Tenant advocacy group calls on Salt Lake Metropolis’s redevelopment director to resign

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Tenant advocacy group calls on Salt Lake City’s redevelopment director to resign

A rally against mass evictions is scheduled for Saturday after an out-of-state developer evicts dozens of low-income renters.

(Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file photo) Liberty Sky, a luxury apartment tower, is being built at 151 S. State. Wasatch Tenants United issued a news release Monday claiming that the Redevelopment Agency has invested millions in taxpayer funds not to address the city’s dire lack of affordable housing, but to subsidize the construction of new luxury apartments. The group also called on the RDA’s director to resign.

As Salt Lake City battles a housing crisis, rising homelessness, mass evictions and a pandemic that’s exacerbating the divide between the affluent and those struggling to get by, a local renters advocacy group has decided it has had enough. It’s calling on Redevelopment Agency Director Danny Walz to resign.

Wasatch Tenants United issued a news release Monday claiming that the RDA has invested millions in taxpayer funds not to address the city’s dire lack of affordable housing, but to subsidize the construction of new luxury apartments. That has caused inflated housing prices for all, further pinching renters and working people. The last straw for the group, according to organizer Ian Decker, was the eviction of dozens of downtown Salt Lake City residents last week when the Annex and Carlton Hotel were sold off to a Chicago developer.

“We didn’t start as a protest group. We started as a group to help people move when they get evicted,” Decker said. “We can’t prioritize that sort of work when the city is creating a bigger problem for people. It’s almost impossible to keep up.”

Rose Park Brown Berets, Utah Against Police Brutality, the Party for Socialism and Liberation and four other local activist organizations co-signed the news release.

On Saturday, Wasatch Tenants United is hosting a rally against mass evictions, where it will repeat its demand for Walz to step down.

“What we know firsthand is that the current course of redevelopment has already hurt the average working person in this city profoundly, and we can see that things are only likely to get worse if nothing is done,” the group wrote on a Facebook event page for the demonstration.

Walz countered that the RDA provides subsidies and incentives for housing projects that “run the gamut.”

“The projects in which we take part are designated to be affordable to a variety of household income levels, including low, very-low, and extremely low incomes, and including seniors or people with disabilities on fixed incomes, or those experiencing homelessness,” Walz wrote in an email.

Recent projects include Pamela’s Place, which provides 100 units for people previously experiencing homelessness and Capitol Home Apartments, which has 62 units for households earning 25% to 50% of the city’s median income, Walz said.

“The RDA also leases its property at a substantial subsidy to the Rio Grande Hotel, which provides [rooms] to extremely low-income residents,” Walz said.

In 2020 alone, the RDA allocated nearly $5.5 million to affordable housing projects, which resulted in 305 affordable units targeting various income levels.

“It’s important to note that the more deeply affordable the unit, the more subsidization-per-unit required,” Walz said, adding that if the city had funded only deeply affordable housing, it would not be able to provide as many units overall to those in need.

Walz also said the city played no role in recent mass evictions. In fact, the RDA has deferred loans, waived rent and helped tenants secure federal grants during the pandemic.

“The state, through a comprehensive state law, regulates evictions, not the city,” Walz wrote. “State law also explicitly prohibits municipalities from passing any rent control ordinance.”

Decker acknowledged the city has taken steps to create low-income housing for those in need, but said the city has fallen far short of what’s needed.

He pointed to a 2020 Affordable Housing Report from the Utah Department of Workforce Services, which found Salt Lake County has an available and affordable housing gap of 23,000 very low-income rental units and 22,000 extremely low-income units.

The report also notes that, adjusted for inflation, Utahns’ income grew by .31% per year from 2009 to 2016, but rent rates grew by 1.03% each year.

“Of particular note is the extent to which housing security has become directly dependent on price fluctuations driven by investment property, which excludes lower-income households from the housing market,” the report says.

Developers tend to buy up properties and build or renovate them to high-income standards to maximize the value of their land.

“While these newly built and rehabilitated structures increase the number of housing units relative to demand, which increase vacancy rates, they are not necessarily primary places of residence, but vehicles for wealth storage,” according to the Affordable Housing Report.

(The chart above shows the surge in Utah’s real estate earnings in recent years. U.S. recessions are shaded in gray.)

That, Decker said, is where the city and RDA can play a role in mass evictions.

“When you give a developer a tax credit, or loan, it encourages them to buy more property” and drive up housing prices for everyone else, Decker said.

The resulting inflation leaves a deficit in affordable options, as seen with the Annex and Carlton Hotel evictions, which were first reported by KUTV.

“Through the RDA, this absolutely is being encouraged,” Decker said. “Their policies are actively harming working people.”

But Walz’s boss, Mayor Erin Mendenhall, is sticking by the RDA director.

“Since Danny Walz’s appointment as RDA director, the RDA has not funded any all-market rate or luxury apartment projects,” Mendenhall said in a written statement.

Still, the mayor acknowledged the city’s need to improve access to stable, affordable housing.

“This is a citywide priority and it’s a process the RDA has and will continue to play an integral role in helping us achieve while Utah’s growing economy and population create ongoing pressure on our housing stock and affordability,” Mendenhall said.

City Council Member Ana Valdemoros, who also serves as chair of the RDA board of directors, also offered words of support for Walz.

“I feel like the RDA has been focused on affordable housing for many years now,” Valdemoros said. “We lead the pack in the state in trying to solve the affordable housing [problem] in Salt Lake City and as well as a statewide issue.”

The Wasatch Tenants United rally against mass evictions starts at 2 p.m. Saturday at the west entrance of Salt Lake City Hall. For more information and updates, visit the group’s Instagram account or Facebook event page.

Rally to demand Danny Walz Resign, and against mass evictions: https://fb.me/e/3ZUcydtkW

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Although apartments are being built at a record pace, experts say the added housing supply will take years before it starts bringing down rents.”,”copyright”:”© Francisco Kjolseth 2020″,”created_date”:”2020-12-31T19:55:34Z”,”credits”:{“affiliation”:[{“name”:”Francisco Kjolseth”,”type”:”author”}],”by”:[{“byline”:”Francisco Kjolseth”,”name”:”Francisco Kjolseth”,”type”:”author”}]},”geo”:{},”height”:1738,”image_type”:”photograph”,”last_updated_date”:”2021-01-11T20:11:17Z”,”licensable”:false,”owner”:{“id”:”sltrib”,”sponsored”:false},”source”:{“additional_properties”:{“editor”:”photo center”},”edit_url”:”https://sltrib.arcpublishing.com/photo/XEDP6STYKNDJ7FGH5NSKDYOTJ4″,”system”:”photo center”},”status”:””,”subtitle”:”salttrib”,”taxonomy”:{“associated_tasks”:[]},”type”:”image”,”url”:”https://cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/sltrib/XEDP6STYKNDJ7FGH5NSKDYOTJ4.JPG”,”version”:”0.10.3″,”width”:2800,”syndication”:{“external_distribution”:””,”search”:””}}},”distributor”:{“name”:”sltrib”,”category”:”staff”,”subcategory”:””,”additional_properties”:{}},”canonical_website”:”sltrib”,”geo”:{},”planning”:{“scheduling”:{“planned_publish_date”:”2021-01-24T13:00:00Z”,”will_have_image”:true},”internal_note”:””,”story_length”:{“word_count_actual”:1344,”character_count_actual”:7986,”character_encoding”:”UTF-16″,”line_count_actual”:82,”inch_count_actual”:41}},”display_date”:”2021-01-22T16:21:03.607Z”,”credits”:{“by”:[{“_id”:”tsemerad”,”type”:”author”,”version”:”0.5.8″,”name”:”Tony Semerad”,”image”:{“url”:”https://s3.amazonaws.com/arc-authors/sltrib/e923835e-e096-4fe7-bd87-ea31d9322b96.png”,”version”:”0.5.8″},”description”:”Tony covers real estate, growth and business issues for The Tribune. He is a former editor and government reporter and has been with The Tribune since 1991.”,”url”:”/people/tony-semerad”,”slug”:”tony-semerad”,”social_links”:[{“site”:”email”,”url”:”tsemerad@sltrib.com”},{“site”:”twitter”,”url”:”tonysemerad”},{“site”:”pinterest”,”url”:”Real estate reporter”}],”socialLinks”:[{“site”:”email”,”url”:”tsemerad@sltrib.com”,”deprecated”:true,”deprecation_msg”:”Please use social_links.”},{“site”:”twitter”,”url”:”tonysemerad”,”deprecated”:true,”deprecation_msg”:”Please use social_links.”},{“site”:”pinterest”,”url”:”Real estate reporter”,”deprecated”:true,”deprecation_msg”:”Please use social_links.”}],”additional_properties”:{“original”:{“_id”:”tsemerad”,”byline”:”Tony Semerad”,”firstName”:”Tony”,”lastName”:”Semerad”,”email”:”tsemerad@sltrib.com”,”twitter”:”tonysemerad”,”slug”:”tony-semerad”,”bio_page”:”/people/tony-semerad”,”bio”:”Tony covers real estate, growth and business issues for The Tribune. 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Acting with vigor and dispatch, they would cast two near unanimous votes: first, to convict the president of an impeachable offense, and second, to disqualify him from holding future federal office.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”They would vote in this way, unmoved by partisan passions or the defense’s claim that the Senate lacks jurisdiction, because they believed as a matter of civic principle that ethical leadership is the glue that holds a constitutional republic together. It was a principle they lived by and one they infused into every aspect of the Constitution they debated that summer in Philadelphia nearly 234 years ago.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”As James Madison put it in Federalist No. 57, “The aim of every political constitution is, or ought to be, first to obtain for rulers men who possess most wisdom to discern, and most virtue to pursue, the common good of the society.””,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”In their speeches to the Constitutional Convention, delegates reiterated this point about a constitutional republic’s dependence on virtuous leadership almost every day of debates.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Benjamin Franklin highlighted the need to invest the government with “wise and good men.” James Wilson wanted “men of intelligence & uprightness.” Gouverneur Morris sought “the best, the most able, the most virtuous citizens.” And Madison spoke of “impartial umpires & Guardians of justice and general Good.””,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”They also left behind unequivocal statements describing the type of public personalities the constitutional republic must exclude from office. Through carefully designed systems and the power of impeachment, conviction and disqualification, those to be kept out of office included “corrupt & unworthy men,” “designing men” and “demagogues,” according to Elbridge Gerry.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Alexander Hamilton fought hard to endow the new government with checks and balances to preclude “men of little character,” those who “love power” and “demagogues.” George Mason devoted himself to devising “the most effectual means of checking and counteracting the aspiring views of dangerous and ambitious men.””,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Franklin urged the other delegates to add protections in the Constitution to prevent “the bold and the violent, the men of strong passions and indefatigable activity in their selfish pursuits” from ascending to the presidential chair.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Referring to the presidency, Madison warned about the unique risk of “incapacity, negligence or perfidy of the chief Magistrate.” He went on to argue, “In the case of the Executive Magistracy, which was to be administered by a single man, loss of capacity or corruption was more within the compass of probable events, and either of them might be fatal to the Republic.””,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Delegates were concerned with “the public good,” “the Natl. peace & harmony,” “the internal tranquillity of the States” and “the safety, liberty and happiness of the Community.” They intended for the president, as the commander in chief, to pacify civil hatred, resentment and insurrection, not to incite them to hold onto power.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”They wrote the language of the impeachment powers with a demagogue like Mr. Trump in mind. As incisive political scientists steeped in history, they understood that demagogues are the singular poison that infects and kills republics and democracies.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”As Hamilton warned in Federalist No. 1, these free forms of governments typically die at the hands of ambitious, unscrupulous orators who rise to power on “angry and malignant passions,” “avarice, personal animosity, party opposition” and “the bitterness of their invectives.” These dangerous politicians, Hamilton said, “have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people; commencing demagogues, and ending tyrants.””,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”To safeguard the American people from such politicians, the delegates empowered the House to impeach a president and the Senate both to remove him and to bar him from future office.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Mason was a strong advocate of the Constitution’s impeachment powers. On the seventh day of debates, he declared that “some mode of displacing an unfit magistrate” must be incorporated into the national charter for two crucial reasons. One was the “fallibility” of electors, or voters — that is, they might elect a demagogue — and the other, “the corruptibility of the man chosen.” In another speech, Mason said of the indispensable instrument of impeachment, “No point is of more importance,” and he asked, “Shall any man be above justice?””,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”What has happened to us today, to our ethics, to our standards of presidential decorum and leadership, to our fidelity to the Constitution and belief in justice, to our political courage and historical understanding of the dangers of demagogues to democracies, for there to be even a remote chance that the Senate, after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, will acquit Trump, allowing him to run again in 2024?”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”The revolutionaries who took up arms against King George III were willing to break their bonds with the British Empire and die for the liberties and rights they would write into the Constitution. Today’s Republican senators must at least be willing to break with their party and disappoint some of their constituents — and, yes, perhaps lose their jobs in coming elections — to serve the larger interest of protecting the nation.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Those senators who vote to convict and disqualify Trump will be remembered, in the words of Madison, as “impartial umpires & Guardians of justice and general Good.” History will thank them for their integrity, wisdom and honor. They will be lauded, like those who helped create the nation, for the sacrifices they made.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”
“,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Eli Merritt is a visiting scholar at Vanderbilt University, where he is researching the history and psychology of demagogues and writing a book about the American Revolution.”,”type”:”text”}],”credits”:{“by”:[{“name”:”Eli Merritt | For The New York Times”}]},”display_date”:”2021-02-10T17:00:00Z”,”headlines”:{“basic”:”Eli Merritt: Would the founders convict Trump and bar him from office?”},”last_updated_date”:”2021-02-10T17:00:00.598Z”,”promo_items”:{“basic”:{“caption”:”(Alex Brandon | AP photo)nnActing Sergeant at Arms Timothy Blodgett, right, leads Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., second from right, the lead Democratic House impeachment manager, and other impeachment managers, through the Rotunda to the Senate for the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021, in Washington.”,”url”:”https://cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/sltrib/7CT62GA7RFC2HHO2YNUIFEGIHI.jpg”}},”publish_date”:”2021-02-10T17:00:00Z”,”subheadlines”:{“basic”:”Delegates to the Constitutional Convention focused on the need for principled leaders.”},”taxonomy”:{“primary_section”:{“_id”:”/opinion/commentary”,”name”:”Commentary”,”parent_id”:”/opinion”,”path”:”/opinion/commentary”},”sites”:[{“name”:”Commentary”,”path”:”/opinion/commentary”},{“name”:”Opinion”,”path”:”/opinion”}],”tags”:[{“description”:”National commentary”,”slug”:”commentary-national”,”text”:”National commentary”}]},”website_url”:”/opinion/commentary/2021/02/10/eli-merritt-would”},{“_id”:”45CVUVLJZ5AHBIGLPARC72DTBY”,”canonical_url”:”/artsliving/food/2021/02/10/these-artisan-chocolate”,”content_elements”:[{“content”:”Editor’s note • This story is available to Salt Lake Tribune subscribers only. Thank you for supporting local journalism.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Want to make your valentine melt?”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Buy that special someone an artisan chocolate bar made in Utah.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”The Wasatch Front has several companies that follow the “bean-to-bar” chocolate-making process. That means they ship cacao beans from some of the world’s best-growing regions — think Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela — then roast, grind and infuse their own flavors into the mostly dark-chocolate bars.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”The process leaves out the refined sugars, artificial ingredients and preservatives often found in drugstore brands.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”[Subscribe to our weekly Utah Eats newsletter.]”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Utah producers earned national attention a few years ago when Saveur magazine called the Wasatch Front the “country’s epicenter of chocolate innovation.” Editors compared the midsize region to larger, more well-known chocolate epicenters like Seattle, San Francisco and Portland.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Eating artisan chocolate bars requires a different tactic than what is used with chocolate-dipped candies and truffles that contain fruit, caramel, nuts or creamy fondant centers.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”First, break off a square and — just like you might with a glass of wine — raise it to your nose. What fruit, nuts and spices can you smell?”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Once you’ve identified the aromas, place a small piece on your tongue and let it melt. This slow process allows various flavors to emerge.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Here’s a sampling of the Utah companies that make bean-to-bar chocolate. Their products are available online, at their production facilities as well as specialty shops and grocery stores around the state.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Amano Artisan Chocolate • Since he launched his Orem company in February 2007, Art Pollard’s single-bean chocolate bars have earned numerous international awards. He was the first U.S. maker to use the rare Venezuelan Chuao bean, a coup that elevated him to the upper echelon of international chocolate makers.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”The Chocolate Conspiracy • A.J. Wentworth aims for the healthiest chocolate possible, using organically grown cacao beans sweetened with raw, unfiltered Utah honey, at his Salt Lake City business. The bars are made with other natural ingredients and come in flavors such as wild spice and blackberry ginger.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Millcreek Cacao Roasters • For its signature chocolate, this Salt Lake City producer uses Arriba Nacional cacao beans from Ecuador, harvested from mature, wild trees at high elevation. The deep roots draw in minerals from rich volcanic soil.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Ritual Chocolate • These dark chocolate bars contain just two ingredients: roasted cacao beans and cane sugar. The Park City company won a 2016 Good Food award for its Mid Mountain bar, a blend of cacao beans from Africa and South America and named for Park City’s Mid Mountain trail near Deer Valley.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Solstice • Scott Querry, a Salt Lake City air traffic controller, and DeAnn Wallin had been chocolate connoisseurs for many years before selling their small-batch organic offerings at gourmet food shops and farmers markets. Today, the Salt Lake City company makes several chocolate varieties with beans imported from Bolivia, Ecuador, Madagascar, Tanzania and Uganda.”,”type”:”text”}],”credits”:{“by”:[{“_id”:”kstephenson”,”image”:{“url”:”https://s3.amazonaws.com/arc-authors/sltrib/53048f8e-41fe-4083-a446-2c3d9ac26315.png”},”name”:”Kathy Stephenson”}]},”display_date”:”2021-02-10T16:53:48.854Z”,”headlines”:{“basic”:”These artisan chocolate bars made in Utah will make your valentine melt”},”last_updated_date”:”2021-02-10T16:53:49.229Z”,”promo_items”:{“basic”:{“caption”:”(Courtesy photo) Dark Chocolate bars by The Chocolate Conspiracy, a bean-to-bar chocolate maker in Salt Lake City.”,”url”:”https://cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/sltrib/MUKS7MIFOBEJZLGYQG2AIP3ATE.jpg”}},”publish_date”:”2021-02-10T16:53:48.854Z”,”subheadlines”:{“basic”:”Several companies along the Wasatch Front follow the artisan chocolate-making process of roasting and grinding beans from all over the world.”},”taxonomy”:{“primary_section”:{“_id”:”/artsliving/food”,”name”:”Food”,”parent_id”:”/artsliving”,”path”:”/artsliving/food”},”sites”:[{“name”:”Food”,”path”:”/artsliving/food”},{“name”:”Arts & Living”,”path”:”/artsliving”}],”tags”:[{“description”:”Featured Arts”,”slug”:”featured-arts”,”text”:”Featured Arts”},{“description”:”Food”,”slug”:”food”,”text”:”Food”},{“description”:”Put stories behind the paywall.”,”slug”:”paywall”,”text”:”Paywall”}]},”website_url”:”/artsliving/food/2021/02/10/these-artisan-chocolate”},{“_id”:”EDJ7HCVAN5GYVPEDDSX63ZIG4U”,”canonical_url”:”/news/politics/2021/02/10/watch-live-nd-day”,”content_elements”:[{“content”:”“,”type”:”raw_html”},{“content”:”Washington • Opening arguments begin Wednesday in Donald Trump’s impeachment trial after an emotional first day that wrenched senators and the nation back to the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Trump’s attorneys sought to halt the trial on constitutional grounds, but lost that bid on Tuesday. Their arguments were meandering at times, leaving Trump fuming over his lawyers’ performance and allies questioning the defense strategy. Some called for yet another shakeup to his legal team.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”House Democratic prosecutors are seeking to link Trump directly to the riot that left five people dead, replaying videos of the rioters trying to stop the certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s victory and Trump’s statements urging them to fight the election results.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”On Wednesday, they plan to use Capitol security footage that hasn’t been publicly released before as they argue that Trump incited the insurrection, according to Democratic aides working on the case.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Senators, many of whom fled for safety the day of the attack, watched Tuesday’s graphic videos of the Trump supporters who battled past police to storm the halls, Trump flags waving. More video is expected Wednesday, including some that hasn’t been seen before.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Trump is the first president to face an impeachment trial after leaving office and the first to be twice impeached. The riot followed a rally during which Trump urged his supporters to “fight like hell,” words his lawyers say were simply a figure of speech. He is charged with “incitement of insurrection.””,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”“That’s a high crime and misdemeanor,” Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., declared in opening remarks. “If that’s not an impeachable offense, then there’s no such thing.””,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”On Wednesday and into Thursday, the managers plan to tell a “succinct” story, according to the aides, who were granted anonymity to discuss the upcoming arguments. They will start with Trump’s false claims that there was massive election fraud and build to the Jan. 6 riots as a “culmination” of his efforts to overturn his defeat.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”The Democrats will argue that Trump inflamed and encouraged groups that had violent backgrounds, the aides say, and they will show how much worse it could have been. The aides said they will use the new Capitol security footage to make that case, but did not describe it.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Security remains extremely tight at the Capitol, fenced off with razor wire and patrolled by National Guard troops.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden would not be watching the trial.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”“Joe Biden is the president, he’s not a pundit, he’s not going to opine on back and forth arguments,” she said.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”The House impeachment managers described police officers maimed in the chaos and rioters parading in the very chamber where the trial was being held. Trump’s team countered that the Constitution doesn’t allow impeachment at this late date.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”That’s a legal issue that could resonate with Senate Republicans eager to acquit Trump without being seen as condoning his behavior.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Lead defense lawyer Bruce Castor said he shifted his planned approach after hearing the prosecutors’ emotional opening and instead spoke conversationally to the senators, saying Trump’s team would denounce the “repugnant” attack and “in the strongest possible way denounce the rioters.” He appealed to the senators as “patriots first,” and encouraged them to be “cool headed” as they assessed the arguments.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Trump attorney David Schoen turned the trial toward starkly partisan tones, arguing the Democrats were fueled by a “base hatred” of the former president.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Republicans made it clear that they were unhappy with Trump’s defense, many of them saying they didn’t understand where it was going — particularly Castor’s opening. Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy, who voted with Democrats to move forward with the trial, said that Trump’s team did a “terrible job.” Maine Sen. Susan Collins, who also voted with Democrats, said she was “perplexed.” Sen. Lisa Murkowki of Alaska said it was a “missed opportunity” for the defense.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Six Republicans joined with Democrats to vote to proceed with the trial, but the 56-44 vote was far from the two-thirds threshold of 67 votes that would be needed for conviction.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”At one pivotal point, Raskin told his personal story of bringing his family to the Capitol that day to witness the certification of the Electoral College vote, only to have his daughter and son-in-law hiding in an office, fearing for their lives.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”“Senators, this cannot be our future,” Raskin said through tears. “This cannot be the future of America.””,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”The House prosecutors had argued there is no “January exception” for a president to avoid impeachment on his way out the door. Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colo., referred to the corruption case of William Belknap, a war secretary in the Grant administration, who was impeached, tried and ultimately acquitted by the Senate after leaving office.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”If Congress stands by, “it would invite future presidents to use their power without any fear of accountability,” he said.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”It appears unlikely that the House prosecutors will call witnesses, and Trump has declined a request to testify. The trial is expected to continue into the weekend.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Trump’s second impeachment trial is expected to diverge from the lengthy, complicated affair of a year ago. In that case, Trump was charged with having privately pressured Ukraine to dig up dirt on Biden, then a Democratic rival for the presidency.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”This time, Trump’s “stop the steal” rally rhetoric and the storming of the Capitol played out for the world to see.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”The Democratic-led House impeached the president swiftly, one week after the attack.”,”type”:”text”}],”credits”:{“by”:[{“name”:”Lisa Mascaro, Eric Tucker, Mary Clare Jalonick and Jill Colvin | The Associated Press”}]},”display_date”:”2021-02-10T16:41:09.666Z”,”headlines”:{“basic”:”Watch live: 2nd day of impeachment as Trump fumes over trial “},”last_updated_date”:”2021-02-10T16:41:09.977Z”,”promo_items”:{“basic”:{“caption”:”(Jose Luis Magana | AP) A runner passes by a billboard truck parked near of the U.S. Capitol during the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington.”,”url”:”https://cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/sltrib/NMRZTUJSENDEBPVIZMT6OJB63Y.jpg”}},”publish_date”:”2021-02-10T16:41:09.666Z”,”subheadlines”:{“basic”:””},”taxonomy”:{“primary_section”:{“_id”:”/news/politics”,”name”:”Politics”,”parent_id”:”/news”,”path”:”/news/politics”},”sites”:[{“name”:”Politics”,”path”:”/news/politics”}],”tags”:[{“description”:”Stories about Washington, D.C. – politics”,”slug”:”federal”,”text”:”federal”}]},”website_url”:”/news/politics/2021/02/10/watch-live-nd-day”},{“_id”:”UIDOBV5KWBBVZADJSHU2GQOLNY”,”canonical_url”:”/sports/utah-utes/2021/02/10/inconsistent-utah-now”,”content_elements”:[{“content”:”If you are what your record says you are, then the University of Utah basketball program is middling as college basketball’s regular season heads into its stretch run.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Ahead of a late-Thursday afternoon tilt at Cal, the Utes are 8-7 overall and 5-6 in the Pac-12. The conference mark has Utah as not only a middle-tier Pac-12 team, but more towards the bottom of the middle tier. With seven scheduled regular-season games to play, plus the possibility of two COVID-related makeup games vs. Arizona State, Utah’s overall record and resume have it nowhere near the NCAA Tournament bubble.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Those are all facts, but none of it takes any nuance into account when attempting to judge this Utah team through 15 games. That amount of time should be perfectly sufficient to come to some conclusions about a given team, but Utah has shown multiple versions of itself in those 15 games, making it difficult to offer a determination as to who these Utes are.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”On one hand, winners of three of four and four of six, Utah is playing well at the moment, maybe even playing its best basketball of the season. Of those four wins, the Utes overwhelmed NCAA Tournament-caliber teams in Stanford and Arizona, plus registered a 19-point second half comeback for a victory at another program with visions of March Madness, Colorado.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”On the other hand, one of the losses in that six-game stretch is a 72-63 home loss to lowly Cal, a game in which Utah led by 12 at halftime, then yielded a 50-point second half. The other is a loss at bottom-tier Washington in which it staved off the Huskies for 38 minutes, only to have three late turnovers all turn into points and do them in, 83-79.”,”type”:”text”},{“type”:”quote”},{“content”:”Utah may be playing well right now, but the losses are still what stick out. Cal hasn’t won a game since that Jan. 16 win at the Huntsman Center, while Washington is battling the Golden Bears for control of the Pac-12 basement. A one-possession loss at UCLA on New Year’s Eve in which Utah led by 12 early. A 10-point halftime lead at home vs. Oregon turned into a six-point loss, another 10-point halftime lead two nights later vs. Colorado became a seven-point loss.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”“We didn’t close the Cal game out and then you can go back to Oregon, Colorado, UCLA,” Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak said after the Arizona win. “All of those games were right down to the wire, too, so it hasn’t really been the sting of one loss, I think it’s been knowing we can play better basketball.””,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Utah is an inconsistent basketball team. On any given night, it can beat a quality Pac-12 team, cough up a lead against a quality Pac-12 team, or play down to a lesser Pac-12 team.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”If the Utes had closed out Cal and Washington, the season starts to look a little different. If the Utes had closed out even one of those 10-point halftime leads vs. Oregon or Colorado, postseason possibilities may be fairly bandied about at this point.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”“The wins don’t make the losses harder, but it shows we could beat those teams,” sophomore center Branden Carlson said. “We had it, we were there the whole game. Every loss is hard, but if we could have done a few things differently, taking care of the ball, made a few more shots, got a few more defensive rebounds, it would have been a different ballgame. We have to learn from it and move to the next one.””,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Krystkowiak has been adamant of late that his players have done a good job of doing what Carlson said, learning from the failures and moving forward.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”With Utah now operating from a position of prosperity, it will be interesting to see which version of itself shows up at Haas Pavilion on Thursday. Keep in mind that in that Jan. 16 loss to Cal, the Golden Bears without their leading scorer, Matt Bradley. In two games since returning to the lineup from an ankle injury, the All-Pac-12 junior guard has scored 39 points on 11-for-25 shooting and 7-for-14 from 3-point range.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”“This is not a business you want to be in, nor a sport you want to play where frustration can be any part of it,” Krystkowiak said. “We’re in control of a lot of the things to avoid frustration and that’s where our guys, I think they’ve really rallied around that concept.””,”type”:”text”}],”credits”:{“by”:[{“_id”:”Jnewman”,”image”:{“url”:”https://s3.amazonaws.com/arc-authors/sltrib/acea26e5-4488-4d4c-86a3-a8c662def66e.jpg”},”name”:”Josh Newman”}]},”display_date”:”2021-02-10T16:02:16.538Z”,”headlines”:{“basic”:”Inconsistent Utah now playing its best basketball of the season. Can the Utes take it on the road?”},”last_updated_date”:”2021-02-10T16:02:16.904Z”,”promo_items”:{“basic”:{“caption”:”(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Utes head coach Larry Krystkowiak nurses his right arm after he had surgery to repair a torn elbow tendon. The Utes defeated Idaho State 75-59 during their NCAA basketball matchup Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020 at the Jon M. Huntsman Center.”,”url”:”https://cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/sltrib/PHSSSKRODVGBTKIGRFLR3SKUGM.jpg”}},”publish_date”:”2021-02-10T16:02:16.538Z”,”subheadlines”:{“basic”:”Utes are just 8-7 overall and 5-6 vs. Pac-12, but have won three of four and four of six”},”taxonomy”:{“primary_section”:{“_id”:”/sports/utah-utes”,”name”:”Utah Utes”,”parent_id”:”/sports”,”path”:”/sports/utah-utes”},”sites”:[{“name”:”Utah Utes”,”path”:”/sports/utah-utes”},{“name”:”Sports”,”path”:”/sports”}],”tags”:[{“description”:”sports features”,”slug”:”sports-featured”,”text”:”Sports Featured”}]},”website_url”:”/sports/utah-utes/2021/02/10/inconsistent-utah-now”},{“_id”:”42TGPKIBQBBZHGPYBKESJQS25U”,”canonical_url”:”/opinion/commentary/2021/02/10/thomas-l-friedman”,”content_elements”:[{“content”:”Donald Trump has been impeached for trying to kill the results of our last election, but we should have no illusions that whatever happens at his trial, the weapon he used is still freely available for others to deploy. It’s a realm called “cyberspace” — where we’re all connected but no one is in charge.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Trump, like no leader before, took advantage of that realm to spread a Big Lie, undermine trust in our electoral system and inspire an attack on our Capitol. We need a democratic fix for cyberspace fast.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”China has figured out how to project its autocratic system and communist values into cyberspace, to enhance its growth and stability, better than we’ve figured out how to project our democratic values into cyberspace to enhance our growth and stability. And we invented the damn thing!”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”If we don’t figure this out fast, we’re going to fall behind China economically, because the pandemic has dramatically accelerated the digitization of everything, making cyberspace bigger and more important than ever.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”How did this happen?”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”When cyberspace, which is made up of the sum total of all the apps running on the internet, first blossomed in the 1990s, it seemed so benign. The worst thing going on there was that a guy named Bezos was selling books on a site named after a river in Brazil — and it didn’t always collect state sales taxes. But a new breed of bloggers and websites quickly emerged, utterly free to speak their minds, and there was also gambling and porn and entertainment — and just about anything else you’d find in the digital version of a Wild West saloon.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Fast forward to today. Cyberspace is starting to resemble a sovereign nation-state, but without borders or governance. It has its own encrypted communications systems, like Telegram, outside the earshot of terrestrial governments. It has its own global news gathering and sharing platforms, like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. It even has its own currencies — Bitcoin and others — that no sovereign state has minted.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”In recent years, all these platforms have mushroomed. They can elevate important voices that were never heard before. But they can also enable a believer in Jewish-run space lasers that start forest fires to connect with enough voters to become a congresswoman. They can generate mass movements for racial equity and women’s rights, and also generate crowds to block COVID-19 vaccinations or to interrupt a nation’s sacred peaceful transfer of power.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”The biggest political science question in the world today is how to get the best from this cyber realm and to cushion its worst. China, America and Europe all have different strategies. I’m rooting for Europe’s.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Why? As cyberspace began to emerge as a place where we were all connected but no government was in charge, China’s Communist Party recognized it as a threat to its monopoly on power and to order and stability in a country of 1.4 billion people.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”So, in 2014, China created a special ministry — the Cyberspace Administration of China — to coordinate all government regulation of its cyber realm and guarantee that Beijing was in charge there as much as in Tiananmen Square.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Now, just as you cannot publish an anonymous critique of President Xi Jinping in The People’s Daily, you cannot do it on Sina Weibo, China’s combined version of Facebook and Twitter, where all users must be registered under their real identity. Facebook, Google, Telegram, Twitter and The New York Times are all blocked in China by the Great Firewall (although there are illegal ways around it).”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”I believe China will pay a price for having choked off even the smallest outlets, like the new audio drop-in app Clubhouse, for its people to let off steam and discuss important issues, like a spreading pandemic, but the regime believes otherwise.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”“Each country gets to pick how its old physical governance system and values get projected into the new cyberworld, and China said its would be cybersocialism with Chinese characteristics,” explained Craig Mundie, the former chief research and strategy officer of Microsoft. “We just didn’t pick.””,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Indeed, as big American cyber companies such as Amazon, Facebook, Twitter and Google emerged, they argued that the best governance of cyberspace would be if no government was in charge. That way their business models would be in charge — and they would grow bigger, faster.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”They were also able to grow quickly thanks to a U.S. law that was enacted when Mark Zuckerberg was 11 years old — long before he helped start Facebook in 2004 — Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”It stipulated that internet/cyberspace companies, which at the time were mostly crude search engines and aggregator sites to help people ferret out recipes and movie reviews, could not be held liable for defamatory or false posts by people using their platforms, the way The New York Times or CBS could be. These companies were treated like printing presses, not news organizations. This did help the internet grow fast, but it was later used by Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to escape from having to heavily edit the content they published.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”And as these platform companies grew through their primary functions — connecting friends, search or sharing cat videos — they soon figured out how to monetize all their traffic and free services: advertising.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”The more ads they attracted, the more they tried to retain people on their sites by learning what the users each liked or hated and pushing more of that to them in order to build psychographic models of each user, so the platforms could tell advertisers exactly which toothpaste each person preferred.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Politicians soon realized they could benefit from the data the same as toothpaste companies did. Barack Obama used it in his first presidential campaign to raise money online, and then Donald Trump used it in 2016 to both rally his supporters in key Midwest battleground states and suppress, with the help of the Russians, Black voter turnout for Hillary Clinton in the same states.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”It was a short step from there for all kinds of actors to learn to use these platforms to organize all kinds of malign activities, from mass murder in Myanmar to a Big Lie in America.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Shoshana Zuboff named this business model “surveillance capitalism,” and in a Times op-ed a year ago she detailed how these sites morphed from “bulletin boards” to “hyper-velocity global bloodstreams into which anyone may introduce a dangerous virus without a vaccine.””,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Alas, our lawmakers were either too gridlocked, too bought off or too tempted to use these platforms themselves to produce serious legislation. And the platforms said, “Don’t blame us — regulate us.” But they all also used their vast lobbying powers to resist that.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”The result? “While the Chinese have designed and deployed digital technologies to advance their system of authoritarian rule, the West has remained compromised and ambivalent,” Zuboff wrote last month in this paper. “This failure has left a void where democracy should be, and the dangerous result has been a two-decade drift toward private systems of surveillance and behavioral control outside the constraints of democratic governance.””,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Which is why my hope now is that the European Union, which is already wary of the huge power of these big U.S. companies, has already forced search engines like Google to grant EU citizens the right to delete unfavorable or inaccurate online material about them from searches and is more sensitive to the dangers of fringe parties, will use its clout as the world’s largest trading bloc to show us how to democratically project our values into cyberspace.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”A few weeks ago, Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, released an open letter that pulled no punches. She noted that she had watched on television “as the angry mob stormed the U.S. Capitol. I found those images deeply unsettling. … This is what happens when messages spread by online platforms and social media become a threat to democracy.””,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”She noted that in December the EU leadership had proposed to the European Parliament a Digital Services Act and a Digital Market Act to make sure that “what is unlawful in the analogue world is in the future also unlawful online … We also want the platforms to provide transparency regarding how their algorithms work. … We also want clear requirements for internet firms to accept responsibility for the way in which they distribute, promote and remove content” and to mitigate the systemic risk they can pose.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Ramesh Srinivasan, a UCLA professor and author of “Beyond the Valley,” told me that America urgently needs to follow suit by enacting a digital bill of rights that “sets the right balance between free speech and algorithms that make hate speech and blatantly false information from unreputable sources go viral.””,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”We need to project our democratic values into cyberspace as effectively as China has injected its own, and we need to do it fast. Please, Europe, show us the way!”,”type”:”text”},{“type”:”image”},{“content”:”Thomas L. Friedman, a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner, is an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times.”,”type”:”text”}],”credits”:{“by”:[{“name”:”Thomas L. Friedman | The New York Times”}]},”display_date”:”2021-02-10T15:30:00Z”,”headlines”:{“basic”:”Thomas L. Friedman: Cyberspace plus Trump almost killed our democracy. Can Europe save us? “},”last_updated_date”:”2021-02-10T15:30:00.626Z”,”promo_items”:{“basic”:{“caption”:”(Richard Drew | AP photo)nnThis Thursday, May 31, 2018, photo shows the Trending section on a Facebook account in New York.”,”url”:”https://cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/sltrib/UGFZTQU55NGRTLUYN2UV2N6RTI.aspx”}},”publish_date”:”2021-02-10T15:30:00Z”,”subheadlines”:{“basic”:”The biggest political science question in the world today is how to get the best from this cyber realm and to cushion its worst.”},”taxonomy”:{“primary_section”:{“_id”:”/opinion/commentary”,”name”:”Commentary”,”parent_id”:”/opinion”,”path”:”/opinion/commentary”},”sites”:[{“name”:”Commentary”,”path”:”/opinion/commentary”},{“name”:”Opinion”,”path”:”/opinion”}],”tags”:[{“description”:”National commentary”,”slug”:”commentary-national”,”text”:”National commentary”}]},”website_url”:”/opinion/commentary/2021/02/10/thomas-l-friedman”},{“_id”:”2SADES3U45DCTBZZQ7MUCMZY6A”,”canonical_url”:”/news/2021/02/10/kidnapped-utah-baby”,”content_elements”:[{“content”:”A baby has been safely returned to her mother, and a Utah man is in custody after a reported kidnapping Tuesday.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”According to American Fork police, the 1-year-old girl’s mother reported that someone came in through the back door of her home about 6:30 a.m. and took her daughter. She said she heard the baby crying as a vehicle drove off.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”The woman told police that a 25-year-old man — who is not the baby’s father — had been stalking her. American Fork officers traced the suspect to an address in Lindon, according to a probable cause statement, and as Lindon police were on their way to the home, the suspect’s sister called 911 to report she had found a baby outside.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”The baby — described by police as “lethargic” — was transported to a hospital as a precaution and later released to her parents.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”The suspect’s family members told police he has “a history of mental illness, including schizophrenia.” When he was interviewed by police, the man said he was at a recreation center in Pleasant Grove when the baby was abducted, and that when he arrived home, he found the child in his driveway.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”According to the probable cause statement, police reviewed security video from the recreation center and did not see the suspect there. Security video from a gas station near the baby’s home showed a car, believed to belong to the suspect, headed toward Lindon at about 6:40 a.m. And surveillance video from a home near the suspect’s residence showed his car leaving the area at about 6:18 a.m. and returning at about 7:10 a.m.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”The suspect’s sister told police she heard a baby crying when she woke up shortly after 7 a.m. on Tuesday. She looked outside and saw the baby on the ground wearing only a onesie in the 30-degree weather. Her brother was nearby. According to police, there was no child car seat in the suspect’s vehicle.”,”type”:”text”},{“content”:”Pending formal charges, the suspect was booked into the Utah County jail for investigation of child kidnapping, child abuse and burglary. He is being held without bail.”,”type”:”text”}],”credits”:{“by”:[{“_id”:”spierce”,”image”:{“url”:”https://s3.amazonaws.com/arc-authors/sltrib/80a1f33c-6786-4297-8540-865f170ba0e5.png”},”name”:”Scott D. Pierce”}]},”display_date”:”2021-02-10T15:19:20.704Z”,”headlines”:{“basic”:”Kidnapped Utah baby returned unharmed, and a man is in custody”},”last_updated_date”:”2021-02-10T15:19:20.950Z”,”publish_date”:”2021-02-10T15:19:20.704Z”,”subheadlines”:{“basic”:”The 25-year-old suspect has a history of mental illness, according to his family members.”},”taxonomy”:{“primary_section”:{“_id”:”/news”,”name”:”News”,”parent_id”:”https://sltrib.com/”,”path”:”/news”},”sites”:[{“name”:”News”,”path”:”/news”}],”tags”:[{“description”:”Public safety stories”,”slug”:”public-safety”,”text”:”Public safety”}]},”website_url”:”/news/2021/02/10/kidnapped-utah-baby”}],”_id”:”3aaa21b830de38037d516d1fae82f20c8ae514d227b973690357253f95a0748f”},”expires”:1612978073722,”lastModified”:1612977773722}}};