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News roundup: White House petition seeks shut down of NSA Utah center

Published July 1, 2013 7:34 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Petition seeks shut down of NSA's Utah center. NEA VP: Anti-gun reform zealots going to 'hell.' Swallow probe to launch Wednesday.

Happy Monday and welcome to July. Some folks upset with the National Security Agency's massive Utah Data Center have started a White House petition to close down the $1.2 billion facility because, they say, it is "being used for something illegal, unconstitutional, and unagreed upon by the American public." The White House has promised to respond to petitions with more than 100,000 signatures, so supporters of this idea will still need some 99,500 more names. [WhiteHouse.gov]

-> More on The Tribune's in-depth look at the center below.

Topping the news: Utah school teacher and vice president of the National Education Association says gun lobbyists and politicians who were against gun reform are "going to hell." [MercuryNews]

-> A federal judge has blocked Utah's law that seeks to limit federal police powers on public lands, claiming that it undermines public and officer safety. [Trib] [DNews]

-> During her visit to Utah, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell advocated for balanced use of federal lands. [Trib]

-> The investigation into AG John Swallow will launch on Wednesday and will investigate Swallow's life before he took up his current post. [Trib] [DNews] Bob Bernick notes that the House is heading into uncharted territory. [UtahPolicy]

Tweets of the day: From @TonyFratto: "DC weather forecast = chance of thunderstorms from now until forever."

From @TPetey28: "If your complaining its hot in Utah, just be grateful you aren't where I'm at. It's hotter than hell itself. 120 degrees in AZ right now."

Happy birthday: to former Taylorsville Mayor Russ Wall, Ben Horsley and Bob Springmeyer.

Opinion Section: Paul Rolly thinks funding for alcohol law enforcement agents could be better spent on field troopers pulling over suspected drunk drivers. [Trib]

-> Rolly also discusses former Sen. Bob Bennett's gloomy assessment of the future of the Republican party. [Trib] Dan Harrie blogs about it, too. [Trib]

-> Barb Guy says that denying marriage rights to same-sex couples for so long is a shame that America will have to bear, along with many others in its history. [Trib]

-> A Utah software company CEO and the president of the Utah Farm Bureau Federation discuss the potential positive impacts that the immigration reform bill could have on their respective industries. [Trib]

-> The executive director of the Utah Pride Center discusses the constitutionality of the Supreme Court's rulings on same-sex marriage. [Trib]

-> A Utah Episcopal priest says Jesus' teachings supports marriage equality for same-sex couples. [Trib]

-> The executive director of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality responds to last week's op-ed by Dr. Brian Moench, refuting his claims that the department is allowing more pollution and disregarding public health impacts. [Trib]

-> The CEO of a leading Utah biotechnology company argues that the new courthouse, paid for my taxpayers, should not be named after an elected official. [Trib]

-> A Provo resident and retiree of Teamsters Local 222 discusses the dignity inherent in labor. [Trib]

-> George Pyle argues that continuing something just because it has always been that way is no longer answer enough. Case in point: refusal to endorse same-sex marriage. [Trib]

-> Pat Bagley's guest cartoonist Pat Oliphant gives his take on Obama's perception of his own power. [Trib]

-> In her last column, Peg McEntee shares her Utah with readers. [Trib]

-> John Florez gives his take on the Supreme Court's ruling on affirmative action. [DNews]

-> A Summit County council member says Congress needs to act now on immigration. [DNews]

-> Frank Pignanelli and LaVarr Webb discuss both parties' support of the caucus/convention nominating system. [DNews]

-> Former Sen. Bob Bennett suggests Americans remember history when celebrating the Fourth of July. [DNews]

The NSA's Utah Data Center: A series of key factors aligned to make Bluffdale the perfect spot for the NSA's data center. [Trib]

-> This is not the first time the NSA has found itself facing public outcry; a troubled history of the spy agency. [Trib]

-> Utah's connection to the NSA goes back a long way. The agency has been utilizing the unique language capabilities of Utah National Guard soldiers, as well as those of recruited U. and BYU students, for translating intercepted communications for several years. [Trib]

-> The new Bluffdale NSA storage facility spans 1 million square feet and will have the capacity to store an estimated one thousand trillion gigabytes of data. [Trib]

-> Despite rumors that the data center will put a huge strain on Utah's power supply, driving up energy costs, the center in fact won't be the Rocky Mountain Power's largest industrial customer. [Trib]

Weekend in Review: Western governors and guest experts suggest the only way to manage the ever-increasing costs of healthcare and education is to to completely reform both systems. [Trib]

-> At the end of their annual meeting, the Western Governors' Association discussed the region's future as a leader in traditional and innovative energy sources. [Trib] [DNews]

-> Chairman and CEO of BP Capital, T. Boone Pickens, addressed the Western Governors' Association, urging them to stop buying OPEC oil because some of the profits go directly to the Taliban. [Trib]

-> Community members called for the closure of the primary medical waste incinerator in the West, concerned about excessive emissions. [Trib]

-> Jailed businessman Marc Jenson, who has made allegations against AG John Swallow, has asked for a protective order that would prevent anyone from the AG's office from contacting him, his wife, his lawyers or his witnesses. [Trib] [DNews]

-> Our D.C. Notebook looks at Sen. Orrin Hatch calling President Barack Obama "weak" over his attempts to recover Edward Snowden and Rep. Rob Bishop's disdain for the Senate's border security plan. [Trib]

Nationally: Wikileaks founder Julian Assange says that Edward Snowden will continue to disclose information from classified documents. However, the NSA leaker is now trapped in Moscow because he no longer has a valid U.S. passport. [NYTimes] [WaPost]

-> European leaders are incensed by Snowden's latest revelations that the United States has been attempting to monitor European Union diplomatic offices and computer networks. [WaPost] [NYTimes]

-> Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy denied a request to halt the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples in California. [Politico] [NYTimes]

-> Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va, said that any proposed immigration legislation cannot offer a path to citizenship to those in the U.S. illegally. [WaPost]

Where are they?

SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams meets with senior staff and attends an Urban Farming Documentary Project and visits Salt Lake County's mental health court.

President Barack Obama leaves South Africa for Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, where he'll be greated by President Jakaya Kilwete. He then visits the State House, meets one-on-one with Kilwete, joins the president for a news conference, attends a CEO roundtable and speaks to a Business Forum. In the evening, First Lady Michelle Obama will join for dinner with Kilwete.

Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at cornflakes@sltrib.com. If you haven't already, sign up for our weekday email and get this sent directly to your inbox. [Trib]

— Thomas Burr and Isobel MarkhamTwitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/i_markham