Report: Utah Board Misused Public Cash on Fossil Gas Tasks, Didn’t Fund Rural Neighborhood Wants

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Clean Infrastructure Coalition publishes a report Today it is revealed that the Utah Permanent Community Impact Fund board has allocated more than $ 109 million in public funds to projects to promote or expand fossil fuel extraction in violation of federal mineral leasing law.

The report also documents that needed infrastructure projects in rural communities are not being funded while Utah leaders are using federal leases and royalties to help the fossil fuel industry, including a planned oil railroad and oil refinery.

“Utahns are deeply damaged by drought, forest fires, smoke and extreme weather exacerbated by fossil fuels,” said Deeda Seed of the Center for Biodiversity. “It is outrageous that Utah leaders are using public money to subsidize the fossil fuel industry that is causing this climate crisis. That has to end now. We need to invest in sustainable, resilient infrastructure for all communities in Utah. “

Oil, gas, and coal companies pay the federal government the right to develop federally owned minerals on public land and pay royalties for any minerals they mine. Congress intended to use this money to help rural communities facing rapid growth and infrastructure problems due to fossil fuel extraction.

Utah is responsible for distributing the money to the affected communities. However, today’s report noted that much of that administered by the governor-appointed Permanent Community Impact Fund Board has been used to enable fossil fuel extraction. Meanwhile, millions of dollars in community projects identified by rural communities have not been funded, including water and sanitation services, recreation centers, road improvements, and public safety equipment.

“I have stayed out of politics since I left office, but I cannot remain silent when I witness the misconduct of the elected and appointed people who represent the people of Utah,” said the former Salt Lake City mayor and State MP Jackie Biskupski at a press conference on the steps of the State Capitol. “I respectfully urge the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management to conduct a thorough investigation of state mineral lease spending in the state of Utah since 2009 and to take the necessary steps to ensure that local Utah communities receive these funds for their community- and infrastructure projects. “

Today’s report reinforces the findings of a 2020 report from Utah’s Office of the Legislative Auditor General, who raised serious concerns about the Community Impact Board, including the board’s failure to properly fund economic development projects. Despite the findings and recommendations of the audit, the board of directors continued to abuse public funds.

“We call on the legislature and the Utah Community Impact Board to adopt the recommendations set out in the report, including a motion to ban the use of CIB public funds on projects designed to promote or facilitate the extraction of fossil fuels, in accordance with federal law. “Said Carly Ferro, executive director of the Sierra Club’s Utah Chapter. “The Sierra Club will continue to hold regulators and industry accountable for ensuring that polluters are given priority over people. We must continue to invest in communities, people and the environment, and only together can we achieve what is possible. “

“The misuse of money by the Community Impact Fund Board, which is legally intended to help communities affected by the dirty fossil fuel industry, is reprehensible and illegal,” said Jonny Vasic, executive director of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment. “These funds should be used to help local communities deal with the impact of the mining industry, not to duplicate a polluting industry that affects people’s health and contributes to climate change.”

Utah Clean Infrastructure partners include the Center for Biological Diversity, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, Sierra Club, Rural Utah Project, Utah Physicians for a Health Environment, Utah Tar Sands Resistance, Living Rivers, Utah Environmental Caucus, No Coal In Oakland, No Coal In Richmond and the Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah (HEAL Utah).

New tenting and leisure advanced coming to southern Utah

HURRICANE, Utah (ABC4) – A popular camping and entertainment complex is coming to Utah.

Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp Resorts have signed their first Utah franchise agreement with Scott Nielson, founder of Nielson RV, to bring the family camping and entertainment brand to Hurricane.

Nielson recently sold the dealership’s three locations to Camping World and is now focused on Jellystone Park. There are currently more than 75 Jellystone Park locations in the US and Canada with pools, waterslides, splash areas, jumping cushions, cart rides, foam parties, and interactions with costumed Yogi Bear characters.

Campers can choose from a variety of camping and glamping accommodations.

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First announced as Glampers Inn RV Resort, the 52-acre project will be known as Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp Resort in Hurricane Sand Hallow. A publication sent to ABC4 will include the full range of attractions and activities at Jellystone Park.

Families can also enjoy the nearby Hanalei Bay Water Park, as well as boat, ATV, and dune buggy rentals.

Construction work is expected to begin this spring. The first luxury cabins and RV sites are expected to be available in the fall.

“Partnering with Jellystone Park was an easy decision as no other brand is focused on the fast growing family camping and glamping market,” says Nielson. “Jellystone Park offers new franchisees all of the marketing, activity, branded, and merchandise products they need to get up and running quickly, and everyone loves Yogi Bear, especially kids.”

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The new Jellystone Park is located off I-15, two hours north of Las Vegas and four hours south of Salt Lake City, next to Sand Hollow State Park and the reservoir. The nearby Zion National Park is only 30 minutes away. Other state parks, golf courses, and hiking and biking trails are also nearby.

“We’re thrilled that Scott and his team are developing this new park,” said Jim Westover, vice president of product development and sales for Leisure Systems, Inc., the Jellystone Park franchise company. “Scott has a great track record of building extremely successful companies that are very customer-centric.”

According to Westover, recent research at Jellystone Park found that families in the western United States camped or glamped more often than in other regions.

“Families in the west are in great demand for new and better camping options, and we are fortunate that investors who wish to take advantage of this opportunity still have areas to use.”

The Hurricane location will be the fourth new Jellystone Park to open in 2021. There are two locations in Colorado and another in California, but the vast majority of US locations are in the eastern half of the country.

NBA legend Dwyane Wade buys possession stake in Utah Jazz

Dwyane Wade # 3 of the Miami Heat blows on his hand during the team’s shooting prior to the game against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena on December 12, 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Chris Gardner | Getty Images

Dwyane Wade, 13-time NBA All Star and three-time NBA Champion, is joining Utah Jazz’s group of owners, the jazz announced on Friday.

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Wade will join the group of owners led by tech entrepreneur and Qualtrics founder Ryan Smith and his wife Ashley, who acquired a controlling interest in Utah Jazz in late 2020.

“Shortly after Smith acquired Utah Jazz, he and Wade began talks about Wade joining the Utah Jazz Ownership Group and Smith Entertainment Group (SEG), the first of many joint business ventures,” a Utah statement said Jazz.

“As a kid from the south side of Chicago, this partnership goes beyond my wildest dreams of basketball and I hope to inspire the next generation of dreamers,” Wade said in a statement.

Wade joins a growing list of current and retired athletes who have invested in sports teams around the world. Earlier this week, former Yankees star Alex Rodriguez joined former Walmart e-commerce CEO Marc Lore Buy the Minnesota Timberwolves for $ 1.5 billion.

Correction: Updated this story to remove any mention that Smith’s group of owners is the youngest in the NBA.

Masks should be worn, however dwell artwork and leisure occasions coming again to Utah at larger capability this summer season

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Utahns will see a “new normal” as venues, trade shows and festivals open with greater capacity this summer.

“I’ve missed humanity, I’m sure you have too. And I’m really excited to experience the magic of the live festival again this year, ”said Crystal Young-Otterstrom, Executive Director of the Utah Cultural Alliance (UCA).

The UCA has found that consumer confidence is growing. A survey they conducted found that Utahns are anxious and excited to return to venues across the country, and most feel safe returning to outdoor venues.

“Starting with the Pride Festival in June – it looks a little different from the past, but it happens. In August you will see a lot more normalcy. You’ll see the Utah Arts Festival, Urban Arts Festival, and Craft Lake City, ”said Young-Otterstrom.

The venue stayed pretty much Monday, but they’ll soon be welcoming guests to their events.

“USANA opens, Red Butte opens. You will be able to see all the acts and shows that you missed last year, ”she said.

Throughout the summer, Young-Otterstrom said the Utah Shakespeare Festival, Tuachan Festival, and Moab Music Festival are sure to put together full seasons.

She said more people are being admitted to the venues compared to last year. From Monday, masks are still required for events with 50 or more people.

“We want you there and we want you there safe. We need you there in your mask, ”said Young-Otterstrom.

According to Young-Otterstrom, the statewide guidelines are likely to be dropped and the local health districts will decide what comes next.

“There will be different rules, maybe in different counties in the state,” she said.

Young-Otterstrom said to make sure you know the rules before going to an event.

“We are all trying to do our best here to entertain and move you anyway and hope that you can experience these things again, but also bring everyone to safety,” she said.

Last year Utah’s entertainment industry was $ 75 million in success and cost 25,000 Utahns their jobs.

“Seeing this return in greater normality means not only a return to humanity and a life for me and I hope for all of you, but also that my companies can survive in my industry – that they can pay their bills and that their employees can this can pay your rent, ”said Young-Otterstrom.

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