April 2019 | Vol. 16 Iss. 04
FREE VOTERS COULD HAVE FINAL SAY ON POTENTIAL DEVELOPMENT By Cassie Goff | firstname.lastname@example.org
ven after a vote from the Cottonwood Heights City Council approving development on the property known as Walsh farm, the debate around the development is still ongoing, as a referendum has been filed to petition the vote and put the issue on this year’s ballot. (This story involves much prior development including the implementation of the planned district development (PDD) zoning, the planning of the proposed development (which is broadly an apartment complex), much public comment including emails and statements to the planning commission and city council from concerned residents, and many other ordinances and discussions concerning the property. For the full context on this story, please visit the previous stories linked or visit cottonwoodheightsjournal.com.) City council vote On Feb. 19, the city council approved Ordinance 317A: the enactment of PDD-1 (Walsh) Zone, approving the rezone of 5.9 acres of real property located at 6784 South and 1300 East from r-1-8 (single family residential) to PDD-1, and amending the zoning map. The approved ordinance incorporated built-in language to require a public trail easement along the creek located on the property. The ordinance required the trail to be constructed, paved with concrete, asphalt, or crushed stone, which would be covered by an easement. Additional modifications included tree preservation requirements, fence height and mixed-use commercial requirements. “We are really excited that our family legacy will be preserved in this new publicly accessible creek-side path,” said Dave Walsh. “This section of the creek was previously off limits on our private property but now it will be shared for all Cottonwood families to enjoy.” The vote was unanimous among Councilmember Scott Bracken, Councilmember Mike Shelton and Mayor Mike Peterson; Councilmember Christine Mikell and Councilmember Tali Bruce were absent.
Referendum sponsors are urging residents to sign a petition that would put a zoning decision on the ballot. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)
“Mr. Walsh did note in 2005, when we did the general plan, this parcel was slated for multi-family development,” Bracken said prior to the vote. “Had it not been, I would have been of a different opinion now. Its immediate neighbor to the east has a higher density and height… I do feel this meets the PDD.” “Planning is one of those places where the Land Use Authority is required to abide by the standards set in the past,”
Shelton said. “Mr. Walsh correctly articulated the facts. This development application complies with the standards we set. The land use applicant has the right to have that application approved. I appreciate that we have had a land use applicant who worked hard to find ways to comply even when their understanding was not in line and different from ours.” Peterson showed his preference as he stated, “If it was under my control, I would make it a park. We don’t need or Continue on page 4...
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Cottonwood Heights City Journal
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Page 4 | April 2019
a verifier (think equivalent of a notary) to watch every resident sign with knowledge that everything was done appropriately. On April 15, the sponsors should submit the gathered signatures, with verification pages, to Salt Lake County. The county then has to verify that every signature belongs to a resident who is over 18 and registered to vote. That process should take about one month. After that entire process, the referendum could either be escalated to the Utah Supreme Court, or the issue could end up on the ballot, or potentially both. Developers The applicants of the approved development have been notified about the referendum and have been instructed not to proceed with construction until the process is completed. Petition Sponsors of the referendum will be encouraging residents to sign the petition until the beginning of April. Many residents have been sharing the website, Unite for CH, in efforts to get the thousands of signatures needed. “I think it needs to be kept in mind that this new land is not just for a high-density development, but it is for an unusually high-density development, and so we think Cottonwood Heights residents really should have the chance to vote on it. That is what the petition is all about,” said organizer for Unite for CH Jared Crocker. One of the main issues Unite for CH
presents refers back to the night of the vote. Only three out of the five members of the desire high-density compact developments voting municipal body were present. “That in our city. I’m opposed to that and I admit is not strong representation for such an imthat. I will watch very carefully to make sure portant issue — especially after the city the commitments are kept as far as access planning commission had recommended and traffic and setbacks.” against the plan — and so this petition effort Referendum will rectify that by letting the people vote on Shortly after the vote, concerned resithe law before it goes into effect.” dents filed an application for a referendum. Additionally, supporters of the petition As per the legal process, the city was reare wondering what this means for the PDD quired to do a fiscal analysis for the cost of ordinance, as this is the first PDD to be apthe city on repealing the ordinance by March proved. “It is valid to ask: do we really want 19. to use it to approve larger-than-normally-al“The main fiscal impact would be the lowed apartment complex, right alongside election cost increase with the November single-family homes? A precedent is being election,” said City Attorney Shane Topham. set for the whole city, and it makes sense that After that, the sponsors of the referenthe city’s residents would get to vote in that dum were required to compile packets insituation.” cluding the ordinance, petition, verification City living pages and signature pages, and submit them As of March 17, a new website has been to the city for approval. The sponsors were reaching city residents, countering the posiresponsible for incurring the cost of prepartion. CH Responsible Growth urges residents ing those packets. not to sign the referendum. It’s main claim is On March 4, the approved packets were that the city needs responsible growth in the returned to the sponsors, beginning the almidst of the current state housing crisis, and lowed time allotment to collect signatures. the proposed development supports responThe sponsors must gather signatures equivsible growth. alent of 35 percent of the 17,653 ballots cast Property owners for the last presidential election, within 45 The property in question is owned by days. In other words, over 6,000 signatures numerous siblings of the Walsh family. need to be gathered by April 15. Those sigWhen they decided to sell their property, natures must come from residents of the they were amazed by how much involvecity, who are over 18 years old, registered ment arose from residents. The Walsh’s also to vote, and have read through a copy of the grew weary by the lengthy process of getting entire ordinance attached to the packet. In their sale approved. “There were numerous addition, the sponsors are required to have hearings and tons of input from residents. All of that input really impacted the final project plan,” said Walsh. “Our family has always known this far corner of Cottonwood Heights is ideal for apartments and condos,” Walsh said, noting the property is surrounded by apartments on three sides. “It is close to the freeway, transit hubs, and commercial developments. It is half a block away from a six-lane highway in one direction and I-215 in the other direction. We never protested when the other developments went in around us because we understood this was the best place in our city for development.” City involvement As for the city, city funds cannot be used to advocate one way or another. City staff and officials can discuss the fact that a referendum has been filed and provide factual information, but can’t discuss the issue further. In other words, residents should not expect much communication on the part of the city pertaining to the petition. For more information, visit www. uniteforch.com; www.chresponsiblegrowth. net; www.cottonwooheights.utah.gov and 5 Bedrooms 3 Bathrooms 3,494 Square Feet search for PDD; and/or www.cottonwood2 Car Garage Built in 1984 Lot Size 0.23 Excellent east Sandy neighborhood, with mature trees, mountain views, easy heightsjournal.com and search for “Working access to outdoors, and the best neighbors. Spacious backyard with large garden with developers on newly created districts” or “What to do with Walsh farm?” ...Continued from front page
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Little Crazy People at the rec center By Joshua Wood | firstname.lastname@example.org
Little Crazy People at the Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center (Courtesy Litte Crazy People)
hen Karyn Anderson had a hard time finding a place where her toddler could act his age, she decided to create that place herself. Little Crazy People, the program she designed for kids ages 1–3, has now come to Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center. The program offers 45-minute classes once per week that focus on learning and movement for little people who need to be moving. “The point is to have fun and learn while moving,” Anderson said. “Kids are fine the way they are. They don’t have to sit and be quiet.”
Little Crazy People is the kind of program Anderson would have loved to find for her toddler years ago. “My little boy, who is 9 now, was very active,” Anderson said. “He wouldn’t sit still for toddler activities, and I would always leave early.” Anderson decided to develop a program of her own that was designed for busy kids who have a hard time sitting still during activities. The program incorporates movement into its lessons. While initially designed to help kids have fun and get some exercise, it has evolved over the years to be more aca-
demic. Kids can work on their colors, letters and numbers while they move. Anderson, who is from Cottonwood Heights, now lives in Heber and started Little Crazy People there. She now has weekly classes in Sandy as well as Cottonwood Heights. Kids get to move around while they learn. In one lesson, kids practice learning their colors as they pick up colored balls from the middle of the room and put them in baskets of the corresponding color. “Little 1-year-olds pick up the balls but don’t have their colors yet,” Anderson said. “Three-year-olds work on their colors. If they get the lesson, great. If not, they learned something anyway like sharing and social skills.” Anderson brings a rich background to the program. She gained a lot of experience individualizing education as a special education teacher for around 10 years. Hoping to help affect change in education policy, she went to law school and became a lawyer. She practiced law part time after staring a family, then decided to take a hiatus from law as her family grew. Finding classes or activities that would work for her children was a challenge. “It made me feel like a mom failure because I couldn’t find a class,” she said. Anderson emphasizes a friendly environment where kids
can be kids. Parents can sign their toddlers up for Little Crazy People through the Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center. Classes are once per week and grouped into monthly sessions from September through May. Anderson then takes her work on the road as she and her husband conduct summer camps in places like Georgia, Colorado and Washington, D.C. Anderson is excited to have classes in Cottonwood Heights, and she wants everyone to feel welcome. “I want everybody to feel no judgement. We are patient with all the kids.”
Children can enjoy active learning time at the Recreation Center’s new program. (Courtesy Litte Crazy People)
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Salt Lake Valley’s epic pranksters show us ‘how to April Fools’ By Jennifer J. Johnson | email@example.com
rom placing a pair of live lobsters in the glove box of a paramour’s car to endorsing their boss as a disco-loving ninja on a global career website, to punking fans of the third-largest professional sports league in the world, Utahns know how to April Fools. The City Journals wanted to get up close and personal with some of the pranksters and the pranked in a sort of hall of fame. Look forward to hearing more of your stories, in the comments and for next-year’s piece. Food and fools: Lobsters, an imposter waiter, and under-the-table pranking Long-time radio and web celebs Todd Collard and Erin Fraser (“Todd and Erin”) involve one particular type of food, lobster, as an ongoing April Fools’ staple. One year, Todd, recalls, he actually placed the lobsters in the glove box of Erin’s car. There were no fatalities to report. Rather, the frenetic lobster game is part of the ongoing love affair of Salt Lake City area’s longest on-air-turned-over-web morning personalities. The imposter waiter… Dean Pierose is owner of Cucina wine bar, restaurant, and deli in The Avenues neighborhood of Salt Lake City. Pierose is long-term best friends with comedian Pat Mac. An April Fools’ prank provided the perfect opportunity for Pierose to meet his best friend’s wife.
But a simple meet-and-greet is not Pierose’s style. Instead, Pierose convinced a fellow restaurant owner to let him stand in and wait the table that Mac and his wife occupied the night of April 1, 2011. Prepped about the woman being a teacher and her having attended the University of Idaho, the imposter waiter set out to be as insulting as possible, first complaining that the table’s former customers, “who must have been teachers,” stiffed him for a tip. On another visit by the table, Pierose slammed the University of Idaho, the woman’s alma mater, making fun of the college’s “Joe the Vandal” mascot, and identifying himself as identifying with the rival “Broncos” of Boise State. “He hit every button he could, to set her off,” laughed Mac. “Dean is a master prankster.” A little Disney’ll do ya, on April Fools Disney Channel actor, writer, and voice talent Jerry Straley just celebrated 30 years with Disney. “My goal is to make 10 million people laugh,” he shared. Straley estimates his role on the “Good Luck, Charlie” sitcom got him about halfway there, with more than five million views of the sitcom’s four seasons. Holladay-dwelling Straley routinely pokes fun at the area’s wealthy, and says April Fools’ jokes include replacing upscale Grey Poupon whole-grain mustard with
When not loving on her husband and on-air/over-internet personality Todd Collard, Erin Fraser’s go-to food is lobster. Not surprisingly, Todd has turned it into an April Fools’ go-to that enhances the couple’s relationship. (Photo Credit: ToddandErinDailyStream.com)
plain-yellow mustard at hoity-toity Holladay restaurants and making early-morning prank calls, indicating peoples’ butlers are taking the day off. Getting paid ‘under the table’ Saralynn White, a Cottonwood Heights copywriter and creative director/chief storyteller/owner of Salty Dog Marketing, recalls hijinks from now-defunct, but ever epic ad agency Dahlin Smith White. “They taped a sandwich under his desk and it started to reek,” she recalled, “but he couldn’t find what was smelling up the place because of where it was.” Writing the April Fools’ playbook Writer White has not only been pranked, but has pranked upon. One year, colleagues posted “disco” and “ninja” expertise as some of her unique skills on the LinkedIn professional website, comprising 500 million members globally. Professional colleagues of White can still find these skills on her profile today. Another year, White could not get her computer to respond to her keystrokes. Absolutely frustrated at the technological stalemate, she dialed in corporate 911 – the IT or information technology department. Who she credits as “ingenious” colleagues had taken a screenshot of her computer desktop. Pranksters made it so that every keystroke the increasingly frustrated White entered did nothing more than ping a static image, doing absolutely nothing to engage the computer’s functionality. April Fools’ Day: A Team Sport For the Utah Jazz franchise, April Fools’ Day has been good to the Jazz, with the team winning 65 percent of the games played April 1 over the past 33 years, including last year’s 121-97 blowout over the Minnesota TimberJazz superstar Rudy Gobert (27) and veteran Derrick Favors (15) model the Utah Jazz’s most epic April Fools’ prank – an announcement to the NBA and beyond of their new “three-quarters-length pant” as an official wolves. This year, at 7 p.m. on April 1, the Jazz uniform option. Jazz emeritus John Stockton? Shaking in his shorty-shorts. (Photo Credit: Utah Jazz) square off against the Charlotte Hornets in
hometown Vivint Arena. The team’s best prank came a few years ago, in 2015, when the Jazz punked fans, commentators, and even readers of the National Basketball Association by launching a new “look-and-feel” three-quarter-length pant. The news went official, with a mock press release and photo featuring Rudy Gobert (27) and Derrick Favors (15). April Fools’ DNA Brothers Jamison and Truman Carter grew up with their prank-playing family first in the Avenues and then Herriman. The two now reside in Salt Lake’s Marmalade neighborhood. The brothers recall stories of their mother’s receiving an April Fools’ Day bouquet of already-dead flowers from high-end florist Every Blooming Thing. Knowing that the bouquet likely cost her then-husband at least $50, their mother called in to complain. Right at that moment, while on the phone ripping the prank-engaging florists who were emphatically denying her description of the bouquet, an incredibly stunning, much bigger and more expensive arrangement arrived from Every Blooming Thing, with the same delivery person. Order restored. The Carter sons were pranked themselves, waking up one April Fools’ morning to a breakfast of meatloaf, gravy, and mashed potatoes. Luckily they tried the odd meal. Their mother, this time, was the prankster, having made Rice Krispie treat “meatloaf” with butterscotch “gravy” and ice-cream “potatoes.” And regarding our last set of pranks? Confession time: I am the mother of the Carters, recipient of dead bouquets, and chef of dreamy April Fools’ breakfasts. Even though it sounds like it could be, that is not a prank. Happy April Fools’ Day, Salt Lake County!
Page 6 | April 2019
Cottonwood Heights City Journal
Trail running series starts in the valley, then heads to the mountains By Joshua Wood | firstname.lastname@example.org
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Over 200 people participate in each race of the Wasatch Trail Run Series. (Mitt Stewart, by permission)
fter a year off, the Wasatch Trail Run Series is returning for another round of 13 races in 2019. The series starts in March and April with events in Dimple Dell and Corner Canyon before moving to the mountains with events running through mid-August. The race series organizer, Mitt Stewart, is excited to bring the events back in 2019. “We have a lot of runners who use our events as speed workouts for their training,” Stewart said. “I ran into some of them on the trails last year, and they told me they weren’t as good in races last year without that training.” Each race offers the opportunity to run a scenic trail while getting in a good workout. All races take place on Wednesday evenings at 6:30 p.m. “Wednesday works for a lot of people who can’t get to an event on the weekend,” Stewart said. “That combined with the affordability of the races makes it popular.” Races have averaged around 200 participants in the past, and organizers expect more this year. The Wasatch Trail Run Series is designed to be inclusive. In addition to its Wednesday evening schedule and relatively low registration costs, the races are designed for a range of skill levels. Each event has long and short courses. Long courses range from around seven to nine miles, while short courses are from three to six miles. “People won’t be intimidated,” Stewart said. “There will always be someone at about your level. Most of our runners do multiple races, so you will likely see that person at your level at each race.” According to Stewart, people who participate in the races include competitive racers who use the events to train for speed, people who can’t make it to running events on weekends, and those just looking for a workout. Events often include parents running with their children and people walking the courses as well.
This will be the seventh year of races for the Wasatch Trail Run Series. Stewart started the events because it sounded like a great way to get in some extra training during the week for his mountain biking. He wanted the races to be low key, fun and low cost. Stewart’s schedule and family commitments kept him from organizing races in 2018. When he hit the local trails last year for a casual run, he crossed paths with racers who told him how much they missed the series. “It was tough not doing it last year,” Stewart said. “I knew I created something that worked well.” The race schedule includes 13 races in 2019. The first five events, which take place from late March through May 1, take place in Dimple Dell, Corner Canyon and Herriman. In late May, the series moves to Utah Olympic Part, Solitude, Snowbird, Alta and Brighton. A full list of events can be found at www.runontrails.com. Participants can register on-site the day of each event, or they can purchase multiple race packages online. In addition to running, the events include raffles and charitable donations. Organizers draw runners’ bib numbers during races to give away certificates for running shoes and other gear. A portion of event proceeds is donated to nonprofits who support trail networks and related causes. Participants who run in at least nine races and volunteer for one more get a “10 Race Club” jacket. As for the above average snowfall the Wasatch Front has received this year, Stewart and his team have seen it before. “A few years ago, we had to dig a trail through the snow at Snowbird,” he said. “We will likely have to do that again for the early races in the mountains this year. It’s a lot of fun.” In addition to the fun he has and the training he gets from each race, why does Stewart do it? “It’s my way of doing something that makes people happy.”
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or people who would like to get more involved in the community, April 12 is a good place to start. The day was set aside a few years ago by proclamation to honor two of Cottonwood Heights’s dedicated volunteers. Jim and Kathie Hawkins now use the day as an opportunity to continue to serve the community — and to help others get involved, too. In the days leading up to April 12, anyone in the community can donate stuffed animals the Hawkinses will give to the Cottonwood Heights Police Department. The toys will then be kept in the vehicles of police officers and other first responders in the community to give to children at the scenes of tragic or frightening events. “We thought, let’s do something for the police,” Kathie Hawkins said. “There’s a lot of anger and angst toward police now, but they are always expected to help us when we need them.” While Jim and Kathie Hawkins use the day proclaimed in their honor to do good in the community, they weren’t particularly happy about it at first. “At the time I was very embarrassed,” Kathie said. “We don’t do it to get attention.” But if the community wanted to recognize their efforts, they figured they would make the most of it. “We did a food drive the first year and collected over 1,000 meals for that April 12.” The Hawkinses have each lived in Cottonwood Heights for over 40 years. “I grew up in a military family, and service is important,” Kathie said. “It’s human nature to us.” Kathie and Jim started out small, from baking cakes for neighbors on their birthdays or before leaving for missions to clothing drives for homeless shelters. In addition to helping people in need, Kathie wants their service to inspire others to get involved as well. In a community like Cottonwood Heights, there is no shortage of people willing to lend a hand. Lani Roberts, who owns the 7-Eleven near the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon, uses money people put in a jar at the cash registers to donate hundreds of dollars of food and clothing to homeless teens in the county. She plans to use donations to purchase another large donation of food for homeless teens this summer.
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Roberts donated over $700 in food for homeless youth in one drive alone in early 2018. “I thought that was really cool,” Roberts said. “Makes me tear up just thinking about it.” The City of Cottonwood Heights provides volunteer opportunities on a more official capacity as well. Residents can volunteer on a number of committees intended to improve the community, from parks and open spaces to the arts council. This time around, Kathie and Jim want to help those who dedicate their lives to serving and protecting the community they have called home for so long. They hope their stuffed animal drive will help officers and other first responders as they serve children during difficult times. The project is intended to help the children while showing them how police officers care for the community. “They are out there for us,” Kathie said. People interested in volunteering on a Cottonwood Heights committee can contact City Hall for more information. To help out in other ways, you can donate stuffed animals to the Hawkinses’ toy drive by April 12. You can also put some change in the jar at Roberts’ 7-Eleven. Or you can take some inspiration from your fellow do-gooders and start a project of your own.
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International Women’s Day events support, celebrate women
By Jennifer J. Johnson | J.Johnson@mycityjournals.com
arch 8, the official “International Women’s Day,” is ever-growing in international and social-media buzz, and prompted a flurry of local activity on par with the weather happening that day. City Journals presents a recap on several Salt Lake Valley-based activities and commemorations of Women’s Day. First-time celebrators — for the youngest of young — Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum Nearly 900 members and guests of the Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum were treated to a celebration of women’s social, cultural and political achievements, through the lens of gender equality. On March 8, children up to age 11 learned “the amazing things women can do,” recounted marketing coordinator Anna Branson. Children used unique materials and media to create artistic renditions of historic and current women leaders, including the late Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, anthropologist and conservationist Jane Goodall, and human rights advocate A University of Utah student created this mosaic of the beauty in women’s diversity. International Malala Yousafzai. Women’s Day was celebrated around the world and across Salt Lake Valley on March 8. The UniAll received “Believe in Girls” stickers and had the chance to walk through a versity of Utah turned it into a week-long celebration. (Photo Tina Dirmyer/University of Utah) unique kaleidoscope, featuring all of the assembled a roundup of nearly 20 breakout partnering — to commemorate International wonderful possibilities for girls and women. sessions, dealing with topics as edgy as nav- Women’s Day, and, like the U of U, made the Rising up, lifting up at the U of U – for igating shame culture to as vanilla as finan- celebration into a full week of activities, vercollege students, staff, faculty and commu- cial-planning strategies for women. sus just a day. nity “It was truly a day of learning, enOn March 8, WTC Utah co-hosted a At the University of Utah, the “day” has gagement, and idea sharing,” shared Jessica sold-out luncheon, in collaboration with the become a week-long celebration of women. Lynne Ashcraft, co-chair for the event and Women’s Business Center of Utah and the The Women’s Leadership Summit, themed associate director for student leadership and Salt Lake Chamber. “Rise Up, Lift Up” was preceded by the involvement at the U. Ashcraft indicated “WTC Utah would like to be a part of “Empower U” Symposium, where president 200-plus women attended the event, “due to the solutions that address the challenges facRuth Watkins provided the keynote address. the wonderful range of topics presented and ing women as they pursue global economic The Women’s Leadership Summit, now the excitement to engage on topics that are so opportunities,” said Suzette Alles, chief operin its fifth year, offered a resources fair, with salient for women right now.” ating officer of WTC Utah. “Increasing intereverything from women’s health information Women in international business as a national trade, and supporting women in their to voting engagement. The fair was presented theme… efforts to do so, helps companies grow, create in booths lining a wall of windows in the Ray World Trade Center Utah (WTC Utah) wealth and become more resilient. This, in Olpin Student Union building. The university leveraged one of its trademark strengths — turn, bolsters economies on a local, national
and global level.” … And as an honor and an inspiring thought of global contribution March 7, the day before the official day of commemoration, WTC participated in the 10th-annual Women in International Business Conference. This power-packed day included perspectives from 30 business, government, and education leaders representing various facets of Utah’s diverse economy. At the half-day conference, Dr. Mary Beckerle, CEO of the Huntsman Cancer Institute, was named International Woman of the Year. In her role at Huntsman, Beckerle oversees a cancer research laboratory focused on fundamental cell biology and Ewing sarcoma, a type of bone cancer that typically affects children and young adults. All that, an incredibly important role, and yet, Beckerle shared with City Journals deeper insight into the awesome responsibility and opportunity she and other women and men like her bear. “I believe that cancer researchers have a role in advancing global partnerships and understanding,” she observed. “In a sense, we serve as volunteer diplomats as we travel the world to share our results and work together to advance human health.” More than a day, or even a week… a month? Women Techmakers Salt Lake and Miss Nations of the World both identified March 23 as the day for their respective International Women’s Day Celebration event. The Women of the World held its ninth annual fashion show just a few days before the official date. Snowy weather on March 8 scrubbed or severely limited celebratory efforts from Sandy’s Miller Center to downtown Salt Lake’s Capitol demonstration. Regardless of the stormy weather, the message at all events was clear. Women — and girls — are to be encouraged, mentored, and celebrated all day, all week, all month, all year, whether officially or unofficially.
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Did Cottonwood Heights violate their own policy? By Cassie Goff | firstname.lastname@example.org
City staff members and elected officials often work behind the scenes to advise representatives on legislative bills. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)
n what capacity are city staff members and elected officials allowed to be involved with creating policy in the legislature? Did a city staff member violate an existing policy about advocating on behalf of the city? These were the questions at the heart of a discussion on Tuesday, March 5, during the Cottonwood Heights City Council meeting. Councilmember Tali Bruce referenced the Human Resources Policies and Procedures Manual for Cottonwood Heights, Section 7 (Employee Code of Conduct), paragraph 15 (Political Activity), line E, which states: “an employee shall not use the employee’s title or position while engaging in political activity or otherwise act to imply the city’s approval of a candidate or political issue.”
After outlining the policy, she mentioned a specific recent example. “Chief (Robby) Russo has been up on the hill advocating specific legislation with (Representative) Marie Poulson.” Bruce referenced a recently photographed Poulson standing with Russo in uniform on the stairs of the capitol building. “I don’t remember us as a council advocating, or voting, or even discussing this,” she said. City Manager Tim Tingey outlined the city’s current process when working on legislative issues. “We are commenting on bills and giving information to (City Lobbyist) Brian Allen to convey concerns and issues. We are doing that as part of Utah League of Cities and Towns (ULCT) policy.” “Most of what we do is about local
control,” responded Councilmember Christine Mikell. “We are taking a policy position that we have talked about and voted on, and making sure the legislation supports those policies. In areas where we haven’t talked about a specific policy, I feel uncomfortable about that. I tend to agree with Tali. When you see a picture of one of your staff members in the paper, you’re like wait a second, I don’t remember talking about this, maybe we should talk about it.” Mayor Mike Peterson suggested that the council take a closer look at the policy and re-write it if needed. “This is something we need to talk about and see what parameters we want to set.” “We can rewrite the policy, but this is how it stands,” Bruce said. “It’s crystal clear and we are definitely in violation.” This led to a discussion about communication within the city. “I communicated this in writing,” Tingey said. “I made the council aware of this issue and our work with the chief, and I didn’t get any opposition in that writing at the time it occurred.” Councilmember Scott Bracken responded as well. “It was in the council communication, which we are responsible to read and respond to.” Mikell requested a different medium for that type of communication. “If any of us are going to be testifying on behalf of the city, I think that it shouldn’t be in a memo.” “I think there are a couple points here,” Peterson said. “Advocating on behalf of the city and providing technical assistance or information per a request. I’m comfortable with staff participating under the supervision of the city manager if it’s providing technical assistance and information.” But Bruce wondered if it was “within the parameters of the city manager to unilaterally make that decision and then just
inform us?” Bracken said if Russo was given authorization to do so, then it’s not a problem. Councilmember Mike Shelton responded to that question of authorization. “This policy prohibits employees using their title or position whether they were authorized or not. We couldn’t even say it’s OK to do that. This policy prohibits them using their title or position to imply the city’s approval of a political issue.” After a few minutes of debate between the council members, Russo finally responded, saying he was asked to speak on HB 223. “If I am called as a witness, and I was asked to be a witness in this, then I’m certainly going to appear and answer the questions and present the information they are asking for.” “I certainly can go up, out of uniform. I have every right in the world to express my opinion, as does anyone else. In this case, it is a law enforcement issue. It’s an issue I believe is important to the citizens in the city, and in the state in general, so I did support it and I will continue to support it,” said Russo. Peterson then questioned, “When you do that, are you representing the city officially or yourself?” Bruce also asked the question, “When we violate our policy, what is the consequence? I need to know that this policy means something. If nothing comes of this, it’s a clear indication that our policy means nothing.” As the discussion turned to chatter, two potential outcomes were discussed. The policy could be put on the agenda for a later city council meeting to discuss. Additionally, in response to the specific case of Russo working with Poulson, “I’ll have to address it because it’s an administrative issue,” said Tingey.
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Intersection construction already frustrating drivers, will continue through summer By Cassie Goff | email@example.com
Efforts are ongoing to keep drivers on the roads, without cutting through the parking lots of businesses neighboring construction. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)
ne of the main intersections of entry into Cottonwood Heights is under major construction. The Fort Union Boulevard and Highland Drive intersection is being expanded in a collaborative project between the city and the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT). The major components of this project include the addition of an exit-only lane on the I-215 westbound ramp and dual left-turn lanes in every direction, which is estimated to take around six weeks. Drivers itching to try out the new additions will have to wait until late June at the earliest, when construction is aiming to be completed. “It’s been 12 years since that was proposed,” said Councilmember Scott Bracken in December, and it’s finally coming to fruition. For the last four years, it’s been a slow process to get the intersection ready for the current construction. In May 2015, former Public Works Director Mike Allen reported that appraisals had been delivered to property owners around the intersection. Almost a year later, in April 2016, Allen was still working with surrounding property owners and ensuring the correct right-of-way to allow the construction. Another entity was involved with the intersection widening at that time. In preparation of the widening, Rocky Mountain Power had to move their power poles back from the curb. In summer of 2016, those new poles had been ordered and the realignment construction began a year later. “Widening is the shortest part of the project, compared to the poles and the rightof-way needed,” said Allen on April 26. In that same year, the 2016 Fort Union Study Master Plan was published. It stated,
“the Fort Union Boulevard/Highland Drive intersection is no longer barren space that serves only to move cars through the area and collect stormwater, but is instead a major center of transit, pedestrian, and business activity.” Some major goals outlined for the intersection in the plan mentioned above include: improve pedestrian access; strengthen the open space connection between Mountview Park and the properties running east and west along Fort Union; explore access management; conduct a parking study on all four corners of the intersection to determine need and potential sharing; create visual design for
the intersection as the center of city, detailing how all four corners are tied in; redevelop older commercial properties that are needing assistance with permitting and inspections; consider shared parking facilities; and improve the bicycle movement in the area west of Fort Union with bike lanes, higher quality sidewalks, trail connections lighting and other amenities. In 2017, the former Cottonwood Heights City Council was working on ensuring the right-of-way and land acquisition. On Feb. 7 of that same year, they passed Resolution 2017-06, which authorized and approved the proceedings in eminent domain as necessary,
Widening of one of the busiest intersections in Cottonwood Heights is well underway. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)
which cost the city around $128,500 for intersection modification and road widening purposes. “This may be the first time we have to more forward with imminent domain,” said former council member and current Mayor Mike Peterson. “It is critical to move forward with this.” During the 2018 calendar year, many of the public works conversations mentioned the intersection in some capacity. On June 12, Public Works Manager Matt Shipp reported that the project was out to bid. A few months later, on Sept. 11, he reported that the bid was completed, and the public information process was beginning. “It will be impactful for traveling residents,” Shipp said. Funding for this project is being pooled from multiple sources. On June 19, 2018, the Cottonwood Heights City Council voted unanimously to approve an interlocal agreement with Salt Lake County for a grant of over $3,000 in Corridor Preservation Funding. Now, in 2019, construction is under way. Residents and commuters will experience traffic delays due to the intersection construction until June, at the earliest. Drivers are already experiencing frustrations, as many of have been trying to cut through the Dan’s parking lot. There is now signage urging drivers not to cut through the surrounding parking lots. Especially since cutting through parking lots is illegal. To stay informed on the construction details and progress, join the email list by emailing UDOT’s Public Information Manager Amalia Deslis-Andrews at adeslis@ utah.gov with “Highland Dr.” in the subject line.
April 2019 | Page 11
No ranked choice voting for Cottonwood Heights this year By Cassie Goff | firstname.lastname@example.org
n January, we reported the Cottonwood Heights City Council voted to approve ranked choice voting within the city, as their last official action of 2018. The anticipation was that residents would be able to take advantage of ranked choice voting in the 2019 election. On March 5, City Manager Tim Tingey reported ranked choice voting will not be available for this upcoming election. Since Salt Lake County facilitates voting for over 15 different cities, including Cottonwood Heights, West Valley City, West
Jordan, Murray, Midvale, Riverton, Sandy The county still needs to purchase the voting. “It’ll be two years from this upcomand Salt Lake City, among others, the county appropriate equipment, among other tasks, in ing election,” said Tingey. will not be prepared to utilize ranked choice order to be ready to facilitate ranked choice voting this year. “We could go to another county,” Tingey informed the city council, “but our recommendation would be to work with the county and not implement ranked choice voting.” Mayor Mike Peterson expressed that the council understood this had always been a possibility. “The vote was subject to making sure the county was on board and ready to facilitate.”
Ranked choice voting gives voters the option to choose their first, second and third preferences for every item on the ballot. (Photo courtesy of the City of Minneapolis)
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No matter the language — happy birthday to what parents, educators say is a successful program By Julie Slama | email@example.com
At Draper Elementary in 2017, second-graders performed the traditional fan dance as part of school’s annual Chinese New Year celebration. (Julie Slama/City Journals)
日快 — bon anniversaire, feliz cumpleaños — happy 10th birthday to the dual-immersion program at many Utah elementary schools. Eleven years ago this legislative session, former Gov. John Huntsman signed Utah’s International Education Initiative into law, funding dual-immersion programs in Chinese (Mandarin), French and Spanish beginning in the 2008–09 academic year at 15 elementary schools, including some within the Salt Lake Valley communities. Since then, German, Portuguese and Russian have been added as the number of Dual Language Immersion (DLI) schools soared to 224 programs from St. George to Logan, reaching 43,000 students, said Jordan School District Elementary Dual Language Immersion Content Administrator Michele Daly, who oversees her district’s nine elementary programs. Principal Scott Jameson, who recently was moved to a DLI Spanish elementary in Sandy — Alta View — said he immediately could see a benefit for students. “It gives kids a chance to be challenged,” said the principal in Canyons School District, which houses eight elementary DLI and 11 secondary programs. “They put in a great effort in school, especially with the opportunity to learn Spanish while studying math and science. They are learning to persevere, even if it’s difficult, and develop that skill and a language they can use their entire lives.” The start Elementary DLI programs in the area are 50/50 immersion programs where students spend half their school day learning in the English language and half the day learning math, science or social studies in the target language. There are two teachers, one who teaches in English, and one who only speaks the language to students after the ini-
Page 14 | April 2019
They’re able to put those together in simple sentence structure so it’s easier for them to speak. By the time these students are in third and fourth grades, most surpass their peers academically in both languages and are able to converse in Chinese,” she said. Colleague Christina Ma said she’s been impressed at the level of her fifth-grade students. “They’re at the intermediate level where they can talk about places they want to travel or food they want to eat and even debate and express their opinions,” she said. While she may use easier vocabulary for students to understand science concepts — “science has harder vocabulary” — Ma said they are able to pick up math easily and understand their equations of multiplication, division and fractions. “Research has shown that these kids aren’t losing their math or English skills, but just learning another language alongside them,” she said. The State DLI website supports that claim, stating that “immersion students perform as well or better than non-immersion students on standardized tests of English and math administered in English.” It continues to say DLI students develop greater cognitive flexibility, are more attentive, and have better memory and problem-solving skills. Ma said her students are proactive learners. “The students practice talking, even if it is to a parent who doesn’t understand or a stuffed animal. If they have siblings who speak the language, they’re even going further,” she said. Mike Ward has his children in Chinese dual immersion at Ridgecrest Elementary in Cottonwood Heights. “Dual immersion is remarkable,” he
said. “By the time they’re in third, fourth and fifth grade, they understand and are speaking quite fluently. I can’t understand Chinese, but my third-grade daughter is understanding what her older brother is saying.” Monte Vista parent Carrie Newbold agrees to the benefits of siblings conversing in the language. “I love the opportunity my kids have to share with each other and talk outside of class,” she said. “It’s made the school schedule easier to have everyone on the same track and same schedule.” Newbold also said students have created a bond with their classmates. “These kids are together from first grade all the way through. They form a family because they’re in it together. We have friendships with parents, who band together to help welcome the Chinese teachers. Many parents can only help in the English classrooms since they don’t know the language, but we do what we can to help them settle in. It’s just a powerful experience for these kids to learn and have a better understanding of the culture,” she said. To every advantage, there can be a disadvantage. At Lone Peak Elementary, Kristy Bastian has her younger children in the program, but her seventh-grader was not admitted because of not enough space, she said. “They take siblings first and since there is limited room, he didn’t get in,” she said. “He wanted to learn and needed the challenge. It’s an incredible program, but frustrating when there isn’t a benchmark test or anything to help students get in.” With many elementaries, parents need to apply in February before first grade for the program. Applying doesn’t mean guaranteed entrance as many schools have a wait list. While there is no test to enter, preference is
tial months when first-graders are enrolled in the program. First-grade English teacher Michael Vierra at South Jordan’s Monte Vista Elementary said the popularity of the DLI program has grown and he is teaching 25 to 28 students per class. “I reinforce what students may not understand initially in Mandarin, but they quickly learn and have an awesome experience learning a language, usually from a native speaker and teacher,” he said. “They become independent very quickly and realize if they don’t know how to do something, they have to be able to learn and express it in the language.” Many of the DLI language teachers are on a visa to teach in Utah, meaning that there is a turnover; so English teachers help them learn the ins-and-outs of the program, Vierra said. “There always is some adjustment from how they teach in China or Taiwan, and they have to learn to American style of living, but the benefits of having a native teacher outweigh any challenges,” he said. Eastlake Elementary, in South Jordan, like many schools, have host families help DLI teachers from China and Hong Kong set up their housing, transportation, banking, and get their social security cards and driver’s licenses when they arrive a couple weeks before school begins to attend state dual-immersion training. “They’re usually on a three-year contract so there is a constant learning curve,” second-grade teacher Teresa Wang said. “They learn to teach more interactive, bring in their culture, not just give lectures.” In her own classroom of second-graders, Wang focuses on childhood activities. Last year, Midvale Elementary fifth-graders perform “Chinelos de Morelos” during the school’s third annual “Kids are getting a broad vocabulary Cinco de Mayo celebration. (Julie Slama/City Journals) of daily words that help with conversation.
Cottonwood Heights City Journal
given to siblings who have someone already enrolled in the language program. Entrance generally is limited to first grade, although if a student transfers from another DLI school or shows proficiency, Daly said there have been exceptions in Jordan District. Eastlake’s Wang agrees the fast-paced program isn’t for all students. “Some kids can’t pick it up and struggle tremendously. They need a strong base in their first language. It can be common for those with learning disabilities to not do as well, but it’s up to the parents to decide to apply to enroll them,” she said. Megan Morrison, who has a son at Lone Peak and feels lucky her third-grader has “an amazing opportunity,” said she may not enroll a younger sibling because she doesn’t see it as a good match for him. “He isn’t at the level of other kids and I can see with speech problems, he could be frustrated learning Chinese. I don’t want to take an opportunity away from another student,” she said. Secondary DLI As the first DLI students progress through school, dual immersion is added to that grade, meaning many of those first-graders in 2008–09 are now juniors in high school and have fast-tracked to take the AP Spanish exam to earn college credit. Murray School District Assistant Superintendent Scott Bushnell said that upon successful competition of the AP Spanish exam, students can begin the Bridge Program, a partnership with public and higher education, which was supported by SB152, that awarded $300,000 to the University of Utah to launch the program. At Murray High, sophomores, juniors and seniors enroll in a team-taught course, with both a University of Utah professor and a Murray High teacher instructing the coursework. “Students are able to complete upper-division language coursework and can finish their senior year of high school two courses shy of a minor in the language,” he said. Jordan’s Daly said their comprehensive abilities are “amazing.” “Their proficiency levels are so high, they are truly immersed and have that high level, they’re so lucky and don’t realize the gift we’re providing,” she said. Morrison has a student who has been in the program since first grade and currently is a sophomore at Alta High in Sandy. “It’s a unique opportunity for him to be learning from a University of Utah professor in his high school class. He’s had incredible experiences as the program has developed and I’m just amazed at what he’s accomplished in the 10 years,” she said. However, Midvale Middle School Chinese teacher Karma Lambert said students can still learn languages if they don’t enroll in DLI. “You don’t have to start in first grade,” she said. “Students who begin learning in sixth, seventh and eighth grades are still
quick enough to learn languages and be able to carry on basic conversations in the language by the time they finish middle school. In general, they won’t be as far as long as their dual-immersion peers, but they can still learn the language and have those positive cultural benefits.” DLI benefits When Sarah Erwin’s family was looking to move into the Sandy area from St. George, she looked for a DLI Chinese school. They selected the Lone Peak neighborhood so her kids could learn Mandarin. “I speak Mandarin and at the time, St. George didn’t have dual immersion,” she said. “My kids needed more challenge and there are tremendous benefits of learning a second language.” Ridgecrest Elementary parent Brooke Moench said she has seen great progress academically for her children. “They tend to learn at a higher pace, and so, they have kept on task,” she said. “The teachers are ensuring students are learning by reteaching and reinforcing in English what they learn in Chinese so the languages are supporting one another.” Many parents, teachers and principals point to cultural benefits as school programs may include celebrating Chinese New Year or Cinco de Mayo or even having a word of the day for the entire student body to learn, or rooms, such as the library or cafeteria, labeled in the target language. Canyons District’s Butler Elementary students who are studying French immersion not only sample macaroons and learn about impressionism and Claude Monet and other parts of French culture, but they also get a taste of other countries’ culture, art and music during its annual World Night. Last year, for example, students wrote their names in Arabic, made Native American replica pots, learned about typical life in the Fiji Islands and more. “It’s important that the community opens our eyes and celebrates our diversity,” Principal Jeff Nalwalker said. At nearby Midvale Elementary, students celbrate Mexican Independence Day, Dia de los Muertos, Cinco de Mayo, and Mother’s Day with cultural activities, food, dances and song for the entire student body. “As a whole school, it’s important that we are learning other cultures, and are inclusive,” Principal Chip Watts said. Murray District spokeswoman D Wright said she also has seen culture be introduced in the district’s Spanish DLI classrooms. “I have visited in the Horizon DLI classes many times and see ongoing examples of music, dance and art integration through fun and captivating activities,” she said. “I also see exposure to a variety of related ethnic foods and culturally related holidays incorporated into the awareness and curriculum in the grades.” Several Chinese schools celebrated the Year of the Pig during Chinese New Year festivities that included programs, activities,
food, singing, dancing, acting and learning the history of the celebration. Some schools also celebrate the Moon Festival in the fall. Erwin said her school’s Chinese New Year program, offers all students an opportunity to learn about culture. “It’s a fun time to explore another culture and for the whole school to come together,” she said. Monte Vista parent Corby Robins said the opportunities her second- and third-grader have had in DLI have been impressive. “The teachers are top notch,” she said. “They teach about the culture and pique students’ interest in China through food, games, stories and telling how they celebrate holiday with the family.” At Midvale Middle School, eighth-grader Eric Snauffer said, “it’s the best day of the year” as he learned to make Chinese dumplings with classmates afterschool. K-12 Chinese outreach coordinator Shin Chi Fame Kao, of the Confucius Institute at the University of Utah, said they support many cultural Chinese events at schools, and have even given grants to the first schools who had Chinese programs, including Canyons’ Lone Peak and Draper elementaries. “It’s important that children learn these customs of China as they learn the language,” she said. “It’s a time to understand families and communities celebrating together.” Lone Peak Principal Tracy Stacy said there is value in understanding other countries’ culture. “When children understand and value each other’s differences, it allows them to not only see differences and accept them, but also appreciate the way we are all similar,” she said. Eastlake Principal Suzie Williams agrees. “I love the culture piece dual immersion brings to our school,” she said. “It draws families together who are interested in their children becoming bilingual. Even if the parents aren’t versed in the language, they’re learning words and customs from their children. It isn’t a classroom where they sit and listen to the language. They’re learning the vocabulary and language while involved in enriching, engaging cultural activities.” The future of DLI Many programs continue to add a grade as DLI students progress, like in Murray District. However, there are no plans to expand to another language at another school at this
time, Bushnell said. “In a district our size, a cohort of 60 students allows us to run two elementary classrooms of 30 DLI students in each class,” he said. However, at nearby Midvale Elementary, there are plans to expand the classes, Watts said. Currently, about one-third of the school is enrolled in the Spanish DLI program and he said there are plans to increase that to twothirds. “Our data shows that students are achieving better in reading and math, and at the same time learning Spanish for those who are not already Spanish-speakers,” he said. “The language development as they learn a second language is helpful as they practice their native language. It’s a very engaging program for our students.” Alta View’s Jameson appreciates the DLI program in its entirety. “The DLI was created as a comprehensive pathway so students in elementary can continue in middle school and high school. It doesn’t just stop, but it prepares students for their future, for global careers,” he said. Jordan District’s Daly agrees. “We’re preparing them for the global market and job opportunities in the 20th century,” she said. “They’re learning language skills, as well as an awareness and appreciation of different cultures.”
During Butler Elementary’s World Night in 2018, students were read books to them at Monet’s Story Garden. (Julie Slama/City Journals)
Award winning program Canyons School District recently received the Melba D Woodruff Award for Exemplary Elementary Foreign Language Program from the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. The district was chosen to receive the national award to honor the program that aligns with the World-Readiness Standards for Language Learning curriculum, has proficiency targets set for each grade level, and has teachers that are highly qualified, lifelong learners.
April 2019 | Page 15
RSL, Utah Royals owner gives Canyons teachers $350,000 for classroom supplies By Julie Slama | firstname.lastname@example.org
RSL and Utah Royals owner Dell Roy Hansen is all smiles, as is his golden Royals court (aka Sprucewood students), at the school’s assembly to celebrate Hansen’s donation that funded teacher grants. (Julie Slama/ City Journals)
hen Denise Haycock talked to Real Salt Lake and Utah Royals professional soccer teams’ owner Dell Loy Hansen, the Canyons Education Foundation development officer didn’t know it would result in Canyons School District elementary teachers being offered one-third of $1 million. Haycock introduced herself, and Hansen jumped right in with, “You’re going to want to know me. I like schools.” They met two days later, and then a couple weeks later, in January, they rolled out a plan where Hansen would fund elementary teachers $250 after they applied through the pilot program, Scoring for Schools. He also funded similar programs in Jordan and Alpine school districts, bringing the total to $1.2 million donated for teacher grants. “I couldn’t say no,” Hansen said. Two weeks later at the end of January, the teachers’ proposals were funded and schools were celebrating with their new classroom supplies in February — complete with RSL’s mascot, Leo, spraying students with silly string and several players from both RSL and the Utah Royals giving students high-fives. “He funded everything,” Haycock said. “This donation is the largest single gift the foundation has ever received and it’s making an immediate difference in classrooms in every corner of Canyons district.” Hansen, the president of Wasatch Property Management, said he realized he had a knack for building homes and business and not the family business of being a teacher. As a son, grandson, nephew and brother of teachers, the value of education is ingrained in him, so he committed to helping. “My penitence for not being a teacher is to take care of teachers.” By knowing his donation would go directly to classrooms where the money would make the most difference, he compared it to his three teams — the Utah Royals, Real Salt Lake, and its reserve team, Real Monarchs.
Page 16 | April 2019
“Just like professional soccer players, students need to train with the right equipment in order to score big in the classroom,” he said. “If a teacher needs something, we want to make it happen.” Midvale East Midvale Principal Matt Nelson, who challenged Leo to hand stands at a school assembly, said the grants gave the teachers a chance to be creative. “This was about more than what we needed; it could also be what these teachers have wanted in their classrooms,” he said. “For the kindergartners, it means puppets to learn with and in the upper grades, we have robotics. The grant allowed teachers to be creative and brainstorm for more, not to just have what is needed to get by.” East Midvale first-grade teacher Robert Carter, whose class hand-wrote Hansen thankyou notes, had his mind set on a rekenrek and other math tools. “This can help students learn quick addition and subtraction,” he said, adding that the students also learned a lesson in gratitude. Carter was one of more than 75 elementary teachers in the Midvale area schools who submitted Scoring for School proposals. All of them had their funding requests granted, including 100 percent of the teachers at Midvalley. “We have great teachers,” Midvalley Principal Tamara Baker said. “With the right tools, they can do magical things.” Utah Royals midfielder Erika Tymrak surprised Midvalley students with a visit — and a lesson. “I was bullied when I was in school, but I realized it’s OK for me to be different,” she said. “When kids realize we’re all in it together in elementary school, middle school and high school, and they learn kindness and respect, we all succeed.” At East Midvale, her teammate and goal-
keeper, Abby Smith, also shared she was bullied in middle and high school — and urged students to report it. “Bullying is not OK,” she said. “Say something. Figure out your friend group. These, like your parents, are the ones who should be supporting you.” Smith also focused on education. “Education is really important,” said Smith, who eventually wants to be a teacher like her husband. “Right now, whenever I can, I want to let kids know I support them and go give soccer balls. It may be super small to say hi, but it’s huge to kids.” Sandy In Sandy, more than 300 elementary teachers submitted proposals and received grants, including 100 percent of the teachers at Altara, Edgemont and Sprucewood. Several schools celebrated similarly to Midvalley and East Midvale, including Altara and Sprucewood, hosting Hansen and his players. Crescent Elementary had an assembly scheduled late February. Altara students were thankful for balance ball seats, books, science and math supplies and Royals T-shirts. They made a giant heart for Hansen that read, “Thank you for helping our little hands score big!” At Sprucewood, students applauded when teachers opened boxes containing magnetic place value math supplies, Megablocks and a car mat. They also cheered for their principal, Lori Reynolds, when she received an RSL jersey, which midfielder Tate Schmitt and defender Aaron Herrera signed. Schmitt shared with students about his desire to improve his soccer skills, starting in elementary school, and how he maintains a healthy lifestyle, eating high-protein foods and staying away from candy and soda pop. “It’s great sharing our healthy habits as professional athletes that these kids can use every day as students and student athletes to be successful,” he said. Herrera, who starts his game day with a healthy breakfast after a good night’s sleep, said he stays away from Hot Cheetos. “These kids are awesome,” he said. “Seeing the smiles on their faces makes it worthwhile.” Hansen also wanted students to recognize teachers. “I want to thank your teachers,” he told students. “Every one of your teachers cared enough to work a little extra to get some resources to come into your classroom to make learning a little more fun.” Draper More than 75 Draper elementary school teachers had their requests funded by Hansen. Willow Springs Elementary kindergarten teacher Jen Archuleta took advantage of the grant to help her students, two-thirds of them with disabilities, to gain art supplies and foam shapes that built an environment that appeals
to auditory, visual and tactile learners. “It was so much fun to watch my students’ faces fill with delight as we opened packages,” she said. “It’s been great to see how they are all playing together and finding ways to share so everyone gets a turn with the new materials.” Other Willow Springs teachers were granted a weather station, a fossil and rock collection, a Clark Planetarium field trip, interactive science supplies, headphones for iPads and writing tablets amongst others. Cottonwood Heights Ridgecrest Elementary teacher Katlin Jones knew how she could directly benefit her students, who sometimes need to move around to learn better — wobble seats for her wiggly third-graders. In her grant proposal, she wrote, “My students are creative, thoughtful and full of energy. They love to talk and share their ideas and I would love to give them a way to release all their energy while still focusing.” Her proposal — along with similar requests for bouncy yoga balls, cozy bean bags and portable lap desks — was among 76 submitted by Cottonwood Heights schools, which were fully funded. Districtwide, 74 percent, or 525 full-time elementary teachers, received funding from the Scoring for Schools grant-making program. Over the past 30 years, Hansen has donated more than $30 million to Utah public schools and colleges. He also gave every Canyons elementary student free tickets to a Real Monarchs game and a signed collector’s card. Utah Royals’ Smith said she supports Hansen. “He has a huge heart,” she said. “He wants to support the teachers in getting what the kids need and wants to get it for them now. The kids are the future of our country.”
Utah Royals goalkeeper Abby Smith poses with East Midvale students at an assembly to celebrate RSL and Utah Royals owner Dell Roy Hansen’s donation, which funded teacher grants. (Julie Slama/City Journals)
Cottonwood Heights City Journal
Sensible Solution to a Big Problem. By NOT Signing You Support: Housing Affordable to our Teachers and Police. Community Input That Forced Developer Concessions. Community Green Space. Existing apartments, condos, and commercial property Creekside Residences
Cottonwood Heights City
Build Apartments Where They Belong We’ve been going through the process of developing our “property, surrounded by apartments, for nearly two years. The
significant citizen involvement has helped shape the final project and forced the developer to make numerous concessions including a new public creek path for all. – Walsh Family
Paid for by Neighbors for Responsible Growth in Cottonwood Heights
April 2019 | Page 17
Bella Vista celebrates the surgeon of rhyming: Dr. Seuss By Julie Slama | email@example.com
Elected officials, police and firefighters, University of Utah women soccer players, about 15 Brighton high school student leaders and other community members came to support the 6th annual Dr. Seuss Day at Bella Vista, rotating every 15 minutes for 90 minutes to read rhyming tales to schoolchildren. Fourth-grade students smiled when Mayor Mike Peterson held up a picture of a Dr. Seuss character in “If I Ran the Zoo” with wild blue hair and he said, “If I had hair, that’s what I’d look like.” Fifth-graders laughed with DARE police officer Jeffrey Potter as he stumbled through tongue-twisters in “Fox in Socks.” Canyons Board of Education Vice President Amber Shill read one of her favorites, “Great Day for Up,” to inspire students to read more. “Reading is an important basic skill to have to be successful in life,” she said. Bella Vista Librarian Tamara Coombs, who coordinated the event, said not only do students benefit from listening to stories, but it also gives them a chance to see how reading is involved in community members’ work. “We wanted students to learn how reading helps them in their work so they can learn how it is important post-elementary school,” Coombs said. Principal Cory Anderson said the event kicks off preparation for their storytelling festival, slated March 19. Pictured are fourth-graders with Mayor Mike Peterson and City Councilwoman Tali Bruce. (Julie Slama/City Journals)
Heiden Orthopedic’s Dr. Gibbs
6360 S 3000E, Ste 210 Cottonwood Heights
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In a state that loves outdoor adventuring as much as Utah does, people are bound to break a bone or two. That’s where Heiden Orthopedics comes in. With locations in Cottonwood Heights, Park City and Tooele, Heiden has a topflight team of doctors who can get you back on the slopes in no time. Heiden’s newest doctor, Daniel Gibbs, M.D., brings with him a wealth of experience from the arena of high-level competitive sports. After graduating from medical school at Georgetown and completing his orthopedic residency at Northwestern, Dr. Gibbs completed a fellowship in sports medicine at the prestigious Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles. The institute helps many of the professional sports teams in the Los Angeles area get back on their feet following an injury. “I was fortunate to be able to work with a number of professional and collegiate teams. I was one of the team doctors for the USC football team, for the LA Kings hockey team and the LA Dodgers baseball team,” Gibbs said. “One of the most rewarding parts of this experience was being able to get these athletes the help they needed as
Page 18 | April 2019
Heiden Orthopedic’s Dr. Gibbs brings pro sports experience to Utah
quickly as possible.” That fast turnaround time is one of the things that drew him to Heiden Orthopedics. “That’s something we really try to do here at Heiden Orthopedics,” he said. “We
see a patient, figure out what we think the problem is, if they need an MRI or if they just need physical therapy, and we try to get that process solved in a couple days. I think that really is a service for the patient so they
can get better fast so they can get back to their activities and their work.” Here in Utah, Dr. Gibbs is more likely to be treating an injured snowboarder than a linebacker, but the satisfaction of seeing them get back to what they enjoy doing is just the same. In fact, Dr. Gibbs (a native Utahn) is an active skier himself, which helps him treat patients who incur injuries from any of the adventure sports that Utah has to offer. “I know what the demands of those sports are on the human body and so I think I have a unique perspective when it comes to getting patients back to doing the outdoors things that we have here in Utah—hiking, skiing, mountain biking, snowboarding, cross country skiing.” Dr. Gibbs and Heiden Orthopedics are committed not only to helping patients heal, but also making sure that they stay healthy and avoid future injuries. “That’s why I work so closely with physical therapists to help patients stay in good shape. That’s going to help them in the long run to avoid having to come see the orthopedic surgeon,” he said.
Cottonwood Heights City Journal
Bengals set Brighton High’s 50th anniversary events By Julie Slama | email@example.com
uring this school year, Brighton High Bengals are celebrating the school’s 50th anniversary, from winning competitions in wrestling and boys basketball against rival Hillcrest High to celebrating together at the school this July, and with the community, on a float at Butlerville Days. “We will have fun things to do, a timeline of all the major events that happened, decade tables with memorabilia displayed, a memory wall where students and alumni can write and post their favorite times at Brighton during the school celebration,” said Krista Cullimore, class of 1985, who is the 50th anniversary coordinator. The year-long celebrations began as the Bengals’ wrestling team beat nearby Hillcrest Huskies for the Battle of Ax, one of Utah’s longest-standing high school sports rivalries, followed by the Battle of the Jug between the schools’ basketball teams. “They play for a ceramic jug; it’s a traveling trophy. It’s kind of weird, but it was on a desk and they decided to play for it. There’s nothing symbolic or significant about it. It’s just kind of fun,” she said. The summer’s celebration will begin at 2 p.m. July 20 at the school, with the theme
pring is upon us, summer is on the way; and with warmer temperatures and (hopefully) blue skies on the horizon, drivers can’t blame slick roads or blinding flurries for their faulty driving anymore. Driving safely requires good driving habits. Habits. Not occasionally safe maneuvers. The following are some prudent practices to implement in your daily travels.
Brighton High students and alumni will come together this summer to celebrate the school’s 50th anniversary. (Logo courtesy of Krista Cullimore)
“Coming Full Circle: BHS 50th Celebration,” which ties into the familiar circular school design. “We want alumni to reunite with their
clubs and teams and meet the current members who are carrying on the traditions of the past. We want to include Bengal love stories, where our classmates met and married. We also will have profiles of successful Bengals, like a Hall of Fame,” she said. Also planned will be interactive stations, displays, photo ops, school tours, a program with a video and entertainment, and conclude with an evening stomp and socializing, she said. Food trucks are planned to be at the school during the day and evening. As part of the celebration, Brighton is forming an alumni association, under the direction of Mark Montague, who was both a former student and teacher. Currently, the association is wanting to create a registry. Cullimore said there will be events and meetings posted on a website. The first event the alumni association is planning is a service project to tie into the 50th celebration. “Brighton is the only high school in Cottonwood Heights, so we want to support our community and be involved,” said Cullimore, who also had a brother and two sisters graduate as Bengals. Although the service idea wasn’t set at
Safe Driving Habits
drove over a nail and didn’t realize it. We often don’t look at the tires on the passenger side since we don’t approach the car from that direction, checking regularly allows you to examine those opposite side wheels. It will keep your car’s handling in its best condition. Each vehicle can have different appropriate PSI (measurement for tire pressure), but when temperatures drop, so Blinkers and blind spots Driving 101. If you plan on changing does the pressure in your tires. lanes, let others in on your secret. Everyone Keep car maintained will appreciate it. Others want to know what Since you’ll be regularly checking the you are planning. tires, might as well keep regularly schedLikewise, if you see a blinker come uled maintenance on your car. This can range on indicating your lane is that car’s desired from oil changes to transmission flushes. destination, let it in. This isn’t the Daytona Simply checking windshield washer fluid or 500. We are not racing for $19 million. It is the antifreeze level in your car’s reservoir can common courtesy, if we want people to use prevent serious issues happening on the road. their blinkers, then we should reward them Wash your car especially after storms for doing so. or if you’ve parked under a pine tree where Remember the blinker doesn’t automat- birds can drop their white business on the ically assume safe passage to the next lane. hood or sap could drip onto the roof. Left And while your car’s sensors in the rearview untreated, these outdoor stains can ruin the mirrors are helpful, they are not omniscient. paint on your vehicle. Check your blind spot with your own eyes. Drive defensively There’s a reason it’s called a “blind” spot. This means keeping distance between
troubling and you probably shouldn’t be behind a steering wheel. Also you can’t always see what’s in front of the car before you. They may have to slam on their brakes due to an unexpected obstruction. If you rear end them, insurance rarely works out in your favor. This can also mean slowing down on wet roads or not weaving in and out of traffic. Distractions This is the No. 1 reason for accidents. This is not limited to using the cell phone, though texting, checking news alerts or making a phone call are all terrible decisions to make while driving.
press deadline, one idea was to do 50 projects for the 50th anniversary, which will involve current students as well as alumni. The alumni also will be selling original architecture renderings of the current school as well a chance to buy a brick as fundraisers, Cullimore said. The proceeds are earmarked to establish a Bengal scholarship program. Also on display at both the school and at Butlerville Days will be historical displays and virtual tours of the new school, which currently is being built on the existing site, 2220 E. Bengal Blvd., and is expected to open to students in fall 2021. “It will be a great school for students, but for us alumni, there may be a little nostalgia for the current school,” Cullimore said. “The new school will be technology friendly and have bright sunshine coming in. The circle design is hard to navigate and with interior classrooms, it can be bleak. It will be a new Brighton, with the same Bengal traditions.” For more information about the 50th celebration, go to the website at brightonhigh50. com, Facebook at Brighton High 50th Anniversary, Instagram: @brightonhigh50 and Twitter: @BHS50th
It also extends to dozing off or checking the price at the gas station you just passed. Be alert, stay vigilant. Other drivers may suddenly stop, they may not see you as you yield or turn. By staying engaged and sharp, your reactions can be sharper and you may even anticipate what other drivers are looking to do. One way to stay engaged is to vary your daily commute. Changing your routine alerts your brain, breaking you from the monotonous snooze you may find yourself after traveling certain routes hundreds of times. These habits are important and it is not overdramatic to say that they could save a life.
Tire pressure you and the car in front of you. This one is almost as simple as the first. Touching their bumper does nothing for Check your tire pressure on a regular basis you. And if you need to get that close to read to know if there is a small leak. Maybe you their license plate or sticker, your eyesight is
April 2019 | Page 19
Brighton off to good start in boys soccer as 2019 season heats up By Josh McFadden | firstname.lastname@example.org
he makeup of a high school team changes from year to year, but some things stay the same. Just take a look at the Brighton boys soccer team. Season after season, players come and go, and the Bengals are always competitive and are usually among the top teams in the state. Want proof? The Bengals have qualified for the state tournament every year this century. Brighton has advanced to the Class 5A state championship three times since 2011, losing all three in close fashion. Brighton won the 5A crown in 2008 and 2009. This season presents some challenges, as the Bengals lost several key players from last year to graduation. Brighton has to replace its top two scorers from a year ago, but this doesn’t mean head coach Brett Rosen doesn’t have talent and experience at his disposal. Senior forward Alex Frankhauser is back to help lead the offense. He scored five goals last season and five as a sophomore in 2017. Josh Loomis will team with Frankhauser up front. The fellow senior tallied three goals last season. Defensively, Brighton gave up just one goal per game in 2018, and some critical pieces of that unit are back this season. Goalkeeper Harrison Nuttall, a senior, had five
shutouts in the net last season. Rosen expects more of the same from him. Also, defender Walker Schwendiman, a junior, will bolster the back line for the Bengals. Last season, Brighton won the Region 7 title by going 8-0-2. However, the Bengals came up short in the 5A state tournament, losing in the semifinals to Viewmont 1-0. Brighton’s 2019 campaign couldn’t have begun much better. Despite playing with a collection of new varsity starters, the Bengals won their first two games without a lot of trouble. The team picked up where it left off defensively a year ago, recording shutouts in both contests. Brighton first dispatched Class 6A’s Lone Peak 4-0 on March 6 and then blanked Olympus 3-0 on March 8. Against Lone Peak, the Bengals scored three goals in the first half, putting the game away for all intents and purposes. Two days later, in the victory over Olympus, Frankhauser, Loomis ad Brixen Baird found the back of the net in the Bengals’ triumph. Nuttall got both shutouts. The Bengals host Hillcrest on March 28 for the final non-league game of the season. Region play starts for Brighton on April 9 when it entertains Jordan. The Bengals don’t
Sophomore Cameron Neely battles for the ball against Cottonwood High in region play last year. (City Journals)
have a road game until the second region contest of the season, an April 12 clash at Corner Canyon. Brighton will square off with its region foes twice each. The top four teams will
advance to the state tournament. Though Brighton captured the Region 7 title a year ago, runner-up Alta ended up winning the 5A championship.
Repeat performance? Brighton boys tennis team aiming for another shot at title
he Brighton high school boys tennis team had so much fun winning a state championship last year that coaches and players want to do it again. The Bengals claimed top honors in Class 5A last season, winning the state tournament by accumulating 20 points, seven more than second-place Woods Cross. Brighton returns some firepower from last year’s squad and has even added some newcomers to the roster to further strengthen its chances. “Our goals are to give 100 percent and hope for a repeat of our region and state title that we won last year,” said head coach Natalie Meyer. Junior Redd Owen is back to defend his individual title in first singles. He won his bracket last season, defeating his opponent in the final match 6-3, 6-4. Senior team captain Parker Watts was on the first doubles team that lost in the finals last season. He’ll likely team up at that spot with junior Mitch Smith, who was runner-up in second singles in 2018. Another senior captain, Justin Allen, made it with his partner to the state semifinals in second doubles a year ago. Meyer said he’d likely play doubles once again. “Each of these players brings an amazing amount of team spirit, tournament experience and state experience,” Meyer said. “All have been a part of Brighton tennis for years.” An influx of skilled freshmen has Meyer excited for this season and beyond. Davis
Page 20 | April 2019
By Josh McFadden | email@example.com Turley is one ninth-grader she is counting on to contribute. Plus, a junior, Jacob Simmons, who played first singles at the JV level last year, is looking to move up to varsity. “We’ve added some ninth-graders that come with top-level ability and will greatly add to the depth of our team,” Meyer said. After a long offseason, Meyer said she and her players are eager to face the challenge of defending their state championship. “We are as excited for our season as a child who is going to Disneyland for the first time,” she said. “Our team this year has a high level of respect for their coaches, each other and their opponents. They give 100 percent every day and are tired of the snow keeping them off the courts. They want to play.” Meyer said she loves the energy and enthusiasm her team brings to the court each day. “They live for tennis,” she said. “Every day of practice is exciting, and they work hard. I look forward to working with my amazing coaching staff and creating a dominant team that is a force to reckon with.” With a potent blend of experience and talent, there might not be much in the way of Brighton’s goals. Meyer said the biggest obstacle the Bengals will face will be avoiding injuries as well as handling the mental part of the game. “Keeping (the players’) bodies healthy and in one piece is one of our biggest chal-
Last year’s tennis team, seen here, saw all seven players reach at least the semifinals to claim the 5A state title. The Bengals are hoping for a repeat performance this season. (File photo by Ron Meyer)
lenges,” she said. “They play so much tennis, and it is easy to get an injury. We are also working on emotional toughness. Competing at this level for your high school brings an immense amount of pressure, especially at state. We have to be mentally tough and ready to battle. The teams we play against have top-level talent, and every match is tough.” Meyer is confident her players will rise to the occasion and do what it takes to be in a position to win another championship. Perhaps more importantly, she said the players enjoy
the game and enjoy being with one another. Ultimately, she’ll measure the quality of the season by how well the team bonds. “This season will be a success if all players can walk off the court each time they play and say that they gave their all, had fun and learned from their match,” she said. “I can honestly say each one of them plays with heart. The season will also be a success if they can gain lifelong friendships from their teammates and continue to teach the game to future generations.
Cottonwood Heights City Journal
Rough start to nationals trip ends on good note for Brighton cheerleaders By Josh McFadden | firstname.lastname@example.org
fantastic season got even better at the end of February for the Brighton High School cheer team. The Bengals took part in the JAMZ National Competition in Las Vegas, Nevada, placing second in their division among 200 of the top squads from across the country. Head coach Micah Worrell was thrilled with the accomplishment. “Overall, the competition went really well,” Worrell said. “Even though we didn’t take the title as national champions, I was impressed and extremely happy with how our team did. It’s still a huge accomplishment to go nearly undefeated all season and then to take second in the nation.” Brighton almost didn’t achieve second place at the national competition. In fact, the Bengals nearly didn’t make it to Las Vegas. Things started off on a bad note when the team’s flight was canceled. This turned a quick trip in an airplane into a grueling 12hour bus ride through the snow. By the time the Bengals finally arrived in Vegas, they found they didn’t have any practice rounds available because the event staff didn’t have enough people to cover all the stations (due to additional flight cancelations). To complicate matters even more, it was difficult checking into the hotel because credit cards weren’t working. “The trip was a complete nightmare,” Worrell said. Worrell worried that his team would be mentally burned out and exhausted after this fiasco. To their credit, the athletes shook off the disappointments and ordeals to put together fantastic routines. “The team stepped up and knew they were there to do a job, and they delivered,” he said. “It goes back to the mentality I try to teach all my athletes I work with: No matter what happens in practice, school or life, there are zero excuses for not putting your absolute best out there.” The competition was intense at the event. The smallest error could send a team far down in the standings. Worrell knew the team had to be at its best. Brighton’s athletes excelled and thrilled their coach. “What makes it memorable for me as a coach is when the team knows that they hit their routine and gave it everything they had,” he said. “The moment the music stops, you can see their faces light up, and the tears start coming because they are proud of their performance. They are proud of their team and all the hard work they put in to get there. That’s what makes all the practices, stress and chaos worth it to me.” It’s been a unique season, to say the least, for the team. Worrell stepped in and took over the team after the previous coach resigned in September. The unexpected change made the first part of the season hectic.
The Brighton cheer team has dealt with an early season coaching change and travel inconveniences during an otherwise successful year. (Photo courtesy of Micah Worrell.)
“The first month was crazy making the changes and getting the athletes used to our style of coaching,” he said. “At first, I think it was a shock for the team because of the level of intensity we were pushing them at practices, and they just weren’t used to that. But, they handled the overall adjustment well, and we had tons of support from the school and parents, which helped make for a smooth and successful season. Looking back at where we started to where we are now is night and day, and I couldn’t be more proud.” Success at the competition and during the season as a whole hasn’t come automatically for Brighton. Though the team has talent, Worrell said the Bengals couldn’t have performed so well in Las Vegas and couldn’t achieve their goals this season without the proper physical and mental preparation. “A lot of people don’t fully understand what it takes to be a cheerleader, especially one that competes,” Worrell said. “There is more to it than pompoms and yelling cheers. It takes hours of intense focus and practice to fine-tune every piece of the ‘machine.’ Just like other sports, our athletes need to not only be physically strong but also mentally and emotionally. I know without a doubt my staff and I pushed this team harder than any coaching staff before us. The team might have hated it (and us) at times, but they stepped up to the plate time and time again. It’s that work ethic that can be the defining factor of a championship team.”
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April 2019 | Page 21
Maximize that government paycheck
he due date for taxes is quickly approaching. The Internal Revenue Service wants all taxes filed by April 15. As many are still trying to file their taxes, either with a consultant or at home with online services, the question bouncing around in frontal lobes is: how can I maximize my tax return? Hopefully, you should have already prepared for this. Sometime last year, you should have ensured your W-4 was correct, checking that it was set to withhold the right amount. A common mistake professionals in the tax industry see is not withholding enough during the year; making it so you’re paying money back to the IRS in spring, instead of receiving money in return. So, if you haven’t checked up on the withholding amount prescribed in your W-4 for a while, now would be a good time to do so. One of the most effective ways to maximize your tax return is to claim dependents. In other words, have some minis. For tax purposes, the more children the better. However, if you’re not the paternal type, you might be able to claim your spouse, parent, or friend as dependent, depending on the situation, and the necessary evidence. Those dependents will probably need some shelter. Another way to maximize your return is to buy a house. Mortgage insurance is deductible! In fact, there are many items that are deductible including: charitable donations, med-
ical costs, prepaid interest, and education expenses. Remember when that clerk asked you if you wanted to round up your total to the next whole dollar, so the change could be donated to charity? Find that receipt. Even those small donations can be deducted. (I’ll be dumping out my shoebox of receipts all over my house, anyone else?) Go back to school! Refundable education credits can deduct up to $4,000 from tax liability. Additionally, families can deduct up to $2,500 on student loan interest. (That may not make up for rising tuition prices, but right now we’re only focused on maximizing that return!) That “credit” word. Pay attention to those. Tax credits subtract directly from your tax bill, while tax deductions reduce your tax bill in proportion to your tax rate: they lower the amount of income the IRS can tax. In other words, tax credits are independent. While you (and your recommended tax professional or software) are weighing out the credits and deductions, you might weigh standard tax deduction and itemized tax deductions as well. It may be the case that itemizing your deductions can help you get a bigger refund. Keep banking on that retirement. If you’re contributing to an employer-sponsored 401(k) or/and an IRA, that can help reduce your taxable income, maximizing your refund in return.
Lastly, make sure you make it to that retirement. Contributions to a health savings account (HAS) can also maximize your refund. As with any important documentation, check, re-check, and triple check. Make sure you’re submitting paperwork before April 15. Make sure everything, especially names and addresses, and spelled correctly. Take the time to read over all the paperwork one last time to ensure everything looks correct. You know, cross those t’s and dot those i’s. No one wants the dreaded phone call or letter from the IRS. Thank you to everyone who gave me guidance for this article! Wishing you energy and clarity to make it through the end of busy tax season!
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Life and Laughter—Hang me out to dry
fter happily drying our clothes for a decade, our dryer hit its tweenage years and started giving us the silent treatment. It would only work when we said magic words or used pliers to wrangle it into submission. I wasn’t ready to plop down several hundred bucks for a new dryer, so I suggested we string a clothesline in the backyard for fresh, sunny, natural drying. But with all the snow and the rain and the wind and the snow and the snow, I finally gave in. One weekend, the hubbie and I got in the car, girded our loins (I think that means we buckled our seat belts) and drove to the gargantuan furniture/appliance store where we were immediately attacked by suit-coated salespeople. They swarmed from everywhere. I thought, at first, they were zombies and impaled a couple of them with the leg of a kitchen chair before I realized my (understandable) mistake. One of them valiantly latched onto us, and the rest of them staggered back into the bowels of the store. Our salesperson/creature had mainlined 17 Dr. Peppers and hopped around us like a crazy ding-dong until we reached the appliance center. There were washers and dryers as far as the eye could see, which isn’t far because I’m pretty nearsighted. But trust me, there was a huge dryer selection. Mr. SalesCreature launched into his spiel. “I want you to have the dryer that your future washer will adore. Not the washer you have now, but the one you’ll want in two years.”
I explained we weren’t looking for an appliance matchmaker, but he continued. “You don’t want a dryer that will be mocked by your future appliances,” he said, as if he weren’t talking nonsense. “You want a dryer that will raise the standard of your home.” He’d obviously never seen our home. He guided us to the Drying Machines O’ The Future, detailing all the dryer features we never knew we needed. Throwing out terms like Wrinkle Shields, Quad Baffles and All Major Credit Cards, he described a Utopian laundry room where unicorns came to raise their young and clothes never smelled like mildew. We then learned about laundry pedestals; the crazy 12-inch tall invention that raises your washer and dryer by, well, one foot. “Why do I need my laundry machines on $300 pedestals?” I asked. “That seems like it’s setting a bad precedent for other appliances in my home.” “You won’t have to bend over to get your clothes,” he said, jumping in place. “They even have pedestals with a tiny washing machine to wash small loads, or to store cleaning products!” “Wouldn’t I have to bend over to reach that?” I asked. He blinked, then started again with the benefits of appliance pedestals, but I interrupted. “Look,” I said. “We have $300 in cash, $200 in collectible stamps, $123 in Kohl’s
cash and $67 in pennies. What can we get with that?” His face fell. He waved his hand in a vague direction that could have been behind him or downstairs, then walked away. We wandered until we found a machine that could dry our clothes. We purchased it and ran from the building, making no eye contact with any sales-zombies in the area. The new dryer is beautiful. It’s shiny. It’s not coated with lint-covered laundry detergent. It actually seems kind of haughty, so I’m glad we didn’t buy it a pedestal. We assure our old washing machine that it’s still a valuable part of our family. We hope positive attention will keep it working for a few more years, but it’s also in the tweenage stage, so I’m expecting tantrums and/or the silent treatment at any time.
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Cottonwood Heights Journal April 2019