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January 2018 | Vol. 15 Iss. 01



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2017 YEAR IN REVIEW By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com




017 was an eventful year for the Cottonwood Heights City Council. Many of the important issues to residents were addressed and discussed, as reflected in multiple surveys. Some issues were resolved, while others will continue to be discussed through 2018. There were also many memorable events during 2017, some of which were within different city organizations for which council members work personally. A majority of noteworthy events and discussions from this past year stemmed from resident engagement. Over the past few years, the Cottonwood Heights City Council has contracted with Y2 Analytics to conduct resident surveys in order to better understand resident opinion throughout the city. The results of the most recent survey were reported to the council during the past few months. From these results, Y2 Analytics could confidentially report back that “Cottonwood Heights residents like the city and the direction we are going, generally,” said Councilman Scott Bracken. Open Space Some resident feedback stood out to the council. One of the first results showed that many Cottonwood Heights residents are very concerned about open space within the city. “The overall survey showed strong support for encouraging the city to continue its efforts to enhance the development of parks, trails and

Butlerville Days is the most significant event for the city every year. (Dan Metcalf/Cottonwood Heights)

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Cottonwood Heights City Journal

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

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Over 3,000 people attended the Easter event hosted by the city. Children were divided by age group so they could hunt eggs. (Dan Metcalf/ Cottonwood Heights City)


he Easter Bunny hit Cottonwood Heights hard this year. He delivered prizes to teens at a free skating event at the Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center (7500 South 2700 East) the night before Easter, and then covered the fields behind the recreation center the next morning with thousands of plastic eggs. “The two events were overall extremely successful,” reported Events Coordinator Ann Eatchel during a weekly city council meeting. “We had perfect weather with spring breaks, so we had record numbers.” Over 3,000 people attended these Easter events, which was about 1,000 more than previous years. “It was amazing to see the huge turnout,” Eatchel said. “It was massive — tons and tons of people.” Luckily, the event staff was prepared for the huge turnout. Eatchel had ordered over 40,000 prizes, some hidden within plastic eggs, some plainly visible. “It’s amazing to me every year,” Councilman Tee Tyler said. “The amount of time it takes to get everything on the field, and how quickly it’s gone.” The event was set up a little differently this year. Stand-up flags were used, which allowed for the different areas, designated by age, to be marked more noticeably. “I thought the new flags were great,” Eatchel said. “It was a lot easier to figure things out, and there were less number of inquiries.”

There was a drawback to the flags though. “The kids couldn’t see them!” she said. Next year, they plan to reposition the flags so attendees can see them better. As expected, because it happens every year, there were lots of lost children during the event, accompanied by panicked parents. Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore told Eatchel a quick story about how he witnessed a child becoming lost. “He didn’t think he was lost, he just went to go play,” he laughed. “You don’t need a lost child table. You need a lost parent table.” Luckily, some of the Cottonwood Heights police officers were there to assist with lost children. Over the past few years, the officers that were already on shift would help with the event. “Next year, we might assign a couple to be there, in case there is a call,” Eatchel said. “If an armed robbery happens (somewhere else in the city) in the middle of the event, they can’t leave the city unprotected.” An additional consideration for next year stems from parking problems that were experienced this year. Not only were there more people at the event, but there were also other activities scheduled through the recreation center that were on the same fields. “People were definitely parking out on the street,” Eatchel said. Next year, she plans to have better communication with the recreation center to make sure cross-scheduling doesn’t occur.

Still looking forward to next year, two major events happen around Easter weekend, so Eatchel expects “attendance will probably be down.” The Easter Teen Event was held the night before at the recreation center’s ice rink. “The last couple years it had been dying out; the numbers had been low,” Eatchel said. This year, she changed her marketing tactic to try and target more of the high school kids. “That seemed to bring the numbers up,” she said. “We probably ended up with about 200 kids.” She also added some cash on the ice in an attempt to draw a bigger crowd. Specifically, she had six roles of quarters and 15 one-dollar bills spread out on the ice, along with other prizes. However, no one thought about metal reacting with ice until it was too late. As volunteers dropped the quarters onto the ice, they froze almost instantly, and became one with the ice rink. “Nobody knew they were sticking on the ice!” Eatchel exclaimed. “They melted in pretty quickly. The skate guards had to get a spike to get them out.” “Next year, you will have to stick them in the freezer,” City Manager John Park said, laughing. All in all, Eatchel was pleased with the two Easter events. “I think they were perfect events,” she said. l

“We expect to have over 2,000 people in 2018 like we did in 2017,” said Ann Eatchel, Cottonwood Heights events coordinator. “We will plan for around 2,500.” The city made adjustments in 2017 to make the popular event easier to navigate. Flags marked where items and activities could be found and helped the event flow well. Festivities for Easter 2018 will kick off with free ice skating and treats for teens on Friday at the Cottonwood Heights Recreation

Center ice rink. That event ends with a candy grab where teens take off their skates and grab what prizes they can off the ice. “It adds a lot of fun at the end,” said Eatchel. Younger kids can get in on the action at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 31. The egg hunt will take place on the fields outside the recreation center. “We expect it to be similar to last year, with more people and fun,” Eatchel said. l

Update: Cottonwood Heights looking forward to another big Easter in 2018 com

By Joshua Wood | joshw@mycityjournals.

Last year’s huge crowds look like a sign of more to come for the big Cottonwood Heights Easter celebration. With Easter falling on April 1 in 2018, they won’t be fooling around.

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Cottonwood Heights area trails to host Wasatch Trail Run series By Shaun Delliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com

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ith 100-plus miles of winding canyon trails, it’s no surprise that hiking has become a summer pastime for many Cottonwood Heights residents. Throw in those residents who participate in one of Salt Lake Valley’s many marathons, 5K runs or just outright jogging for fitness, and a significant portion of the population is out there hoofing it around the community. But there’s a special breed of joggers that take to the high trails and thin air to compete in the Wasatch Trail Run series. Cottonwood Heights’ area trails will be hosting several events of the series between April and August, with races being held at Alta, Snowbird and Solitude resorts. The Wasatch Trail Run series is now in its sixth year. Each race offers both a short course — ranging from four to five miles, with a 500- to 700-foot elevation gain — and a long course that ranges between seven and nine miles, and has an elevation gain of 1100 to 2000 feet. “Our motto is ‘Dirt Cheap, Super Sweet,’” said Race Director Mitt Stewart. “The series is unique in that it takes place on Wednesday evenings, and the entry fee is only $20. Nine-race passes are available, which equates to $13 per race. We have 11 races this year.”

The Wasatch Trail Run has six different race venues. Spring races are held in Corner Canyon, Dimple Dell and Park City. Summer races are held at Alta, Park City, Snowbird and Solitude. “Alta and our Olympic Park course in Park City are probably our two toughest courses due to the elevation gain,” Stewart said. “Over the years, a community has been created. Every race you see the same familiar faces. This has enabled long-lasting friendships to be formed and provides a healthy breeding ground for competition. The Wasatch Trail Run also has a charity component. Stewart estimates that several thousand dollars have been donated to charity from previous years’ races. Proceeds from this year’s Snowbird race on June 21 will benefit Wasatch Adaptive Sports, a nonprofit organization that encourages individuals with adaptive needs and their families to realize their potential and engage in active living through year-round recreational, educational and social programs. Not only do racers benefit from the camaraderie and competition of the series, but they can also get prizes just for being there. “After each race, tons of giveaways are

randomly given to participants. From free pairs of shoes, free pairs of skis, clothing, gadgets, it’s a high likelihood that you’ll walk away with something cool. Ten thousand dollars of giveaways throughout the season,” Stewart said. Solitude’s race on June 14 marks the midpoint of the series. Upcoming races are scheduled at Snowbird on June 21, Park City’s Olympic Park on July 12, Solitude on July 19, Alta on August 9, and Snowbird again on August 16. Stewart said the races are for anyone from beginners to elite athletes. “The racer demographics cover the entire spectrum from beginners, children under 10 years old, retirees, (those) who are looking to meet new people and get a good workout, to elite athletes,” Stewart said. “Points are awarded each race corresponding to finish placings. At the end of the year, awards are given out to the top three finishers in each category.” Runner divisions are set up in five-year age ranges, and divided into male/female categories. The Wasatch Trail Run has grown in popularity since it started six years ago at Solitude. “Our first year we held four races and maybe had 20 racers tops. 2017 has brought huge

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CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com growth. We’ve doubled our participant numbers from last year. We have over 200 racers per race,” Stewart said.

Runners interested in the Wasatch Trail Run series can register in advance online at http:// www.runontrails.com or onsite on race day. l

Update: Explosive growth has Wasatch Trail Series ready to run in 2018 By Joshua Wood joshw@mycityjournals.com The aim of the Wasatch Trail Run Series is to get people of all levels of experience on Utah’s trails, and the 2017 season exceeded organizers’ expectations. With well over 200 people participating this year, more are expected in 2018. According to race director Mitt Stewart, the Trail Run Series experienced explosive growth in 2017. The goals of the Wasatch Trail Run Series are to have fun, get people of all experience levels on the trails, and to have them walk away with a prize. In addition to all the fun, the events raised over $4,000 for charity in 2017. “That’s how life should be,” Stewart said. “Give a little, and get a lot out of it. We donated the funds we raised to local nonprofits and trail organizations.” Event sponsors contributed enough gear and other items that about half of all

participants walked away with a raffle prize. In fact, one person managed to win three raffle prizes. The series of trail run events ran through spring and summer in 2017. There were 11 races in all. “People who ran at least 10 of the races got a jacket for joining the 10-race club,” Stewart said. Season passes for the 2018 trail series will go on sale in February. Participants can join a single race for $20 or purchase a nine-race pass for $13 per race. Anyone interested in taking part can visit www.runontrails.com for passes and details. “No matter a person’s speed, they will find someone to run with. We have people competing at the college level, and we have newcomers who just want to get out and move,” Stewart said. “Our goal is to give anyone who wants to run a fun, low-cost way of doing it.” The Wasatch Trail Run Series marked its sixth year in 2017. By the growth it has experienced, 2018 promises to be a good one.l

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Page 6 | January 2018

Cottonwood Heights City Journal open space,” said mayor-elect Mike Peterson. Since open space is of such concern for residents, the city staff and council have been working on an Open Space Master Plan. This plan will continue to be drafted well into the next calendar year. Peterson said he will also work to “review the final Salt Lake County Dog Park Master Plan to see if our need is being addressed, participate in further discussions on how to protect our foothills and provide appropriate access to the various canyons.” One specific project concerning trails within the city is the Big Cottonwood Canyon Trail. One section of the trail is still unfinished and has been on the council’s mind this past year. “We received grants to finish the last portion of the trail,” Bracken said. With the money received by the grants, the city staff has been working on the completion of the trail. “It’s just the legality of it and getting the rights of way,” Councilman Tee Tyler said. “That’s harder than getting money sometimes.” Infrastructure The tension between law and money has also been present while discussing the city’s infrastructure. When Cottonwood Heights was incorporated as an independent city, it adopted infrastructure that had previously been Salt Lake County’s. One of the biggest challenges for the city council as a whole is keeping this aging infrastructure mapped and well maintained. Over the past year, a handful of construction projects ran into issues because of unknown piping that had not been previously mapped or otherwise accounted for. The biggest issue involving the city’s infrastructure is road maintaince, specifically in regards to its cost. “Funding for roads and transportation continues to decline while the costs and needs continue to rise,” Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore said. “This will loom as one of the main challenges of the next few years.” This is not an issue unique to Cottonwood Heights. “I hear it from every city we have in the state,” Tyler said. “We just don’t have enough money for the roads.” “I think it’s the biggest challenge we face as a city,” Councilman Mike Shelton said. “Everything depends on those roads. It has to be a high priority.” In an attempt to stay on top of this issue, the council has planned to implement a new strategy next year. “The first step is the completion of a condition pavement index (CPI) study which will give us an objective evaluation of the condition of every road in our city,” Peterson said. The results of the CPI study will be reported to the council in 2018. “It will allow us to address and prioritize the repair and maintenance of every single road in the city. A key topic of 2018 will be to process that information and put a plan in place,” Bracken said. Public Works Aiding with the process and implementation of the CPI study and road maintaince will be the Cottonwood Heights Public Works Department. 2017 was the first full year the department was in

operation. Previously the city had been contracting with a private company for those services. During 2017, the public works department had many successes, including the first season of snow removal, completion of the public works yard and the implementation of new equipment. “With the challenges we faced in past years with snow removal and road repairs, the creation of our own public works department was a big change for our city,” Peterson said. “Snow removal was one area of greatest concern for the council going into 2017.” For the most part, residents recognized the effort made by the council and were fairly pleased. This was reflected in the resident surveys conducted by Y2 Analytics. “The satisfaction with snow removal increased from 44 percent to 64 percent. That was confirmation we had taken major steps forward to solve the public works issues,” Cullimore said. “Having a successful snow plow season was a huge challenge we successfully took on in 2017, and it was an above average snow incident year,” Bracken said. “I expect we can continue that success going forward. Our new public works yard and equipment has allowed us provide better service to our residents.” The public works yard was completed during the autumn season of this past year. Now the department mostly stages from this yard, located at the intersection of 3000 E. and Cottonwood Parkway. One of the new additions to the department can be found there as well. “We have purchased and implemented our own street sweeper,” Tyler said. “We used to sweep the city maybe three times a year, since we were contracting with the county. That wasn’t enough. I am pleased we appropriated the money to make this service our own.” “The further growth and development of our public works department as it maintains our roads, provides snow removal, etc. will be exciting,” Peterson said. “I’m also excited for the opportunity to review the results of the upcoming pavement condition index study to develop a plan of action for long-term improvements.” Wasatch One particular road within the city has presented a mirage of challenges for the public works staff members: Wasatch Boulevard. Over the past year, the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) presented a number of construction projects for Wasatch Boulevard and has since completed one. Tensions quickly became heated between city residents, the city council and UDOT. Many residents have voiced concern for the future of the boulevard. These concerns include congestion, speed limits, ingress and egress from the surrounding neighborhoods, ski traffic and the general feel of the boulevard, within the city. From resident feedback, Cottonwood Heights urged UDOT and Salt Lake County to conduct a study on Wasatch Boulevard to adequately address the concern. “The citizen feedback and concern regarding Wasatch is really specific to my district,” Tyler said. “The study that is currently underway will

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CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com try to examine congestion, safety, environmental impact and ski traffic. I welcome that.” The study is anticipated to be complete before April next year and will help shape the Wasatch Boulevard Master Plan in 2018. “It’s really a commuter road,” Tyler said, as he described how many Sandy and Draper residents use Wasatch to commute to and from work in Salt Lake City. “I’m curious to find out how many cars travel on Wasatch daily.” Intersection Widening Another public works related development that will take place during the summer of 2018 is the widening of the Fort Union Boulevard and Highland Drive intersection. There has already been work around the intersection, as Rocky Mountain Power replaces power poles in preparation of the widening roads. “We have completed the first phase,” Cullimore said. “Next year will be a challenge as we widen that intersection and the access to I-215 to the north.” “It’s going to be horrendous next summer when that intersection is under construction,” Tyler said. ADUs Over the past few months, the council received many resident comments about the proposed accessory dwelling unit (ADU) ordinance. When it came time for Y2 Analytics to deliver the second resident survey, the council requested questions about ADUs to be included. The results were not what the council had anticipated. Resident opinion was virtually split down the middle. “I expected the response to be overwhelmingly negative,” Cullimore said. “I was a bit surprised that so many people were either neutral or supportive of ADUs.” The even split of opinion surprised Councilman Tyler as well. “I don’t like issues that are 50/50. No matter what we decide, half of the people are not going to be happy.” After reflecting on these results, a few of the council members commented on one of the challenges of being an elected official. “Sometimes the loud voices don’t represent the majority of opinions. We have to be careful not to overvalue those who are loud as opposed to those who are to the majority opinion,” Shelton said. “This helped me to remember that I represent those who don’t yell loud too.” Tyler echoed Shelton’s comments. “We need to listen to and respect the majority, not just the vocal minority.” “This is why we survey,” Shelton said. “We reach out to those who are not loud but their opinions are valued just as much.” Fireworks There was one event this past year where the council did not have to ask for resident opinion, because it was readily available. The neighborhood fire over the fourth of July was one of the most devastating events to occur within the city. “I thought for sure we were going to lose several homes. We were extremely fortunate to have a great fire responder response,” Cullimore said. After the fire, the council received many comments urging for laws to be more strict for

the use of fireworks within the city. The council quickly drafted an ordinance that banned aerial fireworks over the July 24th holiday. “It was a big challenge to accept the responsibility to protect our residents from potential fire hazards by banning aerial fireworks during the 24th of July period. This action was not well received by some state lawmakers, but was something we felt was necessary in the best interest of our residents,” Peterson said. “There was a supportive public sentiment of our decision that lighting aerial fireworks in such dry conditions as existed over the July 24 holiday was an act of negligence,” Bracken said. “The ensuing publicity had a significant impact throughout the valley. Many other cities took our lead and implemented restrictions to keep firework-caused blazes under control.” Other Events Even though the fire event was the most memorable event this past year, other notable events took place. For Cullimore, one of the most memorable events was the Big Cottonwood Marathon. “It is now the second largest (marathon) in the state, second only to St. George.” The city hall building continues to be a highlight for Peterson as it continues to be utilized “for gatherings and celebrations of all kinds.” Butlerville Days is one of the largest city events to date and is a highlight for many of the council members. “I enjoyed sitting with thousands of residents as we watched the amazing fireworks,” Peterson said. Additionally, the Fort Union Master Plan was approved and the budget surplus continues to build. “That was a significant accomplishment in the face of residents paying less of their income for municipal taxes than any other city in the state,” Cullimore said. City Committees Throughout all the issues listed above, and many more over the past year, the city council generally functions as one cohesive unit to address city business. Sometimes, however, the city council members work individually. Each of the four council members has the opportunity to work closely with a designated organization within the city. For example, Councilman Peterson works with the historic committee. Over the past year, this committee has been working on a book to be published about the city’s history. “I’m excited for the book to be published in 2018 regarding our city’s unique history,” Peterson said. Tyler has been excitedly following the progress of the Cottonwood Heights Business Association (CHBA). This association is still new to the city and continues to grow. “It’s no cost to our businesses, and it provides opportunities for luncheons, networking and other events,” he said. One Councilman Bracken’s most rewarding aspects of being an elected official is working with the Youth City Council (YCC). “I helped create and organize the YCC in 2005–2006 on the suggestion of a student who proposed it to the council. I expect I’ll be doing it for as long as I am

on the council.” Throughout the year, the YCC members have opportunities to interact with and learn from elected officials. They hold weekly meetings and participate in many city events, including Butlerville Days, Monster Mash, the Easter Egg Hunt and more. One of the new events this year was in collaboration with the Cottonwood Heights Police Department (CHPD). The YCC members participated as “actors” in a school-based SWAT scenario drill. “With parental permission, they were able to help train CHPD and others to be better prepared in case of an emergency in a school situation,” Bracken said. Each year, the YCC members have the opportunity to spend a full weekend immersed in local government at Utah State University. “They get to associate with 400 other high school students from different cities and towns across the state,” Bracken said. Councilman Shelton meets regularly with the arts council to discuss their events, plays, art shows and other happenings. This past year, one of their most successful events was the production of the play “Annie.” “The arts council puts in a lot of work to benefit the community and make the city a better place to live,” Shelton said. “They have built a great tradition with the events improving every year. We are very fortunate to have many who are extremely gifted and talented within the city.” Since most of these organizations within the city are based on volunteer work, they could always use more volunteers. “I hope many residents will take the opportunity to raise their hand and ask if they can help. Often people are shy to volunteer — but, boy, we sure need people who will raise their hand and say ‘I have something I can give, I have some ideas and some time, and I can help,’” Shelton said. Engagement The request for public engagement goes beyond the volunteer committees. The Cottonwood Heights City Council always encourages residents to be involved. “It’s difficult to legislate, plan and set budgets without understanding the desires, wishes and concerns of those we serve. Hearing from and engaging with constituents is one of the aspects of being a councilman that I’ve enjoyed the most,” Peterson said. “We have a number of residents who have become regular attendees and participators,” Shelton said. “We have had residents make meaningful comments to a discussion that has changed projects or practices. I hope that those who have been engaged have seen how they have made a difference and would encourage people to be likewise engaged.” “Our community only gets better when people are involved,” Tyler said. “We want residents to make an effort to be part of the conversation. We live-stream every city council meeting so you can listen to every word we say. We have both the newsletter and this newspaper. They are great avenues to gain information about us.” l

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Page 8 | January 2018

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Canyons District to rebuild, renovate schools in 2018, continue offering student opportunities


By Julie Slama |


ith 58 percent approval by voters for a $283 million tax-rate-neutral bond in November’s election, Canyons School District will rebuild two high schools amongst 11 construction projects while continuing to offer many opportunities and services to students and the community. This comes as the district is concluding the 13th and last project earmarked with the 2010 $250 million bond — Indian Hills Middle School. While students are currently housed in the former Crescent View Middle School, two new additions as well as windows and natural light are being added to the 37-year-old school. “It’s exciting to see all the windows going up on all sides of the building and solar tubes being placed for the inner classrooms,” Principal Doug Graham said. “It’s definitely giving it a cleaner, lighter feel.” With all exterior walls expected up by the end of 2017, crews were working on drywall and paint in the south end of the building. The construction is slated for completion by summer so the school will open to about 1,125 students in August. “We will open up with 95 percent of our equipment new. We’ll replace our mismatched desks, chairs, tables and upgrade our equipment so when the kiddos walk in, they’ll realize this is a great place to be, a great place to learn and it will be fresh, clean and new,” he said. The students, who gathered 10,521 items in late November for the Utah Food Bank, also will be able to embrace the heritage of the school as Native American designs will be in tile in the commons area and carried throughout the building. The new Indian Hills logo also will be illusMidvale Mayor JoAnn Seghini cuts the ribbon to the new Midvale Middle School Aug. 8 to welcome students to a home with upgraded technology capabilities. (Julie Slama/City trated on the cafeteria wall as well as the marquee. Journals) The logo suite is one of 18 that district graphic deCrescent, Altara, Oak Hollow and East Sandy elementaries as well seeing how excited the kids were upon receiving their portraits.” signer Jeff Olson has created for schools that need In addition, three students had replicas of their portraits included updating. He often ties in the new logo with remodeling or recon- as look into logos for Sunrise Elementary and Jordan High. With the construction, the completion dates aren’t set as he will need to focus in a traveling exhibition featuring 70 students who had made portraits struction, such as the completion of the new Alta View Elementary on a new logo for Brighton High as well as upcoming logos for the of Syrian children living in refugee camps in Jordan. and Midvale Middle schools this year. Students already are asking if they can participate in 2018, Ben“The logos are marks of identity that I love to work on,” Olson new elementary school that will be coming in Draper and possibly a nett said. said. “There’s emotional attachment to these logos. I’ve learned they White City logo with the rebuild. However, the initial recommendation by the Canyons adminisAt the nearby new Midvale Middle School, which held its ribmean a lot to people so now I make sure I talk to key people about the logo as I update it. Whenever I’ve redesigned logos, I create a logo tration is to begin with the high school construction —new schools bon-cutting in August, finishing touches of the auditorium were besuite so we can use the logos for different circumstances that fit the for Hillcrest and Brighton, major renovation for Alta and new class- ing completed as the first play in the middle school was produced in room wing for Corner Canyon, said Superintendent Jim Briscoe. November. need, shape, color or size.” Canyons School District Business Administrator Leon Wilcox Students have much to celebrate with the move. Before moving In the past, Olson said many of the logos were left up to the schools that borrowed artwork or didn’t specify uses of it. Now with said the goal with the high school projects is to have little disruption into the new school building that was constructed on the same site as to students, who will remain onsite during construction. Construction the former school, it was announced that a team of students won third the redesigns, the logo copyrights will belong to the district. place in the nonfiction worldwide junior division of the first-ever onHe recently completed Diamond Ridge’s logo after the school is expected to begin by summer. In the meantime, classes and activities will continue, including line Shakespeare Student Film Festival. The team’s film submission decided to call themselves the raptors. “It’s a different mascot. People remember the different ones — Hillcrest’s dedication to helping Syrian children. This past year in- titled, “Portia’s Example,” beat 76 student teams from 22 countries the Beetdiggers, the Kittyhawks — so it’s really cool to be able to volved 24 students in advanced placement and international bacca- across three continents. Student director Elizabeth Martin said the project was “maswork on something unique. I made it edgy and fierce and high school laureate programs who painted portraits of Syrian refugees in conjunction with an organization called the Memory Project. sively more complicated” than she anticipated. appropriate,” he said. The Memory Project gave Hillcrest students photographs of the “There were costumes, props, schedule conflicts and struggles Refining logos, making animals not as cartoons, and giving them clean, fresh looks are what he has done through several schools, children to paint. Then the students gave the portraits to the Memory between our visions that we had to work out,” she said. “We put in including Ridgecrest Elementary, which held its 50th celebration this Project, who delivered their artwork to the children. The high school a lot of detail, effort and time and it was clear how much work went year, bringing back former teachers and students to sing the school students then received a video of the children receiving their artwork. into it. I learned a lot of people skills and how people think which has “As we watched the video, a few of the students got emotional,” helped me now that I’m in high school in a different atmosphere. It’s song and look through yearbooks. Bell View’s 50th offered a carnival-type atmosphere to current Hillcrest art teacher Kari Bennett said. “It is a touching experience to been easier to work in groups and meet people.” know that you have made a child in such dire circumstances so happy. Theater teacher Bethany Lenhart said the student-produced film and former students and the community. They all sat and watched with huge smiles on their faces and loved was evaluated in three rounds by students in Germany as well as proThis coming year, Olson plans to work on logos for Silver Mesa,

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CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com fessional Shakespearean directors, actors and professional filmmakers. Elizabeth said when it was announced they were the top film from North and South America, she found it hard to focus on her schoolwork the rest of the day. “I couldn’t believe we were going on into the international round. I realized they appreciated how much work goes on behind the scenes,” she said. With the announcement of their third-place international finish, Lenhart said students celebrated. “They were screaming, jumping up and down and teary-eyed,” she said. “They couldn’t believe it. It was a great experience where they had an authentic audience who could see the really hard work they dedicated to the project.” Their classmate Zach Jessop also had reason to celebrate in June as he placed fourth in the National History Day competition in Washington, D.C. His documentary, “Each Life Os Worth a World: Gil and Eleanor Kraus and the Rescue of Fifty Jewish Children from Nazi Germany,” was also chosen as the Outstanding Junior Division Entry from Utah. Zach’s documentary tells the story of an American Jewish couple who went into Nazi Germany and were able to save 50 children from the Holocaust. He interviewed one of the children rescued as well as other survivors’ now adult children and others who lived in Germany under the Nazi regime. Next for Zach is an opportunity to share his film at the Utah State Capitol on Jan. 24 for History on the Hill Day. Zach wasn’t the only Canyons student who went to Washington, D.C. Students from both Alta and Corner Canyon attended the presidential inauguration and Alta High’s marching band participated in the national Memorial Day parade. “D.C. was just fantastic,” Alta marching band director Caleb Shabestari said. “We turned the corner on Constitution Boulevard by the National Archives and thousands, maybe upward to 5,000 just there, were watching the parade on the stairs. I’d say there were 20,000 to 30,000 along the entire mile route. We marched under a massive flag that was hanging from a crane and finished right in front of the White House.” In addition to upcoming parades in Salt Lake City, Sandy and Draper this year, the marching band will be joined by the entire Alta music department to go on tour to New York City this coming April. Six Corner Canyon Peer Leadership Team (PLT) members attended the national Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America conference in Washington, D.C. where they learned leadership skills and ways to approach substance abuse and bullying situations. “We learned how to analyze our community to address issues that need to be improved,” student Nic D’Amico said. “We want to provide more service and take the initiative as PLT members to help our community.” Already, the PLT has done that with receiving the Youth Service America 9/11 Service Project

Grant. They assembled boxes of goodies and delivered them to Draper police and fire departments as well as made blankets and delivered food donated from a school-wide food drive to veterans and their families. “Only 50 schools in the nation were awarded this grant. It’s been incredible to receive it and plan a school-wide service project,” said senior Amber Wood, who is PLT’s school community representative and will coordinate the Global Youth Service Day for the school in April. Brighton High Peer Leadership Team, which is in its first year, also provided baskets for the local police and fire departments on 9/11. They are continuing to look at other opportunities to serve, from tutoring to helping with the elderly. “When we work together, we can make a difference,” Brighton teacher and PLT adviser April Ball said. Working together has made a difference to many others throughout the district. Several schools and school groups have received donations of clothing, food and personal hygiene items to provide to students and their families in need. Students who are active in Latinos in Action, National Honor Society, international baccalaureate and other organizations have provided tutoring for their peers or younger students. At Jordan High, with a greater diversity of students expected with boundary changes, students have been welcomed with the #DigDiversity project. “We wanted to make sure the refugee students knew they had an inviting, safe place at Jordan High,” English and social studies teacher Shannon Callister said. “(Students) are wanting a better environment for the school and have welcomed everyone.” This has extended to supporting families for the past year. Spanish-speaking parents have been invited to attend “puertas abiertas,” or opendoor meetings, with Assistant pPincipal Roberto Jimenez to learn more about Jordan High. “We held the meeting as a way for these parents to become familiar with the school, its resources and key people for them to talk to about their students’ classes,” Jimenez said. Callister said the school is becoming more multicultural and students are embracing it. “We’re making a change and already it feels different,” she said. “It’s been fun to see students get excited.” Across the district, families are supporting an effort that began by student Kaleb Broderick, who attended Ridgecrest, and parent Cindy Boyer at Altara — a campaign to make the district’s schools idle-free. “Besides educating students, I feel we have some responsibility for their health, and their future health,” said Superintendent Jim Briscoe, who supported the Board of Education in making the district’s schools idle-free. Since then, Altara Elementary has continued to hold an idle-free week celebration. “We want students to talk to their parents so they understand that even by doing a little, such as not idling, they are contributing to promoting healthier air,” Boyer said. “We are giving a path

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Page 10 | January 2018

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for them to follow and I hope to see every school embrace being idlefree.” Safety also is a district-wide concern of the 34,000 students. This year, the district emergency management committee — which includes risk managers and crisis counselors — has updated its emergency plans that include school drills and preparedness, said Canyons spokeswoman Kirsten Stewart. “We’ve taken what we learned and improved upon our existing plans,” she said. Each drill, such as shelter-in-place, hazmat, fire, earthquake and bomb, will be practiced according to a schedule so the team can evaluate what works and how to improve upon it, Stewart said. In emergencies, communication with parents through Skylert will continue, and Stewart encourages parents to follow the Facebook or Twitter feed for additional information. In addition, emergency tip sheets are posted at all schools. As part of this, all elementaries are becoming communication centers with Salt Lake County and have emergency supply tubs in place to help network the community and responders. Canyons’ middle and high schools will continue with its Red Cross agreement to provide shelters when necessary, she said. “Learning can only happen in environments where students feel safe and well cared for and that is the aim of our district,” Stewart said. Altara Elementary teacher Joani Richardson, who received the Huntsman Award for Educational Excellence, and other teachers throughout the district, were provided a new salary boost of an average 6.5 percent this year, and have the opportunity to continue their own learning through professional development and certifications. About 26 percent of teachers have earned level-one certification in the instructional use of technology, which is about halfway to the point the Canyons Board of Education would like the district to be in 2019, Canyons Spokesman Jeff Haney said. Outside the classroom, teachers have continued to support students in striving for success, he said. Among the numerous awards students have achieved, four of Canyons District’s traditional high schools have been recognized for the number of students who take advanced placement courses and two students won 2017 National Merit scholarships. In technology, Jordan High’s robotics team won the 2017 Utah Regional FIRST Robotics competition and a team from

Hillcrest High won the STEM Entrepreneur Award at the 2017 High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge. Two Midvale Middle School students were part of a team that won best prototype at the same competition and received the Presidential Youth Environmental Award. Twenty-four students representing all five of Canyons traditional high schools won superior honors at state choir, band and orchestra events. Hillcrest High took the state crown in 4A theater. Thirty-four Canyons students took first place in state career and technical education competitions, including two Hillcrest students who won top honors at the national Future Business Leaders of America contest. Helping Hillcrest students get to this stage has been the addition of the summer Husky Strong Academy to give entering freshmen a jump on high school and put them on the path to excel. The program, coupled with daily mentoring and social and behavioral supports, has contributed to a 10 percent increase in the number of Husky freshmen on track to graduate. It has earned Canyons the honor of being named a 2017 District of Distinction by District Administration Magazine and has served as a model for Jordan High’s AVID Summer Bridge Program, which served 45 freshmen in its inaugural summer academy this past year. Hillcrest administrators this fall created Taco Friday, where students with perfect attendance are rewarded with free tacos. In the first months of the program, more than 1,800 tacos were awarded and attendance had increased about 0.4 percent overall from October 2016 to October 2017, said Principal Greg Leavitt. “Every kid is in a different situation, but we’re able to help students and reward them with incentives,” he said. “We want students in class so they are learn important information that is relevant and we’re celebrating that they’re learning.” Taking that a step for further learning is the goal of the Step2theU new early college pathway program created by Alta High Principal Brian McGill. “Through taking general education classes in the summer between their junior and senior year, then college math during their senior year and more classes the summer after their high school graduation, (students) can receive a general education certificate from the University of Utah,” McGill said. “The focus is directed at the transition to college and getting those students the first years of college while they are in high school. This partnership is just giving them an option to be successful in their education.” l

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Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Only In America- The Le Brothers

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Over the past 24 months, Michael Le and David Le (aka the “Le Brothers”) have purchased 5 independent dry cleaning stores and branded them under a new name called Mr. Le’s Cleaners. With the acquisitions of these dry cleaners, and potentially more, the Le Brothers are focused on providing the highest quality of dry cleaning and laundry services to their local communities. According to the Le Brothers, as they researched what to name their new business, they wanted a name that represented the values that their parents taught them when they came to America in 1975. That is to always; WORK HARD, HAVE FAITH and BE GRATEFUL. So the Le Brothers decided to name the business after their patriarch, whom they refer to as the original “Mr. Le”. The Le Brothers quickly realized that the dry cleaning business is a people business, where trust and loyalty must

be earned. The previous owners spent their lives building a successful business with loyal customers. This process cannot be replicated through discounts and fancy advertising. So at whatever cost, the Le Brothers retained the previous owners and their staff to insure the same quality and service the customers were used to. One of the unique concept of Mr. Le’s Cleaners is how they are focused on their local communities. With special discounts and services, they support schools, active military personnel, veterans, policeman, fireman and even missionaries preparing to serve fulltime missions. Michael Le said, “Our support to the community and its people, is us paying back to the community that took us in with open arms when we lost everything after the Vietnam War. We had nothing when we arrived to this great country and now everything we have is because of those who

sacrificed before us”. He went on and said, “We will always remember those people and continue to pay it forward whenever we can”. As Mr. Le’s Cleaners is establishing their footprint in the Salt Lake Valley, they’ve been busy adding new equipment, remodeling storefronts and implementing new technology. All of this to help improve the cleaning process, communicating with clients and ultimately earning their customer’s trust. The Le Brothers have been working with companies like Comcast, Skipio, Google, Yelp and Cleancloud to help build a new communication platform for current and future services they provide. David Le also mentioned, “We are excited about the merger of many years of talent and experiences with all of our team members. Our goal is to grow the company organically through great people, simple processes and happy customers. It won’t be easy, we know we will make some mistakes but we will do what is right for our customers and stand by our company moto. We’re Happy When You’re Happy!” l

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CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com

A cycle of service By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com


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

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

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

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

Fresh, Healthy

Update: Food drive embodies generous spirit of community organizers By Joshua Wood joshw@mycityjournals.com Kathie and Jim Hawkins didn’t rest on their laurels. When Cottonwood Heights marked April 12, 2016 as Kathie and Jim Hawkins Day, it was meant to celebrate all the service they had provided in the past. The Hawkinses decided to mark the first anniversary of that day with even more service to their community.

On April 12, 2017, Kathie and Jim organized a food drive for the Utah Food Bank. True to fashion, they delivered another successful contribution. The drive raised 10 barrels of food for people in need. For someone known by local officials as “the Cake Lady,” raising donations of food for the needy comes naturally for Kathie Hawkins. “They are great neighbors, and we love them,” said Cottonwood Heights Public Relations Specialist Dan Metcalf, Jr. “They are great community volunteers, and they do awesome things.”l


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Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Brighton wrestler looks to dominate in national tournament S


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everal of Brighton’s wrestlers are attending camps this summer but none of their summer plans involve anything as prestigious as the tournament Brayden Stevens is going to attend. From July 14 to 22 Stevens competed in junior nationals in Fargo, North Dakota. “It’s a tougher tournament,” said Brayden. “It’s not laid back at all. It’s the best of the best competing out there.” To qualify for junior nationals a wrestler has to place top four in their weight class in their state in either freestyle or greco-roman events. If a wrestler places top eight in either event at junior nationals, they’re named an all-american wrestler. On June 21 to June 24 Brayden wrestled in junior

By Koster Kennard | koster.k@mycityjournals.com

national duals in Tulsa, Oklahoma where he and team Utah took 13th place. “I just went for team Utah at 152 lbs and we wrestled against multiple states and I did pretty alright back there,” Brayden said. I’m still not where I want to be. There’s always room for improvement.” “I’m taking what I learned back in Tulsa and bringing it back to the room and practicing it every day with my dad and my other coaches to get better so that I can compete with them back in Fargo,” Brayden said. Before wrestlers from Utah go to the tournament in Fargo, they head to camp W.G.Williams a Utah National Guard training site just south of Bluffdale where Greg Williams and the UVU wrestling staff hold a required

camp to prepare the wrestlers for Fargo. “We have three sessions every day and we just go through technique, condition and kind of just prepare a little bit more for Fargo,” said Brayden. “Kind of like more of an intense camp so we get more prepared and more in shape than what you would do normally on your own.” While at camp the boys go through military type training like climbing ropes and running around the track. “It’s kind of a kick butt camp,” Brayden said. Mitchell Stevens, Brayden’s father and Brighton’s head wrestling coach also competed in Fargo when he was in high school. “It’s very tough competition,” said Coach

Stevens. “You get the best kids from all throughout the country and I remember them having over 150 or so kids in (my) bracket.” Brayden competed in cadet nationals in junior high, which is part of the event in Fargo but for younger boys, and he competed in Junior Nationals last year. “I didn’t do so great last year,” Brayden said. “I didn’t prepare for it at all. I’ve been going to more wrestling practices to prepare myself. Lifting and running and staying in shape.” Brayden placed first in the 152 weight class in the Utah 5A division this past winter and placed second the year before as a sophomore. Utah high schools wrestlers wrestle folkstyle rules but in Fargo they wrestle olympic

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Brayden starts to celebrate after winning the state title. (Jerry Christensen/ Brighton Wrestling)

styles freestyle and greco-roman, which are similar but have some different rules. Brayden placed third at folkstyle nationals two years ago. Brayden’s goal is to be named an allamerican in both styles by placing in the top eight. “I’m just going like no one can touch me,” Brayden said. “If you think that you’re invincible then no one can stop you. You’re just going in with that mentality that you know you’re the best and that will help you progress.” Coach Stevens said that many college wrestling recruiters pay closer attention to the Fargo tournament. “It has the top kids from each state,” Coach Stevens said. “It helps them evaluate talent well.” Though Brayden is probably the most active this summer with the junior national tournaments and UVU’s wrestling camp he isn’t the only one going to a wrestling summer camp this year. Coach stevens said that there is a wrestling camp each week of the summer that boys could potentially go to. “There’s a camp almost every week of the summer,” Coach Stevens said. “There’s been camps and kids have gone individually.”

Though boys ultimately pick their own camps because Brighton doesn’t have their own wrestling summer camp coach Stevens often gives them direction where to go. “The camps that I direct them towards are the camps where I know the instructors are very good. There’s a camp coming up that I direct kids to in July up at Copper Hills High School called the Purler Wrestling Camp they would be a good camp to go to,” Coach Stevens said. “They’ve had some college national champions here at what’s called the Vector Wrestling Camps in Orem. Wasatch puts on a good camp each year.” In the past, Brighton wrestling has gone to UVU’s camp as a team. “I haven’t (run my own camp),” Coach Stevens said. “That’s something that I’ve talked about and may do in the future but I haven’t run my own camp yet.” Coach Stevens said he would like to see more wrestlers participating in offseason wrestling and camps. “We’d be a lot better team if we had more kids wrestling in the offseason,” Coach Stevens said. Coach Stevens understands that athletes are involved in other sports and that multiple camps can get expensive but that he would love for his whole team to be competitive in

the offseason like Brayden is. “Kids they want to be successful but when it comes down to it, it takes effort to be really successful at wrestling,” Coach Stevens said. “It takes time in the weight room. It takes time at camps. It takes time going to private club practices and individual private lessons. It’s possible for anyone to do if they’re willing to put the time and effort into it.” Coach Stevens said that it is hard work that has allowed Brayden to be successful. “My kids don’t stop we’re constantly working out, preparing or going to private lessons or to club practices,” Coach Stevens said. “It takes a lot of time and effort to be really good at your sport,” Coach Stevens said. “Like any sport. We’re in the weight room. We’re in private practices. We’re going to club practices. We’re going to national team practices. I mean there’s really not a lot of time off. It just depends on how good you want to be at your sport.” Coach Stevens said offseason wrestling is directly tied to their team’s success. “The more kids who do offseason wrestling the more successful our high school wrestling team is going to be,” Coach Stevens said. “We’re building it every year and I think it’s getting better and better each year.” l

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Page 16 | January 2018

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Deaf lacrosse star uses sports to show deaf girls they can do anything


By Koster Kennard | koster.k@mycityjournals.com

enior attacker Kennedy Flavin is an all-region, all-state lacrosse player, one of the top scorers on Brighton High School’s team and she recently received a scholarship to play at Westminster college. She’s also a student body officer, a social butterfly and a budding philanthropist. Oh, and she’s deaf, too. When she was in sixth grade, Kennedy’s best friend Nici Boutwell invited her to a lacrosse practice. After the practice, Kennedy knew that lacrosse was something she wanted to do. Kennedy’s first coach taught her a stick drill that involved lying on the floor while moving the lacrosse stick in different patterns. “She must have done them one million times,” said Kennedy’s father Mike Flavin. “She told me, ‘Dad, I have to work harder so I can be better.’” Fast forward five years, and Kennedy and Boutwell are seniors with Brighton lacrosse and they’ve committed to play at rival schools, Flavin at Westminster College and Boutwell at Colorado Mesa University. “I’m going to be playing my best friend, Nici, three times a year,” said Kennedy. “That’s really cool. That’ll be fun.” Kennedy visited colleges in California, New Hampshire and Texas and even verbally committed to Pacific University in Oregon. “It was a long process to find that school,” Kennedy said. “At first I didn’t even want to think about staying in state. I didn’t even want to apply. I said, ‘No way. I need to move and go out of state.’” Westminster ended up feeling like the best fit, Kennedy said. “They made a good scholarship offer and I wanted to play division 2 lacrosse,” Kennedy said. “They had good interpreters and a good coach and good players. I wanted to be close to my best friend and my family.” Kennedy isn’t sure what she wants to major in but she knows she wants to help deaf people. “Well, I don’t know. I know that I want to help,” Kennedy said. “Growing up I’ve always wanted to help those who can’t help themselves. So, I don’t know because I felt alone growing up and I didn’t have people to look up to or the right deaf people to look up to that played my sport or did the same things that I wanted to do. I think of that a lot. I want to be that for little girls.” Mike said that many of Kennedy’s friends have become adept signers. “It’s neat because a lot of her friends have worked hard to learn sign for her and that’s an amazing gift they give to her and it’s not be-

Kennedy Flavin runs with the ball in her net in a game during her junior year. (Brighton High School Yearbook)

cause she’s deaf,” Mike said. “It’s because they love her as a person.” Originally Brighton’s lacrosse team learned some sign language to help out Kennedy, but signs have ended up improving the team as well. “The whole team will communicate, they’ll be signing,” Kennedy said. “It helps us to be more visually focused. It helps us to be faster on our feet. The team sees more. They steal the ball more. They do things faster. They read people’s body language.” In the deaf community, instead of clapping they raise their hands in the air and shake them. When Kennedy scores, several members of the crowd applaud her in her native language.

Going into this year’s playoffs, Brighton is ranked seventh in the state, even though a few key players have dealt with injuries. This includes Boutwell, who is one of the team’s top players; she suffered a season-ending back injury. In the three years Kennedy has been at Brighton, the team has finished in the top three twice, including a heartbreaking overtime loss to Park City, who scored a goal to tie the game with 17 seconds left in regulation. In addition to playing for Brighton, Kennedy has played with the Utah Mamaci Lacrosse club’s under 17 team. Playing for these teams has allowed her to play lacrosse across the country.

“It’s been really cool for me as a dad to watch Kennedy play all over the U.S. People will hear that there’s a deaf player and I watch them, because in the summer I’m on the sidelines, and they’re trying to decide who is the deaf player and a lot of the girls are signing so they don’t know,” Mike said. Kennedy said helping deaf girls see what they can accomplish is a big part of what motivates her to excel at lacrosse. “I work really hard because I want to show other deaf girls that they can do it because I can do it,” Kennedy said. “If I can play, you can play. Just because you can’t hear doesn’t mean you can’t do something. You can do whatever you want. I don’t want that to stop them!” l

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January 2018 | Page 17

CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com

Brighton rugby end up on top despite inexperience


By Koster Kennard | koster.k@mycityjournals.com

righton rugby boys team finished their third season this spring while the girls team finished their first. Though both teams were young and inexperienced, they were able to finish second and third in their state tournament divisions, respectively.

Brighton rugby is a program independent of Brighton High School, but the school does have a rugby club that is run by the Christine Yee, who teaches at Brighton and is the head coach of the Brighton girls team. Early in the school year, a few girls started begging Yee to start a team, but she told them they would have to recruit enough players to play before they could start a team. “I think the cool thing about it is that it was driven by a desire from the girls,” said Yee. “They came up really early in September and asked if they could start a team. I told them ‘If you can get enough players then we can talk about it, but you’re going to need at least 15 for a season.’” Before the team was officially formed, the girls started practicing on their own and were able to recruit 25 to 30 girls. Because Brighton rugby is not part of Brighton High School, the teams have to raise their own funds to play. With funds being tight, the girls had to wear the boys team’s old, oversized uniforms. The team was very inexperienced with only a couple of the girls having ever played rugby before, but they were dedicated to becoming better. “In our season this year everybody was so green and we were baptized by fire by Herriman in one of our first games, which is one of the best teams in the state,” Yee said. “We got killed that game, but there was no point in that game where our girls didn’t play hard or they gave up. They pretended like the score was 0-0 throughout the whole game and I’m so proud of them for that.” By the end of the season, the team had improved dramatically. “When we went to the state tournament, they came out and seemed like a completely different team,” said Yee. “Watching them it was clear they finally understood the game and they were finally able to improvise and play from their gut and still do things technically sound, and they had a great win. The other team was a bigger team. I think more people on that team had experience. Our girls just really came together. They were closer than they had ever been before. They lifted each other up, you know, they supported each other until the very end.” The team was made up of a diverse group of girls who meshed together well, including two foreign-exchange students from Europe. “I would say every girl brought something unique to the team and I know a lot of people say that,” Yee said. “What I love about this team is that it is so diverse, not just experience wise but also from the different groups that hang out at school.” The team even had two former cheerleaders on the team who surprised Yee by becoming two of the best players on the team. The first of these girls was Brooke Burns, who had just finished winning a hockey state title with the boys hockey team she played for, helping her transition to the physicality of rugby. The other was Brooklynn Segura. “I think that what is so great about (Brooklynn) is that she asks great questions and is always looking for feedback,” Yee said. “I think one of the reasons that we didn’t have a lot serious injuries is because our girls wanted to learn to do things technically right.” A player that Yee singled out as being the most dedicated on the team was Bianca Arroyo. Arroyo would go back and run with other players after she had already finished her conditioning and would do extra conditioning at home so she would be ready to help her teammates. She also would text her teammates regularly to check in with them and make sure they were doing all right. After losing 17 seniors to graduation the previous season, the boys team came into the season young and inexperienced. “This year, for the boys we were basically starting from scratch,” said team manager Teresa Petty. “We had maybe 10 returning players that were young and a lot of new players.” With so many inexperienced players, the team’s season was a

130 Years



Zach Lowry gains ground against Genesis in March with support from Carson Petty. Rocky Marks, left, Anthony Suarez, and Bubba Anfinson follow closely. (Duard Peterson/ Brighton Rugby)

struggle at the beginning. “We definitely didn’t start out successful this year, but we just kept our nose to the grindstone and really came together as a team and just pulled it out in the end,” said team MVP Rocky Marks. The team finished the season strong and headed into the playoffs, where they played in the championship game and lost by a point in the final 10 minutes of the game. “We didn’t have as many wins this season as we did last season,” said boys head coach Peter Black. “This was a building season for us. They came together as a unit and jelled and did very well for the amount of time that we had together as a group. The amount of skills that we acquired over the season, especially from beginning to end, was very impressive that these kids could learn the game. Be humble enough to listen to their volunteer coaches and make progress as a group to finish the season very strong.” Black said he appreciates Brighton High School and Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center for letting the team use their facilities. Although they are two separate teams, Brighton rugby has a special bond throughout the program, including spending time together and having a special dinner each Friday. “It’s cliché, but it really did feel like a family,” Yee said. “It didn’t matter who was playing — it was that we were all part of Brighton rugby.” Often the teams would play at the same location where they would cheer each other on, and when the boys didn’t have practice many of them would come and help the girls better learn the sport of rugby. Since many schools in the state don’t have a rugby program, the team is allowed to recruit players who don’t go to Brighton High. There are players on the team from Jordan, Murray, Alta and a couple of private schools. “I think when you hang out with a rugby player their passion is so contagious it’s hard not to love it, and so if anybody is curious about it I do invite them to come out. I invite kids to come to my room all the time and just learn about rugby,” Yee said. “It does feel like family and it’s kind of an exciting thing to be a part of.” l

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Page 18 | January 2018

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

How to beat the January Blues Christmas is over, money is tight and our waistbands are even tighter. We can’t help but feel a little let down. After eating too much, spending too much and maybe a few too many parties for many people January means buckling up the spending and the prospect of hitting the gym. I can’t help but feel a little bleak however, this year I’m determined to have the best January yet without breaking the bank. Here are some things I’ve got planned for the month that build up the cheer and won’t demolish the budget. Check out the Wildlife - Hogle Zoo is free the last Wednesday of the month from November through February (January 31 and February 28 2018). Plus, Tracy Aviary offers $1 admission the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month through March. Go to a Hockey Game – The Grizzlies play at the Maverick Center in WVC through April. If you’ve never been to a hockey games, they are fast paced and exciting! You can



get discounted tickets for $6.50 a person at UtahCoupons.com. Get Outside - There is nothing quite like a brisk walk in our beautiful surroundings to blow away the cobwebs and beat the winter city air. Visit one of our National Parks. They are much less busy than during the summer months and just as beautiful. For more information about Utah’s National Parks in winter go to www.visitutah.com/ places-to-go/most-visited-parks/national-parks-in-winter Volunteer – When the holiday’s end the giving shouldn’t. In fact the need is higher for volunteers in January then any other time of year. There are plenty of opportunities all around us like the food bank, animal shelters, elementary schools or just take a minute to shovel someone’s driveway after a storm. Plan a Vacation - Part of the joy of Christmas is all the planning, preparation, and excitement leading up to it. Now is a great time to start to plan a summer family vacation. A vacation to look forward to can

Go to a Hockey Game- The Grizzlies play at the Maverik Center through April.

help you overcome some of the post-Christmas blues and starting to plan early makes it easier to save for it too. Cook! Pretty much everyone seems to be on a health kick in January, so you may as well make it fun. Put on a bright colored apron

and get in the kitchen and cook up a storm. Then invite some friends over for an eating healthy party. It doesn’t have to cost much to make January go a little quicker and be a little brighter. Plan ahead, get creative, and make it a festive month! l


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January 2018 | Page 19

CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com


Laughter AND




Virtual Competition


e all have that one friend whose life could be a Hallmark movie. She spends her days organizing family sing-a-longs, has slow-motion snowball fights, and she snuggles with her family by the fireplace, drinking cocoa and wearing matching pajamas. The Golden Retriever has a matching neckerchief. And the toddler doesn’t spill hot chocolate on the white, plush velvet couch. This woman is too amazing to hate. I imagine she cries one beautiful tear that rolls slowly down her cheek as she ponders her incredible existence. The soundtrack to her life would be all violins and cellos. My life’s soundtrack is basically a record scratch. So how do I know this perfect woman with her perfect hair and her perfect family and her perfect life? I follow her on social media. (Stalking is such a harsh word.) She posts pictures of her family cheerfully eating dinner that didn’t come from a freezer box, or shares a video as she dances out the door in a slinky red dress that she’s wearing to a charity event where she’ll donate her time to help orphaned goats in Uzbekistan. I’ve never owned a slinky red dress.

I’ve never saved orphaned goats. This woman has a circle of friends that travel to spa retreats and spiritual workshops. I imagine them talking on the phone, laughing at the extraordinary circumstances that allowed them to live on this planet with such good fortune. My friends need to ramp up their game. Her Instagram feed is an advertisement for excellence. Her children willingly pose for family photos, her redecorated bathroom (that she did for less than $50) is chic and stylish. My family photoshoots turn into a fistfight, and my effort at redecorating my bathroom consisted of a sloppy repaint in a color that was supposed to be “seafoam green,” but looks more like “hospital lunchroom.” Her LinkedIn profile. . . (Okay, I admit it. This sounds suspiciously like stalking.) Her LinkedIn profile is a list of accomplishments that makes me wonder if she has a body double. She sits on charity boards (hence, the Uzbek goats), founded her own company and has won several awards. It took me three weeks to write a LinkedIn profile because I had nothing to say. Good thing I have experience in cre-




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Profile for The City Journals

Cottonwood Heights City Journal - Jan 2018  

Cottonwood Heights City Journal January 2018

Cottonwood Heights City Journal - Jan 2018  

Cottonwood Heights City Journal January 2018