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February 2019 | Vol. 16 Iss. 02

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ASHTYN POULSEN WINS THIRD BATTLE WITH LEUKEMIA - with an army behind her By Joshua Wood | joshw@mycityjournals.com

I

n December 2018, just before Christmas, Ashtyn Poulsen returned home to Utah after winning a grueling battle. Poulsen overcame very slim odds to beat leukemia for the third time in her young life. This time around, a big celebration was called for. As she descended the escalator at Salt Lake City International Airport, a crowd of dozens stood holding signs and cheering the brave leader of “Ashtyn’s Army.” Poulsen was first diagnosed in January 2013 with acute undifferentiated leukemia, a cancer of the blood-forming tissues like the bone marrow. After receiving four months of treatment, Poulsen went into remission and received a bone marrow transplant. After three and a half years of being healthy, her cancer returned in October 2016. She then received another five months of treatment, was cancer free and underwent another type of bone marrow transplant. She was sure this second treatment would keep the cancer from coming back. Then in February 2018, Ashtyn received devastating news. Cancer had return. The odds of beating leukemia a third time were very slim. Ashtyn and her mother, Suzanne Poulsen, traveled to Seattle Children’s Hospital to undergo another grueling round of treatment with the hope of beating the odds. A long, hard fight The struggle against leukemia began again last March. “There were three things that Ashtyn had to accomplish,” Suzanne said. “First, she had to get cancer free. Number two is the bone marrow transplant so the leukemia cells cannot survive. It’s horrible on the body. Third, you have to gain back everything you lost.” Ashtyn has tried to keep things in perspective. “I definitely have to take it day by day,” she said. “I actually hope it will take as long as the doctors say it will to recover, but I do everything I can to make it faster. I’m kind of done with the medical thing.” This means recovering from the traumatic effects of the bone marrow transplant. “It put her on death’s door,” Suzanne said. The transplant affected her heart, lungs and kidneys and effectively replaces the immune system. She hasn’t walked on her own since August. Doctors say it will take about a year for her to recover. “She has to start from rock bottom and build herself up,” Suzanne said. Her darkest moment One day during her treatment, Ashtyn was at rock bottom. “She was very, very sick,” Suzanne said. At that moment, Suzanne asked Ashtyn what she was grateful for. “My health,” was her answer. Her mom then asked her what other people should be grateful for.

Ashtyn’s Army welcoming Poulson home at Salt Lake International Airport. (Suzanne Poulsen, by permission)

“Existence,” Ashtyn said. “The opportunity to impact people for good. If you don’t, it’s a waste.” That is the spirit that has helped Ashtyn beat leukemia for the third time. She quietly endures. Her mom said Ashtyn has a fire in her, that she is a fighter. A quiet, strong fighter. “She is legit,” Suzanne said. The staff on the oncology floor of Seattle Children’s Hospital would gather in Ashtyn’s room. They seemed to spend more time there than they probably needed to. Suzanne knew why. “She’s never unkind. She never once said ‘I give up.’” Welcome home That December evening as Ashtyn and her mom descended the escalator at the airport, they could see balloons, signs with Ashtyn’s name in big bright letters, and they could hear the warm cheers of dozens of people welcoming her home. They call themselves Ashtyn’s Army. They had been rooting for her throughout the process, reading the blog that Suzanne used to keep everyone updated, and waiting for the moment when they could welcome her back home. For Ashtyn, it was a long wait. Every time she got her hopes up about leaving for home, her doctors said she would have to wait another week, another month. “I didn’t believe I

was going home until I got on the airplane and it took off,” Ashtyn said. “Then the doctors couldn’t tell me it would be longer.” The homecoming she had wanted for so long was bigger than she expected. “It was a little overwhelming because I can’t wrap my head around so many people supporting me because I feel so little,” Ashtyn said. “I was so grateful, so excited to see the people that were praying for me.” “Overwhelming in a good way,” she added. Future goals Ashtyn knows she still has more recovery time ahead of her, but that hasn’t stopped her from thinking about her goals. She wants to go to BYU or the University of Utah and hopes to start soon. She wants to study nursing and become a nurse on the oncology floor at Primary Children’s Hospital. “The nurses for me are everything,” Ashtyn said. “Nurses understand, they get it, and they’ve seen a lot. You have to grow up fast when you get diagnosed. These nurses are who you want to talk to.” Ashtyn Poulsen gets a lot of things. Like the members of Ashtyn’s Army, her future patients will get someone to look up to, someone who understands. Someone who never gives up. l

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COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS

You were just in a car accident, now what?

you’re one of the few anomalies C ITY OURNAL Unless in the world, we’ve all been in an accident. We’ve experienced that sickening feelThe Cottonwood Heights City 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 circulation@mycityjournals. com or call our offices. Rack locations are also available on our website. For subscriptions please contact: circulation@mycityjournals.com The views and opinions expressed in display advertisements do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions held by Loyal Perch Media or the City Journals. This publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written consent of the owner.

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

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Page 4 | February 2019

ing 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. 7. Exchange insurance information. This is imperative. If you are to file a claim on your car, you will need the other driver’s information. Most likely, after an accident you are feeling jumpy or stressed. It means when you try to write down their information your handwriting will look like ancient hieroglyphics and, unless you are a cryptographer, will be unable to read it later. We live in the 21st century, take a photo of their information and take photos of the damage done to both cars. 8. Don’t admit guilt. Every insur-

ance company will tell you to do this. Even if you are at fault and it was you to blame. This could drive your premium up or even lead to you being sued. Let the police and insurance companies determine this. 9. Call the police. While some minor accidents don’t require a report to be filed, it’s up to the discretion of the drivers in the accident to call the police. Law enforcement can take statements, get information on injuries and property damage. Be sure to ask for a copy of the accident report. If there is a dispute, the officer will be an important testimony. 10. See a doctor. Depending on the injuries suffered or not, it is easy to skip this.

A large financial situation has just happened with the car accident, you don’t want another one by seeing the doctor and jacking up your health costs. It’s important to consider it, or possibly speak with one. Adrenaline can be pumping after the accident and one might not notice the amount of whiplash to your neck. Symptoms can take 24 hours to appear. The warning signs include neck pain, stiffness, loss of motion in the neck, headaches, fatigue, dizziness and pain in the shoulders or upper back. It can be better to be safe than sorry. l

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Cottonwood Heights teen performs in New York to raise awareness of hemophilia By Joshua Wood | joshw@mycityjournals.com

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amson Sperry would like the world to know that kids with hemophilia can do a lot more than people think. To get the word out, and to help prove his point, Samson performed with other kids from throughout the country in a landmark Broadwaystyle production in New York City called “Hemophilia: The Musical.” Samson, an energetic 14-year-old from Cottonwood Heights, was one of 25 kids from across the country selected to participate in the program. Like the kids in the production, Samson suffers from hemophilia, a bleeding disorder in which a person’s blood doesn’t clot normally. People with hemophilia have to take precautions to avoid certain injuries, but that doesn’t stop them from doing a lot of things other people do. “I learned that the arts, like theater, are really empowering,” Samson said. “We are limited with sports, but the arts can bring that aspect of us out.” Samson’s sister forwarded an email to him with details of a contest. Kids with bleeding disorders were asked to write essays about their experiences and the challenges they face in life and why they want to perform in a play about their conditions. Samson wrote about his challenges and how he always wanted to perform on Broadway.

Samson Sperry on stage in “Hemophilia: The Musical” last November. (Breaking Through, by permission)

He even sang 32 bars of music as part of his entry. After he was chosen for the program, Samson got a surprise when he first read the play’s script in New York. Not only were the contestants’ essays used to select the program’s participants, they were also used to compose the script. “I thought that was really clever,” Samson said. “All of the lines were personal to all the people doing it. There were some really deep thoughts.” The play consisted of several situations depicting the realities of living with bleeding disorders like hemophilia. Preparation for the performance was intense, and helped the kids bond quickly.

Samson met his costars in New York last November. They were welcomed by the program organizers as well as members of the Broadway cast of “Wicked.” The play’s director, Patrick James Lynch, told Samson and the others how he had lost his brother to hemophilia. During their week in New York, Samson and his costars attended classes on health issues affecting them and did a lot of rehearsing to get ready for the performance. For Samson, it was an amazing experience. “My dream to be on Broadway kind of came true,” he said. “It was great. I love to sing and dance and act, and I got to do all three.”

The project was designed to teach people about hemophilia and to help kids suffering from bleeding disorders know they are not alone. Another performer in the play, Khalil Dance, said, “Most of all I want to meet people like me. I’m always the odd one out at school and sometimes it is pretty lonely.” Participants like Samson got to spend time with other kids who have to deal with the same health and social issues they face. The connections they made helped them feel understood and part of a community. It also helped them find the words they need to explain their condition to others. “I don’t want people to think that we’re super limited,” Samson said. “We just have to limit ourselves in some ways. It just means that we need to be more aware of our surroundings.” The play was produced by Believe Limited and sponsored by BioMarin in collaboration with the UnLonely Project from the Foundation for Art & Healing. People can learn more about the project at www.breakingthroughhemophila.com. For Samson Sperry and his two dozen costars, it was the experience of a lifetime. “I made lifelong friends,” he said. “We had a lot of fun and now have a lot of deep relationships and understanding.” l

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Local resident cashes in on sweepstakes By Joshua Wood | joshw@mycityjournals.com

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ocal resident Stephen Adams had a shock when he opened the door one Wednesday afternoon in January. But he knew exactly what was up when he saw the balloons. Adams won a $10,000 prize from Publishers Clearing House (PCH). Adams answered his door and saw Danielle Lam, a member of the Publishers Clearing House Prize Patrol, and recognized her immediately. “He knew exactly who I was,” Lam said. Lam flew from New York that afternoon to award four prizes in different states that week, including this one to Adams. Adams had even entered another PCH contest online that morning. The sweepstakes are free to enter, and many people play regularly, according to Lam. “Sometimes people enter so much, they forget they might win something because the games are so much fun,” Lam said. “People will do it on the train on the way to work, or when the kids are in bed, and they don’t really expect to win.” The sweepstakes was introduced in 1967 and became popular in the 1970s and 1980s. Back then, it was publicized in magazines and on television, and people entered through the mail using forms from magazines. Since then, most people enter through online games and apps.

Local resident surprised by sweepstakes Prize Patrol. (Danielle Lam, with permission)

“People enter online, but the mail is still popular,” Lam said. “I think it’s the nostalgia of getting it in the mail.” Adams said the prize meant a lot to him since he is retired. He planned to celebrate by going out for a steak dinner. His advice for everyone who has entered but may not have won yet? “Keep entering!” he said. “You can’t win if you don’t play, so you might as well play! I won and you can too.” l

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Valentine’s Day ideas By Michelynne McGuire | m.mcguire@mycityjournals.com

Abbey the Cavapoo poses with a homemade Valentine’s Day card wishing you a happy Valentine’s Day. (Michelynne McGuire/City Journals)

H

ere are some ideas and places around the valley for a Valentine’s date and some budget savvy ideas for Valentines. Romantic: Does your honey have to work on Valentine’s Day? That’s not romantic…but perhaps doing one sweet deed a day is the best way to make it up to your honey. Help them feel extra appreciated with one sweet gesture a day leading up to Feb. 14. Outdoorsy: Don’t let cold temperatures stop you from celebrating Valentine’s in the great outdoors. Dress warmly and try these ideas: Ice Skating: Gallivan Center, Ice Rink Hotline: (801) 535-6117. For more details check out their website: www. thegallivancenter.com. Skiing: Some ski resorts offer retreats, spa specials and romantic dinners for Valentine’s Day. Be sure to make reservations ahead of time. This website: www.skiutah. com helps you navigate different resort websites for information. Ice Castles: Journey to Midway and walk hand-inhand around magnificent illuminated ice formations. www. icecastles.com Giving back: The hopeful animals at local animal shelters could use some love too. The Sandy Animal Services Department doesn’t need volunteers, but they do allow good willed people to visit and give the animals attention in their pet/play room during normal business hours. Sandy Animal Services Department is located at 8751 S. 700 West in Sandy. (801) 352-4450 Indoorsy: If you and your love opt out of crowds this year…perhaps make a fun recipe together, cookies, cupcakes, or whatever your fancy…and then paint or draw one another to the best of your artistic abilities. Check out Painting with a Twist and Color Me Mine for some indoor painting activities for a date. Singles/miscellaneous: Sumo Wrestling! Yes, you can rent a sumo suit with some friends from Canyon Party Rental, LLC (801) 836-7700. For more information their website is: www.canyonpartyrental.com For seniors: “Draper’s best kept secret.” That’s according to Draper Senior Center’s office specialist Lisa Campbell. The senior center offers an array of fun things for seniors to do and socialize. And it is free for seniors aged 60+ and free for spouses under 60 if they are married to a member who is at least 60. It’s open to seniors living in all areas. There is a workout facility, classes offered and even a café serving generous portions at good prices. Their Valentine’s Day event, a ballroom dance Valentine’s party,

CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com

will take place on Feb. 13 at 10:30 a.m. Come join in the dance and fun and celebrate “love day” with good music provided by the ballroom dance class and enjoy light refreshments. And on Feb. 14 at 11:30 a.m. Valentine’s entertainment will be provided by the non-profit organization Heart and Soul. Fancy foodies and desserts: If you’re a foodie and you plan to splurge on your sweetie by deciding to indulge and tantalize your taste buds in ambiance, La Caille, a French restaurant in Sandy, is having a Valentine’s seven-course dinner for $150 per person, reservations required. They are located at 9565 Wasatch Blvd. in Sandy. (801) 942-1751 And www.opentable.com is a simplified way to find a Utah Valentine’s Day restaurant with open reservations. If you don’t want to deal with crowds, Dairy Queen is having Cupid’s Cake, made from their traditional ice cream cake, perfect for sharing and it comes in the shape of a heart, a sweet treat for your sweetie that you can take home. Family: If you’re not already in touch with your inner child, perhaps taking the family to bounce around on trampolines together will heighten your awareness. Airborne Trampoline Park is an amusement center in Draper. vTheir website states, “Wall-to-wall trampolines attract jumpers of all ages to this complex with air dodge ball and foam pits.” They are located at 12674 Pony Express Rd. in Draper. (801) 601-8125 And if you’re not in Draper there is another called Get Air Salt Lake in Murray at 5546 Van Winkle. Teens and adult, budget friendly: The Draper Library is offering on Feb. 6, at 6:30 p.m. a tasting of chocolate and creating. You will get the chance to test your palate with chocolate sampling and create your own seasonal craft to go with. This is through the Draper Makers, they have a seasonal creation time to learn new techniques, the supplies are provided while quantities last. Registration preferred. The Draper Library is at 1136 E. Pioneer Rd. (12400 S.) Draper and is across from the TRAX station. (801) 9434636 Developmentally Appropriate: “All Ability Activity Very Fun Valentines,” Friday, February 1 at 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Crafts and activities are designed for adults and teens with disabilities. “We have a great time, it’s the highlight of my month,” said Sarah Brinkerhoff, manager at the Draper Library. Registration is required. www.thecountylibrary.org The Draper Library is located at 1136 E. Pioneer Rd. (12400 S.) in Draper and is across the street from the TRAX station. (801) 943-4636 Kid friendly, family/friends and free: Valentine crafting, bring the kiddies to make a sweet penguin magnet, on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 1-4 p.m. You may drop in between those hours to make a magnet for Valentine’s Day. The crafting will take place in the children’s area; everything will be available to put together a magnet, while supplies last. Feb. 11, 7- 8 p.m. Family Draper Makers, no registration required, supplies provided while quantities last. Make homemade Valentines and spend quality time with family while creating seasonal crafts. Draper Library is located at 1136 E. Pioneer Rd. (12400 S.) in Draper and is across the street from the TRAX station. (801) 943-4636 Whatever you plan to do, here’s one easy tip for fostering love and appreciation: During your time together, take a break from checking cell phones and focus on one another. Valentine’s Day is truly a day to be loving first and foremost to others and yourself.

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Watch city council meetings anywhere By Cassie Goff | Cassie@mycityjournals.com

Every Cottonwood Heights City Council meeting will now be streaming live on YouTube and archived for later viewing. (Photo courtesy of Cottonwood Heights)

T

he Cottonwood Heights City Council has held their city council meetings weekly for years; occurring every Tuesday night at 6 p.m., sometimes lasting until the early hours of the next morning. On Dec. 18, the city council voted unanimously to change that schedule with Ordinance 312. In 2019, the city council will hold two city council meetings per month, every first and third Tuesday of the month, beginning at 5 p.m. All of the city council meetings will now be streaming live on YouTube. The link can be found on the city’s website or through their social media pages (specifically Facebook or Twitter). The live streams will also be archived on the city’s YouTube channel so residents can go back and watch the highlights. “The live stream is a great way for citizens who are not able to attend meetings in person to stay informed and get involved in local government,” said Public Information Officer Dan Metcalf. Generally, there are two separate sessions within the city council meetings: the

Page 8 | February 2019

work session and business session. The work sessions begin at 5 p.m. on Tuesday nights and are held in the conference room at city hall (2277 Bengal Blvd.). Two hours after the work sessions, the business sessions begin at 7 p.m., in the council chambers. Business sessions are where residents can voice their opinions and concerns during the allocated time for public comment. The council will listen to all comments but will only listen. Public comment sessions are not intended to be a two-way dialogue between residents and the city council. Usually, once a comment is heard, it is noted and passed to the appropriate leader or city staff member to follow up with the resident. In addition to the new live streams, audio recordings are available to stream on Mixlr for all city meetings, including each session of the city council meetings, planning commission meetings, retreats and the Community Development and Renewal Agency (CDRA) meetings. Audio recordings are archived for years. As of publication, the oldest meeting archived available to stream is from 2016. l

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City council authorizes ranked choice voting By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com

R

Ranked choice voting eliminates the possibility of a candidate winning with a low majority, since candidates will only be elected when they gain over 50 percent of the vote. (Photo courtesy of Utah Ranked Choice Voting)

esidents will be voting a little differently this election season. With their last official action in 2018, the Cottonwood Heights City Council voted unanimously to adopt Resolution 2018-77, authorizing ranked choice voting. Last year, the Utah Legislature passed House Bill 35, the Municipal Alternate Voting Methods Pilot Project, which gave municipalities the option to participate in ranked choice voting. The bill establishes many requirements and procedures of the alternative voting method pilot program running until 2026, including counting of votes, resolution of ties and canvassing. Ranked choice voting would keep any one candidate from winning with a low majority, while removing the necessity of a primary and secondary election. Since a primary election wouldn’t be necessary, voters would only have to visit the polls once. It also shortens the campaign season, which would decrease the amount of “signs everywhere. There will be a lot less visual

blight on residents,” said Councilmember Scott Bracken. Kory Holdaway from Voterise, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing voter turnout among the younger population, summarized ranked choice foting for the city council on Oct. 9 of last year. Ranked choice voting gives voters the option of choosing their first, second and third preferences for any one issue. “Single-winner and multi-winner contests are presented in the same ballot format. Voters rank their choices in order of preference,” Holdaway explained. As for counting the votes, “If a candidate receives more than 50 percent of votes on the first go-around, then it’s done — that candidate is elected,” said Holdaway. If there’s not a 50 percent majority, the lowest voted candidate is eliminated and their voters’ ballots are counted for their next choice. The lowest vote on the first round drops off the ballot and second choice gets on the ballot.

Voters within Cottonwood Heights will be using ranked choice voting this election season. (Photo courtesy of Utah Ranked Choice Voting)

Voters within Cottonwood Heights will be using ranked choice voting this election season. (Photo courtesy of Utah Ranked Choice Voting)

Holdaway showed the city council a video created by the city of Minneapolis last year when they implemented ranked choice voting to further explain the process. There is a small chance that voters may find the ballot a bit confusing, since it is brand new. However, Holdaway suggested that “education can be done in the community to take care of confusion. The visual and written instructions are very specific and help voters better understand the ballot.” “It’s good to educate the public that there’s a new way of voting for city leaders,” said Holdaway. He suggests the city utilize the mailer each voter will receive from the county leading up to the election stating the voter is registered at the appropriate address. This mailer could be a means of education for the voters. Holdaway made clear to the council that “there are no requirements for cities to do this.” Cities can choose to opt in during future municipal elections. l

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Cottonwood Heights goes green By Cassie Goff | Cassie@mycityjournals.com

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ustainability has become a New Year’s resolution for the city of Cottonwood Heights. On Jan. 8, the city council considered Resolution 2019-03, which would adopt a sustainable energy policy to increase energy efficiency and utilization within the city. The policy would set a goal for all city operations to be powered by 100 percent renewable energy by 2022. It would also set a goal for all residents and city businesses to be 100 percent renewable by 2032. The consideration of this resolution came after months of planning and working with city staff, residents and industry partners such as Rocky Mountain Power and the Sierra Club. “We first discussed this in June,” said City Manager Tim Tingey. “The goals must not compromise affordability, reliability and environmental stewardship.” Word about the sustainability policy was out before the Dec. 18 and Jan. 8 city council meetings. During the public comment sessions of those meetings, over 25 residents voiced their support for the policy. As they did so, many additional attendees sitting in the crowd held up green signs that read “Clean Heights” in a silent show of their support. Ace Slagle, communication director

for the Young Democrats Club at Brighton High School, spoke to the council on Dec. 18. “It’s important to remember what we want out of this. We need to ensure what we are putting in place something that can be achieved, ensures safety and makes sure we are going to follow through with things like the clean air resolution and idling laws. This will make a huge difference for everyone in this community.” Fifth-grader Samara Shaw also spoke to the council. “I hear about climate change in the news. I’m worried about what this means for the future. My friend with asthma is sad he can’t play outside with us. I want my friends to be able to play outside with me all the time. It will be a better place if we work together right now.” Dr. William Cosgrove spoke at both meetings. “There are 10,000 children in this city. You have the opportunity to commit to clean energy, to lessen the poisons of our air. You get to be heroes,” he said. “Today’s children and tomorrow’s children will thank you for taking this step to protect their lives.” “Let’s join others around us to create a cleaner, safer and more energy-efficient future,” said resident Jenny Nazzaro on Jan. 8. “Global warming is real. Eventually

there will be some federal or international limitation on carbon. I suggest that you guys pass this resolution and get a head start before it happens at a federal or international level,” said resident Chuck Brown. “It is the future and one day all cities will be renewable. You can move us forward as a leader,” said resident Shannon Haley. Many of these residents have requested that the city council implement a sustainability committee and hire a sustainability manager, which can be shared with surrounding entities. They have offered their own personal services and time to help with that committee. “There is a core group of individuals that have been meeting to address these issues. A volunteer group can do a tremendous amount. We can get kids involved and help the community to understand the issues. We need to get a community buy-in,” said resident David Richardson. “You have to ask yourself if this is achievable and realistic. Today, from an engineering standpoint, it is very realistic. I would like to offer my services for free on the committee. I want to come home to this city and see the sign that says ‘100 percent renewable energy city,’” said resident Ken Garner.

Councilmembers appreciated the community’s efforts and passion on the matter. “I want to give some kudos to all the residents here tonight. Thank you for your emails, comments, passion and intelligence,” said Councilmember Tali Bruce. Councilmember Christine Mikell gave some background on the industry. “I have my own renewable energy business in the Intermountain West. We have hit the inflection point that the cost of renewable energy is less than coal — coal is being retired. Rocky Mountain Power just did a survey that said 60 percent of their coal fleet is uneconomical. There are 35,000 cities and towns in the United States; only .2 percent of those have 100 percent renewable energy goals.” Before voting, Mayor Mike Peterson wanted to recognize Representative Marie Poulson, who was in attendance, for her interest and passion in the subject. “The time is right. It’s a challenge and we accept that challenge. I enthusiastically vote yes.” The sustainability policy was approved unanimously by the city council. Cottonwood Heights is the fifth local government in the state of Utah to adopt such a resolution, following Salt Lake City, Park City, Moab and Summit County. l

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Many residents urged the city council to pass a sustainability policy outlining goals for the city, residents and businesses to be 100 percent renewable. (Lindsay Beebe/Sierra Club)

Cottonwood Heights City Journal


Single-family housing vs. apartment complex By Cassie Goff | Cassie@mycityjournals.com

This area of the city, known as the Walsh farm, may be developed for apartment complexes in the future. (Photo courtesy of Cottonwood Heights)

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ne of the first applications to utilize the Planned Development District (PDD) zoning in Cottonwood Heights has been causing quite a stir among residents. The application proposes the development of an approximate 34-dwelling unit apartment complex on 6784 South 1300 East, referenced frequently as the Walsh property or farm. Since June of 2018, this application has been discussed in the Cottonwood Heights Planning Commission. During that time, the commission has heard many resident comments and worked with the applicants and city staff to address some of the concerns from residents. On Nov. 7, the planning commission took action on the request from ICO Multi-Family Housings, LLC for a zone map amendment from R-1-8 (residential single family) to PD-x (a zoning designation prepared specifically for the subject property by the applicant, within the guidelines of Chapter 19.51 of the city code) on the property. “I believe this property should stay zoned R-1-8,” said Chair Commissioner Allen Orr. A positive recommendation for the application failed 3-4 with Commissioner Graig Griffin, Commissioner Jesse Allen and Commissioner Chris Coutts voting affirmatively while Commissioner Sue Ryser, Commissioner Douglas Rhodes, Commissioner Bob Wilde and Commissioner Orr voted in opposition. The commission ended up forwarding a negative recommendation to the city council. “We are sending something to the city council where we have raised the issues for their consideration,” Orr said. During the city council meeting on Dec. 18, the council heard from city staff

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members, applicants, property owners and residents who presented an overview of the application. “The applicant was in with the previous mayor and council with a concept plan and community meetings,” said Community and Economic Development Director Mike Johnson. The development plan incorporates that “10 percent of all units be senior housing with a 10 percent reduction for those who

apply. We have proposed that the senior housing be stricken and instead incorporate a law market rate proposal,” Johnson said. The city staff analysis also recommends a tree preservation plan. “We have met or exceeded all the requirements in the PDD,” said applicants Chris Monson and Chris Longson, detailing how they have worked to exceed the requirements of setbacks, fire access, tree preservation, fence heights and increasing a landscaping buffer. David Walsh, a member of the family who owns the property, addressed the council as well. “This property has been in our family for 70 years. What was once a rural area with a few homes has been developed by the county and the city’s vision consisting of multi-family residential housing. First, the Anderson property was developed; then the Brady property was sold and developed; then the Diverges property; and finally, the Smith property to the east was sold and developed. Not one time did our family object to the development that went on there. We request that you give our property rights the same consideration you would any property owner similarly situated. This process has been lengthy; it’s been over 16 months. We have been under agreement with ICO, and we are ready to move on to the next phase of our lives.” Some residents were against rezoning the property, like Theresa Reich. “I don’t believe it meets the affordable or senior resident ratios that have been specified in the ordinances,” she said. “I do not believe ICO is willing to negotiate on those items.” “Listen to what the neighbors want,” Many residents around the area do not want the Walsh said resident Larry Weir. “Our bedroom is property to be developed, as it will increase density in 40 feet from the property line. Please listen the neighborhoods. (Cassie Goff/City Journals) and take the recommendation of your plan-

ning commission.” “Public comment should be extended for at least another month,” suggested resident Jared Crocker. “This proposal would negatively affect the city and its residents. Many should not be penalized for the sake of the few.” After the Dec. 18, 2018 meeting, the city council extended the public comment session, hearing from more residents during their business session meeting on Jan. 8, 2019. “When we look at growth, we can choose what kind of growth we want,” said resident Deborah Case. “ICO is trying to fit a square peg into a round hole and call it progress. This creates a haphazard environment. Look at Commissioner Orr’s recommendation; he voted against it. He rejected it because it does not meet the requirements. We can do better.” As of publication, the decision to approve or deny the PDD application awaits a city council vote. The council is still receiving public input and will continue to do so as they deliberate their decision. The application will be voted on as soon as the council puts the action item on a business session agenda. l

February 2019 | Page 11


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melia Larson started her business A Life for Seniors because she knew how important it was for seniors to find a place that fits. “I worked for years in assisted living and know firsthand what it’s like. When seniors transition to a new community or a care community, it’s crucial they have the right fit,” Larson said. When someone transitions to assisted living, they need to know they’ve made the right choice, and A Life for Seniors wants their clients to feel assured. “What really sets us apart from the rest are our Guiding Principles. We wrote them around the letters that spell L-IF-E.” L- Love your family as if they were our own. I- Impart guidance from leading industry experts to help you. F-Free you from stress and worry and make this often-challenging time easier. E- Earn your trust through our years of experience and education. Larson’s first task as an advisor is to have a free phone consult. “I want to really understand your needs and preferences. For example, if you’re looking for a good community for your

mom, and she likes to be social, I’ll look for a couple of places with lots of good activities,” Larson said. Other criteria come into play, too. Larson asks questions to understand her clients’ physical and medical needs. If a person needs help with activities of daily living, she’ll look for places where there are CNAs to provide that. If they’re concerned about good food, she looks for places known for their food. With years of experience in the assisted living field, A Life for Seniors knows the questions to ask and what to look for in assisted living, but they also know that there is usually a high emotional cost to this transition. “It was a very difficult time for me and my mother when I had to transition her from independent living to assisted living. When I met Amelia, she really put my mind at ease. She was very knowledgeable and really wanted to learn about my mother and how she could help get the resources she needed,” said Janna, a client of A Life for Seniors. Other clients agree. “Amelia was a pillar of support for our family. We were blessed to have her help in making the best choices for

Amelia Larson helped Mary find the right place for her. (Photo courtesy of A Life for Seniors)

our aunt’s needs,” said Elizabeth, whose family used the services while they were living out of state. After the initial consultation, A Life for Seniors puts together a list of communities that fit your health needs, area preferences and other requirements. “The choices can be overwhelming, so I like to start with a list of two or three communities that might be a good fit,” Larson said.

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tephan Micklos became a financial advisor more than 20 years ago. He was always passionate about helping people, and was looking for a way to feel like he was making a real and lasting impact on their lives. When he met with Merrill Lynch and learned what a financial advisor really does, he knew it was the perfect career for him. “We are not stock brokers. We really get to know our clients and understand their individual priorities and goals. It’s only then that we can create a unique strategy to help them meet those goals.” says Stephan. This approach has allowed him to build his practice and he prides himself on the life-long client relationships he has developed. Stephan is now a Sr. Vice President – Investments and a Business Wealth Management Advisor. In 2015, he and tenured Financial Advisors, Nicole Fernandez-Seoane and Robert Markosian, partnered together to create a plan for the future of their practice and to preserve their standard of service for clients for years to come. The result of that planning was the creation of The Micklos Group. In 2017, they added three additional Financial Advisors: Andrew Harding, Nicholas Marsh and Cassie Alvey.

Stephan explained his strategic vision, “We wanted to bring on fresh energy and thinking. In addition to succession planning, we found partners with diverse backgrounds and strengths. The outcome is definitely greater than the sum of its parts with our group.” Rounding out their team are veteran Client Associates, Kimberly Mitchell and Julie Ewell. Robert Markosian describes their team dynamic; “Our integrity is demonstrated through our transparency. We are committed to helping clients work through their issues and identify

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CFO. We want to be their first resource for any financial need. They can call us about anything, big or small.” Nicholas Marsh describes why the Micklos Group is different. “Where we believe we add tremendous value is in how well we know our clients. Listening is our full-time job. We need to truly understand client’s lives, goals and challenges, so we can adapt strategies as their lives change.” One passion that all of the members of the team share is giving back to and interacting with the community. Robert is a past president of the Olympus Kiwanis Club and a part-time ski instructor, Stephan and Nick both coach youth football - Stephan at Alta High School & Nick with The Ute Conference; Andrew volunteers with the Special Olympics; Nicole supports the music program at Judge Memorial High School; and Cassie sits on the Board of The Family Support Center. The Micklos Group operates out of Merrill Lynch’s Cottonwood Office. You can connect with them at fa.ml. com/micklosgroup, 801.284.1980 or micklosgroup@ml.com l

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Corner Canyon High’s Wilder named Most Improved in heart challenge, all teacher participants win By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com

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fter 100 days, Corner Canyon High teacher Mindy Wilder dropped 44 pounds. This helped her edge out competition with 13 other high school teachers across the Salt Lake Valley to win the Most Improved title in the 2018 My Heart Challenge, which helped her earn $1,000 for her school. However, all the teachers say they were winners in improving their own health. Through the program, all the teachers received individual coaching and counseling from heart experts at Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute, talking to exercise specialists, dietitians, counselors and cardiologists. They were introduced to various exercises, which they might not have been familiar with from yoga to boxing, and participated in weekly health assessments. Together, they exercised 46,194 minutes and lost 212 pounds. Their cholesterol levels decreased 14 percent while their triglycerides dropped 32 percent. Through an increase of 18 percent of aerobic fitness, their body fat went down 19 percent. Wilder, who already was familiar with healthy eating and lifestyle from being the school’s volleyball coach and physical education chair, made the effort to also share what she learned with students. “Everything I learned, I took back to my ninth-grade class, including nutrition and exercise logs,” Wilder said. “They made a lot of progress. The volleyball team was very engaged and preferred fruit and vegetables over snack foods.” She said her volleyball team also kept her on track through reminders and asking about her progress. Wilder also introduced yoga to nearby Crescent Elementary in Sandy in early November, getting six classes of third- and fourth-graders to become active.

Corner Canyon High’s Mindy Wilder and Taylorsville High’s Kevin Harwood came away with Most Improved and Overall Winner titles, respectively, in the teacher 2018 My Heart Challenge. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

“The elementary kids became more flexible,” she said. “It was fun to see them take an interest and liking to trying something new.” Wilder is committed to continuing the program even though the challenge is over. “I learned little things that will make a lifetime change for me,” she said. She isn’t alone. She had the support of faculty members, some who joined her in the effort, including Principal Darrell Jensen. “I lost 35 pounds and I started earlier, but her commitment motivated others to join her in workouts and lead healthier lives,” he said. “She’s set a great example for our students and especially our student-athletes.” The overall winner was Taylorsville High School English teacher Kevin Harwood, who used the book The Jungle as a

platform to have class discussions about prepared and processed foods. About 500 Taylorsville High students also listened to a Cornell University professor, who Harwood arranged to come to classes and speak about the ethics of farming, protecting the forests and environment, and heart disease associated with a red meat diet. Harwood decided to take part in the challenge to be a more active grandfather. “For me, participating in the challenge was a wake-up call. It got me thinking about what I’m doing and how it takes time to develop healthy habits,” he said. Before the contest, Harwood admits he developed poor habits after running the 1994 St. George marathon and would eat weekly at a Mexican restaurant and turn on Netflix

instead of hitting a treadmill and eating fruits and vegetables. “I learned valuable information that transformed my life,” he said, adding that his family also participated, including the family dog, Daisy, who took him on four-mile daily walks. Other teachers shared what they learned to their classes and schools. Pepper Poulsen, at Bingham High in South Jordan, involved students, who performed a rap at the December awards ceremony. At Jordan High in Sandy, Nicole Manwaring, who biked to work, had her school participate in tracking steps as well as having the chef program at the school prepare a healthy meal in December. She even got the preschoolers to learn to exercise while learning their letters, said Principal Wendy Dau. Murray High’s Keeko Georgelas worked with their school’s culinary arts students to hold a fundraiser dinner for heart research for Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute, which could help pay living expenses for families of patients undergoing heart transplants. “I hope it becomes an annual event,” he said. “This impacted my life as well as students and faculty at Murray.” Kristina Kimble, of Alta High in Sandy, said it was easier knowing other teachers also were committed to the program. “I can email or talk to any of these teachers and knowx that we will continue to be supportive of one another,” she said. “It’s not over. It’s a lifetime commitment. We all succeeded in becoming healthier so we all won.” In Canyons School District, besides Wilder, Manwaring and Kimble, Brighton High’s Pace Gardner and Hillcrest High’s Jordan Hulet also participated in the challenge. l

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Women freeride and unite at ski resort By Amy Green

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Women enjoy talking together and with professional snowboarder Nirvana Ortanez (middle in blue) before the Women’s Ride Day dinner.

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ackcountry.com hosted a Women's Ride Day at Brighton Resort on Jan. 10. It was open to women of any skill level who registered. It was a day of snowboarding, complimentary barbecue, adventure films and a chance to ride top-of-the-line winter gear. Dinner and drinks were “on the house” for ladies who met at Milly Express lift for the meetup. Backcountry.com is an online retailer that was formed by two guys in a Park City garage with a business dream. Since 1996, they sell specialty gear and clothing for a wide range of outdoor mountain sports. To start the 2019 year with style and ambition, Backcountry partnered with the Women’s Leadership Coalition to sponsor this relaxing day. It was for gathering women to shred up some sweet “gnar-pow” together (that’s old school for “gnarly powder man!”). Though after this event, gnar-pow is obviously a gender non-specific term. The point of the event was to inspire women who want to hit the slopes, to meet other women and try out the latest gear. Doing this can help women network and feel empowered in a male dominated sport. Marga Franklin, visual merchandising manager for Backcountry explained, “Our goal is to get people out there on the snow… sharing with other people who might be intimidated, but want to try. We have all the gear so they can come out.” Burton and Nitro were there to offer free snowboard demos and the newest bindings. Brighton chefs served the ladies a hearty dinner of barbecued pork sandwiches and more. It was a tasty meal to replenish energy for taking more runs into the night. What’s not to enjoy, when there is good female company, food and snowboarding films starring talented women? Myllissa Pinchem attended. “I love how inviting everything has been. Coming out here today, everybody has been so welcoming. I’m a beginner and everyone

CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com

was super nice letting us demo the boards. Having the opportunity like this and having other women that share the same passion is really awesome,” she said. Backcountry recognizes that women can benefit by meeting together in an adventure setting. The attendees agreed that women doing sports together is important. When businesses give back by promoting core passions, with women celebrated as a part of it, it sends a positive message. It is a message (for women who already love the outdoors) to feel equal in sports. It’s also a message to encourage women who are on the fence about trying new things. Nirvana Ortanez, a professional snowboarder, was there. “Look up events like this and just come. It’s the best way to get intimidation out of the way. We take time out of our schedules and travels to be here at these events, to really encourage women who might be intimidated,” she said. Ortanez has been highlighted in TransWorld Snowboarding as a woman with some serious commitment and skill. Women are also popping out of the woodwork, with talent for filming and photography in snowboarding. Gill Montgomery, a freelance photographer, knew about the event because she shoots professional snowboarders and lives in the area. “Whenever there is a female event, I’m all about it,” Montgomery said. “It’s great because there are so many girls in the industry that never really get together. Events like this show girls, even younger girls (and girls not as confident in snowboarding), that there is a community — that we are very welcoming; that you can reach out and go to events like this and be comfortable and accepted.” When it comes to getting more involved in sports like snowboarding, Montgomery related, “It always seems kind of intimidating, especially as a female (you’re constantly second guessing yourself). You just need

to find a group that you can ride with, and there really are other girls to shred with. Go out and get involved.” She recommended visiting a local ski shop for info, and paying attention to upcoming events. It was a day of sweet gnar-pow, and even sweeter intentions put into action by Backcountry.com. One can follow on Facebook to watch for more events at www.facebook.com/Backcountry.

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High school students learn gratitude, lend hand to community organizations By Julie Slama | Julie@mycityjournals.com

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shy 5-year-old boy sat on his mother’s lap upon a throne, the center of attention of 2,300 Alta High School students. Draper Park kindergartner William Burton, who was diagnosed with leukemia one year ago in January, already has undergone monthly treatments that have included steroids and chemotherapy. He was the face of Alta High’s effort to grant wishes to children at the Make-a-Wish Foundation. High school students across the Salt Lake Valley reached out to community organizations this winter season to bring them joy and help, and at the same time, became grateful for what they have. William, the youngest child of Chris and Julie Burton, both who graduated from Alta, likes to play goalie in soccer and loves being buried in the sand. His wish is to go to Hawaii where he hopes to see sea turtles and dolphins. “This is a life-changer for him, for all of us,” Burton said. “There are so many people who are reaching out, giving us support. It definitely lightens our spirits.” At the final assembly, which carried a Hawaiian theme, and students as well as Will’s family were taught a hula dance, Alta students learned the first high school to ever reach out to Make-a-Wish was theirs. “We love helping Make-a-Wish,” senior class vice president Braque Bunkall said. “We love children; they are so kind, sweet and loving. Will makes this more relatable for us so we can see the impact we’re making.” Bunkall said that through a variety of activities, from pingpong and spike ball tournaments to selling hot chocolate and performing odd jobs, students have helped donate funds earmarked for Make-a-Wish. As of press deadline, students raised $20,000, enough money to not only support Will, but also the wishes of four other children, with two more events to be held, said Principal Brian McGill. Nearby Jordan High reached out to help the Utah Refugee Center, as did students at Brighton High in Cottonwood Heights. Jordan High senior and student body officer over spirit Jeddy Bennett said they wanted to help answer a need. “We saw there was a need to help these people who have a lot less,” he said. “The Utah Refugee Center says there are 65,000 refugees in Utah and we have some at Jordan. They are humble about their situation and appreciate everything. We realize we have a lot more than they do.” To help raise funds for them, Bennett took part in several activities that were offered, from spike ball to Smash Brothers tournaments or donating money to watch a holiday movie. Students also performed odd jobs, which was new this year, to raise funds through service. Many students shov-

Page 16 | February 2019

Brighton High students played Hungry Hippos to raise support for the Utah Refugee Center at their final fundraising assembly. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

eled snow from driveways, washed windows, wrapped presents, helped with organizing a book about family history, cleaned and did whatever chores to “show students care about those around them and want to be helpful.” Bennett felt the generosity of the community when he took a neighbor’s car to the carwash and found a sizeable donation for the effort. “I was very surprised when I received a $100 bill, but then there was another one folded inside. My mouth dropped to the floor,” he said. There were “dash for cash” activities, where students could earn a free hour-long lunch if they raised $1,000 in 20 minutes, which they were able to do a couple times. Jordan students also challenged — and lost — to the faculty in a basketball game. “We didn’t let them win,” Bennett said. “People would pay to change the course of the game, so someone could make a donation and we couldn’t play defense, or no student government players could play.” That game alone raised $3,500 of the $15,238 the students donated, the most the school has raised in at least the past seven years, according to senior Gwen Christopherson, who is the student body vice president of service. “This is amazing for us,” she said. “I am so proud. We have students who aren’t as well off as some schools, but they were giving what they could.” Christopherson said $12,000 was given to the refugees, and with the remainder, student body officers, along with Latinos-in-Action, purchased food for Midvale students, who may not have much during the winter break. “It was cool to see that through this fundraiser, we had more kids become involved and come together because they wanted to help. We learned to be grateful for what we

have,” she said. Brighton High students not only raised funds, but also decided to provide needed items for refugees, said junior Grace Bunker, who said the junior class brought soap and razors for the hygiene kits. “We exceeded our goal,” she said, adding that through her church, she has done activities to welcome refugees. “It was a good cause because we have a lot of refugees in Utah.” Brighton students made 320 hygiene kits and gave more than 3,000 extra supplies and more than $9,000 to the Utah Refugee Center. In addition, student leaders would give service to various community groups to celebrate the student body serving the refugees. The service ranged from helping adults with disabilities and providing socks to the homeless to caroling or playing bingo at a senior center to helping with the Burrito Project and at the Utah Food Bank. “We wanted to not only make a difference, but to make a connection to our community,” said senior and student body vice president Kaitlyn Newitt. “We really feel that by providing service, as well as money and items, it is a more satisfying contribution to our community.” Utah Refugee Center volunteer Katie Graham thanked the students, saying their personal connection made the difference. “We’re thrilled at their participation with the refugees and our community,” she said. “They were able to deliver and bring the kits and support them at a Christmas event. They understood their need and helped to answer it.” Principal Tom Sherwood said he appreciated students being involved in the community. “It’s important that their focus becomes more community-minded and learn to give

back at an early age,” he said. “They did a great job of becoming proactive and coming together to impact the local community.” Murray High students reached out to several organizations through the coordinating efforts of the student leaders. Working together with Latinos-in-Action, Gay/Straight Alliance and cheerleaders, student government leaders involved students in several service activities, including writing letters to Utah and California firefighters, organizing and holding a party for children at the Boys and Girls Club in Murray and teaming up with the shop students to create blocks to donate to Primary Children’s Hospital, said student body officer adviser Jessica Garrett. A year-long project, under the direction of Murray High’s Peer Leadership Team (PLT), has been to include all clubs and groups on campus to raise money for Utah Health and Human Rights. Through schoolwide efforts, thus far, they have raised $685, including working together with the soccer team to hold a bake sale that made $200, said PLT adviser Kim Parkinson. Nearby Cottonwood High students raised $6,500 to support the Salt Lake Valley Emergency Fund (SLVEF), a nonprofit organization that works with victims of violent crimes and domestic violence. “We did this by having a winter charity assembly where different talents performed, we auctioned off dates with our SBOs and cutting locks of hair from a student who has grown out his hair for over a year,” said adviser Amy Thomas. The winter charity assembly included performances from the dance company, jazz musicians, vocal duets, a solo bagpipe performance, Latinos-in-Action dancers and a male drill team. Students also donated decorated trees that were purchased during the school’s musical and at the scrimmage basketball game, and a competition was held where donations were collected during the students’ first-period class. Thomas said the local organization was chosen because it educated students about what the organization is and how it benefits the community. “We like the money raised by our students to have in impact on people of our community,” she said. “(When) the director spoke to the students at the assembly and I think a lot of them really had their eyes opened as to what was going on. We also had a former victim of sexual abuse speak to the students and relate her experience with trauma and the lack of support she had while going through it. The SLVEF could have been a huge help to her and her family had it been around during her abuse.” In Midvale, Hillcrest High students raised more than $19,000, their highest ever, for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, an illness

Cottonwood Heights City Journal


that has affected some students and faculty members and their families. One of those is teacher and coach Natalie Moss, who was diagnosed days after she was born, said student body activities officer Tammie Tan. “She gave us a presentation and told us the life expectancy for someone with CF is about 38 years old,” Tan said. “Here she is wanting to do so much with her life and having goals. It really touched us. It made us aware if we have the opportunity to help someone and donate to a good cause, we should be grateful we are able to do it.” Tan, who participated in the dodgeball tournament and ate dog food to help raise money, said many students got involved in this year’s activities after learning about the disease and how it had impacted their school community. Her classmate and student body treasurer Sydney Larsen said the all-day assembly started with raising $400 in the first hour and built upon each hour until it ended with $1,000. Students took part in activities from eating pies to licking peanut butter off of plexiglass. The annual favorite was donating money to save or shave classmates’ hair, said Larsen, who participated in the eat or wear mustard and mayonnaise activity. “We did these things to help raise and appreciate every dollar,” she said. Other activities included Hillcrest Idol; an auction where several businesses supported their efforts, donating items such as nail salon coupons, sunglasses and chocolate; and the drill team versus dance company basketball game where students could pay to change the outcome of the game. “At one point the drill team was playing on their knees and the SBOs subbed in for them. We broke so many basketball rules, but it was possibly the best fun I’ve had at Hillcrest,” Larsen said. “Even while having fun, we were able to instill a connection with our community and to work together for a common goal, to give to a cause.” In South Jordan, Bingham High students raised money through their annual holiday fundraiser, True Blue, for the Starlight Foster Program, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the Jordan Education Foundation (JEF), which helped to benefit principals’ pantries. “We chose to work with these groups because they are all local and right here in our community,” student body officer of service Ashlee Webb said. “True Blue is all about coming together as a school and a student body to do things that are bigger than us for the good of others.” Students raised the donations through door-to-door service nicknamed squad jobs, admission charged to their talent show, Mr. True Blue pageant, pay-to-play improv show, Zumbathon and True Blue dance tickets, as well as various activities held at lunch time. True Blue T-shirt sale proceeds also were earmarked to benefit their causes, she said. Webb said students wanted to help the

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Starlight Foster Program that works with local foster children and families to ensure safe family connections, as well as Make-AWish, where they helped a 3-year-old boy, who lives in South Jordan. “Because of everyone’s hard work, we were able to grant his wish of going to the theme parks in Florida,” Webb said. Students all pitched in to bring in a specific list of food items to go into weekend and snack kits for the principals’ pantries, she said, adding that Bingham was able to make more than 5,000 snack kits. “There is a principal’s pantry in every school in the district. It is a place where students can go who may not know where their next meal is coming from,” Webb said. “As a student body, with the help of the JEF, we were able to assemble over $21,000 worth of kits for the pantries on our school-wide Day of Service, held on Dec. 21. We also raised over $53,000 in physical monetary donations and 6,050 service hours as a school.” Corner Canyon High School students didn’t set a monetary goal this winter season to help others with the Tyler Robinson Foundation, said student body president Luke Warnock. “We just wanted people to give,” he said. “We know at Corner Canyon many of us live in a wealthy community, so we wanted to encourage students to give of ourselves what we can give, if it’s time or $3 or things, to benefit those who need help.” Money was collected from activities such as the students’ ugly sweater dance and a pingpong tournament, as well as raising money through performing odd jobs in the community, he said. Senior and student body audo/visual officer Julia Tolk said students raked leaves, did dishes, watched children and hauled boxes to the trash during the busiest month of the year for many people. “It was so hard to fit it in our schedules at this time of year, but so worth it,” she said. “It ended up being fun and rewarding.” There also was a yard sale in the commons and student leaders auctioned off tickets to Utah Jazz games and to the Imagine Dragons concert. Instead of one huge goal for students to reach as a reward for earning a certain amount of money, Tolk said they had several levels they could achieve, such as raise $15,000 to watch a movie in the commons, $30,000 to have the teachers switch spots teaching or $60,000 to get a school pet fish. “People were excited to get a fish and name it,” Tolk said. The money then would be donated to the Tyler Robinson Foundation, a foundation set up by a Brighton High parents in honor of their son who died of cancer, to help support pediatric cancer patients and their families. Principal Darrell Jensen said it has been two years in a row the school has donated to the Tyler Robinson Foundation. “They can see the value in it, how they

are able to touch their lives,” he said. “It brings this close to home.” Not until the final assembly were the students made aware of their progress: $77,562.08, surpassing last year’s efforts of $63,000. “People were crying, feeling good they helped so much,” Tolk said. “It was just amazing.” Adults also pitched in this holiday season. For example, at Canyons School District, employees and others donated about $10,000 through a silent auction and donation drive benefitting students and families residing at The Road Home homeless shelter in Midvale. The money will be used to provide students with services and supports that aren’t covered by federal funding. Murray Board of Education member Glo Merrill was contacted by adults who lived in Draper who wanted to donate to students. They were joined by a neighborhood in Murray, Walden Hills, that decided not to give neighbor gifts this year, but instead

bring warmth and joy to children, she said about the grassroots effort. “I thought that was nice and suggested they bring coats, thinking we may get about 10 to help children at Parkside, one of our Title I schools,” Merrill said. “We ended up with 110 coats. It was more than I ever imagined.” Merrill said that with the help of Murray Fire Department, the coats as well as some clothing and boots, were from children’s sizes to size adult extra large. Not only did Merrill and others help sort and distribute them at Parkside, but they also decided to share with women and children at The Road Home. “You cannot imagine how much a coat can help these children. One little girl put one on and said, ‘I look beautiful. I’m a princess,’” she said. “It’s remarkable how people in the (Salt Lake) Valley and our city are willing to come together to help give. It made me so happy.” l

Corner Canyon student leaders revealed the amount students raised for the Tyler Robinson Foundation at their winter fundraiser assembly. (Photo courtesy of Corner Canyon High)

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February 2019 | Page 17


Students welcome kindness campaigns in schools By Julie Slama | Julie@mycityjournals.com

W

hen identical twins Lucy and Ellis Herring created the video “Rise Up” as sixth-graders last year, little did they know their entire student body in middle school would be watching it. The video inspires students to “rise up” above bullies and negativity and to show kindness. “It is just amazing and impactful,” PTSA adviser Julia Simmons said. “The students in the video had different demeaning labels on their arms. The message was so powerful. Even as an adult, I feel at times there are labels on my arms, as other adults can be unkind or make me feel insignificant.” That video helped kick off a yearlong school theme, “Rise Up.” “We wanted to bring positivity to our school and awareness that oftentimes, people feel alone and need to feel connected,” Simmons said, adding that student leaders welcomed students to school, giving them high-fives. Simmons said oftentimes those who aren’t included can struggle with anxiety, depression, drugs or other issues. “I see the world changing with the internet and social media. There’s a lot more bullying on sites than we realize and students are connecting to those on their phones, not to each other. Often, if people are depressed, anxious or nervous, they’ll pull out their phones and isolate themselves more. We need them to connect in the present, to become a friend, to talk to people in a conversation, not on Snapchat,” she said. South Jordan Middle is one of several schools that is introducing kindness campaigns at its school to welcome, connect and include students so they don’t feel isolated or anxious, which experts say can lead to destructive behaviors. However, South Jordan Middle didn’t stop with just watching the video. Students set personal goals by completing the sentence, “I will rise up by.” Simmons said the notes then were posted to spell out “Rise Up.” “We had students write that they will rise up by being kinder, by stopping bullying, by eating fruits and vegetables and more,” she said. That week, as throughout the year, students completed bingo cards that tied into the year-round theme as well as monthly focuses. In February, the focus was set to be Kindness Week. “It’s something we’ve done the past few years instead of Valentine’s week,” student body adviser Annelise Baggett said. “It’s after winter break, when there are few breaks in school and it’s not an exciting time and the weather is dark. Then right in the middle of it, kids are showing that people care and they can get through it all together. Kids can struggle with self-worth, especially this time of year, and in middle school when they are

Page 18 | February 2019

questioning who they are and want to be. Instead of going to social media for validation, Kindness Week connects them and helps form friendships.” Baggett said student leaders are motivated to connect with others through lunchtime activities, service projects and mini-lessons that are given to their homerooms. The activities include students posting notes in the hall of kind acts their peers are doing. “It delivers a big message when friends are noticing kindness at school, in the community in our homes,” she said. “Our big focus will be to connect with others and get them involved. We tell students the more you share your talent and help out others, the more validated you are and better you feel.” At nearby Bingham High, the largest student club is one where everyone is welcome: the Golden Gate Club. It first began as a club where all students felt accepted and welcomed and now is expanding to other

one another. It’s changing the culture of our school,” she said. West Hills Middle in West Jordan added aspects of the club into its existing Be the Change program. “We’ve incorporated Golden Gate’s pledge and principles suited for middle school students as well as the practice to reach out and befriend another into the Be the Change program,” assistant principal Mike Hughes said, adding that last year they also incorporate five-minute mini-lessons into their curriculum. “Middle school and high school students want to belong, and with the support of their peers, it will help them determine success for their rest of their life and give them a positive outlook.” In the Daybreak community, Daybreak Elementary students also are taking part in a yearlong kindness push. Fresh off of being awarded a $500 Stand for Children grant for the national Middle School Kind-

First-graders show how they can “sprinkle kindness” around Daybreak Elementary. (Photo courtesy of Daybreak Elementary)

schools in the area as well as the nation. “Our theme is to ‘make someone’s day, every day,’ whether it’s smiling and saying hi or doing a simple act of kindness. It’s become a turning point for so many kids’ lives,” said school hall monitor Jo Ward, who helped start the Golden Gate Club two years ago. “It’s not an anti-bullying or anti-gang club, but a pro-social club that helps kids be included and accepted, which is what kids want.” Ward said that with a large school, students can be “lost in the cracks, so we don’t want them to feel alone.” Student members receive daily text messages, eat together at lunch and make sure everyone has someone to attend after-school activities with as well as help with school events. “We want everyone to feel like their family and other kids have their back. We see the difference — everyone watching out for

ness Challenge last spring, students are continuing to give positive messages of kindness throughout the school, said Wendy Babcock, who heads the school’s faculty kindness committee. “We need to teach kindness, and if we start with the young ones, they can teach the rest of us,” she said. “Schools need to teach it now. There are so many pressures that this generation has with technology that didn’t exist, so now we’re needing to teach them how to connect and show they care about each other, which they don’t get on Snapchat or texting. Students may be bullied, feel sad or isolated and those feelings can lead to further acting out or anxiety and mental health issues. Kids need to learn and practice how to play and make friends away from technology, and they need to learn kindness.” Daybreak began with Start with Hello, a

weeklong program that addresses those concerns. Parents of the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting victims introduced the program: “Social isolation is a growing epidemic in the United States and within our schools. In fact, one study reports that chronic loneliness increases our risk of an early death by 14 percent. Furthermore, young people who are isolated can become victims of bullying, violence, and/or depression. As a result, many pull further away from society, struggle with learning and social development and/or choose to hurt themselves or others. Start with Hello teaches students the skills they need to reach out to and include those who may be dealing with chronic social isolation and create a culture of inclusion and connectedness within their school.” The concept of the program teaches students that when they see someone alone, they can reach out and help simply by saying hello. “We had students invite others to recess, play on the playground and sit by new people at lunch. There was great effort to start new friendships,” Babcock said. “It also has helped as new kids move into the school; they’re making sure they are included and aren’t standing around.” In the late fall, the student council created challenges and posted them on flyers around the school. The Choose Kind challenge allowed students to tear them off and initiate the step of being kind and building a sense of community, she said. That then went into the next phase of the kindness campaign, where students identified each other performing random kind acts and wrote them on paper light bulbs. Then, students posted those on a paper tree in each grade level’s pod, allowing students to “light our school with kindness.” “The faculty and staff spontaneously started writing down those they saw of each and started a light bulb chain around the office that then spread into all these trees full of lights. Identifying kindness really made a difference for our entire school,” she said. Currently, Daybreak students are performing 100 acts of kindness and promoting the phrase “when you see something, say something” into one of positivity and kindness. They also plan to take part in the same kindness challenge this spring. In White City, Bell View Elementary school psychologist intern Danielle Rigby introduced Start with Hello week in the fall since she was new to the school and trying to meet all the students. She used ice-breaker games and incorporated the campaign into their structured recess program. “We talked about being kind, being a friend and had students pledge they would say hello or make new friends,” she said. “Students would stop in the hallway, intro-

Cottonwood Heights City Journal


duce themselves and use key words at recess and lunch. Seeing their kindness was really impactful.” The students also wore green, the program’s color, to show their support of being kind. As a reminder of their pledge, this spring Rigby plans to distribute green silicone bracelets that say, “Start with Hello.” She also is looking into getting the school a buddy bench, where students can invite those sitting on it to play at recess. “All schools need to have a kindness program,” Rigby said. “Initially, this all started from school shootings, but now kids need it. People are more inclined to internalize everything as it’s not as easy to look up around them or step out from themselves to show empathy. But this is teaching students the first step to show kindness when they see someone alone. We need this kind of positive uplifting.” At nearby Edgemont Elementary, students, faculty and staff all took part in what was expected to be a 10-day Look for the Good campaign, but with sticky notes of compliments filling bulletin boards, they remained up for months. The national campaign was created by kids for kids and was led by the school’s student council. “The program teaches that everyone can respect one another and answer the question ‘what makes me grateful?’” Principal Cathy Schino said. “It’s an important question because it opens up your heart and shifts your thinking to others. It tells us to avoid that crabby voice inside that tells us we aren’t

good enough.” Students also took turns standing on circles that asked, “What makes you grateful?” to share with others how someone made an impact on their lives and how they can help make a difference. “This gives them extra confidence to share, say something positive and be thankful,” first-grade teacher Joyce Acosta said. A first-grader in her class, Kody Brinkeroff, spoke up at the kick-off assembly that he felt safe and was grateful “because there are no bullies that do mean things to anyone at our school.” They also passed along cards that said “you matter” and shared the microphone at morning meetings talking about the positivity in their lives. Schino likes the shift in attitude to focus on gratitude. “If you look for the bad, we can always find it, but when we look for the good, and retrain ourselves to do that, then we can find that and lift ourselves up and give students the tools to lift up others.” Student council adviser LuAnn Hill said it helps to create a more caring environment. “It makes school a better place to be, with students showing kindness and expressing their gratitude,” she said. Last spring, after the Parkland, Florida shootings, Butler Middle School students wanted to show they cared, more than take part in the one-day protest, school librarian Jennifer VanHaaften said. After seeing a Facebook post about doing 17 acts of kindness, Butler students

Edgemont Elementary held its Look for the Good campaign to help students become positive and express gratitude. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

jumped on board to pledge to build a positive sense of community at the Cottonwood Heights school. Then, they participated in random acts of kindness. “We saw a group of girls post uplifting notes on the lockers of 900-plus students. Kids introduced themselves to new friends and sat together at lunch. They were giving smiles and high-fives. Middle school can be a hard time for some students and our students brought a positive light to our school,” Van-

Haaften said last spring. At nearby Union Middle School in Sandy, the kindness effort began by a student who realized positivity was needed, said Principal Kelly Tauteoli. “She got it going, just by putting sticky notes on lockers,” she said. That evolved into the school’s third annual Kindness Week during March 25–29. In the past, students have posted compliments about each other on the windows, provided service, said hello to others in the hallways and around school and continued with the sticky note campaign. “I think it’s life skills that schools learn through academics, but students also are members of the community and they need to understand we all have differences and need to work through conflicts and learn life skills that create a safer, welcoming environment that is kind,” Tauteoli said. Alta High Principal Brian McGill agrees. “We need to have a climate where students feel a connection with one another and the school with kindness, caring and compassion,” he said. Both the annual Kindness Week and the introduction the past few years of the Hope Squad and Link Crew have helped to make the Hawk community more welcoming, McGill said. “We’ve worked hard to create a positive culture where students find support and look out for each other.” l

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February 2019 | Page 19


Principals put the ‘fun’ in fundraisers By Julie Slama | Julie@mycityjournals.com

Ridgecrest PTA President Marci Cardon and Principal Julie Winfree receive letters in a bucket from students before sleeping on the school roof to celebrate students reaching their fundraising goal for a new sound system and technology devices. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

K

iss a pig? Become a human ice cream sundae? Camp on the roof? If it motivates students, count most elementary school principals in. And count in the students. “The kids were really excited, cheering, clapping, squealing louder than the pig,” said Draper Elementary Principal Christy Waddell, who dressed as a farmer and kissed a pig Nov. 9 to celebrate her school raising $26,000 at their annual fun run. “It wasn’t that bad. I’d say less gross and not as slobbery as kissing a dog.” Waddell, who said she’s taken a pie in the face and has been a human ice cream sundae, said this was her favorite: “It didn’t get as messy.” She’s a believer that “doing something different and unusual” motivates students. She said her custodian even has helped out by dressing up as a fairy to inspire students. “We don’t have students earn junk. We prefer to do things that will get them excited. And most students respond. We had more students return envelopes with donations so they could see me kiss a pig,” she said, adding that she ran some with the students during the fun run. Waddell isn’t alone. This year, Woodstock Principal Brenda Zimmerman, in Murray, also kissed a pig as a reward for her students when they raised $11,700, surpassing last year’s mark by $4,000. The money will be used for structured physical education equipment, safety equipment, field trips, books and for other programs. “It was warm, gross and wet, but he’s so cute,” she said afterward. “I’ll do about anything to make them smile and laugh. Kissing a pig totally worked for them to bring in more money.” Paraeducator and PTA member Kay Forbush said it’s part the idea and part the person involved that makes it successful. “It’s different and the kids are having fun,” she said. “The kids love animals and the principal hams it up for this and it’s a winning combination for them.”

Page 20 | February 2019

PTA member Robyn Ivins said Zimmerman has sung karaoke in front of the school to inspire students, and former principal Yvonne Pearson played the part of a superhero who was locked up in her office unless students met a reading goal, she’s walked the plank, and even had honey poured on her head before adding Honey Nut Cheerios to inspire students. “They’re willing to have fun and it sets the mood of the school so the students are more willing to become involved,” she said. Two years ago, Liberty Elementary Principal Jill Burnside and members of her staff in Murray School District allowed students to turn them into ice cream sundaes, complete with syrup, sprinkles and whipping cream after a successful fun run fundraiser. Last spring, students raised more than $15,000 to make the school have a 1:1 ratio of Chromebooks and technology. Their additional motivation? Watching faculty and staff in a food fight. “It was fun to watch all the teachers grab food and throw it,” said now third-grader Samantha Boss. “It got us wanting to do well to see that the teachers would do a real silly thing for us.” Often PTA presidents and members are involved in either the motivation idea or in taking part. At Edgemont Elementary in Sandy, the top incentive for the fun run was to take silly string to Principal Cathy Schino, said Jeannine Cardenaz, who is the fundraising chair along with Katherine Wojnowski. “We wanted something fun and unique, but not mean,” Cardenaz said. “Everyone loves silly string so it was perfect. It definitely helps when we tell students that the principal is willing to do something fun. They get excited and really motivated.” Schino took the silly string in stride, even dancing around after being decorated with it. “It’s very fun, soft, gooey and slippery, which made it fun to dance,” she said Nov. 5. Sandy’s Park Lane Principal Justin Jeffery used his Texas background to ride a mechanical bull to celebrate his students reaching $18,000, which in addition to supporting several PTA activities, also will go to support teachers with supplies to reduce the amount of out-of-pocket costs they incur, he said. “Riding a bull for them is a fun celebration of their achievement, but it’s also an interactive opportunity for them to see me and faculty do something to honor them,” he said, adding that he has been duct-taped to a wall, slept on a roof, had his hair temporarily dyed and taken a pie in the face. “I stopped doing the pie when one girl said ‘even though you said it’s OK, I don’t want to pie you.’ We want it to be fun for them without being humiliating or unsafe.”

However, what might not work at one school works for another. Elk Meadows Principal Aaron Ichimura, in South Jordan, allowed students to throw pies, the sixth annual motivator, after the students raised more than $20,000. “He’s the best principal,” PTA President Dara Evans said. “He’s so engaged and the kids love him. He is motivated to make each of them feel special, even singing happy birthday to them on his ukulele.” Evans said there are several incentive levels for students, but the whipping cream pies are entertaining and don’t cost much money, so they don’t “eat up the profit.” Another inexpensive reward for students is sleeping on the roof, which Ridgecrest Principal Julie Winfree and PTA President Marci Cardon did at the Cottonwood Heights school this fall. “I talked to other principals who have done it and got the idea of sending down a bucket so students could write notes to us,” she said. “We read those by flashlight that night and they were the cutest notes. The kids had such a great time doing that. We even ordered pizza and when it was delivered, it was sent up in the bucket.” Ridgecrest students raised about $30,000 from their fun run that paid for a new sound system, helping the school get to

1:1 on technology in addition to helping pay for field trips, class parties and before- and after-school programs. “I think they were excited that we were sleeping on their roof,” Winfree said. “If a principal is more willing to do something, then they’re more willing to do their part.” At Alta View Elementary in Sandy, Principal Scott Jameson allowed students to create him into an ice cream sundae and he had fun with it, wearing a mask, snorkel and flippers. Alta View parent Christa Nielsen appreciates the effort. “It shows kids that principals are involved in the schools and want to help them be successful,” she said. “They want them to be motivated.” Second-grader Brooklyn McRae was excited. “I was so excited for him,” she said. “He got really messy with lots of confetti and whipping cream and the red syrup.” Jameson said he didn’t mind. “I’m up for anything crazy because I really believe it helps a ton,” he said. Jameson is true to his word. In the past, students have painted his car, ridden a unicycle dressed as a clown, been slimed, been duct-taped to a wall, eaten bugs and taken a pie to his face.

Cottonwood Heights City Journal


New Brighton High will have new look with same view By Julie Slama | Julie@mycityjournals.com

Brighton High construction already has begun for the new auditorium, the first phase in a three-year project to build a new school. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

B

y fall 2021, Brighton High students won’t be walking in circles — literally — anymore. A new high school will take the place of the 50-year-old school, one that won’t be designed in a maze of circles, but instead the new design will provide administrators and teachers clear sight lines down hallways. That, amongst other features, will allow more safety in the school, said Principal Tom Sherwood. “Any decisions we have made about the design of this new school have been with the students in mind. The physical, emotional and educational welfare of students will always be at the forefront of our decision-making,” he said. The construction price tag for the school — $108 million — is made possible with the approval of voters on the 2017 $283 million bond, said Canyons School District Business Manager and Chief Financial Officer Leon Wilcox. The bond also includes construction of new school buildings at Hillcrest High, Union Middle, Midvalley and Peruvian Park elementaries, a new West Draper Elementary, a new White City elementary as well as extensive remodeling at Alta High and expansion of classrooms and lunchroom at Corner Canyon High. Already, the first phase of the Brighton High rebuild is under way with a new performing arts auditorium, arts, career and technical education program spaces and a fieldhouse to the west and east of the existing building. The Bengals baseball and softball fields already are in the process of being reworked to provide a new point of entry at the south end of the property. “We’re expecting the foundation to be poured for the fieldhouse,” Sherwood said, adding that during the first year of construction no classrooms will be impacted; the gymnasiums, the existing auditorium, media

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center, main office and academic wings will remain untouched. 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 activities and sports can use the multiuse field house with artificial turf, an indoor track and baseball 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,” Sherwood said. One significant difference, he said, the new athletic facilities will have is 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. Already the former parking lot on the northwest corner is being leveled to allow an updated 1,100-seat auditorium with a full fly and improved acoustics as well as lightning and sound. There also will be updated dressing rooms adjacent to the theater and storage for props, he said. 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 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 be more arts classes, including ceramics, drawing and painting. “There will be more open space and adjustments in those rooms to allow for tech-

nology. We also want to have them designed to be flexible for the future,” Sherwood said. Improved wiring for technology are part of the plans, he said. “When this school was built, the stateof-the-art technology was a black-and-white TV,” he added. Wilcox said these facilities should be done winter 2020. A classroom wing will be the center of the school, attaching these rooms and the athletic complex on the east side of the campus, Sherwood said. The three-story classroom wing as well as the cafeteria and commons and a new Bengal plaza will be included in the second phase. There also will be a large multi-purpose meeting or banquet room located over the library. The final phase will be the school grounds and better-flowing parking lots. There also will be improved vision looking outside of the school as large windows and skylights will bring natural light into the classrooms and common areas. “When they built Brighton, it was on one of the prettiest vistas in the Salt Lake Valley, and they built it without windows,” Sherwood said. “Once the new building is done, we’ll have amazing view of the valley and of the Wasatch Mountains.” l

Crews have begun working on building a fieldhouse near the Bengal building; the latter will remain as the new school is being constructed around it. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

February 2019 | Page 21


Summer reading assignment leads to cultured conversations at Brighton By Julie Slama | Julie@mycityjournals.com

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righton junior Catherine Tozze said reading “Mississippi Trial, 1955” provided students with a good discussion. “It was good to see how black life was back then, and what progress we’ve made,” she said, understanding why teachers asked all Brighton High students to read the same novel over the summer. “This allowed us all to have the same background and understand that perspective. We realized some people in Utah were racists and that was reality back in the 1950s. Since then, we learned that race shouldn’t be judged and we should look at our choices and how they affect people.” Even though some students read the book months ago, the discussion continues at Brighton in differing English classes. Energy circulating the book also came about when author Chris Crowe came to the school to deliver his lecture on his book and research. “The story came from history and facts around this time in American history,” he told students. “This is a time when young people have more power than they realize. Their words, their actions can impact the world.” He uses the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida, and how students are lobbying for a change. “Kids’ lives do matter and you have a voice in that,” he said. Brighton High students joined thousands across America to voice their opinions and give silent support for those who have fallen victim before them. Crowe, with the winner of the 2003 International Reading Association Award for a young adult novel, examines the historical case of Emmett Till, whose murder was one of the triggers of the civil rights movement. The story unfolds with white teenager Hiram Hillburn, who knows R.C. Rydell is evil and watches him mutilate a catfish. However, he doesn’t stop him since “I didn’t want to end up like that fish.” At first, he watches R.C. humiliate 14-year-old Emmett Till, an African-American visitor from Chicago, and still he does nothing. When Till is brutally murdered, Hiram is sure R.C. is involved, but is uncertain if he can stand up to evil and do the right thing. “This is a time when he was nervous about starting at a school that was integrated just after Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954. Some celebrated, some protested that decision, but one place that was the most dangerous was in Mississippi,” Crowe said. Throughout the novel, Crowe intro-

duced history to reflect the time period. He even stayed at a bed and breakfast in Greenwood to get to know people and learn the history. “I learned about Grandpa Hillburn’s house. I didn’t know where my story was going at first; I just gathered information and stories,” he said. “It became a story I could share about Emmett and the times.” Brighton English teacher Karen Larson said the language arts teacher picked this book based on the concern of the racial and cultural tensions in the country over the past year. “We’ve heard conversations in the hall about kids being upset that there were fish guts all over the boy, but it plays into the violence and modern-day connections that show racial tensions with the civil war statues and Charlottesville,” she said. “We’re wanting students to make the connections between the 1960s and today. There’s a new face to discrimination and injustice — it’s the same thing, just repackaged.” While she said Brighton High is “predominately white,” there is discrimination in the community in regard to gender, religion, disabilities and more. “There have been marches for women and those who are gay. Students are realizing we need to offer more opportunities for students with disabilities. The discussion is it’s time to make things equal and not leave someone out,” Larson said. This coming summer, Larson said teachers again want to have students read the same book that will assist them in identifying the interconnectedness of their education with the world they enter after graduation. “This allows for a cross-grade-level, cross-curricular discussion of universal themes regarding human nature, history, society, community and the world our students will be entering,” she said. They may, however, allow students to select the book from choices the English teachers provide. Junior Abigail Whitlock attended Crowe’s presentation and could understand how the book has changed the culture at Brighton High. “We decided, as a group, we’d help support their decision, to stand up for the truth no matter the race, disability, religion,” she said. “As a school, we are connected with each other and supporting people’s decisions. We’re becoming a closer community.” l

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Page 22 | February 2019

Cottonwood Heights City Journal


Local volleyball club sponsoring Olympic dream By Catherine Garrett | c.garrett@mycityjournals.com

Former 5A MVP Melissa Fuchs Powell is now a professional beach volleyball player and has her sights set on the 2028 Olympics. (Photo courtesy Melissa Fuchs Powell)

N

ative Utahn Melissa Fuchs Powell’s journey from prep All-American to collegiate indoor and beach volleyball player is simply continuing. As a professional beach volleyball player, the 24-year-old now has her sights set on the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. And despite just playing with one partner in the sport, it will take a village to get her there. Local volleyball Club GSL is helping to sponsor Powell in her pursuit. “I’m a dreamer, I chase my dreams and I have received some help to do that and I sense that in Melissa,” Club GSL owner Warren Van Schalkwyk said. “She is a great competitor and, like many top-tier athletes, she has all the skill sets in a great volleyball player. But, the thing you immediately notice about Melissa is her competitiveness and drive. She goes after it to make things happen and she doesn’t sit back and hope for it to. I’m absolutely willing to support that drive.” Powell is the daughter of former Brazilian professional volleyball players Ray and Val Fuchs and has been living and breathing volleyball her whole life. Even though she felt she was much better at basketball growing up, she knew she had more support in volleyball. “It’s like a culture for us – in Brazil it’s soccer or volleyball,” Powell said. “Watching my siblings play really helped me develop an understanding for the game until I gained my own love for it. It’s not who I am, but it’s a reflection of who I am.” The 2012 5A MVP who led Pleasant Grove High School to the state title followed her brother Phillip, who played at BYU, and her sister Becca, who played at Utah and Weber State, with her own talents into the collegiate ranks. She began at Central Michigan for one year before playing at Houston Baptist to be closer to where her family had relocated. It was there that she started play-

CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com

ing beach volleyball as well as indoor and she played both over the next three seasons. “Ever since I was young, everyone said my style was more of a beach volleyball player,” Powell said. “As I tried it, I realized that I really, really liked playing beach. I started getting pretty good at it and the more I played, the more I knew that I could pursue it professionally if I wanted to.” Following her four years of indoor eligibility – and now married to BYU football player Riggs Powell who she met in Houston – she returned to play her final season of beach volleyball in the spring of 2018 at the University of Utah. In her first professional beach volleyball tournament in Austin, Texas in May 2018, she and partner Jessica Wooten finished 45th. She has since played with two other partners – Victoria Dennis and Allison Spurrier – and has risen in the rankings to her current standing – 133rd – with a goal to break into the top 30. This past fall, Powell tried out for the P1440 tour, founded by three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings, and received a spot which provided her free training throughout the four-month pro-league series. “That has really helped jumpstart my career where I could start getting recognized more around the beach volleyball community,” Powell said. “It’s important to get more exposure as I try to move up.” Van Schalkwyk said he simply noticed Powell’s Instagram page recently and realized her name seemed familiar as she had been one of the top players in the state. As he saw her goal of being an Olympian, he decided to reach out to her and see how he could help. “Our mission at Club GSL is to be a support for every individual and help them achieve their personal goals in volleyball,”

he said. “I knew what Melissa was going after fit within that mission statement.” Powell trains with Van Schalkwyk and Mike Daniel who help find high level athletes to play with her. “One of the things I noticed with Melissa’s videos is that she’s often alone,” Van Schalkwyk said. “I asked her about that and she said it is difficult to find people to practice with and that is where we are trying to help in addition to sponsoring some of her gear and providing her some money monthly for tournaments.” Van Schalkwyk credited Powell for her drive to go after success in a sport that favors those who can play on the beach year-round. “It’s very brave for a girl from Utah – where we only have two and a half months of beach weather – to even have the courage to break into this sport,” said Van Schalkwyk. The 5’11” player realizes the odds she’s up against and isn’t backing down. “I’ve always been doubted,” she said. “Volleyball has taught me to not give up when things get hard so I plan to keep training and keep pushing and keep moving towards my goals. It’s always worth it to go after what you dream of and I want to help inspire others to know that too.” Powell said she is grateful for the support she receives and also noted her husband’s “100 percent backing” in helping her follow her dreams. The reality for a professional beach volleyball player is that money is needed for travel, tournaments, gym memberships, gear and apparel and she is continually seeking all the help she can get. “I’m having a ton of fun,” Powell said. “We get to go to beaches all around the world and I can continue to play volleyball. Playing beach is very easy on your joints so you can play it for longer.” Powell is scheduled to compete in India, Brazil and Thailand over the new few months, the next leg on her Olympic journey. l

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February 2019 | Page 23


Bengals ready for next step: region boys basketball title By Josh McFadden | josh@mycityjournals.com

T

he Brighton boys basketball team hasn’t won a region title since the 2012–13 season. There’s hope that the dry spell will end this season. The Bengals were 9-4 in non-region play, but only one of those defeats came at the hands of an in-state opponent. Brighton went 1-3 in Torrey Pines, California, during the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic, Dec. 26– 29. Other than that trip, the Bengals posted a glossy 8-1 mark as they headed into the Region 7 portion of the schedule. And they continued the strong play with an impressive region-opening win over Corner Canyon on Jan. 11, 66-62. Head coach Garrett Wilson said defense has fueled his team’s play. “We’re one of the best teams in the state in defense points per game,” Wilson said. “We hang our hat on our 2-3 zone. We’ve been working on it since the spring. The guys have learned to play it well.” The Bengals allowed just 55.9 points per game through its first 14 games. No foe topped 67 points during this span. Wilson said another reason his team has improved from last season is that they’ve developed excellent camaraderie. The players get along well on and off the court and support one another through the good and the bad.

“The chemistry of the team is tremendous,” he said. “I can’t think of any of my teams with better. We’re a close-knit family — it has that feel. The kids are sacrificing their individual stats. The focus is the team.” The third-year Bengals head coach said he is fortunate to have good individual talent on his squad, led by 6-foot-5-inch senior Luc Krystkowiak. He is averaging 16.7 points per game to go with 6.3 rebounds and nearly two assists per contest. “He can take over a game,” Wilson said. “His biggest trait is his ability to get other kids involved. He’s our leader and best player.” Fellow senior Adrijan Hadziselimovic has been an effective support to Krystkowiak. He’s averaging 10.6 points and 3.9 assists per game. Luc’s brother Ben, a sophomore, is fourth on the team in scoring with 7.4 points per game. Adam Templeton, another senior, contributes 6.7 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. With region play in full swing, Wilson is aware that the stakes get higher. His team needs to finish in the top four of the six-team region in order to get back to the postseason. Of course, Wilson is hoping the Bengals will break their string and win a league title. “We know it starts to really matter now,” he said. “We try to keep the approach

Brighton’s Luc Krystkowiak attempts a free throw during a game earlier this season. (Photo courtesy of Lucid Images, Robby Lloyd.)

to region games like the others. We put effort into training the mental part of things. We want to continue what has been built on.” Wilson said his team needs to improve its outside shooting, but he is otherwise pleased with the progress the players have made since he arrived three years ago. He’s confident if they continue to play defense

with effort and tenacity, good things are in store for the Bengals. Region 7 won’t be easy. Wilson expects each game to be a “good grind.” The Bengals will compete with Jordan, Alta, Corner Canyon, Timpview and Cottonwood. Brighton’s final league game is at home against Cottonwood Feb. 19. l

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Cottonwood Heights City Journal


New cast of contributors leading Brighton swim team By Josh McFadden | josh@mycityjournals.com

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The Brighton swim team is preparing for the Class 5A state meet, Feb. 7–9 at BYU. (Photo courtesy of Todd Etherington.)

I

t’s a challenge high school coaches face every single season: replacing key contributors and finding new, emerging talent. Brighton swim coach Todd Etherington likes how new leaders have stepped up and swimmers have pushed themselves to be better. The Bengals sustained heavy losses to graduation from last year’s boys and girls teams. The boys won the 5A crown, and the girls finished 11th, but both groups said goodbye to a host of top swimmers. But the Bengals continue to impress. “With such a large group of influential seniors last year, coming in to this season, it was a bit of a mystery how everyone was going to respond, both in terms of leadership as well as performance,” Etherington said. “This year, we have had a lot of swimmers step up to fill spots by swimming better than they believed they could at the beginning of the season. I am extremely pleased with how well this group has come together as a family and is constantly striving to be the best that they can be by helping each other out.” It’s never easy for young athletes to take center stage and perform at a high level so early in their careers. But Etherington said several of his freshmen and sophomores have exceeded his expectations. He’s most pleased with the positive attitudes his swimmers have shown, even when the task at hand was daunting. “What has stood out to me is the drive that the underclassmen have shown to be great,” he said. “While there have been quite a few big accomplishments this season, the ones that stand out the most are the simple times that a swimmer stands up and says, ‘I really can do this.’” Etherington declined singling out any standout swimmers, saying there are “far too many to list.” Not wanting to leave anyone out, Etherington believes everyone on the squad had contributed in some way. Brighton is a fixture in the state tournament, on both the girls and boys side. Though the girls fell down in the standings a bit last season, the team was third overall in 2017 and runners-up in 2016. Etherington said in order for the boys and girls to earn points at

CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com

state and contend for the title, every swimmer needs to focus on his or her own events and times. “We need to continue striving to be the best team that we can be,” he said. “We can only control our destiny, not that of other teams. To reach our goals, each and every swimmer will need to find their best inside of themselves and bring that out.” Etherington said this year has been “pretty challenge free,” with the exception of the high turnover from last season. He’s for-

tunate to have athletes that listen, get along and encourage one another. “For the most part, I have had an absolutely awesome team to work with,” he said. “They have constantly been working to be the best that they can be.” Brighton will take part in the Region 7 meet at the beginning of February. The 5A state meet will take place at Brigham Young University Feb. 7–9. l

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February 2019 | Page 25


Behind the Grind(er)

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CASSIE GOFF

ver wonder what the best bang for your buck is at the coffee shop? Let’s take a journey through my years working as a barista at local and corporate coffee shops. As a customer, you have all sorts of options to get your caffeine fix: drip coffee, espresso drinks, teas, iced blended drinks, cold brews, etc. Let’s focus on drip coffee. Drip is a coffee shop’s equivalent to what you make at home in your coffee pot, just on an industrial scale. We’ll grind the beans, measure out the correct amount, throw that in a filter, make sure the brewer is set to pour the correct amount of water, and hit a “brew” button. If you’re looking for something simple, drip coffee is the best deal at any coffee shop. Depending on the size, and if you’re going to use your own cup, drip coffee is priced anywhere from $2 to $4. Or, if you plan to hang out, most shops will offer “to stay” refills for a reduced price. However, most of us don’t want to get plain drip coffee when we visit a coffee shop. Usually, we desire something fancier, something with espresso. The options for espresso drinks are vast: doppios, lattes, flavored lattes, cappuccinos, Americanos, cortados, macchiatos, mochas, flat whites, dirty chai lattes, blended drinks and signature drinks. Instead of detailing every one of those, I suggest focusing on the most important factor for making your important morning decision:

the ratio of the amount of espresso to the amount of product. Depending on your taste buds, some drinks might suit your wallet better than others. For example, the espresso quantity in a latte and a mocha are equivalent, but there can be as much as a $1 difference between the drinks. For chocolate lovers out there, it’s worth it to get the mocha. But for customers focused primarily on caffeine, a latte would be the way to go. For espresso drinks, one of the main considerations is size. If there are three size options for a single drink, it’s important to ask how many shots are going in each size. At a popular corporate coffee shop, there are three size options for espresso drinks — the equivalent of a small, medium and large. Here’s the big secret: there’s generally the same amount of espresso in a medium and a large. The difference comes down to the other products: milk, flavoring, water, concentrate, tea. Anytime I visit a coffee shop, I always order the equivalent of a medium, because there are more espresso shots than a small, but less product to dilute the espresso (and add more calories) than a large. Subbing is a secret trick. Many coffee shops will charge 50 to 75 cents for extra shots, additional flavorings, or a milk substitution. If you order something like a vanilla hazelnut latte with coconut milk and an extra shot, you’ve just added $2 to your

drink price. Instead, you might want to find a drink on the menu that already has coconut milk (check the specialty drinks) and sub out whatever flavor that drink has for your desired flavor. Sometimes, it’s worth pricing out where your favorite drink would be cheaper if you subbed products, and where it would be cheaper just to ask for the additional flavor. Last, but not least, please tip your baristas. I know that seems contradictory. You say, “Wait, we are going to save a few extra cents on a drink just to spend more money by tipping?” Yes, but hear me out. Even if the baristas won’t admit it, or even when they are trying hard to be objective toward customers, they’ll remember who tips well. If you tip your baristas, they’ll make sure to treat your drink with a little extra love.

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Life and Laughter—Cold Snap

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n the lovely, winter song, a family travels over the river and through the woods to visit grandma. It sounds idyllic, with everyone bundled in fur robes as a happy, prancing horse carries them through snow drifts. I call bull-shenanigans. Winter travel is never that picturesque. My winter driving dread usually starts around 5 a.m. when the snowplow drops its blade outside my bedroom window. First, I want to murder the snowplow driver. Second, I want to burrow in the blankets and not get out of bed until Easter weekend. I don’t know if there’s one inch of snow or three feet, but I know stupid drivers will hit the streets soon, causing mishaps and mayhem. Once I’m ready for work, I jump in my car where the faux leather seats have frozen over like a glacial lake and the steering wheel is now made of solid iceberg. I shiver uncontrollably as I crank the heater up and run through my wide vocabulary of cold-weather swear words. Jack Frost isn’t nipping at my nose; he’s chomping my entire face. Utah drivers are always encouraged to drive smart and read up on winter safety tips. Of course, no one does that, so freeways turn into demolition derbies on ice. Some advice includes: • Never mix radial tires with other tires (because those radial tires are anti-social as hell). • Keep the gas tank at least half full. (Hahahaha!) • Steer where you want to go. (This seems like a trick suggestion.)

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weather. But first, you have to pass the TSA agent, who’s as smug as Vladimir Putin in a crocodile-wrestling competition. He insists I take off all my layers of clothing, including but not limited to, two cardigans, a vest, a parka, a couple of blankets, four scarves and a coat. Once past security, if a blizzard stops air traffic, you’ll be staying in the airport because no airline gives a small bag-o-peanuts about your comfort. You’ll end up sleeping across four chairs with armrests, trying hard not to kick the person snoring next to you. Even if it’s your husband. After boarding, I look at the snow through the tiny oval windows, watching workers deice the plane. That always inspires confidence. (As a side note: are there still air marshals on flights? I wish they’d identify themselves so I could have them arrest the parents of the child who kept throwing pretzels in my hair.) We’ve come a long way from hors-drawn sleighs, but it would still be very thoughtful of grandma if she lived somewhere warm. l

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• Have blankets in your car. (I always carry at least seven blankets. Even in the summer.) • Don’t try to walk if you’re stranded. (I don’t try to walk when I’m not stranded.) • Tie a bright cloth to the antenna so help can find you. (Antenna? What are you driving? A 1975 Impala?) • Steer into a skid. (That’s usually what gets me in trouble in the first place.) • Have snacks available. (I did an inventory in my car and found 17 half-full bottles of water, 35 pounds of graham cracker crumbs, 14 brown apple slices, a half-eaten taco and 143 chicken nuggets. And a long-lost Snickers bar, which I ate immediately.) • Don’t be stupid. (I guess this tip was for the driver next to me, wearing his ball cap backward, trying to wipe the snow off his windshield by slapping his shirt across the glass.) But it’s not just car travel that gets messed up in the winter. Flying becomes a nightmare straight from Hotel Antarctica. If you travel by plane, there’s a good chance your flights will be cancelled due to bad

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801-819-9158 February 2019 | Page 27


Profile for The City Journals

Cottonwood Heights Journal February 2019  

Cottonwood Heights Journal February 2019

Cottonwood Heights Journal February 2019  

Cottonwood Heights Journal February 2019