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March 2019 | Vol. 16 Iss. 03

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BEATING THE TRAFFIC:

How Utah entities are trying to maximize your time on the slopes By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com

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he morning after a heavy snowstorm, a good “powder day” (to use the appropriate lingo), is when everyone is excited to get up the canyon to test out the snow under their metallic foot extensions. If you’re an avid skier or snowboarder (or an employee of the canyon resorts, or if you live along Wasatch Boulevard), you know what comes next in this story. Traffic. With everyone trying to race up the canyons, it’s bumper-to-bumper trying to get off the freeway, through the neighborhoods of Cottonwood Heights, and onto the two-lane canyon roads. Many entities within the state are attempting to solve the canyon traffic issues. The resorts (Alta, Solitude, Snowbird and Brighton) have implemented short-term solutions like pushing scheduled avalanche control to earlier in the mornings. The Central Wasatch Commission (CWC) has been collaboratively discussing solutions with other entities. Cottonwood Heights has developed a Wasatch Boulevard Master Plan. The Utah Transportation Authority (UTA) has been brainstorming alternative transportation options while the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) has been working to develop an environmental impact solution. Many legislatures have even expressed concern over the canyon traffic. On Feb. 5, Snowbird Representative Dave Fields discussed traffic and parking in the canyons with the Cottonwood Heights City Council. He relayed information about some implemented efforts that have proven to be successful, some works in progress, and brought up some additional concerns. Snowbird has been promoting many rideshare programs. Since last year, these programs have proven to be successful in achieving their goal as ridesharing has increased 20 to 30 percent. “We have done everything we can to get people into busses. Snowbird pays for all employees and season-pass holders to ride the bus,” Fields said. In addition, two van programs have been rolled out. One program incentivizes businesses to rent vans for their employees to share. There are 22 department vans available daily in the winter. The other program works to offset UTA’s bus schedule. Fourteen vans per day take trips up and down the canyon to promote carpooling. “We bundle a ride up the canyon with lodging and ski tickets,” Fields reported. “Last year, we had 25,000 trips in these vans. Other resorts have started doing this as well.” A new phone app is in development to incentivize guest and employee carpool as well. It will be free to download

Winter canyon traffic is a problem many entities within the state are trying to solve. (Utah Adventure Journal)

and use, and it will be scaled to the other resorts so visitors can use the app regardless of where they’re headed in the canyons. “You get points for carpooling, accrue credit for rides and get points for riding the bus or rideshare vans. You can then earn prizes like water bottles, or half-price tickets,” Fields said. Additionally, Snowbird is promoting more public communication through social media. “We are trying to do a better job to let people know what is happening on the road. All it takes is one ill-prepared vehicle. It slides off the road, and everything comes to a halt,” said Fields. Ill-prepared vehicles is one of the main concerns Fields hopes to address through conversations with municipal entities. Travelers arriving at the Salt Lake City Airport, for instance, cannot rent cars with snow tires from the airport. As Snowbird has been working to address traffic from the top of the canyon down, Cottonwood Heights has been working from the bottom up with the drafting of a Wasatch Boulevard Master Plan. “It was a fairly comprehensive process which involved city staff and a consultant. We spent

time looking at the history of the corridor, with all the historical background, and engaged the public in a process that sought feedback to understand community feedback and goals with the corridor,” said City Engineer Brad Gilson on Jan. 22. The plan includes alternative transportation modes, connectivity into the neighborhoods, interconnectivity through trails and promoting fewer cars on the road. “It’s a great template that helps us as a city communicate to UDOT what the city would like and the city’s values,” Gilson said. Since Wasatch Boulevard is ultimately owned by UDOT, they will have the final say deciding how to handle the traffic issue. They have taken their own approach to solve the issue with the Little Cottonwood Canyon Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). This project was first introduced in spring 2018, with the timeline pushed out to conclude in winter 2021. They are currently seeking public input. To learn more about the EIS or submit feedback, visit www.udot.utah.gov/ littlecottonwoodeis. l

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March 2019 | Page 3


Utah Housing Gap Coalition raises awareness about housing affordability

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By Justin Adams | justin.a@thecityjournals.com

The 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.

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The Utah Housing Gap Coalition is trying to find solutions for the state’s “housing crisis,” but it goes beyond just high-density developments like Daybreak, seen here. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

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ne of the hottest topics in Utah and this year’s legislative session is that of growth. Utah is expected to double its population by 2050 and the question is: where are all those people going to live? That’s the question that the Housing Gap Coalition is trying to answer. The coalition, which was formed last year by the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, wants residents, government leaders and developers to start thinking now about how to handle Utah’s population growth. “We’re trying to get ahead of it,” said Abby Osborne, the vice president of public policy and government relations for the chamber of commerce. If Utah kicks the can down the road, she said, the state may be forced to take more radical approaches to accommodating rapid growth — something she sees happening across the country. Just last year, Minneapolis voted to abolish its single-family residential zone, which would “allow residential structures with up to three dwelling units — like duplexes and triplexes — in every neighborhood,” according to the New York Times. Or consider the case of California, where the state government is suing a city government for “failing to allow enough new homebuilding to accommodate a growing population,” according to the LA Times. Instead, the coalition is advocating for a more balanced approach to improving housing affordability. Local housing policies In Utah, municipal governments control what types of buildings are built and where. While some cities may be open to increasing the overall supply of homes by allowing “high-density” projects within their boundaries, many other cities are not.

Last year, the coalition leadership visited the city council meetings of cities along the Wasatch Front, both educating and getting feedback about the issue. “It was fairly successful. We got pretty good reception from most of the cities,” said Osborne. Now with the Utah state legislative session unde rway, the coalition has moved its focus to Capitol Hill. On Feb. 8, a group of about 70 coalition members gathered at the capitol to lobby their senators to support a series of bills aimed at improving housing affordability. One such bill is SB 34, sponsored by Sen. Jacob Anderegg, R-Lehi. The bill (whose fate wasn’t known at the time of deadline for this article) would require municipal governments to adopt certain policies designed to increase housing affordability in order to be eligible to receive money from the state’s Transportation Investment Fund. The bill would also appropriate $20 million to the Olene Walker Housing Loan Fund. One of the coalition members that participated in the lobbying effort was Chris Sloan, a past-president of the Utah Association of Realtors and a former chairman of the Tooele County Chamber of Commerce. He said housing affordability is a “sizable problem that affects all of us.” Education campaign While getting elected officials on board with combatting the housing gap is important for the coalition, getting the public on board is perhaps even more important. Draper Mayor Troy Walker called high density development a “four-letter word” when the coalition visited the Draper City Council. There are cases up and down the Wasatch Front of mayors and city council-

ors facing the wrath of their constituents for having approved a “high-density” development. From the Olympia Hills development in the south-west portion of the valley that was halted by then-Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams because of fierce community backlash, to the Holladay Quarter project that fell apart after the Utah Supreme Court ruled in favor of community organizers that opposed it, the biggest obstacle to increasing the housing supply is most often residents themselves. To change public perception about the issue, the coalition has launched a public education campaign consisting of billboards, radio ads, social media posts and appearances on local network morning shows. Osborne said she’s already seen changes in certain communities’ perception of high-density development. “We’re getting people thinking a little differently than they were before. And that’s all we can really do,” she said. Construction labor force Another impediment to increasing the housing supply is that construction companies simply can’t keep up with the demand because of a lack of skilled workers in the construction industry. Sen. Daniel Thatcher, who represents parts of Salt Lake and Tooele County, said that encouraging more young people to enter trade professions out of high school is the most important thing that can be done to improve housing affordability. “The AFL-CIO is the answer to the construction and trades labor shortage,” he said. “Republicans are traditionally against unions, but they really have some great apprenticeship programs. You get pay and benefits from day one, and four years later you’ll have the skills you need to be a freelance electrician, make $80,000 a year and have no college debt.” The Utah AFL-CIO website lists a number of apprenticeship programs in trades such as roofing, plumbing, masonry and cement and electrical work. Part of the coalition’s education campaign includes letting soon-to-be high school graduates know that they can enroll in such apprenticeship programs as an alternative to college. After a recent event in the Ogden School District, Osborne said that about 500 students expressed interest in the idea. Through these efforts, the Housing Gap Coalition is hopeful that Utah can avoid the big drastic moves taken by the likes of California and Minneapolis. “There’s many things causing the problem, so there’s a lot of different approaches to it,” said Osborne. l

Cottonwood Heights City Journal


Business boot camp connected healthy business to healthy lifestyle By Joshua Wood | joshw@mycityjournals.com

Jacob Jones discussed the impact of a healthy lifestyle on business health. (Joshua Wood/City Journals)

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he Cottonwood Heights Business Association (CHBA) hosted a Business Boot Camp in early 2019 aimed at helping with one of the most common goals people set each new year — getting healthy. The event took the topic further by connecting the health of two key areas: business and lifestyle. Guest speaker Jacob Jones of Fitness Together stressed the importance of diet and exercise and how they can impact a person’s professional performance.

To illustrate the link between strong health habits and job performance, Jones cited studies that measured various health indicators among employees and their productivity. According to the studies, organizations with healthier staff, as measured by various indicators in health surveys, were twice as likely to outperform their peers financially. They also reported 50 percent higher revenue per employee.

That’s strong motivation for employers to offer health incentives like gym memberships. Jones discussed with the audience some of the incentives for exercising that many employers and insurers offer and how they are motivated by the potential financial impact of healthy diet and exercise. He also recognized the challenges people face. “The hardest thing about exercise is getting started,” Jones said. “It is even more of a challenge on the nutrition side. Employers are motivated to offer gym funding for exercise, but then bring in donuts to the office.” Fitness facilities and experts like Jones can help keep their clients motivated. “The biggest thing I work on with clients is taking it step by step,” Jones said. “Let’s not talk long term right now. Let’s talk about what you’re going to do today, next week. Six weeks is long term to start out.” While Jones focused on the health of individuals, the CHBA stressed the health of local businesses. Association board member Jeff Kemp discussed the health of community businesses from an economic standpoint and what the association does to help. “Our primary objective is to connect businesses and residents of Cottonwood Heights and to help them to be more fluent in business and better partners,” Kemp said. “We want to grow business and to influence that growth.”

The business community in Cottonwood Heights ranges from large companies based in the city’s business parks to many smaller and home-based businesses. While larger companies tend to have internal structures for offering business and employee training, the CHBA aims to support smaller businesses with fewer resources. “We try to do a lot of outreach like this event to bring in local businesses, especially home-based businesses, to provide more interaction with other businesses,” Kemp said. “We’re here as a resource. It’s free.” An event focusing on employee diet and exercise illustrates how diverse the Business Boot Camp topics can be. For the event’s title, Jones chose “Healthy Lifestyle = Healthy Business” and stressed the necessity of making the first move. “Ten percent of people don’t follow through even after signing up,” Jones said. His team employs strategies to make the experience more enjoyable, though. “If they don’t like working out, we distract them from working out.” Event organizers and presenters stressed the connection between healthy lifestyle and healthy business and how it ranges from individual employees performing better to a healthier overall business community. l

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March 2019 | Page 5


From neighborhood club to Olympic aspirations in just a few years

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Samantha Paisley rounding the last downhill gate in the sprint race. (Sarah Cookler, with permission)

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team of Cottonwood Heights athletes has taken a major European sport by storm and has earned a trip to Switzerland this March to compete against the world’s best. Ski mountaineering is a little known sport in the United States, but has a major following in Europe. As the sport prepares for its possible Olympic debut in 2026, these local athletes look to climb to its ultimate heights. Sarah Cookler has raced on the U.S. national tour for years. Three years ago, she decided to form a neighborhood ski mountaineering club with kids in the neighborhood who wanted to do it. Her aim was to keep it fun, but within a few years, members of the team went to Colorado for national qualifiers. “We went to qualifiers to see how they would do with low expectations,” Cookler said. “Lo and behold, Rush Peterson won the boys’ championship and Ada Fendler, the youngest on the team, finished in the top four. I thought, ‘wow, these kids are good.’” Now Cookler, Fendler, Peterson and teammate Samantha Paisley head to the world championships in Switzerland. The competition is grueling and requires supreme fitness. At the world championships, the team will compete in three different races. The vertical race involves a climb of 1,600 vertical feet, usually in under 20 minutes. The individual race involves multiple climbs totaling around 3,000 vertical feet over five miles. Cookler is excited for the sprint race, which involves five to six athletes at a time performing six to eight climbs in under six minutes. They climb, then switch to skis, then climb and ski some more. In addition to competing herself, Cookler gets to see the neighborhood kids take on the best in the world in their age groups. “Watching their development has been fun, going from grassroots to a national platform,” Cookler said. Fendler will compete in the 14-to-16-year-old category. “I’m excited for the race and to spend time with my family and friends on the team,” Fendler said. “Here in the U.S., we don’t really have any spectators, but when you go over to Europe, they all know about it and rows of people line up to watch.” Fendler joined Cookler’s ski mountaineering group from the start and worked on learning the races and getting better and stronger. In the spring, summer and fall she enjoys mountain biking to keep up her conditioning. This helps her persevere during the intense ski mountaineering races. She

uses that conditioning and her focus to excel in competitions. “I just think, ‘keep going, keep going, keep going. Twenty more minutes of pain and you’ll feel great,’” she said. Cookler serves as an inspiration for the neighborhood group with her years of experience competing on the world’s biggest stages in the sport. Now each team member has adopted a similar passion for it. “I really like the aspect of the climbing and meeting other kids,” Fendler said. “Going fast uphill, fast downhill, and getting outside is an adrenaline rush.” Cookler started the group as a way to share a sport she loves with kids in her neighborhood in Cottonwood Heights. She didn’t think about the great things the kids have already accomplished, let alone the possibilities that could unfold in the future. “The International Olympic Committee has it as for the 2026 Olympics,” Cookler said. “So these kids could be future Olympians.” From neighborhood club to Olympic aspirations in a few years is an incredible climb. But climbing is what they do best. Cookler, Fendler and their teammates have spent this year focused on the world championships in Switzerland. Beyond that, the possibilities get even bigger. “I want to aim for the Olympics,” Fendler said. “I think we have a good chance.” l

Rush Peterson (in black and white suit) on his way to winning the national sprint championship in his age group. (Sarah Cookler, with permission)

Cottonwood Heights City Journal


Cottonwood Heights volunteers honored for thousands of hours of service By Joshua Wood | joshw@mycityjournals.com

Mayor Mike Peterson addresses attendees of the city’s Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. (Dan Metcalf, Jr/Cottonwood Heights)

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ottonwood Heights held a special event earlier this year to honor one of its most vital resources — its volunteers. Each year, hundreds of volunteers provide thousands of hours of service to the community, and the city recognized members of 11 volunteer committees who have dedicated their time to serving the community. “One thing I’ve learned in public service over the years is that one of the most valuable assets we have as a city is our volunteers,” Mayor Mike Peterson said. “It’s amazing the passion that they have.” Volunteer committees are the driving force behind many of the city’s community initiatives. From the arts to city planning, community members share their expertise to make them happen. The arts council alone led the coordination of the annual summer musical along with other performances, the arts show, the photography show and exhibits

by local artists in City Hall. The historic committee spent countless hours researching the history of Cottonwood Heights and the area it occupies. Those efforts resulted in the city’s first published history book, which is now available for purchase. The newest volunteer committee is the parks, trails, and open spaces committee. The group has started looking at a range of issues, from how to complete the Bonneville Shoreline Trail to ways of preserving and enhancing open spaces like the Crestwood Park area. “There is a whole myriad of things that sometimes citizens through their energy can move along quicker than even we as elected officials can,” Peterson said. “We’re here to applaud their efforts and thank them for all that they’ve done and to encourage them to volunteer and serve.”

Some community initiatives have originated from the efforts of volunteers. The parks, trails, and open spaces committee resulted from community input that placed issues associated with open spaces near the top of the list each time community input was sought by the city. Sustainability efforts from residents have also prompted action by the city. “We passed a resolution to become more sustainable as a city,” Peterson said. “A lot of that is because of citizens who have encouraged things like no idling in front of elementary schools. That came from citizen-initiated requests. Our sustainability resolution comes from that.” The city’s Volunteer Appreciation Dinner was an opportunity for volunteers with diverse interests and backgrounds to come together and meet with others who give their time to the community. The event has become a city tradition. “The first dinner was in 2011,” said Ann Eatchel, Cottonwood Heights culture manager. “Around 65 volunteers were invited this year.” The city paid tribute to each volunteer committee and recognized each of its members. “We’ve invited everyone from these committees,” Peterson said. “We’re not selecting any one individual. We’re recognizing all the people on those committees. Everyone who’s been appointed to one of those committees. You have a real cross section of talents.” City officials welcome more people to volunteer and build upon the efforts of those who were honored at the dinner. “We have so many areas of interest in our city, and we can’t do it all as city officials,” Peterson said. Mayor Mike Peterson addresses attendees of the city’s Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. (Dan Metcalf, Jr/Cot- “So the citizens guide it and we stand back tonwood Heights) and let their expertise carry it forward.” l

CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com

March 2019 | Page 7


Reviewing accessory dwelling units (ADUs) By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com

The city is unsure of how many ADUs reside within city boundaries, but they know there’s many. (Utah League of Cities and Towns)

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ast time on Cottonwood Heights City Council meetings: it was October 2017, and the debate surrounding accessory dwelling units (ADUs) was frequent and heated. Many council members, commissioners, city planning staff members and residents voiced their opinions and concerns. A draft ordinance was created and had not yet passed the planning commission. During the 2018 calendar year, the ADU debate shifted from the hot-button issue to one pushed off for later discussion. Those discussions were sporadic — with a few residents commenting on the subject during city meetings, and the planning commission recommending approval of the draft ordinance on Jan. 17, 2018 — but no action had been taken by the city council… until now.

A discussion on the proposed ADU draft ordinance was on the agenda for the Feb. 4 city council meeting. That discussion lasted 35 minutes, with the conclusion to discuss the issue further at the next meeting. The two main concerns many residents have voiced are parking and density. “ADUs allow two separate families to live in the same house. I don’t want to see R-1 become R-2 (zoning). Parking is a big issue too; there will be more cars on the street,” said resident Robert Jacobs. “That’s a huge issue to me: if you’re changing the character of a residential neighborhood for more and more parking,” said City Manager Tim Tingey. “I’ve administered a similar ordinance in another city for six to seven years and the main check and

balance was the owner-occupancy. People that live in these homes are not wanting to rent out to five, six, seven people. I never saw that once in any of the approved ADUs.” “That’s the concern I hear from everybody in my community,” said Councilmember Christine Mikell. “Preservation of the low-density single-family neighborhoods. We are changing that with increasing the ADUs” After discussing implementing owner-occupancy language into the ordinance, and possibly adding a limitation that an ADU can be no more than two bedrooms, the council had to decide if they wanted to further discuss the issue or put it up for a vote in two weeks. Mikell suggested bringing it back for discussion. “We have all seen Robert Jacobs stand up and say, ‘I’d like to talk about ADUs.’ I thought it was refreshing to see some language in the ordinance to get him more comfortable. I’m hopeful that we can still make some changes that can get some of our residents that feel really strongly opposed, to where they can support it.” Councilmember Mike Shelton would like to proceed with the staff’s recommended ordinance. “We don’t anticipate that there will be hundreds of these right away,” he said.

Councilmember Scott Bracken expressed support for adding in the additional suggested language to limit an ADU to two bedrooms, then proceed with a vote as well. Councilmember Tali Bruce will be recusing herself for the vote, since her home has a non-occupied ADU. However, she is in support of owner-occupancy language. “I used my ADU when I was a single mom. I had a single mom in the basement with her one son. I was upstairs with my three children and it made the home affordable for me: to live in a good neighborhood, where my kids can walk to school. It was a positive experience for more. It works out beautifully.” Mayor Mike Peterson is also considering recusing himself from the vote. “My son has an ADU and that’s how he can afford his home.” Tingey reminded the council of the recommendations from the planning commission and staff. “If you did approve it with the recommendation, we can come back and revisit this after one year and see if it’s not working. That’s only if you approve it.” As of publication, the city council agreed to discuss ADUs further during their city council meeting on Feb. 19, with the hope that the ordinance can be voted on two weeks later, during the March 5 city council meeting. l

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Cottonwood Heights City Journal


Which proposed legislative bills could impact Cottonwood Heights By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com

The bill receiving much public attention consists of the ability to run red lights when there’s no other cars or pedestrians around. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)

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ince the 2019 General Legislative Session runs from Jan. 28 to March 14, there’s probably a debate among legislatures brewing as you’re reading this. During general sessions, the Cottonwood Heights City Council is usually highly active in watching and staying up-to-date with the daily actions. It begins with a legislative breakfast held toward the beginning of the session, where council members and additional city staff can discuss specific bills with various legislatures. As the session continues, the council members are in frequent communication with their lobbyist Brian Allen as well as the Utah League of Cities and Towns. On Feb. 4, Allen reported some of the most important movements of bills pertaining to air quality, sales tax, homeless population funding, local government structure, public safety retirement, tow truck companies and driving laws. There are currently three bills in the session regarding the valley’s poor air quality. H.B. 139 Motor Vehicle Emission Amendments, sponsored by Rep. Angela Romero, addresses emission standards for cars and

Gene Davis and Rep. Steve Eliason, would re-allocate some of that money, potentially forcing some cities to pay more into the collective fund. It would also remove the $200,000 cap from cities. “Some cities would have a huge jump. They (the state) take that money right out of sales tax, you (cities) don’t even get to touch it,” Allen said. “We created enough noise on that that they pulled that.” For the Cottonwood Heights City Council, one of the most concerning bills is H.B. 164 Local Boards and Councils Structures, sponsored by Rep. Jeffrey Stenquist, a former Draper city councilman. This bill would change the structure of local government at large. “We will continue to guard for city control and make sure that cities are allowed to do with cities do,” Allen said. With the ongoing challenges regarding first-respondent professions, changes to retirement funding for public safety personnel is crucial. “There are challenges public safety has in recruiting people. When the economy is good, people are looking for other opportunities. No one wants to work for the government. There are a lot of retirees that would love to come back, but there are restrictions

that won’t allow them to,” Allen described the issue. S.B. 129 Public Safety and Firefighter Tier II, sponsored by Sen. Harper, attempts to address some of these challenges. Towing companies are facing a challenge with local zoning laws. H.B. 228 Towing Revisions, sponsored by Rep. Cory Maloy, would address issues related to local laws and abandoning a vehicle. This bill could potentially impact local law enforcement. “To be on our rotation list, we require background checks on the drivers, insurance and availability during certain hours. We put restrictions on towing companies. It’s important to us to maintain those standards. This bill would take away that benefit,” Police Chief Robby Russo said. One of the bills receiving much public attention is H.B. 151 Traffic Flow Amendments, sponsored by Rep. Ken Ivory. This bill would allow drivers to run red lights when no other vehicle, pedestrian or other safety concern is at or near the intersection. The general session will continue to run until mid-March, so stay tuned for a recap article detailing the most impactful bills that were passed. l

changes some of the provisions related to violating those standards. H.B. 107 Sustainable Transportation and Energy Plan Act Amendments, sponsored by Rep. Stephen Handy, addressed natural gas and would allow for a large-scale natural gas utility to be expanded. Finally, H.B. 148 Vehicle Idling Revisions, sponsored by Rep. Patrice Arent and Sen. Curtis Bramble makes changes to state restrictions which would allow more local control among anti-idling ordinances. “It’s an easy bill for legislatures to vote for because it gives local control,” said Allen. After many Salt Lake Valley residents experienced many increases on various taxes last year, a bill to reduce sales tax was introduced. S.B. 99 Sales Tax Amendments, sponsored by Sen. Wayne Harper, would lower the rate of state sales tax on items on than groceries and gas. “We’ve heard a lot of discussion,” Allen reported, “and I think there’s a 90 percent chance it’s going to pass.” To help address the homeless population, the state deducts some funding from cities automatically. S.B. 49 Homeless Shel- Firefighters and police officers, being government employees, have their retirements reorganized frequently as ter Funding Amendments, sponsored by Sen. the legislature tries to reformat regulations. (Dan Metcalf Jr./Cottonwood Heights)

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Newly-minted County Mayor Jenny Wilson talks about staff, strategies and her favorite words By Jennifer J. Johnson | j.johnson@mycityjournals.com

A political centrist, new Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson pairs the eastside political leanings of liberal policy advisor Weston Clark (shown here) with those of conservative southwest policy advisor Ryan Perry (not pictured). (Jennifer J. Johnson/City Journals)

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e have all heard of the “Great American Dream.” But what about the “Great Salt Lake County Dream?” The Great Salt Lake County Dream is the vision of newly-minted Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson. Democrat Wilson was sworn in as Mayor of Salt Lake County Jan. 29, after winning a four-candidate special-election runoff by central committee members of the Salt Lake County Democratic Party. The special election mechanism was invoked to fill the county mayoral spot vacated by Ben McAdams as he went to Washington, D.C., having defeated Republican Mia Love. Wilson is slated to complete the last two years of McAdams’ original term, and then plans to campaign to reclaim the seat in 2020. Most recently, she lost the U.S. Senate race to Republican Mitt Romney in the same election advancing McAdams. Unpacking ‘The Salt Lake County Dream’ The term “Great American Dream” was coined in 1931 by Pulitzer Prize-winning author James Truslow Adams. It is a dream “in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement… [It is] a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.” The Great Salt Lake County Dream, à la Wilson, includes ensuring the public good in terms of air quality, housing access and affordability, and the delicate balance of growth management. Wilson strives for a diversified economy, and seeks to “preserve that with an expanding population.” “A lot of people have been left behind,” she observed.

Page 10 | March 2019

And, in her point of view, more Salt Lake County citizens are now being left behind, from Medicaid-expansion movement by first the Utah Legislature, and then Utah Governor Gary Herbert. Just days after she met with City Journals, the Mayor had one of her dream-like priorities firmly quashed – her support of Utah’s Medicaid expansion, a program she indicated as being the “best for our county” in “giving people the healthcare they deserve.” In the November 2018 election, 53 percent of Utahns voted to expand the state’s coverage of medical coverage for the poor via the citizen-initiated Proposition 3. Concerned with ensuring “compassion and frugality,” the Republican Legislature drafted a services-limiting bill to supersede the citizen initiative, which was signed into law early last month by Herbert, closed all hope of the people’s mandate. Nonetheless, Wilson—a Harvard- and University of Utah-educated, second-generation of a Salt Lake County political dynasty (her father, Ted Wilson, was a three-termwinning mayor of Salt Lake City)—is firmly committed to helping realize the Salt Lake County version of the American Dream, and says she has a 30-, 60- and 90-day plan to make it happen for the nearly 1.5 million citizens of the county. Wilson’s first 30 days Wilson told City Journals that the first few months in office is, in great part, about building relationships with senior leadership and employees. It is also about stabilization. Wilson already has two senior policy advisors named to her staff. Immediately exhibiting centrism at the outset of her first term, Wilson has flanked herself with senior policy advisors Weston Clark and Ryan Perry. Clark lives in Salt Lake City’s Eastside Harvard-Yale neighborhood. He is an openly gay, decorated former Chair of the Salt Lake County Democrats. Clark previously advised

Wilson in her capacity as Salt Lake County Councilwoman. Perry calls Southwest-valley’s Riverton home and has held statewide responsibilities in Utah’s Republican Party. Perry has deep experience in policy and administrative roles and a long-term role in the county. He received recent notoriety as part of an ancillary probe of the “BonusGate” controversy involving the Unified Fire Authority and thenchief Michael Jensen, who still serves as a member of the Salt Lake County Council. Having the bipartisan team of Perry and Clark seems to echo the tenor the previous mayor, McAdams, set. McAdams hired community outreach personnel who had previously staffed multiple Republican administrations, here in Utah and elsewhere. For the key role of communications director, Wilson has tapped out-of-area broadcast veteran Chloe Morroni who recently relocated to Salt Lake a few months ago. Communications is critical for the Wilson administration. During the run-off campaign for mayor, one of Wilson’s opponents touted her own unique communications skills in “telling Salt Lake County’s story.” Wilson seems to have taken that to heart, promoting the big-picture “dream” and hiring veteran Edwin R. Murrow and Emmy award-winning broadcaster Morroni. To tell and sell “Salt Lake County’s Story,” Morroni will look to leverage the Mayor’s deep knowledge of county programs, gained from Wilson’s having served 10 years as an “At-Large” member of the Salt Lake County Council. This experience has been further informed by what she tells City Journals are “hundreds of conversations” gleaned while going door-to-door on the campaign trail, prior to being elected mayor. Wilson’s 60-90 Days After putting a staff in place, Wilson wants to work swiftly to keep the county from being “a little scattered” with certain initiatives such as air quality policy. Wilson vows to explore creative solutions to help control the cost of housing in the county, real-world solutions to improving our air quality, and managing growth in a way that enhances economic development while maintaining a high quality of life. Growth, she feels, must balance with environmental justice and be driven by community-based economic development. Wilson feels the need to learn from the stalled Olympia Hills high-density housing project, which sailed through the county council 7-1, only to be vetoed by then-Mayor McAdams, amid profound citizen complaint. “We missed as a community,” she reflects. “We used a traditional process, but missed by failing to communicate the overall, long-term picture.”

That “picture?” What was missing was clear communication to residents of “a decades-long commitment to infrastructure.” Referred to as “another Daybreak,” the math was simple: 9,000 acres, 900 units. Approval was anything but simple, with the Salt Lake County Council (including then-Councilwoman Wilson) approving, but Southwest Valley mayors uniting to oppose, Herriman citizens being outraged, and then-Mayor McAdams ultimately vetoing. McAdams’ veto sent the project back to the drawing board in terms of zoning and any future projects. Projects, Wilson believes, need the tandem tools of “benchmarks” and “best practices.” A big believer in data capture and sharing, Wilson wants to “enrich Salt Lake County’s partnerships with each municipality and township in our boundaries to help ensure our respective services are coordinated and efficient.” With Brighton now incorporating as a city, thereby joining Salt Lake County, Wilson now oversees coordination matters of 18 different cities. Seeking to get “every local community and every mayor on board,” Wilson wants to establish “Best Practices Advisory Teams” and to “be that connector” between cities. Wilson also expressed the need to prioritize transportation solutions for access to the canyons. The Snowmaggeddon Hiccup Any 30-, 60-, or 90-day plan may not have anticipated the “Snowmaggedon” of Feb. 6, 2019. On that day, numerous school districts, city, and private businesses were closed due to persistent snowfall the evening before, the early morning, and throughout the day. This happening one week after assuming the role, gave Wilson an early insight into what it’s like to be the Salt Lake County Mayor, where, even to a veteran public servant like Wilson, the work can be daunting. “A lot of assignments, a lot of work, a lot of decisions on a daily basis,” she recounts of her freshman mayor experience. By 7:30 a.m. on Feb. 6, within 20 minutes of receiving briefings and having discussions, Wilson made the call to shut down most county operations. She indicated being proud of county-wide snow service running smoothly that day, as well as life-critical programs such as Meals on Wheels being executed without problem, amid sometimes ferocious storming. She says she is awed by the “power of the county and how critical our services are,” adding, “I had the chance to see this in action, very quickly.” l

Cottonwood Heights City Journal


Climbing community reaches up to improve SLC skies

South Jordan’s ‘The Break’ claims Lunch Madness Championship

By Amy Green | a.green@mycityjournals.com

By Justin Adams | justin.a@thecityjournals.com

Breathe Utah’s Executive Director Deborah Burney-Sigman, Ph.D (right) and teacher Molly Lewis (left) show a visual demo that mimics SLC’s dire air situation. (Amy Green/City Journals)

Gourmet Macaroni and Cheese is a specialty at The Break. This version is loaded with grilled chicken, bacon and jalapenos. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

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passionate group of individuals, all wanting better air quality in the Salt Lake valley, gathered on Feb. 10 at The Front Climbing Club (1470 S 400 West) with a purpose —to climb for clean air and raise funds for Breathe Utah. It has become an annual gathering for this cause. Breathe Utah is an organization with the mission to improve air quality through education and action. They work to propose better environmental policies and rely on good partnerships to make changes happen. The brains behind the climbing event are Executive Director at Breathe Utah, Deborah Burney-Sigman, Ph.D. and Jared Campbell, a Salt Lake City local and world-class athlete, who started this series of clean air events. Everyone who purchased a ticket got to climb until they “peeled” (that means to climb until one peels off the wall). Some climbed hundreds of routes over eight hours straight. Climbers know that even just a few hours at the bouldering gym is a committed workout. One person who came to watch the climbers and support the cause was Joey Cauceglia. He has been going to the University of Utah for the last five years and wears a mask commuting to campus on his bike. It’s a way to minimize the irritated cough he gets for a few hours after cycling. Cauceglia works at the University’s biology department and takes the train on yellow and red air days. “If you want to talk about human impact, there’s so much more to talk about than just seas warming and rising. We can talk about landfills, human impact, the smog in SLC — you can see it. We don’t need to argue about whether climate change happens. We can just agree that humans are making an impact on our environment. It seems like it’s become a distraction for the public, whether or not the

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earth is warming because of the human use of fossil fuels,” Cauceglia said. The climbers and those in attendance hold Utah’s environment dear and are concerned about the valley’s winter inversions and air pollution. Breathe Utah volunteer and school teacher Molly Lewis was there with a visual demo. “Density is a huge concept in winter air quality. The cold air near the ground compacts and becomes more dense. That air gets polluted and doesn’t want to go anywhere. The pollution gets trapped in that dense layer. There’s no natural mixing of the warm air above and the cold air below,” Lewis explained. In short, we pollute the cold air that stays nearest to us. Lewis added, “The particulate matter that is most concerning, is teeny tiny like 1/30th the width of a human hair. When you breathe it in, it goes deep into your lungs, across the barrier into your circulatory system. It causes inflammation. It’s toxic.” Those who climbed to fight toxicity got tokens for a free dinner and a beer on the house, provided by Red Rock Brewing Co. and Lucky Slice Pizza. The event had a finale of awards for participants who completed the most routes and for the previous day’s runners who took laps up and down Grandeur Peak at RUFA (Running Up For Air), a connected event. A raffle was held featuring items from vendors including Black Diamond, Evolv, Petzl, Patagonia, Lululemon and more. All of these companies are eager to help with air quality consciousness. To watch for this event follow frontslc. com. To donate and get clean air ideas for action visit www.breatheutah.org. l

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ast month, The City Journals conducted a tournament to determine the “best” locally owned and operated restaurant in the valley. We called it Lunch Madness. Sixteen restaurants were nominated to represent their city by each of the newspapers that comprise the City Journals network. Then they competed in four rounds of headto-head votes on Facebook. Thousands of people voted as they cheered on their favorite local diners, barbecue establishments and burger joints. Many of the matchups went down to the wire, but at the end of the day, only one restaurant remained standing: The Break Sports Grill in South Jordan. After thousands of votes, The Break edged out Spudtoddos from West Jordan with 53 percent of the vote. The Break has been a fixture in the Daybreak community since it opened in 2011. “I think there was a need for a good mom and pop lunch joint here,” said restaurant manager James Brandon, who goes by Bam. “When we opened the doors the floodgates opened.” The Break is packed not only at night when it hosts activities like karaoke, poker and BINGO (last week a woman won $1,300), but also in the afternoons when employees who work in the SoDa Row district of Daybreak go out for lunch. While The Break has all the things you’d normally expect from a sports grill—hamburgers, beer, nachos, etc.—its specialty is its homemade macaroni and cheese. The mac and cheese, which Brandon calls “crazy and off-the-wall” is made from scratch and to-order every day. There are 10 varieties to suit a wide range of personal tastes—everything from the Southwest mac that’s loaded with black beans, green peppers and steak strips to a coconut curry mac with

chicken and mango salsa. “We call it grown-up mac and cheese. We have people drive from Park City for it,” said Brandon. The South Jordan and Daybreak community has been a perfect home for The Break, said Brandon, who said he especially loves the fun outdoor atmosphere during the summer months. “We’ve got concerts going on, we’ve got people on their skateboards and bikes, they’re eating ice cream, they’re sitting on the patio listening to live music,” he said. He’s also noticed a unique relationship between the residents and businesses of Daybreak. “Daybreak is so unique, where it’s a community. We all know each other, from neighbors to businesses. We support each other. Us businesses we support residents that are in need and they support us tenfold. It’s a neat neighborhood.” l

Since opening in 2011, The Break has expanded an additional 1,800 square feet to welcome more people. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

March 2019 | Page 11


Brighton opens principal’s pantry for students By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com

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ucked away behind librarian Catherine Bates’ office is a renovated storage closet that now serves as a principal’s pantry for Brighton High students. “If a kid doesn’t know where his next meal is coming from, how can we expect him to sit in a classroom and try, let alone learn?” Bates asked. “If we are capable of doing something, we should do it then.” Bates said the idea came to the school with the principal, Tom Sherwood, who served at Jordan High where there was a pantry. “He knows that our population has changed the last 10 years and a lot of what Tom is about is providing services for those who are socio-economically disadvantaged,” she said. While the food pantry is open to all students, making sure the student body knows about it is also important so they’re aware of the pantry’s purpose in serving students in need. Sherwood said about 31 students of the 2,100 who attend Brighton were helped when the pantry initially opened. “These are students who are homeless, sleeping in cars, on couches, in temporary housing,” he said. “We keep an eye out for those who could use items, food, clothing, hygiene, so we can let them know it’s here and available. No questions asked.” In early February, Bates and the library staff tracked 150 students using the pantry.

“If a student forgets a lunch, sure, come get a granola bar or ramen noodles,” she said, but also pointed out some students who use the pantry are those who have families who are struggling or who are homeless. The shelves are packed with granola bars, peanut butter, ramen, fruit snacks, chips, applesauce, crackers, macaroni and cheese, nuts and other canned foods, thanks initially to parents. Student body vice president and senior Kaitlyn Newitt said the PTSA asked the student body officers to spread the word at the start of the school year that donations were needed. “We posted it on social media and saw a lot of students donate macaroni and cheese and dry foods,” she said. More recently, Bates said the Bengals’ boys basketball team partnered with local grocery stores — Smith’s, Fresh Market, Reams and Dans — to raise awareness. “We received so much food, we put some in an empty classroom. It’s chock full of bags and bags of food. It’s amazing what the community can do to help,” she said. Sherwood said he is reaching out to other schools within the Brighton High feeder system to see if they could benefit from non-perishable food items as well. Along with the food, there are a few clothing items and personal hygiene kits for students, Bates said.

PRO FOOTBALL IN UTAH IS HERE Page 12 | March 2019

Brighton High’s principal’s pantry is available to provide food to students so they can better succeed in the classroom. (Catherine Bates/Brighton High)

“Every educator takes a psychology class that talks about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which is shaped in a triangle. These are needs every human needs, such as safety, food, rest. If you aren’t meeting these needs, it’s virtually impossible to reach the next level without that foundation to get to the top of the pyramid,” Bates said. Sherwood said along with the new school

building, which is currently being constructed, there will be a room designated for the principal’s pantry so it won’t be limited to closet space. “When students are underfed, it makes an impact in the classroom. We want to provide for our students in the best ways we can and that extends beyond academics,” he said. l

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Service-learning component helped community, enlightened Brighton students By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com

Brighton senior Leia Simmonds shares with her English class what she learned from doing service learning with the Boys & Girls Club in Murray. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

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righton High senior Annabelle Warner played with 12 refugee children from South Sudan while their mothers learned English at Wasatch Presbyterian Church. Although she did it as part of her service-learning component of her English 2010 class, it became something more. “I learned they’re part of our community and were so appreciative of what I did, giving my time to teach them,” she said. “They were grateful for the little crafts we did to-

gether and being able to sing. They weren’t privileged and didn’t need technology to be entertained. It really meant something and I want to do it again.” Warner wasn’t alone. Other Brighton students gathered food and clothing donations for refugees while classmate Leia Simmonds helped children make foam reindeers as part of a program with the Boys & Girls Club in Murray. Seniors Isabel Newell collected food, collars and toys for the Utah Hu-

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mane Society, Brayden Nance helped make snow globes for 12 students with special needs at Golden Fields Elementary in South Jordan, and Bailey Eaton volunteered as a medical intern for the Intermountain Medical Center’s Heart and Lung Center in Murray. Brighton High English teacher Karen Larson was pleased with what she heard from her students. “I used to have students just do it with Christmas, but I got such great responses about how they love it, I now have all my classes take part in service,” Larson said. “When we talk about college, almost every major has a service-learning component so this is one way they can learn to give service and build leadership skills at the same time.” Larson has students talk about issues, such as water, and discuss what they can do to help their communities provide and conserve clean water, or recycling, and how they can make an impact. The students are asked to write a reflective essay as well as give an oral presentation. By the end of the class, students will create public service announcements. “I want them to make a connection, something that hits home for them. After serving, I want them to talk about what they learned and how they helped the community,” she said about the 150 students who will

perform service as part of the class this year. One senior, Brennan Neeley, said he helped a single dad with three young boys in his neighborhood by helping take meals to them. “The dad was grateful I came over,” he said. “It wasn’t huge, it didn’t majorly impact the community, but it still helped.” That, Larson said, was significant. “He may not have realized it, but by helping this one family, it can impact them significantly — by brightening their days, having them realize people care, making sure the boys were fed so they could learn better in school, taking a weight off the dad’s shoulders, just by helping out,” she said. Senior Brayden Kenney and the Brighton drill team donated books, hats and gloves to James E. Moss Elementary, a Title I school in Salt Lake City. “I never realized the impact a book, hat or gloves could be — I just always took those things for granted,” she said. Senior Austin Bond collected food donations for the Road Home homeless shelter. “It was an amazing way to serve the community and they seemed appreciative of what we can do,” he told his classmates. “To give to others, to share what we have, seemed right and really gratifying.” l

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March 2019 | Page 13


FLL volunteers give energy, enthusiasm to regional competition By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com

Hillcrest High School robotics coach Clief Castleton volunteers each year at Albion Middle School’s FLL regional qualifier as the emcee but makes it a point to put students at ease with jokes and dancing. (Julie Slama/ City Journals)

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lementary and middle school students from Salt Lake and Utah counties brought robots, posters and fun hats as they anxiously awaited to present their projects and show off their robotics talents to a host of judges at Canyons School District’s recent FIRST — For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology — LEGO League regional competition. Each of the 20 competing teams that day were judged on their ability to demonstrate positive teamwork, explain how they built their robot, demonstrate programs created to make their robot perform specific tasks in a timed setting, and propose a solution to solve this year’s theme of “Into Orbit.” As the competition to reach the northern state championship stretched into hours, student competitors were kept upbeat by some of the 50 volunteers who gave them encouraging remarks and smiles. Some of those who were giving highfives were Hillcrest High School students who participate in the FIRST Robotics competition and volunteer as part of their outreach to provide service. “As with most volunteer efforts, the kids are learning to think outside themselves,” Hillcrest High robotics coach Clief Castleton said. He said it does help to build his program, which in its first season won the Rookie All-Star Award, allowing the team to advance to compete at the world championships. “FIRST does rely heavily on volunteers. At every level and in all positions, volunteers in FIRST see what the result is for the kids who participate. Those volunteers that are in from industry or higher education are training their future employees and students.” Castleton, who has received the FIRST Outstanding Volunteer Award at the high school level, is one of the volunteers who stands out at the qualifier held every year at Albion Middle School. As the emcee, he is

Page 14 | March 2019

found not only announcing the teams as their robots take center stage to compete, but also informing, educating and entertaining, said fellow volunteer and tech team member Katie Blunt, who matches up a song to every team’s creative name. “He’s the glue on the floor, not only hyping people up, but pumps up the energy as he dances, sings, tells jokes and introduces teams,” she said. “He makes it a point to get to know about every team and their players, their robot, the work they put into it and shares it with the crowd; at the same time, he is giving signals to the tech team from countdown to starting the timer. It isn’t a one-day job for him. He does his research, finding out about all the robot challenges every year and knowing which missions are the ones that reward the big points.” Tournament director Mila Gleason has counted on Castleton and his students to volunteer every year. “We greatly appreciate his and his students’ knowledge as they understand the technical parts and the pressure these kids put on themselves, and Clief offsets it as he’s the king of dad jokes. He just asked why are robots good dancers and got the crowd laughing or moaning with the answer — they have good algorhythms.” Knights of the Legonian Order (Albion Middle) coach Barry Johnson appreciates Castleton’s passion. “I like his enthusiasm for the kids,” Johnson said. “He learns every kid’s name and their robot’s name and makes it personable, so they relax and it’s not stressful. It’s apparent that it’s what he loves, really loves.” Johnson’s first-year co-coach, Tim Barber, said that as the hours of competition wear down, Castleton’s vivacity remains constant. “His energy directly contributes to the energy of the event,” Barber said. “It’s a big part of the fun of this event.”

Volunteering alongside him is head referee Mark Fellows. “Clief’s energy and his ability to relate with kids sets this tournament apart from others that aren’t as engaging or fun,” he said. “While he’s dancing and singing, he’s talking about the names of the missions and making sure everything is running smoothly. “ Midvale Middle School competitor Naoto Robinson said he hopes to continue his interest in robotics at Hillcrest High. “Mr. Castleton makes it exciting here as he dances around and tells jokes among the announcements,” he said. “It makes it more fun for everyone.” Gleason said she doesn’t need to give a script or cues to Castleton. “I can count on him,” she said. “There’s never a dull moment. He’s entertaining, keeping people on schedule, providing commentary, making sure everyone is following the rules — and he wears a hat he makes every year to match the theme. And it’s not just here, he is a mentor to a lot of teams in the area, his program provides a camp in the summer, he’s always helping others find funding or robot competition tables or whatever they need. He is Canyons School District’s jewel.” Why does Castleton volunteer? “I volunteer because it’s fun and it’s needed. When people ask, I try to help as much as possible,” he said. “Plus, it’s a total blast.” l

Even amongst the robotic competition, FLL volunteer Clief Castleton (top right) is entertaining as well as educating onlookers about the missions. (Julie Slama/ City Journals).

Legos solve problems While FIRST Lego League teams competed in several robotic categories, each also had to develop a project that matched the theme, “Into Orbit.” Students needed to identify a physical or social problem faced by humans during long-duration space exploration and design an innovative way to solve the problem by improving something that already exists, using something that exists in a new way or inventing something new. Then, they had to share the problem and solution with others. This year’s projects showed variety from overcoming vision impairment while traveling to entertainment with games or space pets to showering or growing food in space. Some teams also identified the need for exercise to stay healthy as well as how to recycle in space. Butler Middle School’s coach Nikole Holt said her team went through a process to identify challenges such as lack of air, water and food, to loneliness and isolation. They researched human hibernation, she said, before deciding on developing an idea for personalized video games to face the challenge of boredom. “It’s fascinating to learn about research already out there,” she said, adding that the team decided on a personalized video game that can feature family members to overcome boredom and loneliness. Hillcrest High robotics coach Clief Castleton, who has had his own kids involved in FIRST competitions, said students benefit from “learning to problem-solve, work in teams, under the guise of the game. They are also learning to be gracious professionals. The last numbers I heard was that about 55 to 60 percent of kids in FIRST end up in a related field. And what’s really impressive is that 100 percent of kids in FIRST could end up going pro in this field should they choose — and these are in all areas of engineering, not just the technical ones.” This year’s award-winning teams include the project winner Rare Earthlings; the Judge’s Award was given to Robot Maestros; the core values’ winner was Orion 8; the robot games winner was Knights of the Sky; the best robot design went to Silly Space Squids; and the overall champions to 3 Bit Robotics.

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March 2019 | Page 15


Canyons Board of Education has new president after a decade By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com

New Canyons Board of Education President Nancy Tingey speaks at Brighton High’s groundbreaking in August. (Courtesy of Canyons School District)

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bout 20 years ago, Nancy Tingy’s neighbor suggested they take a quilting class together. While she has made several machine and hand-stitched quilts and given them away through the years, Tingy’s needle and thread days may be taking a backseat as she recently stepped up as president of Canyons Board of Education. On Jan. 8, a decade after Canyons School District was formed and guided

by Canyons Board of Education President Sherril Taylor, the board unanimously elected Nancy Tingy as its president. Taylor retired December 2018. “It’s pretty humbling,” Tingy said. “I’m very grateful they respected me to put their trust in me.” Tingy isn’t a newcomer to the education scene. She got involved 24 years ago in her children’s PTA and school community councils and volunteered at Quail Hollow Elementary, Albion Middle and Brighton High before running for the school board and beginning her stint to represent an area covering Cottonwood Heights, Sandy and Alta in 2012. She was re-elected in 2016. “I felt I learned a lot at the school levels through the years and appreciated what others did for my children, so I wanted to serve to help make it better for others,” she said. Tingy was involved in helping create Canyons School District by serving on committees. In 2017, Tingey served as the Utah School Boards Association president. In 2018, she served as the association’s legislative liaison. She recently served as board vice president under Taylor, but has maintained volunteering weekly in elementary schools, long since her five children graduated. “I’ve helped students practice math facts for years at Quail Hollow. At Brookwood, I just do whatever the teacher needs. I also did math facts at Sunrise for a few years,” said the BYU graduate who earned her bachelor of science in geography. “I used to help with country reports when sixth grade was in elementary.” Tingy is the first female board president since the district’s formation. “It’s not anything I’ve aspired to do. I am here to serve my community and if I can serve the board, I’m happy to do it,”

she said. “Being the first female president may be significant to some, but for me, I always try to be an example to do my best through hard work, kindness and compassion, studying and learning, being a team player and celebrating the achievement and efforts of others. If my example can inspire others, that’s great, but I’m not looking to be that with the first, just looking to be my best.” Amber Shill, who was re-elected to the board, was retained as vice president, and Steve Wrigley, who was re-elected to his third term on the board, was voted in as a second vice president. In addition to Shill and Wrigley, board members Clareen Arnold and Amanda Oaks took oaths of office after winning their races in the November 2017 general election. Arnold won re-election and Oaks was newly elected to the seat that was vacated by Taylor. “I like that we have two vice presidents on the board. It’s helpful to share that responsibility, strengthen our board and be at events,” Tingy said. “The leadership of the board doesn’t make decisions, but helps facilitate the board; for example, by creating draft agendas with the superintendent (Jim Briscoe).” Tingy said her approach will be one of teamwork. “I’m really grateful for Sherril’s example and hope to continue the processes and culture I learned under his leadership. It’s been extremely effective that all members feel safe and have the ability to express their voice,” she said. “That’s how it’s been since I’ve been on the board and it works. We come with a common purpose and when we all bring our best to the table, we get our best results in a shared outcome for our communities. It’s teamwork — the board, the district — working together

where everyone has a role and responsibility. I’m not one to be in the spotlight, but the kind of leader who is behind the scenes, who rolls up their sleeves to get the work done.” Tingy said that in addition to the recently approved tax-neutral $283 million bond to rebuild or renovate to modernize and upgrade Canyons School District schools, the board will focus on student achievements, including celebrating improved graduation rates up six percent in the past seven years to 89 percent, and providing opportunities for all students. She is supportive of the responsive services, which provides social and emotional needs for students and the school community. “It’s another part of student safety, which is a top priority and important to the well-being of our students,” she said. “We want to always strive for continuous improvement in our core values.” Canyons Board of Education’s core values are to believe everyone can learn, aspire to continuously improve, strive for excellence, build public trust and confidence through transparency, be guided by evidence while encouraging innovation and creativity, collaborate to deliver the best outcomes, act with integrity and build relationships through mutual respect and care deeply about what they do and how they do it. “I’m a huge believer in the public education system and am dedicated to high-quality education,” Tingy said. “I’m passionate about students’ learning and improving and having high expectations with providing the support for it. We value our teachers and employees and we are all part of those who strive to make things better for those who live in our communities.” l

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Elevating women in the workplace By Aspen Perry | a.perry@mycityjournals.com

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t a time when Utah’s business industry has a poor showing for gender pay equality, in addition to record low numbers of women in executive roles, many wonder: Can Utah elevate its business practices? Five years ago, the Women’s Leadership Institute (WLI) created the ElevateHER challenge, in an effort to encourage Utah companies to do better, while fostering a collaborative environment, in lieu of blame. “It’s not a blame or shame game,” said Pat Jones, CEO of WLI. “Men [are] important in addressing this and finding solutions to maximizing our talent pool,” she continued. When a Utah company accepts the ElevateHER challenge, they agree to evaluate the role women hold within their organization. This serves as a means to both increase the number of women in leadership, as well as retain existing talent. Companies are also encouraged to both monitor and identify gender pay inequity within their organization—a practice Jones said has resulted in salary bumps for men, as well as women. Jones explained the idea is to provide companies with a toolbox, which will increase their ability to attract and retain talent. Thus far, almost 200 companies have taken part in the ElevateHER challenge, according to the list of companies on WLI’s website, with the number increasing every

Recipients of the ElevateHER medal challenge. (Nicole Carpenter/WLI)

year. Of those companies, The Salt Lake Chamber, went from participating in the ElevateHER challenge to inviting WLI to collaborate on an awareness campaign. The gender wage gap campaign was launched in December of 2018, and is designed to offer both education and solutions on ways companies can close the gender wage gap. According to the information from the campaign, Utah ranks 50th in the nation for gender pay inequity, which the Salt Lake Chamber and WLI argue are not just bad for local business, but can also deter quality

companies from moving their businesses to Utah. Materials made available by Salt Lake Chamber and WLI provide real-time examples and current practices of companies who are succeeding in this realm, in addition to highlighting various ways women are often viewed differently in the workplace. In spite of the disparity in treatment for males and females, Jones feels it’s important both parties understand the complimentary differences they both bring to the table. “Men are absolutely advocates and allies of women and working with us,” Jones said.

In addition to the ElevateHER challenge, WLI runs other programs including a Career Development Series (CDS), designed to help women maximize their career potential. CDS meets once a month, over an eightmonth period, and includes workshops and conferences for $995, which are geared toward women in mid- to upper-level careers. “We try to keep cost down, but quality very high,” Jones said, of the various programs offered. WLI is also in the process of wrapping up its fourth year running a Political Development Series. For political development training, participants are required to only buy lunch, since WLI did not want any women to not participate due to financial reasons. “I didn’t want women to not take [the class], and not run for office, because they couldn’t afford it,” Jones said. Jones attributes WLI’s ability to keep costs down to the support of the local business community and their sponsorship of the multitude of programs offered. “Frankly, they’re wanting to increase the number of the women they hire,” Jones said, as she explained why companies take such an active role with WLI. While Utah is far from holding a great spot on the national scale of equality in the office, the number of programs in place to help Utah businesses mend their ways suggests prospects may be looking up. l

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‘Helping everyone, in every way’ message of State of Black Community Town Hall By Jennifer J. Johnson | j.johnson@mycityjournals.comt

Panelists and members of the Sigma Omicron Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority contributed to “The State of the Black Community Town Hall,” part of February’s Black History Month. (Jennifer J. Johnson/City Journals)

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legislator received a standing ovation for her HJR8 bill to strike references to slavery in Utah’s constitution. Utah’s Black Chamber celebrated 10 years in operation and saw founder James Jackson III on the cover of Utah Business magazine. And “Utah’s Original Jazzman Steve McQueen” celebrated his 100th birthday in multiple tributes along the Wasatch. February 2019 was, indeed, a stunning month for Utah commemoration of Black History Month. The focus provided an excellent platform for the University of Utah’s “State of the Black Community Town Hall,” co-sponsored by the The Sigma Omicron Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office. The panel discussion at the University featured five public servants, five prepared questions, and lively discussion, both during and after the event, guided by Jasmine Robinson, University of Utah senior and vice president of The Sigma Omicron Chapter. Panelists included state legislators Joel Briscoe and Sandra Hollins, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski, Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson, and Salt Lake City Board of Education member Nate Salazar. Affordable housing, equal access to education, law enforcement cultural sensitivity, education funding, and leadership advocacy were all discussed as part of the town hall. Interestingly, although linked to Black History Month and billed as the State of the Black Community Town Hall, the phrases “black” or “African American” rarely were mentioned, with the themes discussed spanning under-served populations, be they persons of color or of disability. Numerous dignitaries, including politicians, university representatives, and multiple media were in attendance at the event that Robinson indicated was for “anyone

Page 18 | March 2019

and everyone.” The diverse, multicultural, engaged audience responded numerous times throughout the evening with outbursts of applause and with questions, pushing the event past the scheduled time. Doing the right thing Citywide, blacks comprise 3.5 percent of the population. Countywide, blacks represent 2.1 percent of the overall population. Statewide, the number is smaller, with blacks comprising just 1.4 percent of the population. The point of the town hall event? The importance of recognizing, honoring, and advocating unique needs of unique populations. Throughout the evening, multiple panelists used the phrase “do the right thing.” According to moderator Robinson, “Doing one thing and assuming that it works? That is not an answer.”

“Doing the right thing? The way that I like to think of it as supporting all members of the community, all members of the society, being open to listen and learn in all capacities,” she noted in an interview with the City Journals. “[It’s] not just helping yourself, or the group you are a part of, or a specific corner of society, but helping everyone. Helping everyone, in every way.” Issue #1: Affordable, countywide housing “There are cities in this county that don’t have affordable housing plans,” expressed Utah Congressman Joel Briscoe, representing District 25, covering Salt Lake and parts of South Salt Lake and Sugar House. Briscoe sees Salt Lake County as being short as many as 60,000 affordable housing units. Salt Lake City alone acknowledges

a current 7,500 gap in the availability of low-income housing units. Mayor Biskupski touted progress on her “Growing SLC” housing plan, unveiled in August 2018. A key component of the plan is the city’s Community Land Trust program, where homeowners enjoy lower monthly payments and are able to see increased investment through home improvements. The city owns the land, but the homeowner and future homeowners would own just the home. Another key component? The city’s “Handyman” service to help seniors and other needy homeowners maintain their homes. New Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson (See other story “SLCO Mayor”) noted the county does not have regulatory ability over cities, but does have a “toolbox” of ways to encourage “developers to do the right thing with housing.” Key is Tax Increment Financing (TIF) – ways of providing developers with dollar subsidies for building affordable housing or other programs in line with county needs. Issue #2: Equal access to education “The School-to-Prison Pipeline.” It is a chilling phrase, a chilling concept, and an infinitely more chilling reality, wherein children of color, male children, and children with disabilities are shown to be over-disciplined, which statistically heightens school drop-out and where children are funneled out of public schools and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems. It is a national trend, as well as a statewide and countywide concern. The solution? School districts are seeking to maintain safe learning environments while reducing the use of school discipline. Rep. Sandra Hollins, who serves the west side of Salt Lake all the way to Bountiful in House District 23, noted her 2016 HB460

University of Utah senior Jasmine Robinson moderated the town hall panel, featuring Rep. Joel Briscoe, Board of Education member Nate Salazar, Rep. Sandra Hollins, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski, and Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson. (Jennifer J. Johnson/City Journals)

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Affordable housing, equal access to education, law enforcement cultural sensitivity, education funding and leadership advocacy were all discussed, as part of the town hall. (Jennifer J. Johnson/City Journals)

legislation has helped redefine the role of police officers in schools, provided cultural training for police and others in schools dealing with children with disabilities. Also key? “Parents need to be vigilant,” noted Rep. Hollins, who introduced the slavery-striking language bill. Biskupski indicated Salt Lake City is “working in tandem” to implement Hollins’ bill. “One of the reasons I ran [for mayor] was the Prison-to-Pipeline Study,” Biskupski recalled, sharing how shocked she was to learn of this problem in Salt Lake, “the most progressive area in the state.” The Mayor indicated trainings with law enforcement have eliminated a preponderance of “implicit bias” incidents, where assumptions of guilt are made by racial or other profiling, from more than 500 per year to fewer than 60. The Mayor also stressed the importance on busting the Prison-to-Pipeline through after-school programs. The audience burst into applause when Biskupski spoke about Salt Lake City’s Youth City program. “A lot of families have been pushed out of Salt Lake, because it is too expensive,” explained Nate Salazar, who became the newest member of the Salt Lake School Board in January, and serves his day job as Associate Director of Community Empowerment in the Salt Lake Mayor’s Office. He is currently the only minority on the board for a district where more than half of the students are minorities. Salazar noted that west side Salt Lake City families in communities like Glendale and Poplar Grove seek education opportunities at Salt Lake’s East High School, but do not have transportation to afford them the same flexible schedule other students have to attend after-school activities. The audience again applauded when Biskupski indicated the city’s amping up the 900 South bus route to offer more evening east-to-west

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routes. Issue #3: Law enforcement cultural sensitivity “Listening, learning, leading” is how Biskupski depicted the Salt Lake police department. Healing communities and improving dialogue are Biskupski’s priorities. Creating a better law-enforcement team and its better interfacing with the Human Rights Commission has happened under the leadership of Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown, she said. “Chief Brown has taken a communicative policing model to heart.” The results have been nothing short of astounding, with crime results at a five-year low. A big part of the process includes having police focus on getting to really know the neighborhoods they serve.” “What I vow to do is a best-practices process,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Wilson. Wilson is banking on seeing improved results through implementation of a new data analysis program to be able to make better decisions in law enforcement and the justice system across 18 different jurisdictions in the County. Issue #4: K-12 education funding This past fall, Utah voters resoundingly voted down — with just 35 percent in support and 65 percent voting no — raising motor fuel tax and use the revenue to offset money being taken from the General Fund — from education and to transportation. “Where do we find $63 million?” was Briscoe’s question, in terms of how to significantly improve education in the state. Briscoe critiqued Utah’s relying on Utah’s K-12 education funding formula. He believes the “Weighted Pupil Unit” (WPU), which forms the foundation of Utah’s public education spending, only covers inflation costs, not growth. WPU covers “vertical” aspects of education, versus more granular considerations, such as costs for English as

a Second Language (ESL) and other culturally-relevant programs. Issue #5: Stewardship for community impact Perhaps the most provocative question to the panel was how each panelist chooses to leverage their position of political power to make a difference. “I try to bring a voice to those who don’t have a voice,” said Hollins. Hollins challenged the audience to make sure their voices are spoken and heard, even amid disappointment and frustration with political processes or a seeming lack of impact. “Don’t walk away from a battlefield because you lost one fight. We cannot give up. I need you on the battlefield to push the state forward.” “Together, we are creating a city for everyone,” Biskupski observed. Key to doing so, she said, is vigorously going after barriers to equity and opportunity. Salazar shared his pride in being a role model as a person of color. “Folks who are marginalized can be left out,” he noted. “I use my voice, my experience, my position on the school board and in the Mayor’s office.” Salazar said he has “taken heat” for what some consider to be nothing more than “window dressing” — a minority being placed in a position to assuage concerns of political correctness, but not have any real power. “[I am] not just window dressing. I have an opportunity to change stereotypes,” he said. “I will do whatever I can to bend the arc of justice,” Briscoe shared, acknowledging that he is a privileged, white male, but one who feels compelled to seek justice for all populations, particularly those “who don’t look like me.”l

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Rough stretch leaving Brighton boys basketball in danger of missing postseason By Josh McFadden | josh@mycityjournals.com but was solid most of the season on the defensive end. However, in back-to-back losses to Cottonwood and Corner Canyon on Jan. 29 and Feb. 1, respectively, Brighton allowed 75 points in each game. Luc Krystkowiak has been a force all year. The 6-foot-5-inch senior paces the team in scoring by pouring in more than 17 points a contest. He’s also the leading rebounder at nearly seven a game. His younger brother Ben, a sophomore, scores more than seven points a game and had the most three-pointers on the team (18) through the team’s first 19 games.

Adrijan Hadziselimovic scores more than 10 points a game and is the team’s leader in assists with nearly four an outing. The senior also had 27 steals through the first full week of February, second on the team behind Luc Krystkowiak’s 36. Fellow senior Adam Templeton has been a reliable contributor as well. He scores more than six points a game and is the second-leading rebounder, collecting around five a contest. The Class 5A state tournament is set for Feb. 25–March 2 at Weber State University.

Brighton’s Adrijan Hadziselimovic drives to the hoop in a game earlier this season. (Photo courtesy of Lucid Images, Robby Lloyd.)

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lot can happen during a long boys basketball season. Ups and downs, twists and turns — they’re all common. The Brighton Bengals have experienced all of these. With the few final regular season games in front of them, Brighton players and coaches know they have their work cut out for them if they want to reach the state tournament for the second year in a row.

A difficult losing skid put a damper in the team’s goal to extend its season. After starting off 2-1 in league play, the Bengals lost five in a row from Jan. 25 to Feb. 12. After defeating rival Alta 5244, the Bengals dropped its season finale to Cottonwood 49-52. The top four teams in the six-team region move on to the playoffs. The team had some offensive struggles

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r. Brad Hendricks of The Joint Chiropractic Cottonwood wants people who have pain symptoms to know that there is a convenient, affordable alternative to traditional pain relief methods. “We are a model that is convenient because unlike a doctor’s office, we are a walkin clinic. Patients who come to us don’t need an appointment. That makes it easy for people to get better on their schedule,” said Dr. Hendricks. Dr. Hendricks, who has practiced chiropractic for 30 years, considered retirement a few years ago. “I had worked as a licensed chiropractor and was certified in nutrition and forms of rehab. But I realized that I missed the patient interaction, so I came out of semi-retirement and started The Joint Cottonwood,” Dr. Hendricks said. The location for Cottonwood Heights clients couldn’t be better. At 6910 S. Highland Drive, The Joint is near Whole Foods grocery store, Elements Massage and Blue Lemon restaurant. Another thing Dr. Hendricks is proud to

Page 20 | March 2019

Dr. Brad Hendricks of The Joint Chiropractic Cottonwood.

offer clients is extended hours. “We are open six days a week. Monday through Friday we are open 10 a.m. until 7 p.m., and on Saturday we’re open 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. We want to make it convenient for people to come in after work or on Saturday,” said Dr. Hendricks. New patients are always welcome. “When someone comes in for the first time, we always take time to examine them and do a full consult based on their symptoms. They also get their first adjustment that day,” said

Dr. Hendricks. “Currently, we’re offering a special to new patients for $29. Like everything else, it is a walk-in service with no appointment required. Come in when it’s convenient for you,” said Dr. Hendricks. Some of the common symptoms that bring people to Dr. Hendricks’s office are back pain, hip pain, neck pain and headaches. He is serious about getting to the bottom of what’s causing the pain. “The spine is so important in terms of overall body function. A lot of pain can be relieved by manipulating the spine. With headaches there is often a neck tension component, even in migraines. Our adjustments can release the tension and send the message to the brain to relieve the pain,” Dr. Hendricks said. During the initial consultation, Dr. Hendricks helps patients come up with a care plan. If additional diagnostics such as ultrasound or radiology are suggested, Dr. Hendricks will give his patients a referral to a trusted outside source. “Sometimes the pain is minor and there

is a quick fix. I enjoy focusing on patient care and spending the time to figure out what’s wrong. We want to find the proper adjustment to help people get better. And once they feel better, we want to help them stay that way,” said Dr. Hendricks. The Joint Cottonwood doesn’t go through insurance companies, and they accept FSA and HSA payments. “We have a wellness plan where patients can get four adjustments per month for $69. That really makes it affordable when you break it down by visit. We really aim to be a model that is convenient and affordable,” said Dr. Hendricks. Dr. Hendricks hopes that anyone experiencing pain will stop by and get help. “Our mission is to help people get better. We have a simple, straightforward approach for licensed, quality care at an affordable price,” said Dr. Hendricks. For more information, stop by The Joint Chiropractic office at 6910 S. Highland Dr. in Cottonwood Heights, call them at 801-9433163 or visit their website www.thejoint.com/ utah/cottonwood-heights. l

Cottonwood Heights City Journal


Determined Bengals made progress through girls basketball season By Josh McFadden | josh@mycityjournals.com

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and takes coaching really well. She is a good example for the girls of persevering through the tough times. Even when things aren’t going well, she is still engaged and trying to improve.” “Warner wasn’t a surprise,” he continued. “She is definitely our leader, but I don’t think I realized how impactful she was. The girls rally behind her, and she never wavers in her commitment to us and the program. I have been so impressed with her throughout the season. She carries us, and at times I have had to play her the entire game because of what she means to the program. She is a spectacular player and a better person.” Next year, the Bengals should return much more experience to the roster. Wood is optimistic about the future of the program, but knows the girls have to maintain their strong work ethic. “We just need to keep improving,” he said. “Growth has been our No. 1 goal.” l

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n a season filled with adversity and roadblocks, the Brighton girls basketball team kept moving forward. The Bengals entered the season with just two seniors and also had to play some games without one of their leaders, Nicky Vyfvinkel, who missed time with an injury. Also, two starters from last season moved, forcing head coach Cameron Wood to accelerate the development of some younger players who suddenly found themselves in starting roles. Add to this the fact the Bengals play in the competitive Region 7, and it’s easy to see why the team has had its struggles. Wood said the team’s 5-17 overall markwasn’t necessarily indicative of its success and accomplishments. He’s pleased with the girls’ tenacity and perseverance. “We have created a culture of learning,” Wood said. “Our record doesn’t necessarily show the growth that this team has had, but we are starting to figure out and to play together and compete. I’ve been most pleased about our ability to overcome adversity. We have had some tough breaks this year with players, but the girls have never let up on their competitive growth.” A prime example of Brighton’s positive attitude and determination was on Jan. 29 when it faced Alta in a key region home game. The Hawks had blasted the Bengals in the earlier meeting on Jan. 8 by the lopsided score of 60-13. In the rematch, Brighton scored more points in the first quarter (17) than it had the entire first encounter with Alta. Brighton rode 21 points from Abby Burg and 12 points from Lily Cheatham to a 52-47 victory. The 52-point swing from the first game between the rivals was critical in helping the Bengals stay in postseason contention. Brighton has come up on the wrong end of some blowouts, but Wood insists the girls have stayed positive and continue to work hard. “The kids have been great all year,” he said. “Every team has its ups and downs, but these girls have all stayed committed to me and to the staff. They work hard for what we believe in, and they work hard for each other. I have never had to worry about that with this team.” Despite some injury bugs, Vyfvinkel has led the squad in scoring with more than 10 points per game. Cheatham, a sophomore, is third in scoring at more than seven points an outing. Wood also has praise for Annabelle Warner, the second-leading scorer at more than eight points a game, and newcomer Nicole Marcoft. “(Marcoft) is so coachable and the type of athlete that you want in your program,” Wood said. “She actively listens

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Brighton wrestling team qualifies for state meet

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fter a grueling season filled with ups and downs, the Brighton wrestling team had some strong showings at the Divisional A meet on Feb. 2. The Bengals placed seventh and sent its top competitors to the state tournament. As a team, Brighton finished with 134.5 points, ahead of eighth-place West’s 125.5 and just behind Alta’s 137.5 points. At the divisional tournament, held at West High School, the top eight wrestlers in each weight class clinched a berth at the state tournament, which took place at Utah Valley University Feb. 13–14. Seven Bengals achieved that standard and took part in the state meet. Brighton’s top performer at the divisional meet was Rylan Stevens. The 145-pound competitor placed second in his weight class behind Zak Kohler of Wasatch. Stevens, who was seventh at regionals last season, reached the state tournament for the second year in a row. In the 126-pound group, Brighton’s Anthony Ouk took third place to secure a spot at state. A year ago, he was third at the 5A state meet, advancing far into the consolation bracket after losing his second match. Jaxson Wilde also did enough to get his place at the state meet. The 132-pounder placed fifth at the divisional tournament, as did Luti Wolfgramm in the 220-pound class. Meanwhile, in the lightest weight

class (106 pounds), Garrett Wilde finished sixth in a competitive group. Teammate Weston Shumway, a 160-pound competitor, also placed sixth to advance to state. The final Brighton state qualifier was 152-pound Jaeger Bostwick, who placed seventh at the divisional meet. Brighton’s seventh-place showing in Division A was second among all Region 7 teams, behind the aforementioned Alta Hawks. In Division B of Class 5A, only Corner Canyon (third place) had a better showing than the Bengals had. Head coach Mitchell Stevens knows his wrestlers will have their work cut out for them at the ultra-competitive sate tournament. Class 5A is loaded with some of the state’s top squads, including defending champion Viewmont, along with traditional powers Pleasant Grove, Box Elder and Wasatch. Last season, Brighton placed right in the middle at state — 15th among 30 teams. Each individual qualifier scores points as he advances through the double-elimination bracket. As the Bengals have fewer qualifiers than the heavily favored teams, they’ll have a hard time racking up enough points to stay in contention. Still, Mitchell Stevens and his athletes are focused on doing their best and improving on last season’s efforts. l

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Page 22 | March 2019

Cottonwood Heights City Journal


Boys capture second straight swim title

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Bengal girls place seventh at 5A state swim meet

By Josh McFadden | josh@mycityjournals.com

or years, the Brighton High School swimming program has been among the best in the state. The Bengals proved that once again at the recent state championship meet. The Brighton boys made it back-to-back Class 5A championships, scoring 17 more points than second-place Cottonwood during the two-day event, held at BYU Feb. 9–10. The Bengals amassed 310 points and had several standout performers from their swimmers. Though no single Bengal swimmer or relay team took first place in an event, Brighton had enough depth and high finishes to put the team on top. In the 200-yard medley relay, Brighton placed fourth. Junior Taua Fitisemanu anchored the team, while teammates Charlie Simmons, Nick Thompson and Sean Farrenkopf finishing things off in a total time of 1:39.95, 2.77 seconds behind the winners. In the 200 freestyle, three Bengals finished in the top eight to earn valuable points for the team. Freshman Daniel Detjen was the top Brighton performer, finishing second with a time of 1:45.50 in the event. He was 2.13 seconds behind the firstplace swimmer. Sophomore Sage Doyle was right behind Detjen in third place, swimming the race in 1:46.23. Fitisemanu was seventh with a time of 1:49.33. Together, the teammates accounted for 45 points for their team. A trio of Bengal boys finished in the top eight of the 200 individual medley. Senior Quentin Tyler placed third in the event that showcases skill in different strokes. He swam the event in 1:57.09, while Farrenkopf took fourth place, swimming in a time of 1:59.46. Simmons contributed some points for

Brighton with an eighth-place showing in the IM. He completed the event in 2:03.01. Brighton was shut out in the 50 free sprint race; however, Thompson got 17 points for the Bengals in the 100 butterfly, thanks to his second-place showing. He completed the race in 53.01, just more than a second behind the champion. The 500 free was perhaps Brighton’s most successful event as a team. Farrenkopf, Detjen and Doyle went second, third and fourth, respectively, in the marathon event, compiling a critical 48 points for their squad. Farrenkopf swam the 500 free in 4:47.64, 1.28 seconds behind the winner — an extremely close time in a race of that length. Detjen was 1.92 seconds in back of Farrenkopf, and Doyle finished in 4:52.89. The Bengals also were well represented in the 100 backstroke, with three swimmers placing in the top six. Tyler was third with a time of 52.69 seconds, Thompson was fourth at 52.78, and Fitisemanu was sixth with a time of 53.52. In the 200 free relay, Brighton placed fourth, thanks to the efforts of Tyler, Doyle, Fitisemanu and Detjen. Together, they swam the event in 1:31.86, a minute and a half faster than they had finished in the qualifying race. Simmons earned some points for Brighton in the 100 breaststroke. He was sixth in the challenging event with a time of 1:02.27. Jensen Judkins finished just outside the top 10 (11th place) with a time of 1:03.39, but still got six points for the Bengals. Brighton rounded out its scoring in the final event of the meet: the 400 free relay. The team of Farrenkopf, Thompson, Detjen and Tyler combined their talents to swim the race in 3:17.27, good enough for fourth place. l

By Josh McFadden | josh@mycityjournals.com

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wenty-one schools from the northern part of the state converged upon the campus of BYU Feb. 9 and 10 for the Class 5A state swim meet. Combined with 19 teams from Class 6A, which held its championship meet at the same time, hundreds of swimmers filled the aquatic facility at BYU for some exciting races and thrilling finishes. The Brighton girls team picked up 154 points to finish seventh in 5A. It was an improvement from its 11th-place showing last season and nearly as good as in 2017 when the lady Bengals finished fifth with 167 points. This time around, Brighton was just four points in back of sixth-place Bountiful. While watching their Brighton boys team counterparts win the state championship, the girls displayed their talents with some excellent performances of their own. The highlight of the meet for the girls — and perhaps of the entire Brighton swim program — at the meet was the accomplishment of Rachel Butler. The senior placed first in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:03.41. Not only was this nearly three seconds better than her time in the preliminary round, but she also set a Class 5A and Utah high school state record in the process. Butler, incidentally, broke her own state record from a year ago when she won the event. She also placed second in the 200 IM as a

sophomore. Butler’s teammate, sophomore Ainsley Warren, placed 11th in the event, earning six points for her team. Butler wasn’t finished with her big day. In the endurance-testing 500 freestyle, Butler captured the championship, swimming the event in 5:02.20 and racking up 20 points for her squad. She finished nearly eight seconds in front of the second-place finisher in a dominant race. Also in the 500 free, Brighton’s Mary-Hannah Romrell placed eighth with a time of 5:43.31. Butler was also part of the Bengals’ third-place 200 free relay team. She, along with teammates Warren, Halle O’Neal and Sophie Miyagishima swam the event in 1:42.05, just .92 seconds in back of the runners-up. Brighton picked up more points in the 100 butterfly where Miyagishima placed 13th in the event with a time of 1:03.11. Warren was also 10th in the 100 breaststroke. Her time of 1:11.54 was just .01 seconds out of 10th place and earned the Bengals seven points. The Bengals finished the meet off with ninth place in the 400 free relay, swimming in 3:49.51. Brighton swimmers Butler, Romrell, Warren and Miyagishima teamed up to share in the 18 points for Brighton in the event. l

The Brighton boys swimming team won the Class 5A state championship while the ladies finished seventh. (Photo contributed)

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TABLE X

SPOTLIGHT

Business Spotlights are a service offered to our advertisers to help them inform our readers about their businesses. For information on scheduling a Spotlight, please call us at 801-254-5974 or email us at ryan.casper@mycityjournals.com

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pened in 2016, Table X has treated diners to beautifully prepared, fresh-fromthe-garden food, much of which is harvested from their French potager (kitchen) garden by their full-time gardener. This on-site garden includes fruit trees, root vegetables, a variety of tomatoes (they produced over 300 lbs. in 2018), fruits such as currants, grapes and strawberries, as well as flowers which not only please the eye but many of which are edible. Their organic garden is planted to attract beneficial insects and is nourished by composted vegetable scraps, egg shells and coffee grounds. No pesticides or chemicals are used. In the winter, they grow root vegetables in cold frames. They have also added a beehive to the garden to help with pollination. They will harvest their first batch of honey this year. Table X is the brain child of Mike Blocher, Nick Fahs and David Barboza. After graduating in 2010 from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, they worked for a variety of restaurants, from fine dining establishments to mom-and-pop eateries. They eventually came to Utah with their vision of bringing the highest caliber of

new American cuisine and service in a casual, unpretentious environment. “We believe fine dining doesn’t need to be presumptuous,” stated chef Nick Fahs. Their ever-evolving menu utilizes produce in season. Anything they are not able to use quickly is preserved using various methods such as aging, canning, drying, fermenting and pickling. To supplement their own garden, they shop at the local farmers markets. Their menu offers multiple snacks, appetizers, entrées and desserts. Snacks include fingerling potatoes, dry-aged beets, house made burrata cheese and fennel roasted carrots. Appetizer offerings are Clifford Farm soft cooked eggs, sweet potato gnocchi and organic green salad. Entrée selections include vegetable steak, Pacific striped bass, Jones Creek bavette steak, which is twice as flavorful as a flank steak, Christiansen Farm’s Berkshire pork renowned for its juicy and flavorful meat, Morgan Valley leg of lamb and green lentil soup. Their dessert choices include hazelnut ice cream, olive oil cake, blueberry granita and a spiced angel food cake. Their menu is tweaked almost daily to incorporate what is fresh and on hand.

Each offering is lovingly made and artfully displayed. Table X is housed in a 1929 renovated building complete with a rustic, wood barrel roof. Taking 2 ½ years to carefully plan and design, Table X opened its doors on November 6, 2016. The restaurant features a private dining room overlooking the garden that seats up to 14 guests. It is also available for private business clients and events. The main dining room seats up to 50. The open kitchen allows patrons to see the chefs in action. Sourdough bread is made daily in house. Table X is open Wednesday through Sunday from 5 to 10 p.m. in Millcreek at

1457 E. 3350 South. (385) 528-3712. Gift certificates are available. They have a large parking lot that is connected to the building. They are handicap accessible. Dress is casual. They were awarded Salt Lake Magazine’s Dining Award in 2017 and 2018. Gastronomic Salt Lake City placed them on their 10 best fine dining list for 2019.

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Brighton wins Battle of the Axe with dramatic last-second finish By Justin Adams | justin.a@thecityjournals.com ton’s Knaak couldn’t really hear them. All he knew was that he needed to score just one point. And that’s what he did. Without warning, Knaak charged and performed a takedown that brought his opponent to the ground. It was enough to award Brighton a point. The match was over. Knaak was swarmed by his teammates and together they lifted the traveling Battle of the Axe trophy in celebration. “I haven’t won a lot but to win this one really means a lot,” said Knaak, who credited his teammates and coaches for pushing him to get better and keep going in every match throughout the season. “That boy’s life changed tonight,” said Jerry Christensen, a longtime Brighton wrestling coach. “He’ll be telling his grandchildren about that moment. Had it gone the other way, just a couple seconds difference, he might not come back next year.” For a complete photo gallery of the Battle of the Axe, visit the Cottonwood Heights Journal website and search “Battle of the Axe.” l

Brighton wrestlers hoist the Battle of the Axe trophy after defeating Hillcrest in the 50th instalment of the rivalry. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

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t was the kind of dramatic finish most people only see in the movies. The two teams are virtually tied in the last match of the night. Neither fighter is initially able to claim victory. It enters an overtime period. Fighting for the home team is a freshman heavyweight who only started wrestling that year. The pressure of a 50-year storied rivalry is crushing down upon him, not to mention the opposing wrestler that nearly has him pinned to the ground. Every person in the arena is screaming as loud as they can. “Take him down!” yell the visiting fans. “STAND UP!” yell his teammates. There is only one thought that’s going through Tyler Knaak’s mind. “Don’t (expletive) give up,” he thought. Wrestling in the 285-pound weight class for Brighton High School, Knaak has mostly gone up against juniors and seniors this season. Though they might be the same size, he’s been going up against wrestlers with years more experience than him. At the beginning of the year, he didn’t think he would win a single match, he told the City Journals. But when it mattered most, Knaak did

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what he had to do. He escaped the grip of Hillcrest High’s Jason Barnes and stood up, denying his opponent a potential victory for his team — a victory that Hillcrest has only claimed a couple of times in the rivalry’s 50year history. “Brighton’s kept it most years to be honest, but our kids don’t want to be the ones to lose it,” said Brighton’s head wrestling coach, Mitch Stevens, following the match. Not only was the match significant for it being the 50th installment, but it’s also marking the end of an era for both schools. Both Brighton and Hillcrest are undergoing complete rebuilds, so this match was the last one to be fought in either school’s historic gymnasiums that had seen the previous 50 years’ worth of matches. Chris Rawley wrestled in three of those previous matches, from 1976 to 1978. He, along with many other former wrestlers and coaches, attended the 50th anniversary match. “Coming down to the final match tonight was just remarkable,” Rawley said. “In 1977 in this very gym it came down to

the exact same way: the two heavyweights wrestling for the win.” Rawley says back then, wrestling was the “biggest thing in town” and that they used to have up to 4,000 people in the stands. “It was pretty amazing,” he recalled. That’s a far cry from the couple hundred people that attended the Battle of the Axe on Wednesday night, though it certainly sounded like thousands of people. This reporter has covered major college football and basketball games from the sideline, and has never experienced a more deafening amount of noise than the wave of cheers and screams that filled the Brighton High gym when Knaak finally managed to stand up and keep the match alive. “It was crazy. It was really hard to try to coach our wrestlers because everyone in the stands was so loud,” said Anthonee Ouk, who wasn’t able to wrestle because Hillcrest didn’t have a wrestler in his weight class. Despite not getting onto the mat himself, Ouk said the match was “an amazing experience,” and maybe the best one he’s had in his wrestling career. But as electric as the crowd was, Brigh-

The Women’s Leadership Institute and the Salt Lake Chamber release “Best Practices Guide for Closing the Gender Wage Gap.”

This guidebook, which is the result of months of research and input gathered from Utah’s business community, is full of policies, programs and actions companies can implement to help close the gender wage gap.

LEARN MORE AND DOWNLOAD: www.WLIUT.com/wagegap

March 2019 | Page 25


March is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month By Amy Green | a.green@mycityjournals.com

Savannah enjoys picking out and sharing dandelions—her favorite flower. (Amy Green/City Journals)

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onning a green ribbon isn’t just for St. Patrick’s Day. This March, wearing a green ribbon represents a show of support for Celebral Palsy Awareness Month. Cerebral palsy (CP) is a neurological disorder that affects movement, motor skills and muscle tone. CP is caused by brain damage that happens in utero, during labor and delivery, or soon after birth. Adam Hunninghake, a doctor of physical medicine and rehabilitation explained, “There is a spectrum of how cerebral palsy can affect someone from very mild impairment to having spasticity in their limbs and having difficulty communicating.” There is no reversing or curing it. Jana Murray is a long-time resident of both Sandy and Herriman. She has a 24-yearold daughter Savannah, who was born with cerebral palsy. Murray has much experience keeping a child with cerebral palsy active, socialized and involved. There are rarely, if any, breaks. Savannah’s care is ongoing. Murray remembers a disappointing day taking Savannah to a public pool. Savannah needed to wear floaties (inflatable armbands) in order to swim safely, as the motor control area of her brain does not operate fully. The pool attendees would not allow Savannah

Page 26 | March 2019

to be an adult-sized person in the pool with floaties on. Only children were allowed to wear them, they insisted. There was no exception made to allow Savannah to enjoy the water because of this policy. Murray knows there’s room for improvement, with facilities making accommodations for handicapped individuals. A few realistic safety measures can help everyone participate. Hunninghake said, “For all people, and that includes people with cerebral palsy, movement is vital. It’s what keeps us healthy. It’s what allows us independence. It lets us do things that give us quality of life.” Murray offers advice on being a support for those with special needs. She is also a strong advocate for the caregivers. “It can be uncomfortable to watch people with cerebral palsy move, interact and even eat. They can drool. They can be (what you might consider) inappropriate as far as a personal bubble space. They are human beings who deserve kindness. They do not always understand personal space,” Murray said. Caregivers know this and work closely to help their children with CP. “It’s okay to be uncomfortable,” Murray said. “If they are in your space, just be kind. They have needs, too. It’s not an easy thing for anyone.” A caregiver might not accept everyone’s offer of help, because a person with special needs might require a professional for many situations. But asking a caregiver how to help is best. Just being friendly and inclusive is what Murray suggested most. “I have a mom friend whose son has severe, severe CP. She would put stickers of race cars on her son’s wheelchair, just so that people would talk to him. I don’t know how much of that interaction the boy really understood, but it meant the world to his mother when people interacted with her son,” Murray said. Another friend of Savannah’s gave her a dog-walking job, so that Savannah could have an active, more grown-up type of experience she craves. March is a good time to talk about interacting with those with special needs. Saying hello, giving a high five and general inclusiveness are good ways to start. Invite a person with a disability to participate in an activity. The goal is to acknowledge and treat special needs people as one would a typical friend. The City Journals welcomes thoughts on helping to raise awareness, acceptance and opportunities for community members with unique challenges. Follow on social media www.facebook.com/thecityjournals/ to share or comment on this story. l

You were just in a car accident, now what?

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nless you’re one of the few anomalies in the world, we’ve all been in an accident. We’ve experienced that sickening feeling when your car makes unwanted contact with another vehicle. We’re frustrated and disheartened. While we may want to crawl into a hole, we can’t. There are things to do and we’ve given you 10 to be aware of (in no particular order). 1. Have an emergency kit in your car. While this step comes before the accident occurs, it’s essential to be prepared. Whatever you kit entails, make sure it has a first-aid kit, flashlight, reflective triangles and a small (and simple) camera in case there’s been damage to your phone. We’re typically frustrated or frazzled after an accident and not inclined to rational thinking. Being prepared limits the possibility of forgetfulness. 2. Take a deep breath. Accidents are traumatic experiences. Taking a breath will shift focus from what just happened to what needs to be done next. 3. Get a status check on everyone in the car. Check with each passenger to see if they are OK. Have someone call 911 immediately if someone is injured or unresponsive. 4. Move to a safe location. Most insurance companies recommend relocating the vehicle to the sidewalk or shoulder of the road as soon as possible after the accident. If the damage to the car is minor, this should be relatively easy. But if there are major injuries or questions about the safety of the car, leave it where it is, even if its blocking traffic. 5. Increase your visibility. Turn on your hazard lights and set out your attention items from the emergency kit—flares, orange cones, reflective triangles, etc. One accident should not lead to another. Take precaution to ensure other drivers on the road remain safe. 6. Stay calm. It is very easy to lose your temper in this situation, it’s human nature. Keeping your cool will keep the situ-

ation 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 insurance 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

Cottonwood Heights City Journal


Women’s Leadership Institute encourages Utah women to ‘Step Up and Run’ By Jennifer J. Johnson | j.johnson@mycityjournals.com

The Women’s Leadership Institute honored the efforts of 43 Utah women who completed its 2018 six-month Political Development Series Feb. 7 at the State Capitol. (Jennifer J. Johnson/City Journals)

Make a difference in your community by stepping up and running for office.” That is the straightforward pitch of Utah’s Women’s Leadership Institute (WLI), an innovative organization whose class of more than 40 women politicians and public servants graduated last month. This year’s class was honored Feb. 7 at the Capitol on the floor of the Utah Senate and House of Representatives. This new cohort of women becomes a leadership force of more than 160 women who have completed the six-month, bipartisan training, covering everything from campaign finance to canvassing. Five of Utah’s mayors, (including Provo City’s first female mayor), two county commissioners, and multiple city council members are among the graduates. ‘Cultural Urgency’ for governing differently The WLI Political Development Series, which has been running since 2015, now, more than ever has “cultural urgency,” said Patricia Jones, WLI chief executive officer. This cultural urgency can be seen on topics such as education funding, an issue of particular concern to women. The 2016 New York Times article “Women Actually Do Govern Differently” articulates this point. “Women govern differently than men do in some important ways. They tend to be more collaborative and bipartisan [and] push for far more policies meant to support women, children, [and] social welfare.” But these bills are also more likely to die, largely because of gender bias, research shows. Women in Congress sponsor and co-sponsor more bills than men do, and bring nine percent more federal money to their districts, according to a study in the “American Journal of Political Science.” A 2018 “Political Science Research and Methods” study of more than 150,000 public bills introduced to the national legislature between 1973 and 2014 found that women were significantly more likely than men to sponsor bills in areas like civil rights, health and education. Men were more likely to sponsor bills in agriculture, energy and macroeconomics.

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“I think that we were actually ahead of our time with encouraging women to run for office,” observed Jones. Jones, who served 14 years in the Utah Senate and House of Representatives, was herself ahead of her time and now has helped mentor some of the women comprising Utah’s legislature, which has more women than ever before. While serving in the legislature, Jones’s sponsorship of funding to teach Utah high school students about personal finance is an example of what WLI does well – help women learn how to advance their unique, passionate perspectives through politics. (Thanks to Jones’ successful program, Utah is the only state in the United States credited by Yahoo Finance in 2018 as receiving an “A+” for preparing students with financial literacy.) The Women’s Legislative Network of

Lieutenant Governor Spencer J. Cox says that both he and Governor Gary Herbert promote women in politics as a matter of course. Here Cox, a member of the board of directors for the Women in Leadership Institute, joins WLI CEO Pat Jones in congratulating the new graduating class of politicians and public servants. (Jennifer J. Johnson/City Journals)

the National Conference of State Legislatures reports that in 2019 women comprise 28.5 percent of all state legislators nationwide, an increase of 25.3 percent, and the most women elected at one time. Utah’s current legislature is 24 percent female – with 25 of 104 lawmakers being women. According to 2017 research by the Utah Women & Leadership Project, 24.1 percent of all council members in Utah municipalities are female. Stepping up to run and to encourage “These women are committed to run for office. Or at the very least make a difference in their communities,” Jones explained. Jones went on to describe this year’s class as an extremely diverse group comprised of single moms, women of color, and women with disabilities. “These are women who represent our state and are willing to step up and run.” “Stepping up” is not just for women, Jones is quick to point out. Men mentoring women is part of WLI’s ElevateHER Challenge. “We encourage men and women to mentor each other and also to encourage women they know to run for office,” said Jones. Jones makes the pitch personal, actionable. “If you have a co-worker, neighbor, or family member who would be great — reach out and encourage them. Just like every other piece of advancement, supportive men are a critical component of women who run and end up winning in political office. “Helping women and men understand the value of gender diversity in business and politics has really become a critical piece of what we do. Not because it’s the ‘nice’ thing to do, but because it’s what can bring a return on investment rapidly. We need women’s voices and we need them at every level.” Women leaders: A gubernatorial mandate Utah Lieutenant Governor Spencer J. Cox has served on the board of directors for WLI the past five years. He joined WLI CEO Jones in presenting this year’s class with certificates of accomplishment at the Capitol. The City Journals asked the lieutenant governor how he sees his role – and that of the Governor – in helping Utah women engage and be enabled to make a difference in Utah politics. “Women need to know that they are needed at the highest levels. The Governor and I are committed to speaking up on this as often as we can,” he said. Cox says he is familiar with dozens of women who have completed the training series. “I’m proud that many have gone on to run for office and earn leadership roles in business. This training provides them with skills and resources to make those leaps forward, and the opportunity to meet other strong women with the same drive and passion to make a difference.”

Cox observed that, historically, Utah’s legislature “has not very many women.” “I am happy to see that changing — even though it is perhaps still changing too slowly,” he said. The new WLI graduates, he says, “represent what Utah has to offer by way of outstanding public leaders in years to come. I am encouraged by their desire to serve. They are prepared, and committed, to improving their world and our great state, and we are proud of their efforts.” How to step up There is already a waiting list for WLI’s 2019 training, which is scheduled to start September 2019. Interested women can join the list at www.wliut.com/pds. The 2018 cost was $179 for the six, three-hour sessions, which all included lunch. Sessions were alternatingly held at the Salt Lake Chamber and at Silicon Slopes, with live streaming available for those not able to attend in person. In addition to the Women’s Leadership Institute, Salt Lake Valley women might consider the national She Should Run organization (https://www.sheshouldrun.org/). Real Women Run (https://www.ywcautah.org/real-women-run/) is a local YWCA program tailored for women more in the beginnings of political interests and often collaborates with WLI. l

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FOOTBALL IS WHAT WE DO. March 2019 | Page 27


Get your Irish on: The St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Siamsi celebration and beyond By Jennifer J. Johnson | j.johnson@mycityjournals.com

For one year’s parade with the theme “Green Energy,” the Clark Family envisioned a car powered by three types of power: shamrock power, love, and Guinness beer. (Sean Clark/Clark Family Floats, Utah Hibernian Society)

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or many of us across the valley, St. Patrick’s Day is our chance to get our Irish on. Or, at least some green. City Journals wanted to take a deeper dive. What are the possibilities for St. Patrick’s Day in Salt Lake Valley, arguably not a major Irish town along the lines of Boston or Chicago? What does it mean to be Irish in Salt Lake on St. Patrick’s Day? Consider this our guide to living it up with one of the best holiday celebrations in the state to figuring out how to celebrate around home, and even explore spirituality with an iconic St. Patrick’s Day symbol. I say ‘Irish,’ you say ‘Hibernian?’ For the past 41 years, St. Patrick’s Day in the valley has been pretty much synonymous with Salt Lake City’s storied St. Patrick’s Day parade. This sense of history definitely imbues this year’s parade: The Utah Hibernian Society, hosts of the parade, have chosen a rich aspect of Utah history for its theme, the 150th anniversary of the Golden Spike. By way of definition, “Hibernian” means an Irish native or anything having to do with Ireland or the Irish. And the Golden Spike? That is also known as “The Last Spike” or the spike that joined the rails of the First Transcontinental Railroad across the United States connecting the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads in 1869. Irish immigrants made a significant contribution to building the railroad, hence this year’s sub-theme – “Joining of the Rails; 1,776 Miles to Home.” Parade and Siamsa: family traditions, philanthropy as well as fun The Salt Lake City St. Patrick’s Day Parade and its after-parade Siamsa (pronounced “Shinsa” meaning celebration) at the Gateway is close to home for this year’s Hibernian President and Parade Chair

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Meghan Welsh-Gibson. Welsh-Gibson is a second-generation president of the Utah Hibernian Society, following in her father’s footsteps. Last year she introduced a new route for the parade and also instilled a new tradition, where proceeds of the parade go to benefit a charitable organization. Last year, longtime parade supporters the Shriners Children’s Hospital were the beneficiaries. This year, the Fisher House Foundation at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital, “much like the Ronald McDonald House, but for veterans and military families,” is the recipient. Welsh-Gibson indi-

cates that a member of the Fisher House will serve as the grand marshal for this year’s parade. While the parade was early in collecting applications at press time, Welsh-Gibson did indicate that Irish reporter Brónagh Tumulty from Channel 2 will be carrying the Irish flag along the parade route, and dedicated parade fans can expect enduring favorite entries and new participants embodying the sesquicentennial Golden Spike theme. The parade starts at 10 a.m. at 500 South and 200 East. The Siamsa after-party takes place at the Gateway. The festival features Irish dancers, musicians, food, drink, and “lots of vendors selling Irish things,” said Welsh-Gibson. “Such a fun, fun afternoon.” The parade route and float-prep site: one family’s second home Some people elect to “summer” in a location other than their primary home. Salt Lake City’s Clark family doesn’t summer. They “spring.” And their destination location is not a fancy vacation resort, but rather, a junkyard. It is very much a working spring. Prepping the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade float almost becomes a time-share, during the months leading up to the event. For the past 40 years, the Clark family and friends dedicate anywhere from 60-200 hours, spanning several months, preparing for the parade. Float-making has become second nature, and takes place at their second

home — a friend’s junkyard. There they build each year’s float, and then take part in the St. Patrick’s Day practice event, and then finally gear up for actual show time – parade day along the route. Sean Clark, an Avenues resident living in the house he grew up in, is Vice President of Special Projects at Vista Staffing during his day job. And for his role on the parade committee for the Hibernian Society? He has a 134-slide chronicle of his family’s engagement in the parade over the past 40 years. His grandfather was grand marshal of the parade in 1984. Sean was carried along the parade route as a two year old. To Sean Clark and family, the parade is a way of life, a tradition and happens to be his favorite topic to talk about. Clark even has a FaceBook page, “Clark’s St. Patty’s Float.” Through rain, snow and even Darth Vader: epic floats of the Clark clan Over the years, Clark has been part of epic floats. There were the 1984 and 2017 floats, which made their way down the parade route in tumultuous rain and snow, respectively. Then there have been first-place entries, floats featuring Gaelic superheroes (Fionn mac Cumhaill, pronounced Finn McCool), religious saints (St. Patrick driving snakes from Ireland), and Irish green-energy cars (powered by kegs of Guinness).

Utah Hibernian Society President Meghan Welsh Gibson with husband Jaret Gibson and children get their green on at the 40th annual Salt Lake City St. Patrick’s Day Parade. (Meghan Welsh Gibson/Utah Hibernian Society)

Cottonwood Heights City Journal


Episode 3:17 was the realization of Salt Lake City resident Sean Clark’s lifelong dream to blend “Star Wars” with St. Patrick’s Day. (Sean Clark/Clark Family Floats, Utah Hibernian Society)

There was even the one year Clark was not able to physically be in Salt Lake City for the parade. That did not stop him. In 2016, he and a friend used Apple iPhones and Facetime technology so that he was able to live-stream his singing of the Irish national anthem (in Gaelic) along the parade route, watching the reactions of delighted spectators as he cooed the lyrics into a mic from sunny San Diego. The blizzard float of 2018 epitomized the parade theme, “When Irish Eyes are Smiling.” Clark built a faux wooden piano, powered by an electric keyboard. “My 8-year-old played his first piano recital, in a moving vehicle, in a blizzard, in front of a few thousand people,” he recalled. Episode 3:17: the good side of the dark side All Clark’s creations are epic. However, 2017 forces its way to the top. It was then Clark realized a lifelong dream: uniting St. Patrick’s Day with “Star Wars.”

The Clark family won the best family float for the float depicting “Episode 3:17, The Irish Immigrate to a Galaxy, Far, Far Away.” Clark himself portrayed Han Solo, to his friend’s Darth Vader, who had been cracking down on illegal immigration. Han Solo convinced Vader that Irish were good, worthy people and converted Vader to the dark side – the dark beer side, that is. As the parade advanced along the parade route, Darth Vader emerged from behind a curtain, “The Zion Curtain,” and the group presented their skit, right in front of the judge’s stand, securing the best family float honors. ‘Our Holiest Day’ Irishwoman Connie Smith lives in Sugar House with a Scottish spouse and three dogs. To her and her household, St. Patrick’s Day is “our holiest day.” Smith’s day job is being an associate broker and realtor at Constance Smith Realtor, but she is also a chaplain.

Episode 3:17 was the realization of Salt Lake City resident Sean Clark’s (a.k.a. “Han Solo”) lifelong dream to blend “Star Wars” with St. Patrick’s Day. (Sean Clark/Clark Family Floats, Utah Hibernian Society)

The Color Guard ensemble traditionally leads the 100-plus entries for Salt Lake City’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. (Grace McDonough)

CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com

Smith explained the spiritual side of St. Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland. One of the main emblems of the day, the shamrock, is an elegant symbol of the Christian Trinity. The three-leafed shamrock, then, represents, to Irish, God the Father, Jesus Christ the son, and the Holy Ghost. Being Irish in Utah, according to Smith, means to “usually be Catholic” and to be part of “a tight community.” It also, perhaps stereotypically, means being lucky, very lucky. “To be Irish in Utah is to be very lucky! Irish can laugh and cry at the same time. We wear hearts on our sleeve. All of us, whether fourth-generation or second-generation like me, we long for our Irish roots.” “All of us consider ourselves Irish American, not American Irish, and we all have a very deep tie to the Old Country,” she explained. The parade and beyond For Smith, celebrating St. Patrick’s Day is all about family and friends. For Smith and husband Alan Cunningham they attend the parade, go to the after-party and then go for a pint. “We always go to one of the bars – Sugar House’s Fiddler’s Elbow, Central City’s Piper’s Down, or downtown’s Green Pig.” “I always go to the parade,” said Smith, who is a proud product of the Catholic school system. Smith, who grew up in Holladay, attended St. Ann’s for K-8th, and then Judge Memorial for high school. “I run into all my friends from high school, even from grade school in the parade. If we don’t see each other any other time, we will see each other at the parade.” Like the “master float-building” Clark family, Smith views St. Patrick’s Day as a family day. “We always toast my father and my grandmother, who are no longer with us.” How to celebrate at home: DIY St. Patrick’s Day from Utah pros Love the parade but are not able to make it to downtown? Or to one of the other venues? The Hibernians interviewed here have some DIY tips. For most (except Irish Protestants or “Orange Men” who wear orange), celebrating St. Patrick’s Day starts with the color green. The look Utah’s family-owned Zurchers, with six stores in the Salt Lake Valley and online shopping, offer relatively inexpensive and zany St. Patrick’s Day attire and decorations. Millcreek’s venerable Costume Closet takes elegance up a notch and also has zany aplenty. The nine Deseret Industries thrift stores across the valley already organize clothing items by color, making St. Patrick’s Day scouting a snap.

Nail salons all across the valley do custom-nail creations, or bottled polish and face paint from a grocery store can even one-up the pro stylists for the creative DIY’er. The goodies Food is always a big element for any St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Smith always makes traditional Irish dishes, including Irish soda bread, paired with corned beef and cabbage. Locally, downtown’s longstanding Mrs. Backer’s Pastry Shop prides itself in its Irish soda bread, which it offers only during the “green” season. On the infinitely less authentic, but easy side? Salt Lake’s Banbury Cross offers green doughnuts, and even McDonald’s offers shamrock shakes. Irish eyes are watching Film is also a celebratory that helps commemorate the day. “There are 1,001 amazing Irish movies,” exclaimed Hibernian President Welsh-Gibson. And all the ones recommended are available through the Salt Lake City Library and Salt Lake County Library systems, for checkout. Reserve your St. Patty CDs early. Some of the recommends include: “The Quiet Man,” a 1952 film with John Wayne as an Irishman returning to his native country. “In the Name of the Father” is a drama-thriller with political overtones starring Daniel-Day Lewis. Welsh-Gibson recommends “Michael Collins,” another politically-themed film with Liam Neeson in the title role. For chaplain-realtor Smith, watching the film “Waking Ned Devine” on St. Patrick’s Day is akin to the tradition many have of watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” at Christmas. “We watch it every St. Patrick’s Day,” she said of the 1998 Indie film which looks at twisted luck. But, if you can, get out and enjoy the parade — in person or virtually. Parade-professional Clark encourages those not able to go to the parade to try to “be there” virtually by having a family member or friend broadcast it live to them via “Facetime,” the way he joined the parade from San Diego. However, he is convinced once you feel the contagious energy of the parade’s “wild atmosphere,” you are going to insist on heading downtown. “You are going to look at that, and say, ‘Oh my gosh! Why aren’t I down there?’” Clark says Irish music is “a great way to feel connected to Irish culture.” His favorite way to celebrate? “Smile at people, say hello, and wish them a happy St. Patrick’s Day,” he said. “Irish people like to live up to the stereotype of being a friendly, family people. It’s the biggest day for bars, but… it is so fun for families!”

March 2019 | Page 29


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Life and Laughter—Humor Writing for Dummies

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March 2019 | Vol. 16 Iss. 03

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How Utah entities are trying to maximize your time on the slopes By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com

T

he morning after a heavy snowstorm, a good “powder day” (to use the appropriate lingo), is when everyone is excited to get up the canyon to test out the snow under their metallic foot extensions. If you’re an avid skier or snowboarder (or an employee of the canyon resorts, or if you live along Wasatch Boulevard), you know what comes next in this story. Traffic. With everyone trying to race up the canyons, it’s bumper-to-bumper trying to get off the freeway, through the neighborhoods of Cottonwood Heights, and onto the two-lane canyon roads. Many entities within the state are attempting to solve the canyon traffic issues. The resorts (Alta, Solitude, Snowbird and Brighton) have implemented short-term solutions like pushing scheduled avalanche control to earlier in the mornings. The Central Wasatch Commission (CWC) has been collaboratively discussing solutions with other entities. Cottonwood Heights has developed a Wasatch Boulevard Master Plan. The Utah Transportation Authority (UTA) has been brainstorming alternative transportation options while the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) has been working to develop an environmental impact solution. Many legislatures have even expressed concern over the canyon traffic. On Feb. 5, Snowbird Representative Dave Fields discussed traffic and parking in the canyons with the Cottonwood Heights City Council. He relayed information about some implemented efforts that have proven to be successful, some works in progress, and brought up some additional concerns. Snowbird has been promoting many rideshare programs. Since last year, these programs have proven to be successful in achieving their goal as ridesharing has increased 20 to 30 percent. “We have done everything we can to get people into busses. Snowbird pays for all employees and season-pass holders to ride the bus,” Fields said. In addition, two van programs have been rolled out. One program incentivizes businesses to rent vans for their employees to share. There are 22 department vans available daily in the winter. The other program works to offset UTA’s bus schedule. Fourteen vans per day take trips up and down the canyon to promote carpooling. “We bundle a ride up the canyon with lodging and ski tickets,” Fields reported. “Last year, we had 25,000 trips in these vans. Other resorts have started doing this as well.” A new phone app is in development to incentivize guest and employee carpool as well. It will be free to download

Winter canyon traffic is a problem many entities within the state are trying to solve. (Utah Adventure Journal)

and use, and it will be scaled to the other resorts so visitors can use the app regardless of where they’re headed in the canyons. “You get points for carpooling, accrue credit for rides and get points for riding the bus or rideshare vans. You can then earn prizes like water bottles, or half-price tickets,” Fields said. Additionally, Snowbird is promoting more public communication through social media. “We are trying to do a better job to let people know what is happening on the road. All it takes is one ill-prepared vehicle. It slides off the road, and everything comes to a halt,” said Fields. Ill-prepared vehicles is one of the main concerns Fields hopes to address through conversations with municipal entities. Travelers arriving at the Salt Lake City Airport, for instance, cannot rent cars with snow tires from the airport. As Snowbird has been working to address traffic from the top of the canyon down, Cottonwood Heights has been working from the bottom up with the drafting of a Wasatch Boulevard Master Plan. “It was a fairly comprehensive process which involved city staff and a consultant. We spent

time looking at the history of the corridor, with all the historical background, and engaged the public in a process that sought feedback to understand community feedback and goals with the corridor,” said City Engineer Brad Gilson on Jan. 22. The plan includes alternative transportation modes, connectivity into the neighborhoods, interconnectivity through trails and promoting fewer cars on the road. “It’s a great template that helps us as a city communicate to UDOT what the city would like and the city’s values,” Gilson said. Since Wasatch Boulevard is ultimately owned by UDOT, they will have the final say deciding how to handle the traffic issue. They have taken their own approach to solve the issue with the Little Cottonwood Canyon Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). This project was first introduced in spring 2018, with the timeline pushed out to conclude in winter 2021. They are currently seeking public input. To learn more about the EIS or submit feedback, visit www.udot.utah.gov/ littlecottonwoodeis. l

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