BickPentameter
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June 24, 2015
Lyman: That's one big pile of patriotic unfounded rhetoric! And you have the nerve to compare Lyman to Mandela and Parks and Gandhi. You are shameless. You've lost whatever credibility you had.
State fund may be used for Recapture Canyon defense
Jun 24, 2015 | 566 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A committee of the Utah State Legislature has approved the use of up to $100,000 in state funds for legal costs related to the May, 2014 Recapture Canyon protest. By a 6-2 vote on June 22, the Commission for the Stewardship of Public Lands authorized a legal analysis of the process that resulted in San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman’s conviction in federal court. The Constitutional Defense Council (CDC) will complete the analysis, and dependent upon the results, up to $100,000 could be used for an appeal of the conviction or other action. The action essentially means that the State of Utah may have a state’s right issue with the conviction of an elected official in a federal court. While describing the state’s action, Lyman said, “The Constitutional Defense Council has not decided to fund ‘my appeal.’ No decision has been made whether or not an appeal is even possible. “What the State has determined is that this is not simply a San Juan County issue, or a Phil Lyman issue. The first step is for the CDC to allocate some resources and then to proceed in the direction that will best serve the interests of the citizens of Utah and of San Juan County.” Federal misdemeanor charges were filed against Commissioner Lyman and four local residents several months after the protest. After a four-day jury trial in May, 2015, Lyman and Monticello resident Monte Wells were convicted of two charges. Sentencing is scheduled for July 15, 2015 before Federal Judge Robert Shelby. Charges were dismissed against one defendant and the other two were found not guilty. Testimony in the trial was limited to specific information about the events of May, 2014. The judge did not allow testimony about the legality of the Recapture Canyon closure. It is anticipated that the legality of the BLM closure will be the focus of the CDC analysis. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) ordered a “temporary” closure of Recapture Canyon to motorized vehicles in 2007 after it was discovered that unauthorized roadwork had been completed on ATV trails in the canyon. The closure has remained in effect since that time, despite attempts by San Juan County and other local officials to find a solution. Seven years later, local frustration with the prolonged closure of the canyon boiled over when the May 10, 2014 protest was organized. Several hundred people joined a protest rally in Blanding and more than 100 drove to the closure sign at the northern end of Recapture Canyon. The majority of these vehicles crossed the closure boundary and moved into the closed area for nearly a mile along the pipeline maintenance road. Attorneys for the defendants argued in court that the San Juan Water Conservancy District, which holds a right-of-way for the maintenance road, gave permission for protesters to use the road. After the group traveled to the end of the maintenance road, the majority turned around and left the canyon. Approximately 50 ATVs continued through portions of the canyon on the closed road. It has been reported that the BLM estimates that the protest ride did approximately $400,000 in damage to resources in the canyon. After the 2007 closure, the BLM estimated that the unauthorized work caused $350,000 in damage. A federal administrative court fined two Blanding men $35,000 for the damage, which was ten percent of the estimated damage. Lyman added, “This is a legitimate fight, and it is rightfully the State’s fight. Utah has formed the Constitutional Defense Council, the Commission for the Stewardship of Public Lands, the Public Lands Coordinating Office, and other committees and organizations whose objective has been to provide direction on jurisdictional conflicts related to Statehood. “Representative Noel has been active in the Recapture event from its inception. He has recognized that the object of the protest was not a few miles of road next to Blanding, but a pattern of lawlessness on the part of a federal agency with a penchant for domination.”
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Wind project blows back in
Jun 24, 2015 | 552 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The proposed Wasatch Wind project, a 62.1 megawatt wind facility set to be located just north of Monticello, has been purchased by sPower, a renewable energy provider based in Salt Lake City, UT. Three separate wind energy companies have pursued the development of projects in the area for the past 15 years, but a series of complications delayed the projects, until now. sPower officials state that construction on the project is scheduled to begin this summer and should start generating clean energy by the end of 2015.  The project has a 20-year Purchase Power Agreement with PacifiCorp, which does business as Rocky Mountain Power in Utah. sPower will complete the project which was initiated by Wasatch Wind. Wasatch Wind was proposing a 27-turbine wind farm on land immediately north and west of Monticello City limits. The closest turbine was proposed to be approximately one mile from the nearest residence. Offficials from sPower were planning to meet with local government officials and stakeholders this week. “As a Utah-based company, we’re especially pleased with this particular acquisition.  Not only will it allow sPower to apply our expertise in responsible green energy development – right in our own backyard – it demonstrates our company’s ‘solution-neutral’ philosophy,” said Ryan Creamer, sPower’s CEO.  “While many companies are aligned with a specific technology, sPower’s ‘technology agnostic’ approach allows us to find flexible, environmentally and economically responsible solutions.” When fully operational, the wind park is expected to reduce carbon emissions by approximately 103,800 metric tons annually – the equivalent of removing nearly 22,000 cars from the road each year or reducing CO2 emissions from 241,000 barrels of oil consumed. “We pride ourselves on a successful history of working closely with local communities.  Developing and owning projects is a long term commitment to the regions where our facilities are located,” continued Creamer.  “The sPower wind project will bring positive economic benefits to San Juan County, including local construction jobs, lease payments to landowners and millions of dollars in property tax revenues – all while helping to contain the damaging impact of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions.”
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Public Lands Committee finalizes recommendation
Jun 24, 2015 | 504 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
by Roma Young The San Juan County Public Lands Council has made a recommendation on the proposed Public Lands Act to the San Juan County Commission. Preliminary details of the recommendation were presented to Commissioners at the June 16 commission work meeting. County Planner Nick Sandberg reported that at a June 15 meeting of the San Juan Public Lands Council, the group found common ground with a huge compromise. Most members of the lands council agreed to support a modified Alternative B proposal. A representative from the office of Congressman Jason Chaffetz attended the meeting, which was held in Bluff. Sandberg had penciled in the new proposal, so the commission could have a visual and will have a map produced with the modified proposal. Commissioners will use the recommendation to make a final proposal for the Bishop Public Lands Bill, which is an attempt by Congress to address public lands issues in several areas of Utah, including San Juan County. A map of the recommendation can be found at the San Juan County website at http://www.sanjuancounty.org/documents/LandsCouncil/Lands%20Bill%20-%20Lands%20Council%20Proposal.pdf . In other business at the June 16 work meeting, Steven Benally, Service Coordinator for the Teec Nos Pos Chapter, sought clarification which he could then pass on to the chapter members. The clarification Benally sought is whether funds allocated to Teec Nos Pos are to be used for Utah residents only or if they are to be used by the whole community. Senior Services Director Tammy Gallegos helped with some details about the allocations. For example, she said that funds for senior services, such as rides, utility payments, etc. for the senior center in Teec Nos Pos, are to be used to benefit the community not just the Utah residents. It is to support the community and bring it together. County Treasurer Glenis Pearson, along with Brian Moore and Scott Burnett of Zions Bank Wealth Management, reported on the county investment portfolio. Pearson has monthly reports available at all times, but this was a more comprehensive reporting to show the overall picture. Commissioners suggested that other county funds may be invested and authorized Pearson to make changes. The presentation was well received, as the accounts are easily identifiable and distinct. Walter Bird, representing County Planning and Zoning, presented a new Land Use Development Management Act (LUDMA) plan to the commission. The Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) has been working on a new plan for more than two years. The current plan was adopted in 2005. The approach of the P&Z group has been to develop a plan that works for San Juan County and is compliant with state law at the same time. The commission will review the plan in a future meeting, send it back with any changes they may desire, and request a final draft. After the final draft is complete, a public hearing will be held before any changes to the ordinance are adopted. Worthy Glover Jr., the director of San Juan Public Health, requested a $1,000 membership fee for the Association of Local Health Boards. Commissioners approved the fee for this year with the understanding that Glover will have an opportunity to “find out for himself” if it is beneficial. Sheriff Rick Eldredge brought an annual contract with the state to provide bailiff services for court. Commission Chairman Phil Lyman signed the contract. The sheriff also requested the commission consider using Lexipol for training and personnel policies specific to corrections officers. The program is used by many law enforcement agencies in the state. Eldredge first became acquainted with Lexipol with his employment with the Highway Patrol. The Lexipol program is used by the County Road Deputies. Eldredge said that it helped them stay current, as there is always training offered through the online program. The purchase price is $6,386. Commissioners suggested that they will make a decision on the request in a future meeting.
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Blue Mtn Hospital CEO, Jeremy Lyman, named Outstanding Rural Hospital Administrator
Jun 24, 2015 | 747 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jeremy Lyman, named the Outstanding Rural Hospital Adminstrator by the Utah Office of Rural Health.  Courtesy photo
Jeremy Lyman, named the Outstanding Rural Hospital Adminstrator by the Utah Office of Rural Health. Courtesy photo
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Blue Mountain Hospital CEO Jeremy Lyman assumed his position in January 2014 and hit the ground running from day one, quickly earning the trust and loyalty of hospital administration and staff. In the past 18 months the hospital has continued to flourish under Lyman’s leadership. Last month, the Utah Office of Primary Care and Rural Health recognized his efforts by naming Lyman the Outstanding Rural Hospital Administrator. Don Wood, M.D., Director of the UOPCRH presented the award during the Rural Hospital Administrator Summit. “Jeremy Lyman was recognized for the amount and types of programs he has gone above and beyond the call to support, especially considering several major challenges. “First, as a new administrator in a leadership position it’s hard to get the support of your administration and staff, but he has done a fantastic job with this. He’s had the support of his entire staff. He’s leading the way in cultural transformation. “He was recognized for making a priority and living, leadership accountability. He doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walk,” Wood said of Lyman’s selection. “He was also recognized for helping establish an Affiliation with University Health Care, with fourteen strategic affiliations in Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming and Colorado, and agreements with rural and Critical Access Hospitals for emergency medicine. He was recognized for his efforts to bring Telehealth to Blue Mountain Hospital,” Wood continued. “This is a big deal in a rural healthcare setting, but Jeremy is ahead of the curve in bringing burn, stroke, telepsych, teleinfusion (cancer treatment), and telepsychotherapy. He doesn’t let any grass grow under his feet. He’s leading the way.” Lyman said he had no idea he was receiving the award, and is honored to receive it. But, he added, the award is not his alone. “This is really recognition of our Hospital Staff. I got the award but it’s really recognition of our department leaders and administrative team,” Lyman stressed. “We’re improving performance in every area. HCAHPS scores, in inpatient experience survey, done for every inpatient. Focusing on Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement (MBQIP), quality measures that we submit to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service. “Focusing on cultural transformation, working on deploy, engagement and accountability. We’re moving in the right direction.” Lyman said additional initiatives and programs will be implemented in the coming months to increase the quality of service for patients and involve administration and department leaders more in that process. He said these initiatives are intended to improve communication with all patients, reduce patient anxiety and make patients feel more comfortable while at Blue Mountain Hospital. In talking about Lyman’s selection for the award, Wood added, “He’s helped with a number of federal initiatives and he’s not afraid to let others know what people think about his hospital. “The HCAHPS inpatient surveys are taken and when the results are received, if things are not up to snuff, he still shares the information. With MBQIP, Jeremy has done an outstanding job of sharing and supplying data. “It was pretty easy to recognize his efforts during the past year. Beyond initiating data, Jeremy shares his findings with peer hospitals and this is a thing not normally done,” Wood continued. “He says, ‘this can’t hurt anyone to find out who is doing a better job and why. We can all benefit from this.’ It was pretty easy to recognize his efforts during the past year. It’s nothing short of amazing what Jeremy’s done.”
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