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Situational Analysis - January 14, 2021
We've made it to Thursday. Today is National Ratification Day commemorating the ratification of the Treaty of Paris in 1784 and officially ending the American Revolution.
If you only have time for one news item today, take a look at the heightened security for Tuesday's inauguration, from National Guard members sleeping in the Capitol, to layers of eight-foot steel fencing to the number of agencies and private companies involved (50-60), to shuttered Metro stations and all line-of-sight roads blocked. They're not messing around because of ongoing threats and people like Louis Capriotti who was arrested on Tuesday for promising to "surround the White House and ...kill any Democrat that steps on the lawn." Nice.
5 days to the start of the 2021 Utah Legislature (1/19/2021)
Today At Utah PolicyZip-tie guys, rules don't apply and a bald eagle in Pleasant Grove
By Holly Richardson
Zip-tie guy - Attorney Leah Wilson says that it's hard to believe that zip-tie guy (Eric Munchel) was dumb enough to "create evidence for the prosecutors in this case just to show their friends and post on social media." It's provided "mountains of evidence" for federal prosecutors to use in their prosecution.
Definitions you need to know
By Holly Richardson
Definitions - Have questions about some of the words being thrown around the last week? Me too. Here's a brief primer, in alphabetical order:
Local public health mobilizes for COVID-19 vaccine
By Jill Parker
Utah's 13 local health departments have now received the COVID-19 vaccine and are mobilizing to get it into the arms of residents from Logan to St. George."Our common goal is to ensure easy access for everyone who chooses to receive the vaccine no matter where they live," said Lloyd Berentzen, President, Utah Association of Local Health Departments. "Each local health district is accustomed to working with their state and local officials and community partners to meet the health needs of their residents."
Salt Lake Tribune
Policy NewsNew Utah Foundation report looks at shift to telework, impacts on air quality
The events of the past year have forced a major shift to telework in Utah, with important implications for traffic, air quality and growth. Today, Utah Foundation releases The Way Home: The Shift to Telework and its Air Quality Ramifications, which focuses on how remote work relates to air quality in Utah, provides new insights gained during 2020, and looks toward the future interplay of remote work and air quality. It is the second installment in Utah Foundation's Utah Telework Series.
Rep. Blake Moore's statement on impeachment vote
Representative Blake Moore released the following statement:"Last Wednesday, when I voted against the majority of my party on my third day in office, I realized that I can make hard and seemingly unpopular decisions. Voting to strip electoral votes from sovereign states is a dangerous precedent, and I did not hear anything that justified such a high bar. I am committed to being level-headed and objective in my representation of the First District as I uphold my oath to defend the Constitution.
Dr. Angela Dunn answers COVID-19 questions with the SL Trib
Sean Means from the Salt Lake Tribune interviewed Dr. Angela Dunn and takes readers questions. Watch the entire interview here.
New safety protocols for the opening of the 2021 legislative session
Out of an abundance of caution, public participation in legislative proceedings will be temporarily conducted virtually. The decision comes after the Utah Highway Patrol raised concerns with legislative leadership about protests planned at the Capitol, coinciding with the opening of the 45-day annual general session. The legislative session will begin as planned on January 19, 2021.
SL Chamber introduces 2021 legislative priorities
The Salt Lake Chamber hosted the annual Utah Economic Outlook and Public Policy Summit with the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute to release its 2021 legislative priorities. It was the first policy summit to present a framework for both short- and long-term goals of Utah's business community for the coming legislative season.
On This Day In History
Teach them how to say goodbye
(From "One Last Time" in the musical Hamilton)
If I say goodbye, the nation learns to move on
During Operation Desert Storm, I was a legislative affairs officer for Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf. Often I was required to transport gifts, sent to him from patriotic Americans, from Washington, D.C., to his home base in Florida. On one trip I "escorted" a four-foot teddy bear dressed in fatigues with a name tag reading "Bear," General Schwarzkopf's nickname. As I boarded the plane, I explained my mission to the flight attendant and asked if she could store the bear in first class. She was honored to do so, and I disappeared into the coach section.
Then, just before takeoff, an announcement came over the intercom: "Colonel Preast, would you please come up to first class? We have an extra seat here for you to sit next to your teddy bear."
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