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October 2018 | Vol. 15 Iss. 10




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JOHN PARK: 30 YEARS SERVING local governments


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By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com he City of Cottonwood Heights will conclude a chapter of its story as City Manager John Park wraps up his work in preparation to enjoy retirement. Park’s story begins in 2012 when he became only the second city manager the city had ever recruited. He had some big shoes to fill after the city’s first City Manager Liane Stillman had helped the city through its incorporation process. Park led the city through some transitionary periods while working closely with many different city committees, different iterations for the city council, contracted workers, many city staff members and hundreds of residents. When Park began managing the city between the canyons, he arrived with over 20 years of experience in local government, in many different capacities, under his belt. “I have done everything in city government, from being an officer and fireman, to a building official, to working with public works directors,” said Park. Beginning his career in Tooele as a police officer, he eventually transferred to be a planning, zoning, and building official. He attended school after working hours to obtain his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Utah State and a master’s of public administration from BYU. After his education, he became the assistant city manager for Orem, where he stayed for 13 years. Throughout his career, his favorite moments can be traced back to the creation of something timeless. Specifically, he enjoys going through the process to create and build something that will be maintained well into the future. For example, in the early 2000s when he was working as assistant city manager in Orem, the city received funding from the recreation, arts, and parks tax (RAP tax) to build a pool, golf course and some new parks. “It’s really neat to see the things we built that will be there for 60 years,” says Park. In Cottonwood Heights, Park recalls two

specific examples of creating something that will last for future generations. One directly came from the city’s historic committee. In 2015, the historic committee erected signs throughout the city, drawing attention to important historical sites. “We put those up years ago and they are still neat,” Park says. “We had four signs that said ‘Poverty Flats.’ The area is really nice now, so we received all kinds of complaints. Everyone liked ‘Butler Hill’ and Danishtown,’ but they didn’t like ‘Poverty Flats.’” Park also recalls the ribbon-cutting ceremony in 2016 for the city’s first independently owned city hall building and the years-long process leading up to that moment. “It’s not what I envisioned; I’m not a flashy kind of guy,” Park said. “Once the council and architect fought it over and decided, it became a really cool project and we did it just right. Everyone loved it.” “It represents the city and what it is: it’s a cool, classy place that takes care of business.” Throughout his time with Cottonwood Heights, Park witnessed the city’s leadership transition their scope of focus. He explains how in 2005, when the city was incorporated, the leadership did a fantastic job of creating the city and addressing “here and now” issues. Over the past few years, there has been a shift to looking toward the future. “Cottonwood Heights has been growing up,” Park says. The city has been working on a master plan for Fort Union Boulevard, planned district development (PDD) studies for Wasatch Boulevard and the Gravel Pit, and re-vamping the overall city’s general plan. “It’s been dynamic and changing looking towards the future, but it’s a big emphasis in what we’ve done,” Park said. He hopes the city’s greatest potential will continue to be the aim, especially in regards to Fort Union Boulevard. and the Gravel Pit development. As the growth potential within the city

Mayor Mike Peterson recognized John Park for over 30 years of service in local government. (Dan Metcalf/Cottonwood Heights)

decreases, it has been difficult to find solutions that everyone involved can agree on. One of the most challenging things to balance with growth is the relation to positively impacting quality of life within the city. “Building a typical single-family home takes a linear foot of street water and sewer; it’s a lost liter for the city because it doesn’t generate enough taxes to take care of the road and sidewalks,” Park said. “Intense development is what subsidizes single-family dwelling.” Uniquely, Cottonwood Heights has a high level of involvement from residents and officials, so discussing issues such as balancing growth has been really rewarding for Park. “It’s been very interesting to see the city council, planning commission and residents un-

derstand the intensive nature of what is needed,” he said. In fact, Park will miss the people within the city most as he strings his fishing rods in preparation for retirement. “The residents here care about themselves, their neighbors and their roads,” he said. “My employees are bright, intelligent, forward-thinking people. They positively influence the city.” After Park takes a long vacation, he hopes to stay involved in local government in some capacity. “I have been able to influence 35,000 people’s lives every day. Who can do that in a positive manner? Every day I come to work, knowing the things I do will bless people’s lives. That’s not going to stop.” l

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Fall break is the perfect time to discover new places By Christy Jepson | Christy@mycityjournals.com The Cottonwood-Holladay City Journal is a monthly publication distributed directly to residents via the USPS as well as locations throughout Cottonwood and Holladay. For information about distribution please email circulation@mycityjournals.com or call our offices. Rack locations are also available on our website. For subscriptions please contact: circulation@mycityjournals.com The views and opinions expressed in display advertisements do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions held by Loyal Perch Media or the City Journals. This publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written consent of the owner.

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all is officially here and with fall break coming up, it is a perfect time to get out and explore new places while the weather is still good. If you’re in town for the two-day break, explore some places that are not in your backyard, but are close enough to make a fun family outing. Here are a few places all about an hour’s drive or less from the Salt Lake area. Ogden’s George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park: Step back into time at a prehistoric dinosaur park where more than 100 dinosaur sculptures inhabit the grounds of this eightacre outdoor dinosaur park. Hours at the park are Monday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ticket prices are $7 for adults (18 years and older), $6 for seniors (ages 62 and older), students (ages 13-17) are $6, and children (2-12 years old) are $5. Dinosaur Park is located at 1544 E. Park Blvd. in Ogden. Visit www.dinosaurpark.org for more information. Treehouse Children’s Museum: Fun and learning go hand in hand at this great children’s museum in Ogden. The center of the museum is a giant 30-foot-high treehouse kids can climb and explore. Some of the other exhibits and play areas include: the big red barn workshop, a large map of Utah, adventure tower, king and queen thrones, an American map, and the Oval Office. The museum is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday night they stay open until 8 p.m. They close at 5 p.m. on Saturday. Admission prices are $8 for children ages 1 to 12; $5 for children 13 to 17; and 18 and older are $5. The Treehouse Children’s Museum is located at 347 22nd Street in Ogden. Visit their website at www.treehousemuseum. org for more information. Heber Valley Railroad: About an hour’s drive from Salt Lake County, families can be in the clear, mountain air in Heber. Not only is Heber a great small town to explore, the Heber Valley Railroad is a perfect outdoor activity for fall break. The Pumpkin Train runs from October 4-29. Ticket prices include a 40-minute train ride on the Heber Valley Railroad. While enjoying the scenery, guests will be entertained by costumed characters who ride along on the

train. In addition to the train ride, guests can select a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch, get a Halloween sticker, a pumpkin cookie and a trip through the not-so-scary haunted train car. Ticket prices are $15 for children 3 and up (including a pumpkin), and $3 for those 2 and under (including a pumpkin) or free for toddlers who do not want a pumpkin. To reserve your ticket for a train ride, visit www.hebervalleyrr. org. Cornbelly’s: Located in north Utah County is the “The Greatest Maze on Earth.” Known as Utah’s first corn maze, Cornbelly’s is filled with activities for all ages. New this year are two additional corn mazes. The main maze will take guests about 30 to 45 minutes to navigate through the circus themed eight-acres of pathways. New this year is a ride on the grain train which takes guests through Candy Corn Acres maze. And for those children who want to try a corn maze but aren’t brave enough to try the main maze, the Kiddie Maze is a perfect five-minute adventure where kids try to find the gummy bear interactive game inside. Other activities at Cornbelly’s include: the corn cob beach, princess playland, hayride, rat rollers, gemstone mining, giant jumping pillow, giant slide, animal band and a rat maze. Cornbelly’s also has other haunted attractions for an additional cost. Cornbelly’s is located at Thanksgiving Point and opens on Sept. 28 and runs through Nov. 3. Hours are Monday through Thursday from 4 to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to midnight. Ticket prices (not including tax) are $12.95 per person for weekdays and $16.95 for weekend. They are located at 3003 N. Thanksgiving Way in Lehi. Visit mwww.cornbelly’s.co for more information. Halloween Cruise: Where can you take a cruise not too far from home during fall break? Only about 45 minutes from Salt Lake is CLAS Ropes Course in Provo where families can take a Halloween cruise down the Provo River and see over 100 carved pumpkins along the river banks along with spooky holiday decorations. Each 25-minute round-trip cruise ride is hosted

Guests enjoying the Halloween Cruise down the Provo River. (Photo courtesy CLAS Ropes Course)

by a pirate who tells spooky stories. Watch out because guests might even encounter a pirate attack on their boat. Ticket prices are $8 per person ages 3 and older. CLAS Ropes Course is located at 3606 W. Center in Provo by Utah Lake. The first boat leaves each night starting at 6:30 p.m. and then about every 30 minutes. The last boat ride leaves at 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. They are closed on Sunday. Visit www.clasropes.com for more information. l

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Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Scenery and speed draw a big crowd to Big Cottonwood Marathon By Joshua Wood | joshw@mycityjournals.com


he Big Cottonwood Marathon returned for the seventh time on Sept. 8, bringing runners from across the country to experience the scenery and race toward their personal records and Boston Marathon qualifying times. The race continues to grow, drawing around 5,000 people for the 2018 marathon. The beauty of Big Cottonwood Canyon and the speed of the largely downhill marathon drew runners from a wide range of backgrounds, from people running their first half marathon to people who have run over 20 full marathons. “This was my first official half marathon,” said Madison Jasperson. “My family is in the area. I live in California, and I thought it would be a good trip to come out here.” The Big Cottonwood Marathon is part of the REVEL Race Series. The organization partners with host communities like Cottonwood Heights to deliver fast, typically downhill races, through spectacular scenery like Big Cottonwood Canyon. “We started REVEL about seven years ago,” said Lane Brooks, founder of REVEL. “There are a lot of races in Utah, but we realized there wasn’t one in the best canyon in Utah, which is Big Cottonwood. We didn’t know what we were getting into. We opened it for registration, and people just flocked to it because of the canyon.” In its first year, the race sold out its 1,000 slots in six weeks. It grew to 4,000 the second year and has continued to grow to 5,000 runners in 2018. It is now the second biggest race in the state behind the St. George Marathon. Since its founding, REVEL has added events throughout the west, from Colorado to Hawaii. Runners traveled from places like Arkansas and Indiana to run the event. “I’ve done 27 marathons and an ultra in South Africa, and this is by far the most beautiful,” said Martha Shedd, who traveled from Indiana for the marathon. “It’s super hard. You think, ‘Oh it’s downhill, I’ll go so fast.’ But it’s super hard. In In-

diana, it’s like 770 feet, so there’s that. But great, great volunteer support. I would recommend it to anybody.” After crossing the finish line and grabbing a chocolate milk and a banana, runners could check their official times at the results table. Staff members regularly shouted out the names of runners with times that qualified them for the Boston Marathon. Qualifying times for Boston varied depending on age and gender. Sean and Jolie Morris ran the marathon together for the fifth time. It was Jolie’s sixth time running it. Her time qualified her for Boston. “The downhill just pushes you all the way,” Jolie said. “It’s probably one of my favorites because it’s so pretty and so well organized.” Marisa Lizak, Suzy Bills and Jennifer Hillam finished with the top three times for women, respectively, while Kyle Brush, Preston Gardner and Jose Cruz finished with the top three times for men in the full marathon. Speed was certainly the name of the game. The average time for the Big Cottonwood Marathon is 4:03:53, compared to an average of 4:28:54 for the St. George Marathon. “It’s probably the easiest and the hardest race mixed together,” said Terrence Baptiste, who had run 13 marathons but ran Big Cottonwood for the first time this year. “The downhills made it fast, but the uphills made it really hard. Overall, it was great.” Next up for many of the runners, after that chocolate milk and some rest, is more running. Baptiste will head to Houston for another race, while others continue their quests for personal bests and the big races like Boston. For those who ran their first half or full marathon, the adventure continues with one major accomplishment checked off. The Big Cottonwood Marathon is scheduled to return on September 14, 2019. l

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Local coffee shops fuel the neighborhood By Joshua Wood | joshw@mycityjournals.com

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offee shops can play an important part in a person’s day and in creating shared space in the community. A number of local coffee shops have taken root in Cottonwood Heights to give people a place to meet, get work done and get refreshed. The local coffee shops of Cottonwood Heights offer a unique blend of atmosphere and stories. From a veteran-owned shop that opened its doors just last year to a drive-through location that has served the community for over 20 years, the shops combine to serve a range of interests and tastes. Mosen Panah, the owner of Bengal Coffee, which opened earlier this year on Bengal Boulevard, chose to establish his business in Cottonwood Heights because it’s his home community. He lives in Cottonwood Heights, and his family runs the coffee shop together. “We have a lot of repeat customers,” Panah said. “To me, it’s the neighborhood that supports us most.” Coffee and Cocoa has been owned and operated by Preston Stobbe for four years since he acquired the location in the Old Mill area from Silver Bean Coffee. “It’s a great area of the valley near the canyon,” said Stobbe. “We still offer Silver Bean Coffee because it brings such a

good reputation, and it’s locally roasted.” For those in a hurry, the drive-through coffee shop Java Jo’s has had a location on Highland Drive north of Fort Union Boulevard for over 20 years. Customers can pick up a drink on their way to or from I-215. Just up Fort Union from there is Beans & Brews. Like Bengal Coffee, another relative newcomer is Alpha Coffee on Racquet Club Drive near Fort Union Boulevard. The company is owned by Carl Churchill and his wife, Lori. They started selling coffee online in 2010 and opened the shop in June 2017. “Everyone said the coffee is so good, you should open a coffee shop,” Churchill said. “We wanted to be near the gates of the Cottonwood playground, and it’s been great.” Alpha Coffee also prides itself as a veteran-owned business that supports veteran causes, including shipping coffee to deployed troops. “We are now close to 14,000 bags of coffee that we’ve sent down range,” Churchill said. The reasons for choosing a regular coffee shop can vary from customer to customer. Proximity is an important factor. Coffee and Cocoa’s Stobbe cites the nearby Old Mill office buildings as a major source of customers.

Alpha Coffee’s Churchill chose his location for its proximity to the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon (and his home). Another reason to keep returning to a favorite coffee shop is familiarity. Churchill said his company focuses on training. “Our goal is that every customer has a memorable experience,” he said. “We know their drink, their name, we truly are a local coffee shop.” Bengal Coffee’s Panah cites their handcrafted coffee and food as a key selling point. “We accommodate the customer the way they want,” he said. Panah and his family even make food like banana bread fresh each day. “You bake from the heart,” Panah said of the food his wife prepares. For Coffee and Cocoa, it’s about atmosphere. “We have tall ceilings and long windows that give our location an open feel,” Stobbe said. “It almost feels like you’re outside. It provides a good atmosphere for our baristas as well.” Coffee plays an important part of life in Cottonwood Heights. With a variety of locations, offerings and atmosphere, the coffee shops of Cottonwood Heights help keep the community fueled. l

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Bike registration and lip syncing By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com

Kia stole the show during the lip sync challenge video, seen here being a goodest with Support Specialist Baily Goodart. (Cottonwood Heights City)

Sergeant Young shows off his moves during the lip sync challenge. (Cottonwood Heights City)


he Cottonwood Heights Police Department (CHPD) made two new announcements over the past month. Residents can now register their bicycles so they can be reunited if the bicycle is stolen, and CHPD accepted the Lip Sync Challenge. By August 21, the CHPD had begun a new bicycle registration process. The registration is free for residents and includes filling out a form, which is about a half page of fill in the blanks, asking for contact information and bicycle descriptions. Once the form is submitted, residents will receive a sticker for their bike. CHPD reclaims numerous stolen bicycles, especially during the summer months. If those bicycles are not claimed by their previous owners, they are donated. CHPD hopes to be able to reunite more bicycles with their owners through this process. Inspired by the #LipSyncChallenge video sensation that has been sweeping through po-

CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com

lice departments across the nation, CHPD’s version has finally been released! The Cottonwood Heights Police Lip Sync Challenge stars Officer Potter, Officer Huang, Officer Harris, Officer Lovato, Officer Nelson, Support Specialist Baily Goodart, Support Specialist Bailey Snyder, Support Specialist Supervisor Candie Terry, Victim Advocate Nicole Huntsman, Sergeant Young, K9 officer Kia and many others. Police Chief Robby Russo even makes a cameo. CHPD has challenged Norfolk Police Department and Murray Police Department for the Lip Sync Challenge. Find the full video on the Cottonwood Heights City YouTube Channel or through the Cottonwood Heights Police Department’s Facebook page. Pro Tip: Watch until the very end — you won’t be disappointed. l

October 2018 | Page 7

Video streaming now available for council meetings By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com


fter a handful of requests from residents to livestream the city council’s public meetings, the city is in the process of testing a new streaming service. These streams are posted to YouTube and available through the city’s Facebook page. One of the resident comments that sparked this initiative came from Kimberly Kraan during a public meeting on May 8. “Listening in, most meetings are impossible to follow. The communications are garbled. There are Facebook groups that I bounce around on where I see people in heated debate — they don’t un-

derstand the process. Reach out broader. Show what’s transpiring in these meetings.” On Aug. 21, the city beta tested a new streaming service using a Mevo livestreaming camera during their city council work session meeting. They received a few comments that the audio was hard to hear, so a few different microphones were tested. “The response was mostly positive and the few citizens who witnessed the beta test helped us troubleshoot the audio quality,” reported Public Information Specialist Dan Metcalf. As of publication, the August 21 and Au-

gust 28 city council meetings are still available to view on the city’s YouTube channel. Additionally, every public meeting is audio-streamed. To access current livestreams, visit the city’s website (cottonwoodheights. utah.gov), go to the “Your Government” tab and click “Public Meetings” from the dropdown menu. If a meeting is currently in session,

you can click on the “play” button from the Mixlr Live Audio widget. All of the audio recordings are saved and available through Mixlr’s website. To access a previous meeting’s recording, visit mixlr.com/ chmeetings/showreel/. City council and planning commission meetings are available and organized by date. l

City public meetings are now streaming on the Cottonwood Height City YouTube channel. (Cottonwood Heights City)

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Parking garage between the canyons By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com


aking a tour of the Canyon Centre development construction site on Sept. 4 was informative for the Cottonwood Heights City Council and staff members, and eye-opening for the handful of residents who suited up in hard hats and fluorescent vests. The Canyon Centre development, located at about 7200 South Wasatch Boulevard (on the old Canyon Racquet Club property) has been in the planning stages for years. It is finally beginning to take on a physical form, with massive concrete walls for the anticipated three-story parking structure. Currently, Big-D Construction is working through phase 1, out of 3, for the development. This phase includes the parking garage for private and public parking, with a hotel, office space and a restaurant/distillery placed on top. Plans for phase 1 were originally approved in March 2014. The current project is anticipated to take 384 days to complete, which puts the anticipated end date around May of next year. After years of planning, a tight schedule for completion, and not permitting change orders, Big-D Construction Superintendent Kevin Pilney is dedicated to keep a tight schedule. Pilney meets every Tuesday with his crew to ensure work is being completed in a timely manner and to address any concerns or questions. A city representative, usually Assistant City Manager Bryce Haderlie, attends these weekly meetings as well, keeping Cottonwood Heights City educated on the construction process. Additionally, Pilney and other managers try to meet regularly with all of the relative owners. This includes the office space building owners, hotel owners, distillery owners, restaurant owners and additional members who are contributing funding. “It’s like herding wet cats,” Pilney laughed. Currently, two giant concrete walls, which will serve as half

Page 10 | October 2018

of the perimeter of the parking garage, are visuals for the construction site. There are what seem to resemble huge nails tacked into these walls in neat lines, creating a grid pattern. These are the ends of 44-foot rebar rods that have been stricken underground perpendicular to Wasatch Boulevard and Canyon Centre Parkway. Councilwoman Christine Mikell asked if any of the underground utility lines that weave through the entire city were hit. When Salt Lake County issued a permit to Big-D Construction, they provided information on all the recorded utility lines. The crew was able to carefully map around where everything was supposedly located in attempts to not hit anything damaging. They were almost totally successful, but did hit one fiber line. Prior to mapping utility lines, pouring concrete and constructing a post-tension strutting system for the parking structure, Big-D needed to dig a hole in the ground, equivalent to a three-story building. This was a nerve-racking venture for the crew because they could potentially find something underground that would add days to their timeline. The biggest worry was that they would find water. Luckily, they didn’t find anything that would slow them down when they dug into the ground. Surprisingly, they didn’t even find solid granite. The rock found within the construction zone resembles granite, but crumbles easily between fingertips. However, they did find a boulder, which was about three times the size of the six-foot-tall construction worker who stood atop it for visual comparison. Throughout the Tuesday night tour, Pilney addressed many concerns from the council members and residents. Some of which included the height of buildings (as to not cut off the view from residents living east of the development), Wasatch Fault Line setbacks, traffic issues and questions around the timelines.

By the time of publication, the first section of phase 1 should be completed, or nearly complete. When all sections of phase 1 of the Canyon Centre are completed, a three-story parking structure, 65,000 square feet of office space, a 125-unit hotel and Dugala distillery will be physical entities, instead of planned drawings on paper. For more information on the Canyon Centre project, visit www.cottonwoodholladayjournal.com. l

Councilmember Tali Bruce and Mayor Mike Peterson discuss details of the Canyon Centre with residents and other elected officials. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Brighton High theatre students to perform season on old stage By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


he last Brighton High theater season to be performed on its current stage will take some creative turns. That’s because construction for a new performing arts center, west of the auditorium doors, is restricting use of the outside doors. However, it isn’t restricting the productions, but instead allowing the cast and crew to become resourceful with their props. “We can’t rent or bring in anything, so we are limited to what we have and can rebuild,” director Mindy Curtis said. “It gives us a chance to be creative in our props.” Within weeks of each other, Brighton students were set to take the stage performing “The Addams Family” as well as a Shakespeare ensemble piece. To make it work, the fall musical was cast last spring. “‘The Addams Family’ is a good fit for our students and around Halloween,” Curtis said of the original Broadway production about the ghoulish American family originally seen in television shows. In the musical, the Addams family visits their graveyard to celebrate their family — the living, the dead and the undecided. Instead of returning to their graves, the ancestors come to dinner — where to the surprise of everyone, daughter Wednesday announces she is marrying an ordinary boy, Lucas. As chaos and confusion swirl, the ancestors create a storm so the fiancé and his parents are trapped and the families are forced to work everything out. “The Addams Family” will be performed at 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 26, Monday, Oct. 29, and Tuesday, Oct. 30. It also will be performed at 2 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 27 on the school stage, 2220 Bengal Blvd. Tickets, which are available to purchase in the school office or at the door, are $9 for adults and $4 for students and children.

In addition to Curtis directing and choreographing the show, Sam Merrill will co-direct and Lindsay Christensen is a co-choreographer. Music is under the direction of Daniel Emrazian and the instrumental director is Mikala Mortenson. Wednesday Addams is played by Alexis Brooks. Wednesday’s parents, Gomez and Morticia, are portrayed by Reagan Sieger and Sage Madsen, respectively. Wednesday’s brother, Pugsley, is played by KJ Hunter. Wednesday’s boyfriend, Lucas Beinecke, is played by Avery Madsen. Advanced theater students were slated to perform at the annual Shakespeare competition, hosted by the Utah Shakespeare Festival and Southern Utah University, Sept. 27–29 in Cedar City. About 25 Brighton students will compete in their ensemble piece “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Act III Scene II, with Emma Martin playing Helena, Sieger portraying Lysander, Kyle Rau as Demetrius, and Shea Fisher as Hermia. The team also will compete in scenes, monologues, improvisation and the Tech Olympics, Curtis said. Before they were to leave, a showcase for English and history classes and parents was scheduled. In March, students return to the stage to perform “Peter and the Starcatcher,” a backstory of the characters of “Peter Pan.” “It’s a great show and one that will work well for our students,” Curtis said. “We’ll turn the auditorium stage into a small theater for a more intimate setting. We pick the right shows for the right students and focus on kids to have different play and musical experiences. Students give input on what they’re interested in, but we want students to learn about characters and be able to tell a story, and for our patrons to have a fun, entertaining evening.” Students will perform that show at the regional competition March 22–23, 2019. State is April 18–20, 2019.

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The final play will be devised theater, which will be a free performance at 3 p.m., Friday, May 24, 2019. l

Brighton High theatre will open this fall on their stage with “The Addams Family.”


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Five Canyons School District high school teachers compete for $1,000 in healthy heart challenge By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


his fall, Alta and Corner Canyon high school students may be facing off in a friendly, heart-healthy competition, coached by Alta’s swim coach and Corner Canyon’s volleyball coach. The students’ efforts will be in support of their coaches, two of five Canyons School District high school teachers who are competing for $1,000 for their schools in a healthy, heart challenge. Outside the district, eight other high school teachers in the Salt Lake Valley were selected to compete. “I have 100 days to improve my nutrition, work outs, overall fitness levels,” Alta’s swim coach Kristina Kimble said. “I plan on winning; I’m insanely competitive, so not only do I want to become more healthy in my lifestyle, I want to set an example for my team and students.” Kimble said her family history of high blood pressure coupled with heart disease made her realize she needed a lifestyle change. “It’s scary. I need to take my healthy more serious. I’ve developed bad habits since my 20s and I want to make the change, and I’ll welcome all the school to support me and make the change as well,” she said. The friendly competition, perhaps a fun run, between the two rival schools is part of the school awareness Corner Canyon’s Mindy Wilder, the volleyball coach, wants to bring with the challenge. “I’d love to promote heart-healthy nutrition and exercise for everyone,” she said. “I’d love to implement it in PE, establishing more exercises, stretching, bring in yoga mats, involve more weights and use heart-rate monitors.” Wilder also wants to focus on nutrition. “We tend to overlook that quite a bit. I figured it’s time I live what I preach, but I want us to do it together,” she said. “Right now with coaching volleyball, I have 12- to 16-hour days, but with meal planning and preparation around games and grabbing a healthy snack, it’s doable. It’s about time management and priority. It already is becoming a big part of my family’s life.” The 2018 My Heart Challenge is a contest to strengthen heart health and reduce risk of developing heart disease. The teachers were selected after they applied May 1 to participate in the 100-day challenge. During the contest, teachers receive individual coaching and counseling from the heart specialists at Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute, from exercise and diet to counseling and cardiology. They meet for seven nutrition classes as well as a dietician at a grocery store, they log their exercise and fitness and are tested for blood pressure, weight, body fat and other health markers. Through the challenge, teachers will record their progress on social media and invite their school to participate alongside through special projects, said Jess Gomez, challenge organizer. “We did this program with elementary principals a few years ago and their school activities ranged from a walking program during recess to a scavenger hunt involving all the grades,” he said. In addition to elementary school principals in 2013, the challenge, in its sixth year, has reached city mayors, firefighters, families and nonprofit organization employees. Physician Assistant Viet Le said teachers were selected intentionally. “These teachers are like principals, role models for students and the community,” he said. “We want them to be healthier and then share with other teachers and students and their families to enhance fitness and healthy lifestyles. Our goal is to reach the entire school and community.” Le said the heart challenge is more than just correcting life-

Page 12 | October 2018

styles. “It’s about prevention,” he said. “We want to keep patients out of the hospital and to have an active part in their health care. We want them to lead a healthy life first and foremost.” That is Brighton High’s Pace Gardner’s goal. “I was really excited when I read the email inviting us to participate,” he said. “I want to get healthier. The more I teach, the busier I become and in amongst doing more at the school, the less healthy I’ve become.” Through the challenge, Gardner wants to lower his blood pressure in addition to becoming more fit. “We took the baseline tests — blood tests, stress tests and already are learning about nutrition. I know I need to eat more veggies and less junk food. The more stress I have, the worse I eat. So I know I need to eat less ice cream, cookies and chocolate we have around the house for our kids, and instead drink more water and eat carrots and teach them from the start how to eat healthy,” he said. Gardner also is tracking his exercise — swimming, golfing and walking around the neighborhood. “I’m making changes that can be sustainable,” he said. Gardner plans to expand his efforts beyond his family and is looking into ideas for the entire school, such as establishing a community garden in the atrium. “It’s a little tricky now as our school is being rebuilt, but I want to encourage others to be active in the lifestyle change,” he said. Brighton Principal Tom Sherwood said he’s already on board to support Gardner. “We’ll talk to the faculty to see what we all can do to increase our healthy lifestyles from watching what we eat to exercising more — even opening our weight room to staff before school so they can do more cardio and weights,” he said. “Canyons School District held an (employee) healthy lifestyles campaign over the summer and we shared our activities — hiking, waterskiing, sightseeing — to bring balance into our lives. We can do the same to encourage our students to become more healthy.” Hillcrest High’s Jordan Hulet also knows how becoming involved in school can consume much of her free time, but with family members having had heart attacks and heart disease, she wanted “to break the cycle and get more healthy.” “I’m keeping a food journal and it’s been fun learning to look at foods differently. When I grew up, I learned fats were bad and to eat low-fat foods. But sometimes those are high in sugar, so they could be worse for you. The answer is to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and less processed food,” she said. Her lifestyle change also revolves about going to the pool either before or after school. “I know with exercise, they say do the activity you love. I don’t love any of it. I don’t like being sweaty and gross; it’s not fun. But I was on the swim team and I loved that so I’m back in the water,” she said. Hulet was away when the challenge began Aug. 10, but independently, she increased her walking to five to seven miles daily, and made conscious efforts in her eating, in hopes she’d be on track when she returned when school began. “It’s about being more mindful, choosing what I eat and not just absorbing any calories. I know I can’t be weak or use excuses. Making a change is difficult,” she said. She has goals for herself: to escape from Alcatraz, more commonly referred to as Swim with the Centurions, swimming from the prison in the middle of the San Francisco Bay to the city’s shoreline.

Thirteen teachers will take part in the 100-day Heart Challenge. Not pictured is Hillcrest High’s Jordan Hulet. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

Hulet also is setting a goal for her students. “I’m exploring ideas, but it would be really great if the Hillcrest community could support a team in the MS (multiple sclerosis) walk,” she said, adding that this way, students also are participating in a heart-healthy activity. Jordan High’s Nicole Manwaring wants not only Jordan High students to participate, but the little Beetdiggers in the school’s preschool, as well. “We are making plans for them to stretch their whole bodies into the shape of the letter of the week and eat healthy snacks,” she said. “And we’re looking at holding a mini-Olympics, with trike races and an obstacle course so they’re using large motor movement and learning to be healthy and work together.” Manwaring also is talking about other ideas with her administration, but greeted her own classes with a heart-healthy snack, informed them about the challenge and welcomed them to participate. “I do better when I’m challenged than if I just try to do it myself. When I first saw the email about the challenge, I thought about it and decided I didn’t want to do it. Then, I realized I want more energy and applied. I’m really grateful I’m getting the push and support to get going,” she said. Manwaring said she has fibromyalgia, which comes with chronic fatigue. “Exercise makes it hurt less and makes me feel better, but I lack the energy I need to exercise. This is challenging me to do it,” she said. In addition to having a work schedule at school, Manwaring knows her challenge will be to find time to exercise. She and her husband work opposite shifts so they can take care of their children, as her grandmother, who often watched the kids, died unexpectedly last summer of a heart attack. “I’m needing to take care of myself so I can take care of my family and set an example for my students,” she said. “I’ve been biking to school and walking briskly around the building. I’ve stopped munching and I’m eating healthy snacks. I’m getting great support from my family and coworkers. Together, we’ll make the changes and meet the challenge.” Intermountain Medical Center CEO Blair Kent appreciates the teachers’ enthusiasm in sharing their knowledge. “Our goal is for everyone to manage their own health and become passionate about it,” he said. l

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Cottonwood High theatre schedule offers entertainment for the community By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


hows the entire family can enjoy are on the Cottonwood High theater schedule this season. Before the first show, theater students will present the school’s sixth annual Haunted Hallway in late October. There will be creaks and moans, chains rattling and eerie sounds near and beneath the school stage at 5715 South 1300 East in Murray. But the event will be family-friendly, and they ask that attendees donate non-perishable or canned foods for both the school food bank as well as the Utah Food Bank. Monetary donations are also welcome. In the past, the community has donated more than one ton of food, director Adam Wilkins said. “This way, we can serve our community both through entertainment and giving the much-needed food into the hands who can use it,” he said. The season opener, “Curtains,” a musical murder mystery with comedy and romance mixed in, will open at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 14 and run through Saturday, Nov. 17 and again on Monday, Nov. 19 on Cottonwood’s stage. There will be a noon matinee on Saturday as well. Tickets are $8 in advance in the office or on the school website, https://schools.graniteschools.org/cottonwoodhigh/, or $9 at the door. “It is so fun and the script is hilarious,” Wilkins said. “The most important thing with

a play is a great script because without a good story, it’s not entertaining.” Wilkins cast the production last spring, so it gave students a chance to become familiar with the script. “It’s a fantastic cast who have great potential and are rising to it. They’ve had a chance to look over and picture the show and evaluate the script before we started rehearsals on the (Aug.) 27th,” he said. In mid-March 2019, theater students will put on the American romantic comedy-drama “Shakespeare in Love,” a fictional love story, adapted from the Oscar-winning 1998 film, between playwright William Shakespeare and a young woman who poses as a man to star in one of the writer’s plays. “Again, it’s a great script so it is a great story for our students to portray to entertain the community,” Wilkins said. “Art is transformative unifying. The message of inclusion is vital for our community and students.” In March, Cottonwood students will compete in their regional theater competition in a one-act play as well as in monologues and scenes. They expect to compete at state the following month. “We have placed in the top three in region for the past 10 years and the top 10 at state in the past 10 years. We have students with a lot of talent and they work hard,” he said.

Students will perform a musical murder mystery, “Curtains,” in November at Cottonwood High. (Adam Wilkins/ Cottonwood High School)

In early May 2019, students will take to Cottonwood stage yet again for a newly written show, “Bright Star,” by actor and comedian Steve Martin. “It has a bluegrass feel to it,” Wilkins said about the 2013 musical. “It’s about a writer and artist that is searching for something more.” The show is set in the Blue Ridge Mountains in 1945 when a serviceman and aspiring writer returns home after serving in World War II. Through flashbacks set in 1923, the audience learns about life and relationships in Hayes Creek, where the stories he has written take

place. Throughout the year, a series of improvisation shows will be held. The final performance will be student oneact directed shows in May 2019. Six seniors will be directors. “It’s important our students get the full theater education, so by directing, they gain valuable experience, which helps them become better actors,” he said. “We want our students to learn in the classroom and on the stage to become well-rounded.” l

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Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Brighton student takes third at national history fair By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


ot many people are familiar with the decisions to leave slavery as an issue to the territories’ popular vote in the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which would eventually be a contributing factor toward the Civil War. But that conflict which led to the period of violence known as Bleeding Kansas is just one of the facts included on the senior individual website created by Brighton High’s Kelsey Hagman. That website, The Kansas-Nebraska Act: Compromise Turned to Conflict, was not only one of two state winners, but also received third place at National History Day Fair. Hagman’s classmate Jacob Simmons also was selected to advance to nationals in Senior Individual Documentary, with “Rabin of Israel: A Story of War and Peace.” After researching and preparing their projects to the theme of “Conflict and Compromise in History,” these students competed locally before advancing to state and nationals. The two traveled to Washington, D.C., in June, where they competed against students representing the top two entries in each category from every state, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, China, Korea and South Asia. It was Hagman’s first trip to Washington, D.C., after years of competing in history fair. The junior — now in her senior year — started in sixth grade researching Christopher Columbus and the discovery of the “new world.” The next year, living in Colorado, she advanced to

state with her World War II women in the work force project to the theme of rights and responsibilities. In Utah in eighth-grade, Hagman received honorable mention with her first responders project to the theme of leadership and legacy at regionals before taking a break until this past school year. “I love history,” she said. “It’s kind of nerdy, but it’s really interesting. My grandma sent me a newspaper of when (President Richard) Nixon resigned and it’s framed on my wall.” Hagman, who had never been to Kansas before, wasn’t sure at first where to start researching for the theme. “I looked at senate and house transcripts and it was painful. They were one-inch binders full of court transcripts with words smaller than miniscule of people talking, and since they were from the 1800s, it was all blurry. But I gained a lot of content and looked to narrow it down to the period of time when it worked its way to the Civil War,” she said. “I read newspapers to understand where each side was coming from and what people were going through. A lot of the editorials were really funny; I wish they were written that way today.” She chose a website for her project amongst the choices offered, such as a paper, documentary, exhibit or performance. “It was easy to narrow it down. I don’t like performing; I like to write, but wanted to

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include photos; I don’t like my voice on film so I eliminated a documentary; and I already have done an exhibit before, so I thought I could see what I could do in the website category,” Hagman said. She delayed traveling with others to Washington, D.C., because she was participating in Girls State — “I learned perspective and to always to give everything a try because the worst thing you can do is lose” — but she and her mother were able to see some sites: National Archives, Mt. Vernon, Smithsonian museums, capitol and Newseum amongst others. At the national competition, she talked to some of the 3,000 middle and high school students who participated in the fair about their projects as well as answered questions posed by the judges about her website. She told her parents not to come because it was her first national competition so she was sure she wouldn’t win. “I told my mom not to come to the awards ceremony because I really didn’t expect to win. The website was announced last and it was an excoriating process. I thought I was going to throw up when they said my name. I just couldn’t believe I was announced as a winner. I just freaked out. My website now is on their server as an example of a winning website. I’m most excited about that and hoping other people can learn from it,” she said. Hagman received $250 for third place plus a medallion.

However, she isn’t just sitting back relishing her accomplishment. This summer, Hagman already was researching ideas for this year’s theme: “Triumph and Tragedy in History.” “I’ve learned a lot through history fair. Coming into high school, I already knew how to do a bibliography and research because of history fair. It has helped me understand how to write a paper, develop a thesis, make an argument and support it. I like connecting the themes into my research and making it personal,” she said. l

Brighton High’s Kelsey Hagman won third at the National History Day Fair with her website, The Kansas-Nebraska Act: Compromise Turned to Conflict. (Photo courtesy of Kelsey Hagman)


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Ridgecrest volunteer, others recognized for efforts working with school children By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


ay Neeley, who taught in Granite School District for 30 years, said he was taken aback to learn he was Canyons School District’s Volunteer of the Year. “I was totally surprised,” he said. “I had no idea there was such an award.” Having started volunteering at Ridgecrest Elementary seven years ago when his grandson was a student there, Neeley has stayed on, helping numerous teachers with their reading, writing and math lessons with students. “I help wherever they need help,” he said. “Kids in elementary school can use a lot of one-on-one help. Some struggle with reading, writing and math and even behavioral skills. I have fun teaching and encouraging them, even joking with them so they aren’t more stressed. I like the school, administration and people. They are fantastic and friendly and accommodating with my schedule of coming three days each week. They’re just wonderful and for them to even consider me for the award is humbling.” Ridgecrest Principal Julie Winfree said they’re appreciative of his dedication to students; he is a valuable member of the school community. “Jay is a happy, social and hardworking volunteer,” she said. “The students look forward to working with Mr. Neely. He reads with students, reviews math, makes copies or does just about anything a teacher requests. The teachers know that whatever they ask Mr. Neely to do, he will get it done. Jay drives three days a week from Riverton and often shows up with doughnuts for the entire staff. Jay is so reliable and loyal he even calls in sick if he cannot come to school that day.” Neeley is one of the 11 outstanding individuals and community partners who were honored Sept. 11 at CSD’s ninth annual Apex

Awards banquet. The Apex Award is the highest honor given by Canyons School District’s administration and the Board of Education. It is reserved for the makers, shakers and disrupters who have contributed to neighborhood schools in extraordinary ways, and who have made a lasting difference, said spokesman Jeff Haney. Neeley, and other winners, were selected after a public nomination process, which spanned over several months. Other honorees include Principals of the Year Cathy Schino, of Edgemont Elementary, and Margaret Swanicke, of Sunrise Elementary; District Administrator of the Year Amber Roderick-Landward, who is the department director of instructional support; Student Support Services Professionals of the Year to Jordan High counseling team; Education Support Professionals of the Year to Eric Taylor and Sharon Simmons, both of the district’s information technology department; Legacy Award Winner Leon Wilcox, district business administrator; Elected Official of the Year Utah House of Representatives’ Bruce Cutler; and Business Partner of the Year, McNeil’s Auto Care, which partners with Entrada High School. The district’s Teacher of the Year, Corner Canyon High’s Amber Rogers, also was honored. Canyons Board of Education President Sherril Taylor thanked those and others who work, partner and teach within the district. “We’ve all been touched by your commitment to the success of our schools,” he said. “This celebration tonight is our way of extending our heartfelt appreciation for that tireless dedication. So, from us to you: Thank you for giving so much of yourselves — as champions of public education, as community partners, as cherished friends.” Sunrise Elementary Administrative Assis-

tant Wendy Heath said the school community is “super proud, super excited and not surprised” about Swanicke being named one of two principals of the year. “Margaret is accessible, level-headed and cares what is best for the kids,” she said. “She finds out what is best for everyone involved. She has given teachers more tools to be balanced and she supports and pushes teachers not to teach to the test, but teach so the kids can be successful and have fun. In fact, here the kids want to come to the office to say hi to Principal Swanicke as a reward in itself; they don’t realize it’s not the same everywhere. She has made it such a positive atmosphere that others have heard about Margaret and Sunrise.” Edgemont’s Schino also has worked hard to make her community positive and welcoming. “I’m really surprised and humbled when I learned that numerous teachers and people from the community nominated me,” she said. “It says something that they can feel the change in our community — we have more of a positive mindset and cooperative culture — and they’re supportive of it. I’m really excited and happy that we are giving this energy to our students.” Utah House of Representative Bruce Cutler has visited almost every turnaround school in the state as a proponent for early childhood education. He has worked to extend STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) outreach into all students’ hands, including those in the Navajo Nation. This last school year, Cutler, with the help of Canyons Foundation Board, established 529C savings plans for seven seventh-graders who met qualifications and put $500 in the accounts earmarked for post-secondary education. And now, he’s working on getting services for children and families

Canyons Board of Education President Sherril Taylor presents Jay Neeley, a Ridgecrest Elementary volunteer, with the Canyons Board of Education’s APEX award. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

coordinated, especially in the Murray and Midvale communities. As an eight-year member of the Murray School Board and current Canyons Foundation Board member, Cutler said he has a passion for public education. “Public education is the lifeblood of our society,” he said. “Some kindergarten teachers encounter students who don’t even know how to hold a book or turn pages. We must support our teachers so these students will become educated and well-prepared members of our society. We will never be able to pay them enough to truly compensate them for their dedication.”l

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October 2018 | Page 17

Have a ball at Lyrical Opera’s Masquerade Party fundraiser By Bob Bedore | bob@mycityjournals.com


ctober is often looked at as a month where it’s common to go to a party wearing a mask or some other elaborate costume, but for those who really want to party, a masquerade ball is the only way to do it. On Oct. 20, the Cottonwood Country Club will transport you back in time for what promises to be an evening of intrigue and fantasy like few others you can experience. The night will feature people in great, period costumes, food, singing, waltzing, polkas, magic and games. No word yet on an appearance by the Red Death. The event is a fundraiser for Lyrical Opera’s spring 2019 production of Verdi’s great opera “La Traviata,” one of the most beloved operas in the world. By attending the event, patrons are helping keep a great local production company providing operatic entertainment at an affordable cost. Last year’s Masquerade Party sold out, so get your tickets early. Masquerade Balls have been around for centuries and gained a prominent footing in Italy during the 16th century Renaissance. The upper class would hold elaborate dances that featured the added game of guests being masked. Party-goers would spend the evening trying to guess each other’s identities. The parties spread to the attention of the world and have been fea-

tured in every level of culture, including the “Gilmore Girls.” This Masquerade Party will begin with a buffet hors d’oeurves during which the guests will be invited to play a witty, 19th century game of “Who am I?” From there song and dance will rule the night. The singing will be provided by some of Lyrical Opera’s performers and a ballroom dance instructor will be on hand to teach some simple steps, ensuring no one is left out of the fun. There will also be a silent auction table with great items to be won and a magician that will stroll through the crowd, entertaining them with up-close magic. Tickets for the event will be $35 each and can be obtained by visiting LyricalOperaTheater.com. As the event did sell out early last year, you should get them quickly. If you are unable to attend this function but still want to help out, you can join the Lyrical Opera Theater Opera Guild. The company is a 501(c)(3) arts education charity and is always looking for volunteers and business sponsors. The talent comes from all over Utah and their singers can be found performing at private parties, funerals, weddings or anywhere else they’re asked to sing. The fundraiser will help bring “La Travi-

Fanciful attire will be on full display in this year’s Masquerade Party. (Lyrical Opera)

ata” to the stage. It is currently scheduled for the spring of 2019 and will be performed at the Midvale Performing Arts Center. The opera is based on a novel by Alexandre Dumas and the title translates to “the woman who strayed,” or “the fallen woman.” It tells the story of Violetta, a high-class courtesan who is brought into the fashionable society of Paris by a man who loves her. It is actually featured in the film “Pretty Woman,” which has some similarities in plot.

The opera has a great party scene in Act One, likely close to the one those attending the Masquerade Party will find. It also features some of Verdi’s best music. The Aria sung by Violetta in Act Three is impressive. There is also a scene in Act Two where Violetta is pressured to break up with her fiancé Alfredo by his father because of her past. The duet that is shared in this scene is wonderful. l

20 safety tips for trick-or-treaters


ou’re never too old to trick-or-treat (unless you are 35 and going by yourself, then yes, you are too old to trick-or-treat). But being safe knows no age limits, especially on a night when most people are wearing disguises. While it’s time to get your costume and candy bag ready, preparation of another kind is required for kid and adult alike. Here are some tips to stay safe this Halloween. 1. Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult. 2. Costume accessories such as swords and knives should be short, soft and flexible. 3. Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. And as difficult as it may be, limit the amount of treats you eat. 4. Beware the homemade treats made by strangers. Better to eat only factory-wrapped treats. 5. Walk from house to house, don’t run. Doing so with a flashlight will help you see and others to see you. 6. Test makeup in a small area before applying. Then remove it before sleeping to prevent possible skin or eye irritation. 7. Look both ways before crossing the street. Do we even need to say this one? 8. Only visit well-lit houses. 9. Do not enter a home without a trusted adult.

Page 18 | October 2018

10. Never accept rides from strangers. Stranger danger is a real thing. 11. By not wearing decorative contact lenses, you lower the risk for serious eye injury. 12. Wear well-fitted costumes, masks and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, falls and relentless mockery from your peers. 13. Drive extra safely on Halloween. Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert during those hours. Slow down in residential neighborhoods. We all know how excited kids can be. Enter and exit driveways slowly and carefully. 14. Remind children to watch for cars turning or backing up and to not dart into the street or between parked cars. 15. Put your electronic devices down as you walk around. 16. Keep costumes bright, or add reflective tape, to ensure kids are easier to spot. 17. Be careful next to candles or Jack-o’lanterns. 18. Keep an eye for allergies. If someone has serious allergies or food sensitivities, read any unfamiliar labels before handing over the candy. 19. Brush your teeth. Candy is sticky and cavities will scare you. 20. You can maximize your candy intake by planning your route. Stick to places you are familiar with so you can also circle back around

to Halloween headquarters. l

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

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October 2018 | Page 19

What makes a state champion in Utah high school sports? Justin Adams | j.adams@mycityjournals.com


all is an exciting time for high school sports. Every team starts with a clean slate and a new senior class of leaders eager to leave their mark on their school. Ask any coach and they’ll be positive that their team has made big improvements from the previous year and are ready to compete for region and state championships. But in reality, some schools have almost no chance of winning a championship in any sport. It’s no secret that competitive balance isn’t a very prevalent feature of high school sports. Some schools are really good. Others aren’t. But what makes the difference? The size of the school? The coaching? The program’s history? Money? All these factors contribute, but some are much more important than others. To figure out which are the most important, we took all the schools that currently compete in 5A and 6A and counted the number of state championships they have won in the last five years across all team sports. Then we compared those totals to various criteria like enrollment, graduation rates and levels of wealth. Enrollment Obviously there are different classifications in Utah high school sports, from 1A to 6A, that are largely based on enrollment. A team from 6A is always going to be better than a team from 1A because you’re going to have more athletes when pulling from a pool of 2,000plus students than when pulling from a pool of a couple hundred students. But what about within a single classification? Do schools with a higher enrollment have an advantage over smaller schools within the 5A or 6A divisions? Not really.

In 6A, the school with the highest enrollment, Granger High School, hasn’t won a single state championship in the last five years. (Enrollment numbers taken from publicschoolreview.com.) And in 5A, the top 50% of schools in terms of enrollment account for 36 state championships, while the bottom 50% account for 45 state championships. Graduation Rates People often think about athletics and academics as two completely different spheres, perhaps even antithetical to one another (as in the old nerd vs. jock stereotypes). But it turns out there’s a strong correlation between graduation rates and on-the-field success for Utah high schools. Of the 24 schools with a graduation rate of 92% or better, only five have failed to win a state championship in the last five years. Of the 20 schools with a graduation rate of 91% or worse, half of them have failed to win a championship in the same span. And the top 50% of schools by graduation rate account for nearly three times as many state championships as the bottom 50% (100 to 35). Those numbers didn’t surprise Rob Cuff, the executive director of the Utah High School Activities Association, the governing body of Utah high school sports. “Your best students are usually also your best athletes,” he told the City Journals. “I think they go hand in hand.” Cuff also said that the UHSAA committee charged with handling reclassifications has considered incorporating graduation rates into their decision-making progress.

Of course, correlation does not equal causation. Perhaps there is a third factor that contributes to both athletic and academic success. Wealth of Student Athletes Wealth is a difficult metric to measure for a school body. School boundaries don’t often align with the areas (cities, counties, zip codes) for which you can access public data like median household income. Instead, like others who have considered this same question, we looked at the rate of students that qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is a “federally assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions.” To qualify for the reduced or free lunches, families need to be under a certain poverty level. Schools that participate in the program report the percentage of their students that take advantage of the program, making those reports a relatively convenient method of comparing affluence between schools. Of the high schools competing in 5A and 6A, those with a low percentage of students using the NSLP program have a large advantage when it comes to sports. The top 25 percent of high schools in terms of wealth (as measured by NSLP participation) have 10 times as many state championships as the bottom 25 percent of high schools, and more than the bottom 75 percent combined. There also aren’t as many outliers as when considering graduation rates. Having a graduation rate of 95 percent or above is a strong indicator of success (the

three schools with the most state championships all have graduation rates of 95 percent) but it’s no guarantee, as two other schools with graduation rates of 95 percent did not win a single state championship over the five years. However, when it comes to affluence, there isn’t really an exception. Of the 12 schools with a 15 percent NSLP usage rate or less, every single one has won multiple state championships, with the two most dominant schools being at the very lowest rates of NSLP usage. Conversely, of the 21 schools in which 25 percent or more of the student body uses the NSLP program, over half did not win a single state championship in the last five years. If one were to choose a single metric to predict which Utah high schools will win the most state championships in 2018, this is it. It’s not ideal for competitive balance that the least affluent schools have little to no chance of being in the best in the state, but competitive balance isn’t the end goal for UHSAA. “I think it’s important to maintain a level playing field,” said Cuff, “but our mission is all about participation. If teams are fielding sports teams and students have the opportunity to play, that’s the most important.” So as much as each high school student athlete is full of hope and as much as any coach thinks they’re going to finally turn their program around, in all likelihood the same schools will continue to win championships and everyone else will get the proverbial participation trophy. l

Schools with higher graduation rates often perform better in sports as well.

In the 5A division, there is a negative correlation between enrollment and state championships.

The top 25 percent most affluent 5A and 6A high schools have more state championships than the rest of the schools combined.

The fewer students in a school qualify for free or discounted lunches, the more likely that school is to win multiple state championships.

Page 20 | October 2018

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Ghosts, goblins and monsters…Oh my! The not-so-scary Halloween activities in the area


By Christy Jepson | Christy@mycityjournals.com

hile most children look forward to Halloween, some are scared by the creepy masks that hang on hooks in the local stores or the zombies that are placed on front doorsteps. Younger children, in particular, may not like the scary aspect of Halloween but still want to participate in the activities. The good thing is the Salt Lake area has a lot of activities for families that are not-so-scary, so everyone can participate. Here is a list of some of those activities. WitchFest at Gardner Village: The not-so-spooky witches have flown into Gardner Village and will be on display until Oct. 31. There is no cost to walk around the village and look at the witches and go on the witch scavenger hunt. The “Six Hags Witches Adventure” is $6 per person (ages 1 and older) and includes: a giant jumping pillow, an area where kids can climb through spider webs, and a place to test their skills at the Maze of Mayhem. This adventure begins Sept. 28 and is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Halloween from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (weather permitting). This is located in the lot west of Archibald’s Restaurant. Gardner Village also offers select dates where visitors can eat breakfast with witches. Enjoy a warm breakfast buffet and have your picture taken with the Gardner Village witches and watch as they perform some fun witchy spells. Ticket prices are $16 for the breakfast. Check their website at www.gardnervillage.com for specific dates and information. Gardner Village is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and is located at 1100 W. 7800 South in West Jordan. Herriman Howl: Herriman City hosts this fun free event for kids of all ages on Monday, Oct. 15 from 5:30-8:00 p.m. at the J. Lynn Crane Park. There will be prizes, activities and games. Trunk or Treat begins at 6 p.m. and prizes will be awarded for the best decorated trunk. There will also be a mad science show starting at 6:45 p.m. Other activities and areas include: a pumpkin patch (pumpkins for sale), food trucks, Restless Acres, Treasures of the Sea, Hocus Pocus, Wizarding World and Stella Live Fortunes. The food truck lineup for that night will be: Corndog Commander, Kona Ice, and South of the Border Tacos. The J. Lynn Crane Park is located at 5355 W. Herriman Main Street, just south of City Hall. Trick or Treat Street at The Utah Olympic Oval: On Friday Oct. 19, the Utah Olympic Oval will host Trick or Treat Street, a huge, free indoor trick-or-treating event. Treats and prizes will be distributed from sports clubs, local vendors and other community groups. In addition to trick-or-treating, children (12 and younger) can also ice skate for free that night (skate rental not included). Rates are $6 for adults (13 years and older) and $3 for skate rentals. The Utah Olympic Oval is located at 5662 Cougar Lane in Kearns. Haunted Hollow in Draper: Get your little ones in their costumes and bring them to the Galena Hills Park in Draper on Monday, Oct. 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. for some free Halloween family fun. There will be carnival games, prizes, a pumpkin patch, live entertainment, candy, and more. Galena Hills Park is located at 12452 S. Vista Station Blvd. in Draper. Halloween Bash in Riverton: For two nights, Oct. 29 and 30, Riverton City hosts an outdoor family friendly Halloween event. Activities include: scavenger hunts, the Troll Stroll where you can get candy and prizes around the park, a mini-spook alley, spooky stores and the annual search for The Great Pumpkin. The event begins each night at 6:30 p.m. and ends at 8:30 p.m. The Search for The Great Pumpkin begins at 8:30 p.m. each night. This free event is held at the Riverton City Park, 1452 W. 12600 South. Little Haunts at This is the Place Heritage Park: During Little Haunts, little boys and ghouls can visit This is the Place in their costumes and go trick-or-treating, hear stories from the

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Story Telling Witch, go on pony rides or train rides, and make crafts. Ticket prices are: $12.95 for adults, $8.95 for children 3-11 and children 2 and under are free. The Little Haunts event is held Oct. 13, 18-20 and 27 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This is the Place Heritage Park is located at 2601 E. Sunnyside Ave. in Salt Lake City. Garden After Dark at Red Butte Garden: The theme for this year’s Garden After Dark event is Oaklore Academy of Magic. Come be a part of this magic academy where guests will learn about the magical properties of real-life plants from around the world, select a magic wand, learn all about magical creatures, and dig into herbology. After picking up an Oaklore student manual at the amphitheater, visitors will be given a school map, class schedule and extra credit activities they can do between classes. Class subjects include: Wand Theory 101, Potions Lab 202, Charms 303, Magical Creatures Studies 404, Herbology 505, and even a final exam that has something to do with trying to ban the mischievous Myrtle Spurge who seeks to cause trouble all around the Academy. Ticket prices are $14 or $11 if you are a Red Butte Garden member. This event is Oct. 18-20 and Oct. 25-27 from 6 to 9 p.m. Red Butte Garden is located at 300 Wakara Way in Salt Lake City. Boo at the Zoo at Hogle Zoo: Boo at the Zoo is where children (12 and younger) come to the zoo and go trick-or-treating in their costumes at booths scattered throughout the zoo. They provide trick-or-treating bags or you can bring one from home. This popular event is included with regular zoo admission (or free with a zoo membership) and is on Oct. 27 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Regular zoo admission for adults (13 to 64 years old) is $16.95, seniors (65 and older) $14.95, children (3 to 12) $12.95, and 2 and younger are free. BooLights at Hogle Zoo is on Oct. 5-6, 11-13, 17-20, and 26 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. BooLights includes a train ride at night, not-so-scary light displays of a graveyard, pirates’ lair, the land of spiders, walk through Bat Cave, and a labyrinth-themed maze with puppets. Also included is the performance “Spiderella.” Prices are $12.95 for adults (13 and older), children ages 3-12 are $9.95 and toddlers 2 and under are free. Papa Murphy’s Pizza offers a discount coupon (while supplies last) when you buy any size pizza you will receive a coupon for a buy one regularly priced adult ticket to BooLights and receive one child ticket free. l


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Trick (free but timely) or Treat (expensive but quick)

t’s the most won-der-ful time of the year! It’s spooky time! Halloween is my favorite holiday. In my opinion, we don’t have nearly enough occasions to dress up in costume and eat candy. Almost every year, I start planning my costume early. I’m one of those people that need my costume exact to every last detail. I’ve even bleached my hair to make sure the long blonde hair I needed for my costume was accurate. Wigs are way too expensive. Unfortunately, not spending $50 to $200 on costumes at the pop-up Halloween stores can only be off-set by time. Spending the time to create your own unique costumes can save loads of cash. Head to your local Michaels craft store or JoAnn’s fabric store for all the knickknacks and fabric you will need for your costume. Coupons are always available for Michaels, make sure to visit their website and download that coupon before you head to the store. JoAnn’s usually has coupons available on their website as well. I wouldn’t say I have a talent for sewing, which is why I love visiting JoAnn’s. In the middle of the store, an entire table of pattern books and file cabinets full of patterns to choose from awaits. My suggested process is to spend some time looking through multiple books to find the perfect pattern, pick the pattern from the corresponding cabinet, and then go look for the appropriate fabric. For accessories, like bracelets, hats, shoes, facewear, etc., shop around early. I generally like to go online and screen-shop through sites like Amazon and eBay for the perfect iteration of the accessory I’m looking for. I have two different extensions on my Chrome browser that automatically compare prices throughout the internet. If I’m lucky, they will



pop up before I check-out with coupons or websites that offer the same product at a lower price. (The two I use are Best Price and Honey.) Not surprisingly, I adore hosting Halloween parties. Pinterest is my ultimate go-to for fun Halloween-themed treats, drinks, and decorations. One of my favorite treats to make is Ghost Pretzels. Pick up a bag of long pretzels from the grocery store, dip them in melted white chocolate, throw some small googly-eyes on there, and they’re done! Some other simple recipes include Halloween popcorn or trail mix, ghost bananas, pumpkin clementines, spider cookies, blood-splattered Oreos, Jell-O worms, mummy hotdogs, and Halloween spaghetti. Decorations require a balancing act between time and money as well. Buying decorations from a store (my favorites are Michaels and Spirit Halloween) is quick, but can be expensive. Homemade decorations are inexpensive, but they require a fair amount of time. One of the most inexpensive decorations is a front-yard spider web. All it requires is a long spool of thick thread. If you have trees and other plants in the front-yard, this can be pretty painless; just walk through your yard and hook the thread over some branches to create the outer perimeter of the web, then keep walking in circles, making the perimeter smaller and smaller each time. Tie a few perpendicular thread pieces throughout the circle, and that’s it! Don’t forget the spider made out of a black bag full of fallen leaves and some pipe cleaners. Witches brooms can also be simple to make, depending on how fancy the witch is. If you have an old dusty broom lying around, that’s perfect. Wrap the handle with some fabric, preferably black, orange, or

purple, splatter some green spray paint across the rest of the handle, and jostle up the brush on the end of the broom. Easy-peasy. There are many other decoration ideas easily googleable that I have yet to try, including floating candles, glowing eyes, wicked witch feet, packing tape ghosts, potion bottles, bats, stacked pumpkins and whimsical grave stones. Need more? Spoox Bootique (3453 S. State St.) is open all year and they have fantastic Halloween-themed decorations, collectables, apparel, homeware, accessories, furniture, and trick or treat buckets. l

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Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Life and Laughter—Dressed to Kill


Laughter AND





very autumn, as I reconstructed our home after three months of child infestation, my daughters settled into their school classes and thoughts turned to Halloween. More specifically, thoughts turned to Halloween costumes. I’d load my girls into the minivan and we’d attack the pattern books at Joann fabric, looking for the perfect costumes. (These pattern books weighed approximately 450 lbs. and had to be moved carefully or they would fall off the narrow perch and crush your hip bones.) Costumes ranged from Disney princesses to Death, and each outfit had to last for decades because they were worn all the time and handed down for generations. (For example, one daughter, dressed as Snow White, shredded the hem of her gown under the plastic tires of her Big Wheel. Her dress looked like Snow White had been attacked by a pack of very short raccoons. She still wore it every day.) After finding the right pattern, we’d roam the aisles, looking for fabric that didn’t cost the equivalent of an actual Disney movie. During my costume-making tenure, I created all of the Disney princesses, a

cheerleader, Super Girl, a lion, a pumpkin and several witches. (Sidenote: A witch costume in 1990 consisted of a long black dress, a long black cape, long black hair, a black hat and a broomstick. Now a witch costume is a black miniskirt, fishnet stockings and a push-up bra. I have no idea how to fly a broom in that outfit.) Speaking of slutty clothes, my daughters were often pushing the envelope when it came to modesty. According to my daughter, her belly dancer’s shirt was too long, so (when I wasn’t around) she rolled it up several times to display her 10-year-old abs, and the gypsy Esmeralda’s blouse kept “accidentally” falling off her shoulders. Daughter number three used her Cinderella costume as a method of seduction as she walked up and down our driveway in her slappy plastic high heels, flirting with the men building the garage. Did I mention she was four? During another Halloween, she wanted to be Darth Maul. I made her costume, painted her face, but refused to put horns on her head. She grew her own devil horns a few years later. By Oct. 20, all my intentions to create the perfect Halloween costume for each daughter devolved into madness


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their heels. My daughters have carried on the costume tradition. My grandchildren have been garden gnomes, Austin Powers, a unicorn, and even an 18-month-old Betty Boop. It makes my black Halloween heart smile. Now, my Singer gathers dust and I haven’t looked through pattern books for years, but every October my fingers twitch and I fight the urge to take my girls to browse fabric aisles. I wonder what my husband is doing this weekend. He’d make a beautiful Disney princess. l

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Profile for The City Journals

Cottonwood City Journal October 2018  

Cottonwood City Journal October 2018

Cottonwood City Journal October 2018  

Cottonwood City Journal October 2018