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May 2018 | Vol. 15 Iss. 05 COTTONWOOD


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hen Ashtyn Poulsen and her family got the news that her leukemia had returned for a third time, they decided to do some new things. In addition to gathering her collective physical and emotional strength for another fight against the odds, Ashtyn launched an online fundraiser to benefit other children and teens with blood cancer.

Ashtyn has spent the past several weeks in Seattle with her mother receiving treatment, including an experimental drug that had reduced the percentage of cancer cells in her bone marrow. As Ashtyn fights, she wants to raise awareness and funds to help others. “We are raising the money in honor of my fellow childhood cancer fighters who have beat cancer, lost their battle, and are currently fighting, who are currently battling or in remission from a blood cancer,” Ashtyn stated on her fundraising page. “My mission is to not only raise the most money but also to bring attention to blood cancers like leukemia, which is the most common form of cancer in children and teens.” The contest associated with the fundraising campaign ended in April, but donations can still be made at http://events.lls.org/ut/saltlakesoy2018/ aPoulsen. “Ashtyn feels very strongly about this and she would honestly rather people donate to this than receiving gift packages or sending her any-

thing,” Ashtyn’s father, Jason, said. “The donation is what she would rather people do.” Ashtyn’s family is split between Cottonwood Heights and Seattle as she receives treatment, but they have stood united in supporting her fight against cancer and her efforts to help other kids and teens in her situation. Through it all, she has experienced more highs and lows that most people her age can even imagine. A strong spirit and a growing army of family, friends, medical providers, community members and donors have helped her along the way. “She has been very open and honest about the fact that this third diagnosis has been extremely challenging emotionally,” Ashtyn’s mother, Suzanne, said. “In her life she has experienced severe physical pain as well as emotional pain. If given the option, she would choose physical over emotional pain any day.” Ashtyn was first diagnosed with leukemia in 2013. She enjoyed two and half years of good health before the cancer returned in 2016. This time around, there was no real break between the second and third bouts before the cancer again returned earlier this year. “She just knew that 2018 was going to be her year,” Suzanne said. “A few weeks later she was hit with the relapse.” But as treatment has progressed and more people have rallied to her side, Ashtyn and her

Local Postal Customer ECRWSS Scan Here: Interactive online edition with more photos.


Ashtyn has received support from many places.

family have felt reason to hope. “As we were talking about having hope it dawned on me, ‘Ashtyn, I think you were right when you said that 2018 is going to be your year, where you can start living life the way you want,’” Suzanne said. “It

doesn’t mean it had to start in January. I know you are feeling extreme sadness right now but that doesn’t mean by the end of the year you won’t be feeling extreme joy. Keep holding on. 2018 is not over yet.” l

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

Cottonwood Heights Team CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Bryan Scott bryan@mycityjournals.com EDITOR: Travis Barton travis@mycityjournals.com ADVERTISING: 801-254-5974 DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING: Ryan Casper ryan.casper@mycityjournals.com 801-671-2034 SALES ASSOCIATES: Melissa Worthen melissa@mycityjournals.com 801-897-5231 Tracy Langer Tracy.l@mycityjournals.com 385-557-1021 Corbett Carrel Corbett@mycityjournals.com 385-557-1016 CIRCULATION COORDINATOR: Brad Casper circulation@mycityjournals.com EDITORIAL & AD DESIGN: Ty Gorton

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Cots filling the Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center basketball court gave residents an idea of what an emergency shelter would be like. (Josh Wood/City Journals)


ottonwood Heights held its annual Shakeout event on April 14 to get residents acquainted with the community’s response to an earthquake or other disaster scenarios. Emergency shelters were set up, and volunteers mobilized to practice their roles in an emergency. Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center was transformed into an emergency shelter for the event. Community members were invited to come to the shelter to see what it would be like in response to a disaster. “In cooperation with Cottonwood Heights, the Red Cross has brought volunteers here to set up a shelter so that in a real disaster, the local people would know what a shelter looks like,” said Red Cross volunteer Stan Rosenzweig. “Hundreds of residents walk through, take a look at the shelter and become acclimated with it, so that in the event of a real earthquake or wildfire or such disaster, they understand what the shelter experience is.” As visitors viewed rows of cots lining the basketball court of the recreation center, they could imagine the room full of families displaced by a disaster and the services that could be available to them. They would receive the shelter and emergency food, clothing, and medical attention that they would need. The

Thank You

Red Cross is prepared to shelter over 60,000 displaced people in the Salt Lake Valley in the event of a disaster, if needed. “After people are taken into the shelter, we then do a one-on-one assessment with them to see if there is any way we can help fulfill some of their long-term needs,” Rosenzweig said. “Do they have insurance, are they able to take advantage of FEMA services, what’s available to them, and then we help guide them to those things.” The Red Cross also has a cadre of volunteer social workers and psychiatrists. “In a major disaster, everybody talks about feeding and sheltering people,” Rosenzweig said. “It’s not common to think about the emotional needs, but the emotional needs are devastating.” The Red Cross offers free apps that provide information regarding emergency shelter locations and how to prepare for specific emergencies. For the Shakeout event, the city mobilized 450 volunteers to conduct simulated surveys of conditions. In the event of an emergency, information from these surveys would enable City Hall to populate maps marking trouble spots in the city. “That’s one of our goals for the day, to see

if all our communications work, from small block captains for 15 to 20 homes all the way to the citywide effort,” said Mike Halligan, emergency manager for Cottonwood Heights. “A lot of the training education takes place three, four months actually before today, and today’s just a culmination of all of that.” By using a citywide network of volunteers like block captains, the city’s emergency communication network doesn’t rely on the internet or cell phones that might be unavailable during a disaster. “One way to test the system is to load it with information, and that’s what we are doing today,” Halligan said. To find out what steps they should take and whom they should call in the event of a disaster, residents can call the Cottonwood Heights city offices at 801-944-7000 and ask for the emergency manager, who will put them in touch with the right people. A major focus of the Shakeout, and of the city’s overall emergency plan, is to make people aware of what can happen during a disaster and what they can do to prepare in advance. Halligan added, “We’ll be here for people who truly need our help, but our goal is to make people and our community resilient enough so they can take care of themselves.” l

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May 2018 | Page 3

Spare change in Cottonwood Heights helps homeless teens in Salt Lake


By Joshua Wood | joshw@mycityjournals.com

id you know that there are dozens of high school students in the Salt Lake Valley who are homeless? This fact came as a shock to one Cottonwood Heights business owner, and the thought has stayed with her for years. And she has spent years doing her best to help. When we see or hear about a problem in our community, we tend to wonder what can be done about it, and who is doing it. For Cottonwood Heights business owner Lani Roberts, there was just one option — she wanted to do something about it herself. So she marshalled one terrific resource available to her — her business. As the owner of the 7-11 store on Fort Union Boulevard at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon, Lani did something simple that has grown into something special. She put a small sign and collection canister on the counter near the cash registers. Her customers have been chipping in for years now, and that allows Roberts to provide tangible help to homeless youth in the Salt Lake Valley. The loose change and bills that Roberts’ customers contribute have added up to hundreds of dollars each year. This March, she had enough to go shopping for food for the homeless students of Salt Lake City’s East High School. Taking advantage of a sale at the Macey’s store in nearby Sandy, Roberts purchased over $700 worth of nonperishable food. “I wanted to do something for a food pantry in the area but didn’t know how to find one,” Roberts said. “So I googled it, and East High came up. They have around 80 homeless students, so they have a food pantry and a hygiene pantry. They do clothes, too, and they have showers so the kids can shower there. That just got my heart, so I bring food there.” Over the past 10 years, Roberts has made her charitable work an ongoing drive through her business. By taking the lead and providing a clear way to help people in the community, she also gives hundreds of people the opportunity to help out, simply by chipping in a little spare change. With the money donated by her customers, she does two food drives and a coat drive each year. Roberts supported multiple charities in the past, but they were large national organizations. “I thought, ‘I’m going to do it local, man,’” Roberts said as she placed another tray of canned vegetables onto a stack so tall it nearly hid her from view. Spaghetti, peas, corn, beans and more filled to capacity two carts normally used by the grocery store staff to stock shelves. “My customers are from all over the valley and even out of the country. They put in their change. Sometimes I find a $20 bill or a $10 bill because each time I do a new fundraiser, I put a picture on the collection canister, and I tell

Page 4 | May 2018

East High students help Lani Roberts deliver food donations for the school’s homeless youth. (Joshua Wood/ City Journals)

them how much money I spent and where I took it along with pictures of me delivering the food with some students. So the customers see where it’s going.” Roberts’ take-charge personality and warm demeanor make it easy for her to enlist help from other well-meaning community members. Her neighbor, Paula Johnson, met Roberts at the store to help transport the food to East High. By the time they were ready to roll, their two cars were fully loaded, trunk, back seat, passenger seat and all. “She’s very giving, an awesome lady,” Johnson said. “She’s been really good to me. And at Christmas time she does the mittens, the hats, the gloves, the socks. It’s awesome. She lets her customers know exactly where the money goes. She thanks everybody.” At East High School, a grateful and somewhat stunned staff thanks Roberts for her generosity. With the help of four students, the cans of food are loaded onto carts and taken to the elevator inside and down to the food pantry where help is offered to the school’s homeless students. There, right in the midst of typical teenage hustle and bustle, as kids head to class and talk with friends, a handful of students take food to a pantry set aside in the school’s basement for their homeless classmates. Nearby are showers and a toiletry pantry. A large closet of donated clothes is just down the hall. The school gives homeless students some of the food and facilities they need to get by. Community members like Roberts and her countless supporters help make it possible. “I accumulate the money and am collecting more until next time,” Roberts said. l

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Summer construction projects


By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com

s Utahans, we all know that the four seasons are fall, winter, spring and construction. For Cottonwood Heights residents, this construction season may be a little heavier than average. One of the more substantial construction projects within the city this year will be the Highland Drive and Fort Union Boulevard intersection expansion. The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) will be widening the entire intersection to allow for dual left-turn lanes in all directions. In addition to the dual left-turn lanes, designated right-turn lanes will be added as well. Last year, Rocky Mountain Power moved many of their power poles back to make room for the widening intersection, replacing the poles in the process. This year, construction will begin in spring, starting with moving the curbs back and pavement work. The project will include road blockages for six to eight weeks. This project is estimated to cost around $4.5 million. Funding will come from federal Surface Transportation Program funds and UDOT. When completed, the intersection is anticipated to provide shorter traffic light cues for a safer and more efficient commute. In conjunction with the Highland Drive and Fort Union Boulevard intersection widening, UDOT will be doing construction on the freeway on-ramp from Highland Drive leading westbound onto I-215. Space will be added, allowing for the possibility of two lanes merging onto the on-ramp, instead of the current single lane. This will give drivers more room to merge onto the on-ramp, hopefully alleviating the current patterns of traffic stacking. In April, UDOT is also planning on revisiting the high-T intersection on Wasatch. Another lane will be added so drivers turning left onto Wasatch, headed north, can more easily merge with traffic headed northbound from Little Cottonwood Canyon. The Cottonwood Heights Publics Work Department will begin resurfacing 2700 East shortly after school is out, around the first week of June. Sections of road directly in front of Butler Elementary and Butler Middle

School will be reconstructed while the rest of 2700 East, between Fort Union Boulevard and Bengal Boulevard, will experience a complete overlay and restriping. The bid for this project was opened in late March and is planned to be completed before July 24. Fort Union Boulevard will also experience some resurfacing this season, from 1300 East all the way to Racquet Club Drive, near Wasatch Boulevard. It will be resurfaced with a chip-seal layer from 1300 East to 3000 East. The additional stretch of road, from 3000 East to Racquet Club Drive, will be repaired, after damage incurred from the installation of new water and sewage lines last year. This project will also begin around the first week of June when school is out and should last about two weeks. 2300 East will be resurfaced and restriped as well. The city received a grant for $192,000 for this project. As the entire road will be resurfaced, this project will take a couple of weeks. Additionally, Cottonwood Heights is working on a pavement condition index (PCI) study. “This study assesses the condition of every single road in the city and assigns a numerical value based upon what the condition is,” Councilmember Scott Bracken said. Construction plans are already in the works for next summer, and future years. For example, a roundabout will be installed at the intersection of Bengal Boulevard and 2300 East/2325 East. Construction is estimated to begin in the summer of 2019. The city has been working on an environmental document and property acquisition from the LDS church designing a pedestrian crossing for main corridor crossing. UDOT is also looking into adding additional freeway ramps on the 6200 South/I-215 interchange. They have conducted a feasibility study for improvements to this interchange. They are proposing fly-ramps and an underground tunnel to connect 3000 East with the I-215 freeway. This project aims to alleviate the estimated heavy traffic in years to come and will cost around $80 million. l

A few major construction projects will directly impact residents’ commutes this summer. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)

CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com

May 2018 | Page 5

Funding for the Canyon Centre

T 2018 EvEning SEriES

Season Tickets: $49 Adult, $45 Senior, $29 Child Murray Amphitheater Parking: 495 E 5300 S Ticket Info: 801-264-2614 or murrary.utah.gov June 2 ................................... Hairspray, Sing-A-Long June 9 ................................. One Voice Children Choir June 21-23, 25-27 .............Thoroughly Modern Millie June 30 .................................... Murray Concert Band July 7.................................... Murray Symphony Pops July 13-14 ............................... Ballet Under the Stars July 26-28, 30, 31, Aug 1....................Into the Woods August 10-11, 13, 16-18 ......................Secret Garden August 25...................................... SLC Jazz Orchestra September 3 ..............Murray Acoustic Music Festival


Bring the Whole Family Young and Old! The 2nd Monday of every month at 7 p.m., FREE Murray Heritage Senior Center (#10 E 6150 S – 1/2 block west of State) June 11 – In Cahoots.......................Cowboy Music July 9 – Skyedance..............................Celtic Music Aug 13 – Company B....................................Oldies Sept 10 – Mixed Nuts .......................... Jazz, Swing


Every Tuesday at Noon in Murray Park Pavilion #5 FREE June 5 – Michael Robinson ............Cowboy Poetry June 12 – Eastern Arts ...................... Ethnic Dance June 19 –CHASKIS......Music & Dance of the Andes June 26 – Chris Proctor .. Guitar for the New World July 10 – Wasatch Jazz Titans .................Jazz Band July 17 – Red Desert Ramblers............... Bluegrass July 31 – Time Cruisers.................................Oldies


Every Thursday at 2 p.m. in Murray Park Pavilion #5 FREE June 7 – Stephanie Raff ......................Storytelling June 14 – Nino Reyos .........Native American Drum June 21 – Miss Margene ..............Children’s Dance June 28 – Coralie Leue .............The Puppet Players July 12 – Jonathan the Magician ....... Magic Show July 19 – Rebeca Wallin ........Shakespeare for Kids July 26 – Popcorn Media .....................Family Rock Aug 2 – Honey Buns........................... Song/Dance This program has received funding support from residents of Salt Lake County, SL County Zoo, Arts, and Parks (ZAP), Utah Division of Arts and Museums, and Museums & National Endowment for the Arts.

Page 6 | May 2018

he Canyon Centre, a development project between Wasatch Boulevard, Fort Union Boulevard and Racquet Club Drive (7323 S. Canyon Centre Pkwy.), is finally under construction after 10 years of planning. When completed, this development will include a parking structure for business and public parking. The parking structure will have 287 parking stalls for public use, some being limited to nights, weekends and holidays. Additionally, the project includes a hotel with over 100 units, a 65,000-square-foot office building, retail space at least two restaurants, and living spaces of 112 rental apartments and 17 single-family dwellings. There will also be a one-acre park in the middle of the development. (For more information on the site plan, see the Canyon Centre story found in the March edition. In 2011 (March 8), the Cottonwood Heights City Council, acting as the Community Development and Renewal Agency (CDRA), formed the Canyon Centre Community Development Area (CDA). With the formation of the CDA, Cottonwood Heights is allowed to dedicate a portion of the future increased property tax generated by the Canyon Centre project to the development of public amenities, including a park, parking improvements, street improvements and trails. “We get a lot more public and economic benefit from just allowing it to develop traditionally without a CDA,” City Manager John Park said. Many different entities are participating in the CDA, including Salt Lake County, Canyons School District, Cottonwood Heights Parks & Recreation Service Area, Cottonwood Heights City, Central Utah Water Conservancy District, South Salt Lake Valley Mosquito Abatement District and Salt Lake County Library. These entities consent with their participation to a portion of the property taxes generated by the project being used to fund some of the public improvements. Coordinating with so many entities is one of the main reasons this project has taken a decade to plan. The documentation for this project has been complex, requiring years of drafting to ensure all elements of the development are addressed in an acceptable manner for all parties. Some of those documents include a Parking Easement Agreement, Master Parking Agreement, Office Parking Easement Agreement and other various inter-local agreements. A portion of funding for this project is based on tax increment financing (TIF). TIF is a public financing tool widely used by local governments and municipalities to promote economic development and redevelopment. Tax increment dollars are property tax dollars received above and beyond an established baseline level of property taxes, typically the level of property taxes generated from the project area prior to creation of that area. The first step in developing a TIF is to establish a project, or development, area. The CDRA created the project area that is entitled to receive all or a portion of the tax increment dollars generated from the project for a specified period of time. They use those dollars to incentivize development, which typically increases property values, and also the total amount of property tax revenues generated from that area. The TIF budget for the Canyon Centre will

By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com

Salt Lake County will be loaning money toward a public parking structure within the development. (Brian Berndt/ Cottonwood Heights)

draw on property tax increments. The property tax increment will begin to be generated in the tax year following the completion of construction and be paid to the development agency in the spring after collection. Currently, the expected assessed value for the Canyon Centre is $53.6 million, based on the multiyear TIF. The budget for this TIF will have a 25year duration, beginning with the first tax increment receipt. The collection of the increment money is triggered at the discretion of the development agency for when they intend to collect money from the increment. The original plans for this project were anticipating completion of construction by 2015 at the latest. “Since we are already four years into the drafted collection period, we need to restart the trigger date,” said Councilmember Mike Shelton. Salt Lake County has agreed to help monetize the expected tax increment with a loan to the CDRA of $6 million, which will be repaid by the tax increment over 20 years. In addition, Salt Lake County granted $1.9 million to the CDRA to help with the construction of the parking facility. By monetizing the tax increments, it allows for higher taxable value development, which in turn generates more taxes than would be generated by an alternative development plan not covered by a CDA. All taxing entities that receive property tax generated within the CDA will allow a portion of the incremental property tax dollars to be used by the CDRA for purposes of developing the public amenities previously mentioned. Additional taxing entities will be contributing a percentage of their tax increment for differentiating amounts of time. Salt Lake County and the Salt Lake County Library will contribute 100 percent of their respective tax increment for 18 years. Cottonwood Heights Parks & Recreation Service Area, Central Wasatch Conservancy District and South Salt Lake Valley Mosquito Abatement District will contribute 75 percent of their respective tax increment for 25 years. The Canyons School District will contribute 100 percent of their respective tax increment over 20 years, but 30 percent of their increment will be remitted back to them each year by Cottonwood Heights City over those 20 years. “The tax increment for this project is going to benefit the public with shared use of the parking structure for public parking and a one-acre park. Various committees and agencies have found that

the need for parking near the mouths of the canyons is dire. The CDA project is one small step toward addressing the public parking shortage that now exists for those who recreate in the Canyons,” said former mayor Kelvyn Cullimore. Funding for the parking structure is being provided primarily by a $6 million loan to the CDRA and a $1.9 million grant from Salt Lake County. The $6 million loan will be repaid from tax increment. In addition the parking structure, the parking committee will be considering parking fees intended to build a fund for doing maintenance and repairs to the structure. The parking committee will be created to address concerns with the parking structure that will be used jointly by the public and the developer. It will be a five-member committee made up of one member appointed from a public entity, Cottonwood Heights City, the hotel unit and the office building and two additional members selected by the appointed members. “The county assumes most of the risk here in the event there is insufficient tax increment to repay the $6 million loan. Neither the city nor the CDRA have any obligation to make the county whole on their loan. With that said, projections show there should be ample increment to service the loan,” Park said. As for Cottonwood Heights, “Jason (Burningham, the city’s financial advisor) really feels comfortable that the structure of the CDA and associated documents shields the city from risk and liability as much as legally possible,” Park further explained. “That’s a long time to turn dirt,” Councilmember Christine Mikell said after hearing about the duration of the planning procedures. “After 10 years of legal structure, finances and negotiations, we are finally to a good point. We have attended over 100 meetings on this particular project,” developer Chris McCandless, managing member of Canyon Center Capital, LLC said. “It’s all the taxing entities. It’s a complicated project. It will be a great gathering place for the community as a whole. That’s why we stuck with it for 10 years.” For further information, the site plan is referred to as CUP-13-011 CUP-14-009 in Cottonwood Heights Development Activity Records. The Canyon Centre is mixed-use development, which means it includes commercial and residential elements. l

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

The takeover: city appoints appeals hearing officer By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com


eet Cottonwood Heights new appeals hearing officer (AHO), Paxton R. Guymon. Guymon was appointed by Cottonwood Heights City Manager John Park, with advice from city staff and consent from the the city council. As the AHO, Guymon’s duties include “hearing and deciding appeals where it is alleged that there is an error in any order, requirement, decision or determination made by an administrative official or the planning commission in the enforcement or interpretation of this title or any ordinance adopted pursuant thereto, including conditional use decisions and subdivisions or subdivision amendments.” He can also “authorize variances from the terms of this title pursuant to the procedures and standards of the city.” His role as AHO is outlined in Chapter 19.92 in the city’s Code of Ordinances. Previously, the board of adjustment acted as an appeal authority for the city. However, the Utah Legislature enacted the Municipal Land Use, Development, and Management Act (LUDMA) in 2005, “which essentially re-wrote Utah’s prior legal framework under which Utah’s cities are empowered to enact land use regulations within their respective jurisdictions,” said city attorney Shane Topham. “One change was to empower cities to use a single hearing officer as their ‘appeal authority,’ instead of a five-person board of adjustment.” “The city decided to have someone trained and experienced in law, rather than have a board of adjustment with people from different backgrounds who were not legally trained,” Guymon said. Topham explained that “proponents of the hearing officer approach believe that it ultimately is more cost effective on an overall basis than the traditional board of adjustment approach. And that the approach should allow the correct and legally defensible land use decision to be reached more efficiently; while at the same time reducing the chances of further costly appeal of the matter to district court.” The AHO of Cottonwood Heights must be a law-trained individual, and with over 20 years of experience, Guymon certainly is. Guymon began his education at the University of Utah where he graduated with an honors bachelor of arts. He became licensed as a real estate sales agent before attending and graduating from the University of Utah’s College of Law with a doctor of jurisprudence. After graduating from law school, Guymon worked as a judicial law clerk to Justice Leonard Russon on the Utah Supreme Court. He has also served in many other capacities, including chairing the Real Property Section of the Utah Bar, serving as a board member for the Utah Land Use Institute, teaching seminars for the National Business Institute on topics including real estate litigation in Utah and evictions and landlord-tenant law in Utah, co-chairing the Government Relations Committee for the Utah State Bar and speaking at conferences sponsored by the Utah Land Use Institute and the Utah Association of Realtors. Currently working as a managing partner with the law firm York Howell & Guymon, Guymon practices many areas of real estate law, including real estate litigation matters, land use and zoning, subdivisions, land acquisitions and development, real estate finance, condominiums, owners associations and a wide variety of real estate transactions. Guymon has been consistently selected as one of Utah’s Legal Elite by Utah Business magazine, a top real estate lawyer in the Mountain States Super Lawyers magazine, and named one of the top 100 lawyers in the entire mountain states region by Super Lawyers magazine. As for acting as the AHO for Cottonwood Heights, “I feel like I’m very qualified,” Guymon said. “I have a lot of experience handling this kind of work for private clients. I’ve handled all sorts of land use applications, city councils, planning commissions and matters involving appeals hearing officers in other cities.” “I like doing work for cities. I usually represent developers and property owners in law practice so this gives me a nice variation,” Guymon said. Previously, Guymon served on the city’s planning commission for six years. “I think Cottonwood Heights is a great city. I love the location, the amenities and the people. There’s a very

Paxton Guymon will serve as the new Cottonwood Heights appeals hearing officer. (Paxton Guymon/York Howell & Guymon)

talented staff that works for the city. It’s good to work with people like that.” Topham was pleased with the decision to appoint Guymon as the AHO. “I’ve known Paxton professionally for many years and worked closely with him while he served on the city’s planning commission. Based on my long experience with Paxton, I have the upmost respect for his knowledge of Utah land use law, his character and his wisdom, and think he’ll do a commendable job as a land use officer for Cottonwood Heights.” “This is my way of contributing to the city,” Guymon said. Even though he could make more money with private clients, he chooses to serve as the AHO because he likes staying involved and wants to continue to grow and learn. Even though Guymon has only been appointed for about two months, he knows his process for making a decision. “I take into account reports by city staff, application materials by property owners and my own knowledge of real estate law,” he explained. “My goal is to be as impartial, objective and professional as possible in making accurate decisions that are supported by the law,” Guymon said. “I hope to make friends, not enemies, and earn people’s respect.” l

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Discussions around police: budgets and tweets By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com

Many residents showed up to a city council meeting to show support for the Cottonwood Heights Police Department. (Dan Metcalf/Cottonwood Heights)


any residents commented on the Cottonwood Heights Police Department (CHPD) during the city council meeting on March 27. Residents spoke on two different issues regarding the CHPD: one regarding a tweet sent out on the CHPD’s twitter page, the other regarding concerns over funds allocated to the police in the city’s budget. On Wednesday, March 14, many Brighton High School students supported the national walkout movement by standing in silence for 17 minutes to remember the lives of the 17 students killed at the Parkland school shooting. That same morning, the CHPD sent out a tweet that read, “Brighton High student protest @ 10:00. Many students used the opportunity to go to 7-Eleven.” Many of the Brighton High School students who organized and supported the walkout came to voice their concerns to the city council. “The tweet felt demeaning,” said student Meg Flynn. “I’m one of the student organizers for the walkout. It took a lot of work to create and to get all the students involved.” “This was a mourning service. It was a beautiful event,” said student Nive Lakey. “The teachers did make it clear that it was not an opportunity to cut class.” “I seriously doubt the claim many students went to 7-Eleven,” student Isaac Reese said. “The CHPD has indicated that their account was not monitored and they are incapable of using social media. A change would be good for the community and the department.” “I wish that the CHPD would show more support for students who are trying to show support to those who have died from gun violence,” said student Dylan Gleeson. “We are part of the system. We are taking time to be part of the community,” Reese said.

Page 8 | May 2018

During the beginning of the council meeting, Police Chief Robby Russo made a public statement. “That tweet was sent out by me. It was a matter of fact statement. Some perceived it to be disrespectful and that was not the intent. I applaud the protest and personally support the concept. There is no room for violence in our schools. As officers, we have dealt with children who have died by gun violence. We had to hold them in our arms. We had to go and tell the parents that their child was dead. That never leaves us.” Resident Anna McNammer addressed Russo’s statement. “A public apology here means nothing when our whole community is watching Facebook.” Councilmember Christine Mikell asked the students for suggestions on how the city council could show them support. “Reach out to us and involve us. We applaud you and are supportive of your comments,” Mikell said. The students returned the following week, April 3, to discuss such suggestions with the council. “We got together to discuss what we are looking for,” Reese said. “We suggest having social media run by one person who is trained in that, so there is never a miscommunication.” “I propose a policy regarding tweets. Is it informative, factually true, and does it avoid subject inferences? If a tweet goes out, and we feel like it goes too far, we issue an apology,” said Councilmember Tali Bruce. “We would like to be sensitive in our communication,” Mayor Mike Peterson said. “One thing I have learned is: I can’t tell someone how they feel. We have some priorities for communication among media channels, and how to deal with that internally.” “We applaud you for being as active as you are,”

Peterson told the students. “We want the students at Brighton to feel comfortable to contact us. Any one of us would take a personal call. If it’s a question, need for help, reach out to us, whatever it might be.” Many residents attended the same city council meeting on March 27 to talk in favor of the CHPD. Over the past few months, the Cottonwood Heights City Council has been reviewing budget priorities during budget retreat meetings. During one of those meetings, a question was brought up about contracting with a different police service instead of continuing to allocate money for CHPD. “I moved to Cottonwood Heights in 1975,” said resident Jon Ferrin. “The CHPD cares about the community in a positive way. I see them at public events and mingling with the community. Crime is being broken up here. I would hate to see the level of community support and involvement diminished in any way by outsourcing to any agency and reducing the number of officers. Please don’t change it.” Susan Holton told the council about her experience living within city boundaries for 35 years. Before Cottonwood Heights was incorporated, the police service was under the Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake (UPD). It took a UPD officer three hours to respond to her call. Under CHPD, there were three officers on her street within five minutes of her call. “I am incredibly grateful for our police department,” Holton said. “Budget does not go over safety.” “I’ve been a resident for 21 years,” said Greg Westin. “Ten years ago, when I had someone break in, the sheriff’s department called me with a case number. When I had my car broken into recently, the CHPD officer called me six times to follow up. I wouldn’t sacrifice services for the dollar.” Resident Kaylee Ronier expressed her gratitude for CHPD as well. “The officers have responded so many times in the last year,” she said in regards to her son who has special needs. “The officers have saved my son from getting hurt, or worse. Response times mean so much to our family.” “Safety is the number one priority,” said resident Sheila Jennings. “You get what you pay for. I remember when Cottonwood Heights had long response times because the officers would be in Herriman and Magna. It was a bigger problem than it should have been. Russo takes great care in the funding he is given. He built this department into what it is today.” Ian Adams, executive director of the Utah State Fraternal Order of Police, also addressed the council representing the largest police organization in the state. “You have above average officers in Cottonwood Heights. This is the most wanted post for experienced officers. This department is the only one who isn’t suffering from an officer shortage. Their success comes partly from the support of the city council. So morale takes a serious blow when the council talks about the cost without a discussion about the level of service and sacrifices the officers have made. Fiscal responsibility requires good value in officers. They make sacrifices that occur every single day. Four or five officers won’t be home tonight to keep you safe. They don’t do it to receive public admiration. These officers put citizens first, so put those officers first.” l

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Brighton High Model UN students compete at national assembly for 20th straight year By Julie Slama | Julie@mycityjournals.com

Inside the United Nations in New York City, Brighton High Model UN passed several resolutions at the national assembly. (Jim Hodges/Brighton High)


or 20 straight years, Brighton High Model United Nations students have taken part in the National High School Model UN assembly, where more than 5,000 students from 75 countries participate in the world’s largest high school conference. “It’s an international, invitation-only event where students have the opportunity to go into the real United Nations to compete,” said coach Jim Hodges, who received a 20-year lapel pin during the New York trip in early March. “The competition is fierce.” Brighton, which has won 18 of the past 19 state titles, is the only Utah high school to compete. Hodges said that many of the students who compete are from prep or elite schools worldwide. “We were assigned Australia, but Brighton students would do well with any country. We passed a lot of resolutions our students wrote,” he said. Model UN is an educational extra-curricular activity for students to role-play as delegates to the UN to simulate committees where they learn about diplomacy, international relations and the United Nations. Through Model UN, students learn diplomatic skills, public speaking, teamwork, writing, research and become more concerned citizens, Hodges said. Before students compete, they research their assigned country’s positions in human rights, the environment, economics, UNICEF, women’s voices, disarmament, children’s issues and more, he said. Then, through 15-page papers on the topic, the students create their stand. “Before we go, the papers are submitted and they have the research and knowledge to push a resolution,” he said. “It’s not debate, but it’s working together to find a compromise and resolution.” While in New York, not only did the

CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com

students compete and tour the United Nations, where they listened to a UN diplomat speak about disarmament and world peace in the General Assembly chamber, they were able to take in the musical, “Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway, attend the opera, “La Boheme” at the Lincoln Center, listen to jazz at a jazz club, see the Statue of Liberty and get in other sightseeing in the midst of a nor’easter storm. Principal Tom Sherwood joined the students for the national competition for the first time. “It was a very eye-opening experience to see Brighton High students discussing foreign policy issues with other students from around the world,” he said. “The time and effort that was dedicated to the endeavor as well as the expertise exhibited by the Brighton High delegation was impressive. They represented our state and our school very well.” Brighton’s Model UN program started under David Chavez in the school’s first year. John McMorris coached the team after Chavez prior to Hodges. “It was a well-established program and the students know what to do,” Hodges said about his 80-member team that was slated to compete for the state title April 17 at the University of Utah. “We work as a team. Many of the students have interest in pursuing a career in international relations.” Hodges said that many former students have become professors, teachers, lawyers or have gone to work for the state department as well as in international relations. Some, who have become engineers or excelled in other fields, attribute their public speaking to Model UN, he said. “When kids come back after they graduate, they say the skills they learned in Model UN, apply to life,” he said. l

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Return Farnsworth statue to capitol, urges former Ridgecrest principal By Julie Slama | Julie@mycityjournals.com


artha Hughes Cannon hasn’t even made it to a mold let alone made it to Washington, D.C., and there already is a cry to return the current statue of Philo Farnsworth, which will grace the U.S. Capitol’s visitor center until 2020. After the Utah senate approved with a 21-7 vote this legislative session, Gov. Gary Herbert signed his approval to send a statue of Cannon — the nation’s first female state senator — to the U.S. Capitol, replacing the statue of National Inventors Hallof-Famer Philo Farnsworth, who is known as the “father of television” for his discovery of the basic cathode ray tube. “We understand they want to send the statue of Martha Hughes Cannon to commemorate the 19th amendment and mark 150 years since Utah women were the first to vote, but I don’t think the legislators realize what all Farnsworth did not only for our state, but for the nation and the world,” said Treva Barnson, who has become the voice for the former Ridgecrest Elementary principal and her husband, Bruce, who now has limited ability to speak. “We’re hoping that the Farnsworth statue will be placed in the Smithsonian and that in 10 years, he can rotate back in the capitol.” Bruce Barnson, who nodded to his wife’s remarks, isn’t just playing favorites. Bruce was not only on the committee that spearheaded Farnsworth’s statue to be made for the U.S. capitol — with secondary statues in the Utah capitol and in his hometown of Beaver — but he is also familiar with Cannon, since he served on the committee for the Utah capitol sculptures of her and Brigham Young. “If you’re going to remove a statue from the U.S. capitol, take Brigham Young down. He’s been there since 1950,” Treva said. “Farnsworth was a scientist and inventor who inspires so many students.” State representative Marie Poulson, who represents the Cottonwood Heights area, said there was talk “somewhat about replacing Brigham Young, but it didn’t go anywhere.” Poulson said the statues in the capitol aren’t permanent fixtures, but states are allowed to change them after a minimum 10year period. It just hadn’t been well known until California’s recent decision to replace its statue in the capitol with one of former President Ronald Reagan. She also said there was a group of school children who urged state leaders for the change. Five Westville Elementary girls from Utah County who lobbied for the change were even thanked at a March 27 Women’s History Month ceremony by Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams. “This is a proud moment in our state and you must be so proud to be a part of it,” he said. McAdams publicly thanked Salt Lake County Recorder Adam Gardiner, who had first introduced the bill last legislative session as a state representative. “It was a great process for these girls to become advocates in this process,” he said, but also said that the girls’ effort was independent from his own. Gardiner said as an intern for U.S. Representative Rob Bishop, he learned the history of Philo Farnsworth, but he also discovered Bishop preferred Cannon to Farnsworth. “The more I learned about her, the more I became fascinated with her life and knew her movement should be represented. Eight years later, I was in our state legislature and I knew I could do something about it,” he said. Cannon was a polygamous wife, physician, women’s rights advocate and suffragist, and became Utah’s first woman senator when she defeated her husband for the same seat. She also was a founding member of Utah’s first state board of health. When Gardiner first introduced the bill, he said there was “a lot of uproar. I got more phone calls, hate mail, some love mail, on this bill more than any other.”

Page 10 | May 2018

But he pursued the push for “the new generation of girls and kids who need representation. People don’t connect with Farnsworth, but with Martha, she represents every fraction — women, democrats, state’s rights. I hope they look at Martha and realize she is a great symbol and that she can stay a little longer than 10 years.” When Gardiner left to become county recorder, Senator Todd Weiler saw the bill through passage. Gardiner, who is “happy to see it happen,” said that House Bill 444 will appoint a committee to decide who will sculpt the new Cannon statue, plan a ceremony and where to put the current Farnsworth statue. In addition to the rally to keep it in Washington, D.C., Beaver, Lehi — “Utah’s Silicon Valley” — and Rigby, Idaho, — where Farnsworth attended high school — all have expressed interest. While Treva Barnson said she’s happy new school children expressed their voice, she also points out it doesn’t match the “sweat and blood” the work started by Ridgecrest students and spread across the state in the last 1980s. In a letter Bruce Barnson sent to each state representative and senator in January, he points out that after his fourth-grade students heard U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch say that Utah only has one statue in the capitol, his fourth-grade students took action. They scoured their Utah history book compiling a list of every prominent name mentioned. Then, the list was sent to every fourth-grade class across the state, asking for those students to vote. “Martha was not among those names on the list,” Bruce Barnson said. They also polled people face-to-face in their communities, Treva Barnson said. “The students researched and had people in the malls fill out questionnaires,” she said, adding that Farnsworth still prevailed. At the legislature, Bruce Barnson took his advanced fifthand sixth-grade students “to give them a challenge and let them learn how to advocate,” Treva Barnson said, adding that previously his students had advocated for laws to make the honeybee the state insect, to require child restraint seats and to prohibit a nuclear waste dump in or near a state park. It took two legislative sessions for Farnsworth to be approved in1987 and three more years to fundraise $250,000 for the statue. “Not a penny came from the state. The kids did a jillion things to raise money and local businesses came in with generous donations. After we had exhausted about every way possible, former Gov. (Scott) Matheson came through with his connections to help finish the financing,” she said. Thirty-five sculptors were considered before the committee reviewed five wax figurines, including the one that was finally commissioned by James Avarti, who used a descendent of Farnsworth’s grandfather as his model. Bruce Barnson, who has a smaller version on his coffee table, also said that the top Sterling Scholars have received a miniaturized. A statue was given to Ridgecrest Elementary as well, which sat in the foyer when he was principal. “I’m not sure those politicians did their homework and realize what they’ve done,” Treva Barnson said. “We had former students call asking what they could do. Some are even out-of-state and are lawyers. We asked they write the legislature.” Former student Elizabeth Jensen was one of the former students who, after the former Jordan School District said no to sponsoring a school trip to Washington, D.C., joined the new start-up Ridgecrest Elementary Community Choir to sing at both the U.S. Capitol and Utah Capitol’s unveiling of the statue. “To be a fifth-grader and be able to go be part of the unveiling of the statue our school worked so hard for is something that all of us will remember,” Jensen said. “We learned the valuable lesson that Bruce taught us — we could make a difference and our

The statue of Philo Farnsworth in the U.S. capitol in Washington, D.C. sits in the visitor’s center lobby where docents tell how Ridgecrest Elementary students advocated for his statue. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

voices could be heard.” Much of the early paperwork of surveys, notes, committee minutes, letters and photos are in two binders, with the latter one residing with Barnson, along with a medal Avarti created to fundraise and a bound book highlighting the program and the story of the Ridgecrest students’ efforts. Jensen, who has shared the story with her own daughters including that of meeting Farnsworth’s wife, “Pem,” also has a copy of the book, as do 10 school libraries in the current Canyons School District. “I remember we sang two songs written especially for the program and I remember standing on the risers when the blanket over his statue finally came off. The crowd went quiet. It was a memorable moment,” she said. Ridgecrest Elementary’s story is captured by docents at the capitol, who have told the Barnsons that it is a favorite statue of tour guides as well as many visitors, who learn the story behind his statue. “Farnsworth has done so much more. He has 160 patents including inventing the baby incubator, radar, infrared night vision lights used during World War II for surveillance, the gastroscope to detect ulcers and he was working on cold fusion and the technology that would become our cell phone when he died. Jake Garn recognized that and took his dissector tube when he went into space. Martha (Hughes Cannon) was elected first state senator and Utah has honored her with a statue here in our state,” Treva Barnson said. “Farnsworth is a big deal to the world. We need to bring him back to his place of honor.” l

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Cottonwood High students learn what it takes to make it in the music world By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com Through a 90-minute Disney workshop with a veteran saxophonist, Sal Lozano, Cottonwood High instrumentalists learned what level of musicians they would need to be to perform professionally. “He worked with the students and had them sight-read a piece of Disney music — and record it,” Cottonwood director Amber Tuckness said. “He’s a LA saxophonist and told them how he gets a call, sometimes he doesn’t even know who for, goes in to play and they’ll record him right then and there. It taught the students how good they would have to be in able to make it in the music world.” This was part of the 170-student Cottonwood High music tour, one that focused on improving their skills rather than competing, Tuckness said. “The students had a chance to play music that was dubbed into a movie and record in a real studio,” she said about their experience in backstage Disney in mid-March. “Only three students had experience in a recording session before this, so it was new to most of the group. It really opened their eyes as several now want to do this.” The instrumentalists performed pieces from “Tangled,” “Nightmare Before Christmas,” “The Incredibles,” the opening theme music from Marvel and the title sequence music of Disney movies. Amongst the songs the choir performed were the “Muppet Show Theme” and “Circle of Life” from “The Lion King.” While in the Los Angeles area, students also spent six hours with two professionals at Chapman University, who gave the students “great insight,” Tuckness said. “They were able to let the students see their music so they can perform it at a level they’re capable of,” Tuckness said. “This

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has been a perfect scenario as we weren’t ready to perform three full pieces for a competition before this and it helped us get ready and have insight to play at a higher level for our festivals this spring.” That became apparent at region jazz band, where the students scored all 1s, or superior marks, and followed it up at state competition with an overall superior rating after their return to Utah. At the region band festival, the students also received all 1s and were preparing for state as of press deadline. The orchestra also was representing a different house. scheduled to compete in late Cottonwood High music students take in Harry Potter World after a Disney workshop. (Amber Tuckness/Cottonwood April. High) The Madrigals received Prior to the trip, students completed a survey that included excellent ratings at their region competition and the concert choir competition was scheduled for April. In addition, 27 questions about their favorite Disney character to Harry Potter. “We put these together in a book along with some games students were to compete in solos or ensembles at state April 28, so they got to know their classmates, chaperones, directors and Tuckness said. The California tour also included time for th students everyone better and become better friends,” Tuckness said. “At to enjoy Disneyland, eat at a medieval dinner theater, attend first when we announced the tour, the kids were disappointed we the Hollywood Pantages Theatre for the Broadway show of weren’t going to go compete at a festival, but I didn’t hear one “Aladdin” where they talked to musicians in the pit, and tour complaint after we returned home. They realized they had some Universal Studios’ Harry Potter World, where they wore their once-in-a-lifetime experiences.”l Harry Potter shirts, with each area of the performing arts

May 2018 | Page 11

World-Class Eye Care in Utah at the Moran Eye Center


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When it comes to vision care—from eye exams to complex diagnoses and surgeries— Utahns have a distinct advantage. The John A. Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah is one of the country’s leading eye care facilities, serving patients at its campus location and 10 satellite clinics. Moran is home to more than 50 physicians who provide comprehensive care in nearly all vision care subspecialties. The exceptional care they provide ranks among the nation’s best: a 2017 Ophthalmology Times survey of top ophthalmologists ranked Moran’s clinical care at No. 10 in the nation. Ophthalmic specialists and optometrists see patients at all Moran locations, but the Midvalley Health Center—just north of Fashion Place Mall—is our headquarters for LASIK/PRK vision-correcting procedures by top surgeons

who operate in a spacious, easily accessible suite with the latest technologies. Patients may request free screenings and consultations to learn more about these procedures and to find out which option best suits their needs. As the largest clinical care and research facility between Michigan and California, Moran is also a major referral center. To fulfill the growing need for specialty vision care in the Intermountain West, Moran has added several new physicians. Most recently, Douglas Marx, MD, joined Moran to provide pediatric oculoplastic care related to cancer and other eye socket and eyelid abnormalities, including reconstructive surgery and congenital defects. In addition, Moran has more than doubled the size of its pediatric clinic and opened a fourth surgical suite and state-of-the-art pharmacy. Cataract surgery to replace the eye’s


natural clouded lens is one of the safest and most common operations in the U.S. today. Moran offers a variety of proven surgical and lens options that help eliminate the need for eye glasses after surgery. These options can enhance driving, reading, or both—including the ability to correct irregular vision due to astigmatism. l

Moran Eye Center by the Numbers Moran employs over 500 people and conducts more than 142,000 patient visits and 7,000 surgeries annually. Its 15 research labs are working to translate discoveries into new treatments.

giving back Guided by the belief that “no person facing a blinding disease or visual impairment should be without hope, understanding, or treatment,” Moran’s Global Outreach Division works to eliminate curable blindness by sustainably expanding access to eye care in developing countries around the globe. In Utah, the division provides charitable care to thousands in need through twice-yearly free surgery days and regular trips to the remote Navajo Nation.

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Comcast Cares

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


t was 6:20am on Saturday, April 21 and I was steaming my Kelly green Comcast Cares Day t-shirt. It was my first “Cares Day” (as it’s known to Comcasters), and I wanted to feel ready. I had been the External Affairs Director in Utah for just over a month. My shirt was not the only thing that was green. I may have been the newbie, but Comcast Cares Day isn’t new; it’s 17 years old, and this year we reached a significant milestone: one million volunteers. In my short time here, I’ve come to understand that Cares Day isn’t just something that Comcast does; Comcast Cares Day is a huge part of who we are. As a global media and technology company, Comcast is known for providing best-in-class cable and internet—just ask anyone with X1 who speaks to their remote. But in reality, we do something far more significant. Comcast is in the business of connecting people—to one another, to the larger world, and to their community. My family and I moved to Salt Lake from Brooklyn six years ago. We love it here—the outdoors, the ever-increasing slate of arts and culture offerings, and the ingrained sense of service. Even so, I can honestly say that I’ve never felt more connected to my community than I did Last Saturday on Cares Day. I sprayed windows and pulled weeds at The Road Home’s Palmer Court with a group of students from the U. I saw STEM workshop student’s wide smiles as they watched their ideas

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take shape in the 3D printer at Northwest Middle School. I sorted through cardboard boxes of clothes and toys in the basement loading dock of the YWCA with a group of nurses from Huntsman Cancer Institute. We were all moved when Sally Hannon, Development Coordinator at the Y, thanked us, saying, “I can’t believe all you’ve done. I’ve never seen this part of the floor before.” I am proud to work at Comcast. In my new role, I will be focused on external relations strategies, including community impact work—like Cares Day—as well as communications and local government affairs. But the way I see it, I’m just the newest member of a super high-performing team, who have put an unbelievable amount of effort into the planning and execution of Comcast Cares Day. For them, this day is about people. It’s about supporting our project leads and partners; it is about delivering volunteers, students, and our nonprofit and school partners a seamless and meaningful experience; it is about making visible and lasting change to organizations and lives. And it is a little

bit about hoping for good weather. Lucky for us, both sun and spirits shined brightly in Utah this Comcast Cares Day. l

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Brighton baseball has sights set on playoffs


t first glance, watching a prep baseball team start the season 5-0 might not look like a monumental accomplishment. But for the Brighton Bengals, 2018 started off better than any season in nearly two decades. Brighton won its first five games this season, giving the team its best start since the 1990s. Entering region play on April 10, the Bengals were 7-2, with both losses coming in the prestigious IMG National Classic in Florida. Head coach Andy Concepcion said there’s a lot of positivity and excitement with Brighton baseball right now. “It’s been a good feeling around our program,” he said of the fast start. “The keys have been changing the culture here at Brighton as well as the addition of new players and coaching staff.” One of those coaches is assistant Joey Cunha, who played for Concepcion in Las Vegas. Concepcion also invited former Brighton student-athlete Jason Turley to speak to the team before the season began. He said Turley’s words inspired the players. “[Cunha] brings a wealth of knowledge and energy that is second to none,” he said. “We also were very fortunate to have [Turley]. His talk was very real and strong mentally. The players have carried it with them through the season.” When the Bengals traveled to Florida April 3–6, they saw some of the top prep players and teams in the U.S. Concepcion said the pitching was exceptional, and several college and pro scouts were at the games. “IMG runs a great tournament,” he said. “It was first class all the way through. Florida was a great experience for our program. We had the opportunity to play against some of the best high school players in the country. It was great team bonding, and we believe this will get us ready for region play. We definitely will

CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com

By Josh McFadden | josh@mycityjournals.com be back next year.” Brighton went 2-3 at the tournament, defeating Archbishop Hoban (Ohio) 8-7 and Boardman High School 4-3. The Bengals fell to River Ridge (Georgia) 8-0, to Maranatha (California) 4-0 and to Notre Dame Academy 7-5. Brennan Holligan and Alex Hansen were named to the All-Tournament Team. When the Bengals returned home, they opened up Region 7 play with a 3-2 loss at home against Alta. However, Brighton bounced back and won the next two to bring their region record to 2-1 and their overall mark to 9-4. The Bengals defeated the Hawks 3-0 on April 11, getting all three runs in the eighth inning. Hansen got the win on the mound and hit a triple. On April 13, Brighton beat Alta on the road 6-3. Alex Clifford and Thomas Powley hit home runs, and Hansen hit another triple. Concepcion said Hansen, Clifford, Holligan, Julian Greenwood and Brennan Potter have been the biggest standouts on the team. He’s looking for others to emerge as well, and if this happens, he said good things are in store for the squad. “We feel very strongly about contending for region,” Concepcion said. “We need to continue to the little things to win us ballgames. We need to stay consistent with our approach. The main thing is to believe and do the small things.” Concepcion said not many observers were talking much about Brighton at the beginning of the season. The lack of attention has fueled the players’ desire to win. The Bengals more than doubled last year’s win total by the second week of April. “Many so-called experts wrote us off before the season begin, so our players have a chip on their shoulders,” he said. Brighton finishes its regular season May 9 at Jordan. If the Bengals finish in the top four of the six-team region, they will reach the state tournament for the first time since 2014. l

Brighton’s Alex Hansen (left) and Brennan Holligan were named to the All-Tournament Team at the renowned IMG National Classic in Florida at the beginning of April. Their efforts have helped Brighton to its best start in years.

May 2018 | Page 13

Attitude is everything: Brighton boys tennis has right mindset By Josh McFadden | josh@mycityjournals.com

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The Brighton boys tennis team has drawn praise from its coach and even from opponents for the way the players perform and act on the court. (Photo/Faith Diment)


n any form of competition, winning is important. After all, who would invest the time and effort into a contest if there wasn’t a final result to shoot for? Brighton High School boys tennis coach Natalie Meyer understands this, and she pushes her players to succeed. But she also knows there are other important facets of the game. The Bengals began region competition with a 3-0 record. Meyer is pleased with the standings and the scoreboard, but she’s always happy with the way the boys are carrying themselves. “My team is off to a great season,” she said. “My boys have played their matches with heart and great sportsmanship. I have had several players from other teams say that my boys are nice to them on the court. I love that! They love tennis and have awesome team spirit.” Brighton has what many coaches would consider the ideal combination of experienced seniors and up-and-coming underclassmen. A sophomore, Redd Owen, represents the team at the first singles spot. Derek Turley, a senior, was a starter on last year’s varsity squad. Meyer points out other players such as Parker Watts, a

junior; Mitch Smith, a sophomore; Blair Glade, a senior; Jared Hunt, a senior; and Justin Allen, a junior, as players who “have been working hard since last year to move into varsity positions this year.” Not only have the players improved their skills through hard work and practice, but Meyer is impressed with their commitment and mindset as the difficult region schedule heats up and heads toward the postseason. “My players have outstanding attitudes,” she said. “They have great respect for all the coaches, other players and each other. They come to practice every day ready to learn and give their all. They even stay after practice to work on additional skills and come to optional practices on Saturday mornings. They support each other and are dedicated to becoming the best. The rest of the season presents some challenges against some tough opponents, but the Brighton boys tennis team will be ready to give their best. I love Brighton tennis and am grateful for the opportunity that I have to coach this team.” While many coaches might deem the success of a season on whether their team wins

a specific number of games or how far the team advances in the postseason, Meyer looks for other things. She and her players have their sights set on the postseason, but she’s looking farther down the road than this season. “As far as obtaining a region or state title, we need to continue winning our region matches and qualify for state through the region tournament,” she said. “Our season will be a success if each player continues to improve, learn, have fun and learn skills that they can use for a lifetime.” Meyer gives credit to her assistants Jason Newell, Rich Watts and Brandon Owen. She also relies on the leadership of team captains Tyler Daynes, Parker Larson and Glade. As the season winds down, Meyer identifies a few keys in qualifying as many players as possible for state. “We need hard work, correct positioning, mental toughness, team spirit and a positive attitude,” she said. The Class 5A state tournament will be May 18–19 at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City. l

saltlakememorycare.com Page 14 | May 2018

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Bengals looking for more wins in region boys soccer action By Josh McFadden | josh@mycityjournals.com


shoot-out in the game of soccer can be one of the most heart-stopping, exciting moments in sports. Of course, in the high school ranks, this isn’t part of the game until the postseason, which is one of the reasons the Brighton boys team has so many ties. In its six non-region games, Brighton had a pair of wins and a loss to go with three ties. Add in a Brighton tie against Corner Canyon on April 13 in the second game of its Region 7 schedule, and the team had more draws up to that point in the season than all but one school in the entire state. Still, following their 4-2 victory over Timpview on April 17, the Bengals still had just one loss on the season and began 2-0-1 in region standings. In that victory, Brighton scored all of its goals in the first half while building a commanding four-goal lead. Cameron Neely, Jake Babcock, Kaleo Dutro-Raymond and Traedon Chamberlain each scored. Brighton has averaged just shy of two goals a game this season. The team has enjoyed balanced scoring, as 10 players had registered goals in the first nine contests. During that time frame, senior David Brog was leading the way with four goals. He scored against Snow Canyon, Jordan, Provo and Corner Canyon. Fellow senior Chamberlain was second on the team in goals scored (three) following the April 17 win over Corner Canyon. Meanwhile, defensively, Brighton has been solid. Senior goalkeeper Thomas Jensen and junior goalie Harrison Nuttall have combined to

each pitch a shutout during the first nine games. The Bengals’ defense also limited three other opponents to a single goal. Last season, Brighton finished third in a highly competitive Region 3 of Class 5A and lost in the first round of the state tournament. Brighton stayed in 5A this season but moved to Region 7, as the Utah High School Activities Association created Class 6A and made major region realignments. This season, instead of facing Bingham, Copper Hills, West Jordan and Taylorsville, the Bengals are contending for region supremacy with Corner Canyon, Alta and Timpview. Cottonwood and Jordan, which were with Brighton in Region 3 last season, have joined the Bengals in the new-look region. In order to reach the postseason, the Bengals must finish in the top four of the sixteam league. Brighton has been a playoff fixture in boys soccer over the years. Though the program has suffered first-rounds exits the past two seasons, Brighton reached the 5A state title game in 2015. The Bengals won its last championship in 2009, which was the second of back-to-back titles for the team. The Bengals will face each region foe twice this season. They’ll conclude the regular season May 11 at home against Alta. If Brighton qualifies for the state tournament, as always, it will either host or play a road game when the tournament gets underway May 16. Brighton will secure a home game in the first round if its finishes first or second in region. l

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Page 16 | May 2018

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

New staff excited to take reins of Brighton track team By Josh McFadden | josh@mycityjournals.com


t doesn’t matter what sport or what level of competition you’re talking about — stepping into the role of a new coach isn’t easy. Still, Brighton track and field coach Kirk Merhish is pleased with the effort and mindset his athletes have displayed so far this season. Merhish took over the program this season, though he is no stranger to work with high school students in different forms of athletics. In track and field, like other sports, team success comes largely from the number of participants. Smaller teams can struggle to be competitive because the more athletes you have, the better chance you have of scoring team points and qualifying multiple team members for postseason meets. Though he acknowledges the team has some work to do in some events, such as the 4x100 relay, he is optimistic about some of the hurdlers on the girls team. “As a first-year coach, I am excited

about the number of kids we have out participating on both the boys and girls teams,” he said. “We have several female young hurdlers who I believe will develop into state contenders in a matter of time.” A few other standouts for the Bengals include Jaeger Bostwick, who has medalled in two invitationals this season. Merhish called him an “exceptional” long-jumper. Laura Lundahl leads the girls team. She’s a state contender in the 400 and 800 dash. She has already qualified for state in the 400 with a time of 59.37 seconds. Merhish doesn’t have any complex goals for his team. He and his assistants simply want to have a good presence at the state meet. “We want to get as many students as possible to state and to give them opportunities,” he said. Not only does Merhish see talent and increasing numbers on his squad, but he’s also impressed with the athletes’ attitudes and efforts. Some team members

spend time in the winter getting ready for the season. “The staff is enjoying the work ethic of this year’s team,” he said. “We have numerous athletes who spent months in the winter training with boys coach Knute Rockne.” Region 7 features some deep and skilled teams. Corner Canyon is strong in distance events, and Jordan, Alta, Timpview and Cottonwood also pose challenges. Merhish believes the Bengals can contend with these other squads, especially if the boys and girls can score points in multiple events. He’s eager to see what his athletes can do in the discus, where promising sophomore Riley Ballard continues to open coaches’ eyes with his improvement. Once the regular season comes to a close, Brighton will compete in the Region 7 meet. The Class 5A meet will be held May 17–18 at Brigham Young University. l

Brighton softball looking to turn things around in region play By Josh McFadden | josh@mycityjournals.com


n the lengthy softball season, a team can rebound from a challenging start and still make noise in the postseason. That’s what the Brighton Bengals are aiming for. As of April 18, the Bengals were 3-9 overall but an even 2-2 in Region 7 standings. The team must finish in at least fourth place out of six teams in league play to return the state tournament, a place it hasn’t been since 2013. Last season, Brighton narrowly missed a chance to reach the playoffs, but it fell in a region play-in game after finishing in a tie for the final spot in Region 3. The 2018 campaign has been an upand-down one for the Bengals. Brighton started the season off with five losses, four of which came in the March Warm-up Elite Tournament in St. George in early March. Even in defeat, Brighton showed some life offensively in the tournament, scoring 13 runs against

American Fork and nine against Mountain Crest. The Bengals had to wait until its sixth game on March 13 to pick up their first victory, but they did so in emphatic fashion. Brighton clobbered Skyline in a score that more resembled that of a football game: 20-0. The game only went four innings because the Bengals turned it into a rout so quickly. In the fourth inning alone, Brighton scored 12 runs. A week later, Brighton kept up the offensive fireworks in a run-filled 16-13 victory over Alta in the Region 7 opener. Brighton scored seven runs in the third inning and then again in the sixth. It held off a late Alta rally to get off to a good start in region action. The Bengals’ other league victory during its first 12 games came against Timpview on March 22. Brighton was once again prolific from the plate, but this time, it tightened up the defense in a 14-5

win. Aleya Stotesbery hit a home run in the big victory, while teammates Margaret Corcoran and Brynlee Diggs added doubles. The Bengals were up just 8-5 in the bottom of the sixth but then amassed six runs in the inning to pull away. Brighton was off to a 2-0 start in the region standings before falling to Cottonwood on March 27, 8-2, and to Corner Canyon on March 29, 9-4. The erratic weather has made things difficult on Brighton and other local softball games. Brighton will face each league foe twice before playing its last region game May 3 at Jordan. The team has scheduled a pair of non-region games to finish the regular season: May 8 at former Region 3 rival West Jordan and May 11 at Granger. The Class 5A state softball tournament is set to begin May 15 at the home sites of higher-seeded teams. The later rounds will be held at the Valley Complex in Taylorsville on May 22–24. l

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May is a month of celebration for my family. There’s my birthday, my dad’s birthday, my friend’s birthday, my parent’s anniversary, and, of course, Mother’s day. I love celebrating other people’s birthdays and take time to find the best gift to surprise them. You know who doesn’t like celebrating birthdays? My wallet. During the past few years of extravagantly celebrating birthdays, I’ve picked up a few tricks to make my wallet happier. Let’s start with online shopping. I always shop online: it’s easier to find that perfect personalized gift in cyberspace than it is at the local shopping mart. I’ll usually start (I’ll admit it) with some social media stalking. I’ll go through the birthday person’s feed and see if there’s anything they have been really into recently, or there might even be a post explicitly telling friends what to get them for their birthday. Once I have a good idea of what to get the birthday person, or at least what theme to go with, I’ll start searching. If the birthday person made it easy on me and posted a wish list, I’ll start comparing prices online. Usually, the same item can be bought for cheaper on specific websites, or provide free shipping. I use Google Chrome as my browser so I use an extension that will compare prices for me. If I’m looking at an item on a website, the extension might automatically find the same item cheaper somewhere else. If it does, a small pop up will appear in the corner of my

screen telling me it found a better deal. There are all kinds of coupon and price comparison extensions to download on Chrome. They’re amazing. I never check-out online without a coupon. I subscribe to a handful of list serves that will send me sales and coupons. I’m always thinking ahead when I receive those emails. If I see a crazy discount on an item I think one of my friends will love, I purchase it then and wait until their birthday, or Christmas, whichever one comes first. Additionally, I always search for coupon codes. If you Google “store name” coupon codes, you’ll get hit with a bunch of websites providing coupon codes. I use Retail Me Not and Deals Cove, just to name a few. My last tip for online shopping is to leave items

sitting in the cart. If you have an email linked to the site you are shopping on, you’ll usually get an email reminding you that an item is in your cart (as if you had forgotten). The site will usually send a 10-20 percent coupon code to inspire you finish the transaction. This requires patience though, since these emails usually won’t show up in an inbox for a day or two. If you don’t want to go online shopping, personalized gifts are always great options. I love making personalized cakes for my birthday people. They’re fun, tasty, and generally inexpensive. You can buy baking supplies in large quantities and use them for many different occasions. I use the same tactic for party supplies as well. I love to surprise my birthday people by decorating their car or home or workplace. I have bags full of streamers and balloons that I buy in quantity. Lastly, if you’re not like me but like many of my friends, you can opt out of receiving gifts on your birthday altogether. Instead, request the money that would be spent on your gift to go towards a donation. Facebook has a specific invite for this: you can invite your friends to donate your birthday gift money to a charitable cause. I have been invited to donate to The Humane Society, the Alzheimer’s Association, Cancer Societies, the World Wildlife Fund, etc. There are hundreds of nonprofits to choose from which this social media platform has listed. l


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Utah Solar Company Broadens the Purpose of Renewable Energy Abroad A Ugandan child sits in his room, craning his neck upward and fixing his eyes upon the inextinguishable light radiating from the lightbulb atop his desk, revealing a gaze as emboldened as it is impassioned by the mind behind it. “I feel like I’m looking up into heaven,” he remarks. He knows he’s inside his room with a roof above his head, but no longer feels he is inside anything. His experience is now shared by many other children and families in Uganda, and Go Solar International is the company behind it. Keven Jensen, 55, and Scott Cramer, 32, are co-owners of Go Solar Group, a company whose story began in 2009 as a non-profit focused on solar initiatives in Zambia and Uganda before splitting the company into two different businesses: One for residential solar in Utah and one to maintain Jensen and Cramer’s founding vision of energy independence and educational opportunity abroad. To date, Go Solar International has provided 4,417,345 hours of extra child study time to Ugandan children. Go Solar International’s founding purpose ranks among the most unique and practical applications of solar power. For every home solar installation completed in Utah, the equivalent is contributed in Ugandan shillings for a home solar system via Go Solar International, which equates to enormous impact for what equates to only $100 USD in expenses. “That’s one example of why even a small

impact can go a long way in Uganda and other educationally underprivileged areas. In fact, $100 USD could power everything the average Ugandan home needs for quite some time. Although two separate companies, Go Solar Group and Go Solar International have the same objective, each delivering the impact in separate locations. Below are Go Solar International’s impact statistics since 2015. Go Solar International’s Major Impact Statistics in Uganda Since 2015 In addition to the millions of extra hours provided in study time for Ugandan children, Go Solar International has also secured the following benefits for its solar initiatives. The following statistics are based on estimated impact for the life of a single solar light. -72% of households eliminating kerosene use -2 hours of additional daylight per day per household -A reduction in particulate matter equivalent to 1,020 cigarettes -2,869 solar lights installed -17,472 lives improved through clean and bright light -$360,417 USD equivalent in Ugandan family savings -2 kerosene lamps eliminated per household -6,178 tonnes of black carbon emissions averted -2,496 households reached with solar light

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