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November 2019 | Vol. 16 Iss. 11



POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS TO SKI TRAFFIC By Joshua Wood | joshw@mycityjournals.com


deas for addressing traffic gridlock in the Cottonwood Canyons continued to wind their way through the planning process with a town hall on Oct. 7. The Cottonwood Heights City Council hosted the town hall meeting to present a range of possible solutions derived from meetings held earlier in the year. They also listened to public input and heard some ideas that were not on their list of solutions. “It’s a real collaboration,” Mayor Mike Peterson said. “I’ve been really impressed with how it’s been progressing.” City Manager Tim Tingey shared a number of options that planners have considered, from policy changes to infrastructure projects. One of the items in the city’s presentation focused on making sure vehicles entering the canyons on snow days are properly equipped for the winter roads. This would include greater enforcement of snow tire and chain regulations. Tingey also discussed the idea of working with rental car companies to make sure the vehicles they rent to skiers are properly equipped. A major theme of the meeting, from both city officials and residents, was improving busing up and down the canyons. “It’s related to consistency of bus service, frequency of bus service and efficiency of bus service,” Tingey said. Ideas included consolidation of resort bus stops, police escorts for buses, bypass lanes and bus redesign. Tingey also discussed UTA making sure its seasonal schedule changes coincide with ski resort calendars. Another idea included establishing staging areas for trading out buses that break down as a way to reduce traffic impediments in the canyons. “Instead of having a bus go clear back to the UTA garage, there’s a quicker transition for buses that break

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

Residents discussed ideas for addressing canyons traffic congestion during recent town hall. (Joshua Wood/City Journals)

down and get that replaced,” Tingey said. Residents in attendance offered input ranging from frustrations with canyon traffic to other possible solutions for the city and planning commission to consider. Jim Rock of Cottonwood Heights talked about the limitations of bus capacity on snow days. “I tell my renters if it’s a weekend or snow day and it’s busy, forget taking the bus,”

Rock said. “When you have a lot of snow, you have more people going up the canyon.” This was a sentiment shared by many in attendance — that bus service on peak ski days is inadequate. An alternate sentiment among residents at the town hall was that planners should keep things in perspective. “I hope that we don’t just simply try to find solutions that are based on a really exceptional snow year Continued page 9

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Page 2 | November 2019

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

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November 2019 | Page 3

One week can spark change in students for life, Miss Utah tells Ridgecrest student By Julie Slama | juile@mycityjournals.com

Since she could walk, she served her uncle who had special needs,” said Ridgecrest fifth-grade student Lily Hoescherl. “She realized how by brightening up his life, she was helping herself at the same time. Her dad would tell her to do something good for someone and that’s what she’s doing every day. It’s what she challenged us to do.” Lily and her Ridgecrest classmates listened to Miss Utah Dexonna Talbot tell her story about how she developed the term “servesteem,” which became her pageant platform and message she’s carrying out to students. Dog-sitting for neighbors, showing visitors around the school, smiling to people, serving on safety patrol, mowing the yard, and helping a sister with reading are some of the ways Lily and fifth-grade classmates Jack Atencio and Mikelle Walker are meeting the week-long challenge Talbot set. “By helping someone else, it makes me feel good, too,” Jack said. That is what Talbot hopes will happen with each student who accepted her challenge. “If they can show kindness, serve others, then they can feel the best about themselves and love others,” she said. “If we’re constantly serving in small acts, holding the door open, smiling, then it can create a chain reaction. If these students perform about 1,000 acts of kindness in this one week, it could spark change for them for the rest of their lives.” Talbot hopes her words will help students to combat bullying and build self-esteem. “When they imprint their actions with kindness, they are giving of themselves and are finding their true selves,” she said. Miss Utah says that much of this action comes from the legacy of her uncle, who she


helped tie his shoes, as well as feed and read to him. “I had a really special connection with him. I knew he understood me,” Talbot said, even though her uncle was non-verbal. Her time with him prompted her to be a peer tutor in secondary school, and when she learned of another student who has autism being invited to high school homecoming as a hoax, she stepped in and invited him to be her date. Now, Talbot is working toward getting her master’s degree in special education at the University of Utah. Even though her uncle is no longer living, she still continues to visit others where he lived. “My dad would tell me before I left for school every day, and in college before I went to class, to ‘do something good for someone today.’ Then at the dinner table, we’d share what we did. I used to think of the biggest thing so mine would be better than my little sister’s, but I learned how big or grand it is isn’t what is important. Just by doing something small is every bit as impactful. I carry on that message of kindness,” Talbot said. Since then, she’s written a children’s book with that message and has started a dance program, Dexonna’s Dynamite Dancers, for those with special needs to learn numerous styles of dance, which ties into her college major of ballet and her goal to be a professional ballerina. Eventually, Talbot would like to open an arts academy for students with special needs. Her family also has served two humanitarian trips to Vietnam and one to Mexico and she plans to give service in Kenya before competing for the Miss America title in December. Talbot has been around the Miss America pageant since she was a child, when her mom served as the Miss Spanish Fork pageant director.

Miss Utah Dexonna Talbot challenged Ridgecrest Elementary students to serve others every day for a week to spread kindness and build self-esteem. (Photo courtesy of Whitney Thomas/Miss Utah Scholarship Organization)

“I was surrounded by these incredible, exceptional women who are smart, kind, caring and are passionate about issues. They always got down and looked at me in the eye and made me feel special. I knew I wanted to get on the level of kids, tell them why it’s important to serve and make them feel special,” she said. At Ridgecrest, Talbot did just that when she learned one girl was celebrating her




The Cottonwood Heights Journal is a monthly publication distributed directly to residents via the USPS as well as locations throughout Cottonwood Heights. For information about distribution please email brad.c@thecityjournals.com or call our offices. Rack locations are also available on our website. The views and opinions expressed in display advertisements do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions held by Loyal Perch Media or the City Journals. This publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written consent of the owner. © 2019 Loyal Perch Media, Inc.

Page 4 | November 2019



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birthday. “I stopped right there and we all sang happy birthday to her. She turned bright red, but afterward gave me a big hug. What’s more fun than having everyone sing happy birthday to you? It’s something that helped her to feel her best; it was special and important,” she said. “That minute of kindness by everyone is something she will always remember.” l

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Try the GetOutPass for giving the gift of experience By Christy Jepson | christy@mycityjournals.com


ith the holidays approaching, are you wondering what to get your kids that doesn’t require batteries or USB cords? What about investing in something that guarantees family fun time? What about instead of buying toys that usually last 12 days, you buy something that lasts 12 months? The GetOutPass might be your perfect solution for a new holiday gift this year. The GetOutPass is a fairly new entertainment pass which offers pass holders the opportunity to visit 17 venues in the Salt Lake Valley, 20 venues in Utah County, 13 in Davis/Weber Area, seven in the Logan area, and four venues in the St. George area. You also get a one-time yearly admission to their featured venues: Lagoon, Cowabunga Bay, Brighton Resort, and one Cherry Peak concert ticket. According to their website, some of the venues allow weekly visits, some monthly visits, some quarterly visits and some you visit just once during the 12-month period. The GetOutPass was created in 2017 by three friends: Charles Belliston, TC Krueger and Taggart Krueger. “Our goal was to get more families out doing more things together. We all felt that too many people were just spending days and evenings at home watching Netflix and playing Fortnite. We decided we needed to come up with a solution, we wanted people out doing things together and creating memories,” said Belliston, one of the cofounders. So, with this goal in mind, the three of them created a statewide pass that allows families the chance to spend more time together while offering more opportunities to visit places they normally wouldn’t visit. They can see their hard work paying off be-

cause of the success of the pass since it started two years ago. Utah is not the only place where you can get a GetOutPass. The company has expanded and now offers passes in Idaho, Washington, Colorado and the Sacramento, California area. Although each pass has a different price and offers different attractions and venues, the pass works the same way. “The GetOutPass really is an awesome thing for both families and venues. That’s why it’s such a growing success,” Belliston said. The Utah GetOutPass is $149.95 per person and includes almost $3,000 in free admissions all year. Some of the Salt Lake area attractions include Cowabunga Bay, Fat Cats, Jump Around Utah, Bazooka Ball, Brighton Ski Resort, Chaos Escape Rooms and more. “We are constantly adding new places for our members to get out and enjoy making memories. Every time a new venue is added, it’s simply a bonus for our members, we never charge anything to our existing members, they simply get the new offers for free,” Belliston said. The up-front cost might seem a little pricey in comparison to other local passes, but the pass pays for itself if you just go to the four featured venues: Lagoon, Cowabunga Bay, Brighton Resort and Cherry Hill. Then all the other 65 attractions statewide are just an extra bonus while building memories, going to new places and having fun for 12 months. For a list of all the attractions and venues on the Utah GetOutPass and for more information visit getoutpass.com. The pass is good for 12 consecutive months from the date of purchase. l

SOME OF THE SALT LAKE AREA ATTRACTIONS • Lagoon (one admission yearly) • Cowabunga Bay (one admission yearly) • Brighton Ski Resort (one admission yearly) • Cherry Peak Summer Concert Series (one admission yearly) • Fat Cats (weekly admission) • Momentum (one admission yearly) • Kangaroo Zoo (three free admissions) • Paintball Addicts (unlimited visits) • Bazooka Ball (monthly admission) • Jump Around Utah (quarterly admission)

CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com

• Dart Nation Nerf Tag Arena (monthly admission) • The Farm at Gardner Village (weekly admission) • Game Tyrant (multiple offers) • Highjump (one admission yearly) • Puzzling Adventures (one admission yearly) • Chaos Escape Rooms (one admission yearly) • Straight Flight Golf (one admission yearly) • The Escape Key (one admission yearly) • Laser Quest (one admission yearly)


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November 2019 | Page 5

Mountview Park went to the dogs for Bark in the Park All photos by Cassie Goff

Officer Dave signals to his partner that he has found narcotics. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)

Harley and Ben race to catch the thrown tennis ball first. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)

Arya’s humans had a hard time pulling her away from the water. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)

This is Tucker. He’s thinking about going on a walk. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)

Wyld doesn’t understand water like Cashous does. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)

Page 6 | November 2019

This year, the turnout for Bark in the Park was bigger than ever. (Cassie Goff/ City Journals)

Arya’s humans had a hard time pulling her away from the water. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)

After CHPD officers showed the audience how to run through the obstacle course, any and all dogs were allowed to try out their athletic skills. Macaroon here was one of the best performers. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

K-9 Officers will train for eight months before going out on patrol. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)

Friendships were made on Sept. 21. Just ask Murph and Ada. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)

After playing and making new friends all afternoon at Bark in the Park, it’s time for a nap. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)

George, the poodle, and Silver, the BullMastifLab, scuffle playfully. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)

Officer Dave works in both bite and patrol. He needs to stay limber for his shifts on duty. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)

Nico could have played with Danny, his new four-legged friend, all day. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)

CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com

November 2019 | Page 7

Results are only three clicks away with updates to the city’s website By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com


he Cottonwood Heights city website is currently under construction. After years of residents requesting improvements to the website, updates are finally beginning to occur. On Oct. 1, the first few updates went live. Throughout the last few months, more changes were made, one update at a time. As of publication, much of the city’s website is accessible. However, there are still some pages that have yet to be published and some additional updates are needed. While construction will continue until the end of the year, there are already some noticeable changes to the website. One of the most user-friendly changes is the updates to the search function of the website. “Users should be able to find what they are looking for within three or four clicks,” reported City Manager Tim Tingey on Sept. 3. When a user visits cottonwoodheights. utah.gov, they are met with a continuous scrolling banner of ongoing projects and current events. This scrolling banner feature has been an ongoing request from the city council. “Residents want community news,” said Tingey. In addition, the home page of the website contains less content than it previously contained — which makes it, to use a technical term, “cleaner.” Currently, a user is met with clickable tabs dedicated to proj-

ect spotlights, upcoming events and current news, along with quick links for Applications and Forms, Meetings and Agendas, Public Works, Events, and Parks and Recreation. In addition, there is a service finder where a user can submit a specific inquiry or visit the staff directory directly to contact a city employee. One of the more exciting features for city employees is the opportunity for agency in the website. Each committee/council/ department has the option to edit their own page(s). For example, committees like the arts council, historic committee, emergency preparedness, and parks, trails, and open space will have the option to design their page housed on the city website. “When the website is updated, it would be nice to have an easy-to-get-to link for projects that are in the works,” said resident Nancy Hardy on June 18. Taking her suggestion into consideration, departments can now highlight specific projects through designated pages. For example, the community and economic development department has published a page on the proposed outdoor lighting regulations, as well as the Wasatch Boulevard Master Plan. And the public works department has published a page on snow removal, sanitation, and curb gutter and sidewalks. On the top right-hand corner of the page,

A Home with All the Amenities

in addition to the city’s social media links, a Volunteer page has been added. This allows users to see a list of available volunteer opportunities within the city. Next to that Volunteer page, there is an option to “Translate.” This is a service sponsored by Google, which allows the entire webpage to be translated to the user’s preferred language. If users wish to submit a complaint or suggestion, the website houses a feature called the Citizen Dashboard, which is an online tool allowing users to directly contact city employees over a list of specific concerns. In order to make use of the Citizen Dashboard, users need to create an account or log in to a previously existing account. This feature, designed by CivicLife, was updated in 2015. The option to receive more communication from the city is also available through opting in for email notices. Users can choose

to be notified for topics such as city council meetings, planning commission meetings, architectural review commission actions, city and community events, volunteer opportunities, job notices, budget updates, Canyon Centre construction updates, election notices, road projects and public notices. There is also an archive of the city’s newsletters. Prior to the updates, residents voiced their concerns that “the website is sometimes difficult to navigate and to look for when you’re looking for public input,” said resident Joe Clay on July 2. He also mentioned that after attending some public meetings, some of the information presented was not available online. There has yet to be resident comment on the updates. Cottonwood Heights is contracting Granicus, a company promoting technology built for government, for the creation and production of the city website. l

The Citizen Dashboard is an online feature where users can submit inquiries directly to city employees. (Photo courtesy of Cottonwood Heights)

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Page 8 | November 2019

The website for Cottonwood Heights will be updating throughout the end of the year. (Photo courtesy of Cottonwood Heights)

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Continued from front page that we’ve had,” said resident Dan Mills. “If we go back in the last 30 years, I don’t know if that’s indicative of what the future holds.” Other residents echoed that thought that peak ski days represent fewer than 30 days a year, while population growth affects rush hour traffic all year long. Meanwhile, a range of ideas were shared by residents for addressing canyons traffic during ski season. One resident floated the idea of establishing car pool locations for people to take on additional riders before driving to the resorts. Ellen Birrell of Cottonwood Heights read a petition signed by 36 residents who had met prior to the town hall to discuss ideas. Their petition listed five items for the council to consider, including “no through access” signs posted at the entrances of all neighborhoods along Wasatch Boulevard and greater police presence to help regulate traffic flow on snow days. “The key thing that we believe would increase bus ridership would be for UTA to have direct bus routes for each of the resorts,” Birrell said. “Why not direct buses so people could get on an Alta bus or a Brighton bus instead of Big Cottonwood or Little Cottonwood Canyon?” Peterson said $13 million had been allocated by the state legislature to the city for land acquisition near the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon to construct a transportation

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“One thing we do not want to see, in my opinion, is a whole myriad of park and rides along Wasatch Boulevard that’s going to add to the congestion,” Peterson said. “Finding a way to incentivize people to get out of their cars, make it easy, make it quick, get on a bus, and that bus is going to pass any cars sitting there on Wasatch Boulevard.” There was also input from residents about how ski traffic affects non-skiers. “Have we proposed a way to get my kids to school on ski days?” asked Micki Harris. “They won’t let you in, they’re so ski happy. I was just wondering if there was a way for residents or kids to get to school, kind of everyday stuff.” l

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Residents discussed ideas for addressing canyons traffic congestion during recent town hall. (Joshua Wood/City Journals)





he long line at the local auto body shop The Utah Department of Public Safety sugisn’t just for oil changes, it’s for winter gests on its website to have jumper cables, a tires too. With temperatures (and leaves) tow rope and small shovel in case the car gets dropping, it’s time for a refresher course on stuck, reflectors or flares to make sure your car safe winter driving.

is visible to others driving, flashlight and batteries, extra winter clothes, first-aid kit, battery Technology affords us the privilege of or solar powered radio, sleeping bag, fresh waknowing road conditions before ever leaving ter and non-perishable food, paper towels and the house. hand warmers. Utah Department of Transportation has 3-Control the vehicle more than 2,200 traffic cameras or sensors Keeping the car under control requires which gives visuals and data on all major UDOT some safe driving tips. The most obvious: roads. Drivers can then adjust their routes or drive slow. schedules according to the heaviness of traffic Despite our impatience or urgency to making for less congestion and less risk for acget to the desired location, slow driving is the cidents. safest driving. Staying under the speed limit, The UDOT app means you can see all those which is meant for ideal conditions, becomes cameras from your phone. even more important when traveling over 2-Prepare the car snow, ice, standing water or slush. Make sure the car is prepared for the road In drivers education courses, prospecconditions, first with good tires. Snow tires give tive drivers learn about the rule for distance greater tread for better traction. between your car and the one in front of you. Snow and ice should be completely re- Driving 60 mph? Stay six car lengths back. 70 moved from the windows, headlights and tail- mph? Seven car lengths back. This distance lights prior to driving to ensure visibility. should be increased even more during wet If your car is parked outside overnight, conditions to allow the car time and space to place towels over the windows. This keeps the stop without rear ending the vehicle in front. windows from icing over.

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Learn more at - www.siegfriedandjensen.com November 2019 | Page 9

Are RISE test scores accurate?

With issues surrounding the year-end state tests, state assures parents of their accuracy By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


anyons School District released its RISE test results on Sept. 27. Murray District released theirs the following Monday. Granite District made results available the previous week. However, with technical problems with Utah’s new computer-adaptive RISE tests, which affected almost 18,500 third- through eighth-grade students statewide, some parents may feel uneasy about their children’s year-end test score results, acknowledged State School District Assistant Superintendent of Student Learning Darin Nielsen. About 1 million students take the assessment. “Parents have been asking questions why there are problems, where they were, what they were and how accurate are the results,” he said. “We understand their concerns and we have been looking into reports of malfunction, incompleteness and inaccuracy. We were using a new testing platform this year and over a five-day period, there were periods of ‘slowness’ and ‘interruptions of service’ so many schools had to stop and quarantine their computers. There is no evidence of data lost or evidence of scores being lost.”

ence and English. The issue wasn’t with the test itself, but with the platform of delivery, Nielsen said. “What was shocking was the easier part of this; we expected the software to take the data and spit it out into a report format, where the data could be downloaded to specific reports for students,” he said. “The problem came in the delivery of the vendor, Questar, to meet what we were promised. At that point, the board met to review the contract.” On June 7, the Utah State Board of Education voted to cancel its contract with Questar Assessment, Inc., the vendor that has provided the technological platform for the state to administer statewide RISE assessments. This school year, the State Board decided to use their previous platform provider, AIR, to deliver the RISE test. The original contract with Questar was more than $44.7 million, Nielsen said. The assessment is a multistage delivery, meaning after the first set of 25 questions, a second stage of questions are given to the students’ level, ranging from easy to difficult. Much of the early feedback of the problems with the assessment was when students

“There is no evidence of data lost or evidence of scores being lost.” — State School District Assistant Superintendent of Student Learning Darin Nielsen

Knowing that, and having been part of an independent audit, many district administrators now feel confident in the test scores. “We feel more comfortable than we initially did,” Granite School District Director of Communications Ben Horsley said. “At first, it was a nightmare when students tried to submit and it just froze. The state officials are confident and have done an admirable job piecing together to get the quality results for individual student growth and performance, school grades and accountability and for school turn-around status.” Canyons School District Director of Research and Assessment Hal Sanderson said Canyons is encouraged with their results. “We’ve had scores that are very encouraging,” he said. “At the district level, the majority of testing has seen increases.” The 2018-19 test results of Utah’s standards-based assessment, called RISE, which stands for Readiness, Improvement, Success, Empowerment, is measured in terms of proficiency or clear understanding of math, sci-

Page 10 | November 2019

submitted their work and saw it “pending” or spinning, Nielsen said. “The proctors were not sure what to do, if tests were submitted or not. Usually, that first panel of questions would be collected and scored, then a second stage of questions would become available. But there was plenty of evidence that the assessment couldn’t move on. We reached out to the vendor and we were told there was ‘slowness’ with their server,” he said. While Jordan School District Superintendent Anthony Godfrey reported “every district had some issues” and “Jordan was in the same boat with intermittent periods” without service, Nielsen said that Murray School District initially questioned the data because of issues with the reports. “Their students would push submit, but the next day, the individual student reports didn’t match the same numbers that were shown on the computer screen. The data base was fine, but the issue was in the reporting function,” he said.

One Murray teacher, who spoke with the understanding of not being named, said her students didn’t initially receive the language arts scores they usually expect, and that’s when many of them began to question the validity of the assessment. Although the testing issues were widespread, Nielsen said there were significant disruptions in some areas, such as the “eighth-grade writing in one whole district — Canyons School District,” Nielsen said. Sanderson confirms that Canyons, like many others, experienced issues. “We had a couple glitches and we’d shut down the computers to save the tests when they wouldn’t save to the RISE servers,” he said. “Mostly, we moved testing to another day. If the tests would not have saved, it would have been a disaster. The tests provide good information. It shows if kids master a concept.” Nielsen also said they received reports that some eighth-grade students who were scheduled to take Secondary Math I weren’t able to access their tests because of the platform errors. While issues came on certain days of testing, Nielsen pointed out that students could take the assessment over a period of time, and he applauds teachers who became flexible and altered their testing times. The first reports of glitches in the testing were on April 25; they continued April 26, April 30, May 2 and May 10. As of April 25, more than 85,500 students had taken the RISE tests and of those, more than 64,800 successfully submitted their scores. Students continued taking the RISE assessment through mid-June to accommodate yearround schools’ testing. There have been reports that tests were lost, but Nielsen said that isn’t accurate. “We don’t have any evidence that students’ tests were completely lost,” he said. “Every teacher codes (categorizes) their tests. If a student didn’t participate, then the teacher needs to code it. The most common is parental exclusion, but there are 16 codes and that was the data that was still needing to be inputted.” Those numbers, 4,583 students who didn’t test for various reasons, were down compared to previous years. An example, he said, was that there were reports of 381 students coded as a health excuse who didn’t complete the test. In 2016, 1,150 students were excused for a health reason. “This year, we had 95% take the RISE test,” he said, up from 91% to 92% the past three years. While RISE testing isn’t mandatory, Nielsen said that come spring 2020, there will be academic incentive to do well on the assessments that align with the core curricu-

In its inaugural year, RISE standardized assessments had technical problems when students tried to submit their answers and the system froze. (Photo courtesy of Utah Sate Board of Education)

lum standards. “There is language in the statue that a teacher can use students who participate and show proficiency can improve their class grade,” he said, adding that “scores can’t penalize a grade.” Such incentives would be in a school or teacher disclosure statement to be transparent, he said. What might further confuse parents this year is that RISE replaced Utah’s SAGE (Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence) testing, resulting in questions of how they can compare the two year-end examination scores. Nielsen said that originally SAGE testing was written for students in grades three through 10. However, with changes in the test, including when the ACT became the standard for high school sophomores, Nielsen said it was time to rename the year-end assessment. “These are still our questions, similar ones to the SAGE test, that align to our core curriculum,” he said about the questions that are scrutinized by Utah teachers and parents. Currently, the state board is looking for a long-term provider to give the RISE assessment. “Every year, things happen out of our control,” Nielsen said. “We knew there were problems in Texas and after we selected Questar, in New York and Tennessee. We asked what happened and received assurances that the issues would not occur here. We took proactive action and prepared for them, but, unfortunately, we still had issues.” l

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November 2019 | Page 11

Seven years without a cold? By Doug Cornell


More and more people are saying they just don’t get colds anymore. They are using a new device made of pure copper, which scientists say kills cold and flu viruses. Doug Cornell invented the device in 2012. “I haven’t had a single cold since then,” he says. People were skeptical but EPA and university studies demonstrate repeatedly that viruses and New research: Copper stops colds if used early. bacteria die almost instantly when people are sick around her she uses Coptouched by copper. perZap morning and night. “It saved me That’s why ancient Greeks and Egyp- last holidays,” she said. “The kids had tians used copper to purify water and heal colds going round and round, but not wounds. They didn’t know about viruses me.” Some users say it also helps with and bacteria, but now we do. Scientists say the high conductance sinuses. Attorney Donna Blight had a of copper disrupts the electrical balance 2-day sinus headache. When her Copperin a microbe cell and destroys the cell in Zap arrived, she tried it. “I am shocked!” she said. “My head cleared, no more seconds. So some hospitals tried copper touch headache, no more congestion.” Some users say copper stops nightsurfaces like faucets and doorknobs. This cut the spread of MRSA and other illness- time stuffiness if used before bed. One man said, “Best sleep I’ve had in years.” es by over half, and saved lives. Copper can also stop flu if used earColds start after cold viruses get in your nose, so the vast body of research ly and for several days. Lab technicians gave Cornell an idea. When he next felt a placed 25 million live flu viruses on a cold about to start, he fashioned a smooth CopperZap. No viruses were found alive copper probe and rubbed it gently in his soon after. Dr. Bill Keevil led one of the teams nose for 60 seconds. “It worked!” he exclaimed. “The cold confirming the discovery. He placed milnever got going.” It worked again every lions of disease germs on copper. “They started to die literally as soon as they time. He asked relatives and friends to try it. touched the surface,” he said. The handle is curved and finely texThey said it worked for them, too, so he patented CopperZap™ and put it on the tured to improve contact. It kills germs picked up on fingers and hands to protect market. Now tens of thousands of people have you and your family. Copper even kills deadly germs that tried it. Nearly 100% of feedback said the copper stops colds if used within 3 hours have become resistant to antibiotics. If after the first sign. Even up to 2 days, if you are near sick people, a moment of they still get the cold it is milder than usu- handling it may keep serious infection away. al and they feel better. The EPA says copper still works even Pat McAllister, age 70, received one for Christmas and called it “one of the when tarnished. It kills hundreds of difbest presents ever. This little jewel real- ferent disease germs so it can prevent sely works.” Now thousands of users have rious or even fatal illness. CopperZap is made in America of simply stopped getting colds. People often use CopperZap preven- pure copper. It has a 90-day full money tively. Frequent flier Karen Gauci used to back guarantee. It is $69.95. Get $10 off each CopperZap with get colds after crowded flights. Though skeptical, she tried it several times a day code UTCJ7. Go to www.CopperZap.com or call on travel days for 2 months. “Sixteen toll-free 1-888-411-6114. flights and not a sniffle!” she exclaimed. Buy once, use forever. Businesswoman Rosaleen says when advertorial

Page 12 | November 2019

Brighton cross-country athletes show their stuff in region tournament, prepare for state By Josh McFadden | josh@mycityjournals.com

Brighton’s Cara Rupper finishes her race at the Region 6 cross-country meet in first place. (Photo courtesy of Justin Pitcher)


he cross-country season began with summer conditioning in the blistering heat and now ends amid cool temperatures and even the threat of snow. Through it all, the Brighton squad has turned out some impressive performances. The Bengals finished second in Region 6 on the girls side, while the boys placed fourth at the region tournament, held at the beginning of October. The Class 5A state meet was set for Oct. 23 at Sugar House Park. At the region tournament, sophomore Cara Rupper won the girls varsity race with a time of 18:23. Joceyln Summers and Lia Belle also placed in the top 14 and made the All-Region First and Second teams, respectively. For the boys, sophomore Adam Kohlmann finished sixth with a time of 15:45. His efforts landed him a spot on the All-Region First Team. Teammate Josh Behunin made Second-Team All-Region by placing 14th at the tournament with a time of 16:13. The junior varsity squad got into the action, too, with Harrison Steen coming in first in that division with a time of 16:49. For the girls JV team, freshman Olivia Christensen was runner-up. Her time of 20:43 was just .01 seconds behind the winner. “I’m proud of how our team finished at region,” said head coach Angie Welder. “We had several individual outstanding accomplishments. Our team performed exceptionally well this season. Race times improved with every meet, and the runners were excited about getting out there week after week to race hard. Building confidence and mental toughness is a huge part of running success, and it was exciting to watch each of them begin to really believe that they could not only race well but continue to improve and be a competitive threat in our region.” Both the girls and boys teams qualified

for the 5A meet, sending a total of 14 athletes to the culminating event. Welder was eager to see how Rupper, Summers and freshman Lia Belle Selander would fare on the big stage of state. She said Kohlmann continues to drop his race times and will be one to watch at state. “As a team, I expect outstanding and memorable performances [at state],” she said. “These kids have learned to really believe in their abilities and confidently go out and give it their all on race day.” Welder is pleased with the progress her athletes have made and how far the program has come. She said it has “been a few years” since Brighton has qualified a full team for state. “To watch our team confidently race their best, push hard and secure a state spot was a huge accomplishment. Watching our individuals win and place in the All-Region team was just icing on the cake. Watching [Rupper] and [Steen] win their individual races was truly an awesome moment. We have an extremely talented group of athletes, many of which are underclassmen, and it’s exciting to watch them toe the line and compete successfully with many other more experienced junior and senior athletes.” Welder said everybody on the team has worked hard and pushed themselves to the limit to learn the necessary skills and tactics to become better runners. “Day in and day out, they showed up to practice, did exactly what was asked of them and then responded with outstanding race performances,” she said. “There is nothing better than seeing the look on a runner’s face as they cross the finish line knowing that they gave it their all, met their goals and accomplished something they never thought possible earlier in the season.”. l

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

50,000 words or bust for aspiring novelists this November


By Joshua Wood | joshw@mycityjournals.com

ver 80% of Americans think they have a book in them. They also think they should write it, according to writer Joseph Epstein. For many, the dream of writing a novel remains that, just a dream. However, for those who are ready to finally write their story, some extra motivation comes along every November in the form of National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo writers share a common goal of reaching 50,000 words in just 30 days each November. That adds up to a 200-page novel draft in just one month. To help writers stay on track, and to find a group of like-minded novelists to be around while cranking out those pages, the Salt Lake County Library offers write-in events at several of its locations. “People can come to a branch hosting a write-in,” said Liesl Seborg of Salt Lake County Library. “There will often be treats, prizes, word sprints, a little social interaction.” This will be the sixth year of large participation in write-in events at Salt Lake County Libraries. Five locations will host write-in events during November, including the Whitmore, Millcreek, Taylorsville, West Valley and Bingham Creek branches. Writeins will be held in at least one library each Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday throughout November. Event schedules can be found on the library’s website. “Our main function is to provide a comfortable space where writers can work and meet other writers engaged in the same challenge,” said Daniel Berube of Whitmore Library. “It’s also helpful for writers to have a set time blocked off for writing. We usually have a mix of writing veterans and people that are curious about what NaNoWriMo is.” While dozens of people typically participate in the write-in events each November, Seborg estimates that around 1,000 people in Salt Lake County will sit down to write as part of NaNoWriMo. Statistics from the national organization showed participation increasing from fewer than 200 in its first year in 2000 to over 200,000 10 years later. The number of participants has continued to grow from there. The draw of NaNoWriMo comes from something that many aspiring novelists share deep down. “Everybody ultimately wants to write

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a book,” Seborg said. “I think the appeal is that there are many stories to be told, and this is a way to push themselves to write what’s in their mind, what’s in their heart of hearts.” Write-in events held all over the world offer something else. While the act of writing tends to be a solitary task, writers themselves help push each other. “You’ve got other people who are also struggling,” Seborg said. “They can share the good days and the bad days.” Throughout November, new and experienced writers in Salt Lake County and beyond can find a quiet place near them to write. They also find a group of people who share similar aspirations. Each write-in event ranges from silent to raucous. Writers will all quietly type or scribble away at their stories, then take time at the end of the session to talk about their experiences. They celebrate each other’s breakthroughs and laugh off their challenges. Write-ins are typically led by people affiliated with the national NaNoWriMo organization. These municipal liaisons offer experienced words of encouragement as well as structure for the events. If a community liaison is not available, local library staff step in. Some library staff even participate in NaNoWriMo as writers, including Seborg, who intends to aim for her own 50,000 words this November. “I write fantasy/science fiction and focus on dystopian novels,” Seborg said. “I like to put my nightmares on paper so I can control them.” l

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November 2019 | Page 13

‘It will be a bumpy road ahead’ to comply with changes in student activity fees and travel


illcrest High’s top band, orchestra and vocal ensemble met earlier this fall to discuss their possible upcoming tour to Washington, D.C. It wasn’t for certain, parents learned, as Canyons School District’s travel policy changed to be compliant with the state. The expected announcement of the trip will be in November. Canyons now has a travel policy that includes a $1,250 price tag limit, non-competitive travel limited to every other year beyond 425 miles unless petitioned, and paperwork can’t be filed more than 150 days before the trip, amongst other regulations, Hillcrest band director Austin Hilla said. “It makes touring for all students more even-handed and accessible, but with restrictions, it becomes a challenge,” he said. “It’s important for our students to go, gain exposure, learn the significant impact of the music culture across our country and are able to communicate in the same language — through music. Our trips are co-curricular, they tie into the core, but are not required for a grade. Last year, they were recorded at a professional recording studio. It’s an opportunity that they wouldn’t get otherwise.” It isn’t just that Canyons is changing their policy. Each local educational agency, or LEA, also more familiarly known as school districts and charter schools, are ensuring their policies regarding travel and student fees.


State Board of Education School Fees Project Lead Tamra Dayley said that this past year, after continuing to get three or four daily complaints from parents claiming, “public education isn’t free” and concerns about increasing numbers of fees and soaring amounts, the Utah Board of Education “looked into it to make sure we are compliant” with a 1994 court case ruling. She said the task force discovered that many “schools were misunderstanding the ruling. We found many school districts weren’t compliant with the court ruling” during the past decades. To be fair, Granite School District spokesman Ben Horsley said that with the growth in school programs and competitions, nobody could see the direction of co-curricular activities and travel. “Most school districts thought they were compliant and they were not knowing and unintentionally going against it,” he said. Years ago, “there were no names on jerseys or needing a new helmet, or needing multiple costume changes, or needing to play or perform out of state. Now, our school board will be looking into the activities to determine if the travel is reasonable, if it’s the only competition of its kind to travel, and if these trips are meaningful. We want to make sure all our

Page 14 | November 2019

By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com kids can participate.” In 1994, 17 school children from five area school districts and seven parents heard from Utah’s 3rd District Court that the state must provide “a system of public schools open to all children of the state” and “there must be reasonable uniformity and quality of educational opportunity for all children throughout the state.” Furthermore, the court found that “local (school) boards of education are continuing their efforts to eliminate nonessential expenditures that have unreasonably driven up costs for many programs which have great value for students, such as choir, debate, vocational courses and team activities, and that additional efforts will be made to ensure that those above the current wavier eligibility standard are not ‘denied the opportunity to participate because of an inability to pay the required fee, deposit or change.’” While fee waivers are available “to ensure that no student is denied the opportunity to participate because of an inability to pay the required fee, deposit, or charge,” fees and fundraising were increased amongst other participants, so much, that it made it difficult for some students to participate in one activity, let alone several, Dayley said. “We were finding that here is a group of three, four, five fee-eligibility students, but we can’t have other students paying additional fees to cover the fee-waiver kids. We need to charge all students equally and have the LEAs pay to have everyone participate,” she said. “If it is a project or field trip related to the course that is graded, then the schools or school districts needs to pay so all students have that same opportunity for the grade.”

Co-curricular activities and travel also were scrutinized.

“We’ve seen prices raised for several uniforms, travel and items that aren’t critical to the activity,” Dayley said. In Granite, where more than 60% of the students qualify for fee waivers, their Board of Education looks for equality amongst the high schools. “Gone is the day that names are printed on jerseys and are given to students at the end of the year,” Horsley said. “We need to make it a quality experience and quality program across the board.” Another example, Dayley said are performing arts trips. “If schools feel that travel and performance are important for the band, choir or performing arts group to provide an integral part of their education, then they need to evaluate if it’s good enough for the rich kids, how they will help pay for the socio-economic kids and find a way,” she said. “What we need to question is ‘is the trip to Disney for one hour of instructional time considered

instruction or is it more of a trip?’” Several districts’ drama teachers have sidestepped these rules by creating a community-based trip to New York, allowing students, alumni and others to join on what may have once been a school trip, Dayley said. “As long as it’s a community trip, and teachers aren’t using the school to promote or handle arrangements or be liable, and advertise it ‘at an arm’s length,’ from the Although Hillcrest High drama students, seen here in 2016, traveled to New York City to better understand theater, they would now need to meet school, then it’s permissible,” new Canyons School District travel regulations that align with a 1994 she said. court ruling. (Photo courtesy of Marie Otto) Complying with the changes ahead with activ$2,500, but “not a single one paid because ity fees and travel, Dayley said, “It will be they were covered by fundraisers. But now, if a bumpy road ahead. Some rural districts someone doesn’t want to participate in fundalready have made that hard decision. They raising, they don’t have to.” don’t have a football team, or choir, or cheerHowever, their costs are being examleaders.” ined. Canyons School District Spokesman “We need to look to see if our fees are Jeff Haney said Canyons’ discussion at all reasonable and if they really need to have levels has been how to fairly implement fees four outfits and three out-of-state trips,” he at the most reasonable cost possible while said. still maintaining the same number and quality of activities that parents have come to ex- It isn’t just the Utah Board that is reviewing the fees. pect from Canyons District schools. This year, in the legislature, House Bill “Travel has become an expectation by 250 would require LEAs to evaluate and remany parents and students,” he said. “But the district must consider if the travel is contrib- view their school-fee policies and take coruting to an academic goal and if the district is rective action. HB250 goes in effect Jan. 2020. able to fund fee-waivers for students where Once made aware of the need to review needed. The other danger is that if robust programs are not provided, families with means their school-fee policies, Canyons Board will continue to seek private lessons, teams of Education began studying Canyons’ fee or instruction, but students without the means structures almost immediately, Haney said. “Principals, coaches, advisors, adminiswould lose the opportunity to participate at school. The (Canyons) Board of Education trators and board members diligently studied is giving great consideration to what is fair the district’s fee structure, discussed how and reasonable while also considering how to improvements could be made, and reviewed maintain robust and educational programs for what could be done to realign to the new requirements,” he said about their travel policy all students.” As of April 1, schools now have to out- that was approved May 7. “One of the overline what is included with the fee charges, arching guiding principles is how to implewhether it’s a lab fee or a sports and club ac- ment fee waivers for students according to tivity fee — and there are regulations in fund- the law and within the district’s budget.” raising, including the amount raised and the And if LEAs don’t comply? families’ time commitment involved. “We will work with the school districts to “We want transparency. We want to be aligned,” Dayley said. “Basically, they’d know what’s important and what schools are have to ignore us for two years and if they doing with the fees,” Dayley said. “We want do, then the last resort would be withholding parents knowing, before their student goes of funds, but I don’t foresee that. We want to into it, how much the maximum amount will help students prepare and meet the goals of be.” Utah’s education system. We want the same Horsley said that there will be changes, right for all students as the court stated back as the law states that fundraising is optional 25 years ago, but now there’s more clarifiand that the school district will need to cover cation and ways to support involvement so costs. all programs can be made accessible to stuHe said that a Granger High audit dents.” l showed that cheerleader fees cost about

Cottonwood Heights City Journal











n August, Comcast expanded the pool of eligibility for Internet Essentials — basically, any home already receiving some kind of federal aid, including EBT or Medicaid are now eligible. This means 27,000 more low-income Utahans now qualify for in-home – high-speed – low-cost internet service through Internet Essentials. Comcast’s Internet Essentials program has connected 8 million low-income Americans to affordable internet service – including 112,000 in Utah – and invested more than $650 million in cash and in-kind support for digital literacy training and educational initiatives. As a father of five, I know firsthand how in-home internet can impact children’s education. Most homework assignments today often required the use of a computer and internet, whether it be to do light research, read material, or type up an essay – it is absolutely essential to be connected in our modern, digital age. Affordable internet offers an array of opportunities to gain access to job skills, access health information, promote smarter shopping and civic engagement, and use of e-government services as an alternative to the sometimes-costly process of traveling to government offices in person.

CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com


ESSENTIALS Those without access to in-home internet service may have a greater need to access government services and may not realize more and more of those services are available online. Additionally, some parents may not understand how essential the Internet has become for students, especially those in underperforming schools. Comcast understands when people – who would otherwise not have access – connect to the internet they disproportionately improve their quality of life — particularly for older and poorer Utahans. For example, next-generation applications will focus on connected homes and digital health care — essential tools for helping seniors age in place. That’s one of the reasons it is imperative to increase digital equity and close the digital divide in Utah. For more information, or to apply for the program, go to http://www.internetessentials. com or call 1-855-846-8376. Spanish-only speakers can call 1-855-765-6995.

Want your child to be bilingual? Apply by Nov. 26 for first-grade enrollment in Canyons District’s Language Immersion Program. Dual Language Immersion schools in your area:

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November 2019 | Page 15

Bella Vista students to perform ‘Tall Tales’ By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com

Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?” is a game show where questions may stump contestants, such as asking, “Who was Martha Jane Canary?” At Bella Vista, about 40 fifth graders will know the answer — she is better known as the American frontierswoman Calamity Jane, one of the heroes highlighted in the school’s upcoming musical. “Tall Tales and Heroes,” written by Grace Hawthorne, will be performed at 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 20 and at 6:30 p.m., Nov. 21 at the school, 2131 Fort Union Boulevard. The 35-minute free performances are directed by community volunteer Rebecca Kitchen. Assistant directors are fifth grade teachers Janeen Delcher and Wendie Nielson. The musical also brings in stories of John Henry, Molly Pitcher, Paul Bunyan, Davy Crockett and Johnny Appleseed amongst others, with music composed by John F. Wilson. “There are a bunch of songs, roles, lines, parts, and parts in the chorus for the kids,” Nielson said. “They all have costumes and props. Some kids just love it. It’s a great opportunity to build their confidence.” Confidence, in fact, is one of the main reasons she likes supporting and putting on the production. “Some kids may be not as academically

strong, but they just shine. They realize this may be something they are good at and can be successful at, and it may be that kids can find they can do things they didn’t think they could. It may help them be willing to stretch and try something new that they never would have before,” she said. This is the sixth school production Nielson has supported and she has tales herself of students being successful. She said some students who are afraid to publicly speak stand up and recite lines, and some, who are just learning English, take it upon themselves to learn and memorize their parts. “They memorize their lines on their own, but the two classes rehearse together. It helps bond the classes and there’s a different connection that they might have than from just playing together at recess,” she said. That’s because they’re part of a larger project, so they’re learning teamwork as well as their individual lines, Nielson said. “They’re becoming supportive of each other. We put this together in seven weeks,” she said. After tryouts were held in late September, the students began rehearsals once a week during the school day. By the second week of October, the students started multiple practices during the week, and in mo-

ments of free time, they learned the songs. “We couldn’t do it without the help we get,” Nielson said, saying that for at least four years, Kitchen has volunteered, and several other parents have stepped in through the years. “With the extra hands, we’re able to practice individually and in small groups. We’re pretty lucky that we can do this at Bella Vista. Not all elementary schools do, and while some do music or art, we do this on top of having art for our students.” It also ties into the students’ core curriculum learning about tall tales as well as encouraging reading and communication skills. “We do tall tales, what they are, learning about exaggeration, vocabulary associated with it,” she said, adding that she plans to have students reflect in a writing assignment after the musical about what they liked of their play experience and how it may help them in the future.” Nielson also said the play connects to the core curriculum by exploring point of view, characters, setting and plot; analyzing physical qualities and characters’ reactions to situations; sequencing events; understanding theme and using figurative language; and reading aloud. “There are also other benefits, like learning common knowledge shared by a group,

building self-confidence, taking pride in oneself, and trying new and hard things,” she said. “What this does is it really gives them a lot of confidence that boosts their self-worth and self-value.” l

At Bella Vista Elementary, fifth graders will put on “Tall Tales and Heroes” Nov. 20–21. (Julie Slama/ City Journals)

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Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Rock n’ Roll might be dead, but the Riverton Jazz Band is keeping Jazz alive By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com



Ammon Christiansen and Max Hanson lift Noelle Wilkins and Lauren Peterson during their performance to “Five Foot Two.” (Cassie Goff/City Journals)


he swaying of shoulders began when marimba rhythms started to play at Rhythm in the Heights on Oct. 12. The production was coordinated by the Cottonwood Heights Arts Council and featured the Riverton Jazz Band, along with singers Ashlee Hudson, Heather Fellows, Mark Fellows, Madeline Best, Ashley Mordwinow, Cameron Vakilian, Patrick Fulton, Jannalee Hunsaker, Megan Robertson, Benzley Tinney and Natalie Daniel, and dancers Ammon Christiansen, Max Hanson, Lauren Peterson and Noelle Wilkins from QuickStep Dance Studio. The Riverton Jazz Band is a volunteer organization made up of 17 musicians who perform for community events, dances, parades and other community events. Hudson began the performance by singing “A Tisket, a Tasket,” originally by Ella Fitzgerald. Hudson was visibly concerned about her stolen yellow basket, especially when the Riverton Jazz Band musicians kept asking her what color her basket was, in the form of supporting vocals. Heather Fellows scatted the lyrics to “Orange Colored Sky,” originally by Nate King Cole. Fellows received some calls from the audience as she sang through the fast lyrics between versus. QuickStep Dance Studio performers Christiansen, Max, Lauren and Wilkins danced to “Take the A Train,” originally by Duke Ellington, and later “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” The audience seemed to be impressed with their dances as they received some of the loudest applause of the night. When Vakilian walked on stage to perform “Sway,” originally by Norman

Gimbel, his golden blazer shimmered from catching the spotlight. If that wasn’t distracting, his ability to stay on key certainly was. As Vakilian walked through the audience, he inspired multiple audience members to sway with him. Best tested the audience’s musical theater knowledge by singing “Somewhere.” Best also impressed audience members with her vocal range. Daniel performed “At Last” by Etta James. Daniel inspired an immediate reaction from the audience, then stepped aside in the middle of her performance so a musician from the Riverton Jazz Band could perform his saxophone solo. To close the first act, the Riverton Jazz Band performed “In the Mood” by Glenn Miller. The performance of this song persuaded the audience to believe the musicians were enjoying their night, with dueling saxophones, a trumpet solo and some playful trombones. After intermission, Mordwinow sang “Besame Mucho,” originally by Cesaria Evora. Mordwinow’s rhythm synced with the jazz bands effortlessly as she stepped into the audience to deliver a kiss and a rose. Mark Fellows took on Billie Holiday’s “I’ll Be Seeing You.” He received immense support from audience members sitting directly in front of the stage. Jannalee Hunsaker also tested our musical theater knowledge when she sang “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man.” “Sang” isn’t quite the correct word for Hunsaker’s performance. She belted the high notes as she was cheered on. QuickStep Dance Studio performers Christiansen, Hanson, Peterson and

CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com

Wilkins brought out their quickstep one last time when they danced to “Five Foot Two” by Dean Martin. Before stepping onto the stage, Christiansen and Hanson were snapping their suspenders to the beat. Patrick Fulton made the audience feel the woe from the song “Stormy Weather” by Ethel Waters. Benzley Tinney brought the audience’s spirits back up with “All of Me” by Ruth Etting. Tinney was comfortable with her stage presence as she moved aside during two different solos from the jazz musicians and regained the audience’s attention center stage to finish her song. Robertson followed Tinney’s sentiment by singing “Almost Like Being in Love” by Natalie Cole. Robertson really jazzed up the audience — many attendees were dancing along with her before she was halfway through her song. What would a jazz concert be without “Sing Sing Sing” by Louis Prima, famously performed by Benny Goodman? The Riverton Jazz Band left the audience with the song to get stuck in their head. Upcoming events for the Cottonwood Heights Arts Council include “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever!” on Dec. 7 and Dec. 9; and the Cottonwood Heights Film Festival on March 13 and 14. Follow the arts council on Facebook at CHArtsCouncil and on Instagram at chcityarts. Follow the Riverton Jazz Band on Facebook or Instagram at rivertonjazzband, or by visiting their website at www.rivertonjazzband.com. l

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From economic planning to dog parks, voters share their views with candidates By Joshua Wood | joshw@mycityjournals.com

Voters got to meet the candidates for city council. (Joshua Wood/City Journals)


lections for representatives of the first and second districts on Cottonwood Heights City Council take place on Nov. 5. Residents had the opportunity to meet the candidates and learn more about their priorities during an event at City Hall on Oct. 10. Decisions on candidates will be sorted out on election day, but many attendees brought up the same issues during the event. The event gave voters an opportunity to share their priorities and let candidates know what they would like to see from their representatives. “We just want to see the city prosper,” said Joseph Lockyer. “The city needs to understand growth has got to be maintained, looked at; it’s got to be careful how you do it. You’ve got to have growth, because if you don’t the city will die.” That sentiment was common among attendees of the Meet the Candidates event. While some people had specific issues they wanted to raise with candidates, others

Page 18 | November 2019

sought reassurance that things would continue as they have over recent years. “My priorities as a voter, it’s kind of boring because I really am happy with the way things are going,” said Stan Rosenzweig. “If they keep on going the way they are going, I’m a really happy camper.” Growth was a major issue on the minds of community members talking with the candidates. While attendees expressed appreciation for recent economic growth, they also seemed to recognize the inevitability of population growth. They just don’t want it to bring too much change to their community. “We have to have a balance because Utah is growing, and we have to be cognizant of that,” Rosenzweig said. “At the same time, people who move to the community are wanting outdoor recreation, and the people who live here are very open space people. We bike, we hike, we like all that stuff.” In addition to preserving open spaces,

Voters met with city council candidates prior to the election. (Joshua Wood/City Journals)

residents expressed concerns about construction that alters the look and feel of the community. “We have a master plan, and it seems like we’re veering away from that into more high density, different heights than a lot of people want to see, traffic,” said Bob Jacobs. “We want to see more trails, more open space. There’s not much open space left.” Careful planning of growth seemed to guide the thinking of voters speaking with city council candidates. The challenge they put forth to their future representatives is to balance growth with preserving community. “I think growth is good for the city, but I think it has to be in specific places where it doesn’t distract from people’s views and their living,” Lockyer said. “You’ve got to respect the citizens.” Several people attending the event didn’t even live in districts one or two. They just wanted to hear what the candidates had planned for their community.

In addition to growth and planning, some of the event’s attendees came to voice their concerns on single issues. A group of residents met with each candidate to state the case for the construction of a dog park in Cottonwood Heights. “That’s why I’m here, because I’ve been wanting a dog park for a long time,” said Stephanie Gelman. “We’ve been out canvassing, and there are just so many dogs, and the pressure’s there for the city to do something.” Whether concerned about how growth is managed or what projects take priority, attendees seemed to hope that solid economic growth continues as they have over recent years. The October event was about giving voters what they expect — having their voices heard. “One thing I would say about our city council is that they are very intelligent about getting involved with the community, and that’s super,” Lockyer said. l

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Thank goodness the world has Butler superheroes! By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com

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he world is getting a bit better these days. That’s because for two weeks, Butler Elementary students took part in the Superhero Training Academy, where they focused on being good students, making a difference in their school and community and learning to lead healthy lifestyles, said Principal Jeff Nalwalker. “I love what our PTA puts on, how they’re promoting fitness as well as helping these students learn how they can make a positive impact,” he said. The superhero training program culminated with the Superhero fun run, where students ran, jogged and walked laps around the school with classmates, teachers, family members and Nalwalker, who ran with every grade, his cape flapping in the wind behind him. With a goal to raise $20,000 to purchase and plant trees to shade the playground, the kids earlier had asked friends and family to make pledges online to support their running efforts. On Sept. 23, they tied their shoes and were off, grade level by grade level, each wearing a school T-shirt sporting their school mascot, the Bobcats. Each lap around the school equals one-quarter mile; organizers estimated students would run a total of about 500 miles that day. Fifth grader Hailey Norat was looking forward to Butler’s fun run, her last one.

“I like to run with my friends and share in the experience,” she said. “We’re in it together.” Many parents and siblings cheered along the course, including Madeline Moss’ dad and little sister. Her mom, Stephanie, ran with her kindergartner. “We love this,” she said. “I like the way everyone is involved, and it’s promoting physical exercise. It makes it fun and gets the kids excited.” The fun run began with kindergartners and the first runner in was Penelope Leenan. “It was fun,” she said. “I like running.” Close behind her was James Pierringer, who said, “It was hard, but worth it. Where’s our new tree to sit under?” In addition to the shade trees, the funds will be used for PTA activities such as Reflections, teacher appreciation, Bobcat awards, emergency preparedness kits, Watch DOGS program, Battle of the Books, World Night and other programs. “I like that they’re having fun and every grade is exercising,” Nalwalker said after running with kindergartners and taking a moment to pose with a kindergartner in a superhero-themed cardboard picture frame. Kindergartner Vivienne Vanallen raced with Nalwalker around the school. “The fun run is good and I like running all around,” she said. “I ran with him, but I got in before the principal. I beat him.” l

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‘These are our friends; these are our teams’ – Cottonwood, Hillcrest fans back their programs By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


n email from an unfamiliar name came across Cottonwood High Principal Terri Roylance’s computer. She clicked it open and was read: “I was at the game Friday night and wanted to tell you how impressed I was with your student body at the game!! I know it’s been a tough season for your team, but the student section was awesome!! They were upbeat, loud and motivating while cheering for your great boys on the field!! It’s difficult to keep the energy up when you are getting beat; but your students and cheerleaders have fabulous school spirit. Your band is very talented and the game announcer was also very good!! I just wanted to pass along to you that many of us parents were very impressed with your Cottonwood students at the game!! I wish your football team the best of luck this season!!” “It was from a parent from the opposing team last Friday who had attended our home game,” Roylance said. “We lost; we have not won a game all season. But she wrote how impressed she was with our school, our spirit, our students kept cheering, our band playing, our team trying. Sometimes when kids start losing, they lose all grace and play dirty, not our kids. They play clean, they’re respectful of the officials, they play competitively until the end of the game.” And even afterward, she said as students often bring a box of plastic gloves and sacks and then, they stay after to help clean the stands at home — and at opposing games. Cottonwood lost to Highland, 0-63. Their record this season, at press deadline, was 0-9. Nearby Hillcrest High students can sympathize with their loss, having been hopeful at half in their game against Highland when the score was 17-21, before Highland scored 20 consecutive points to close out the game, 17-41. Hillcrest’s only win this season was against 3A Providence Hall. “When our kids are on the field or court, we put forth the effort to battle to do better, score more points, succeed over them,” Hillcrest band director Austin Hilla said. “When our peers put forth that effort, we put in the time and work alongside them that compounds their effort to mirror the team. Our motto is ‘every rep, every rehearsal, every performance.’ We’re going to put forth that effort to make it better than before. It’s our culture to do it right, to get it done. If you win or lose, you go to play to support the team, no matter what.” While the teams will meet Oct. 16 for last place in region play, their battles aren’t just football. Earlier this season, the two schools met in girls’ soccer and ended up tying 1-1. “We had so many shots on goal, but we

Page 20 | November 2019

were so thankful when we scored, we walked away feeling as if we won,” said one Hillcrest parent, adding that when the Huskies scored a goal against region rival Brighton in the next game, “the girls celebrated as if they won the game.” Brighton students also support their victorious teams, but unlike these two neighboring schools, the Bengals have achieved a feat unmatched by any other high school in Utah: 120 team state championship titles in 50 years. Not to take anything away from Brighton or other schools with champion teams, but Roylance said that generally it takes more to cheer for teams who aren’t victorious. “It’s easier to cheer for a winning team than for ones who struggle, but our kids are always there. It can get discouraging to have a tough season, but against Highland, our kids were as loud and had as much fun in the first quarters as the last,” she said. “Our kids are really good kids. They are driven and want to come out and support, these are amongst the best students and leaders I’ve ever seen.” Hillcrest High’s student body adviser Shannon Hurst said it’s the Husky culture to be involved. “It’s tradition to be involved, no matter the scoreboard or performance,” she said. “It’s what makes the high school experience. Our SBOs (student body officers) do a good job. Whether or not we’re winning, they stay positive and I feel like our crowds are bigger. Our fans are good. We’re unified in the love and support of the people there. Our students are providing that energy and cheering to help, whether it’s yelling at a cross country meet or a moment in a burst of play on the basketball court.” Senior Kate Timmerman is Hillcrest’s student body president. “These are our friends; these are our teams and we support them,” she said. “When you’re a student-athlete, you can tell, no matter the score, that our fans are constantly cheering.” Timmerman knows it firsthand as a fouryear member of the Hillcrest soccer team. “It’s super hard. We play teams twice and it’s not fun losing all the time. But we see our potential and how far we’ve come and approach everything with a positive attitude. It unifies our school. We’re proud of who we are, whether its academics, soccer, musical performances. We support everyone and are proud to be Huskies,” she said. In fact, both schools have award-winning performance arts departments and their robotics teams both competed at world competition in their rookie seasons and enjoy success in other programs. Hilla said the music program helps with school spirit.

Hillcrest High studentbody president Kate Timmerman says, “We support everyone and are proud to be Huskies.” (Julie Slama/City Journals)

“The music can pump them up. We have pieces and cadences for the offense or defense. We want to be there to help create the atmosphere, the energy, through music,” he said. “Regardless if we win or lose, the band is there no matter what.” He said that helps create a Husky culture of closeness and support. “We’re born into our family, but as we get older, we choose another sort of family, one that is supportive of each other. Our school spirit, our community, our student body cares about what we’re doing. Our kids want to be good, positive, helpful, help make the world better — and we can see what our positive impact is and how it unifies us,” Hilla said. School leaders at both schools boost spirit through tossing school gear in the stands, create promotion nights such as a chalk fight and tailgate party at Hillcrest or face paint and games with pizza at Cottonwood, and even dress-up for themed nights at the games. “Our kids come to the game and have a lot of fun with them,” Roylance said about the Colt fans. “We just had fluorescent theme and it’s just fun to see what they come up with every week. And each month, the peer leader group sets themes for the year and goals for each month, helping our students be

A Cottonwood High student gets his face painted in school colors at the Sept. 6 football game. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

positive and the best they can.” Cottonwood Peer Leadership Team president and senior Angela Black sets a goal to make friends and make everyone feel welcome. “Our school spirit is amazing, whether or not our teams are great,” she said. “It matters that we’re all trying and doing our best. You can’t do good unless you have someone behind you so that’s our job, we have to be sure to be the ones behind them.” l

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There’s a 50% chance of a major earthquake occurring within your lifetime—prepare now By Jennifer J. Johnson | j.johnson@mycityjournals.com


ithin the past 24 hours, there has been one M1.5 or greater earthquake. Within the past seven days, there have been six earthquakes of that same magnitude. Within 30 days, the number rumbles to 76. And within the past 365 days there have been 858 earthquakes meeting or besting that level on the MI or Mercalli Intensity Scale— earthquakes so strong that you can visibly see the earth move under your feet. We are not talking about in Syria, Indonesia, Turkey or Japan. We are not talking about areas that are somewhat close to home—like San Francisco or Los Angeles. We are talking about home—earthquakes right here, right now, in Utah.

demonstrating how resilience must be planned and practiced

Be Ready Utah partnered with counties across the state to host the eighth annual “Great Utah ShakeOut.” This event occurred just about one month prior to Envision Utah’s breakfast meeting. Newly-minted Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson wore a hard hat and joined Great ShakeOut debris-management drills involving the Salt Lake County Public Works and Emergency Services departments along with Utah Departments of Transportation and Division of Emergency Management, the Army Reserves and other organizations. The earthquake-preparedness drills involved first responders responsible for clearing roads to ensure safe travels of emergency workers as well as residents. “With Salt Lake County sitting on a fault line, history has shown that large earthquakes can hit this area,” she said. “We want to be prepared if and when the next one strikes.”

Girding up for ‘The Big One’ by combatting false optimism with proactive planning

Few people openly discuss or plan for the happening of a major earthquake in the Salt Lake valley. This is a false optimism, according to some of the people whose feet are firmly planted in the present, but whose eyes and minds scan the future, looking out for Utah with decades-away lenses. This past spring, Envision Utah elected to focus on the looming reality of what experts say is not a possibility, but an eventuality—a massive 7.0 “Big One” earthquake here in Utah. The state’s Be Ready Utah, earthquake-disaster preparedness initiative, is straightforward about the situation on the home page of its website: “Utah is earthquake county.” Be Ready Utah predicts that in a 7.0 quake along the Wasatch Front, 10,000 buildings would collapse, 2,300 people would die and 30,000 more would be injured. And the kicker? Be Ready Utah says there is a 50-50 chance that this Big One will strike Utah within our lifetimes.

Envision Utah’s “Worry Index” shows that Utahns are not as concerned about earthquakes as experts assert we need to be. (Envision Utah)

Learning from Envision Utah’s ‘Worry Index’ and seeking to become more resilient

Ari Bruening, president and chief operating officer of the Envision Utah planning organization, points out that one of the elephants in our collective room—natural disasters—are not considered something to prioritize. Bruening and his team of EU statisticians show that this “coin toss” matter of when the earthquake will hit Utah is not a concern. In his mind, “most of us are gambling” and that this coin-toss concern really does not best-serve Utah’s families, businesses and institutions. At its spring breakfast in April, Envision Utah pointed out that Louisiana had a statistical model to predict the impact of Hurricane

Katrina—learnings which were eschewed, or not given much credence and certainly not funded and planned for. In Bruening’s opinion, we in Utah are in a similar place as pre-Katrina Louisiana and the infrastructure that should have, could have prevented so much death, disarray, and destruction. “We have ground-shaking maps and liquefaction maps. We know what will happen in a major earthquake. It’s up to us to use those models to become more resilient.” To the room of nearly 500 people seated in a ballroom at the Grand America Hotel with a chandelier-adorned ceiling, he tells them directly, “Our purpose today is to scare you. But it’s also a call to action.”

Be Ready: Utah state and county officials

The ultimate scenario planning: disaster resiliency

Envision Utah are experts at scenario planning. They evaluate what futures may look like and find creative ways to depict those futures to citizens. As Bruening stood behind the podium, guests at the EU spring breakfast cracked open fortune cookies—as swiftly as earthquakes could crack open a foundation and render unusable everyday infrastructure such as streets, cellphone towers and water lines. The messages in the fortune cookies presented attendees with scenarios residents would face in an earthquake. Being without water, power and other utilities were among the outcomes. As was death. While nervous smiles and chatter at first prevailed, hushes, sighs and even gasps followed as Bruening had those beset with different “fortunes” statistically representative

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of what would befall the Wasatch Front in the instance of The Big One take turns standing. The EU guest speaker, law professor and disaster-law expert Lisa Grow, advised Utahns to become familiar with the impact of where they live, remembering the inherent dangers of UMB or unreinforced masonry buildings. UMB buildings are buildings where load-bearing walls, non-load-bearing walls and other structures, like chimneys, are comprised of brick, cinderblock, tiles, adobe or other masonry that is not braced by reinforcing material such as the rebar that strengthens concrete. “In Utah our primary hazard is bricks!” shouts the Utah Earthquake Safety website. Twenty percent of Utah’s buildings are such UMB structures. Models show that as many as 98% of deaths in a major earthquake will result from shaking-induced collapse or damage of URMs.

The good and the great news

The good news, according to Grow, is that programs like Salt Lake City’s “Fix the Bricks” program, a regional disaster mitigation award-winning program, have dollars to help residents with retrofits. The other good—no, great—news for resident of Salt Lake County is that the total death toll from even The Big One is expected to comprise a much smaller percentage of the

population than those who will be severely inconvenienced by it. For these reasons, the state and county want residents to be cognizant that The Big One—sure as winter is for the Lannisters—is coming. After the EU breakfast, Bruening said four people came up to him and indicated their commitment to purchase earthquake insurance. A good thing, he thinks. Residents need to strategize, formalize, communicate and practice family emergency plans. Residents need to purchase or make DIY earthquake-preparedness kits, including food and water storage.

Being resilient requires planning and staying in touch

In addition to the websites cited here, smart residents can follow Instant BeReady updates on Twitter. Mark your calendar for the 2020 Be Ready Expo featuring 30-plus preparedness classes and more than 50 vendors. The event takes place March 13-14, 2020 at the Mountain America Expo Center. (There is a 20% discount for registration if tickets are purchased by Feb. 1.) The disaster-preparedness expo will be followed by more than one million Utahns participating in the ninth-annual ShakeOut April 16, 2020. This is the state’s largest earthquake-preparedness drill and can also be registered for. l

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Residents helping to shape the future of Wasatch Boulevard By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com

Cottonwood Heights Resident Mike Snell discusses his feedback on the plans for Wasatch Boulevard. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)

Some of the design considerations residents could consider for Wasatch Boulevard included lighting and landscaping options. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)

Residents were asked to sticker design elements they either liked or disliked with red or green stickers and provide commentary with sticky notes during a threeday planning workshop. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)

During the three-day workshop, residents were asked to provide feedback on design elements for trees (should they be canopy or columnar?), landscaping (should they incorporate perennials or should it be Xeriscaped?), lighting (traditional lighting, bollard style lighting or top hat lighting?), additional landscaping elements (should they incorporate flowerpots, flags, banners and/or holiday decorations?), street furniture (metal or composite benches?), bike lanes, bike racks, public art, entrance features, signage and trailhead branding. Residents were encouraged to survey these different options and provide feedback on what they liked and what they didn’t like (by placing green or red stickers on printed out maps and plans). Each day, the planning teams incorporated resident feedback, refining the options for residents to provide feedback on. With the constant revisions, each day of the three-day workshop had different information available.  “This is a really groundbreaking project

for UDOT. There’s no other project like this in the state,” Thomas said. Most of the details they are trying to narrow in on now wouldn’t usually be considered until much later in the planning process, or even until after construction had begun. In addition, it has been rare for UDOT to seek collaboration in such an expansive manner. With so many stakeholders being involved in the planning process, Thomas hopes the common values for the corridor will be uncovered and built upon. By the end of the planning process, the goal is to have both local residents and regional stakeholders confident with the final plan.  Cottonwood Heights hopes to have a polished master plan that will guide the future evolution of Wasatch Boulevard and the communities it services. Now, resident and stakeholder feedback will be assessed and incorporated by the planning and design teams. By January, they hope to have a complete draft of the longrange plan.. l

UDOT is looking to improve this specific section of Wasatch Boulevard. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)


he future of Wasatch Boulevard has been a primary concern for residents of Cottonwood Heights, especially those in District 4, for years. The stretch of road connecting I-215 to both Big and Little Cottonwood Canyon has become more crowded over the years, especially on ski days. The corridor has been of concern for the Cottonwood Heights City Council, City of Holladay, Sandy City, Salt Lake County, State of Utah, Utah Transit Authority (UTA) and the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), as well. While every stakeholder is in agreement that the future of Wasatch Boulevard needs to be considered seriously, there has been some disagreement over what that should look like. Realizing that conflict, a handful of these entities have been working on a compromise. A long-range master plan study is underway to help inform the Wasatch Boulevard Master Plan, which will be the guiding document for construction over the next two to three years. The study has been ongoing

Page 24 | November 2019

under UDOT leadership and was paid for by a $85,000 grant awarded from the Wasatch Front Regional Council. Part of that study has been collecting resident feedback. On Sept. 11, outside consultants hosted a three-hour charrette: a public workshop where attendees were asked to participate in a series of guided tasks.  After the charette, and meeting with each of the individual stakeholders, a design team put together multiple options to consider for the corridor. One of the final opportunities for resident feedback occurred during an open house held on Oct. 14, 15, and 16 at Cottonwood Heights City Hall (2277 Bengal Boulevard).  From previous resident feedback, UDOT’s Project Manager John Thomas knows Cottonwood Heights residents want the future Wasatch Boulevard Master Plan to have a “rustic mountain aesthetic” inspired by the local outdoor scenery. However, Thomas wanted residents to think more about what that might look like in detail. 

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Brighton girls soccer team suffers heartbreaking loss in state tournament By Josh McFadden | josh@mycityjournals.com


single goal kept the Brighton girls soccer team from advancing to the quarterfinals of the Class 5A state tournament. The Bengals fell on the road at Timpview on Oct. 15 by the count of 2-1. It was just the sixth time in 18 games that Brighton failed to score at least two goals in a game. In the contest, Brighton and Timpview were knotted up at 1-1 at halftime, but the Bengals couldn’t find the back of the net in the second half. Lexi Simpson scored for Brighton, which put up a valiant effort against the Region 7 cochamps. Timpview entered the game with a 14-3 record and had won six games in a row. Brighton reached the second round after upending Region 5’s Woods Cross 2-1 on Oct. 10. Playing in front of a home crowd against the 5-8 Wildcats, the Bengals jumped out to a 2-0 halftime advantage and held on for the victory. In the regular season, the Bengals had the task of playing in one of the most competitive regions in the state. Region 6 foes include Skyline, Murray, Olympus and East, all of which advanced to the second round of the playoffs. The Bengals tied East for fourth place in the league, going 8-5-1 in league games. The team finished 9-8-1 overall. Brighton amassed 48 goals on the season and scored at least three goals in a game seven times this season.

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Kendra Hassell battles for a ball during a home game. The Bengals fell in the second round of the playoffs. (File photo Justin Adams/City Journals)

Defensively, Brighton had its ups and downs on the year but posted three shutouts and had four other games when it allowed just a single goal. Individually, the Bengals got offensive contributions from numerous players. A total of 12 Bengals registered goals, led by the senior Simpson, who had 12. Junior Kate Munger added 11, while junior Sage Stott had six, and senior Bailey Thomas had five.


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Alternative Thanksgiving




hanksgiving, aka Turkey Day, is rarely about the turkey anymore, as the percentage of herbivores continues to rise. Thanksgiving isn’t as common anymore either, it seems that “Friendsgiving” is much more prominent. Just as the traditional food and holiday is favoring alternatives, you might need some alternatives for the holiday cooking as well. Since it’s rumored (dare I say, proven?) that the price of turkey spikes for the holiday, let’s find a cheaper alternative for that. Don’t worry, if you’re a diehard carnivore, there’s still meat alternatives for you: which may include stew meat, ham, chicken or fish. Fantastic vegetarian and vegan alternatives exist for everything Thanksgiving. Alternatives to turkey include: cauliflower steaks, pot pie, mushroom Wellington, cauliflower alfredo, gobi musallam (whole roasted cauliflower) and lasagna soup. Alternatives to gravy include: soup, mushroom gravy and onion gravy. Alternatives to stuffing include: stuffed acorn squash or bell peppers, mushroom croissant stuffing and carrot soufflés. Alternatives to mashed potatoes include cauliflower gratin, mac and cheese (preferably topped with bread crumbs), sweet potatoes and scalloped corn casserole. And well, as long as you’re not tossing milk and meat into everything you’re cooking, you won’t need to alter your favorite recipe for green bean casserole, dinner rolls,

cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Luckily, there are many dishes that can appease both the carnivores and herbivores. Sometimes, you just need to split the batch of whatever you’re cooking in half; leaving half for the vegetarians and vegans and half for the carnivores. Pizza, pasta, rice bowls and mashed potatoes all work great for compromise dishes. (Please be mindful of the kitchenware you’re using when cooking these dishes as some vegetarians have nightmares about cross-contamination.) Make sure not to forget the salad! Thanksgiving is a great time to get crazy with salads. Go fruity with a grape salad, a Honeycrisp apple salad, a pear salad, pomegranate salad or a mango-berry salad. Throw some fruit on top of your leafy greens, and you can’t go wrong. Or get rid of those leafy greens altogether and make a “fluffs” or Jell-O salad. If you go this route though, read the ingredients on the package—some fluff’s and Jell-O’s are not vegan friendly. Now, if you haven’t jumped onboard with Friendsgiving yet, consider this your formal invitation. It’s a holiday-themed event centered around fantastic food and friends that doesn’t involve the risk of (politically-charged) arguments with the relatives. If you are hosting or attending a Friendsgiving, you have more options. Since Friendsgiving usually functions more like a potluck, the more extravagant you get with

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your food choice(s), the better. Everyone will think about bringing a salad, or potatoes or a pie. Don’t be the person to bring another replica side dish. To avoid duplicates, start a Google doc, or other shareable document, with your friends in advance. You might want to plot out the desired courses in advance: appetizers, mains, sides, drinks, desserts, etc. Then, everyone can play to their strengths. The friend that is strictly carnivore can bring the meat options. And the friend that is strictly vegan can bring the vegan options. The friend that has a dessert Instagram account can bring their homemade cake. And the bartender friend can bring the drinks. When utilizing the Google doc, make sure to note any allergies or other dietary restrictions anyone might have. No one wants to spend their holiday worrying about the availability of an EpiPen. In addition, if there’s going to be a good mix of carnivores, vegetarians and vegans, cookers might want to consider dividing their batches in half, one to include meat and one to exclude any meat or dairy, as mentioned above. And remember folks, whether you’re attending a traditional Thanksgiving or alternative Friendsgiving, please remember to be a good guest. Ask the host what they need help with when you arrive, make sure to help clean up before you leave and, last but not least, express your thanks.

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Don’t Forget November


andwiched between October and December, November is the bologna of months. Everyone pulls it out, gives it a sniff, then tosses it in the trash. Once Halloween is over, we blast into a frenzy of Christmas shopping and decorating, forgetting all about this beautiful month full of autumn leaves, crisp apples and carb overload. We need a marketing team to change the perception of November from “Brownish month when we count our blessings” to “A kaleidoscope of excitement. And pie.” Okay, maybe “kaleidoscope” is overkill, and it’s hard to spell, but you get the idea. Thanksgiving continues its reign as the best holiday between Halloween and Christmas but even the cherished turkey day has its opponents. It’s almost impossible to tell the origin story of Thanksgiving without pissing someone off. Let’s just say people living in America (probably not its original name) in the 1600s created the first Chuck-A-Rama, minus the carrot-filled Jell-O. In the U.S., any holiday that has the tagline “An Attitude of Gratitude” is doomed from the start but what if we created a terrifying mascot? People like threats and merchandising. What if Gerta the Ghoulishly Grateful Goose (sold as a freakish Beanie Babies stuffed animal) flies into your bedroom on Thanksgiving Eve to make sure you’re being thankful. Not enough gratitude? She pecks your forehead and flies off with your pumpkin

pies. Instead of Elf on the Shelf, how about Goose on the Loose? You read it here first, people. What else happens in November . . . ? Election Day! The first Tuesday after the first Monday when the moon is full and pythons are mating, is set aside for foreign nations to measure success by screwing up election results with fake social media content. As opposed, to genuine social media content. Consider this year a dry-run for the 2020 Apocalyptic Election to End all Elections. Black Friday is also in November. What if we protest Black Friday sales and refuse to shop or decorate for Christmas until, call me crazy, December 1? Christmas is sneaky. Once you allow Christmas tree lots to set up in November, it’s an easy slide into year-round Christmas where everyone is miserable and broke. Charles Dickens could (posthumously) pen a story where we learn Ebenezer Scrooge was right all along, perhaps titled, “A Christmas Peril.” Movember is also a thing where men are encouraged to grow moustaches to raise awareness for the importance of shaving – and men’s health issues. A group of women have also sworn to stop shaving for the month. That group is called Europe. The first Wednesday in November is Stress Awareness Day, created by parents who realize Christmas is weeks away and their children are reaching frenetic levels of idio-

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cy. Maybe November needs its own alcoholic beverage that we start drinking on this day. How about a mulled cider with a tequila chaser called the No No November? Veteran’s Day is cool. World Kindness Day is super nice. But let’s tackle the real meaning of November. Pie. Pie is the reason for November. With harvest foods like apples and pumpkins and peaches and pears and banana cream, pie in November is as necessary as breathing, especially if breathing is slathered in homemade whipped cream or served a la mode. So instead of treating November like it’s some type of disgusting mystery meat, can we agree it’s at least hamburger, maybe even a sirloin? Who knows, if we keep slapping Christmas back to its own month we might even enjoy the leaves, the apples – and the pie. Always the pie.

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