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July 30, 2010

New Restaurant Nutrition Label Regulations

restaurantplateoffood.jpgIf you love to go out to eat, whether in a sit-down restaurant or grabbing a quick meal through your favorite fast food drive-through lane, you should be aware that there are changes planned to the information presented on restaurant menus.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, signed into law on March 23, 2010, includes a section that requires most restaurants and vending machine operators (those with at least twenty establishment locations) to disclose nutrition information such as calorie content on restaurant menus and menu boards, including drive-through menu screens. This new section amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration enforces the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The agency has recently published a Federal Register notice and request for public comments regarding ways to implement the new regulations, which must be carried out no later than March 23, 2011. The FDA has a page describing the different ways public comments can be submitted, including submitting petitions directly to the FDA or submitting online through Regulations.gov. You can submit your comments until September 7th, 2010.

July 28, 2010

What's New at the Utah State Archives

archives.bmpMany old district court documents can be found at the Utah State Archives. These court documents include civil, criminal, probate and judgment case files. The Archives provides coverage dates for all collections, so you can easily tell if a case file is available at the Archives or whether you should contact the individual court directly.

Also of interest to people doing genealogy research, old district court records include naturalization records until this process was taken over by the federal Department of Justice. More information about naturalization records is available from the Utah State Archives here.

You can also follow the Archives' blog to stay up-to-date with additions to their collection. For example, a few court record guides have been updated and both Third District Court, Summit County and Eighth District Court, Duchesne County have newly processed record series.

July 27, 2010

ADA Turns 20

IMG_1186.JPGYesterday marked the 20th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The purpose of the Act is:

(1) to provide a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities;
(2) to provide clear, strong, consistent, enforceable standards addressing discrimination against individuals with disabilities;
(3) to ensure that the Federal Government plays a central role in enforcing the standards established in this chapter on behalf of individuals with disabilities; and
(4) to invoke the sweep of congressional authority, including the power to enforce the fourteenth amendment and to regulate commerce, in order to address the major areas of discrimination faced day-to-day by people with disabilities.

42 U.S. Code §12101(b)

The ADA guarantees equal opportunity for people with disabilities in public accommodations, commercial facilities, employment, transportation, state and local government services and telecommunications. Some of the things we take for granted today like curb cuts, automatic door openers and lifts on public transportation are all the result of the ADA.

Utah Resources

  • Access Utah Network
  • Deseret News article
  • Utah Disability Law Center
  • Utah Division of Services for People with Disabilities
  • Utah State Library for the Blind and Disabled

    Federal Resources

  • www.ada.gov, the U.S. Department of Justice's ADA Home Page.
  • Disability.gov, which includes stories from people about how the ADA has impacted their lives.

  • July 26, 2010

    New Look for the Federal Register


    On July 26th, the U.S. Government Printing Office and the National Archives' Office of the Federal Register launched its new Federal Register website, which is designed to be easier to use:

    • Notices are divided by popular sections such as Money, Science and Technology, and Business and Industry.
    • Notices in each of the sections are displayed as blog posts.
    • Each notice is displayed as a web page with clearly labeled headings and a sharing toolbar at the start of each paragraph, so you can share Federal Register notices via Twitter, Facebook, or Digg.
    • There is also a comment submission button which lets you submit your views through regulations.gov, a federal regulations website we blogged about earlier this year.
    • Other new features include a What's Hot section and the ability to follow notices via RSS feeds.
    The new Federal Register website is similar to regulations.gov. Like regulations.gov, you can search by keyword or browse notices by agency name or topic. The new Federal Register page also has presidential documents such as executive orders and proclamations.

    The website is in its beta testing phase, so it's not yet considered the official Federal Register source. You can still access the official version of the Federal Register online through FDSys or in print at your local Federal Depository Library.

    Wireless Password: wafer

    keyboard.JPGThe wireless password for the week of July 26, 2010 is wafer.

    More information about wireless access in Utah's courthouses.

    July 22, 2010

    Supreme Court Briefs

    The library has received 70 Supreme Court briefs. The docket numbers range from 2008003 to 20081068 (list not inclusive).

    If you're looking for a specific brief, contact the library by phone (801-238-7990) or email to make sure we have it. If you can't come in to make copies yourself, we offer a document delivery service for 25¢ per page and will scan the briefs and email them to you.

    July 21, 2010

    August Class List

    columnsHere is the list of free classes the Utah State Law Library is offering in August:

    Small Claims Basics
    Thursday August 5th, 4:30-6:00 p.m.

    Collecting a Judgment Basics
    Thursday August 12th, 4:30-6:00 p.m.

    Landlord-Tenant Basics
    Thursday August 26th, 4:30-6:30 p.m.

    All classes are held in the Matheson Courthouse in Salt Lake City.

    To register for these classes call 801-238-7990 or email library@email.utcourts.gov.

    July 20, 2010

    New Expungement Forms

    The Board of District Court Judges approved new expungement forms to comply with the changes in the Utah Expungment Act that were made in the 2010 legislative session.

    The forms are available on the Utah State Courts' website here.

    Questions? Contact the Law Library at 801-238-7990 or email library@email.utcourts.gov.

    July 19, 2010

    July Holiday Hours: Pioneer Day

    pioneerday.bmpThe Law Library, and all Utah State Courts, will be closed on Friday, July 23 in celebration of Pioneer Day.

    Pioneer Day has been a legal holiday for over 100 years. In fact, Pioneer Day was designated a legal holiday many years before Utah became a state. You can read the entire law, which is codified in the Compiled Laws of Utah 1888 here. As you can see, it became a legal holiday in Utah Territory in 1882.

    For more information about the history of Pioneer Day, check out the Utah History Encyclopedia.

    Wireless Password: verse

    keyboard.JPGThe wireless password for the week of July 19, 2010 is verse.

    More information about wireless access in Utah's courthouses.

    July 15, 2010

    Court of Appeals Briefs

    The library has received 24 Court of Appeals briefs. The docket numbers range from 20060699 to 20090552 (list not inclusive).

    If you're looking for a specific brief, contact the library by phone (801-238-7990) or email to make sure we have it. If you can't come in to make copies yourself, we offer a document delivery service for 25¢ per page and will scan the briefs and email them to you.

    Red Butte Oil Spill Resources

    oilspill.jpgLooking for information about the oil spill in Red Butte Canyon? You can find reliable information on official Utah and Salt Lake City web sites.

    The Utah Department of Environmental Quality has a page on the Red Butte Canyon Oil Spill that has a FAQ section, updates on the clean up and information about water quality. Salt Lake City's page on the Red Butte Canyon Oil Spill provides information to residents about town hall meetings and press releases. On Chevron's website, you can find their action plan to clean up the spill, as well as the latest news and information about the spill.

    In addition to the resources discussed above, at Utah Government Publications Online you can find state and local publications related to the oil spill.

    Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zacheryjensen/

    July 14, 2010

    Farmers Markets Rules & Regulations

    blueberries.jpgSome farmers markets in Utah have already opened for business and vendors have already been selected. If you want to be a food vendor at an upcoming farmers market, you have to follow both the rules set by the individual farmers market as well as any local ordinances and regulations issued by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.

    For example, food that is prepared on site at the Downtown Farmers Market in Salt Lake City is regulated by the Salt Lake Valley Health Department. Food that is prepared or packaged off site is regulated by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food. In addition, the Downtown Farmers Markets sets its own rules vendors must follow, including where produce is grown. 2010 market information is found here.

    All food vendors, regardless of location in Utah, should read the Department of Agriculture's informational handout about Outdoor Market Requirements.

    Of course, many farmers markets also provide an opportunity for arts and crafts vendors to sell their wares. Those vendors must also follow the farmers market rules.

    A list of farmers markets throughout Utah is found here.

    July 13, 2010

    New Indoor Tanning Tax

    tanningbedorange.jpegThe Internal Revenue Service's regulations placing a 10% tax increase on indoor tanning services went into effect July 1st. The tax does not apply to phototherapy services performed by licensed medical professionals.

    The tax is due at time of payment for the services; if the customer does not pay the tax, the provider becomes liable for it. The taxes must be reported quarterly on IRS Form 720, Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return.

    The new tax on indoor tanning is one of many provisions included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which was enacted as Public Law 111-148 on March 23, 2010.

    Have questions about the new tanning tax? Check out the IRS's FAQs on the tax.

    Do you regularly get indoor tans? Be sure the tanning salon follows the Utah Department of Health's Indoor Tanning Bed Sanitation Regulations.

    July 12, 2010

    Wireless Password: under

    keyboard.JPGThe wireless password for the week of July 12, 2010 is under.

    More information about wireless access in Utah's courthouses.

    July 09, 2010

    Verification of Employment Eligibility

    verify.JPGAs Joanne blogged about earlier this week, a number of laws became effective on July 1, 2010. In addition to those mentioned, the Verification of Employment Eligibility law became effective on July 1 as well. A private employer with 15 or more employees must verify that any new employee has legal working status. Many employers use the federal E-Verify program to verify an employer's working status.

    Utah employers may then voluntarily certify that they have complied with this Utah law on Verify Utah, the Utah Employer Verification Registry.

    July 08, 2010

    New book: Your Rights in the Workplace

    rightsworkplace.gif We've received the newest edition of Nolo's Your Rights in the Workplace: An Employee's Guide to Fair Treatment. This ninth edition covers the latest case law and legislation in all 50 states as well as federal legislation that includes changes to the Family Medical Leave Act. As in previous editions, it covers workplace privacy, health insurance, sexual harassment, immigration issues, unemployment and more.

    Plan to represent yourself in a workplace-related issue? This book also has tips on where to begin your legal research, including a reminder that both federal and state statutes may apply to your case. It also has information about how to find case law using secondary sources.

    July 07, 2010

    New Utah Laws Effective July 1st

    statecapitol.jpegSeveral Utah laws go into effect July 1st, including:

    H.B. 196: Tobacco Tax Revisions

    H.B. 289: Judicial Nominating Commission Amendments

    H.B. 308: State Fire Code Adoption

    S.B. 26: Utah E-commerce Integrity Act

    S.B. 69: College of Eastern Utah Affiliation with Utah State University

    S.B. 265: Drug Court Expansion

    Clicking on the link to any of these laws will take you to the bill's home page where you can read different versions of the bill as introduced, amended, and enrolled. There are also links to audio floor debates and committee reports.

    Want to see what other laws are effective July 1st? Go to the Utah State Legislature's passed bills page, select 2010 General Session from the drop down box, and click on the Effective Date heading to sort the list by that criteria.

    Freedom of Information Act: Requests and Records Access

    FOIA.bmpWe've blogged about the Guide to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which describes general procedures and rules governing federal records requests.

    FOIA requests--similar to Utah's Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) requests Marianne discussed earlier--are made to the record holding agency. Many agencies have online FOIA request submission forms, like the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission while other agencies list an email or physical address to send a request, such as the Peace Corps.

    Another reason to start your records research at a federal agency's website is because the agency may have developed a FOIA request guide. For instance, the Department of Justice's FOIA guide details how to submit requests to different components within the agency.

    Education and nonprofit organizations also produce publications about submitting FOIA requests. The National Security Archive's Effective FOIA Requesting for Everyone is a detailed guide including sample language for drafting a records request or appeal. The Public Citizen Foundation has a similar online FOIA guide.

    Want to read documents that may have already been released? Check the agency's FOIA website for links to Reading Rooms of released and frequently requested documents. For example, the CIA has an extensive archive of released documents.

    Nonprofit organizations have included FOIA documents in searchable databases. The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Freedom of Information Act Project has thousands of released documents. The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington created GovernmentDocs.org, a website where anyone can register and comment on documents released by FOIA.

    July 05, 2010

    Wireless Password: tasty

    keyboard.JPGThe wireless password for the week of July 5, 2010 is tasty.

    More information about wireless access in Utah's courthouses.