Good Monday morning Utah! Thanks for reading “The Rundown”.
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Gov. Cox gets letter demanding he change his ‘foul, dirty name’
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but not Gov. Spencer Cox’s last name, apparently.
Over the weekend, Cox shared a letter to his office complaining about his last name.
“I do not know if you know this, but when people say your surname it sounds like the word c--k. It’s obscene!” read the letter from “a concerned citizen.”
The missive then rattles off a long list of people who will not “stand for” him continuing to use his “heinous surname.”
The writer threatens to subject Cox to a recall election unless he changes his name. Unfortunately for the anonymous author, that’s impossible. There is no mechanism in Utah law to recall an elected official.
This got me thinking. If Cox were forced to change his name, what would it be? Send me your suggestions for new names for the Governor formerly known as Spencer Cox. Don’t just limit your imagination to his surname. Show me how creative you can get.
I’ll print the best suggestions in Tuesday’s newsletter.
Here’s what you need to know for Monday morning
🚨 A harrowing new United Nations report on climate change says unequivocally that humans have caused deadly and irreversible changes to the climate. The report cites 14,000 studies and says there is “nowhere to hide” from the devastating effects of climate change. [WaPo]
👀 Actor Ashton Kutcher, who helped push the TestUtah initiative, was an investor in the company that secured a $6.1 million no-bid contract for a contact tracing app that never worked as intended. The company told Utah officials, including then-Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox that Kutcher could help get a letter about the app to Apple CEO Tim Cook. It was never disclosed Kutcher was an investor. [Tribune]
🏛 The Senate voted to cut off debate on the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. Final passage of the measure is expected soon. [Politico]
🏛 Utah’s House members aren’t sold on the $1 trillion infrastructure bill even though Sen. Mitt Romney helped negotiate the final package. [Tribune]
🏛 Utah has one of the shortest legislative sessions in the country, which makes lawmakers particularly vulnerable to groups pushing “copy and paste” legislation. [Tribune]
🦠 The COVID-19 delta variant is now responsible for more than 90% of all new infections in the U.S. [WaPo]
💉 A federal judge rules Florida cannot ban cruise ships from requiring the COVID-19 vaccine for passengers. [Reuters]
🦠 More than 3,000 children in Louisiana have tested positive for COVID-19 in less than a week. [WDSU]
✈️ United Airlines is the first carrier to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for U.S.-based employees. [WaPo]
🦠 Businesses are starting to delay plans to return to the office as the number of new COVID-19 infections is rising. [WSJ]
🤦 A housing project for students at Utah State University is nowhere near completion, causing hundreds of students to scramble to find housing in just a few short weeks. [Tribune]
💲 Average pay for supermarket and restaurant workers tops $15 an hour. The increase comes as employers struggle to find workers amid the pandemic. [WaPo]
⚖️ A top aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned on Sunday after a New York State attorney general report concluded he had sexually harassed nearly a dozen women. [NYT]
⚖️ An executive assistant to Gov. Cuomo spoke publicly for the first time, saying the governor “needs to be held accountable” for sexually harassing her and other women. [CBS News]
Monday’s Utah news roundup
Salt Lake Temple sure looks different on the outside now, but it will also change inside. [Tribune]
Investigation stalls into racist graffiti found in Logan. [Tribune]
Car-sharing startup resumes operations at Salt Lake City airport. [Tribune]
‘Modern Family’ actress and her sister help injured women in Arches National Park. [Tribune]
Has President Biden’s families plan helped? These Utahns say yes. [Deseret News]
Utah Black Lives Matter president Lex Scott steps down after moving to another state. [Deseret News]
‘Let’s not wait until we have children in the hospital’: A group of Utah parents rally for a mask mandate in schools. [Tribune]
Doctors say vaccines alone won’t stem current COVID-19 surge. [Deseret News]
Navajo Nation: No COVID-19 related deaths for 8th day in row. [KUTV]
National Park Service struggles to keep boat ramps open as Lake Powell hits historic low. [Tribune]
Where was the water going? Park City took another approach to water conservation. [Tribune]
Park officials warn visitors of ‘dark sand’ at Yuba Lake. [Tribune]
Salt Lake City is poised to build some big projects. See where the new parks and trailheads may go. [Tribune]
Centerville city council addresses fundraising controversy involving mayor. [Fox 13]
On the editorial page
Going back to school should’ve been so much easier. Here’s how it could still happen, The Tribune Editorial Board writes. [Tribune]