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May 2020 | Vol. 17 Iss. 05

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TREE HUGGING TEENS:

HOW ONE FAMILY IS COPING DURING PANDEMIC By Katy Whittingham | k.whittingham@mycityjournals.com

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or teens, many accustomed to spending time in groups with peers, social distancing can feel like torture. Season Wahlen, a 13-year-old Butler Middle School student, put in bluntly. “Not being able to see my friends is super hard.” While she can FaceTime, Snapchat and text friends, it just isn’t the same. “Before the pandemic, I would see them almost every day.” Her 15-year-old brother, Sage Wahlen, a student at Brighton High School, agrees that nothing compares to spending time in person with friends. “Every weekend before this my friends and I would go hang out, spend the night at each other’s houses and go skateboarding in the morning.” He says FaceTiming with his girlfriend helps and “is fun” but is “way different than actually being there.” The Icelandic Forest Service has one unique solution for teens and others seeking more direct contact during this time: hug a tree. The Service is encouraging people to hug trees while maintaining safe distances from loved ones and friends. Forest rangers at Hallormsstaður National Forest have been clearing paths for safe access to trees and, similar to the lines in grocery stores here, marking spacing of 6 feet distance between waiting tree huggers. Luckily, with the abundance of parks and trails in our backyard, there are many opportunities for tree hugging and other outdoor activities during social distancing with perhaps a little less regulation than Iceland has in place. While increased screen time is one way teens may be coping as they try to keep in touch with friends and continue their education during school closures, educators and professionals warn Continued page 7

Left: Sage Wahlen of Cottonwood Heights hugs a tree at Flat Iron Mesa Park in Sandy. (Photo courtesy Starr Wahlen) Right: Season Wahlen of Cottonwood Heights hugs the same tree. (Photo courtesy Starr Wahlen)

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May 2020 | Page 3


State and city emergency managers cite key lessons from March earthquake By Joshua Wood | j.wood@mycityjournals.com

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he Great Utah Shakeout came a month early this year with the real deal. The 5.7 magnitude earthquake that shook the Salt Lake Valley on March 18, and the many aftershocks in the weeks that followed, made all those past community earthquake drills startlingly relevant. The good news was that the March 18 quake was not “the big one” that Utahns have been taught to expect. On the other hand, officials learned that many residents still needed a lot more practice in preparedness. “It’s given us an opportunity to practice our emergency management process,” said Wade Mathews, Be Ready Utah manager with the Utah Division of Emergency Management. “We were already active for COVID-19, and it’s given us an opportunity. People didn’t quite remember what to do. We want to emphasize the importance of stay where you are, stop, drop and hold on.” Mathews cited the quake as a great learning opportunity for everyone. In the event of a much larger earthquake, the shaking would likely be too violent for people to run for cover. Even in large aftershocks, the best thing for people to do in the moment is to stay where they are, drop down, and hold on for cover. If an earthquake were to strike when people are in bed, for example, Mathews said the best thing for them to do is to stay in bed and put a pillow over their heads for protective cover. The March earthquake provided real experience for local emergency personnel to put all their drills into practice. “We’ve got a great, nationally recognized communications group,” said Assistant Emergency Manager Julie Sutch of the Cottonwood Heights Police Department. “They did check in during the first quake. They were right on top of it. We’re fortunate to have the CHARC (Cottonwood Heights Amateur Radio Club) volunteers.” Cottonwood Heights canceled its annual Shakeout event due to social distancing mea-

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Gov. Gary Herbert and Department of Public Safety Commissioner Jess Anderson in the State Emergency Operations Center on March 18 during the first ever level 1 activation for the 5.7 magnitude earthquake in Magna. (Photo courtesy of Wade Mathews, Utah Division of Emergency Management)

sures for the COVID-19 pandemic, but officials tentatively plan to hold a drill this fall. Lessons learned from the recent earthquake will help inform their planning. “The biggest thing that we’ve seen is that it has brought the realization that it could happen,” Sutch said. “That’s probably the biggest takeaway. We’re seeing more people being geared toward preparedness.” Preparedness is the primary concern for Mathews. From the state level to community organizations to each household, knowing what to do is the top priority. “We’re going to emphasize protective action more with our outreach,” Mathews said. “If we don’t know

how to survive the disaster, the rest of our plans don’t matter. We want everyone to be able to survive. That’s why we emphasize protective action so much.” Protective action during an earthquake includes: • Drop to your hands and knees to protect yourself from being knocked down • Cover your head and neck with one arm • Crawl under a sturdy desk or table if one is nearby • If no table or desk is nearby, crawl to an interior wall • Stay on your hands and knees, bent over to protect vital organs

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• If you get under a desk or table for shelter, hold on to a leg until the shaking stops • If not under shelter, cover your head and neck with both arms For more tips on earthquake preparedness, visit shakeout.org/Utah. The lessons of the recent earthquake, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, have provided real reminders of the importance of emergency preparedness. “We want to create a culture of preparedness where we live,” Mathews said. “Knowing the risks of where we live helps us have emergency preparedness plans in place.” l

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UFA first responders take new precautions for house calls By Cassie Goff | c.goff@mycityjournals.com

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he Unified Fire Authority (UFA) has been adapting to various changes in their daily operations per the global pandemic. Assistant Chief Riley Pilgrim reported on how the organization has been adapting those changes on April 7. Throughout the Salt Lake Valley, there has been a decrease in call volume for all emergency responders. For UFA in particular, “we’ve had a 37% drop in calls,” Pilgrim said, when comparing January through April to previous years. “There are not as many people out and about. Most people are complying with the stay at home order,” reported Pilgrim. However, even though there has been a decrease of call volume, the potential of being exposed to coronavirus is exponentially increasing. “We have been doing a lot of in-

ternal tracking with calls that have potential of COVID,” Pilgrim said. The UFA crews had “gone on about 240 calls that had the potential of COVID interaction that potentially exposed 1,100 personnel,” Pilgrim said. From that potential exposure, “27 people have gone out with symptoms, with one testing positive.” Only one or two of those with symptoms were from Cottonwood Heights. The numbers of individuals showing symptoms are only expected to increase as “the peak is moving toward the last week of April, first week of May,” Pilgrim said. For any positive case within the UFA, “we’re going to treat it as if it happened in the workplace,” Pilgrim said. UFA will protect their administrative leave. Since there are many UFA crewmembers responding to calls related to coronavirus, Cottonwood Heights Councilmember Scott Bracken asked Pilgrim what callers can expect if they call with symptoms. “Dispatch is going to ask a series of direct questions that include the symptoms of COVID,” Pilgrim said. Dispatch will record those answers and relay them to the crewmembers, through their mobile computers. The reEmergency responders will more commonly be port will tell the crew that the person calling is dressed in full personal protective equipment in the exhibiting COVID-19-like symptoms. time of COVID-19. (Photo courtesy of UFA) When arriving on scene, one crew mem-

Crewmembers of the United Fire Authority want the public to know that they are still ready and willing to respond to calls. (Photo courtesy of UFA)

ber will be fully outfitted in personal protective equipment (PPE). That crew member will knock on the door and ask the caller to come out to them, so the other crew members don’t have to go inside the house. The fully protected crew member will do a basic assessment at the front door, recording the individual’s temperature and asking multiple follow-up questions. Based on the answers, the crew might send in more members to assist or one additional crew member

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to provide contact with the patient. In March, UFA started breaking out some of their previously stored PPE. “We had quite a few things on hand already,” Pilgrim said. “We had 20,000 masks on hand. In three weeks, we were down to about 10,000 masks.” When responding to an accident or other call outside the home, the crewmembers won’t be wearing PPE, but will still be caring for the community. l

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Educators find creative ways to connect with students during school closure By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com

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fter schools initially were put on soft closure in response to COVID-19, Park Lane Elementary teacher Susan Homer said she tried and tried to figure out the technology to teach her third graders. “It was very stressful for me,” said the 30-year teaching veteran. “Teaching online just freaked out an old schoolteacher like me. I left in tears one day.” That day, Homer knew how to fix her meltdown – reconnecting with her students. “I emailed the parents and went to the kids. I left them packets on their porch and wrote to them how much they meant to me. Then, I stood back on the sidewalk and saw them. I really, really miss the kids,” Homer said. “I saw their cute faces and I remembered why I do what I do. I saw how much what I did meant to them and that gave me the courage to push forward and go online with new material.” Connecting with students is a common thread amongst educators as many say they didn’t go into education to teach online. So many of them should get extra credit for finding ways to connect with students. Altara Elementary Principal Nicole Svee Magann has gone live on the school’s Facebook page with “Magann’s Moments.” The episodes range from reading books to showing students secret places of the school,

all the while telling the students that she mises them and all their noise in the halls and that without them in the school, it’s “kind of like ice cream cones without the ice cream.” “We’re trying to find ways to connect with our students who are isolated and can feel frightened or overwhelmed and just need to see familiar faces and have laughter in their lives at a time like this,” she said. “Our teachers are holding morning meetings and using Flip Grid, where they ask students for responses to fun questions such as what they’re thankful for or what is their go-to song, before they begin their learning. They’re making connections even if they are not physically connecting.” Jordan Ridge Principal Melissa Beck also said her teachers were using Flip Grid to communicate with students. “It’s been good to get feedback in video form that is more engaging instead of a typed response,” she said. “Our teachers are using digital tools to connect with students and parents in more creative ways.” Butler Elementary Principal Jeff Nalwalker has livestreamed from different locations, challenging his students to figure out where he is – Wheeler Farm, Cowabunga Bay Water Park, or at a cookie store. “It’s important for students at home to have that human connection to their school,” he said. “For kids, not being able to play with other kids or go to school, is unusual. So, if we’re able to connect with a friendly relationship, telling jokes, reading stories or having fun, it’s a good kind of engagement.” Nalwalker also challenged for his school to Flip the Switch (a 15-second challenge that TM originated on social-networking app, TikTok, that typically involves two people instantly switching outfits). With the help of his wife and daughter, he was able to create his video, changing different suits while running. Not only have numerous Butler Elementary students and teachers participated, it has spread to other school administrators, such as Park Lane Principal Justin Jeffery, who mastered to Flip the Switch, changing his costumes while at his desk. “I’ve never done social media, but I don’t think people do well in isolation and Are you a business leader? if this gives me another way to connect with TM At no cost, the ElevateHER Challenge is easy students, then I’m learning,” Jeffery said. to accept and will benefit your company. “My daughter, who is in kindergarten, saw her teacher on Zoom and she loved seeing her Join businesses across Utah in and her classmates. It was heartwarming.” our mission to elevate the stature Now Jeffery provides online announceof women’s leadership. Take the TM ments and birthday shout-outs from different ElevateHER Challenge and stand with other businesses as we pledge to elevate classrooms in the building and he’s handed women in senior leadership positions, in out grab-and-go school lunches in costume. But that’s not all teachers, administraboardrooms, on management teams and tors and PTAs are doing. Signs in appreciaon politcal ballots. tion of teachers, such as from Altara Elementary and Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind, LEARN MORE: have been posted in teachers’ yards; they’ve www.WLIUT.com/challenge also been posted in the lawns of students in

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In Cottonwood Heights, Butler Middle School Principal Paula Logan leads her staff and faculty to parade through the neighborhood to connect with their students. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

encouragement by teachers, including those at Columbia Elementary, Intermountain Christian School and Murray High, amongst others, recognizing their seniors. Signs of encouragement were posted at Murray High to give support to the school community. And leaders have given support, such as Canyons School District Superintendent Jim Briscoe providing a YouTube video about distance learning and resources and Jordan School District Superintendent Anthony Godfrey posting podcasts for families. Several Salt Lake Valley elementary and middle or junior high school staff and faculty, with the help of local law enforcement, have paraded in cars through neighborhoods, giving shout-outs to students and seeing signs of appreciation in return. On April 7, Liberty Elementary librarian Emilee Barnett took part in her school’s parade. “The parade route took us over two hours to drive, but it was wonderful to see the smiles, signs and waves from our students,” she said. “Many elderly and adults without children stood in their doorways to wave and cheer as well. What a bright day!” Butler Middle School Principal Paula Logan took the lead in her school’s parade. “We just want to say hi to the kiddos,” she said. “We miss them. It’s been a long time. When they see their teachers and school staff, they can feel special, forge some positive energy and hopefully, we will add some cheer.” Canyons Board of Education Vice President Amber Schill was there to wish them on their way. “The parade shows that teachers still care about them during this time of a lot of uncertainty,” she said, adding that her son received a postcard from one of his teachers at the school – one of 1,000 teachers already had mailed to students. “They’re amazing to show how they miss students when they’re busy figuring out how to deliver the curriculum online.” Summit Academy seventh- and eighthgrade math teacher Natalie Sluga is reaching out to her 100 students, appreciating the online training teachers received weeks before the soft closure.

“I recorded and practiced for a couple hours to know what the lessons would look like, sound like, and then made adjustments to make it better for kids,” she said. “When I introduce a new topic, I want it to be me to introduce it. I feel strongly about it. I have a good relationship with my students and want to continue with that connection.” Through technology, Sluga still shows students steps to solve math problems and understand concepts, which “bring stress levels down. It’s still my job to deliver lessons. I know my students; I want to keep supporting them and keep moving forward.” Indian Hills science teacher Rachel Afualo said that she was lucky to be familiar with the online platform Canvas, although she is still learning “the depths of it.” But more than delivering her coursework online, her seventh-grade team held an online spirit week for their students to check in wearing a crazy hat or socks, or even a character costume, when Afualo, herself, became a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. “We want to give our kids a sense of community and normalcy in a world that’s not normal,” she said. “We want to show we still care and are still here for them. I miss the kids. I miss what they do – try to get me to talk off topic or talk over me. What I miss most is not watching them learn with those ‘aha’ moments.” Many schools across the state took part in a statewide spirit week, spurred on by Salt Lake School District. There’s been messages of hope and encouragement in chalk at schools and contests, scavenger hunts and videos posted by high school student body officers, many who will graduate without traditional commencement exercises. At Hillcrest High, students used their talents to chalk a portrait of their principal, Greg Leavitt, who had earlier posted a video of himself riding a tricycle down the hall while singing his usual song, “Friday, Friday, Friday is my favorite day.” “We’re all trying to connect with students in what’s not easy for any of us,” Leavitt said. “There are many reasons, but the bottom line is we miss them.” l

Cottonwood Heights City Journal


Continued from front page this should be balanced with time outside to unplug. A generally accepted 30-60 minutes of outside activity is recommended for teens and adolescents every day. At over 30 acres, Flat Iron Mesa Park in Sandy has many opportunities for those looking to get outside while staying at a safe distance including three different walking/ jogging trails ranging from 1/3 to 1 mile in length and many aligning trees, some donated and labeled by variety. However, of all the trees in the park, the one most “huggable” could be the tree near the start of the upper walking path and parking area that has been given a voice of sorts through an accompanying plaque with the poem titled, “Friends In A New Light.” The poem, written according to the plaque by Thomas Silvertree, in the voice of the tree making comparisons between human friends and trees and ends with a last line that is particularly fitting. The poem begins, “I wouldn’t blame you for thinking/I’m

only a tree/But, in truth I’m the best friend/ somebody can be.” The speaker goes on to explain the support and love it wants to provide the reader and invites them to continue to visit. “And whenever you visit/I’ll savor the grin/Each time you realize, /I’m the air you breathe in.” The poem then concludes with a direct request for an embrace. “P.S. Let’s not brush this under the rug/If we are friends now, can’t I have a hug?” Of course “tree hugging” and the power of nature has been studied and practiced for centuries before our current pandemic. The Japanese practice of “shinrin-yoku,” translated as forest bathing, has provided evidence of the benefits for mind and body. For Sage and Season, who live with their mother Starr Wahlen in Cottonwood Heights, finding time to be outside together as a family and individually even if just in their backyard has helped, although their mother says it has been difficult to deny them time with friends, some of whom are not social distancing.

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Season Wahlen of Cottonwood Heights hugs a tree at Flat Iron Mesa Park in Sandy. (Photo courtesy Starr Wahlen)

However, for Starr, a nurse at Intermountain Medical Care on the Medical/ Telemetry unit (currently the acute care designated COVID-19 unit), there’s no other choice. “We have been social distancing since day one and have eliminated all activities with the public. I know that I am keeping them safe,” she said. According to Starr, her teens understand and are even positively influencing the actions of their friends. “Working on the frontlines has allowed me to share the reality of it with them,” she said. Daughter Season agrees and offers words of advice for other teens struggling with social distancing. “Get some fresh air and sun and keep in contact with family and friends the best you can,” Season said. “Just remember that this will all be over soon, and we’ll be able to see (and hug) each other again.” l A plaque with the poem “Friends In A New Light” that accompanies a tree in Flat Iron Mesa Park in Sandy. (Katy Whittingham/City Journals)

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Sage Wahlen of Cottonwood Heights hugs a tree at Flat Iron Mesa Park in Sandy. (Photo courtesy Starr Wahlen)

May 2020 | Page 7


May the Healing Begin, a letter from our publisher

Dear Readers,

I probably failed to mention something very important last month, there is a better and probably easier way to help support the journals. Since the Journals are funded by advertising dollars, you can help us by doing business with our advertisers and letting them know you have seen their ads in the Journals and that you appreciate them doing business with the Journals. It is their advertising dollars that have kept the Journals printing over the last 29 years. Like most local businesses the Journals will be hurt from the pandemic, with the actions taken to shut down business many of our advertisers were forced to close their doors. With closed doors there was no reason for them to advertise. This quickly reduced the amount of advertising we had in the Journals. We have been hurt, but we will survive and the Journals will continue to print and hit your mailbox during the first week of the month.

Last month for the first time as being a publisher I used some of our space in the newspaper to write a letter to the readers. I would rather save our newspaper for the news or advertisers, as opposed to my ramblings. However, I felt compelled to follow up with another letter this month. Last month I informed readers that they could donate to the Journals by using our new website (donate.thecityjournals.com) or by sending us a check. We have had a steady outpouring of generosity since then. We collected donations ranging from $5 to $100. We are so thankful for each of these donations. We are committed to making sure that these funds are used to improve the reader experience with the newspaper. Over the next few months I will update all those who have donated on how the funds were used. One of the downsides of the newspaper business is that we don’t always get to hear from our readers. Over this last month we have heard loud and clear from many of you. Until next month, And with each email, note, letter, and donation we are filled with joy and a sense of val- Bryan Scott idation for the work that we do. Publisher, City Journals

Readers like you keep us printing!

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Policing the pandemic By Cassie Goff | c.goff@mycityjournals.com

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n March 16, the city of Cottonwood Heights declared a state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, daily operations for city workers have changed significantly, especially for the employees of the Cottonwood Heights Police Department (CHPD). “Calls for service are down 30 to 35% overall,” said CHPD Chief Robby Russo. “Noticeably, the radio has been silent.” Even though almost all crime has been decreasing, including accidents and injuries, domestic violence (and family fights) has seen a spike in calls. “There have been calls from homes you wouldn’t anticipate that call for service coming from,” Russo said.

In addition, the CHPD has received calls about gatherings and residents not conforming to the 6-foot distancing recommendation. “People are self-enforcing and we are happy about that,” Russo said. “There have been lots of calls concerned about mass gatherings in parks or at homes. We respond to each and every one of those.” As of publication, there have only been a few positive cases of COVID-19 in Unified Police Department and seven in the jail. CHPD has not reported any positive cases. “It hasn’t become a problem yet, but it could,” Russo said. In preparing for the future, emergency responders have to anticipate the possibility of officers contracting COVID-19. In preparation, the CHPD may move toward working longer shifts when needed. In addition, most police departments within the valley have agreed to share resources when needed. If an officer tests positive, they will be quarantined in a hotel. This way, their families are protected. Salt Lake County will also be supporting childcare for officers when needed. For the CHPD, the priority is protection. When first arriving on duty, all officers and staff members are required to have their The CHPD has seen a drop in calls since March. temperatures recorded. Throughout the rest (Photo courtesy of Cottonwood Heights) of the shift, constant sanitization is required

for all surfaces and gear, including within the patrol cars. In addition, every officer has received gloves, masks, suits, disposable dust covers, protective covers, face shields and safety glasses to use when needed. “The officers carry sanitizer in their cars and wear masks when coming into contact with the public,” said Assistant Emergency Manager Julie Sutch.

The CHPD is actively complying with reports from the Salt Lake County Task Force, which is a collaboration between healthcare officials, Unified Fire Authority and the Governor’s office. CHPD is also checking in daily with the Salt Lake Valley emergency responders and managers. l

CHPD officers must sanitize their equipment and patrol car before going on shift. (Photo courtesy of Cottonwood Heights)

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May 2020 | Page 9


Volunteers bringing Cottonwood Heights history to life By Joshua Wood | j.wood@mycityjournals.com

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ecent events have made the present chaotic and the future seem murky. The past, however, is getting new life. A dedicated group of Cottonwood Heights residents has been working to bring the community’s history to life. The city’s Historic Committee has worked to preserve the roots that shaped the character of Cottonwood Heights. They hope to make the community’s stories more accessible to current and future residents. For a city less than two decades old, Cottonwood Heights boasts a rich history that stretches back to the earliest years of the Salt Lake Valley’s settlement by Mormon pioneers. The Historic Committee has worked to bring to life both the history of the early settlers as well as more recent stories from longtime community residents. “There are people on the committee who were born and raised here and can tell stories about a community you wouldn’t recognize today,” said Historic Committee member Ken Verdoia. Verdoia is leading an effort to capture oral histories from residents who have seen firsthand many of the developments that have occurred in the community over the past several decades. These stories help bring to life a not-so-distant past that can seem like a different age subsumed by the rapid economic and demographic growth of the area. Another way the Historic Committee works to bring local history to life is by helping people explore that history in person. During a recent committee meeting, Carol Woodside detailed a series of historical walks

that the committee is working on. Eventually, people will be able to walk historical areas of the community while reading about past events that occurred in those spots. The crowning achievement thus far for the Historic Committee is the publication of “City Between the Canyons: A History of Cottonwood Heights, 1849-1953” by Allen D. Roberts. The book was published by Cottonwood Heights City in 2018 as a move to preserve and celebrate the community’s rich history. Copies of the book, which shares a wide array of stories of different times and locales in Cottonwood Heights, can be purchased through the city. “Our role is to serve as an entity that’s there to answer any historic questions and to raise awareness of the community’s history,” said Historic Committee chair Jim Kichas. “We’re trying to give people a degree of appreciation and a sense of place.” The face of Cottonwood Heights has changed considerably over the years. But the city’s character remains unique, and the Historic Committee works to preserve that character by highlighting how it was forged. Residents can read about people like Daniel Bankhead Freeman, the first freeborn African American in Utah and places like the Old Mill, Knudsen’s Corner and Poverty Flats. While the City Between the Canyons continues to grow, it does so on a foundation build long ago. A team of dedicated volunteers works to keep the community’s past close to heart. l

Residents can read about the old Cottonwood Heights paper mill in the Historic Committee’s book. (Courtesy Utah State Historical Society)

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Learning centers shift tutoring services online during soft closure of schools By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com

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ocal learning centers are delivering online individualized student lessons as a continued solution for families in need of educational support during the COVID-19 pandemic. At Sylvan Learning of Centers of Utah, Executive Director Mike Loudon said that the centers provide online services, engaging individual students in their learning experiences. “Most of our students are learning math, reading and writing and we’re tutoring in homework assignments,” he said. “We’re using Sylvan Live to connect our students and teachers together in an adaptive learning. We’re doing it live, together, customizing students’ education.” While Sylvan teachers use their own curriculum, which helps about 70% of the students who seek “catch-up” learning, they do not have homework to add to students’ and parents’ workloads. However, Loudon did say Sylvan teachers help about 50% of their students who seek help with school assignments. “Many families struggle to do the homework. Some parents aren’t ready to step-in to teach. Some parents get frustrated, struggle how to work from home and help multiple kids with their packets and don’t know what to do. It’s just one more thing when there’s so much stress at home,” he said. “We know high school kids are not getting the same education

with worksheets, question and answer session where they can’t even raise their hands. With 40 kids on Zoom, they’re not all going to learn or understand a concept. Schools are trying their best, but it’s not for everyone. That’s where we can step in to help.” Loudon said that because they are live and engaged with each student individually, Sylvan teachers can be consistent in the student’s education. “Our programs are customized to help each student so we can get them from where their education is now to where it should be. What may be interesting is that our students may actually come out ahead as educators predict there will be a slide come fall. Our students are getting the help now so they won’t need a major review and they will have gained confidence in their skills,” he said. Meanwhile, Loudon said that the percentage of students who come to keep their skills current or enrich their education usually grows in the summer and he is predicting that this summer may be “a whole different look.” “Families will have to understand their student may not be getting the education they’ve expected and will look into different learning options like Sylvan. We expect a boom in calls. We can provide K-12 fundamentals in reading, math, writing and study skills and help prepare students for ACT and

SAT college-entrance exams and even our advanced math courses help prepare students for AP math exams,” he said. Parents can schedule assessments now to determine students’ abilities and skills. “It will help to get a snapshot of what skills your students know and we can help determine where they will need to be,” Loudon said. Likewise, Mathnasium of Cottonwood Heights is also offering math assessments and teaching K-12 one-to-one online. “We’re able to connect to the students and give parents an option as they work from home,” owner Mila Gleason said. “We provide live, interactive teaching, not watching a video then answering questions. Students don’t have to log in to answer a question or watch YouTube to figure out a problem. We teach students how to understand math in an individual setting. ” While she also said there is an expected surge of students this summer, Gleason said it’s equally important for students to get the help now to work hard and concentrate without being preoccupied by friends at school or “becoming distracted by Netflix.” “It can be overwhelming, but parents can pick a schedule that works for them and this structure can be beneficial while students are learning at home,” Gleason said. “Our

Cottonwood Heights’ Mathnasium now offers online assistance to students while schools are on soft closure for the rest of the academic year. (Julie Slama/ City Journals)

parents are working hard and are involved, our teachers have never worked harder, but students can still use help. We’re face to face on a computer and have customized learning plans for teaching concepts students need to master. We also can spend the last 15 minutes with homework help. We do that collaboratively and it ends without parents being frustrated trying to help their students at the dining room table.” l

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Elementary students who earned ‘degrees’ may not walk at their commencement exercises this year By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com f in-session school is out for the year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s just not high school and college seniors who won’t be walking at their graduations. A bunch of elementary students in four different schools also will be disappointed that they won’t be wearing caps and gowns to receive their certificates. The elementary students are part of the University of Learning, a program where students can investigate topics to earn university credit toward degrees – technical, associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate – just like the real world. Topics are student-generated, but students need to meet a set criteria. While each of the four schools – Brookwood, Butler, Oakdale and Quail Hollow — may have varying syllabus, most have students learning about a topic for three hours and reading two books from the Utah Beehive list to earn a technical degree to completing 30 hours and have to read 10 books to achieve the doctorate degree. “The University of Learning program makes learning fun and gives students an extra challenge,” Quail Hollow fourth-grade teacher Katie Clifford said. “The kids are becoming self-motivated to learn. They’re getting to share what they love if it’s their ancestry or skateboarding.” Plus, Clifford said she’s learning more about her fourth-grade students, which allows her to connect to them in other ways. “I’m learning how amazingly talented my students are in so many ways, whether it’s dance, ice skating, cooking or if they’re learning something new such as how to crochet, how to make a stop-motion video or who was Philo T. Farnsworth,” she said. “One student is making and selling doll clothes and donating the money she makes to charity.” Brookwood fourth-grade teacher Kathy Smith said a service project is part of the doctorate program; at her school, a student held a car wash in the bus lane at her school to raise money for the American Red Cross. The doctorate, and the master’s degree, are more difficult as they are in real life. With the master’s degree, students have a 15-hour thesis, which usually is a two-page paper or a PowerPoint presentation — although Smith remembers a student writing, illustrating and publishing a book about animals that was shared with other students at the school. Both degrees require applications, outlining what the student proposes to do and how it will be completed, which the teachers then meet to discuss. “Learning is a process. The students are finding what they’re interested in and pursuing it. The first few degrees tend to be about sports and animals and their interests, then, they learn how they can incorporate more of what they want to learn and do into the advanced degrees,” she said.

CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com

For example, fourth-grader Amelia Black said she worked on her associate degree which featured sharing about Mathnasium. “I was already going there twice each week, so I explained what I learn, how I earn stars and showed my binder,” she said before schools went into soft closure. “I like learning what others are sharing so I’m getting more ideas on what I can do.” Smith said some students look forward to this and are empowered to want to learn and achieve the top degrees. “They’re making a real-world connection and understanding that they’re facilitating their own learning. Parents love it as it’s an extension of what we’re doing in school and it’s something they can do together,” she said. Fourth-grader Bridget Smit and her family traveled to England where she researched swimming pools and translated that into learning about the longest, deepest and fanciest pools in the world. “In England, the Jesus Green swimming pool in Cambridge is the longest at 100 yards, but it’s only 15 yards wide,” she said. “This is a good opportunity to learn about things I usually wouldn’t do, and it gives us more of a challenge.” She added that she spent time reading and playing games with seniors as part of the program. Bridget said it also has inspired her to visit local parks and playgrounds to rate them and create a booklet so kids can go to the best ones after school. “I like that we’re doing something extra and going beyond what is expected of us,” she said. That is something that Oakdale fourthgrade teacher Shannon Prado applauds. “I’ve seen kids who love this – whether if it’s the student who struggles, but he or she excels outside the classroom or if it’s some who are pursuing a new interest – it boosts their confidence,” she said. “Sometimes, their peers learn about their talents and see them in a different light.” Prado has had students share about roofing and show how they’ve helped roof their home to telling others about Bosnia, where the student’s family originated. “Learning happens everywhere and from anyone; this is a positive experience for them,” she said of the 72 students who are slated to graduate at the school this year. At the schools, students weekly share their presentations to earn their degrees and then, the culminating commencement may include comments from teachers, speeches from students earning doctorates, a PowerPoint presentation, awarding of degrees and shaking hands of teachers and principals to the applause from classmates and family members. “It’s really helping to push and stretch our kids and it motivates others to try new

A bulletin board at Brookwood Elementary showcases students’ projects in the University of Learning program. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

things,” Prado said, adding that it has gotten her to try some new activities as well. “It’s something that they remember.” Retired teacher Trish Boswell learned about the program from a peer who was earning her actual master’s degree. Boswell introduced it to Quail Hollow. From there, her student teacher, Shannon Cabrera, brought it to Oakdale. Smith learned about it from Boswell and introduced it at Brookwood. Teacher Annelise Slater taught alongside of Cabrera so Slater introduced it recently to second-graders at Butler Elementary. She said the program engages students and prepares them to be career- and college-ready. “When I did it in fourth-grade, I had a student go to a cadaver lab with her grandpa and she explained to us all about the human heart, from its four chambers to an incredible diagram and activities,” Slater said. “We’ve simplified it for second-graders, yet they are still doing amazing things. I’ve had kids share how to make grape juice from grapes, show how they’ve sewed a teddy bear from a pattern and painted rocks to brighten the day of others. The students are discovering that learning doesn’t just happen in the four walls of a classroom. It’s pushing them to grow and become passionate outside of school, to make connections and become better and more thoughtful people.” l

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Tree care and landscape options part of proposed city ordinance By Cassie Goff | c.goff@mycityjournals.com

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Trees are not only visually appealing, they also provide many additional benefits for city living. (Photo courtesy of Cottonwood Heights Planning Commission)

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ottonwood Heights city planners and staff members are working to draft a Public Trees and Park Strips Ordinance. This ordinance aims to set citywide regulations for the development and maintenance of park strips within public right of way. In addition, this ordinance attempts to balance options for property owners for maintaining trees and landscaping within park strips adjacent to their property. “The language is aimed at tree preservation,” said Community and Economic Development Director Michael Johnson. The ordinance allows the city to “take care of trees in the right of way, develops design standards, and establishes maintenance,” as per Chapter 12.04 in the city’s Code of Ordinances. “The proposed ordinance will strike a balance between hardscape and landscape where 50% hardscape will be acceptable as long as its permeable,” said Senior Planner Matt Taylor on Feb. 6. When developing this draft ordinance, city planners were in conversations with urban foresters. In these conversations, focus was paid to property values, as they have the potential to rise from mature street trees. In addition, air quality within the city may be improved with consideration for trees. Mature trees can absorb around 48 pounds of CO2 every year. And at full maturity, trees produce nearly 260 pounds of oxygen per year, which is enough to sustain two human beings.

After collaborating on the draft ordinance, Community and Economic Development staff members sat down with various departments within the city, such as the Public Works Department and the Cottonwood Heights Police Department, to receive feedback and recommendations. The draft then went to the Cottonwood Heights Planning Commission for their consideration in March. During their meeting for discussion,

there were no public comments. In April, the Planning Commission voted and ultimately recommended approval to pass the ordinance. As of publication, the ordinance will have to come to the city council in a work session to go through the ordinance. Once the city councilmembers have provided feedback, the ordinance will come up for a vote in a final approval process. l

Nationally, 75% of urban forestry spending goes toward maintenance and management. (Photo courtesy of Cottonwood Heights Planning Commission)

Cottonwood Heights City Journal


Eat well to perform well By Greg James | g.james@mycityjournals.com

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hether doing squat jumps and mountain climbers in your basement or running (with social distancing in mind) at your local park, people are finding ways to train for their preferred sports. But one important aspect to remember is nutrition. The topic of sports nutrition is likely to spark constant change and intriguing research for a competitive or recreational athlete. “It can all depend on the type of activity you are doing as to what you should be eating,” Andrea Talbot, a registered dietitian nutritionist at the Bariatric Medicine Institute in Salt Lake City, said. What is sports nutrition? Nutrition is the foundation of athletic success. A well-designed nutrition plan allows active athletes to perform at their best. The right type of food will supply energy, nutrients and fluids to keep the body hydrated and functioning at peak levels. “Think about food as being fuel,” said personal trainer at Drive Personal Performance Center Kenyon James. “For a race car to perform at its best it needs clean fuel, the best it can get. If you go get unleaded fuel from the gas station before the race it will never go fast. The same is true for an athlete. If they eat junk food the body will not work well.” The energy our bodies need for the best

body function comes from three main food groups. Carbohydrates are either simple or complex. Simple carbs include sugars that occur naturally in foods such as fruits, vegetables and milk. Breads and potatoes are examples of complex carbs. The digestive system breaks down carbohydrates into glucose which feeds energy to the body’s cells. Proteins are made up of amino acids. It plays an important role in muscle recovery and growth. Fats provide energy to the body and protect our organs and cell membranes. A well-designed diet and plan will include sufficient calories and healthy nutrients. Depending on the activity the athlete may adjust his intake for his or her needs. “I used to eat like five to six thousand calories when I was riding my bike in training,” former competitive cyclist Kiley Cook said. “I eat a lot less now, but weigh about 15 pounds more. My dad bod is coming in nicely.” Cook said his failure to adjust diet could be affecting the way his body digests the food he is eating. Endurance event participants of one to two hours daily should eat three to five grams of carbs per pound of body weight to keep up with demand of energy on the body. A

200-pound man should eat approximately 600g of carbohydrates, but should use minimal amounts of fat and proteins the day of an event according to active.com. If activities last more than one hour it is important to replenish the electrolytes and glucose, sports drinks and fluids are a good idea for endurance athletes. Resistance training programs are designed to build strength. Protein intake is especially vital. According to werywellfit.com protein requirements can vary by body type and fitness level. We all lose body water throughout the day. Athletes lose additional body water through sweat. Fluid replacement is an essential part of a nutrition plan to maintain the body’s optimum performance. “If you feel thirsty you’re already becoming dehydrated,” Talbot said. “Drinking is a very personal thing during training. You do not necessarily need electrolytes replacement unless the activity takes more than 90 minutes.” Whether exercising as a competitive athlete or for health improvement, sport nutrition should play an important role in your success. It can help enhance performance, improve recovery and make reaching goals possible. l

A long distance runner should be concerned about the food they eat to maximize their performance. West Jordan junior Abigail Jackson uses the high school trainers and coaches to learn what is best for her performance. (Greg James/City Journals)

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Car charging coming to city hall By Cassie Goff | c.goff@mycityjournals.com

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new electric vehicle charging station may be installed at the Cottonwood Heights City Hall building (2277 Bengal Blvd.). The plan for now is to install one pedestal which will be able to service two stalls within the next two years. On April 7, the Cottonwood Heights City Council passed a resolution that enables the city to ratify an agreement with the State of Utah for installation of an electric vehicle charging station. “We want to move forward as soon as possible,” said Community and Economic Development Director Michael Johnson. The fine print in this resolution states the city will be able to enter into an agreement with the State of Utah to receive a grant for $1,976.63 under the Workplace Vehicle Charging Program, intended to “defray the cost of installing an electric vehicle charging station at city hall.” The $4.9 million funding provided by the Workplace Electric Vehicle Charging Program was appropriated by Utah’s 2019 General Legislative Session. The provided grant money will function as a rebate with an agreed upon re-

imbursement procedure. “We have two ey for this project has already been put years to do the work and submit for the aside within the city’s budget. l reimbursement,” Johnson said. Since the grant will function as a reimbursement, Cottonwood Heights will have to pay for the electric vehicle charging station out-right, first. The mon-

An EV charging station will most likely be installed within the back parking lot of City Hall. (Photo courtesy of Cottonwood Heights)

An electric vehicle charging station is coming to Cottonwood Heights City Hall. (Pixabay)

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Brighton athletic facilities expected to finish in August All photos by Julie Slama

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righton High’s new athletic facilities were taking shape in mid-April, with a turf field expected to be put in the field house and in the sports complex, a track yet to be laid overlooking the main gymnasium. The facility also includes an auxiliary gym, dance room, wrestling room, concessions and ticket office, commons areas, varsity basketball locker rooms and physical education locker rooms with individual showers for both boys and girls, as well as locker rooms for the football team, coaches and officials; a training room with a whirlpool and tables; and “five or six walls of display cases for trophies,” Principal Tom Sherwood said about the 120 state championships the school has won in its 50 years. “The architects, contractors and (Canyons School) District personnel have done an amazing job in building something of this standard while having students present on the campus with minimal impact to instruction and school activities. Something else that I’m excited to see as a result of new construction (post-Title IX) are new athletic

The main gymnasium will have an elevated track around the perimeter.

Inside fieldhouse that will have artificial turf.

facilities that give equal access to both male and female athletes.” While the former dance room will become a fitness room and the weight room will remain in the Bengal Building, the old gymnasium is expected to be demolished this summer as the new athletic facilities should be completed in August for the 2020-21 school year. l A view of the football field can be seen from a commons area near the main gym.

A dance room will be in the new athletic facility.

Cottonwood, AMES robotics team competed in state competition By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com The “Amperes,” or AMES robotics team, finished 25th in qualifying rounds out of 54 teams in the March 6-7 Utah FIRST robotics competition at the Maverik Center before being selected to compete in the finals where they were eliminated in the quarterfinals. They also received the Gracious Professionalism Award at the competition. This year, all remaining regional and world tournaments were cancelled in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Seen here is the team’s robot competing at the Utah regionals. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

Cottonwood High School’s robotics team, nicknamed the “Underdogs,” competed March 6-7 at the Utah FIRST robotics competition at the Maverik Center, finishing 27th out of 54 teams in the qualifying rounds. Last year, as the top rookie team in the region, the team advanced to the world competition in Houston. Known for having teammates who come from around the world, their robot, 7906, displays flags from students’ homelands as it competed at the Utah regionals. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

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May 2020 | Page 17


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Page 18 | May 2020

By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com

orner Canyon High School freshman Cambria Davies feels like she will be prepared for her Advanced Placement human geography exam this May, even though the setting may be out of the ordinary. On March 30, the College Board announced, “because students overwhelmingly told us they want to take their AP exams, we’re providing online learning and AP exams available at home for all students this spring.” The College Board, who administers Advanced Placement exams as well as college entrance examinations, also is taking steps to provide the SAT and ACT college exams online in the fall. Cambria, who will take her first AP test on May 12, said her teacher has been preparing them for the online test, which is now shortened to 45 minutes at home, open book. “It’s all free response, which I don’t like as much, but I understand they’re doing what they can to make it as fair in this very different setting,” she said. Brighton Principal Tom Sherwood, who also has a freshman son who will take the same test, said that AP modified tests, eliminating the multiple choice sections, which easily could be looked up. “They looked into academic integrity with the exam and know it could be hard for students not to look up answers or to have parents help craft essays when college credit is on the line,” he said. “They have posed the essays, so students have to critically think.” Brighton AP English Literature and Composition teacher Jennifer Mattson also said there is a check on the essays as they are reviewed by teachers to make sure there is consistency in the students’ writing – and teachers are required to tell the College Board if they suspect plagiarism. “For the past several years, the College Board has considered online testing so this will be a trial run for them to get an idea what it’s like online,” she said. “A lot of my students are self-sufficient, already in study groups and reviewing.” Bingham High AP Language and Composition teacher Susan McCandless believes her 60 juniors who are testing will do well on their rhetorical analysis essay they learned in the fall. “This simplifies the preparation and it’s something we’ve reviewed ever since,” she said. “We have a month to practice that skill and make sure they write the task out so they won’t get off task.” Hillcrest High sophomore Amanda Desjardins, who took AP human geography and AP Spanish last year, is preparing for her AP psychology exam this year. She plans to take her exam in the basement of her home where it’s quieter. “I feel as if kids are going to get distracted taking the test at home,” she said.

Amanda, who is using flash cards and a study book to review, said her exam only covers eight of the 14 chapters. The test can be taken online or be handwritten, then scanned and sent in. “I’m studying every day, but I’m stressed,” she said. “For most kids, the writing is the hardest part since it’s free response and the multiple choice is where they count on doing well.” Alta AP Language and Composition and Literature and Composition teacher Denise Ferguson agreed: “A lot of kids rely on that multiple choice section to do well and my concern is that the prompt will be difficult for a 17-year-old.” However, Ferguson said even with the challenge of difficult Zoom meetings – where 40 students make it “chaotic” she is finding other ways to review with her students. “It’s a huge challenge,” she said. “The soft closure caught teachers off guard and it’s making teachers gasp and figure out how they can prepare students online. We’re using online sessions to guide instruction and asking them to practice for every subject they’re testing. We’re all doing the best we can do. They’ve worked too long and hard to just cancel the tests.” Bingham’s McCandless agrees the test isn’t the same as in previous years. For example, her students’ test will be reduced from several components to one or two essays now, so students will have “all their eggs in one basket. It’s like a passfail exam now.” “I don’t think it’s comparable,” she continued. “Before we had three essays and multiple choice and each tested different things; now it’s a very different skill. The College Board wants to give kids a chance to test, to earn college credit. It’s not ideal nor comprehensive, but it’s the best under the circumstances.” Brighton senior Jacob Simmons has earned perfect scores on his previous 12 AP exams and was planning to take eight more this spring as well as defend his AP Capstone research paper with oral argument. “Initially I thought it would be best to cancel the AP tests and have grades determine the test scores and then I looked at pass-fail, but that would be even harder to draw an arbitrary line to determine a student’s proficiency on a subject,” he said. “I feel as if they should give us two essays (with a longer time) because it will be difficult to cram one essay into a 45-minute period to adequately determine the student’s knowledge of the subject.” While Simmons knows the access to technology and strength of the server may factor into the time-period decision, he is grateful that he can still complete his AP Capstone research paper this year — even though the Capstone program also is modified this year. AP Capstone seniors have already

taken their seminar course and passed four AP classes. Now, they are in the final stages of their project – one that was to be presented orally as well as written. The oral portion in front of a panel has been canceled and the written portion due date was pushed back to late May — and if the research can’t be completed, students can report why they can’t within the essay. “I feel the ability to defend a research paper equal to a master’s thesis is a value opportunity to determine what we’ve learned and express our passion on the subject. It’s disappointing, but at least we have the research paper,” Simmons said. Mattson, his AP research teacher, agrees: “Many of them are fantastically articulate and would have done well to orally present it.” While it’s Brighton’s first graduating class in the program, Juan Diego Catholic High School has offered AP Capstone for several years and already completed oral presentations when the College Board cut that portion of the program this year, said Vanessa Jacobs who oversees the program at the school. “The students had nailed it and did an amazing job, but it won’t count as part of their score now,” she said. “The College Board is making it equitable the best they can. It’s a scramble for everyone as it’s a whole new environment.” The 5,000-word research report is underway for five Juan Diego candidates, with 13 who already completed everything before this year and will earn the Capstone program diploma, Jacobs said. Jordan High teacher Heather Gooch said the new AP testing is “a game changer.” “The test is truncated so for those teachers who didn’t teach the course in the order of the book, they will have a lot of material to cover,” she said. “For us, we’ve covered the material and it will be business as usual. But it is more stressful and there are additional factors for students, such as watching siblings at home now so parents can work or if the parents aren’t working, students are contributing to supporting the family or other circumstances. Everyone is trying to adjust and if you’re already getting food out of the pantry, this could just heighten the stress level since you want to save money and time in college.” For Gooch’s 27 AP biology and 40 AP environmental science students, as well as other students who are taking AP exams, she said reviewing and pacing themselves during the test will be critical. “These kids are wanting to be in the game so I’m doing everything I can – live chat, recording review sessions, holding practice sessions, videoing, emailing – to connect and support them. I can’t drop the ball.” l

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May 2020 | Page 19


Brighton construction forges ahead, school completion set for August 2021 All photos by Julie Slama

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hile school has been dismissed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, construction on the new Brighton High continues. A peek inside Brighton’s auditorium and first phase of classrooms shows a commons area with a grand staircase, a black box theater, auditorium, band and choir rooms with shared practice rooms, The View school restaurant, and arts and technical classrooms. “Ever since we started building schools in Utah, going back to some of our oldest

buildings like West, East, and the original Bingham and Jordan high schools, beauty and architectural excellence have been valued as a way to honor the sacred work that is taking place inside those structures,” Brighton High Principal Tom Sherwood said. “I feel like our new campus is in that tradition. It will serve over 2,000 students every day for the next 50 years. It will be a place that students want to be and an environment very conducive to learning.” These areas should be completed by

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August for the start of the 2020-21 school year, and this summer, a portion of the old building and the gymnasium will be demolished as the school rebuild continues. The school should be completed by August 2021, although with the school building closure the rest of this school year because of the coronavirus pandemic, “we may be able to advance some planned summer work,” said

Leon Wilcox, Canyons School District business administrator. “Right now, there are no anticipated delays, however that is subject to change if enough workers are forced to quarantine. Also, we could see additional delays as many of the construction materials are manufactured overseas in highly impacted countries where factories have been forced to close such as China and Italy.” l

To the families we serve, The Larkin Mortuaries and Cemeteries are proud and honored to be assisting families and friends with their loss for the past 135 years. Given the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for you to know that we as funeral directors are taking precautions to limit exposure to the coronavirus. As we have always done, we are still operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week making certain that those entrusted to our care and the families we serve are receiving uninterrupted service and attention. In the last days and weeks, the Larkin management have been in regular contact with numerous state and federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control, National Funeral Directors Association and the Salt Lake County Health Department. Our continuing goal is ensuring the health and safety of the public and that the information we receive is as current and accurate as possible. These are just some of the changes we are implementing: • We are sanitizing our facilities several times daily • We are asking staff to stay home when possible • We are encouraging arrangements by phone and email • We are limiting the gathering size of our arrangement conferences, services and gravesides to meet the state and federal mandates That said, people will still be passing away and families will want to say goodbye. We still have a myriad of options. Your funeral director will explain ways that you can memorialize your loved one in a meaningful way. If you are experiencing a cough, fever, or shortness of breath, we encourage you to not attend funeral services. Reach out to the Larkin location handling services and we will be willing to share your sympathies with the family of the deceased and they may also offer some other options to let the bereaved know that you support and care for them during this difficult time. Notes of sympathy may also be left on our website for the family to see. Every obituary on our website allows for online condolences. Sincerely, Brighton High Principal Tom Sherwood leads a tour past the grand staircase outside of the new auditorium.

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Hopefully by the time this reaches your mail we are beginning to dip our big toe back into life again. Like many others, being thrust into solitary confinement, left me with some spare time to spend on social media, and thanks to my friends I learned so much about how to handle this disaster. With the vast array of opinions, I found putting it all together difficult though, but I gave it shot anyway. It’s all as clear as mud now, here’s what I learned. Working from Home: If you are able to work from home you are lucky, unless you are required to work from home, then it’s horrible and you wished you could go to work, because working from home is too much work. Keeping a Healthy Diet: In effort not to get sick we should eat well, but we should not go out to get healthy fresh food when we run out and eat whatever pre-packaged food we have on hand instead. However, we should order out at our local restaurants to help keep them in business. Then it’s okay to go out to pick up the food. Your food might be prepared by someone sick that doesn’t know they are sick, but it’s okay if you pay by credit card and take the food out of the container. However, you should avoid going to the grocery store at all costs because you might get sick. Getting Sick: Wearing a mask is not helpful, but if you get sick you should wear a mask. But, don’t go to the hospital if you’re sick, because you might get sick if you do. You might be sick and not know you’re sick,

so you should wear a mask even while driving alone in the car alone. The Press: Every article starts with a panic headline designed to shock us. But when we read the article, we find it’s not so shocking after all and perhaps even a little boring, except when our friends post these articles to social media. Then we never read the article, we just start divisive arguments based on the shocking headline instead. Politics: We are all be untied as American’s; we are proud, and this is the time we shine. But, if there’s a government action that we don’t approve of, then we are not united if we disagree with our friend. We might even be called names, because name calling on social media is okay. Huh??? Love: We love our partners so much we could not live without them, they are our everything, unless we have to live with them non-stop. Then we feel we’d rather live without them. Home Schooling: Teachers are the saints and I can no longer remember why I even had kids. Grandparents: You can’t see your grandkids, but if you’re a grandparent and work in a grocery store or pharmacy, then you can see someone else’s grandkids. You can avoid getting the virus and still see your grandkids virtually by using a computer program called Zoom but, watch out, your computer might get a virus instead.

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Earthquakes: In the event of an earthquake get outside, but otherwise don’t go outside it’s not safe. Also, keep in mind that on the annual practice day called ShakeOut, there might really be an earthquake, then it’s no longer a practice day and you can go outside. In all seriousness, I hope what every person takes away from this crisis, is to be prepared financially for an emergency. At Coupons4Utah.com we have spent the last 12 years helping families save a buck. Hopefully we will all remember to put that buck in the bank for next time. For those families living without a loved one because of this virus, my deepest sympathies to you and yours. Be safe out there.l

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As soon as COVID-19 hovered in the air we breathe, I went into full-on “Gone With the Wind” Scarlett O’Hara mode, ripping up bed sheets to make toilet paper and stockpiling moonshine for antiseptic. Of course, Scarlett was useless in an emergency. For the majority of the Civil War, she whined and married rich men. I’m also pretty useless in emergencies. When I knew the shelter-in-place edict was coming, I didn’t stockpile food, I scurried to the library to check out all the books. After hoarding four months of library books, I told everyone in the house (my husband, my daughter and her two children, ages 3 and 8) to check their 72-hour kits. They responded, “What 72-hour kits?” Not a good start. In the shed, I located an emergency essentials bag that looked like it had housed a family of weasels. Along with 10 years of dust, it contained an expired can of roasted almonds, a box of matches, a pair of underwear and a spatula. We were doomed. Tossing my hair like Scarlett, I tied on my shopping bonnet and sang out “fiddledee-dee” as I headed to the grocery store for provisions. By the time I got there, options were limited, unless I was keen on making a casserole with canned asparagus, creamed squid and buckwheat flour. I figured we’d just be creative with dinner. (Lesson learned: 3-year-old granddaughters don’t like creative dinners.) Our meals usually consist of some type of egg for breakfast, leftover Easter candy

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for lunch and something with hamburger or chicken for dinner. Could be spaghetti, could be soup. Hard to tell. This has been the worst staycation ever. I do not recommend. Both my husband and I can work from home, so we take turns sharing the home office space. One person works in the office with a comfy chair every other day, while the other person sits on a workout ball at a TV table in the bedroom. It’s . . . complicated. And we’re adjusting to each other’s work behaviors. Husband: Can you not leave dozens of half-empty water glasses by the computer? Me: You silly scalawag! Are they half-empty? Or half-full? Anyway, our attorneys are working out the final details. My puppy, Jedi, is over-the-moon excited to have me around, LITERALLY sitting on my feet all day. She got even clingier when the earthquake rattled our home (not funny Mother Nature) and she made me carry her 60-pound furry body from room-to-room for the next week. As life was boiled down to its necessities, I realized how often (in the before-times) I would bored-shop, bored-Starbucks and bored-TV-binge. Since March, I’ve narrowed that list down to bored TV binging. (Between “Better Call Saul” and “Ozark” I definitely

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know I should avoid the Mexican drug cartel.) As warmer weather approaches, I miss shopping for new spring clothes. Looking back on how Scarlett made dresses out of her velvet draperies, I tried channeling her creative spirit again. It was tough to made clothes out of our window coverings since we only have wooden blinds. But I did my best. Pictures not available. We’re still in lock-down mode. I replenish our milk and produce once a week. We walk the dog a dozen times a day. We work and eat and read and play games and get on each other’s nerves and fight and make up and write hopeful messages on the sidewalk in colorful chalk. Like Scarlett, there are lots of things I’ll worry about tomorrow. But if we have books to read, food to eat and our family is safe, I’m very content in my little corner of the world.l

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