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February 2020 | Vol. 17 Iss. 02



hile students were on winter break, 50 years of performing arts memories came crashing down as construction crews tore down Brighton High’s auditorium. “It’s part of the first phase of demolition,” Principal Tom Sherwood said. “It will be a challenging six months as we find homes for our programs in that area — performing arts, art, family consumer science — but the final outcome will be a beautiful, new updated school.” Until the new auditorium is complete, Brighton High will use the stage at nearby Butler Middle School. It’s all part of rebuilding Brighton High on the same campus, and part of the $283 million bond voters approved in November 2017. “Our goal through each phase of this process is to keep the students safe and provide them learning opportunities,” Sherwood said. Sherwood said the first phase is slated to be completed in June. It will include the new arts area for vocational, family consumer science and performing arts as well as the fieldhouse and physical education facilities. In what was a parking lot on the northwest corner, an updated 1,100-seat auditorium with a full fly system and improved acoustics as well as lightning and sound is being built. There also will be updated dressing rooms adjacent to the theater and storage for props, he said. The new fieldhouse is expected to alleviate some of the use of the current basketball courts. Dance, drill, wrestling, soccer, lacrosse, physical education classes and other activi- During winter break, Brighton High’s 50-year-old auditorium was demolished. The rebuild of the school will continue through summer 2021. ties and sports can use the multi-use fieldhouse with artificial (Photo courtesy of Brighton High School) turf, an indoor track and baseContinued page 9

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Recess before lunch or lunch before recess?

Scan Here: Interactive online edition with more photos.

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The residents have spoken

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Cottonwood Canyons get more visitors than Zion

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February 2020 | Page 3

Read, remember, react: Be Ready Utah’s easy-to-remember tips for staying safe in emergencies By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjouranls.com

Be the first responder,” says Be Ready Program Manager Wade Mathews. In an emergency situation, first responders are the witnesses, neighbors and/or family members. “Those closest to the disaster are the real first responders; others are the professional responders,” Mathews elaborated. Those at Be Ready Utah continuously aim to create a culture of preparedness. That includes encouraging individuals to become knowledgeable about emergency situations. This way, individuals can be the help until help arrives. “Be the first responder,” Mathews encourages. As program manager, Mathews discusses how to be a first responder with protective actions in a variety of emergency situations. Luckily, the English language has been able to help out in this task as many catchy idioms have been created to help individuals remember appropriate action in emergency situations. For an earthquake, “drop, cover, and hold on.” Utah residents have expressed concern over liquefaction for if/when an earthquake occurs within the valley. Mathews suggests paying attention to buildings if you’re inside during an earthquake, as “unreinforced masonry is a big thing in Utah.” For a structure fire, “get low and go.” Roll to the floor, don’t stand up, and get out. For flooding, “turn around don’t drown.” This is specifically in regard to navigating rushing waters. “Twelve inches of moving water can knock you off your feet; 18 inches can float a car,” Mathews said. For lightning, “when thunder rolls, go indoors.” “Lightening kills more people than any other natural disaster,” Mathews said. Previously, the widely recognized advice was


to count the seconds between hearing thunder and seeing lightning to judge distance of the storm and act accordingly. However, it is now known that lightning can hit at any and all times during a storm. For an active shooter, “Run. Hide. Fight.” In any dangerous situation, individuals want to remove themselves from the scenario, which is why “run” leads the list. If you cannot run, then find a hiding place. If hiding doesn’t work, then it is recommended to fight. For a pandemic, stay home. The main advice here is social isolation. Individuals need to have food and water storage at home. And if there is a need to go outside, use personal protective equipment like masks and goggles. For a tornado, shelter in a low place such as a basement. Stay away from windows. And if outside, get in a ditch or a curb. Even though tornados are not the primary concern for Utah, they do still occur. On Aug. 11, 1999, one of the most notable weather events occurred in downtown Salt Lake City. A tornado touched down in the city’s Poplar Grove neighborhood, traveled past the Delta Center causing significant damage, toward Temple Square, across the state capitol’s lawn and fizzled in the avenues. The tornado was grounded for 14 minutes, with 115 mph winds, and caused $172 million in damages. In all emergency situations, the goal is to put “time and distance between you and the bad situation,” Mathews said. Mathews suggests many preparation activities to complete individually and to be constantly cognizant of. One of the most important is to prepare a list in case of evacua-

tion. “Decide now what items you can’t live without. Make a list of 15 items or so, prioritize them for what is most important, write that list down on a card and keep it with an empty container.” Those items will probably include priceless irreplaceable items, but it should also include things like medication, water, food, identification and a 24-hour preparedness kit. In addition, individuals should always keep their gas tanks half-way filled. Other things individuals can do right now (go ahead, put down the newspaper) include making sure your home water heater is fastened to the wall, fasten tall furniture and shelves to the wall with at least one bracket, make sure your roof is fastened to the walls (relevant for homes built before the 1970s), create a disaster supply kit for 72 hours (and personalize it with items that contribute to your happiness, health and comfort in your everyday) and store more water (one gallon

per person per day). “We want to build a culture of preparedness,” Mathews said. That not only includes individual preparation but public infrastructure, roads and utilities, with government, but also individual planning. Preparedness is a shared responsibility. Mathews and Cottonwood Heights Police Department Assistant Chief Paul Brenneman spoke to Cottonwood Heights residents about emergency management and preparation on Nov. 14 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Cottonwood Heights City Hall (2277 E. Bengal Blvd.). For more information, visit bereadyutah. gov and/or check out the Be Ready Utah Expo on March 13 and 14 at the Mountain America Expo Center (9575 S. State St., Sandy). For more awareness, check out the hashtag #prepareandshare on all social media channels. l

Be Ready’s Wade Mathews encourages Utah residents to take steps to be prepared for a variety of emergency situations. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)

To stay safe in any emergency situation, individuals should use protective actions. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)




The Cottonwood Heights Journal is a monthly publication distributed directly to residents via the USPS as well as locations throughout Cottonwood Heights. For information about distribution please email brad.c@thecityjournals.com or call our offices. Rack locations are also available on our website. 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. © 2019 Loyal Perch Media, Inc.

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Runners can support the trails they enjoy with 2020 race series By Joshua Wood | joshw@mycityjournals.com


his year, runners can take on local trails and support the nonprofits that protect them. The Wasatch Trail Run Series is back in 2020 with the aim of giving more money to local charities. The organization is encouraging runners to find sponsors for its 2020 Run-a-Thon so they can raise funds for the trails they enjoy. “Every year we give money to nonprofits,” said Wasatch Trail Run Series founder Mitt Stewart. “Last year we donated over $7,000. I wanted to take it to another level. Our goal is $40,000.” Stewart and his team have already raised over $10,000 thanks to a partnership with Scheels. The Run-a-Thon is not mandatory for people to take part in the series, but it gives participants a way to support the trails that host the races. The fundraiser was inspired by school walk-a-thon events. Runners are encouraged to ask friends and family to donate money for each race they run. The Wasatch Trail Run Series provides participants with a list of nonprofits they can choose to support. “A lot of people are already running a lot

of races,” Stewart said. “I wanted to leverage that.” Last year’s trail run series averaged 230 people per race. The growth Stewart’s team has seen each year is a reward for the labor of love he started as a way to help runners get more training and more time on local trails. Nonprofits supported by the series include the Cottonwood Canyons Foundation, Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation, Dimple Dell Preservation Community, Corner Canyon Trails Foundation, Continue Mission and Wasatch Adaptive Sports. “Mitt Stewart it wonderful,” said Cottonwood Canyons Foundation Director Serena Anderson. Stewart and his team have allocated the funds they raise to nonprofits that help improve and protect the outdoor areas they use for their events. “All of the groups we support are associated with trails and sports,” Stewart said. “Plus, we allow Continue Mission vets to run for free.” This year is the eighth year Stewart has organized the trail run series. There are 13 races scheduled in 2020 from late March to

Participation has increased each year for the Wasatch Trail Run Series. (Photo courtesy of Mitt Stewart)

mid-August. The spring races start in lower elevation locations in the valley like Dimple Dell and Corner Canyon. When the weather warms and the snow melts, the races head to the mountains for venues like Brighton, Solitude and Alta. The high snow totals of a year ago offered the additional challenge of running through snow. Each race offers long and short courses to accommodate runners with different levels of experience. In addition to asking runners to help raise funds for local nonprofits, the trail run series partners with businesses to put on the races. These partnerships help Stewart offer gear for runners as well as support for local trails. Runners can register for individual races, or they can opt for a nine-race package. People can join the 10 Race Jacket Club by running nine races and volunteering for another. There were over 80 participants to earn a Wasatch Trail Run Series Jacket in 2019. “I got to know a lot of people,” Stewart said. “It was really cool.”

Stewart took a year off from organizing the race series in 2018 to attend to family. The increase in participation in 2019 gave him the encouragement he needed to make the bigger fundraising push. “I’m going to pull out all of the stops to make this a big thing,” Stewart said. “I’m really excited.” l



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Hesitation allowed: pausing to reflect on a career of fighting fires By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com

After 28 years in fire service, Assistant Chief Watson values the relationships he’s developed the most. (Photo courtesy of Cottonwood Heights)


fter 28 years of being intimately involved with fire, Assistant Fire Chief Mike Watson will be spending more time around water, as he plans to do a lot of fishing in retirement. During those 28 years working in the fire service, he has served in Northern California, Wyoming, Utah and Idaho. He began working swing shifts in Utah before being assigned to multiple different stations throughout the valley including the old station in Holladay, Magna and Riverton. Watson has served as a firefighter, hazardous material technician, paramedic, captain, Wildland Program manager, operations battalion chief, training bureau chief of Medical and Fire Training bureaus, assistant chief, area commander and support services section chief. He served as liaison to Draper City for UFA (United Fire Authority) before transferring to Cottonwood Heights during incorporation. “From this 30,000-foot level, it looks pretty cool,” said Watson when thinking about his career. “I envy the young folks who will be in the industry for a long time cause it’s pretty cool.” “I’m quite astonished that I’m sitting here talking about retirement,” Watson said during an interview. “I’m not a reflective person. I’ve never slowed down long enough to think about the past.” But when asked to do so, some of the most memorable experiences of Watson’s career are the moments he never would have anticipated. For example, being called to Texas to aid in the space shuttle Columbia disaster recovery efforts. “We went to Hemphill, Texas to search for space shuttle, and human, parts,” Watson recalled; he was part of the wildland crews being sent out for days searching for debris. During that time, the firefighters were invited to listen to the astronauts talk at the local high schools in the evenings. “I found it really intriguing. As devastating as it was, it was really compelling.” Watson was inspired by the astronauts’ sentiments. They were very appreciative to the firefighters and volunteers; they were

Page 6 | February 2020

motivated to learn, fix the problem and get right back out into space. “Oh my gosh; the dedication. They know the risks, and they are willing to take those risks for the sake of science. Seeing what they put themselves and families at risk for is still inspiring to me.” That dedication is all too familiar for firefighters. “We do ask a lot of our loved ones. It’s the same for police officers. We do everything we can to be safe, but we accept that we will be put into dangerous situations.” Texas was not the only place Watson was able to travel to for firefighting business. The most memorable destination for him was Washington, D.C. He was always interested in visiting D.C. but that was “not something that I ever saw coming.” Even though the destinations sometimes had a certain draw, Watson continues to value the personal interactions involved in those trips, specifically “developing relationships with firefighters across the state and other states.” In fact, reflecting on his career, many of the moments Watson values dearly have involved people. From being peer pressured into taking the firefighting test by his friends, to working with newly hired wildland crews, to bantering with his fire station crews, to working with community members. Watson was hired in October of 1991, after some of his friends who were firefighters encouraged him to take the test. When he went to test, he was older than many of his fellow recruits. “I was competing against people in their prime. I always knew I had to take care of myself if I was going to work long enough to retire.” Throughout his life, Watson has been an avid runner and biker. Eventually, Watson began to help run the Wildland Program. “The people that were in the program with me all became officers of some kind. It’s significant to see that these people came through the ranks and are still contributing.” Wildland firefighting is a seasonal firefighting job, starting in May and ending sometime in September. Recruits are sent out to fight wildfires, often in unpopulated areas, for weeks on end, unsure of when they’ll eat next, get to shower or go home. The majority of recruits are 18 to 22 years of age. Watson recalls getting the new recruits at the start of the season and being tasked with training them how to fight fire well and do so while staying safe. “It was one of the most amazing experiences in my career.” “It was interesting to watch them learn that it’s not about them: it’s about the incident and being fully prepared all the time,” Watson explained. Not one minute of the whole season was about fighting fire. It’s about learning the craft, learning responsibility and resilience, and liking it to put up with those conditions. They all learned some life lessons to take with them. You could see the differ-

ence in them from the start of the season to the end.” Watson has really valued being able to watch people learn and grow. “It’s pretty amazing if you flash back to 28 years ago and think about the things you can’t see in the future — it’s really fulfilling.” After spending so much time in the wild, Watson transferred to spend many years working as a captain with crews in firehouses. He would frequently wake up early to wash the emergency vehicles, in addition to doing dishes and many other chores. Af-

Saran wrap him to a chair. “There was a lot of banter and joking,” Watson said. Beyond the banter, Watson enjoyed bonding with the members of his crew. “When we were on a call, my partner and I were thinking alike and came to resolves really quickly. We were always trying to outthink each other and that’s a lot of fun.” One of the most adrenaline-inducing moments of Watson’s career occurred while working with one such partner. “There were two fires I thought I could die in.” One was during a structure fire in a storage facility.

“Children are vulnerable to their environment,” Watson explained as he described the hardest part of working as a firefighter: seeing children get injured. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)

ter ignoring his crew’s persistent pestering to leave some of the chores to other crewmembers, the crewmembers decided to take action. One morning, Watson woke to his door being stuck; they had roped the door closed. But Watson was determined to wash the engine. He tossed himself out his window, walked around the firehouse and was able to get in through a kitchen window that was open. When the house alarm went off at seven in the morning, the crewmembers saw that his door was still roped shut, and were pretty pleased with themselves, until they walked into the bay to find Watson washing the engine. Since that didn’t quite work, the next attempt from the crew was to attack him and

Watson and his partner were upstairs, pushing back fire from a storage container. “As we were pushing fire back from in front of us, the fire came around behind us from down the hallway,” essentially trapping the firefighters in the middle of a hallway, with fire coming toward them from both sides. They had to retreat through the fire. “We were laying down and the flames were on our faces as we slid down the stairs.” “I consider myself to be lucky more than anything,” Watson concluded. “As I’m going to into the retirement system and taking some of the seminars, it’s made me pause a few times and go ‘holy cow, I’m so lucky.”l

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Recess before lunch or lunch before recess? That is the question By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


prucewood second grader Mary-Ann Whitaker loves playing on the monkey bars. And since the school switched its recess to before lunch this year, she’s happier to get out to them sooner. “I like recess before lunch because when we play, we get hungrier,” she said. “Before, a lot of food got wasted that people spent time cooking for us and that wasn’t right.” Her mother, Karla-Ann, supports the school’s switch from the traditional lunch before recess. “It makes sense,” she said. “Kids get their

ship team and the Sandy/Draper parents of students who attend her school. She also had experience with recess first when she was at East Sandy Elementary. “Our kids are eating more, drinking 40% more milk and calming down from their adrenaline high at recess in the lunchroom before they head into the classroom,” Reynolds said. “Many of them already have talked to their friends at recess, so now they’re actually eating and we’re wasting less food. Before, we had trays and trays of uneaten food as they wanted to get outside to play.”

Sprucewood second grader Mary-Ann Whitaker supports her school’s decision to have recess first so food the cafeteria staff makes doesn’t get wasted. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

energy out, sit down and are able to concentrate on eating. Plus, they calm down during lunch and my kids’ teachers say they’re more focused when its learning time.” Sprucewood Elementary in Sandy is one of several schools who have made the move to recess before lunch. Across the Salt Lake Valley, recesses and lunches vary with some schools having reversed it years prior, some that switched have returned to the traditional lunch before recess, and some schools are content with how it is working at their school with lunch first. Before Sprucewood made the decision to switch, Principal Lori Reynolds said there were discussions with her staff, the school community council, PTA, building leader-

CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com

At Sprucewood, the lunch period begins outside for 17 minutes before the doors open for 20 minutes to eat. “Recess first has eliminated so many conflicts,” recess aide Chris Carlson said. “The students have enough time to play and get an appetite. At first, I was worried there was not enough time to eat, but we adjusted it.” Sprucewood recess aides line students up according to their lunch choice outside before entering the school building. The lunch options are announced, color-coded, and each line leader is given a Popsicle stick of that color so once they are in the cafeteria, the staff knows which meals to serve. Sprucewood Nutrition Manager Angela

Floyd said that now students who have been “amped up on the playground come in hungry, adjust to their inside voices, and don’t have to rush through their food. They come in to eat, which will help them learn.” She sees them not only drinking milk, but eating more fruits and vegetables. The students have a countdown clock, so they know how much time is left before class time and teachers return from their contracted lunch time to pick up the students. In addition, classrooms can earn the “golden spatula” award by using indoor voices, staying seated, raising their hands to dump their trays, cleaning their tables and lining up quickly and quietly, Floyd said. According to the National Food Service Management Institute, “when students go to recess before lunch, they do not rush through lunch and tend to eat a more well-balanced meal including more foods containing vitamins, such as milk, vegetables and fruit.” In a 2014 study published in Preventative Medicine, researchers investigated how recess-first impacts what students eat during their school meals. Seven elementary schools in Orem participated in the study that showed school children consume 54% more fruits and vegetables at lunch if they eat after recess. In the report, Cornell Behavioral Economist and Co-Founder of the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement David Just said, “Recess is often held after lunch so children hurry to ‘finish’ so that they can go play. This results in wasted fruits and vegetables. However, we found that if recess is held before lunch, students come to lunch with healthy appetites and less urgency and are more likely to eat their fruits and vegetables. While not every school has the flexibility to offer recess before lunch, those that do have a great opportunity to improve the health and well-being of their students.”



Sometimes re-inventing the wheel can seem like an insurmountable task and oftentimes traditions can be deeply rooted, said Daybreak Elementary Assistant Principal Todd Theobold. While the South Jordan school is on the traditional lunch schedule, he supports recess first, having had 15 years previous experience with recess first at both Majestic and Willow Canyon elementaries in Jordan and Canyons school districts, respectively. “There’s a growing trend toward recess first, but others feel strongly about holding onto the tradition of lunch first,” he said. “I prefer recess first as it engages kids in activities, friendship, they learn rules of the games on the playground and have a set amount of time to eat so it’s much calmer and significantly less food waste. We include time to clean up and to transition back to academic

time. When it is lunch first, kids come back all sweaty and hot to the classroom and nobody can really calm down quickly from that.” However, he said that Daybreak’s lunchtime schedule is working. It allows students 18 of the 40 minutes to eat first. “You’ll never make everybody happy; it’s just their preferences. Some people don’t like change, but kids are adaptive,” he said. Some of the concerns for implementing recess-first center around scheduling and logistics of the school building, staff supervision and handwashing.


While that recess-first model works well for Sprucewood, Sarah Hodson, executive director of Get Healthy Utah, said each school may have to tweak its schedules to best fit their community. “There are real benefits to recess-first,” she said. “Students aren’t stuck in a lunchroom, hurrying out to play. They are more settled down when it’s classroom time since they’ve already adjusted from coming inside. They’re more active outside so they’re coming in hungrier. But changing schedules can be a barrier and principals will need to re-evaluate how to use staff outside and in the lunchroom, and even staggering recess and lunch times to make it work.” She said much of the logistics may be around the lunchroom size, so lunch time may need to accommodate more than one grade. “Schools need to get through the kinks, and some schools keep tweaking it for a full year before they get it running smoothly,” she said. “But this gives them more opportunity to fully play, fully eat and they learn better in the classroom.” Get Healthy Utah has sample lunch and recess schedules as well as tips on adapting recess first, including to communicate with all the staff, parents and students about the change and to “be flexible and willing to try different things.” Academy Park Principal Pauline Longberg agrees that logistics and the location of the lunchroom can be major factors in the success of transitioning from traditional lunch to recess first. For six years, she was principal at Beehive Elementary in Magna, where lunch came first and everything ran smoothly. The past five, she has been at the West Valley elementary where the previous principal changed it to recess first. “Each has its pros and cons, but for some schools, logistically, it would be difficult and too cumbersome to line students up at the playground if it is on one side of the school, like Beehive, to then get to the cafeteria on the other,” she said. “It currently works here (at Academy Park) as the cafeteria is right by the playground and we have an adContinued page 21

February 2020 | Page 7

Recognizing Shelton’s eight years on the council

Share the love, not the cold By Priscilla Schnarr


More and more people are saying they just don’t get colds anymore. They are using a new device made of pure copper, which scientists say kills cold and flu viruses. Doug Cornell invented the device in 2012. “I haven’t had a single cold since then,” he says. People were skeptical but New research: Copper stops colds if used early. EPA and university studies demonstrate repeatedly that viruses Businesswoman Rosaleen says when and bacteria die almost instantly when people are sick around her she uses Coptouched by copper. perZap morning and night. “It saved me That’s why ancient Greeks and Egyp- last holidays,” she said. “The kids had tians used copper to purify water and colds going around, but not me.” heal wounds. They didn’t know about Some users say it also helps with viruses and bacteria, but now we do. sinuses. Attorney Donna Blight had a Scientists say the high conductance 2-day sinus headache. When her Copperof copper disrupts the electrical balance Zap arrived, she tried it. “I am shocked!” in a microbe cell and destroys the cell in she said. “My head cleared, no more seconds. headache, no more congestion.” So some hospitals tried copper touch Some users say copper stops nightsurfaces like faucets and doorknobs. time stuffiness if used before bed. One This cut the spread of MRSA and other man said, “Best sleep I’ve had in years.” illnesses by over half, and saved lives. Copper can also stop flu if used earColds start after cold viruses get in ly and for several days. Lab technicians your nose, so the vast body of research placed 25 million live flu viruses on a gave Cornell an idea. When he next CopperZap. No viruses were found alive felt a cold about to start, he fashioned a soon after. smooth copper probe and rubbed it genDr. Bill Keevil led one of the teams tly in his nose for 60 seconds. confirming the discovery. He placed mil“It worked!” he exclaimed. “The cold lions of disease germs on copper. “They never got going.” It worked again every started to die literally as soon as they time. touched the surface,” he said. He asked relatives and friends to try The handle is curved and finely texit. They said it worked for them, too, so tured to improve contact. It kills germs he patented CopperZap™ and put it on picked up on fingers and hands to protect the market. you and your family. Now tens of thousands of people Copper even kills deadly germs that have tried it. Nearly 100% of feedback have become resistant to antibiotics. If said the copper stops colds if used within you are near sick people, a moment of 3 hours after the first sign. Even up to 2 handling it may keep serious infection days, if they still get the cold it is milder away. than usual and they feel better. The EPA says copper still works even Pat McAllister, age 70, received one when tarnished. It kills hundreds of diffor Christmas and called it “one of the ferent disease germs so it can prevent sebest presents ever. This little jewel real- rious or even fatal illness. ly works.” Now thousands of users have CopperZap is made in America of simply stopped getting colds. pure copper. It has a 90-day full money People often use CopperZap preven- back guarantee. It is $69.95. tively. Frequent flier Karen Gauci used to Get $10 off each CopperZap with get colds after crowded flights. Though code UTCJ10. skeptical, she tried it several times a day Go to www.CopperZap.com or call on travel days for 2 months. “Sixteen toll-free 1-888-411-6114. flights and not a sniffle!” she exclaimed. Buy once, use forever.

By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com

Shelton chose not to run for re-election and has since been absent at council meetings. (Photo courtesy of Cottonwood Heights)


ouncilman Michael Shelton was recognized on Dec. 17 for his eight years of service as the Cottonwood Heights District 1 representative. During his recognition, many city leaders expressed they will miss his presence on the council as Shelton chose not to run for re-election. “I can’t emphasize enough that he is a perfect example of what an elected official should be,” said Mayor Mike Peterson. “He mentors when he doesn’t know that he’s doing it. His moral compass is impeccable. His good humor and thoughtful insight has constantly bridged differences of opinion. He is a stellar example of an elected officer.” “It’s hard to believe it’s been eight years,” said Councilmember Scott Bracken to Shelton. “There’s been numerous times over

the years you look at the same issues with a different perspective. You take all differences of perspective into account and stand up for what you believe.” “Your footprints are in both stations,” said Assistant Fire Chief Mike Watson. “[UFA Fire Chief Dan Petersen] and I speak very highly of you. We appreciate you and thank you for all the things you’ve done.” “I’m sad we won’t be sitting next to each other anymore,” said Councilmember Christine Mikell. “It’s been amazing to watch you and to learn from you.” “I’ve been most impressed with how you see the whole picture of specific issues and how that applies to bettering our community,” said City Manager Tim Tingey. “We know that you’re a great, honorable, honest person. Thank you.” Shelton took a moment to respond to his recognition and speak about his time on the city council. “It’s been a great experience to serve on the city council,” he said. “I’m not the kind of person that gets this job. It’s a job reserved for people who have a whole set of skills that are not mine. I have had the opportunity to serve my community and it has meant the world to me. I owe a lot of thanks to my family who have been tremendously supportive. There are so many who make such an effort to make our community a better place. What a blessing for those of us who live here.” The Cottonwood Heights City Council passed Resolution 2019-77 Honoring Council Member Michael Shelton expressing appreciation for his years of exemplary service to the city. Shelton was presented with a road sign that read “Shelton Blvd.” and a plaque honoring his eight years of service. l

Councilmember Mike Shelton began his service as District 1 representative eight years ago. (Photo courtesy of Cottonwood Heights)


Page 8 | February 2020

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

You were just in a car acident, now what? Unless you’re one of the few anomalies in the world, we’ve all been in an accident. We’ve experienced that sickening feeling when your car makes unwanted contact with another vehicle. We’re frustrated and disheartened. While we may want to crawl into a hole, we can’t. There are things to do and we’ve given you 10 to be aware of (in no particular order). 1.Have an emergency kit in your car. While this step comes before the accident occurs, it’s essential to be prepared. Whatever you kit entails, make sure it has a first-aid kit, flashlight, reflective triangles and a small (and simple) camera in case there’s been damage to your phone. We’re typically frustrated or frazzled after an accident and not inclined to rational thinking. Being prepared limits the possibility of forgetfulness. 2.Take a deep breath. Accidents are traumatic experiences. Taking a breath will shift focus from what just happened to what needs to be done next. 3.Get a status check on everyone in the car. Check with each passenger to see if they are OK. Have someone call

911 immediately if someone is injured or unresponsive. 4.Move to a safe location. Most insurance companies recommend relocating the vehicle to the sidewalk or shoulder of the road as soon as possible after the accident. If the damage to the car is minor, this should be relatively easy. But if there are major injuries or questions about the safety of the car, leave it where it is, even if its blocking traffic. 5.Increase your visibility. Turn on your hazard lights and set out your attention items from the emergency kit—flares, orange cones, reflective triangles, etc. One accident should not lead to another. Take precaution to ensure other drivers on the road remain safe. 6.Stay calm. It is very easy to lose your temper in this situation, it’s human nature. Keeping your cool will keep the situation from getting worse. If it wasn’t your fault, it’s easy to want to let your emotions loose on the other driver. This will cloud your judgment and may lead to something that does not help the situation. You still need to exchange information.

Bengals fighting to keep pace in tough Region 6 Photo by Justin Adams

Junior Lily Cheatham puts up a jumper during a region game at Hillcrest on Jan. 21. After going 5-2 in preseason, including a win over rival Alta and two wins to start region, the Bengals have hit a rough patch, losing four in a row (as of Jan. 21).

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This school was built before Title IX, so it was originally the boys gym and the girls gym, or the auxiliary gym, and there weren’t locker rooms for both teams. It was built thinking girls were not athletically minded and it’s past time we make that change.” — Brighton High Principal Tom Sherwood ball batting cages. “We anticipate it being a good community asset as we can work out to allow other schools and rec leagues to use it,” he said. One significant difference, Sherwood said, is the new athletic facilities will have locker rooms and gyms for all students. “This school was built before Title IX, so it was originally the boys gym and the girls gym, or the auxiliary gym, and there weren’t locker rooms for both teams. It was built thinking girls were not athletically minded and it’s past time we make that change,” he said. In addition, Sherwood is considering displaying Brighton’s athletic talent with 120 championships in 50 years. “We will have to make sure there’s enough trophy space to display our entire inventory and will have to rethink how we will display all our banners to show our success

through the school’s history,” he said. This summer, the community should see an upgrade in the bleachers at the football and track facility, said Canyons School District Business Manager and Chief Financial Officer Leon Wilcox. As the school is built on the side of a hill, students will enter the front of the school off of Bengal Boulevard and be able to see the new auditorium on the first level. The View, the school restaurant, will be on the second level. In the back of the school, students will be able to see four stories, with the lowest being the technical classrooms such as woods, automotive, drafting, robotics and jewelry. The next level up will include more art classes, including ceramics, drawing and painting. Improved wiring for technology is part of the plans, Sherwood said. l

February 2020 | Page 9

Students learn curiosity, problem-solving keys to engineering careers By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


orner Canyon senior Jenna Mills spent the better part of a day listening to engineers, asking them questions, seeking information to better understand career paths ahead of her. “This is really cool,” she said. “I want to solve problems that help people, and that’s why I’m learning what these people are doing.” At the engineering career day, which attracted 444 high school students across the Salt Lake and Tooele valleys, scientists from Reaveley Engineers, WesTech Engineering, CCI Mechanical, Stryker, Ivanti, Rocky Mountain Power and more shared with students what they do, why they do it and requirements needed for their careers as well, as answered participants’ questions. In one rotation, Mills attended Wadsworth Construction’s session, where she learned about bridge infrastructure, even learning about the underwater construction of a nearby Snake River bridge. In another, she learned about Stadler Rail, which constructs both electric and diesel trains in Europe as well as in the states. According to Stadler Vehicle Engineer Amber Lyerly, the company could be expanding from 300 employees to 1,000 employees — from production to engineers — in the next five to 10 years. “We have a pathway from high school which will help you get a degree and get hands-on experience,” Lyerly told students. “Basically, engineering jobs are similar. We learn how things work, we engineer or design more, we fix things. One of the most rewarding things for me is to see a project through from start to finish and see it working.” Mills doesn’t have her mind set on transportation engineering, but rather environmental as she would like to help with water filtration for agriculture in third-world countries. “It’s the same concept: identify the problem, come up with possible methods or designs to find a solution that helps people,” she said. In another session, Otto Block’s Emilie Simpson demonstrated prosthetics made with a 3D printer. “I graduated in mechanical engineering and have had the passion to learn how things work,” she said. “It’s pretty cool and exciting. I like to help people, but I like to be in the background. It’s rewarding knowing we’re on the edge of the future of medical devices.” Olympus High sophomore Wyatt Comer sat in on their talk as one of his sessions. “I came to look at careers and get information to learn about my options,” he said. “It’s been kind of cool to learn how they make the prosthetics and how engineering is incorporated into so many parts of our lives.” That was the goal of the day, said Canyons School District Career and Technical Ed-

Page 10 | February 2020

Otto Block’s Emilie Simpson and Cody Hamilton talk to area high school students about prosthetics that were made with a 3D printer during engineering career day. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

ucation Coordinator Patti Larkin. “We want them to learn about these people’s paths so our students can see what is needed, so they have the opportunity to start sooner, gain an internship, have a job shadow, explore their options as they learn the different types of engineering,” she said. In the sessions, speakers shared how engineers have developed and changed everyday living. At Hunt Electric, Engineering Division Manager Darrin Sanders told students how architectural plans that used to be drawn by hand now are created as a 3D model and “everything is built from that model.” Austin Loveless, of Boeing, discussed with students why aluminum has been replaced with carbon-fiber composites for their fleet, as it has “almost infinite fatigue life,” less weight, less carbon in the air and larger windows. He said it was through engineering that the composite was made and determined to be best. VPI Technology’s Gary Olsen said that in their work, there are numerous engineers — research and development, electrical, mechanical, manufacturing, software, application, test, quality control and others. For example, he said engineers are needed each step of the way to design a cellphone, from designing its look and shape so it’s easy to hold to ensuring dust stays out or how to access batteries. They also make sure it’s functionable and test it to see if it consistently performs. “Math, especially calculus, our engineers use on a daily basis, but they also use their curiosity,” he said. “You can start learning now. Pop the hood and learn how the car works. If you start now to learn how things around you work, then you’re understanding the culture of engineering.” l

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Arts council calls for early photography show submissions as limited space fills By Joshua Wood | joshw@mycityjournals.com


he Cottonwood Heights Photography Show returns to City Hall this March. The city has issued a call for submissions, and applications will be accepted until Feb. 21. However, the arts council encourages early submissions as competition for exhibit space has grown each year. Due to the popularity of the show, applicants will be limited to two submissions each until the space is full. The exhibit area in City Hall can accommodate about 75 photography submissions. “The most important thing that could be different this year is that we have a limit for submissions,” said Cottonwood Heights Arts Council member Sheila Armstrong. “It’s growing every year, and we encourage people to get their applications in early to be included.” As the photography show grows, the challenge of placing entries is not limited to quantity. Armstrong said the quality of submissions continues to impress each year. “They have been fantastic,” she said. “Every year I’m just amazed at the quality from everybody, from amateurs, the youth, the artistry that is displayed. I love looking at each of The Cottonwood Heights Photography show includes them individually to see the creative things categories for amateurs, professionals and youth. (Photo courtesy of Sheila Armstrong, Cottonwood that they have done.” Submissions are entered into one of three Heights Arts Council) categories: amateur, professional and youth.

Journals C I T Y


Amateur entries come from those who pursue photography strictly as a hobby, while the professional category applies to anyone trying to make money from their work, whether as a job or on the side. The youth category is reserved for applicants under 18 years old. Awards will be handed out in each category during the photography show open house and reception on March 13. The event will take place at City Hall from 6 to 8 p.m. with the award ceremony at 7 p.m. Awards in each category include Best of Show, the Mayor’s Choice Award and the People’s Choice Award, which will be voted on by attendees of the March 13 open house. Citations will also

include awards of merit and honorable mentions. Community members wishing to view photography show submissions can see them during regular City Hall business hours all month long this March. “We see a broad variety of photos — landscapes, portraits, action shots,” Armstrong said. Photo submissions also need to adhere to size limits of no larger than 24” x 36” including the frame. More information and a link to submit photography for the show can be found on the arts page of the Cottonwood Heights website. l

The Cottonwood Heights Photography show includes categories for amateurs, professionals and youth. (Photo courtesy of Sheila Armstrong, Cottonwood Heights Arts Council)

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February 2020 | Page 11

The residents have spoken By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com

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After three resident surveys, the area of the city with the most improved score is the Cottonwood Heights Police Department. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)


n Jan. 7, Y2 Analytics Vice President of Research Kyrene Gibb reported on the results of the recent community survey distributed in early November to registered voters living within Cottonwood Heights, 10,928 digital invitations and 2,000 mailers were sent out to invite registered voters within the zip codes of the city to take a 65-question survey related to local city government. In total, 1,069 residents responded by completing online surveys. The 11.9% response rate was on the high side of average for Utah surveys, as Y2 Analytics usually sees between an 8 to 15% response rate. With this particular survey, there was a margin of error of three percentage points. Similar iterations of the same survey were distributed in 2016 and 2017. Between the three rounds of resident surveys, some comparisons were particularly interesting to the city council and researchers. What Gibb found interesting was that this time residents were less likely to answer a question about if the city was headed in the right direction. “They weren’t willing to stake an opinion.” The question: “Overall, would you say the city of Cottonwood Heights is headed in the right direction or the wrong direction?” was posed to survey respondents with each of the three surveys. In 2016, 14% of respondents thought the city was headed in the wrong direction, while 55% thought the city was headed in the right direction. In 2017, that percentage shifted, as 14% of respondents thought the city was headed in the wrong direction, while 61% thought the city was headed in the

right direction. In 2019, 16% of respondents thought the city was headed in the wrong direction, while 50% thought the city was headed in the right direction. However, in each of the three surveys, over 25% of respondents were unsure. From 2016 to 2019, the most improved scored was for police services: moving from a 63% satisfaction rate to a 72% satisfaction rate. In response to the question: “How would you rate the city of Cottonwood Heights today compared to five years ago?” 37% of respondents reported the city to be about the same, while 29% reported that the city has become somewhat better and 13% reported the city to be somewhat worse. Overall, survey respondents “reported many positive metrics,” Gibb said. For example, three out of four residents approve of elected officials; two out of three residents receive excellent or good value out of their tax dollar; eight out of 10 residents report being satisfied with staff accountability; and nine out of 10 say they would recommend the city as a place to live. While the Cottonwood Heights City Council was interested in resident feedback overall, there were a few specific topics of consideration they were hoping to receive feedback on as well. One of those specific topics was that of storm water within the city. The survey asked: “The city of Cottonwood Heights is considering allocating more funds to repair and maintain its storm water drainage system. In order to allocate funds to storm water projects, would you rather see the city redistribute funds in the existing budget by reducing expenditures in other areas of the city, or asses a new storm water fee on all property owners to allow the city to maintain current expenditures in other areas?” Sixty-seven percent of respondents opted to use existing funds for repair and maintenance, while 33% of respondents opted to implement a new storm water fee. A similar question was asked in response to sustainability. The city “passed a resolution earlier this year with the goal of having all city operations running on renewable energy by 2021 and all city-wide power (to homes and businesses) on renewable energy resources by 2030. If you knew that this would result in additional costs to the city or to you as a resident, would you support this goal?” Eighty-eight percent of respondents said they would be in support if there was not an additional cost, and

67% said they would be in support if there was an additional associated cost. “Two out of three residents would support sustainability with associated costs,” reported Gibb. When posed with the hypothetical of being responsible for $100 worth of the city’s budget, survey respondents said they would allocate that money toward maintenance on city streets, snow removal services, renewable energy resources, and city and open spaces. Contrary to many public resident comments, only 7% of survey respondents believe they receive poor service from their tax dollars, while 92% of respondents believe they receive fair, good or excellent service for their tax dollars. Residents are most satisfied with the city services of fire and emergency medical services, drinking water, garbage collection, the Cottonwood Heights Rec Center and emergency preparedness; while residents are least satisfied with planning, zoning and building services, sidewalk maintenance, surface maintenance of city streets, city code enforcement and street lighting. Some additional results included renewable energy and city parks being the highest of concern for residents; the most important issues were growth, traffic, development, and Wasatch Boulevard; residents showing significant interest in an off-leash dog park; a 70% approval rating for the city council; 43% of residents never ride bikes on city streets, while 17% ride bikes on city streets once per week or more; and 42% of residents get their information from the Journal (thank you for your readership). To see the full report, visit the Cottonwood Heights City website: wwww. cottonwoodheights.utah.gov. l

More and more residents are less willing to stake an opinion on if the city is headed in the right direction. (Photo courtesy of Y2 Analytics)

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

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Desert Star Presents James Blonde Agent 7-11 in License to Thrill

esert Star proudly presents their latest parody on the James Bond series, that will shake patrons with killer laughs. This double-O-funny parody opens January 9th and it’s a hilarious musical melodrama for the whole family you don’t want to miss! Written by Jenna Farnsworth, adapted from “Casino Real” by Ben Millet (2009) and directed by Scott Holman. This show follows the story of BETSY’s best agent, Agent 24/7 who must face down the diabolical Professor Blowfish, but Director M&M won’t let her do it alone. Much to 24/7’s chagrin, he enlists the help of the overly smarmy James Blonde. The colorful characters include the ultimate femme fatale, Ivanna Yakalot, nerdy henchman Life Hack whose got a hack for every occasion, as well as gadget-guru QWERTY and alluring assassin Sister Mission Mary. Can Agent 24/7 and James Blonde find a way to work together to stop Professor Blowfish from brainwashing the entire world? Will they find the traitor in their midst before BETSY and the world are destroyed? Adventure, romance, and comedy with double-O-laughs come together in this hilarious parody James Bond mash-up, as well as topical humor torn from today’s headlines.

“James Blonde: Agent 7-11 in License to Thrill” runs January 9th through March 21, 2020. The evening also includes one of Desert Star’s side-splitting musical olios, following the show. The “British Invasion Olio” features hit songs from the Beatles, Rolling Stones and more mixed with Desert Star’s signature comedy. Food is available from an á la carte menu and is served right at your table. There is also a full service bar. The menu includes gourmet pizza, fresh wraps, appetizers, and scrumptious desserts.


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‘Roboblasters’ kicks off high school robotics season By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com

CENSUS 2020 BEGINS ONLINE MARCH 12, 2020 AMES (Academy for Math, Engineering and Science located in Cottonwood High) recently hosted 22 robots in a friendly pre-season game of “roboblasters,” which was designed around improving skills for the 13 participating schools’ robotic students, said AMES coach Sara Whitbeck-Zacharias. Hillcrest High coach Clief Castleton said he appreciated the opportunity for his students: “Nothing is on the line; it’s just for fun. We use it as a practice, a positive opportunity to help our team and other Utah teams get better.” At the challenge, Cottonwood High won, with Jordan High coming in second and AMES third. In the business plan portion, Judge Memorial won, with AMES, Hillcrest, West High and Cottonwood placing second to fifth, respectively. The AMES challenge is the fifth annual December competition preparing students for the FIRST Robotics Competition. This year’s challenge, called “Infinite Recharge,” began worldwide Jan. 4 and many local teams gathered at Alta High for the kick-off. The Utah regional challenge, which attracts more than 50 teams, is March 6–7 at the Maverik Center in West Valley City. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

School superintendent to retire after 38 years in education By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com

After six years as Canyons School District superintendent, Jim Briscoe, seen here speaking at Hillcrest High’s 2019 graduation, recently announced he will retire June 30. (Julie Slama/City Journals)


hen talking about Canyons School District Superintendent Jim Briscoe, Brighton High Principal Tom Sherwood almost instantaneously said Briscoe is “happy, loves his job and loves life — and he’s quick to shift the spotlight to others around him.” “He’s always generous with praise to recognize a department or people who do exceptional or positive things,” Sherwood said.

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“People have appreciated his positivity; the fact they are appreciated and valued. He’s always quick with a joke or a funny story at the start of a meeting.” However, those stories may be numbered, on Jan. 23, Briscoe sent an email to district personnel informing them of his intent to retire June 30 after serving the district for six years.

“While I write this notice, there are many emotions running through me,” he wrote. “Serving as superintendent for Canyons School District has proven to be one of the most positive experiences I have had during the past 38 years working in public education.” And true to Sherwood’s observations, Briscoe praised Canyons Board of Education as well as Canyons’ administrators, principals, teachers and staff in his retirement letter. “Canyons School District is moving in the right direction as a result of your leadership. I have been humbled and honored to work alongside each of you,” he said. While he said he plans to spend time with family and friends, he said he doesn’t have a clear path for what he will do. “For the first time in my life, I have butterflies in my stomach for what the future holds,” he said. “Please be assured, I plan to fulfill my role and responsibilities 110% through the next six months.” He also said he will work with the Board of Education to ensure a seamless transition to his successor. The district will seek and interview applicants this spring. l

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February 2020 | Page 15

State board backs need for recess for elementary school students By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com

At Sprucewood Elementary, students like second grader Mary-Ann Whitaker enjoy their recess time, which the Utah State Board of Education says is essential for all elementary school children. (Julie Slama/City Journals)


ack in the day, grade-school students would race outside, eager to climb the monkey bars or capture the flag. Others played hopscotch, four-square or kickball. It was a time when students could play, chat with their friends and be free from fractions or spelling tests. It was always a clear answer as many students’ favorite subject.

Somewhere along the way, it changed for some students. Now, at most Utah schools, recess is considered a privilege that is granted when their schoolwork is done and when they behave. According to a 2017-2018 Get Healthy Utah school recess report, while 95% of 356 Utah elementary and charter schools (out of 610 in the state) responded that they hold recess, more than 64% said that recess is withheld for discipline and/or remediation. When broken down further, 72% of Title I schools withheld recess for those reasons compared to 58% of non-Title I schools. “The findings of the study prompted us to contact the Utah State Board of Education about providing recess guidelines to help provide schools with best practices and make sure that all students in Utah have access to recess,” said Sarah Hodges, Get Healthy Utah executive director. Hodges teamed up with others, including Canyons School District’s health/PE/ Playworks specialist Allie Teller, to ensure recess be structured to be a positive, safe, inclusive time where students can learn social and leadership skills. In January, the State Board of Education adopted those guidelines for best practices, including endorsing that recess shouldn’t be taken away as a punishment or used as a re-

mediation time. While the guidelines are not mandatory, they are an opportunity for schools to determine how best to use recess at their schools, Teller said. In the group’s presentation, Teller said research shows students perform better when they have regular breaks that include exercise. She also said it not only helps with development of physical fitness, but also with social and emotional behaviors. “When students have a break, their academics improve,” Teller said. “They’re able to concentrate better after getting their wiggles out and be able to be on task in the classroom. Having that brain break is really important.” In Canyons School District, schools use Playworks, a structured recess program that helps kids stay active and build social and emotional life skills through playing. By training older elementary students to lead games for all grade levels, students are empowered as peer leaders to increase participation and decrease problems on the playground. Teller also holds monthly training for recess aides and physical education specialists so they can learn how to best support students. “We use recess as an intentional time.

Students have learned skills in PE and are practicing them at recess. Through playing games they all have learned rules, and now they are able to work together as a team, communicate, practice their conflict-resolution skills and problem-solving. These are skills that will support them their whole lives,” Teller said. At East Midvale Elementary, Principal Matt Nelson agrees on the importance of recess. “Recess is important; there is all kinds of scientific proof that exercise helps the body and brain balance,” he said. “Playworks at our school has been a great program for students to learn and play together, to be mentors and contribute to safe and fun recesses. When students have recess, they are able to reset, come back from running around, take a deep breath and refocus.” Teller said Canyons District has introduced alternatives to withholding recess time for remediation and social behavior as well as introduced indoor active recesses when inclement weather doesn’t allow outdoor play. “Our main message is that we want to make recess a positive, safe, happy, healthy inclusive time for every single student,” she said. l

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Cottonwood High granted independence, won’t play for championship next season By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com

The Colts huddle during a game against Brighton High in which they lost 56-0. Cottonwood lost 10 players to injuries after its first game of the season. With dwindling numbers, the school will play independently this fall, outside of the UHSAA. (City Journals)


ottonwood High scored 13 points in one game — in a loss to West High. Those were the only points the 0-10 Colts earned on the football field all season. After losing every varsity, JV and freshman football game this season, Cottonwood High elected not to

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play in the first round state play-offs. Administrators also began talks in November to seek playing independently — a move that was granted almost immediately Jan. 15 by the Utah High School Activities Association.

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“It isn’t about the cost of the program,” Principal Terri Roylance said. “It’s a safety factor for us. We’ve had as few as 30 athletes on the field, playing both sides of the ball, many of them after playing freshman and JV games, then they go up against 90 players on the opposing team. We knew we needed to step back, build our numbers and play teams closer to our size.” She said that this past fall, a freshman, who played JV and varsity all season, watched his sister play volleyball with ice wrapped around his knee. “There’s no way he could give 100% week after week, but without numbers, he felt he couldn’t take a week off,” Roylance said, adding that there haven’t been enough players to support all three school teams for the past three seasons. Roylance said numbers have dwindled for Cottonwood as participation in the football feeder league has diminished. The school’s changing population also contributes to the change as it pulls students from several communities, including a large number of refugees, so participation may be limited as students need to ride busses back to their homes, where many take care of younger siblings. Many students also have after-school jobs to contribute financially to

their families, she said. Since 2015, the team has only won a total of four games. Just seasons earlier, in 2010 and 2011, they were ranked in the top 10 in the state, and in 2008, Cottonwood had lopsided wins over their opponents as they played in the state finals. This coming season, there will be no chance to even compete for a state championship. However, Cottonwood administrators say they will re-evaluate playing UHSAA in the fall 2021 after next season. Roylance added the decision was made to seek independence after talking to the school community council, football coach and department. Since being granted independence, she has “not heard one negative complaint from parents.” Cottonwood wasn’t the only school was granted independence; Timpanogos and Payson high schools also will not be playing UHSAA ball and Judge Memorial High also sought independence earlier. All of those teams are in Cottonwood’s upcoming season schedule. “We are putting aside funding for transportation, but it’s important that we do this so we can rebuild our program, with emphasis on safety, enthusiasm and having fun competing,” Roylance said. l

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Roll in and sink that shot —Wheelin’ Jazz a ‘very unique team’ By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com


group of athletes have grabbed support from each other while climbing to the top of the national wheelchair basketball standings. Each player came to be a member of the Wheelin’ Jazz team from a different path. One was shot in the chest, one lost a leg in a car accident, one fell nearly 40 feet and one was paralyzed in a motorcycle accident. “We have a very unique team,” former Paralympian Jeff Griffin said. The Wheelin’ Jazz are a nonprofit organization currently ranked eighth overall in the National Wheelchair Basketball Association. The team provides much more to its players than trophies for winning contests. “There are more than 2,000 wheelchair basketball players in the United States,” Griffin said. “It all started when veterans started coming home from World War II. There are junior, pee wee and elite division one teams like this one.” The team was organized in the mid ’80s by director Mike Schlappi. He has been a member of four Paralympic wheelchair basketball teams and was a member of the organizing committee for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. The team travels to participate in wheelchair tournaments around the country. They are members of division one in the NWBA,

The men and women on the Wheelin’ Jazz take adversity head on as they attempt to qualify again for the wheelchair basketball national tournament. (Photo courtesy Wheelin’ Jazz)

which includes 20 teams, a majority of those teams have NBA connections. “We wanted to expand on what Mike has built. It gives an avenue to help others that have had spinal cord injuries or physical disabilities such as physical, social and emotional therapy. This is one way to do that, to help them on their road to recovery,” Griffin said. The team has been ranked in the top 10 nationally for more than 25 years. Last season, they were ranked third and came within one shot of advancing to the championship game.

“I am a competitive guy. I would love to have a national championship here with the Jazz. Most people do not know that most NBA teams have a wheelchair team, too,” Griffin said. The team is made up of 15 players. They practice once a week and will play approximately 20 games. They could then qualify for the division championship. “It would be cool to partner with the Jazz and play a doubleheader with the Stars. That is something we are working on. We may be in wheelchairs but we still feel the same as everyone else. We have dreams and aspira-

tions just like everyone else,” Griffin said. Schlappi spent time in Phoenix and Los Angeles. When he moved to Utah he knew this area was in need of a team. “This is not professional sports, but we care,” Schlappi said. “We hope we inspire a lot of people. Sometimes when you are disabled you need a role model. We all get each other. There is a whole lot more than what most people realize. We want to be that inspiration. If we can help someone then it is all worth it.” Running the team is expensive. The proper wheelchair alone can be over $3,500. They are currently raising funds to help curb travel costs and purchase the proper equipment. “This gives me a community that I can feel accepted in. In public I can be treated differently, but here I am just one of the guys,” said team member Ryan Nelson. “We invite anyone that is in a wheelchair to come out. They may not play at this level, but they can still be welcome. They are still important to all of us,” Griffin said. “They can be part of a team, but a part of the community. This is one of the greatest groups of men and women that just happen to be disabled.” For information, visit www.utahwheelinjazz.com. l

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Page 18 | February 2020

Cottonwood Heights City Journal


Diamond Tree Experts: Proper tree health starts with caring

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hat started out as a couple of brothers looking for something to do together has turned into the largest locally owned tree company in Utah and a team with a mission to make the world a bit better. Diamond Tree Experts owner Trent Van Dam has been caring for trees since he began working for his father when he was 12 years old. Started in 1968 by Van Dam’s father, the company has now grown to around 70 employees working to “git’er done.” “When we go work on a tree we’re not there to butcher or just remove whatever. We’re there to beautify the tree and make it healthy and make it last longer and grow,” Van Dam said. But it’s not only about the trees. “There are a lot of tree companies out there that are a one-man show. A pickup truck, a ladder, a chainsaw, and they’re out for the money. Every business is out for money, but we care about aesthetics of the trees and the neighborhood,” Van Dam said. “Most people think that it’s houses that make a neighborhood, but it’s actually the vegetation, the trees, the shrubs, the flow-

ers, that’s what makes a neighborhood,” Van Dam said. Proper tree health still branches out to more than looks. “We have certified arborists on our team, and when people do not take care of a tree, it will either break, split, tip over, or if a wind storm comes, it’ll just knock that tree over,” Van Dam said. Last year, Diamond Tree Experts’ employee Elvin Serrano went out to enjoy a Salt Lake Bees game but as he walked into the game, his phone started to ring. “I had just walked into the game and I got a call saying, ‘Are you at the stadium?’ and I said, ‘Yeah.’ (There was a storm that day.) ‘That storm just took out a tree and it landed on someone’s car.’” The owner of the car was 20 feet away when the tree collapsed. Serrano had to break the news that the trees scattered throughout the parking lot were dying and this was going to keep happening if they didn’t cut the trees down. Cut trees don’t go to waste; at Diamond Tree Experts you can find mulch made from recycled trees for sale.

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Nothing goes to waste for this team. “Yes, we’re a business, but we care about the work that we do, and we respect the trees,” Van Dam said. Van Dam’s favorite part of working with a customer is figuring out how to treat the tree in the best way for them. “We’ve been here for a long time. We’re one of the few companies that everything is above the minimums that are asked for, we

take pride in what we do,” Van Dam said. “When our foremen show up to a job site and they pull up, they’re showing up with $4,000 worth of equipment to do a $500 job. We do it because we want to do a good job. We want to do it safely, we want the people to be happy, and we want the tree to be healthy. We invest a lot in making sure that the work is done correctly.”

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February 2020 | Page 19

Educators applaud new guidelines, funds expected for more computer science education in schools By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com

Viewmont fourth grade students get an introduction to coding with hands-on coding blocks. (Julie Slama/ City Journals)


t Viewmont Elementary in Murray, fourth grader Addy Boyer and her class took hands-on coding blocks and arranged them in a way to command their peers to speak or do something. It was a simple introduction to coding, but one that got the message across to these 9- and 10-year-olds. “Coding is fun because we can make

others do interesting things, like push-ups and sit-ups, clapping hands and giving highfives,” Addy said. “And if I don’t do it right, I can look at it again, then try again to create things. It’s fun.” Her classmate Bailey Terry agrees. “Learning how to code is another way to communicate,” she said. “I code a little at home to wish someone happy birthday and can write for them to smoosh cake in their face or I could write a message to my mom that I’m sorry for whatever made her mad and say ‘if you forgive me, I will do chores and say I’m sorry’ or something like that.” While these girls had the chance to practice their coding skills in December, Gov. Gary Herbert recognized that same month that not every school in Utah has the same opportunities to have computer science education. Thus, he included $10.2 million in his budget — yet to be approved by the Utah Legislature — to boost computer science public education statewide, which coincides with the Utah State Board of Education recently approving new computer science standards for sixth through 12th grades and upgrading guidelines for kindergartners through fifth grade.

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The goal is to bring students up to date on coding changes of the 21st century and provide every student with computer science education by 2022, said Herbert, who declared it Computer Science Education Week. Canyons Technical Education Center Computer Science and Programming Teacher Cody Henrichsen supports the need for improved computer science standards. “Computer sciences is problem-solving and analysis and that applies to every part of education and life,” he said. “In the 21st century, about everything we do will center around technology. We will need to know how and why things work, be able to use data and use information. We need computer science at every school in the state.” At Bella Vista Elementary in Cottonwood Heights, STEM instructor Honor Steele introduces computer science and coding to about 275 students through hands-on activities. Students learn how to be empowered learners and digital citizens, discover online resources, use Google Earth, create using film skills, learn engineering skills with FIRST Lego robotics and use coding, Spheros and Hour of Code for computational thinking. “We end the year with a month dedicat-

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ed to coding; kids ask and look forward to it,” Steele said. “It’s more than just games; it’s an introduction to get them to problem-solving. They learn the essentials of how coding works. We want every kid to have these opportunities. Some kids will love it, take off and have it be something they will pursue — and while not every student will latch on and run with it, they have gained a greater understanding of where we are with current technology. We’re sowing the seeds in elementary school that needs to be carried on.” At nearby Ridgecrest Elementary, teacher Linda Leavitt encourages students to use Chromebooks for several assignments. “I try to incorporate technology as much as I can — in math assignments, writing and research,” she said. “I make it more real life and when there’s free time, students are using Chromebooks for learning games in math and reading or practicing their typing.” Students in Leavitt’s classroom also log on for Hour of Code. “When it comes down to it, it’s critical thinking skills and the tools we use every day are coding. I fully recognize as a fifth grade teacher that these students will have to be able to think for themselves, problem-solve and understand how things work. So, when you look at it, if we had to choose between cursive or coding, coding has way more applications and usage.” Leavitt also supports further computer science education, supporting coding electives as a way to develop students’ understanding. “Coding is in our phones, our cars, locks on our doors. Next year, our new science curriculum will include more engineering and technology. We need to stay up with technology,” she said. At Park Lane Elementary, a parent asked for more student coding opportunities, thus leading to the introduction in late January of the Coding Kids after-school program. Technology teacher Mercedes Roberts said that through coding, students will develop the ability to problem-solve in their lives and in jobs, and also give them other skill sets, such as teamwork and creativity. “I hope they learn coding is fun and not just for nerds,” she said. “It’s important that they’re learning now how to work with others, how teamwork can contribute to ideas and how to express themselves creatively.” Principal Justin Jeffery said coding also plays into Canyons’ mantra of being college and career ready. “Coding is our future; many jobs will require these skills, and schools need to respond and offer more computer science opportunities,” Jeffery said. “Introducing them now may spark someone’s passion.” l

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Continued from page 7 vantage with Playworks (structured recess program) at our school, helping students in a proactive recess program, and helping transition into the lunchroom.” Longberg said it wasn’t easy adaption and involved changing things along the way. “We had to figure out the systems to make sure our structure works for us,” she said. That includes as students enter the lunchroom, they go through the cafeteria line and sit at tables in that order. They also are excused to leave in that order, which allows those who enter the cafeteria last to have the same amount of time to eat as those who enter first. Those who bring their lunch from home can immediately grab it out of a bin brought from their classroom, so they may get a few more minutes to eat than their peers, Longberg said. East Midvale Principal Matt Nelson has kept to the traditional timetable. “Logistically, it works with our schedule,” he said. “The students are in the cafeteria for 15 minutes before they raise their hands to be excused. We looked at recess first, but this works for our school. It would be a huge system to change to put together times to eat, play and have instruction. We’d have to add more transition time.” Ridgecrest Principal Julie Winfree said her Cottonwood Heights students eat and socialize before raising their hands to go to recess. “If you start with recess, when do you bring them in?” she said. “Kids need different amounts of times to eat and younger kids are typically slower eaters.” Jordan Ridge teacher Kim Sanders said her South Jordan school had many discussions about the order before keeping with the traditional schedule. “We wait for 10 minutes after they’re in the lunchroom before we turn the (paper) eagle around to allow them to go outside,” she said. “We want kids to have time to eat their lunch and digest it before they go outside to play.” However, Twin Peaks secretary Susan Seals says that playing first at her Murray elementary has resulted in less “side aches and tummies hurting” than the traditional lunch order. Murray School District spokeswoman D Wright said lunch and recess schedules vary from school to school, with determinations made for a variety of reasons, including scheduling of the lunchroom and playgrounds. Longview Elementary Principal Becky Teo said she has kept with the schedule of her predecessor — a combination of both orders. Some of her students eat first then play, while others play first then eat. Her transitions allow 120 to 160 students in the Murray lunchroom at a given time and fourth- through sixth-graders rotating to help with lunch service. “It’s partly because of the size of our

CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com

school and the number of kids in a given time who can sit in our lunchroom,” Teo said. “Our younger friends eat better with recess first, but our older grades know enough to eat a good lunch.” While the decisions are made at each Canyons School District school, health/PE/ Playworks specialist Allie Teller, who is a “big fan of recess first,” helps administrators who want to convert from the traditional method. She has models they can follow and consults regularly with schools to help problem-solve logistics. “We know factors weigh into the decision, from the lunchroom size and location to the staff support, and it really can look different from school to school. Lunch first has more wiggle room for students to go through the lunch line, but kids eat more when they play first,” Teller said.


Longberg said her staff supports Academy Park’s recess before lunch. “We’re very fortunate that our staff wants to be here to help students. So we have different people assigned to help in the lunchroom for that part of the day to help the younger students through the line and to make sure lunchtime is eating time,” she said. Theobold said at his previous schools, he had a lunch crew dedicated to those two hours to set up, monitor and clean up the cafeteria as well as address students’ concerns. Copperview Elementary Principal Jeri Rigby said her Midvale school remains on the traditional schedule for numerous reasons, one being that she can’t get students through the cafeteria line and seated without more personnel. That also was her experience when she was an assistant principal at Midvale Elementary. “We didn’t have more personnel to bring in, administrators were already there helping, and we couldn’t ask teachers because they have their 30-minute uninterrupted contracted lunch time,” she said. “We also didn’t find that students were significantly eating better.” She said the traditional lunch worked better logistically at the school and “the supervision of students in the lunchroom and playground were better.” Even the transition to have teachers bring students in from recess they found to be smoother “as expectations were clear with this routine,” she said. Crescent Elementary in Sandy tested recess first this past fall before switching it back. Among the reasons for the traditional routine, Principal Camie Montague said, “We changed back because it took double the resources to bring kids in from recess and manage the lunchroom.”

cern of Crescent Elementary teacher Cindy Carling. At Sprucewood, they address that issue. After students enter the building, and before they reach the cafeteria, students are given a squirt of hand sanitizer. Some school administrators acknowledge it is an added expense and there may be school district guidelines about which brands of sanitizers they can use, so even if hand sanitizer is donated, they may not be able to use it. Other schools have solved this issue by routing their students through restrooms to get to the lunchroom or have set up a wash station in the cafeteria itself.


Montague said Crescent had goals in mind when they tested recess first. “We changed our lunch at the beginning of the year, with a focus on de-escalating behaviors so that students weren’t bringing playground drama into the classroom, (they had) longer time to eat and (we were able to handle) discipline from the playground during lunchroom time instead of class time,” she said. “We changed back because behaviors were escalated — once kids were done eating there was nowhere for them to go and nothing to do — and as fall started to approach, I became more aware of students that do not have proper attire for being outside for the winter. All students had to go to recess with the new way; changing back allowed students to remain inside as long as they are quietly talking to friends and seated.” She also said her school “actually lost instructional time due to lining up and cleanup time of all kids in a grade level being excused to clean up at the same time.” Hodson said with adjusting to recess first, many schools find a need to discuss rules and expectations in student behavior. “Students will need to learn what the behavior expectations are so the transitions work smoothly,” she said, adding that changing to recess before lunch will impact most every school employee, so communication with everyone is important.

Teller said that “having intentional transitions and understanding of expectations can help a lot. They can help mitigate the craziness and decrease their excitement from the playground into focusing on lunch and study.” Playworks Utah Program Director Ashley Engeler said her organization supports recess first, with intentional transitions to calming students as they enter the cafeteria and from there to the classroom. As a Playworks coach previously at two schools, Engeler said she would often try to calm students in line with “three deep volcano breaths” before entering the lunchroom. “With recess first, it’s less chaotic, less food waste, behaviors go down and students are more highly engaged when they return to their classrooms,” she said. “If they don’t (have recess first), students throw away more food, are apt to get in angrier moods, resulting in more behavioral problems, and they trickle to transition into the classroom.” Woodstock Elementary in Murray has recess first. Woodstock Principal Brenda Byrnes says students are able to get their energy out so they come in hungrier and then when they return to the classroom, they are calmer. “We teach them about self-regulation so they know how much time they have to play outside, but also how they manage their time to eat their proteins and drink milk in the cafeteria,” she said. “It has become a smoother transition for us and a lot less waste.” Granite School District Director of Children Nutrition Dana Adams said that recess before lunch “has always been tossed around.” “At the central kitchen, we haven’t seen an increase (of food consumption with recess before lunch) that we can track,” she said. “It’s a decision for our principals and our communities to decide which works best for them.” l


According to Action for Healthy Kids, “Handwashing is important for food safety and students should wash hands before eating, especially during cold and flu season.” Color-coded signs at Sprucewood Elementary help students line up for their lunch choice before entering the Making sure students washed their school building after recess. (Julie Slama/City Journals) hands after recess before lunch was a con-

February 2020 | Page 21

Cottonwood Canyons get more visitors than Zion or Yellowstone: And this local nonprofit works to protect them By Joshua Wood | joshw@mycityjournals.com


he Cottonwood Canyons supply the Salt Lake Valley with over 60 percent of its drinking water. A group of five people lead an effort to protect them. The Cottonwood Canyons Foundation works to improve the environments of Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons as well as Millcreek Canyon. The organization has spent the past 20 years improving trails, removing invasive weeks and educating the public about the importance of protecting the vital natural environments right in the Salt Lake Valley’s backyard. “We consider ourselves workers,” said Cottonwood Canyons Foundation (CCF) Executive Director Serena Anderson. “We’re nonpolitical. We show up after policy decisions have been made and take care of the land.” With just five full-time staff members, the local nonprofit helps supplement the United States Forest Service’s work in the area. Anderson and her team split their time between teaching kids and other members of the public about the canyons’ delicate environment and working in the canyons to improve them. In addition to providing the majority of the valley’s drinking water, the Cottonwood Canyons also serve as a major recreation area. In fact, 5 million people use the canyons each year, according to Anderson. “That’s more than Yellowstone or Zion,” she said. “It’s our job to teach people to be responsible recreators.”


The efforts of the small staff of CCF are supported by hundreds of volunteers. The organization relies on over 300 regular volunteers who provide much of the labor needed for the largescale work of improving the canyons. On top of that, as many as 1,500 other people volunteer for one-time projects each year. Volunteers help take care of the forest while gaining knowledge of the environment they can share with others. One of CCF’s regular volunteers is Bob Dunn, an old friend of Anderson’s. “I met Serena when she was 8 years old at the Boys and Girls Club,” Dunn said. “She was a leader then too.” After moving back to the Salt Lake Valley from California five years ago, Anderson was drawn to the canyons. “I absolutely fell in love with the mountains,” she said. “I had a chance to come back, and I heard about this organization and I was thrilled about it.” Anderson brought her experience as a nonprofit leader and became the executive director of the Cottonwood Canyons Foundation in 2016. She asked her old friend Dunn to get involved. She now counts him as one of its regular volunteers.

Page 22 | February 2020

“I was just blown away,” Dunn said. “They have five staff members that work in the Cottonwood Canyons. They work on trails, education, invasive weeds. The weeds smother other plants and cause erosion. People don’t realize how important that work is.” The CCF weed team works with the Forest Service to track and map levels of invasive weeds in the tri-canyon area. Teams of volunteers led by CCF staff head up the canyons to remove the invasive plants before they can do more damage. In addition to crowding out native plants and making the soil more vulnerable to erosion, invasive weeds also increase fire danger and threaten the vital drinking water provided by the canyons.


The work done by CCF provides a critical stopgap for an underfunded and overextended Forest Service. The Forest Service expends a lot of its resources fighting fires. Its budget allocation is determined by acreage rather than usage, so a small but busy area like the Cottonwood Canyons gets less funding than larger forests that might have fewer visitors. On top of that, the agency’s budget for the area is now just 60% of what it was 20 years ago, according to Anderson. While the need for services have increased with more visitors and a growing nearby population, funding to address it has plummeted. “In my mind this is critical and people need to know about it,” Dunn said. “They all have college degrees. Their work is state of the art, and it’s way over my head what they do. They also deal with cougars, snakes, bears and moose when they work in the canyons. It’s incredible.” The Cottonwood Canyons Foundation’s focus on trail restoration and construction helps to increase access to the canyons while also protecting them. As they make sure trails stay in good condition for people to use, CCF also educates people about the damage offtrail activity does to the native landscape. “I have learned a lot about protecting the canyons myself since interviewing for this job,” Anderson said. “I learned that I shouldn’t pick the flowers, that doing that damages the habitat.”


The group’s education programs include bringing school children up the canyons to explore and learn. Whether exploring trails and learning at the Silver Lake visitor center in the warmer months or snowshoeing Little Cottonwood Canyon, youth programs teach Salt Lake Valley kids about the importance of the canyons. To help more kids participate in programs, bus scholarships and donated snow

The work of the Cottonwood Canyons Foundation makes nearby trails more accessible. (Photo by Joshua Wood/City Journals)

clothes are available to kids in Title I schools. The CCF team gets creative with their educational efforts. During ski season, staff and volunteers will ride up the ski lifts with lone skiers and talk with them about the canyons. They then host educational events in the resort areas. “We’re considered an urban forest,” Anderson said. “It’s kind of our backyard, and people need to know what it means to be in a watershed.” What’s next for the Cottonwood Canyons Foundation? Growing the organization’s capacity to meet increasing need for its services is a top priority. “We are working very hard to get a second trails crew and another weed crew,” Anderson said. “We are touching 30–40% of the need in the canyons. We’re trying to get to the backlog of need in the canyons.” The Cottonwood Canyons Foundation offers a busy schedule of activities throughout the year. Volunteers can help with trail maintenance or invasive weed suppression, or they can attend educational and celebratory events like their Wasatch wildflower tours in July. More information can be found on their website, www.cottonwoodcanyons. org. The organization’s staff and volunteers make sure their events combine education with action. They recently received an award for removing graffiti in Little Cottonwood Canyon and worked with local law enforcement to address the issue.

The Cottonwood Canyons Foundation team includes experts in botany, trail maintenance and community engagement. (Photo courtesy of the Cottonwood Canyons Foundation)

For Anderson and her team, stewardship and education go hand-in-hand. “I love working the registration table at events and checking people in,” Anderson said. “Then I ask them what they learned on the way out. I say, ‘so are you going to pick the flowers in the canyons?’ and they say, ‘oh no.’ Then they list the reasons why they shouldn’t.” l

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Utah high schools asked to raise the bar on sportsmanship By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com


technical foul, 15-yards or a penalty shot are just a few examples of punishments that result from unsportsmanlike conduct. More serious violations can result in fines, suspension or even termination. Why suffer through penance or pay thousands of dollars to make amends when you can just as easily be a good sport? The Utah-BYU rivalry again took sportsmanship’s center stage because of several incidents in an early December basketball game at the Huntsman Center. Several Cougar students began singing their fight song during a halftime presentation honoring former Utah head coach Rick Majerus. The melee that followed included fights in the stands and altercations on the court. This basketball game is not the first time the two schools have squared off. In 2008, BYU quarterback Max Hall said, “I don’t like Utah, in fact I hate them. I hate everything about them.” He later apologized. Utah Head Coach Larry Krystkowiak said in 2015 he did not care if the teams ever played again. College sports participants are not the only poor examples. In 2009, two Ute Conference youth football teams forfeited all of their games and the conference president was removed after allegations of using illegal players. The whistleblower received threats and called the police for protection. “You’re an idiot, you have ruined our son’s season, and I am going to burn your house down,” was the threat that prompted a call to the police, all over a youth football game. Has sportsmanship been lost for a willingness to win at all costs? “It can be horrific. I had never been so scared,” Peggy Pyle, a county recreation scorekeeper said about her experience witnessing a brawl at a slow pitch softball game. “One big guy hit another guy in the head with a glass Coke bottle. It was wicked crazy.” The Utah High School Activities Asso-

ciation (UHSAA) has recently made an exaggerated emphasis on sportsmanship at its contests. “The organization is committed to stressing educational and cultural values,” UHSAA director Rob Cuff said. “We stand to improve the participation experience in activities, promote life skills, lessons involved in competitive activities, foster sportsmanship, mutual respect and assist those who oversee high school sports and activities at UHSAA member schools.” In a City Journal survey, 78% of respondents said parents are most responsible for sportsmanship, good or bad. “Young amateur athletes often emulate what they see being done by college and professional athletes,” West Jordan High School athletic director Carlson Boudreaux said. “In my view, competition has become more and more about making the other guy look bad, not just about doing your best. We ask our coaches to address sportsmanship and proper behavior with parents at parent meetings. Our objective is to encourage loud, rowdy, positive fan support for your sports teams.” UHSAA schools have been encouraged to use an initiative called Do Rowdy Right. “We focus on teaching the fans, all fans, not to let the cheering get personal. Our students and parents are monitored throughout the contest and we try to stop negative comments. I am not going to pretend we are always right, but adults are some of the most important people in teaching good sportsmanship,” Boudreaux said. Copper Hills High School is among several schools that have implemented ways to improve the fan experience. “It is difficult enforcing good behavior at sporting events,” Grizzly athletic director Andrew Blanchard said. “We have student ‘spirit leaders’ that come to all athletic events. They are the leaders of cheers and behavior. Our administrative team works closely with those students encouraging positive cheers.

The Copper Hills girls basketball team sits on the edge of their chairs cheering for their team. (Greg James/ City Journals)

CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com

Choosing these leaders is very important.” The players on the team reflect their coaches views. “This is something everyone can work on,” Cyprus head basketball coach Tre Smith said. “I am sure players, coaches and officials have all felt disrespected at times. My biggest thing is wanting to create a sense of great character with kids in the program.” The UHSAA program called Raise the Bar encourages four ways to improve sportsmanship at athletic events: teach, enforce, award and model. In the 2018-19 athletic school year, every UHSAA 6A and 5A school experienced a player or coach ejection. The high school program to improve these statistics includes objectives to help each school earn sportsmanship awards. “Every school can win at sportsmanship,” Cuff said. All UHSAA members schools were given a banner to hang in their gymnasium. Each banner has empty spaces for gold stars that can be earned by completing the objectives outlined in the program. They include: displaying the schools sportsmanship policy, zero ejections, athletes and parents signing the sportsmanship pledge and school sportsmanship video contest entries. During the school year, schools evaluate their sportsmanship application and can mark areas as successful or areas that need improvement. “We can promote the development of

character and ensure the teaching of positive values,” Cuff said. “We must avoid negative behavior and demonstrate respect and appreciation of opponents. Officials, fans and coaches. Get loud, have a great time, but remain positive.” In the City Journals sportsmanship survey, 56% of those filling out the questionnaire said they had displayed poor sportsmanship. Meanwhile, 91% do not think all participants deserve participation awards. “Disappointment and failure is life,” Blanchard said. “Disappointment can be a useful motivator to athletes. It can help them overcome the negative feelings that come with losing.” In 2019, the UHSAA changed how teams qualify for the state tournament. The changes sparked a controversy over if all teams should make it or not. Beginning this last fall, all teams make the tournament but are seeded by a ratings performance index. According to the Cyprus head basketball coach, his team needed to learn something before making the playoffs. “My first three years at Cyprus my teams did not deserve to make the tournament and we didn’t. I’m saying we did not work hard enough to earn it. I needed to teach my program what hard work was and what needed to be done to have sustained success,” Smith said. Taylorsville athletic director Guy Mackay agrees that sports can teach more than winning. “One of our big problems is that winning is described today only with the final score,” Mackay said. “The problem is the mindset. What is someone trying to accomplish with athletics. Winning is more than the actual scoreboard.” The sportsmanship epidemic has had on impact on officials. Recently, the UHSAA pleaded for qualified officials to help support the student athletes. A shortage of qualified officials has become a national problem. The states sportsmanship initiative hopes to make the vital improvements so that high schools will be able to continue to offer athletic competition. The 2019 6A sportsmanship video winner was Skyridge High School; Alta won the 5A division. “Honestly, I feel sportsmanship in Utah is getting better and better every year,” Blanchard said. “The UHSAA works with high school administration and athletic directors to come up with procedures on how to show fans good behavior. There are always a few that never follow the rules, but we now have procedures to help deal with those fans.”. l

Bingham Miner girls basketball coach Charron Mason pleads her teams case to the referee in last years’ state championship game. (Greg James/City Journals)

February 2020 | Page 23

New app aims to make finding parking at U smoother By Libby Allnatt | l.allnatt@mycityjournals.com


A new app may change how students navigate the daily parking hassle at the University of Utah. (Photo by Edgar Zuniga Jr./Flickr)


Page 24 | February 2020

inding a parking spot is one of those daily hassles everyone who drives needs to do. Fortunately, some University of Utah students want to make it a smoother ride. Brandon Howard of South Jordan, a film student at the university, is involved with the development of a new app called Parq, which aims to make driveways and other areas with parking potential rentable to students. Think Airbnb, but instead of a space in the home, residents are renting out the coveted real estate of their empty driveways to students needing a place to park their cars during the day. “I came from a video game background, I design digital assets and skins for video games,” Howard said. “I met Will through a friend and we decided we wanted to work on the project.” William Pepper, the founder of the app and a computer science student, said he got the idea for Parq after struggling to find parking even after buying a parking pass. “I was driving around looking for parking and I realized businesses and homes have many unused parking spots,” he said. “I thought, someone should rent out these spots and there should be an app like that.” The project received funding from the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute (lassonde. utah.edu/) via a $2,500 grant through the Get Seeded program (lassonde.utah.edu/getseeded) in October. “I didn’t really know anything about starting a business or anything like the tech space yet, so I did some research and I found out about the program at Lassonde,” he said. “So I entered that and put a lot of work into setting it up.” Developer Juno Kim and advisor and

entrepreneur Chris Le are also a part of the project. Pepper said that the amount of businesses around the University of Utah opens up even more potential for rentable parking spaces, potential Parq has worked hard to tap into. “I went door to door asking houses and business if they were interested in this,” Pepper said. He said they have about 50 homes on board, and a nearby 7-Eleven. They are in talks with more businesses and plan to add more in the next few months. Howard said having this hard work of getting people onboard already started will help the app when it’s time for its official launch. “We did the physical work, we went around, emailed people that were interested in renting out their parking lot, we already had that,” Howard said. “So once the app finishes, hopefully it will be a pretty easy rollout because we already did the grunt work of the door to door.” Howard also says that gamification of the app will help, adding features that incentivize users and ensure a long-lasting app that’s rewarding to use. “Parking is a task everyone needs to do,” Howard said. “By adding gamification, it will add more incentive. Any app that has an economy behind it, it will pretty much survive forever.” Pepper said he hopes to expand Parq, even bringing it to other states that are lacking in such apps. “We’re really excited. We’ve been working hard and trying to make a difference in this parking industry.” l

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Turn and face the strange By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com


e are creatures of habit. For most of us, we wake up around the same time every day, work during the same hours during the same five days per week, and do similar activities during our off time. We find contentedness in our habituated lifestyles, knowing what’s coming next. We’ve even developed language and community around some of the common reoccurrences in our ritualized lifestyles; Taco Tuesday, Hump Day, TGIF, and Food-prep Sunday, just to name a few. Habituation isn’t something we all decided is the norm to strive for, randomly: it’s engrained in our beings. Psychology professors commonly teach habituation, a shortterm learning process where a response to a stimulus following repeated exposure to a stimulus decreases with no adverse effect, with the example of the Aplysia punctata. These little siphon sea slugs have gills that they use to navigate the world. When the gill is touched it retracts into the slug’s mantle, kind of like a snail. However, researchers have found that if the gill is touched a handful of times in succession, the response weakens and the sea slugs will not retract the gill. This response is useful for the sea slugs out in the wild, as they generally live on shores, close to the ocean waves. At first, when every wave moves over the sea slugs, they retract their gills, and release when the wave moves away. As you might imagine, by the time the COTTONWOOD

next wave comes around, the sea slugs have not moved very far. If habituation didn’t occur, the sea slugs would be almost paralyzed, never able to move forward because of the constant reaction to the natural world around them. Through habituation, the sea slug becomes accustomed to the environment and is able to move forward. It’s easy to draw the similarity here in humans, right? After we become accustomed and comfortable with our environments, we begin to move forward. A common example used by psychologists is when we add new stimuli to our sleeping environments. When couples move in together, it’s usually that first night when one partner realizes that the other is a bed hog or snores like a bear. For the first week or so, the partner wakes up every time the other begins to snore. It’s frustrating, as the partner’s sleep is compromised, and they become increasingly tired throughout the week. However, after some time, the partner becomes used to the snoring being a part of their sleeping environment and begins not to be roused when the partner snores: habituation. Humans thrive when habituated. For example, many of those who report frequent migraines say that sleep inconsistencies influence their symptoms. If they sleep during the same hours every night, their migraines aren’t as frequent or severe. Similar with patients who suffer from various mental dis-



This little sea slug is famous for adapting to change. (wikiMedia

orders, if their surrounding environment and daily routines remain similar, the less frequent and severe their symptoms are. Habituated rituals are constantly encouraged in our daily routines and reflected in our language as well. We should exercise daily and eat an apple a day. This is all to say, we suck at change. Some of us are terrified of the unknown that inherently comes along with change. Some of us dread starting new things. Some of us don’t like the feeling that comes along with being uncomfortable. It’s far easier to stay content in our habituated ritualized lifestyles.


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However, as one of my favorite people always reminds me, “We have to be uncomfortable if we want to grow.” Outside of our comfort zones is where we learn, have new experiences and find satisfaction. If we can say we tried something new or maybe accomplished that new task, and liked doing it, that’s where we feel alive. And even though we may feel uncomfortable starting something new or different, it’s worth it. So, here’s to new beginnings, like this one. I’m excited to share this first rendition of the new Everyday Psych with you. Let’s be uncomfortable together and hope it’s worth it. l

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Valentine’s Day: The Day of the Dead By Joani Taylor | Coupons4Utah.com Awe, love is in the air, tis the season to give your sweetheart an extra lift. If you aren’t feeling it, the barrage of commercials will make sure you don’t forget it. I say extra lift, because if you’re lucky enough to have a sweetheart, we should strive to lift them every day, but no sweetheart minds a little extra chocolate sauce on their ice cream once in a while. It’s not uncommon to hear naysayers find reasons to put down this national day of love, it’s too commercial, too lonely, too fussy, too childish. To be honest, having suffered the loss of my husband I was inclined to agree. There’s so much pressure put on us to celebrate Valentine’s Day with roses and a partner by our bedside it can make the rest of us feel… well… a little pathetic. I’m here to tell you to lighten up on yourself. It’s time to stop thinking there is something wrong with being single on Valentine’s Day! Who cares! Instead of focusing on the fact that you aren’t in a relationship this February, focus on loving yourself by giving love to those around you instead. Here are 3 ideas to get you out of the love day funk.

1 - Give love to friends and family. It could be as simple as sending out a card or two to your closest friends or someone you know that is in a similar situation, to going all out and inviting people over for a dinner party and movie night. 2 – Give love to a stranger. This could be as simple as making a monetary donation to a charity, organize a collection of needed items for shelter or go great guns and spend a day volunteering. Do this in honor of your loved one if you’re missing one. 3 – Give love to an animal. Keep it simple and spoil your pet. Take your dog to his favorite dog park or spend an afternoon reading snuggled up with your cat. Maybe make a donation to a foundation that provides therapy animals for people, like Utah Pet Partners or run a food drive for the Humane Society. Just like Mother’s and Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day is a day meant to spend appreciating someone. It’s a day intended to lift someone special. What better way is there to lift ourselves up than to spend it lifting another? l

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I blame Love’s Baby Soft for destroying my archeological career. Up until I started spritzing the perfume popular with the seventh-grade girls in my class, I’d never given any thought to how I smelled. My mom was lucky to get me to shower, yet, here I was, dousing myself in baby powder-scented toilet water. The perfume’s slogan should have been a warning, “Because innocence is sexier than you think.” Seriously? Who came up with that? Hustler magazine? My mom saw the signs and tried desperately to distract me. Basketball practice. Dance lessons. Piano lessons. But it was too late. I’d discovered this scent could lure 12-year-old boys to my locker better than a steak sandwich (which I also tried). But this wasn’t me! I didn’t care about boys! I had planned a life of adventure! In first grade, I decided to become an author. I read “The Little Princess” until I absorbed the ability to write through osmosis. I spent the day in my room, penning stories and jotting down poems then submitted my siblings to “a reading” where I’d share my work and they’d complain to mom. Becoming Nancy Drew was my second-grade goal. I was ready to uncover ridiculous clues to break up the den of bank robbers living somewhere in Murray, Utah. As a third-grader, I checked out library books so I could learn hieroglyphics. When

the call came to go dig up tombs in Egypt, I’d be ready. I would trek near the pyramids, wearing khakis and a cute pith helmet, encountering mummies and warding off ancient curses. Fourth and fifth grade were spent honing my dance skills. Ballet, tap, jazz, hokey-pokey – I did it all. I’d practice every day, secure in the knowledge I’d perform on Broadway. Or at least the Murray Theater. In sixth grade, I discovered Paul Zindel’s “The Pigman” and my desire to write returned full-force. It was decided. In the future, I would be a writing, dancing, detective archeologist who spent equal time on the stage and the Amazon rainforest. But seventh grade! Boys! Gah!! Suddenly, I wanted to smell good. I became obsessed with every pimple, every pore and studied the beautiful girls who made glamour seem effortless. I read teen magazines. I learned I needed glossy lips and thick eyelashes to attract the opposite sex. (I tried to no avail to create the perfect cat’s eye, which turned out fine because I’m not a cat.) I had bangs so high and hairspray stiff, they were a danger to low-flying birds. I fell in love with Shaun Cassidy, which was crazy because, as a writer, how could I marry someone who sang “Da Doo Ron Ron”? Those aren’t even words! I earned money for Levi’s 501 button-fly jeans and Converse shoes. I bought Great


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“Se Habla Español”

February 2020 | Vol. 17 Iss. 02



hile students were on winter break, 50 years of performing arts memories came crashing down as construction crews tore down Brighton High’s auditorium. “It’s part of the first phase of demolition,” Principal Tom Sherwood said. “It will be a challenging six months as we find homes for our programs in that area — performing arts, art, family consumer science — but the final outcome will be a beautiful, new updated school.” Until the new auditorium is complete, Brighton High will use the stage at nearby Butler Middle School. It’s all part of rebuilding Brighton High on the same campus, and part of the $283 million bond voters approved in November 2017. “Our goal through each phase of this process is to keep the students safe and provide them learning opportunities,” Sherwood said. Sherwood said the first phase is slated to be completed in June. It will include the new arts area for vocational, family consumer science and performing arts as well as the fieldhouse and physical education facilities. In what was a parking lot on the northwest corner, an updated 1,100-seat auditorium with a full fly system and improved acoustics as well as lightning and sound is being built. There also will be updated dressing rooms adjacent to the theater and storage for props, he said. The new fieldhouse is expected to alleviate some of the use of the current basketball courts. Dance, drill, wrestling, soccer, lacrosse, physical education classes and other activi- During winter break, Brighton High’s 50-year-old auditorium was demolished. The rebuild of the school will continue through summer 2021. ties and sports can use the multi-use fieldhouse with artificial (Photo courtesy of Brighton High School) turf, an indoor track and base Continued page 9

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Cottonwood Heights February 2020  

Cottonwood Heights February 2020