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NOVEMBER 2017 | Vol. 14 Iss. 11



ew things catch Cottonwood Heights Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore off guard, but that’s what happened when he received a call informing him he was a recipient of the Canyons School District Apex Legacy Award. “I was told I’d be honored for my contributions to Canyons School District and I was surprised,” he said. In September, Cullimore was honored as a Canyons Apex award winner along with 12 other individuals and community partners who were recognized at the school district’s eighth annual Apex Awards banquet. Winners for the crystal award, which is the highest honor given by the Canyons administration and board of education, were nominated by the public. “We host this event every year to pay tribute to those in our community who have stood should-to-shoulder with us as we have worked to deliver a world-class education,” said Board President Sherril Taylor. “Whether your jobs are in a classroom or at the state capitol, you have taken to heart the sentiments that it takes a village to raise a child, that many hands make light work, that teamwork, as so eloquently stated by Andrew Carnegie, ‘is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.’” Cullimore appreciated the recognition. “It’s wonderful, but I was doing what I saw best for our community and our kids,” he said. Cullimore referred to the official 2009 launch of Canyons School District and his supporting the vote to divide Jordan School District in half. “Cottonwood Heights heavily wanted a new district. Two of our elementary schools, Cottonwood Heights and Mountview, had closed and there was talk of closing another. Our schools weren’t getting upgrades and our community was being

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affected with the closures,” he said. Cullimore, who served as chair of the mayor’s committee, met with several others to ensure the vote passed in his community. He also has served as chair of Bella Vista Elementary’s school community council and with Jordan Education Foundation. But he’s not always in board rooms. Cullimore also will step into the schools, wearing a Dr. Seuss hat, to read to children, or to talk about his careers both as mayor and as CEO of a medical device company to middle school and high school students. “Education is what it’s all about and we need to invest in our community, our kids, our future,” he said. State Rep. Marie Poulson, who won the Apex Elected Official of the Year Award, also is a staunch supporter of Canyons School District and public education. Cottonwood Heights Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore, seen here at Ridgecrest Elementary’s 50th anniversary, was “I taught 20 years in the classroom awarded the Canyons School District Apex Legacy Award. (Julie Slama/City Journals) and was involved in the PTA with my five kids in Canyons schools,” she said. children, said much discussion falls on standardized testing. “There are few of us with classroom experience in the legisla- While it’s good to have benchmarks, she said much of it should ture who really understand what the effect is going to be when be reorganized. we talk about issues concerning students and the classrooms.” Poulson said she can compare it to farming with the saying, Poulson, who has the voice of the teachers, the parents and “If we spend all our time weighing and measuring than feeding, the community alongside the interests of what is best for school it’s a problem.”

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CottoNwood HeigHts CitY JourNal

Brighton High’s new peer leadership team honors local fire, police departments By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com The Cottonwood-Holladay City Journal is a monthly publication distributed directly to residents via the USPS as well as locations throughout Cottonwood and Holladay. For information about distribution please email circulation@mycityjournals.com or call our offices. Rack locations are also available on our website. For subscriptions please contact: circulation@mycityjournals.com The views and opinions expressed in display advertisements do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions held by Loyal Perch Media or the City Journals. This publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written consent of the owner.

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

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Members of Brighton’s new peer leadership team took a basket full of goodies to the local fire department on Sept. 11. (April Ball/Brighton High School)


hen Tom Sherwood became principal of Brighton High this summer, one of the first things he did was approach Brighton teacher April Ball to begin a peer leadership team. “When he asked if I wanted to teach it, he piqued my interest saying we provide service to the community,” Ball said. “I teach English and I wanted to advise this, give our students a chance to be in a different environment and help the community.” At local high schools, the peer leadership team (PLT) devotes time and energy to promote a drug-, alcohol- and violence-free environment for the school and the community. The teams traditionally visit local elementary schools presenting the peer refusal skills to students through skits and songs, demonstrating bad situations such as cheating, stealing, lying, bullying, vandalizing and using drugs. Ball, who has a fifth-grader, asked her child to tell her about the recent high school’s PLT visit. “My kid liked it and said the high-schoolers taught them a lot of skills that they could use,” she said.

Thank You

Brighton’s PLT plans to follow other schools by teaching fifth-graders at Bella Vista, Brookwood, Butler, Canyon View and Oakdale elementary schools the five peer refusal skills — ask what is going on; identify any trouble, because that could cause harm or be wrong; state the consequences, such as if someone could get hurt or in trouble; provide an alternative activity; and go somewhere else, but give a choice to the person suggesting the negative activity to join in another positive choice. Ball also sees the 12-member team’s service extending to the community, which is what they did in September. “We decided to honor our police and fire departments, so we gathered donations for baskets and delivered those on 9/11. We also handwrote thank-you messages that went along with the goodies,” she said. Donations of money and items came in from local businesses as well, including Home Depot, Reams and Smith’s. One family donated gift cards from Gyro Gyro. Students then supplemented the contributions

with homemade brownies, granola bars, cookies, potato chips and other assorted snack items. At the local fire department, students were invited to see the new Rosenbauer tractor-drawn-aerial unit. The newly acquired emergency vehicle is a tower truck with a water nozzle that reaches 100 feet high and has a 300-gallon water tank. It has a rear steering wheel to help make it maneuverable on tight corners. “It was huge — the kind you could drive both in the front and back,” she said. “Both the fire and police department were so grateful we remembered them.” Senior Colton Evans said he liked giving gift baskets to the local police and fire departments. “(It) made me feel gracious for all that they do for us in our community,” Evans said. “I know the risks and challenges that they face every day because my dad is a police officer and I love to hear the stories he tells me about his job.” Senior Max Jackson said it was an honor to give thanks and honor those who serve and remember those who saved lives on Sept. 11. “Being a part of a project that could bring light to someone else’s life, and especially those who have seen traumatic things that I could only imagine or have only seen on an old video, is something that I took pleasure in and was humbled by,” he said. “The men and women who served on that terrible day deserve so much and the peer leadership team at Brighton gave our gratitude to those who we owe an enormous thank-you.” Jackson also said this opportunity united the PLT. “At the beginning of the course, I hadn’t the slightest idea of any of the current peers of mine. This project has brought me closer with all of my classmates, and has taught me personally how to work with others that I originally wouldn’t ever think that I would talk to. The experiences and relationships I have established in this PLT are unforgettable,” he said. Brighton’s PLT is continuing to look at other opportunities to serve, from tutoring to helping with the elderly. “When we work together, we can make a difference,” Ball said. “Already we’re making a difference as these students, many of them who didn’t know each other, have worked together and are learning and using leadership skills. They’re excited about coming up with more service ideas.” 

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CottoNwood HeigHts CitY JourNal

From Afghanistan to the classroom: New Butler principal shows there are many ways to serve


Butler Elementary Principal Jeff Nalwalker at his desk. (Joshua Wood/City Journals)

By Joshua Wood | joshw@mycityjournals.com

ilitary deployment might not come to mind as a prerequisite for leading an elementary school, but new Butler Elementary principal Jeff Nalwalker is not your typical educator. His unique background and years of public sector experience show the range of ways a person can serve the community. Nalwalker served as a field artillery officer in the Army National Guard after high school and was deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. He retired from the National Guard eight years ago, but has retained some of the traits he learned in the military. “There are elements of discipline that carry over from the military to school,” Nalwalker said after giving a firm handshake. “The difference is that kids need to have fun and feel loved.” Nalwalker’s lifetime of service has transitioned from military duty to an impressive background in education. He taught second and fourth grade in Murray for 17 years before he began his career in school administration as an assistant principal for a year at Copperview Elementary. Prior to moving to Butler Elementary, Nalwalker spent seven years as the principal of Midvalley Elementary. Now as he looks out the window of his office in the new Butler Elementary School at the stunning Wasatch Mountains, Nalwalker explains what is most rewarding about his position. “It’s all about individual kids and their success,” he said. “I focus on supporting teachers and building relationships with the kids.” Nalwalker said he specifically enjoys helping kids who have struggled and then seeing them succeed. “As a kid, I was a principal’s worst nightmare,” he admitted. “That’s why I relate to kids who struggle. I believe in discipline

with dignity and enjoy seeing kids succeed.” With Butler Elementary School’s French dual-immersion program, Nalwalker gets to see kids overcome early struggles on a regular basis. During his first week at Butler, he entered a firstgrade class of the dual-immersion program. A child in the room was in tears. When asked what was wrong, she said she didn’t understand anything and was clearly frustrated. Nalwalker had an idea. “I took her to one of the fifth-grade French classrooms,” he said. “She sat in the back and was amazed to see the older children speaking and understanding French. I then asked the class who in the room was scared or frustrated when they started the program in first grade. Everyone in the room raised their hand.” Nalwalker then asked what got them through that frustrating time. “Our friends,” they all said. “Working together” was another answer. That experience helped the first-grader see that others had gotten through the same thing and that all of her friends were now going through it with her as well. With his empathy for children and desire to see them succeed, it seems like Nalwalker was born to be an educator. When asked if he had always wanted to go into education, he said, “No. At first I wanted to be a dentist. One day, though, a friend invited me to sign up for an intro to education class, and that was that.” Butler Elementary offers a new chapter in Nalwalker’s long history of public work and service. “I feel honored to be in this community with the staff and families. I look forward to working with them for years. My door is always open.” 

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Canines connect community at Bark in the Park


By Joshua Wood | joshw@mycityjournals.com

n a community that loves its animals, dogs helped bring hundreds of people together during the annual Bark in the Park event at Mountview Park on Sept. 16. Dog owners got to enjoy the sunshine, special canine access to the park’s splash pad, obstacle courses, local business giveaways and a demonstration from the Cottonwood Heights Police K-9 unit. Bark in the Park is held each year to showcase the unique sway that dogs have in the community. Event co-coordinator Kris Monty shared her enthusiasm for the event. “Bark in the Park helps bring the community together,” Monty said. “And it’s awesome that we have a K-9 unit in Cottonwood Heights. People get to see how much training the police dogs get.” This year’s Bark in the Park also featured Dogs enjoyed Bark in the Park freebie Frisbees. (Dan Metcalf, Jr./Cottonwood dog demonstrations by Heights) Dianne Roberg, a local fy for the K-9 unit.” Betenson demonstrated the dog trainer. She offered training tips and provided entertainment for results of that training as his dog Kai grasped the crowd. “This event helps us get out and en- and held onto the arm of a fellow officer in a joy the community,” Roberg said. “There is so padded suit to demonstrate how the dogs demuch to know about dogs. The more I learn, the fend their partners. As soon as the officer simulated an aggressive move toward Betenson, Kai less I realize I know.” To help teach community members more was there to take hold of the situation. “This is an opportunity for the community about dogs, the Cottonwood Heights Police K-9 to see what the dogs can do,” Betenson added. unit offered a demonstration of their dogs’ caCommunity members in attendance got to pabilities. They featured three dogs, two Belgian malinoises and one yellow lab. Under the run their dogs through a number of obstacles expert guidance of their officer handlers, the including ramps, tubes and barriers to leap over. dogs showed off their ability to sniff out narcot- The K-9 unit then led their three dogs through ics and track suspects. In one demonstration, an the course to show off their training. The tallest officer lined up four orange traffic cones, one obstacle showed how the dogs can scale a sixwith something hidden inside. Each time the foot-high fence when in pursuit of a suspect. After a run through the obstacle course, cones were rearranged, the dog would sniff out its target, and sit by it to signal to the officer and any dog that wanted to could cool down on the Mountview Park splash pad, which was shutenjoy the crowd’s applause. The dogs also showed off their ability ting down for the season. With dozens of dogs to track down criminal suspects. Each dog is of varying sizes in attendance, the splash pad trained to engage a suspect, hold on, and not let served as an ideal spot for a canine meet-andgo until told to do so. Officer Ken Eatchel, who greet. Bark in the Park also featured booths and conducted the demonstration, said the dogs are displays by local companies and treat bags and deployed three to four times per shift and are trained to follow a suspect’s scent. “We haven’t tennis balls for all the dogs in attendance. Event co-coordinator Jamie Jackson found anyone yet who can outrun the dogs,” summed up the event by stating, “It’s nice being Eatchel said. According to Officer Bryan Betenson, part of a community that loves dogs so much.” “Each dog needs 640 hours of training to certi- 

Local girls represent at Girls State and Girls Nation


ride, democracy, patriotism, growth, inspiration, friendship, empowerment — these are all words that describe the Girls State and Girls Nation experience. Girls State: The Girls State program is sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary in each respective state of the country to educate youth about civic responsibility and government processes. For six days during the month of June, Weber State University hosts hundreds of girls selected throughout the state of Utah. This year, 15 girls were selected by the Sandy American Legion Auxiliary, Unit 77. They represented their school as follows: Alta — McKenzie Gutierrez, Lauren Webb; Brighton — Bethany Cutler, Sarah Ellis, Anna Kaufman; Corner Canyon — Aubree Covington, Darienne DeBrule, Bryn Jorgensen, Melise Zundel; Hillcrest — Re-

becca Dawes, Madison Parker; Jordan — Raegan Davenport, Gabrielle Marz, Adrian Pozernick; Juan Diego — Rori Phibbs. These students participated in a hands-on educational experience concerning government process through elections, mock trials, music and seminars with public officials. Each girl ran for office on a city, county and state level and received three hours of political science credit. Girls Nation: Girls State delegates selected two Girls State senators to represent them at Girls Nation. Raquel Rhoades from Corner Canyon High School was elected to represent Utah Girls State at Girls Nation in Washington, D.C. in July 2016. She will return with the Girls State governor, attorney general and additional senator to run the 2017 session of Utah Girls State. 

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Page 6 | November 2017

CottoNwood HeigHts CitY JourNal

Protect, preserve and enhance


By Cassie Goff cassie@mycityjournals.com

pen space has been a major concern as the population in the Salt Lake area rises and development all over the state of Utah flourishes. Many residents of Cottonwood Heights frequently voice their concerns regarding maintaining open space within their beautiful city between the canyons. On Sept. 28, the community and economic development department held an open house to allow a conversation for some of these concerns. The open space open house was held in the Community Room of the Cottonwood Heights City Hall located at 2277 E. Bengal Blvd. When attendees arrived at the open house, they were asked to fill out a survey either online or on paper. Once they had completed the survey, they were given three numbered stickers. As attendees walked around the community room, they looked over three maps that broke the city into three parts: east, west and central. They placed their stickers where they thought open space needed to be protected, preserved or enhanced. Then, they wrote comments on the outside margins of the maps with corresponding numbers. The maps had highlighted areas so residents could visualize the current open spaces throughout the city. Some of these spaces are problematic for varying reasons, such as poor maintenance, steepness of a hill and ownership conflicts. Many residents came to this event, including a number of city council members and additional city staff members. By far, the most popular area of interest was District 1, which concerned open space around Wasatch

Boulevard, Kings Hill and multiple trails. Some of the common concerns among the attendees were ingress and egress, preservation and enhancement of parks, pocket parks, biking, encroaching development and existing fields. Crestwood Park and Mill Hallow Park were also areas of interest. By the end of the open house the maps were filled with comments. “There’s a sense of community with open spaces,” Community and Economic Development Director Brian Berndt said. “There were good discussions, got questions answered and conveyed concerns.” The Cottonwood Heights Community and Economic Development staff plans to take the feedback received from this open house and turn it into a usable open space master plan. They plan to partner with Bike Utah, Ski Utah, Holladay, Sandy, the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), UTA and the ski resorts to help protect open space within the area. “This will start the conversation and introduce ideas of what we can do,” Berndt said. The survey given at the open house is still available online. To take it, please visit http://cottonwoodheights.utah.gov/cms/One.aspx?portalId=109778&pageId=10381277. The city may hold another open house, so follow the website for relevant information. A complete city map with all the comments collected from this open City staff addressed concerns about open space from residents. (Cassie Goff/City Journals) house is also available to download or view from the above link. 

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CottoNwoodHeigHts JourNal .Com Continued from front cover...

“I think that’s where we are. Perhaps we’ve gone overboard. We look at SAGE standardized testing, school grades, high school juniors testing in English and so many more. We don’t always recognize what is going on in the classrooms, how teachers are helping our students grow. I know. I’ve been there. We need to streamline it,” she said. Poulson also said she hasn’t stepped far away from schools. She still returns to talk to Canyons students about serving in the house at the state capitol as well as give tours. “This award is really meaningful as I’ve worked so many years with children and it comes from other educators,” she said. Working in the schools is at the heart of Rayna Drago’s service, who won the Canyons Volunteer of the Year Award. As a two-year PTA president at Canyon View Elementary, Drago is often found volunteering, fundraising, tutoring and mentoring — serving just about wherever she sees a need. She said her focus is to brighten a child’s day, but she also wants to give those around her a boost. For example, Drago had just sent out an email with a silly joke when she received a call from the district. “I thought, ‘oh no, someone didn’t like the silly comment I put in,’ and so I thought I was in trouble,” she said. Instead, the call was to tell her that she would be receiving the Apex Award. “It was overwhelming and totally unexpected,” she said, adding that when former Canyon View principal BJ Weller surprised her with balloons at recess, she was instantly surrounded by students cheering. “Everyone said I lived at the school for those two years and I just took it to a new level. They knew if there was a job to be done, I’d get it done,” she said. Drago said simple things like a movie night, having a dude lunch for students and their dads, grandfathers and other male role models or posting photos of the principal and having kids search for “Where’s Weller” brought smiles to the students. “I just looked for fun things, new events and activities for the students to make a difference in their lives,” she said. Impacting students’ lives is what RizePoint’s goal has been for the past two years, said its CEO Frank Maylett. RizePoint, a Cottonwood Heights-based software company, was awarded the Business Partner of the Year. “I was in a meeting when our chief marketing staff member came in and said, ‘I’m happily interrupting’ and told us about the award. I’m pragmatic. I thought, ‘Why us? We haven’t done enough. There’s more we can do,’” he said. However, RizePoint has donated $5,000 to the Canyons Education Foundation to provide scholarships for students to attend STEM camps so about 20 students each summer can learn about space, computer science, engineering, marine science and more. “We want to expand that so more students can benefit,” he said.

Maylett understands the hardship many students and their families face and know without help, they may not be able to attend such camps. “I grew up with a single parent and we were incredibly poor. I couldn’t pay for a lot of participation fees and sports, so STEM camps were out of the question,” he said. Maylett is a believer in providing service and giving opportunity to those in his community. “One day per quarter, we shut down the company to go out to do service. It’s an investment I’m willing to make to help our employees be better employees and to help people in our community,” he said. Recently, RizePoint employees talked to area students and had mini coding lessons at Utah STEM Fest and helped with United Way. They also have helped get supplies to East Midvale Elementary students. “I think about the bumper sticker, ‘think globally, act locally.’ If all the businesses could step up to help our schools, think of the significant impact we could make,” Maylett said. “We celebrated the award in our office with the focus being on we’re helping young people’s success. We pay it forward and toasted the students and Canyons School District.” Several employees who serve for the entire District were honored, including External Affairs Director Charlie Evans, Nutrition Services Director Sebasthian Varas and Student Support Services Instructional Specialist Susan Henrie.

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CottoNwood HeigHts CitY JourNal

Basement apartments coming under city’s microscope By Cassie Goff cassie@mycityjournals.com


ver the past few months, Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) have been a hot topic of conversation for city leaders and residents within Cottonwood Heights. Commonly referred to as mother-in-law apartments, ADUs are currently not under any code within the city. As city staff members attempt to draft an ordinance concerning these living spaces, much feedback has been received. Accessory Dwelling Units are currently defined as a “residential dwelling unit meant for one additional single family located on the same lot as a single-family home, either within the same building…or in a detached building.” The issue There is no code for Cottonwood Heights that addresses ADUs. For that reason, every ADU within the city is technically considered illegal. That includes the creation and operation of such living spaces. “This has been brewing for years,” Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore said. “The problem is that these ADUs are illegal; any type of basement apartment is illegal in the city.” “Hundreds of these already exist,” Councilman Mike Shelton said during a weekly city council meeting. The approval process for ADUs “must be designed to conform with all current codes.” “I hate a system that favors people who are willing to break the law,” Shelton continued. “That’s what we have right now.” With the creation of an ADU ordinance, the existing ADUs should be able to come into compliance. For an ADU approval, the applicant would need to meet certain requirements, which would include a building inspection. Timeline City staff members originally began to look at drafting an ADU ordinance earlier this year. On July 11, staff members reported to the Cottonwood Heights City Council that they had begun work on the ordinance. By July 18, an ADU ordinance was still being drafted to help existing ADUs “come into compliance within a few year’s period of time,” Senior Planner Mike Johnson said. On August 2, the Cottonwood Heights Planning Commission conversed on the topic as it was listed as a discussion item on the meeting agenda. They discussed the pending ordinance regarding the permitting and regulation of ADUs.

On Sept. 6, an initial public hearing was held. Throughout the rest of September and October, much public comment was centered on this issue during city council meetings, planning commission meetings and through email. Currently, public input is still being sought. Feedback Many residents have voiced concern about the drafted ordinance. Some of the common concerns include enforcement (if the code is enforced to the fullest extent, families may be displaced), parking, affordable housing, densification and public safety. Resident Nancy Hardy had some questions for the city council to take into consideration on Aug. 22. “How does the city benefit from the ADU? How do you keep the zones as single family zones? Does the ADU fit into the general plan and vision of Cottonwood Heights and how will it be enforced?” “Neighborhoods could double in density,” Hardy continued. “Would there be a limit on how many ADUs could be in the city and how many people could live in each? What is the required percentage of affordable housing and what dollar is considered affordable housing for Cottonwood Heights?” On Sept. 12, Hardy commented to the council once more. “ADUs are like any other kind of densifying development, but they are subtle. A few will be built in neighborhoods each year and each ADU changes the neighborhood just a little bit. They will not instantly change a city but the effects are long term.” Resident Teven Grace had some questions as well. “How does this serve to enrich and sustain this community? We should not be responsible for those who can’t afford to live here. This city is intended for quiet suburban living, rather than conversion of single family homes to multi-family homes.” Resident Jen Fredrickson echoed these comments. “I don’t see how this is going to help our community.” The draft While continually drafting an ADU ordinance, city staff members including Johnson and Community and Economic Development Director Brian Berndt have taken resident feedback into consideration.

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November 2017 | Page 9

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Residents are worried that an ADU ordinance will densify Cottonwood Heights. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)

Life safety standards are a top priority for this ordinance. “We need to make things safe for people,” Johnson said. “About nine other cities have adopted an ordinance for ADUs,” Cullimore said. “Ours needs to be effective. If it’s not, then we shouldn’t pass it.” The current draft of the ADU ordinance is available on the city website. The draft emphasizes that ADUs “in single-family residential zones are an important tool in the overall housing goals and needs of the city, and allow for alternative and flexible housing options in owner-occupied single-family residences.” The draft states that the purposes of this ordinance are to: “A. Preserve and enhance life safety standards required for residential occupancy through the creation of a regulatory process for accessory dwelling units; B. Provide housing options for individuals and families in all stages of life and/or with moderate income who might otherwise have difficulty finding adequate housing within the city; C. Provide opportunities to offset rising housing costs and promote reinvestment in existing single-family neighborhoods; D. Preserve the character of single family neighborhoods through

adequate standards governing ADUs.” Many types of ADUs are defined in the current draft; including: ADU, attached ADU, detached ADU, flag lot, owner occupancy, principal dwelling unit, short-term rental. The zoning for each of these ADUs is defined as well. In order to come into compliance, the draft states that an “attached ADU…may be allowed as a permitted use upon completion of an ADU application form…payment of fees, property inspection, signed affidavit and any necessary building permits.” Detached ADUs may come into compliance with a few additional requirements. One of the requirements to apply to every ADU is “two off-street parking spaces in addition to required parking for the principal dwelling unit. In no case shall fewer than four total off-street parking stalls be provided for any property with an ADU.” http://cottonwoodheights. utah.gov/UserFiles/Servers/Server_109694/File/Departments/Planning/Agendas and Minutes/2017/ADU ORDINANCE DRAFT 8.15.17.pdf What now? City leaders are still looking for input on the drafted ADU ordinance. Many residents have requested a page for other comments to be posted, so

they can understand what other people are thinking throughout the city. That page is currently being constructed and will be open to the public soon. On Nov. 8, from 6:30–8:30 p.m., Cottonwood Heights will hold an informal town hall about ADUs. City staff members will be seeking input from as many residents as possible, specifically relating to the preliminary draft of the ordinance. The event will take place at City Hall, on 2277 E. Bengal Blvd. The ordinance will not be considered for approval until January. For more information, read last month’s article “New ordinance for accessory buildings,” visit the city website or social media, or contact any of the following people: Planning Department Contact: Senior Planner, Mike Johnson — mjohnson@ch.utah.gov City Council Contact: District 1, Mike Shelton — mshelton@ch.utah. gov District 2, Scott Bracken — sbracken@ch.utah.gov District 3, Mike Peterson — mpeterson@ch.utah.gov District 4, Tee Tyler — ttyler@ ch.utah.gov Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore — kcullimore@ch.utah.gov 

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State epidemic impacts city


he homeless population in Salt Lake has been in the news frequently ever since legislation was proposed to tackle the increasing problem. Even though this issue extends beyond the boundaries of Cottonwood Heights, the city has been directly impacted. One of the solutions for the Rio Grande project was to relocate some families out of the area. The families were moved into hotels for multiple nights throughout the valley. One of the hotels that housed some of these homeless families was located in Cottonwood Heights. “They are using taxpayer money to put them in hotel rooms in our city,” Police Chief Robby Russo said. As this problem became a common occurrence in the city, the Cottonwood Heights Police Department noticed a spike in crime. “Some were seen in local bathroom stalls shooting up. People are now buying heroin in our parking lots and shooting up in the bathrooms,” Russo said. This issue was discussed during the business session of the Cottonwood Heights City Council Meeting on Oct. 10. “There was a meeting at the state capitol today about Rio Grande,” Russo said. “The state was there, along with the county mayor’s office, city mayor’s office, Utah Department of Transportation and the health department.”

By Cassie Goff cassie@mycityjournals.com

The CHPD has noticed a spike in crime as some of the homeless population has been relocated within the city. (CHPD/Cottonwood Heights)

One of the results of this meeting was a request for the chiefs around the valley. They hope to have a data set of coded reports that deal with people from the Rio Grande. “It really needs to be at the chief’s level because it’s an important topic,” Russo said.

On Oct. 3, Councilman Mike Peterson and City Manager John Park reported on a Conference of Mayors meeting they attended the previous week. “The main topic of the meeting was the challenge that the county has had with the Rio Grande area and breaking up the homeless congregation.”

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Station 110 gets new fire truck By Cassie Goff cassie@mycityjournals.com

The ladder on a TDA Tiller can stretch up to 100 feet. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)


hat can one of the biggest firetrucks really do? Firefighters from Station 110 attempted to answer this question during a demonstration of their newly acquired tiller truck on Sept. 12, before the weekly city council meeting. Station 110 is part of the Unified Fire Authority (UFA), which provides fire-related services to the Greater Salt Lake Area. UFA has purchased five Rosenbauer Tractor-Drawn Aerial (TDA) Tiller trucks. TDAs have “highly specialized turntable ladders mounted on a semi-trailer truck….Ladder trucks are by necessity rather long and tiller trucks are far more maneuverable than traditional commercial trucks of similar length.” “It’s a really amazing machine,” Cottonwood Heights Assistant City Manager Bryce Haderlie said while watching the fire crew demonstrate the functions of the truck. A TDA Tiller is much larger than many emergency

vehicles; it’s extremely tall and long, requiring stabilizers to be grounded before use. The ladder on this TDA can stretch up to 100 feet. At the end of the 100 feet, the ladder is equipped with a hose, which is operated remotely from an engineer on the ground. The hose can spray water up to 94 feet. The tower of the TDA can hold up to 500 pounds during a rescue. The truck is also equipped with a 300-gallon water tank and a rear steering wheel to aid with maneuvering in tight spaces. Generally, this Tiller costs about $900,000. The TDA being demonstrated was painted with the designation ML-110. ML refers to the ladder type, which lets other first responders know that this apparatus has at least two accompanying paramedics. The number 110 refers to its home station, so other first responders can identify where the truck came from. The fire crew demonstrated the capabilities of this machine, showing how they could rescue from atop City Hall and from the small gully adjacent to it. The entire demonstration was completed under the proud gaze of UFA’s Assistant Chief Mike Watson and Battalion Chief Ross Fowlks. A few residents showed up to watch the demonstration along with the city council members. Many staff members from inside City Hall poked their heads out to watch as well, including Event Coordinator Ann Eatchel and Public Works Director Matt Shipp. “This is really fun, isn’t it?” Watson said. “Definitely better than sitting in an office.” Additional crew members arrived in the middle of the demonstration, after returning from a call. Within that crew was a high school intern who has been trying to decide which leg of first responding she wants to go into: firefighting or police work. The firefighters are determined to keep her around. This TDA Tiller is the first to be in service out of the five UFA has purchased. The next one to be in service will be in Magna, along with other various locations throughout the Salt Lake area. Other entities, cities and townships that make up UFA include the Copperton Township, Eagle Mountain City, the Emigration Township, Herriman City, Kearns Township, Magna Township, Midvale City, Riverton City, Taylorsville City, White City Township, Draper City, Cottonwood Heights City, Holladay City, Town of Alta and the Unincorporated Salt Lake County area. Within these areas, there are 29 stations and five additional facilities. Two of those are located within Cottonwood Heights; Station 110 is located on 1790 Fort Union Blvd., just up the street from Mountview Park, and Station 116 is located on 8303 Wasatch Blvd, adjacent to Golden Hills Park. 

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CottoNwood HeigHts CitY JourNal

New entries and a new home for the annual Cottonwood Heights Art Show By Joshua Wood | joshw@mycityjournals.com

Attendees take in the 2017 Cottonwood Heights Art Show open house. (Dan Metcalf, Jr./Cottonwood Heights)


or the first time, the Cottonwood Heights Art Show was held in the new city hall, and a wider variety of pieces went on display to commemorate the occasion. The art show had previously been held at Whitmore Library, but in its eighth iteration, the annual event showed off the community’s many talents in a new setting. “This year’s art show featured a lot of variety,” said Kim Pedersen, the Cottonwood Heights Arts Council production manager. “We were happy to have sculptures, a wood bowl and clay pieces in addition to paintings.” Adorning the city hall walls were landscapes of familiar Utah settings, cityscapes, portraits, pet por-

traits and many more creative works. A wide range of media were used, from more traditional oil paints to paper collage. The bright city hall lighting provided an excellent venue for visitors to enjoy the creative work of their friends and neighbors. The Cottonwood Heights Arts Council organized the event. The council coordinates cultural events to stimulate community interest, involvement, appreciation and education in the arts. This year’s art show served as a prime example of the talent residing in the community as well as residents’ support for the arts. Fortunately for the arts council, the community is rich in artistic talent. The art show continues to witness an en-

thusiastic response from artists in Cottonwood Heights. Community members entered 58 pieces for the exhibition. “It was great to have diverse pieces and more forms of art,” Pedersen said. “We were really pleased.” Entries were displayed starting in August until the culminating open house on September 21. Those in attendance for the open house strolled the exhibits in City Hall and also had the chance to vote for their favorite pieces. The people’s choice selections were Dean Kezerian for his depiction of a bird, titled “New Beginnings,” DonRaphael Wynn for his “Fruit Still Life” and Shirley Ann Collins for her painting “Autumn Aspens Two.” The event served as a

celebration of the arts in Cottonwood Heights. No official awards were given for best artwork because, according to organizers, everyone who enters wins. Cottonwood Heights residents also win for getting the opportunity to experience the talent demonstrated by their fellow community members. For those interested in participating next year, registration will begin in the summer. In the meantime, the spring photography contest will start accepting entries in February. Prizes will be awarded during this event. Visit http://www.cottonwoodheights.utah.gov/community/ arts for the latest on Cottonwood Heights arts and events. 

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November 2017 | Page 13

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Ridgecrest students take to the streets for fitness, fundraiser By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


sha Himmighoefer stood along the Ridgecrest neighborhood streets along with two of her younger children and a nephew, cheering on her kindergartner, Gabriel, in Ridgecrest Elementary’s annual fun run. “He was making sure I had signed the (permission) paper and we put his shoes away so we knew where they were,” she said. “He wanted to make sure he was ready. He was really excited.” Classmate Eli Jackson, who likes to ride his bike for exercise, was the second kindergartner to finish. “I like running as fast as I can,” he said. While kindergartners ran one-half mile, the first-graders through fifth-graders completed one mile through the neighborhood, dotted with volunteers. Some parents, younger siblings, as well as staff and faculty joined students in the run. Principal Julie Winfree cheered on the students. “This brings us together as a community,” she said. “We have community members coming out to support them, parents come out to run and volunteer, and it brings energy to every kid. It’s a pretty easy fundraiser and we have so much fun with it.” PTA President Marci Cardon said that as of the run on Oct. 6, about $13,500 had been counted. This year’s goal is $20,000, or $28 per student. “We use the funds to benefit the students and our school programs,” she said. Those include activities such as spelling bee, talent show, Chinese New Year celebration, chess champs, Ridgecrest Runner, Reflections, as well as classroom enhancements, teacher appreciation and classroom parties. The PTA also distributed fun run T-shirts to every students

and had fresh fruit at the finish line. At an assembly, the PTA will distribute vouchers to a trampoline park to the top five students who raise the most money. The grade that brings in the most money will get to participate in candy “raining” from the roof, she added. Once the school reaches its goal, students will get to celebrate with a party, Cardon said. Many of the students prepared for the fun run by participating in Ridgecrest Runners, a group that meets for 45 minutes in the morning to run one mile before school begins. By the end of the year, those student runners will have completed the equivalent of a marathon and will celebrate with medals and T-shirts. “I love them being outside and active, so the fundraiser is part of my goals for the students,” Cardon said. In September, they held a kick-off for the fun run, with music and dancing and “a lot of fun,” she said. Students learned how they could bring back contributions, including having friends and family donate online. Before students ran, DJ Rob and Reggie the Tiger, the school mascot, warmed up students. “The students have a lot of fun dancing, stretching and getting warmed up,” PTA secretary Idie Atencio said. While the course has changed throughout the years, many say this route is their favorite. “Everyone seems to like it being in front of the school,” Winfree said. “We have our Playworks coach, parents, staff, faculty, Watch DOGS dads and so many people running with the kids, enjoying this beautiful day. It’s a great way to build community and help our school at the same time.” 

Ridgecrest kindergarteners race through the neighborhood as part of their fun run to help raise funds for their school. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

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Winter driving safety: Snow falls and you slow down By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com

The long line at the local auto body shop isn’t just for oil changes, it’s for winter tires too. With temperatures dropping and leaves soon to follow, it’s time for a refresher course on safe winter driving. 1) Know the conditions Technology affords us the privilege of knowing road conditions before ever leaving the house. Utah Department of Transportation has more than 2,200 traffic cameras or sensors which gives visuals and data on all major UDOT roads. Drivers can then adjust their routes or schedules according to the heaviness of traffic making for less congestion and less risk for accidents. The UDOT app means you can see all those cameras from your phone. Twitter feeds also provide alerts about traffic situations throughout the state, including roads up the canyon. Unified Police have a canyon alerts twitter page for to update traffic in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons as well as tire requirements and road closures. 2) Prepare the car Make sure the car is prepared for the road conditions, first with good tires. Snow tires give greater tread for better traction. If only two new tires are placed on the car, make sure to put them in the rear. With the falling snow, it’s necessary to have quality wiper blades that ensures clear views rather than leaving water streaks across windshield impairing your ability to drive. The wiper fluid reservoir also needs to be replenished before the first snows hit. Snow and ice should be completely removed from the windows, headlights and taillights prior to driving to ensure visibility. If your car is parked outside overnight, place towels over the windows. This keeps the windows from icing over. A system should be in place to check everything in your car such as the battery power and your cooling system. Antifreeze helps the vehicle withstand the freezing temperatures. The vehicle should also be stocked with a safety items in the case of an emergency. The Utah Department of Public Safety suggests on its website to have jumper cables, a tow rope and small shovel in case the car gets

stuck, reflectors or flares to make sure your car is visible to others driving, flashlight and batteries, extra winter clothes, first-aid kit, batter or solar powered radio, sleeping bag, fresh water and non-perishable food, paper towels and hand warmers. 3) Control the vehicle Keeping the car under control requires some safe driving tips. The most obvious: drive slow. Despite our impatience or urgency to get to the desired location, slow driving is the safest driving. Staying under the speed limit, which is meant for ideal conditions, becomes even more important when traveling over snow, ice, standing water or slush. In drivers education courses, prospective drivers learn about the rule for distance between your car and the one in front of you. Driving 60 mph? Stay six car lengths back. 70 mph? Seven car lengths back. This distance should be increased even more during wet conditions to allow the car time and space to stop without rear ending the vehicle in front. All movements should be gradual rather than sudden. This means avoiding sharp turns, accelerating slowly and braking softly. Though you may have four-wheel drive or even all-wheel drive, this does not give license to drive recklessly in winter conditions. This means staying off cruise control as well. The need for seat belts increases tenfold during the winter. With car seats, place coats or blankets around the children after strapping them in. Coats can limit the effectiveness of a car seat. Stay alert. Deer become more active after storms. Black ice causes many crashes and that ice typically looks like wet spots. If skidding does take place, steer in the direction the back of the car is going and ease off the gas. Remember to keep the gas tank at least half way full, it will keep the gas tank from freezing and if you get stuck in a traffic jam, you may need as much gas as possible. 4) Time For those of you who struggle with punctuality, this becomes paramount. Giving yourself plenty of time to reach your destination means you won’t rush, decreasing the chances of a crash. 

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Brighton girls soccer places third in region, falls in state quarterfinals By Josh McFadden | josh@mycityjournals.com

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The Bengals home field is nestled next to Butler Middle School and the Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center. Brighton’s girls soccer team finished with a 12-5-1 record losing in the quarterfinals of the state tournament. (Travis Barton/City Journals)


f all the regions in Utah high school girls soccer, Region 7 is among the most challenging. The Brighton Bengals are well aware of this. Brighton finished its regular season with a 5-4-1 region record, good enough for third-place tie with rival Alta. The Bengals were 11-4-1 overall heading into the postseason. In their two regular-season games with Alta, the Bengals suffered a 2-1 loss on Sept. 7 and played to a scoreless draw in the regular season finale Oct. 3. As a result, Alta won the tie-breaker to secure the No. 3 seed in the Class 5A state tournament. As the fourth seed, Brighton drew Region 5 champion Woods Cross in an Oct.

10 road game to open the playoffs. Playing in hostile territory didn’t seem to matter. Brighton gave Woods Cross its first loss to an in-state team, prevailing 2-1 in a game where all the scoring took place in the second half. Hanna Olsen and Sage Stott scored for the Bengals before Woods Cross got on the board with six minutes to go. The Brighton defense withstood a relentless barrage from the Wildcats in the final moments and held on for the close victory. The Bengals advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2014 and took on Maple Mountain Oct. 12 in another road contest. Maple Mountain placed second in Region 8 and entered the game

with a 9-2-3 record. The game was a defensive stalemate during regulation, as neither team managed to find the back of the net. The game was still scoreless after one overtime period. In the second overtime, Maple Mountain scored to avoid a shootout, ending the Bengals’ season with a 12-5-1 record. It was the third straight year that the Bengals won 12 games. Despite exiting the state tournament earlier than they hoped, the Bengals had plenty of positives on the season. The team went undefeated in non-league play, as it opened the season with seven straight victories. Brighton allowed just three goals during that seven-game stretch. The defensive

was strong all year. Except for a 5-0 loss to Corner Canyon on Sept. 21, Brighton never allowed more than two goals in a game all season. Meanwhile, the offense generated at least three goals in seven games. A total of 10 Bengals registered goals this season. Olsen led the way with nine goals, while teammate Alexxis Ward contributed six. Sage Stott and Aubrey Long each had three goals. Milan Davis and Aly Vyfvinkel took turns at the goalkeeper position; the duo was a big reason Brighton allowed just 1.1 goals per game. All of Brighton’s losses were to playoff teams. The Bengals took care of all the opponents they were expected to take care of. 

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CottoNwood HeigHts CitY JourNal

Brighton football looking to the future after challenging season By Josh McFadden | josh@mycityjournals.com


nyone who follows Utah high school football knows that Region 7 is one of the toughest in the state. Brighton coaches and players would agree. The Bengals placed fifth in the six-team region, finishing with a 1-5 record and narrowly missing out on qualifying for the Class 5A playoffs. Jordan grabbed the fourth and final state tournament spot by going 2-4. The Bengals finished the season with an overall record of 5-5. Things were looking great early on in non-region play. Brighton went 4-0 during this stretch, picking up victories over Fremont, Hillcrest, Olympus and Granger. But the region portion of the schedule was a different story. Playing against the likes of Corner Canyon, Jordan and Alta, which all have potent offenses, the Bengals struggled to keep up. “We beat three 6A teams and a pretty good Olympus team in the preseason,” said head coach Ryan Bullett. “We ran into a buzz saw with our league being the best in the state and the quarterbacks in our league being returning All-Staters or (NCAA) Division 1 players. It is what it is, and our kids are still getting better and competing.” Brighton’s lone region victory came in blowout fashion over Cottonwood. On Oct. 12, the Bengals stormed past the Colts 49-7. Brigh-

ton scored 14 points in the first, second and fourth quarters, along with seven in the third. Quarterback Alexander Zettler scampered for 112 yards and a touchdown (a 55-yarder) on just seven carries. He also threw for 67 yards and a pair of touchdowns. MJ Cirillo brought a Cottonwood punt back 75 yards for a touchdown. Bullett pointed out that the team suffered some key injuries and were forced to play some younger players. This made the task even more daunting against some of Class 5A’s best teams. “We need to develop more depth, so when we have kids get injuries, the drop-off is not so dramatic when we go to the No. 2 players,” he said. Despite a rough region season, Bullett and his players maintained a positive outlook and continued to work hard. “The kids have a great attitude and were trying to get better as we went through a very tough region schedule,” Bullett said. Bullett praised the play of sophomore middle linebacker Sione Angilau, who led the team in tackles. He also saw time at running back and rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns. He, along with sophomore Kepu Fifita and junior Vona Hall, all return next year in the Bengals’ backfield.

Trey Davenport carries the ball for Brighton in a victory over Cottonwood.

Bullett also highlighted linebackers Salua Masina and Addison Trupp. He’s also excited to welcome back four offensive linemen next season: Jackson Owens, Eli Hanson, Charles Oliphant and Tasi Laufau. “We were a very young team, with the ma-

jority of the players being underclassmen on both sides of the ball,” Bullett said. “The future looks bright. The senior class has done a great job for Brighton football. This was a fun group to coach.” 

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November 2017 | Page 17

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Brighton boys golfers give it their all in tough region By Josh McFadden | josh@mycityjournals.com


ike tennis, golf is a unique sport. Team members focus on their own game, and the scores of others don’t affect their individual performance. But at the end of a match all individual scores are added up to give the team a final mark. While the Brighton boys team struggled to keep pace in a difficult Region 7, that doesn’t mean the effort wasn’t there and that the coaching staff was displeased with the season. Bengals’ head coach Jim Gresh was positive, even though none of his golfers qualified for the state tournament the first week of October. Even though his squad was overmatched in some matches, Gresh saw marked progress. The improvement gave him great satisfaction and made his job worth it. “The best part of coaching this team is watching the players develop their golf games throughout the season,” he said. In every match during the season, Gresh didn’t worry about what other schools and other golfers were doing or how far off the pace his boys were. He was pleased after every practice and match if his team members worked on their game and improved consistently. “What we think about is playing our best golf each day,” he said. “As long as players are giving their best effort to become the best golfer they possibly can be, then I consider the

A golf ball lays on the fairway. Brighton boys golf team failed to qualify for the state tournament. (Pixabay)

season a success.” A couple of sophomores Jack Cook and Will Wolfenbarger and junior John Burg were Brighton’s top golfers, with Cook leading the way with the lowest score on the team. At the midway point of the season, Cook was the

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10th-ranked golfer in the region. The Bengals missed out on the state tournament. Region frontrunners Skyline, Corner Canyon, Alta and Timpview got the nod, as all three schools finished in the top 10 of the tournament.




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Gresh and his program have reason to be excited, as his three core golfers will be back for more in 2018. The returning golfers are hungry to move up the standings, and the Bengals hope to take the next step and secure a berth at the state meet. 

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Page 18 | November 2017




CottoNwood HeigHts CitY JourNal

Money Saving Thanksgiving Tricks No One Else Needs to Know You Did

Turkey Day, it’s almost here! Awe, that traditional family day where we gather around a festive fall table enjoying yummy food and confortable conversation, while adorning our cozy sweaters and stretchy pants. Or maybe that’s just my imagination at work again. In reality, it’s usually more like annoyingly loud uncles in football jerseys making belching noises and toddlers playing tag around the table. And that cozy conversation turning to a political showdown or football yelling match. Either way, Thanksgiving is a time to gather and eat delicious food with the people you love and cherish. Then comes the dirty little flip side, the cost of that Thanksgiving meal just came crashing in on you. So, in effort to help keep your from having a nervous breakdown before the bird has even hit the oven, here are some creative ways to help you save money on your Thanksgiving dinner. 1. Make it a BYOD Gathering “Bring Your Own Dish” Just because you’re hosting doesn’t mean you have to do all the serving too. Make it a potluck assignment and ask everyone to bring a contribution. And speaking of BYO – BYOB is a definite money saver too. 2. Only Serve Food the Majority of Your Family Likes

Just because tradition dictates, you DO NOT have to have certain items on your table in order to make it a perfect Thanksgiving meal. If no one ever eats the marshmallow covered sweet potatoes skip it. If there’s just one person that like the green bean casserole and the rest goes largely untouched year after year, maybe it’s time to retire it from the menu. 3. Go Christmas for the Decorating Fall table décor can be pricy and it’s not typically used for more than just this one day. Instead bring the Christmas beauty to your table. It gives the kids something to get excited about and can stay out the rest of the season. Decorating the tree after dinner could also make for a fun new family tradition. 4. Skip the Side (Salad) Plates The turkey isn’t the only thing that gets stuffed, people do too, resulting in wasted food that could be put to better use. Those who want seconds can take them but you’ll find we take a lot less when the food settles a little and we have to think about the seconds. Leave the salad or side plate that collects rolls and extra stuffing off the table. If you want to take it a step further, use smaller dinner plates too. 5. Make it From Scratch If ever there was a time to go homemade, it’s Thanksgiving. Not only will your homemade recipes get your guests nostalgic, they will save you a pretty

penny. So skip the precut veggies, make your own gravy, stuffing and pies. Enlist the help of your kids to give them an appreciation for the creativity and cooking too. You also don’t need to go gourmet. Thanksgiving is all about good, simple comfort food. 6. Plan Your Leftovers It’s easy to get overwhelmed trying to come up with creative uses for turkey after turkey night. Make it easy by researching what you’ll be making with the leftover bird ahead of time. Set your calendar to check Coupons4Utah.com, because a week before Thanksgiving we’ll be sharing a list of our tested recipes for

turkey leftovers that will make leftover meal planning a cinch. 7. Stock Up on Great Deals You’re a savvy shopper. The holidays are your time to put your smarts to the test. Grab your store circulars and your coupons wallet, and stock up on those extra savings. These easy tricks can add up to big savings. I’ll leave dealing with the obnoxious Uncle’s and rambunctious Toddlers up to you. Joani Taylor is the founder of Coupons4Utah.com. A website devoted to helping Utah families save time and money on restaurants, things to do and everyday needs. 


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Laughter AND




Breaking Bread


’ve never been one to follow fad diets. I like food too much to limit my choices to cabbage, grapefruit and a toxic drink of lemon, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. I’m pretty sure that’s a mixture they use to waterproof asphalt. So when I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease 15 months ago, the idea of taking my favorite foods off the table was, well, off the table. My doctor insisted I’d feel better if I stopped eating gluten. I laughed and told him I’d never be one of those people who badger waiters about menu ingredients, scour Pinterest for gluten-free cookie recipes or bore friends to tears with a recap of my gluten-induced misery. I was in denial for several weeks but after a trip to New York where I gorged on pizza, bagels and, basically, bushels of gluten, I ended up in a bread coma. I went off gluten cold turkey, which is pretty much the only thing I can eat now. My husband has been super helpful as I’ve transitioned to a life of wheat-less sadness. He chokes down gluten-free pizza and cookies without acting like I’m poisoning him (usually), but when I suggested making glu-

ten-free onion rings, he clenched his jaw so tight his ears started bleeding. I heard him sobbing later in the bathroom. Changing my own diet is one thing. Changing my family’s traditional Thanksgiving favorites is another. Everything about this holiday is a freakin’ gluten fest. You have dinner rolls, gravy, pie crust, carrot cake, Ritz crackers with spray cheese, and stuffing (which I don’t mind skipping because it’s a disgusting garbage of a food). I experimented with gluten-free pumpkin muffins that had the consistency of ground up snails. Even my dog wouldn’t eat them. Well, he ate them because he’s a Lab and he eats everything; but he whined the whole time. Researching gluten-free Thanksgiving Day recipes, I found a plethora of tasteless fare. Brussels sprouts in mustard sauce, quinoa stuffing with zucchini and cranberries, and a wheat-free, egg-free, dairy-free, taste-free pumpkin pie headlined my options. I tried making the organic, gluten-free, high-protein breadsticks. Yeah, they’re basically jerky. And what do you call gluten-free brownies? Mud.






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Why is gluten only found in foods that are delicious, like waffles and cinnamon rolls? It would be so much easier to avoid gluten if it was just in cottage cheese, foie gras or earthworms. At least I live in a time where gluten-free products are available. Ten years ago, people going gluten-free could choose between kale chips or toasted particle board. Granted, most gluten-free products still taste like you’re chewing on a handful of toothpicks, but with new flours available, like amaranth, chickpea and cricket . . . never mind. It’s still terrible.


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I could have gone my whole life without knowing things like kelp noodles existed. Which brings me back to Thanksgiving. I realize the irony of me whining about what to eat on Thanksgiving—a day dedicated to gratitude and abundance. So as I’m sitting at the table, nibbling on dry turkey breast and jerky breadsticks, I promise to be grateful for all the things I CAN eat, like cabbage and grapefruit, and even lemon, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. Just not mixed together. 


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Profile for The City Journals

Cottonwood Heights November 2017  

Cottonwood Heights November 2017