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DECEMBER 2017 | Vol. 14 Iss. 12


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Brighton Principal Tom Sherwood stands by renderings of a possible look to a rebuilt Brighton High. (Patrick Huish/Brighton High)

The new Hillcrest, which is estimated at a cost of $85 million, also may have improvements in the performing arts areas as well as extended athletic facilities, including possibly adding field houses to their campus, Wilcox said. “We are still in the preliminary stage and in discussion with school plans, but we’re exploring ideas and costs and trying to find better ways to serve our students,” he said. “We want to bring more high-tech learning to our schools. Currently, there is no infrastructure at Hillcrest to support 21st-century learning.” Hillcrest principal Gregory Leavitt said the current building is a “beautiful school and has served us well, but we’re not the same kids that we were in 1962 or ’78 or ’90. We need more mobile technology we can support in all the classrooms, a camera system above lab ta-

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his summer, construction crews are expected to begin building a new Brighton High School, thanks to voters who in November approved a $283 million tax-neutral bond to modernize and upgrade Canyons School District schools. “It is fantastic that the bond passed,” Brighton Principal Tom Sherwood said. “It means a lot to our community and to the kids. People say our building is just fine, but it was built in the 1960s before the internet and teacher collaboration was seen as an important thing.” The initial recommendation by the administration is to begin with the high schools, said Superintendent Jim Briscoe. “The rationale is that construction costs will increase significantly every year, so we’re fiscally more responsible to work on these projects first,” he said. “Plus, they will impact more students initially and in the years to come.” Both 48-year-old Brighton and 55-year-old Hillcrest in Midvale will be completely rebuilt, said Canyons School District Business Administrator Leon Wilcox. He said the goal of the projects at the high schools will be to have little disruption to students, who will remain onsite during construction. Wilcox said construction is scheduled to begin by summer and will be done in phases. Both schools, as well as Alta High, already have architectural firms and the construction crew in place. Brighton’s new school is estimated to cost $87 million and could possibly begin its construction with a new auditorium. Improved floor plans for better collaboration, natural light and safety are important factors as well, Sherwood said. The recently built Bengal Building as well as the football field and off-campus athletic facilities will remain intact during the rebuild, he said. “One unique thing is that we sit on the knoll, so we have beautiful views of the valley and mountains and canyon,” which will be considered as the new school is being built, Sherwood said.


bles in science rooms and all the sophisticated looks of an academic school,” he said. Alta High in Sandy also has conceptual renderings of the third phase of its remodel of the 1978 building, said Principal Brian McGill, who said that much of this estimated $38.5 project will focus on a new auditorium and performing arts areas as well as athletic updates. McGill also said the school needs to update its infrastructure and overhaul its heating and air conditioning and plumbing. “We want to hold town hall meetings and hear what all our stakeholders have to say,” he said, adding that he already has talked with a group of 30 students, the school community council and Parent Teacher Student Association about the bond prior to it passing with 57 percent of the vote. At Corner Canyon High in Draper, an estimated $4.5 million of the bond is earmarked to add 16 classrooms to the east side of the building and remove the current 12 portables that serve students, Wilcox said. Construction will take place during the summer of 2018 and 2019. Wilcox said that improving lighting in 18 elementaries and new offices in six elementary schools will take place during summers of 2018 and 2019, but no decision has been made to the timeline of rebuilding 60-year-old Midvalley Elementary, 53-year-old Peruvian Park Elementary in Sandy, 49-year-old Union Middle School and a yet-to-be-determined White City elementary as well as building a new elementary in Draper. Briscoe said that when Canyons School District was first established, engineers and others compiled a list of projects needing to be completed. The first bond addressed 13 of those needs and this bond will address additional projects, he said. “I’m excited for the families and students of Canyons School District,” he said. “I thank our community in making this monumental decision for the future of our students.” 

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Licensing lemonade stands By Cassie Goff cassie@mycityjournals.com The Cottonwood-Holladay City Journal is a monthly publication distributed directly to residents via the USPS as well as locations throughout Cottonwood and Holladay. For information about distribution please email circulation@mycityjournals.com or call our offices. Rack locations are also available on our website. For subscriptions please contact: circulation@mycityjournals.com The views and opinions expressed in display advertisements do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions held by Loyal Perch Media or the City Journals. This publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written consent of the owner.

Cottonwood Heights Team CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Bryan Scott bryan@mycityjournals.com EDITOR: Travis Barton travis@mycityjournals.com ADVERTISING: 801-254-5974 DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING: Ryan Casper ryan.casper@mycityjournals.com 801-671-2034 SALES ASSOCIATES: Melissa Worthen melissa@mycityjournals.com 801-897-5231 Tracy Langer Tracy.l@mycityjournals.com 385-557-1021 CIRCULATION COORDINATOR: Brad Casper circulation@mycityjournals.com EDITORIAL & AD DESIGN: John Guertler and Ty Gorton

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beverage business licensing. When it passed, it allowed for “a local authority to set policy by written rules that establish criteria procedures for granting, denying, suspending, or revoking a business license…within the meaning of Title 32B, Alcoholic Beverage Control.” These bills made changes to the Utah Code Title 32B — the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act (32-B-1-101 and 32B -1-202). It also addressed the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission of the state of Utah. Business permits used to be required to run a lemonade stand. Not After these bills passed, many anymore. (Pixabay) cities needed to come into compliance id you ever open a lemonade stand in the with the new laws. In order to do so, the summer as a child? Did you get a business city of Cottonwood Heights recently passed two permit? You should have. Previously within the new ordinances. state of Utah, lemonade stands and other occaOn Oct. 10, the Cottonwood Heights City sional businesses were required to have a business Council unanimously passed Ordinance 278, license. Luckily, a bill was passed during the 2017 which amended specific chapters of Title 5 from legislative general session to address the issue. the Cottonwood Heights Municipal Code. The bill was S.B. 81, titled Local GovernThe original code of ordinances was adopted ment Licensing Amendments. It was passed on when Cottonwood Heights became a city in JanuMarch 24, 2017 and prohibited municipalities or ary 2005. Title 5 of the Cottonwood Heights Mucounties from “requiring a license or charging a nicipal Code regulates business licensing within fee for certain home-based businesses: including the city and is a living document that “responds businesses that are operated only occasionally and to changes in applicable law and to address new businesses that are operated by an individual who issues.” is under 18 years of age.” There are over 50 chapters of Title 5 ranging Municipalities and counties are now also pro- from 5.02 to 5.92. Some examples of business lihibited from charging a license fee “for a home- censes that the code addresses are dance halls, mobased business unless the combined offsite impact bile home parks and auto courts, movie theaters, of the home-based business and the primary resi- nursing and convalescent homes, outdoor adverdential use materially exceeds the offsite impact of tisers, private detectives, scavengers, coin dealers, the primary residential use alone.” junk dealers, shooting galleries, flea markets and Basically, this bill just made the acquisition vending machines (cigarettes). of a business license for occasional businesses obOrdinance 278 made specific changes to solete. Our lemonade stands are safe! chapters 5.06, 5.08, 5.24, 5.54 and 5.93. These What about the adult lemonade, though? changes regarded business licensing, alcoholic During the general session, a handful of bills ad- beverage business licensing and tobacco specialdressing the sale of alcohol within the state sur- ty shops and brought Title 5 into compliance “to faced. Specifically, S.B. 155 — Alcohol Beverage recent changes of the state code and made other Control Budget Amendments — modified provi- technical changes.” sions for the Department of Alcoholic Beverage One of the main changes to the code was unControl’s budget; and S.B. 279 — Alcohol Mod- der 5.06.020, which requires licenses for businessifications —modified the proximity of alcohol-re- es within the city. Previously, this code stated that lated stores within communities. any person engaging in any type of business needPerhaps the most significant bill for the sale ed to procure the required license. Now, the code of alcohol within the state was H.B. 442 — Alco- states that “no business license shall be required hol Amendments — which modified specific pro- for a business that is operated: only occasionally, visions pertaining to the regulation of alcoholic or by an individual who is under 18 years of age.” beverages. This bill had implications for alcoholic This amendment also included the “authori-


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zation of the issuance of no-fee business licenses to home occupations which have minimal or no impact on the surrounding neighborhoods and provided exemption for occasional businesses operated by those under 18 from business licensing.” Essentially this means that youth-run lemonade stands within the city no longer need a business license. In addition, certain home occupations will not have a licensing fee. These home occupations must meet specific criteria, including the conductance being entirely within one dwelling carried on by one person residing in that dwelling, the business does not change the character of the property and parking has to be limited to two parking spaces where parking customarily occurs. Minor home occupations will not need to pay a licensing fee, either. These occupations must meet the above criteria as well as the following: customers cannot visit the home, no more than 300 square feet — or 10 percent of the gross floor area of the home — will be used for the occupation, no advertising for the occupation on the home, traffic will not increase because of the occupation and the occupation cannot produce offensive noise, vibration, smoke, dust, odor, heat or glare. Essentially this means that small online stores, like Etsy stores, can be licensed with the city. The main changes to the alcoholic beverage business licensing chapter included technical changes to the alcoholic beverage business license provisions. These changes included redefining “Act” as the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act and “Commission” as the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission of the state of Utah. With the addition of these terms, many of the sub-categorical terms regarding alcohol licensing within the city could be removed. These minor changes will not have any significant changes within the city. The last chapter amendment included in Ordinance 278 created a separate chapter (5.93) for tobacco specialty shops and provided a necessary legal framework. After the above ordinance passed, Cottonwood Heights needed to make one last change in order to finalize compliance with legislature bill S.B. 81. On Oct. 24, Cottonwood Heights passed Ordinance 281, which amended the consolidated fee schedule. The ordinance adopted these amendments as a result from the code amendments affected by Ordinance 278. The ordinance passed unanimously. 

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Cottonwood Heights artist shares his gift


hat started out as a birthday gift from a loving wife to her husband has turned into a career and a gift to art lovers throughout the country. Robert McFarland had always enjoyed art and by his early thirties had become quite proficient in pencil drawing. But he always wanted to paint. For his 32nd birthday, McFarland’s wife, Robbie, registered him for an art class. That one thoughtful gift grew into something much more. “I got him a watercolor class for this birthday back in 1982. The father of a college friend of mine was a watercolor artist, and I always loved watercolor,” said Robbie. That first gift was thoughtful, but didn’t work out quite as the McFarlands had hoped. “I was disgusted with that first class,” Robert said. “I was serious about learning to paint, and no one else in the room was serious.” So they tried again. Robbie found a second art class, and that’s where things started to take off. “I had a good teacher, Shirley McKay, who saw that I was serious,” Robert said. “So she started to tailor the class to me. I knew nothing at the time, but she had a broad knowledge. She taught me how to think through the process of painting.” McKay invited Robert to exhibit in a gallery, and a couple years after beginning to paint, his art started to sell. He got more attention during events like Art and Soup, where he could mingle with fel-

By Joshua Wood | joshw@mycityjournals.com

“Local Flock.” (Robert McFarland)

low artists. Robert’s first big break came from the Foothill Library. It was a reluctant break, though. “He had an absolute fit,” Robbie said. “It was hard to get into the library show. You had to get juried in. But Robert said he wasn’t ready. I told him to break the news to the art director, but then I heard him on the phone saying that he would be ready.” What happened next helped Robert’s art career take off. Almost every painting in the show sold. That helped Robert get more of his paintings out there. “A former art director of the Springville Art Museum quoted some good advice for me,” Robert said. “He said that hanging onto your paintings is like having an albatross around your neck. Sell-

ing your art makes room for you to create more.” That’s where Robbie comes in. “My job is to get his stuff out there,” she said. Now Robert’s work is exhibited in galleries across the United States and sells online. Robbie builds their social media presence and works their client list. “The more you do, the more you get known, the more work comes to you,” Robert said when asked for advice to aspiring artists. “I paint every day, except maybe Sunday. If I am not painting, I am doing something related.” That includes building his own frames and biking the Utah countryside in search of subject material. In addition to building his own frames, Robert is the rare watercolor artist who does not put his work under glass. “I varnish my work. That makes me unique. Not using glass eliminates


the glare and removes that barrier. I don’t know of anyone else in Utah that doesn’t use glass and varnishes watercolor paintings.” Robert’s custom frames and varnished paintings have become part of his brand. When asked for more advice he can give aspiring artists, Robert cites Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000-hour rule. “You have to work at it. There’s no way around it,” he said. “Some people can get there faster, but it takes work. You have to get out there and take every opportunity to show your work. Keep your overhead low, if you want to make money at it. And be prepared for massive amounts of rejection.” “The rejection never ends,” added Robbie. “But along the way, good things happen.” Good things continue to happen for Robert. He had two more galleries showing his work in mid-November. With success, though, he remains as humble as the quiet studio behind the kitchen of the McFarlands’ Cottonwood Heights home. “You have to be yourself and paint what you love,” he said. “If you try to paint like someone else or paint to the market, it won’t work. You have to be yourself.” Robert McFarland’s work captures the light and shadow of Utah country scenes. Without glass to cover his work, the only glare comes from the sunlight glistening off the snow and rock he gracefully depicts. 

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Americana Christmas special coming to Cottonwood Heights on Dec. 16


By Joshua Wood | joshw@mycityjournals.com

he Cottonwood Heights Arts Council is bringing the Americana/country group Joshua Creek to Butler Middle School on Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m. The group will perform its popular storytelling songs for the ninth consecutive holiday season in Utah. “We like performing and connecting with people and letting them have a special moment in their holiday season,” said Joshua Creek bassist Quint Randle. “The Christmas special is a time to slow down and make Christmas special. It’s different. These are songs we do once a year.” Joshua Creek has released six studio albums, beginning with its self-titled album in 2005. Several of their Christmas songs have been published for holiday collections. One DJ said that Joshua Creek’s Americana sound is “like listening to a Norman Rockwell painting.” “We’re not really country,” Randle said. “We have country values, but we’re more country without a capital ‘c’ — Americana/country/ folk/rock sums us up. It will be a fun evening of

storytelling and musicianship. We appreciate the Cottonwood Heights Arts Council for bringing us to the Salt Lake Valley. It’s our only Christmas show in the area this year.” The Dec. 16 performance will include some of Joshua Creek’s original compositions as well as Christmas classics like “Little Drummer Boy,” “Do You Hear What I Hear” and “O Holy Night.” “We combine our storytelling songs with traditional Christmas songs,” said Randle. “It’s not as stuffy as some Christmas concerts. Plus, it offers family-friendly pricing.” Joshua Creek is known for its lyrical story songs. Lead guitarist Ron Saltmarsh said, “Yes, our songs are designed to take our listeners places, but the songs also take us places too.” Fans of Christmas music can find Joshua Creek at Butler Middle School. Tickets can be purchased at the door on Dec. 16. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for children 3–12 and seniors 65 and older. 

Joshua Creek. (Quint Randle/Joshua Creek)



Wireless telecommunications ordinances A

Cottonwood Heights recently passed an ordinance regarding small antenna installment within the city. (John Guertler/City Journals)


By Cassie Goff cassie@mycityjournals.com

s we continue to move into the future, our connectivity becomes increasingly more essential. Many data carriers all over the nation have been installing smaller antennas in closer proximities. Over the past year, many cities within the Salt Lake Valley have received requests for the installation of these antennas in the public right of way. On Oct. 24, the Cottonwood Heights City Council passed Ordinance 279, which amended City Code Section 19.83.110 regarding the use of small antennas on existing utility poles. The council also passed Ordinance 280, which adopted city code 19.83 regarding wireless communication facilities in the public right of way. “The long-term potential is lots of equipment. We don’t know what that will look like,” Councilman Scott Bracken said. Within Ordinance 280 the reason for the necessitated code change was addressed. “Due to the increased usage of wireless telecommunications signal by smart phones and other devices, the telecommunications industry proposed to densify the available signal by erecting so-called small cell antenna and similar telecommunications devices in the public right of way, typically on existing utility, street light and traffic signal poles.” Previously, the city’s code addressed the erection of macro cell towers, but did not clearly address the placement of small cell facilities. Four types of these small cell facilities are defined within the city code, including wall-mounted antennas, roof-mounted antennas, monopoles and lattice towers. The amended code will allow for these small telecommunications antennas to be located on existing or replacement utility poles in the public facilities zone as it established “the legal framework for the location of small cell and other telecommunications infrastructure in the public right of way.”

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Furthermore, the code encourages the location of such facilities to be in non-residential areas. It also minimizes the total number of monopole facilities in the community by encouraging the joint use and adverse impact on the community to be minimal. As defined in the code, a monopole facility is an antenna or series of individual antennas mounted on a single cylindrical pole, along with its associated equipment. As defined in the code, wireless telecommunications facilities are unmanned structures that consist of equipment used primarily for the transmission, reception or transfer of voice or data through radio wave or wireless transmissions. Such facilities typically require the construction of transmission support structures to which antenna equipment can be attached. Even with these ordinances passing within the city, carriers wishing to install new wireless telecommunication facilities must meet specific criteria. This includes providing proof that they are compliant with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations. Carriers must also must provide PDFs of all the plans being submitted, have knowledge of zoning and overlay zoning, be present at a pre-application meeting with a staff planner, provide a written narrative explaining how to minimize impact and how the proposal is compatible with the surrounding area, a certificate from a licenses engineer, a site map, a site location master plan and a computer-generated 3D visualization. To view a PDF version of Chapter Code 19.83, visit http://cottonwoodheights.utah.gov/UserFiles/Servers/Server_109694/File/ Departments/Planning/Zoning Ordinance/Ordinance 2017/19.83 Wireless Telecommunications Facilities.pdf 



Brighton High dancers to brighten children’s hearts with upcoming holiday performances By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


hildren of all ages will enjoy some holiday traditions come to life through Brighton High Bengalettes’ fifth annual holiday show.

“Our children’s show brings back memories of Bob Hope entertaining during the holidays, the Rockettes, ’Twas the Night before Christmas and a magic show coming to life,” said Lisa West, a former Bengal who has been Brighton’s dance director for more than 25 years. “They’ll be stockings, the Grinch, and music box dolls and Raggedy Anns — all dancing.” The 45-minute performance will be at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., Monday, Dec. 11 and Tuesday, Dec. 12 on the top floor of the Bengal Building on Brighton’s campus, 2220 East Bengal Blvd. (7600 South). Tickets are $5 and are available preceding the show in the school office or for early arrivals, at the door. “It’s a close, intimate performance which usually sells out because it has become a tradition in our community,” West said. Before the dancers take the stage for children, they will perform in Brighton’s auditorium at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 6 in the winter invitational concert. Tickets are $5 at the door. “We don’t compete or even have a region, so in the 1990s, I invited a bunch of my friends who also directed dance to come to Brighton. We have about 10 schools perform and it gives students an opportunity to learn from watching each other’s programs,” she said. Dancers from all of the schools will take two master classes and run through a tech rehearsal the day of the performance. West said it also gives her dancers more performance opportunities in different venues — a large auditorium, an intimate studio, halftime of the football homecoming game as well as another concert in February. The February concert, “Dance Company Presents ‘Find your

Brighton High Bengalettes, seen here in 2016, will perform the fifth annual holiday show Dec. 11–12. (Julie Lutz/Brighton High)

Fire,’” will feature 90 students from ballroom dance and Dance 3 classes as well as the 25-member Dance Company, said West, who teaches four dance classes each school day. The 90-minute concert will be at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 13 through Thursday, Feb. 15 in the school auditorium. Tickets are $7 at the door. Already, Dance Company members performed a number in the fall musical, “Xanadu,” which West choreographed, and they held a fall performance, “Voices,” where the students researched strong women in real life or mythology and portrayed their spirit and qualities through dance. “Since our school is on trimesters rather than terms like other high schools in our district, we do in six months what other schools do in nine,” she said.

Dance Company students need to hold a 2.5 GPA, be in good citizenship and attendance, and sign a code of conduct. During the year, students also help their community. Last year, Dance Company members helped to package food for the Utah Food Bank over Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend. Each April, students learn three dance combinations that showcase their talent to perform at Dance Company auditions before a panel of community judges. “They bring everything they have so they can show how they can enhance our group,” she said. “This is a group of committed and disciplined dancers who are passionate about what they do. We usually have a couple of our dancers go on in college to dance and three or four of them go on in the field after getting their degrees.” 

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Canyons Middle School debate program grows as student interest increases By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com

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Butler, Albion, Indian Hills, Midvale, Mount Jordan and Union middle schools’ novice policy debate winners celebrate after the first debate tournament of the school year. (Leslie Robinett/Canyons School District)


undreds of Canyons School District middle school students filled the halls and classrooms at Mt. Jordan after school one day in late October. Some were talking as fast as they could while others scribbled notes. Yet others were found pacing or reciting in the hallways. These students are part of the district’s middle school debate program, which gives students a chance to try their hand at either debate or speech, said Leslie Robinett, district English language arts specialist, who coordinates the program. “This gives students a real-world application of English and language arts,” she said. “They need to form an argument, research, write, speak and listen and then tests those skills. They work individually or with one another in the competition, but ultimately, they’re part of their school team and are learning teamwork as well.” She said these skills — critical thinking, reasoning and communication — also will translate to their classroom work as well as benefit them in the real world. Robinett said the program has steadily grown since she received a grant five years ago to help make debate an extension of the

core curriculum. The result has been six of the eight middle schools developing at least one class, with Midvale and Butler middle schools looking into the possibility of adding classes in the future. “This means most of these students are getting class time in addition to the one hour each week after school. They’re able to learn more from returning students, mentors and coaches in addition to researching and practicing,” she said. The interest has increased, as well. Last year, Robinett said about 250 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students across the district participated. This year, the number has increased to about 375. The students compete in four areas — policy debate, Lincoln Douglas debate, original oratory speech and extemporaneous speaking. Policy, which at this tournament had 95 entries or 190 students participate, is the area more students pursue, as many of the students get an opportunity to compete in fifth grade, she said. While not all middle school coaches have a debate background, Robinett meets with all coaches together regularly to share ideas and talk about the season’s tourna-

ments. Butler Coach Jordan Decman said this is her first year coaching debate, as it is her assistant’s, Connor Armstrong. She has 25 students who meet once each week after school for one hour. “I’m naturally a competitive person, but my goal is for these students to learn and have fun,” she said. “I have the veterans — the returning students — to help mentor the newer students and me as well. It’s giving some of our eighth-graders the chance to be leaders and to take pride in what they’re doing.” She said that this year her newcomers will learn from their mistakes and persevere. “Whether we win awards or not, we’re showing tenacity, resilience and integrity. These students are learning teamwork, how to listen to each other, how to be a good sport and how to be a really good friend. These are life skills that they can take and use past debate tournaments,” she said. The next tournaments are Jan. 11, 2018 and March 15, 2018, which will extend invitations to schools outside the district. The season will continue through the district and state tournaments in April.


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Local writers share their stories during NaNoWriMo By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com

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Writers at work in Whitmore Library. (Joshua Wood/City Journals)


he clicking of keyboards barely disturbed the silence of the room in the Whitmore Library basement, so one would be hard pressed to see the activity as a group endeavor. But National Novel Writing Month is not your typical activity. The nine writers plugging away at their new projects were brought together by a mass movement that has included hundreds of thousands of writers across the country, and nearly 1,000 in Salt Lake County this year alone. The goal seems straightforward: write a novel during the month of November. The reality is far more difficult, but the motivation is clear. Accomplished and aspiring writers use National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo as it is affectionately called by enthusiasts, to push them toward their goals. “The commitment to write 50,000 words in a month keeps you motivated,” said local writer Natalie Thompson. She is working on a teen medieval fantasy novel and is participating in NaNoWriMo for the third time. “You have to have a plan,” Thompson said when asked about tips she can give to new participants. “The first year, I just started writing on November 1, and it’s hard to keep going. If you are writing 50,000 words, you have to think ahead, have your characters thought out.” NaNoWriMo brings together writers of many genres, levels of experience and personality. Isaac Kenn, one of three local coordinators for the Salt Lake County region of NaNoWriMo, can barely contain his enthusiasm for the event, and for the writing process in general. Kenn helps keep his fellow writers motivated, welcomes new participants and breaks the silence of the writing room with jokes and friendly ribbing of his more seasoned colleagues. “I would say 90 percent of the people who come to the write-ins are introverts,” Kenn said. “The write-ins give them a really good sense of

community and bring a lot of like-minded introverts together. Some people really need the write-ins to get them going.” Once Kenn gets going, the information keeps coming. He arms himself with information from the national parent organization, National Novel Writing Month, as well as flyers and details about all the writing events that take place throughout the Salt Lake Valley. The calendar on his smartphone is full of opportunities for local writers to join. This year is Kenn’s seventh time participating in NaNoWriMo, and he shows no signs of slowing down. Along with his infectious enthusiasm for writing, Kenn also shares advice for aspiring writers. “I would say most people participate in NaNoWriMo for one of three main goals,” Kenn said. “Some people have the goal of hitting that 50,000 word mark no matter what. That goal keeps them going and gives them something to aim for. Other people just want to get a rough draft out it so they have something to edit and work with. The third group wants to get a polished first draft. Some of these people will work on that first draft for the rest of the year, and next November’s project will be their second draft.” The writers like Kenn who have participated in NaNoWriMo more than once are under no illusions. They don’t expect to have a polished final draft of the next great American novel by the end of a single month, but their November project gets them on the road to their goals. “The writers have a good camaraderie,” said Whitmore librarian Dan Berube. “Seven or more people come to the write-ins here every week.” This is the second year that Whitmore has hosted NaNoWriMo events, but the Salt Lake County Library System has participated for years. Berube said eight or nine libraries in the County system usually participate.

National Novel Writing Month started in 1999 and became a nonprofit organization sponsoring writing and writing events in 2005. In addition to motivating aspiring writers, NaNoWriMo helps raise funds for the nonprofit’s programs, which included 384,126 participants in its youth programs in 2016. According to NaNoWriMo.org, “Hundreds of NaNoWriMo novels have been traditionally published. They include Sara Gruen’s ‘Water for Elephants,’ Erin Morgenstern’s ‘The Night Circus,’ Hugh Howey’s ‘Wool,’ Rainbow Rowell’s ‘Fangirl,’ Jason Hough’s ‘The Darwin Elevator,’ and Marissa Meyer’s ‘Cinder.’” This November, 993 Salt Lake County NaNoWriMo participants aim to join the ranks of published novelists, including nine dedicated writers working away under the bright lights in the basement of Whitmore Library. Near the end of their weekly November Wednesday write-in, the group that had silently tapped at their keyboards or scratched away in their notebooks for two solid hours started to unwind, stretch their arms, and smile about the words they had just gotten down. They talk about their progress and tease each other about their genres of choice. The solitary process of writing a novel becomes a group exercise shared by a community of writers who share a love of the art form and an intense 50,000word goal. Most were doing the same thing last November, and most will back again next year. “Writing is a skill like everything else,” says Kenn. “If you ever thought you’d be interested and want to be good at writing, sit down and write. Stop being stuck, write. It will turn into workable material. My advice is to find a group of like-minded people at or a bit above your skill level and write.” National Novel Writing Month gives aspiring writers the motivation and community to do just that. 



Election results T

Residents mull around Cottonwood Heights City Hall at its grand opening in 2016. The residents will have a different looking city council in 2018. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)


By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com

he 2017 general election meant the potential of significant change for Cottonwood Heights. The city council is comprised of one mayor and four council members, all assigned to specific districts. Three-fifths of that governing body was up for election. The mayor and two of the four council members had the choice to run for re-election. By May of this past year, Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore and Councilman Tee Tyler announced they were not running for re-election. Around the same time, Councilman Mike Peterson announced he would be running for mayor, vacating his council member position. Many within the city, including residents and city staff members, have been restless about what the results of this election might mean. A spike in civil engagement was apparent during the months prior to the election. All of the candidates who wished to declare their candidacy were required to file by June 7. After the primary election in August, two candidates were narrowed down for each of the three seats. The two candidates running for Cottonwood Heights City mayor were Mike Peterson and Tim Hallbeck. The two candidates running for Cottonwood Heights City council member District 3 were Tali Bruce and Michael Hanson. The two candidates running for Cottonwood Heights City council member District 4 were Christine Mikell and Eric Kraan. After the general election vote on Nov. 7, the winners for each of the four-year terms could be determined.

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Cottonwood Heights City Mayor Ballots counted/registered voters — 8,933/19,236, or 46.4% Total votes — 6,566 Mike Peterson — 6,631, or 80.59% Tim Hallbeck — 1,446, or 17.57% Write-in votes —151, or 1.84% Cottonwood Heights City Council Member District 3 Ballots counted/registered voters —2,331/4,908, or 39.4% Total votes —2,183 Tali Bruce —1,200, or -54.97% Michael Hanson — 983, or 45.08% Cottonwood Heights City Council Member District 4 Ballots counted/registered voters — 2,577/5,094, or 50.6% Total Votes — 2,359 Christine Mikell —1,635, or 69.31% Eric Kraan —724, or 30.69% Beginning in 2018, the Cottonwood Heights mayor will be Mike Peterson, the Cottonwood Heights District 3 council member will be Tali Bruce, and the Cottonwood Heights District 4 council member will be Christine Mikell. 

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Butler eighth-graders learn to make ends meet at Reality Town By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


t was a harsh lesson for Butler eighth-grader Bridger Harward to learn. He was charged $200 for reckless driving, $300 for resisting arrest, $100 for disorderly conduct and had to serve a jail sentence. Of course, this was all in the mock world of Reality Town, which aims to teach students how to balance careers and family on a set budget. “I was just trying to make it to housing because there wasn’t much of a line,” he said, adding that with his assigned career of an advertising manager, he figured he could afford buying a condo before being hit with fines. Bridger’s excuse of “I didn’t know” that he shouldn’t run or there was a jail in Reality Town didn’t fly with Cottonwood Heights police officer Jeff Potter, who “arrested” him. “In reality, there’s going to be police and consequences for not following the law as adults,” he said. “If this is Reality Town, then they need to learn the reality of it. They can’t run — we want to keep everyone safe — or be disorderly — as we want to have this be fun for everyone. He didn’t stop and listen so that went on his record as well.” Still, Bridger said he was enjoying Reality Town. “It’s kind of fun figuring out what I can do with my salary,” he said. School counselor Tatiana Grant said students’ careers were based on their seventh-grade cumulative GPA and the salary ranged from $1,500 to $5,000 per month. But even before entering the gym with tables labeled from property tax to donations, students prepared for the mock town event. “In English classes, they learned how to write a resume,” she said. “In math classes, they learned to write and balance checks. They had a lesson on what to expect and how to prepare — and their

Butler eighth-graders stand in line to purchase necessities at Reality Town, a real-world setting designed to teach students how to balance careers and family all on a set budget. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

reality. They can’t buy a certain car if their family can’t all fit. If they have a low income, they should bring in coupons for groceries to have a price break. They need to face reality and this is a good lesson for them.” Deseret First Credit Union Director of Project Management Steve Anderson, who volunteered to staff the bank table, said that some students wanted to get money out of their accounts when they

didn’t have money. “The students weren’t saving as much and didn’t realize they didn’t have money to pay for a lot of expenses,” he said. “Many had to apply for a second job for supplemental income. It’s a lesson in the value of money.” Eighth-grader and mock “medical scientist” Jamicen Boyd was learning to save money. “I got the cheapest house and am trying to stay under the high end of economical costs,” Jamicen said. Eileen Kasteler, Work-Based Learning facilitator, said that with each activity, students have to make real-life choices based upon their income. “They’re learning how to appreciate the difficulties their parents are facing and how to make ends meet based on costs, needs and desires in this simulation,” she said. Tonya Pruhs was one of about 50 volunteers who helped students with their payments. She had her Pomeranian-mix puppy, Hazel, there, which made many students consider a dog — at a cost of $25 to $45. But Pruhs advised students to pay bills before purchasing pets. “I tell most to get groceries and pay their utilities first,” she said. “Some of them didn’t realize they need to pay those when they live in apartments. Then, they can get pets, but they need to know they need to pay immunizations, grooming and have places for large dogs. Many end up paying $2 for a fish or $5 for a bird instead.” Through Reality Town, eighth-grader Wesley Groff learned the value of the lesson. Wesley, who had a mock career working in a casino-gaming world, bought the basic telephone plan for $33. “I’m trying to save money and still get to every table,” he said. “I’ll need money to live on and have in case of emergencies.” 

Bengals support former Brighton student through foundation


By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com

righton High Hall Monitor Kandi Rasmussen remembers one of her last conversations with former Brighton student Tyler Robinson. “He thought he was in remission and was wearing a hat when he came up to me and said, ‘I was told I couldn’t wear a hat at school,’” she recalled from 2013. “I can still see his smile as a happy-go-lucky kid with little bits of his hair coming in from under the red baseball cap.” A few days later, he died of Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare and rapid-moving type of childhood cancer. “He never complained, but always had the attitude to live for today. He was kind and giving — he even gave his Make-aWish to another kid. He gave me the gift of knowing I could do more than I realized because I wasn’t in the kind of pain that he and others with cancer have. I realized I could do something in his name,” she said. So she began running marathons, including Boston four times, in support of him and other “angels” who have died of cancer. His family, with the help of the band Imagine Dragons, established a foundation in his honor, the Tyler Robinson Foundation, which helps support pediatric cancer patients and their families. Brighton Student Body Vice President McKay Peery is coordinating the school-wide fundraiser for the foundation between November and January. “A lot of Brighton families know him and his brother, who we’re coordinating the campaign with,” Peery said. “We went through a process of several organizations, but felt that Tyler, who was a senior at Brighton when he died, was very involved in the school and community, so we want to help pay it forward

Current Brighton High students will raise funds for pediatric cancer patients and their families for the Tyler Robinson Foundation, honoring the former Brighton student. (Tyler Robinson Foundation website)

in his name.” Peery said the school has a goal of raising $40,000 through various events, such as accepting online donations and receiving proceeds from restaurants on a school fundraising night, a Classic Skating night and an ice skating night at Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center, as well as donations collected at the school’s Battle of the Band competition, faculty versus students Dec. 4 basketball game, and a silent auction of items gathered by student clubs and teams. He said at the auction, the baskets will have items from sports teams, including Utah Jazz, University of Utah and Brigham Young University; steak dinners being cooked by Brighton administration; reserved school parking spots; donations of theater tickets and music, including that of Imagine Dragons; and more. The partnership between Imagine Dragons and Tyler began when Tyler’s brother wrote a message to the band, explaining his brother’s condition and that he would be at an upcoming concert, according to a video posted on YouTube. He asked if they would dedicate the song “It’s Time” to him. Through months and years of treatments, the band stayed in touch with Tyler. After he died, they wanted to help inspire others and asked if they could work together to create a foundation with the family in Tyler’s name. Rasmussen, who also shared the love of the band with Tyler, said that as she ran her 22nd mile in her marathon after Tyler died, that song came on her playlist she was listening to. “I became re-energized and motivated and knew in my heart that he was alongside me, giving me that encouragement and smile,” she said. 




Canyon View Emergency Preparedness Night teaches safety to community By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


Ham radio operator Dick Abbot tells students and their families about communications during emergency situations. (Julie Slama/City Journals)


n the back of Canyon View Elementary, the Cottonwood Heights Amateur Radio Club was set up, relaying messages. Zoey, a Cottonwood Heights canine officer, was nearby and a fire truck was in front of the school. There wasn’t an emergency, but the opportunity to learn how to be safe and prepared if one should arise. “We recognize that the community should have the information and material to be prepared and safe,” said Principal Kirsten Draper, who had attended a recent emergency expo and afterward decided to organize one for her community. “It’s easy to start. The hard part is knowing the next steps.” State of Utah’s Division of Emergency Management Community Outreach Specialist Maralin Hoff said the first step for many is to create an emergency kit that is focused on the family’s needs.

“Include in the kit what is needed for the adults, kids, pets — dentures, coloring books, snacks — and have it ready to go,” she said. “When there’s a knock on the door and it’s a fire, gas leak, chemical spill, just grab the kids and pets, the kits and go — and know where to go. We saw with Hurricane Harvey that many people just left and only had the clothes on their back or a purse. Being prepared will help when the time comes.” If time allows, Hoff suggests having cooler bags on hand to fill with food and medication. She also said to have a flash drive of photos and important information, such as insurance, ready. “With Hurricane Katrina, we saw that many people didn’t have any identification or information of proof of who they were, where they lived and what they owned,” she said. Hoff also gave families helpful hints if an earthquake

happens to turn their backs from windows and get into a closet or under a doorframe, or even under a grocery cart while shopping. “Don’t panic and run out, because that big picture window by the entrance could shatter and send flying glass,” she said. Other safety measures can be simple, Hoff said, such as attaching a whistle to a purse or backpack and using it for “stranger danger” or if in need while hiking. She also suggested lining cupboards with rubber grip liner so items won’t shake and fall during an earthquake. Parent Rayna Drago said that as a member of the school community council, she wanted to learn what better ways the school could be prepared. However, she also realized that she could get her family better prepared as well. “We need to have kits in each classroom,” she said. “I know I need to update what I

have for my family and dog.” In the hallway, there was information about internet safety and first aid. Outside, there was a bike helmet safety check and the ham radio operators shared safety tips. “We’re explaining how ham radios support Cottonwood Heights in emergency, especially when phone and cells are down,” operator Dick Abbot said. “We’re volunteers with FCC (Federal Communication Commission) licenses who work with the police to pass along the messages of where to allocate help and emergency responders.” Abbot said he was an emergency communication officer with the army reserve, and that the city has become better prepared in the past 10 years. “Emergency procedures are in place and there’s better communication of what needs to be done,” he said. “But we can always practice and learn more.” 


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Be creative, goofy this holiday season with Cottonwood High improvisation team By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


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Cottonwood High Theatre Society Improv Team will present family-friendly, fun live entertainment this holiday season. (Adam Wilkins/Cottonwood High)


e prepared to laugh and be involved with live theater; the Cottonwood High Theatre Society Improv Team will offer a fun, family-friendly show this holiday season. The 90-minute show will be at 7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 15 in the Black Box Theatre at the high school, 5715 South 1300 East, Murray. Tickets are $4 at the door. “It’s live raw theater in its purest form,” theater director Adam Wilkins said. “Students are given scenarios on the spot from the audience and they act out these funny, hilarious scenes. They use their imaginations and create these amazing, goofy scenes on the fly. Audience members may give them a setting, such as a dentist’s office, or

a thing, like a Muppet, and these kids put it all together. With the holiday season upon us, it could be a topic of ‘holiday shopping with Grandma,’ but it won’t be anything you’ve ever seen before.” Wilkins said that with training and running through improvisation games, the students are prepared to entertain the audience — and even make them a judge. “The no. 1 rule is for them to say ‘yes, and… . We always have them agree and never say no to an audience. It gives it more creativity and fun. In a technology-driven society, it’s a rare gift to have live entertainment and one that is interactive. It’s a good way for these students to connect with their audience,” he said.

Cottonwood’s improvisation team is in its 10th year. Wilkins started the team when he was hired at the school, which he says is a “great acting tool.” He also started an improv team at Utah State University’s eastern campus in Price, Utah after performing on his high school improv team. “It’s a cool way for students to get involved in a student-run organization. It also gives our students an opportunity to be funny, which can be hard. Sometimes, our society and everyone can take things so seriously; it’s a challenge. It’s especially hard for those who need to have a script, so this gives them an opportunity to break out of their shell. It’s kind of like jazz — you freelance, just create and don’t know

what to expect. It’s freedom and creativity and just fun from the heart,” he said. In addition to creativity, students also learn teamwork and acceptance of others’ ideas. Wilkins also said that students learn how to listen and how to take risks, audition and perform humor without a script. The 18-member auditioned team puts on about six shows annually, usually every other month. Scheduled shows in 2018 include Feb. 8 and May 21. Wilkins said they are not all theater students. “The more we can bring in from other parts of the school, the better our community is,” he said. “The arts are valuable and essential for any and all our students.” 




Cottonwood High to host tree festival to help raise funds for Make-a-Wish child


ast year, Cottonwood High students, staff, faculty and the community raised $6,000 — $1,000 more than their goal — to send Marcus and his family, who live in Salt Lake City, on a cruise through the Make-a-Wish Foundation. This year, student government leaders again are hoping to help another child receive their wish. New this year will be the introduction of Cottonwood High Tree Festival to help raise funds. “We’re inviting students, clubs, sports teams and anyone in the Cottonwood community to come donate a tree — big or small — for a silent auction that we will hold during a boys’ basketball game,” said Amy Thomas, Cottonwood High student government adviser. “We’re hoping for at least 10 trees to help raise funds for our Make-aWish child.” Thomas said that already several clubs and teams have shown interest in decorating a tree to auction, as had the counseling office. Decorations could match the club, such as recycling materials from the Student Conservation Alliance or baseball decorations from the baseball team, but they aren’t required to do so. “It’s a fun way to get everyone involved in the effort,” she said about the idea she borrowed from a school in Utah County. From the silent auction on Dec. 5 alone, Thomas hopes students will raise $1,500. Other ways students have identified to fund-

By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com raise include a talent show, a date night auction and a first class period competition where students try to raise the most for the child. She said students also will walk around at lunch or in the parking lots and ask for donations. Donations also come in at the holiday school concerts. “It’s amazing how just some spare change starts to add up,” she said. Through the effort, Thomas said students are learning responsibility as well as leadership, organizational and budget skills. “They’re learning how to advertise and talk to people about why they should donate and how they can raise more money,” she said. “They also see the joy of service and how everyone can do a little, whether it’s giving of their time or their money, and can make a huge difference.” Thomas said the student leaders selected the Make-a-Wish Foundation because they realized their money goes directly to a person in the Salt Lake area. “They get to know the person and are making a direct, life-changing impact. They themselves develop a sense of pride and realize that this is a lot bigger than themselves,” she said. The child has yet to be assigned to Cottonwood High, but Thomas said most of the students have serious or terminal illnesses or have “horrific treatments they’re going through and need a boost.”


Cottonwood High students have goal to bring in $5,000 this holiday season to support a child in the Make-a-Wish Foundation through a tree festival and other activities. (Cottonwood High)

Marcus had brain tumors, but was willing to come with his family to Cottonwood High during an assembly and explain his treatments. During that same assembly, the students gave Marcus a stick horse, representing their school mascot, the Colts. Marcus trotted around the stage on his




horse and has been asking about his Colt friends and stayed in touch with several of them, Thomas said. “It means so much to these high school students when it’s personable and relatable,” she said. 



Residents receive awards for beautiful homes By Cassie Goff cassie@mycityjournals.com

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ne of the most embraced aspects of the Cottonwood Heights identity is its beauty. Over the summer, city staff members decided it was time to formally recognize some of the beauty within in the city by creating the Landscaping/Beautification Award Program. The intent of the award was to recognize well-maintained and beautiful landscapes in the community.” Earlier this year, on Aug. 8, the Cottonwood Heights Business Association (CHBA) released a call for nominations for the award. All residential homeowners within the city were invited to enter, as long the entry was not anonymous. Nominations were due by Aug. 18. The nominated properties that were accepted and judged included the Snell home on Meadow Drive; the Mathot-Buckner home on 6600 South; the Douglas home on Treasure Ridge Circle; the Waldron home, the Sittler home and the Bailey home on Brighton Ridge Drive; the Nenow home and the Lambert home on Parkridge Drive; the Castor home and the Mollerup home on Somerset Drive; the Johnson home and the Knell home on Camino Way; the Scott home on 2200 East; the Conover home on 7645 South; the Backus home on 7120 South; the Hubert home on Fort Union Boulevard.; the Larrabee home on 3050 East; the Barth home on Walnut Way; the Dehaan home on Winesap; the Allred home on Norwood Road; the Geddes home on Honeycomb Road; the Bridges home on Mountain Oaks Drive; the Keryik Home on Elk Horn; the Cooley home on Scandia Way; and the Belnap home and the Wright home on Kings Hill Drive. An interactive map of all the nominees is available on the city’s website.

After all submissions had been gathered, the city council accepted the task of judging the properties. Each council member visited the nominated properties within their district and judged them based on their visible aesthetic from the street. On Sept. 26, the Landscaping/Beautification Award winners were announced during the bi-weekly city council business meeting. The winning properties were the Smart home on Moore Crest Court for District 1, the Christensen home on Grand Vista Way for District 2, the Burns home on Sundown Avenue for District 3, the Orton home on Grand Oak Drive for District 4, and Market Street Grill for the commercial property. After the announcement, three of the winners were presented with their awards. Councilman for District 2 Scott Bracken presented Jerry and Alice Christensen with their Beautification Award. “I’ve known them for a very long time. I was glad to see they had been nominated,” Bracken said. As part of the award, the winners received a gift card to Home Depot. “We spend a lot of money at Home Depot,” Jerry said laughing. “We support local taxes in Cottonwood Heights — we don’t go to the Sandy one.” Councilman for District 4 Tee Tyler presented the Beautification Award to the Orton family. “District 4 had the most nominations,” Tyler said. “It took me about three nights to get to all of them.” “The Orton family home — it’s something. They put in about three hours a day on the yard themselves,” Tyler said Councilman for District 3 Mike Peterson spoke for the winner of his district, since they were unable to attend the meeting. “We

had one less nomination than District 4,” he said. “I’ll deliver the award to the Burnses personally on my way home.” “The Burns yard is planted with a large variety of plants and flowers and manicured to perfection,” the nomination read. Bracken presented the award for the commercial property to the owner of the Market Street Grill. “Market Street Grill has a gorgeous location. The work and the time spent there is tremendous,” Bracken said. A few weeks later, councilman for District 1 Mike Shelton presented a Beautification Award to Edie Smart on October 24. “It’s my pleasure to present this award,” Shelton said. “(The Smarts) make a difference in their neighborhood with their landscaping and the way they have kept up their yard. It’s been a service to the community.” One of Smart’s neighbors nominated them for this award and said, “Edie spends countless hours not only beautifying her yard but also making it water wise. She does this not just for herself and family, but for her neighborhood and community. You must see the backyard!” “We’ve taken a lot of pride in it always,” Smart said after accepting the award. She hesitated for a moment before admitting to the audience that she had lost her husband, Paul, two months prior. She continued to tell his story about how he cared for their yard. She has since put up a sign in their front yard reading: “This lawn has been meticulously cut for your viewing pleasure by Paul.” For more information on the Beautification Awards and the winners, visit http:// cottonwoodheights.utah.gov/cms/One.aspx?portalId=109778&pageId=10472468 




Upcoming Events By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com

Don’t miss these events in Cottonwood Heights! • Light the Night will be held on Nov. 27 from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Cottonwood Heights City Hall (2277 E. Bengal Blvd). There will be a Christmas gift boutique open during the entire event. Santa will be visiting from 5 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. The outdoor Christmas tree lighting will be at 7 p.m. “The tree will feature over 1,100 soft white lights and a few twinkling ones. Santa will help us get into the sprit with a holiday sing-a-long before and after the lighting.” • 12 Days of Crafts will begin on Dec. 4 and go until Dec. 16. The events will be held from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Whitmore Library (2197 Fort Union Blvd). “Drop in any day for a different holiday craft from around the world. Due to difficulty of crafts, each craft is geared for older kids and teens.” • Teen Holiday Wars will be held on Dec. 4 from 4 p.m.–5 p.m. at Whitmore Library (2197 Fort Union Blvd). “Inspired by popular nerdy online video creators; come celebrate the holiday, competition, including decorating your own nerdy pastry.” • 3D printing 101 will be held on Dec. 5 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Whitmore Library (2197 Fort Union Blvd). “Come learn what 3D printing is, how it works at the library, and how you can request your own print job on our 3D printer.” • Storytime for Everyone will be held on Dec. 6 from 10:15 a.m. to11 a.m. at Whitmore Library (2197 Fort Union Blvd). • Is Islamophobia Real? will be held on Dec. 7 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at at Whitmore Library (2197 Fort Union Blvd). “Engage in lively discussion and open dialogue with Faeiza’s Initiative, a panel of Muslim women openly discussing their faith.” • Meet the Muslims will be held on Dec. 8 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at at Whitmore Library (2197 Fort Union Blvd). “Meet the members of the Muslim faith, learn about our diverse community while tasting ethnic snacks.” • Skate with Santa will be held on Dec. 9 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center (7500 S. 2700 E.). • The Sub for Santa open house sponsored by the Cottonwood Heights Business Association will be held on Dec. 15 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Cottonwood Heights City Hall. “Bring a treat to share and drop off your Sub for Santa donation.” • A holiday concert by the Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts will be held on Dec. 15 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Whitmore Library (2197 Fort Union Blvd). This will be a “festive concert of holiday favorites.”

• Service Saturday will be held on Dec. 16 from 2 p.m.–5 p.m. at Whitmore Library (2197 Fort Union Blvd). “Help someone in need with a hands-on service project and learn how religious organizations in the city and around the valley are making a difference in our community.” • “A Country Christmas” holiday concert featuring Joshua Creek will be held on Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m. at Butler Middle School (7530 S. 2700 E.). Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for kids and seniors. They can be purchased at the door the night of the event or beforehand at: chac.retailregister.com “Joshua Creek is an Americana-folk-rock band that combines lyrical story songs with soaring lead vocals and three-part harmonies. The band features original songs and stories about faith, family and fun.” • There will be no city council meetings on Dec. 5 or Dec. 26. Otherwise, city council meetings are held every Tuesday beginning at 6 p.m. at Cottonwood Heights City Hall (2277 E. Bengal Blvd). • The upcoming planning commission meetings will be held on Dec. 6 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and on Jan. 3 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Cottonwood Heights City Hall (2277 E. Bengal Blvd). • The newly elected officials swearing-in ceremony will be on Jan. 2 at Cottonwood Heights City Hall (2277 E. Bengal Blvd). To find more information on these and other upcoming events, visit the links provided below. For the city of Cottonwood Heights: http://cottonwoodheights.utah.gov/ https://twitter.com/CHCity https://www.facebook.com/CHC TY?ref=tn_tnmn http://cottonwoodheights.utah.gov/ caledar For the Cottonwood Heights Arts Coucil: http://www.cottonwoodheights.utah.gov cms/one.aspx?pageId=177322 https://www.facebook.com/ CHArtsCouncil For the Cottonwood Heights Business Association (CHBA): http://chbusiness.org/ https://www.facebook.com/CHBusiness Association https://twitter.com/CHBABiz https://www.instagram.com/chbabiz https://www.youtube.com/channel/ UCIhfiB3MWvwca7f_BxyDfVg For the Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center: https://www.cottonwoodheights.com/ news-events/latest-news For Whitmore Library: http://slcls.libnet.info/slcolibrary/events 

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Challenging preseason schedule awaits Brighton girls basketball By Josh McFadden | josh@mycityjournals.com

Chloe North dashes past her teammates during practice. (John Guertler/City Journals)


hen putting together a prep basketball schedule, there are a few schools of thought. Coaches can line up some less-talented, less-experienced foes and look to build confidence through likely wins, or coaches can challenge their teams with formidable opponents, designed to prepare their squads for region play. Brighton girls basketball coach Jim Gresh opted for the latter approach this season. The Bengals open their season Nov. 21 at Riverton, a 6A team that regularly makes the state tournament. In December, the Bengals meet up with state power Layton. The team’s final non-region test comes Jan. 5 at home against defending 4A state champion Skyline. “Non-region play is very valuable,” Gresh said. “We play a tough schedule. We need those tough games to be strong for region.” The Bengals start off region action by hosting Alta and Corner Canyon Jan. 9 and Jan. 11, respectively. The Hawks won Region 7 a year ago with a 13-1 record and a 21-2 mark overall. Brighton competed in Region 3 of Class 5A last season, where it went 6-6 and finished in fourth place. The Bengals went 6-15 overall, losing all of its non-region games and falling in the first round of the state tournament to Sky View. With the new region realignments, thanks to the addition of Class 6A, Brighton stays in 5A but moves to Region 7. This season, the Bengals will compete with league opponents Alta, Corner Canyon, Cottonwood, Jordan and Timpview. While many coaches may compile a list of concrete goals and expectations, Gresh likes to keep things simple.

“Throughout my career, I haven’t focused on expectations,” he said. “I want us to play and practice the best we can and see what happens. We set goals to play and prepare the best we can.” The Bengals began practicing in early November. Though there are still some unknowns with the squad, Gresh pointed out intelligence as a team strength. “I’ve got a smart team,” he said. “They’re smart in the classroom. I’m going to try to give them more stuff — give them more plays — than I normally would. They pick up on things faster.” Gresh said he has “a bunch coming back” from last year’s team. Guards Aly Vyfinkel and Emily Moss, along with small forward Sidney Kaufman, are Brighton’s top returners. Vyfinkel scored 69 points last season but came on stronger late in the year when she had a pair of 10-point games in February. Kaufman is the leading returning scorer; she contributed 7.7 points an outing last season. Gresh will also look to Annabelle Warner, Nicky Vyfinkel and Courtney Ebeling to produce on both ends of the court. “We’ve got a lot of leaders that work with each other,” Gresh said. “I’m hoping others plod each other along.” In all, the Bengals have 10 non-region games to get themselves prepared for region play. Once there, Brighton will work to make its way into the top four of league standings; doing this will give the team a berth in the state tournament. “The girls are anxious to get going,” Gresh said. “They work hard, and they have a good attitude. I don’t have any problems with this team.”



Amid region changes, Bengals look to return to state tournament By Josh McFadden | josh@mycityjournals.com

Dallin Ringwood goes for the layup during their team practice. (John Guertler/City Journals)

Last season, the Brighton boys basketball team was on the outside looking in when state tournament time rolled around. Playing in Region 3, arguably the toughest in the state, has that effect. A change of venue may help this season. With the addition of Class 6A, the Bengals will move to Region 7 and will stay in Class 5A. Of course, Brighton’s new league foes won’t be pushovers, and the team will still need to finish in the top four to qualify for the state tournament. Last season, the Bengals placed fifth in league play at 5-7, just one game behind West Jordan and Jordan for the final playoff spot. The Bengals went 11-12 overall, their first losing season since the 2013–14 campaign. Brighton must replace its leading scorer from last season, guard Tate Weichers, who averaged more than 12 points per game. However, head coach Garrett Wilson welcomes back brother Cam and Luc Krystkowiak, sons of current University of Utah head basketball coach Larry Krystkowiak. Cam, now a 6-8 senior, scored 10.7 points per game last season, just behind Luc, a 6-3 junior, who was second on the team in scoring last season with 10.8. The two brothers also led the team by averaging just over five rebounds a game. Senior guard Adam Christensen could take on a larger role this season. Last year he averaged 5.4 points per game and hit 17 three-pointers. He also averaged more than three rebounds per contest. Brighton won’t see traditional state heavyweights Bingham, Copper Hills and West Jordan in region as they have in years past, though the Bengals will square off with West Jordan Dec. 12 in a non-region game. Jordan moves with Brighton from Region 3 to Region 7. The Bengals will also compete with new region opponents Corner Canyon, Alta, Cottonwood and Timpview. Brighton and Alta are back together for the first time in three years. The longtime rivals face one another Jan. 26 and Feb. 16. Brighton’s season gets underway Nov. 28 when the team hosts Riverton. Brighton tips off December with two more home games against a pair of Idaho teams, Hillcrest and Bonneville (not to be confused with the Utah high schools of the same names). The Bengals will prepare for the crucial region portion of the schedule by participating in three preseason tournaments. First comes the Utah Elite 8, Dec. 7–9. The team will then play against Hunter in the Bear River Classic Dec. 12. The final tournament, the Under Armour Holiday Classic, takes place Dec. 27–30 in San Diego, California. Here, top teams from around the country will gather for the prestigious four-day tournament. Region 7 action is set to begin Jan. 12 at Corner Canyon. Last season was the first time since the 2005– 06 season that Brighton boys basketball failed to qualify for the state tournament, so the team is itching to get back on track. 




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The Great Toy Hunt For as long as there has been Christmas Hype there have been hard to get toys. And, with those toys come parents and grandparents willing to go to crazy lengths to get one for their child. Last year it was Hatchimals and this year new toys like Fingerlings and a Nintendo that looks like something from then ‘80’s have already gone missing and pop up with over inflated prices from toy scalpers on eBay and Amazon. It’s become an American tradition. Ninja Turtle Super Shredder toy was my most memorable toy hunt. Some of you probably remember getting one or wanting one. It was sometime around 1985. I remember spending hours hunting, calling and searching for this silly $6 dollar toy. And I was finally able to snag one after stalking ToysRUs employees, showing up at the store before the doors opened, racing to dig through a box of newly arrived Turtles to get one of the 4 that came in a case. Keep in mind; the Internet did not exist for common folk at this time. Yep, I got caught up in the hype and thought, my kid must prevail, determined for him to have bragging rights of being the owner of this prestigious toy. I got that little rush when I brought my treasure home and carefully hid the sack on the top shelf of the closet. To this day, Super Shredder still has a home among the dust in my attic.



Now let me remind you, we raised our family in a very financially insecure time. In my short 30 something years of marriage, we have been through job loss, near bankruptcy and the heartache of having to give up our dream home due to financial struggles. These are the times I learned creative ways to save, avoid spending and the priceless value of having a partner to lean on. We sacrificed marital time as I went to work nights not my best idea. Dented cans and refrozen food from the Rainbow Market and out of date bakery items at the Hostess Bake Shop

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were common dinner table items. I learned to clip those .10¢ coupons out of necessity, not because it was the popular thing to do. Looking back on my Super Shredder hunt, I wonder if it wouldn’t have been better to give the gift of one of life’s most valuable lessons instead. After all, what better gift than to teach a child that we don’t always get what we want. Have you gone to crazy lengths to find a Christmas toy or do you have a memory of toy you got or didn’t get as a child? Enjoy the hunt, but know that if you don’t prevail you are still giving a treasured gift to the child you love.



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very year on November 30, while my girls slept, I’d spend the evening putting up Christmas decorations. I’d place every Santa just so and every angel just right. My daughters would wake up to a magical Christmas wonderland with twinkling lights, cinnamon-scented pinecones and beautifully wrapped packages. That was my dream. Reality was much different. Oh, the house was decorated, and the girls were excited, but within five minutes the entire holiday-scape was destroyed. My daughters would walk into the idyllic wonderland I’d created, squeal with glee and run to their favorite Christmas decoration. One daughter immediately turned on the display that had Disney characters barking your favorite carols. If you haven’t heard “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” sung in “Woofs” by Pluto for 25 days in a row, you don’t know the real meaning of Christmas. Another daughter ran to the Nativity scene where she helped Mother Mary run off with Frosty the Snowman, leaving Baby Jesus in the care of a 6-foot polar bear wearing a holiday scarf. Yet another daughter took the ornamental French horn off the wall and marched through the house trumpeting Jingle Bells. Not to be outdone, her little sister used the tree skirt as a cloak and pretended to be the Queen of Christmas,

which caused several fistfights in front of the holy manger. When the girls went off to school each day, I’d put all the decorations back in their traditionally ordained locations. I found Ken and Barbie naked in a Christmas stocking. I discovered one of the Wise Men snuggled with an angel behind an advent calendar. I glued the shepherds’ crooks back on because the girls would have them fight ninja-style and kept breaking them off. I found the singing Rudolph the RedNosed Reindeer shoved into a pile of laundry. Oh, wait. I’d put that there. Because it never shut up. The girls would come home from school and spend the rest of the evening rearranging the decorations while I radiated anger. “Leave the damn tree alone!” I’d repeat 40 times a day. “But someone moved my ornament from its special place.” (Insert the sound of Christmas decorations falling off the tree.) When I found the Christmas pillow I had painstakingly cross-stitched had been used to wipe up a Kool-Aid spill, I finally lost it. I was exhausted from trying to redecorate the house every day to keep everything looking perfect. I screeched, in a very unholiday voice, “Put the Baby Jesus back in the manger




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before I tell Santa to burn all your presents!” Everyone froze. The daughter who had wrapped Baby Jesus in layers of toilet paper to keep him warm looked at me, eyes brimming with tears. “I just wanted to hold him,” she said, as her lip quivered. That’s when it hit me. I was the Grinch. Why the hell was I ruining Christmas? Why was I trying to keep everything perfect? To my daughters, it was already perfect. They loved the decorations and wanted to play with them for the short time they were displayed. I took a few deep breaths. I apologized. I even agreed to sit through a Christmas play where the Wise Men kidnapped Jesus and held him for ransom, but a stuffed Santa Claus karate-kicked the Wise Men to rescue the holy babe who


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was given back to Mother Mary. (She had returned from her illicit rendezvous with Frosty in time to change the baby’s diaper and put him back in the manger.) My house was messy and emotional, but delightful and creative, too. This was my Christmas wonderland. 


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Profile for The City Journals

Cottonwood December 2017  

Cottonwood December 2017