Politics - The Salt Lake Tribune http://www.sltrib.com/politics Stories from The Salt Lake Tribune &copy; 2014 The Associated Press, The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our privacy policy: http://www.sltrib.com/pages/privacy. en-us webmaster@sltrib.com (Webmaster) SUU drops Harry Reid’s name from building after protests http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58351853-90/reid-center-wyatt-harry.html.csp Cedar City • U.S. Sen. Harry Reid is no longer a part of the Southern Utah University Outdoor Engagement Center. SUU President Scott Wyatt decided to make some changes that called for the Nevada Democrat’s name to be removed from the building. Several months ago, some concerned citizens met with Wyatt, calling for the removal of Reid’s name from the center. After taking the summer to consider the citizens’ request and spending time talking with the administrators at the Outdoor Engagement Center... Cedar City • U.S. Sen. Harry Reid is no longer a part of the Southern Utah University Outdoor Engagement Center. SUU President Scott Wyatt decided to make some changes that called for the Nevada Democrat’s name to be removed from the building. Several months ago, some concerned citizens met with Wyatt, calling for the removal of Reid’s name from the center. After taking the summer to consider the citizens’ request and spending time talking with the administrators at the Outdoor Engagement Center... <img src="http://mngislctrib.112.2O7.net/b/ss/mngislctrib/1/H.17--NS/0?&pageName=RSS" height="1" width="1" border="0" alt=""/> 58351853@www.sltrib.com Fri, 29 Aug 2014 17:10:41 MDT Utah commission rejects proposed fee for solar homes http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/58352345-78/commission-company-customers-energy.html.csp Utahns with rooftop solar panels won’t face a new fee from Rocky Mountain Power after the Utah Public Service Commission ruled Friday that the utility company failed to prove such a charge is “just and reasonable.” But this contentious debate pitting the state’s largest electric company against environmental groups isn’t going away. The Commission is open to revisiting the issue as long as Rocky Mountain Power can provide some hard data proving these customers should be treated differently than ... Utahns with rooftop solar panels won’t face a new fee from Rocky Mountain Power after the Utah Public Service Commission ruled Friday that the utility company failed to prove such a charge is “just and reasonable.” But this contentious debate pitting the state’s largest electric company against environmental groups isn’t going away. The Commission is open to revisiting the issue as long as Rocky Mountain Power can provide some hard data proving these customers should be treated differently than ... 58352345@www.sltrib.com Fri, 29 Aug 2014 17:10:41 MDT Is deal close in Park City resort showdown with Talisker? http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58352904-90/1.1-bond-com-lease.csp Park City Mountain Resort and Talisker Land Holdings Inc. late Friday afternoon extended mediation talks to Sunday at 10 a.m. The deadline had been set at 5 p.m. Friday. John Lund, an attorney representing Talisker, said he is “hopeful” a negotiated settlement can be reached in a land-lease dispute that has played out in court for three years. At issue is 2,852 acres of upper mountain ski terrain at PCMR. The resort operator, Powdr Corp., missed an April 30, 2011, lease-renewal deadline. When ne... Park City Mountain Resort and Talisker Land Holdings Inc. late Friday afternoon extended mediation talks to Sunday at 10 a.m. The deadline had been set at 5 p.m. Friday. John Lund, an attorney representing Talisker, said he is “hopeful” a negotiated settlement can be reached in a land-lease dispute that has played out in court for three years. At issue is 2,852 acres of upper mountain ski terrain at PCMR. The resort operator, Powdr Corp., missed an April 30, 2011, lease-renewal deadline. When ne... 58352904@www.sltrib.com Fri, 29 Aug 2014 17:10:41 MDT Riverton proposes raising cap on backyard chickens http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58352488-90/chickens-riverton-backyard-commission.html.csp Riverton • The city Planning Commission has recommended approval of an ordinance amendment that would allow homeowners to have up to six backyard chickens on a lot of half an acre or smaller. The proposal, endorsed on a 3-2 vote of the commission Thursday night, must go before the City Council for final approval and no date has yet been set for that consideration. Currently, Riverton allows just two household pets — including chickens — per household. The recommended change did not sit well w... Riverton • The city Planning Commission has recommended approval of an ordinance amendment that would allow homeowners to have up to six backyard chickens on a lot of half an acre or smaller. The proposal, endorsed on a 3-2 vote of the commission Thursday night, must go before the City Council for final approval and no date has yet been set for that consideration. Currently, Riverton allows just two household pets — including chickens — per household. The recommended change did not sit well w... 58352488@www.sltrib.com Fri, 29 Aug 2014 15:33:29 MDT Paul Rolly: Salt Lake City detective saves 88-year-old from being hit http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58347437-90/lake-salt-guards-com.html.csp With all the news lately about police-involved shootings and protests against alleged excessive force, there is another side to the public safety issue that perhaps does not get enough attention. Taylorsville resident Richard Prime sent a letter to Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank that he copied to me and that deserves some publicity. Prime and his family were leaving Smith’s Ballpark after a baseball game between the Salt Lake Bees and the New Orleans Zephyrs on Sunday night, when th... With all the news lately about police-involved shootings and protests against alleged excessive force, there is another side to the public safety issue that perhaps does not get enough attention. Taylorsville resident Richard Prime sent a letter to Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank that he copied to me and that deserves some publicity. Prime and his family were leaving Smith’s Ballpark after a baseball game between the Salt Lake Bees and the New Orleans Zephyrs on Sunday night, when th... 58347437@www.sltrib.com Fri, 29 Aug 2014 07:44:11 MDT Gov. Gary Herbert says UTA has fixed most problems in audit http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58347899-90/agency-audit-audits-board.html.csp Most of the problems uncovered in a scathing audit of the Utah Transit Authority this week have been rectified, according to Gov. Gary Herbert, who said he has confidence with the direction the agency is headed. “With a cursory view, it appears a lot of these issues are old issues going back to 2009 and maybe even before that,” Herbert said during his monthly KUED news conference. “I believe the new leadership that is there has taken steps to correct those problems.” But state Sen. Todd Weiler ... Most of the problems uncovered in a scathing audit of the Utah Transit Authority this week have been rectified, according to Gov. Gary Herbert, who said he has confidence with the direction the agency is headed. “With a cursory view, it appears a lot of these issues are old issues going back to 2009 and maybe even before that,” Herbert said during his monthly KUED news conference. “I believe the new leadership that is there has taken steps to correct those problems.” But state Sen. Todd Weiler ... 58347899@www.sltrib.com Thu, 28 Aug 2014 22:44:34 MDT Herbert supports appeal of ruling against Utah’s bigamy law http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58347714-90/appeal-attorney-bigamy-browns.html.csp Gov. Gary Herbert said he is inclined to seek an appeal of a federal judge’s ruling striking down part of Utah’s bigamy law, saying the state has an obligation to defend the laws of the state. “I think when laws are on the books they should be appealed until there is no appeal left,” Herbert said Thursday following his monthly KUED news conference. “I expect that we’ll be reviewing that and I expect that the attorney general will talk to me about what his thoughts are with the recent ruling.” U.... Gov. Gary Herbert said he is inclined to seek an appeal of a federal judge’s ruling striking down part of Utah’s bigamy law, saying the state has an obligation to defend the laws of the state. “I think when laws are on the books they should be appealed until there is no appeal left,” Herbert said Thursday following his monthly KUED news conference. “I expect that we’ll be reviewing that and I expect that the attorney general will talk to me about what his thoughts are with the recent ruling.” U.... 58347714@www.sltrib.com Thu, 28 Aug 2014 12:30:19 MDT Trailblazing lawyer joins fight against Utah same-sex marriage ban http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58339985-90/court-utah-case-marriage.html.csp No one knows whether the U.S. Supreme Court will take on Utah’s same-sex marriage case. But if it does, the Salt Lake City lawyers defending three same-sex Utah couples seeking to topple the state’s ban on gay and lesbian unions will be standing side-by-side with the woman who led Massachusetts to become the first state in the country to legalize same-sex marriages. Mary Bonauto, made famous by her successful litigation of the historic Massachusetts case in 2003, agreed this week to join the Kit... No one knows whether the U.S. Supreme Court will take on Utah’s same-sex marriage case. But if it does, the Salt Lake City lawyers defending three same-sex Utah couples seeking to topple the state’s ban on gay and lesbian unions will be standing side-by-side with the woman who led Massachusetts to become the first state in the country to legalize same-sex marriages. Mary Bonauto, made famous by her successful litigation of the historic Massachusetts case in 2003, agreed this week to join the Kit... 58339985@www.sltrib.com Thu, 28 Aug 2014 12:29:24 MDT UTA attacked, defended after tough audit http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58344702-90/allegra-audit-board-general.html.csp A day after a state audit lambasted the Utah Transit Authority, some were calling for a shake-up or for heads to roll — including a parade of citizens who vented at a UTA board meeting. But UTA officials received some key support, too, including from Sen. John Valentine, R-Orem, who requested the audit. Valentine said Wednesday that he blames problems flagged by auditors on past UTA leaders and believes the agency has taken steps to resolve issues. Rep. Greg Hughes, R-Draper, who is also chairm... A day after a state audit lambasted the Utah Transit Authority, some were calling for a shake-up or for heads to roll — including a parade of citizens who vented at a UTA board meeting. But UTA officials received some key support, too, including from Sen. John Valentine, R-Orem, who requested the audit. Valentine said Wednesday that he blames problems flagged by auditors on past UTA leaders and believes the agency has taken steps to resolve issues. Rep. Greg Hughes, R-Draper, who is also chairm... 58344702@www.sltrib.com Thu, 28 Aug 2014 09:29:39 MDT Judge’s ruling next week could be key to Park City ski season http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58340046-90/pcmr-million-talisker-park.html.csp Park City • There was no relief from anxiety Wednesday in Judge Ryan Harris’ 3rd District courtroom as he pondered the amount ofa bond that could keep Park City Mountain Resort operating through the fast-approaching ski season. Courtroom tension was palpable as the judge retired to consider how big the bond should be to cover rent from May 1, 2011, through April 30, 2015 — in addition to damages and legal fees. Attorneys for Park City Mountain Resort argued the amount should be $1 million to $... Park City • There was no relief from anxiety Wednesday in Judge Ryan Harris’ 3rd District courtroom as he pondered the amount ofa bond that could keep Park City Mountain Resort operating through the fast-approaching ski season. Courtroom tension was palpable as the judge retired to consider how big the bond should be to cover rent from May 1, 2011, through April 30, 2015 — in addition to damages and legal fees. Attorneys for Park City Mountain Resort argued the amount should be $1 million to $... 58340046@www.sltrib.com Thu, 28 Aug 2014 07:59:49 MDT Audit blasts UTA, says it gave millions in sweetheart deals http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58338545-90/audit-auditors-board-compensation.html.csp The Utah Transit Authority “prepaid” a developer $10 million to construct a parking garage — which it turns out he never built — just after he made a multimillion-dollar deal benefiting a UTA board member. The agency never got all the money back from that advance. The troublesome incident is one of many described in a blistering, yearlong legislative audit into UTA operations that was released Tuesday. It complains about other sweetheart deals, extravagant pay and bonuses, failure to plan well... The Utah Transit Authority “prepaid” a developer $10 million to construct a parking garage — which it turns out he never built — just after he made a multimillion-dollar deal benefiting a UTA board member. The agency never got all the money back from that advance. The troublesome incident is one of many described in a blistering, yearlong legislative audit into UTA operations that was released Tuesday. It complains about other sweetheart deals, extravagant pay and bonuses, failure to plan well... 58338545@www.sltrib.com Thu, 28 Aug 2014 07:05:46 MDT Millard Co. election fight boiling over in two courts http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58344652-90/authority-clerk-county-court.html.csp A challenger in a disputed Millard County Commission race has asked a judge to hold the county clerk in contempt of court for not abiding by the judge’s order that the county hold a new Republican primary election. Fourth District Judge Claudia Laycock ordered the county earlier this month to re-do the GOP primary election after seven improperly counted ballots and a voter turned away from the polling place cast doubt on incumbent Jim Withers’ five-vote win over challenger Jim Dyer. The Attorne... A challenger in a disputed Millard County Commission race has asked a judge to hold the county clerk in contempt of court for not abiding by the judge’s order that the county hold a new Republican primary election. Fourth District Judge Claudia Laycock ordered the county earlier this month to re-do the GOP primary election after seven improperly counted ballots and a voter turned away from the polling place cast doubt on incumbent Jim Withers’ five-vote win over challenger Jim Dyer. The Attorne... 58344652@www.sltrib.com Wed, 27 Aug 2014 19:01:35 MDT 91 people died on Utah roads this summer http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58343390-90/braceras-construction-crash-driving.html.csp The upcoming Labor Day weekend marks the end of the “100 deadliest days” of summer driving — and state highway officials openly hope that Utahns drive more safely this holiday than they have during the rest of the summer. “We haven’t done too well over these last 100 deadliest days,” said Carlos Braceras, executive director of the Utah Department of Transportation. “We had 91 fatalities so far, and that’s up by 18 from last summer,” a hike of 25 percent since Memorial Day weekend, he said. “Tra... The upcoming Labor Day weekend marks the end of the “100 deadliest days” of summer driving — and state highway officials openly hope that Utahns drive more safely this holiday than they have during the rest of the summer. “We haven’t done too well over these last 100 deadliest days,” said Carlos Braceras, executive director of the Utah Department of Transportation. “We had 91 fatalities so far, and that’s up by 18 from last summer,” a hike of 25 percent since Memorial Day weekend, he said. “Tra... 58343390@www.sltrib.com Wed, 27 Aug 2014 18:53:09 MDT Audit: Utah fund padded numbers, downplayed costs http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58339963-90/auditors-capital-costs-fund.html.csp Utah’s Fund of Funds — a quasi-public entity that has invested more than $100 million in business startups — has overstated the returns on its investments, downplayed the costs of doing business and is lacking in transparency, according to an audit of the agency. “The primary concern here is that the lack of metrics ultimately results in the UFOF’s inability to show relevance in the market,” according to a report by the Utah legislative auditor’s office. Managers of the Fund of Funds agreed the... Utah’s Fund of Funds — a quasi-public entity that has invested more than $100 million in business startups — has overstated the returns on its investments, downplayed the costs of doing business and is lacking in transparency, according to an audit of the agency. “The primary concern here is that the lack of metrics ultimately results in the UFOF’s inability to show relevance in the market,” according to a report by the Utah legislative auditor’s office. Managers of the Fund of Funds agreed the... 58339963@www.sltrib.com Wed, 27 Aug 2014 17:26:20 MDT Residents can weigh in on homelessness Wednesday evening http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58335196-90/library-homelessness-community-lake.html.csp Residents who have concerns surrounding homelessness in Salt Lake City are invited to a community discussion Wednesday night at the Salt Lake City Library. The library, in conjunction with The Inclusion Center for Community and Justice, will present “Community Conversations: Homelessness” at the main library, 210 E. 400 South, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. During the discussion, attendees will have the opportunity to share their opinions and experiences, meet with local organizations that work with the... Residents who have concerns surrounding homelessness in Salt Lake City are invited to a community discussion Wednesday night at the Salt Lake City Library. The library, in conjunction with The Inclusion Center for Community and Justice, will present “Community Conversations: Homelessness” at the main library, 210 E. 400 South, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. During the discussion, attendees will have the opportunity to share their opinions and experiences, meet with local organizations that work with the... 58335196@www.sltrib.com Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:44:33 MDT Paul Rolly: Republican Reyes snubs Rotary Club debate http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58339625-90/club-reyes-debate-sltrib.html.csp Salt Lake City’s Rotary Club may have witnessed history Tuesday, according to its president-elect, Floyd Hatch, when only one of two Utah attorney general candidates invited to a debate showed up to the scheduled luncheon. Incumbent Sean Reyes missed the debate because he was out of town, his aides said. Club officials say they extended the invitation in June to the Republican nominee and his Democratic rival, Charles Stormont. Hatch, who also is the events coordinator for Rotary International’... Salt Lake City’s Rotary Club may have witnessed history Tuesday, according to its president-elect, Floyd Hatch, when only one of two Utah attorney general candidates invited to a debate showed up to the scheduled luncheon. Incumbent Sean Reyes missed the debate because he was out of town, his aides said. Club officials say they extended the invitation in June to the Republican nominee and his Democratic rival, Charles Stormont. Hatch, who also is the events coordinator for Rotary International’... 58339625@www.sltrib.com Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:17:25 MDT School’s in — drive safely http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58338917-90/urged-drive-fairclough-mph.html.csp Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox joined other officials at Terra Linda Elementary in West Jordan on Tuesday to remind drivers to be extra careful now that school is back in session statewide. Rolayne Fairclough, spokeswoman for the AAA travel services company, urged motorists to slow down near schools. She said a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling 25 mph is two-thirds less likely to be killed compared to one struck by a car traveling just 10 mph faster. She urged eliminating distractions while driving... Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox joined other officials at Terra Linda Elementary in West Jordan on Tuesday to remind drivers to be extra careful now that school is back in session statewide. Rolayne Fairclough, spokeswoman for the AAA travel services company, urged motorists to slow down near schools. She said a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling 25 mph is two-thirds less likely to be killed compared to one struck by a car traveling just 10 mph faster. She urged eliminating distractions while driving... 58338917@www.sltrib.com Tue, 26 Aug 2014 19:30:01 MDT Board ousts Paul Mero as Sutherland Institute president http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58339799-90/2000-board-discrimination-family.html.csp The board of the Sutherland Institute, the state’s most prominent conservative think tank, has asked its longtime president, Paul Mero, to resign after long-simmering disputes apparently reached a head. Mero, who ran the institute since 2000, said the disagreements were over “organizational matters” and executing the plans the group had made. “There is no disagreement over philosophy or direction or the projects we’ve been working on,” Mero said in an interview. “It’s just a matter of differenc... The board of the Sutherland Institute, the state’s most prominent conservative think tank, has asked its longtime president, Paul Mero, to resign after long-simmering disputes apparently reached a head. Mero, who ran the institute since 2000, said the disagreements were over “organizational matters” and executing the plans the group had made. “There is no disagreement over philosophy or direction or the projects we’ve been working on,” Mero said in an interview. “It’s just a matter of differenc... 58339799@www.sltrib.com Tue, 26 Aug 2014 19:17:12 MDT Salt Lake City drivers now officially worse than average http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58339148-90/accident-allstate-average-drivers.html.csp It may not be news to motorists who battle traffic every day, but Salt Lake City drivers are now officially worse than average. That’s according to the annual Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report released Tuesday. Last year, Salt Lake City drivers matched the national average of a typical driver having an accident once about every 10 years. But the new report says Salt Lakers now average an accident every 9.7 years — or 3.4 percent more frequently than average. Salt Lake City still ranks No. ... It may not be news to motorists who battle traffic every day, but Salt Lake City drivers are now officially worse than average. That’s according to the annual Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report released Tuesday. Last year, Salt Lake City drivers matched the national average of a typical driver having an accident once about every 10 years. But the new report says Salt Lakers now average an accident every 9.7 years — or 3.4 percent more frequently than average. Salt Lake City still ranks No. ... 58339148@www.sltrib.com Tue, 26 Aug 2014 19:16:58 MDT Downtown megahotel now in search of a developer http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58325570-90/hotel-salt-convention-million.html.csp Now it’s time to find out how much private-sector interest there is in building a headquarters hotel for the Salt Palace Convention Center. Salt Lake County released a “Request for Proposal” this week seeking a development-and-design team to build, own and operate a hotel with 850 to 1,200 rooms — plus abundant meeting space — within 1,000 feet of the Salt Palace. This consortium will have to commit to make a private capital investment of at least $200 million into the hotel. It must show that ... Now it’s time to find out how much private-sector interest there is in building a headquarters hotel for the Salt Palace Convention Center. Salt Lake County released a “Request for Proposal” this week seeking a development-and-design team to build, own and operate a hotel with 850 to 1,200 rooms — plus abundant meeting space — within 1,000 feet of the Salt Palace. This consortium will have to commit to make a private capital investment of at least $200 million into the hotel. It must show that ... 58325570@www.sltrib.com Tue, 26 Aug 2014 10:42:29 MDT