figure out a way for the 22-year-old to find his place on a team where opportunities can be scarce at times.

    Saucedo, who has now started two consecutive games, said Petke believing in him is what prompted him to seek out his coach and hug him. He said he had “a huge discussion” with Petke in the offseason regarding what was expected of him both on and off the field.

    “I think we came into an agreement and it has finally paid off,” Saucedo said.

    Saucedo’s goal was part of an RSL performance that saw it blank Toronto FC 3-0 Saturday afternoon at Rio Tinto Stadium. The win marked the second time in as many games that Real has scored three goals and its second consecutive win after narrowly escaping Colorado last week with a victory over the bottom-feeding Rapids.

    Several players said the win over Toronto was the club’s most complete of the season.

    “All 11 guys were working both sides of the ball,” right back Aaron Herrera said. “We have to give a lot of credit to our front guys. They were all putting in the work defensively and it paid off in the end.”

    This season has been mired with inconsistent performances from RSL. The team would exhibit strong play for stretches of 25 or 30 minutes or one half before falling off. At times, those lapses have led directly to losses and frustration over not capitalizing on opportunities to pick up points.

    #RSL defender Nedum Onuoha on if the win over Toronto was the team’s most complete performance of the season. pic.twitter.com/H6SNPGRkrQ

    — Alex Vejar (@AlexVReporting) May 18, 2019

    When asked if he thought Saturday’s win was the most complete of the season, center back Nedum Onuoha pondered the concept before affirming that it was, but offered a caveat.

    “I don’t think we were like 10 out of 10 for the whole game,” Onuoha said. “But I think for longer periods compared to other games, we probably were. … I think we’ve had good 30-minute spells, 40-minute spells. But it felt like 60 to 75 minutes in this game we were in control.”

    Petke, on the other hand, did not think it was a complete game from his team. He said that after the first 15 minutes of the game, RSL made the proper adjustments.

    “We never really felt completely threatened at goal,” Petke said. “Weathered the storm a little bit, then we started playing a little and three really good goals.”

    Saucedo had a hand — or foot — in two of those three goals. After he scored in the 28th minute on a 43-yard bomb, he floated a long ball in the 60th to Jefferson Savarino, who outran his defender into the box. His defender then slipped, giving Savarino enough daylight to score RSL’s third goal of the game.

    Salt Lake’s first goal came when midfielder Albert Rusnák crossed a perfect ball into the box where Damir Kreilach was waiting. Kreilach settled it with his chest and managed to finish in the 14th minute with several defenders around him.

    #RSL coach Mike Petke on the hug between he and Bofo, plus a long answer on why Saucedo has earned the two starts he’s gotten lately. pic.twitter.com/uyqUiL3V8X

    — Alex Vejar (@AlexVReporting) May 18, 2019

    Notes

    Toronto’s Alejandro Pozuelo received a red card after tackling Saucedo in the 61st minute. … RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando returned the starting lineup after missing four straight games.

    Utah Royals FC look to remain undefeated against defending NWSL champion North Carolina Courage


    Sandy • The North Carolina Courage may have won the National Women’s Soccer title last season, and the Utah Royals FC may have missed the playoffs by just two points.But there was one thing the Royals held over the Courage from both team’s 2018...

    Sandy • The North Carolina Courage may have won the National Women’s Soccer title last season, and the Utah Royals FC may have missed the playoffs by just two points.

    But there was one thing the Royals held over the Courage from both team’s 2018 campaigns: Utah never lost to North Carolina. In fact, it was the only NWSL team not to fall to the Courage all year. The Royals drew two games and won another in three games against North Carolina.

    And while what transpired last season is in the past, not losing to the defending NWSL champions last season gives the Royals at least some confidence going into their first matchup of the year with the Courage on Sunday.

    “I think it’s probably in the back of our minds,” goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart said Thursday after training.

    So far in 2019, Utah has started strong, winning three of its first four games and holding second place in the NWSL standings with nine points. The first three of those wins came via shutout.

    North Carolina, meanwhile, is right on its heels with eight points and sits fourth in the nine-team league.

    Utah Royals FC keeper Nicole Barnhart on what makes the North Carolina Courage tough to beat. #URFC pic.twitter.com/dzvNLBUBJh

    — Alex Vejar (@AlexVReporting) May 18, 2019

    The Royals outscored the Courage 3-2 in three total games last season. Their only win came on a 1-0 result. On paper, the two teams match up perfectly.

    Royals coach Laura Harvey said playing North Carolina not only represents a high-level tactical challenge, but also one that will put her team’s work rate to the test. She intimated that the Courage are such a formidable team that just playing well against them won’t be enough.

    “You need a little bit of luck against them to win or to get points off them, and you need work ethic, quality and [to] believe in your game plan and execute,” Harvey said. “You have to be at your best to play against them.”

    The Royals didn’t play their best last Saturday in their first loss of the season, and came away from the game feeling like they needed to perform much better if they were going to have any chance of beating North Carolina. Barnhart said it will be important for Utah to play its game through the entire 90-plus minutes Sunday.

    “I think the biggest thing is just a little bit of refocus and get back to playing our game and who we are,” Barnhart said.

    Utah Royals FC coach Laura Harvey on what she’s seen from the North Carolina Courage this season. #URFC pic.twitter.com/Gr5ioEZXXU

    — Alex Vejar (@AlexVReporting) May 18, 2019

    Utah may have a secret weapon up its sleeve. Makenzy Doniak used to play for the Courage before getting traded to the Royals last season while she rehabbed an ACL injury. While Harvey said she hasn’t asked Doniak for any inside information on North Carolina, Doniak is still familiar with its preferred style of play.

    “I know that they’re a very hard-working and just high-press team,” Doniak said. “That’s their identity. So I think knowing that, we have to match that energy level. I think we’re ready for that.”

    Both teams will be missing some of their best players due to international duty in preparation for the FIFA Women’s World Cup this summer. Harvey said the two teams played a game under similar circumstances last season and fared well.

    The coach added that regardless of what season it is or who takes the field, the Courage are just as dangerous now as they’ve been over the past several years.

    “They’re just Carolina,” Harvey said. “They haven’t changed. They are who they are. … If you don’t get it right against them, they can really punish you real quick.”

    Tribune editorial: There is indeed $40 million of need for Utah’s homeless


    It’s the dawn of a new era for homelessness in Utah, and Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox is drawing a hard line.Cox, who heads the state’s Homeless Coordinating Committee, delivered the news this week that the state will fund less than half of the $40 million...

    It’s the dawn of a new era for homelessness in Utah, and Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox is drawing a hard line.

    Cox, who heads the state’s Homeless Coordinating Committee, delivered the news this week that the state will fund less than half of the $40 million in requests from agencies serving the homeless. With the three new homeless centers opening this year and more service providers asking for help, the demand has soared past the committee’s budget.

    “The state is doing more this year than they’ve ever done by magnitudes,” Cox said. “I also want to make very clear that I don’t believe there’s $40 million of need out there. I come from a little different world, but just because you think you need it or you ask for it doesn’t mean it’s a real need or the most effective need.”

    The lieutenant governor is delivering on a promise made by state and local leaders as part of Operation Rio Grande. The homelessness effort would become more data-driven, and funding would flow to those with provably successful outcomes.

    Let’s be honest. We’re not going to wonk our way out of homelessness. Ultimately, there is an element of charity in providing a safety net, and charity is not outcomes-based. Ask any church.

    The INN Between, which provides hospice services to the homeless, is facing a $500,000 cut this year. But what exactly are the optimal outcomes for the INN Between? Can they case-manage their way to fewer dying people?

    If everything is data-driven, providers are effectively encouraged to “shop” for homeless clients that have the best chance of passing through whatever algorithms are being used for assessment. The hardest cases — the ones with the least ability or willingness of turning their lives around — are left out.

    That has been the concern since it was first announced that the Road Home Shelter would close and be replaced with fewer beds. Politicians from Gov. Gary Herbert on down have promised the needs would be better met. Now we’re at that moment, homeless service providers are getting smaller checks from the state.

    Utah is booming. The state’s 2017 GDP was $164 billion — $50 billion more than a decade earlier. But the boom doesn’t lift all boats. It’s imperative that those of us who do gain in a hot economy look out for those who don’t. In that regard, the state is doing more for the homeless, but not by magnitudes.

    Even with the added money, Utah’s homeless population is outpacing the available services. Just this week the Weber County Housing Authority reported that the county now includes 13% to 16% of the state’s homeless, but it receives less than 9% of the state funding.

    And there is undeniably more demand for millions of federal Medicaid dollars to pay for mental health care for the homeless. In fact, that may be the single most important weapon in the arsenal, along with affordable housing. But Cox didn’t object when state legislators were going about overriding the public’s demand for Medicaid expansion in Proposition 3.

    A more data-centric approach to homelessness is most needed, and Cox is right that not every request must be funded.

    But Utah is rolling out an untested solution to homelessness at the same time the state is reaching a housing crisis. If anything, we should expect homelessness to grow over the short term. The state has a surplus, and underfunding the agencies that must help the homeless is neither fiscally conservative nor morally acceptable.

    Our fellow Utahns are suffering, and their need is most definitely real.

    Rich Lowry: What if Trump has driven the Democrats sane?

    Rich Lowry: What if Trump has driven the Democrats sane?


    The Joe Biden polling surge has raised the frightful specter of Democratic rationality.What if Donald Trump hasn't driven Democrats insane, sending them into a spiral of self-defeating radicalism, but instead made them shockingly pragmatic?Biden's early...

    The Joe Biden polling surge has raised the frightful specter of Democratic rationality.

    What if Donald Trump hasn't driven Democrats insane, sending them into a spiral of self-defeating radicalism, but instead made them shockingly pragmatic?

    Biden's early strength suggests it may be the latter, that the reaction to Trump is so intense that it has crossed some sort of event horizon from fevered fantasy of his leaving office early via resignation or impeachment to a cold-eyed, win-at-any-cost practicality.

    If this is true, one of the exogenous factors that could appreciably increase Trump's odds of reelection -- a zany Democratic nomination contest leading to a nominee much too far left for the American electorate -- may not materialize.

    The commonsense play for the Democrats has always been to nominate a nonsocialist with appeal to Obama-to-Trump voters in former Blue Wall states -- if not necessarily Biden, then someone with a similar, relatively moderate profile.

    If hardly dispositive, Biden's robust numbers at least suggest that this play is more likely than it seemed in the very early going, when candidates were stumbling over one another apologizing for sundry alleged offenses in the Woke Olympics.

    If that's not going to be the true dynamic of the race, I'm as surprised as anyone. What's extraordinary, though, is that almost every Democratic candidate might have been misreading it as well, and chasing the wrong rabbit down the track.

    Certainly, Bernie Sanders dominated the intellectual and policy debate in the wake of his 2016 run, driving other presidential candidates to embrace his signature proposals. And Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a genuine political star.

    It's only because the center of gravity of the party has clearly moved left that Biden, always a standard liberal, now sounds like a centrist when he calls himself an Obama-Biden Democrat.

    But, as Harry Enten of CNN, among others, has been insisting for some time, the average Democrat is older, more moderate or conservative, and less likely to have a college degree than you'd guess from following Twitter or cable TV.

    These voters were underserved by the rest of the field, and Biden is taking dead aim at them with the simple message that he can beat Trump.

    Electability is usually a wan, uninspiring rationale for lackluster establishment campaigns, but Trump may have transformed into something more urgent and exciting for Democrats in 2020.

    In this scenario, fear and loathing of Trump doesn't drive Democrats into a politically risky dead end like impeachment -- although that's still possible -- but a sensible appraisal of how to beat him at the ballot box.

    In a recent CNN poll, about half of Democrats said it's "extremely important" that a candidate have a good chance of beating Trump, much higher than any other candidate quality. Journalists on the trail have reported hearing the same thing from Democratic voters.

    Of course, if we learned anything from 2016, it's that pundits know much less about electability than we think. Biden's paper strength may dissipate.

    How often in American politics has the old candidate promising a restoration won? History shows that Democrats have had better electoral luck when they fall in love with a youthful candidate promising a fresh start. Think Bill Clinton, not Walter Mondale; Barack Obama, not Hillary Clinton.

    Biden's long record has plenty for Trump to shoot at, and after he gets beaten up over his past positions on busing and crime, he may have some of the same trouble as Hillary turning out the Democratic base.

    Biden's electability will have to be proven not just in general election polling matchups with Trump, but day-by-day campaigning during the primaries with more incoming than he's experienced to date.

    All that said, Biden's level of support out of the gate has already changed the narrative of the race. It may be that he's understood how Trump is shaping the 2020 landscape better than his more with-it and current Democratic competitors.


    Rich Lowry Courtesy photo

    Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. comments.lowry@nationalreview.com

    Utah health line, one of the longest-running in the U.S., has been answering pregnancy and breastfeeding questions for 35 years


    For 35 years, pregnant and nursing women in Utah have relied on the MotherToBaby program for answers about potential harms from prescription and over-the-counter medications.Since it was established in 1984, nearly 300,00 women and health care providers...

    For 35 years, pregnant and nursing women in Utah have relied on the MotherToBaby program for answers about potential harms from prescription and over-the-counter medications.

    Since it was established in 1984, nearly 300,00 women and health care providers have used the free, anonymous service, formerly known as the Pregnancy Risk Line.

    A joint endeavor of the Utah Department of Health and the University of Utah Department of Pediatrics, MotherToBaby is one of the longest-running programs of its kind in the U.S.

    Staffers are experts in teratology — or the study of birth defects — and provide information about potential harms from prescription and over-the-counter medications for women during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

    The service initially was a telephone line, but today free, anonymous answers are available through texting, online chats and emails.

    “We answer questions anonymously so mom can ask us about everything from what cold medications she can take during pregnancy to whether she can continue using her antidepressants," Al Romeo, a teratology information specialist with the program, said in a news release announcing the program’s 35-year milestone. “We provide research-based information without judgment to help mom and baby have the best outcomes possible.”

    Romeo said staffers respond to 6,000 to 10,000 questions a year. The majority of inquiries — 78% — come from consumers; while the remaining 22% are from health care providers, like Gayle Stewart, an OB-GYN in West Valley City.

    “MotherToBaby Utah is a very useful resource,” she said, “especially as there are more and more new medications being used by our pregnant and breastfeeding patients.”

    The service is especially critical for health care providers and women in rural Utah, where specialized care may not be as readily available.

    The most common questions focus on the use of pain medications, antidepressants, herbals and supplements. Alcohol, smoking, marijuana, Zika risk when traveling internationally, and over-the-counter medications also are common.

    Officials say accurate information can prevent negative and costly outcomes like abortions of otherwise wanted pregnancies, miscarriages, premature deliveries, low birth weight babies, birth defects, toxic effects on a breastfed infant, and decisions to unnecessarily avoid or interrupt breastfeeding.

    “Women often get inaccurate, confusing or conflicting information," Romeo said. "We help explain the research so they can make an informed choice that is best for them and their baby.”

    For questions about medications and harmful exposures during pregnancy and while breastfeeding, call the MotherToBaby Utah program at 1-800-822-2229 or 801-328-2229, text 1-855-999-3525, email expertinfo@mothertobaby.org, or visit https://mothertobaby.utah.gov/.

    Staffers and medical consultants are available to answer questions Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    After perhaps the best year in Utah State athletics history, what is AD John Hartwell going to do for an encore? Just watch, he says


    John Hartwell’s been, well, just about everywhere the last couple of weeks.He’s been to Arizona, bounced around Southern California, then north to the Bay Area, dropped in on St. George and then Las Vegas, maneuvered around Idaho, then finally...

    John Hartwell’s been, well, just about everywhere the last couple of weeks.

    He’s been to Arizona, bounced around Southern California, then north to the Bay Area, dropped in on St. George and then Las Vegas, maneuvered around Idaho, then finally traversed to the Pacific Northwest, making stops in Seattle and Portland.

    He hasn’t been alone, either. The Utah State athletic director has had some of the school’s biggest names with him during this Aggie Road Trip, in which Hartwell, football coach Gary Andersen, basketball coach Craig Smith and even USU president Noelle Cockett and various assistant coaches are meeting with Aggie alumni, boosters and donors around the West.

    The blitz has been to help keep the momentum rolling from USU’s banner 2018-19 athletic year. After all, the Aggies were just one of five programs in collegiate athletics to end the year with both their football team and men’s basketball team ranked in the final AP Top 25 poll. The others: Michigan, Kentucky, LSU and Cincinnati. Each season, Hartwell admits, is its own animal, replete with its own set of achievements and varying adversities to overcome. But what he learned about his department this past year is that there is more to come.

    Much more, he believes.

    “The foundation is really, really solid in both of those programs,” Hartwell said while in transit to Idaho Falls this past week. “The success in football and in basketball, neither of those were what I would call a one-hit wonder. I think we have every opportunity to be just as successful going into next year. Obviously we are going to be more of the hunted as opposed to an underdog who catches some people by surprise.”

    The Aggies have climbed to upper-echelon status in the Mountain West Conference in the school’s money-making sports and are back on the national radar. USU football went 11-2 last year, including a resounding bowl win after the departure of Matt Wells to Texas Tech — then brought back Andersen, who started Utah State’s football rebuild nearly a decade ago, in December.

    A few months later, Smith’s young, unheralded group defied odds, made games at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum a spectacle once again and won the school’s first regular season Mountain West title in basketball, earning its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2011.

    What, then, goes into sustaining all of this sudden success in Logan?

    Hartwell points to the accomplishments of last year and the other schools nationwide like Michigan, Kentucky, LSU and Cincinnati, and said USU should be proud of where it got and what sort of lofty goals are part of the equation going forward.

    “When you look at three of those four schools whose budgets are at least four times what our operating budget is and then you look at Cincinnati’s, who’s about double of what ours is, I tell people that should be our expectation,” Hartwell said. “The reality is, is that going to happen every year? No. But we’ve shown we can do that. Let’s make that the expectation.”

    Hartwell also said last year’s successes have allowed the Aggies to now be involved in discussions with prospective student-athletes that, in the past, USU might’ve not been in the running for. That’s a byproduct that could send positive shockwaves throughout the athletics department for seasons to come if the winning continues. There is definitely room at the top for USU to remain a perennial contender in the MWC, to challenge the Boise State’s in football and the Nevada’s and San Diego State’s in basketball.

    “Everybody else is aspiring to do the same thing,” Hartwell said. “We’ve got to continue to invest wisely.”

    That includes investing in facilities, in coaches and student-athlete welfare initiatives. Hartwell said there are no massive facility upgrades on the horizon, not like the recently-completed $36 million makeover on the west side of Maverik Stadium. But there are some facility projects he estimates in the $2 to $5 million range that USU will look to get underway in the next two to three years. In a bid to boost fundraising, the Aggies added former Weber State AD Jerry Bovee, a USU alumnus, to the mix this spring, as an assistant athletic director.

    Additionally, Hartwell said, renovations to the Spectrum will be something the university and the athletic department will pursue going forward. The Spectrum opened in 1970 and the amenities, Hartwell said, need to be improved. It would behoove the university too, he added, to look into making access to seating easier for fans rather than making the long climb up or down the stairwells around the arena.

    “The core of our facilities is really good,” Hartwell continued. “We’ve got to make sure we do things operationally to complement facilities, our coaching salaries, find a way to do more charter flights for our men’s and women’s basketball teams.”

    The new athletics season begins in a few months, when Andersen’s Aggies take a cross-country flight to take on Wake Forest on August 30. That season opener is a little more than three months away and Hartwell said it’s been easy having Andersen back in his old stomping grounds.

    “With him having been here before, there was very little learning curve for him — he was able to pop right in,” Hartwell said. “Some of the things he’s been able to do, get our NFL players and other former players heavily engaged. That’s been tremendous. Just the excitement and the buzz both from current football student-athletes and community and beyond has been great.”

    And while football and basketball nab most of the headlines, Hartwell wanted to point out that USU’s success went beyond the gridiron and the hardwood last year. The Aggies had nearly 70 student-athletes graduate and had a 92 percent graduation rate which is part of the MWC’s top graduation percentage.

    “All 400 student-athletes have excelled in various ways,” he said.

    Man City completes sweep of English trophies with FA Cup rout of Watford


    London • Raheem Sterling scored a hat trick as Manchester City completed the first sweep of English men’s football trophies by routing Watford 6-0 in the FA Cup final on Saturday.The fourth piece of silverware was sealed with four different scorers...

    London • Raheem Sterling scored a hat trick as Manchester City completed the first sweep of English men’s football trophies by routing Watford 6-0 in the FA Cup final on Saturday.

    The fourth piece of silverware was sealed with four different scorers at Wembley Stadium, with David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus also netting in the humiliation of Watford.

    Victory for Pep Guardiola's side came a week after the Premier League trophy was retained to join the League Cup and Community Shield already in City's possession.

    "What a season," City captain Vincent Kompany said. "What a tremendous club."

    But the unprecedented achievement by football's costliest squad comes against the backdrop of investigations into City's compliance into football's spending rules that could lead to the Abu Dhabi-owned team being banned from the Champions League.

    More than $1 billion has been spent on transfer fees alone since 2008 when Sheikh Mansour bought a team that was more accustomed to playing in lower leagues than lifting trophies.

    It wasn't until 2011 that City ended a 35-year trophy drought by winning the FA Cup.

    Now City is the undisputed power of English football — a status it claimed from neighbor Manchester United.

    Watford was contesting its first cup final in 35 years and never had a look in after Roberto Pereyra was denied the chance to snatch a shock lead in the 11th minute by goalkeeper Ederson.

    The City players were celebrating in front of the Watford fans in the 26th.

    After Abdoulaye Doucoure gave the ball away, City broke forward and Sterling headed through for David Silva to strike into the net.

    City's other Silva — Bernardo — was the provider of the second in the 38th, chipping to the far post where Gabriel Jesus diverted the ball into an empty net. Sterling ensured it crossed the line and was credited with the goal.

    The onslaught came in the second half with De Bruyne exerting his influence after coming off the bench.

    The Belgian netted in the 61st, receiving the ball from Gabriel Jesus, who had combined with Sterling.

    Gabriel Jesus found the net seven minutes later after being released by De Bruyne's throughball, sliding past Heurelho Gomes after the goalkeeper came off his line.

    Then the record-equaling final victory margin came from a double inside six minutes from Sterling, who grew up near Wembley and has a tattoo of the stadium's arch.

    The Football Writers' Association player of the year tapped in after latching onto Bernardo Silva's cross in the 81st, and met the rebound after Gomes pushed his initial shot onto the post.

    "It just shows what the manager's building here," Sterling said. "At the start of the season he said, 'Let's try and get the mentality right and go for the Premier League again,' and we've done that again, exceptionally well.

    "It’s a credit to all the boys, being mentally switched on throughout the season which has been long with the World Cup as well. Everyone’s been focused and on their A game the whole way through.

    Utah’s Gail Miller selected to receive congressional award


    Salt Lake City • Utah Jazz owner and philanthropist Gail Miller was running between meetings when she heard the news from Washington D.C.A colleague had told her she would be receiving a congressional award honoring her work with young people.Miller...

    Salt Lake City • Utah Jazz owner and philanthropist Gail Miller was running between meetings when she heard the news from Washington D.C.

    A colleague had told her she would be receiving a congressional award honoring her work with young people.

    Miller thought the idea was far-fetched. "I didn't even know much about the award, I never expected it," she told The Associated Press this week.

    In June, Miller will receive The Horizon Award, which recognizes humanitarian leaders in the private sector. The Congressional Award National Board of Directors announced their decision May 12.

    Previous recipients include singer Mariah Carey, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, and actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

    "To be honored in a group like that, I just thought, 'Wow," Miller said.

    Miller has owned the family's car dealerships, movie theaters and the National Basketball Association's Utah Jazz franchise since the death of her husband, Larry H. Miller, in 2009.

    Forbes magazine estimates Miller's net worth to be $1.5 billion, making her the richest woman in Utah.

    Her husband's legacy appears everywhere in the valley - the NBA arena, a college campus and various buildings. In the wake of his death, Miller has sought her own mark, strengthening the business's philanthropic arm and championing education, homelessness and family causes.

    She presides over the Larry H. Miller Education Foundation, Larry H. Miller Charities, and the Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation, which support a wide range of charitable efforts.

    In 2017, she pledged to match dollar-for-dollar up to $10 million of donations to help fund homeless resource centers in Utah. The Larry H. Miller Education Foundation has granted scholarships to more than 3,000 students around the country.

    Miller said the ability to improve others' lives drives her success. "Whatever you do for someone else always comes back to you, but there's also joy is in seeing what you can do to help other people," she said.

    Paxton K. Baker, chairman of the Congressional Award National Board of Directors, praised Miller for her selfless nature and community outreach.

    "Her life's work serves as an extraordinary example for our nation's youth, particularly young women," he said in a statement Sunday.

    Miller hopes the award encourages young people to be more giving and invest in their education. “Learning and giving makes us stronger and shows the world you are thinking of something besides yourself,” she said.

    Eagle carries Utah’s Tony Finau to a 1-under-par round in the PGA Championship


    One spectacular shot Saturday helped Tony Finau post his first under-par score of the PGA Championship.The Lehi resident’s shot from 297 yards to within 6 feet of the hole set up an eagle on the par-5 No. 13 at Bethpage Black in New York. Finau then...

    One spectacular shot Saturday helped Tony Finau post his first under-par score of the PGA Championship.

    The Lehi resident’s shot from 297 yards to within 6 feet of the hole set up an eagle on the par-5 No. 13 at Bethpage Black in New York. Finau then birdied the par-4 No. 18 to complete a round of 1-under-par 69 that included four bogeys, three birdies and his second eagle of the tournament.

    It's an EAGLE and a SHIMMY for Tony Finau! 🦅👀#PGAChamp pic.twitter.com/CDauccvtVV

    — PGA of America (@PGA) May 18, 2019

    Finau stands 2 over par entering Sunday’s final round. He moved into the top 40 and is in the range for what is becoming his usual finish lately in the PGA Championship. He tied for 42nd place in 2017 and tied for 44th last year (that remains his worst finish in the past seven major tournaments). Finau’s first two showings in the PGA were extreme cases, a tie for 10th in 2015 and a missed cut the following year.

    Finau was tied for 57th place after two rounds. His strong back nine Saturday was made possible by improved driving. He still hit only six of 14 fairways in the third round, bringing his tournament total to 17 of 42. Bethpage Black’s angles from the tee make hitting fairways especially difficult. Finau hit 11 greens in regulation in the third round.

    Finau, who’s No. 15 in the Official World Golf Ranking, has made the 36-hole cut in each of the past eight major tournaments. He’s exempt for the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links in California in June and the British Open at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland in July.

    Someone added scores of strokes to Trump’s official golf scores


    President Donald Trump's account on the U.S. Golf Association system was seemingly hacked to embarrass the president with four fabricated scores.It appears someone obtained access to Trump's page and posted awful scores of 101, 100, 108 and 102,...

    President Donald Trump's account on the U.S. Golf Association system was seemingly hacked to embarrass the president with four fabricated scores.

    It appears someone obtained access to Trump's page and posted awful scores of 101, 100, 108 and 102, according to Golfweek. Par in a round of golf is typically around 72, and Trump has traditionally posted more flattering scores in the 70s and 80s, which some skeptics say are not a true indicator of his golf game.

    "We have become aware of reports in the media questioning recent scores posted on President Trump's (Golf Handicap and Information Network) account," Craig Annis, the managing director of communications for the USGA, told Golfweek. "As we dug into the data it appears someone has erroneously posted a number of scores on behalf of the GHIN user."

    Annis said they are removing the scores and will seek to determine how they got there.

    The fake scores were from games recorded at Trump National New York, Trump International in West Palm Beach and the Cochise Course at Desert Mountain in Scottsdale, according to Golfweek.

    Trump is spending his Saturday afternoon playing golf at the Trump International Golf Course in Sterling, Virginia. Though the president often railed against his predecessor for his golfing habits, Trump is expected to greatly outpace Barack Obama for days spent on the golf course, according to a site that tracks Trump's golfing.

    The fake scores appeared on the heels of a new book written by sportswriter Rick Reilly, "Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump," which alleges that Trump habitually cheats at golf. In 2015, months after Trump announced his run for president, The Post's Ben Terris interviewed people who had golfed with Trump who said he often bent the rules in his favor.

    Trump has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing on the golf course.

    No longer in the dark: Navajo Nation homes get electricity


    Kaibeto, Ariz. • Miranda Haskie sits amid the glow of candles at her kitchen table as the sun sinks into a deep blue horizon silhouetting juniper trees and a nearby mesa.Her husband, Jimmie Long, Jr., fishes for the wick to light a kerosene lamp as the...

    Kaibeto, Ariz. • Miranda Haskie sits amid the glow of candles at her kitchen table as the sun sinks into a deep blue horizon silhouetting juniper trees and a nearby mesa.

    Her husband, Jimmie Long, Jr., fishes for the wick to light a kerosene lamp as the couple and their 13-year-old son prepare to spend a final night without electricity.

    They're waiting for morning, when utility workers who recently installed four electric poles outside their double-wide house trailer will connect it to the power grid, meaning they will no longer be among the tens of thousands of people without power on the Navajo Nation, the country's largest American Indian reservation.

    Haskie and Long are getting their electricity this month thanks to a project to connect 300 homes with the help of volunteer utility crews from across the U.S.

    The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority typically connects from 400 to 450 homes a year, chipping away at the 15,000 scattered, rural homes without power on the 27,000-square-mile reservation that lies in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

    At that rate, it will take the tribal utility about 35 more years to get electricity to the 60,000 of the reservation's 180,000 residents who don't have it.

    The couple’s home at the end of rutted dirt roads outside the small town of Kaibeto was about a quarter-mile from the closest power line. Life disconnected from the grid in the high desert town dotted with canyons and mesas was simple and joyful but also inconvenient, they said.

    "It's not that bad. Growing up, you get used to it, being raised like that," Long said.

    The family’s weekday routine included showering, cooking and charging cellphones, battery packs and flashlights at Haskie’s mother’s house 2 miles away, down dirt roads that turn treacherous in stormy weather.

    Navajos without electricity also pack food or medication in coolers with ice or leave it outside in the wintertime. Children use dome lights in cars or kerosene lamps to do their homework at night. Some tribal members have small solar systems that deliver intermittent power.

    No electricity typically means no running water and a lack of overall economic development. Creating the infrastructure to reach the far-flung homes on the reservation is extremely costly.

    Hooking up a single home can cost up to $40,000 on the reservation where the annual, per-capita income is around $10,700 and half the workforce is unemployed, said Walter Haase, general manager of the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority.

    For the recent power hookup project called LightUpNavajo, the utility raised funds from an online campaign, collected donations from employees, businesses and communities, and used revenue from solar farms on the reservation to cover the utility's $3 million cost. Money that isn't raised will be borrowed and the repayment passed on to customers via their rates, Haase said. The project started in March and ends this month.

    The volunteer crews spent days on the reservation, learning about Navajo culture, the language and the landscape before setting out to job sites often hours away from their hotel rooms. Tribal utility crews had already performed much of the prep work, removing trees or stumps so the volunteers could focus on installing power poles and miles of electric line to connect homes.

    A four-man crew from Piqua, Ohio, weathered rain, dust storms and sandy terrain that threatened to bury their equipment as they traveled through the western part of the reservation in Arizona earlier this month. They heard from families who have waited months, years and a lifetime to get power. Navajos showed their appreciation to the crews with feasts of fry bread, steaks and steamed corn.

    "It's kind of crazy to think about the different things you take for granted on a daily basis," said Ken Wagner, a journeyman lineman for Piqua Power System. At an appreciation dinner, his crew received gifts of posters with traditional Navajo sayings, turquoise jewelry, shirts and mugs.

    Among those getting electricity hookups were Vernon Smith and his wife, Bertha. They live in Salt Lake City but are preparing their home in Tuba City on the reservation for a move back. They became set on getting electricity when a kerosene lamp tipped over while she was napping and she feared the house would burn down.

    The wait for electricity took three years, but Vernon Smith called that "a miracle."

    "I couldn't believe it," he said in an interview, his face lighting up as recalled seeing the whirling blades of a ceiling fan in his reservation home for the first time. "I didn't think I was going to get electricity that fast."

    Haskie said she could live without electricity but that it's also exciting getting it.

    "I can walk in, turn the light on without my son turning on the generator," she said.

    She's crafted a wish list that includes a blender, a coffee maker, a juice maker, a stand-up mixer and an espresso machine. Eventually, she'll subscribe to cable TV.

    The couple's son, Jayden, said he managed fine without power — using portable chargers for his cellphone. Some days, he fired up a gas generator that was hooked up to the home's electric panel to watch TV or turn on the light in his bedroom.

    But the generator’s 5-gallon tank lasted less than a day and the cost of fuel meant it was used sparingly and mostly on the weekends.

    He's looked forward to taking eggs, bacon, steak, pork chops and hamburgers out of a refrigerator to cook whenever he wants.

    As of Thursday, the LightUpNavajo project hooked up 208 homes. Crews from 26 utilities in 12 states traveled to the reservation to help, installing 1,500 power line poles and more than 35 miles of electric lines.

    The project was designed with a $125,000 grant from the American Public Power Association. Mark Hyland, an association senior vice president, said the group and the tribal utility will consider repeating it on the Navajo Nation, or using it as a model for other reservations or rural areas.

    On the morning that Haskie's and Long's home got power, journeyman lineman Justin Foutz with the Piqua utility slipped on a pair of gloves and grabbed an extendable, yellow tool to close a switch atop the utility pole and send power to the home.

    "Coming in hot," he said.

    A few minutes later, electrician Delbert Graham knocked on the trailer's door.

    "Hey, you're energized," he said. "Go ahead and turn on your main breaker."

    Using a flashlight inside the darkened house, Long flipped on the breaker, turned on the home's porch light and opened the door with a smile.

    Then the crew loaded up their utility trucks and headed toward the small community of Coppermine, about an hour’s drive down the next dirt road, to connect more homes.


    Greek and French restaurants in Salt Lake City will be replaced by Italian eateries


    After 16 years — and the recent loss of its state liquor license — Aristo’s Greek Restaurant in east Salt Lake City has closed for good.The loss of the Mediterranean restaurant near the University of Utah at the end of April follows the January...

    After 16 years — and the recent loss of its state liquor license — Aristo’s Greek Restaurant in east Salt Lake City has closed for good.

    The loss of the Mediterranean restaurant near the University of Utah at the end of April follows the January shutdown of the beloved French-inspired Paris Bistro on the corner of 1500 South and 1500 East.

    While diners are still mourning these two international favorites — with prime locations and alluring patios — neither location will remain shuttered for long.

    Both soon will be Italian eateries.

    The Aristo’s location, 244 S. 1300 East, will become Osteria Amore, while the Paris Bistro site is set to become La Trattoria di Francesco, the sixth restaurant for the Utah-based Sicilia Mia restaurant chain.

    In a culinary plot twist, manager Eduardo Daja and chef Marco Cuttaia recently left Sicilia Mia to open Osteria Amore.

    “We wanted to have something smaller, and have more space for creativity and seasonal options,” explained Daja, who was born and raised in Bologna, in Northern Italy.

    Cuttaia has roots in southern Italy. Together, they plan to bring a range of regional Italian dishes — many from their own family recipes — to Osteria Amore.

    After some remodeling, Daja hopes to have the restaurant open in June, so guests can enjoy the patio.

    The recent departure of Daja and Cuttaia clearly hasn’t stopped the culinary freight train that is Sicilia Mia.

    The Mirenda family posted a sign recently that a new restaurant concept — La Trattoria di Francesco — would be coming soon.

    The project, named for Sicilia Mia founder Francesco Mirenda, is a partnership with Frank Granato Jr., whose family has owned and operated Granato’s Importing, delicatessen and market for some 70 years.

    The owners say they have gutted the building and are working with an Italian architect on a $500,000 remodel. The tentative completion date is August.

    The menu also will showcase family recipes and include a mix of steaks, fish and homemade pasta — the owners are even planning an open area where diners can see pasta being made. The restaurant will include a market stocked with imported items from Granato’s.

    The Mirendas operate Sicilia Mia restaurants in downtown Salt Lake City, Cottonwood Heights, Holladay and Farmington, as well as Antica Sicilia, in Millcreek.

    For the Italian restaurants to be successful, they will need to get liquor licenses from the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

    The loss of its state liquor license is one of several things that pushed Aristo’s owner, Aristides Boutsikakis, to close his 16-year-old Greek restaurant.

    The state liquor commission suspended Aristo’s license in February after it discovered Boutsikakis had applied for the permit under a corporate entity that had not been active since 2014.

    Boutsikakis said it was an oversight, so the commission gave the business owner a month to get the corporation reinstated. However, Boutsikakis was unsuccessful, and the alcohol license was officially revoked in March.

    Aristo’s continued to operate through April sans alcohol, but the financial losses — which Boutsikakis estimated to be at least $30,000 in February alone — made it challenging.

    “My lease was ending in December and I had already decided not to renew,” Boutsikakis said, adding that when the landlord agreed to let him out of the lease early, he made the decision to close.

    Commentary: Utah can lead the way for innovation in infrastructure


    Infrastructure — whether it be roads, rail, energy, water or broadband — quite literally unites us as a state and a country. After a weekend of celebrations commemorating the 150th anniversary of the driving of the golden spike and the completion of...

    Infrastructure — whether it be roads, rail, energy, water or broadband — quite literally unites us as a state and a country. After a weekend of celebrations commemorating the 150th anniversary of the driving of the golden spike and the completion of the transcontinental railroad, it only seems right that we now celebrate National Infrastructure Week from May 13-20.

    As co-chairs of the Salt Lake Chamber’s Utah Transportation Coalition, we add our voice to the hundreds of other business and elected leaders across the country who are advocating, educating and spotlighting the need to revitalize, modernize and invest in infrastructure on a state and federal level during this Infrastructure Week.

    Too much of our nation’s infrastructure is under-maintained, old and over capacity. Every four years the American Society of Civil Engineers issues its Infrastructure Report Card, giving the nation’s aviation systems, roads, drinking and wastewater, ports and much more near-failing grades that should at least embarrass us, if not spur national leaders to action.

    For years, near-unanimous, bipartisan support for infrastructure investment has been steadily increasing, and leaders and voters in state houses and cities have been rolling up their sleeves, making tough but important choices, and rebuilding and modernizing transportation, water and energy systems. However, no state, city or county can tackle the enormous and growing backlog of projects of regional and national importance alone. More than 79 percent of voters think it is extremely important for Congress and the White House to work together to invest in infrastructure. We need federal leadership, we need a national vision, and we need a plan to pay for it.

    With so much vitriol and partisanship in Washington, it is heartening to know infrastructure remains an issue both sides of the aisle can get behind, yet with Utah’s exploding growth, we can’t wait around or rely solely on the federal government to act. Instead, national leaders can look to Utah as a leading example of prioritizing infrastructure investment and maintenance. Paying for and maintaining the infrastructure of the future requires creative solutions.

    Recent state legislation opened the door for public-private partnerships – allowing for private capital to contribute to the funding of crucial infrastructure projects. These partnerships can be used as a tool for procuring or managing public infrastructure projects and will allocate design, construction, financing and long-term maintenance risks to the party best equipped to address them.

    Public-private partnerships will also aid in addressing the astounding $67.5 billion in new infrastructure and maintenance costs expected over the next 20 years in Utah alone. Public-private partnerships and other innovative approaches to funding and revitalizing our infrastructure will continue to help Utah stay competitive and keep up with growth.

    In her speech at the Spike 150 celebration, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao mentioned that as one of the most significant infrastructure projects in history, the railroad was key to unleashing the economic prosperity of the United States for generations to come. We see the reality of this today as infrastructure of all kinds move people, goods, energy, power, water, broadband and much more across our state, nation and the globe. Economic opportunity is directly tied with building, maintaining and investing in infrastructure.

    While federal leadership and direction is critical to ensuring our infrastructure continues to connect the United States, Utah’s track record of bringing creative and innovative solutions to the table will surely play an important role in the future of infrastructure in America, just as it did 150 years ago.

    Theresa Foxley, president and CEO of EDCUtah, and Wade Sherman, vice president and deputy general counsel of enterprise/DX business at Adobe Inc., are co-chairs of the Salt Lake Chamber’s Utah Transportation Coalition.

    Commentary: There will come a day when all the lies collapse


    Growing up, I was taught the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, of which the current president knows neither. Honesty and sincerity were more than just political slogans and morality and integrity were metaphors you earned for the life you lived...

    Growing up, I was taught the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, of which the current president knows neither. Honesty and sincerity were more than just political slogans and morality and integrity were metaphors you earned for the life you lived and not labels bestowed on oneself or purchased through the internet.

    But what keeps me up at night is this presidents “open” affinity for dictators! President Trump’s congratulatory praise as “great” in abolishing term limits, for China’s Xi Jinping. Respecting Erdogan of Turkey for not only passing a referendum that gives him close to absolute power but also for his ability to deny any dissenting opinions through the press or free speech.

    His self-admitted love affair with “little rocket-man” Kim Jong Un of North Korea, we won’t even go there! His affection for Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines by praising his unlawful killings as an “unbelievable job on the drug problem.” Then, of course, Vladimir Putin, Russia’s current president and leader of the world’s largest organized crime syndicate.

    As appalling as his actions above my seem, what really gives me insomnia is when he quotes Benito Mussolini! A ruthless ally of Hitler and co-conspirator of some of history’s greatest human atrocities, this president showed no qualms in reciting him.

    Mussolini, leader of Italy and ally of Germany and Japan during the last World War, who actually said “It is blood which moves the wheels of history,” and then proceeded to prove it.

    This is the man Trump chose to quote and retweet, “It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep.” The fact that Trump chooses to empathize with ruthless dictators and quote avowed fascist makes me wonder where we would be today if Trump had been president in 1939, prior to us entering World War II?

    When Hitler wrote “Mein Kampf”, his bible of future ideas on politics and race, he was in a prison cell in 1923-24. It was a book filled with Aryan nation superiority and future domination of the universe, stating, “All the human culture, all the results of art, science, and technology that we see before us today, are almost exclusively the creative product of the Aryan,” and then proceeds to say that subjugated peoples actually benefit by being conquered because they come in contact with and learn from the superior Aryans. At no time did anyone ever suspect a person of this diminutive intellect would or even could be a leader of a nation.

    At least not until a person by the name of Joseph Goebbels was introduce into the equation. Hitler’s future minister of propaganda, the king of “alternative facts,” the architect of 1,000-year rein and vendor of the Final Solution. A liar even Trump can look up to and still feel small.

    Just some of his work; “If you tell a lie enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” “Propaganda is not an end in itself, but a means to an end. If the means achieves the end then the means is good." “The bigger the lie, the more it will be believed.” “The truth is the greatest enemy of the state.” “It is the absolute right of the State to supervise the formation of public opinion.” “Not every item of news should be published. Rather must those who control news policies endeavor to make every item of news serve a certain purpose.”

    And still more, “the rank and file are usually much more primitive than we imagine. Propaganda must therefore always be essentially simple and repetitious.” “A lie told once remains a lie but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth.” And, finally, “Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.” Only replace “the press” with “Fox News”.

    It goes on and on, just as the war did, but in the end, even Goebbels got it right when he said, “There will come a day, when all the lies will collapse under their own weight, and the truth will again triumph.”

    The day my insomnia will finally be cured.

    Robert Hoff, Taylorsville, is an avid reader and longtime subscriber of The Salt Lake Tribune who is passionate about civil rights and the strength behind good science.

    Bagley Cartoon: Speaker for the Speechless

    Bagley Cartoon: Speaker for the Speechless


    This Pat Bagley cartoon appears in The Salt Lake Tribune on Friday, May 17, 2019. You can check out the past 10 Bagley editorial cartoons below:Seminal Alabama Abortion BillChurchy StateGame of TariffsParticipation TrophyGolden Spike RedoFunny...

    This Pat Bagley cartoon appears in The Salt Lake Tribune on Friday, May 17, 2019. You can check out the past 10 Bagley editorial cartoons below:

    Seminal Alabama Abortion BillChurchy StateGame of TariffsParticipation TrophyGolden Spike RedoFunny MoneyKiller EconomySharkcare for AllTrump Finally Gets a DogAxing Booze and Entertainment

    Want more Bagley? Become a fan on Facebook.

    Bagley Cartoon: Assessing the Assessment

    Bagley Cartoon: Assessing the Assessment


    This Pat Bagley cartoon appears in The Salt Lake Tribune on Sunday, May 19, 2019. You can check out the past 10 Bagley editorial cartoons below:Speaker for the SpeechlessSeminal Alabama Abortion BillChurchy StateGame of TariffsParticipation TrophyGolden...

    This Pat Bagley cartoon appears in The Salt Lake Tribune on Sunday, May 19, 2019. You can check out the past 10 Bagley editorial cartoons below:

    Speaker for the SpeechlessSeminal Alabama Abortion BillChurchy StateGame of TariffsParticipation TrophyGolden Spike RedoFunny MoneyKiller EconomySharkcare for AllTrump Finally Gets a Dog

    Want more Bagley? Become a fan on Facebook.

    Groups sue to reverse the feds’ approval of right of way needed for eastern Utah oil shale mining


    A proposed oil shale mine and ore-processing project in the Uinta Basin is under legal fire from several environmental groups that are seeking to invalidate a recent Bureau of Land Management decision to let the developer cut a 14-mile utility corridor...

    A proposed oil shale mine and ore-processing project in the Uinta Basin is under legal fire from several environmental groups that are seeking to invalidate a recent Bureau of Land Management decision to let the developer cut a 14-mile utility corridor across public land.

    In a lawsuit filed Thursday in Salt Lake City’s U.S. District Court, the groups say the BLM’s environmental review should have considered the impacts to air, water, wildlife and climate from the massive strip mine proposed on private land by Enefit American Oil.

    The BLM had declined to conduct the wider analysis, opting instead to look only at the direct impacts associated with the construction of pipelines, roads and transmission lines to the project, which is angling to be the first oil shale mine in North America to produce commercial quantities of crude oil.

    “The BLM approved the rights of way to service Enefit’s proposed oil shale mine and processing facility based on an utterly inadequate analysis of potentially devastating air, water, climate and species impacts,” said Michael Toll, a staff attorney at Grand Canyon Trust. “Considering the rights of way are a public subsidy of an otherwise economically unfeasible oil shale development, the public has a right to know exactly how Enefit’s project will impact their health and environment.”

    A BLM spokeswoman declined to comment because the matter is under litigation.

    Enefit previously has argued that the larger environmental analysis should not be required because its project could move forward without the proposed rights of way. The corridor would lessen the project’s impacts and further reviews will be required before mining begins, executives say.

    A subsidiary of a large state-run Estonian energy firm, Enefit hopes to develop a mine on 9,000 acres near the White River, along with a 320-acre processing plant that would “retort” ore known as kerogen. This rockbound hydrocarbon can be converted to crude if subjected to intense heat and pressure. As a result, this form of energy extraction uses large amounts of energy and water.

    The company hopes to produce up to 50,000 barrels a day, extracted from 28 million tons of ore mined each year for up to 30 years. It is seeking rights to nearly 11,000 acre-feet of water that would be needed to extract and process the ore. Spent ore would then be returned to the mine pit.

    “It’s going to have huge climate impacts because it’s more carbon-intensive than drilling for oil. The Uinta Basin is already violating air standards [for ozone pollution] so it’s going to make it more unhealthy,” said Ted Zukoski, a staff attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. “You are going to have water pollution and up to 11,000 acre-feet getting sucked out of the river.”

    The suit also targets the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for its determination that endangered species of fish inhabiting the Green River will not be harmed, reasoning that building the utility corridor will not divert much water from the river. But that logic ignores the huge volumes that Enefit’s oil shale operations would consume, according to the lawsuit.

    “The service analyzed the impact on the fish species from building the water pipeline," the suit states, “but not from operating it.”

    Groups filing the suit include Living Rivers, Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, Sierra Club, Waterkeeper Alliance and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Earthjustice, a legal nonprofit, is helping Toll and Zukoski litigate the case.


    How many women and minorities are faculty at Utah’s universities? No one really knows — but there’s a new effort to collect the data.

    How many women and minorities are faculty at Utah’s universities? No one really knows — but there’s a new effort to collect the data.


    The leaders of Utah’s universities have been asked for the past 34 years to report how many women and people of color are in faculty positions.And they have never done it.Some have collected the numbers, but few have published their findings. And none...

    The leaders of Utah’s universities have been asked for the past 34 years to report how many women and people of color are in faculty positions.

    And they have never done it.

    Some have collected the numbers, but few have published their findings. And none have used the same format, so there’s no easy way to make comparisons. From her own experience, Theresa Martinez knows that data would be valuable.

    When she started as a sociology professor at the University of Utah in 1990, her salary was $30,000. The two white men hired in the department at the same time, she later found out, were each offered about $5,000 more.

    One hadn’t finished his doctoral dissertation like Martinez had. The other had fewer publications than she did. The dean brushed it off.

    “You don’t have a family to take care of,” he told her.

    “It just kind of floored me,” Martinez said Friday as she recalled the sexist explanation. “But I stayed and I fought.”

    Martinez was one of only three women in her department then and the only person of color. It took years before that changed. Now, nearly three decades after she started, half of the sociology professors at the U. are women. Six are minorities. Most, she believes, including herself, are paid equitably.

    Certainly those are strides, Martinez said, but she wonders: Are other departments at the university experiencing similar things? What about other colleges in Utah? Where are there still wage and hiring gaps? Can those be closed?

    The Utah Board of Regents, which oversees public higher education in the state, wants those answers, too.

    Its members voted Friday to update and enforce a policy that was first put in place in 1985 but never implemented.

    It will require that university presidents report on the racial and gender demographics of their staffs and share the information in a statewide database each year.

    “It’s a fairness issue,” said regent Pat Jones, who also heads the Women’s Leadership Institute in Utah. “It’s important to track it to see how we’re moving whether forward or backward. You need that data to make informed decisions.”

    The move to uniformly collect the information comes as four of the eight public colleges in the state are led by woman — many for the first time and overall a historic total. Two of those presidents — Ruth Watkins at the University of Utah and Astrid Tuminez at Utah Valley University — have expressly made it their goal to hire more diverse staffs.


    (Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Madeline Rossman, an academic advisor with the University of Utah, shows her support for Ruth Watkins before she was inaugurated as the University of Utah's 16th president, and first female, at Kingsbury Hall on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. "I'm pumped, especially as a woman in academia... it's so exciting to see a woman leader," exclaimed Rossman sporting a t-shirt with Watkins image that read "Madame President." (Francisco Kjolseth/)

    Currently, according to the data on its website, the U.’s faculty of 1,771 instructors and professors is 34% female and 27% racial minorities. Of the available data for each school and the limited comparisons possible, that gives it the lowest ratio of women but the highest for staff of color.

    “Obviously, we still have a ways to go,” Martinez said. “But this is the only way that we can find out if there are gender and racial disparities. More transparency is always best.”

    The data collection — which will also require university leaders to provide a breakdown of salaries — will be presented annually to the Board of Regents. But it will still be up to the individual schools if they want to do something to change it. The hope is to give professors a chance to review their own treatment, too.

    Utah Valley University in Orem, which has the largest student body in the state, inaugurated its first woman and woman of color as president earlier this year. Tuminez has promised to make the faculty more reflective of the diverse student body.

    To do that, the school has reevaluated the requirements for applicants. It has generally lowered the number of years of experience it requires — because men tend to have more — and broadened its definition of experience to attract more candidates, said Jeff Olsen, provost at the school.

    Of it’s full-time faculty — the only numbers it has published — 44% are women and 13% are individuals of color.

    Of the available data for each school, Weber State and Salt Lake Community College both have the highest percentage of faculty who are women at 49%.

    SLCC, though, had no public information on racial demographics. And Southern Utah University and Dixie State University both reported the lowest makeup at 7% non-white staff.


    (Christopher Cherrington | The Salt Lake Tribune)

    The data is hard to compare, however, because some of the schools only post numbers on their full-time faculty. Others use their entire staffs but don’t give an explanation of which are adjunct and tenured professors. That means the numbers may look better for a college if it reports that it has a high number of female employees — but it may not show whether they are in mostly lower or part-time positions.

    “If you don’t know what the data is saying then you don’t know what changes to make,” said student regent Jakell Larson.

    A little more than a year ago, a group of students at Dixie State brought the policy to the Board of Regents and asked where the data was. They wanted to know why more professors at their school didn’t look like them.

    The new rule now states the purpose of collecting the data is to help “provide students with an educational experience rooted in diverse perspectives, experiences and backgrounds.”

    “When they don’t see it, they feel alone on their campus,” said regent Nina Barnes.

    That’s a big reason why Martinez said she stayed at the University of Utah despite the salary disparity. She wanted other Latino and female students to have a role model, to see that they could also become professors.

    She was the first Mexican-American woman to get tenure in the state, which she achieved in 1996.

    “You need to see that you can accomplish this,” she said. “Seeing a white man accomplish it is not a measure of you.”

    Though she’ll always remember what the dean said about why she wasn’t being paid more, she also reflects back often to when she first got her Ph.D. At the graduation ceremony 35 years ago, she walked past a mom and her little girl. The woman looked at Martinez, she said, and then back at her daughter.

    Then the mom said: “Look honey, she’s a doctor, and you can be too.”

    Van passenger impaled by tripod on Sacramento freeway


    Sacramento, Calif. • Authorities say somebody stole a tripod from a California Department of Transportation crew and then dropped it from an overpass onto a Sacramento freeway, impaling the lung of a passenger in a van.The driver of the van, Tim Page,...

    Sacramento, Calif. • Authorities say somebody stole a tripod from a California Department of Transportation crew and then dropped it from an overpass onto a Sacramento freeway, impaling the lung of a passenger in a van.

    The driver of the van, Tim Page, tells KCRA-TV that he was on Interstate 5 Thursday morning when the yellow-and-red tripod smashed through the glass. He says it went through his passenger's lung and popped out.

    The man survived but with broken ribs and a partially punctured lung.

    Authorities say a 32-year-old man they suspect threw the tripod was arrested on a warrant but may face a charge of attempted murder.

    Page volunteers with El Dorado Veteran Resources and had picked up his passenger, another veteran, from the airport.

    Once again, Iraq caught up in tensions between US and Iran


    Baghdad When U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sat down with Iraqi officials in Baghdad last week as tensions mounted between America and Iran, he delivered a nuanced message: If you’re not going to stand with us, stand aside.The message, relayed to...

    Baghdad When U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sat down with Iraqi officials in Baghdad last week as tensions mounted between America and Iran, he delivered a nuanced message: If you’re not going to stand with us, stand aside.

    The message, relayed to The Associated Press by two Iraqi government officials, underscores Iraq's delicate position: Its government is allied with both sides of an increasingly contentious confrontation.

    As tensions escalate, there are concerns that Baghdad could once again get caught in the middle, just as it is on the path to recovery. The country hosts more than 5,000 U.S. troops, and is home to powerful Iranian-backed militias, some of whom want those U.S. forces to leave.

    "The big question is how Iraqi leaders will deal with (their) national interests in a country where loyalty to external powers is widespread at the expense of their own nation," Iraqi political analyst Watheq al-Hashimi said. "If the state cannot put these (Iranian-backed militias) under control, Iraq will become an arena for an Iranian-American armed conflict."

    Despite the escalation of rhetoric by both sides, President Donald Trump has said he doesn't want a war with Iran and has even said he is open to dialogue. But tension remains high, in part given the region's fraught history.

    For Iraq to be a theater for proxy wars is not new. The Shiite-majority country lies on the fault line between Shiite Iran and the mostly Sunni Arab world, led by powerhouse Saudi Arabia, and has long been a battlefield in which the Saudi-Iran rivalry for regional supremacy played out.

    During America's eight-year military presence that began with the 2003 invasion of Iraq, U.S. troops and Iranian-backed militiamen fought pitched battles around the country, and scores of U.S. troops were killed or wounded by the militia forces armed with sophisticated Iranian-made weapons.

    American forces withdrew from Iraq in 2011 but returned in 2014 at the invitation of Iraq to help battle the Islamic State group after it seized vast areas in the north and west of the country, including Iraq's second-largest city, Mosul. A U.S.-led coalition provided crucial air support as Iraqi forces regrouped and drove IS out in a costly three-year campaign. Iranian-backed militias fought alongside U.S.-backed Iraqi troops against IS, gaining outsized influence and power.

    Now, amid an escalating conflict between the U.S. and Iran, Iraq is once again vulnerable to becoming caught up in the power play. An attack targeting U.S. interests in Iraq would be detrimental to the country's recent efforts at recovering and reclaiming its status in the Arab world.

    Earlier this year, Trump provoked outrage in Baghdad when he said he wanted U.S. troops to stay in Iraq so they can "watch Iran," suggesting a changing mission for American troops there.

    On May 8, Pompeo made a lightning, previously unannounced trip to the Iraqi capital following the abrupt cancellation of a visit to Germany, and as the United States had been picking up intelligence that Iran is threatening American interests in the Middle East.

    The two Iraqi officials said Pompeo relayed intelligence information the U.S. had received about a threat to U.S. forces in Iraq — but kept it vague. They said he did not specify the nature of the threat. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to divulge confidential information, said Pompeo told the Iraqis that America did not expect them to side with the U.S. in any confrontation with Iran, but that they should not side against America. In other words, stand aside.

    A few days later, as U.S.-Iranian tensions continued to rise, the State Department ordered all non-essential, non-emergency government staff to leave the country.

    U.S. officials said Pompeo told the Iraqis the U.S. had an "inherent right to self-defense" and would use it if U.S. personnel, facilities or interests are attacked by Iran or its proxies in Iraq or anywhere else.

    The three officials, who were not authorized to publicly discuss the private meetings in Baghdad and spoke on condition of anonymity, said Pompeo was not contemplating any pre-emptive strikes on Iran or the use of Iraqi territory to stage military operations against Iran. Pompeo's message, the officials said, was that the U.S. wants to avoid conflict but would respond or defend itself if necessary.

    The secretary told reporters on the flight that his meetings with Iraq's president and prime minister were intended to demonstrate U.S. support for "a sovereign, independent" Iraq, free from the influence of neighboring Iran. Pompeo also said he wanted to underscore Iraq's need to protect Americans in their country.

    A general at Iraq's Defense Ministry said Iraq was taking precautionary security measures in light of the information about threats against U.S. interests, although those measures have not reached the highest levels.

    "Iraqi forces are worried that American forces could be targeted by factions loyal to Iran," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. He added that any attack on U.S. troops could come as retaliation if the United States were to carry out a military operation against Iran.

    The heightened tensions between Iran and the U.S. come a year after Trump pulled America out of Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers and as the White House ordered an aircraft carrier and bombers into the region over a still-unexplained threat from Iran.

    On Saturday, Iraqi officials said ExxonMobil employees began evacuating an oil field in the southern Iraqi province of Basra while the island nation of Bahrain ordered all it citizens in Iraq and Iran to leave immediately.

    On Sunday, the United Arab Emirates alleged that four oil tankers off its eastern coast were targeted by sabotage. On Tuesday, Yemen's Iran-allied Houthi rebels said they launched seven drones to target Saudi Arabia. The drones stuck pumping stations along the kingdom's crucial East-West Pipeline, causing minor damage, Saudi officials say.

    On the streets of Baghdad, some shrugged off the rising tensions while others worried their country could be sucked into another war.

    Aqil Rubaei said he was worried that his country, which has been at war since a year before he was born, will be the place where the U.S. and Iran will settle their accounts. The 38-year-old was born in 1981, a year after Iran and Iraq began their eight-year war and was 9 years old when Saddam Hussein's forces invaded Kuwait leading to a destructive war that forced Iraq out of Kuwait and 13 years of crippling sanctions.

    In 2003, the U.S. invaded and removed Saddam, leading to the rise of extremist groups that culminated in 2014 with the Islamic State group capturing large parts of Iraq and Syria and declaring a so-called caliphate. The war that followed left entire Iraqi cities and towns destroyed until Iraq declared victory in 2017.

    "Iraqi people are fed up with war," said Rubaei inside his cosmetics shop in Baghdad's Karrada neighborhood. "We don't want Iraq to become an arena for an Iranian-American war."

    ___

    Associated Press writer Matthew Lee in Washington contributed to this report.

    Use the power of the press to seek truth, Pope Francis urges journalists


    Vatican City • Pope Francis has urged foreign correspondents to humbly use the power of the press to search for the truth and give voice to the voiceless, calling journalism an important tool to counter hatred and fake news.In an audience Saturday with...

    Vatican City • Pope Francis has urged foreign correspondents to humbly use the power of the press to search for the truth and give voice to the voiceless, calling journalism an important tool to counter hatred and fake news.

    In an audience Saturday with the Foreign Press Association in Rome, Francis also urged journalists to not fall prey to click-bait headlines and half-reported stories, saying errors can not only misrepresent the truth but also can damage entire communities.

    While Francis meets with journalists regularly during his foreign trips, it was the first time a pope has received the Foreign Press Association since St. John Paul II in 1988.

    Francis said he and the Catholic Church at large appreciate the work of journalists “even when you touch a raw nerve, including within the ecclesial community.”

    Letter: Protect Utah’s roadless areas


    Governor Gary Herbert hosted Utah’s annual economic summit on May 17, which included a panel on “Building Your Business Through Outdoor Recreation.” Ironically, he is also pushing to exempt Utah from the longstanding national Roadless Rule....

    Governor Gary Herbert hosted Utah’s annual economic summit on May 17, which included a panel on “Building Your Business Through Outdoor Recreation.” Ironically, he is also pushing to exempt Utah from the longstanding national Roadless Rule. Roadless Area protections are important to the state’s outdoor recreation economy, which today supports 110,000 direct jobs and generates $12.3 billion in consumer spending. Removing protections from some 90% of Utah’s National Forests, as his petition to the U.S. Forest Service proposes, would roll back or eliminate safeguards for nearly 80% of protected backcountry skiing, hiking and mountain biking areas.

    The Roadless Rule has preserved wildland recreation opportunities for nearly two decades. It is supported by 75 percent of the public, according to a poll conducted for the Pew Charitable Trusts. Opening Utah’s amazing National Forests, like the Manti-La Sal and Fishlake, to road building for industrial logging is shortsighted and will shortchange future generations. The Conservation Alliance strongly urges Gov. Herbert to embrace the Roadless Rule in Utah, and safeguard these important outdoor recreation assets.

    John Sterling is the executive director of the Conservation Alliance in Bend, Ore.

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    Letter: Punishment for abortion providers in Alabama


    I’m surprised to see the Alabama legislature passed a law that could result in prison sentences of up to 99 years for abortion providers. I thought at the very least they would have opted for lynching.Roll Tide!Red Oelerich, HolladaySubmit a letter to...

    I’m surprised to see the Alabama legislature passed a law that could result in prison sentences of up to 99 years for abortion providers. I thought at the very least they would have opted for lynching.

    Roll Tide!

    Red Oelerich, Holladay

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    Letter: Whatever happened to American unity?


    Rep. Kim Coleman, R-West Jordan, might just be on to something with her desire to secede from Salt Lake County. Coleman is insisting on legislation that would give Salt Lake County communities a free channel to secede, create their own county and go...

    Rep. Kim Coleman, R-West Jordan, might just be on to something with her desire to secede from Salt Lake County. Coleman is insisting on legislation that would give Salt Lake County communities a free channel to secede, create their own county and go their own way. Coleman proposed her legislation in this year’s session and her plan went down in defeat. Coleman is “frustrated.” Ms. Coleman is not alone in being frustrated.

    Any new version of HB93 (as proposed by Coleman) should include the right of Salt Lake County to expel cities, communities, suburban congregations and any other collective that doesn’t quite fit in with the faith, values and community interests of Salt Lake County.

    The seceding communities would be required by state law to reimburse Salt Lake County for any and all expenditures made for infrastructure improvements and any costs incurred by the county for election costs in any attempt at seceding from the county. It would seem that communities such as West Jordan, Riverton, Herriman and whatever city is born from the planned move of the state prison are frustrated and despair of having to live in Salt Lake County.

    The United States of America has always had a very public face that shows American unity and support for diversity. Unity seems to have faded from public embrace during the reign of Trump. I find that sad and wholly un-American.

    E Pluribus Unum: an old Latin phrase that somehow made itself enshrined on American money.

    Don Nash, Salt Lake City

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    Letter: Governments need to stop legislating women’s bodies


    Georgia, Alabama, Missouri and a handful of other state legislatures have, in their eyes, taken a stand at the right hand of God by enacting laws designed to stop all abortions. Their sententious actions leave most of us wondering why they don’t use a...

    Georgia, Alabama, Missouri and a handful of other state legislatures have, in their eyes, taken a stand at the right hand of God by enacting laws designed to stop all abortions. Their sententious actions leave most of us wondering why they don’t use a more effective approach to reducing the number of abortions.

    Why not have mandatory, comprehensive sex education classes in junior high and high school? Why not have easy, low-cost access to any of the multitude of birth control options? Why do these sanctimonious, hypocritical state legislatures continue to push abstinence as the only way to avoid pregnancy among young women and girls?

    Do they really think reversing Roe v. Wade will end abortions that are now available in safe, sterile facilities and performed by skilled and caring physicians? Do they consider how many women and girls may die after trying to end their own pregnancy at home with a coat hanger or another equally barbaric method?

    What about women who struggle to feed the children they already have? What about the young teen girl, raped by a counselor at her church, or her step-father or an older boy at school?

    Already emotionally damaged by the rape, she fears the stigma of carrying her pregnancy to term; her young body may be severely harmed delivering a child that she does not want. Her life will be ruined, but thank goodness the zygote/blastocyst/embryo inside her is protected and deemed a person with rights. Will that young girl take her own life after giving birth? Or during her pregnancy?

    How many already have?

    State legislatures must come to terms with the simple fact that no one has the right to tell a woman what to do with her body. It is every woman’s right to maintain control over her reproductive health, period. The emotional, financial, familial consequences of an unwanted pregnancy in our current environment are already very difficult to endure. Overturning Roe v. Wade will make things much worse. Memo to state law makers and pro-life advocates: Keep your moralistic, narrow-minded notions out of other people’s lives and mind your own business.

    Jonathan C. Seegmiller, Salt Lake City

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    Letter: Help the environment — stop buying single-use products


    According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American throws away 4.4 pounds of trash every day.There are currently more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic floating in the ocean, yet companies and communities continue to use disposable...

    According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American throws away 4.4 pounds of trash every day.

    There are currently more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic floating in the ocean, yet companies and communities continue to use disposable products. Garbage patches the size of small islands sit in the ocean. People are shocked and saddened by the amount of municipal waste we produce, but neglect to change their habits for the sake of convenience. Corporations advertise recycling, while they continue to manufacture single-use products. When are people going to realize that their actions have an impact on the world around them?

    Countless solutions have already been presented in an effort to reduce waste, but for whatever reason, people believe that they don’t need to change, that they are not a part of the problem. The fact is, every one of us is part of the problem. We need to step up and say no to single-use products, and show companies that there are other ways to live that don’t include 4.4 pounds of trash every day. The world needs to realize that they can’t just throw things away, because “away” no longer exists.

    Christine Tycksen, Cottonwood Heights

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    Commentary: As a veteran with one lung, my ability to breathe depends on climate action


    In March of 1969, I left my hometown of Millcreek to serve in the infantry in Vietnam. After the war, I moved back home to the Salt Lake Valley to teach sixth grade science and math. Like many who fought on the ground in Vietnam, I had been exposed to...

    In March of 1969, I left my hometown of Millcreek to serve in the infantry in Vietnam. After the war, I moved back home to the Salt Lake Valley to teach sixth grade science and math. Like many who fought on the ground in Vietnam, I had been exposed to agent orange and I had no idea.

    It wasn’t until 2005, after I had been experiencing some health problems, that a doctor told me that agent orange had deteriorated my lungs so severely I had no other choice than to receive surgery to have one of my lungs removed. Now I live with one functioning lung, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and asthma.

    I called the Salt Lake Valley home for the majority of my life, but as the pollution increased over time, living there with one lung became impossible. I could not breathe, and ultimately decided to move to Midway, where the air is less polluted.

    As a veteran, I care about how this nation protects not only my fellow veterans, but all of our civilians. If the air above our country continues to weaken people’s health and displace them from their homes, what does that mean for the security of this nation?

    When the United States joined the Paris Agreement in 2015, it joined other leading nations to combat climate change and transition to clean energy to avoid the worst impacts of rising global temperatures. I was immensely proud of our nation that day. But when President Trump pulled out of that agreement, he decided that corporations and special interests were more important than the security and prosperity of Americans.

    Our forest fires here in the West are more frequent and more deadly. Drastic flooding we once experienced only every hundred years is hitting our coasts and Midwest every few years, demolishing homes and farms. Our air has become so polluted that we see it and feel it. Especially for those 26 million of us in America with asthma, I don’t know how we will live if this becomes any worse. These are the consequences of human-made climate change, and they will only get worse unless we combat these effects ambitiously.

    But thankfully, Congress recently took bipartisan action to relaunch America’s leadership in this fight. Last week, the House passed the Climate Action Now Act to ensure that the US upholds its commitments to the Paris Agreement.

    I am a Vietnam veteran with one lung, and if my president will not care about my ability to breathe, my representatives in Congress, Rep. John Curtis, and Sens. Mike Lee and Mitt Romney must. I have lived in this beautiful state my entire life, and I want to grow old here. I cannot risk yet another town in Utah displacing me because of pollution. Because at that point, my lung may be so deteriorated from pollution, my ability to breathe anywhere — and thus live — will no longer be an option.


    Steve Smith, Midway, is a retired teacher and Vietnam veteran.


    Commentary: Why Riverton’s pro-life sanctuary resolution matters


    The city of Riverton voted last week in favor of a resolution declaring support for the unborn, expressing belief that life begins at conception and voicing opposition to lessening restrictions on abortion.Detractors were quick to claim that the...

    The city of Riverton voted last week in favor of a resolution declaring support for the unborn, expressing belief that life begins at conception and voicing opposition to lessening restrictions on abortion.

    Detractors were quick to claim that the resolution had no teeth, because it was not an official law or ordinance. It was downplayed as just a bunch of meaningless words on a piece of paper. Yet at the same time many were angry, claiming the city acted irresponsibly and overstepped its bounds. This inherent contradictory response speaks to the power that this resolution truly carries.

    Even though no laws were passed, this resolution is more than just hollow words and empty platitudes. It is a line in the sand. A statement. This type of formal endorsement from elected officials carries weight. It brings attention to the movement. It gets people talking. It motivates the community to get involved. It emboldens those who believe in the cause but may have been sitting quietly on the sidelines.

    Often those who believe in the sanctity of life are hesitant to get involved for fear of backlash and anger from those who disagree. This brave example from elected city officials can inspire them to overcome those fears.

    Roswell, N.M., recently passed a similar resolution, and more cities are sure to follow. Great movements in human history do not happen overnight. History is replete with examples of significant changes that were the culmination of methodical, determined and persistent grassroots movements.

    The scourge of slavery was inherited from the old world and carried over to this new nation. It perpetuated for decades under the premise that people of a different color were the property of others, and therefore did not have the right to choose freedom for themselves. The Civil War, Emancipation Proclamation and 13th Amendment combined to put an official end to this evil, but the seeds of change were sown long before in townhall meetings and grassroots movements all around the country.

    A century later, the Civil Rights Act became a reality only after decades of slow, painful and methodical progress. Those who advocated for equal treatment for all were often harassed and intimidated into silence. But over time the silent trickle of righteous indignation cascaded into a wash that could no longer be ignored.

    In a similar fashion, women were considered inferior to men in intellect and ability, and therefore did not have the right to vote until the 19th Amendment was passed in 1920. But the seeds of this movement were planted over 70 earlier but courageous women in spite of fierce opposition.

    The very founding of our nation originated from a declaration that did not enact any new laws or change any ordinances. The Declaration of Independence was just words on parchment — words advocating for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Detractors at the time similarly claimed it had no teeth and would amount to nothing. But those words emboldened our founders to stake their lives in pursuing the creation of this nation.

    The words in this Riverton City resolution have meaning. They have teeth. They have power. Perhaps no laws were passed. But these resolutions are not the end of this story. They are a beginning.


    Ryan Phillips, Harriman, is husband and father of four, physician, small business manager and writer for Pro Life Utah.

    Bucks top Raptors 125-103 for 2-0 East finals lead


    Milwaukee • Giannis Antetokounmpo started the game with an emphatic dunk. The next possession, a sprawling block to deny Marc Gasol. The next possession, another dunk.The tone was set.And it never changed.The Eastern Conference doesn’t belong to...

    Milwaukee • Giannis Antetokounmpo started the game with an emphatic dunk. The next possession, a sprawling block to deny Marc Gasol. The next possession, another dunk.

    The tone was set.

    And it never changed.

    The Eastern Conference doesn’t belong to Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks — yet. But they’re two wins away, after Antetokounmpo had 30 points and 17 rebounds, Ersan Ilyasova came off the bench to add 17 points and the Bucks never trailed on the way to a 125-103 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Friday night and a 2-0 lead in the East finals.

    “He plays so hard, he lays it all on the line, every time,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “It was a great start for us. I think everybody fed off of Giannis and how he started the game.”

    How he finished, too.

    Antetokounmpo scored 11 points in the fourth for the Bucks, who wound up with six players in double figures — three of them reserves. Nikola Mirotic scored 15, Malcolm Brogdon had 14, George Hill 13 and Khris Middleton 12.

    “We really rely on each other ... especially the bench,” Ilyasova said. “The starting five set the tone.”

    Kawhi Leonard scored 31 points for Toronto, which gave up the game’s first nine points, never led and trailed by double digits for the final 39 minutes. Kyle Lowry scored 15 and Norman Powell had 14 for the Raptors.

    “We didn’t do much well tonight, obviously,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said.

    Game 3 is Sunday in Toronto.

    “We get to go back home and protect our home court, like they did these last two games,” Lowry said. “We’ve got a chance to go home, protect home court and do what we’re supposed to do.”

    Milwaukee, an NBA-best 60-22 record during the regular season, became the 16th team to start a postseason with at least 10 victories in its first 11 games. Only three teams — the 1989 Los Angeles Lakers, the 2001 Lakers and the 2017 Golden State Warriors — opened the playoffs 11-0.

    The Bucks led by as many as 28, before Toronto did just enough chipping away to keep some semblance of hope.

    Eventually, Antetokounmpo decided enough was enough.

    With 5:51 left to play Antetokounmpo backed Leonard down on the block, spun back toward the center of the lane, scored while getting hit and starting a three-point play. He yelled to the crowd and punched the air. The knockout blow was landed, and the Bucks are two wins from their first NBA Finals berth in 45 years.

    “At times, I forget that I have to stay aggressive,” Antetokounmpo said.

    Not in that moment, he didn’t.

    Aggression wasn’t an issue for the Bucks at any point.

    Milwaukee’s lead was 35-21 after the first, 64-39 at the half. It was the first time Toronto had been outscored by 10 or more points in each of a game’s first two quarters since May 25, 2016, against Cleveland and the 25-point halftime hole was, by far, the Raptors’ worst of the season. They trailed Houston 55-37 on March 5.

    “The beginning kind of set us in a real bad spot,” Gasol said. “We couldn’t get a grip of the game early on.”

    Toronto was down 21 when Lowry got his third foul with 1:27 left until the break. The Raptors left Lowry in; he wound up getting his fourth foul while battling Mirotic for a rebound 24 seconds later and let the referees have an earful as he headed to the bench. Another roll of the dice didn’t pay off, either: Raptors forward Pascal Siakam got his fourth shortly after halftime, then got his fifth with 9:26 left in the third.

    “Give them credit,” Siakam said. “They came with a lot of intensity.”

    Antetokounmpo started the second half with a three-point play, pushing the lead to 28.

    That’s when Toronto found a bit of a groove.

    The Raptors outscored Milwaukee 31-16 over the next nine minutes, getting within 83-70 on a 3-pointer by Fred VanVleet. But a quick flurry by the Bucks restored order — Brogdon rebounded his own miss and scored, then set up George Hill for a score in transition, and Hill scored again off a Raptors turnover a few seconds later.

    Just like that, the lead was back up to 19, and it was 95-78 going into the fourth.

    “We came out, had a couple defensive stops that led to some transition baskets,” Hill said. “And we ran from there.”

    TIP-INS

    Raptors: The 14-point deficit after one quarter was Toronto’s second-largest of the season, with a 38-19 opening quarter at San Antonio — Leonard’s return there— on Jan. 3 the only one that saw them down by more. ... Lowry became the second player in these playoffs with four fouls by halftime. Detroit’s Bruce Brown did it April 22, also against the Bucks. ... The Raptors are 0-63 all-time when trailing by 20 or more at the half.

    Bucks: Milwaukee had a big rebounding edge for the second straight game — 60-46 in Game 1, 53-40 in Game 2. ... It was Milwaukee’s 70th win of the season, tying the 1973-74 Bucks for the second-most in franchise history. The 1970-71 Bucks won 78. ... Ilyasova’s 15 first-half points matched a season high. ... Milwaukee has won its last six playoff games, tying a franchise record. ... The Bucks are 50-13 vs. the East this season.

    HISTORY LESSON

    The Bucks have never lost a series when leading 2-0; they’ve been in this spot 13 previous times. Toronto has never overcome a 2-0 series deficit in seven previous attempts.

    AWARD FINALISTS

    This series has plenty of NBA individual award finalists, revealed Friday. Antetokounmpo is a finalist for MVP and Defensive Player of the Year; Budenholzer is a finalist for Coach of the Year and Siakam is a Most Improved Player finalist. Antetokounmpo will be Milwaukee’s highest finisher in the MVP race since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won in 1974.

    UP NEXT

    Game 3 is Sunday in Toronto.

    ———

    More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

    2 killed when helicopter crashes in Utah mountains


    A helicopter en route to Salt Lake City was found crashed Friday in the mountains north of Alpine, FOX 13 reports, and authorities say the two people on board were killed.State Department of Public Safety helicopters were dispatched to search for the...

    A helicopter en route to Salt Lake City was found crashed Friday in the mountains north of Alpine, FOX 13 reports, and authorities say the two people on board were killed.

    State Department of Public Safety helicopters were dispatched to search for the missing helicopter after a relative of one of its passengers reporter the aircraft overdue, the Federal Aviation Administration told FOX 13.

    The two people on board the helicopter were killed, Utah County spokesman Sgt. Spencer Cannon said.

    For more, visit FOX 13.

    ---

    Editor’s note: The Salt Lake Tribune and FOX 13 are content-sharing partners.

    New publisher takes over Standard-Examiner, Daily Herald


    Ogden • The Ogden-based Standard-Examiner and Daily Herald in Provo have a new leader.The Standard-Examiner reports Scott Blonde began his new role Tuesday as publisher of the two Ogden Newspapers-owned publications.He comes to Utah from Florida-based...

    Ogden • The Ogden-based Standard-Examiner and Daily Herald in Provo have a new leader.

    The Standard-Examiner reports Scott Blonde began his new role Tuesday as publisher of the two Ogden Newspapers-owned publications.

    He comes to Utah from Florida-based Breeze Newspapers, another Ogden Newspapers property.

    Blonde replaces publisher Rhett Long, who is retiring.

    Blonde said he hopes to bolster the newspapers' advertising and printing operations and looks forward to meeting community leaders. He said he was drawn to Utah, in part, by the state's skiing and recreational opportunities.

    Long said he will assist Blonde during a transition. Long had served as publisher of the Daily Herald and then took on duties as publisher of the Standard-Examiner last year after it was acquired by Ogden Newspapers. The company is based in Wheeling, West Virginia.

    Herman Wouk, a consummate writer until the end, dies at 103


    New York • Herman Wouk was a prize-winning, million-selling author never quite in fashion.He was a religious Jew among secular peers, a respecter of authority in a field of rebels. He didn't brag like Norman Mailer and was spared the demons driving the...

    New York • Herman Wouk was a prize-winning, million-selling author never quite in fashion.

    He was a religious Jew among secular peers, a respecter of authority in a field of rebels. He didn't brag like Norman Mailer and was spared the demons driving the madness of Philip Roth's "Portnoy's Complaint." After a Pulitzer early in his career for "The Caine Mutiny," he was mostly ignored by awards committees and was often excluded from anthologies of Jewish literature. Gore Vidal praised him, faintly, by observing that Wouk's "competence is most impressive and his professionalism awe-inspiring in a world of lazy writers and TV-stunned readers."

    But Wouk, who died Friday 10 days shy of his 104th birthday, was a success in ways that resonated with critics and readers, and with himself. He created at least one immortal fictional character, the unstable Captain Queeg of "The Caine Mutiny." He was praised for the uncanniness of his historical detail in "The Winds of War" and other books. He was among the first modern Jewish writers who appealed to the general public and had an enviably large readership that stayed with him through several long novels, many of which dramatized the conflicts between faith and assimilation.

    He was working on a book until the end, said his literary agent Amy Rennert.

    Wouk’s long, unpredictable career included gag writing, fiction and a musical co-written with Jimmy Buffett. His two-part World War II epic, “The Winds of War” and “War and Remembrance,” was adapted by Wouk himself for a 1983, Emmy Award-winning TV miniseries starring Robert Mitchum. “The Winds of War” received some of the highest ratings in history and Wouk’s involvement covered everything from the script to commercial sponsors.

    Heads of state read him and quoted from him, but Wouk shied from talk of greatness, telling one reporter he was not a "high stylist." In "War and Remembrance," a writer notes in his journal, "I could contribute nothing new; but writing as I do with a light hand, I might charm a few readers into pausing, in their heedless hurry after pleasure and money, for a look at the things that matter."

    From Ernest Hemingway to James Joyce, major authors of the 20th century were assumed either anti-religious or at least highly skeptical. But Wouk was part of a smaller group that included C.S. Lewis, Chaim Potok and Flannery O'Connor, those who openly maintained traditional beliefs. He contended that among writers, anti-conformity was a kind of conformity. "It seems curious," he wrote in "Aurora Dawn," his first novel, "that life 'as it really is,' according to modern inspiration, contains a surprising amount of fornication, violence, vulgarity, unpleasant individuals, blasphemy, hatred, and ladies' underclothes."

    "Marjorie Morningstar," published in 1955, was one of the first million-selling novels about Jewish life, and two novels, "The Hope" and "The Glory," were set in Israel. One of his most influential works was "This Is My God," a careful, but firm defense of faith that could be found in countless Jewish households. Into his 90s, he studied the Talmud daily and led a weekly Talmud class. He gave many speeches and sermons and received several prizes, including a lifetime achievement award from the Jewish Book Council. During the many years he lived in Washington, D.C., the Georgetown synagogue he attended was known unofficially as "Herman Wouk's synagogue."

    In 1995, the Library of Congress marked his 80th birthday with a symposium on his career; historians David McCullough, Robert Caro, Daniel Boorstin and others were present. In 2008, Wouk received the first ever Library of Congress Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Writing of Fiction. In his mid-90s, he completed the comic novel “The Lawgiver,” and at age 100 wrote a memoir. Wouk’s longevity inspired Stephen King to title one story “Herman Wouk is Still Alive.”

    Wouk, the son of Russian Jews, was born in New York in 1915. The household was religious — his mother was a rabbi's daughter — and devoted to books. His father would read to him from Sholem Aleichem, the great Yiddish writer. A traveling salesman sold his family the entire works of Mark Twain, who became Wouk's favorite writer, no matter how irreverent on matters of faith.

    "I found it all very stimulating," Wouk, in a rare interview, told The Associated Press in 2000. "His work is impregnated with references to the Bible. He may be scathing about it, but they're there. He's making jokes about religion, but the Jews are always making jokes about it."

    A top student in high school, Wouk majored in comparative literature and philosophy at Columbia University and edited the college's humor magazine. After graduation, he followed the path of so many bright, clever New Yorkers in the 1930s: He headed for California, where he worked five years on Fred Allen's radio show.

    Had war not intruded, he might have stuck to comedy sketches. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor he enlisted in the Navy and served as an officer in the Pacific. There, he received the writer's most precious gift, free time. He read and read, from the Bible to Victorian fiction, and wrote what became his first published novel, the radio satire "Aurora Dawn."

    "I was just having fun. It had never occurred to me write a novel," he said.

    By the time "Aurora Dawn" came out, in 1947, Wouk was married and living in New York. His novel was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection and he would soon publish "City Boy," a coming-of-age story highly influenced by Twain.

    In 1951, Wouk became a major literary star with the release of "The Caine Mutiny," for which Wouk was compared to other World War II novelists: Mailer, Irwin Shaw, James Jones. But his next book turned to domestic matters. Wouk spoke often of his concern about assimilation and this story told of an aspiring Jewish actress whose real name was Marjorie Morgenstern. Her stage name provided the novel's title, "Marjorie Morningstar."

    "My agent was absolutely appalled," Wouk told the AP. "He submitted it to the editor of a women's magazine and the editor said, 'Herman Wouk has destroyed himself. He's a man who writes big, sweeping dramas about men in action. Then he writes about this girl and nothing happens. He should burn this book and forget it.'"

    But like "The Caine Mutiny," the novel sold millions and was made into a movie, starring Natalie Wood. (Wouk eventually bought Wood's former home in Palm Springs). He was famous enough to appear on the cover of Time magazine, even as some Jews complained his book perpetuated stereotypes and critics complained he was too old-fashioned, too deferential.

    Captain Queeg, for example, may be a villain in popular culture, but "The Caine Mutiny" was not "Catch-22." Wouk was just as hard on the officers who rebelled against Queeg. The "crux" of the story, Wouk wrote in his journal, was that the "mutiny was a mistake" and the crew should have stood by its leader, however flawed. Over the years, Wouk responded to criticism in two ways: He didn't judge the characters in his stories, but tried to tell the truth; and whether he really challenged authority depended on what you thought needed challenging. Wouk knew that others didn't share his views. "This Is My God" featured a similar approach to "Mere Christianity" and other works by C.S. Lewis. Wouk preached not to the converted, but to the curious. He anticipated arguments about religion and tried his best to answer them.

    "I'm not out front as a figure, and that suits me," he told the AP. "I love the work and it's the greatest possible privilege to say, 'Here are these books that exist because I had to write them.'"

    In 1945, Wouk married Betty Sarah Brown, who also served as his agent until her death in 2011. They had three sons— Nathaniel, Joseph and their eldest, Abraham, who drowned in 1951, a death that left Wouk with “the tears of the scar of a senseless waste.”

    Tony Finau settles for a second-round 73 in the PGA, but makes the cut in an eighth straight major


    Inconsistent driving in Friday's second round dropped Tony Finau far out of contention in the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black in New York.The Lehi resident made the 36-hole cut in an eighth straight major tournament, though. Finau posted three bogeys,...

    Inconsistent driving in Friday's second round dropped Tony Finau far out of contention in the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black in New York.

    The Lehi resident made the 36-hole cut in an eighth straight major tournament, though. Finau posted three bogeys, two birdies and a double bogey for a 73 that left him at 3 over par, just inside the cut as of the completion of his round. The cut line later rose to 4 over.

    Finau has hit only 11 of 28 fairways in two rounds. He hit nine greens in regulation Friday, while scrambling well enough for make the cut. Starting his round on No. 10, Finau stood 3 over through 10 holes. He then birdied the par-4 No. 2 from 4 feet and the par-4 No. 5 from 20 feet. A poor drive into the trees on the right side caused him to double-bogey No. 9, after he took a penalty stroke.

    Glenwild Golf Club teaching pro Craig Hocknull missed the cut, although he played somewhat better in the second round after an opening with an 82. Hocknull shot a 77 with two birdies, seven bogeys and a double bogey on the par-4 No. 6. He played that hole in 15 strokes over two days.

    In the U.S. Senior Women’s Open at Southern Pines, N.C., Utah Valley University coach Sue Nyhus missed the cut after shooting 85-87.


    BYU strands 10, falls 6-4 to Tulsa and is eliminated from NCAA softball tournament


    BYU’s run in the NCAA softball tournament came to an end Friday night at the Stillwater (Okla.) Regional as the Cougars fell 6-4 to Tulsa in an elimination game.BYU (30-26) had advanced earlier in the day with a 6-3 win over No. 22-ranked Arkansas, but...

    BYU’s run in the NCAA softball tournament came to an end Friday night at the Stillwater (Okla.) Regional as the Cougars fell 6-4 to Tulsa in an elimination game.

    BYU (30-26) had advanced earlier in the day with a 6-3 win over No. 22-ranked Arkansas, but could score only four runs on 12 hits against Tulsa. The Cougars stranded 10 baserunners in the season-ending loss, including four in the final two innings.

    Tulsa will meet host Oklahoma State on Saturday needing to beat the Cowgirls twice to advance to a Super Regional. OSU downed BYU 3-1 on Thursday night.

    Erin Miklus drove in two runs and was 2 for 3 at the plate for BYU against the Golden Hurricane, while Taylei Williams and Arissa Paulson also had multiple singles.

    Paulson took the loss, dropping her season record to 15-12.

    In Friday’s first game, Rylee Jensen hit two solo home runs and Autumn Moffat threw a five-hitter for the Cougars. Moffat got the surprise start and struck out two in a complete-game performance to improve to 13-11 on the season.

    The Cougars jumped out to a 5-0 lead, then watched as No. 7 hitter Haydi Bugarin belted a three-run homer in the top of the fifth for the Razorbacks.

    Paulson got BYU started with a two-run single in the first inning. Jensen homered to left center in the third, and the Cougars scored two unearned runs in that frame to take the 5-0 lead.

    The Razorbacks committed three errors after committing five in a first-round loss to Tulsa.

    For BYU, Miklus and Paulson collected two hits apiece and Lex Tarrow and Emilee Erickson drove in runs.


    Rudy Gobert named NBA Defensive Player of the Year finalist ... again


    The voters have spoken: Rudy Gobert is again in the top three for the NBA’s annual Defensive Player of the Year award.Gobert’s place as a finalist for the award was announced on Friday evening, along with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Paul George. Gobert...

    The voters have spoken: Rudy Gobert is again in the top three for the NBA’s annual Defensive Player of the Year award.

    Gobert’s place as a finalist for the award was announced on Friday evening, along with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Paul George. Gobert is the reigning winner of the award, having earned a majority of the vote for an effective if injury-shortened campaign in 2017-18.

    The Frenchman was equally effective defensively in 2018-19, leading the Jazz to the league’s second-best overall defense (behind Antetokounmpo’s Bucks) while playing in 81 contests, sitting out only the meaningless last game of the season against the Clippers. When he was on the court, the Jazz allowed just 102.9 points per 100 possessions.

    While being snubbed as an All-Star this season, Gobert also finished second in the league in blocks, behind Indiana’s Myles Turner, and led the league in defensive Box Plus-Minus and defensive Real Plus-Minus, the latter stat for the second consecutive year.

    Gobert was the only Jazzman named as a finalist for the NBA’s end of season awards, to be announced June 24 on TNT. Antetokounmpo and George joined James Harden as MVP candidates, while D’Angelo Russell, Pascal Siakam and De’Aaron Fox were named as finalists for the Most Improved Player award.

    Luka Doncic, Trae Young and Deandre Ayton were the finalists for the Rookie of the Year award. Montrezl Harrell, Lou Williams and Domantas Sabonis were named finalists in the Sixth Man of the Year voting. Doc Rivers, Mike Malone and Mike Budenholzer are the three standing for the NBA’s Coach of the Year trophy.


    Hurricane High School student disciplined over racist “repulsive” Snapchat photo


    Washington County School District is disciplining Hurricane High School students who created and distributed a graphic, racist Snapchat picture all over the high school.FOX 13 reported the district responded with “disgust and sadness” over the photo...

    Washington County School District is disciplining Hurricane High School students who created and distributed a graphic, racist Snapchat picture all over the high school.

    FOX 13 reported the district responded with “disgust and sadness” over the photo that involved students and non-student adults.

    “No level of discipline can repair the hate, bigotry and ugliness portrayed in that one picture,” read a statement released by the district.

    The photo showed a person with a Ku Klux Klan-like white mask over his head while standing in front of a Confederate flag. The person was holding two men in blackface by the back of their shirts as they played dead. The caption implied the person had been hunting black people and had “fill[ed] [his] tags.”

    While the photo was not taken on school grounds or during school hours, the district said that “does not minimize our abhorrence of this racist act.”

    The image was brought to the district’s attention on Thursday and “appropriate discipline for the students involved began immediately.” The district said it welcomed law enforcement to review the photo for potential criminal violations. Legal council was also consulted on possible administrative actions. The district is also considering increasing education about civil rights protections and violations.

    See more at FOX 13.

    Editor’s note: The Salt Lake Tribune and FOX 13 are content-sharing partners.

    Rep. Ben McAdams joins Democrats in passing Equality Act; other Utahns in Congress vote no


    Washington • Rep. Ben McAdams was the only Utahn in the House on Friday to support legislation expanding the Civil Rights Act to bar discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.The House passed the Democrat-led measure 236-173, with...

    Washington • Rep. Ben McAdams was the only Utahn in the House on Friday to support legislation expanding the Civil Rights Act to bar discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

    The House passed the Democrat-led measure 236-173, with Utah GOP Reps. Rob Bishop, John Curtis and Chris Stewart opposing it.

    The legislation, which is unlikely to get a vote in the GOP-controlled Senate and would face a veto from President Donald Trump if it passed, would prohibit discrimination against the LGBTQ community in housing, federal financing, education, jury duty or in the workforce.

    The Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came out earlier this week against the bill.

    McAdams, Utah’s only Democrat in Congress, took to the floor Friday morning to question Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., the sponsor of the Equality Act, which was numbered House Resolution 5.

    “I want to confirm and clarify in our debate today that H.R. 5 does not change our nation's long-standing First Amendment rights to free religious exercise, speech and association,” McAdams said. “I understand that houses of worship will not be affected in their religious observances by the public accommodations provisions in H.R. 5.”

    “Yes, that is correct,” Cicilline responded, noting that the bill “does not revise the exception for private establishments not open to the public, meaning houses of worship can continue their practices as before, including limiting admission or attendance to members of their faith.”

    McAdams also asked Cicilline to explain that the measure wouldn’t force a faith to perform marriages, baptisms or other ceremonies for everyone.

    The bill, Cicilline said, “does not nor could any legislation supersede the First Amendment.”

    McAdams, who previously served as Salt Lake County mayor, a top lobbyist for Salt Lake City and state senator, worked with the Utah Legislature to accept the city’s anti-discrimination ordinances.

    Democrats had made passing the Equality Act part of following through on promises offered in the 2018 election that handed the party control of the House. All Democrats voted for the bill, with eight Republicans breaking ranks to support it.

    Most Republicans had fiercely fought against it, arguing it would harm religious liberties and ruin women's sports because men could say they identify with another gender and compete in female categories.

    Stewart said on the House floor Friday morning that the idea of the bill is good but that it's badly written and does not protect religious organizations.

    “Yes, of course we should treat each other with fairness and with dignity,” Stewart said. “I believe that all people in America should live their lives free of any discrimination. But we also have to defend the first freedom, the foundational liberty, the amendment, the principle upon which all other liberties are based.”

    “People of faith, who are also good people, deserve to have the right to express their sincerely held religious beliefs without compulsion from the federal government. ... [The bill] makes no effort to find common ground. What a wasted opportunity.”

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said Monday that while it advocates “fairness for all” between religious freedom and LGBT rights, the Equality Act “is not balanced and does not meet the standard of fairness for all.”

    “While providing extremely broad protections for LGBT rights, the Equality Act provides no protections for religious freedom,” the church said in a statement.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has signaled he has no intention of bring up the bill for a vote.

    While Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, may not have to vote on the issue, he tweeted out his opposition to the Equality Act.

    Americans are becoming more tolerant every day, which is why the Equality Act is so counterproductive. It unnecessarily pits communities against each other and divides our nation when patience and understanding are so sorely needed.

    — Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) May 17, 2019

    “Americans are becoming more tolerant every day, which is why the Equality Act is so counterproductive,” the senator tweeted. “It unnecessarily pits communities against each other and divides our nation when patience and understanding are so sorely needed.”

    A Utah County evidence tech is accused of stealing prescription drugs


    A Utah County Sheriff’s employee will soon face criminal charges after authorities accused him of taking prescription drugs from the evidence room.Sgt. Spencer Cannon announced Friday that the department has been conducting an internal investigation...

    A Utah County Sheriff’s employee will soon face criminal charges after authorities accused him of taking prescription drugs from the evidence room.

    Sgt. Spencer Cannon announced Friday that the department has been conducting an internal investigation for the past several months after another evidence tech reported in late February that some drugs were missing from a disposal barrel.

    After an internal audit and a criminal investigation by Spanish Fork Police Department, Cannon said it’s expected that prosecutors will file charges against Brian William Smith, 38, for allegedly stealing drugs connected to a dozen criminal cases.

    Smith, who has been a sheriff’s office employee since 2008, resigned less than a week after his fellow evidence technician notified their boss about the possibly missing drugs.

    Investigators then combed through 34,000 pieces of evidence, according to Cannon, to try to determine the scope of the theft. They identified 17 cases where Smith accessed evidence scheduled for destruction without following the proper procedure — and 12 where prescription medications were missing.

    Cannon said the other employee who worked with Smith had noticed things seemed a little off, like Smith coming in on the weekends to do tasks that generally are done during the week. But it wasn’t until that employee spotted evidence missing that the sheriff’s office began investigating.

    In response to the internal audit, the Utah County Sheriff’s Office evaluated its procedures and made some changes, according to Cannon, which included installing more surveillance cameras.

    “There comes a point where you just have to give a level of trust,” Cannon said, “and you try to mitigate that risk of these kind of things happening by doing extremely thorough background checks. They happen sometimes.”

    Smith had been working in the evidence room since 2015, and had been a corrections officer at the county for the previous seven years.

    Utah County Attorney David Leavitt said Friday that of the dozen cases affected, five had been closed after defendants pleaded guilty. Prosecutors never pursued charges in two cases, and two are “unknown.” There are three cases that “aren’t officially closed yet,” including a case in Salt Lake County where a defendant had pleaded guilty. That person’s sentencing is on hold until more information is known.

    It’s not clear, Leavitt said, how Smith’s alleged actions might affect the two other open cases, which are being prosecuted in Utah County.

    This isn’t the only evidence technician in Utah accused of stealing drugs in recent years.

    A former Weber County evidence technician was sentenced in December to spend a year in jail after she admitted that she tore through evidence bags to eat confiscated methamphetamine.

    Weber prosecutors say Candice Follum’s actions led their office to dismiss about 20 criminal prosecutions that were either dismissed or the defendant’s received “sweetheart deals” because of how Follum handled the evidence.

    In Weber County, investigators found 38 cases where Follum took meth from sealed packages, and authorities believes about 60 cases in total were affected. She admitted to stealing drugs from the evidence bags for three years and had been eating the drugs while on the job.

    After an internal audit, Weber County officials also changed their evidence room procedures, which included cameras being installed to monitor the evidence.

    Earlier this month, the state auditor called for Utah’s law enforcement agencies to evaluate and improve their storage systems after auditors reviewed seven unnamed departments and found all of them had items missing or misplaced from their inventory, in addition to items marked as destroyed that weren’t, or vice versa.

    Misplaced items — defined as property that technicians eventually found but not in the locations listed on an inventory — accounted for the majority of so-called discrepancies, with 198 items misplaced across the seven agencies.

    The review found 171 items that were destroyed but still shown in inventory, and 139 items that were missing.

    The vast majority of missing items were drugs and drug paraphernalia. Only four cases where property went missing involved other types: in three instances it was money, and in one case, a firearm.

    Because of lax inventory records, auditors couldn’t determine if the items were missing “due to poor record keeping, theft, or some other reason."

    Missouri’s GOP-led Legislature passes 8-week abortion ban


    Jefferson City, Mo. • Missouri’s Republican-led House on Friday passed sweeping legislation designed to survive court challenges, which would ban abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy.If enacted, the ban would be among the most restrictive in the...

    Jefferson City, Mo. • Missouri’s Republican-led House on Friday passed sweeping legislation designed to survive court challenges, which would ban abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy.

    If enacted, the ban would be among the most restrictive in the U.S. It includes exceptions for medical emergencies, but not for pregnancies caused by rape or incest. Doctors would face five to 15 years in prison for violating the eight-week cutoff. Women who receive abortions wouldn't be prosecuted.

    Republican Gov. Mike Parson pledged to sign the bill , but it's unclear when he'll take action.

    The Missouri legislation comes after Alabama’s governor signed a bill Wednesday making performing an abortion a felony in nearly all cases.

    Supporters say the Alabama bill is meant to conflict with the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationally in hopes of sparking a court case that might prompt the current panel of more conservative justices to revisit abortion rights.

    Missouri Republicans are taking a different approach.

    GOP Rep. Nick Schroer said his legislation is "made to withstand judicial challenges and not cause them."

    "While others are zeroing in on ways to overturn Roe v. Wade and navigate the courts as quickly as possible, that is not our goal," Schroer said. "However, if and when that fight comes we will be fully ready. This legislation has one goal, and that goal is to save lives."

    Center for Reproductive Rights CEO Nancy Northup called the measure "unconstitutional."

    "Almost 50 years of core protections for women's reproductive decision-making have been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court," she said in a statement. "Missouri and Alabama's recent criminal abortion bans and all other affronts to Roe v. Wade, will be challenged and blocked according to precedent and settled law."

    Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio and Georgia also have approved bans on abortion once fetal cardiac activity can be detected, which can occur in about the sixth week of pregnancy. Some of those laws already have been challenged in court , and similar restrictions in North Dakota and Iowa previously were struck down by judges.

    Missouri's bill also includes an outright ban on abortions except in cases of medical emergencies. But unlike Alabama's, it would kick in only if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

    If courts don't allow Missouri's proposed eight-week ban to take effect, the bill includes a ladder of less-restrictive time limits that would prohibit abortions at 14, 18 or 20 weeks or pregnancy.

    "Laundry bleach, acid, bitter concoction, knitting needles, bicycle spokes, ballpoint pens, jumping from the top of the stairs or the roof," Democratic Rep. Sarah Unsicker told colleagues on the House floor. "These are ways that women around the world who don't have access to legal abortions perform their own."

    Abortion-rights supporters in the House chanted, "when you lie, people die" and "women's rights are human rights" during debate on the measure before being escorted from the chamber. Outside, they shouted "shame, shame, shame" after lawmakers voted 110-44 to pass it.

    Several women dressed as characters from the "The Handmaid's Tale" watched silently. The Margaret Atwood book and subsequent Hulu TV series depicts a dystopian future where fertile women are forced to breed.

    A handful of abortion opponents protested outside the Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Louis on Friday. Among them was 21-year-old Teresa Pettis, a Catholic who is five months' pregnant with her first child.

    She said she supports the bill even though it outlaws abortions for women who have been raped.

    "Honestly, I don't think it's right to punish the child for something the child can't control," Pettis said. "The baby might be born in unfortunate circumstances, but it's still a human life."

    Rep. Shamed Dogan was the only Republican to vote against the bill. He cited the lack of exceptions for pregnancies borne of rape and incest, and said most residents of his suburban St. Louis district "think that's going too far."

    One Democrat voted in favor.

    A total of 3,903 abortions occurred in Missouri in 2017, the last full year for which the state Department of Health and Senior Services has statistics online. Of those, 1,673 occurred at under nine weeks and 119 occurred at 20 weeks or later in a pregnancy.

    About 2,900 abortions occurred in 2018, according to the agency.

    The bill also bans abortions based solely on race, sex or a diagnosis indicating the potential for Down Syndrome.

    It also requires a parent or guardian giving written consent for a minor to get an abortion to first notify the other parent, except if the other parent has been convicted of a violent or sexual crime, is subject to a protection order or is "habitually in an intoxicated or drugged condition." A change was made after hours of late-night negotiations in the state Senate to also remove the requirement when the other parent lacks legal or physical custody.

    Most provisions of the bill are slated to take effect Aug. 28, if signed by Parson.

    Associated Press writers David A. Lieb and Jim Salter in St. Louis contributed to this report.


    Violence, sex abuse and mistreatment: Utah officials threaten to pull the license of this St. George school for troubled youth


    Weeks after a large brawl broke out at a St. George school for troubled youth, state officials are saying Red Rock Canyon School needs to make more than a dozen significant changes — or risk losing its license.Staffing problems have led to violence and...

    Weeks after a large brawl broke out at a St. George school for troubled youth, state officials are saying Red Rock Canyon School needs to make more than a dozen significant changes — or risk losing its license.

    Staffing problems have led to violence and sexual misconduct and have left staffers and residents feeling unsafe, according to a scathing letter from the Department of Human Services dated May 9.

    The latest incident was an April 28 riot involving at least a dozen students, a fight that ended with several injuries. But DHS officials say the school did not report the brawl until days later — just one of nine violations outlined in the letter.

    Other violations were specific to the fight, including a finding that a staffer who was involved in a “physical altercation” with a youth allowed another student to apply a chokehold until the youth dropped to his knees and lost consciousness. Interviews revealed “resident-on-resident restraint” is common.

    Licensing investigators also noted that staffers made comments during the riot that made the situation worse.

    "During the riot, and on several other occasions, staff made humiliating and degrading comments to residents of the program," the letter reads, "which caused behaviors to escalate dangerously in an already tense situation."

    Seven youth are now facing charges in juvenile court, Washington County Brock Belnap said Friday. Five of those are facing a felony-level charge for rioting.

    The school’s website describes the facility as a “psychiatric residential treatment center" for people ages 12 to 18. The website describes multiple types of therapies and a staff that includes counselors, psychiatrists and psychologists. A phone message left for staff was not returned Friday.

    DHS officials said in the letter that investigators watched video footage, read incident reports and conducted interviews and discovered "numerous accounts of mistreatment, abuse, acts of violence and overall disrespect toward residents."

    The school doesn’t have enough staffers, investigators found, and those on the job reported they are working 16-hour days, seven days a week.

    Officials also found messy grounds and items like broken tiles strewn about the buildings that could be used as weapons. Investigators also spotted aerosol cans with harmful chemicals that youth were huffing to get high.

    Licensing officials ordered the school to comply with 16 conditions, including reducing how many youth are at the facility and retraining their staff in de-escalation skills and behavior management. Several repairs must be done to the building, and the grounds need to be cleaned.

    The school must also update its "staffing ratios policy" and identify how it will meet that ratio. The letter must also be posted at the school, on its website and on its social media pages. There's no trace of the notice online as of Friday afternoon.

    The Department of Human Services letter was first made public Tuesday — but not in Utah.

    The report was given to Oregon officials, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting, as that state’s Child Welfare system has come under scrutiny for its practice of sending foster children to other states with little oversight. There are currently 23 Oregon youth at the St. George school, according to officials there.

    The DHS letter was published on Oregon’s legislative website. Utah officials confirmed it had taken the action Friday, and posted the letter on their website later that day.

    Red Rock Canyon School has been forced to defend itself in a number of lawsuits in recent years, mostly surrounding staffers who have physically harmed or sexually abused students. One lawsuit that has since been dismissed claimed a staffer put a young man in a headlock in 2016 and twisted his arm until it broke. Another lawsuit claims a staffer fractured a 14-year-old boy’s arm when he was grabbed during his stay in 2012.

    Two lawsuits were filed in 2018 accusing the school of not protecting two youths from a staffer who sexually abused them.

    One suit alleges the employee, a then-27-year-old man, engaged in sexual activity with a 16-year-old boy in 2012. The second suit alleges the same staffer sexually abused a 13-year-old boy that same year. That youth also says he was sexually abused 15 times by another student, who threatened him in order to receive sexual favors.

    Both lawsuits claim school policy dictated that staff could not be alone with students; however, employees were aware that the perpetrator was spending time alone with students.

    The school denied it was at fault in court filings, saying they had no reason to believe the staffer was a danger to students. Those two lawsuits are still pending.

    That employee later pleaded guilty to three charges of forcible sexual abuse, and spent 210 days in jail. He was recently charged in St. George for failing to register as a sex offender. There is a warrant for his arrest.

    In Utah, Mexico’s chief trade negotiator cheers as Trump lifts tariffs on his nation and Canada — clearing path to ratification of new free trade treaty

    In Utah, Mexico’s chief trade negotiator cheers as Trump lifts tariffs on his nation and Canada — clearing path to ratification of new free trade treaty


    Mexico’s chief trade negotiator, Jesús Seade, had just started talking with Utah news reporters Friday when he apologized, and said he had to break it off to deal with urgent matters.He was finalizing a bargain for President Donald Trump to lift...

    Mexico’s chief trade negotiator, Jesús Seade, had just started talking with Utah news reporters Friday when he apologized, and said he had to break it off to deal with urgent matters.

    He was finalizing a bargain for President Donald Trump to lift tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from Mexico and Canada. As Seade walked away, he was heard arranging for a phone call to Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to seal the deal.

    Seade later told The Salt Lake Tribune that finally lifting these tariffs on industrial metals should clear most obstacles to ratifying a new trade agreement between the three countries. Battles using tariffs and counter-tariffs as weapons had thwarted it, as Mexico and Canada also chafed at barbs that Trump threw at them.

    “I’m very happy to tell you that after all these months of difficulty in this trilateral relationship in the world of trade, it [the tariff order] is being lifted here today,” Seade said to cheers at Gov. Gary Herbert’s Utah Economic Summit at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City. This is a great victory for all of us and a great victory for North America.”

    His remarks came just as national leaders issued a joint statement announcing the news.

    “I am now confident and positive about ratification of the [larger] trade deal” to update and replace the old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Seade told The Tribune.


    (Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Dr. Jesus Seade, Mexico's chief trade negotiator, speaks at a news conference in Salt Lake City on Friday May 17, 2019. At right is José Borjón, Consul of Mexico in Salt Lake City. (Trent Nelson/)

    He told the Utah summit that Mexico’s president asked him three weeks ago to hunker down with U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer to end the tariffs and trade war between the countries.

    Seade said he and Lighthizer have a solid, long-standing working relationship and he is amazed at Lighthizer’s skill and energy — and his monumental temper. “He’s the nicest devil,” Seade said.

    The pair took only two weeks to hammer out a deal that both sides liked, he said, and then they took it to Canadian officials to make it a three-way agreement.

    Seade said the bargain struck Friday avoids steel quotas that Canada and Mexico had both opposed but adopts tough new monitoring and enforcement measures to prevent Chinese steel from being shipped to the United States via its two neighbors. All sides commit that any retaliation would come in the steel/aluminum sector, not like last time that was hitting your asparagus and your pork.”

    Citing national security considerations, Trump imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum in March 2018 against China and several other countries as the administration blamed Chinese overproduction for depressing global steel and aluminum prices, driving many U.S. mills out of business.

    Seade said Mexico and Canada were originally left out of the tariffs but were added later when they refused to go along with proposed quotas — again with the United States citing national security concerns. Mexico and Canada retaliated with tariffs of their own — and complained that they and their steel sales posed no national security threats.

    Congresses in all three countries vowed not to ratify the new free trade agreement with the tariffs in place — but Seade is confident they will proceed now.

    “We are creating a better treaty. It is superior to NAFTA,” Seade said. “It has, for example, clearer rules. Dispute settlement becomes less arbitrary, less subjective, less unpredictable. In addition to all that, it creates an aura of good business, a special relationship” for the three North American countries.

    Stéphane Lessard, Canada’s consul in Denver, also hailed the lifting of the tariffs and the new trade agreement during the Utah economic summit.

    “We are so happy,” he said. “This will allow us to move forward with reaping the full benefits of the NAFTA reboot.”

    Lessard said that 120,000 jobs in Utah depend on trade with Canada and Mexico, showing the importance of the three counties working together.

    Seade said bargains could help Utah and Mexico form more partnerships. Both have expanding high-tech and aerospace sectors, he noted. While it may make them competitors, it also shows they “are the best place to develop partners.”

    When Seade was asked whether he feels the recent use of tariffs by the United States hurts or helps it internationally, he said, “It’s hurting, it’s hurting. ... I think this kind of a mantra of playing tough with your partners, that’s not the way to make progress. … That’s not the way to do business.”

    Part of Seade’s responsibilities as undersecretary for North American affairs also deals with immigration. He sees relations with the United States improving a bit on that front.

    “We are making big efforts to have a more disciplined process of acceptance of people from the southern border” from Central America, he said. “That is improving. That, I think, is having an effect on the United States.”

    Seade added, “We both have a problem of pressure from migration from the south. Se we have to handle this work together.”


    (Moises Castillo | AP file photo) Honduran migrants help each other to cross over the U.S. border wall to San Diego, California, from Tijuana, Mexico, Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018. (Moises Castillo/)

    Trump lifts tariffs on Mexico, Canada, delays auto tariffs


    Washington • Bogged down in a sprawling trade dispute with U.S. rival China, President Donald Trump took steps Friday to ease tensions with America’s allies — lifting import taxes on Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminum and delaying auto tariffs...

    Washington • Bogged down in a sprawling trade dispute with U.S. rival China, President Donald Trump took steps Friday to ease tensions with America’s allies — lifting import taxes on Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminum and delaying auto tariffs that would have hurt Japan and Europe.

    By removing the metals tariffs on Canada and Mexico, Trump cleared a key roadblock to a North American trade pact his team negotiated last year. As part of Friday's arrangement, the Canadians and Mexicans agreed to scrap retaliatory tariffs they had imposed on U.S. goods.

    "I'm pleased to announce that we've just reached an agreement with Canada and Mexico, and we'll be selling our product into those countries without the imposition of tariffs, or major tariffs," Trump said in a speech to the National Association of Realtors.

    In a joint statement, the U.S. and Canada said they would work to prevent cheap imports of steel and aluminum from entering North America. The provision appeared to target China, which has long been accused of flooding world markets with subsidized metal, driving down world prices and hurting U.S. producers. The countries could also reimpose the tariffs if they faced a “surge” in steel or aluminum imports.

    In Washington, some were urging Trump to take advantage of the truce with U.S. allies to get even tougher with China.

    "China is our adversary," said Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb. "Canada and Mexico are our friends. The president is right to increase pressure on China for their espionage, their theft of intellectual property, and their hostility toward the rule of law. The president is also right to be deescalating tension with our North American allies."

    Earlier Friday, the White House said Trump is delaying for six months any decision to slap tariffs on foreign cars, a move that would have hit Japan and the Europe especially hard.

    Trump still is hoping to use the threat of auto tariffs to pressure Japan and the European Union into making concessions in ongoing trade talks. "If agreements are not reached within 180 days, the president will determine whether and what further action needs to be taken," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

    In imposing the metals tariffs and threatening the ones on autos, the president was relying on a rarely used weapon in the U.S. trade war arsenal — Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 — which lets the president impose tariffs on imports if the Commerce Department deems them a threat to national security.

    But the steel and aluminum tariffs were also designed to coerce Canada and Mexico into agreeing to a rewrite of North American free trade pact. In fact, the Canadians and Mexicans did go along last year with a revamped regional trade deal that was to Trump's liking. But the administration had refused to lift the taxes on their metals coming into the United States until Friday.

    The new trade deal — the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement — needs approval from legislatures in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Several key U.S. lawmakers were threatening to reject the pact unless the tariffs were removed. And Canada had suggested it wouldn't ratify any deal with tariffs still in place.

    Thomas Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said the lifting of the tariffs "will bring immediate relief to American farmers and manufacturers. Critically, this action delivers a welcome burst of momentum for the USMCA in Congress."

    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau credited his government for holding out to get the tariffs removed.

    "We stayed strong," he said. "That's what workers asked for. These tariffs didn't make sense around national security. They were hurting Canadian consumers, Canadian workers and American consumers and American workers."

    Trump had faced a Saturday deadline to decide what to do about the auto tariffs.

    Taxing auto tariffs would mark a major escalation in Trump's aggressive trade policies and likely would meet resistance in Congress. The United States last year imported $192 billion worth of passenger vehicles and $159 billion in auto parts.

    "I have serious questions about the legitimacy of using national security as a basis to impose tariffs on cars and car parts," Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, said in a statement Friday. He's working on legislation to scale back the president's authority to impose national security tariffs under Section 232.

    In a statement, the White House said that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has determined that imported vehicles and parts are a threat to national security. Trump deferred action on tariffs for 180 days to give negotiators time to work out deals but threatened them if talks break down.

    In justifying tariffs for national security reasons, Commerce found that the U.S. industrial base depends on technology developed by American-owned auto companies to maintain U.S. military superiority. Because of rising imports of autos and parts over the past 30 years, the market share of U.S.-owned automakers has fallen. That has caused a lag in research and development spending which is "weakening innovation and, accordingly, threatening to impair our national security," the statement said.

    The market share of vehicles produced and sold in the U.S. by American-owned automakers, the statement said, has declined from 67% in 1985 to 22% in 2017.

    But the statistics don't match market share figures from the industry. A message was left Friday seeking an explanation of how Commerce calculated the 22%.

    In 2017, General Motors, Ford, Fiat Chrysler and Tesla combined had a 44.5% share of U.S. auto sales, according to Autodata Corp. Those figures include vehicles produced in other countries.

    It's possible that the Commerce Department didn't include Fiat Chrysler, which is now legally headquartered in The Netherlands but has a huge research and development operation near Detroit. It had 12% of U.S. auto sales in 2017.

    The Commerce figures also do not account for research by foreign automakers. Toyota, Hyundai-Kia, Subaru, Honda and others have significant research centers in the U.S.

    Meanwhile, Trump is locked in a high stakes rumble with China. The U.S. accuses Beijing of stealing trade secrets and forcing American companies to hand over technology in a head-long push to challenge American technological dominance. The two countries have slapped tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in each other's products. Talks broke off last week with no resolution.

    The hostilities between the world's two biggest economies have weighed heavily the past couple of weeks on the U.S. stock market, threatening a long rally that Trump touted as a vindication of his economic policies. Opening a new front in the trade wars against EU and Japan likely would have worried investors even more.

    Rob Gillies reported from Toronto and Tom Krisher from Detroit. Darlene Superville, Deb Riechmann and Martin Crutsinger in Washington and Geir Moulson in Berlin contributed to this story.


    Canadian polygamist found guilty in child bride case


    Cranbrook, British Columbia • A former leader in a fundamentalist Christian sect that practices polygamy in the Canadian province of British Columbia was found guilty Friday of taking an underage girl to be married in the United States.British Columbia...

    Cranbrook, British Columbia • A former leader in a fundamentalist Christian sect that practices polygamy in the Canadian province of British Columbia was found guilty Friday of taking an underage girl to be married in the United States.

    British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Martha Devlin said it is reasonable to believe that James Oler knew the 15-year-old girl would be subject to sexual activity when he arranged her marriage to an older member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

    Oler was acquitted in 2017 by a judge who was not convinced he did anything within Canada's borders to arrange the girl's transfer to the U.S. But the British Columbia Court of Appeal overturned the decision and ordered a new trial.

    Oler was self-represented and did not call any witnesses or make a case in his defense during the retrial.

    Special prosecutor Peter Wilson said it should have been obvious that the girl would be made to have sex due to the nature of church doctrine and the disempowered role of women in the faith.

    Oler originally stood trial alongside Emily Blackmore and her husband, Brandon Blackmore. Both were convicted of taking a 13-year-old girl across the border to marry a member of the same sect.


    Court rejects Navajo Nation’s lawsuit over police shooting


    Window Rock, Ariz. • A federal court has dismissed the Navajo Nation’s lawsuit against the U.S. government and Winslow, Arizona, over the police shooting of a tribal member.The Gallup Independent reports Judge G. Murray Snow ruled last week that the...

    Window Rock, Ariz. • A federal court has dismissed the Navajo Nation’s lawsuit against the U.S. government and Winslow, Arizona, over the police shooting of a tribal member.

    The Gallup Independent reports Judge G. Murray Snow ruled last week that the tribe lack standing and “did not suffer a legally cognizable injury” from the March 2016 death of Loreal Tsingine.

    The tribe filed suit last year, claiming Tsingine’s civil and constitutional rights were violated. It also faulted the U.S. Justice Department for not prosecuting former Winslow Police Officer Austin Shipley.

    The department said it could not prove that Shipley willfully used excessive force and did not act in self-defense.

    Navajo Nation spokesman Jared Touchin says the tribe is reviewing the ruling and has not yet decided if it will appeal.

    Now-dead Ohio State doctor accused of abusing at least 177

    Now-dead Ohio State doctor accused of abusing at least 177


    Columbus, Ohio • A now-dead Ohio State team doctor sexually abused at least 177 male students from the 1970s through the 1990s, and numerous university officials got wind of what was going on over the years but did little or nothing to stop him,...

    Columbus, Ohio • A now-dead Ohio State team doctor sexually abused at least 177 male students from the 1970s through the 1990s, and numerous university officials got wind of what was going on over the years but did little or nothing to stop him, according to a report released by the school Friday.

    Dr. Richard Strauss groped or ogled young men while treating athletes from at least 16 sports and working at the student health center and his off-campus clinic, investigators from a law firm hired by the university found.

    "We are so sorry that this happened," Ohio State President Michael Drake said at a news conference, using words like "shocking," ''horrifying" and "heartbreaking" to describe the findings.

    He said there was a "consistent institutional failure" at Ohio State, the nation's third-largest university, with nearly 65,000 students and almost a half-million living alumni. The school "fell short of its responsibility to its students, and that's regrettable and inexcusable."

    At the same time, Drake, who has led the institution since 2014, sought to distance Ohio State from what happened more than two decades ago: "This is not the university of today."

    The report on Strauss, who killed himself in 2005 nearly a decade after he was allowed to retire with honors, could cost Ohio State dearly by corroborating lawsuits brought against it by a multitude of victims.

    The findings put Strauss in a league with gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar of Michigan State University, who was accused of molesting at least 250 women and girls and is serving what amounts to a life sentence. Michigan State ultimately settled with his victims for $500 million.

    Similarly, the Jerry Sandusky child sexual-abuse scandal that brought down legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno in 2011 has cost the university more than a quarter-billion dollars in settlements, fines, legal costs and other expenses.

    The abuse at Ohio State went on from 1979 to 1997 and took place at various locations across campus, including examining rooms, locker rooms, showers and saunas, according to investigators. Strauss, among other things, contrived to get young men to strip naked and groped them sexually.

    The report describes one patient who came in with strep throat. Strauss spent five minutes fondling his genitals and never examined another part of the body. Another victim had grown up in a rural area and had never had a proper medical exam; Strass put a stethoscope on his penis.

    Many told investigators that they thought his behavior was an "open secret" and that they believed their coaches, trainers and other team doctors knew was going on. The students described the examinations as being "hazed" or going through a "rite of passage." Athletes joked about Strauss' behavior, referring to him with nicknames like "Dr. Jelly Paws."

    The report concluded that scores of Ohio State personnel knew of complaints and concerns about Strauss' conduct as early as 1979 but failed for years to investigate or take meaningful action.

    Ohio State Provost Bruce McPheron said the report does not address whether anyone went to law enforcement at the time or was required to do so under the law back then.

    In the wake of the findings, some of Strauss' victims called on the university to take responsibility for its inaction and the harm inflicted by the doctor.


    (Jay LaPrete | AP) Ohio State University president Michael Drake answers questions during an interview about the accusations against former Ohio State team doctor Richard Strauss Friday, May 17, 2019, in Columbus, Ohio. An investigation found that Strauss sexually abused at least 177 athletes from at least 16 sports as well as others from his work at the student health center and his off-campus clinic. (Jay LaPrete/)

    “Dreams were broken, relationships with loved ones were damaged, and the harm now carries over to our children as many of us have become so overprotective that it strains the relationship with our kids,” Kent Kilgore said in a statement.

    Steve Estey, an attorney for some of the former students who are suing, said: "If OSU refuses to take responsibility we will continue with civil litigation and put this in front of a jury for 12 people to judge their actions."

    No one has publicly defended Strauss, though family members have said they were shocked by the allegations.

    At least 50 members of the athletic department staff, including many coaches, corroborated victims' accounts of Strauss' abuse, the report said. But students' allegations never left the department or the health center until 1996.

    At that point, Strauss was investigated and let go as a team doctor and physician at the health center but was allowed to retain his tenured faculty position.

    Investigators said Strauss set up an off-campus clinic within months, receiving assurances from the associate vice president of health sciences and academic affairs that "there would be no issue" with him engaging in part-time private practice while on the faculty. The abuse continued there.

    He continued to plead for his job back as an on-campus doctor, finally going to then-President Gordon Gee with a letter in 1997. His pleas were rejected, at which point Strauss was allowed to retire with emeritus status, a mark of distinguished service. Gee, now president of West Virginia University, said Friday he has no recollection of Strauss.

    The lawsuits against Ohio State are headed for mediation. They seek unspecified damages. Drake said the investigation alone has cost the school $6.2 million.

    Separately, the U.S. Education Department's Office for Civil Rights is examining whether Ohio State responded promptly and fairly to students' complaints. The department could cut the university's federal funding if it is found to have violated civil rights protections.

    Before Friday's release, the doctor's accusers had alleged that Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan was one of the coaches back then who were aware of concerns about Strauss and didn't stop him. Jordan, an assistant wrestling coach from 1987 to 1995, was not mentioned by name in the report, and a spokesman said the document showed the congressman did not know about the abuse.

    This story has been corrected to show that it was Provost Bruce McPheron, not President Michael Drake, who said the report is unclear on whether anyone contacted law enforcement.

    Associated Press writers John Seewer in Toledo and Andrew Welsh-Huggins and Mitch Stacy in Columbus contributed to this report.


    Police searching for man who carjacked van with child in the back seat


    Salt Lake City Police are searching for a man who yanked a woman out of her van and drove off with her 3-year-old girl in the back seat.The child was found unharmed a few miles away.According to police, the woman was stopped in the left-turn lane on 2100...

    Salt Lake City Police are searching for a man who yanked a woman out of her van and drove off with her 3-year-old girl in the back seat.

    The child was found unharmed a few miles away.

    According to police, the woman was stopped in the left-turn lane on 2100 South near 700 East at about 1:30 p.m. Thursday when a man ran up to her car, opened her door and pulled her out. He drove off, heading west, with the 3-year-old girl still in the back seat.

    Witnesses attempted to follow the van, but lost it in traffic.

    We need to locate and identify this person. He is a possible suspect in a carjacking that occurred today. We are also looking for the stolen gray 2001 Honda Odyssey UT plate W054VG. Case #19-86814 #Carjacking #Suspect pic.twitter.com/fPqSTcK7RK

    — SLC Police Dept. (@slcpd) May 16, 2019

    About 30 minutes later, the child — who was crying and calling for her mother — was found near 900 S. West Temple by a man who took her to the Publik Coffee Roasters nearby. The police were called, and the child was reunited with her mother.

    Police have identified a “person of interest” from surveillance footage at a business on the corner of 2100 South and 700 East. They’re asking for the public’s help to identify him and locate the stolen vehicle, a gray 2001 Honda Odyssey with Utah license plate W05 4VG.

    Anyone with information is asked to contact police at (801) 799-3000.

    Alexandra Petri: I’m Bill de Blasio and I’m running! You’re welcome!

    Alexandra Petri: I’m Bill de Blasio and I’m running! You’re welcome!


    Good news! I looked out on this field of 22 candidates, some of whom are intelligent, some of whom are even experts, some of whom are young, some of whom are female, some of whom are people of color, some of whom are governors, some of whom are senators,...

    Good news! I looked out on this field of 22 candidates, some of whom are intelligent, some of whom are even experts, some of whom are young, some of whom are female, some of whom are people of color, some of whom are governors, some of whom are senators, and I thought: It is missing something. What it is missing is myself.

    These candidates have many good qualities, but none of them are Bill de Blasio. I know that because I’m Bill de Blasio. And now -- I’m running.

    Call this announcement a groundhog, because I am going to drop it, and everyone is going to be thrilled, I think.

    In response to the clamor of millions of voices crying my name, the word "run" and also the word "don't" for some reason: Here I am, running! Just as you requested.

    You're welcome!

    I felt that the candidates did not adequately reflect America. America is full of many people who are accomplished, progressive and have plans. People who have done good jobs in their current positions. But America is also full of many men who do not know when their presence is not wanted. Men who see competent women who could do a good job and who decide to insert themselves anyway! Men with gray hair and opinions who are supposed to be doing jobs of their own but have for some reason decided they would not like to! Who will speak for them?

    Well, someone else will have to, because I know that I am wanted, competent and doing a great job.

    But America is also full of many mayors who do NOT speak Norwegian. Who will speak for them?

    People are fascinated by my ideas. That is why the consultants I hired to determine whether I should run said, "America doesn't deserve this," then toasted the thoughts I had uttered by downing an entire container of whiskey.

    None dare call this hubris! Hubris is the mark of fools who do not realize they are overreaching. I would realize if I were overreaching. Hubris is for people who have vulnerabilities they have not anticipated, but I have anticipated my every vulnerability. If anything were unappealing about me, I would be the first to know. And I don't know, so I would consider that Q pretty ED.

    Whenever people see me walk into a room, they sigh -- with relief, that I am here. And, sometimes, they also are holding signs with my name, sometimes followed by an instruction for an action they want me to take, which shows name recognition.

    When I speak to people, they flee the room where I am speaking, evidently in haste to implement whatever I have urged. I once held a groundhog, and that groundhog was so moved by the experience of being in my presence that it leapt from my arms (it was not dropped) to go share with its rodent brethren the good news of what it had seen. And it is, I think, alive and well to this day.

    People who tell me that no one is clamoring for me to run -- they do not hear what I hear. Listen. That is the sound of people clamoring for me to run. Or complaints about the MTA. But probably people clamoring for me to run. In fact, New York City is so sad to see me leave that it is pretending to be sick, creating problems with its public transit system and public housing, just in an effort to get me to stay. Stop malingering, NYC! I know what your game is!

    In any case, are you sure they are shouting at me? Are you sure they aren’t shouting with me?

    I just want to see myself reflected among the candidates, namely by including myself among the candidates. Someone who shares my history and my understanding of the issues! Someone who, whenever he goes out in public to tease his campaign, is met with throngs of people shouting "Don't run!" as though he is a child in the pool area! But someone, too, who is not Howard Schultz!


    Alexandra Petri | The Washington Post (Marvin Joseph/)

    Follow Alexandra Petri on Twitter, @petridishes.

    Utah is 'like a candy store for predators’ — child pornography arrests on the rise


    Child pornography arrests have nearly doubled in Utah over the past five years, mirroring a nationwide trend that experts say has been fueled by rapid developments in technology.New advancements have made it easier for users to find the images and for...

    Child pornography arrests have nearly doubled in Utah over the past five years, mirroring a nationwide trend that experts say has been fueled by rapid developments in technology.

    New advancements have made it easier for users to find the images and for investigators to catch them, authorities said.

    In 2013, Utah police arrested 133 people accused of downloading child pornography, according to department statistics. Last year, they arrested 226 people on such charges.

    Child pornography crimes have steadily increased throughout the country as well. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, a nonprofit organization that works with victims of child abuse, received more than 18 million CyberTipline reports of possible cases in 2018, compared with 10 million reports in 2017, said John Shehan, a vice president at the center.

    Better technology has helped agencies like Utah’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force to detect child abuse, but the internet and smart devices have also given people with a sexual interest in children easier access to child pornography, Cmdr. Jessica Farnsworth said.

    Her unit is set to outpace 2018's total this year, with 104 arrests already made in the first three months.

    There has been an influx of reports around the U.S. after passage of a federal law in 2012 requiring frequently used platforms like Dropbox, Facebook, Instagram and others to report child pornography as they become aware of it, Shehan said.

    In Utah, police are seeing more victims ages 5 and younger, Farnsworth said. A recent case involved a newborn baby. Younger victims who don’t understand abuse make it harder to find who is producing the material, she added.

    “This state is like a candy store for predators," Farnsworth said. “We have a lot of children, and we’re friendly, forgiving people here.”

    Still, not everyone found guilty of possessing child pornography online is a stereotypical predator, Utah defense attorney Greg Skordas said.

    Many are "bored, lonely or depressed" young men looking for stimulation online and adults who struggle with unhealthy relationships, he said.

    "People don't realize, if you're sitting in the privacy of your home looking at images, that you could hurt someone," Skordas said. "But the penalties are serious, and it screws up your life."

    For child victims, the emotional and physical damage can be long term, especially because the images can exist online forever, said Bethany Warr, a lawyer with the Utah Crime Victims Clinic.

    “It’s a wound that never heals," she said. “The material is out there, and you don’t know who in the world has seen you, seen your abuse and pain, and enjoyed it.”

    Holly Richardson: The law should protect Good Samaritans


    Teresa Todd is the city attorney for Maria, Texas and is the elected county attorney for Jeff Davis County. She was arrested in February for stopping to help some young adults in serious distress, including one with likely life-threatening problems.Todd...

    Teresa Todd is the city attorney for Maria, Texas and is the elected county attorney for Jeff Davis County. She was arrested in February for stopping to help some young adults in serious distress, including one with likely life-threatening problems.

    Todd was flagged down by three young people on the side of the highway and after she got them into her car and started phoning and texting for help, a sheriff’s deputy drove up, followed by U.S. Border Patrol. They asked her to step out of her car, read her her Miranda rights, confiscated her phone, then hauled her to a holding cell. Why? Because the three young adults were from Central America.

    Todd’s phone was kept for 53 days and she remains under investigation in a case that could lead to federal criminal charges for “transporting illegal aliens.”

    Nicholas Kristof, Pulitzer Prize winning author, wrote about Ms. Todd’s arrest and included the Biblical account of the Good Samaritan.

    Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.” (Luke 10:30)

    We know the story: Two men of high reputation crossed by on the other side, while a Samaritan, despised of the Jews, stopped to help.

    Todd has two teenage boys and said she stopped to help because, she said, “If my son was by the side of the road, I would want someone to help.”

    Sadly, she is not the only Good Samaritan to be punished for trying to help.

    Dr. Scott Warren lives and teaches college classes in a tiny Arizona desert town. His response to finding dead bodies (and partial bodies), was to gather volunteers and provide access to water, food, socks and blankets to people crossing the harsh Arizona desert. He works with an organization called No More Deaths. Since the 1990s, more than 7,000 people have lost their lives, with almost 3,000 in southern Arizona alone.

    In January 2018, No More Deaths published a scathing report, complete with video, implicating the Border Patrol in the destruction of thousands of gallons of water left in the desert for migrants. Warren was arrested later the same day. Coincidence? It seems unlikely.

    His felony trial begins later this month and he faces up to 20 years in prison.

    Earlier this year, four humanitarian aid volunteers were convicted of misdemeanor charges for leaving food and water in a wildlife refuge and four others had their charges dropped to civil infractions. One defendant, Logan Hollarsmith said: “People continue to die and disappear every day in the desert … As long as border policy funnels migrants into the most remote corridors of the desert, the need for a humanitarian response will continue.”

    “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

    Todd noted that arresting Good Samaritans was “all about trying to chill the willingness of people to help others” and plans to work with her Congressional representatives on federal legislation that exempts Good Samaritans from federal prosecution.

    As representatives of a Utah population that favors the principles of the Utah Compact, I believe Reps. Rob Bishop, Chris Stewart, John Curtis and Ben McAdams and Sens. Mike Lee and Mitt Romney should jump on board this legislation, both co-sponsoring and shepherding it through both houses. Surely we can agree that one should not be arrested for saving a life.

    “For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

    I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not … Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.” (Matthew 25:41-43, 45)

    We need more elected officials, including state and local officials, who recognize the humanity in others, especially those of marginalized groups and who refuse to allow Utah, especially, to engage in the inhumane treatment of any human being, including people who are “the least of these.”

    Holly Richardson is a contributor to The Salt Lake Tribune.

    Was Chris Paul right when he said Jazz scorekeepers inflated John Stockton’s assists?

    Was Chris Paul right when he said Jazz scorekeepers inflated John Stockton’s assists?


    Call it NBA mythbusting.For years, decades now, there’s been a story spreading about John Stockton’s all-time NBA assist record of 15,806. That story: that biased Utah stat keepers inflated Stockton’s assists throughout his career, leading to his...

    Call it NBA mythbusting.

    For years, decades now, there’s been a story spreading about John Stockton’s all-time NBA assist record of 15,806. That story: that biased Utah stat keepers inflated Stockton’s assists throughout his career, leading to his 3,000-plus assist lead on No. 2 Jason Kidd.

    That tale persists to this day. For example, when Chris Paul moved into eighth place on the NBA’s all-time assist leaderboard in February, Paul was asked about Stockton’s record.

    “I don’t like saying never, but ain’t nobody catching that,” Paul said. “I don’t know who the statisticians was, who used to do the stats in Utah, but ain’t nobody catching that.”

    Paul’s not the only one. The story of biased Jazz scorekeeping is as old as Stockton’s nine consecutive years of leading the NBA in assists. So The Salt Lake Tribune looked into it. Did the Jazz’s scorekeeping crew artificially inflate Stockton’s assist totals?

    PlayerHome APGAway APG% diffTotal AssistsJohn Stockton10.910.17.3%15806Jason Kidd9.28.211.2%12091Steve Nash8.38.7-4.5%10335Mark Jackson8.37.69.0%10334Magic Johnson*12.411.85.4%10141Chris Paul10.09.37.3%9181Isiah Thomas*10.09.010.8%9061LeBron James7.47.15.0%8662Andre Miller7.06.016.2%8524Russell Westbrook8.78.16.8%6897Deron Williams8.47.78.5%6819Nick Van Exel7.35.824.2%5777Dwyane Wade5.25.6-6.2%5701Michael Jordan5.45.16.2%5633Doc Rivers6.35.025.9%4889Mark Price7.55.927.0%4863Steph Curry7.06.212.7%4588

    It is true: Stockton earned more assists in the friendly confines of the Salt Palace and the Delta Center than he did on the road. Overall, Stockton averaged 10.9 assists per game at home and 10.1 assists per game on the road, a 7.3% difference.

    But it turns out that a 7.3% difference is actually relatively small compared to the other NBA greats in assists. Among the top 50 NBA assist men — or at least, the ones who have detailed game-by-game assist information for their entire careers — the average home benefit has been 10.1%.

    That makes sense due to a few different factors. First, NBA scorekeepers do have relatively wide leeway about what constitutes an assist. In a tell-all story on Deadspin, Alex (who chose not to share his last name), a former scorekeeper for the Vancouver Grizzlies in the 1990s, said that assists varied wildly between arenas in his era.

    “In the NBA, an assist is a pass leading directly to a basket,” he said. “That’s inherently subjective. What does that really mean in practice? The definition is massively variable according to who you talk to."

    In fact, in one game, Alex decided to test the limits of his profession. He decided to give Nick Van Exel, point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers, as many assists as he could.

    “I was sort of disgruntled,” he told Deadspin. “I loved the game. I don't want the numbers to be meaningless, and I felt they were becoming meaningless because of how stats were kept. So I decided, I'm gonna do this totally immature thing and see what happens. It was childish. The Lakers are in town. We're gonna lose. … He's getting a s---load of assists."


    Tribune file photo Utah Jazz's John Stockton is lifted on the shoulders of his teammates after sinking a three-point shot at the buzzer to beat the Houston Rockets 103-100 in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals Thursday, May 29, 1997, in Houston. The Jazz advanced to play the Chicago Bulls in The NBA Finals. (Jeremy Harmon/)

    The box score showed that Van Exel accrued 23 assists that day. But while Alex helped Van Exel on one occasion in 1995 on the road, the Lakers point guard actually had one of the largest home-road splits of any point guard in the top 50: a 24.2% advantage in L.A.’s home confines.

    Only two of the top 50 accrued more assists on the road than at home: Steve Nash, third on the NBA’s All-Time list, got 4.4% more assists outside of his home arenas in Phoenix, Dallas and L.A. than from the scorekeepers he played for. And Miami’s Dwyane Wade picked up 6.2% more assists outside of South Florida than in American Airlines Arena.

    Meanwhile, Cleveland guard Mark Price had the biggest home-road split. He earned 27% more assists at home than on the road. Doc Rivers, current Clipper coach and former Atlanta guard, was second with a 25.9% split. Van Exel ranked No. 3.

    Interestingly, Utah’s scorekeepers in Vivint Arena remain largely the same as they were in the Stockton days: John Allen has called out the scores for decades in the Salt Palace and the now-Vivint Smart Home Arena, recently celebrating his 40th year with the Jazz.

    And despite his reputation for inflating Stockton’s stats, it turns out Allen is a relative assist miser, at least in comparison to his modern counterparts. According to researchers Matthew Van Bommel and Luke Bornn at Simon Fraser University, Allen’s stats mean about 3.44 fewer assists at Jazz home games than expected when the pair looked at the 2015-16 season.


    (Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune) Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul (3) gets past Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) using a second half screen form Houston Rockets center Clint Capela (15). The Rockets beat the Jazz 100-87, Sunday, May 6, 2018. (Scott Sommerdorf/)

    “Figures indicate the Utah Jazz scorekeeper is unbiased but not generous,” Van Bommel and Bornn state in the paper.

    Whether Paul was informed of the reality of the Jazz’s scorekeeping situation, or just out of respect for Stockton’s legacy, he issued a correction to his statement a few days later.

    “People misconstrued what I said last time about John Stockton,” he told the Houston Chronicle. “His record will never be broken because he was so durable. He played night in, night out.”

    It’s easy to understand Paul’s defeatism: Even after accruing 9,181 assists himself over a 13-year NBA career, he’d still have to average over 10 assists per game for another eight seasons to approach Stockton’s 15,806 record. Paul, 34, last averaged double-digit assists three seasons ago.

    And regarding his earlier statement, on average, Paul has accrued 7.3% more assists at home than on the road over the course of his career, nearly exactly matching Stockton’s home-road split.

    So, yes, Jazz fans, you can breathe easy. Stockton’s assist record isn’t only safe from today’s point guards; it also stands through statistical scrutiny.

    Scott D. Pierce: George Clooney’s ‘Catch-22’ is terrific, and he’s still the same great guy

    Scott D. Pierce: George Clooney’s ‘Catch-22’ is terrific, and he’s still the same great guy


    George Clooney was surprised, back in January, to learn that “Grey’s Anatomy” was about to supplant “ER” as the longest-running medical drama in TV history.“That’s got to stop!” he said with mock outrage. “We’ve got to go back and do...

    George Clooney was surprised, back in January, to learn that “Grey’s Anatomy” was about to supplant “ER” as the longest-running medical drama in TV history.

    “That’s got to stop!” he said with mock outrage. “We’ve got to go back and do some more.”

    This came as he was surrounded by a group of reporters who were there to talk to him about his six-part adaptation of “Catch-22,” which starts streaming Friday on Hulu. A publicist kept telling us — at least a dozen times — that Clooney had to be elsewhere and we’d just asked our “last question,” but Clooney ignored her and just kept answering.

    I’ve always loved Clooney. He’s always been open, funny, charming, unfailingly polite and astonishingly patient.

    Sure, he wanted to promote “Catch-22” — he’s an executive producer, a director and he stars as Lieutenant, later General, Scheisskopf. And it’s a great miniseries that captures the hilarity and horror of Joseph Heller’s subversive 1961 novel about the insanity of World War II.

    It centers on Capt. John Yossarian (Christopher Abbott), a B-25 bombardier who’s trying to remain sane as he tries to survive long enough to make it home.

    It’s not just the enemy who could prevent that; it’s also officers like the parade-obsessed Scheisskopf and Col. Cathcart (Kyle Chandler), who keeps raising the number of missions that crews have to fly to be rotated back home.

    And, by the way, Chandler is another of Hollywood’s amazingly good guys. Maybe less shy than he seemed in 1991, when he was a virtual unknown starring in “Homefront,” but he still has the same sort of ease, earnestness and humor. You almost believe him when he says he brought Clooney “coffee every morning” during production.

    “Catch-22” is funny and dark simultaneously. The production values are amazing, and the performances and direction (Clooney, Grant Heslov and Ellen Kuras each helm two episodes) are great. It’s terrific television.

    Clooney’s character is a pompous jackass; Clooney is anything but. Abbott joked that he went to IMDB.com to look him up and “It was, like, ‘Oh, you’ve done a lot.’ I didn’t know.” Clooney came back quickly:

    “I’ve been working for a long time now. I’m very famous,” he said smoothly. “Big, big star. You just didn’t know that. You’re too young.”

    Only Clooney — and maybe Tom Hanks — could say that without a hint of ego, just self-deprecating charm.

    He seems like the same guy I remember chatting with one-on-one nearly 27 years ago, when he was starring in a short-lived police drama, “Bodies of Evidence.” At the time, George’s father, Nick Clooney, was anchoring the news at KSTU-Channel 13 in Salt Lake City, and I asked George if he wanted me to tell his dad anything when I got home.

    “Tell him I was really drunk and there were women hanging all over me,” George said with a laugh.

    Neither was true. This was pre-”ER,” and — though he had a long list of TV credits (including “Roseanne” and “Facts of Life”) — his career hadn’t taken off yet. That happened two years later with the debut of what is now the second-longest-running medical drama in TV history.

    “‘ER’ was a nutty moment in my career, but also in the lives of a bunch of actors,” Clooney said. “There were six of us who suddenly were thrust into the stratosphere, and it was life-changing for all of us.”

    Since then, he’s won a couple of Oscars (with four more nominations), starred in movies like “The Descendants,” “Syriana,” “Michael Clayton” and “Ocean’s Eleven,” “Twelve” and “Thirteen”; directed movies like “Good Night, and Good Luck” and “Monuments Men” — and, yes, become a “big, big star.”

    But not too big to joke about himself, and about making some new episodes of “ER.”

    “Don’t you think that’s a good idea? I’d play a patient now,” Clooney said.

    Coming soon to SAT: ‘Adversity score’ offering snapshot of challenges students face


    When students send colleges their SAT scores in coming years, the admissions office might also get another number that rates the level of adversity applicants typically face –– or privilege they enjoy –– based on crime and poverty data and other...

    When students send colleges their SAT scores in coming years, the admissions office might also get another number that rates the level of adversity applicants typically face –– or privilege they enjoy –– based on crime and poverty data and other demographic information about neighborhoods and high schools.

    The “overall disadvantage level,” known in admission circles as the “adversity score,” will be a single number from 1 to 100. With 50 set as the average, under a formula established by the College Board, higher scores will indicate higher adversity. Colleges that use it will see the number on a template called an “environmental context dashboard,” which also includes data on Advanced Placement participation and SAT scores at the applicant’s high school.

    The College Board, a nonprofit organization that owns the SAT, is developing the program as its flagship test faces significant skepticism over breaches in test security and the value of the scores.

    The adversity score, which officials described Thursday, will focus on social and economic factors associated with a student's school and neighborhood, such as median family income, crime reports, housing circumstances, college attendance rates and parental education, according to the College Board. The formula does not consider race, the College Board said, or individual data about a student's family or financial circumstances.

    The idea is to give admissions officers a deeper framework for considering SAT scores than the information high schools typically provide. A score of 1400, out of a maximum 1600, might look more impressive coming from a student with a higher adversity score compared with a peer who comes from relative privilege.

    “The insight is in the judgment of the admissions office: 'Wow, this score, given this context, that’s something I want to see,’” said David Coleman, chief executive of the College Board.

    Charles Deacon, the veteran dean of undergraduate admission at Georgetown University, said he was skeptical about the value of the score.

    “We have so much personal data on all of our applicants that we don’t feel the need for a tool like this,” Deacon said. “In this era of ‘data analytics,’ I guess this is one that could be helpful, but to be honest I still see college admissions as ‘an art, not a science’ so I’m prone to resist quantifying things too much.”

    Admission testing, always controversial, is drawing fresh scrutiny this year. Federal investigators recently uncovered a cheating and bribery scandal that includes sensational allegations of wealthy parents buying fraudulent SAT or ACT scores for their children. A movement to establish test-optional admissions among colleges has gained steam as critics have asked why grades are not a good enough indicator of academic potential.

    But testing is an enduring ritual in competitive college admissions.

    Fifty colleges and universities tested the dashboard in the most recent admissions cycle. The College Board said Thursday it plans to expand the program in the coming year and make it broadly available starting in 2020. Coleman has promoted the dashboard in recent months. The Wall Street Journal reported new details on the initiative Thursday.

    For decades, critics of standardized testing have pointed out correlations between SAT scores and family income. More affluent students tend to score higher on the admission test.

    Critics say high school grades are a stronger measure of potential, an argument that has led a growing number of colleges to stop requiring applicants to submit scores from the SAT or the rival ACT admission test. Among the latest are Indiana State University and the University of New Hampshire.

    Robert Schaeffer, public education director of the National Center for Fair & Open Testing, a group critical of the College Board, said the adversity score is a ploy to defend the SAT against "well-documented critiques" of the harm caused by relying too much on admission tests.

    "Test-makers long claimed that their products were a 'common yardstick' for comparing applicants from a wide range of schools," Schaeffer said in a statement. "This latest initiative concedes that the SAT is really a measure of 'accumulated advantage' which should not be used without an understanding of a student's community and family background."

    A large majority of the most selective colleges and universities, public and private, continue to require admission test scores.

    Christoph Guttentag, dean of undergraduate admissions at Duke University, said he likes the idea of the dashboard and plans soon to use it. Duke is one of the most competitive schools in the country, and it requires applicants to submit an SAT or ACT score.

    "Everyone familiar with the college admissions process understands that it's not a level playing field," Guttentag wrote in an email. "We're always trying to understand each applicant's context a little better, and I think this tool will be a positive step in that direction."

    Jeremiah Quinlan, dean of undergraduate admissions at Yale University, which has used preliminary versions of the dashboard for two years, said the information gives admission officers a consistent and standardized snapshot of high schools around the country. "A very helpful innovation," he said.

    David Hawkins, executive director for educational content and policy at the National Association for College Admission Counseling, said the dashboard is drawing praise from some admission officers. The main benefit of the adversity score, he said, "seems to be it condenses a lot of information into a very concentrated measure."

    But some were cautious.

    “Before we make a decision on if and how this might be used, we will need to hear more about the specifics and details,” said Greg Roberts, dean of undergraduate admission at the University of Virginia. “We are pleased that the College Board is offering ideas and tools designed to try to level the college admission playing field.”

    Idaho State University softball player Haley Harrison still fighting off the darkness

    Idaho State University softball player Haley Harrison still fighting off the darkness


    The darkness rolls in like an invisible fog, draping over every thought, compounding until the internal agony becomes unbearable.Haley Harrison built a facade to mask its clutches, swallowing the mental torment to avoid any appearance of weakness. A...

    The darkness rolls in like an invisible fog, draping over every thought, compounding until the internal agony becomes unbearable.

    Haley Harrison built a facade to mask its clutches, swallowing the mental torment to avoid any appearance of weakness. A senior softball player at Idaho State, she had been taught all her life to be mentally strong, to tamp down vulnerabilities.

    Three times the darkness — and the weight of trying to suppress it — overwhelmed Harrison. Her exhausted mind saw no way out except through the bottom of a pill bottle.

    With Harrison's third suicide attempt came an escape route.

    She got a proper diagnosis, not just the "you're depressed" she heard so many times. She received the help, the medication she needed to avoid following the path her brother took more than a decade ago.

    The dark thoughts are still there. At least now Harrison can recognize when the mental illness tries to take over, find ways to fend it off.

    "It's not that I don't have those thoughts anymore, but I tell myself it's going to be OK; even though this is happening, it's going to be OK," she said. "Maybe it won't be better tomorrow or the next day, but eventually it's going to get better and I'm going to have better thoughts in my head."

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the suicide rate for college students is 7.5 suicides per 100,000 students.

    The student-athlete suicide rate is lower, 0.93 per 100,000.

    The numbers transpose when it comes to asking for help.

    A survey conducted by University of Michigan School of Public Health associate professor Daniel Eisenberg showed 33% of students experienced significant symptoms of depression, anxiety or other mental health issues. Of those, 30% sought help.

    College athletes? Only 10%.

    Acknowledging or even recognizing mental-health issues is tough for anyone.

    For athletes, it's a stigma, goes against everything ingrained by coaches and parents since they were young.

    Weakness limits your ability to succeed. Weakness will be exploited by opponents. Weakness lets your teammates down.

    The darkness inside becomes a weakness to quash, the pressure inside building like an overfilled water balloon.

    "We don't teach people how to properly express and cope with our emotions, so they're naturally going to bury them inside," said Dr. Hillary Cauthen, a certified mental performance consultant and Association for Applied Sport Psychology E-Board member. "Then it gets confusing and it's kind of like a hydraulic process; You're shaking up a soda bottle, eventually it's just going to release it."

    A 9-year-old Haley didn't understand the role of a coroner when she saw the car parked outside her house.

    It was a Saturday morning. Her father, Randy, just brought home McDonald's and Haley was getting ready for a softball game.

    The coroner arrived to tell the Harrisons that Allan, their 20-year-old son, had died by suicide, turning their world upside down.

    “I didn’t even know what suicide was then,” Haley said. “I just saw my parents just breakdown, crying. I said, ‘Mom and dad, what’s going on?’ All they could explain to me was that my brother wasn’t going to be around anymore.”

    Harrison's first glimpse into the darkness, even if she didn't immediately understand it, cast a shadow on the rest of her life.

    Suicide survivors often feel a sense of guilt and responsibility. They can have a wide range of emotions, from intense anger and resentment to shame and worthlessness.

    Anxiety and depression can become overwhelming.

    "It had a huge impact on her and all of us, still to this day, not knowing why," Haley's mother, Cheryl, said. "It's a nobody-talks-about-it type thing, so it probably internalized even more for her. He was very close to his little sister and I'm sure it was very traumatic."

    Haley's first suicide attempt came at 14. She showed signs of depression and had mood swings, but the full grip of mental illness often stays hidden in the corners of the mind.

    Haley spent a week at a mental institution, underwent endless tests. She was diagnosed as depressed, fed a slew of antidepressants.

    Haley hated the way the meds made her feel and she stopped taking them, returning to the veneer of OK on the outside, mentally churning inside.

    Even after becoming a Division I athlete at Utah Valley University to fulfill a lifelong dream, her mind began spiraling again.

    Haley reached out to the team doctor and was prescribed more antidepressants, against her best wishes.

    She became ill, lost 20 pounds. Feeling bullied by teammates or not getting much support, Haley attempted suicide a second time.

    "I just felt so isolated and no one was helping me, no one wanted to help me," Haley said. "The stigma behind mental health, people just don't know how to act. They don't know how to help a lot of the time."

    The stigma has loosened in recent years as more athletes have gone public.

    Olympic swimmer Mark Phelps recently revealed his fight against depression and thoughts of suicide after his second drunken-driving arrest. He also partnered with Talkspace, which provides online therapy.

    NBA All-Star Kevin Love wrote a first-person piece in the Players' Tribune last year describing his battles with anxiety and depression, including the panic attack he suffered at halftime of a game in 2017.

    NFL receiver Brandon Marshall took a similar tact, detailing his mental-health struggles and 2011 diagnosis of borderline personality disorder in the Players' Tribune.

    Haley made the difficult and courageous decision to share her mental-health struggles after her third suicide attempt, posting a story on the Idaho State athletics website that took her months to get the words and the message just right.

    "For athletes to share the experience of mental illness, it makes people realize, I'm not alone in this struggle," Dr. Cauthen said. "It helps normalize situations like this at a whole new level."

    Following her second suicide attempt, Haley had another hospital stint, withdrew from Utah Valley.

    Her softball career was over.

    Or so she thought.


    (Bart Young | AP file photo) Idaho State's Haley Harrison throws the ball during an NCAA softball game in Greeley, Colo., on April 5, 2019. Harrison was taught all her life to be mentally strong, never show any weakness. It helped the Idaho State senior on the softball field, but wreaked havoc on her mind as she struggled with mental illness. (Bart Young/)

    Idaho State coach Candi Letts recruited Haley out of her Las Vegas-area high school and learned from a former coach she had left Utah Valley.

    Haley's softball career, resurrected.

    The darkness, still lurking.

    Within a month of arriving in Pocatello, the self-destructive thoughts started circling Haley's mind again. With her parents back in Henderson, Nevada, and the team about to start practice, Haley attempted suicide for a third time.

    Letts intervened.

    In the short time she coached Haley, Letts noticed signs of depression; the highs and lows, the personality changes.

    So when Haley didn't show up for practice, Letts didn't treat it is just another player missing practice. She raced over to Haley's apartment.

    "Her little friend, her puppy, was at the door but not really happy to see me," Letts said. "I saw Haley was not in a good situation. I made her come to practice with me, got her going, made sure she would not do anything to really hurt herself even though she had taken some pills she probably shouldn't have taken."

    Haley was given an ultimatum. If she wanted to continue playing, she would have to go home and get a proper diagnosis.

    She did. After another week in a mental health facility, she finally got the answer she had needed for the better part of a decade: bipolar 2 disorder and borderline personality disorder.

    The diagnosis, the proper medication, the support at Idaho State and home, has Haley on a good mental plane.

    The internal struggle is still there, likely will be the rest of her life. Haley now has the means to stave it off — or at least ask for help when she needs it.

    "I don't feel like I have to hide it because the people that I am surrounded by, they understand what I'm going through," she said. "I just feel comfortable being myself and they know what's going on in my head and are there to support me."

    Haley, now 23, has gone two years without a suicide attempt. She's in the Idaho State master's program for athletic administration and may pursue a career in sports information.

    She will continue to fight the darkness every day.

    Online: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org

    Nick Besler’s game may not be flashy, but it’s exactly how Real Salt Lake benefits when he plays


    Herriman • In his final start of the 2018 season, Nick Besler scored his first goal of his Major League Soccer career in exciting fashion as he slid into a cross from then-rookie Corey Baird and finished.In his most recent start of this season, Besler...

    Herriman • In his final start of the 2018 season, Nick Besler scored his first goal of his Major League Soccer career in exciting fashion as he slid into a cross from then-rookie Corey Baird and finished.

    In his most recent start of this season, Besler was at it again, this time with a pinpoint pass from well beyond the midfield line, also to Baird, who put away the goal.

    But while those two plays displayed some of what the Real Salt Lake midfielder is capable of, they’re about as showboaty as Besler gets. Normally, he likes to fly under the radar, even while replacing captain Kyle Beckerman in the starting lineup the past two games while Beckerman works to return from a hamstring injury.

    “I keep it pretty simple,” Besler told The Salt Lake Tribune this week. “I'm not going to do anything crazy, anything that will really turn heads.”

    That’s the job of someone at the center midfield position in the first place: a player who can defend when needed and be a release valve for attackers when no options exist. So it may come as a bit of a surprise when looking at RSL’s record when Besler steps onto the field either as a starter or reserve.

    Salt Lake is 15-8-6 since the beginning of last season when Besler plays, which adds up to 51 points. It’s similar to the role Sunday “Sunny” Stephen filled for the team last year in which his impact was obvious internally, but not so much externally.

    “Sometimes it’s a boring job,” Petke said. “Sometimes it’s a selfless job that doesn’t really get noticed.”

    But that style of play has always been in the cards for Besler. He admits he was never the strongest or fastest player among his peers. He may not even be the most talented soccer player in his family. His older brother Matt is a staple in the starting lineup for Sporting Kansas City.

    Besler said his brother gave him a good example as to what hard work can help someone accomplish. It also helped him realize he too could go pro in soccer.

    “When he became a professional athlete, it did kind of open my eyes a little bit more to the possibility of that becoming— [it’s] kind of cliche — but a dream come true,” Besler said.

    The start of Besler’s career, however, was rocky. The Portland Timbers drafted him fifth overall in 2015 to their first team, but he never made an appearance. Instead, he played two seasons with Timbers II, the organization’s United Soccer League side.

    While Besler said his time in Portland was not a complete waste, it was the most difficult stretch of his career. At times, he questioned whether he was good enough to play professional soccer. But he tapped into his self-belief to get through it, he said, and ended up in a better situation with the Real Monarchs in 2017.

    “I think spending two years there ... gave me a little bit of hunger because I wanted to play because I knew I wasn't getting a shot there,” Besler said of his time in Portland. “So when I did come to the Monarchs, I put a lot into that offseason because I knew I would be getting a good, fresh look from a different team and a different set of eyes. And I made the most of it.”

    Besler’s play with the Monarchs earned him an RSL contract in August that year, leading to his current role with the first team. Sebastian Saucedo admires Besler for his ability to push through during times which he doesn’t get much playing time. That, he says, is sign of character.

    “Some players give up and start thinking ‘I need to get out of here’ or get out of anywhere and some players stick to the plan and think, 'You know what, there’s going to be injuries’ — like there is now — and be able to stick through that,” Saucedo said. “So it’s just on the mentality that he’s had and he’s been great. He’s taken advantage. … He’s done a phenomenal job now playing in the midfield.”

    Besler said former and current teammates like David Horst, Nedum Onuoha and Damir Kreilach have helped him build confidence and taught him how to be a good professional. He and Onuoha get along well, he said, and Onuoha has helped him realize not to put too much pressure on himself over how he plays.

    Besler, who has also spent time at center back in his time with RSL, said no matter the position, he just wants to find a way to get on the field and contribute. His goal for the rest of this season and next, he said is to become a starter for RSL.

    So far, in his second full season with Salt Lake’s first team, he seems well on his way to achieving that.

    Utah police will be looking for drunk drivers this weekend. Here’s where.


    A DUI checkpoint will be set up Friday night through Saturday morning in Taylorsville, according to a legal notice from the Unified Police Department.The checkpoint will be set up at 5900 S. Bangerter Highway (southbound) from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., the...

    A DUI checkpoint will be set up Friday night through Saturday morning in Taylorsville, according to a legal notice from the Unified Police Department.

    The checkpoint will be set up at 5900 S. Bangerter Highway (southbound) from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., the notice states. “UPD hopes Utah drivers will makes safe, alternative plans to prevent impaired driving."

    State law requires DUI checkpoints be published in advance.

    Utah has the nation’s lowest drunken driving limit. On Dec. 30, 2018, a new law took hold lowering the state’s blood alcohol content (BAC) standard — used to determine when drivers are considered legally drunk — from 0.08 to 0.05 percent.

    Utah Democratic lawmaker Patrice Arent discloses cancer diagnosis, treatment


    Millcreek Democrat Rep. Patrice Arent, a five-term member of the Utah House and founder of the chamber’s Clean Air Caucus, is being treated for cancer, according to a Friday post on the lawmaker’s Facebook page.Arent wrote that she has been living...

    Millcreek Democrat Rep. Patrice Arent, a five-term member of the Utah House and founder of the chamber’s Clean Air Caucus, is being treated for cancer, according to a Friday post on the lawmaker’s Facebook page.

    Arent wrote that she has been living with multiple myeloma — a cancer that affects a person’s plasma cells — for 21 months but that the condition was detected early and that she is receiving treatment from Utah’s Huntsman Cancer Institute.

    “With innovative new therapies, my disease is quite manageable,” Arent wrote. “And while every person’s response to treatment is different, my experience has been very positive.”

    Arent wrote that she plans to continue working on behalf of her constituents in the state Legislature. The diagnosis did not prevent her participation in the most recent legislative session, during which Arent advocated for a record $28 million on various air quality initiatives, and personally sponsored legislation related to vehicle idling and emissions testing.

    A spokesman for the House Democratic Caucus said Arent would not be commenting beyond her written statement in the immediate term. Arent wrote that she is optimistic for the future and grateful for the support of “so many wonderful people in our community."

    “I know this support will help sustain me and my family as we navigate this unexpected development in our lives,” she wrote. “I will provide updates as my journey continues.”

    Salt Lake City police release bodycam of shoplifting suspect who died after being subdued by others in a hardware store


    Salt Lake City police handcuffed an unconscious shoplifting suspect, then spent 2 1/2 minutes performing CPR before paramedics took over, newly released body camera footage shows.The video, released by police Friday, captured the minutes after Mischa...

    Salt Lake City police handcuffed an unconscious shoplifting suspect, then spent 2 1/2 minutes performing CPR before paramedics took over, newly released body camera footage shows.

    The video, released by police Friday, captured the minutes after Mischa Ryan Cox, 30, was tackled by employees and customers of the Ace Hardware at 612 E. 400 South in Salt Lake City on May 2. Cox was hospitalized, and his death was announced by police five days later.

    According to Capt. Jeff Kendrick, police responded to a 911 call and officers arrived 8 minutes later, finding Cox unconscious on the asphalt of the parking lot. Police later reported that Cox was confronted by store employees, and tackled and detained by employees and customers.

    Police have said no officers used force on Cox, and the body camera footage seems to support that.

    The three videos released by police show an officer placing handcuffs on the unconscious Cox, then calling in to dispatchers to say the man was not breathing and had no pulse. Another officer begins CPR, as the first officer puts on latex gloves and then takes over. The second officer goes back to his patrol car, applies hand sanitizer and puts on his gloves, ready to assume CPR duties.

    Emergency medical technicians arrive and take over about 2 1/2 minutes after CPR began. Kendrick said the handcuffs were removed when the EMTs started their work. Cox was transported to a hospital, and later died. Police have not announced a cause of death.

    Because police placed handcuffs on Cox, the case is considered an “officer-involved critical incident” — the third Salt Lake City police have dealt with this year. Protocol for such incidents requires another police agency take over the investigation, and Unified Police are investigating Cox’s death. UPD will submit its findings to Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill.

    Kendrick said Cox had a limited criminal history that included driving under the influence, possession of marijuana and criminal trespass.

    Police did not show any footage to reporters at a news conference Friday, and Kendrick cited department policy against showing medical treatment or death images. But the videos were handed over to reporters. Because of the graphic nature of the footage, The Salt Lake Tribune has opted not to post it online.

    Memorial pays tribute to 25 fallen Salt Lake City policemen who ‘served with integrity and character’

    Memorial pays tribute to 25 fallen Salt Lake City policemen who ‘served with integrity and character’


    Percy L. Clark carried badge No. 132 for the Salt Lake City Police Department for 21 years, and carried a single-action Colt revolver that earned him the moniker “Dirty Harry,” above his established nickname, “Perc.”“My dad was one hell of a...

    Percy L. Clark carried badge No. 132 for the Salt Lake City Police Department for 21 years, and carried a single-action Colt revolver that earned him the moniker “Dirty Harry,” above his established nickname, “Perc.”

    “My dad was one hell of a guy,” Clark’s daughter, Kathy Koester, said Thursday.

    Koester was one of dozens of family members, police officers and municipal officials gathered at Salt Lake City police headquarters to honor Clark and 24 other members of the department who died because of their work.

    The annual Fallen Officer Memorial Service included a bugler playing taps, a piper performing “Amazing Grace,” and the Salt Lake City police SWAT team giving a 21-volley salute, sending three sharp claps of rifle fire into the gray and windy afternoon.

    “When danger is at hand and shots ring out, our officers run into danger while others flee,” said police Chief Mike Brown, at the memorial to his department’s fallen officers that has become an annual tradition.

    Clark was killed Jan. 11, 1973, shot in the head by one of two men robbing a pharmacy in The Avenues district, where a restaurant now stands. Other officers returned fire and killed the assailant; the other robber surrendered.

    Koester, who was 18 when Clark was killed, told the assembled officers and family members that her family “lived at the old police range behind the Capitol.” Clark was a champion marksman and excelled in preloading his fellow officers’ ammunition, she said. “His friends would try his loads, and some were very hot,” Koester said.

    Law enforcement was a family business for the Clarks. Percy Clark’s father, Harold, served 41 years with Salt Lake City police, Koester said. Her brother, Kelly, served for a decade in Billings, Mont., and her son, Lynn, is an officer in St. George.

    “These officers served with integrity and character," Brown said. "Their lives are woven into the fabric of our department, through blood, sweat and tears. … And to the families and friends of these fallen officers, we commit to remember them and we promise we will never forget them.”

    Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski said the memorial “gives us the opportunity to reflect on the courage and dedication that runs through every member of this excellent police department, and their families.”

    In Thursday’s memorial, officers read brief biographies of the 25 fallen lawmen and descriptions of how they died.

    The oldest was William Cooke, a night jailer who on Oct. 13, 1858, refused to comply when three men came to get a friend out of the Salt Lake City jail on 100 South. One of the men shot Cooke in the leg, and he died five days later from the wound. The shooter was later gunned down in Wyoming.

    The officer most recently added to the list is Detective James W. Cawley, who was killed in Iraq on March 29, 2003, while serving as a Marine reservist.

    Statewide, 145 Utah law officers have died on duty, dating back to 1853, according to the Utah Law Enforcement Memorial’s website. In the last year, three names have been added to the state’s memorial, west of the Utah State Capitol:

    • Assistant Chief Dennis Vincent of the Brigham City police, who suffered an aneurysm and stroke while taking his annual physical fitness test, on Oct. 26.

    • Officer David Romrell of the South Salt Lake City police, who was hit by a car driven by two men fleeing a burglary, on Nov. 24.

    • Officer Joseph Shinners of the Provo police, who was shot during the arrest of a fugitive, on Jan. 5.

    Utah leaders sign off on ‘sweet deal,’ approve spending $56M to buy American Express buildings for state offices

    Utah leaders sign off on ‘sweet deal,’ approve spending $56M to buy American Express buildings for state offices


    The wheels of government may move slowly — but not on Tuesday.Utah legislative leaders voted after just a few minutes of discussion to spend $56 million to buy and renovate the American Express buildings and property at 4315 S. 2700 West for use as a...

    The wheels of government may move slowly — but not on Tuesday.

    Utah legislative leaders voted after just a few minutes of discussion to spend $56 million to buy and renovate the American Express buildings and property at 4315 S. 2700 West for use as a new state office complex that will eventually house about 1,500 employees.

    The Executive Appropriations Committee moved quickly to unanimously endorse the purchase after Jim Russell, director of the state’s Division of Facilities Construction and Management, told members that they had to act fast to meet a due diligence deadline Wednesday.

    “This is one sweet deal,” gushed Sen. Karen Mayne, a West Valley City Democrat whose district encompasses the Taylorsville property.

    “Wow, this is really a great deal for the state,” echoed Sen. Jerry Stevenson, R-Layton and Senate chairman of the committee.

    The purchase price for two buildings with a total of 400,000 square feet on 31 acres is $30 million. Design and renovation costs will add another $26 million, Russell said.

    The deal, he added, was “far and away the lowest cost option” for the state, which has been looking to buy or build new office space to relocate the Department of Agriculture and Food, now located at 350 N. Redwood Road, and the Department of Technology Services, in the old State Office Building on Capitol Hill. He said cost estimates for a new office space of the size needed were coming in at about $120 million.

    The $56 million expenditure approved Tuesday comes out of $110 million set aside during the recent legislative session to rebuild the old State Office Building. That reconstruction is still planned, with a tentative completion date of 2023 that could be pushed back, depending on funding available and the economy at the time.


    (Dan Harrie | The Salt Lake Tribune) The state of Utah is buying the American Express property in Taylorsville, 4015 So. 2700 W., to relocate hundreds of state employees. The purchase deal for $30 million — approved Tuesday, May, 14, 2019 — is for two buildings on 31 acres. The state will spend another $26 million for renovations.

    Fortunate timing played into the purchase deal. American Express, which has been at its current location for more than 35 years, currently occupies only about a third of its leased office space and is planning to move to a smaller building in Sandy. The property owner, American Capital Healthcare Trust II, of Charlotte, N.C., already had sold its Taylorsville property but the sale fell through, Russell said. The state quickly submitted an offer, which was accepted and needed legislative signoff.

    American Express will continue to lease space in the Taylorsville location through March at a cost of about $200,000 month.

    State employees will start moving in within the next few months, with a goal of having about 400 now working on Capitol Hill relocated by the time the next legislative session begins in January to improve public access to parking.

    Purchase of the Taylorsville property, located just north of the Calvin L. Rampton Complex, housing the Department of Public Safety and Department of Transportation, will allow the state to “start to create a government center,” Russell said. For one thing, the acquisition creates a state land bank because it doesn’t need a big swath of the 31 acres that are part of the deal.

    The purchase was approved with almost no questions from the assembled lawmakers on the committee. Stevenson noted the lack of comments or queries, saying, “Everyone is still trying to figure out how this is too good to be true.”

    Catherine Rampell: Can corporations save us from the attack on reproductive rights?

    Catherine Rampell: Can corporations save us from the attack on reproductive rights?


    Video: The Alabama state Senate passed the country’s most restrictive abortion legislation May 14 that could set a precedent for other legislative bodies. (Blair Guild/The Washington Post)When our political system fails us, when our electoral system...

    Video: The Alabama state Senate passed the country’s most restrictive abortion legislation May 14 that could set a precedent for other legislative bodies. (Blair Guild/The Washington Post)


    When our political system fails us, when our electoral system fails us and when even our judicial system fails us, can corporate America serve as our final firewall against terrible state policies designed to rob women of their reproductive autonomy?

    That is not a reassuring question to have to consider.

    This year, more than a dozen states have worked to ban abortion about six weeks after conception, before many women even realize they're pregnant. In a handful of states, the bills have already been signed into law. Combined, they place draconian new limits on women's control over their bodies, limits that appear to contravene Roe v. Wade, as well as Americans' own mixed views on abortion rights.

    Georgia’s new law, for instance, may interact with other statutes already on the books to criminalize leaving the state or even helping someone leave the state for an abortion. Depending on how the law is interpreted, women who miscarry might be interrogated or even prosecuted.

    Missouri banned abortion at eight weeks, with no exceptions for rape or incest -- exceptions favored even by 57 percent of Americans who self-identify as "pro-life," according to Gallup. Doctors who violate the law would face up to 15 years in prison.

    Alabama's governor has signed a law that bans nearly all abortions, also with no exclusions for rape or incest; it threatens doctors who perform abortions with up to 99 years in prison. A doctor in Alabama who helps end the pregnancy of a raped 13-year-old could therefore be subject to a harsher prison sentence than the person who committed the rape.

    Such legislation presents a terrifying situation for women who miscarry or otherwise have complicated pregnancies; for women and girls who are victims of sexual assault; or for women who simply wish to control their own reproductive health choices.

    But such legislation also presents a problem for companies in these states.

    There are, after all, lots of big firms headquartered in places such as Atlanta, Columbus, St. Louis and Birmingham. Many have worked hard to recruit and retain talent, including young female talent.

    What kind of sales pitch is it to say: Come join Coca-Cola in sunny Atlanta -- where if you have a miscarriage, you might be questioned by police!

    Or: Please manage an auto plant in friendly Alabama, where if your 12-year-old daughter is raped, she will be forced to give birth to her rapist's child!

    Or: Sign on to the Macy's management team in Cincinnati, where if you have an ectopic pregnancy, our health insurance may be legally barred from covering the medical treatment needed to save your life!

    All the pink ribbons and paid leave and Lean-In circles in the world may not be enough to recruit women to states where they have to check their reproductive autonomy at the border.

    To be sure, larger companies and industry groups may be loath to take a public position on a polarizing issue that could alienate some customers. In fact, I contacted a half-dozen multinational companies headquartered in states that recently passed anti-abortion legislation to ask whether they worry that the new laws might affect their ability to recruit talent. Only one (Delta Air Lines, based in Atlanta) responded, to say no comment.

    So far, just a smattering of small film production companies have announced an outright boycott; in response to anti-abortion legislation in Georgia (which offers generous film tax credits), they said such legislation is both morally objectionable and threatens the rights of crew members. The Motion Picture Association of America has been cagey about its own position, suggesting in a statement that it may not be worth worrying about a law that could get stalled in the courts.

    But incentives may change, particularly if the courts allow these laws to stand -- and employees begin to realize how intrusive they truly are. Recall that we've already seen companies cancel corporate conventions, sports and entertainment events, relocations, expansions and other investments over other social issues, such as North Carolina's so-called bathroom bill and Indiana's anti-gay "religious freedom" law.

    Presumably, most of these boycotts or canceled investments happened not because the companies have much of a moral compass. It's because they realized -- given the preferences of their employees and customers -- that spending dollars in these places would be bad for business. Rattled by the corporate defections, politicians ultimately rolled back or amended their inflammatory laws.

    Counting on cynical, amoral, profit-maximizing private firms to serve as the last bulwark for women's rights certainly seems risky. But given the makeup of the Supreme Court, we may not have much of a choice.


    Catherine Rampell

    Catherine Rampell’s email address is crampell@washpost.com. Follow her on Twitter, @crampell.

    Lehi Boy Scout builds trail to give kids easier access to school

    Lehi Boy Scout builds trail to give kids easier access to school


    Lehi, Utah (AP) • At 15 years old, Ethan Blood’s Boy Scout sash sports an impressive number of badges, indicating his achievement with skills like cooking, camping, life-saving techniques and more. Earning all of those badges required time and...

    Lehi, Utah (AP) • At 15 years old, Ethan Blood’s Boy Scout sash sports an impressive number of badges, indicating his achievement with skills like cooking, camping, life-saving techniques and more. Earning all of those badges required time and dedicated effort — but Ethan has taken on more than ever before with his Eagle Scout project.

    At first, Ethan thought he would raise a flag pole as a meaningful patriotic gesture. But then, his local church leader, who happens to be Dan Reeves with Perry Homes, offered up another idea: make a trail that would connect a subdivision in Traverse Mountain, Lehi, to the Ignite Entrepreneurship Academy.

    Ignite Entrepreneurship Academy, located at 1650 W. Traverse Terrace Dr., is only accessible to kids in nearby neighborhoods who walk or whose parents drive them a mile and a half around to the school entrance. The other option is scaling a 50-foot cliff.

    Although Ethan doesn't attend Ignite Academy himself — he attends Skyridge High School — he has three younger siblings who do. He takes pride in knowing his siblings can use the 450-foot trail to get to school safely once it's completed.

    "I know that ... they're not going to have to go up and down a cliff, they can use a safe trail to get up and down and not get hurt," he said.

    Of course, Ethan couldn't do all this on his own. Beginning last fall, he reached out to various local companies to get materials, tools and labor donated to the project. One of the first important donations of time came from Focus Engineering and Surveying, which supplied seven personnel to survey the proposed trail site, Ethan said. Geneva Rock donated 120 tons of road base to make the trail, and Hadco Construction donated all the heavy equipment, along with the people to operate it.

    Several other local companies donated funds for the trail, as well as funds for a bronze plaque Ethan plans to have affixed at the trail head commemorating everyone who donated.

    Representatives from both Hadco Construction and Geneva Rock said they get a lot of requests to help out on various projects, but this one stood out to them as particularly special and worthwhile, because they have close ties to the community.

    "We actually worked on the Ignite school," Dixon Downs, Hadco Construction operations manager, said. "We had already been doing other work in the area and it's just good to give back and to help the people that we are passing by every day."

    Both Downs and Dave Kallas from Geneva Rock said often the hardest thing is to turn down requests for donations and volunteers.

    "We have to pick and choose," Kallas said. "But Ethan was real impressive and he was real ambitious in what he wanted to do and very convincing."

    Ethan's dad, Garrett Blood, is also proud of and impressed with his son. He said many Eagle Scout projects, while important to the community, end up being simple and easy to do.

    "(Ethan's project) required a lot of work and planning and organization on his part to make it happen and come together, and it's something that's going to last decades," Blood said.

    And, Blood added, the area is only going to continue to improve — the large dirt area between the trail and the academy is the site of a future park. Even more exciting, however, is the news that Ethan's project is going to be submitted to a competition for the top Eagle Scout projects in the country.

    "We found out that just the other day," Blood said. "That's not what (Ethan) was going for at all."

    The trail is set to be completed at the end of the week, and a large group of volunteers came out Wednesday to help with the small details, led by Ethan.

    “It’s crazy what happened, what we did,” Ethan said. "It was like nothing there, and then now it’s a full-on trail and it’s going to help kids get to school safely.


    Commentary: A mosque was intentionally set on fire in the U.S. Why didn’t anyone hear about it?


    Less than a month after the inauguration of President Donald Trump and just a few hours after the first Muslim ban was issued, a mosque in Victoria, Texas, was set on fire - to be followed by several mosque arsons over the ensuing years. The media barely...

    Less than a month after the inauguration of President Donald Trump and just a few hours after the first Muslim ban was issued, a mosque in Victoria, Texas, was set on fire - to be followed by several mosque arsons over the ensuing years. The media barely covered it, but the entire community in Victoria felt it. Members of a neighboring Jewish congregation walked into the home of one of the co-founders of the mosque and handed him the keys to their synagogue to serve as a temporary place of prayer. Four Christian churches followed, also offering their space. But the events received only minimal coverage in major media.

    Then again, most mosque arsons go almost completely ignored. On Sunday, just a week into the holy month of Ramadan, the Diyanet Mosque of New Haven, Connecticut, was devastated by a two-alarm blaze. While the president of the mosque was immediately contacted by churches in meaningful solidarity that offered their facilities as temporary replacements, it is hard to find any significant coverage of the fire in large media outlets.

    Certainly, there are news stories; you can find them if you use the right search terms. But these events have not received the kind of general, sustained, human coverage that is often accorded to other acts of terrorism. By no means is this sort of disparate reporting limited to attacks on Muslims. Compare the coverage of the intentional burning of three black churches in Louisiana with the accidental fire that claimed much of the historic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. And consider how much more you heard about Notre Dame than about the terrorist attacks against churches and tourist hotels six days later - on Easter - in Sri Lanka, though those attacks cost some 250 lives.

    But when it comes to mosques, it's hard to ignore the overall climate of Islamophobia and how it might contribute to these attacks and the lack of coverage after them. Muslims are overreported as terrorists, yet underreported as victims of terror.

    According to researchers at Georgia State University and the University of Alabama, terrorist attacks by Muslims receive an average of 357 percent more media coverage than those by other groups. And their places of worship are even more meaningless than their lives.

    Thankfully, mosque arsons in the United States have not resulted in deaths, but they've certainly taken some life out of large vibrant communities. And they have created a climate of fear: In August 2017, the imam's office in a mosque in Minnesota was firebombed during the morning prayers. The imam and more than a dozen congregants were in the prayer hall, which was spared. But surveillance videos of the hall outside the imam's office show the fear of young Muslims who know how vulnerable their lives and places of worship have become.

    Since March, when a terrorist live-streamed attacks on mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, to be witnessed by their brethren across the world, Muslims have been on high alert. Many mosques have increased security, but breaches have left many Muslims extraordinarily fearful. Shortly after the start of Ramadan this month, video of a suspicious man entering a well-guarded mosque in Canton, Michigan, posing as a woman and wearing a face veil, was only sparsely reported in local media outlets, but they have made their way through almost every Muslim community email group in the country. Similarly, viral images of the fire the next day at the New Haven mosque have struck the nationwide Muslim community hard.

    During Ramadan, families go together for nightly congregational prayers, which fosters a deeper sense of community from seeing one another day after day, night after night. People socialize and strengthen the bonds of existing friendships and form new friendships. Our mosques are more alive in this holy month than they are the other 11 months combined. So, when a fire like the one in New Haven destroys the physical space in which those highly spiritual and personal bonds are developed, it is traumatic.

    While the tepid media coverage of attacks on mosques seems to be tied to a lack of sensitivity to Islamophobia - as opposed to other forms of bigotry - our communities have now become particularly aware of a new reality in which security and solidarity are a constant part of our American Muslim story.

    Omar Suleiman, an imam, is the founder and president of the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research and an Islamic studies professor at Southern Methodist University.

    Hugh Hewitt: What the Trump White House understands about Iran


    President Barack Obama’s fruitless effort to lure Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei into changing the behavior of his rogue regime never had a chance because it began from the premise that appeasement works. It never does.Appeasement didn't work with the...

    President Barack Obama’s fruitless effort to lure Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei into changing the behavior of his rogue regime never had a chance because it began from the premise that appeasement works. It never does.

    Appeasement didn't work with the Iran nuclear deal, just as it failed in the "reset" with Russia earlier in the Obama administration, and just as it failed with the 1994 North Korea-U.S. "deal," which Pyongyang had probably violated with its secret uranium enrichment sites even as it put pen and ink to paper. Now Iran is following through on its promise to again unleash its proxies against America and its allies. Almost a year ago - long before the White House designated the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as a "terrorist organization" - Iran made its strategy public: "On August 6, 2018, the Iranian news agency Fars published statements by Gen. Naser Sha'bani, a top official of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), in which he noted that the regime of the Islamic Revolution had ordered the pro-Iran Ansar Allah (Houthi) militia in Yemen to attack two Saudi tankers, and that it had carried out those orders."

    The Trump administration abandoned the appeasement policies of Obama, who fell into the trap of hoping to be a geopolitical strategist who could flip a long-running script, like Richard Nixon and China. But Mao Zedong was at the end of his life and his country crippled by a failed Cultural Revolution and threatened on its northern border by an immense Soviet army. Obama ignored the fundamental realities of the words and deeds of Iranian religious, political and military leaders. There is no fundamental change afoot in Tehran.

    The disaster of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal in effect recapitalized the IRGC's expeditionary forces in Syria and its proxy war against Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and now has led to attacks on Persian Gulf shipping in an ominous replay of events that led up to the culminating battle of the "tanker war," won decisively during Ronald Reagan's administration in April 1988 when U.S. forces in the region quickly destroyed a significant portion of the Iranian navy in Operation Praying Mantis.

    We appear to be close to a replay of that collision, but most U.S. media outlets are far behind the news curve and many pundits are generally attempting to pigeonhole their limited coverage of this escalating crisis into their long-running opposition to national security adviser John Bolton, whose clarity and intelligence have long cowed his opponents inside the Beltway. Media accounts that portray this gathering storm as a bureaucratic war between the insiders at the Pentagon and those at the National Security Council are blindly reading from an old script and ignoring an even older one.

    Bolton has an able partner in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Both are advising President Donald Trump in the same fashion; both believe and have publicly argued that Iran was, is and will remain a rogue regime as long as theocrats bent on the destruction of Israel and the triumph of its Shiite ideology over Sunni Islam remain in power. Trump is no fan of long-term "nation building" projects that are often lazily grouped under the head of "neoconservatism," but the president is very much a proponent of hitting bad actors hard when they cross lines, as he has done twice with Syrian President Bashar Assad's genocidal regime.

    The JCPOA is dead. The Obama dream was always that: a dream. The IRGC and Khamenei have not changed a bit but have only been emboldened and their coffers replenished by the collective face plant that was the Iran nuclear deal. A lot of American commentators and journalists fell hard for that now-dashed hope, and swooned for the pronouncements of the would-be Metternichs of the Obama era. Now realism has returned to the national security establishment. It would be useful if the media caught up and stopped trying to fit this conflict into its long-held "Obama good, Trump bad" narrative. The stakes are too high.

    If the Iranians provoke a second Praying Mantis, it will surprise a lot of Americans who trust the news to keep the country prepared for developments abroad. The temptations of impeachment and Trump-bashing have overwhelmed institutional commitments to national security reporting. Editors and producers need to look back at Iran’s actions in the past 40 years. This conflict isn’t about Bolton or Pompeo or any other U.S. official. It’s about the mullahs in Tehran. It has been since 1979.

    Letter: Fight Trump’s discourtesy with kindness


    Every single day, President Donald J. Trump finds someone new to attack, vilify, call names, belittle, create hate, threaten or destroy. His hateful negative tweets start our day every single day. It is affecting the morale and mood of the entire world,...

    Every single day, President Donald J. Trump finds someone new to attack, vilify, call names, belittle, create hate, threaten or destroy. His hateful negative tweets start our day every single day. It is affecting the morale and mood of the entire world, especially Americans. Recent studies find that society as a whole is now more discourteous, more critical, unhappier, more unaccepting of each other, and it stems from the “leadership” and daily example of Donald J. Trump.

    I suggest the only thing we can do, at least today, is to retaliate with the opposites: kindness and positive actions. Say hello to a stranger. Help someone in some small way. Smile. Express appreciation. Say thanks. Give praise where it’s deserved. Try not to criticize. Smile some more. These deeds will come back many times over, and if enough of us do it, it will reverse this malaise the world is experiencing. Let’s not let an angry, undisciplined, uncouth, uneducated, uncaring bully and con man set the mood for our lives and the world. Thanks for reading! Great job! Nice smile! Good dog!

    The paradox is that I just attacked, criticized, vilified, belittled and called Trump a name. You can’t win. I am against demonstrators, but don’t know how to show it. (Smile.)

    Cary Hobbs, Midway

    Grumpy Cat, who entertained millions online, dies at age 7


    Morristown, Ariz. • Grumpy Cat, whose sourpuss expression entertained millions on the internet and spawned hundreds of memes, national television commercials and even a movie, died at age 7.Her owners posted on social media that she experienced...

    Morristown, Ariz. • Grumpy Cat, whose sourpuss expression entertained millions on the internet and spawned hundreds of memes, national television commercials and even a movie, died at age 7.

    Her owners posted on social media that she experienced complications from a urinary tract infection. "She passed away peacefully on the morning of Tuesday, May 14, at home in the arms of her mommy, Tabatha," they wrote.

    "Grumpy Cat has helped millions of people smile all around the world — even when times were tough," her owners said.

    The cat's real name was Tardar Sauce and the owners were never sure what her breed was. Her website said her grumpy look was likely because she had a form of feline dwarfism. They said despite her face, she is cuddly and loved to be held and rubbed.

    She rose to fame after her photos were posted on Reddit in 2012. Her owners said it was suggested the photo was a fake, so they posted a few videos to prove otherwise.

    Since then, Grumpy Cat made appearances on "Good Morning America," ''CBS Evening News," even "American Idol" and "The Bachelorette." She's done television commercials for Honey Nut Cheerios and took photos with hundreds of fans at South by Southwest.

    In 2014, Lifetime produced a movie called "Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever." She was voiced by "Parks and Recreation" star Aubrey Plaza.

    Owner Tabatha Bundesen founded Grumpy Cat Ltd. and created a website that included an online shop featuring 884 items, including T-shirts and mugs with the cat's picture.

    The feline's net worth was never disclosed but in 2013, her owners say it was six figures. Last year, online speculation estimated her to be worth in the millions.

    Grumpy Cat had more than 8 million followers on Facebook, 2.5 million on Instagram and more than 1.5 million on Twitter.

    Some days are grumpier than others... pic.twitter.com/ws209VWl97

    — Grumpy Cat (@RealGrumpyCat) May 17, 2019



    Davis County’s Great Salt Lake Bird Festival kicks off with an Owl Prowl

    Davis County’s Great Salt Lake Bird Festival kicks off with an Owl Prowl


    A group of birdwatchers was led on the Owl Prowl on Thursday at Antelope Island State Park by Charity Owens, a park ranger at the park, and Jesse Watson, a research biologist with HawkWatch. Antelope Island is prime habitat for great horned, barn,...

    A group of birdwatchers was led on the Owl Prowl on Thursday at Antelope Island State Park by Charity Owens, a park ranger at the park, and Jesse Watson, a research biologist with HawkWatch. Antelope Island is prime habitat for great horned, barn, burrowing, long-eared and short-eared owls. The Owl Prowl is part of Davis County’s Great Salt Lake Bird Festival that will continue through Sunday. See details at http://bit.ly/BirdDavisFest

    Utah again ranks No. 2 nationally for job creation, while unemployment rate is at low 2.9%


    As Utah’s economy continues to flourish, it again ranked No. 2 among the states for job growth in the yearlong period ending April 30, according to federal data released Friday.The number of jobs in the state grew by 3% in that period, behind only...

    As Utah’s economy continues to flourish, it again ranked No. 2 among the states for job growth in the yearlong period ending April 30, according to federal data released Friday.

    The number of jobs in the state grew by 3% in that period, behind only Nevada’s 3.6% growth, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    “Utah’s combination of strong job growth and markedly low unemployment mirrors the robust economic climate last seen in 2007,” said Mark Knold, senior economist at the Utah Department of Workforce Services.

    He added that it may offer a great gift to students now graduating.

    “Given these conditions," he said, “this is the most favorable Utah job market in 12 years for college and high school graduates to be seeking employment.”

    Utah added 45,600 jobs in the 12-month period ending April 30, according to the new federal data. It said 1.55 million people were employed in the state.

    All 10 of the private sector industry groups in Utah measured by government surveys posted net job increases in April.

    The largest private sector employment increases were in leisure and hospitality (9,000 jobs); trade, transportation and utilities (7,900 jobs); and education and health services (6,900 jobs). The fastest employment growth occurred in information (6.2%); leisure and hospitality (6%); and manufacturing (4.6%).

    Also, new federal data showed that Utah’s unemployment rate in April was 2.9%, well below the national average of 3.6%.

    Vermont had the nation’s lowest unemployment rate at 2.2%, while Alaska had the highest at 6.5%.

    Utah’s unemployment rate is so low that many employers have said it is difficult to find workers.

    For example, this week Bill Wyatt, executive director of the Salt Lake City International Airport, told its advisory board that the $3.6 billion project to rebuild the facility would love to hire more construction workers but simply cannot find them. “I have been struck by how challenging the labor market is.”

    Fire, ice and fate: Endgames arrive for ‘Game of Thrones’

    Fire, ice and fate: Endgames arrive for ‘Game of Thrones’


    Los Angeles • When season eight of “Game of Thrones” began, The Associated Press examined the arcs of the major characters who had survived the bloody series until its final season. With Sunday’s finale of the HBO show looming, here’s an update...

    Los Angeles • When season eight of “Game of Thrones” began, The Associated Press examined the arcs of the major characters who had survived the bloody series until its final season. With Sunday’s finale of the HBO show looming, here’s an update on where those characters stand after an action-packed season of zombie-mobbing, dragon-torching and secret-revealing. Will Daenerys end up ruling the Seven Kingdoms? Jon? Sansa? No one? And how many really want to anymore?

    Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS throughout.

    Daenerys Targaryen

    Is there anything more powerful than the Mother of Dragons aboard her favorite son firebombing the city of King's Landing into oblivion? Maybe the fan backlash. Daenerys went from flawed heroine to heel in the season's penultimate episode. That spawned Twitter outrage, a petition demanding a do-over, and perhaps regret among the hundreds of American parents who, according to the Social Security Administration, named their daughters Daenerys or Khaleesi back when she was breaking chains instead of burning innocents. Many viewers, however, thought it a logical, even inevitable, turn of events. The daughter of the Mad King had just seen her best friend beheaded, her longest-serving retainer killed in battle, and her cherished birthright cast in doubt by the man she loves. Now, having conquered the capital, with a ruthless army still intact and her dragon seemingly unstoppable, she has everything she once wanted, except Westeros' love. Having horrified her closest allies, will she hang on to it all? Fall to the sword of an angry Stark? Can her conscience return as quickly as it left?

    Jon Snow

    Is it possible that after eight seasons, Jon Snow still knows nothing? Even after he rose to become lord commander of the Night's Watch, united enemies to fight the army of the dead, came back from death himself, and learned he's not a bastard but a Targaryen who should be heir to what's left of the Iron Throne, Jon appears to be as confused and aimless as when he began. He refused to force his birthright, yielding power to his queen, aunt and apparent ex-girlfriend Daenerys, and then watched helplessly as she burned King's Landing and most of its inhabitants. Will he find a way to rise once more and fight back against this destroyer version of Dany? Will he use his newfound dragon-riding skills to somehow hijack Drogon into triumph? Such a heroic end would require more of him, but the narrative of the show has never given up on Jon.

    Arya Stark

    Arya could have wandered into the woods and disappeared halfway through the season and she would have retired a legend. She used her years of assassin training to kill the Night King when all seemed lost at the Battle of Winterfell, snatching the savior-of-humanity role from her big brother Jon Snow. She's killed most of those responsible for her mother and brother's slaughter at the Red Wedding. She even lost her virginity on her terms in a moment of mature empowerment rarely afforded to women in this world. (The thousands of parents who named their daughter Arya are feeling just fine.) But her role has become uncertain since. She turned away from her attempt to assassinate Queen Cersei in the last episode, and seemed to have sworn off a life of revenge. But then she became a firsthand witness to Daenerys' atrocities. Is there one last name on her kill list?

    Sansa Stark

    Sansa sat out the last episode, and she chose the right one to miss, staying safely in the flame-free North at her family home. As the show's ultimate survivor — and the character who has grown and learned the most since she started as a prissy princess in waiting — it is easy to imagine her as ruler of an independent Winterfell should the finale play out that way. But the major figures of Dany and Jon still stand above her — and in her way.


    (HBO via AP) This combination photo of images released by HBO shows Sophie Turner portraying Sansa Stark in "Game of Thrones." The final episode of the popular series airs on Sunday.

    Bran Stark

    In the show's first episode, Bran was forced to behold a beheading. Since then, seeing things has become his specialty. He's become desensitized to looking on such horrors, assuming a mystical role as the Three-Eyed Raven, timeless seer of all. He's played a crucial role at various points in the story this season, revealing to his Jon his true identity, luring the Night King for his sister Arya to kill, and dispensing some essential bits of wisdom. But it's hard to imagine him doing anything other than meditating into snowy eternity as the series ends.

    Tyrion Lannister

    Tyrion has become an expert at survival and reinvention, but as Hand of the Queen he has failed miserably this season in trying to rein in Daenerys and steer her toward diplomacy over destruction. He was technically still in Daenerys' service when the last episode ended, and in one of very few images revealed of the finale, he is shown walking through the ruins of the city. He could take one last stab at counseling the seemingly now-mad queen, or maybe use his proximity to her to attempt a literal last stab and sacrifice himself to save the realm.

    Cersei Lannister

    Cersei stayed at the center of the action for the first seven seasons but had nearly nothing to do in the eighth, watching from a window and drinking wine as her fate played out. Part of this was by her own design — she and her army sat out the Battle of Winterfell with hopes her rivals would be so weakened by the army of the dead that she could hang on to her kingdom. Never a leader who inspired loyalty, she tried to use human shields to hang on to her throne. But Daenerys turned out to be just as ruthless, and that meant Cersei's end.

    Jaime Lannister

    Jaime found his redemption this season, then decided he didn’t want it. He defied his twin sister Cersei and fought gallantly with his former enemies the Starks against the army of the dead. He used his own knighthood to bestow knight status on Brienne of Tarth in one of the most tear-jerking moments in the entire series. Then he and Brienne, who always brought out the best in him, became unlikely lovers. But only briefly. In the end, he wanted what he had declared to be his only need all along, the incestuous love of Cersei. The two of them were crushed under the wreckage of the Red Keep as they embraced, leaving the world touching each other, just as they had entered it

    This new Salt Lake City restaurant ‘served my favorite meal’ since moving to Utah

    This new Salt Lake City restaurant ‘served my favorite meal’ since moving to Utah


    SLC Eatery had me at “hachees.”They were beet “hachees,” to be exact. And as it just so happens, I hate beets. At least, I thought I did. I still might. But in SLC Eatery’s small plate preparation ($9), I loved every bite of the chopped root...

    SLC Eatery had me at “hachees.”

    They were beet “hachees,” to be exact. And as it just so happens, I hate beets. At least, I thought I did. I still might. But in SLC Eatery’s small plate preparation ($9), I loved every bite of the chopped root vegetable topped with a crisp, slightly salty, black garlic crumble, fresh herbs, Comte cheese and sweet yet tangy onion whipped cream.

    Divine. That’s one word to describe it — and nearly every dish I sampled there.

    SLC Eatery, 1017 S. Main St., succeeds not only in fusing Asian, French, Latin, Mediterranean and other global cuisines, but also in transforming and elevating everyday ingredients and dishes.

    While the menu reads fine dining, chef Logen Crew said he and co-chef/owner Paul Chamberlain wanted the modern American restaurant to be a comfortable, fun space.

    “[Guests] don’t need to even order off the menu,” Crew said. “They can come in and just get some cart items and hang out for a half-hour.”


    (Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Sasha Panasiuk, left, and David Marquardt dine at SLC Eatery on Friday, May 3, 2019. SLC Eatery's regular menu and the cart offerings include globally inspired flavors of Latin America, the Mediterranean and Asia. (Leah Hogsten/)

    Indeed, with the dim sum cart, a full cocktail, beer, wine and spirits list, and small and large plates menu, it’s really up to diners to decide the type of experience they want. Patrons also will have the option of Saturday and Sunday brunch.

    Whatever you decide, service starts with a complimentary amuse-bouche, prepared while you wait to be seated. On both of my visits, the bite-size hors d’oeuvre included a lightly pickled cucumber in different preparations.

    Besides free food, the most exciting feature might be the rolling cart, with a menu that typically ranges from $3 to $7 per item. Since opening the restaurant, Crew said he and Chamberlain have featured about 360 dishes on the trolley, an amazing but difficult feat. Now, however, they plan to move toward a rotating menu, with items returning on specific days.

    I hope the crab cake ($6) makes the rotation. Packed into a thin, crisp breading, the delicate, sweet crab really shines, especially when paired with the delightfully bright curry sauce. I also enjoyed the sweet, savory and salty Tokyo turnip ($3), soy-forward bulgogi ($6) and lightly spiced chorizo taquito ($5).

    Of all the dishes I tried, the English peas ($4) from the cart were my least favorite. Each component tasted fantastic on its own, particularly the thyme custard foam, but the bowl didn’t really come together.

    As for the small plates, Crew said the calamari ($11) tends to be the most popular. And it’s easy to see why. The grill adds a subtle smokiness to the spicy Tajin-seasoned squid served with crunchy cubes of sour fried rice, a cilantro aioli, jalapeno and various greens.

    Oysters ($3) also are available, shucked by a man named Monson, whose prep station is framed by a large window where people can watch him work.

    Don’t miss the sweet and savory Little Gems ($7), a salad consisting of the small lettuce, dates, croutons, bacon and a Heber Valley white cheddar dressing.

    Given Crew’s recent work at Current Fish and Oyster, it’s not surprising the large plates menu includes several seafood dishes. The trio of scallops ($30), seared to perfection, stole the show. I loved the contrast between the slight char on the crust of the scallop and the sweetness of its meat, as well as the tart yet savory lemon-miso sauce, crispy cassava root fritter and sorrel.

    I also really enjoyed the blue prawn agnolotti ($21), a stuffed handmade pasta served with two heads-on shrimp, shaved mushrooms, bacon consomme and chervil, even though the dish had a little too much Napa cabbage.


    (Photo courtesy of SLC Eatery) Smoked bavette with creamy grits, Brussels sprouts and a black garlic tamarind jus at SLC Eatery.

    Likewise, I found that the betel smoked beef ($32) had far too many shaved Brussels sprouts. With a satsuma and fennel salad, as well as grits and black garlic demi-glace, the entree already has enough flavor and texture. The beautifully tender bavette steak — which is cold smoked for six to eight hours with tobacco-scented betel leaves and hickory chips, cooked sous vide, chilled, then grilled — more than made up for it.

    Save room for dessert. The Nata de Coco ($8) is a joy to eat — from the kiwi, pineapple and almond granita to the tapioca pearls and coconut gelatin. I’d also be happy with a bowl of the crunchy, decadent, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate feuilletine served with the hot chocolate mousse ($7), which also comes with an herbal, somewhat minty Fernet marshmallow and chocolate cake. But the cake — like the miso brown butter pound cake served with the sake poached Asian pear ($8) — was a bit dense, with the former verging on dry.

    Our servers varied from helpful and knowledgeable to inattentive. But the kitchen maintained a nice pace to our meal, and the cart and its crew helped fill any gaps.

    Besides a more consistent cart rotation, Crew said the menu will receive an update ahead of the launch of brunch. So don’t be surprised if one of the dishes above or one of your favorites disappears. But fear not; Crew said with enough notice, he and Chamberlain would be happy to make it again.

    I am really looking forward seeing what Crew and Chamberlain come up with next. Because even with a few minor misfires, SLC Eatery served my favorite meal since moving here two years ago — and it included beets!

    (Try the beets.)

    __________

    SLC Eatery • ★★★1/2 (out of ★★★★) The modern American restaurant fuses global cuisines for elegant, yet accessible offerings for its dim sum cart, and small and large plates menus.

    Food • ★★★1/2

    Mood • ★★★1/2

    Service • ★★★1/2

    Location • 1017 S. Main St., Salt Lake City; 801-355-7952 or www.slceatery.com

    Hours • 5-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 5-9 p.m. Sunday. Starting May 11, brunch from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.

    Entrée Price • $$-$$$

    Children’s Menu • No

    Liquor • Yes

    Reservations • Yes

    Takeout • Yes

    Wheelchair access • Yes

    Outdoor dining • No

    Onsite parking • Street parking only

    Credit cards • All

    Commentary: Inland port will be obsolete before it is halfway done

    Commentary: Inland port will be obsolete before it is halfway done


    On April 24, I rose up with a group of new friends drawn from across the community to oppose the proposed inland port. We transformed the Utah Port Authority Board meeting into a People’s Port meeting, sending a clear message that human and ecosystem...

    On April 24, I rose up with a group of new friends drawn from across the community to oppose the proposed inland port. We transformed the Utah Port Authority Board meeting into a People’s Port meeting, sending a clear message that human and ecosystem needs can’t continue to be sacrificed to make money for the few.

    An asthma attack knocked me to the ground just two hours before the action. I’m as concerned as anyone about the impact of air pollution from the port on vulnerable people like me, and on children whose lungs are still developing. But it troubled me that media coverage of our action focused so much on air pollution, because we wanted to bring attention to a bigger threat from the port: Climate change.

    Port supporters talk about developing the transportation hub over a 25-year period, projecting that things like skyrocketing rates of parcel delivery from online retail and export of fossil fuels and water-wasting alfalfa will continue indefinitely.

    We’ve known for generations that these kinds of projections are wrong, morally as well as factually. Researchers have been sounding the alarm about the fundamental impossibility of infinite growth on a finite planet since at least 1972. Each year we ignore them is a year we get closer to the bill coming due, compound interest and all.

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says we need drastic economic changes by 2030 if we want to maintain any shred of safety for our civilization — so that 25-year port development project will be obsolete before it’s halfway done.

    As coverage of the proposed polluting port continues, climate change must be at the forefront of the conversation. Local news outlets in the U.S. are failing on climate coverage. Even as recent polls have found that climate change is the top priority for Democratic voters, local media continue to avoid covering the crisis.

    In Salt Lake we have abundant stories to tell about climate change, from the strains on our forests and water systems to an inspiring surge in permaculture groups building hyper-local neighborhood economies and a relatively climate-resilient food supply. We need to talk about both the dire threats we face and the hopeful examples of alternative systems.

    The media and public officials should stop giving higher weight to false narratives from those profiting off the destruction of our planet than they do to narratives rooted in sound science from those calling for a safe, healthy place to live. We need to completely transform our economic system, despite most influential power structures being entwined in it, before we become victims of our own mass extinction. It might already be too late, but it certainly will be if we don’t all accept the immense responsibility of being alive in this critical moment — and that includes journalists’ duty to spread important truths.

    On the evening we disrupted the Inland Port Authority Board meeting, many of us took time off work to serve our community and the stream of life, not knowing what would happen to us. We stared down our own fear, as well as a board of Utah’s rich and powerful. The stakes are too high not to rise in defense of clean air, a livable climate, and thriving ecosystems. Shouldn’t people know what moves us?

    Let’s tell the truth about the polluting port. Let’s not leave climate change — the worst crisis of all time — out of the conversation.


    Adair Kovac

    Adair Kovac is a climate change activist based in Salt Lake City.

    Commentary: The claim of Americans being overtaxed is a harmful fantasy


    One common belief among conservatives is that we are overtaxed in the United States. In fact, this was one of the rationalizations the Republican Party used to justify the tax cut it passed in 2017. But if you look at the numbers, this claim simply does...

    One common belief among conservatives is that we are overtaxed in the United States. In fact, this was one of the rationalizations the Republican Party used to justify the tax cut it passed in 2017. But if you look at the numbers, this claim simply does not hold up.

    The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an intergovernmental economic organization with 36 member nations, produces an annual report that lists various statistics, including taxes for each member nation as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP). The comparative statistics are enlightening. For 2017 (the most recent year on record), total taxes collected in the United States (for all levels of government) amount to 27.1 percent of GDP. This may seem like a lot. But the average for all 36 OECD nations was 34.2 percent. So we are far below average (20.7 percent below, actually).

    But the average figure may be misleading. If we look at a few countries that are more representative of our level of development, the difference is even more stark. For example, Denmark’s taxes amount to 46.0 percent of GDP; Austria, 41.8; Belgium, 44.6; Canada, 32.2; Finland, 43.3; France, 46.2; Germany, 37.5; Italy, 42.4; Netherlands, 38.8; Norway, 38.2; Sweden, 44.0; and the United Kingdom, 33.3. The average of these 12 countries is 40.7 percent of GDP, or 50 percent higher than the U.S. That gap will likely increase for 2018, the year the GOP tax cuts for the wealthy and for corporations took effect.

    So, to claim we are overtaxed is to buy into a harmful fantasy. We are going to be racking up trillion-dollar deficits in the coming years, because half our population believes misinformation. Of course, all these other countries get a lot more for their tax dollars. Each citizen has health care, and their social safety nets are far superior to ours. If we were to increase out tax revenue even to the average of all OECD countries, we would bring in an additional $1.37 trillion each year. This would wipe out our annual deficit and contribute significantly to, say, providing health care for all Americans. If we were to match the 12 more developed countries, we would bring in an additional $2.71 trillion dollars per year.

    The OECD statistics break down tax revenue into several categories; this is also informative. In the United States in 2017, 40.3 percent of our tax revenue came from individual income taxes, 7.6 percent from corporate taxes, 24.0 percent from social security contributions, 11.1 percent from property taxes, and 16.9 percent from other consumption taxes.

    Other countries use various strategies. France collects 18.8 percent of its taxes from the individual income tax, 4.5 percent from corporate taxes, 36.8 percent from social security, 9.4 percent from property taxes, 15.2 percent from value-added taxes, 9.2 percent from other consumption taxes, and 6.2 percent from other miscellaneous taxes. Denmark collects 53.5 percent from individual income taxes, 5.8 percent from corporate taxes, 0.1 percent from social security contributions, 4.0 percent from property taxes, 20.4 percent from value-added taxes, 11.6 percent from other consumption taxes, and 4.5 percent from other miscellaneous taxes.

    Significantly, the United States is the only country in the OECD that does not collect a value-added tax (VAT). Yes, this tax is passed along to the customer, but according to the Tax Policy Center, a VAT “is relatively easy to administer, and, unlike an income tax, does not impinge on household saving and business investment choices.”

    What is obvious is that we need serious tax reform, but not the sort of faux reform the GOP gave us in 2017. We need to increase our tax revenue, not decrease it, and we should seriously consider joining the rest of the developed world in implementing a value-added tax.

    The trajectory of our economic inequality is unsustainable. We therefore need to consider returning to pre-Reagan tax rates, with a top marginal rate of 70 percent or more. With post–World War II rates, we paid down our war debt, rebuilt Europe, put a generation of GIs through college, fueled a postwar economic boom, and, guess what? The rich still got richer.

    Roger Terry is a writer and editor who resides in Orem. He has been writing about economic insanity for the better part of three decades.

    Explore Salt Lake City beer scene with new brewery pass — and save some coin while you’re at it


    Raise a glass, or two, to the new Brewery Tour Pass unveiled this week by Visit Salt Lake.Each pass gives the buyer a $5 credit to spend on beer, food or merchandise at 12 Salt Lake City breweries and brewpubs. One-, three- or 90-day passes are available...

    Raise a glass, or two, to the new Brewery Tour Pass unveiled this week by Visit Salt Lake.

    Each pass gives the buyer a $5 credit to spend on beer, food or merchandise at 12 Salt Lake City breweries and brewpubs. One-, three- or 90-day passes are available for $15, $20 or $30, respectively.

    Much like Visit Salt Lake’s connect pass — which is an all-in-one ticket to the city’s best attractions, the Brewery Tour Pass encourages residents and tourist to explore the city’s booming beer scene.

    Breweries participating in the pass promotion include: Desert Edge, Fisher Brewing, Kiitos, Mountain West Cider, Proper Brewing Co., Red Rock Brewing Co., RoHa Brewing Project, SaltFire Brewing Co., Shades Brewing, Squatters Pub, Toasted Barrel Brewery and West Side Tavern (Squatters and Wasatch Beers).

    Purchase passes online here. Pass holders must be 21 years old to consume alcoholic beverages.

    Sit down, drink up — 5 Salt Lake City coffee shops you may not have known existed

    Sit down, drink up — 5 Salt Lake City coffee shops you may not have known existed


    There are perks to having a coffee shop in your neighborhood.First of all, it is practical. An easy place to grab a morning or afternoon shot of caffeine.It is social — where people meet, make plans, connect.And it can be a sanctuary. A welcome port to...

    There are perks to having a coffee shop in your neighborhood.

    First of all, it is practical. An easy place to grab a morning or afternoon shot of caffeine.

    It is social — where people meet, make plans, connect.

    And it can be a sanctuary. A welcome port to retreat with a book or peer out the window and ponder.

    With so many uses, it’s nice to know that new coffee shops and roasters are bubbling up all the time.

    In Salt Lake City, five places have opened within the past year that you may — or may not — have known existed.

    These five businesses — Blue Copper 2000, Cupla, The Dayroom, Kings Peak Coffee Roasters and Three Pines Coffee — all share one trait. They make coffee using high-quality, specialty beans from around the world that have been roasted in a way that captures the best flavors of that place. The owners also pay attention to who is growing the beans, often buying directly from farmers and paying a fair price.

    What makes each unique? Here’s a snapshot of what we found:

    Blue Copper 2000 • 401 N. 300 West, Salt Lake City; bluecopperslc.com. Open Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m; Saturday and Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

    Blue Copper’s original coffee room has been an anchor of the up-and-coming Central 9th District of Salt Lake City. The Salt Lake City-based coffee roaster opened its second shop earlier this month in another urban neighborhood undergoing revitalization — Marmalade.

    This new sibling is far from being an identical twin. The 2000 concept features a white-and-black interior and a 1980s, arcade vibe. While it has a new look and slightly more seating, 2000 offers the same communal vibe and Blue Copper’s expertly roasted coffee, espresso and lattes. Customers also will find cold brew, tea, pastries and coffee beans to go.

    Cupla Coffee • 175 W. 200 South (inside the Axis Building), Salt Lake City; 661-607-3190 or cuplacoffee.com. Open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

    Abby Purdie and Beth Heath are the fun-loving, irreverent, beanie-wearing twins who own and operate this downtown coffee shop and bakery. After seven years working for a Park City roaster, the two decided to start their own roasting company. Cupla — which means twins in Irish Gaelic — celebrated its first anniversary in April.

    Originally from Southern California and raised Mormon, the women import coffee beans from all over the world and roast them in small batches. The sisters sell a signature white roast that tastes soft and nutty and without bitter notes. They bake for alternative diets, making low-sugar, gluten-free, vegan and paleo treats. Banana bread and double dark chocolate brownies are customer favorites.


    (Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Dayroom, which opened in November 2018 near the state capital, shares the space adjacent to Em's Restaurant (formerly Alchemy Coffee) and offers a cozy space, small front patio and a much larger patio on the other side of the restaurant for patrons to enjoy. (Francisco Kjolseth/)

    The Dayroom • 271 N Center St., Salt Lake City; 801-596-0566 or dayroomandems.com. Open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

    This is one of the first Utah businesses to have CBD on the menu — add it to any drink for an additional $3. Of course, this Capitol Hill coffee shop — in the former Alchemy Coffee location — stands out for another reason. It’s owned by Emily Gassman, who updated the tiny house next to Em’s — her dinner-only restaurant — for the new project.

    The coffee selection includes espresso, lattes, tea and shrubs; and the minimalist menu ranges from simple yogurt and granola to a breakfast tostada with beans and a fried egg. The menu expands for weekend brunch. Eat in the coffee shop with its rustic wood floors and clean white walls; or walk through the arched doorway and sit in Em’s dining room or on the enticing outdoor patio. The coffee shop shares Em’s state liquor license, so wine, beer and limited cocktails are available.


    (Photo courtesy of Kings Peak Coffee Roasters) Built around 1900, this red brick building is now home to Kings Peak Coffee Roasters in Salt Lake City.

    Kings Peak Coffee Roasters • 412 S. 700 West, Suite 140, Salt Lake City; 385-267-1890 or kingspeakcoffeeroasters.com. Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    Owner Garland Ledbetter could only drink coffee loaded with cream and sugar until his wife, Brandy, an airline employee, took him to Costa Rica, where he discovered significantly better java. The couple began roasting small batches of coffee beans in their home kitchen. They expanded into the garage and, finally, last October, opened Kings Peak Coffee Roasters, inside an old steel foundry. They share the remodeled red brick building — built around 1900 — with an art gallery and coworking space.

    While the Ledbetters concentrate on finding high-quality coffee beans from around the world, their children help run the coffee shop, which serves drip, espresso, latte, tea and cold brew. There are bags of roasted coffee beans to-go and savory and sweet food items, including South American alfajores cookies. To find this hidden gem, look for the “coffee” signs on 400 South just east of the Interstate 15 on and offramps.

    Three Pines Coffee • 165 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 805-395-8907 or threepinescoffee.com. Open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    After living in Los Angeles and making a run in the music business, owners Meg Frampton and Nick Price returned to Utah, launching a mobile coffee business. They gathered a loyal following by parking their street cart — with a single grinder and espresso machine — at farmers markets, other events and the patio of Salt Lake City’s Liberty Heights Fresh market. Last September, they moved into a permanent spot in the historic Herald Building on Main Street — next to the now-closed Lamb’s Grill.

    The sleek, modern shop serves small-batch drip coffee, espresso, chai, matcha and hot chocolate. The counter is always filled with an array of pastries from Salt Lake City’s Honeycomb Bakery. All combined, it’s no surprise that earlier this year, Food & Wine magazine praised Three Pines for being “Salt Lake’s most precise, most modern, and very best little café."

    New report shows homelessness in Weber County is skyrocketing but it’s not getting the attention it deserves


    The rate of homelessness in Weber County is proportionately higher than in Salt Lake County and has increased at much higher rate than its larger southern neighbor since 2014, according to a new report commissioned by the Weber Housing Authority.Local...

    The rate of homelessness in Weber County is proportionately higher than in Salt Lake County and has increased at much higher rate than its larger southern neighbor since 2014, according to a new report commissioned by the Weber Housing Authority.

    Local leaders identify several reasons for that, from rising housing prices to increased movement among people experiencing homelessness thought to be due to Operation Rio Grande in Salt Lake City. The report calls for several improvements to homelessness strategy in Weber County to “reverse concerning trends.”

    “We’re not there yet, but we will be in a crisis if we don’t address this immediately,” Andi Beadles, executive director of the Weber Housing Authority, said in response to the report.

    With data to back up the homeless population increases that many local leaders have noticed anecdotally, they’re now hoping Weber County officials gain more clout in conversations that have often been focused on Salt Lake County.

    “The changes that are being made in the homeless systems in Salt Lake have a direct impact on our systems in Weber County and across the state,” Beadles said. “It has a direct impact, but I do think we’re not included in the conversations and we’re not included in the decision-making — even though it affects our systems dramatically.”

    During the Weber Point in Time count (an annual enumeration of the county’s sheltered and unsheltered homeless population) in January 2018, the Local Homeless Coordinating Committee identified 376 individuals on a single night — a 48% jump from the 254 counted in January 2014, according to the study.

    That means Weber County now hosts 13% to 16% of the state’s homeless population, according to the study. But it received just 8.9% of state homeless funding for the fiscal year 2019. That percentage decreased with 2020 appropriations, Beadles said.

    A large share of camping appears to be centralized in Ogden, the county’s biggest population center at about 91,000 and the state’s seventh largest.

    “That has just blown up,” said Ward Ogden, the city’s community development manager.

    The 135-page report and strategic plan, prepared by consultant Ashley Barker Tolman Shuler and released in full earlier this month after more than a year of study, was created with the input of local service providers, governments and people with personal experience of homelessness, both past and present.

    It offers a number of recommendations for reducing homelessness in the area, including improvements of system planning, a “housing first” approach and more investment to have data-driven services. All of that is meant to make homelessness “rare,” “brief” and “non-occurring.”

    “Such a vision requires an investment of resources and a new way of thinking,” the report states. “It is not sufficient to assume prior modes of operation can change without adequate provision of training, community leadership, backbone support, and funding.”

    The plan also recommends hiring a homeless services system coordinator to oversee the implementation of the strategic plan and to work with various stakeholders.

    Weber County Commissioner Gage Froerer said homelessness and affordable housing are top of mind as the county moves forward with its economic development plans, and he believes the data from this study will be helpful in reducing homelessness.

    “I can’t say that there’s any magic solution out there that we have,” he said. “We’re just going to have to use some government resources and hopefully use a lot of our nonprofits that are dealing with homelessness and intergenerational poverty right now to at least reduce this. I don’t see this going away any time in the near future.”

    Part of the equation also has to be an increased focus on affordable housing, the report states — an issue that has been identified across the state.

    About 44.2 percent of tenants in Weber County are rent burdened, and “the average head of household renter would need to work 1.5 full-time jobs to cover housing expenses for a two-bedroom unit in Weber County,” the report states, leaving residents more vulnerable to homelessness. And with the rent growth rate in the area increasing as the income growth rate decreases, the renter burden is expected only to rise.

    The report comes amid an increased focus on homelessness across the state, and as Salt Lake County leaders brace for major changes to homeless services there, with the planned closure of the main downtown shelter, The Road Home, and the opening of three smaller Homeless Resource Centers before the fall.

    Those centers are expected to operate differently than the emergency shelter, servicing specific populations and providing access to health services, a full mobile medical clinic and on-site case managers.

    It’s unclear how those changes could affect Weber County. But moving forward, Froerer said he hopes leaders there will have more of a voice in conversations surrounding homelessness both in Salt Lake County and across the state.

    “I don’t think there’s any question that this homelessness issue is a statewide issue,” he said. “We need to deal with it through the entire state — and we need to make sure the resources available out there are divided equally.”

    Be sure to bring your own water bottles to the Living Traditions Festival


    The Salt Lake Arts Council will once again ban the sale of single-use plastic bottles at the Living Traditions Festival and the Twilight Concerts — and the policy is expanding to several other events this summer.“The whole idea is just to produce...

    The Salt Lake Arts Council will once again ban the sale of single-use plastic bottles at the Living Traditions Festival and the Twilight Concerts — and the policy is expanding to several other events this summer.

    “The whole idea is just to produce less of a carbon footprint,” said Matt Thurber, communications director for the council. “We thought it would be a good thing for the earth.”

    Water and soda will be available for purchase at the Living Traditions Festival this weekend, but festivalgoers are being asked to bring their own bottles. There will also be reusable metal bottles available for sale.

    “Last year was the first year we did this, and we got pretty good response,” Thurber said.

    The Living Traditions Festival is moving a block east to Library Square this year, but food vendors will remain on 200 East, which will be closed between 400 South and 500 South. There will be 22 food vendors, including several new to the festival: African Spice, Alliance Francaise SLC and Westminster French Club, AM Bor, the Bolivia Utah Association, the Jayhawks Club, and La Michoacana Ice Cream and Paletas.

    The 34th annual festival, which celebrates Utah’s cultural diversity, opens Friday at 5 p.m. and runs through Sunday at 7 p.m. Admission is free.

    Think you know Utah? Take our news quiz and find out.


    Last week, 92% of you knew about the uptick in Utah’s butterfly population, but only 64% knew about a law-breaking former liquor store employee. Think you kept up with the news this week? Take our quiz to find out. A new one will post every Friday...

    Last week, 92% of you knew about the uptick in Utah’s butterfly population, but only 64% knew about a law-breaking former liquor store employee. Think you kept up with the news this week? Take our quiz to find out. A new one will post every Friday morning. You can find previous quizzes here. If you’re using The Salt Lake Tribune mobile app, click here.

    For clarification and fact checking — but hopefully not cheating — purposes, you can find the stories referenced in each question here: Question 1, Question 2, Question 3, Question 4, Question 5, Question 6, Question 7, Question 8, Question 9, Question 10, Question 11 and Question 12.

    Political Cornflakes: New York Times looks at whether Paul Huntsman can save The Salt Lake Tribune


    Happy Friday!The New York Times takes a deep dive into whether Paul Huntsman can save The Salt Lake Tribune by turning it into a non-profit. “I took the losses and subsidized the paper as long as I could. The losses were devastating to me personally. I...

    Happy Friday!

    The New York Times takes a deep dive into whether Paul Huntsman can save The Salt Lake Tribune by turning it into a non-profit. “I took the losses and subsidized the paper as long as I could. The losses were devastating to me personally. I said, ‘I have to make a change,’” Huntsman explains. The story takes a personal look at Huntsman and his style. [NYTimes]

    Topping the news: A new report shows that homelessness in Weber County is skyrocketing but it’s not getting the attention it deserves. [Trib]

    -> The Utah Transit Authority is about to test “microtransit,” a cross between a traditional bus system and Uber and Lyft, where riders can use a smartphone app to get to a specific destination. [Trib]

    -> The Point of the Mountain Authority Board appointed Alan Matheson, the former executive director of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, as its new director. [Trib]

    Tweets of the day: @RepKarenKwan: “Tax Reform town hall in WVC. Asked attendees for input on several tax reform options, someone wrote “A bad bet” for Sports Gambling. #ohsopunny #taxreformhumor #utpol

    ->@thesidetrack: “Reminder that Trump could never have been elected President without a news media that covers politics as entertainment.”

    ->@ambientgillan “Centrism is the toxoplasmosis of politics”

    Happy Birthday: Former state Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck and former state Sen. Margaret Dayton.

    Behind the Headlines: Tribune government and politics editor Dan Harrie, reporter Courtney Tanner and columnist George Pyle join KCPW’s Roger McDonough to talk about the week’s top stories, including a plan by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to increase political participation among its members. 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. Join the live conversation by calling (801) 355-TALK.

    Also in the news: Utah lawmakers say they made a mistake not appropriating funds to encourage Utahns to participate in the upcoming census, so they are considering designating up to $1 million for the effort. [Trib]

    -> Lobbyists ask Utah lawmakers to eliminate 7.5% sales tax to help oil and gas industry. [Trib]

    -> A ride along the Jordan River helps Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski promote alternative transportation. [Trib]

    -> A memorial pays tribute to 25 fallen Salt Lake City policemen who ‘served with integrity and character.’ [Trib]

    -> The parents of a Utah teen killed by Cottonwood Heights police are suing the department and the officer who fired the gun. [Trib]

    -> A hearing discusses changing Utah County’s commission form of government into a council-mayor form. [DailyHerald]

    -> Utah will treat medical cannabis the same as other prescription drugs and not punish medical cannabis patients. [FOX 13]

    -> Crystal Legionaires, who disrupted the 2019 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints general conference, will go on trial next week. [FOX 13]

    -> Columnist Robert Gehrke shares his take on how Spencer Cox can be beat in the 2020 gubernatorial race. [Trib]

    -> Cartoonist Pat Bagley depicts “Speaker for the Speechless.” [Trib]

    -> Last week, 92% of you knew about the uptick in Utah’s butterfly population, but only 64% knew about a law-breaking former liquor store employee. Think you kept up with the news this week? Take our quiz to find out. A new one will post every Friday morning. You can find previous quizzes here. If you’re using The Salt Lake Tribune mobile app, click here. [Trib]

    Nationally: After weeks of conflict, President Donald Trump told acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan that he does not want to go to war with Iran. [NYTimes]

    -> Trump unveils his plan to overhaul the legal immigration system, trying to stress merit and education over family ties. [APviaTrib]

    -> Frustrated with the Trump administration’s lack of cooperation, Democrats are counting on Robert Mueller’s potential testimony clear up questions about his Russia investigation. [NYTimes]

    -> A federal judge ordered that prosecutors make public a transcript of a phone call that former national security adviser Michael had with a Russian ambassador in late 2016. [WaPost]

    -> House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said his committee will meet next week to discuss holding Attorney General William Barr in contempt for ignoring the committee’s subpoena of the unredacted special counsel report and related documents. [WaPost]

    -> Taiwan is now the first country in Asia with laws allowing and detailing the terms of same-sex marriage. [WaPost]

    Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at cornflakes@sltrib.com. If you haven’t already, sign up here for our weekday email to get this sent directly to your inbox.

    -- Lee Davidson and Alison Berg

    Letter: Trump’s deeds from A to Z


    In response to the recent letter of the week, “A Trump Abecedarium,” submitted by Kristine Hansen. The historic results of Trump’s first two years in office:A is for African American employment at an all-time low.B is for border security and...

    In response to the recent letter of the week, “A Trump Abecedarium,” submitted by Kristine Hansen. The historic results of Trump’s first two years in office:

    A is for African American employment at an all-time low.

    B is for border security and immigration. Funding for wall construction.

    C is for China. Forcing fair negotiations.

    D is for delivering on his promise to bring back manufacturing.

    E is for ending the Iran Nuclear Deal.

    F is for fighting back against the crisis next door.

    G is for generic drugs. More affordable.

    H is for health care. Cut the individual mandate penalty.

    I is for ISIS. Defeated!

    J is for Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!

    K is for Keystone pipeline approval.

    L is for low unemployment. Below 4%.

    M is for manufacturing coming back to the U.S.

    N is for NATO. Allies’ spending up.

    O is for optimism. Confidence in economy near 20 year high.

    P is for prescriptions for opioids reduced 16%.

    Q is for quality of jobs coming back.

    R is for regulation reduction. Record number eliminated.

    S is for stock market at record highs.

    T is trade. Better deals.

    U is for U.S.-Mexican trade deal.

    V is for veterans. Signed the VA Accountability Act.

    W is for wall. Build it!

    X is for exports. Working on beef exports to China.

    Y is for youth unemployment lowest in 50 years.

    Z is for zero. Number of presidents who have these accomplishments.

    Marci Esparza, Sandy

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    Letter: Building bigger highways won’t solve congestion problems


    Regarding the recent Tribune editorial “There’s more than road construction ahead.” The Salt Lake City Transportation Advisory Board agrees with the editorial’s conclusion that highway capacity projects cause highway-induced traffic and...

    Regarding the recent Tribune editorial “There’s more than road construction ahead.” The Salt Lake City Transportation Advisory Board agrees with the editorial’s conclusion that highway capacity projects cause highway-induced traffic and highway-induced sprawl. We know from the research literature that every 10% increase in regional highway capacity leads to a 7% increase in driving in the region as people drive more frequently and farther and use alternative modes of travel less frequently.

    And that is just in the first 10 years after construction.

    Eventually highways fill up again. Build it and they will come.

    Transit has a similar but much more benign effect on the built environment, causing transit-induced development around stations.

    So, what is the answer to highway congestion that will really make a positive difference? A recent study published in the journal “Cities” suggests that the best answer to congestion is to raise highway user fees through gas taxes, parking charges, other user charges, and to build lots of local street connectivity — as in the Avenues and Daybreak.

    Courtney Reeser is the chairwoman of Salt Lake City Transportation Advisory Board.

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    Letter: Keep the outdoors wild


    Natural spaces that maintain wildness, where plants, trees and animals find habitat, give so much more to our community than mountain bike trails. They are the spaces within cities that give us solace, keep us connected to nature, allow us all to relax,...

    Natural spaces that maintain wildness, where plants, trees and animals find habitat, give so much more to our community than mountain bike trails. They are the spaces within cities that give us solace, keep us connected to nature, allow us all to relax, feel renewed and part of the natural order.

    Allowing a mountain bike terrain park to destroy this lovely wooded sanctuary of Olympus Hills Park in the city is just wrong.

    Holladay Mayor Rob Dahle refers to taking that acreage and “maximizing the use of it.” Inferring that maximal use is development for mountain biking, or something other than leaving it a natural wooded space.

    The article also referred to mountain bike teams from nearby high schools using the wooded area for training purposes, I struggle to understand why some want to tame and cause damage to the few wild spaces left in our valley.

    Cindy Bur, Salt Lake City

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    Letter: I know authentic conservatives, and Trump and his ilk certainly aren’t


    I have a number of friends who are authentic conservatives. They subscribe to well-articulated principles and argue, on the basis of principle and factual evidence, that conservatism has been — and should continue to be — a counterforce to what they...

    I have a number of friends who are authentic conservatives. They subscribe to well-articulated principles and argue, on the basis of principle and factual evidence, that conservatism has been — and should continue to be — a counterforce to what they regard as liberal excesses.

    One of their chief principles:

    The rule of law: No one, not even the chief executive, is above the law. Within the context of our constitutional democracy, the rule of law defends individual liberty and stands as a bulwark against two possible tyrannies: (1) the tyranny of the self-serving dictator; (2) the tyranny of an intolerant majority that seeks to undermine the legitimate interests of minorities.

    The separation of the executive, legislative and judicial powers, in conjunction with our constitutional system of checks and balances, is indispensable to the rule of law.

    Are President Trump, members of his Cabinet, his legislative supporters and his base voters authentic conservatives? To what extent do they instead embody radicalized far right-wing authoritarianism?

    Andrew G. Bjelland, Salt Lake City

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    Margaret Sullivan: Trump won’t stop coining nasty nicknames for his foes, but the media must stop amplifying them


    I was talking to an acquaintance recently about Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign.He liked the Massachusetts Democrat’s detailed policies and was impressed with her recent CNN town hall presentation.But he couldn’t back the senator because...

    I was talking to an acquaintance recently about Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign.

    He liked the Massachusetts Democrat’s detailed policies and was impressed with her recent CNN town hall presentation.

    But he couldn’t back the senator because she doesn’t really stand a chance in the 2020 contest. Why not, I asked.

    He answered me with a rueful shrug, accompanied by one word: “Pocahontas.”

    That, of course, is the nickname President Donald Trump has tagged Warren with — a reference to her having claimed American Indian ancestry, including on law school faculty forms in the 1980s. (She does have some such ancestry, but not very much, a DNA test revealed; Warren says she was merely repeating family lore.)

    This episode was certainly not Warren’s finest hour — but hardly something that should be disqualifying, especially when compared to the horror show of deceit that is Trump himself.

    But the nickname has stuck. And some people can’t get beyond it — any more than they can get beyond “Crooked Hillary” or the multitude of other slams from “Crazy Bernie” for the Vermont senator to “Lyin’ Ted” Cruz of Texas. Or, for that matter, the “Failing New York Times” — which, of course, it isn’t.

    Trump has a kind of dark intuitive genius for these coinages, something he’s been plying for decades. (Back in the 1980s, Trump-the-developer referred to then-state assemblyman Jerry Nadler, now House Judiciary chairman, as “Fat Jerry” or “Waddler.”)

    “Consciously or not, Trump is feeding us nuggets packed with enormous linguistic power,” Jon Allsop wrote in 2017 in Columbia Journalism Review.

    “They appeal to a childlike desire to make an easily digestible morality tale of a complicated world.”

    They are often false and always meant to bully. And the news media must stop trafficking in them.

    Journalists may not be able to ignore these nicknames altogether, but they should stop doing Trump’s dirty work for him: amplifying their power through prominent placement and frequent, unquestioning repetition.

    When Trump recently tagged Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., with the nickname “Alfred E. Neuman” — an effort to make the Rhodes scholar and Afghanistan war veteran into a buffoon — the news media responded as it often does to Trumpian distractions: with a full round of breathless, clickable coverage.

    Some of media attention focused on the presidential candidate’s response — that Buttigieg had to research the name of the Mad Magazine cover boy. That was followed by Mad Magazine’s riposte that they had to look up who Buttigieg was. And on it went.

    All told, it was all less harmful, probably, than Trump’s recently coined name for former Vice President Joe Biden — “SleepyCreepy Joe.” The worse the perceived political threat, perhaps, the more vicious the nickname.

    The media, though, largely treats these labels as entertainment, wrote Allsop more recently — “not the subtle, dangerous manipulation of political discourse they actually represent.”

    And while Trump’s legion of critics see his risible hair and puffed-up ego as fodder for taunts (like “Cheeto Jesus,” in author Rick Wilson’s phrase), the news media rarely stoop to repeating them.

    It’s high time to recognize what’s going on here, and to do something about it.

    I often hear from readers and from anti-Trump voters that news organizations should ignore Trump’s tweets, or give him far less attention. In other words, they should cut off his oxygen supply of attention.

    I can’t agree. What the president of the United States says, even in a tweet, amounts to an official statement. We need to cover them, and him, rigorously and thoroughly.

    But just as we’ve learned to fact-check Trump — and call out his lies when appropriate — we need to learn to stop amplifying these poisonous nicknames.

    Cover them as part of a story? Examine and analyze them? Sure.

    But don’t constantly repeat them, don’t treat them as “all in good fun.”

    And don’t give them prominence without context.

    Never again should one of these nicknames appear in the following ways: In a headline. In a media organization’s tweet. In a bottom-of-the-screen TV chyron. In a news alert.

    It’s in those minimalist settings that they do the most harm.

    Trump, of course, has his own powerful megaphones on social media and in his rallies and speeches.

    And, granted, politics is a rough-and-tumble business, not known for its emphasis on civility and decency. The knives are always out.

    But when the news media turn on their brightest spotlights, these nicknames take on greater credibility and power. As propaganda always does, they sink into our consciousness as something that feels like a kind of truth.

    That makes journalists complicit in Trump’s insidious ways. His jokes were never funny, and shouldn’t be treated as if they are.

    Letter: Will our grandchildren thank us for a bike track or for preserving nature?


    In looking at the battle between keeping Olympus Hills Park a bird sanctuary, or putting in a mountain bike track, I like to think of what our descendants who will inherit this area, will think.A hundred years from now, if the bike track gets put in, how...

    In looking at the battle between keeping Olympus Hills Park a bird sanctuary, or putting in a mountain bike track, I like to think of what our descendants who will inherit this area, will think.

    A hundred years from now, if the bike track gets put in, how many of them will say, “Thank goodness our forefathers (and mothers) had the foresight and wisdom to put in this old track”?

    If the area remains wild, how many of them will say, “Thank goodness our forefathers had the wisdom and foresight to keep this tiny area unspoiled as a nature preserve”?

    Which do you think is more likely?

    Gordon Johnston, West Valley City

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    Letter: How will we care for these unborn children after they’re born?


    I have some questions for both the Riverton City Council and the state of Alabama. Recently, you both have passed resolutions and laws which you claim fight for the rights of the unborn.However, how many of these unborn come into the world in poverty...

    I have some questions for both the Riverton City Council and the state of Alabama. Recently, you both have passed resolutions and laws which you claim fight for the rights of the unborn.

    However, how many of these unborn come into the world in poverty because their parents don’t make a living minimum wage? Whose parents can’t afford to go to college? Can’t afford basic child care?

    How many of these kids must sit in overcrowded and underfunded school systems? How many breathe in toxic and polluted air? Drink contaminated water? How many have zero access to affordable health care? And how many could get sick from the other kids in their class who aren’t getting vaccinated?

    Just curious.

    Chantryce E. Diehl, Murray

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