Utah Senator Orrin Hatch was in Salt Lake City Friday to check in on a major foreign trade deal being negotiated here. Consumer advocates and some members of Congress have criticized the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but Senator Hatch remains supportive.
Avenues Bistro in Salt Lake City has started a petition to get its outdoor patio back open and the owner has enlisted the help Salt Lake City Attorney Pat Shea. Back in October, the restaurant was ordered to close the space because it violated a Salt Lake City Zoning ordinance.
Salt Lake City’s Grand America Hotel is hosting closed-door talks on a major trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Negotiations between the US and 11 Pacific Rim countries begin Tuesday and run for five days. Trade representatives will be greeted by protestors. Labor, environmental, and consumer advocates will be rallying outside the hotel at noon Tuesday, demanding the agreement be released to the public.
Utah Governor Gary Hebert says Boeing officials spoke with him yesterday to ask if the state would be interested in assembling the new 777X airplane, a proposition that could have an economic impact for the state in the billions of dollars.
How will the Utah ski season be this year? Well, that mostly depends on the snow. But ski resorts and the state’s tourism organizations are optimistic that this could be one of Utah’s better years. Not only will it be a winter Olympic year which brings more attention to the ski industry, but this is the first year Utah will be included as part of the Epic Pass – a special pass for selected resorts around the world. The Epic Pass will likely mean more out of state visitors, and it also means better deals for locals.
The Downtown Farmers Market is moving to inside the Rio Grande Depot starting Saturday morning. With Salt Lake City’s Downtown Farmers Market ending its 21st summer season at Pioneer Park, the Downtown Alliance is leveraging its success into the new indoor venue to become The Winter Market.
Rio Tinto Kennecott has opened a major access road, restoring full access to Bingham Canyon mine. Kennecott officials say the opening comes months ahead of schedule, but they say it will still take about two years to restore the mine to normal operations.
Where once there was a massive slide, now a road cuts through. Trucks as big as houses motor along back and forth from the mine. Matt Lengerich General Manager of the Bingham Canyon Mine, says it was no small feat to build the new mine access ramp.
A state audit released this week shows that the Utah Department of Workforce Services has cut down on errors enrolling people for benefits and training, and is doing a much better job complying with federal regulations. A previous state audit of the Department showed a consistent pattern of non-compliance, resulting in millions of dollars in questioned costs.
Utah Air National Guard Serviceman Kevin Haugen of Ogden (left) surfs Hero 2 Hired website with guidance from Sergeant Major Bowser. The mobile web center travels 200 days a year to stop at events like the one in Sandy Wednesday.
About 80 Utah employers held a job fair for veterans at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy Wednesday. Along with vets, they were hoping to reach their spouses and members of the National Guard and reserves.
Sergeant Major Wayne L. Bowser represents of one of the sponsors, “Hero 2 Hired.” He says knowing where to start is key.
Pictured Left to Right: At the podium, UTA GM Mike Allegra, Salt Lake City Councilman Stan Penfold, Mayor Ralph Becker, Co-Chair of Utahn's for Better Transportation Roger Borgenicht, Breathe Utah Executive Director Erin Mendenhall and Marty Carpenter of the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce
The Utah Transit Authority has just concluded its year-long analysis of future transportation needs for Utahns. Michael Allegra, general manager of UTA, says expanding use of technology, more focus on residents’ needs and air quality are becoming focal points of the board.
“So air quality is certainly one if those agendas and our pricing and fare policies are all part of that initiative that they’ve given us discharge to go forth and try to implement,” says Allegra.
Federal workers and furloughed employees are holding a rally Thursday at the Ogden Federal Building to protest the government shutdown. Ogden-Clearfield is one of the top 10 metro areas in the country affected by the furloughs. Hill Air Force Base is Utah's largest employer with some 25,000 federal employees and contractors.
The federal government shutdown is delaying and even stopping some lenders from finalizing home loans. With the Internal Revenue Service closed for business, lenders are unable to obtain borrowers tax transcripts, which is a vital step in approving a mortgage. The US Department of Agriculture, which processes rural home loans is closed as well.
Babs De Lay is the principal broker and owner of Urban Utah Homes and Estates. She says lenders, buyers and sellers are panicked.
The Consumer Attitude Index in Utah is at its highest point since Zions Bank created the tracking system three years ago. Randy Shumway of the Cicero Group says the CAI increased 4.3 points from August to September to 92.6. He says that’s a marked improvement over the decrease this month in the national Consumer Confidence Index of 2.1 points to 79.7. Shumway says the percentage of Utahns who think business conditions are normal or good jumped 5 percentage points to 91 percent on the diversity of the state’s economy.
A battle over food stamps is coming to the floor of the U.S. House this week. Republican leaders are backing a bill that would cut $40 billion from the program, formally called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP, over the next 10 years. At the same time a new study released by the Food Research and Action Center, shows that in the last four years, about one in four households in Utah with children struggle to afford food for their families. Utah is just below the national average by about 1 percent.
Gina Cornia is executive director of Utahns Against Hunger.
Utah Transit Authority will begin testing the Sugar House Streetcar line early next week. In the meantime, Salt Lake City, South Salt Lake and UTA officials gathered along a residential section of the streetcar corridor this morning to unveil the look and name of the streetcar. Here’s a hint: It’s a familiar design.
The next time you go shopping for a big ticket item you might want put on your best pair of four inch heels. At least that's what BYU professors Jeffrey Larson and Darron Billeter recommend in their newly released study.
Larson and Billeter find that when a shopper, whether online or in person, has to think about balance they are more likely to weigh their options and go with a product in the middle of the price range.
Salt Lake City and the Downtown Alliance released their parking survey results to the public today with some surprising results. The city’s transportation director Robin Hutcheson says people parking downtown have seen big changes in the last year and a half.
“It was a lot for our public to take in and we’ve been working very diligently to listen, take the feedback…understand the changes we need to make going forward,” say Hutcheson.
The latest findings from an ongoing study by the University of Utah’s Center for Public Policy and Administration show that the U’s move to the PAC-12 conference continues to financially benefit the state and university.
Utah’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.6 percent in July, and the number of jobs was expanding at an annual rate of 3.5 percent. That’s a strong employment picture compared to the rest of the country, but Jonathan Springmeyer with Bonneville Research says it’s not keeping pace with Utah’s population.
“While we are back to where we were before the recession, it doesn’t count all the people that have entered into the job market," Springmeyer tells KUER. "Jobs are improving, but we’re still not keeping up with growth.”
Moab residents are putting their support behind a bid by Skywest Airlines to establish regular flights between Salt Lake City and the popular south eastern Utah community. A recent presentation for Essential Air Service, or EAS, included the current contractor, Denver-based Great Lakes Aviation as well as Skywest and Boutique Air. Bill Groff is Chair of the Grand County Airport Board. He says the interest in making a change is high.
A group of entrepreneurs is creating a center for social innovation in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City. Known as HUB Salt Lake, the center is expected to open its doors by late fall.
HUB Salt Lake will be located in the former Zim’s Arts and Crafts store at 150 South State Street. Right now, it’s 13,000 square feet of open space. City councilmember and architect Søren Simonsen is a co-founder, and he imagines the HUB as a workspace for entrepreneurs trying to solve societal problems.
While Utah and the country may be climbing out of a recession, many young people are not feeling the recovery. A recent analysis by the Center for American Progress found that more than 10 million youth are unable to find full-time work. 17-year-old Fiona Boomer of Ogden wrote to us at KUER about her difficulty finding summer employment, and we asked her to keep a journal in her quest to find a job. This is Fiona’s story.
A report released Tuesday shows that retail sales in downtown Salt Lake City were up 36 percent last year, largely driven by business at City Creek Center. But some businesses at The Gateway Shopping Center say they are not seeing the same trend.
Some members of the Salt Lake County Council want a bigger role in deciding who the mayor appoints to county offices, boards and departments. They’ll consider an ordinance on Tuesday that would give them more time to review the resumes and qualifications of the mayor’s appointees.
The proposal requires the mayor provide information to the council about nominees prior to making an appointment. It also requires some nominees to interview with the council. Republican Council Chair David Wilde is advocating for the changes.
Utah Governor Gary Herbert says his office is exceeding expectations at the half-way point of a goal to create 100 thousand jobs in one thousand days.
Speaking at a high tech manufacturing plant that chose to expand in Utah last year, Governor Herbert announced that the private sector has created 63,600 jobs since he announced the goal during his 2012 state of the state speech. Herbert says when companies choose to expand in Utah it often creates a ripple effect that leads to even more job creation.
The Salt Lake City council sidestepped the mayor’s veto of the city- council-approved budget today, which includes an $8 million property tax hike.
The council overrode the mayor’s veto on a five to two vote, with Councilman Stan Penfold and outgoing Councilman Carlton Christensen voting no. Outgoing Councilman Soren Simonsen said the city can no longer scale back on maintenance to keep ordinary government operations afloat.