Cottonwood Heights Journal | October 2021

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October 2021 | Vol. 17 Iss. 10




he 2021 Municipal Election will be significant for the City of Cottonwood Heights. As mentioned in this edition of the City Journals, three out of the five seats for city council are up for election with none of the currently serving elected officials opting to run for re-election. This year, Cottonwood Heights residents will elect a new mayor, a new city councilmember for District 3, and a new city councilmember for District 4. Ranked Choice Voting will be used to tally up the residential votes for these races. Instead of voting for one candidate per race as residents have previously been accustomed to, voters will be able to rank candidates based on preference. The Cottonwood Heights City Council voted to approve the use of Ranked Choice Voting on May 4. Ballots will appear slightly different for voters using Ranked Choice Voting. Voters will be able to fill in their candidate preferences for each race based on a table. Candidate names will be listed in the left-hand column (or the y-axis). Preference based on numerical ordering will be listed across the top of the table (or the x-axis). Voters will be asked to fill in a bubble for each column. The most preferred candidate for a specific race should be bubbled in within the first column labeled “First Choice.” Then, the second choice candidate should be bubbled in within the second column, and so on. For voters, Salt Lake County recommends not ranking a candidate more than once. In other words, listing one candidate for


first, second, and third choice will not benefit the candidate in any way. It is also not recommended to give a candidate the same ranking. However, voters can choose to rank as many of the candidates as they would like. Any of the remaining “choice” columns can be left blank, if preferred. “Voters have more of a voice,” said Cottonwood Heights City Recorder Paula Melgar in May. “Preferences are counted for second and third choice. That vote doesn’t just go away.” Instead of a single-choice, winner-takesall voting system, Ranked Choice Voting allows for a different methodology to be used when tabulating votes. Each voter's first preference for candidate is recorded initially. If a single candidate receives over 50% of the vote, they are announced as the winner. If there is not a clear majority vote, counting moves to phase two. If no one candidate receives over 50% of the vote after the first initial count, the candidate with the least amount of votes is eliminated from the race. Then, the ballots of the voters who ranked the (now eliminated) candidate as their first choice are revisited to count their second choice for preferred candidate. After those votes are redistributed based on second preference, the candidate with over 50% of the vote wins. If there is not a clear majority again, phasing continues until there is. An example is detailed below. Along with Cottonwood Heights, a


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October 2021 | Page 3

Canyons’ schools continue to get updated logos, mascots By Julie Slama |


n August, Canyons Board of Education member Mont Millerberg took to the Virgin River Trail in St. George on his bike and along with him, was JarVis, Jordan Valley School’s chameleon mascot. Well, his was one of 250 brightly colored laminated paper copies which Principal Stacey Nofsinger and her office staff distributed to every student, faculty and staff member as well as the school’s board member before school was out last spring. Each of the chameleons was unique in its color combination as each school member is to its community, she said. The idea was for everyone to photograph JarVis with themselves this summer—a take on the Flat Stanley project that is popular in many schools. “We had families post photos on our Facebook page so they could see JarVis playing in the water in a student’s backyard or on a family trip to Wyoming or even travel to Austria,” she said. “It’s been a fun way to connect.” Introduced as the new mascot last spring, the chameleon replaced a black-and-white mountain silhouette that dated back to 1975. The school community voted for the name of the chameleon, named after the computer software although Nofsinger has made the connection with the Marvel’s fictional character. “The chameleon is incredibly adaptable and that’s what our students are, and what our staff needs to be as they are flexible to meet each student’s learning,” Nofsinger said. “It is just a perfect fit. With all the different colors chameleons have, it fits our individual students and represents the same brightness that are in the lives of our students. They also have intelligence beyond what we can see, just like our students. The chameleon is something we can all rally around.” The chameleon was created by Canyons School District graphic artist Jeff Olson, who created the tail in a J-shape to represent the

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school. In a district full of cats and eagles, Olson said this project stands out. “It definitely was one of the more fun projects I’ve worked on,” Olson said. “There’s so much versatility with the chameleon.” Since then, Olson has introduced Copperview Elementary’s updated mascot—a female cougar. A suite of complementary designs accompanies the single cougar; in one look, it’s the female with a couple of offspring. “We wanted them to still be cats, but not on the prowl or aggressive,” he said. Olson met with outgoing principal Jeri Rigby and as well as current principal Colleen Smith to gain insight into the look and feel that the school wanted for its mascot. Smith said that the values of the school were discussed. “We wanted the mascot to represent our community—our students, our parents, our teachers,” she said. “We talked about the importance of the mascot, its value and how to display it. We’re a community so the mother and two cubs showed the importance of our families. It exemplifies our community and how we’re one big family.” Olson also added the accent color copper to the logo as when it was built in 1961, the school, Copperview, was named after its view of the open pit copper mine. “Jeff did a great job capturing the feel of our community and adding accent colors to help our school stand out,” Smith said. “It’s really exciting for our community; we have a lot of Cougar pride.” Already students and community members have received mascot stickers, some which were distributed at the Harvest Days parade early August in Midvale. A new marquee sign will include the updated mascot and is expected this fall. Over the summer, Olson also worked

Jordan Valley School selected its new mascot, a chameleon, last spring. (Image courtesy of Canyons School District) Eastmont Middle School updated its look this summer with Patriot Pride splashed around its hallways, auditorium, gymnasium, lunchroom, and exterior lamp posts and doors, as seen here. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

with Eastmont Principal Stacy Kurtzhals to update the appearance of Eastmont. Banners outside and in the gymnasium, exterior door coverings, column wraps in the hallways and cafeteria, Patriot mascots on the auditorium walls, freshly painted red and blue lockers and inspiring quotes in the stairwells contribute to the Patriot look in the middle school. “It helped instill more pride in our Patriot pride,” Kurtzhals said, with a pun. In addition to the Eastmont new branding, Olson also worked on school pins for Draper Park Middle School and is currently updating other logos for several schools. He has updated logos for 31 of the 50 schools since September




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

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2015. “It’s fun and I like to make the logos personal to communicate the feel of each community,” Olson said. “I want it to resonate with the kids, so they’re excited about their school.” l


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One of Copperview Elementary’s logos shows a mother cougar and her young, illustrating the importance of family and community. (Image courtesy of Copperview Elementary)

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Canines meet at Mountview for Bark in the Park Photos by Cassie Goff

Resident pups show off their skills on the training course. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)

Who ended up winning this argument? (Cassie Goff/City Journals)

Does this hound look most like the Mayor? (Cassie Goff/City Journals)

Bark in the Park offered attendees free hot dogs during the event. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)

K-9 Officer Kai has been with the Cottonwood Heights Police Department since she was a puppy. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)

The most regal boy observes the younger pups playing. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)

Continued from front page handful of various municipal elections have opted to utilize Ranked Choice Voting this year. Bluffdale, Draper, Riverton, Midvale, Millcreek, Salt Lake City, South Salt Lake, Sandy, and Magna Metro Township will all be counting votes based on preference. To learn more about Ranked Choice Voting in Utah, visit the Utah County Elections Division (www.ssl.utahcounty. gov) or Utah Ranked Choice Voting’s website (www.utahrcv. com). For more information about voting in Salt Lake County, visit the Salt Lake County Clerk’s informational page through Additional information from Cottonwood Heights can be accessed by visiting, hovering over the “Your Government” tab across the top, navigating to the “Public Records and Notices” column and clicking on “Ranked Choice Voting.” Ranked Choice Voting Example As an example, say there are five candidates running for mayor: Watermelon, Orange, Blueberry, Kiwi, and Grape. One hundred votes were cast from residents. Watermelon received 23 votes, Orange received 24 votes, Blueberry received 12 votes, Kiwi received nine votes, and Grape received 32 votes. Since nobody received over 50% of the vote in that first count, the candidate with the fewest number of votes (Kiwi) is eliminated. Those nine ballots that originally opted Kiwi as their first choice will now be revisited to count their second preference. Out of those nine voters, four marked Orange as their second preference and five parked Grape as their second preference. Those votes are then redistributed, so Watermelon now has 23 votes, Orange has 28 votes, Blueberry has 12 votes, and Grape has 37 votes. There is still no majority vote, even after phase two of counting. Again the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated, so Blueberry is dropped from the race. The 12 ballots marking Blueberry a first preference are revisited to account for the voter’s second preference. Out of those 12 voters, two marked Orange as their second preference and 10 marked Grape. Those votes are redistributed, so now Watermelon has 23 votes, Orange has 30 votes, and Grape has 47 votes. What a close race! With still no clear winner, the 23 ballots with Watermelon marked as first preference are revisited as they are now eliminated. Out of those 23, 10 marked either Kiwi or Blueberry as their second preference, so the third preference is counted instead. Out of those 10, five marked Orange as their third preference and five marked Grape as their third preference. Those are added to the counts for Orange and Grape. The other 13 ballots have Grape marked as their second preference, which leaves Orange with 35 votes and Grape with 65 votes. Finally, a winner!

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October 2021 | Page 5

Shows aimed to make world better place planned for Cottonwood High stage By Julie Slama |


n a world of choices, Cottonwood High theater director Adam Wilkins wants his students to consider the ones that will make the world a better place. “I like shows with a message, something to give students and the audience a chance to think, reflect and take it to heart,” he said. “This year, our theme is that we have choices, and we want to make the world better. We want to know that we can get through this with faith, hope and responsibility.” For that reason, he picked the traditional musical, “Annie,” to be performed on the school stage at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 18-20 and Nov. 22, and at noon on Nov. 20. Tickets are $9 and are available at “I love Annie, and I think it’s a beautiful show,” he said. “There is a sense of optimism and hope when we hear ‘The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow.’ It was set in the Great Depression; everything was in upheaval, and they didn’t know their place in the world. It was scary. Then, this plucky red-headed kid full of optimism and love wants to make the world a better place. What’s not to love? It’s a message we need right now.” The 150-member production also includes area junior high students on stage as well as stage crew and orchestra members. The show was cast last spring and rehearsals started Aug. 23. This allowed the cast to learn the songs and get to know the show, Wilkins said. Before the students take to the stage, they will host the return of their annual—with the exception of during COVID-19 — Haunted Hallway. Patrons can get spooked as they walk the “grand tour” of the theatre, black box theatre, underneath the theatre area and hallways. Donations of canned foods are being accepted to stock the school’s food pantry and proceeds will be

earmarked for their winter charity fundraiser. It will be held for two hours beginning at 6 p.m., Oct. 19. In late January, students will travel to Cedar City to take part in the Utah Theatre Association’s conferences, where they will take workshops from professors across the country. They also will see some Utah Shakespeare Company’s, Southern Utah University’s and other high schools’ performances and there is an opportunity for seniors to be screened for college scholarships. The Colts return to their home stage Jan. 27-31 with a Broadway Revue; and in March, they’re performing “The Book of Will,” written by Lauren Gunderson. “The Book of Will” is a play about two men, John Heminges and Henry Condell, and their decision to publish the works of William Shakespeare so the world could remember the scripts, Wilkins said. “Because of the thoughtfulness of these selfless friends, they gathered some of Shakespeare’s—the world’s greatest playwright—work for us and for the future,” Wilkins said. “They’ve given us this hope and optimism for a brighter tomorrow. It’s my first time directing it and I’m finding joy in it.” The students also will compete in their regional competition in mid-March, which they will host. State competition is planned for April. “I’ve learned a lot in the past year and few months. COVID has forced me to be a better teacher, embracing a digital teaching format, becoming more organized and finding ways to connect with all my students,” Wilkins said. “But I think we’ve come to realize that while science solves world problems, it’s art that gets us through them and through life’s challenges. So, it’s these shows with choices of hope and optimism that will carry us this year.” l

Ivy Dunbar as Annie and Lily as Sandy, her dog, rehearse for their upcoming production of “Annie,” directed by Adam Wilkins, seen directing in the background. (Photo courtesy of Anna Boone)




Cottonwood Heights Parks & Recreation Page 6 | October 2021

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Brighton to perform Shakespeare comedies to ‘Beauty and the Beast’ this season By Julie Slama |


hen Makayla Conner joined Brighton High’s faculty in January, she met the challenges straight on—from teaching and having her students perform during COVID-19 in amongst the ongoing construction of a new school—to writing and producing a showcase or cabaret of some of the past shows Brighton students have performed as the first production on the school’s new stage. “It’s my first teaching job, and I love it,” said the new theater director. “It’s been challenging, but I love the kids.” This year, she’s carved out the season giving students opportunities to perform musical theatre to a dramatic play to Shakespearean comedy. “I want to give them a chance to learn theater and give the audiences laughter or be able to perform dramatic, serious pieces,” she said. This year’s season starts with the Bengals performing “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the 45th annual high school Shakespeare competition in Cedar City. The contest begins this year with video submissions of monologues and scenes, which is new this year. Finalists will be chosen from those submissions and the finals will be held in-person. Other events, including dance company who is set to compete, also will be held Sept. 30-Oct. 2 in Cedar City. They return with less than one month before 17 musical theatre students perform a scene from “Elf” in the dance company’s Halloween-themed concert. “We’re taking a twist on it saying Halloween isn’t as scary as it is to set up for the holidays before Thanksgiving—and certainly, before Halloween is way too early,” Conner said. In trade, the dance company will perform when the theatre students take to the stage with their own production of “Beauty and the Beast.” The dance company will be featured in the number, “Be Our Guest.” “‘Beauty and the Beast’ was already chosen last year, but because of COVID and construction, it was decided to push it back to this year,” Conner said. “Beauty and the Beast,” adapted from the Walt Disney Picture’s Academy Award-winning musical film, tells the story of an uncaring prince being magically transformed into a beast as punishment for his selfishness. To revert to his human form, he must earn the love of another before it becomes too late—and chose Belle, a beautiful, smart young village woman, who is imprisoned in his enchanted castle. Butler Middle School students were invited to audition and perform as “Chip” and the show will feature a teacup chorus. About 10 stage tech students are designing the set and costumes and junior Reia Posselli is designing the musical’s poster. The show will be at 7 p.m., Dec. 3, 4 and 6, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Dec. 4 at the Bengals’ new auditorium on the west end of campus, 2220 E. Bengal Blvd. Tickets are $8 and are available online beginning in November at

CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com There also are photo opportunities planned with the Beast and Belle as a fundraiser for the theatre department. The thespians then plan to rehearse and perform “I Never Saw Another Butterfly,” a one-act play based upon poetry created by Jewish children in a concentration camp north of Prague. More than 15,000 children passed through Terezín camp, only about 100 survived when the camp was liberated at the end of the war. The title comes from one survivor who taught children and created an imaginary world filled with flowers and butterflies to give them hope, create laughter and play behind the barbed wire. That play will be Brighton’s regional theatre competition piece, which they will perform in March at Murray High. State will be April 21-23, 2022. On April 29, 2022, the theatre students will perform a Shakespeare showcase with monologues, scenes and “Twelfth Night.” The romantic comedy centers around Viola and Sebastian, twins who were separated during a shipwreck. Viola disguises herself as a man, Cesario, and serves Duke Orsino. Duke Orsino is in love with Olivia, who while mourning the death of her brother, refuses to accept love or marriage proposals until seven years have passed. Duke Orsino then uses Cesario as an intermediary to profess his love. Olivia, however, falls in love with Cesario and

Brighton High students Kyle Barney and Jordan Wilson check their inventory of flats before beginning to paint for their December musical, “Beauty and the Beast.” (Photo courtesy of Brighton High School theatre department)

Viola has fallen in love with Duke Orsino, creating a love triangle. Then, enters Sebastian, who did not drown as believed, and Olivia mistakenly believes he is Cesario, so they secretly marry. When Cesario and Sebastian are seen

together by Olivia, Cesario admits to actually being Viola and reunites with her brother before marrying Duke Orsino. However, Brighton theatre students will introduce the play setting in the 1920s, with Viola wearing suspenders and a newsboy cap and Olivia, dressed in a high society flapper dress. “The students are seeing how adaptable Shakespeare is—not just set in the Renaissance period when guys performed in tights. It also shows how Shakespeare is still relevant today. We’d be looking to perform outside on our patio overlooking the city,” if conditions allow, Conner said. Conner grew up in Sandy and attended Hillcrest High, attracted to the international baccalaureate program and theatre program under Josh Long and Giselle Gremmert—even though her brother attended Brighton. She student-taught under Phaidra Atkinson at Corner Canyon High until COVID-19 closed schools. Then, she worked as an enrollment counselor at Western Governors University until she learned the Brighton position opened. “I’ve been able to have these theatre teachers as my mentors and support while starting out,” she said. “It’s always been Hillcrest versus Brighton at my house, and I’d joke about the rivalry that I didn’t want to go to Brighton where my brother was, but once I came here, I’ve felt at home right away. This is where I’m supposed to be.” l

October 2021 | Page 7

Spooky fun in store at Brighton High’s Halloween dance concert


magine scary stories in the dark, a creepy circus, Jason from the “Friday the 13th” movie series and that is the foundation of Brighton High Dance Company’s Halloween concert. “Just think of anything you can that is spooky, but still is upbeat, fun and energetic and that’s our show,” said Lindsay Christensen, Brighton High dance company’s adviser. Their Halloween concert will be at 7 p.m., Oct. 28-29 in the school’s new auditorium, 2220 Bengal Blvd. Tickets are $5 and are available on “We usually perform a winter concert, but the opportunity came to use the auditorium at this time, and all the dancers wanted to do a Halloween show,” Christensen said. “I love Halloween way too much—it’s my new favorite holiday. This has been so much fun to plan.” The concert is to highlight some of Disney’s Haunted Mansion ride, Michael Jackson’s music and parts from “The Twilight Zone” television series. While there are only 21 members in the dance company, the show involves 100 students from the stage tech crew, “who are doing some really cool things with strobe effects, shadow lighting and fog machines” to those who are enrolled in dance classes at Brighton. For example, the Ballroom 2 class will perform a “Pirates of the Caribbean” waltz; Dance 1 and 2 classes are incorporating scarecrows and vampires in their dance; and the Musical Theatre class will perform a vignette with a twist from “Elf.” Of the remaining 21 dancers, 12 of them are choreographed by dance company members, who submitted proposals based on Halloween and fall themes. “This helps them have an artistic voice as choreogra-

Page 8 | October 2021

By Julie Slama | phers, so it not only gives them a chance to perform, but to coach and take an idea, add movement, costumes, lighting and become creative,” she said. Patrons can expect to see several kinds of dance, including jazz, hip hop, ballet and contemporary. “We try to include a bunch of different dances so there is something for everyone to watch and enjoy, or to get chills, laugh, or get a little scared—but not too bad,” Christensen said. This year, junior Rylee Lewandowski, who is serving as the dance company’s unity officer, is designing the Halloween concert poster. Other dance company officers include senior Meredith Nielsen, president; senior Paige Rasmussen, vice president; senior Lauren Jacobs, publicist; and senior Brynn Ellessen, secretary. The Brighton Dance Company was selected after auditioning last spring. They must maintain a 2.5 grade-point average and many of them have years of dance experience. In addition to dancing at assemblies and halftimes of games, the dancers also perform in a February concert and compete this fall in the 45th annual high school Shakespeare competition in Cedar City. The dance company’s theme this year is “Rise.” “They have a strong focus this year after 90% of last year’s events were canceled and having to dance in masks,” Christensen said. “This is their new beginning, coming from all the COVID-19 pandemic guidelines and restrictions, and they’re planning to rise above it. They’re so happy to have a concert and are bringing all the fun and energy with it.” l

Think spooky and fun as Brighton High School Dance Company will present its Halloween concert at 7 p.m., Oct. 28-29 in the school auditorium. (Photo courtesy of Lindsay Christensen/Brighton High)

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Ridgecrest’s fun run encourages fitness and raises funds for after-school academic support By Julie Slama |


t was an event of firsts for Ridgecrest Elementary’s new assistant principal, Sara Allen. This was the first time she helped coordinate the elementary school’s fun run, the first time she saw students excited to run for funds for their school, and the first time she would be sleeping on the school roof as a result of students not only meeting, but exceeding, their fundraising goal. “It was a fantastic event to be a part of,” she said. “It was a big event, but it was so much fun.” About 530 kindergarten through fifthgrade students ran through the neighborhood, each starting with their grade level following a Cottonwood Heights police officer. Kindergartners ran about a 1/3-mile loop, while others raced one mile throughout the neighborhood. Other police officers blocked traffic on streets and followed behind to ensure everyone made it back to campus safely, Allen said. “They did a great job,” she said. Joining the students in their running shoes were teachers, parents and other family members who took part in the community fundraiser. Allen said that there were multiple goals in line with the fun run.

One focus was encouraging physical activity. With the help of the Playworks coach who oversees physical fitness, students prepared for the race beforehand. A teacher gathered new or gently used shoes to have proper footwear available in case students needed athletic shoes or forgot a pair and a parent volunteered to lead students in warm-up stretches before the fun run, Allen said. The school mascot, Reggie, was there to give kids high fives at the end of their run. “The kids would see him, and they would just turn on their last burst of speed and race to him. It was adorable,” Allen said. A second part of the event was to encourage all students to participate by returning the fundraising envelopes—even if no money was collected. Grades that had at least 90% participating could win a grade-level party, which could range from a karaoke or dance party to a popsicle or PJ party, she said. Thirdly, daily activities also encouraged contributions, such as participating in a parent-led drop-in yoga class for a donation or students donating loose change and the students bringing in the most money per

grade level—third grade—won a sno-cone party. Then, lastly, local businesses were part of the community event, contributing prizes such as store or restaurant gift cards and gift certificates to places such as a trampoline park or a race car track. Students who brought in the most donations would be awarded one of those donations for their hard work, Allen said. The student body surpassed the $15,000 goal with a total of $21,824 collected, Allen said, adding that the generosity was appreciated since last year’s run was not held because of the pandemic. “We had many businesses sponsor students, or we put out the option they could sponsor the fun run and put their name on a banner or on the back of our T-shirts, which every student received,” she said. “We had so many generous donations by businesses.” That also included local companies, such as Les Schwab, donating water, and area grocery stores providing snacks to the students after the run. The funds are earmarked partly for PTA to sponsor activities such as holiday class parties, Reflections, Red Ribbon Week, field trips, Chinese New Year celebration

and others as well as to focus on reading and math with students, after school during 50-minute periods, starting in October. “It’s going to help us fund our after-school program,” Allen said. “Especially with our strange year with COVID last year, we’re going to help close the reading and math gaps by paying our teachers a little extra to stay after school and work with some of our students. The teachers will strategically invite students that are missing or just need more practice on skills because maybe they didn’t quite get it during that strange year. So, we’re hoping this will help fill the gaps so we can keep them moving forward.” And if all those incentives weren’t enough, Allen and PTA President Carrie Christensen promised to sleep on Ridgecrest Elementary’s roof if students met the fundraising goal. “We want to celebrate with them because what they’ve done is pretty impressive,” Allen said, who before this year was an administrator at Butler Middle School. “I’m just getting started here at elementary, and it’s been so much fun interacting with the younger ages. Something like sleeping on the roof is so exciting that I don’t know how you can’t be excited about it.” l

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October 2021 | Page 9

World champion paraclimber shares story, empowers Girl Scouts to find their passion By Julie Slama |


bout 100 registered Girl Scouts had the opportunity to not only listen to a world-class paraclimber share inspiring tales of mountain climbing, they also could choose to climb with her at the local Momentum indoor climbing facility. As part of the Girl Scouts of Utah’s Girls’ Empowered event, sixth- through 12th-grade girls listened as Maureen “Mo” Beck described competing at world championships and climbing the Lotus Flower Tower, a 2,200foot granite rock face in the Cirque of the Unclimbables in Canada’s Northwest Territories. That alone is challenging enough for many people; however, Beck did those one-handed as she was born without the lower part of her left arm. By coincidence, her love of mountain climbing came at about the same age as the girls in attendance while attending Girl Scout camp near Acadia National Park in Maine, where she grew up. “My counselor said that I may just want to sit this one out,” she remembered. “So, the little 12-year-old me just thought, ‘screw you, I’m going to do it just because you think I can’t.’ I’m sure I didn’t do that well and didn’t make it to the top of the rock, but I wasn’t going to not do it. I never used not having my hand as an excuse.” She also used that same attitude to show her middle school coaches she could play soccer as the goalkeeper, the position where a player can use their hands; play softball—throwing the ball and catching it without a mitt; and play basketball—although she didn’t make that team since she missed tryouts. “I just wanted to show I was an athlete and could play; don’t count me out because I only have one hand. My grandma used to say that I was just being a smart-ass,” she said. But being defiant at Girl Scout camp meant more to the girl who once thought the best thing in the outdoors was hiking. “I fell in love with mountain climbing. It’s just me and the rock. It doesn’t care if I’m a girl. It doesn’t care if I don’t have a hand. It’s just there to be climbed. I knew then I wanted to be a climber and a good climber. Period. I had never known anything more than hiking. My parents weren’t climbers, so I went to the bookstore to buy magazines about mountain climbing.” With the help of friends, Beck developed her own style of climbing to accommodate not having a second hand. Her efforts didn’t stop there; she even tried ice climbing by attaching an ice tool to her prosthetic and also duct-taped a paddle to her prosthetic so she could canoe. Since then, most days Beck has given up wearing her prosthetic. “I had to figure out I can’t really wear a prosthetic to rock climb. It doesn’t help. So, I’m just going to tape my arm so I can feel the rock and also, so I don’t leave a bloody trail behind,” she told the Scouts. However, if Beck wanted to become a better climber, she told the girls, she had to confront her ego. “I had to be honest that it’s hard for me to do some things physically or I was unable to—and that was hard to do,” she said. “I had to realize I didn’t have all the knowledge or all the strength. I finally got to the point where I said at least I have to try and ask questions. I had to admit I didn’t know if I wanted to learn.” Once she did that, Beck said climbing became even more enjoyable. She told the girls that her first climbing title, the first U.S. Nationals held in Atlanta in 2014, she

Page 10 | October 2021

won because she was the only one in her category. “I felt conflicted about that. Does it count? Can I brag about being first if I’m the only one? I settled on you can because often times, the battle is stepping out of your front door; the hardest part is showing up,” she said. Later, she acquired four more national titles. With only a couple competitive events for paraclimbers each year, Beck made each one count. In 2014, she won the gold at the Paraclimbing World Champions in Spain as one of 15 paraclimbing athletes representing the United States. Two years later in Paris when the next worlds were held, she repeated her title and was one of 50 U.S. athletes, showing that the sport is growing. One championship was a three-way tie because “the people who built the competition underestimated us because it was too easy,” Beck said. Recently Jim Ewing, a climber with a prosthetic leg whom she didn’t know, asked her to join him climbing the Lotus Flower Tower; she reflected back on her decision when she said yes. “Society tells us, our parents tell us ‘no, we should stay safe. Our risks should be small, we should aim for incremental changes in our lives,’ but I think that’s wrong,” Beck said. “I think the more scared you are, the bigger risks you take, the worst that can happen when you take a risk is nothing changes. Failure is where you grow from. Failure when you take a risk is one of the best things that can happen. We’re so afraid of failure that we use it as an excuse to not grow. Life is too short for that.” Beck and the others were gone one month, most of it waiting for the weather to clear so they could climb. For 10 days leading up to the climb, they camped at the base of the peak, heating freeze-dried food on their backpacking stoves. When there was a break in the weather, they climbed part way up the steep cliff to a bivy ledge where they spent the night. “We finally got on mountain, and you can tell, I was a little less than stoked. The rock was still quite wet. I wasn’t ready for truly how loose and gross and mossy it was. Every single hitch that we did…was a full rope length; these were full 200-foot rope stretchers. So, when Jim would take off to lead, I would just be alone for so long during these belays. I was freezing wet and thinking fairly dark thoughts: ‘This was a horrible mistake. I’m not having fun. I’m 1,000 miles away from my family (she’s married, living in Colorado). It’s August. I should be in Colorado right now getting sunburned, sport climbing and having fun at the beach,” she told the girls. “But I knew anytime I was in a dark place, there is always something on the other side.” After witnessing the northern lights that night and waking the next morning, Beck was excited, but her climbing partner was sick. Knowing this was their only chance, they ascended the mountain, anyway. They reached the top—and rappelled down for nine hours arriving in the dark. “We wanted this to be the first all-adaptive ascent. We thought about it more and adaptation doesn’t mean you have one hand you learn how to climb. Adaptation is more about taking what is wrong and figuring out how to make it work. I realized the more that went wrong with this trip, the more I learned,” said the woman who was named the 2019 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year. Now Beck is training for what she believes will be her last world championship before taking a break from competition. However, she isn’t ruling out the possibility

World champion paraclimber Mo Beck tells local Girl Scouts that she never used not having a hand as an excuse and went on to win five national titles, two world championships and recently climbed a 2,200-foot granite rock face in the Cirque of the Unclimbables in Canada’s Northwest Territories. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

of competing in paraclimbing if it is added to the Paralympic Games in 2028. Next, she wants to continue scaling peaks, maybe in Alaska. “Life isn’t over when you’re out of the spotlight and off of the podium, the world is still waiting,” she said, adding that now she teaches other adaptive climbers. “I want these girls to find their voice, their passion, what pumps them up. I’ve broken so many barriers now I want to empower them to push those farther,” she said. In addition to Beck, the Girl Scouts watched “The Empowerment Project,” a documentary made by women and featuring women across the country who were making a positive impact. Girl Scouts of Utah CEO Lisa Hardin-Reynolds said that Girl Scouting gives girls opportunities—not only in the outdoors, but from STEM to life skills. “We encourage Girl Scouts to try new things because it could open up a new passion that they can do for their whole lives, just like it has for Mo,” she said. “We want to give them the opportunity to face challenges, lift each other up and see other women role models so they can see that anything is possible.”l

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Draper Philharmonic and Choral Society presents ‘A Night on Broadway’ By Katherine Weinstein |


or many people, nothing lifts the spirits like a well-loved song from a Broadway musical. "It's the best music ever," said Sherri Jensen, artistic director and conductor for Draper Philharmonic and Choral Society. "It makes people happy." Draper Philharmonic and Choral Society will present "A Night on Broadway" Oct. 8 at Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City and Oct. 9 at Brighton High School Auditorium in Cottonwood Heights. The community orchestra and choir last performed an evening of show tunes in 2018. "It's time to revisit it," Jensen said. "I picked songs that are uplifting and will get you tapping your toes. This music lifts the load of life a little." The program for the concert will include dozens of songs spanning the history of Broadway. Audiences will hear music from shows such as "Les Misérables," "Phantom of the Opera," "Man of La Mancha,” "Hello, Dolly!," "Wicked," “Annie,” "Dear Evan Hansen" and many more. “A Night on Broadway” will include theatrical elements such as costumes for the soloists and tap dancers performing to “Singin’ in the Rain.” “We have so many soloists, some of the best vocalists in the state,” Jensen said.

Tenor Gregory Jack will perform “Corner of the Sky,” from “Pippin” and is also part of a quartet of singers performing a medley from “Jersey Boys.” Being a member of the Draper Philharmonic and Choral Society has afforded him the opportunity to sing, which he greatly enjoys. “It’s just fun to be back on stage,” Jack said. “High school was the time I was on stage the most, seven or eight years ago. I just love singing.” Hillary Anne Hopson, an alto in the Choral Society, echoes the sentiment. “When I got the opportunity to sing with Sherri’s choir, it was liberating,” Hopson said. “I could sit there and sing for three hours! It’s very engaging and I love it. It was a heartbreak when we had to stop during the pandemic.” Flutist Heather Wiseman also spoke of how difficult it was to not be able to play and perform last year. “Not playing was lonely, it was like a hole in your life,” she said. “Since they started up again, it’s been wonderful. I love going to rehearsals. Playing with others is fulfilling for me.” Wiseman is looking forward to “A Night on Broadway.” "I love the 'Wicked' medley that we're doing," she said. "It takes you through the entire show. It's a really high-energy, fun piece." The song "Bring Him

Home" from "Les Misérables" is another one of Wiseman's favorites. "It's so heartfelt," she said. "The singer almost brought us to tears." “I’m such a Broadway nerd, it’s hard to choose a favorite song,” Hopson said. “The ‘Wicked’ medley—that show has a special place in my heart. Also ‘Singin’ in the Rain.’” Michelle Wadsworth, first violinist, has been playing with the Draper Philharmonic for two years. “I love the pace of ‘Seventy-Six Trombones,’” she said. “That one is very energetic because of how quickly we can play it.” Some of the pieces in “A Night on Broadway” can be a little demanding for the musicians and singers, but they are up to the challenge. “Sherri pushes us to get the sound she wants,” Wadsworth said. “But she is so kind about it that we all want to work hard.” Wadsworth is thrilled to be performing again. “Playing again brought back a sense of normalcy. This music has really helped us bring the old part of our lives back, it’s been very stabilizing in an unstable time,” she said. Jensen expressed gratitude over the fact that Draper Philharmonic and Choral Society is still going strong in spite of the pandemic. “We’re doing really well,” she said. “I just consider it a huge blessing, having so much support and being able to find venues.”

Aathaven Tharmarajah, Alan Babcock, Connor Lee and Nick Crapo sing a number from “Jersey Boys” in the 2018 Draper Philharmonic and Choral Society concert, “A Night on Broadway.” (Photo courtesy Sherri Jensen/Draper Philharmonic and Choral Society)

Draper Philharmonic is currently seeking more musicians. Jensen specifically mentioned that she is looking for brass players, including trumpet and trombone as well as more violins. “We also have room for violas and cellos,” she said. “We would like to have two percussionists as well.” Musicians who are interested in joining Draper Philharmonic and Choral Society can visit for more information. Tickets for “A Night on Broadway” may be purchased via the website as well. “I hope we can get a lot of people out to see the concert,” Jensen said. “It will make them feel better.”l

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Wahsatch Rendezvous differs in cross-country format, attracts teams for more than 30 years By Julie Slama |


hen varsity cross-country runners line up for the Wahsatch Rendezvous, it isn’t a sprint out of the mass crowd to jostle for position. Instead, there are seven varsity boys’ and seven varsity girls’ races with each race commencing every half-hour. The format has each team’s top runners enter the No. 1 race, the No. 2s in the No. 2 race and so on. “I like it because the format is different,” said Hillcrest High cross-country coach Scott Stucki, who has coordinated the meet the past six years. “If a team is deep, then usually your sixth and seventh runner don’t score and this gives those varsity runners a chance to win a meet and a chance to medal, where they don’t usually do. It forces the runners to rely on themselves than following the pack.” This year’s Wahsatch Rendezvous was Aug. 28 at the Cottonwood Complex, the same location where the meet originated. The top five varsity runners in each race and the top 20 JV runners each received a medal. The top three teams won trophies for males and females. While Hillcrest High didn’t win, they have had recent winners. In 2019, Anthony Davies won the No. 1 boys race and in 2018, Zac Hastings won. In 2017, Cat Webster won the girls’ top race. In 2008, the Huskies won the boys’ team race, Stucki said. Stucki, who has been the Huskies’ head coach since 2014, coached before that alongside John Olsen, who after being head cross-country and track coach was Hillcrest’s athletic director and now is the school’s international baccalaureate director. It was Olsen’s uncle, Willie Cowden, who was Brighton High’s cross-country coach for 15 years, established the race and organized it until he died of cancer in 1998 at the age of 52. Brighton continued to host the meet until Hillcrest took it over to continue it because Stucki liked the meet format. It’s a format that isn’t commonly seen, but now it has popped up in meets in Montana, Florida and Illinois. Olsen, who ran the meet as the No. 1 runner for West High in the 1990s, remembered his uncle and aunt running the meet. His aunt, Becky, would have a stopwatch in her hand. “It was just so different than anything else you did during a season, so it was kind of fun to see how you’d stack up against other No. 1 runners,” he said. “You approached that race differently than the traditional cross-country race. It’s a different challenge; you didn’t want to get left in the dust by every school’s No. 1 runner, so it was sort of this little bit of added pressure.” Olsen also remembered, both as a runner and a coach, the race lent itself to faster times as racers would set their own paces and with more teammates were watching

CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com

them, there felt more emphasis to finish in top spots in the race since every placement scored. “It was a different mindset. When you’re going up against all the No. 1 kids or No. 6s, use this opportunity as a chance to approach the race differently—you’re going to have them in sight the whole time, keep them close. Being in a smaller than typical race, you have a chance to focus in on certain runners that you want to go after,” he said. Back in his high school days, Olsen would train alongside Brighton High runners in the summer, following his uncle’s workouts—some which high schools continue to use today. “He instilled this love of running, just the sheer joy of running into his athletes. It wasn’t that get into your face, run faster. You ran for the love of it, for the joy of running and that was what he was about,” Olsen said, adding that it was definitely Cowden who was the No. 1 reason he got into running. “When I think of someone who just loves life, Willie is the first person who comes to my mind.” Cowden’s wife, Becky, said her husband taught English at Brighton and had a love of language and literature as well as the area. So, when he wanted Brighton to have its own invitational, he drew upon his passions to name it the Wahsatch Rendezvous. Becky Cowden said her husband named the race after the Native American spelling of Wahsatch, a Ute word for a passageway in the mountains; there also was Shoshone Chief Wahsatch. Although the spelling commonly now is seen without the H, she said that “it’s just neater, more unique.” She also said that he used the term rendezvous as it refers to what the area mountain men did. “They got together as a gathering of people and that’s what the race is, a gathering of people from all over the state. It’s just better than calling it the Cottonwood Park race.” Jeff Arbogast, who was Bingham High’s longtime cross-country coach and now is the school’s golf coach, said his team regularly ran in the Wahsatch Rendezvous that started in the late 1980s. “It took a couple years to catch on, then the word spread that you got to come do this; it’s a lot of fun,” he said. “It became a meeting ground not only for good teams, but also for a way coaches could do more than get their team on a bus, get them off, run and get them back. There were tactics involved; there’s thinking involved. It was a new take on cross country.” Arbogast said coaches would use tactics, switching around their runners— which was legal— trying to win the meet. “Back in the day, the top teams at that time were Viewmont, Mountain View and Bingham; Brighton was tough, but those three schools were nationally ranked in the top 20. There was one point, one

year around ’89, ’91, ’92, where all three schools were ranked in the top five in the United States,” he said. “It was quite a battle. Willie had his hands full because we all loved the race because he had come up with that really unique and interesting format.” Brighton, who always was competitive, won the meet several times after many of the other top runners at those three schools graduated, Arbogast said. The Wahsatch Rendezvous also at-

tracted teams from throughout the region, including teams from Idaho and Wyoming, he said. “Back in the early days, there weren’t as many invitationals, so it got national prominence when these teams ran,” Arbogast said, adding that the field may be of about 30 teams, so the JV race, which was held in traditional meet fashion, would have a mass start of 600 runners. “It was a big deal. The whole park was pretty much buzzing.” l

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October 2021 | Page 13

Brighton wrestling has new coach, new girls team for 2021-22


Brighton’s Johnson, Nonu leading Brighton football

By Jerry Christensen |

righton High School has earned back-to-back region boasted a strong wreschampionships. Team leadership tling heritage since the Nixon will be critical to earning a rare Administration. Fifty years of “three-peat” and continuing the exceptional coaches and dediBrighton wrestling legacy. This cated wrestlers have produced team leadership will come from 14 team state championships returning wrestlers junior Miand 20 top-five state finishcah Murdock, two-sport athletes es. The program has crowned Mana Nonu and Tyler Knaak and 75 individual state champisenior twins Isaac and Jacob Tatons. This year, the program ton. adds a new boys’ head coach Sharing the state-of-the-art and a second team—newly wrestling facility is Brighton’s UHSAA (Utah High School New head coach Mason new girls wrestling team guided Brinkman. (Photo contribActivities Association) sanc- uted) by coach Bronson Weaver. Brontioned girls wrestling. son brings a wealth of wrestling Newly appointed head coaching experience to the mat coach Mason Brinkman emphasized “the from years of assistant coaching at Brighton. need to be disciplined in all aspects of the “We have a range of two-sport athletes student-athlete experience: practice, class- joining us from the track and rugby teams. I room, tournaments.” Brinkman, 25, brings a expect that the team and community will young, new feel to the wrestling room. From encourage other athletes to join in early NoCouncil Bluffs, Iowa and Lewis Central High vember. With a full roster, we will have the School, Brinkman was a student-athlete at potential to bring home the first region chamIowa State University. His goal for the team pionship in the newly sanctioned sport,” is to “approach every day with a tenacity that Weaver said. will help us take the team to the next level.” The team will be anchored by Brianna Brinkman was assistant wrestling coach Jeppson who is a pioneer of Brighton girls over the last years at Brighton as the team wrestling. l

By Jerry Christensen |


ith the first five football games of the much anticipated 2021 season in the books, outstanding athletes begin to emerge. Leading the team on the field is Brighton High School sophomore quarterback Jack Johnson. Head coach Justin Hemm says of Johnson, “He has a strong arm which has yielded an astounding 1,360 yards in the first five games of the season.” Johnson’s pass completion rate is 106 of 158 attempts Jack Johnson has a 67% pass Mana Nonu helps lead the for a remarkable 67% clip. completion rate. (Photo courtesy Bengals on defense. (Photo Most impressive for the young Brighton football) courtesy Brighton football) quarterback are the 15 passes for touchdowns which is an average of three touchdown passes per game. Supporting Johnson’s strong arm and execution skills are the offensive weapons in Lander Barton, Dante McMaster, Tyler Knaak and Mitch Dolato. On the other side of the ball are stand-out players like Jacob Reece and Mana Nonu. Assistant coach Mason Brinkman described Nonu as “a defensive player with one of the best motors I have ever coached.” Nonu leads the defense with four sacks and four and a half tackles for loss. He has been named team MVP once and most recently defensive player of the week as the team enters into the critical stretch of region games. The Brighton varsity football team is the current region defending champion. l

E T H I C S • C O M M U N I C AT I O N • L E A D E R S H I P

My goal for District 3 is to fill the vacuum of leadership by being a voice of reason and instilling trust and accountability in our City government. My ethical approach values transparency in all City matters and the importance of listening closely to the opinions and viewpoints of others; no matter how diverse. I believe Cottonwood Heights residents have the inherent right to feel safe and secure–especially our children. I pledge myself to these ends and to the betterment of our City in general. Let us therefore unite for the common good and support our City government and make Cottonwood Heights a desirable place to live.

Learn more about David at: V O T E D AV I D R AW L I N G S . C O M

Page 14 | October 2021

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Local school districts join mass-action lawsuit against e-cigarette maker, Juul Labs By Julie Slama |


ordan, Canyons and Murray are amongst the hundreds of school districts that have joined a mass-action lawsuit against e-cigarette maker, Juul Labs, Inc., claiming that they deceitfully and intentionally marketed their products to children. This has led to an increase in e-cigarette use amongst youths, statistics reveal, so in the mass-action lawsuit, they are wanting to hold the company responsible and seek damages for the “vaping epidemic” on school campuses around the country. Jordan Board of Education President Tracy Miller said, “vaping is a really big problem in our schools.” “We have a lot of kids who vape, a lot who don’t necessarily know how bad it is,” she said. “They are companies using different flavors and marketing, aimed at youth, and it caught on and became popular at a lot of schools. We (Jordan Board of Education) recognized that it’s a problem and need to hold Juul accountable. The problem is they weren’t forthright and transparent about what was going on. There’s high levels of nicotine in vape products, (which are) highly addictive and it was not marketed that way.” Canyons Board of Education member Mont Millerberg agrees. “We need to call a spade a spade,” he said. “Vaping is not a healthy habit and with them having Captain Crunch and sugary flavors, it’s targeting our most vulnerable population to lead them to believe ‘it’s a cool thing.’ If this puts a stop to marketing unhealthy products to children, I’m happy to support it.” Jordan District approved the legal service agreement on Aug. 24 as they joined the mass-action lawsuit. Canyons joined in Sept. 7, and Murray, Sept. 9. Granite’s school board has studied the litigation, said Ben Horsley, Granite School District spokesman. “The Granite School District has recognized the harmful effects of vaping on our youth,” he said on Sept. 17. “The Board of Education and district administration has studied the associated litigation and is inclined to participate.” Vaping products, known as e-cigarettes or mods, are battery-powered devices that heat up a liquid to create an aerosol vapor which typically contains nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals. Since the user inhales and it doesn’t emit the strong odor associated with conventional combustion cigarettes, and they are designed to resemble USB flash drives, keychains or lipstick tubes, youth often have them in plain sight, even plugged into a laptop, officials say. According to 2020-21 statistics collected by Jordan School District, 90% of the tobacco violations in the district’s schools were infractions against vaping, with only 10% for regular cigarettes. “Vaping is just so prevalent these days,” said Sharon Jensen, Jordan District’s student support services consultant.

CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com

Educators and officials are concerned about youth vaping in the mass-action lawsuit; seen here is a Juul starter kit. (Photo courtesy of Steve Hanson/Salt Lake County Health Department)

Jensen said that youth see vaping in social media or have greater access to it, even getting it from family members as 56% say their parents or other close adults are nicotine users. Sometimes, even adults are unfamiliar with the harm and addiction from e-cigarette use, including that it can hamper long-term adolescent brain development, according to Utah Department of Health research. In a 2021 report, it states Utah’s youth vape at nearly twice the rate of Utah’s adults. Jordan’s statistics reveal that the majority are regular users. Last year, of the students caught with tobacco, 98 were directed to attend an online first-offenders class for nicotine. Of those students, 18% used nicotine 26 days-plus in the last month—“basically daily,” she said. Another 11% used it between 13 and 25 days in that past month. Most students who vape are teens, she said. Of those 98 students assigned to the online class, 25% are age 13. Another 24% are 14 years old. Six percent are age 12 or younger, making the greatest amount, at 45%, in high school. “Often they vape on the job and their outside-of-school-life is much more colorful than their in-school-life,” Jensen said. Those statistics are in line with the state, according to the Utah Prevention Needs Assessment that showed 12.4% of eighth graders tried vaping; 25.5% of high school sophomores; and 32.1% of high school seniors. In Canyons District in 2019, there were 219 school office referrals, first-time and/or repeat referrals, for e-cigarette use or possession, up from 35 referrals in 2010. Justin Pitcher, who has served as an administrator in Canyons District in the Midvale and Cottonwood Heights communities at both elementary and secondary levels, said vaping is “definitely a concern.” “If it’s happening in high schools, then it’s happening in elementary; the frequency is different,” he said, saying there are few-

er younger students caught with devices although all age levels may have access to them despite administrators taking them away. Jensen said that Jordan District policy is to collect and lock up Juuls and other violating products; they can be returned to an adult in the family. She’s hoping their first-time user classes as well as well as the END—Ending Nicotine Dependence—course for regular users will

help youth identify the harm it does to their bodies. “What we want our kids to do is to learn and to quit,” Jensen said. There is no fee for the classes as Jordan District has a state SAFE (Supporting America's Families and Educators) grant which it dedicated to alcohol and drug abuse prevention. However, hundreds of school districts nationwide are wanting Juul to foot the bills for public resources being used to pay for the current and future costs. The lawsuit, which was filed in the Northern District of California Federal District Court by the Frantz Law group, is a mass tort lawsuit where damages for plaintiffs, or in this case, school districts, are calculated individually. Therefore, multiple plaintiffs can be awarded differing amounts of damages for the amount of its past and future damages. Those costs can range from providing information and resources to students regarding the negative impacts of vaping, student services or counseling, or installing vape detectors. “It’s not really about getting money as much as sending a message,” Miller said. Millerberg agrees: “I don’t expect a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It’s more of a moral stance than anything else.” l

October 2021 | Page 15

Halloween history


t’s easy to tell when Halloween is near with the 5-pound bags of candy, skeletons, bats, and orange and black decorations that cover the holiday section at every local store. Pop-up shops appear in vacant stores with their animatronics and overpriced makeup and costumes. Pumpkin-flavored drinks dominate coffee shop menus. There’s a nip in the air and leaves change in response. However, the American telltale signs of Halloween which put many of us in the spooky spirit are far removed from the historical traditions of the celebration. All over the world, celebrations concerning the afterlife in various ways have been documented between Oct. 31 through Nov. 2 (on contemporary calendars). Many historians, including Professor of History at York University in Toronto Nicholas Rogers (author of “Halloween: from pagan ritual to party”) attribute the oldest Halloween traditions to Samhain – a three day ancient Celtic pagan festival. Samhain was celebrated by the Celts who lived in what is now Ireland, Scotland, Britain, and the Isle of Man. The festival marked the end of summer as it occurred in between the autumn equinox and winter solstice. During Samhain, it was believed that the veil between the otherworld and hu-

Page 16 | October 2021

By Cassie Goff | man world was at its thinnest. The souls of those who had died within the year would travel to the otherworld and those who had died beforehand would visit the human world. It was also believed that the gods would visit the human world to play tricks. Many rituals were performed throughout the three days to protect humans from the spirits and gods. Since the festival occurred on the heels of autumn, the Celts would perform many rituals believed to help them survive through the winter as well. When Rome conquered the Celtic lands in 43 A.D., Samhain was lost. The truth regarding how and why may never be fully understood, but a few hypotheses exist. The Romans had their own celebrations which may have merged with or replaced Samhain. Feralia, a festival honoring the passing of the dead occurred in late October. In addition, the Romans celebrated the turn of the season with a festival honoring Pomona, the goddess of the harvest (or the goddess of fruit and trees). Prior to the seventh century, the Catholic Church celebrated All Saints’ Day, also known as All-Hallow, in May. It was, and remains, a day to honor the Christian martyrs and saints. However, around 837 C.E. Pope Boniface IV declared All Saints’ Day as a holiday to be celebrated on Nov. 1. A few different theories exist surrounding this decision. Some believe that the sole intention here was expansion. All Saints’ Day and Samhain had similar practices, celebrating with food, drinks, costumes, tricks, pranks and appeasing the dead. It seemed quite easy to reframe many of the pagan practices as Catholic celebrations. As Samhain continued to be practiced, more people learned about Catholicism. Others believe the move was made in order to replace the pagan holiday with a church-sanctioned celebration. On the other side of the world, pre-Columbian Mesoamerica Aztecs and other Nahua people celebrated the dead around the same time of the year. As the Spanish conquistadores destroyed much of the Aztec Empire’s written records and language during the 1500s, not much is known about the 3,000-year-old traditions and rituals. One of the known Aztec traditions, however, was a festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuafl, the lady of the dead, who governs them and watches over their bones. She is believed to swallow the stars during the day. Mictecacihuafl is often depicted with a skull face and a skirt made of serpents. Today, Día de los Muertos is celebrated all over the world. The modern holiday is thought to be a mix of indigenous Aztec rituals and Catholic celebrations intro-

duced by the Spaniards. Día de los Muertos is a celebration for the deceased. It is believed that on Nov. 1 and Nov. 2, the gates to the spiritual world are opened, allowing spirits to visit their families for 24 hours. On Oct. 31 at midnight, the Day of the Innocents begins, as Angelitos reunite with their families. On Nov. 1 at midnight, the gates open once again for the adults to visit their families. Families often arrange ofrendas, personal altars honoring a loved one, decorate graves, and provide sweet candy for their deceased loved ones to help balance the bitterness of death.

Even though this article only mentions a handful of celebrations concerned with the dead around the same time of the year, many other cultures throughout the world have history of similar celebrations: Carnaval de Oruro in Bolivia, Hungry Ghost Festival in China, La Quema del Diablo in Guatemala, Jour des Morts in Haiti, Velija Noc in Indo-European Countries, Hop-tuNaa in The Isle of Man, Obon Festival in Japan and the Odo Festival in Nigeria. This year, as we celebrate Halloween, consider for a moment how many cultures celebrate the dead around the same week of the year. Eerie, right? l

The origins of Halloween as we know it trace back to the three-day Celtic festival of Samhain. (Wikicommons License)

Día de los Muertos is a celebration for the deceased on Nov. 1 and Nov. 2. (Photo courtesy of Rulo Luna)

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Nine years without a cold? By Priscilla Schnarr

Scientists have discovered a natural way to kill germs fast. Now thousands of people are using it against viruses and bacteria in the nose and on skin. Germs, such as viruses and bacteria, can multiply fast. When unwanted germs get in your nose they can spread and cause misery unless you stop them early. In the last 20 years, hundreds New device puts copper right where you need it. of studies by government and “What a wonderful thing!” exclaimed university scientists show the natural element copper kills germs just by touch. Physician’s Assistant Julie. “Is it supThe EPA officially declared copper to posed to work that fast?” Pat McAllister, 70, received one for be “antimicrobial”, which means it kills microbes, including viruses, bacteria, Christmas. “One of the best presents ever. This little jewel really works.” and fungus. Frequent flier Karen Gauci used to The National Institutes of Health says, “The antimicrobial activity of cop- suffer after crowded flights. Though skeptical, she tried copper on travel days per is now well established.” Ancient Greeks and Egyptians used for 2 months. “Sixteen flights and not a copper to purify water and heal wounds. sniffle!” she exclaimed. Businesswoman Rosaleen says when They didn’t know about microbes, but people around her show signs of unwantnow we do. Scientists say the high conductance ed germs, she uses copper morning and of copper disrupts the electrical balance night. “It saved me last holidays,” she in a microbe and destroys it in seconds. said. “The kids had the crud going round Some hospitals tried copper for touch and round, but not me.” Attorney Donna Blight tried copper surfaces like faucets and doorknobs. They say this cut the spread of MRSA, for her sinus. “I am shocked!” she said. “My head cleared, no more headache, no and other illnesses by over half. The strong scientific evidence gave more congestion.” A man with trouble breathing through inventor Doug Cornell an idea. He made a smooth copper probe with a tip to fit in his nose at night tried copper just before bed. “Best sleep I’ve had in years!” the bottom of his nose. In a lab test, technicians placed 25 The next time he felt a tickle in his nostril that warned of a cold about to million live flu viruses on a CopperZap. start, he rubbed the copper gently in his No viruses were found alive soon after. Some people press copper on a lip nose for 60 seconds. “The cold never got going,” he ex- right away if a warning tingle suggests claimed. “That was September 2012. I unwanted germs gathering there. The handle is curved and textured to use copper in the nose every time and I increase contact. Copper can kill germs have not had a single cold since then.” “We don’t make product health picked up on fingers and hands. The EPA claims so I can’t say cause and effect. says copper still works when tarnished. CopperZap is made in America of But we know copper is antimicrobial.” He asked relatives and friends to try pure copper. It has a 90-day full money it. They reported the same, so he patent- back guarantee. The price is $79.95. Get $10 off each CopperZap with ed CopperZap® and put it on the market. Soon hundreds of people had tried it. code UTCJ14 at The feedback was 99% positive if they or 1-888-411-6114. Buy once, use forever. used the copper within 3 hours after the first sign of unwanted germs, like a tick- Statements are not intended as product health claims and have not been evaluatle in the nose or a scratchy throat. Early user Mary Pickrell said, “I ed by the FDA. Not claimed to diagnose, can’t believe how good my nose feels.” treat, cure, or prevent any disease. advertorial

CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com

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October 2021 | Page 17

The time is now to enjoy autumn colors in Utah’s mountains By Karmel Harper |


lbert Camus said, “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” As we transition into the cooler temperatures of October, we welcome sweaters, pumpkin spice, and the explosion of color in our Beehive state. Although the autumn season is short, it can be spectacular for Utahns who wish to experience the changing leaves and bask in the beauty of oranges, yellows, reds, and even pinks and purples of our natural landscape. If you’re outdoorsy, hiking in Utah’s various mountain ranges is the best way to immerse yourself in the kaleidoscope of color with fewer people around. But even enjoying a leisurely drive through our canyons in early October will reward you richly with breathtaking hues and plenty of opportunities for stunning photographs. Hiking the local trails will envelop you in the various colors of the season and the hues will vary depending on the trails you explore. The tall aspens of Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons surround you with bright gold while the oak, maple, and other foliage leaves of the mountains in Davis County, Ogden Canyon, and ranges in Utah County reward you with various colors of reds, orange, pinks, and purples. Herriman’s own Yellow Fork Canyon provides a beautiful array of fall colors worthy of that perfect social media

photo. If hiking is not an option for you, visiting one of our many ski resorts and riding a lift to the top of the mountain is also a great way to experience Utah’s autumn colors. A drive on US-189 in Provo Canyon provides you with access to Bridal Veil Falls, the Alpine Loop Scenic Byway, the Provo River, and Sundance Mountain Resort where you can enjoy a ski lift ride up the mountain and experience the striking red, orange, and golden colors of the trees at eye-level. In Salt Lake County, Snowbird’s Oktoberfest not only offers you views of the changing colors of the mountain, but also a family friendly event that offers music, activities, and brews. Oktoberfest runs every Saturday and Sunday through Oct. 17. Further north, driving to Snowbasin Resort is also a visual feast as you make your way through Weber Canyon and S.R. 167 (Trappers Loop). Just prior to arriving at the resort, you can stop at East Fork Overlook on Snowbasin Road to enjoy a colorful view of the mountain with brilliant autumn colors in the foreground. Also on Snowbasin Road is Green Pond Loop trail which offers a leisurely walk through a colorful forest which is a favorite among photographers - both professional and amateur. Continue on into Snowbasin Resort and take the gondola to the

The East Fork Overlook on Snowbasin Road rewards you with breathtaking views of the mountain framed by a kaleidoscope of fall colors. (Karmel Harper/City Journals)

top to enjoy an autumn adorned vista that features views of Pineview Reservoir. When is the best time for fall foliage peeping? Right now. The website www. provides a Fall Foliage Prediction map for the entire country and predicts by the first week of October, eastern

Utah is already past peak while northern Utah and the Wasatch Front are predicted to be near peak. So don that favorite autumn outfit, grab your camera and loved ones and head to the hills to bask in and capture the natural but fleeting colors of this beautiful Utah season. l

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IN SALT LAKE CITY Page 18 | October 2021

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Informed Passionate Dedicated

Cottonwood Heights City Council District 3 Cottonwood Heights City Council District 3

Cottonwood Heights City Council District 3

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Nicole Omer Cottonwood Heights District 3 Resident Former District 3 Councilmember "I support Mike because of his commitment to do right by Cottonwood Heights 3rd district residents.”

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MY COMMITMENTS TO YOU .com - 801-550-7509 1. Prioritize public safety by supporting good public policy in regard to police, fire, and public works issues. 2. Be accessible to discuss constituent needs and concerns by publishing my personal cell phone number. 3. Working collaboratively with the city manager, city council, and the mayor to achieve the best out comes for the city in all matters. 4. Advocate for transparency, in part, by encouraging public noticing that exceeds Statutory requirements. 5. Support events and activities within the city that build unity and add a sense of community identity. See my website for details on my commitments I am running for City Council because I believe we need to focus on the basics of municipal services, fiscal conservatism and fostering a spirit of community. I am also a proud supporter of CHPD. - - 801-550-7509 CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com

October 2021 | Page 19

Winners announced for beautiful property awards By Cassie Goff |


American Healthcare Association 2021 Silver Quality Award Winner

he winners of the 2021 Cottonwood Heights Beautification Awards were announced and recognized during a city council meeting on Sept. 7. Every year, the city’s Community and Economic Development Department asks residents to nominate their neighbors whose beautiful properties exemplify what it really means to live in Cottonwood Heights. “A highlight for our city is to look at all the creative work our residents do to beautify our city,” said Mayor Mike Peterson. “There are a lot of deserving landscapes.” After residents have submitted their nominations, the Cottonwood Heights Community and Economic Development Department staff begins to collect and rank the nominated properties. Then, the nominations for each district are turned over to their respective city councilmember. Each councilmember ranks the properties within their district and selects a winner.

The city staff members and councilmembers generally rank properties based on their: creativity, maintenance and upkeep; and environmental consciousness and landscaping. Each winner receives a certificate of appreciation and a small property sign to display on their yard, if they would like to. Two properties won Beautification Awards for the Commercial Property Category as they ended up ranking the same. “These properties are outstanding,” Peterson said. “They are great examples of redevelopment in our community.” Dr. Laurel Harris won a Commercial Property Beautification Award for her work on Wasatch Exotic Pet Care along Fort Union Boulevard. David Kim also won a Beautification Award for his work on David Kim Insurance Agency also on Fort Union Boulevard. “This is a neat project,” said Community and Economic Development Director Mike Johnson. “This was an

old house that was transformed into a small-scale office building. The substantial reinvestment into this building really improved the curb appeal of this property.” Four properties won Beautification Awards for residential landscaping. In District 1, Tracy and Denise Gressman won the Beautification Award for their work on their family home on McCormick Way. Alex and Tammie Wilson won the Beautification Award for District 2 for their home on Brighton Way. For District 3, Katherine Brown and Ellen Blodell won the Beautification Award for their family home on Sundown Avenue. Morgan and Ida Petty won the Beautification Award for District 4 for their rear yard on Mountain Oaks Drive. Peterson and various city councilmembers commented the winner’s beautification efforts over the years included xeriscaping and unique landscapes. l

Tracy and Denise Gressman win Beautification Award for District 1. (Photo courtesy of Sherrie Martell/Cottonwood Heights)

Alex and Tammie Wilson win Beautification Award for District 2. (Photo courtesy of Sherrie Martell/Cottonwood Heights)

Katherine Brown and Ellen Blodell win Beautification Award for District 3. (Photo courtesy of Sherrie Martell/Cottonwood Heights)

Morgan and Ida Petty win Beautification Award for District 4. (Photo courtesy of Sherrie Martell/Cottonwood Heights)

David Kim Insurance Agency wins Beautification Award for Commercial Property. (Photo courtesy of Sherrie Martell/Cottonwood Heights)

Wasatch Exotic Pet Care wins Beautification Award for Commercial Property. (Photo courtesy of Sherrie Martell/Cottonwood Heights)

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October 2021 | Page 21

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Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Residents meet the candidates at city hall event By Cassie Goff |


he 2021 Municipal Election date will be held on Nov. 2. With a little over one month left to decide how to vote, Cottonwood Heights residents have been researching their candidates and asking questions during various meet and greets. On Tuesday, Sept. 14., residents had the opportunity meet their candidates in-person at Cottonwood Heights City Hall (2277 E. Bengal Blvd.). Three out of the five city council seats will be newly elected this year. As none of the currently serving elected officials have opted to run for re-election, this will be a significant voting year for Cottonwood Heights. (Mayor Mike Peterson, Councilmember for District 3 Tali Bruce, and Councilmember for District 4 Christine Mikell will all be retiring from their services.) All three seats are four-year terms. On Aug. 17., the election candidates were announced officially. For the mayoral race, there are five candidates: Mike Weichers, Timothy Hallbeck, Maile Evans, Eric Kraan and Ed Schwartz. For the District 3 Councilmember race, there are six candidates: Mike Hanson, Shawn E. Newell, David Rawling, Runar E. Boman, Jackie Hibbard and E. Samuel McShaffrey. (District 3 is the north-most district within city limits. District 3 encompasses neighborhoods between Highland Drive and Wasatch Boulevard mostly on the north side of Fort Union Boulevard, except for a handful of neighborhoods on the south side of Fort Union Boulevard through Bengal Boulevard.) For the District 4 Councilmember race, there are three candidates: Ernie Kim, Lee Anne Walker, and Ellen Birrell. (District 4 is the east-most district within city limits. District 4 encompasses all neighborhoods on the east side of Wasatch Boulevard. It also encompasses neighborhoods on the west side of Wasatch Boulevard until approximately 2980 East, 3500 East, and Danish Oaks Road, dependent on area.) Cottonwood Heights residents who have registered to vote by mail should expect a ballot packet around 21 days before the Nov. 2 election from the Salt Lake County Clerk’s Office. (Vote by mail ballots will be sent out the week of Oct. 11.) The ballot packet will include an inner return envelope, signature affidavit, instruction sheet, commemorative sticker, and security sleeve. Voters can return their ballot in a variety of ways. Voters may mail their ballot through the USPS as return postage will be paid. Voters can drop off their ballot at any of the 21 drive-up ballot drop boxes, which will be collected daily. Or voters may drop off their ballots at any voting center. The deadline to register to vote is Oct.

CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com

22; the last day to request a replacement ballot will be Oct. 26; and in-office early voting at the Salt Lake County Government Center (south building), 2001 S. State St., will be available from Oct. 19 until Oct. 29, during weekdays. For more information about the Salt

Lake County Clerk’s Elections Processes or Voter Information, visit: clerk/elections. Any additional questions from residents can be directed to Cottonwood Heights City Recorder/Elections Officer Paula Melgar at l

Thriller – Odyssey Dance Theatre September 24th - Oct 10th 2021

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Many residents from across Cottonwood Heights attended the Meet the Candidates event in September. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)



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Spamalot! Nov 12th - 27th 2021

October 2021 | Page 23

Page 24 | October 2021

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Former Cottonwood swimmer Rhyan White comes home from Olympics with a silver medal By Brian Shaw |


everal days after former Cottonwood swimmer Rhyan White came up just short of an Olympic medal in Tokyo, she earned one as a part of the USA’s 4x100 medley relay team. “She is and was an exceptional athlete, and you hope to get more than one in your lifetime,” said Cottonwood athletic director Greg Southwick. “To have the opportunity to know someone that has her skill set, drive and family backing—all the tools that lead to those exceptional swims is a proud moment for all of us here at Cottonwood.” White, who now competes for the University of Alabama swim team and is a psychology major, swam in the qualifying round of the relay in the backstroke leg for which she is known, however, the former Utah Class 5A state champion was not used in the finals. Nevertheless, because the Colts legend White had participated on the US team in the qualifying round, that made her eligible to receive the same silver medal as the rest of her 4x100 medley relay team counterparts in Tokyo. It was the first time that a swimmer from the state of Utah has ever won an Olympic

medal in the sport. In addition to that, White is also the first Cottonwood High School graduate to have won an Olympic medal, making her medal historical in two ways. White’s hometown of Herriman honored her with a parade. The former Colt great sat atop a giant Herriman Police Department Hummer, an American flag flying above her and her family while they motored slowly down city streets past hundreds of onlookers, soaking in this moment of a lifetime. White’s run in Tokyo culminated a five-year-journey that started at the Cottonwood Heights Aquatic Center when a then 15-year-old White and current Cottonwood head swim coach Ron Lockwood made the decision to try and qualify for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials. “I remember talking to her and her family before the qualifying meet in 2015,” said Lockwood before Tokyo. “We mapped out a plan for what we wanted the next couple years to look like; we set out a goal for qualifying for Olympic trials—had this crazy idea of setting a meet up in Cottonwood Heights—and she ended up qualifying there.” White finished 18th overall at those

Trials. But, as a defending SEC Conference champion swimmer at Alabama in two events in this past year, the former Colt bested her previous times by several seconds and qualified for the two Olympic events she won championships for as a member of the Crimson Tide. Those events were the 100 backstroke and 200 backstroke at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials, setting the stage for White’s debut in Tokyo. At the 100 backstroke half a world away, White narrowly missed on a bronze medal, getting out touched by American teammate Regan Smith at the wall to finish fourth overall. Then at the 200 backstroke in Tokyo, White’s signature event, the Colts great and medal favorite started slow, but in typical White fashion surged on the final turn. But, as the entanglement of arms reached the final wall, White’s was just .22 seconds slower than the swimmer from Australia who took the bronze. And so for now, White will return to Alabama as a student later this month. The former Colt will also compete for the Crimson Tide and look to repeat as the SEC Swimmer Of The Year in 2022. Above and beyond that,

Herriman native Rhyan White returned from the Tokyo Olympics to find a victory parade in her honor. White won a silver medal in a team medley event and placed fourth in her two individual events. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

White will help her team win a national title and individual golds at the NCAA Championships to best the two silvers she won in the 100 and 200 backstroke races there, last year.l

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October 2021 | Page 25

Ghosting ghosts By Cassie Goff |


s the Halloween season looms near, the fear of supernatural beings does too. Decorations remind us of the existence of ghosts, vampires, goblins, werewolves, and other non-human creatures. We may even become a bit more startled by that unexplained noise in the middle of the night. We might wonder if others from beyond share our space. There are many stories, myths, and folklores concerning ghosts throughout historical contexts. The common foundational plot for all these tales is a spirit has moved on from its original form and is now somewhere between our world and the afterlife. Some lore focuses on the ghosts of animals and objects, but let’s focus on the human ghosts for now. Ghosts may be noticed through electromagnetic interference, a drop in temperature, items moving seemingly on their own, unrecognizable whispers or other audio abnormalities, and/or environmental features like fire, water, electricity, and wind behaving rather strangely. “Ghost Adventures,” a 19-season television show, sends out a crew to investigate hauntings. The crew members commonly have a variety of tools to help them locate ghosts through the avenues mentioned above. They even created their own device

called the Extra Investigator Box which detects magnetic, infrared, and other physical events. If you’re not a star on this Travel Channel show, there are a few household devices that can help detect a ghost. Thermometers, infrared cameras, and motion detectors can be used to detect temperature changes and minimal motion changes. A tape recorder can be used to convert communication outside of our perceptual field into sensations humans can understand. Ghosts are often believed to be attached to a place, item or person. There are varying stories about why and or how ghosts stick around, but regardless, they often do. Some cultures around the world welcome these ghosts, as they are believed to be visiting family members or other The Stanley Hotel in Colorado is rumored to be riddled with ghosts. (Cassie Goff/City Journals) loved ones. In America, we often do not welcome Ghosts can be noghosts and try to rid them from our spacticed by temperature changes, electroes. If you do suspect a ghost to be in your magnetic changes, space and wish to remove them, perhaps or through differing helping it to move on, what can you do? cameras or lenses. There are a few different recommendations (Photo courtesy of from varying sources for getting rid of a SuperHerftigGenghost. Before diving into a few, let me proeral) vide a word of caution. When dealing with the supernatural, always do your research, be respectful and cautious, and stay aware.

Competent • Passionate • Sound Judgement I love living in Cottonwood Heights and will work tirelessly to preserve the sense of privacy, quiet neighborhoods, and small town feel that makes our city a great place to live, work, and play. 385-299-9191

RUNAR’S COMMITMENTS: OUR CITY GOVERNMENT • I support an accountable city government that puts residents concerns first and limits spending taxpayer’s dollars to projects that actually make a difference in the community. • I believe that small businesses exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit and should be provided an environment where they have the opportunity to flourish.

OUR POLICE • I support a well-funded, competent, visible, and responsive police department that enforces the rule of law and keeps our community safe and secure.

Page 26 | October 2021


OUR COMMUNITY • I support improving road surfaces and safety, and will work to mitigate congestion, noise, and speed concerns. • I am a proponent of preserving the character of our neighborhoods by favoring low density housing structures. • I am committed to maintaining property owners’ sense of privacy and quiet by resisting the introduction of road, trail, and building projects that change traffic patterns and bring increased congestion. • I support, when possible, acquiring, expanding, and maintaining natural open space, roadside greenbelts, skate and dog parks, and recreational facilities.

If you’re convinced a ghost is in your space, you might figure out why it’s there in the first place. Some believe a ghost can become attached to an item, location, or person, continually haunting them. Another belief is that a ghost has unfinished business. If possible, determine why a ghost is still lingering and then the more effective course of action would be to help the ghost resolve their business. However, if it’s impossible to figure out why a ghost is hanging around, there are some possible actions. A popular television series worldwide with 15 seasons in just as many years, “Supernatural,” shows audiences how “hunters” track monstrous creatures and rids them from this earthly plane. “Supernatural” shows perpetuate the idea that ghosts can be temporary eliminated with salt and iron. It is commonly believed that supernatural beings are aversive to salt. If known, hunters will try to salt or burn the bones or item the ghost is attached to.

In addition, ghost-repelling spells are used in “Supernatural” when other avenues of riding a ghost fail to work, along with holy water. A common lore throughout contexts is that ghosts cannot enter or be on holy ground. Suggestions from entertainment and television should be taken with a grain of salt though (no pun intended). Outside of entertainment, momentary interaction may be recommended. If you suspect a ghost is frequently hanging around, it may not be malicious. In which case, it is possible to speak directly to them. When talking to a ghost, experts believe it is important to set boundaries, be assertive, respectfully ask them to stop bothering you and confidently let them know that they are not welcome in the space. After interacting, do not do it again. If a ghost still lingers, it may be best to seek out professional help for a ritual or ceremony. Or, alternatively, remove yourself from the space by moving out. l

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com

October 2021 | Page 27

Salt Lake County parks continue to be a well loved resource


his past month I had the opportunity to meet with a constituent to walk around Swensen Valley Regional Park and hear issues of concern. I brought our Parks and Rec team along and we were thrilled to have the Mayor also join us. Our parks have been well loved the past two years during the COVID-19 pandemic as people looked for opportunities to get out of the house. Community park spaces are a convenient, accessible place for residents to improve their quality of life. Proven benefits from time spent in parks include improved mental health, decreased blood pressure, and increased physical activity levels. Furthermore, parks improve air and water quality and can even increase property values. Many residents have said they enjoy the benefits of outdoor spaces in the company of their dogs. Dogs are allowed at all Salt Lake County parks provided they are on a leash which is controlled by the owner. In addition, there are other dog parks around the valley such as Millrace, Tanner, Sandy, Cottonwood and West Jordan Off-Leash Dog Park. The County also has an agreement with the U.S. Forest Service's Millcreek Canyon that allows dogs off-leash on the canyon trails on odd numbered days. Salt Lake County maintains more than 70 parks throughout the valley, ranging from small neighborhood parks to large regional parks, In 2020 Salt Lake County experienced a record

Aimee Winder Newton Salt Lake County Council | District 3 number of people utilizing parks to recreate or as a respite from “home offices.” Currently, the number of people visiting Salt Lake County parks remains higher than pre-COVID numbers. County staff had the challenge of main-

taining the parks with high usage while also facing a reduction in our operation budget. Both the county general fund and the TRCC (tourism, recreation, culture, convention) fund were forced to take drastic cuts which impacted Parks and Recreation’s level of service. Revenue from the TRCC fund comes from tourism - restaurants, car rentals and hotels. You can imagine how much this fund suffered during COVID when convention centers were not operating. Park visitors may have noticed drier grass in the parks this summer. Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation implemented water conservation practices during the current drought conditions. Watering times in all parks, especially in passive areas that don’t get as much

foot traffic, were reduced. The grass has been allowed to go dormant in order to reduce water consumption. Yellow is the new green, right? Additionally, irrigation systems have been upgraded to smart irrigation systems over the last few years. Smart irrigation systems monitor the weather and the moisture content in the ground to provide data on exactly how much water is needed in each park. As the seasons change, I hope you’ll take advantage of the many personal and community benefits that are offered by our County parks. For a complete list of park locations, services, and amenities, please visit

"All About Me, a Journal Activity Book" includes twelve-holiday stories, questions to answer, activities to perform, a song to sing or play, space for drawing, writing skills to improve, and dates to record for memories. Children add to their own book, and it's a keepsake. You can find "All About Me, a Journal Activity Book" on Amazon with link: all about me joyce, a 5-star book written by a family trio of Utahns: Joyce, Tom Wilson, and Kelly Jacobsen.

Page 28 | October 2021

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

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Utah’s economy remains strong despite speed bump in recovery By Robert Spendlove, Zions Bank Senior Economist


e’ve hit a speed bump on the road to economic recovery. After several months of robust growth, August marked a pronounced slowing of the economy that caught many experts by surprise. Companies tapped the brakes on hiring, consumer confidence fell, and consumer demand weakened, according to September reports. The culprit, of course, is both new and familiar. The delta variant of COVID-19 brought another wave of uncertainty that’s impacted everything from in-person dining to hotel occupancy. Even Utah’s economy, which continues to outperform the rest of the nation, is feeling some effects. The Utah Consumer Confidence Survey showed a sharp decline in sentiment among Utahns between July and August of 2021, as measured by the Kem Gardner Policy Institute. Meanwhile, Utah’s two-year employment growth rate slowed to 3.8% in August, down from 4.2% in July, according to the Utah Department of Workforce Services. Despite these setbacks, there are still many bright spots in the state and national economies. Utah continues to lead all states in job growth. In fact, Utah and Idaho continue to be the only two states to have higher employment today compared to before the pandemic began. The U.S. unemployment


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rate dropped to 5.2% in August, while Utah’s already-low unemployment remained steady at 2.6%. Utah’s unemployment rate also continues to be among the lowest in the country, behind only Nebraska. In the Beehive State, six out of the 11 major industry sectors have posted job gains over the past 24 months. August’s job growth was robust by pre-pandemic standards, just not enough to close the gap of 5 million U.S. jobs that still need to be recovered to return to the previous peak. One of the main reasons the labor market continues to struggle is because employers are finding it increasingly difficult to find workers to fill job openings. There are now nearly 11 million job openings in America, but too many people remain on the sidelines and out of the labor force. That is causing wage pressure, with wages increasing 4.3% over the last year. Wage growth is usually a good thing, but right now it is adding to more inflationary pressure on the overall economy. While the labor shortage has been a dominant theme for months, an emerging trend is weakening consumer demand, driven by the delta variant. As the variant has spread, consumers have become more cautious. Customer-facing businesses are bearing the brunt of this impact. In recent weeks, high-frequency economic indicators such as airline travel and

restaurant bookings have dropped. The economy may have lost some momentum, but it’s still performing comparatively well in the midst a global pandemic. While we don’t know how long we’ll be dealing with the delta variant, there’s good reason to believe that economic recovery will pick up again as the current wave recedes. Robert Spendlove is senior economist for Zions Bank, a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A l

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Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Burn the witch


he husband and I spent 245 days driving to California last month to attend his high school reunion. As we drove through his old neighborhood, he pointed to a house and said, “That’s where the witch lived.” I had a witch that lived in my neighborhood, too. She didn’t wear a pointy hat and she never caused the crops to wither or danced naked in the moonlight (that I’m aware of) but we all knew she was a witch. She lived alone and she was female. That was all the proof we needed. Women have been labeled as witches since forever. One myth tells the story of Lilith, believed to be the first wife of Adam, who insisted they were equal. So, obviously she was a demon. She left Eden to live an independent lifestyle in Oregon, saying, “He’s all yours, Eve.” Things only went downhill from there. A witch could be any female who was smart, witty, courageous, quarrelsome, beautiful, self-sufficient or reserved. Women who were healers were probably witches. A woman who could read? Definitely a witch. A woman who disagreed with her husband? Get the matches. If there was too much rain, not enough rain, bugs, curdled milk, a windstorm, mice, or a solar eclipse, it must be a curse placed by the old lady living alone in the woods. If a woman hummed an unknown tune or


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laughed too loud, she was a witch who wanted to eat your children. Witch hunting became a profession. Need to get rid of your son’s unsuitable match? Call the witch hunters and have her sentenced to death. Did your husband smile at an attractive young lady? Who you gonna call? Witch hunters! Here are some signs someone is a witch: She is a woman. She is 10-80 years old. She has a pet. She’s irritable. She weighs more than a stack of Bibles. She can or cannot float. She has a mole. She isn’t married. The bravely outspoken Joan of Arc was found guilty of heresy and witchcraft, and was burned alive, which seems a little unreasonable for someone expressing her own opinions. Over the span of about 300 years,


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tens of thousands of witches were killed in Europe. More than 80% were women. America is great at mass hysteria and enthusiastically bought into the witch trend. The most famous witch trials were held in Salem, Massachusetts, where 19 witches were executed by hanging. This was the first documented case of Mean Girls syndrome, with gossipy teenage girls starting the whole debacle. If you visit Salem, you’ll find a campy tourist attraction where you can watch a reenactment of the trials, purchase a crystal ball, eat broomstick-shaped cookies and laugh at how silly we were in the 17th century. We’d never turn against our friends and family now, right? Wrong. We don’t burn witches at the stake anymore, but we definitely burn women on the altar of social media and public opinion. If women in our country demonstrate too much power, too much influence or too many opinions, we ignite the fires of shame, disapproval and judgement. We roast Instagram influencers, scald TikTok performers, incinerate female politicians and torch women who act loud and proud. It leaves us all blistered and scorched. What if we become fire fighters instead of fire starters? And if that doesn’t work, I’ll eventually become the witch of the neighborhood; pointy hat included.


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October 2021 | Vol. 17 Iss. 10




he 2021 Municipal Election will be significant for the City of Cottonwood Heights. As mentioned in this edition of the City Journals, three out of the five seats for city council are up for election with none of the currently serving elected officials opting to run for re-election. This year, Cottonwood Heights residents will elect a new mayor, a new city councilmember for District 3, and a new city councilmember for District 4. Ranked Choice Voting will be used to tally up the residential votes for these races. Instead of voting for one candidate per race as residents have previously been accustomed to, voters will be able to rank candidates based on preference. The Cottonwood Heights City Council voted to approve the use of Ranked Choice Voting on May 4. Ballots will appear slightly different for voters using Ranked Choice Voting. Voters will be able to fill in their candidate preferences for each race based on a table. Candidate names will be listed in the left-hand column (or the y-axis). Preference based on numerical ordering will be listed across the top of the table (or the x-axis). Voters will be asked to fill in a bubble for each column. The most preferred candidate for a specific race should be bubbled in within the first column labeled “First Choice.” Then, the second choice candidate should be bubbled in within the second column, and so on. For voters, Salt Lake County recommends not ranking a candidate more than once. In other words, listing one candidate for


first, second, and third choice will not benefit the candidate in any way. It is also not recommended to give a candidate the same ranking. However, voters can choose to rank as many of the candidates as they would like. Any of the remaining “choice” columns can be left blank, if preferred. “Voters have more of a voice,” said Cottonwood Heights City Recorder Paula Melgar in May. “Preferences are counted for second and third choice. That vote doesn’t just go away.” Instead of a single-choice, winner-takesall voting system, Ranked Choice Voting allows for a different methodology to be used when tabulating votes. Each voter's first preference for candidate is recorded initially. If a single candidate receives over 50% of the vote, they are announced as the winner. If there is not a clear majority vote, counting moves to phase two. If no one candidate receives over 50% of the vote after the first initial count, the candidate with the least amount of votes is eliminated from the race. Then, the ballots of the voters who ranked the (now eliminated) candidate as their first choice are revisited to count their second choice for preferred candidate. After those votes are redistributed based on second preference, the candidate with over 50% of the vote wins. If there is not a clear majority again, phasing continues until there is. An example is detailed below. Along with Cottonwood Heights, a


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