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April 2017 | Vol. 14 Iss. 04

FREE UTAH FALCONZ WOMEN’S FOOTBALL TEAM opens season as defending champions By Carl Fauver | carlf@mycityjournals.com

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Since their creation three years ago, this Utah Falconz team has lost only one game. (Utah Falconz)

“These women are all former athletes and come from all walks of life,” Jolley said. “We have former rugby and soccer players, track runners, basketball and softball players, you name it.” The 52-woman Falconz roster has an 18-year-old, all the way up to a 45-year-old. “No grandmothers on the team,” Jolley said. “But lots of moms.” Cox became acquainted with the team while playing flag football at Sugarhouse Park. The former Dixie State University

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INSIDE

he best Utah sports team you’ve likely never heard of is about to launch its fourth season. In the previous three seasons they lost just one time, a championship game, by four points. “I’ll never forget that game,” Keeshya Cox said. “Sure, we’ve won all the rest …but that one still hurts. I never want that feeling again.” Cox is the star running back for the 31-1 Utah Falconz of the Independent Women’s Football League (IWFL). With league names like the Yellow Jackets, PhantomZ and Lady Crushers, IWFL teams compete coast to coast, from Maine to Montreal and Tampa Bay to Tennessee. The Murray-based Utah Falconz play their home games at Cottonwood High School. Last season Cox rushed for 1,364 yards in 12 games (113.7 ypg), guiding the Falconz to a blowout win in the 2016 IWFL World Championship in Charlotte, NC Utah beat the Minnesota Vixens 49-6. It was sweet revenge for the Utah women, whose only loss in three seasons came in the championship game the year before. The Falconz begin defense of their title April 8 in Phoenix. Their home opener is April 15 against the Sacramento Sirens. “I grew up watching football with my family and always wanted to be a part of it,” said team founder and owner Hiroko Jolley. “This is not a profit-making venture. I spend five to sometimes 10 hours a day coordinating team activities. But I love the game, so it’s worth it.” In this pay-to-play league, each team member is charged $800 to cover uniforms, equipment, travel expenses and referees. Coaches volunteer their time. Nearly every road game involves a long bus ride, though the trek to North Carolina was by air.

basketball player was approached after the non-contact football game by Louise Bean, the Falconz quarterback. “She told me about a brand new team that was just being formed and asked me to join her at one of their tryout clinics,” Cox said. “I loved it right away. This is not a rec league. It’s very, very competitive. It’s great for former collegiate athletes because many of us need something to replace that level of competition.” In addition to her nearly 1,400 yards rushing last season, the Missouri native Cox also scored 29 touchdowns. “Sure, I love carrying the ball, but it’s even more fun for me to assist

continued on page 4…

Power pole art entries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Indentifying budget priorities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Bella Vista Storytelling Festival . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 New Brighton baseball coach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

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LOCAL LIFE

Page 2 | April 2017

C ottonwood Heights City Journal

April 2017 | Page 3

Cottonwood H eightsJournal .com

Cottonwood art show highlights photography talent

The BooK of MoRMoN

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

Cottonwood Heights Team CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Bryan Scott bryan@mycityjournals.com EDITOR: Kelly Cannon kelly@mycityjournals.com ADVERTISING: 801-254-5974 DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING: Ryan Casper ryan.casper@mycityjournals.com 801-671-2034 SALES ASSOCIATES: Melissa Worthen melissa@mycityjournals.com 801-897-5231 Steve Hession steve@mycityjournals.com 801-433-8051 Josh Ragsdale josh.r@mycityjournals.com 801-824-9854 CIRCULATION COORDINATOR: Brad Casper circulation@mycityjournals.com EDITORIAL & AD DESIGN: Tina Falk Ty Gorton Cottonwood-Heights Journal 9500 South 500 West Suite 205 Sandy, UT 84070 Phone: 801 254 5974

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Spiritual & Temporal Witnesses Presentation

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fter overwhelming demand, the Cottonwood Heights Art Council hosted an art show specifically for photography. The pieces in the show were on display throughout the month of March at the new Cottonwood Heights City Hall. The winners of the show will continue to be displayed through April. Photography entries used to be a part of the arts council show in October. However, because of the high number of entries, the council decided to split the shows and have one just for photography. “There was a lot of interest in photography. This year, we’ve had more entries than we’ve ever had before. We had (106) entries this year,” said Kim Pedersen, the Cottonwood Heights Arts Council production manager. “We just didn’t have a place to hold both, to combine them and have a place where we could display everybody’s art. We decided to split them.” The main difference between the two shows, besides the medium, is the photography show is a judged contest with ribbons while the art show is just a display of art. “Not only did it give us a chance to kind of separately show the photographers’ work, but it also gave us a chance to do stuff with ribbons and prizes,” Pedersen said. The contest was judged by a local professional photographer who wished to remain anonymous. Pedersen said the judge has been a photographer for 20 years. Ribbons were awarded to the first, second and third place of each category. Categories included nature, portrait, architecture, sports, abstract, macro and humorous. Additional categories were best photo of Cottonwood Heights, best photo by a resident of Cottonwood Heights, best professional photo, best amateur photo, best child photographer for kids under the age of 12 and best youth photographer for kids between 12 and 18 years old. There was also a mayor’s choice award given by Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore. The winner of Best in Show was “The

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Over 100 entries were submitted to the photography art show. (Kelly Cannon/City Journals)

Red Aspen” by Kerry Jones and the winner of the Mayor’s Choice Award was Kevin Wellard with “Being Koi.” There were two choices for the People’s Choice Award. In first place was Tessa Halley with “Black and White Predator” and second place went to Jason Carlton for “Morning Flair.” The following entries won Outstanding Photo in their category: Rick Kramer for “To Honor — To Remember” in Cottonwood resident, Deb Conover for “Southwest Door” in professional, Gary Cabana for “Anticipation” in amateur, Ava Yazdian for “Limited Speed” for child under 12, Tessa Halley for “Black and White Predator” in youth 12–18 and Brent Howcroft for “Tranquility at Storm’s End” for taken in Cottonwood Heights. The following entries also won Outstanding Photo of a category: Rick Kramer for “A Scolding” in nature, Kerry Jones for “Endurance III” in landscape, G. Scott Hansen for “Prairie Grave” in portrait, Sammie Jensen for “Boston Skyline” in architecture, Logan Goldman for “Peddle Faster, I Hear Banjos” in sports, Jason Carlton for “Split Rock” in abstract, Steve Chambers for “Water Creatures” in humorous and Jeri Abel for

“Tiger Lily Tears” in macro photography. Pedersen said there are a lot of categories because they wanted to make sure there were enough so everyone had a chance to enter and have a category that would apply to them. “We have quite a bit that are by residents of Cottonwood Heights, which is exciting for us because we like it when our own residents participate in our programs. As far as architecture and sports, there weren’t many,” Pedersen said. “There were a few in each category. There were some in nature and the professional photography category. But for the most part, every category had at least two or three that were in there.” Pedersen said it’s important for the arts council to provide programs like the two art shows to help community members better appreciate art. “I think as people walk through the city buildings, I think a lot of people have taken note that there are a lot of great photographers,” Pedersen said. “I think for something like a show and contest like this, people don’t necessarily think of photography as art. So it’s changing the attitudes.” l

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LOCAL LIFE

Page 4 | April 2017

Introducing...

C ottonwood Heights City Journal

Call for art for power poles

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he Cottonwood Heights Arts Council is asking residents to submit artwork designs to cover power poles along Fort Union Boulevard. The six-feet-high pieces will be wrapped around 29 poles along the road beginning this summer. The idea for the art power poles came when the city began its beautification project of Fort Union Boulevard. “You can’t really make those power poles beautiful. They kind of came up with the idea and they came to the arts council and said we’d love to make these poles into something that would be beautiful when you drive up,” said Kim Pedersen, the arts council production manager. “They just turned it over to the arts council and said we think this will be very beautiful and they just kind of ran with it.” According to Pedersen, Brian Berndt, the director of economic development, and City Manager John Park were instrumental in getting Rocky Mountain Power on board with the project. “It wasn’t something that they were super for but they finally agreed,” Pedersen said. “It will be good and I think everyone is going to be pleased when it’s finished.” While there will eventually be 29 poles covered in art, the plan is to complete the project in shifts of five or six at a time. The artists whose work is selected to cover the poles will paint the poles themselves. The city will then coat the artwork in a car shellac to preserve it. “We might have to redo them in 10 years or whatever,” Pedersen said. “But we’re told if they are painted and then we seal them over with a car shellac, that will seal it and it should be good.” Artists should submit their design ideas through a submission form found on http://cottonwoodheights.utah.gov/community/arts. The arts council, in conjunction with the Cottonwood Heights City Council, will then select the five or six pieces to begin the project. “That work will go on for about three weeks from the last part of June into the first part of July,” Pedersen said. “Everything should be done and ready to go for Butlerville Days, which starts July 22.” The arts council is looking for something that is family friendly

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Residents can submit their ideas for art work that will cover poles on Fort Union Boulevard. (Cottonwood Heights Arts Council)

and appropriate to be seen from the road. “We want family-friendly images but other than that, there’s not really any other restrictions. It can be a picture or it can be more of a graphic image with shapes or colors,” Pedersen said. “It’s up to the artist and we really wanted to leave it for the artist to be creative and kind of show us what they can do and unless it’s not family-friendly and not something you’d want to see driving down the road, other than that, it’s wide open.” All submissions must be entered by May 15. Winners will be notified by June 8. For any questions, contact Pedersen at kpedersen@ ch.utah.gov. l

he Cottonwood Heights Police Department (CHPD) gains a little dose of Aloha this month. On Feb. 28, Sioape Lautaha was introduced to the Cottonwood Heights City Council as the newest CHPD officer by Police Chief Robby Russo. “Thank you, this is always a privilege,” Russo addressed the council and additional audience members as he invited Lautaha and his family to take the podium in the front of the room. “Lautaha spent the last 10 years with the Honolulu Police Department. He was introduced to us and we liked what we saw. He fits in really well with this police department,” Russo said. “We are the most diverse police department in the Salt Lake Valley.” When asked about himself, Lautaha was quick to express love for his family. “I have been happily married to my beautiful wife for 10 years. My son is 6 years old. My family and I are thankful for the opportunity that you have presented,” Lautaha said. “My wife and son are happy. As long as they are happy, I’m just the guy that goes to work.” Lautaha said it was an honor to work alongside the officers of the CHPD. He

worked in the Honolulu Police Department from 2007 to 2015 and said he never met nor shook the police chief’s hand during that entire time. “I worked in Honolulu County with 2,000 officers. It was divided into eight districts. The last place I worked was by North Shore,” Lautaha said. “Russo, I see every day; and he shakes my hand every day. He feels a little Aloha.” Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore asked Lautaha and his family why they moved to the mainland. “This is the first time moving out from Hawaii. It took a lot but it feels like home,” Lautaha said. He told the city council the story about how his in-laws visited Utah to attend a funeral, and never left. They quickly moved their family to Utah. Six months after that move, Lautaha’s father-in-law passed away. Now, his widowed mother-in-law lives in West Valley with three teenage boys. Cullimore then asked if he had noticed much difference between the departments. “Where there’s people, there’s bound to be crime,” Lautaha said. “It’s nothing different.” As Lautaha and his family turned to leave,

Falconz women’s football team …continued from front cover

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Hiroko Jolley founded and owns the Utah Falconz team. (Utah Falconz)

Keeshya Cox rushed for 1,364 yards in just 12 games last season for the Falconz. (Utah Falconz)

Elisa Salazar plays wide receiver and defensive back for the Utah Falconz. (Utah Falconz)

and mentor my teammates, and watch them succeed,” she said. Another of those former college athletes is Elisa Salazar, who played softball for McNeese State University in Lake Charles, LA. She’s now a wide receiver and defensive back for the Falconz. “What I love about the team is the effort our coaches make to get everyone into the games,” Salazar said. “In the championship game last summer, everyone had gotten in by the second quarter. I love playing myself,

but it’s also amazing to see my teammates do well.” The Falconz normally deploy a veer triple-option offense, primarily to offset their smaller size. Air Force Academy graduate Rick Rasmussen is their head coach. “He’s amazing,” Salazar said. “He doesn’t smile a lot, but he has a big heart. When he calls us out once in a while, it’s only because he wants what’s best for us.” Something must be working. Last season the Falconz outscored their opponents 621

to 40. Utah outgained the opposition in total offensive yardage 4,299 to 962. Tickets to their April 15 home opener at Cottonwood High School are $10 for ages 11 and up, $8 for seniors and members of the military. Kids 10 and under are free. “If people come out to see one game, I think they’ll like it,” Jolley said. “Our players take it seriously and work hard.” With 31 wins and only one loss, it seems to be working. l

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Lautaha is the newest officer of the Cottonwood Heights Police Department. He was introduced with his family to the council by Chief Russo. (Dan Metcalf/Cottonwood Heights)

Cullimore noticed a lei in Mrs. Lautaha’s hand. He asked if there was a tradition with this sort of ceremony. She nodded and the city leaders

encouraged her to complete the ceremony. She draped a white and green lei over her husband’s shoulders with a smile. l


GOVERNMENT

Page 6 | April 2017

By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com

By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com

In 2016, Kathie and Jim Hawkins Day was proclaimed. This year, they have coordinated a service opportunity to celebrate their recognition from the city. (Dan Metcalf/Cottonwood Heights)

“My mother was awarded the honor of Military Wife of the Year in 1973. I grew up seeing her and the other Navy wives serving each other while their husbands were stationed overseas, and also serving other countries through the Naval Relief Society. I guess you could say the apple didn’t fall far from the tree,” Kathie said. “It will be 15 years since she passed away in March and I just want to make her and my also late father proud to carry on their legacy of serving others.” One year later, Kathie and Jim continue to make a difference in many lives. With the continued recognition of Kathie and

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A cycle of service

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n the spring of 2016, the city of Cottonwood Heights proclaimed that April 12 would be Kathie and Jim Hawkins Day in the city. This dedication came as recognition for the service the couple has continued to provide for many years within the city as well as at local shelters. Kathie and Jim Hawkins will take advantage of their proclaimed day this year by providing a service opportunity for their community. Last year, some of the Hawkins’ neighbors suggested to the city that the couple should be recognized for the good they do within the community. The Cottonwood Heights City Council agreed and took the appropriate steps to make sure a day could be proclaimed and the couple could be recognized. “Occasionally a resident stands out,” Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore said on April 12 as he read the proclamation. It stated that Kathie and Jim Hawkins were to be recognized for their outstanding service within the community and their contributions to the city. Jim and his family moved to Cottonwood Heights in the 1970s. Kathie moved to the city when her father retired from his U.S. Navy career in 1977. Both Jim and Kathie have lived within the city ever since. “They enrich lives by providing selfless service,” Cullimore said, which includes hours gathering food, clothing and other donations for local shelters. “They have donated countless hours volunteering and providing for their neighbors and other residents of Cottonwood Heights.” Kathie witnessed community service throughout her childhood with her family’s involvement.

C ottonwood Heights City Journal

Jim Hawkins Day, the couple has decided to organize a service opportunity for Cottonwood Heights’ residents. “My husband and I were honored last year for good deeds done for our community. At the time, we had no idea they were giving us a proclamation stating that April 12 would forever be Kathie and Jim Hawkins Day,” Kathie said. “Well, by golly, we are taking advantage of this and organizing a food drive for the Utah Food Bank. A light-bulb moment hit when we realized we really could make a difference by taking advantage of this honor and serving the community.” “We decided on a food drive because we felt it was a great way to serve a lot of people through a simple act of community service,” Kathie said. “We live in such a wonderful community … and I know a lot of us feel like we can help.” Kathie has registered with the Utah Food Bank for this local food drive. Donation barrels will be dropped off at the Butler West Wardhouse, located west of the four-way stop. “We are asking for people to come by and drop off donations and help fill the barrels. The following day, the Utah Food Bank will pick up the food,” said Kathie. Any resident is welcome to attend and drop off items. Specific items have been requested by the Utah Food Bank, such as peanut butter, canned fruit, canned stews, boxed meals, macaroni and cheese and additional pasta. “We hope Cottonwood Heights residents will join us,” says Jim. The food drive will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 12 at the Butler West Wardhouse Building, located at 1355 E. 7200 S. l

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n Feb. 21, the four Cottonwood Heights City Council members sat down with the mayor, city manager and various department heads to discuss budgeting priorities for this upcoming year’s budget. This was their annual budget retreat meeting. City Manager John Park began by reviewing budget priorities from last year. Park wanted to establish which projects would need to be reconsidered and which had since been completed. Some of the priorities involved in this discussion were dog parks, city events, Fort Union Boulevard redevelopment, Golden Hills Park and the Cottonwood Heights Business Association (CHBA). Assistant City Manager Bryce Haderlie led a discussion about the citizen survey distributed in summer of last year. The survey was created, distributed and analyzed by Y2 Analytics and provided insight into resident opinions. The full report can be found on the bottom of the city homepage. Haderlie reminded the council about the top areas of complaint from residents and mentioned that a number of the complaints were services the city doesn’t control, as they are “noncity functions.” After some discussion from the council, Haderlie recalled one question from the survey which seemed to be most telling. The survey asked residents, “If Cottonwood Heights raised taxes and had $100 more from each citizen to spend to improve city services, how would you want to see the city divide your $100 among the city services?” The top three categorical answers for this question were city parks and open spaces, snow-removal services, and surface maintenance of city streets and roads. Haderlie asked the council what their focus would be if they put this information to use.

A survey by Y2 Analytics indicated that road maintenance is a major concern for many residents within the city. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)

The resident in question told Shelton they didn’t vote for the proposition because it had to do not with road maintenance or the Utah Transit Authority but with a tax increase. “I think we may underestimate how wide that thought is right now,” Shelton said. “A lot of people feel that until they see better use of the money we have allocated, they won’t give us any more. The news has not helped with that. We asked about raising taxes or cutting services — 59 percent of the people said cut services. That is a pretty decent number.” With that percentage in mind, Shelton said the most important issue facing Cottonwood Heights today is how to reduce taxes. “We don’t spend a lot of time talking about finding areas where we can spend less. Are there areas that we should deemphasize?” Shelton said. Cullimore recalled a similar discussion with a resident, who had told the mayor they didn’t want the city to spend money on Butlerville Days or

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Mayor Kelyn Cullimore said if they added up the things related to street maintenance, it would be the number one thing residents would want to spend new tax dollars on. Councilman Mike Shelton recalled a discussion with a resident about road maintenance and the consideration of Proposition 1 from the 2015 voting cycle.

other events; just keep road maintenance, fire and police. However, “there are those that care about quality of life issues,” Cullimore said. “There has to be an element of trust in your public leaders.” The city’s public leaders heard budget presentations from the various department heads, including Finance

Director Dean Lundell, Public Works Director Matt Shipp and Community and Economic Development Director Brian Berndt. Afterward, the mayor asked for each of the council members to rank their top 10 priorities. Some of those top priorities included competitive employee compensation, emergency preparedness, budgeting and location considerations for dog parks, signage for Mountview Park, completion of the Big Cottonwood Canyon Trail, maintaining a Pavement Condition Index (PCI) of 60-70 for all city roads, and economic development for the Gravel Pit, Canyon Centre and Fort Union Boulevard. “Parks, open spaces and trails (are a priority) based upon the survey; and as a special interest of mine,” said Councilman Michael Petersen. “There are lots of little things we could do.” Citizen communication was brought up by all of the council members and mayor as one of the most crucial priorities. In the discussion, funding for the city’s newsletter was considered. “Seventy-three percent of citizens get information from the newsletter,” Councilman Tee Tyler said. “I think a lot of them read it from cover to cover.” Road maintenance was also a crucial priority for all of the city leaders. They are asking for city staff to complete studies and find additional funding to help make the average PCI for roads higher within the city. The Cottonwood Heights City staff and council plan to emphasis updating and refining the five-year fiscal plan as well. This will include finding additional sources of funding for storm-water systems and editing an evolutionary budget. l

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GOVERNMENT

Page 8 | April 2017

Drive collects thousands of diapers By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com

The Cottonwood Heights Business Association held a diaper drive with the goal of acquiring 5,000 diapers. Cottonwood Heights resident Jessica Allen contacted her friends and family and gathered more than 1,000 for the drive. (Peri Kinder/Cottonwood Heights)

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C ottonwood Heights City Journal

hroughout the month of February, the Cottonwood Heights Business Association (CHBA) sponsored a diaper drive. They wanted to collect 5,000 diapers in one month to donate to the Road Home Midvale Shelter. The CHBA was able to utilize the website JustServe for this event. They posted about this volunteer opportunity on the website for residents within and outside of the city to view. This event was one of the first to use JustServe, after collaboration at the end of last year. Cottonwood Heights and its relative associations/organizations/councils will be promoting volunteer work and other events through JustServe. During the month of February, participants were encouraged to visit Cottonwood Heights City Hall, 2277 E. Bengal Blvd., anytime during business hours (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.) to drop off diapers. They asked that the donations be sizes 3-5, since the Road Home said those sizes were needed the most. Local businesses also stepped in to help the Road Home. Within the first week, AuctionIQ, a global IT and telecommunications consulting firm with headquarters located in the city, donated five cases of diapers in the requested sizes.

Bella Vista students recount stories at the Storytelling Festival

Businesses weren’t the only groups pulling in large quantities of diapers. Cottonwood Heights resident Jessica Allen was able to acquire over 1,000 diapers for the diaper drive, with help from her family and friends. For more information on the CHBA and their events, contact Business Development and Licensing Coordinator Peri Kinder at pkinder@ ch.utah.gov or visit the CHBA website at http:// chbusiness.org/. l

With generous donations from businesses and residents, the Cottonwood Heights Business Association was able to collect more than 6,000 diapers for the Road Home in Midvale. (Peri Kinder/Cottonwood Heights)

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By Rubina Halwani | r.halwani@mycityjournals.com

Families wait to hear “Where’s Your Mustache, Mr. Pringle?” (Rubina Halwani/City Journals)

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he Storytelling Festival, a new event, was held at Bella Vista Elementary on March 7. In the days leading up to the festival, students competed in a classroom contest. Approximately 20 student representatives read self-chosen stories from memory. Parents, grandparents and children of all ages attended the evening festival. “During the month of February we brought in several professional storytellers,” said Principal Cory Anderson. That was tied to the school’s Read Across America event. The principal also read a selection. “Each classroom teacher selected one or two representatives from their classroom to move on to the festival,” said Anderson. The representatives read stories in classrooms and other locations within the school. Readers ranged in age, grade and reading selection. While some read stories, others read shorter selections/poems. Many of the pieces were nursery stories, like “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” and “Jack and the Beanstalk.” Others, lesser known, were “Two of Everything” and “Three Little Pigs vs. Three Bears.” At the end of the evening, children grouped with family and peers to meet with the tiger mascot at the entrance of the school. Many families stood in line for a photo memory before heading home. Julie Jeffs, computer lab faculty member and designated photographer for the event, said this was the first year for hosting this type of the event at the school. As she visited the different stations, she said she was very impressed with the turnout of over 100 people for the event. Rebecca Randolph, a third-grade teacher, mentioned that each class had their own way of selecting students to read for the fair. Teachers selected some, while classmates chose others. “In my class, we researched fairy tales and fractured fairy tales, which are the other side of fairy tales,” said Randolph. She said her class voted on the best students (one boy and one girl)

to read at the fair. Visitors were allowed to watch a five- to 10-minute selection in one area and rotate to other reading stations to see different performances. Some members of the performing arts community were asked to judge each reading. Selected winners will then move on to the Canyons School District Story Weavers Festival on March 22 at the Administrative Building. The Canyons School District website notes, “Story Weavers is a storytelling showcase that engages students in the pursuit of literature and the arts and nurtures the preservation of the oral tradition of storytelling.” The district showcase will be a competition for K through eighth-grade students. Judging criteria for Story Weavers will focus on 11 aspects of delivery, such as poise, eye contact, pacing and voice expression. There is also judging criterion on story items like familiarity, uniqueness and flow. More information on the Story Weavers competition can be found on the school district’s webpage: http://csdsalta.weebly.com/storyweavers.html. l

Children take photos with the tiger mascot after the festival. (Rubina Halwani/City Journals)

April 2017 | Page 9


Page 10 | April 2017

EDUCATION

C ottonwood Heights City Journal

Happy Camper book fair generates free books for Butler Elementary By Rubina Halwani | r.halwani@mycityjournals.com

T

he Butler Elementary School community participated in a weeklong Scholastic book fair from Feb. 27 to March 3. The theme for the event was Happy Camper Book Fair: S’more Fun with Books. PTA members organized the event, which drew over 500 participants and generated more than $2,000 in free books. Scholastic developed the theme for the book fair. In the guidelines written on its website, Scholastic recommended participating schools decorate for a wilderness adventure.

“Invite students to take a hike deep into the book fair forest by transforming your fair entrance into a picturesque outdoor scene, complete with trees, mountains, and a night sky filled with stars.” Scholastic notes, “Invite students to take a hike deep into the book fair forest by transforming your fair entrance into a picturesque outdoor scene, complete with trees, mountains, and a night sky filled with stars. Decorate with camping signs, friendly woodland creatures, and even a faux campfire.” PTA members decorated the fair entrance at Butler with a camper. They also invited some special outdoor creatures from the local Scales and Tails, a traveling bird and reptile show. “On Tuesday night we had a special event where we invited Scales and Tails to come introduce us to some cool animals,” said Ily Murdock, PTA president elect. “We met snakes, tortoises, lizards and a tarantula — all things we could find if we were out camping. Jeremy, our Scales and Tails presenter, shared with us the secret that he learned most of the information about the creatures he brought to show us from reading books,” said Murdock. Jeremy Westerman, manager and education specialist at Scales and Tails, said, “We had a good turnout; by my estimate over a hundred, which then translated into a smash success in the book fair as well with many books flying off the shelf.” Scales and Tails is a reptile, bird and insect learning zoo/ travel show. “We do educational and entertaining animal presentations/ edutainment at schools from preschool to college level, libraries, corporate events, private events and state and county fairs,” said Westerman. Murdock said the school receives 50 percent of sales in credit from Scholastic. The PTA distributed the purchasing credit

Book fair committee (from L-R) Karen Packer, Tracy Jensen and Ily Murdock pose in front of the Happy Camper. (Ily Murdock/Butler Elementary PTA).

to students, teachers, media staff and volunteers. Credit may be used to buy books, posters or school supplies from the Scholastic catalog. “We give each student $5 credit to spend on a book. We have many books in the fair that are $5 and under for all reading levels. Many times kids can get a free book with their credit. Otherwise they get a $5 credit to reduce the price of the book they choose to read,” said Murdock. “I am always surprised that not every student uses their $5 credit we offer them. This year we had budgeted to spend $2,800 of our Scholastic dollars on our students and only $2,255 of that was spent.” Murdock also mentioned another drawback: the lack of French books, which would support the dual-language immersion program at Butler. Teachers were given $75 each and librarians $550 in spending credit towards item from the fall book fair. “Students love to find fresh new books in their classroom libraries,” said Murdock. “We love to place popular books in each classroom. You should see 4th- and 5th-graders get excited about the Ripley’s Believe It or Not books and the World Records Books. Reading books like that increase reading fluency and

help kids want to pick up more books that are related.” Murdock said the school sends teachers, volunteers and librarians to reading events organized by Scholastic to help build up a community of readers. Through these events, teachers can earn continuing education credit. Sales from this book fair raised an additional $3,200 in credit for the following school year. In a note to parents on the school’s message board, Principal Christine Waddell remarked, “The book fair was a success. Thank you Ily Murdock and all the volunteers that came in and spent their time on this.” l

Scholastic logo for the spring book fair. (Scholastic webpage)

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EDUCATION

Page 12 | April 2017

C ottonwood Heights City Journal

LOCAL LIFE

Cottonwood H eightsJournal .com

April 2017 | Page 13

Bella Vista Elementary invites guests to celebrate reading

Utah Islamic Center holds meet-and-greet

By Rubina Halwani | r.halwani@mycityjournals.com

By Keyra Kristoffersen | keyrak@mycityjournals.com

L

iteracy is a community affair at Bella Vista Elementary. Special guests helped the school celebrate Read Across America Day on March 2. “We had visitors from the (University of Utah) soccer team, NFL players, indoor football player, (Brigham Young University) representative, firemen, policemen, school board members and the local librarian from Whitmore Library,” said Principal Cory Anderson. The special guests rotated classrooms, spending five minutes in each location. All the volunteers read Dr. Seuss stories to six classes. There was even a special “Green Eggs and Ham” themed lunch, in honor of Seuss’ book. As mentioned in the Canyons School District press release, Kevin Curtis, a Utah native and former NFL player for the St. Louis Rams and Philadelphia Eagles, came to read Seuss’ “Hop on Pop” and “Fox in Socks” to children. “Anything to promote reading, the gateway to knowledge and a higher education,” Curtis said. “I was glad to be invited. It was a great opportunity.” Additional activities were planned throughout the week from Wednesday, March 1 to Friday March 3. For three days, the school held the spring Scholastic book fair. Tamara Coombs, media assistant at Bella

Special guest pose during the Read Across America Day. (Julie Jeffs/Bella Vista)

Vista, helped organize the activities for Read Across America Day. “This was a great opportunity to promote reading to our students and the importance of reading no matter what your future holds,” Coombs said. “For Grandparents Day, we had the grandparents come and eat lunch with their children. After that they were able to come into the book fair and look and buy books for their grandchildren.” She said the school made over 100 lunches for grandparents and several grandparents

brought their own lunches. “We probably had more than half of the student body have their grandparents show up and eat with them and share their love of books with them,” Coombs said. “It was an amazing morning and the students loved listening to the readers and asking them questions.” The Bella Vista website posted photos from Grandparents Day and Read Across America activities. “Dr. Seuss Day was a huge success,” said Anderson. “Thank you so much Mrs. Coombs

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(media specialist) for putting it all together.” This year marks the 20th anniversary of Read Across America Day. Sponsored by the National Education Association (NEA), schools across the country participate in a variety of festivities in celebration of literacy. In 1998, the NEA held its first Read Across America Day on the anniversary of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, March 2. The NEA website states, “Dr. Seuss’s skill with rhyme and whimsical use of nonsense makes his beloved books an effective tool for teaching young children the basic skills they need to be successful readers. When we celebrate Dr. Seuss and reading, we send a clear message to America’s children that reading is fun and important.” At the national level, LeVar Burton, host of the PBS Reading Rainbow program, spoke at an NEA roundtable about including more diverse literature in schools. Utah Education Association sponsored a special Read Across America Day celebration at the Utah State Capitol on Friday, March 3. They invited families to attend, meet with the Cat in the Hat and Curious George, watch a magic show, listen to guest readers, make crafts and tour the capitol. They also provided a free school lunch. l

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ince November, the Utah Islamic Center in Sandy has taken several Friday and Sunday evenings to invite the public to come and learn more about their Muslim neighbors, their history and their faith through a program called “Meet the Muslims.” “We encourage all questions. It’s better to get it from us, what we believe, what we practice, than to get it somewhere else,” said Shuaib Din, the imam for the Utah Islamic Center. As imam, Din is responsible for leading the prayers and acting as spiritual leader for his mosque. Volunteers from the congregation stood up to explain key aspects of Islamic belief and cultural practices to a packed room of mostly visitors. The presentation began with an explanation of the similarities between Christianity and Islam. “We bring people together to understand other people’s faith so they have better understanding and tolerance,” said Asim Shaiban, a member of the Interfaith Council at Utah Valley University. Sister Saba spoke of the core Islamic Articles of Faith followed by Brother Kasin explaining the Five Pillars of Islam, or basic acts of Muslim life. “Islam is about coming together and love,” said Kasin. Sister Shahid Safi discussed the wearing of the hijab, or head covering many Muslim women voluntarily wear, and its meaning as a barrier and protection, as well as reminder of behavior proper for a woman of God. The presentations concluded with Brother Junaid, a firstgeneration American-Muslim from Illinois, detailing Sharia Law and the true meaning of Jihad. “The overwhelming number of people of our faith do not

Afrida Nahain helps teach Jenelle and Monae Kingler how to wrap the hijab, a traditional woman’s headscarf, around their heads. (Keyra Kristoffersen/ City Journals)

agree or feel comfortable with the misrepresentation of a small group of extremists,” Junaid said. Junaid goes on to say that Sharia Law is meant to help maintain the daily and spiritual needs of those living in Islamic-controlled lands, but that some twist it and take it out of context. So much interest has been generated in the Meet the Muslims events since beginning in November that it was expanded to include programs every Friday in February to accommodate visitors. “I think it was really educational and I think I want to come back next year,” said Monae Kingler, a young attendee who

came with her mother, Jenelle Kingler. “My favorite part was watching them do the prayer.” After the presentations, a question-and-answer portion was conducted and questions about everything from women’s rights to differences between Suni and Shiite Muslims as well as the Sufi or mystical aspects of Islam were fielded by Din, Junaid and Maysa. “We have very good friends in our neighborhood who are Muslim and I was very encouraged to learn more about their religion because everything I’ve seen so far has been so peaceful,” said Jenelle Kingler. “This has been incredibly unifying.” Visitors were also treated to some traditional Middle Eastern foods to try, as well as lessons on putting on the hijab and pamphlets and literature on the Islamic faith. “On average, we’ve had about 150 people at each event and this is our 10th event,” said Din. “It’s good for us to visit each other’s places of worship and feel comfortable. If there’s a church that burns, Muslims should feel pain in their hearts, and if there’s a mosque that burns, Christians should feel pain their hearts, because we’re all in it together.” Thanks to donations and fundraising, the Utah Islamic Center is currently in the design phase on a new mosque project that would take them from their current small storefront in Sandy, which currently holds only around 200–300 members, to a brand new larger building in West Jordan. They are hoping to break ground in 2018. Information about the Utah Islamic Center can be found at http://www.utislamiccenter.org/ or by visiting the center at 9000 S. 225 W. in Sandy. l

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EDUCATION

Page 14 | April 2017

C ottonwood Heights City Journal

Fourth-graders get cookin’ for title of Future Chef

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The road to Orem: New coach brings toughness, respect for the game to Brighton baseball

By Aspen Perry | a.perry@mycityjournals.com n March 3, 24 fourth-grade students from throughout Granite School District filled the kitchens of the Granite Education Center (GEC) Café to compete for a chance to win the title of Sodexo Future Chef 2017. Sodexo Future Chefs is a national competition, which initially began with lunch managers and Sodexo chefs competing and then transitioned into kids cooking as a way to encourage healthy habits by incorporating the popular societal response to becoming a chef. “There was such a movement in society where people wanted to become chefs, and it was a career path choice … seems to bring out a lot of fun for the kids,” said Jeff Gratton, Sodexo executive chef for Granite School District. Granite School District contracts with Sodexo to manage the food program that feeds 66,000 students, according to Rich Prall, director of food services with Granite School District. For the Future Chef 2017 competition, more than 200 students submitted recipes based on the requirement of making comfort food healthy. From those 200 recipe submissions, 24 students were chosen to compete and were judged on the following criteria: healthy attribution, kid appeal, ease of preparation, plate presentation, originality and taste with a winner in each category. The first-place winner will go on to compete in the regional championship, with the regional winner moving on to the national championship. In 2016, Elk Run Elementary student Madysun Christensen was the Sodexo Future Chef national winner with her ‘boil-in-a-bag omelet’ for the healthy breakfast challenge. When asked what Madysun most enjoyed about being a past winner, she responded, “Meeting all the good people that work here.” The kitchens at GEC Café were a flurry of activity as each student prepped their meals and guided their sous chefs — cafeteria managers of their school, or Granite Technical Institute Culinary students for the competitors whose school cafeteria manager could not compete. Many future chefs prepared family recipes they had improved upon. “This is like my great-grandma’s recipe. My mom made it a lot when I was little,” said Mara Keller from Morningside. Mara named her dish “Grandma Elsie’s Stuffed Bell Peppers. When asked what she enjoyed most about cooking,

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Toby Fairbanks makes “Ninja Turtle Power Juice.” (Aspen Perry/City Journals).

Mara Keller makes her dish, “Grandma Elsie’s Stuffed Bell Peppers.” (Aspen Perry/City Journals)

Mara said, “(I) love doing this myself, and all the good smells.” Competitors and their sous chefs were required to prepare 50 samples of their dish, as well as a presentation plate for the three judges to critique. Once the judges finished their critiques, families were allowed in for tasting. For some student chefs, the reaction of tasters was as much fun as cooking their dish, as Connor Campbell of Elk Run Elementary said of his “Swiss Chicken and Rice.” “My favorite part was when the judges came around; they were nice and liked my food.” When judging and tasting was complete, competitors and their family filled the announcement room, eager to hear the winners be announced. Toby Fairbanks of Oakwood was given the award of healthy attributes for his “Ninja Turtle Power Juice.” Mara Keller of Morningside was awarded the category of kid appeal for her great-grandma’s stuffed bell peppers.

Kenzie Sheppick of Academy Park earned the award for ease of preparation for her jalapeño nachos. Janet Crane of Whittier was awarded best plate presentation for her apple pie rolls. Conner Campbell of Elk Run took the award for originality for his Swiss chicken and rice. Madelinn Peterson of Oakridge won the award for taste for her ground-turkey shepherd’s pie. The first-place title went to Rachel Adair of Monroe for her family recipe she named “Rachel’s Fantastic Mole Chili,” a dish that started as one of her favorite dinners her mother made. “It is her favorite meal, so she learned how to cook it on her own and took it over,” said Jeannie Adair, Rachel’s mother. Rachel beamed with pride as she accepted the first-place trophy. She will now cook in the regionals for a chance to enter the national competition. l

righton High’s baseball team had a tough 2016 season, but not because they were a particularly tough team to play against. In fact, they were the second worst team in 5A with a 4-21 record. After the season, Brighton decided to move on from head coach Jonnie Knoble. Brighton chose to replace Knoble with Andy Concepcion, a Las Vegas transplant who spent the last 20 years coaching club ball. “I just got here,” Concepcion said. “I moved here from Las Vegas about six months ago and took over the program here at Brighton. I’ve been in Las Vegas coaching scout ball, club ball for the last, I don’t know, 20 years or so.” One thing that makes Concepcion stand out from other coaches is his experience. “Been coaching baseball, been around baseball my whole life,” Concepcion said. Some of Concepcion’s most valuable baseball experiences happened in Puerto Rico where he played for a couple years as a young adult after his parents moved there during his senior year of high school so his father could umpire for and eventually manage a professional baseball team. “I’ve been exposed to a lot of MLB guys,” Concepcion said. “(I) played baseball in Puerto Rico. I got to see a different side of the game you know. Just game awareness being around a lot of talent and the coaches that I’ve coached with.” In Puerto Rico, Concepcion played catcher and third base in an amateur baseball league similar to American Legion or Connie Mack programs in the states. “It was the greatest baseball I’ve ever seen in my life down there,” Concepcion said. Playing in Puerto Rico taught Concepcion some unique lessons. “I think (playing in Puerto Rico taught me to) respect the game,” Concepcion said. “More appreciation of the game because down there on the island that’s their way to get off the island. It’s their ticket to get out of there to go to America and be able to play, you know, and make the money they can or get a scholarship they can. Just a really big appreciation for it, you know. Because there it’s life or death down there to play.” This same respect for the game is one of three main things that Concepcion

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Coach Andy Concepcion speaks to his team before their first preseason game of the year on Saturday, March 13. (Andy Concepcion/Brighton Baseball)

asks of his players. The other two are hard work and discipline. Concepcion’s players have recognized his efforts. “Our coaches are willing to work with us and put in the time necessary to make us better,” said senior shortstop Bennett Roundy, who is one of the few players returning from last year’s team. Concepcion has brought a new attitude to the Bengals this season. “I’ve been excited to come to baseball,” Roundy said. “I’ve been excited to come practice and work hard.” Concepcion doesn’t know what other teams in the state are like but said that his team is very young. “We have a few juniors and we only have about three seniors, but they compete, they work hard, they grind out games,” Concepcion said. “They’re tough.” The younger players are some of the players Concepcion is most excited about. “We have a lot of top freshmen coming in and I think they’re going to compete for starting varsity spots,” Concepcion said. To help these young players, Roundy has stepped up by teaching and leading. “I think our team’s strength is the leadership of our shortstop — he’s been playing the game many, many years,” Concepcion said. “He’s been a great leader for the younger guys. He’s taken a couple young guys under his wing and helped them out tremendously. I think the advantage we have is that we’re young. We’re going to get this experience that you normally don’t get until your junior

or senior year. So, some of these guys get exposed to playing right away.” On March 11, the team had their first preseason game of the year and shut out their opponents 12-0. “That’s the first time that’s happened in three years here at Brighton,” Concepcion said. Roundy said the team played well because they played together as a team. Concepcion was proud of his team’s play and listed several players who stood out. “Alex Zetler pitched a great game the other day,” Concepcion said. “He’s one of our guys to watch out for. You have Austin Simpson, he’s another one of our guys that did really well. (He) dominated. Alex Hansen, he’s a sophomore. Jaeger Spencer, sophomore catcher who had tremendous game. You have our senior leader and team captain Bennett Roundy our shortstop. He’s very, very solid.” Even though Concepcion has a young team, he wants his players to know they’re shooting for the ultimate goal of a state championship, so he’s adapted the NCAA slogan “the road to Omaha” to the “the road to Orem,” where the Utah State Baseball Championship is played. “We have it on our T-shirts, our hashtags on Instagram,” Concepcion said. “You can follow us on Instagram at Brighton baseball. You’ll see a lot of workouts we’re doing. It’s on Facebook. It’s been pretty cool.” Roundy said their new coaches makes this season special. “We probably have the best coaching in the state,” Roundy said. l

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LOCAL LIFE

Page 16 | April 2017

C ottonwood Heights City Journal

LOCAL LIFE

Cottonwood H eightsJournal .com

Youth dancers compete to benefit hungry children

Living Planet Aquarium takes up yoga

By Tori La Rue | tori@mycityjournals.com

By Keyra Kristoffersen | keyrak@mycityjournals.com

Amanda Jones guides through each pose while attendees listen to the sound of tropical birds and waterfalls. (Keyra Kristoffersen/City Journals) More than 150 solo, duo and trio dance routines were performed at the Will Dance For Food Competition at Taylorsville High School on March 3. (Tori La Rue/City Journals)

A solo dancer performs at the Will Dance for Food Competition at Taylorsville High School on March 3. (Tori La Rue/City Journals)

T

he Will Dance For Food Competition at Taylorsville High School on March 3 united 1,256 dance contenders ages 4 through 18 in a common goal: raising money for the Utah Food Bank. “It’s a whole different feel from most competitions because the dancers and the kids and the parents all really understand why they are here; we are all here to help feed hungry kids,” said Penny Broussard, founder and director of the Will Dance For Kids project. “It’s not such a competitive atmosphere. It’s more of an atmosphere of everyone working together for a bigger cause.” Between ticket admission sales, community and business donations, competition fees paid by studios and individual dancers and auction proceeds, the Will Dance For Food Competition raised $60,000 for the Utah Food Bank’s Kids Cafe and BackPack programs. The Kids Cafe program provides 1,900 meals to lowincome students at after-school sites on weekdays. The BackPack program provides backpacks full of food to students who might not otherwise have meals over the weekend. “Once I heard this competition would go to help kids who were less advantaged than me, I thought this would be really

Teen dancers perform their trio routine at the Will Dance for Food Alexus Lewis, 12, performs a hip-hop solo dance Competition at Taylorsville High School on March 3. (Tori La Rue/City routine at the Will Dance For Food Competition at Journals) Taylorsville High School on March 3. (Tori La Rue/ City Journals)

amazing to participate,” said 12-year-old hip-hop dancer Alexus Lewis from South Jordan. “I love these competitions, but I feel like if I could help someone, that would be really, really awesome.” Alexus’ solo hip-hop routine was one of the 600 routines adjudicated during the Will Dance for Food Competition. Although Alexus said she wanted to win the competition, she said she also realized that just participating meant giving back to the community. Before Olivia Yates, a 12-year-old from Salt Lake City’s The Dance Project, entered the auditorium stage to perform her Broadway-style duo-dance called “Set Myself Free,” she stretched while reflecting on what the competition meant for her. “I like being on stage, but even more it’s cool to be doing my favorite thing while helping someone out,” she said. The 2017 competition was Olivia’s sixth time participating in the Will Dance for Food Competition, which means she was one of the original participants. In the six years that the Will Dance for Kids Program and its Will Dance for Food Competition have been around, the Utah dance community has raised more than $250,000 for the Utah Food Bank. Because the Utah Food Bank can stretch its dollars,

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providing $7.81 cents of goods and services for every dollar of donations, Will Dance for Kids’ donations have generated nearly $2 million of goods and services to local, hungry children. Broussard, a Dance America Dance Hall of Famer and former owner of a Salt Lake City dance studio, said she chose the Utah Food Bank as the recipient charity of her Will Dance For Kids Project because of its efficiency with money. “I interviewed several different charities to decide, and the Utah Food Bank was the best,” Broussard said. “At the Utah Food Bank, 90 cents of every dollar goes to food, so the admin costs are miniscule. To me, there wasn’t another charity that even came close to helping kids, like the food bank did.” Broussard, who created Will Dance For Kids as a retirement project, said she’s continually amazed by the community support she sees for the project each year. It takes the coordination of dance teachers, Taylorsville High School representatives, parents, dancers and business sponsors to put the event together. “It really takes an army to do this, and we have great soldiers in every way,” Brouddard said. “Truly everyone just joins together in such a beautiful way to make this happen, and it’s a great feeling. I really get to see, at this point in my life with this project, the best part of everybody.” l

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manda Jones says she’s found her calling. After a yearlong process, Jones has begun a program of teaching yoga classes at the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium in Draper. Jones’ classes began in January in the shark tank viewing room and then, on Feb. 18. expanded into the Journey to South Amanda Jones, certified America gallery. She yoga teacher and focuses on an all levels meditation coach, of vinyasa flow. performs tree pose “We started with amid South American Yoga with the Sharks, plants and trees. (Keyra and that was a big hit but Kristoffersen/City Journals) I noticed this space and I always feel so good and my muscles feel so relaxed in this rainforest space. You can breathe in that fresh humid air right from the tropical plants and have the ambiance of live, free-flying birds,” said Jones. “I feel that Utahns will appreciate the nice reprieve from our dry, yucky air by coming in here to this atrium environment.” Jones, who has been practicing as a certified yoga teacher for three years as well as spent five years as a volunteer, specializes as a hatha yoga instructor and meditation coach, which focuses more on de-stressing and achieving a peaceful mind. Vinyasa yoga focuses on the flow between each pose, moving from Asana to Asana rather than calmly setting into a pose. Vinyasa coordinates movement with breathing, making it faster-paced than traditional hatha yoga. Jones is grateful to have finally found her “niche,” as she calls it. Her journey to it began a year and half before her first Yoga with the Sharks class, when she was suffering from postpartum depression. “I would bring my son here and the shark

tunnel was so tranquil, it kind of erased all of my depression symptoms. I just had to show people how tranquil they can get when actually surrounded by nature.” “I saw it on Facebook and it appealed to me,” said Corinne Adair, an attendee. “The instructor seems really personable.” Attendees of the Rainforest Yoga class were asked to find a spot on the top floor platform of the South American exhibit while brightly colored tropical birds flew freely overhead. Dozens of mats were laid out while people of all ages and physical types listened to the sound of birds and flowing water while Jones walked them through meditative movements, asking them questions like, “Who am I?” Cassie Dalton, who started doing yoga six years ago, said, “I like yoga and this sounded cool. I like the humidity, especially compared to the Utah desert.” Jones has hopes that through her classes, her students decide to make changes for the better, both in their lives and the world around them. “I think we need a lot more environmental awareness, especially given Utah’s air, and I like to get people into yoga and meditation because it gives them more self-awareness and more compassion,” said Jones. “And to get them doing yoga in an environment that’s so striking as the South American rainforest, maybe they’ll make that connection, hey, I can make a difference and do little things to ease the burden on our environment.” Shelby Dobson, public relations manager for the aquarium, said they are very pleased to be able to offer these classes and are happy with the response, as each have sold out quickly. “A little sweat from the humidity and a little sweat from the yoga and you’ll be detoxed in no time,” said Jones. “The aquarium really provides such an amazing environment for people to come and learn.” For more information about the yoga classes or to register, visit http://www.thelivingplanet. com/essential_grid/yoga/. l

April 2017 | Page 17

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C ottonwood Heights City Journal

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assignments can push an introvert so far into a closet, they’ll wind up in Narnia. But give me a task and send me to my room, and I can accomplish pretty much anything. Here’s how to make small talk with an introvert: don’t. Hell is an endless social mixer where I have to make small talk for eternity. But if you want to have a genuine conversation that doesn’t revolve around sports or weather, I’m all yours. Extroverts often mistake an introvert’s silence for shyness when we’re actually, what’s the word? Listening. In fact, we’re such good listeners, we often hear what’s NOT being said. Most introverts can read the emotional situation in the room, especially if there’s lots of standing with hands on hips. Things an introvert hates: surprise parties. Things an introvert never says: “I’ll be working the crowd,” “Everyone gather around,” “I can’t wait for the company party.” If I was forced to post a profile on a dating site (which I’m not, dear), it would say, “Don’t bother contacting me. I’m not home. Well, I’m home, but I’m never going to talk to you.” I dream of living in a library with a fully-stocked gourmet kitchen, warm blankets and a trapdoor that opens under the welcome mat when someone rings the doorbell. My personal space is a 20-foot circumference from the end of my outstretched arms. If an introvert hugs you, they really like you.

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My husband has learned that if I don’t have some alone time to recharge, I get . . . irritable. (He uses a different word, but I can’t put it in this column.) If I have two hours of uninterrupted alone time, it’s better than Christmas morning. I’ll plan which books to read. I stock up on really good chocolate. I’ll make sure my super-soft socks are clean. But if plans change and I lose that time? God help the world. Wrath is an understatement. I’m not saying introverts are right and extroverts are wrong, or vice versa. I’m saying the world needs both social butterflies and quietly introspective people who bring a sense of calm to an overworked culture. All I’m asking for is sincere connection and a spouse who is willing to leave the party early. l

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