Monica Cook Salt lake City Utah Realtor Sells Homes For Money

(MENAFN – PRLog) Monica Cook
Utah’s Best Real Estate Group
801.792.6434
Salt Lake City Real Estate Agent Promotes Homes For Sellers To MORE Buyers For MORE Money.
As the real estate market continues to change, one local agent in the Utah market has mastered the art of "Target Marketing" to expose their properties to the most opportune buyers, thus selling them for more money.
Salt Lake City, Utah- May 21, 2019 – If you’ve followed the Salt Lake real estate market for a while, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Monica Cook as she’s one of the most respected agents in town when it comes to marketing homes to sell for the most amount of money. Now, she’s one-upped herself with the latest addition to her advertising arsenal with what she calls her "Target Marketing" approach.
The ancient approach she refers to of placing your home in local magazines, along with the rest of the listings that your listing brokerage has is now a thing of the past. Monica Cook has perfected an approach to Target Marketing to buyers that pay top dollar, and where she invests her own money to expose your property to the most opportune buyer based on their current interests, hobbies, family size, age and even net worth and credit score.
In today’s world and real estate market, marketing is all about matching your product up to the prospects that are most likely to have an interest in it. Much like when you are at the grocery and you see that coupons print out based on the products that you always tend to buy.
When asked how this new-age approach to selling for more homes works, Monica said the following: "If a home is in a highly desirable school district, that usually comes with a little bit higher property tax base Or on the east bench of the Wasatch Front. There’s no sense in marketing that home to retired couples but it’s a perfect fit for a family that has a child or two of school age years. If the home has a fenced yard, we can expose it to those that have the appropriate income and also have a dog in the house. If it has a wine cellar, or on a golf course we can market to those that subscribe to Wine Connoisseur Magazine or otherwise have a wine collection, or avid golfer’s and those that subscribe to the Golf Digest. This allows buyers to absolutely fall in love with the home, oftentimes meaning they’ll pay a premium for something that matches their exact criteria. Essentially, we can market it as their "Dream Home" even though it would be considered "just another home for sale" to the general public. That’s why oftentimes we can sell homes for more money. Using my target marketing brings those interested buyers. With the marketing data available from online and offline marketing firms, it just doesn’t make sense for an agent to simply list a home on the MLS system and wait for a possible contract sometime down the road, proactive marketing needs to take place for the seller.
For local homeowners, selling your home fast and for Top dollar is our biggest priority. Utilizing an agent that understands superior marketing and exposure can potentially allow you to net a lot more money from the ultimate sale of the property.
About Monica Cook:
For more information on how this target marketing approach works and to find out how you may be able to get more from the sale of your home, contact Monica Cook at Utah’s Best Real Estate Group by calling 801.792.6434 or https://www.facebook.com/UtahsbestRE/?ref=bookmarks
Contact
Monica Cook
Utah’s Best Real Estate Group
***@slclifestyles.com
Photos:
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Utah’s largest homebuilder on the ‘warpath’ to create affordable housing. But Ivory Homes has its critics.

Utah’s home prices are on a multiyear climb and well-heeled buyers, at least, are still snapping up houses. You would think these would be heady days for the state’s homebuilders.

More and more Utahns can’t afford to buy and many struggle to pay rent. The state, he and others say, is in dire need of more affordable options.

Unless conditions change, Ivory also sees trouble looming for the state’s economy and for his homebuilding business, which his family has run since 1983. Even at a time when Ivory Homes is posting record revenues, Utah’s largest homebuilder is shifting toward building more condominiums and town houses, traditional homes with smaller yards, and multiunit apartment complexes.

Big picture, Ivory sees himself as siding with future generations and as part of the solution to one of the state’s most vexing economic and policy challenges.

But plenty of existing homeowners see Ivory Homes as a problem all its own — a homebuilder eager to cash in by packing people into high-density developments that, in some cases, threaten to overwhelm their tranquil communities.

Since Holladay residents rose up to stop a huge Ivory project at the site of the old Cottonwood Mall last fall, company officials have taken up tougher tactics in battling grassroots groups opposed to their developments.

Clark Ivory, the firm’s 54-year-old CEO, doesn’t see it as a property-by-property battle. He’s also thinking more broadly. He’s speaking out on the issue of affordable housing generally and says he is “pushing on all fronts” to ease the trend. He’s backed a new program to help teachers and police get homes and is funding a prize seeking the most innovative ideas in affordable housing design, policy and financing.

Ivory Homes soon will announce it has built more than 20,000 houses in Utah and for decades, the company’s model has been to move buyers up from starter homes to pricier places, usually on bigger lots. But now, its CEO says, its focus is “workforce” housing.

Yet as 2019 unfolds and monthly home sales for the company have come in higher than expected, Ivory Homes “has no alternative but to start to slowly raise prices,” Ivory said.

(Christopher Cherrington | The Salt Lake Tribune)

Michael Parker, senior economist and vice president for public affairs for Ivory Homes, called the price hikes “the antithesis of what we’re trying to accomplish, but we’re stuck.”

“Pricing has got to level,” Ivory added last week in an interview at his curio-filled office in Murray. “If we don’t change, we’re going to be struggling.”

Clark Ivory bought and took over Ivory Homes from his father, Ellis, in 2000 and is widely credited with seeing the U.S. real estate crash and Great Recession coming as early as 2005.

He warned at the time that speculative homebuying threatened the nation’s economy while in his early days as director of the Salt Lake City branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. The family company even began requiring buyers to sign pacts not to resell their homes for at least a year.

Ivory said he now views the housing affordability crisis in Utah and nationally with similar alarm — not least for its potential impact on the company’s nearly $500 million in yearly sales.

“We want to maintain the momentum in our business,” he said. “With interest rates on the rise over the next couple of years and with costs going up, we have to figure out new solutions.”

Last May, when the University of Utah’s Gardner Policy Institute first issued a seminal study highlighting a shortage of affordable homes in Utah, Ivory backed its findings and joined Salt Lake Chamber officials in campaigning on the issue.

He has also blasted “not in my backyard” attitudes by some residents against denser housing, while also lamenting efforts to torpedo projects by using the state’s referendum process, as happened in the Cottonwood Mall case.

Ivory Homes has been at the center of controversy of late. Residents in several communities who have opposed some of its high-density developments declined to comment, saying they feared retaliation.

The company’s recent fight to build a massive housing and commercial project at the old Cottonwood Mall site in Holladay went all the way to the Utah Supreme Court. And when the court ruled last fall against Ivory Homes and in favor of a grassroots group called Unite for Holladay, Ivory went so far as to file a rare and unsuccessful motion asking the justices to rethink their reasoning.

The company was stung by the failure of its bid to build Holladay Quarter, a $560 million mixed-use development it had proposed with Utah-based builder Woodbury Corp. at the Cottonwood Mall site, near 4800 S. Highland Dr.

After nearly two years of public hearings, the companies won city approval to build the 57-acre project, which was to include several office towers, shops and restaurants along with a 775-unit high-rise apartment complex and 210 single-family homes, luxury condominiums, brownstones and manor houses.

Clark Ivory warned at the time the high court’s ruling could harm the cause of affordable housing statewide, calling it “zoning by referendum.” He acknowledges that the Holladay project’s housing was “not super affordable,” but said the company had hoped “to deliver quality housing in a new approach.”

And after first leaving open the possibility he would pursue a revised version of Holladay Quarter, Clark Ivory said earlier this month that Ivory Homes has officially pulled out. The cash the company had invested in the project, he said, has since been reinvested in buying land for three other developments.

There are signs Woodbury Corp. may still be pursuing a project at the mall site, though with fewer residential units.

A reprise of the Holladay battle has been underway for months in Cottonwood Heights over a separate Ivory Homes proposal for an apartment complex at 6784 S. 1300 East, on a piece of land known as Walsh Farm.

Some neighbors oppose a city ordinance passed in connection with the project, fearing it could allow high-density construction across Cottonwood Heights. And as the dispute has progressed, both Ivory Homes and a grassroots group organized to block the proposal appeared to have drawn lessons from the Holladay conflict.

The opposition group in this case is called Unite for Cottonwood Heights. Earlier this year, organizers circulated a petition seeking to gather enough signatures to put the city zoning ordinance to a vote at the polls.

Jared Crocker, an organizer with the group, said Ivory Homes ran its own petition drive in Cottonwood Heights at the same time — an assertion the company confirmed, though it wasn’t trying to get anything on the ballot.

That second petition, Crocker said, spawned confusion. The group’s signature gatherers were repeatedly rebuffed by residents who thought they’d already signed on.

In an April 25 letter to elections officials with Salt Lake County and Cottonwood Heights Recorder Paula Melgar, an attorney for Unite for Cottonwood Heights alleged the Ivory Homes petition amounted to “unlawful interference that confused the residents of Cottonwood Heights,” resulting in far fewer signatures for the group’s referendum petition.

Unite for Cottonwood Heights sought an extension in its petition drive from county officials but was denied. Crocker said members are now reviewing legal options.

Parker, senior economist at Ivory Homes, said the Holladay case led the company to up its game in Cottonwood Heights, with more public outreach in pressing for support, including the petition effort.

“We’re not going to be surprised anymore,” Parker said. “We’re just going to plan every time that someone is going to try to derail us and have a toolkit in place in case that happens.”

But Parker said Ivory Homes’ fight over affordable housing goes far beyond a few contentious projects. He noted that Ivory has put nearly $1 million in charitable donations toward the cause so far, adding that Clark Ivory “is on a warpath when it comes to affordability.”

Ivory Homes launched a new line of more affordable homes for nurses, teachers, construction workers, cops, firefighters and members of the military — with added incentives to help them with credit, closing costs and buying appliances.

The company’s Utah Workforce Housing Priority, launched in February, will reserve about 150 of its newly built homes in 19 Utah cities. Ivory Homes will also provide landscaping and $2,000 toward closing costs or appliances.

Gov. Gary Herbert praised the set-aside as an innovative approach “to ensure those who make our communities great can afford to call them home.” Salt Lake City recently put $100,000 toward a similar but unrelated workforce housing program.

Ivory Homes already has a waiting list of more than 500 families who want to participate, Clark Ivory said.

And while the program does offer much-needed relief to some would-be homebuyers with earnings just below Utah’s median wage levels, housing advocates say Utah’s need for affordable housing is greatest for those at much lower incomes. Those ultra-affordable projects, though, are much harder to finance and build.

Through his family foundation, Clark Ivory also created the Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability, a $200,000 national award to be shared each year among those offering top innovations in housing design, financing and policy that bring costs down.

Prizes went to Factory OS, a San Francisco company pioneering modular building techniques for apartments; another San Francisco firm called Landed, which helps public school teachers with down payments; Home Partners of America, which offers lease-purchase programs to buyers struggling with credit; and The Alley Flat Initiative, which successfully pushed a new zoning approach in Austin, Texas, for so-called mother-in-law apartments.

Ivory said the company will take an open-source approach to these and other housing innovations generated by the prize, by publicizing them and offering them to the wider industry in hopes of improving affordability.

“It’s been a great crowdsourcing thing for us,” Parker said. “The question now is, how do we use our market power here to further these ideas?”

The company continues to press for more robust job training and clearer career pathways into Utah’s construction sector, hoping to bring a wave of new workers into the field to alleviate an ongoing and costly shortage of skilled labor.

“Clark Ivory and the entire Ivory team have been steadfast in not only bringing awareness to our state’s housing affordability issue, but also problem-solving to find real, attainable solutions,” said Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber.

With a portfolio of nearly 200 floor plans for its homes already, the company is unveiling a new line of smaller, more affordable town homes and attached housing this year. It’s also introducing new housing development layouts that allow for higher residential densities and more dwellings per project, Ivory said.

“That doesn’t mean that we won’t still build big houses on bigger lots,” the CEO said. “We’re probably doing more really expensive homes this year than we’ve done in a long time.

Ivory added: “But we have an appetite to find every opportunity we can that will present us with affordable options.”

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Longtime Utah Natural Resources boss retires with replacement expected to be named Monday

Mike Styler, Division of Natural Resources

Mike Styler, the longtime director of the Utah Department of Natural Resources, is retiring after more than 14 years on the job — making him the longest-serving person in that post, according to the governor’s office.

Styler called his tenure “incredibly rewarding,” especially his interactions with the more than 1,300 hardworking DNR employees and Gov. Gary Herbert, he said in a prepared statement.

“Utah faces a number of difficult opportunities moving forward with water, wildlife, recreation and fire particularly," Styler said. “DNR has amazing and dedicated people. They are up to the task of meeting those challenges."

Herbert is said to be nearing the end of interviews for candidates to replace Styler and is expected to name his nominee Monday.

Styler listed his major accomplishments as launching a watershed restoration initiative that has helped improve and restore an estimated 1.6 million acres, helping form a task force on water and playing a role in setting up the process for adjudicating water rights, as well as signing hunter access agreements with the state School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration.

One of Styler’s higher-profile activities — not mentioned in the news release Friday — was advocating for millions of dollars in public money to go to a private consultant/lobbyist for efforts to prevent the reintroduction of the gray wolf into Utah and on behalf of the campaign to remove endangered species protections from the wolf.

He later attempted to take back his T. rex comparison. “I misspoke. They’re more like velociraptors,” he said, referring to the deadly dinosaur popularized in “Jurassic Park.”

The payments have continued on a nearly yearly basis, including $500,000 in this year’s legislative session.

The governor called Styler’s leadership “invaluable,“ adding, “I will greatly miss having him as part of my Cabinet.”

"Mike’s leadership has been invaluable both to the Department of Natural Resources and to our state,” Herbert said. “… I wish him the very best.”

His entrance into politics was as a Millard County commissioner. Before that, he worked as a middle-school history teacher and farmed in the town of Oasis.

Deputy Director Darin Bird will serve as interim director of the department until Herbert’s new pick is installed.

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Utah’s March For Our Lives raises more than $4,500 at gun reform gala

That Valentine’s Day, just more than a year ago, 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., were killed. Seventeen others were injured. It had a profound impact on Hogg and many others in the school.

That group has spread across the country, urging gun violence prevention measures. On Saturday, Utah’s chapter of the group held an event at the Ladies Literary Club Clubhouse, 850 E. South Temple, to celebrate gun reform victories and to raise money for future advocacy.

Through a silent auction and ticket sales, the group exceeded its goal and raised more than $4,500. Art Access, a Salt Lake City nonprofit group that wants to build an inclusive arts community through “creative opportunities” for people who are disabled or otherwise marginalized in society, will get 10% of the proceeds. The rest will go toward funding the March For Our Lives Utah chapter, covering trainings, transportation and clerical costs, like maintaining its P.O. Box and website.

The funds will also be used for suicide prevention training and scholarships for student activists who are in need, said organizer Elizabeth “Lizzy” Estrada-Murillo.

Before the speakers at the gala, people moved through crowds in the historic venue to mingle, or bid at the silent auction, or take a photo in the photo booth or grab dinner and a drink. Two men stood across the street protesting as bouncy background music pulsed softly indoors.

It was on posters that listed the names of Americans killed in mass shootings last year: Adrian Jashawn, Xavier Parish, Freddy Wheeler, and on and on and on. It was the #NeverAgain scrawled at the bottom of signs for the photo booth, next to feather boas and comically oversized sunglasses.

Estrada-Murillo summed up the event as it wound down and the group prepared to announce the silent auction winners: “This is a real issue for us. For all of us, this a life-or-death situation."

Biskupski told organizers she was impressed and inspired by their efforts to reform gun laws in Utah, and said the student activists follow in a long tradition of other young people who got things done, from the civil rights activists who fought for equity at lunch counters and on buses, to the students at East High School in Salt Lake City who two decades ago fought for a Gay/Straight Alliance.

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Demolition clears way for ‘striking’ new buildings and more affordable housing on Salt Lake City’s 400 South

(Photo courtesy of KTGY Architecture + Planning via Salt Lake City) Rendering of The Exchange, a pair of new mixed-use residential towers to be built at the northeast corner of 300 East and 400 South in downtown Salt Lake City.

Demolition is underway at the high-profile corner of Salt Lake City’s 400 South and 300 East to make way for a major addition of housing and retail outlets.

To be known as The Exchange, the $123 million project will include two new multistory, mixed-use buildings with a combined 412 dwellings between them, about 80 of which will be kept affordable to residents making half the city’s median income.

The development, set to occupy nearly half that block when completed, replaces the former Barnes Bank Building and Salt Lake Roasting Co. at that spot along one of the city’s busiest commercial corridors.

(Al Hartmann | Tribune file photo) Trax train rolls past Salt Lake Roasting Company and the old Barnes Bank building at 320 East 400 South. The buildings are being demolished to make way for The Exchange, a $110 million mixed use development with more than 400 dwellings and retail spaces.

The city chose the site’s developers, the Giv Group of Salt Lake City and Domain Cos., based in New York, in 2017 to redevelop what amounted to seven city-owned parcels at that northwest corner, totaling nearly two acres. The buildings are designed by the Los Angeles office of KTGY Architecture + Planning.

In city documents, the Giv Group said its first building at that corner will be “a striking, nine-story structure” designed to “serve as a worthy end cap to the city’s beautiful civic campus” created by the showcase City Library to the west and the Public Safety Building to the south.

The first tower will have about 286 mixed-income apartments, rooftop gardens and a heating and cooling system powered by solar panels, documents indicate, along with nearly 15,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor.

The second structure, plans indicate, is envisioned as a five-story building with 126 dwelling units, 2,700 square feet of retail space and another 30,000 square feet devoted to incubating new businesses and shared working spaces.

In addition to bringing much-needed housing and commercial activity to the downtown core, The Exchange’s design is also aimed at bringing more pedestrians and community activity to two adjacent midblock streets, Blair Street and People’s Way.

City officials sought a rezone of People’s Way in 2017 to better accommodate construction of The Exchange and to allow for outdoor dining offered by restaurants in the area and for mobile food trucks to locate on the street.

The Giv Group is also behind another housing project known as Project Open, an affordable residential complex in its second phase for a total of nearly 200 apartments, located at about 300 North and 500 West.

The Exchange joins a series of large-scale mixed-use residential complexes with hundreds of new apartments built along 400 South in recent years, spurred by special zoning the city has created around key stretches of TRAX lines, known as Transit Station Area zoning.

The land-use designation, also in place along portions of 900 South, North Temple and 500 West, encourages higher-density development near mass transit nodes.

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‘Unacceptable’ behavior from Utah State staff, not fans or players, behind expletive-laden shouting match with Nevada

(Eli Lucero | The Herald Journal) Fans celebrate with Utah State forward Justin Bean on the court after Utah State defeated Nevada 81-76 in an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, March 2, 2019, in Logan, Utah.

The tempers that flared — and went viral — in the aftermath of Utah State’s biggest win in over a decade did not have anything to do with the thousands of fans who rushed the court in celebration Saturday evening.

That determination comes from the Mountain West Conference league office, which on Monday, issued a statement explaining that the situation in the hallways of the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum was due to “inappropriate conduct” from both programs in the postgame handshake line, and subsequently, in the locker room areas.

The MWC office said it reviewed video clips from various sources as well as a collection of written statements from individuals involved. The USU fans who stormed the court after the 81-76 win over then No. 12-ranked Nevada were not the root of the incidents that surfaced in expletive-laden videos posted late Saturday evening. The league will not sanction or fine either school, rather leaving it up each individual university to determine penalties for those involved.

“There was a postgame management plan in place and it was executed successfully,” the MWC statement said.

The MWC statement said conference officials had multiple talks with both USU athletic director John Hartwell as well as Nevada AD Doug Knuth and has shared the conference’s findings with them.

“Each institution will be responsible for the determination and administration of what it deems appropriate disciplinary action for those involved,” the MWC statement explained. “It must be made clear unsportsmanlike and unprofessional conduct is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.”

Hartwell later released a statement regarding the postgame incidents Saturday in Logan, saying there was “unacceptable” behavior by some USU staff members.

“First of all, we want to thank both the Mountain West and the University of Nevada in helping us review the postgame incident from Saturday night,” Hartwell said. “While unfortunate, it should not overshadow what was a great college basketball game between two NCAA Tournament-caliber teams.

“After reviewing all the evidence, from surveillance video to eyewitness accounts, the incident was not a game management issue and was not caused by our students rushing the court. The unsportsmanlike behavior following the game did not include any of our student-athletes, but rather a couple of staff members, which is unacceptable, and we will handle those issues internally. Moving forward, Utah State athletics will review our game management procedures in an effort to continually learn and improve.”

After the win Saturday, various media outlets captured videos of Wolf Pack coaches directing obscenities toward uniformed police officers and a USU staffer. Videos also showed Nevada star forward Jordan Caroline punching a glass fire extinguisher case in anger and Caroline later had to be restrained by teammates. Multiple outlets reported that Caroline was set off by a Utah State assistant who allegedly directed profanity at the Wolf Pack starter.

Nevada coaches and staffers were later seen criticizing uniformed police officers, alleging they were not properly protecting their players from being touched by fans who rushed the court as they tried to make their way to the locker room once the game had ended.

USU closes Mountain West Conference play Tuesday at Colorado State. With a win, the Aggies (24-6, 14-3) clinch at least a share of the MWC regular-season championship.

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Utah grad transfer Vaha Vainuku ‘fired up’ to come out of retirement, play for Huskers

Somewhere between Lincoln and Salt Lake City, Vaha Vainuku looked out the window at the clouds 30,000 feet above the ground, and smiled.

He was really going to play football again.

“Some nights you can’t sleep and you just miss it and you just keep dreaming of football and you keep wishing for what could have been,” Nebraska’s newest defensive tackle said. “I don’t know, man, I’m just excited. I don’t think anyone could ever know what I’m going through right now. I’m really fired up to a level I can’t even express.”

Vainuku committed to Nebraska on Friday after a visit to Lincoln. He will turn 25 in October and has two years of eligibility remaining.

Vainuku committed to Utah as a senior in 2011, and was part of the Utes’ 2012 recruiting class as the No. 82 defensive tackle in the country. After committing, he spent two years on a church mission in Oakland, California. And in January 2015, he returned to Utah and suited up.

During his first padded practice, the 6-foot-3, 295-pound lineman from Salt Lake City suffered a Lisfranc fracture, tearing two ligaments in his right foot. He had two surgeries, but he wasn’t the same. He appeared in two games in 2016. In 2017, he retired from football.

For a year, he tried to find his way. But he found himself alone in his apartment in tears, missing practices and offseason weight training.

“Sometimes you dread practice, like, ‘Damn I got practice. It’s gonna be hot and I’m gonna be tired,’ and all that,” Vainuku said. “But surprisingly, this past year that was one of the things I really missed. I really wished I was out there sweating and grinding with my boys.”

Long story short, I need to learn how to husk corn now!🌽 lol Beyond grateful to be able to play this game again and to do it for this stud of a Coach! Lets go Husker Nation🔴⚫️⚪️ #GBR pic.twitter.com/o5oiG65yrM

— Vaha Vainuku (@Vee_Stringz1) June 1, 2018

So in April 2018, he reached out to his high school coach and told him to put out some feelers. He wanted to play football again.

Nebraska, Hawaii and Oregon State wanted in. And the Huskers jumped to the top of Vainuku’s list when defensive coordinator Erik Chinander visited him in person last Thursday.

Chinander invited Vainuku to Lincoln. So he hopped on a flight and spent the past two days talking X’s and O’s with defensive line coach Mike Dawson and Chinander.

“It felt right. It just felt right,” Vainuku said. “That a Big Ten school — to say the least it’s Nebraska — to show interest in me, as wild as my story is and as wild as the things I’ve been through, for Nebraska to even show the slightest interest in me was very humbling,”

Nebraska wants to play him everywhere from nose tackle to defensive end. And Vainuku is more than OK with that.

He needs to finish up some housekeeping in Salt Lake City, but said he should be in Lincoln by next week.

When he returned to his apartment Friday night, he looked around. In this apartment, where he had cried himself to sleep, where he contemplated hanging up his cleats, everything felt different.

“I got to my room and I was like, ‘Gosh dang. This really happened,’” he said. “I’m in the same room and I’m just a different person. I’m happy and I’m ready and I’m fired up.”

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Elizabeth Elena Laguna-Salgado, a Provo woman missing since 2015, has been found dead in Hobble Creek Canyon, reports say

Elizabeth Elena Laguna-Salgado, taken during her mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Courtesy photo

A spokesman for the Utah County Sheriff’s Office would not comment Wednesday, except to say that a news conference will take place Thursday morning in Spanish Fork.

The discovery, it seems, would bring an end to a mystery that began April 16, 2015, when Laguna-Salgado, then 26, disappeared while walking home from classes at the Nomen Global Language Center in Provo. She sent a text to her sister in Mexico at 1:30 p.m., and her cellphone pinged for the last time from a tower near the school and her home not long after that.

Provo police investigated her disappearance, aided by the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, Interpol and other agencies. Hundreds of tips came in from across the country, but none turned up any clues to Laguna-Salgado’s whereabouts.

Laguna-Salgado had earned a college degree in her native Mexico. She followed that by going on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and coming to Utah to study English — which she still had not learned when she disappeared.

“We have hope and we have faith,” her brother, Rosenberg Salgado, said last month. “The Lord is going to help us find her. You always have to think positive.”

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Maya Hawke makes the most of ‘Little Women’ screen debut for PBS

This image released by PBS shows, from left, Kathryn Newton, Willa Fitzgerald, Maya Hawke and Annes Elwy in "Little Women," airing on PBS Sundays, May 13 and May 20, (MASTERPIECE on PBS, BBC and Playground via AP)

Little readers have long embraced “Little Women” and found inspiration in the character of Jo March, a headstrong young writer out to conquer the world.

Maya Hawke counts herself among the latest generation of fans of Louisa May Alcott’s 19th-century novel. But the lucky Hawke takes it one step further: She stars as Jo in a new version of “Little Women,” airing consecutive Sundays, May 13 and May 20, on PBS’ “Masterpiece” showcase (7 p.m. Sunday, PBS/Channel 7).

Lucky viewers, as well. The 19-year-old Hawke plays Jo with a coltish vibrancy that suits the role, and with an easy confidence that belies her resume: The drama is her first screen credit, with a part in the next season of “Stranger Things” following close behind.

“Little Women” held such appeal for Hawke that she left New York’s Juilliard School for it, a move that runs in the family: Her parents, Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke, both interrupted their studies when the professional world beckoned.

“This story spoke to me. … I love novels, and the script was really well-written, because the book is well-written, and I wanted to get to speak those words,” Maya Hawke said in an interview. “I didn’t know if I was going to get to play it again, if ever, so I had to jump on it.”

The project was a draw for another reason. Jo’s literary passion helped Hawke in her struggle with dyslexia.

“Her drive and her love of language and storytelling really sparked my interest, and really inspired me to overcome the obstacles that were in my way, which were much more personal and less societal than hers, and follow my dreams and pursue what I love,” Hawke said.

She quickly adds: “But not at the expense of my family and my relationships. And that balance between relationships, obligations, family, friends, love and passion and work is a very important thing to have come together.”

Hawke’s answers, candid and delivered in flowing sentences, reveal a young woman who has pondered how to approach life and her place in the world. She doesn’t balk at discussing any topic — including following her successful parents (who divorced when she was a child) into acting.

“I understand the advantages that come from having parents in the industry. I understand the disadvantages,” she said. “I know that I’m really lucky. And I appreciate that luck and I hope to use that luck to do as well as I can and then to share it with as many people as possible. That’s my real goal.”

She does take issue with the notion that the offspring of people in the arts mimic their relatives’ careers just because they can.

“I love acting and storytelling more than most people in their right mind, and I’m only doing it because I’m (expletive) crazy about it, and couldn’t do anything else and care more about it than I should,” Hawke said.

Asked about her other loves, she reels off animals, travel, the visual arts and, especially, writing: “I keep a journal. I write poetry. I work on plays. … It’s a really good way to keep working on your creativity during your downtime as an actor,” she said.

Hawke has dabbled in high-fashion modeling (which kicked off her mom’s career), but tackled a day of promotion for “Little Women” dressed down in a black sweater and pants topped by a jeans jacket, and wearing just a trace of makeup.

“She’s so bright. She’s very aware of how the business works, obviously, because of her parents,” Watson said, but sought guidance on the unfamiliar technical aspects of filming.

“It was lovely to have somebody so hungry to learn. … She was really, really genuinely humble about the experience she was having. Very passionate,” said the two-time Oscar nominee.

The New York-based Hawke, who attended Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn and took part in summer studies at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London and the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, is learning to navigate the post-academic world.

“I’m slowly but surely starting to build a community of other people who are in a similar place as me. … Who went to school for a while and left or who are sort of in the arts and forging their own path. And that’s a really exciting thing, because there was a while where I was like, ‘Oh, my God, I’m the only person in the whole world making this choice.’”

“It’s hopping onto the road less traveled by. And then you spend a little time on the road less traveled by and you look around and there’s a lot of good company there.”

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Trying to stem the skyrocketing price of Utah housing is goal of new Salt Lake Chamber coalition

(Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune) A Housing Gap Coalition formed by the Salt Lake Chamber will encourage local governments to adopt land-use policies promoting mixed-use developments, such as this one in Sugar House. More high-density housing within a mix of residential offerings will be essential to keep the future cost of buying and renting within the means of all Utahns.

Utah Jazz executive Steve Starks doesn’t want his daughters to grow up and find they can’t afford a decent place to live around here because housing prices are steadily escalating faster than incomes.

So Starks is serving as chairman of a Salt Lake Chamber initiative, dubbed the Housing Gap Coalition, whose intent is to work with local governments to lower regulatory fees and to revise zoning policies to encourage more high-density housing amid single-family homes, small apartments and retail spaces.

“We want to keep the ‘American Dream’ alive for future generations,” said Starks, president of Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment, which includes the Jazz. “This has nothing to do with my day job, but it affects all of us. … Utah has had a competitive advantage because of affordability and quality of life. We want to make sure that continues.”

(Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune) A view of Salt Lake City’s changing skyline looking eastward on Tuesday, May 1, 2018. A Housing Gap Coalition formed by the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce is going to encourage local government officials to adopt more flexible zoning policies and to cut regulatory fees to stimulate the development of more types of housing, particularly units affordable for lower income people, in all parts of the Salt Lake Valley.

Chamber President Derek Miller launched the initiative Tuesday, right after the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute released the final version of a detailed research report illustrating that Utah is heading toward an affordability crisis if something isn’t done now to bridge the gap between sprinting housing prices and plodding wage hikes.

“It’s not like we have a crisis now, but certainly this trajectory is something that certainly raises a concern,” said James Wood, lead author on the 45-page report, noting that housing prices in Utah over the past 26 years, a full generation, have gone up 3.3 percent annually, the country’s fourth highest rate. If they maintain that pace, in 26 years the median price of a home in Salt Lake County would rise from $325,000 to $730,000.

Income growth, by comparison, is rising just 2.3 to 2.7 percent per year, leaving many people — but particularly those below the median income — without the resources to keep pace.

“Utah has a heritage of getting in front of problems,” said Miller, who came to the chamber from World Trade Center Utah. “We’ve seen the business community rally before and address large challenges, like transportation and education. I’m excited to address housing affordability. We want our children and grandchildren to enjoy the quality of living we’ve enjoyed and to have the option of staying here and being part of the community.”

(Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune) An apartment building under construction at 400 S. 400 East in Salt Lake City on Tuesday May 1, 2018.

Utah’s population is surging internally and from in-migration. The economy is booming. Undeveloped land in the Salt Lake Valley is scarce and getting more expensive all the time. Rising interest rates will make it more costly to buy a house, and they’ll also put additional pressure on rental markets.

In a series of meetings, he said, coalition members will encourage cities, towns and counties to adapt their zoning codes to allow “for a variety of housing types and prices, meeting the needs of Utahns at all stages of life.”

(Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune) A TRAX train passes by new apartment homes under construction at 400 S. 400 East in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, May 1, 2018.

Local governments also will be asked to reduce impact and permit fees that either discourage housing construction or result in higher costs being passed on to consumers, Miller said.

“Our communities have to work together. We have to engage all of the Wasatch Front counties to think long term,” Starks added. “What levers can we pull now that will impact us [positively] 30 to 40 years down the road?”

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