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Trib Talk

“Trib Talk,” hosted by reporter Benjamin Wood, features Salt Lake Tribune reporters and invited guests discussing the latest news and diving into topics that affect Utahns.

Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes looks back, and forward, on Operation Rio Grande | Episode 18

In August 2017, a major law enforcement initiative known as “Operation Rio Grande” was launched in Salt Lake City, aimed at curbing a concentration of crime, homelessness and drug use.Now, the area around Pioneer Park and The Road Home has transformed, with a sustained police presence cutting down on transient camps and a new drug court allowing addicts to gain access to treatment in lieu of prosecution. But what was a concentrated problem has been dispersed into neighboring areas of the city and county. And after one year, and tens of millions of dollars, there is a question of whether Operation Rio Grande is working to reduce drug use and homelessness, or whether it has simply relocated it.On this week’s “Trib Talk” podcast, Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes, R-Draper, and Tribune reporter Benjamin Wood discuss the one-year anniversary of the operation, it’s successes and ongoing challenges.“Trib Talk” is produced by Sara Weber with additional editing by Dan Harrie. Comments and feedback can be sent to tribtalk@sltrib.com, or to @bjaminwood or @tribtalk on Twitter.Listeners can subscribe to “Trib Talk” for free on SoundCloud, iTunes and Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher and other major podcast platforms.

August 14, 2018

How young is too young to get married in Utah? | Episode 17

In Utah, it is legal to marry at age 15 with the permission of a judge, or 16 with a parent’s consent. But one Utah lawmaker is trying to change that by raising the minimum marriage age to 18.It’s a change that could be particularly felt by one of Utah’s polygamous groups, in which teenage girls often marry before reaching legal adulthood, due to pressure from their parents and religious leaders, or as a means of escaping their living situations and avoiding assignment into a plural marriage.On this week’s “Trib Talk” podcast, state Rep. Angela Romero, D-Salt Lake City, and Tribune reporter Nate Carlisle join Benjamin Wood discuss the factors behind teenage marriages in Utah and the arguments for and against raising the legal age of marriage.“Trib Talk” is produced by Sara Weber with additional editing by Dan Harrie. Comments and feedback can be sent to tribtalk@sltrib.com, or to @bjaminwood or @tribtalk on Twitter.Listeners can subscribe to “Trib Talk” for free on SoundCloud, iTunes and Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher and other major podcast platforms.

August 08, 2018

LoveLoud is being called a success by some, but unsafe by others. Can it adapt? | Episode 16

In its second year, the LoveLoud Festival saw a larger crowd packed into a larger venue for its event celebrating and supporting LGBTQ youth.But LoveLoud’s growth also came with growing pains. Some LGBTQ support organizations left the event early, or issued critical statements, over the festival’s treatment of transgender individuals.The disappointment felt by many stood in stark contrast to LoveLoud’s celebratory and inclusive theme. But will the controversy damage the reach of future LoveLoud events?On this week’s “Trib Talk” podcast, Provo Pride spokeswoman Brianna Cluck, Utah Pride Center executive director Rob Moolman, and Jordan Sgro, chief program officer of Encircle, join reporter Benjamin Wood to discuss LoveLoud’s impact, successes, missteps, and future.

August 01, 2018

Are fireworks worth the risks? | Episode 15

Last summer, Independence Day fireworks combined with hot and dry conditions to set off dozens of fires throughout Salt Lake County.In response, one city banned fireworks for Pioneer Day, despite warnings that it lacked the authority to do so. And pressure mounted for state lawmakers to shrink Utah’s legal firework season.So far this year has seen fewer blazes, but the dangers remain. And beyond fires, the noisy, decorative bombs are a frequent source of complaint for some residents, who cite the impact on children, pets and veterans as reasons for their prohibition.On this week’s episode of “Trib Talk,” Rep. Jim Dunnigan, R-Taylorsville, and former Cottonwood Heights mayor Kelvyn Cullimore join reporter Benjamin Wood to discuss the pros and cons of fireworks, and whether the state Legislature or individual city governments are best positioned to regulate pyrotechnic displays.

July 25, 2018

Do BYU police have to follow the same rules as other local cops? | Episode 14

BYU plans to appeal a court decision that found the university’s police department to be a government entity, subject to the state’s open-records laws.The ruling, in a lawsuit filed by The Salt Lake Tribune, relates to BYU’s handling of sexual assault and the role of law enforcement in campus disciplinary proceedings. If it stands, BYU Police would be required to comply with the government records access management act, or GRAMA, and have its operations subject to the same public scrutiny, transparency and accountability as other law enforcement agencies in the state.But BYU contends that because the university is private, so too is its police department, and that GRAMA and Utah’s transparency rules do not apply.On this week’s episode of “Trib Talk," Holly Richardson, a member of the Utah State Records Committee and a former state lawmaker, joins reporters Benjamin Wood and Jessica Miller to discuss the ruling and what it means for law enforcement transparency in Utah County.

July 18, 2018

What does Trump’s SCOTUS pick mean for abortion and same-sex marriage rights in Utah? | Episode 13

On this week’s episode of “Trib Talk,” reporter Benjamin Wood discusses the nomination of Brett Kavanuagh to the U.S. Supreme Court with Jason Perry, director of the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics, and Michelle Quist, an attorney and candidate for the Salt Lake County Council.

July 11, 2018

Did Our Schools Now cut a bad deal for education funding? | Episode 12

On this week’s episode of “Trib Talk,” Tribune reporter Benjamin Wood chats with Austin Cox, campaign manager for Our Schools Now, about November’s non-binding public vote on a 10-cent gas tax increase to support Utah’s public education system.

July 03, 2018

Winners and losers of Utah's 2018 primary election | Episode 11

On today’s episode of “Trib Talk,” Tribune reporters Benjamin Wood, Taylor Anderson, Taylor Stevens and columnist Robert Gehrke discuss the results of Tuesday’s primary election.

June 27, 2018

Is family separation the best way to handle immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border? | Episode 10

On today’s episode of “Trib Talk,” Tribune reporter Benjamin Wood discusses border security and the separation of migrant families with Arturo Morales-LLan, a member of the Utah Republican Party’s State Central Committee, and Luis Garza, executive director of Comunidades Unidas.

June 20, 2018

Utah restaurant horror stories from the Tribune’s food reporter | Episode 9

On today’s episode of “Trib Talk,” Tribune reporters Benjamin Wood and Kathy Stephenson discuss Utah’s restaurant industry and the health code violations that can force a business to shut down.

June 13, 2018

Can atheist bakers refuse to serve Mormons? | Episode 8

In this week’s episode of “Trib Talk,” Tribune reporter Benjamin Wood discusses this week’s Supreme Court decision in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case with John Mejia, legal director for the ACLU of Utah, and Bill Duncan, director of The Sutherland Institute’s Center for Family and Society.

June 06, 2018

Making sense of Josh Holt’s arrest, imprisonment and release | Episode 7

On the latest edition of “Trib Talk,” The Tribune's Washington, D.C., Bureau Chief Thomas Burr and Jacob Olidart, Sen. Orrin Hatch's foreign policy advisor, join Tribune reporter Benjamin Wood to discuss the arrest, imprisonment and release of Utahn Josh Holt from a Venezuelan prison.

May 30, 2018

Live: Utah’s first responders describe how they cope with PTSD

In a bonus episode of ‘Trib Talk,’ Salt Lake Tribune editor Jennifer Napier-Pearce moderates a panel discussion on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder among Utah’s first responders.Panelists include: Rep. Lee Perry, a Utah Highway Patrol lieutenant; Sgt. Lisa Pascadlo, peer-support coordinator at the Salt Lake City Police Department; Shante Johnson, spokeswoman for the Utah State Lodge Fop (Fraternal Order of Police); and Salt Lake City Fire Capt. Mike Stevens, an advocate for better mental health care for firefighters.

May 25, 2018

How to build a bulletproof school | Episode 6

On today’s episode of “Trib Talk,” Tribune reporter Benjamin Wood chats with Canyons School District teacher Katie Bullock and Utah School Superintendents Association executive director Terry Shoemaker about how student safety is helped or hurt by modern school design trends.

May 23, 2018

The five things to know about Utah, according to Paul Rolly | Episode 5

On today’s episode of “Trib Talk,” Tribune reporter Benjamin Wood chats with recently-retired columnist Paul Rolly about his view of Utah politics after a long media career, and the recent staff cuts at The Salt Lake Tribune.

May 16, 2018

Hugging co-workers can be problematic. But banning it won’t stop sexual misconduct. | Episode 4

In this week’s episode of “Trib Talk,” Benjamin Wood, Tribune reporter Taylor Stevens, and employment attorney Jonathan Driggs discuss hugging in the workplace, and how unwanted physical contact can become problematic for employers and employees.

May 09, 2018

A Utah police officer seeks help for himself, and others, after years of trauma | Episode 3

In this week’s episode of “Trib Talk,” reporter Benjamin Wood, Tribune deputy managing editor Matt Canham and Brent Jex, president of the Utah’s Fraternal Order of Police, discuss the need for, and stigma surrounding, mental health services within the law enforcement community.

May 02, 2018

What does Mitt Romney's primary election say about the Utah Republican Party? | Episode 2

In this week’s episode of “Trib Talk,” Tribune reporters Benjamin Wood and Courtney Tanner and columnist Robert Gehrke discuss last weekend’s Utah Republican Convention and the upcoming primary elections for Senate candidate Mitt Romney and incumbent Congressman John Curtis.

April 25, 2018

Will Utah voters go against the Mormon church on medical marijuana? | Episode 1

In this episode of “Trib Talk,” Tribune reporters Taylor Anderson and Benjamin Wood and Tribune editorial writer Michelle Quist discuss a ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana that appears likely to qualify for the November ballot.

April 18, 2018