News

Medical Marijuana Poll Indicates Strong Utah Support

A new poll conducted by Dan Jones & Associates shows strong support for medical marijuana legalization in the state of Utah. According to UtahPolicy.com, 77 percent “strongly” or “somewhat” favor legalizing medical marijuana statewide.

Additionally, the poll indicated strong support for the legalization of medical marijuana across the political spectrum, as well as broad support from Utah’s religious groups.

Utah’s legislature passed a law, HB 195, that would grant a right to try medical marijuana for the terminally ill. Governor Herbert signed the bill into law. The bill was sponsored in the Senate by Senator Evan J. Vickers who represents the Washington County in District 28.

The Utah Patients Coalition is heading a movement to bring the issue before voters in a ballot initiative which, if passed, would place Utah among the 29 other states that allow medical marijuana.

Governor Herbert has voiced his opposition to the initiative. According to the Associated Press, Governor Herbert fears that the initiative, “would potentially open the door to recreational use.”

Arizona legalized medical marijuana in 2010 through a ballot initiative. During the 2016 election cycle, a bid to legalize recreational marijuana failed by a slim margin. A group called Safer Arizona is gathering signatures to put the issue before voters again in November of 2018.

For more information, visit UtahPolicy and UtahPatients below.

http://utahpolicy.com/index.php/features/today-at-utah-policy/16218-support-for-legalizing-medical-marijuana-in-utah-remains-strong-as-more-than-3-4-utahns-support-the-idea

https://www.utahpatients.org/about/

 

MCC Cuts Ribbon on New Development

Mohave Community College celebrated the completion of a new North Mohave Campus building with a ribbon cutting ceremony on 13 April 2018. The new facility will serve a variety of functions including a cutting-edge nursing classroom and laboratory, business incubator, and multipurpose community room to the North Mohave Campus.

A large crowd attended the ribbon cutting ceremony. The new building is a wonderful addition to the campus with beautiful classroom and lab space, worthy of any university. The building also hosts art installations by local artist Matthew Timpson. The halls were packed full of visitors as Matthew presented his art installations.

Not only will this new development provide much needed space for courses at the North Campus, but it will also serve as an option for community gatherings and events. According to MCC North Mohave Campus Dean Carolyn Hamblin, “The community is very excited about the multi-purpose room. I’m already getting calls from people asking about it and looking forward to using it for a variety of events.” The space has already been used to host the Short Creek Community Alliance meetings. The North Mohave Campus will be holding it’s first Pinning Ceremony for their Nursing Program there this May.

“The business incubator is a place new businesses can use if they’re in the start-up mode or need temporary office space while they wait to get their building finished,” said Dr. Kearns.  The business incubator space at the Bullhead City campus served as a temporary space for DOT Foods Inc. while they were constructing their own facility. “This will be a space in Colorado City where those types of businesses will have a temporary space to work.”

According to a press release from MCC, “The new building will also allow MCC to expand the EMS program, which will help provide more quality paramedics and first responders to the growing communities along the norther Arizona and southern Utah border.”

It is a very exciting time for the North Mohave Campus and the Short Creek community as a whole MCC President Dr. Michael Kearns said, “We are investing in the future of the area and the future of education that’s going to be necessary for young folks who are packing those K-12 schools right now in northern Arizona and southern Utah.”

 

Basil Asparagus with Lemon

The best part of springtime is the fresh produce that begins to show up in the garden, farmers market, and even the grocery store. The other day, it was brought to my attention that asparagus was growing in the garden. The asparagus was planted two years ago, and this is the first time that it has begun to pop up in harvest worthy quantities.

No matter the vegetable, there is something magical and distinctly wonderful about picking it fresh from the garden. As I was harvesting, I tasted few spears raw, and the sweet flavor and tenderness quickened my pulse. I decided that I would prepare them simply so as not to harm the delicate sweet flavor that they exhibited. Unlike store bought asparagus, they had a ton of nuanced flavor and texture. Be careful not to overcook them. For anyone who has a spare patch of ground to devote to asparagus, I highly recommend growing some. They generally grow well during colder months and come into season in the spring and fall.

1 lb of asparagus spears

2-3 cloves of garlic

2 tbsp butter

1 tbsp olive oil

½ lemon

3-4 leaves of basil

Salt and pepper

To begin, melt the butter and add the olive oil in a large frying pan. Crush the garlic cloves and add to the pan. Keep the pan over medium heat, being careful not to brown the garlic too much. As it browns, garlic can become bitter. After allowing the garlic to infuse into the oil for a minute or two, add the asparagus. Turn up the heat a bit if needed, tossing the asparagus to coat well in the fat.

Cook the asparagus for about five to eight minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus. The fresher it is, the less you will need to cook it as well. At the end of cooking, add the juice half the lemon, salt and pepper to taste, and toss to coat. Transfer the asparagus directly from the pan to a large serving plate. Garnish with a chiffonade (thinly sliced ribbons) of basil. Add more lemon if desired.

Cross-Country Runner to Cross the Ocean

Water Canyon High School’s cross-country running team, and their outstanding captain has garnered attention in its first year of being eligible to participate in the State Cross-Country Meet.

James Jeffs, Captain of both the cross-country and basketball teams at Water Canyon, is a junior in high school. But James’ talents stretch beyond his athleticism. He not only excels at sports, but has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout his high school tenure. James also has a perfect attendance record for the past three academic years.

Because of his outstanding dedication and athleticism, James has been selected as one of 200 students from across the United States to participate in a cross-country tournament in Australia. It is the 21st annual Down Under Sports Cross Country Tournament in the Gold Coast of Australia from June 26 to July 5, 2018.

James has been working to raise $8000 to pay for the travel expenses necessary to compete. He has raised close to three-quarters of his goal and has a deadline of May 1, 2018.

If you would like to support James as he represents our community, state, and country, go to  https://DownUnderSports.com/payment/865E-4221-1399. You can also donate by phone at 435-753-4732. If you would like to mail in a payment, you can obtain a sponsorship letter with the pertinent information by contacting Lisa Jeffs at the UEP office.

Short Creek Community Alliance Takes on Leadership Role in Upcoming Election

Four seats on the Colorado City Town Council will be up for re-election in November of this year along with two positions on the Colorado City Unified School District School Board and three positions on the Fire District Board. The Short Creek Community Alliance (SCCA) is a non-partisan citizens group that seeks to drive voter engagement and education.

Throughout the month of April, SCCA will be holding public meetings at the new building at the North Mohave Campus. During these events, they will be working to acquaint citizens with potential candidates and narrow the field to ensure a competitive general election come November. In addition to that, they will be seeking help from community members to drive up voter registration numbers and help voters understand the political process in Arizona overall.

The first meeting was held on Monday, 2 April. They provided an introduction to what the SCCA is and does. Potential candidates took turns explaining their motivation for running and what they planned to do if elected. Each of the potential candidates expressed love for the community and a desire to bring more economic development and opportunities to town. Potential candidates expressed a desire to preserve the things that make the community a great place to live.

The potential candidates for town council include Freeman Barlow, Joe Timpson, Jerusha Darger, Marion Timpson, Alma Hammon, Jason Black, and Parley Barlow.

SCCA is hosting two more meetings on 16 and 23 April. Toward the end of the month, the community will have the opportunity to vote for their choice of candidate. The meeting essentially fills the role that is traditionally left to political parties.

If you are interested in being a part of the political process, feel free to show up to the meetings at the new Mohave Community College building on 480 S Central Street Colorado City, AZ. SCCA is also active on Facebook. Organizers are hoping for high level of participation, so the will of the people may be translated effectively to local governance.

 

Prescott Brewing’s Petrified Porter

Porter is one of my favorite beer styles. Porter is English in origin and is recognized by its dark color and bold flavor. While it is bold, many variations of the style are very drinkable and smooth. It tends to be very malt forward, but some varieties exhibit stronger hop characteristics. Petrified Porter from Prescott Brewing Company, in Prescott Arizona, is a great example of the style and a great beer overall.

This porter exhibits a color variation that I find appealing. Some porters have a reddish tint to them. Hold it up to a light, or look near the bottom of the glass, and it is easier to see this. I find the color beautiful, and you can see it in this beer. It also pours well, with a nice foamy cap that lingers and sticks to the edge of the glass as you drink it.

The nose is spectacular with tons of coffee and cocoa aromas. There is also a creamy element in the aroma that ends up smelling like milk duds or chocolate malt balls. There are also subtle vegetal notes from the hops along with vanilla and burnt sugar. As I continued to drink it, there was a faint hint of orange that showed up intermittently.

The flavor profile was very consistent with the aroma in terms of flavor and body. The coffee flavor is the most prominent, and rather than cocoa, it tastes more closely to dark chocolate because the bitterness of the hops pairs up with the cocoa component. The bitterness is very well balanced, however. The mouthfeel is slightly thin but that lends to the drinkability of the beer.

The finish is somewhat short but rich. The same coffee and chocolate notes remain along with a pleasant bitterness that quickly fades off. The quick finish leads you back to the glass rather quickly.

Porter’s tend to be paired with rich foods because of their medium to heavy bodied nature. Any braised dish, barbecue, sausage, stew, and chili are good options. Porter is also a fantastic beer to drink with sweet foods and desserts. While the flavors are bold, it is highly drinkable and has a relatively low ABV. It is a wonderful drink on its own as well.

Hildale Approves First Alcohol Sale License

The Hildale City Council has granted its first ever alcohol sales license. Historically, Hildale has been a dry town, being one of only a handful of municipalities across the country that functionally prohibit the sale of alcohol.

The Border Store, a convenience store located along highway 59, was the recipient of the license. In previous City Council meetings, the subject of how to issue a license was unclear, as there had been no process in place to issue a permit of that kind.

The consideration of granting an alcohol sales license was tabled by the council as city officials worked to create an application that would ensure applicants meet all state and local requirements. Hildale officials are also instituting a fee schedule for multiple possible types of liquor licenses.

Hildale City Council has approved a license that would allow The Border Store to sell packaged beer. They will now have to work with the state to ensure that any other requirements are met.

Hildale Caucus Lulls in Midterm Season

The second ever Utah State Caucus for Hildale Precinct 97 was held on 20 March 2018. According to Precinct Chairman Lawrence Barlow, turnout was 51 percent weaker since the 2016 election cycle, with 35 attendees and 28 credentialed voters.

However, turnout was stronger than in other Washington County races, who struggled to get 25-30 percent turnout. Low turnout was experienced across the state with only 35,000 republicans attending this year, according to UtahPolicy.com.

Jimi Kestin, Chairman of the Washington County Utah Republican Party (WCURP), said, “The WCURP is so excited about what is going on in Hildale and the great effort of the Republican Party leaders in their community. Congratulations on continuing to be leaders in enthusiasm, turnout, and embracing the principles of our representative republic and the values contained in the Republican Party platform.”

Washington County now has two county delegates, Jared Nicol and Lawrence Barlow, who also serve as precinct Secretary and Chairman respectively. The Precinct Vice Chairman is Jesse Barlow, also serving as State Delegate. Backup State Delegates are Lawrence Barlow and Jared Nicol. Backup county delegates include Maha Layton, Terrill Musser (Precinct Treasurer), Brigham Holm, and Jesse Barlow.

According to Utah.gov, “Utah’s political process begins every two years in neighborhood caucuses throughout the state where members of each precinct vote for delegates to represent them at county and state party conventions. Delegates then attend the conventions to vote for candidates that will then face each other in the public general election.”

The Washington County caucus will be 14 April 2018 at the Washington County Fairgrounds. The state caucus will be held on 20 April 2018 in Salt Lake City.

Vandals Burn Trailhead Restroom

Vandalism in Water Canyon is on the rise, and recently public structures have felt the effects. A newly built brick restroom and its signage have been removed from the trailhead due to a 4 November 2017 arson.

From arson, to the felling of rocks and trees on the cliffs, to the etching of names and obscenities along the trail, 2017 and 2018 have been an eventful and destructive time for the wilderness area.

According to Kevin Barlow, Hildale Colorado City Fire Chief, “The fire department was notified after-the-fact of a fire in the BLM Water Canyon Trailhead restroom facility on 4 November 2017 at 1:30 PM.” Officials deployed a brush truck to the scene to ensure the fire was extinguished, then turned the investigation over to the Marshal’s office.

Sam Johnson, Acting Marshal, said officials had not found evidence indicating who set the fire. Johnson stated there had been an increase in arson incidents over the past few years, and encouraged residents to keep an eye out for suspicious activity.

According to press release from Keith Rigtrup, St. George Field Office Manager, “This newly constructed restroom facility and trailhead were installed to accommodate the increasing recreational use in the area. Because of this damage, the restroom facility is now unusable and will require substantial repairs. We take this loss seriously as it is a cost to all taxpayers.”

The Bureau of Land management (BLM) is installing a prefabricated restroom facility to replace the brick structure.

There is an active investigation into the arson incident. Arson is a felony charge and poses a substantial risk to the community, representing a loss of resources when the fire department responds. If you have any information regarding the incident or any other vandalism, you can call (800) 227-7286 or contact the Marshal’s office.

Guinness Braised Lamb Shanks

Although St Patrick’s day has passed, and warm weather is fast approaching, there is still time for a comforting braise. Braising is the process of cooking meat, first by searing on high heat to develop color and then finishing by cooking on low heat with liquid. This method is the classic way to take tougher cuts of meat and turn them into something tender and delicious. The technique lends itself particularly well to lower cuts including oxtail, ribs, tongue, and shanks.

Shanks are the portion of the animal nearest the hoof. Lamb shanks are one of my favorite dishes because of the rich flavor and the texture of the meat. To accompany this dish, I did a mixed mash of potatoes, turnips, and peas. If you want to cut the cooking time drastically, I recommend using a pressure cooker. I pressure cooked these shanks for 30 minutes, and they were perfect. As the shanks are resting, you create a rich gravy to dress everything. If using a pressure cooker, start prepping your vegetables first and get the water boiling.

2-3 lbs of lamb shanks

1 cup of Guinness Stout

2 cup of beef stock

1 onion

1 carrot

2 stalks of celery

2-3 Bay leaves

5-6 cloves of garlic

2 Tbsp of vegetable oil

 

2-3 Yukon gold potatoes

2-3 turnips

2 cups of peas

½ cup heavy cream

4 Tbsp butter

2 cloves of garlic

2 Tbsp Flour

2 Tbsp Butter

Using a deep sided frying pan (if not using a pressure cooker use an oven-safe pan with a lid) heat oil over medium heat. Season lamb shanks liberally with salt and pepper. Once the oil has heated, place the lamb shanks in the hot pan and brown evenly on all sides. The more browning you get, the richer the flavor. Remove oil and deglaze the pan with beef stock and Guinness.

Scrape the bits from the bottom of the pan and cook for 5 minutes to burn off the alcohol. Roughly chop the onion, carrot, and celery. Smash the garlic and add to the pressure cooker along with the shanks. Add bay leaves, pour pan liquid over everything, cover and cook for 30 minutes if using a pressure cooker. If using the traditional method, place in a 300-degree oven for 2-3 hours, or until tender.

For the mash, boil water in a medium-sized pot. Dice the potatoes and turnips, add them to the boiling water and cook until fork tender. Near the end of the cooking time add garlic. After the garlic has cooked for about five minutes, add frozen peas and cook for five more minutes on high heat. The frozen peas will crash the temperature of the water. This is good because you don’t want the peas to overcook. Strain the water and mash the vegetables with butter and heavy cream. This is intended to be a rustic mash, so don’t worry about making it smooth.

When the lamb shanks have finished, remove them from the liquid, and set aside to rest under foil. Remove as much fat as possible and transfer the liquid to a pan over medium heat. Mix two tablespoons of room temperature butter with an equal amount of flour. Depending on how much liquid is left, you may want to reduce it a little bit to concentrate the flavors or dilute it. Use your better judgment. Once the sauce has come to a simmer, add half of the butter mixture and whisk until incorporated. Add the other half and whisk some more. Take it off the heat immediately. If it has thickened too much, just add a little beef stock. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, place a generous spoonful or two of mash, creating a well. Artfully prop a lamb shank beside or on top of the mash. Dress with the pan sauce, garnish with parsley, and enjoy with a Guinness.