The League of Utah Writers empowers the writing and publishing goals of members through community interaction and dynamic educational opportunities, from novie through professional levels. We are the oldest and largest non-profit writing organization in Utah dedicated to offering friendship, education, and encouragement to the writers and poets of Utah since 1935.
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Your Guide To The Salt Lake City Writing Scene
A booming tech industry in Utah means tons of writing opportunities for writers with the right combination of skills and expertise. Successful businesses are springing up faster along the Wasatch Front than Thanos can snap people out of existence. These companies need writers to produce fresh, innovative content and that means good things for writers in the Salt Lake City area.
Making a Living as a Salt Lake City Writer
Writing jobs in the Salt Lake City area vary in compensation based on the type of skills needed for the job. Glassdoor notes that a Salt Lake City content writer can earn an average of $48,782 annually. Copywriters earn an average of $50,408 per year. Technical writers pull in $53,409 annually.
Producing high quality content is a persistent need for Salt Lake City area businesses. Building a visually appealing website with useful regular content sets a company apart and helps that company make a name in a crowded marketplace. As long as customers turn to the Internet to guide their purchasing decisions, content writers will not be lacking for work.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor, for example, projects a 3.4 percent job growth rate for copywriters who work in advertising, public relations and related services over the next five years.
Online job marketplaces such as Indeed or Glassdoor can be useful resource for finding full-time or part-time writing jobs within the Salt Lake City area. You can also used paid resources like LinkedIn Profinder to snag one-time or recurring freelance gigs.
There are plenty of opportunities available for any hard-working, talented writer looking to polish skills, build a network of clients, or take a new turn on their career path.
Educational Opportunities for Writers to Advance in Salt Lake City
If you’re looking to bolster your writing skills in one aspect or another, you will find plenty of academic resources within the Salt Lake City metro area.
The city is home to the University of Utah and Westminster College. The University of Utah is the state’s flagship research university while Westminster is one of the top liberal arts colleges in the West. Both schools offer four-year degrees in various writing disciplines. Salt Lake Community College also offers multiple campuses in the Salt Lake City metro area to help writers who want to take a class or two or get certification from a program, like the technical writing program, in order to open more doors in the writing world.
Educational opportunities are not limited to taking college classes and earning degrees. You can also network through meetup groups, conferences, and workshops to really supercharge your writing efforts.
Writing Meet Up Groups in Salt Lake City
- Write the Docs , ongoing. This Salt Lake group is one of two dozen chapters around the world. This group is geared toward technical writers, programmers, and other professionals associated with software documentation. Group members have monthly meetings and conferences like SaltConf18.
- Salt Lake City Writers, Authors, Speakers Community Group , ongoing. This is a meetup group that describes itself as a community of authorpreneurs (authors, writers, speakers, and entrepreneurs) who want to build an online presence to sell book, products, and services effectively by building an organic audience. The group typically holds monthly meetings at the Mystery Escape Room in downtown Salt Lake City.
Salt Lake City Conferences for Writers to Consider in 2019
- Digital Summit Salt Lake City : This two-day conference runs on March 5 and 6 and features more than 45 sessions and workshops. Each one is geared to offer practical ideas and strategies for staying current in the digital economy. Speakers are drawn from leading companies across the nation.
- League of Utah Writers Spring Conference . A one-day event in April at Salt Lake Community College. It features a full day of workshops and presentations focused on improving your skills as a writer. Areas of focus include fiction, nonfiction, poetry and screenwriting.
- UCET Conference 2019 : This two-day conference on March 5 and 6 at the Utah Valley Convention Center is sponsored by the Utah Coalition for Educational Technology. It offers breakout sessions on ways to utilize technology in teaching and learning. The theme for the March conference is “Tell Your Story.”
Workshops, Classes and More for Writers in Salt Lake City
Finding useful educational resources for writers in Salt Lake City is a simple task. These workshops and classes will set you up with the skills you need to attract companies looking for content writers.
- Community Writing Center , check website for updates. Salt Lake Community College offers a wide range of writing workshops. Workshops are created in response to community requests and some are offered for free through grants and partnership funding. 2019 workshops are focused on topics such as grant writing, resume writing, non-fiction, and fiction.
- The University of Utah Continuing Education department , check website for updates. Single classes are available to the community from the University of Utah. These classes focus on topics like grant writing, business writing, and creative non-fiction. They are offered throughout the year and last from a couple of weeks to a couple of months.
The Best Places for Writers to Write in Salt Lake City
You have tons of cool writing hot spots around the city to get your creative energies following. Check out some of these popular writing spots where you can rub shoulders with fellow writers.
- Salt Lake City Library (downtown)
- Sugar House Park
- Memory Grove Park
- University of Utah campus
Want to hit up a local cafe or coffee shop? You’re in luck. Coffee Garden on 9th and 9th, Publik Coffee Roasters in the Avenues, Watchtower Cafe near Smith’s Ballpark, and Nostalgia Cafe in central city are all wonderful spots to write and relax.
Community Groups for Writers in Salt Lake City
Beyond the resources listed above, you can connect with these formal writing groups that offer events and classes for local writers.
- Salt Lake City Writers : a Facebook group that meets for write-ins and discussions each month. The location of the events is typically held at a branch of the city or county library.
- League of Utah Writers : Various chapters of this Utah writing group meet in Salt Lake City and the surrounding metro area. It costs an annual membership fee to join, but members get access to workshops, conferences, and other annual events.
Local Companies Hiring Salt Lake City Writers
Skilled and experienced writers are in high demand in Salt Lake City . Business growth in Utah is robust and companies are scrambling to keep up with demand for fresh, unique content. Freelance writers and editors in Salt Lake City can find plenty of opportunities to strengthen their portfolio with local companies, digital marketing agencies, and online content platforms.
Digital Marketing Agencies
It’s true that digital marketing agencies are pivotal in keeping content flowing to readers. That’s why so many companies turn to them for help. Many agencies in Salt Lake City are always on the hunt for a few good content creators.
- WriterAccess : Many Salt Lake City writers find consistent work with us. We are a leading provider of writing services for 25,000+ customers powered by 15,000+ freelance writers, editors, content strategists and translators. We’re always looking to add to our roster of freelancer professionals with the skills and expertise to help businesses grow with organic content, so APPLY NOW!
- Skyword : This collaborative content marketing platform specializes in creating content for major brands nationwide.
- METRO : A newer content platform partnering with CNET. Metro offers opportunities to write, edit, and proofread content for major brands nationwide. Passing writing and editing tests is required before gaining access to the job boards.
Join Fellow Salt Lake Writers Now!
Salt Lake City has grown from its Mormon pioneer roots to become a culturally diverse city that’s home to a growing and thriving writing community. Many talented writers and poets in the West can trace their roots to this metropolis in the desert. It has blossomed as a rose in that sense. Use this guide to help yourself become a vital part of this community of writers!
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How SCGW Started
In 2015, following a productive and fun-filled National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), a number of the writers who had joined the NaNo fueled chat stuck around to continue on with their writing. The grueling intensity of a month of writing towards a 50k goal did not dissuade the founding members from following the desire to hone their craft. After realizing that they shared a common dedication, they decided to become part of the League of Utah Writers as a downtown Salt Lake City writing chapter. The Salt City Genre Writers Chapter was born.
Now a very active, friendly, and peer to peer driven writing group, the Salt City Genre Writers now hosts nearly seventy members regularly with nearly three times that found on our online Discord. Weekly meetings, informal write-ins, NaNoWriMo hosted write-ins, critique groups, publication opportunities, and much more are available within our chapter.
Bryan Young is an award-winning author, filmmaker, and journalist who works in many different media. As a writer, he's had numerous novels and short stories published and has worked professionally in the Star Wars, Robotech, and BattleTech universes. His most recent novel is BattleTech: Honor's Gauntlet. He's written comics for Slave Labor Graphics and Image Comics and written and produced documentary films that were called "filmmaking gold" by the New York Times. As a journalist, he's had bylines at the Huffington Post, StarWars.Com, HowStuffWorks, /Film, Syfy, and many more. He's the president of the Salt City Genre Writers, a Salt Lake City-based chapter of the League of Utah Writers and also serves on the state board of that organization as President-Elect. He teaches writing for Writer's Digest and the University of Utah. You can learn more about him by following him on Twitter @swankmotron or by visiting his website, www.swankmotron.com .
Cassidy Ward is a writer of both fiction and non-fiction. He publishes a new short story and novel chapter online every month and is a regular columnist for SyFy.com where he writes about the intersection of science and popular culture. His story, Fancy Hansey Does Necromancy, was recently published in the first issue of One Mean Monster Zine.
Monica Simons writes romance and lives in Salt Lake City with her husband, daughter, two Italian Greyhounds and a flock of black-capped chickadees and lesser goldfinches in her backyard.
Horror Division Director
R. R. Smith is a Horror author and enthusiast. As the Secretary of Horror for the Salt City Genre Writers, she believes in the power of a good ghost story and loves teaching writers how to harness the horrific in any genre. Her work can be found in various collections and anthologies, from Daughters of Darkness: An All-Women Horror Anthology to the Salt City Genre Writers anthology By Virtue Fall.
Writing And Tech Coordinator
J.E. Zarnofsky is a writer, costumer, larper, and all around fantasy enthusiast. She is always seeking new ways to tell heartfelt and collaborative stories. Apart from her day job in software, she can be observed in her natural habitats of coffee shops, ice rinks, or medieval(ish) battlefields—armored and ready with her sword or bow.
Erin r. britt.
Erin R. Britt is an editor of Salt Flats, an online publication, and writes fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and academic scholarship with a little freelance on the side to make things spicy. She lives in Salt Lake City, UT with her son and her cat, Azog the Defiler.
The Creative Writing Group
A community of slcc writers..
The Creative Writing Group at SLCC…
will meet regularly to discuss and celebrate creative writing
will create and workshop creative writing
will demonstrate and examine different genres of creative writing
will help prepare writing for submission to SLCC Anthology, Folio and other publications
is a great way to build community with other SLCC writers.
We hope to build this club into a great community of SLCC writers and we would love to have you as part of that!
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Find details about every creative writing competition—including poetry contests, short story competitions, essay contests, awards for novels, grants for translators, and more—that we’ve published in the Grants & Awards section of Poets & Writers Magazine during the past year. We carefully review the practices and policies of each contest before including it in the Writing Contests database, the most trusted resource for legitimate writing contests available anywhere.
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Poetry: Katharine Coles, Jacqueline Osherow, Paisley Rekdal Fiction: Lindsey Drager, Michael Mejia, Rone Shavers Creative Nonfiction: Katharine Coles, Michael Mejia Paisley Rekdal, Rone Shavers
The program offers partial funding. Funding opportunities are offered on a competitive basis.
Quarterly West , Western Humanities Review
The program offers a multidisciplinary MFA which students can pursue by combining writing coursework with classes in book arts, environmental humanities, and the history of the American West. The program hosts the Guest Writer Series , the Utah Symposium in Science and Literature, and the Working Dog graduate student reading series. Other features include internships and paid editorial positions at the press Fiction Collective Two, the student-run literary journals Quarterly West and Western Humanities Review , and the online archives Eclipse and Mapping Salt Lake City.
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Community Writing Center
We offer a range of writing workshops here at the Community Writing Center where you can explore a variety of writing topics in theme-based classes. Past workshops include Journaling for Mental Health, Poetry, Novel Writing, Songwriting, Food Memoirs, and Creative Writing. Workshops are created in response to community requests and are taught by our talented Writing Assistants. If there's a workshop you'd like us to offer in the future, please let us know by emailing us at [email protected] .
Most workshops take place at the Community Writing Center . We try to keep the cost of workshops as low as possible, and are able to offer some for free through partnerships and grant funding. Fees can be waived for financial hardship. Otherwise, donations are always welcome. Due to limited space, it is necessary to register in advance if you plan to attend a workshop. Registration will close twenty-four hours prior to the scheduled event. Registrants who choose not to attend may call to cancel up to one week prior to the workshop; after this time payments are non-refundable.
Register for Workshops
Note: If you have any issues or problems registering online for one of our workshops, please contact us at 801-957-2192 or [email protected] for assistance.
Spring 2024 Workshops
The worldly difference between plot and story.
1-part workshop Thursday, February 22, 6-8 pm
Dynamic world building while creating realistic characters within a story can be tricky, especially when it comes to the plot. Often writers miss an important plot point while building their worlds and inventing the characters who will live in them. What is the difference between plot and story? Join the CWC as we delve into shaping stories with compelling plots while also exploring the important differences between "story" and "plot."
Cost: 15$. Registration is required.
Location: CWC, 210 East 400 South #8.
REGISTER FOR The Worldly Difference Between Plot and Story
Color Collective Workshop: Immigration and Migration - The Borders that Create Us
1-part workshop Saturday, February 24, 10-1 pm
Immigration and Migration explores the impact of borders and migration on the lives of individuals and communities. Join the CWC and the YWCA in this workshop where, through meaningful conversations and storytelling, participants will engage with the experiences of those who have moved across borders and the consequences of such journeys.
Cost: Free. Registration is required.
REGISTER FOR Color Collective Workshop: Immigration and Migration - The Borders that Create Us
She Said. Womxn’s Voices in Utah Series Workshop 1: Queer(ing) Womxnhood in Utah
1-part workshop Saturday, March 2, 11:30-1:30 pm
When womxnhood in Utah is discussed, queer womxn's experiences and identities are often tangential if they're discussed at all. In this workshop, we'll explore the diversity of queer womxnhood in Utah by exploring what makes queer femininity, embodiment, experiences, identities, representations, and writing unique and different from that of our non-queer counterparts. Join the CWC and Amplify Utah in this workshop where we will examine and dissect the historical and cultural impacts of the frequent erasure of queer womxn's voices and experiences in broader discussions about womxn's liberation. We’ll also explore how damaging storytelling tropes about queer womxn have been used and how we can reclaim and subvert them in our own storytelling. No previous writing experience or preparation required!
REGISTER FOR Queer(ing) Womxnhood in Utah
Trans Visibility Zine Making Workshop
1-part workshop Wednesday, March 6, 6:30-8 pm
We are collaborating with The City Library for this great workshop all about zines! Zines can be written and created in a variety of formats from desktop-published text to comics, collages and stories, zines cover broad topics including fanfiction, politics, poetry, ephemera, personal journals, social theory, memoirs, identity, and many more. Historically, zines have provided community for socially silenced individuals or marginalized groups through the ability to express and pursue common ideas and subjects. For this reason, zines have cultural value as tangible traces of marginal communities. In honor of Trans Day of Visibility, we are calling our beautiful Transgender community to join us for an evening of making zines in solidarity with Trans pride and resistance. There will be an opportunity for participants to share their Zines with the community at Trans Visibility Events later in March.
REGISTER FOR Trans Visibility Zine Making Workshop
Color Collective Workshop: Diasporas - Communities in the Making
1-part workshop Saturday, March 9, 10-1 pm
This workshop with the CWC and the YWCA focuses on the concept of diasporas, examining how communities are formed, evolve, and thrive in different geographic and cultural contexts. Participants will explore the resilience and cultural richness of diasporic communities through personal narratives and shared stories.
REGISTER FOR Diasporas - Communities in the Making
She Said. Womxn’s Voices in Utah Series Workshop 2: Womxnhood in Utah
Part 1 of 2-Part workshop series Saturday, March 16, 11:30-1:30 pm
For the last four years, Utah has been ranked the worst state for womxn’s equality in the areas of workplace environment, education, health and political empowerment. Join the CWC and Amplify Utah in this workshop where participants will have an opportunity to explore the experience of being a womxn in Utah living in these cultural and political contexts.
REGISTER FOR Womxnhood in Utah
Madly in Love: Love Letters About Mental Health
1-part workshop Saturday, March 16, 2-4 pm
Join us for an extraordinary journey of self-discovery and connection in our "Madly In Love" workshop. Delve into the transformative power of love through the art of mad love letter writing. This unique experience invites you to express your feelings, celebrate the highs and lows of your mental health journey, and embrace the magic and intensity of life. Discover the profound beauty in your experiences and connect with others in a supportive and inclusive space. Together, we'll explore the interplay between madness, love, and empathy, fostering a community that values and understands the unique stories of every individual.
REGISTER FOR Madly in Love
Color Collective Workshop: Hybridity and Liminality - Against the Binaries of Existence
1-part workshop Saturday, March 23, 10-1 pm
Hybridity and Liminality invites participants to challenge binary thinking and explore the dynamic exchange of ideas and identities that occurs through migration and globalization. Join the CWC and the YWCA in this workshop where we will delve into the commingling of cultures and ideas, fostering an appreciation for the innovative and transformative potential of hybrid identities.
REGISTER FOR Hybridity and Liminality - Against the Binaries of Existence
Book Design and Layout
1-part workshop Saturday, March 30, 1-3 pm
Learn the basics of book design! We will cover designing both the cover and inside pages of a book. This workshop will walk you through how to set up a document in InDesign, import text, layout pages, and add details like pages numbers and images to create an appealing design. No need to have a book finished, this workshop is for everyone in any stage of the creative process!
REGISTER FOR Book Design and Layout
Color Collective Workshop: Looking Towards the Future
1-part workshop Saturday, April 6, 10-1 pm
In this culminating workshop with the CWC and the YWCA, participants have the opportunity to showcase their work, insights, and experiences with the community. In an open and supportive format, individuals will present their creative and reflective contributions, furthering connections, and strengthening the bonds formed throughout "The Color Collective" program.
REGISTER FOR Looking Towards the Future
3-part workshop Saturdays, April 6, 13, & 20, 1:30-3:30 pm
April is National Poetry Month! Join the CWC for a workshop series that celebrates poetry in all its glory! We’ll explore various genres of poetry, learn to compose poems, and practice revising and sharing our work. We also encourage you to submit to our 30 Poems in 30 Days contest – winners will have a chapbook of their original work published by the CWC.
Cost: $45. Registration is required.
REGISTER FOR NaPoWriMo ’24
On Leaving & Finding Home: Asian Refugee Identities & Storytelling
1-part workshop Tuesday, April 9, 6-8 pm
Voices and stories from the Asian community contain the complexities of identity, belonging, and the myriad emotions of navigating multiple cultures in the U.S. The Leaving & Finding Home: Asian Refugee Identities & Storytelling workshop will help writers navigate these topics and create a sense of identity, community, and voice through writing. The Asian refugee and diasporic communities include but are not limited to Southeast, East, South, Central Asians, and many, many more cultures, languages, communities, and identities. Even if you are not Asian, people of other diasporas are welcome to join.
REGISTER FOR On Leaving & Finding Home: Asian Refugee Identities & Storytelling
Voces Profundas: Mujeres Poetas de Hispanoamérica
Taller de 1 parte. En español e inglés. Sábado, Abril 13, 11am-1pm
Si tienes un espíritu sensible e intenso que nutre tu diario vivir, con los sentimientos que magnifica y desata la poesía, acompáñanos a explorar las obras de escritoras hispanoamericanas de diversas épocas, estilos y vivencias. La expresión del alma femenina a través de la poesía. Deep Voices: Female Hispanic Poets
REGISTER FOR Voces Profundas
Dystopian World Building
1-part workshop Tuesday, April 23, 6-8 pm
A dystopia, also called a cacotopia or anti-utopia, relates to an imagined state or society where there is great suffering or injustice. Popular dystopian stories such as Parable of the Sower, The Handmaiden’s Tale, Nineteen Eighty-Four, and The Hunger Games novels mirror aspects of our society and show us a world that is similar, but more frightening that our own. How do you imagine your dystopian reality? Join us to go over the basic building blocks to create your ultimate dystopian world.
REGISTER FOR Dystopian World Building
Tengo algo que contar-I have something to say
1-part workshop Saturday, April 27, 11-1 pm
¨We can all write, on paper our feelings are immortal¨ This workshop is open to the entire Utah community interested in displaying their writing talents and organizing them on paper. Our main purpose is to motivate everyone to participate in the Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz contest for Artes de Utah México. Workshop will be in: Spanish/English.
REGISTER FOR Tengo algo que contar
Creative Writing for Young Writers
1-part workshop Saturday, April 27, 2-4 pm
Hey Writers ages 11-14! Join us for an interactive workshop where you share your creative ideas on things you want to write about when you sign up for this workshop, so we can create a workshop built for you! Topics such as world building, character creation, nature writing, and travel writing and more! Sign up and let us know what creative writing topics you are interested in learning more about!
REGISTER FOR Creative Writing for Young Writers
Unique Jewish group welcomes interfaith message from Hindu professor
By gitanjali poonia, deseret news | posted - feb. 19, 2024 at 3:43 p.m., the house of prayers for all peoples held a music-filled kabbalat shabbat service on feb. 9. rabbi alan scott bachman, right, gave his sermon while playing the keyboard alongside rebbetzin andalin shekinah on the flute and vocals, ricardo romero on drums and bryan bale on percussion. the group also invited business professor promothesh chatterjee to give a lecture on hindu teachings. (gitanjali poonia, deseret news).
Estimated read time: 4-5 minutes
SALT LAKE CITY — Feb. 9 turned out to be a snowy day in Salt Lake City. Rabbi Alan Scott Bachman thanked a group of two dozen people sitting in front of him in a room on the third floor of the Salt Lake Center for Spiritual Living.
"I don't know what to tell you. Maybe sue the groundhog, right? He said our service would be beautiful and sunny," joked Rabbi Bachman, who previously served as the assistant attorney general in Utah for three decades. He now serves as a partner in the Fetzer Simonsen Booth and Jenkins law firm by day, and as a rabbi by night.
Rabbi Bachman's Shabbat service is unique, as it involves the bringing together of music and people of other faiths. The rabbi quoted Isaiah 56:7, in which Isaiah says in the Messianic age: "I will bring them to my holy mountain of Jerusalem and will fill them with joy in my house of prayer."
"So, we thought, although it's not Messianic era, let's have it right now," Rabbi Bachman said, explaining why his group, which started last March, is called the House of Prayer for All Peoples.
The attendees included some who tuned in online from Arizona and California. Bachman told them to expect a talk from Promothesh Chatterjee, a business professor at the University of Utah, who was invited to give a short lecture on Vedanta, a school of Hinduism. The rabbi said he would give his sermon before and after Chatterjee's lecture.
Rabbi Bachman conducted the service alongside his band, Desert Wind, led by vocals from Bachman, who was also on the keyboard, and Rebbetzin Andalin Shekinah on the flute. They performed sermons and songs — some composed by the rabbi himself.
Other musicians included Ricardo Romero and Adnan Jasim on drums, and Bryan Bale on percussion.
The band played a fusion of jazz, rock, and world-beat music, while Rabbi Bachman discussed teachings from the Torah and his views on similarities between Judaism and other faiths.
In one instance, he examined the way different religions prescribe people to wear reminders of the faith's teachings. For example, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wear garments, Jewish people wear yarmulkes, and the Sikhs carry and maintain five things — a turban-covered head, a steel bracelet, a small wooden comb, undershorts and a knife, the rabbi said.
In between songs, Bachman asked: "So, you might be wondering what we are doing with a Hindu professor at a Jewish service."
"If we don't get together with people we think of as the other, we won't learn about (what) they have to bring to the table," said the rabbi, who has chaired the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable in the past. "Every faith, every belief system has some medicines to help us."
The House of Prayer for All Peoples has previously invited faith leaders from Christian, Muslim and Buddhist communities to speak at their services.
Bachman revealed his rule for approaching interfaith relationships: "Just don't tell somebody else what their faith is. Let them tell you," he said.
Rabbi Bachman said he was taught by non-Hindus that it was a polytheist religion, where they worship more than one God. When he went to a Hindu temple, he asked someone about polytheism. They told him it's like "icons on your laptop."
"You click on this icon for this God or Goddess, but they all lead to the One Source," he said. Rabbi Bachman then introduced Chatterjee, who is a part of the Vedanta Society, an American offshoot of the Indian Ramakrishna movement forged after a 19th-century spiritual leader.
Sri Ramakrishna devoted his early life to learning about different spiritual teachings, including those of Hinduism, Christianity and Islam, the professor said. But ultimately, "he proclaimed that all paths lead to the same God and the same truth," said Chatterjee, who added that Ramakrishna has been "regarded as the Prophet of the harmony of religions."
The professor explained, "When you realize your true inner nature, then you see there is no difference between you and anyone else here."
This awakening state can be reached through devotion to God, knowledge of and about the self, acts of service or meditation. "Everything that you do is an offering to God," Chatterjee added.
He ended his lecture by quoting Swami Vivekananda, a chief apostle of Sri Ramakrishna who first visited the U.S. in 1983 to appear at the Parliament of Religions in Chicago. Vivekananda believed religious doctrines, rituals, scriptures and temples are all but secondary details when it comes to manifesting divinity in ourselves, said Chatterjee.
After Chatterjee spoke, the rabbi and his band performed more songs before the attendees got to eat pizza — vegan and vegetarian options only.
Chatterjee later told the Deseret News he sees a lot of similarities between Judaism and Hinduism. His religion views God as omniscient and omnipresent, which is "exactly what they were talking about" at the Shabbat service, he said.
He added that some of the music lyrics the rabbi sang sounded like words out of Hindu scriptures.
Chatterjee said Salt Lake City doesn't have a Vedanta Society, which believes God is an omnipotent, all-pervading, supreme essence in the universe. But a small group of devotees still get together to listen to monks give lectures.
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Miller Company to invest in $3.5B project on Salt Lake City’s west side
T he Larry H. Miller Company intends to put at least $3.5 billion into a mixed-use development on Salt Lake City’s long-overlooked west side, including a potential Major League Baseball stadium.
The company and the Miller family unveiled renderings and videos Thursday for what they say will be a transformational investment and catalytic project for the city. State and local leaders, including the governor, support the plan.
The Power District development includes the Utah State Fairpark and improvements to the Jordan River. The LHM Company is working with the Fairpark board, Salt Lake City, the Jordan River Commission and the state to incorporate various community master and land-use plans into the project.
The planned multifunction, mixed-use development will feature green space and trails, a beautified Jordan Riverwalk, innovative residential options, a focus on local dining and retail and, if the Millers’ pursuit of a big league expansion team is successful, a ballpark. It will be walkable, bikeable and transit connected, according to the company.
The nearly 100-acre site sits between the Salt Lake City International Airport and downtown and is bordered by I-80 and a light rail, as well as the Fairpark and Jordan River.
“We are passionate about this once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in our capital city,” Steve Starks, CEO of the LHM Company, said in a press release . “This project will serve as a vibrant extension of and gateway to downtown Salt Lake, complements the mission of the State Fairpark and brings the Jordan River to life.”
Starks said it would be a gathering place for Utahns to live, work, play and “enjoy the best views” in baseball.
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The LHM Company is pursuing a major league expansion team for Salt Lake City. A group called Big League Utah , made up of prominent state, community and business leaders, is supporting the effort.
Thursday’s announcement didn’t include specific details about the proposed ballpark. Big League Utah recently said it envisions a year-round, multiuse stadium for all kinds of events from sports to concerts to community celebrations.
Construction of a ballpark would likely include some public investment. State government officials are averse to diverting taxpayer dollars directly but have acknowledged tax increment financing or a public-private partnership could be options.
Gov. Spencer Cox reiterated his support for using tax increment financing Thursday during his monthly PBS Utah news conference. He also said he’s open to possibly raising the hotel tax in Utah, saying that’s an area where “discussions and negotiations” are going on now.
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Larry H. Miller Real Estate is working with Boston-based Sasaki, an internationally recognized urban planning and community design firm, on the Power District development. The project is scheduled to begin in late 2024 with the construction of a new headquarters for Rocky Mountain Power.
Steve Miller, board chair of the LHM Company, said the project is an investment in human capital and will bring infrastructure and economic and educational development opportunities to the area.
“Our family is committed to this project and is humbled by the rallying of community support around this initiative,” he said. “We are invested in this area because we believe in creating enriching experiences.”
The LHM Company and community leaders see the project as a catalyst to revitalize the west side.
“One of the beauties along the North Temple corridor is the vibrancy and diversity of cultures. This generational investment will make a huge difference for the whole state of Utah. It truly reflects the changing demographics of our state,” said state Sen. Luz Escamilla, D-Salt Lake City.
A large majority of west side Salt Lake City residents are people of color, with Hispanic/Latino residents representing the largest group at 48%, according to University Neighborhood Partners at the University of Utah. The west side has a median household income of $49,000, compared to $74,000 for the state as a whole.
The Fairpark neighborhood is among several neighborhoods that make up the city’s west side. In recent years, those areas have been facing gentrification, with rental and housing prices skyrocketing. Several new apartment buildings are under construction but longtime businesses have gone under.
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Some residents say the apartments are ruining the community and displacing families of color and family-owned businesses, while others see the residential projects as tackling the city’s housing shortage.
Salt Lake City Council member Victoria Petro said the Power District project will allow the area’s culture and unique qualities to shine while creating new infrastructure and business opportunities
“If we do this right, it catalyzes what’s already happening on the west side,” she said.
Isaac Atencio, who owns Salt Lake Barber Co., grew up in the west side’s Rose Park neighborhood. Last year, he opened a new shop in the Fairpark area in a building that sat vacant for a decade. He’s opening an adjacent coffee shop next month.
“I think it’s kind of been a neglected sibling in terms of all the other neighborhoods for so long. But truly, Rose Park, Fairpark, the west side as a whole has been Salt Lake’s best kept secret for quite some time,” he told the Deseret News in a recent interview.
Atencio hopes to inspire others to fill up empty storefronts.
“In our case, we’re trying to amplify that message by showing that all you need is a catalyst for a few businesses to open in an area,” he said. “Once you do and have that local representation, it makes the difference.”
Maria Garciaz, CEO of NeighborWorks Salt Lake, a nonprofit that facilitates community and business development, said there have been a lot of broken commitments and promises to west side residents for years. But she said the Millers have “some really thoughtful” plans for their major investment.
“I think what I appreciate about them is that they are talking to the community about what they want and what they don’t want,” she told the Deseret News in a recent interview.
The Miller family’s ties to the west side go way back. The late Larry H. Miller and Gail Miller graduated from West High School, and Gail Miller has said she has deep affection for friends and neighbors in the area. Larry Miller also played softball on a field across the street from the fairgrounds that is now a gravel lot.
“I grew up on the west side, and the people who live here are very proud of their community and what they’ve built. We are excited to continue to partner with them on future opportunities,” Gail Miller, LHM Company co-founder, said in a statement.
Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said she appreciates the focus the Millers have on facing the Jordan River, “not turning their backs on it. Bringing the Jordan River into the Power District experience will be an incredible, fascinating, beautiful asset for Salt Lake City and beyond.”
In December, Big League Utah announced plans to create a team foundation to benefit west side community priorities if the city lands an expansion franchise. The group created honorary and community advisory boards whose members include the governor, state and local Republican and Democratic politicians, and business leaders.
- The Millers’ big pitch: Inside Utah’s push for an MLB expansion team
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Salt Lake Trucking Group Owners Found Guilty in a Financial Fraud Conspiracy that Cost FedEx Ground $108M
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A federal jury convicted two owners of a local trucking conglomerate of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The defendants owned a group of trucking companies named Salt Lake Trucking Group (SLTG). According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, the defendants and their coconspirators paid over $300,000 in bribes to FedEx Ground employees, which resulted in SLTG receiving $108 million from FedEx over a ten-year period.
At the time of the conspiracy, the defendants, Yevgeny Felix Tuchinsky, 63, of Salt Lake County, Utah, was also a resident of San Diego, California; Konstantin Mikhaylovich Tomilin, 54, of Salt Lake County, Utah, was also a resident of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Tuchinsky and Tomilin owned and operated several trucking companies consolidated under SLTG.
At trial, the jury was presented with evidence that FedEx contracts with local trucking companies to haul FedEx packages in semitrucks. FedEx refers to these companies as contract service providers (CSPs). FedEx pays the CSPs by the mile. The defendants’ companies were among those local CSPs that picked up and delivered FedEx semitrailers full of packages at the FedEx Ground Hub in North Salt Lake. The CSPs provided the semitruck and driver that hauled the trailers to FedEx hubs and other facilities where the packages were eventually sorted for local delivery. Beginning around 2009 and continuing to 2019, the defendants bribed FedEx employees in exchange for those employees providing more business to SLTG. Instead of competing fairly against other CSPs for FedEx business, SLTG bribed FedEx employees to obtain more miles and more money from FedEx. The bribes resulted in SLTG obtaining unearned FedEx business for over a decade.
The defendants and their coconspirators also engaged in deceptive practices to conceal from FedEx that they were violating several FedEx policies and contractual provisions. And they bribed FedEx employees to help deceive FedEx and cover up their violations. These deceptive practices included creating shell companies and lying to FedEx about the true ownership of the companies. This concealed from FedEx that SLTG owned and operated the shell companies and that the shell companies shared the same owners, assets, trucks, and employees. The defendants and their coconspirators also lied to FedEx about dozens of SLTG drivers’ qualifications on FedEx applications. Further, the defendants and their coconspirators failed to honestly report accidents to FedEx. As established at trial, had FedEx known about SLTG’s bribery, true size, ownership, false driver applications, and accidents, FedEx would have terminated SLTG and its subsidiaries as CSPs.
The defendants’ bribery and lies resulting in SLTG receiving $108 million from FedEx. Tuchinsky personally gained $7 million and Tomilin personally gained over $4 million from the scheme.
“Before they delivered packages, these men and their teammates delivered cash bribes,” said Stephen Dent, Assistant United States Attorney during trial. “Before their trucks pulled away from the hub to go on a run, they lied and they bribed to even get that run. $108 million by cheating.”
Tuchinsky’s and Tomilin’s sentencing is scheduled for May 20, 2024, before U.S. District Court Chief Judge Robert J. Shelby at the United States District Courthouse in downtown Salt Lake City.
U.S. Attorney Trina A. Higgins of the District of Utah made the announcement.
The case was investigated jointly by the FBI Salt Lake City Division, IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of Inspector General (OIG).
Assistant United States Attorneys Cy H. Castle, Stephen P. Dent and Bryant L. Watson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah presented the case at trial.
Felicia Martinez Public Affairs Specialist [email protected] (801) 325-3237 USAO-UT | Facebook | Twitter
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Jazz owners Ryan and Ashley Smith unveil bid to build new arena, bring NHL team to Utah
The smith entertainment group has long expressed interest in bringing major league hockey to the state. on wednesday, seg formally submitted its bid..
(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith on the sidelines of his teams NBA basketball game in Salt Lake City Monday, Dec. 18, 2023.
For about a year now, Smith Entertainment Group and the National Hockey League have been publicly flirting with one another — with Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith stating his desire for hockey in Utah , and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman acknowledging the interest .
On Wednesday, Smith officially proposed.
SEG has formally requested the NHL “initiate an expansion process” that would bring another hockey franchise to Utah. That proposal includes plans to build a new arena in Utah.
The Smith group has had conversations with NHL leadership over the last few months that have recently accelerated the process. Still, it’s not clear if or when the NHL would choose to come to Utah — the decision on whether to expand the league is ultimately made by the 32 NHL owners. SEG’s public announcement Wednesday, though, shows the group is confident in earning a team.
In particular, the group says that it would be immediately able to host an NHL team in Salt Lake City, using the Delta Center before building a new arena that would be “designed for professional and Olympic hockey.”
“SEG envisions a near future where the NHL will thrive in Utah, and we are 100% focused on making this happen as soon as possible,” Smith said in a statement. “We are passionate about sports and entertainment in the state and are committed to providing premium sports and entertainment experiences for the people of Utah and visitors from around the world. We are ready to welcome the NHL and are confident that the time and attention being spent by all parties will bring one of the most exciting and dynamic leagues in the world to our community on a permanent basis.”
The NHL responded with their own supportive statement later Wednesday morning.
“The NHL appreciates the interest expressed by Smith Entertainment Group to bring NHL hockey to Utah. During conversations over the course of the past two years, we have been impressed by Ryan and Ashley Smith’s commitment to their community and their passion and vision for Utah, not only as a hockey market, but as a preeminent sports and entertainment destination. Utah is a promising market, and we look forward to continuing our discussions.”
In its bid for the team, the Smith group touts Utah’s Olympic history and future likely status as host of the 2034 Olympic Games as key reasons to bring professional hockey to the area. Utah’s relatively strong economy, young population, and reputation for passionate sports fans are also noted as attractive points.
(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Youth hockey teams practice on the ice at the Utah Olympic Oval, Nov. 16, 2021.
“With the Olympic bid underway, our long-standing reputation as one of the greatest winter sports capitals in the world, and with the proven leadership of Ryan and Ashley Smith and SEG in our community, I am extremely optimistic about the future of Utah,” Gov. Spencer Cox said in the statement.
SEG officials say they’re open to either an expansion franchise or being a landing spot for a relocated one. The Arizona Coyotes have recently struggled with finding an arena to play in, currently hosting its home games at the 5,000-seat Mullett Arena on the campus of Arizona State University. But Bettman, reports say, has been focused on trying to keep the Coyotes in the Phoenix area.
Meanwhile, a potential arena for an Atlanta-based expansion team is progressing “ahead full speed with the design moving quickly and interviews for builders taking place,” according to ESPN’s Kevin Weekes . Other potential expansion cities mentioned by Bettman include Quebec City and Houston.
The first public word of Smith’s interest in the NHL came in 2021, when Canada’s SportsNet reported that Smith had been an interested bidder in the sale of the Pittsburgh Penguins. It wasn’t until last March that Smith had dinner with Bettman, following an NBA Board of Governors meeting in New York City.
After that meeting was reported, though, Smith publicly became vocal about his desire to bring a hockey team to Utah. In April, Smith said the pursuit of a local NHL team was “ in motion .” In June, he went on SportsNet’s 32 Thoughts hockey podcast to promote the idea of the league’s either expansion or move to Utah.
“Hockey,” Smith said then, is “really kind of mesmerizing a lot of people right now.” And he feels that “we just see hockey fitting in perfectly, we think the market is going to be as receptive as what you’ve seen in Seattle or Las Vegas.”
But in which building? West Valley City’s Maverik Center wasn’t ever seriously considered. The Delta Center was primarily designed around basketball play, with its capacity shrinking to around 14,000 in a hockey configuration. Sightlines and lighting there are subpar for the NHL.
(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Los Angeles Kings fans celebrate the Kings' 4-3 preseason win in overtime against the San Jose Sharks at the Delta Center, on Thursday, Oct. 5, 2023.
“It’s doable, and a good incredible experience,” Smith said on the podcast. “But there’s definitely, as someone who comes from the experience space, there’s a better experience.”
Last year, Smith Entertainment Group officials enquired about putting an arena at The Point, the land development replacing the old Utah State Prison at the point of the mountain area in Draper.
“The question essentially from that group was, ‘Is this a possibility, could this work here?’” Point co-chair Lowry Snow said in a meeting with The Tribune editorial board in December. “We said there is a process that everyone has to go through that would like to develop or offer development on this piece,” Snow said. “If you feel like that this is a project that you’d like The Point to consider ... you can proceed with that process.”
Such a new arena would cost hundreds of millions of dollars. It’s unclear how such an arena would be funded, or whether taxpayers would be asked to support the effort.
Meanwhile, Salt Lake City has pushed to be the home of any new arena. About 80 officials and executives from Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, and the Smith Entertainment Group visited Milwaukee in September, touring the site of that city’s “Deer District” development around its new arena, Fiserv Forum.
Salt Lake City Olympic bid officials plan on taking advantage of Smith’s new arena, should it come to fruition.
“With the Olympics all but certain to return to Utah, a new, state-of-the-art, hockey-specific arena would be a huge contribution to our ability to host a world-class Games, including the Women’s and Men’s gold medal hockey games. And bringing professional hockey to Utah will further help cement Utah’s place as a premier destination for winter sports. The Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games is excited to work with SEG on the Olympics and what that will mean for sports and entertainment in Utah long term.”
SEG owns the Utah Jazz, the Delta Center, and has made minority investments in Real Salt Lake and the Utah Royals.
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