Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Provo City more than doubling their Rec Center Fees for Annual Passes

Do the Provo Rec Center fees discriminate against the low income and residents on fixed incomes in Provo?  
"The fee per day for adults will be $5, and $4 for youth and seniors. But it's the annual memberships where the big increase is -- an adult annual pass will be $285, compared to the $108 residents currently pay. In Orem and Lehi, residents pay $207 and $236 respectively for annual rec center passes. A family membership will be $493 in comparison to the current fee of $195. The youth and senior annual fees will be $157; they currently pay $80. These fees are all based on Provo residency. Non-residents will pay more.
According to Roger Thomas, director of parks and recreation, the fees were computed by Ken Ballard of Ballard King Associates in Colorado, based on the recreation department feasibility study. Pros Consulting out of Indianapolis, which has worked with more than 700 recreation facilities throughout the U.S., also weighed in on the fee structure."
Mayor John Curtis said at a recent council meeting that the recreation department was given three marching orders on the project: come in under budget, be done on time and be one of the top recreation centers in the nation. They are doing all three. Heraldextra.com

Provo Recreation Center Pass Rates for Provo Residents

FamilyIndividualSenior Citizens
One Month$49.00**$26.00$15.00
Three Months$81.00**$50.00$32.00
**Family passes are limited to 5 people, each additional family member is $10.00

Provo Recreation Center Pass Rates for Non-Residents 

FamilyIndividualSenior Citizens
One Month$63.00**$35.00$23.00
Three Months$99.00**$61.00$41.00
**Family passes are limited to 5 people, each additional family member is $10.
The above passes are good for admission to the Provo Recreation Center only.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Orem City Council voted to allow Sunday Beer Sales. November 12, 2012.


17 Mormons will serve in next Congress. Salt Lake Tribune.

While Mitt Romney, the most well-known LDS politician, lost his bid for the White House this year, Mormons fared well in congressional races.
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will make up more than 3 percent of Congress come January, nearly double the faith’s 1.7 percent proportion of the population nationwide.
There haven’t been as many LDS adherents in Congress since 2000, when Salmon last served in the House. The congressman-elect, who was born in Salt Lake City and earned his master’s degree at Brigham Young University, says it’s positive for the faith to be so well-represented in the federal government.
And, Salmon adds, if they get together, "we know the same primary songs."
Mormons have averaged about 15 members in Congress during the past few sessions, with most serving on the Republican side.
The big exceptions are Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the Nevadan who is the highest-ranking elected official from his faith in the nation, and Utah Rep. Jim Matheson, also a Democrat.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Orem City Launches new fleet of Natural Gas Waste Trucks today at 4:00 p.m. Orem City Center

Is there a connection to this fleet of natural gas trucks to the blue recycling cans forced on every resident of Orem? Can you buy natural gas in Orem, or will this take all tax revenue for Waste Management to a different city? 

Mayor Jim Evans and the Orem City Council will join Waste Management officials to officially launch the new fleet Tuesday at 4 p.m. at the Orem City Center.

 In an effort to make Orem city cleaner and safer, Water Management and city officials will officially introduce a new fleet of natural gas-powered trucks as part of America Recycles Day, Tuesday.
The natural gas trucks will be the largest fleet operating in Utah. The trucks collect solid waste and recycling garbage. The trucks put out up to 50 percent less nitrogen oxide, which forms smog, and 25 percent less greenhouse gas. They also run 50 percent quieter than diesel trucks.
The event correlates with America Recycles Day, which is recognized every year on Nov. 15 to raise awareness of recycling and its benefit to the environment. The public is invited to come and learn about the new technology and see one of the new vehicles.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Winners and Losers of 2012 Election. Chris Cillizza. The Washington Post.

Women: Women comprised 53 percent of the total national vote -- as they did in 2008 -- and went for Obama by 11 points, a gender gap critical to his victory. Female politicians -- particularly on the Democratic side -- also had a very good night. The Senate added Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Tammy Baldwin (Wis.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii) and Heidi Heitkamp to its ranks while re-electing potential 2016-ers Kirstin Gillibrand (N.Y.) and Amy Klobuchar (Minn.). In New Hampshire, women ruled the day -- electing a new governor (Maggie Hassan) and two new House Members (Carol Shea Porter and Ann Kuster). Add Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R) and Jeanne Shaheen (D) to that mix and you have an all-female congressional delegation from the Granite State.
Young voters: Long the butt of jokes about their lack of participation in the political process, the 18-29-year-old set made a major statement in the 2012 campaign. One of the most amazing stats of the 2012 election is that young voters made up a larger percentage of the total electorate (18 percent in 2008, 19 percent in 2012) than they did four years ago. And while Obama's margin wasn't as large among that youthful age group as it was four years ago, he still carried 18-29-year-olds by 24 points. We are, we are the youth of the nation -- indeed.


Tea-party champions: The tea-party wing of the GOP cost Republicans near sure-thing Senate seats in Missouri and Indiana by nominating two candidates who were aligned with their views but not with the broader electorates of the states they were running to represent. Add Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin to a list that in 2010 included Sharron Angle, Christine O'Donnell and Ken Buck and you see five Senate seats that Republicans could easily be holding if they had nominated the more electable candidate. At the House level, tea-party hero Joe Walsh (Ill.) lost badly and Rep. Allen West (Fla.) appears headed to defeat although he has yet to concede the contest. Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) eked out a win despite the Republican nature of her suburban Twin Cities seat. The message? Being a tea-party hero is great if you are running for the tea-party nomination. Of course, that doesn't exist.
Read more: lowellsun.com/oped

Exit Polls show: 78% of Mormons voted for Romney, 21% voted for Obama. The white Protestant and white Catholic share of the electorate are gradually declining over the long term. Pewforum.org.

Religiously unaffiliated voters and Jewish voters were firmly in Obama’s corner in 2012 (70% and 69%, respectively). Compared with 2008, support for Obama ticked downward among both Jews and religiously unaffiliated voters in the exit polls, though these declines appear not to be statistically significant. Both of these groups have long been strongly supportive of Democratic candidates in presidential elections. Black Protestants also voted overwhelmingly for Obama (95%). 

At the other end of the political spectrum, nearly eight-in-ten white evangelical Protestants voted for Romney (79%), compared with 20% who backed Obama. Romney received as much support from evangelical voters as George W. Bush did in 2004 (79%) and more support from evangelicals than McCain did in 2008 (73%). Mormon voters were also firmly in Romney’s corner; nearly eight-in-ten Mormons (78%) voted for Romney, while 21% voted for Obama. Romney received about the same amount of support from Mormons that Bush received in 2004. (Exit poll data on Mormons was unavailable for 2000 and 2008.)

The basic religious contours of the 2012 electorate resemble recent elections – traditionally Republican groups such as white evangelicals and weekly churchgoers strongly backed Romney, while traditionally Democratic groups such as black Protestants, Hispanic Catholics, Jews and the religiously unaffiliated backed Obama by large margins.
Vote Choice by Religious Attendance 
As in other recent elections, those who attend religious services most often exhibited the strongest support for the Republican presidential candidate. Nearly six-in-ten voters who say they attend religious services at least once a week voted for Romney (59%), while 39% backed Obama. Romney received as much support from weekly churchgoers as other Republican candidates have in recent elections.
Those who say they never attend religious services were again among the strongest Democratic supporters in the presidential election. More than six-in-ten voters who say they never attend religious services voted for Obama (62%). Voters who say they attend religious services a few times a month or a few times a year also supported Obama over Romney by a 55% to 43% margin. 
Religious Composition of the 2012 Electorate 
The religious composition of the 2012 electorate resembled recent elections, though there are signs that both the white Protestant and white Catholic share of the electorate are gradually declining over the long term.

Slightly more than half of 2012 voters describe themselves as Protestants (53%), compared with 54% in each of the three previous elections. Roughly four-in-ten voters were white Protestants in 2012 (39%); by comparison, 42% of 2004 and 2008 voters were white Protestants, as were 45% of 2000 voters. The decline in white Protestants’ share of the electorate is most evident among non-evangelicals, whose share of the electorate has declined slightly from 20% in 2004 to 16% in 2012. White evangelical Protestants constituted 23% of the 2012 electorate, compared with 23% in 2008 and 21% in 2004.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Will Huntsman re-join Obama administration as secretary of state? Lisa Riley Roche, John Daley. Deseret News.

SALT LAKE CITY — With Mitt Romney losing his race for the White House, another Republican with Utah ties may be on his way to Washington, D.C. to play a key role in President Barack Obama’s administration.
Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr., an unsuccessful candidate for this year’s GOP presidential nomination, is being mentioned as a possible pick to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she steps down at the start of Obama’s second term.
The Associated Press reported Thursday that while U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry are likely high on Obama’s list, unnamed officials “are pointing to Jon Huntsman,” who served as the Democratic president’s U.S. ambassador to China.
The wire service said Huntsman continues to be widely respected in the administration, despite his attempt to unseat Obama. Naming Huntsman to another top post would allow the president to claim bipartisanship while tapping his extensive knowledge of China.
Huntsman told KSL-TV that his future is focused on his family and his work, which includes serving as distinguished fellow at a prominent Washington think tank and as chairman of the Huntsman Cancer Institute as well as giving speeches around the country.
He described what’s ahead for him as “managing a lot of projects that I find absolutely fun, interesting and satisfying.” After returning from China, Huntsman bought a family home in Washington and also a condominium in downtown Salt Lake City.
The speculation Huntsman could be asked a second time to serve in the Obama administration caught many political observers off guard.
 “Oh, wow. Wow. Really?” said Quin Monson, head of Brigham Young University’s Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy. “That would be very surprising.”
Monson said it would seem unlikely Huntsman would be brought back into a Democratic administration after running against President Obama.
“On the other hand, he’s signaling he’s had it with the Republican Party. Going back for another round seems to make his transition complete,” Monson said, referring to Huntsman’s complaints about the direction the GOP is headed.
If Huntsman is serious about pursuing the post, Monson said that’s likely a sign he’s no longer eyeing another presidential bid, in 2016, at least not as a Republican. Huntsman has talked about the need for a new, third political party to emerge.
New Hampshire politician Peter Spaulding, a top adviser to Huntsman’s short-lived presidential campaign, agreed that re-joining the Obama administration all but ends Huntsman’s political career as a Republican.
Spaulding, who said he agrees with Huntsman’s assessment that the GOP has moved too far to the right, wants to see him take on the party rather than leave.
“I do think he has a future in the party and I think the party hopefully has learned it has got to moderate its positions,” Spaulding said. “I would like to see him be one of the Republicans who leads those efforts.”
Spaulding, a county commissioner, said he plans to support Huntsman if he makes another run for the presidency and said he’d have a good chance of doing better.
Huntsman dropped out of the presidential race earlier this year after skipping the Iowa caucus vote and finishing a disappointing third in the New Hampshire primary.
Dante Scala, a University of New Hampshire political science professor, was less enthusiastic about Huntsman’s prospects.
“He burned fewer bridges with Obama than he did with the Republican Party. I would be surprised if Jon Huntsman has any kind of future in national Republican Party politics,” Scala said.
Especially, he said, since there are other moderate Republicans like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie poised to jump into the 2016 race and take the party in a different direction.
“He might as well go work for Obama again. I don’t think he could damage his reputation that much more than he has already done,” Scala said.
Another option for Huntsman would be running for office in Utah, possibly for the Senate seat now held by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah. But Monson said that would be a tough race for Huntsman because of his moderate politics.
“I don’t’ know that he would get elected in Utah again as a Republican,” Monson said, suggesting Huntsman might have better luck as a Democrat. “I think his move ideologically to the center has helped his chances on the national stage” but not with the GOP in Utah.
Huntsman avoided directly attacking the GOP in his interview and said he cares more about the future of the country than the future of the Republican Party.
“It’s a time when people just want to know they’re going to be OK,” he said. “Sometimes party politics can run counter to the reassurance that people are looking for, so it’s a time when we need to start thinking about what’s right for the country most of all. And then I think party politics will follow.”
Contributing: John Daley

Thursday, November 8, 2012

$6 billion spent on 2012 presidential, U.S. House and U.S. Senate races. Andrew Wittenberg. ksl.com.

SALT LAKE CITY -- How much money does it take for political candidates to fly across the country for events or run TV commercials?
The amount of money spent on the presidential, U.S. House and U.S. Senate races combined in Decision 2012 totals $6 billion, with $2.5 billion spent between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama alone.
Orrin Hatch spent $12 million on his campaign.
It was spent on commercial advertising, travel, fundraisers, and generally anything else that would sway people at the polls.
Voter Ebert Hongo said, "Is it because they think they have to convince people to vote for them? I mean, why do they have to spend that much money? You would think people would know what their ideology was."
Other voters in Salt Lake say it's worth it. The politicians are the ones in charge of the country.
Terri Frandsen said, "I think elections are really important and I think they need to raise awareness."
Here are some comparisons for the $6 billion.
  • City Creek Center cost an estimated $1.5 billion to construct and took years to build. Major political campaigns spent four times that amount in the past six months alone.
  • You could pay for the I-15 CORE Project nearly three times over. And if you like cold hard cash, every Utahn would be entitled to a check for more than $2,000.
Economist Scott Schaefer says it's like the Cold War with money instead of missiles.
"What we're seeing right now is a lot of spending on elections and not much happens. What we saw in the 1970s and ‘80s was a lot of spending on nuclear arms development and not much happening," he said.
In the newly created 4th Congressional District, Mia Love's campaign got funding from the National Republican Party. Incumbent Jim Matheson sees his campaign spending tons of money, and he goes to his war chest.
Historically, some candidates literally spend their last penny to stay in the spotlight.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

12 Senators are Alumni from Harvard. January 2011.

According to Harvard Magazine January 2011 the following alumni from Harvard are senators:

SENATE REPUBLICANS: Michael D. Crapo, J.D. ’77 (Id.); *Pat Toomey ’84 (Pa.); David Vitter ’83 (La.).  Note Michael D. Crapo, is also Brigham Young University alumni.
SENATE DEMOCRATS: Jeff Bingaman ’65 (N.M.); *Richard Blumenthal ’67 (Conn.); Al Franken ’73 (Minn.); Herbert H. Kohl, M.B.A. ’58 (Wisc.); Carl Levin, LL.B. ’59 (Mich.); John F. (Jack) Reed, M.P.P. ’73, J.D. ’82 (R.I.); John D. Rockefeller IV ’58 (W.Va.); Charles E. Schumer ’71, J.D. ’74 (N.Y.); Mark R. Warner, J.D. ’80 (Va.).

Four BYU Alumni will serve in 2013 Senate. Jamshid Ghazi Askar. Deseret News.

                                                   Utah Senator Mike Lee
                                                    Utah  Senator Orrin Hatch
                                             Idaho Senator Mike Crapo

                                          newly elected Arizona Senator Jeff Crapo

When Arizona elected Rep Jeff Flake to the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, it meant four BYU grads will be serving together in the Senate come January.
Joining Flake in the upper chamber of Congress will be fellow Cougars and sitting Republican senators Mike Lee (Utah), Orrin Hatch (Utah) and Mike Crapo (Idaho).
 “Flake is a fiscal conservative, known for his opposition to federal spending and rising deficits,”  Catalina Camia wrote Wednesday for USA Today. “In the race's final days, the six-term congressman got support from GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who argued that Flake would serve as a roadblock to Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid.”
 “Flake, a six-term Republican congressman, is best known for his fierce opposition to ‘earmarks’ — special requests for federal dollars for local pet projects such as roads and bridges,” the Associated Press reported Wednesday. “He said his opposition is a move away from patronage and a move toward basing funding for projects on merit.”
The Hill blogger Ben Geman noted Wednesday how Flake is something of a political wild card when it comes to climate change: The conservative Flake opposes cap-and-trade legislation and federal carbon emissions standards for coal-fired power plants, according to Arizona Public Radio. But Flake — whose campaign drew opposition from environmentalists — also has a history of bucking his party on climate change. In 2009, he introduced legislation … that would have imposed a tax on oil, gas and coal production or imports.”
Jamshid Ghazi Askar is a graduate of BYU's J. Reuben Clark Law School and member of the Utah State Bar. Contact him at jaslar@desnews.com or 801-236-6051.