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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics - September 4, 2013
Countdown:There are 63 days to the 2013 municipal elections, 147 days until the start of the 2014 Legislature, 422 days until the 2014 midterm elections and 859 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses.

  • The "Count My Vote" group seeking to establish an alternative path to the primary ballot announces they are 1/3 of the way to their $1.5 million goal [Utah Policy, Tribune].
  • Not every member of Utah's Congressional delegation is sold on the plan for missile strikes against Syria [Tribune, Deseret News].
  • Utah unveils their new grading program for public schools [Tribune, Deseret News].
  • Opponents of the grading system worry it will turn public opinion against schools [Tribune].
  • The new grades engender sharp reaction both pro and con [Deseret News].
  • Emails show Mark Robbins, who fled the state in 2009 to avoid creditors, was involved in the development surrounding a UTA station Draper in 2010. Former Attorney General Mark Shurtleff allegedly offered one of Robbins' critics $2 million to keep quiet [City Weekly].
  • New Census numbers show the number of college students across the country dipped more than 2% last year, but the number of Latinos entering college jumped 15% [Tribune].
  • A judge is set to hear arguments over whether Clark Aposhian's ex-wife will get a protective order against the prominent gun lobbyist [Tribune].
  • Dean Armstrong, the former mayor of Helper, is sentenced to home confinement following a guilty plea to a DUI charge [Tribune].
  • Utah joins the NRA in seeking to lift a ban on selling handguns to people under the age of 21 [Deseret News].
  • The BLM gives money for a road project in the Little Sahara recreation area [Tribune].
  • The Utah County Commission is considering a proposal to spend nearly $3 million for a mass transit project in Orem and Provo [Daily Herald].

Today At Utah Policy

SCOTUS Could Make Way for Deluge of Political Money
The Supreme Court could throw a major wrench into campaign finance laws next year, which may open the floodgates for money in politics....

Count My Vote Group Raises $540,000
The Count My Vote citizen petition initiative group has raised more than $540,000, a third of the cash leaders say is needed to get on the 2014 ballot a measure that would expand political party primaries in Utah....

Rubin: Lee's 'Isolationist' Stance Wrong
The Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin says the "isolationist" strategy for U.S. foreign policy advocated by Sens. Mike Lee, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul is exactly the wrong path for the country to follow....

FAA Opportunity Could Establish Utah as a National Hub for Unmanned Aerial Systems Testing
By the end of December the Federal Aviation Administration will have designated six sites within the United States for the testing of commercial and civil unmanned aerial systems (drones) and Utah has significant interest in hosting at least one of those sites....

Accelerating Innovation: USTAR Helps Entrepreneurs Take the NEXT Steps
Throughout the state of Utah, entrepreneurs are developing some of the most amazing innovations for every sector of the economy. However, commercializing these innovative ideas and starting a business around those products is no easy task. While many of these innovators have...

Featured Items

Transparency: Shining the Light on School Grading
When the roll-out of a landmark educational policy is prefaced by statements from legislative leaders like, "you should expect resistance from some who are uncomfortable with transparency," or, in referring to comments from concerned educators, "don't take them seriously," i...

Utah's Economy is Booming, but Education May be Achilles Heel
The Economist gives high marks to Utah's economy in this article, but not everything is hunky dory in the Beehive State.The profile hits the usual highlights - low taxes, low unemployment, a growing high-tech sector. But one thing threatens to derail all of that - Utah's und...

Why the GOP Will Cave on Debt Ceiling Fight
Are you worried about Republican threats to hold the debt ceiling hostage unless the White House agrees to another round of spending cuts? Business Insider's Josh Barrow says you shouldn't be, because the GOP is "full of it."...

Lee: Even Labor Unions Hate Obamacare
PolitiFact rates as "mostly true" a recent assertion by Sen. Mike Lee that Americans on both the Right and the Left, including many labor unions, oppose Obamacare....

What Happens if the Feds Leave John Swallow Alone?
Reports are swirling that Attorney General John Swallow may be cleared in an ongoing federal investigation. What would that do to the Utah Legislature's probe? Our readers and insiders weigh in....

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Op-ed: New Utah school grading plan full of flaws

Editorial: Who gets an F? Success depends on Legislature

Mixed grades for Wasatch Front high schools

Utah election reform group awash in donations

D and F grades for Salt Lake City's high schools

Census: Number of U.S. college students declined last year

Weber County wrestles with library bond, board expansion

Feds give money for Little Sahara road project

Will Utah's school grading system erode support for public schools?

West Valley City Council endorses Russo as police chief

Utah assigns grades to all schools how did yours do?

Deseret News

Richard Davis: Minimum wage increase is a question of fairness

Op-ed: Why Utah's schools need grading

Op-ed: Same-sex marriage is not inevitable

Editorial: A letter grade for each of Utah's schools

Utah joins NRA fight to lift ban on handgun sales to people under 21

Utah congressional delegation not sold on Syria strikes

Mayor who led Roosevelt during '97 tribal boycott 'saddened' by lack of progress

Count My Vote initiative raises more than $500,000

Grades for Utah schools bring strong reaction from parents and educators


Governor visits Westmore, his alma mater (Daily Herald)

Utah County schools rank high in grades (Daily Herald)

Utah School Grades released (Park Record)

Parkites will study the 'Boulder brand' during Colorado outing (Park Record)

Cache Valley schools average B grades under new accountability system (Logan Herald Journal)

National Headlines

Assad: 'Obama is weak' (Daily Caller)

Unannounced Israel-U.S. missile test fuels jitters over Syria (Reuters)

Obama rule-making seen as deeply flawed (The Hill)

Pelosi: 'We must respond' with military (The Hill)

Boehner backs Obama on Syria (The Hill)

What are the odds of a U.S. strike against Syria? 15 key questions answered (CNN)

Can President Obama Sell Syria Strikes to Putin and the G-20? (PBS Newshour)

U.N. Chief: Strike on Syria May Unleash More Turmoil (TIME)

A Battle Over Gun Control in Colorado (Daily Beast)

As Summers's Odds Rise, Stimulus Easing Is Seen (CNBC)

OECD sees Europe joining U.S. recovery, emerging markets sluggish (Reuters)

Syria will bring an oil shock. But how large? (Globe and Mail)

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Wise Words

Education Values
"Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil."
C. S. Lewis Quotations Page

Lighter Side

Raising the Debt Limit
"The treasury secretary has now asked Congress to raise the debt limit for borrowing more money as soon as possible. The secretary of the treasury said if Congress doesn't act soon, the government will have to work with only the money it has now. You know, like the rest of us do." Jay Leno Political Humor

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