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August 2018 | Vol. 15 Iss. 08




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tah gymnast Lundyn VanderToolen competed in front of a home crowd in the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City for the first time as a junior Olympic gymnast. She did not disappoint. VanderToolen finished third overall in the Hopes Classic on July 6 to advance to the national Hopes Championship on July 28. She also won the individual event title for the uneven bars, her favorite event. “I like swinging,” VanderToolen, 12, said of the uneven bars. “It’s fun.” VanderToolen started gymnastics at the age of 5. She was inspired watching Team USA compete in the 2012 Olympics in London, of all places. She now trains at Olympus Gymnastics in South Jordan. “When she was little, she was probably 7 at the time, I remember her coach saying to me, ‘She’s the whole package,’” VanderToolen’s mother Julie VanderToolen said. “I didn’t know what that meant because I didn’t come from gymnastics, my husband didn’t come from gymnastics.” The sacrifices involved in training and competing have continued to pay off. Last year,

Lundyn was named International Gymnast Magazine’s Junior Olympic Gymnast of the Year. This time around, competing at the junior Olympic level in Utah for the first time was something special. “Most people have one or two people cheering them on because they have to travel from all across the country,” Julie said. “When Lundyn’s name was announced, the whole crowd erupted. It was so cool. She had an amazing support system.” So how does Lundyn focus with all that attention on her during a competition? “Sticky fairy feet,” Lundyn says to herself before starting a routine on the balance beam. And how does she reward herself after another successful competition, that third place finish that sent her to the national finals? “A bacon cheeseburger,” she said with a smile. One thing that Lundyn and Julie want people to know about her is that she’s a normal kid. “I like to spend time with my family, bike, go camping,” Lundyn said. She also likes to play games with her family and swim. She lists her

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Lundyn VanderToolen competing in junior Olympic gymnastics competition. (Photo/John Cheng, courtesy Julie VanderToolen)

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Cottonwood Heights City Journal

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

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

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he cycling scene in Cottonwood Heights has just about everything. The community is filled with eager riders ready to hit the trails or roads. Visitors can rent bikes and take in the great outdoors that make Utah famous. One key to the community’s cycling culture is the bike shops that equip cyclists with the gear they need and service their bikes to help keep them running. “It’s a great biking community,” said Alan Greenberg of Cottonwood Cyclery. “We have tons of people who ride. Most of my business comes from neighborhood people. The neighborhood is what supports us.” Greenberg replaced the chain on a mountain bike while talking about the community he serves. The service room sits just behind the counter of his shop on Bengal Boulevard. As he works, he is surrounded by dozens of bikes waiting their turn to be serviced. All of the bikes, Greenberg said, come from people in the surrounding neighborhood. In addition to locally owned and operated bike shops, Cottonwood Heights also attracts companies from outside the state seeking to serve the city’s cycling community. “Those beautiful mountains are the reason we came out here,” said Ryan Boughton, manager of Trek Bicycle in Cottonwood Heights. Trek started in Wisconsin, and the store here sells bikes manufactured by the company itself. “We have a fantastic array of customers so far,” Boughton said of the company’s first five months in the community. “We have everything from great family bikes, neighborhood riding bikes, those great aggressive full-suspension mountain bikes, as well as super lightweight road bikes. One of our biggest growing categories is actually electric bikes, which is brilliant. I think it’s definitely the future.” Bike shops in Cottonwood Heights also cater to people visiting town in need of a bike. Rooms in Wasatch Powder House’s Cotton-

Alan Greenberg works on a bike in his shop. (Joshua Wood/City Journals)

wood Heights location that are filled with ski equipment during the winter make room for bikes each spring. Rental shops can provide mountain, road or cruising bikes to suit the needs of tourists. “The hotels keep us fairly busy,” said Ken Faulkner of Wasatch Powder House, which rents bikes from spring through September. Faulkner, a lifelong cycling enthusiast who still owns every bike he has ever had, paused a tour of the service shop to check in a bike that spent the day on the trails of Solitude. “People stay at the hotels nearby, and they might hit Mill Creek, Corner Canyon or go up to Park City,” Faulkner said. Greenberg mentioned the same biking destinations as he finished repairing another bike in his shop. He pointed to the fact that Cottonwood Heights was not on that list. It is a neighborhood of cyclists, but if there is something

missing in the community’s cycling scene, it would be the infrastructure for biking within Cottonwood Heights itself. “They are trying to do some things, but there is more that could be done,” said Greenberg. “We could put a pump track in, we could have amenities that would bring people into our city to ride versus sending people out of our city to ride. If we had something that brought revenue into the neighborhood.” The city has made trails one of the priorities for its ongoing initiative for open spaces in the community, which could make the area more of a destination for biking. The same passion shared by bike shop owners and customers extends to the surrounding community and a desire for even more opportunities to bike right here at home. l

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Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Continued from front page...

hobbies and favorite things in a bashful voice that barely crosses the room. The quietude of her demeanor reflects that calm focus Julie admires most in Lundyn’s gymnastics. That quiet, though, is contrasted by the strength she shows during each routine. “She was born that way. It’s just who she is,” Julie said of Lundyn’s determination. That special combination of skill, mindset and determination drives Lundyn to work hard for what she has accomplished. It’s a sacrifice that involves the entire family. “It’s not just me, it’s the whole family sacrificing for her to be able to live this dream,” Julie said. “It’s a huge sacrifice for her. They say gymnasts all have a boyfriend, and his name is gym. It’s true. She’s

training 30 to 40 hours per week. For someone her age to sacrifice that much is huge, and for her sisters to say they’ll sacrifice for her too, it’s worth it.” The work will continue for Lundyn and her family. There are many possibilities ahead, and Lundyn remains focused. As for her future goals, “I want to be a Red Rock,” Lundyn said, referencing perennial national contender University of Utah gymnastics team. After that? “I want to be a kindergarten teacher or a first grade teacher.” Meanwhile, the best thing about gymnastics for Lundyn is “having friends and teammates that support you. And having fun.” l

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Lundyn VanderToolen competing in junior Olympic gymnastics competition. (Photo/John Cheng, courtesy Julie VanderToolen)

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August 2018 | Page 5

Utah woman Jennifer Ahlstrom building cancer-fighting network By Joshua Wood | joshw@mycityjournals.com

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ennifer Ahlstrom is one of five people on her street in Cottonwood Heights diagnosed with a relatively rare form of cancer. Once she finished her treatments, she decided to get proactive by learning all she could about her disease and by finding ways to help other people fighting it. The result has been an ambitious crowdsourcing platform with the potential to fight other diseases as well. Ahlstrom was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2009, not long after she and her family had moved from Cottonwood Heights to Mexico to work on projects they had started there. She felt like something was wrong while on vacation at Yellowstone National Park and consulted a doctor in Montana. A week later, the physician called to tell her the news. “For me to get that disease at 43 years old was such a huge shock,” Ahlstrom said. “We didn’t know what to do. Do you move back to Utah or go back to Mexico? We had six kids, sold our house, and made commitments to the project in Mexico.” Ahlstrom decided to move back to Utah and lived with her sister in Cottonwood Heights. She completed treatment and did maintenance therapy at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Once she was done with treatments, she wanted to do something. She learned as much as she could about multiple myeloma and found that existing therapies could extend life but not cure a person with the disease. “Most of the time, people relapse,” Ahlstrom said. “We have to plan for relapse. You never know when it will come. Blood cancer is naturally metastatic because your blood is everywhere.”

Ahlstrom wanted to get people together, to connect people with similar conditions so they could pool together case histories and help physicians learn more about the disease more quickly. One aspect of Ahlstrom’s work was to encourage people to join clinical trials to help speed the development of cancer-fighting drugs. “Today’s drugs are yesterday’s clinical trials,” Ahlstrom said. “We asked ourselves, what kind of contribution can we make?” Ahlstrom started a website, www. myelomacrowd.org, aimed at improving patient outcomes and accelerating finding a cure. Through the CrowdCare Foundation, Ahlstrom and her associates have arranged patient meetings, worked with scientific advisory boards and raised funds. The organization raised $500,000 for high-risk myeloma. The foundation’s crowdsourcing extended beyond raising funds to collecting data. “If we apply data solutions, we could come to conclusions more quickly,” Ahlstrom said. That is where HealthTree comes in. Patients enter their data, which they own, and merge it into a network along with other myeloma patients. They enter things like the therapy they received, outcomes, side effects and lab results. As they enter their data, they get education covering relevant treatment options and clinical trials that might apply to them. Armed with more information, patients can have more context for collaboration with their physicians. And that information can lead to advancements in clinical trials and an accelerated path to a cure.

Multiple myeloma is a complex disease. The five people in Ahlstrom’s neighborhood in Cottonwood Heights had five different kinds of myeloma. Ahlstrom hopes her work will help specialists understand the disease better. “Data projects have to be disease-specific,” Ahlstrom said. “There are many things specific to myeloma patients. Once we get it right in one disease, we can move it to other diseases.” Ahlstrom has spent the summer traveling to communities on a 50-city tour of the US helping people use the system, to learn about their stories and see how the system works for them. She hopes to have over 1,000 people signed up for HealthTree by the end of the summer. Her overall target is to get over 10,000. “We want patients to know that we are in the same boat,” Ahlstrom said. “I have detectable myeloma numbers. I have to make key decisions soon. Every decision affects other decisions.” With greater understanding of the disease, those decisions can be more informed. “It needs to be a collaboration,” Ahlstrom said. “What can patients do to help find a cure?” By pooling together each patient’s story, each person’s experience, they can work collectively to find a cure for the disease they share. Ahlstrom hopes her focus on multiple myeloma will eventually help people suffering from other conditions. “If we do this properly, I think it will work for any disease.”l

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Breaking down the proposed property tax increase By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com


f you’re a Cottonwood Heights resident, a mailer from Salt Lake County should have arrived in your mailbox stating that the city is currently working through the Truth in Taxation process to raise property taxes. As part of the process, the city will hold a public hearing on AuG. 14 at 7 p.m. at City Hall (2277 E. Bengal Blvd.) addressing the proposed tax increase. This tax increase only applies to a portion of your property tax payment. For homeowners residing within the boundaries of the city, the biggest portion of the tax goes to the Canyons School District, followed by Salt Lake County, Cottonwood Heights City, Cottonwood Heights Parks and Recreation, Jordan School District Debt Service, Salt Lake County Library, the Central Utah Water Conservancy District, the Cottonwood Improvement District and the South Salt Lake Valley Mosquito Abatement District. Salt Lake County, the Central Utah Water Conservancy District and Cottonwood Heights City have all proposed property tax increases. The city has proposed a 22 percent tax rate increase. To break it down: for a $400,000 assessed value home, the property owner will pay an extra $7.38 per month or $88.51 per year. In order for a government entity to raise taxes in Utah, they must go through a Truth in Taxation process. The process begins before June 22, where entities must adopt a tax rate and budget while notifying the county auditor about a desired tax increase. The county auditor then sets the dates for public hearings for all the entities wishing to raise property taxes. Entities must hold that public hearing. After the public hearing, the property tax may be adopted with a resolution sent to the tax commission. The need to raise property taxes stems from many different factors within the budget. Two out of the four main revenue sources for the city are anticipated to decrease. Additionally, expenditures continue to rise. The Unified Fire Authority (UFA) raised their fee by $205,356 from the previous year. Legislative bills passed in March will take $68,000 from the city’s budget. Inflation of certain expendi-

tures like a cost-of-living adjustment increase for employees has also made their relative impacts on the city’s budget. After years of never having to raise property taxes, the Cottonwood Heights City Council did not make this decision lightly. Since January, they have been working through the budget for the 2018–2019 fiscal year in many budget workshops, retreats and discussions to make cuts where necessary. As part of those cuts, the mayor and city council budget will experience a 4 percent decrease to their relative budget. The finance department will also experience a decrease by 60 percent, as the finance director position will be dissolved. Cuts have also been made to the relative budget allocations for emergency management (37 percent from $17,600 to $11,000), the Cottonwood Heights Police Department (4 percent from $5,936,488 to $5,723,622) and UFA (5 percent from $3,919,759 to $3,715,140). Additionally, expenses related to City Hall overhead maintenance have dropped 13 percent for the fiscal year. Expenses for highways and public improvements will drop 6 percent (from $2,629,582 to $2,484,562). For the 2018–2019 fiscal year, the council anticipates additional funds going toward capital project road repairs ($1,454,137 will go toward road improvements), Mountview Park and Butler Park projects ($110,000 will go toward Mountview Park) and enhanced snow plowing. Expenses specific to this budget include $50,000 for a roundabout, $200,000 for the Ferguson Canyon Outfall Line, $30,000 for TRCC Lighting Match, $27,800 for pickleball courts and $1,859,827 for the police vehicle lease which is renewed with Ken Garff every two years. The Cottonwood Heights Journal initially reported on the tentative budget in May. Check out cottonwoodholladayjournal.com for more information from that story. To see the budget packet, visit the city news section of cottonwoodheights.ut.gov. l

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The property tax residents pay go not only to the city, but also to nine different government entities. (Cottonwood Heights)

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After years of never having to raise the property tax for residents, the Cottonwood Heights City Council has proposed a 22 percent increase for homeowners. (Cottonwood Heights)

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Working with developers on newly created districts in city code By: Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com

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Development plans for an Ivory Commercial housing unit have been submitted to the Planning Commission. (Photo courtesy of Ivory Commercial)


here is a 16-page zoning designation called the Planned Development District (PDD) within the Cottonwood Heights City code. Two new developments aim to take advantage of the PDD, and it will be the first time any application has been made to gain the specified zoning. Zoning Designation The PDD Chapter (19.51) of the Cottonwood Heights Code of Ordinances was adopted on October 13, 2015. It was enacted to allow specialized zoning in areas where future growth was anticipated within the city. These areas were split into three tiers. Tier 1 includes the vicinity of the Wasatch Boulevard gravel pit property. Tier 2 includes intersection nodes along Fort Union Boulevard at 1300 East and Union Park Avenue, and along Highland Drive at 2300 East, as well as the Old Mill site on Wasatch Boulevard. Tier 3 includes certain areas along Fort Union Boulevard and Union Park Avenue. Developers can apply for Planned Development Zone Ordinances (PDZ) on properties within the tiers of the PDD. If a developer wishes to construct a building outside of what the designated zoning allows, PDZs are an attractive option, as developers work with city officials to write their own ordinance for their proposed development. Unlike a typical re-zone request where city officials are not allowed to ask developers what they plan to build, a PDZ allows many different city officials to be intensely involved in the planning process. “Developers come to the city council early on, before an application has been made, and partner with the city for the final project to benefit all parties involved,” said Community and Economic Development Director Mike Johnson. When applying for a PDZ, an applicant (which is usually the developer) must go through a lengthy process. Before a plan can even be submitted, the applicant must meet with the community and economic development director for a pre-application conference. Then, the applicant may create a concept plan showing all proposed streets, alleys, drives, buildings, screening, uses of building and land,

building heights, topography and other features to present to the planning commission. The applicant then has to hold at least two community workshops where they take comments from residents into consideration so they can draft a PDZ plan, which they work over with city staff members. Once that draft has been completed, the applicant can finally submit a formal application which must consist of a comprehensive development plan, a copy of the current recorded deed, documentation of community workshops, current aerial of the site overlaid with the proposed plan, an analysis of impact, a traffic study and other various statements. (Additionally, the applicant must be sensitive to specific designations for their relative tier. For example, in Tier 2 the maximum building height is 50 feet. In Tier 1, 25 percent of the gross lot area has to be open space.) The application is reviewed by city planners before notice is sent out for additional public hearings and meetings. After those meetings, the application is presented to the planning commission where they vote for denial or recommend approval to the city council. If the planning commission votes on recommending approval, the application is presented to the Cottonwood Heights City Council where they take additional public comment and hold the final vote. “Getting developers in early and often will be critical to the process,” Johnson told the city council. “By the end of the process, you know exactly what you are getting when you approve that rezone.” Developments Currently, there are two applicants working through the process to apply for a PDZ. One development is referred to as the ICO or ICO Creekside; the other is referred to as the Gravel Pit or Wasatch Pit. The undeveloped 5.93-acre piece of land on 1300 E. 6784 S. will be transformed into a small single-family residential development by Ivory Commercial (ICO). The proposed development will be three four-story buildings with an overall density of 35 units per acre. It

is anticipated to have surface and underground parking, two monument signs, office space and discounted senior housing units. The first formal public hearing for the ICO PDZ was held on June 20. Notices for this meeting were mailed to property owners within 1,000 feet of the property. The second public hearing was held on July 11. Currently, the development plans are being discussed in the planning commission where they will be taking public comment until at least Aug. 1. “It’s important to keep transit connection, walkability and open spaces for the single-family area,” applicant Kris Longson from Ivory Commercial said. “We have controls in the PDD zone to see how the open space is laid out.” Plans for the Gravel Pit development along Wasatch Boulevard are in preliminary stages. On July 10, developer Tom Henriod and his partner Adam Davis presented concept plans to the city council. They had three different sketches to present, one being referred to as the most ambitious plan while the other two plans are more conservative. Their development plan will be constrained by parking. If surface parking is the only option for the site, there will be room for two hotels. However, if the developers can plan on a parking structure, they can move forward with their more ambitious plan. The site would then be able to accommodate office space, at least one 140-bed hotel, retail space, multifamily housing for rent, multifamily housing for sale and other hospitality accommodations. Currently, the developers are working with city staff members to create a detailed concept plan but they hope to break ground this time next year. Essentially, they are still in the second phase of applying for a PDZ. They still must hold community workshops before submitting a formal application. “We want the application to be satisfactory so you know the product that is coming,” Henriod told the city council. “We will be real sensitive and keep communication open to mitigate concerns early on.” l

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Round and round the bengals go By: Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com

Plans to construct a roundabout on Bengal Boulevard have many residents concerned. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)


lans to construct the first roundabout in Cottonwood Heights has many residents concerned. On July 12, Cottonwood Heights held an open house at City Hall (2277 E. Bengal Blvd.) where city engineers presented preliminary plans to residents, tried to address some of their concerns and took additional comments and suggestions. The proposed roundabout will be along Bengal Boulevard on the east side of Brighton High School and City Hall. It will take the place of the two signaled intersections approximately 200 feet apart; one at 2300 East and the other at 2325 East. City engineers have wanted to improve that intersection since it was adopted from Salt Lake County when Cottonwood Heights became a city. With the proposed roundabout, the area is anticipated to be more safe and efficient by decreasing traffic congestion and collision points, increasing pedestrian and driver safety, and promoting better air quality. Many of the concerns from residents focus on pedestrian and driver safety, especially for the students of Brighton High School. Additional concerns have focused on right-hand turn lanes, neighborhood traffic, driver uncertainty/usability, emergency vehicles, construction and funding. To address some of these concerns, City Engineer Brad Gilson and Public Works Director Matthew Shipp provided

CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com

general information about roundabouts from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and relative information for the proposed roundabout project. According to FHWA, roundabouts improve safety by providing fewer conflict points, lower absolute speeds, having similar travel speeds for each leg, less driver stimuli and reduced driver frustration. The proposed roundabout should improve pedestrian safety by requiring slower speeds, providing refuge islands and improved infrastructure. Currently, cars drive along Bengal Boulevard at around 35–40 mph. The proposed roundabout would require a designed speed for entry around 15 mph. Additionally, the roundabout would provide refuge islands for pedestrians. Instead of being forced to cross the entire roadway all at once, pedestrians would cross the roadway in intervals, while only having to worry about oncoming traffic from one direction. “We are not putting anything in the middle of the roundabout to invite attention from the pedestrians,” said Shipp. As for the specific concern for students, the proposed roundabout design includes eight-foot sidewalks for larger groups of pedestrians. Designing physical barriers to prevent students from crossing into the roundabout has also been proposed.

For driver safety, the proposed roundabout should decrease collision points. Currently, there are about 52 collision points between the two signaled intersections. In contrast, the proposed roundabout would only have about eight collision points. It will also be easier to enter Brighton High School, since there is a direct access from Bengal Boulevard within the proposed plan, rather than entering through the neighborhood on 2325 East. Air quality should also improve with the proposed roundabout. It is estimated to provide 4.37 tons per year in emission reduction. Even though this is a city-initiated project, most of the funding will not come from the city. The total estimated budget allocation is $3,274,660. Most of the funding for construction costs will come from the Federal Transportation Improvement Program. The state, under SB-277, will provide $192,795 for a project sponsor match. The Salt Lake County Corridor Preservation Fund has provided $426,865 for right-of-way acquisition. Currently, city engineers are working on a final design. Once that is completed, the project will go out for bid. It is estimated that construction for the roundabout will begin June 2019. Cottonwood Heights Public Works plans to have it completed before school begins in the fall. l

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Airport reconstruction project on schedule for 2020 By Lana Medina | l.medina@mycityjournals.com


ust two years from now, Utahns will see a brand new Salt Lake International Airport opening. A construction project that has been decades in the making is underway at the airport, as crews are working to build a new parking garage, central terminal and a new north and south concourse. “One of the biggest milestones was in May,” said Nancy Volmer, the airport public relations director. “That’s when one of the final steel beams went up.” Why build a new airport? When the Salt Lake International Airport was first built in the 1960s, it was designed for 10 million passengers per year. But now, more than 60 years later, the airport serves more than 24 million passengers annually, and that number is increasing. Volmer says with the current design, only one plane can take off at a time, and the airport wasn’t built for a hub operation. “There’s congestion on the curb side, there’s congestion on the gate side,” Volmer explained. “There’s not enough seating for passengers waiting for their flights.” Who is paying for the new airport? “No local taxpayer dollars are being spent on the airport,” Volmer said. For the $3.6 billion reconstruction project, the airport is relying on several major areas of funding: 41.3 percent - Future bonds to pay for the remaining cost 23 percent - 2017 revenue bonds issued by the airport 14.8 percent - Airport savings 11.5 percent - Passenger facility charges 4.9 percent - Rental car facility charges 4.5 percent - Federal grants Volmer says one of the primary reasons why the Salt Lake International Airport is able to fund the reconstruction project without local taxpayer assistance is because the airport has been saving for this project since the 1990s. “People who use the airport are helping pay for this redevelopment. Passenger user fee, the airlines, the car rental user fees,” Volmer said. Future Changes One of the biggest changes that will push the Salt Lake International Airport into the spotlight is security. The new airport will have state of the art equipment for security screening to help cut down on wait times and limit the hassle as passengers try to make their flights. The entire design of the airport is focused on making it easier for passengers, Volmer explained. “You can check your bag, print your boarding pass, go through security, and you won’t have to go up and down levels. It (will be) convenient for passengers,” Volmer said. Some other major improvements include: • A larger parking garage able to fit up

Page 10 | August 2018

Airport officials say the new airport design will allow for easier access to passengers. (Photo courtesy Salt Lake International Airport)

to 3,600 vehicles, with separate areas for drop off and pick up. • Separate arrival and departure levels • On-site car rental pick-up and dropoff counters • Tech friendly with more locations to

plug in electronics • More shopping and dining What is Phase 2? Phase 1 is expected to be completed by Fall 2020, and then construction will begin on Phase 2, which includes building the north and south

concourses on the east side, the demolition of concourses B, C and D, and the demolition of the International Terminal. For more information about the Airport Reconstruction project, visit www.slcairport. com/thenewslc. l

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Murray Park wins the City Journals’ Park Madness tournament By Justin Adams | j.adams@mycityjournals.com


uly was national Parks and Recreation month, and we here at the City Journals celebrated with a friendly little tournament to determine the best park in the valley. Each round, the parks went head-to-head in a Facebook poll. Whichever park garnered the most votes moved on to the next round. We called it “Park Madness.” The tournament had a little bit of everything, from a No. 16 seed upsetting a No. 1 seed to lopsided blowouts to intense down-to-thewire finishes. Here are our tournament awards: Park Madness Champion: Murray Park Murray Park came into the tournament as the No. 6 seed (based on Google reviews) but immediately showed that it was a top contender when it picked up a whopping 88 percent of the vote in its first round matchup with Herriman. It went on to win by large margins in both the semifinal and final. It’s only test was a second round matchup with Riverton, which brings us to… Most Improved Park: Riverton Park It’s too bad that Riverton and Murray had to meet in the second round, because that matchup would have made for a great finals. The two parks were neck and neck for the entire two-day voting period, sometimes separated by as little as a tenth of a percentage point. Riverton Park was supported by many residents who

CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com

voted and commented about how much they love the park. As for the Most Improved Park award? We figured that made sense just because the park was recently reconstructed in 2015. Rookie of the Tournament: Mountview Park In a tournament full of parks that have been around for decades, Mountview Park made a lot of noise by making it to the finals as a park that’s less than 10 years old. The Cottonwood Heights Park may not be as well-known throughout the valley, but it was able to beat the likes of West Valley’s Centennial Park, Sugar House Park and Dimple Dell Park on its way to the finals. Upset of the Tournament: Eastlake Park Eastlake Park, located in South Jordan/ Daybreak would be another good candidate for Rookie of the Tournament, but its first-round upset of the top-seeded Memorial Grove Park in Salt Lake City deserves its own award. Sadly, the Cinderella story stopped there, as Eastlake Park fell in the second round to Dimple Dell Park. While Murray Park may have won the tournament, the real winners are Salt Lake Valley residents who can visit and play at these amazing parks. We have some great parks and recreation departments that make sure we all have safe, fun and beautiful places to enjoy the The final bracket of the City Journals’ “Park Madness” tournament. summer. l

August 2018 | Page 11

Utah’s housing unaffordability crisis By Lana Medina | l.medina@mycityjournals.com


espite an uptick in employment, Utah is becoming more unaffordable for low-income families. According to a recent report from the University of Utah Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, housing prices have been steadily rising since the 1990s, but Utah wages are not matching that growth, and low-income families are starting to suffer as a result. “Eighty six percent of people pay more than 50 percent of their income toward housing,” said Tara Rollins, executive director of the Utah Housing Coalition. “The issue has been happening for some time. Wages haven’t been keeping up with rent.” Rollins says it’s especially affecting Utah because population growth is outpacing the number of homes and apartments available, and construction isn’t meeting demand. Jennifer Gilchrist, a realtor in Salt Lake County, said she often sees homes in the $200,000 to $250,000 price range get offers within a matter of hours. “It’s really crazy right now. There are a lot of people who want to buy houses and not that many people who are selling,” she said. Since last year alone, the average single family home has gone up approximately 13 percent in price. For example, a $300,000 home for sale last year, would now be selling for about $340,000, according to the Salt Lake Board of Realtors. While other states are suffering from an increase in housing prices, Utah is ranked as the 4th highest in the nation for that growth, and experts believe it’s only going to get worse. For Jerusha Stucki and her husband, who were both born and raised in Utah, the rise in housing prices has made it difficult for them to search for a home for their growing family. They’ve tried looking at houses, but the rising cost makes it a daunting task.

“Our price range is for houses that are old, dirty and cheap, and we don’t want to be house poor,” Stucki explained. But waiting for a few years down the road could be even worse. Stucki says just three years ago, she and her husband nearly bought a townhouse but ultimately had to back out. Now, that townhouse is worth $35,000 more than the asking price from just a few years ago. “There’s a good chance, we may not see houses at the prices we saw even three years ago,” Stucki says. The housing unaffordability crisis isn’t just affecting families wanting to buy homes, but rentals are rising at an alarming rate. Rollins says many families are combining with other households in one home to manage rental costs, and some are putting up with substandard housing because there isn’t anything better available in their price range. “Last year the housing wage was $17.02 and it just went up to $17.77, that’s a 75 cent increase per hour,” Rollins said. But Rollins says for the average person to afford a two-bedroom apartment in Salt Lake County, their wage needs to match approximately $19.90 an hour. “That’s up 86 cents from last year,” Rollins explained. The University of Utah Gardner Policy Institute report suggested some municipal measures to help reduce housing unaffordability, including waive or reduce fees for affording housing, change building codes to encourage more affordable housing, and adopt zoning ordinances that provide a wide range of housing types and prices. But in the meantime, families like the Stuckis continue to follow the housing market and hope future changes will make housing more affordable in Utah. l

The Top 10 most expensive Wasatch Front areas in Q1 by median home price (courtesy Salt Lake Board of Realtors)



Emigration-84108 (up 19.5 percent)



The Avenues-84103 (up 20.4 percent)



Alpine-84004 (up 7.4 percent)



Holladay-84124 (up 14.7 percent)



Draper-84020 (up 3.5 percent)



Holladay-84117 (up 10.2 percent)



South Jordan-84095 (up 16.7 percent)



Sandy-84092 (down 7.4 percent)



East Central SLC-84102 (up 31.3 percent)



Eden-84310 (down 3.4 percent)



Canyon Rim-84109 (up 3.9 percent)

The limitations of the Wasatch Front geography means there’s not much more room for sprawl, so new Utah housing developments are going to have to get creative. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

Page 12 | August 2018

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Salt Lake Chamber hopes to raise awareness about Utah’s housing situation By Justin Adams | j.adams@mycityjournals.com

Top and bottom: A block party was held as the TGIF was demolished at the old Cottonwood Mall site in Holladay. The demolition makes way for the planned Holladay Quarter development which has seen varying amounts of opposition from residents. (Aspen Perry/City Journals)

Representatives from the Salt Lake Chamber will be visiting with the following cities at each municipality’s city hall in the coming weeks and months with more to be scheduled. North Ogden

August 14 @ 6 p.m.


August 21 @ 3 p.m.

West Jordan

August 22 @ 6 p.m.


August 28 @ 6 p.m.


September 4 @ 5:30 p.m.

Woods Cross

September 4 @ 6:30 p.m.


September 11 @ 6 p.m.

Pleasant Grove

September 18 @ 5 p.m.


September 18 @ 7 p.m.


September 20 @ 6 p.m.

South Jordan

October 2 @ 4:30 p.m.

West Bountiful

October 2 @ 7:30 p.m.


October 9 @ 5:30 p.m.


October 9 @ 6 p.m.

CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com

“Anytime a developer comes in with a plan that involves high-density housing, it’s like a four-letter word,” said Draper Mayor Troy Walker during a meeting of Draper officials and representatives from the Salt Lake Chamber. The meeting was the second of many meetings the Salt Lake Chamber hopes to conduct with every city council along the Wasatch Front in order to discuss the topic of housing affordability. “Recently we’ve had a lot of business owners coming to us and saying, ‘Our employees are struggling to find housing,’” explained Abby Osborne, the chamber’s vice president of government relations. The Salt Lake Chamber, a business association that operates throughout the state, then partnered with the Kem C. Gardner Institute to produce a report on housing affordability, released earlier this year. “What we found in the report was quite alarming. For the first time we have more households than household units,” said Osborne. “That’s a big component of why you’re seeing these skyrocketing prices. It’s just supply and demand.” While there are factors that limit what state and local governments can do about housing prices — for example, the state can’t do anything about rising material costs or the fact that the opportunity for further “sprawl” is limited by the Wasatch corridor’s geography — the Salt Lake Chamber is on a mission to let governments and individuals know what they can do. “We’re just starting a dialogue with the city councils,” Osborne told the City Journals. “We’re asking them, ‘What do you think about

this issue? Would you consider smaller lot sizes? Why are you opposed to higher density housing?” Osborne pointed to the Daybreak community in South Jordan and Holladay’s still-in-theworks Holladay Quarter development as examples of cities using creative zoning policies to create more housing in a smart way. However, the opposition to new housing efforts is much more likely to come from residents, not local governments, according to Osborne. “We have a lot of NIMBYism in Utah,” she said, referring to an acronym that stands for “Not In My Backyard.” That can be seen with the case of the Holladay Quarter, where community groups formed to fight against the development. Part of the Salt Lake Chamber’s mission will include a “full-blown media campaign” this fall to educate people about the nuances of the housing affordability issue. Osborne said she hopes the campaign will start to remove the stigmas and misunderstandings that people have about new housing developments. For example, one misconception people have is that most of our growth is coming from out-of-state. “Not true,” said Osborne. “It is us, having children who want to stay here and live here because of our quality of life.” “I think the unknown is fearful for people,” she said. “They have this perception of how they want to raise their large families on big pieces of property. But when those kids grow up, where are they going to live? If these trends continue, there won’t be enough homes for the people that want to live here.” l

Plots of land around the valley are constantly being considered for new housing, like this piece in northeast West Valley City. A development proposal for townhomes was denied in June after nearby residents mobilized against the level of density. Residents want single-family homes built there. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

August 2018 | Page 13

Empathy is the key to solving homelessness for Kid Labs duo By Katherine Weinstein | Katherine@mycityjournals.com


Creating environments where moments of Joy, Independence, and Wellness are the focus each and every day!

n the movie “Justice League,” the Flash hesitates before setting out to rescue some hostages. “I don’t know what to do,” he confesses to Batman. Batman replies, “Go save one and then you’ll know what to do.” This is a favorite quote for John Hansen and his 9-year-old son Chase as it captures the spirit of their “empathy project,” a “social experiment” devised to actively help homeless and at-risk individuals. Over the past two years, father and son have sat down with over 120 homeless individuals, often over a meal, to learn about the problems and issues they struggle with. Sometimes these conversations have resulted in John and Chase helping individuals move out of shelters and into housing or stepping in when someone faces difficulty in maintaining family relationships. “They (John and Chase) helped me out for six months picking up my boys for me,” said Mike Campbell, a recipient of their aid. “John also gave me a very nice bike that helps me be more mobile and active.”

In other instances, Chase and John have simply listened and gathered information. “Empathy is the practice of feeling with someone,” said John. The goal is to offer validation and ultimately give people a voice. In aiming to find out what the homeless really need, they have worked with the Department of Workforce Services to devise questions and will share the data they collect with them. “When you talk If you are a resident of Cottonwood Heights you to the homeless, you can may already be familiar with the name Maxfield see patterns in their exOrthodontics, but not the newly opened state-ofperiences,” said Chase. the-art modern building. Doctors Norm and Blake John added, “We think Maxfield are both passionate about creating perfect that the needs and ideas smiles, whether it be with braces or Invisalign. of the homeless population deserve to be part of the discussion from the beginning and that the data gathered will Now going to the Orthodontist can be fun, with be of interest to the citia basketball court in the waiting room and iPad zens of Utah.” stations! Maxfield Orthodontics is excited to Homelessness is continue providing excellent care to the Cottonwood a hot-button issue in Heights community. You can schedule your free Utah, and Chase and his consultation by calling 801-263-1333. dad have met with Governor Gary Herbert and Visit www.drmaxfield.com for more information. other officials to discuss strategies to address it. They believe that a key to changing public perceptions about the homeless is to involve a lot of people in conversation and build a sense of belonging. To that end, they have been experimenting with ways



our Memory Care Community in Salt Lake City.




950 East 3300 South Salt Lake City, UT 84106

saltlakememorycare.com Page 14 | August 2018

Chase Hansen and his dad, John. (Photo by J. Photography, courtesy John Hansen)


to build community that transcend social barriers. Chase and John have been working on fostering community in various ways since founding their social impact nonprofit, Kid Labs, in 2013. “Kid Labs is all the good things we’re doing,” said Chase. Kid Labs’ overarching mission is to be a force for good in the world and to empower kids to reach out to others. By actively assisting those in the community who need help, Chase and John are living Chase’s dream of being real superheroes. When Chase was 4, John decided to create a “superhero lab” where kids could be empowered to be effective heroes in society. The project started in a garage and later expanded into a renovated industrial warehouse in Salt Lake City. John has referred to that location as a “living social experiment” in which at-risk kids and families came together to create, connect and contribute to the community. Classes in yoga, robotics and art were offered. Through community partnerships, Kid Labs was able to offer special events such as makeovers for single moms with stylists from Paul Mitchell. Sadly, the Kid Labs space closed less than a year after it opened. While John and Chase would like to find another physical base for Kid Labs, they are continuing their mission to make the world a better place through bringing people together. John spoke of a “giant disconnect between what

needs to happen and the will to accomplish it” when it comes to solving homelessness. He envisions a grassroots effort to build advocacy groups. Most recently, Chase and John have been working with the family shelter in Midvale in their community-building experiments. One recent experiment, “Pizza with Purpose,” involved connecting shelter families with community members who are interested in reaching out to the disadvantaged over pizza. Kid Labs found sponsors to help cover the costs and 30 to 40 people attended. Two months ago, Kid Labs organized a hike and picnic in the mountains for three families from the shelter and two families from Cottonwood Heights. One experiment at a time, Chase and John continue to bridge social divides between individuals. When people ask Chase about how to interact with the homeless he simply says, “Be their friends.” Chase will start fourth grade at Draper Elementary next month and both he and his father would like Draper residents to step up and get involved in addressing the problem of homelessness. “We need resources and funding for staff. Even more than the money, we need people who want to get involved,” said John. To learn about volunteering with Kid Labs, John and Chase Hansen may be contacted via their website at kidlabs.org. l

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Dance to the beat of your own drum

The CHBA and University of Utah Professional Education present the

By Heather Sky | heather@mycityjournals.com

2018 Women’s Leadership Conference Tuesday, Aug. 28 & Wednesday, Aug. 29 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cottonwood Heights City Hall 2277 East Bengal Blvd. KEYNOTE SPEAKERS


Founder of SHEROES United

Tiffany Peterson

Founder of The Lighthouse Principles

Register at: LadiesWhoLead2018.eventbrite.com

A Drums Alive class where participants combine traditional fitness while working on music and rhythm. (Photo courtesy Yolanda Brown)


ave you heard of the newest group fitness experience called Drums Alive? This innovative workout combines the benefits of a traditional physical fitness program for the body with the brain working on making music and rhythm. Carrie Ekins created the program out of necessity after a devastating dance-related hip injury. Ekins has a master’s degree in physical education, dance with emphasis in sports medicine from Brigham Young University. The required rehabilitation following her injury was a long process, and Ekins decided to have some fun while progressing along the recovery pathway. She began to research the reason she experienced feelings of euphoria while drumming on boxes. What she discovered is that the drum patterns helped the brain to generate enhanced alpha brain waves, synchronize the left and right hemispheres of the brain, as well as advance the healing of the body. Fellow enthusiastic Drums Alive instructors, Yolanda and Micheal, helped bring the experience to Midvale last month with a Master Workshop and Instructor Certificate Training (specifically designed for music therapists) at Body Logic Dance Studio. The duo had pre-

CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com

viously focused their efforts within the senior community by teaching at senior centers in Midvale and neighboring cities, but according to Yolanda Brown, “The demand has been so high that we cannot keep up with the request for classes.” In order to remedy the issue, she decided to bring the founder of Drums Alive to Midvale in order to train new instructors. The events were held on July 15 and 16, as participants experienced for themselves the healing experience of movement and rhythm through fun and creative expression. This powerful and unique workout joins the dynamic movements of aerobic dance with the pulsating rhythms of the drum, providing the body and mind with instant feedback through continuous movement and rhythmical flow. Drumming has been found to have numerous physiological and psychological benefits, contributing to an overall sense of well being. The possibilities are endless when it comes to creative expression through drumming. This fun and effective exercise program is appropriate for all ages and abilities. To find out more about Body Logic Dance offerings, visit their website at bodylogicdance. com. l

If you’re reading this, so are your customers.

Melissa Worthen

13 community newspapers serving 15 cities for over 27 years.


Print and digital ad opportunities

Account Executive


Real and trackable results.


August 2018 | Page 15

Butlerville Days All photos by Justin Adams | j.adams@mycityjournals.com Cottonwood Heights’ annual summer festival, Butlerville Days, took place on July 23-24. Between food and art vendors, carnival games and rides, a movie in the park and fireworks, there was something for just about anybody to enjoy themselves. More photos can be found on the Cottonwood Heights Journal website (www.cottonwoodholladayjournal.com). l

Teenagers enjoy themselves on a carnival ride. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

This year Butlerville Days welcomed a reptile booth, featuring this large tortoise. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

A boy rides on one of the children’s rides at Butlerville Days. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

Page 16 | August 2018

A girl scales one of the two climbing wall towers at Butlerville Days. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

Some of the bounce castles and slides at Butlerville Days. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

A girl shows off her speed on one of the bounce attractions. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

The ferris wheel at Butlerville Days. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

Two boys hold on for dear life on a carnival ride. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

A fun slide at Butlerville Days. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com

Climb in one of these giant plastic balls and try to stay on your feet. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

August 2018 | Page 17

History for purchase By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com


ver wonder why so many things in Cottonwood Heights are named Butler? Or what was grown in the prevalent farms before many homes were built? “City Between the Canyons: A History of Cottonwood Heights, Utah, 1849–1953” is now available to answer those burning questions pertaining to the city’s history. This book by Allen D. Roberts can be purchased at Cottonwood Heights City Hall (2277 Bengal Blvd.) for $20. A package deal of three books for $50 is also available. Over the past two years, Roberts has been working with the Cottonwood Heights Historic Committee to research, write and edit this book. The process began in late 2016 when Roberts was recruited to be the author. By November, he had researched the hazardous mining industry, rich agriculture, diverse settlements and history of the canyons. “Our city has one of the most unique histories because of the diversity of development,” former councilman and current Mayor Michael Peterson said at the time. By January 2017, the historic committee had a hard copy of first draft for the city’s history. After review, they began searching for authentic original photos to accompany some of the stories included. At that point, the book was about 280 pages.

Page 18 | August 2018

This history of Cottonwood Heights by Allen Roberts is available for purchase after two years of researching, writing, and editing. (Dan Metcalf/Cottonwood Heights)

By September 2017, the book had undergone three revisions as the team continued to work through it, checking for accurate facts.

One month later, the historic committee reported to the city council that they were reading through the fifth draft, which was now 450 pag-

es, single-spaced. Over the next few months, the members of the historic committee — Chair Max Evans, Vice Chair Gayle Conger, Secretary Sylvia Orton, Don Antczak, Allen Ereksen, Jerri Harwell, James Kichas, Melinda Hortin and Carol Woodside — worked with Roberts to make sure the focus really was on local history, without involving too much of the state’s history. On Jan. 23, 2018, the Cottonwood Heights City Council approved a resolution that allowed the final manuscript to be sent to an independent contractor for manuscript editing services. Sending the final manuscript out did not deter the historic committee from working through the editing process one last time to ensure the book was accurate and complete. “Editing took about eight to 10 hours a week for about four months,” said Evans. Finally on June 20, the book was ready to be published. The historic committee was able to sell copies of the book at their booth during Butlerville Days. To order “City Between the Canyons: A History of Cottonwood Heights, Utah, 1849– 1953” online, visit squareup.com/store/cottonwood-heights-city. l

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Food truck rallies and Brighton High’s groundbreaking among upcoming events By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com


on’t miss out on these events in Cottonwood Heights during August! An update to the Wasatch Canyons General Plan will be presented on July 31 from 5:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. at Whitmore Library (2197 E. Fort Union Blvd.). The Little Cottonwood Canyon environmental impact statement study team will be available to answer any questions on the study process and potential improvements that reduce congestion and improve experiences in Little Cottonwood Canyon. For more information visit slco.org/ planning-transportation. The Bites in the Heights Food Truck Rally will be held every Monday night in August from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Mountview Park (1651 East Fort Union Blvd.). “Big the Musical” will be held on Aug. 2, 3, 4, and 6 at 7:30 p.m. at Butler Middle School (7530 S. 2700 E.). Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $9 for kids under 12 and seniors 65 and older. Summer STEM camps will be held Aug. 6, 7, 13, and 14 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Whitmore Library (2197 E. Fort Union Blvd.). The scheduled topics include coding and robotics. 3D Printing 101 will be held Aug. 9 and Aug. 21 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Whitmore Library (2197 E. Fort Union Blvd.). The Brighton High School groundbreaking will be on Aug.9 with a reception beginning at 5:30 p.m. and the ceremony following at 6 p.m. The groundbreaking will be hosted by Canyons School District and take place at the Brighton High School rebuild site (2220 Bengal Blvd.). A home buyer class will be held on August 16 from 6:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Whitmore Library (2197 E. Fort Union Blvd.). The Cottonwood Heights Recreation Foundation Charity

The Cottonwood Heights Arts Council is performing Big the musical during the first week in August.(Cottonwood Heights)

Golf Tournament will be held Aug. 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the River Oaks Golf Course (9300 Riverside Dr.). For more information visit the news and events page on cottonwoodheights. com. A blood drive will be held on Aug. 24 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Cottonwood Heights City Hall (2277 E. Bengal Blvd.) in the community room. For more information, visit arupbloodser-

vices.org. There will be a free ice cream voucher for each participant as part of the Pint for a Pint program. In September, watch out for the Big Cottonwood Canyon Marathon on Sept. 8 from Guardsman Pass in Big Cottonwood Canyon to 1300 E. Fort Union Blvd. and Bark in the Park on Sept. 15 at Mountview Park (1651 E. Fort Union Blvd.). l

Profile by Sanford Profile by Sanford is new to Utah, but comes with years of experience. Based out of the mid-west, Sanford Health is one of the largest non-profit health care providers in the country. Six years ago, they began opening health coaching/weight loss retail locations to accommodate the needs of their patients. The coaching model, created by Sanford’s physicians and scientists has taken off as the weight loss results have been astounding and sustainable. Profile provides nutrition, activity and lifestyle coaching and is designed to take the guesswork out of meal planning while educating its members on healthy groceries. Its members meet with a certified health coach on a regular basis to set and achieve targets, while learning nutrition. The Draper location opened in April and Cottonwood Heights opened in May. Sugarhouse is set to open its doors in October 2018. A new member interested in knowing more is able to schedule a one hour free consultation with a certified Profile coach.

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August 2018 | Page 19

Council considering partnerships to improve city By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com

Action Utah has requested to partner with the city in order to create a Sustainable Cottonwood Heights Committee. (Action Utah)


ver the past few months, the Cottonwood Heights City Council has been searching for opportunities to make the city a better place to live and work. They invited many different representatives to city council meetings to present possible partnerships for the city to consider. Some of the partnerships the city is currently considering are with Action Utah and Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency (UTOPIA). On June 26, Policy Director for Action Utah Carrie Butler discussed economic and environmental stewardship with the city council. “Our organization boosts civic engagement and gives voice to the communities we work in,” said Butler. Action Utah is a nonpartisan community engagement network that works to impact policymaking for ordinary residents. Primarily they work on issues that involve families and communities, environmental stewardship, public health and government. One of the goals Action Utah is currently working toward is to achieve complete renewable energy by 2032. Seventy cities have set that goal all over the country. “We are asking the municipalities to work

Page 20 | August 2018

with us and other organizations to transition away from fossil fuels to renewable resources,” explained Butler. She has asked many municipalities to pass a resolution supporting this goal. Salt Lake City, Moab and Park City have already passed such resolution. The ski industries, i.e., all of the ski resorts, have also shown their support. Butler also suggested the city create a Sustainable Cottonwood Heights Committee. The committee would work collaboratively with Rocky Mountain Power for clean energy and other resources. “Rocky Mountain Power is thrilled and willing to come discuss the availabilities and resources they have,” Butler said. On July 10, Executive Director Roger Timmerman from UTOPIA outlined the possibility of bringing UTOPIA into the city. UTOPIA is a fiber optic infrastructure operating on an open-access community fiber network. That means UTOPIA owns and manages the infrastructure while leasing the service lines to private internet providers who deliver the services. UTOPIA has options to provide their service to residential and businesses. “We have one network that connects ser-

vices from many different companies,” explained Timmerman. “It’s the most competitive system in the county because you can pick your provider.” Currently, the network runs from the north corner of the state down to Las Vegas. Their services are already being provided to over 30 cities in Utah including Lindon, Murray, Payson, Perry, West Valley City, Midvale, Layton and Brigham City. Timmerman presented many different advantages to bringing UTOPIA into the city, including cleanliness, economic development, city services and benefits for residents. “We are the cleanest telecommunications out there,” Timmerman said. Construction for the network is primarily done with underground boring. They don’t clutter power poles or cut into roads because they go underground. Timmerman explained how UTOPIA can be beneficial for city services as well, by providing connectivity for city services like public Wi-Fi, utility metering and connections for UEN. For example, the city of Orem uses the network to measure air quality. The city had a quality sensor network already in place so they

were able to plug into the fiber network. Now, every resident can look online to see the air quality in their neighborhood. If UTOPIA came into the city, every resident would be expected to benefit from competitive prices and a rising property value. “There is an expected decreased cost of service for all residents of $27 per month, while residential property values would go up by 3.1 percent.” Timmerman said those were the average impacts when broadband providers came into an area. Cottonwood Heights residents and businesses have already expressed interest in bringing UTOPIA into the city. Timmerman showed a map of inquiries that UTOPIA has received from many different areas within the city. “We are already in the city in some apartments and coming up to the border,” Timmerman said. If the city decided to partner with UTOPIA and bring the service into the city, the process would take about two years. UTOPIA would do a feasibility study, community review and contract review before the city council would take action on a vote. l

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Brighton High dance teacher hangs up shoes — sort of By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


his fall, former Albion Middle School dance teacher Lindsay Christensen will welcome Brighton High dance students — a possible shock to the 39-year supporters of the school’s dance company history. “She’s a good fit and knows the community,” said retiring coach Lisa West, who stepped down in June after 40 years of teaching. “I fully had intended to stay, but this is a chance to move forward. I’ve enjoyed every opportunity and have learned from these students to laugh at everything, no matter how dismal of a day it is.” West, who plans to continue teaching dance to seniors who are in assisted living for memory care, said she has seen improvement in them since she was introduced to the movement classes in January. “It’s a game changer when they start moving without a cane or walker,” she said. “It brings them joy and helps jog their memory.” Even West, who admits she can’t leap the way she used to when she was a dancer at the University of Utah, said she may miss the program she took over from Virgina McDonald, who was the first Brighton Dance Company coach. “I don’t know quite what I’ll do when there’s not a bell to tell me to eat lunch or I won’t be up at 4:45 every morning and back home around 6 p.m. every night,” she said, laughing. “I may just have to lead a more balanced life.” Still, she can recall plenty of stories during her teaching to remind her of her high school teaching tenure. “When I first started teaching, I was 21 years old and was teaching health to teenage boys at Hillcrest High,” she said. “One boy asked me to prom. I said, ‘very funny’ only to learn years later, when I taught his friend’s daughter, that he was serious.” West said hours choreographing school

musicals and trips with the dance company always bring back fond memories. “I’ve had countless families and great support from them, especially when we’ve traveled to Chicago, Southern California, Philadelphia and San Antonio,” she said. “One of my favorite moments is when the students learn from professionals at the Disney workshops and also in Chicago, when we saw ‘Wicked’ before it came to Salt Lake City. I always try to bring something historic into the trips, so when we were in San Antonio, we saw the Alamo. When we were in San Francisco, I had them moving from one thing to another so when it was time to see the American Ballet Company perform, I looked over and saw them so exhausted, many of them fell asleep.” West, who originally thought she would teach lessons at schools throughout the state, has been glad to stay at Brighton and see how the dance program has grown. “I’ve seen cuts in the dance program, but I’ve also seen its resurgence as it became more prominent in the community as well as gained more interest with dance shows like ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ and ‘Dancing with the Stars,’” she said. West said classes have changed as the traditional semester schedule moved to trimesters in the 1990s and with that, all of dance company’s performances were packed into six months from the traditional nine-month school calendar. “We don’t have spring for dance company, so our final concert is in February,” said West, who also taught health, ballroom dance and Dance I and II. “Dance has changed as most competitive sports have. Students have to make choices, prioritize everything. Dance company isn’t competitive, but we have hours of practice and it’s hard to fit in everything. The concerts are my favorite thing. I tell the students if it’s a

really good show, then they’ve worked hard. If it’s not, then I didn’t prepare enough.” However, West has always put education first, then dance. “A lot of the kids get straight A’s; however, a lot of kids just want to dance and if it wasn’t for dance company, Brighton High dance teacher Lisa West, seen in all black with her 2016 dance company, rethey might not tired after teaching 40 years. (Photo courtesy of Lisa West) come. We’re here “I loved our old studio and didn’t want to to nurture one another and help them achieve,” come to this one,” she said about the move five she said, adding that some of her students fond- years ago to the Bengal building. “I insisted on ly have referred to her as a “second mom” in windows if I were to move. Now, I notice how ensuring their homework comes first. beautiful the surroundings are every morning.” Students also have changed, West said. Even though West plans to be busy with When she enters the classroom, it’s silent — her own teaching, she said, “If I ever get really she seldom sees students gabbing. lonely, I know I can come back and pop in to “It’s quiet as students are now on their teach a lesson. That’s the fun part. I can leave phones. They have more resources than anyone the responsibility behind.” in the world, but they still need teachers to push West compares her time at Brighton to them and have them dig deeper,” she said. raising her two daughters, both of whom were With dance, she encourages students to dancers. “dance as you love to do it.” “It’s like having a baby. It’s new, beautiful, “We want students to layer and texture it, fresh and pink and needs nurturing and love to to create movement, color and dimension,” she grow. Then, it’s time to let go and see how she said. grows and sustains from your teaching. I feel However, as she leaves costumes and the the same way about this program. It’s time for history and philosophy of the dance classes me to let it go and I hope there will be more behind, she said it’s up to Christensen to move nurturing for a long time,” she said. “Lindsay is forward with the program. quite knowledgeable and loves it so I know the With the rebuild of Brighton Hall set to be- program will move forward with her. l gin this fall, dance classes will move to a new studio in the planned field house. NEWS FROM OUR ADVERTISERS



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August 2018 | Page 21

Every student shines as superstar during Sports Day By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


ilver Mesa Elementary’s Whitney Fairbourn loves to dance to the music while CeeJay Clark likes “getting all sweaty” in the obstacle course set up on Alta High’s football field. Park Lane fifth-grader Conner Goodwin said he was looking forward to running races. “I want to be the fastest,” he said. These three students were amongst the 280 student-athletes who participated in Canyons School District’s ninth annual Sports Day, an opportunity for students with disabilities to participate and put their gross motor skills to the test through five non-competition activities. “The students practice the skills they’ve learned in adaptive PE in several activities such as running, obstacle course, dancing, parachutes and more,” said accommodated core teacher Lisa Hayes. The day began with a parade of student-athletes walking with their school banner to the beat of Alta High’s drum corps and giving high fives to Swoop, the University of Utah mascot, who came to cheer the students. Quail Hollow’s seven students were amongst those in the parade of athletes. “One of the students made their own poster to represent the school,” Principal Shad DeMill said. “They’re pretty excited to be here.” After Alta’s students sang the national anthem, a student from each of the 10 participating elementary schools was selected to receive the Sportsmanship Award. At Park Lane, the teachers review students who try to exhibit positive behavior not only in their adaptive PE class, but also throughout the school year in class, said Linda Tognoni, accommodated core teacher for second, third and fourth grades. “It not only gives this student, but all our students, a chance to build their self-esteem,” she said. “The kids get excited and just love it. Families come to support them and it’s just a positive experience where they practice social skills, test their adaptive PE skills and exhibit good sportsmanship.” District K-8 teacher specialist Carin Cushing said that after Canyons School District split from Jordan School District in 2009, the annual Sports Day became more of a showcase rather than a competition so students with behavioral support, academic support, extended core, cognitive disabilities, functional lifestyles and accommodated core could test their skills. “The activities are skills students have worked on all year, such as balance and movement with dance or throwing, jumping with the obstacle course,” she said. “So instead of competing against one another, all the students are doing it and are awarded ribbons, which they love, for their participation.” Cushing said area high school volunteers come to help and participate with the students in the activities. “The students just look up to those high school kids and want them to be alongside them,” she said.

Page 22 | August 2018

Bella Vista Elementary students lead the parade of athletes during Canyons School District’s Sports Day. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

Hillcrest High School had 12 student body officers helping Bella Vista Elementary students with parachute games. “It’s fun to participate and have fun with other students,” said Hillcrest High Student Body President Boston Iacobazzi, who also participates with his school’s and Real Salt Lake’s unified soccer teams. “This gives these students an idea of what competing is, but it’s more like participating and having the best time.” Three Brighton High student government students — freshman Olivia Derrick, sophomore Baylee El-Bakri and senior Brieann Ingles — supported their elementary students who were running sprints. Ingles realized her position as a role model. “It’s heartwarming to see these students coming up to us and wanting to include us with them,” she said. “They’re having fun and are so energetic.” Canyons Assistant Superintendent Kathryn McCarrie said these student leaders and peer tutors are gaining experience, which some may pursue into careers as teachers. It is a positive experience for both the high school students and the elementary students. “I love to see how happy these students are as they participate with smiles on their faces and how proud they are of their ribbons,” she said.

Canyons Board of Education member Steve Wrigley, who had come to his fifth Sports Day, tried his ability in the obstacle course, crawling through a hula hoop amongst Edgemont Elementary students. “It’s a fun opportunity where every student can do his or her personal best,” he said. “They feel pride in what they are able to do. Everyone is here and gets to participate and socialize with their peers and that is success for them. It would be hard for these students to compete against another school’s star athlete so by including everyone this way, they build spirit and share in a

common, positive experience.” Edgemont teacher aide Sandra Siordia said her 17 students, who had prepared for the obstacle course through their adaptive PE class, looked forward to having a picnic lunch afterward. It’s a day to test their gross motor skills, social skills and be supported by high school peers, said Superintendent Jim Briscoe. “It’s an opportunity for each student here to be recognized and where we can celebrate them,” he said. l

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Brighton gains new assistant principal By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


righton High School students will see a new face as they return to school this fall — that of Justin Pitcher, who will serve as their assistant principal. The former East Midvale Elementary principal will replace Matt Schelble, who will move to Hillcrest High as their assistant principal. “Brighton was my first job in Canyons School District,” Pitcher said. “I made a lot of friends my four years in this community and have helped make plans for the Brighton rebuild that begins this fall.” This is just one of in several administrative shifts this fall in Canyons School District. “I’m excited to go to Hillcrest,” Schelble said. “I learned the ropes (and) will bring that experience to Hillcrest.” Hillcrest’s Assistant Principal Justin Matagi will become assistant principal at Albion Middle. “I’m going to miss teen life as students make plans to attend college,” he said. “It’s fun to listen to them make college plans and ask me to impart words of wisdom. It’s been nice knowing they are at the finish line with graduation and valuing their education.” Matagi said he will miss Hillcrest’s caliber of students and the amazing opportunities he has had accompanying students at competitions — most recently, with the instrumental groups tour of San Diego.

Former East Midvale Principal Justin Pitcher, seen here during a 2017 fun run, will become Brighton High’s assistant principal. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

Assuming Pitcher’s role of East Midvale principal will be Murray School District’s former Viewmont and Grant elementaries’ principal Matt Nelson. “Canyons is a progressive district, so I see

this as a great fit,” Nelson said. “I’m looking forward to getting to know the community and putting some roots down. I’m excited to highlight the diversity and strengthen the culture of our school. The children want to be here and

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there is a fun and energetic faculty who provide instruction and support.” Midvale Elementary Assistant Principal Matt Watts will become Midvale Middle’s assistant principal as its former assistant principal, Kip Carlsen, is taking a position with Granite School District. “I miss middle school; that is where my heart and passion is,” Watts said. “I love that age group where I can make a big impact, joke around with and help make the change. I love Midvale Elementary and can see the difference made with this age group. I think it will help that I’ve been at Midvale Elementary and will get to reconnect with students when they come to Midvale Middle. I love this community.” Other administrative changes include Current Canyons District Responsive Services specialist Ashley McKinney replacing Watts at Midvale Elementary as assistant principal. Midvale Middle achievement coach Sara Allen will serve as Butler Middle assistant principal. Albion Middle Assistant Principal Scott Jameson will assume the duties of Alta View Principal Karen Medlin, who is retiring, and East Sandy Elementary achievement coach Lori Reynolds will become Sprucewood Elementary’s principal as current principal Colleen Smith will become a Canyons School District Responsive Services Program administrator. l


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August 2018 | Page 23

Former Jazzman motivates students, teachers with his story By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


he coach came up to him, crossed his arms and looked at the lanky 6'7" eighth-grader and said, “Son, give it up. You don’t have what it takes to be a basketball player. You’re wasting my time. I don’t have time to teach you to play. I’m looking for boys who can help me win a championship. Don’t try out next year.” If those words weren’t heart-breaking enough, it was the second time the middle school boy had faced being cut. “The first time I failed at something, it was painful, but it was my passion and the drive that made me try again — and again,” said the boy who ended up making the team the next year under a new coach. “The coach shook my hand, congratulated me and complimented me and every single one of us. I was crying when I saw my name on the list. I worked really hard to get on the team.” This was former Utah Jazz center Thurl Bailey’s message to Canyons School District students and teachers. He encouraged teachers to believe in their students — and for students to believe in themselves. “I am grateful that I had teachers and coaches who didn’t give up on me. They saw potential and believed in me and what they saw in me and what I was capable of,” he said. “That’s what I ask of you. Teachers, find those students who need your belief that they are capable of getting good grades and becoming more than they see. I had those who stuck with

me. I am where I am because of people like you. They saw something and wouldn’t let me extinguish my goals and for that, I thank them and I thank you for what you’re doing to support these students.” Then, he turned to the students and gave them a mission. “Find something that will stick with you and become your passion. It takes hard work to be successful. Find the right people and ask the right questions. Then, when you are successful, use the platform, reach down and pick up others to see the view from where you are,” he said. Bailey has done just that. Not only does Bailey give motivational speeches, he also has been recognized by the NBA with the Citizenship Award, ran a leg of the Salt Lake Olympic torch relay and visited soldiers in Iraq in 2008. The late Utah Jazz owner Larry H. Miller once said, “Thurl has always been a person willing to give back.” Bailey credits his parents and knows “it’s about the journey” that has helped him to be successful. Bailey grew up in a poor section of Washington, D.C. during the Civil Rights era, and he would be bused into a desegregated school where everything was “foreign in a sense.” He was bullied and was a misfit amongst his peers. Yet, his parents had high hopes for him, Bailey said. “I didn’t like school, but my mom said,

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‘Boy, I don’t ever want to see a C or below on a report card. Son, that’s average and I don’t raise average kids.’ So I knew I had to be successful and get a good education,” he said. “But I didn’t discover basketball until I saw my dad watching our old Zenith TV with an antenna and saw this guy with short shorts who looked cool flying up over two or three guys and was laying the ball in the hoop. My dad told me it was one of the greatest athletes of the world, Dr. J (Julius Erving). I asked him if doctors played professional basketball — that’s how little I knew, but it’s also when it clicked and I knew that was what I wanted to do.” Now, years later after practicing his Dr. J moves for hours in his driveway and failing to make his school team twice, Bailey was on the basketball team — but his hard work was just beginning. “I worked hard for years to make the team, but still the coach called me into his office Second Lt Matthew Plendl 419th Fighter Wing and Thurl Bailey, retired and looked at me and said, ‘If NBA player with the Utah Jazz, dispose of old brick at the George E. Wahlen you want to be a great basketball Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Salt Lake City, during a player, you have a lot more work service project, Nov. 6, 2014. In honor of Veterans Day, active duty personto do. If you’re willing to com- nel from military bases around Utah, participated side-by-side with NBA mit — your grades, your time, players from the Utah Jazz basketball team, in several service projects at your energy — then I’ll come an the VA Medical Center, Salt Lake City, Utah. (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd hour early and stay an hour late Cromar/Released to help you. I see potential in Philadelphia 76ers, in one of his early rookie you,’” Bailey said. So with Bailey practicing twice as much as games. “He said, ‘Welcome to the NBA,’ and I his teammates, he started every game — to win the tip — and then would be substituted out for was really excited that I was not only meeting him, but going up against him. I knew I had to the rest of the game. “I averaged 2.3 seconds per game, but I got play with confidence and I couldn’t quit. I had every possession and played every game,” said teachers and coaches who believed in me. I had Bailey, who learned to play a few years earlier worked hard. So that night, I held Dr. J to 47 from his dad with a garbage can nailed to the points — there wasn’t a chance he was going side of his house. “It wasn’t until the next year to score 50 on me,” he said with a smile. “I got better and he got older, but he inspired me and that I realized my potential.” Bailey credits this coach with believing coaches and teachers believed in me. It’s about in him and helping him believe in himself. He the journey.” Canyons Board of Education member earned a four-year scholarship to North Carolina State, where he won the NCAA basketball Steve Wrigley said Bailey gave an important message to students: “Never give up.” championship in 1983. “I hope all our students find people who “Once you know someone believes in you, it’s an amazing feeling. And once you are on believe in them and their ability to accomplish a championship team, then you’re a champion some amazing things,” Wrigley said. “And I and that is a feeling that nobody can take away hope our teachers help motivate our students from you,” he said. “My career didn’t end with and realize how important they are in the lives that championship. I was 6'11", 189 pounds — of students. It only takes one teacher to mentor a tall but really skinny player. I didn’t know a student, or in Thurl’s case, one coach to behow long I’d last in the NBA, but the Jazz took lieve in him and get him out of the ghetto and into the light. Teachers really can impact lives a chance on me as the seventh pick.” Bailey got to play his idol, Dr. J of the and change history.” l

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Butler teacher retires after entire career at same school By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


hen Casandra Mackris started teaching 38 years ago, calculators were a new learning tool. Now, students have calculators built in on their cellphones. “Technology — students help me out with it now,” Mackris said. “It’s good to combine the new technology with the old methods.” While she said technology seems to preoccupy some students, others use it to learn from games or look up facts. “It’s the way it is in our society and education is in step with the changes,” she said. Not that Mackris will have to worry much now about staying in tune with educational changes. After 38 years — her entire teaching career — at Butler Elementary, she cleaned out her classroom for the last time in June and retired. Butler students will see a new face teaching second grade this fall. “I was told ‘you’ll know when it’s time to retire’ and in my heart, I know it’s time. I’ll now have time for other projects at my house like gardening and cooking or little jaunts to go on — and for reading. You’d think I’d have time all these years to get more reading in, but there’s always papers to grade,” she said, adding that her teaching career actually started as a youngster when she “played school” with her sister. “I will miss the kids the most and the special relationships I develop and just the daily part of our routine. I just hope my students will remember to put their best foot forward when they work hard and play fair.” Mackris was surprised when her current and former faculty joined together to present a tree planted in her honor in the last weeks of the school year. The tree, with a plaque dedicated to her, is in front of the two-year-old Butler Elementary. “It is so nice to have windows now and see the sunshine,” she said. “To think, for 36 years, I didn’t know what the weather was like when it was time to leave until I walked outside.” Her principal, Jeff Nalwalker, estimated that she has taught about 1,000 students through more than one-third of the school’s 95-year history. “Not many people have this rare opportunity to profoundly affect the course of so many human lives,” he wrote in a letter to her. “Stop and think how lucky those almost 1,000 people are to have sat at your feet, learned to do math, learned to read, learned to write and learned to get along with one another. Wow! I believe they were especially lucky to have their hearts touched by a kind and gentle soul such as yourself. Your influence will live on far into the future as these students raise families of their own.” “Statistics say that 5.5 of your students

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have become or will yet become teachers themselves. Certainly, among those, one could recognize in their practice a routine, a phrase, a spark or gentle way that they saw in your practice while they were students in your classroom.” Colleagues describe Mackris as having a huge impact with students in her quiet manner. “She’s reserved,” third-grade teacher Ann Marie Sulzen said. “She may have the loudest kids in her class, but her room is totally quiet. She has a sweet, kind demeanor and is passionate about student learning. She can take some of the lowest kids and have them achieve high success in academic growth.” Former library assistant Debbie Tyler said the soft-spoken Mackris was always organized and calm. “She’s touched so many lives and always made sure everyone checked out a book,” she said. “All her kids were good readers.” Keeping students engaged is something Administrative Assistant Teresa Draney recalls about her students in Mackris’ classroom. “She has a low-key personality and has the ability to keep everyone interested in the class,” she said. “She’s always precise, having her T’s crossed and her I’s dotted. She helps students who are struggling and goes over and over the material in her kind and gentle way until they understand.” Draney said her youngest son was so taken with Mackris that he wanted her to join them during the holidays. “He invited her to Thanksgiving dinner,” she said, adding that Mackris thanked him for the invitation, but spent it with her family. Second-grade dual immersion teacher Kahina Naudot said she often sees high school students visit Mackris. “They remember how sweet and kind she is and tell her how much they love her,” Naudot said. “Just last week, students came in to give her hugs.” Students still appreciate their teacher, even in the last full day of her teaching career. Second-grader Wyatt Fortie said she has helped him with math. “She’s helped me with addition, subtraction, dividing and times,” he said. “She gives us independent practice and if nobody gets it, she goes back until we do. She’s really awesome.” His classmate Aggy Deagle said Mackris has helped her as well. “She’s kind and helpful,”Aggy said. “If I have a question, she helps me. She makes sure I understand what is wrong on a test and is really kind about it. I’m kind of sad and happy she’s retiring. She deserves it since she’s taught a long time, but I’ll miss her.” l

The last class Butler Elementary teacher Casandra Mackris taught before retiring gives her a farewell hug. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

August 2018 | Page 25

Cottonwood High speech team makes points at nationals By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


his fall, Cottonwood High’s speech and debate team can build upon its success from this past season — including the first time in recent history they have sent team members to compete at nationals. Twelve members of Cottonwood High’s speech and debate team made their points against hundreds of others who qualified for the Grand National Tournament. Cottonwood students qualified for nationals at the qualifying tournament in mid-March hosted by Juan Diego Catholic High School. For some Cottonwood students, competing at the Grand National Tournament hosted by the National Catholic Forensic League on May 26 meant walking through their high school graduation and less than two hours later, flying to Washington, D.C. It didn’t seem to deter senior Nour Bilal, who won the first round in original oratory, where students prepare original orations on a topic of their own choosing for a memorized presentation up to 10 minutes. Her speech was about coming to the U.S. from Syria. Junior Mac Gough won the first round in the dramatic performance with a humorous interpretation of “The Book of Mormon Musical.” Other Cottonwood students competed in oratorical declamation, oral interpretation of

Cottonwood High’s speech team competed at the national competition in Washington, D.C. (Cottonwood High School)

literature-prose and poetry, extemporaneous speaking and student congress. “It is so great,” Cottonwood High speech and debate coach Adam Wilkins said. “It’s a

fantastic experience for the students to not only compete against the nation’s best, but to tour the nation’s capitol and represent their schools and the state. We (were) very stoked to go.”

The team was able to take in some of the sites around Washington, D.C., including the national mall, spending time at the Smithsonian as well as several national monuments and memorials. Wilkins, who has been the coach for the past five years, said Cottonwood focuses on speech rather than debate topics. “As a theater teacher, I can help them with their prepared speeches, so that is where I can best assist them,” he said. “They spend so much time researching, practicing, revising and preparing for competitions. It’s their love and their hard work has paid off this year.” About 20 competitive teammates have presented at 15 tournaments throughout the school year. “Our goal this past year was to win region. We not only did that, but we did very well at state in addition to taking a large group to nationals,” he said. “This experience allows our kids to listen to students from across the nation. It gives them the chance to have greater exposure and to build their self-confidence.” At state, Cottonwood placed in the top 10. This fall, about half of the team will return. “It’s a great experience we can build on. We have a great mindset coming off of a winning season,” Wilkins said. l

Top five ways to avoid an accident


ccidents are inevitable. Or are they? We’ve all met someone who says (more like “claims”) they have never experienced a car accident before. While we might doubt the veracity of such a statement, there are countless ways to avoid those nauseatingly time consuming situations — the ones where you wait for law enforcement on the side of the road (or middle of the intersection), deal with insurance companies and figure out finances for fixing the fender. There are countless ways to avoid an accident, here are the top five. 1. Attitude You probably weren’t expecting this one first. As a driver, you control over 3,000 pounds (or more) of metal that can cause incalculable damage. Driving with maturity and the right mindset makes a world of difference. Speeding to beat another car to the exit or to get back at the person who cut you off a minute ago may give you a moment of satisfaction, but is it worth the risk and ramifications? If all drivers commit to having a responsible attitude, imagine how much less we’d find ourselves in bumper to bumper traffic waiting to pass the accident. 2. Speed From 2012-2016, 40 percent of motor vehicle traffic crash deaths in Utah were because

Page 26 | August 2018

of speeding, according to Utah Department of didn’t let someone else go first. Public Safety’s crash data. This also applies when driving in poor Slowing down isn’t going to kill you, but weather conditions. Heavy rainfall and snowflying past others just might. storms blot windshields and make roads slick, 3. Distraction adverse circumstances to traveling safely. BaStay focused. Keep your guard up. Though sics become even more vital like keeping your you may be a phenomenal driver, others aren’t. distance from the vehicle in front of you. Be aware of your surroundings by paying 5. Maintenance attention to what’s in front of you and checkThe best way to avoid car malfunction is ing your mirrors. Knowing where everyone else the maintenance of said car. is helps avoid collisions. If you’re distracted Ensure tires and brakes are operating withby your phone, music, or billboards with cows out issue. Keep fluids to their proper levels. writing on them, it limits your response time to Oil changes and car washes make a difference. what another driver may being doing in front of These simple, but effective maintenance tips enyou. sure your car remains a well-oiled machine (pun 4. Defense intended). l This was one of the first concepts taught in driver education and one of the first we forget: drive defensively. Failing to yield caused 12 percent of deaths from 20122016 in the same data mentioned before. That comes to 154 people who died because they Here are some ways to avoid a car accident, like this one. (Photo by David Shankbone)

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Brighton boys lacrosse place second in state tournament By Josh McFadden | josh@mycityjournals.com


ay back on March 9, the Brighton boys lacrosse team battled Park City High School in a hard-fought contest that ultimately went 7-6 in Park City’s favor. Little did anyone know at that time that it was a preview of things to come. Fast forward a few months to the Class A boys lacrosse state championship game where the same two teams met for all the marbles. Once again, Brighton fell—by the same 7-6 score. The Bengals couldn’t overcome the Miners in the winnertake-all contest. Brighton fell behind 2-1 at the end of the first quarter but knotted things up 2-2 at halftime. Park City used a 2-1 advantage in the third period to take a 4-3 lead into the fourth. That’s when both offenses heated up with three goals apiece. However, the Bengals couldn’t manage a fourth to force overtime and went down at the hands of Park City by a single goal for a second time on the year. The Bengals rode a potent offense into the championship game. In the postseason, Brighton totaled 43 goals in its first three contests leading up to the final match against Park City. The Bengals defeated Bonneville 16-7 in the opening round, followed by a 14-9 victory over Olympus in the quarterfinals and a 13-9 triumph over Corner Canyon.

Brighton faced a full slate of games during the regular season. Four of the team’s six regular season defeats came against out-of-state teams—two from California, one from Idaho and one from Oregon. Following its 12-7 loss to Lake Oswego, Oregon, in game eight, Brighton ran off 12 straight victories heading into the state tournament. In 11 of those 12 games, Brighton scored at least 10 goals. Midfielder Justus Peterson and attacker Easton Albert were both named First Team All-State in Class A. Defender Matt Powley and long stick midfielder MJ Cirillo were Second Team All-State. Short stick defensive midfielder Brayden Kenney and attacker Jake Nydegger received Honorable Mention. The Bengals weren’t just about offense this past season. Goalies Canyon Curtis and Houston Kraenbuhl split duties and each turned heads with their performances. Curtis saved just shy of 54 percent of the shots he defended. Meanwhile, Kraenbuhl had 80 saves and allowed just 49 goals. On offense, five players had at least 20 goals, led by Pe- Brighton’s Chase Ebeling (No. 7 in blue) battles against an opponent from Park City terson’s 44. Right behind him was Albert’s 43. Nydegger was High School in a game this past season. (Photo courtesy of Chris Lund) the team’s assist leader with 31. l



ale Centre Theatre specializes in bringing true magic to the stage and is captivating parents and children yet again with the classic tale of Pinocchio in Disney’s My Son Pinocchio: Geppetto’s Musical Tale, set to run July 7 – Aug. 27 on the Sorensen Legacy Jewel Box Stage in the new Mountain America Performing Arts Centre in Sandy. For the presentation of this unforgettable show, Hale Center Theatre has lowered the minimum age for guests from five to three years old, with tickets on sale now. Guests will enjoy the story of Pinocchio from the unique perspective of the character Geppetto, told with the help of gifted child-actors, enchanting costumes, and famous music that has touched the world time and again!

With 18 children performing in the show between the two casts - ranging from ages eight to 12 years old - My Son Pinocchio is genuine children’s theater produced for children. These young actors have helped make the story even more real on stage with their retained belief in the magic of

CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com

Gifted Actors, Enchanting Costumes and Famous Music All Found in Hale Center Theatre’s My Son Pinocchio: Geppetto’s Musical Tale

the story, and passion for bringing audience members into their world of fantasy and wonder. Dave Tinney, producer of My Son Pinocchio: Geppetto’s Musical Tale has said that children, with their creative imaginations, are wonderful storytellers, no matter their age. Creativity is further found in the costumes for this show, with Hale Center Theatre hiring a sole designer for Pinocchio’s nose. Eric Clark, a hair and makeup artist from Cirque du Soleil and other productions, spent a great deal of time with the HCT team researching and determining how to meet the challenge of making the nose grow on stage. Other main characters, including the lovely Blue Fairy, have been adorned with intricate and detailed costumes designed by Joy Zhu, to help bring greater animation to each show. Enhanced by spectacular costumes and sets, the impressive group of performers bring further enchantment to the stage when performing the famous songs featured in My Son Pinocchio: Geppetto’s Musical Tale. I’ve Got No Strings, When You Wish Upon a Star and additional music from Wicked composer Stephen Schwartz, will delight children and send parents down memory lane. Music director Kelly DeHaan and choreographer Brittany Sanders, as well as all other aiding crew, have done a beautiful job bringing these masterful arrangements to the Sorensen Legacy Jewel Box Stage in a way that cannot be witnessed elsewhere. Because this production is so magical for children, HCT recently treated a group of students and family members of Guadalupe School in Salt Lake City to a performance, through its HCT Applauds program. For every new HCT production,

HCT Applauds provides free theater passes to a non-profit organization that contributes to the community’s quality of life. Guadalupe School is committed to transforming the lives of low-income children and adults through education. Performance times for My Son Pinocchio: Geppetto’s Musical Tale are 7:30 p.m., Monday, Friday, and Saturday, and matinees Saturdays at 12:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. throughout July. August performance times are 7:30 p.m., Monday,

Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and matinees Saturdays at 12:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Ticket prices are $40 for adults and $20 for youth, ages three to seventeen. For additional ticket information call 801-984-9000, go to www.hct.org, or visit the box office at 9900 S. Monroe Street in Sandy, UT. For updates, contests, and information on the current theater season, follow Hale Center Theatre on Facebook. l

August 2018 | Page 27

NOTICE OF PROPOSED TAX INCREASE COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS CITY The COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS CITY is proposing to increase its property tax revenue. - The COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS CITY tax on a $431,800 residence would increase from $437.22 to $532.93, which is $95.71 per year. - The COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS CITY tax on a $431,800 business would increase from $794.94 to $968.96, which is $174.02 per year. -If the proposed budget is approved, COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS CITY would increase its property tax budgeted revenue by 21.91% above last year’s property tax budgeted revenue excluding new growth.

Classes help homeowners learn about water conservation By Lana Medina | l.medina@mycityjournals.com


iving in a desert state, some Salt Lake Valley residents are making it a mission to conserve water. Utah received limited snowpack in the mountains, and local water officials say they’ve had to dip into reservoir water early this year. But Shaun Moser, an instructor at the Conservation Water Garden in West Jordan, said even heavy snowpack years aren’t an excuse to waste water. “Conservation should be an ethic here in Utah. More often than not, we’re in some kind of drought here,” Moser explained. That’s why state officials have been pushing to implement a statewide water conservation campaign called Slow the Flo. It’s designed to educate residents and also to encourage changes in residents’ landscapes, including using less grass in their yards. Dani Workman, a West Jordan homeowner and mom, said she’s trying to make small changes to her landscape to reduce water use. “We water our lawn twice a week and watch the weather to decide what days will be best to do it,” Workman explained. “For our garden, we collect rainwater in barrels from our downspouts and use that to hand water our garden. Not only is it free, but it saves a little bit of water and money.” Moser said the average lawn only needs 20 minutes of water every other day during the hottest months. In the spring and fall, grass only needs 20 minutes of water approximately 1-2

times a week. But Moser said it’s even more important to cut back on the grass in your yard. The average sprinkler system isn’t designed to water any lawn area smaller than 8 feet wide, such as park strips or sides of a home. The Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District offers monthly classes to give residents examples on how to cut back on sod grass at Localscapes.com. “The style of landscaping that has been adopted here in Utah really doesn’t fit our climate. The English style of landscaping developed in an area that gets rain a lot of time,” Moser explained about landscapes filled with grass. “Here in Utah we need irrigation systems to keep things alive.” Cynthia Bee, outreach coordinator for the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District, says Local Scapes offers a small reward to residents who take their classes teaching water conservation and implement changes to their own landscape. “We’re not calling it an incentive, because it’s not enough to cover costs for changing your landscape,” Bee explained. The small bonus is up to $.25 per square footage in a landscape, but the real benefit is reducing water. To learn more about Local Scapes, the next beginner class will be at 9 a.m. on Sept. 1 at the Conservation Garden Park at 8275 S. 1300 West in West Jordan. You can sign up for Local Scapes 101 on LocalScapes.com l



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To belt or not to belt? That is the question By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com

Currently seat belts on buses are only available for students with special needs. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)


ollowing a recent school bus tragedy in New Jersey, the issue of school bus safety is under renewed scrutiny. The Federal Transportation Safety Board released a statement in May urging school districts to install seat belts on buses. The issue is not new to Utah. Utah Rep. Craig Hall, of West Valley, proposed a bill in 2016 to require seat belts on Utah school buses. “We require, by law, for all children and all adults in our own personal vehicles to wear seat belts,” said Hall. “And we can be fined as parents if our kids don’t have their seat belts on. But for some reason, we deem it perfectly acceptable to put kids in buses with no seat belts at all.” Herb Jensen, Jordan School District director of transportation, thinks the idea of putting seat belts on school buses is an emotional issue. “A lot of people think that if it’s the right thing for their minivan, then it should be the right thing for a school bus, but that isn’t necessarily the case,” he said. Jensen is confident in the engineering and design of school buses to protect passengers without a restraint through compartmentalization, protecting students with closely spaced seats with tall, energy-absorbing seat backs. Hall said through his research, he found compartmentalization is ineffective in rollover or side impact crashes or when kids aren’t sitting appropriately. “Students are tossed about the interior of the bus like clothes in a dryer,” he said. In contrast, when a child is buckled

CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com

in, he said they are far less likely to be injured and can evacuate easily with the click of a button. “An uninjured child can move more quickly than an injured or unconscious or dead child,” he said. One of Jensen’s concerns about seat belts is they would exacerbate the situation if children can’t get out of them independently or if they are stuck high in the air after a rollover. Jensen said fires on buses are more common. He believes restraints would impede a quick evacuation, especially for young children. In his experience, he also believes students would play around and misuse seat belts, causing needless injuries. Jensen said facts and data support that seat belts on buses is not the right answer. “School buses are extremely safe already,” he said. “It would be hard to justify the expense because it’s extremely unlikely that a child is going to lose their life if they’re on the inside of a school bus.” Jensen noted there hasn’t been a casualty inside a Jordan District bus for more than 80 years. “I would daresay there’s not a safer vehicle on the road than a school bus,” he said. “You don’t want to run into a school bus because you’ll lose.” Jensen cites statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which reports out of 324,710 motor vehicle fatalities from 2006–2015, only five were passengers on a school bus. “We transport 15,000 kids twice a

day and drive millions of miles a year on our buses,” said Jensen. “Although we do have accidents, we don’t have casualties with the occupants of the bus. I think that data speaks for itself.” Jensen said if state or federal legislation passes, the district will comply. “You’re not going to statistically increase the safety of our buses by spending the enormous amount of money that it’s going to require to put seat belts on the buses,” said Jensen. “When we have our first casualty on a school bus, I might change my mind. Any fatality on a school bus is one too many.” Hall said he is monitoring the situation to see what happens on the federal level before he initiates another bill in the next Utah legislative session. “Eventually, this is going to happen,” said Hall. “And unfortunately, sometimes it takes a tragic accident for the seat belts to be put into the school buses.” According to FTSB, at least 29 states have introduced school bus seat belt legislation in the last year, but high costs have been a roadblock for many. Hall estimates only about six states have school bus seat belt regulations. To reduce costs, Hall said any bill he initiates will require seat belts on new buses only. The National Transportation Safety Board also recommended requiring collision-avoidance systems and automatic emergency brakes on new school buses, citing that most bus accidents are caused by human error. l

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Making sense of cents




he importance of saving money has been emphasized ever since I was a child. I was bombarded with the sentiment from my parents, my teachers and from the media. “Save Big” marketing messages have been in my life ever since I have been able to make sense of my senses. Lately, I’ve been wondering why. Why do we need to save money? As soon as I was old enough to receive a paycheck, my parents told me to put at least 10 percent of it into a savings account, if not more (hopefully one that accrues interest). They always told me to keep a $100 comfort pillow in my primary checking account and to keep a significant safety net. When I would ask “Why?” their response was always, “In case of an emergency.” What if the car breaks down and you need to pay for a pretty hefty repair? What if you break a part of yourself and need to pay for medical expenses? Saving money was to keep myself out of debt when outstanding situations arose. In school, we were required to take financial planning classes. We received instruction on how to budget, how to buy a house, how to get the best agreements for car payments, and how to plan for retirement. The essentials

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for our personal budgets, right? Buy a car. Buy a house. Save enough to retire on time. Saving money was to maintain a comfortable lifestyle to transport ourselves, shelter ourselves, and take care of ourselves in old age. As soon as we reproduce, we start saving money for our children. I’ve always heard that one child costs $20,000 per year, on average. Offspring are expensive. On top of that average support, parents tend to save for their children’s future (aka a college education). Parents also tend to want to leave their children something of merit when they pass. So, we save money for emergencies, for a comfortable lifestyle, and for our offspring. Besides those canons of saving money, what else do you

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save money for? What do you put value on? What do you not mind spending full price on and what do you absolutely need a coupon for in order to buy? It may be food. Some people don’t mind paying money to go out to eat multiple times per week at real restaurants (not fast food joints). Other people will stock pile coupons and go to different grocery stores in order to get the best deals. It may be clothes. Some people don’t mind paying triple digits to have a specific name or logo on the fabric wrapped around their bodies. Other people buy their jeans from Wal-Mart for $10. It may be cars. Some people pay for fuel efficiency, or speed, or sporty-looking body styles. Other peo-

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ple can’t even imagine paying more than four figures on something that just gets them from point A to point B. It may be family and friends. Some people will make agreements with family and friends to not exchange gifts. Other people don’t mind spending some cash on their people. Why are we so driven to save a few dollars here and a few cents there? Why are we so turned on by sales and big savings tactics? Is it so we can have money for emergency situations? Or to spend money on things we perceive to have value? Or is it some ideal the marketing industries have driven into us since before we can remember? Let me know so I don’t feel like I’m just rambling into the ether. l

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Life and Laughter—Uncommon Courtesy


Laughter AND





e’ve become an unpleasant people. All the commons, like courtesy, sense, knowledge and good, aren’t nearly as prevalent as they should be. But we’re Americans! We’re resilient! We survived New Coke and the Sony Betamax. We can definitely start using old-fashioned common courtesy. Making America Great Again should include some of the following: Be Thoughtful Being thoughtful doesn’t have to be inconvenient, like throwing your jacket on top of a mud puddle so I can cross without getting my dainty feet wet. (Disclaimer: I’ve never had dainty feet). Even small actions amp up your kindness cred. Open doors, smile, give up your seat, wipe down the machines at the gym (you know who you are!!) or offer to carry a bag of groceries. Maybe thoughtfulness means doing something you’d rather not do, like play Yahtzee with your grandson 327 times in a row, watch golf with your husband or help a friend move. Offer to buy a stranger’s coffee, remember important dates, use manners, write thank you cards and let someone go in front of you at Walmart. Watching their wary acceptance is pretty hilarious.

Shut up and Listen Have you ever talked to someone and realized their eyes were more glazed than a Krispy Kreme conveyer belt? That means you’ve monopolized the conversation and it’s someone else’s turn to talk. (“Conversation” means two or more people exchanging ideas.) We’re horrible listeners. We interrupt, interject with personal stories, refuse to make eye contact and try to keep that supercool thought in our brain so we can jump right in as soon as the speaker takes a breath. Calm yourself. Listen to learn. If we already know everything, there’s absolutely no reason to pay attention to someone who’s talking to us. If you agreed with that last sentence, your wife is slowly poisoning you. Put Down Your Damn Phone We are WAY too invested in our cell phones. I’m not excluding myself. My husband and I often have this conversation: Tom: Can you put down your phone and watch TV? Me: I’m watching. Tom: What just happened? Me: The guy did that one thing to that other guy. Tom: Hand me your phone. Me: [Eye roll] Gees, you don’t




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understand. Our discourteous cell phone behavior made headlines this spring after a cast member of Hamilton called out audience members in Salt Lake because they wouldn’t turn their phones off during the performance. Good grief! We’ve even irritated the Founding Fathers (again). Leave your phone in your car, on your shelf or in your fish tank if you’re in a situation that requires decent human behavior. Be Generous Utahns are notoriously cheap. I mean seriously-perhaps-we-should-be-in-therapy cheap. I’ve had two daughters who worked in food services. They’ve shared horror stories of impolite guests, demanding drunks and overall poorly behaved people. Come on, everyone. The wait staff survives off your chintzy tips. They usually make less than $3 an hour and when you tip $2.75 on a bill of $100, you are a villain. Don’t be afraid to pry open that creaky, dusty wallet and tip your restaurant servers, hair stylists, pizza guy, Uber driver or dog walker. Let Drivers Merge for Cryin’ Out Loud Nothing more needs to be said




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801-819-9158 August 2018 | Page 31

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Cottonwood Heights City Journal August 2018  

Cottonwood Heights City Journal August 2018