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Situational Analysis - April 8, 2021
Hello Thursday! Today is National Zoo Lovers Day. Did you know that the Vienna Zoo is the oldest existing zoo and was opened to the public in 1765. The United State's first public zoo, Central Park Zoo, opened in 1874 in New York, more than a century later. If you head off to Hogle Zoo today, remember that they still require masks.
News you need to know
- There was ANOTHER mass shooting, this time in South Carolina. A local doctor, his wife and two of their grandchildren are among the victims.
- Ryan Gabriel, a Black sociology professor at BYU, asked students at a Tuesday devotional to help "end the sin of racism" - and to stop trying to not see race. "To pretend that race is unimportant by saying, 'I don't see race' - or to falsely diminish the impacts of racism on the lives of Heavenly Father's children - does nothing to stop racism."
- The seven female Cabinet heads in the Cox-Henderson administration weigh in on why having women in leadership matters. "We are here because our governor believes that improving outcomes across this great state requires inclusion and diversity of all voices. We are respected for our skills and talents first." When women are "purposefully at the table,...performance improves."
- Thom Carter, the governor's energy advisor, writes that "keeping it in the ground" isn't really an option. "All power, whether traditional or renewable, is impacted by what comes out of the ground. Advocating for renewable energy sources also means maintaining, if not expanding, our mining infrastructure."
- Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday that it was "quite stupid" for corporations to weigh in on the Georgia voting law, but clarified "I'm not talking about political contributions...That's fine. It's legal. It's appropriate. I support that."
- US Interior Secretary Deb Haaland is in Utah, meeting with tribal members and elected officials as she tours Bears Ears and Escalante Grand Staircase to discuss the potential restoration of two national monuments. It seems like there has to be a better way to deal with national monuments than the whiplash of conflicting executive orders.
- In a new video, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta H. Fore thanks Latter-day Saint Charities for its $20 million donation. The grant contributes to UNICEF's historic efforts in leading the procurement and supply of 2 billion COVID-19 vaccines for nearly 200 participating COVAX countries and economies by the end of 2021.
6 days until the end of the Cox/Henderson administration's first 100 days (04/14/2021)
16 days until the United Utah Party Organizing Convention (04/24/2021)
22 days until the Biden/Harris administration's first 100 days are up (04/30/2021)
23 days until the in-person Utah GOP Organizing Convention (05/01/2021)
156 days until half-way through the Cox/Henderson's administration's 500-day plan (09/11/2021)
Today At Utah PolicyTweets of the day
By Holly Richardson
Dark Skies, handcuffing babies, Daily Universe to stop printing weekly paper, the Utah County Commission "reconsiders" and Secretary Haaland is in town.
Women in government
By Holly Richardson
Kaysville councilmember Tamara Tran gets profiled in a national publication and Utah's female cabinet members speak up about the importance of diversity in representation.
'Ethnic cleansing' in Ethiopia
By Holly Richardson
Trigger warning for violence, including sexual violence. This is a tough topic. Since November, an "ethnic cleansing" is underway in the northern region of Ethiopia when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who ironically received the Nobel Peace Prize, launched a major military operation against the ruling party in the area, the Tigray People's Liberation Front. This "cleansing" hits close to home for our family, as two of our children were adopted from that area almost 20 years ago. Our hearts are broken.
Salt Lake Tribune
- Amid complaints of a toxic culture for women within the Salt Lake County GOP, Kathleen Anderson jumps into race for chair - The former congressional candidate joins Chris Null, a longtime party insider, and Andrew Langford, a political newcomer, in bid to shake up leadership and set a new tone for the county's Republican Party.
- In apparent defiance of state law, Mayor Erin Mendenhall says mask mandate will continue in Salt Lake City - Business owners plead with residents, visitors to respect their front-line workers.
- Provo native Junior Bounous, 95, may have broken world record with Wasatch heliski trip - The first director of Snowbird's Mountain School is believed to have almost a year on current record-holder.
- After Thursday's Bears Ears tour, Deb Haaland will visit Grand Staircase on Friday - The state's political leaders oppose the monument's restoration, while the tribes want to see it redesignated to cover the entire 1.9 million acres they had initially proposed.
- Utah lawmakers ended a requirement for a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Has anything really changed? - "Nothing really has changed in how people can behave with a gun," says St. George Republican Rep. Walt Brooks, who was the bill's sponsor. "If you're not legally allowed to have a firearm, then this doesn't change anything."
- Salt Lake City commission issues recommendations on school-to-prison pipeline, youth racial equity - City Council's racial equity in policing advisers asks for improved funding and consistency to help at-risk students.
- More than 1 million Utahns have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine (Salt Lake Tribune) - That represents about 44% the eligible population over the age of 16.
- Most Utah business owners say they'll still require masks (FOX 13) - Individual businesses have the right to decide whether or not masks are required despite lack of mandates from counties.
- U.S. begins study assessing allergic reactions to Pfizer and Moderna Covid vaccines (CNBC) - Most of the rare, severe allergic reactions to these vaccines have occurred in people with a history of allergies, public health officials have said.
- CDC: Do not travel to Canada, even if you are vaccinated (Bring Me The News) - The CDC rates COVID-19 travel advisories from Level 1 (low) to Level 4 (very high), and it has labeled Canada a Level 4 danger zone.
- UK variant is now the dominant coronavirus strain in the US, says CDC chief (CNN) - The country's daily rate of new cases rose over most of the last four weeks. Part of that is due to the spread of B.1.1.7 and other concerning variants, Walensky said this week.
- AstraZeneca vaccine linked to rare blood clots, EU regulators conclude (Ars Technica) - Link throws fate of AZ's vaccine into question-and casts dark shadow over J&J's vaccine.
- Average US COVID-19 death toll plunges even as new cases rise (New York Post) - The average daily COVID-19 death toll plunged by nearly 20 percent in the US over the past week - even as the average number of new cases and hospitalizations went up.
- CDC says there's no major risk of getting COVID-19 from surfaces (Deseret News) - CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said "disinfection is only recommended in indoor-setting schools and homes where there has been a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, within the last 24 hours."
- One-third of COVID-19 survivors face this troubling disease (Deseret News) - 24% of COVID-19 survivors were diagnosed with neurological or psychological conditions within six months of infections.
- Scientists want to make an ideal COVID-19 vaccine. Here's what that would look like (Deseret News) - the perfect COVID-19 vaccine would be "administered in a single shot, be room temperature stable, work in all demographics and, even pushed beyond that, ideally be self-administered."
- Manchin sees 'no circumstance' for voting to kill filibuster (Politico) - The moderate Democrat drew a hard line amid talk about limiting Senate Republicans' power to hold up President Joe Biden's agenda.
- Biden to unveil 6 executive actions to curb gun violence, nominate a permanent ATF director (USA Today) - The president also is expected to announce his nomination of David Chipman as the director of the Justice Department's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to senior administration officials. Chipman is an ATF veteran who currently serves as an adviser for the gun control advocacy group named for former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
- This is a *major* warning sign for Republicans (CNN) - Just 25% of the public calls themselves Republicans -- close to the lowest (22%) that Gallup has ever measured since it started doing telephone-based polling.
- Biden's Tax Plan Aims to Raise $2.5 Trillion and End Profit-Shifting (The New York Times) - The plan detailed by the Treasury Department would make it harder for companies to avoid paying taxes on both U.S. income and profits stashed abroad.
- Texas Gov. Abbott blames Biden as allegations emerge of sexual assault at child migrant facility (Fox News) - 'The Biden administration is now presiding over the abuse of children,' Abbott said.
- Task Force Investigates Whether Trump Separated Families Earlier Than Known (NPR) - The task force uncovered 5,600 files from the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement from Jan. 20, 2017, the day Donald Trump was sworn in as president, to July 2017.
- Matt Gaetz trip to Bahamas is part of federal probe into sex trafficking, sources say (CBS News) - Gaetz was on that trip with a marijuana entrepreneur and hand surgeon named Jason Pirozzolo, who allegedly paid for the travel expenses, accommodations, and female escorts.
- U.S. prepared to lift sanctions inconsistent with Iran nuclear deal (Reuters) - "We are prepared to take the steps necessary to return to compliance with the JCPOA."
- Congressional Democrats call on Biden administration to demand Saudi Arabia lift blockade on Yemen (CNN) - In an interview with CNN's Becky Anderson on Monday, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud denied the blockade existed
Policy NewsStartup Summit coming May 13th
Join Utah Business and In The Event on May 13th, 2021 for three exclusive panel discussions on everything startups; from early-stage to funding and growth, industry experts from Limitless Flight, Kickstart Fund, Album VC, VentureCapital.org, and Chatbooks will share their secrets to success in three live-streamed panels and a special VIP in-person (but social distanced!) networking event later that evening from 6:00 8:00 pm. The keynote speaker is Brock Blake, founder and CEO of Lendio.Register here for your free tickets to the summit.
Smith's associates remove 140,000 plastic bags from the environment during one day event
In honor of Earth Month, Smith's Food & Drug, a division of The Kroger Co., are encouraging customers to return thin-filter plastic materials to their local store to be recycled into park benches for the local community. Smith's associates in 141 stores will engage with customers, during an in-store volunteer event on April 7, to explain the importance of recycling plastic and bring awareness to the recycling service available.
ChamberWest to hold Women in Business spring conference
ChamberWest is holding its annual Women in Business Spring Conference on Tuesday, April 13. The in-person option is sold out but online registration is still available.
Grand County keeping mask mandate until June 15
The Southeast Utah Public Health Department, in conjunction with the Grand County Council issued the following press release:
Market-based climate solutions gaining momentum in Utah
Over 100 Utah business, policy, and community leaders convened on March 24, 2021 for a briefing hosted by the Utah Climate and Clean Air Compact exploring market-based solutions to climate and air quality. The briefing featured former Republican Congressman Ryan Costello of Pennsylvania and representatives from the bipartisan Climate Leadership Council who are the lead authors of the "Baker-Shultz" Carbon Dividends Plan. The Plan is a market-based climate solution gaining traction nationally that would put a price on greenhouse gas emissions and refund all of the proceeds to American families.
On This Day In History
- 573 - Buddhists celebrate birth of Gautama Buddha.
- 1820 - The famous ancient Greek statue, Venus de Milo is discovered on the Aegean island of Milos.
- 1918 - Betty Bloomer Ford is born.
- 1935 - FDR signs Emergency Relief Appropriation Act, authorizing work-relief programs.
- 1974 - Hank Aaron breaks Babe Ruth's all-time home run record.
- 1990 - 18-year-old Ryan White, national symbol of the AIDS crisis, dies.
- 1993 - Astronaut Ellen Ochoa becomes the first Hispanic woman in space.
- 2013 - Margaret Thatcher, Britain's Iron Lady, dies at age 87.
"If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman."
"The pardon request [from Matt Gaetz] was reportedly seen as a nonstarter at the White House, which is - that's saying a lot, considering Donald Trump once wanted to nuke a hurricane."
- JIMMY KIMMEL
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