Emily Means

Reporter

Emily Means hadn’t intended to be a journalist, but after two years of studying chemistry at the University of Utah, she found her fit in the school’s communication program. Diving headfirst into student media opportunities, Means worked as a host, producer and programming director for K-UTE Radio as well as a news writer and copy editor at The Daily Utah Chronicle. 

  Means has worked at many of Salt Lake City’s media organizations, starting her radio career as a board operator at KSL NewsRadio. She then balanced several news positions, working as producer of The Salt Lake Tribune’s web show, Trib Talk; associate producer for KRCL 90.9’s current affairs program, RadioActive; and a legislative intern for KCPW 88.3. 

  After accepting a full-time position at KCPW, Means created In The Hive, an award-winning, weekly current affairs program. She hosted and produced the program as a one-woman show for more than a year. At the same time, Means produced three other programs at KCPW: the political debate program Both Sides of the Aisle; the weekly news wrap-up Behind the Headlines; and Jazz Time with Steve Williams. 

  As KPCW’s Park City beat reporter, Means reports on the issues and affairs that drive Park City as well as providing coverage of the state legislature. She lives in Salt Lake City, listens to lots of podcasts and loves to try local restaurants, coffee shops and breweries. 

KPCW Radio

Janis Byler, the Park City day care teacher who was hit by a car crossing Park Avenue on the opening day of Sundance, is in the hospital recovering. 

Janis Byler’s daughter, Erin Ellis, told KPCW Byler had surgery Thursday evening to address a head and neck injury. Doctors said the surgery, to fuse Byler’s head and spine back together, was the riskiest procedure for her, but it went well.

PCMC/Method Studio

The Park City Board of Adjustment voted to reverse a decision by the planning commission regarding Park City Municipal’s Woodside Park Phase II. 

The Park City Board of Adjustment met Tuesday to consider an appeal of the Woodside Park Phase II affordable housing project. The appeal is based on the planning commission’s approval of reduced setbacks. Under the land management code, the planning commission can reduce setbacks from the master planned development-required 25 feet to the underlying zone’s requirements, if it’s necessary to provide architectural interest. 

KPCW Radio

Janis Byler, a Park City day care teacher, was hit by a car crossing State Route 224 Thursday morning.

Just after 6:30 a.m., a man driving a 2001 Chevrolet Suburban hit Byler as she was crossing S.R. 224, or Park Avenue, in front of Fresh Market. Utah Highway Patrol reports Byler was using the designated crosswalk there. A witness says the pedestrian warning lights were activated at the time she was hit. The driver told UHP he was unable to see her.

upr.org

After preliminary counts showed the Utah tax reform referendum would be put to voters on the November ballot, the governor and state legislative leaders announced Thursday morning the tax bill will be fully repealed. 

State leaders announced in a press release Thursday that Senate Bill 2001, the tax bill the legislature passed in a December special session, will be fully repealed and ready for the governor’s signature by the end of next week.

Utah State Capitol
KPCW Radio

Although Park City is a small, liberal stronghold in conservative Utah, Park City Manager Matt Dias says the town isn’t always playing defense at the Utah Legislature. Last year, the city flexed some lawmaking muscle with the successful passage of the Community Renewable Energy Act, paving the way for Park City to reach its 2030 net-zero carbon goal. Dias says the city tries to be strategic in its representation on Capitol Hill.

Utah House of Representatives

The new tax law that state lawmakers recently passed might be put on hold, with a citizen referendum likely to succeed. One Summit County legislator looks ahead to how that might play out in the 2020 general session.

Although state lawmakers likely hoped to put it behind them, District 53 Rep. Logan Wilde says legislators won’t escape a conversation about tax reform, given the likely success of a referendum to put the legislature’s tax reform efforts to voters.

A citizen-led referendum to overturn Utah’s new tax law may have met the requirements to be on the November ballot.

After a 40-day sprint to the finish line, opponents to the state’s recently passed tax law seem to have collected enough signatures to put a referendum to Utah voters in November. The law cuts the income tax rate and increases sales tax on food, gas and places taxes on some services.

Sundance Institute

With the 2020 Sundance Film Festival only a week away, the city braces for impact.

One of the biggest changes to traffic operations during Sundance is the designation of Park Avenue as a one-way road. Except for transit buses, emergency vehicles, snowplows and Park Avenue residents with access passes, the street will be for outbound traffic only. Additionally, public parking on both sides of Park Avenue is removed, with the west side of the road available only to residents. Park City Special Events Manager Jenny Diersen says it’s a strategy to cut down on neighborhood traffic.

Around 30 Summit County community members met Monday evening to learn more about the upcoming 2020 U.S. Census. 

What is the census? That’s the first question the recent Summit County 2020 Census Town Hall sought to answer. Members from the League of United Latin American Citizens, or LULAC, presented information in Spanish and English about the once-per-decade effort to count everyone living in the United States. Summit County is pushing to increase the number of households counted in the 2020 Census. In 2010, only 55% of Summit County households responded.

KPCW Radio

The Park City Council discussed the future of the municipal transit system for two hours at Thursday’s council meeting. 

Park City Transportation Director Alfred Knotts says, after 40 years of operation, the Park City Transit system has reached its limit—in every way.

“Park City Transit is at capacity," Knotts said. "In terms of employees, in terms of facility space, in terms of equipment and in terms of fleet maintenance and everything that comes along with operating this system.”

Sen. Allen Christensen

After 16 years representing Utah Senate District 19, Sen. Allen Christensen recently announced he won’t be seeking another term in office. 

North Ogden Republican Allen Christensen told the audience at the Action Utah legislative preview in Park City Wednesday that, after his term ends this year, he won’t run again for the District 19 senate seat he’s held since 2005.

A dozen people in workout clothes sit in a dance room with a mirror in it
Fit to Recover

A new fitness program for people recovering from drug and alcohol misuse has started at the PC MARC.

Ian Acker went to treatment for substance use five times. He’s been sober for nearly eight years now. Although Acker believes working out and good nutrition aids in recovery, he founded the Salt Lake-based nonprofit Fit to Recover because he believes the opposite of addiction is connection.

Before the Park City and Summit County Councils work to sort out their differences around transit at a Feb. 5 meeting, the Park City Council will try to answer a few questions, such as who does Park City transit serve; what is the city’s responsibility in accommodating regional transit demand; and what governance structure serves the city and county’s needs.

 

A blue and red beehive that says "Action Utah" in the middle; under the beehive is "your voice in action."
Action Utah

The 2020 legislative session starts in two weeks, where Utah’s lawmakers will create and amend laws that impact every Utahn. An upcoming event seeks to connect Park City-area residents with their legislators and learn more about the lawmaking process.

Action Utah, a non-partisan community advocacy organization, will host a legislative preview Wednesday evening. Action Utah Executive Director Andrea Himoff hopes the event empowers Utahns to engage in the state political process.

Due to a low unemployment rate and high housing costs, Park City Municipal has a difficult time hiring—and keeping—employees. The Park City Council recently approved a $130,000 contract with human resources consulting firm Mercer to assess what the city can do to fill its open positions.

But the city also wants input from the community, so it’s forming a blue ribbon commission in an effort to improve employee recruitment and retention.

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