Would-be Interior Secretary Heinrich lays out his vision — Friday, October 9, 2020 — www.eenews.net

New Mexico Sen. Martin Heinrich has a few recommendations for the next denizen of the White House: It’s time to overhaul the Interior Department and how the nation manages its public lands.

The Democrat — who is widely viewed as a potential pick for Interior secretary should Democratic nominee Joe Biden defeat President Trump next month — outlined his vision yesterday during an event hosted by the Outdoor Industry Association.

Heinrich called for a “national outdoor recreation plan” and described an Interior agency focused more on climate change than on extractive industry.

“We need a presidential administration to have a modern vision for public land management that’s really rooted in conservation and solving the climate crisis and very aware of the needs of all our recreation partners,” Heinrich said during the event, promoted as “The 2020 Election and Beyond: What’s at stake for the outdoor recreation economy? A conversation with Senator Martin Heinrich.”

The New Mexico lawmaker lamented that both Interior and the Forest Service continue to operate under “foundational laws” created to emphasize beef production, timber harvesting or ore extraction, arguing the modern economy “needs very different things.”

“Given the desire of Americans for outdoor recreation, environmental justice, climate solutions, the preservation of biodiversity, clean water and rural economic development, we really need to reorientate the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Forest Service toward those objectives,” he added. “The mission of public land management should really be focused on serving the American public and safeguarding the values that deliver all of those public benefits.”

While Heinrich said his proposed overhaul of Interior and the Forest Service, which operates under the Department of Agriculture, could be largely achieved via the executive branch, he also envisions congressional involvement.

“I think it’s an enormous opportunity,” Heinrich said. “I certainly wouldn’t wait until legislation passes to work on really orienting those two agencies toward outdoor recreation, but at the same time I do think it’s important that we have some legislative vehicles that also create bipartisan buy-in.”

Heinrich also revealed he is drafting legislation to address equity in outdoor recreation, praising a program in his home state as an example of what he would like to pursue.

“We have real work ahead of us to make sure that every single American, regardless of their race or their ZIP code or the size of their wallet, can find the same sense of belonging in our public lands and outdoor spaces,” Heinrich said.

He later added: “We are in conversations right now with a whole range of groups to figure out what that would look like and to draft legislation to do just that.”

Climate is everywhere

Heinrich noted he’d like to see any future Democratic administration aggressively address climate change policy.

“If there’s one thing this administration has taught us, is that an executive administration really does have power,” Heinrich said.

“While some of their decisions certainly haven’t withstood the court system, they were not afraid to make changes,” he added. “I

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Cleveland chef Doug Katz lays Fire Food and Drink to rest to focus on Zhug, Chutney B. and his Chimi ghost kitchen

CLEVELAND, OHIO — For almost 20 years, Doug Katz was a one-restaurant guy. Every bit of talent, inspiration, moxie, and charm he possessed was poured into Fire Food and Drink, his iconic, celebrated dining emporium that helped revive venerable and vulnerable Shaker Square when it needed it most.

On Saturday nights, the restaurant sparkled with glamour rare in the Cleveland restaurant world. It was the automatic reservation for every family celebration for many of East Siders, and it was where you schlepped to when you sought a side of panache with your weekend brunch.

Everyone on the well-polished staff may not have known your name, but chances were good that Katz did. Working the room tirelessly almost every night, he was the James Brown of Cleveland chef-owners. Chatting up the newbies, debriefing the regulars, serving up the entrees and then bussing the dishes. No restaurateur kept his ear closer to the customer base than Katz. And it paid off. His unique brand of innovative hyper-seasonal world cuisine marked by rich indulgent flavors achieved cult status over those two decades.

Then last fall, after several years of research and reflection, Katz opened Zhug, his personalized small-plate take on Mideastern food. From the day the door first opened at 12413 Cedar Rd. in Cleveland Heights, Zhug was, literally, a roaring success. A cacophony of music and noise spilled out into the neighborhood as the spill-over of waiting customers (and there was almost always waiting customers) enlivened and enriched the bars and bookshop nearby.

Life was mighty fine until this March, when the coronavirus pandemic officially hit, and in one unimaginable edict from the state capital, dining out in Cleveland came to a full dead stop. We’re not going to unzip body bags here but suffice it to say the city is still littered with the culinary carnage.

Everybody missed at least a beat or two. However, Katz was one of the first to turn his business towards whatever light was left. He shut down Fire for what he thought would be an eight-week hiatus, but within days, he had converted Zhug into a total take-out, curbside and delivery establishment. He admits he was not totally taken by surprise by the turn of events.

“Back in early January,” he relates, “out of the blue, my director of operations, Todd Thompson, asked if I had any contingency plans, just in case. We laughed about it at the time, but the seed had been planted and we had some time to think it through.”

Soon, carry-out exclusive Zhug, named for the fiery Middle Eastern hot sauce that’s an essential element of the cuisine, was running smoothly, with curried lamb hummus, prawns with mejadra rice, beet salads and zhug burgers flowing out the door.

Katz turned his attention to another concept that would have ordinarily taken, well, longer, but was up and running by mid-June. Chimi, short for chimichurri, an equally indispensable culinary component, this time a piquant parsley-based sauce of South American origin, launched in

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New Ohio House Speaker Bob Cupp lays out his agenda: Capitol Letter

Rotunda Rumblings

Measuring Cupp: Jeremy Pelzer has a profile of Bob Cupp, the quiet but experienced new Ohio House speaker. Included is what’s on Cupp’s priority list through the end of the year (potentially repealing House Bill 6, passing a long-sought education-funding reform bill) and what’s not (Gov. Mike DeWine’s gun-reform package).

Mail time: More than 1 million Ohioans have requested absentee ballots by mail, a figure that’s already approaching the total 1.2 million mail-in votes cast for the November 2016 election, Andrew Tobias reports. Six counties — Athens, Lucas, Portage, Summit, Trumbull and Wayne, have already exceeded their 2016 totals. Five more counties, Franklin, Hamilton, Lorain, Sandusky and Wood, were at 90% or more of their 2016 totals.

Return to sender: In his capacity as top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan on Tuesday sent its Democratic chairman, Jerry Nadler of New York, a letter seeking a hearing “to examine the civil unrest caused by left-wing violent extremists in Democrat-run cities.” The letter he sent with several other Judiciary Committee Republicans also accused Nadler of minimizing “the violence in Democrat-run cities, calling the radical leftist group Antifa an ‘imaginary thing’ and Antifa violence a ‘myth that’s only being spread in Washington, D.C.’”

SWAT arrest: Columbus Police SWAT and the U.S. Marshals showed up to Assistant House Minority Leader Kristin Boggs’ property Wednesday to arrest her nanny for obstruction and the nanny’s boyfriend for the killing of a man in May. Boggs said she hired the childcare provider in the spring to help when the pandemic hit, Laura Hancock reports.

Coronavirus relief: As far as Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown is concerned, a coronavirus relief bill that Republicans plan to bring up for a Senate vote on Thursday is dead in the water because it would replace a $600 weekly federal unemployment supplement that expired in July with a $300 weekly payment that expires in December, reports Sabrina Eaton. Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman told reporters he’ll back the package even though it doesn’t contain everything on his wish list.

Wednesday numbers: The state tallied 973 new coronavirus cases and 26 deaths on Wednesday, Hancock reports. The total of new cases was less than the 21-day rolling average, though deaths were higher.

Shifting concerns: Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof said Tuesday he’s “frustrated” by how Gov. Mike DeWine’s coronavirus goals have shifted since March. “I think the administration has now shifted to trying to get to zero infections across the state, which is unattainable,” Obhof told Medina County commissioners, according to Carl Hunnell of the Richland Source. The Medina Republican also said while “it’s probably a pretty good idea to wear a mask,” he personally doesn’t “believe any level of government has the ability to tell you to do that.”

Bets are on: Ohio’s 11 casinos and racinos set an August record with $172 million in gambling revenue. This marks the fourth monthly record this year – every month the gambling houses have been open

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