Max is a proud Ogden boy, graduate of Uintah Elementary School, South Ogden Junior High and Bonneville High School.

He then packed up his Subaru and journeyed to the big city to study all kinds of random stuff at the University of Utah.

Random stuff became Max’s specialty, meandering to a history degree and then into a two-year stint as a VISTA helping set up the Emma Lou Thayne Community Service Center at Salt Lake Community College.

Turns out Graduate School in random stuff is called Seminary, where you spend three years learning more history, psychology, theology and no-longer-spoken languages.

The real disappointment, a Master of Divinity did not qualify Max to make a fluffy white vanilla-pecan confection.

But from great disappointment comes revelation: there’s a job in random stuff and it’s called journalism!

And so Max’s meandering path led to the University of Southern California Annenberg School, and on to Palm Springs and home to Utah.

Of course, love leads from randomness to specificity, and Max loves politics. He’s not ashamed to admit he was a David Brinkley fan when it WASN’T cool (you band-wagoners know who you are!)

When Max found a woman who actually had fun on a first date at the Utah State Legislature hearing the “State of the Judiciary” address, he knew he’d found the one.

That was in 1994. Natalie still tolerates him to this day, and his two sons have no choice.

Recent Articles
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    Max Facts: Utah test scores higher in high income neighborhoods

    Utah standardized test scores are rising slowly in Math and Science, and staying flat in Language Arts, but as the State Office of Education released 2016 test scores the results at the local level were starkly different. In this week’s Max Facts, I take a look at the correlation between the level of income in a given zip code and the performance of the local elementary school on Utah’s SAGE tests. It might be obvious I find this a little […]

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    Love vs. Owens election heats up with big ad buy

    SALT LAKE CITY – Rep. Mia Love and challenger Doug Owens have a reputation to uphold as fight for the seat in Utah’s Fourth Congressional District this election season. The district is the state’s and one of the nation’s most contentious contest. So, Love and Owens have taken their battle to the airwaves in campaign ads. “The amount of money in these ads is extraordinary,” said Tim Chambless of the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics. Owens is running an […]

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    Max Facts: How Americans ‘shop’ for a church

    SALT LAKE CITY – The focus of Max Facts is sometimes Utah, and sometimes subjects that are strange to many Utahns. Hence – church Shopping! When Protestants or Jews move to a new place, they look around for a place to worship, find community and volunteer. It’s a foreign concept for the majority of Utahns who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where the rule is you go to the local ward. So this week, […]

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    Climate change likely factor in early algae season on Utah waters, officials say

    SALT LAKE CITY — Cyanobacteria algae have been found in Scofield reservoir, prompting warnings for people and pets to stay out of the water in three areas: Madsen Bay, Frandsen Boy Scout Camp and the State Park Harbor, and that was before the weekend. “There was a fish kill this past weekend, a large fish kill and some duck deaths,” said Jodi Gardberg, Environmental Program Manager for the Utah Division of Water Quality. Gardberg said Scofield has had algal blooms […]

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    Federal support pulled from for-profit college with Utah campus

    MURRAY, Utah — The parking lot for ITT Tech’s Murray Campus in empty, with the quarter scheduled to begin September 12. ITT Tech’s Twitter feed pushed for new enrollees on the same day the U.S. Department of Education declared the school ineligible for receiving federal dollars for new students. ITT specializes in technical associate degrees, while offering a number of Bachelors and Masters programs. A disclosure chart of expected expenses for students in different programs lists well over $40,000 in […]

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    100 years old, Utah’s National Parks still look good in viewer photos

    SALT LAKE CITY — The National Park Service is 100 years old, and Utah would be in the running for the state most closely identified with its National Parks, though Wyoming and Arizona might make a case. National Parks are big business for Utah. Vicki Varela, Director of Tourism, Film and Global Branding, says the Utah’s “Mighty Five” (speaking of global branding) are as key to Utah’s tourist economy as it’s ski slopes. “Last year, tourists spent $7.89 billion in […]

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    Donald Trump’s ‘Mormon Problem’ overstated, Utah backer says

    SALT LAKE CITY — The discussion of Donald Trump’s “Mormon Problem,” took a turn this week with an opinion piece published on The essay, by former Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo, suggests that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ stance on immigration is the reason for Trump’s poor performance in communities with large Mormon populations. “It is an open secret in Washington, D.C. that the Mormon church supports open borders and lax enforcement of immigration laws,” Tancredo wrote […]

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    Witness and suspect dies, but case against John Swallow still on for now

    SALT LAKE CITY — The man often called former Attorney General Mark Shurtleff’s “political fixer” died at the Utah Valley Medical Center at the age of 51. Tim Lawson had suffered a number of health problems in recent years. His brother, Jason, said on Facebook that it was an infection that ultimately ended Lawson’s life. In 2013, Lawson emerged as a key figure in corruption charges against Shurtleff and his successor, John Swallow. Lawson was the self-admitted middle-man between the […]

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    Old train station becomes new restaurant along FrontRunner in Layton

    LAYTON, Utah — A 104-year-old train station has a new lease on life as a restaurant that also serves to turn a FrontRunner stop into a destination. Layton City worked with a local contractor to rebuild their historic train station, which had fallen into disrepair in recent years. The station, built in 1912, was slated for demolition by UDOT when it was in the way of road reconstruction, but the city stepped in, moved the building, and sought a buyer […]

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    Rates rising, but Obamacare is stable in Utah

    SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act is feeling the pain of high costs, but the Utah Marketplace is largely insulated from instability because of locally-based providers. That’s the word from Utah’s Health Policy Project as they look at troubles nationally, which are related to Aetna and United Healthcare leaving exchanges. “The insurers we have here in Utah are really homegrown,” said Jason Stevenson, Director of Education and Communications at UHPP. SelectHealth, the insurance arm […]

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    Trump, Clinton make their pitch in op-ed pieces published in Utah newspaper

    SALT LAKE CITY — Utah may not actually be a swing state, but it’s closer than it’s been in over 50 years, and Hillary Clinton’s campaign is noticing. Marlon Marshall, Director of State Campaigns for Clinton told Bloomberg Politics they are considering devoting more resources to the Beehive State. “Are we gonna win Utah? I don’t know, but is it something we’ll look at? Yeah, we’ll take a look,” Marshall said. Key evidence that Utah is getting real focus: Donald Trump […]

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    Navajo sue the EPA over Gold King Mine spill

    SALT LAKE CITY — On Aug. 5, 2015, an Environmental Protection Agency cleanup project went wrong, filling a river between Silverton and Durango, Colo. with a red-brown toxic mixture that flowed into important waters downstream. One year later, Navajo Nation Attorney General Ethel Branch says the EPA, despite admitting their mistake, has treated the Navajo with suspicion when the tribe and tribal members request help. “We’re tired of fighting over every little thing,” Branch said. Branch said the Navajo are […]


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