James T. Evans new Orem interim mayor

Deseret News

OREM — Former City Council member James T. Evans was chosen Monday to fill the remaining two years of Mayor Jerry Washburn’s term and is scheduled to be sworn into office Tuesday.

Washburn died Sept. 26 after a long battle with cancer.

“The mayor was a great leader in the community and on this council for many years,” Councilman Carl Hernandez said of Washburn, reading a short statement after the council met in closed session for an hour. Hernandez then announced Evans’ selection from among a field of 13 applicants.

The vote to approve the choice was unanimous, and the open meeting to make the announcement was over inside five minutes. The council plans to conduct a formal swearing in ceremony at 6 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.

Evans said he was surprised and fully expected that going to get a hamburger after the meeting would be the biggest thing on his agenda for the evening.

“I told my wife I just wanted to make sure they had a lot of good candidates,” he said after the decision was announced. “I was going to go home tonight and be a relaxed man.”

Evans served on the City Council from January 2000 to December 2007. He said he has been away from city government long enough that he can take neither credit nor blame issues currently before the council.

“I come with an open slate,” he said.

Evans said he may run for mayor in two years when his appointed term ends.

“I’ve never said that I wouldn’t run,” he said. “This gives people a chance to see if they like me.”

Orem’s mayor performs ceremonial responsibilities and is a voting member of the City Council. The mayor and council members serve part time.

Evans currently serves on the Utah State Board of Regents. He is also a trustee for the Mountainland Applied Technology College and the Utah College of Applied Technology. He is a former member of the Alpine School District Board and Orem/Provo Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and was Mountainland Regional Director for the Utah Department of Workforce Services.

He is chief operating officer and senior vice president of Xactware Solutions Inc. and holds a bachelor’s in communications from BYU.

Evans and his wife, Tana, have lived in Orem since 1984.

“Our three children have enjoyed the benefits of many of the recreational opportunities afforded by Orem city, not to mention the premier children’s library in the state,” he said in applying for the position. “During my time on the council, I had the opportunity to work under three mayors and witness their different styles in leading the City Council.”

Jared Lael Davis – 4/28/1952 ~ 10/20/2011

Jared was a long time member and a long time friend to UAGE. He served on the board representing all the members. While his memories will life on, he is missed by many.

Jared Lael Davis, age 59, a long time Salt Lake City resident, took a final curtain call Thursday evening, surrounded by his loving partner and family. The fourth son of Elmer and Joan Davis (Matson), Jared was born on April 28th, 1952 in Arlington, Washington. He attended both BYU and the University of Utah and completed a mission to Switzerland following his graduation from Provo High. He worked as the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office Fiscal Manager and was a talented actor, appearing in numerous productions well into the 1990’s when his focus turned to public service. He was an avid genealogist, traveler, and Germanophile, but his greatest gift was a rapier wit and the ability to make those around him laugh. He was always there for his family and friends.
Jared leaves behind his partner, Kai Wilson; three brothers Elmer Jr (Damin); Rudy (Janine); Jon (Judie) Davis; step-sister Rae Nae (Chip)Hutchinson; many nieces and nephews, his chosen family Marsha and Brent Mugaas, Petra, Dee and Eric Wilson; as well as many co-workers, friends and colleagues.
The family thanks the medical staff at the University of Utah Hospital who worked valiantly to give our star another breath.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to a charity of your choice .
Jared did not want a funeral service; he wanted us to have memories that will make us laugh forever. Family and Friends can send condolences to www.garnerfuneral.com

Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind fight to keep programs

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) -Two million dollars. That’s how much funding Utah’s Schools for the Deaf and Blind have lost in the past three years. Legislative budget cuts have led to the loss of programs, and more than 100 teachers, faculty and support staff.

Alex Butterfield’s son Zeke was born deaf. He’s now three, has cochlear implants, and is learning to adapt to a world full of sound. “He has been learning to listen. That’s part of the Listening, Spoken Language program, he has been learning to listen and speak.” Those lessons are happening daily at the Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind pre-school in Millcreek.

Zeke and his peers are learning to adapt to their disabilities. They are also learning typical pre-school lessons of ABC’s and number recognition. But the numbers coming from the Utah lawmakers aren’t adding up for the schools that serve more than 2,000 students statewide. Steve Noyce, the superintendant for Utah’s Schools for the Deaf and Blind says the legislature has made cuts to education across the board in the past few years, but he says theirs have been deeply felt. “The schools for the deaf and blind are not the only ones but certainly we have been cut dramatically.”

Noyce says programs were cut to compensate, including help for parents learning sign language to communicate with their children, and life skills for the visually impaired. “We have asked teachers to volunteer to teach on the weekends, we have to have bake sales to fund the actual programs that we are trying to provide.” He says it’s not just the programs in the classroom that have been affected. “It’s also the support they need from audiology, orientation ability, psychology, physical therapy, occupational therapy. It just goes on and on.”

But, in a tough economy funding does not. Years of budget cuts and a growing student population is leading to a crisis administrators and parents hope lawmakers will not ignore.

Ryan Balls has a four year old daughter in the program. He hopes the head start from USDB will allow her to enter their neighborhood Kindergarten on an even playing field next year. “They need this kind of help, and we can see a difference in our daughter from the time she started school just immediately after a few weeks.” When asked what he wants lawmakers to do in the next session Ryan says “call me before making any more cuts.”

There are more than two thousand students in Utah’s Schools for the Deaf and Blind. Most of those receive help within their own neighborhood schools from specially certified teachers in their area. A foundation was recently created to seek private support to help the schools carry on.

To find out more about the foundation, and Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind visit:  www.usdb.org

Protesters vent against Utah redistricting maps

The Salt Lake Tribune

Several dozen protesters gathered Monday at the State Capitol to vent about redistricting maps that Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon called “un-American” and suggested a lawsuit would be in the making if the Legislature approves them.

“We asked for a doughnut, expected a pizza and were given instead a plate of scrambled eggs,” Corroon said to cheers. “This is downright rigged and everybody knows it.”

The plans slicing up the state’s most populous county and combining the pieces with large swaths of rural Utah have been nicknamed pizza slices, while proposals that would create compact urban districts surrounded by a large urban one have come to be known as doughnuts.

The protest took place in the Capitol Rotunda the opening day of the Legislature’s special session to debate the new legislative maps for Utah’s four congressional districts as well as state House and Senate districts. The protesters argued at the rally the Legislature never really took public input into consideration and were essentially adopting a map behind closed doors that protected incumbents.

Holding signs (“Heard not Herded” and “Bye Partisanship”), the crowd also chanted, “Just say no,” repeatedly. It echoed throughout the rotunda and left some lawmakers standing on floors above looking bemused at the sight.

Julie Dole, chairwoman of the Salt Lake County Republican Party, said the protesters were missing the point — that public input was taken and that the reality was that the math was going to leave some unhappy.

“It’s mathematics,” she said. “I’d like to have kept Salt Lake County together, but with us being half of the population, it just can’t be done.”

The protesters also had pizza — served to represent the pizza approach of dividing Salt Lake County into four slices and generally favored by Republicans — and doughnuts, generally supported by Democrats.

Kelly Lundgren, head of Represent Me Utah, said she paid for some of the pizzas that were served and that the Utah Democratic Party paid for part of it as well. Several protesters who stood on the steps holding signs also held pizza boxes and doughnut boxes to make their point.

At the end of the rally, which featured several speakers, Jon Hansen held up a redistricting map and crumpled it in his hand to the cheers of the crowd.

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