To protect animals as ‘family,’ Salt Lake City adopts law requiring pet stores to sell only shelter animals

SALT LAKE CITY — If there’s one thing Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski and the City Council share a love for, it’s animals.

The Salt Lake City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to approve a new city ordinance to prohibit pet stores from selling animals unless they come from shelters or rescues.

“Everybody loves dogs, cats and rabbits,” Salt Lake City Councilman Charlie Luke said after Tuesday night’s vote.

The ordinance was proposed by Biskupski’s administration last month to discourage inhumane puppy mills and encourage animal adoption.

More specifically, the ordinance prohibits commercial animal establishments from selling dogs, cats, or rabbits unless they’re obtained from an animal shelter, an animal control agency, a humane society or a nonprofit rescue organization.

The new restrictions are intended to reduce pet overpopulation and ensure animals sold in commercial animal establishments are treated appropriately and humanely, city officials have said.

Tex, Salt Lake County K-9 mayor, and his owner, Sundays Hunt, the Utah state director of The Humane Society of The United States, visited the City Council’s chamber Tuesday night in support of the ordinance.

Tex licked at Salt Lake City Councilwoman Erin Mendenhall’s face as she knelt down to give him a hearty scratch.

Rescue organizations such as the Humane Society of Utah have lobbied cities to adopt similar ordinances.

“By passing this ordinance unanimously it shows the community that they’re passing laws that drive the local pet market toward more humane sources such as shelters, rescues and responsible breeders,” Hunt said. “This will prevent puppy mill breeders from ever becoming a problem.”

“It’s a huge benefit to the community shelters because they’ve got these dogs, these cats, these rabbits available, and yet they’re sitting in the shelter,” Hunt said.

Salt Lake City Councilman Chris Wharton said the ordinance was “very important to me personally” as an animal lover.

“We do see animals …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News

Oakland yanks lease for proposed Utah coal terminal

SALT LAKE CITY — Oakland city officials terminated a contract with a would-be developer of a deep-water export terminal that would ship Utah coal to Asian markets.

The city last month said Phil Tagami’s company failed to meet construction deadlines for the project planned at the former Oakland Army Base and is now seeking $1.6 million in damages.

Attorneys for Tagami disagree, and say the city has thrown up impediments to getting the project done.

Tagami sued Oakland after it adopted an ordinance prohibiting the handling and shipping of coal at the planned bulk terminal. The ordinance was struck down in a federal court ruling in May, a judgment the city is appealing.

A coalition of coal-producing counties in Utah inked an agreement to pursue the export terminal to access foreign markets in light of declining U.S. consumption of coal due to shuttered power plants.

The coalition would have tapped into $53 million in Community Impact Board funding once the terminal became a reality, but that was later rescinded in light of scrutiny and legal questions.

Utah lawmakers later passed a law that would allow the funding to move forward.

The $250 million project continues to remain a question mark as legal wrangling keeps it in limbo.

In October, Tagami filed a claim against the city hinting at another lawsuit, and his attorneys are indicating an appeal of the contract’s termination.

Oakland officials, who did a study and held multiple public hearings probing the health effects of handling Utah coal, said the decision to yank the contract is not about the fossil fuel.

“This isn’t about coal. This is about the developer’s failure to meet its obligations and perform the work it agreed to do,” said Barbara J. Parker, Oakland’s city attorney. “(The developer) had years to move this project forward, and has used every excuse in the book to …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News

Cancer treatment facility to be named for retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch

SALT LAKE CITY — The Huntsman Cancer Institute’s proton therapy center will be named in honor of Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.

The University of Utah board of trustees on Tuesday approved a $10 million gift from the Huntsman Cancer Foundation to name the center after Hatch, who is retiring from the U.S. Senate after 42 year of service.

Proton therapy is a type of radiation treatment that uses beams of radiation to shrink tumors, which minimizes radiation damage to healthy tissue.

The intensity modulated proton therapy center will be located at the south end of the Huntsman Cancer Hospital, on the U. campus. The center is expected to open in 2020 and serve roughly 200 patients each year, according to a 2017 Huntsman Cancer Institute news release.

The nearest proton centers to Salt Lake City are in southern Arizona and central California. Patients who undergo proton therapy may need treatment five days a week over one or two months, according to the release.

The institute refers more than 40 patients annually to proton therapy centers out of state, the release said.

…read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News

Sanpete sues over painkiller addiction, joining several Utah counties

SALT LAKE CITY — Sanpete is Utah’s latest county to sue drugmakers and distributors over the toll of painkiller addiction.

“This disaster was man-made,” attorneys for the county allege in the suit filed Tuesday. “Having borne the costs of these companies’ decisions — in both lives and dollars — Sanpete County has decided now is the time for it to stand up and pursue all the relief the law allows.”

The largely rural county of about 30,000 alleges that more than a dozen pharmaceutical companies misled its own residents and others across the country. They created a “publicity machine” that falsely convinced people their drugs were safe and posed little risk of addiction, according to the suit filed in Manti’s 6th District Court.

The county joins the state of Utah, in addition to Davis, Salt Lake, Summit, Tooele and Weber counties in suing the companies.

Among other costs to be determined at trial, Sanpete seeks compensation for providing care, treatment and other services for addiction; law enforcement and public safety costs; and for outreach and social programs. No dollar amounts associated with the costs were listed in court documents, but the county indicated it is seeking to recover more than $300,000.

The drug companies also violated Utah law protecting consumers by making false claims about the risks and benefits, the county argues.

The effect in Sanpete County was profound, its attorneys say.

In 2016, Sanpete physicians wrote 95.7 opioid prescriptions for every 100 citizens — the fifth highest rate in Utah, according to the suit. And opiates have been involved in at least 60 of the 76 reported drug-related deaths since 1999, the county alleges, citing numbers from the national Centers for Disease Control.

The totals are smaller in a one-year snapshot. Sanpete logged two opioid-related overdose deaths in 2016, down from a high of 8 in 2010.

Meanwhile, …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News