Cottonwood Heights Journal | September 2021

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September 2021 | Vol. 17 Iss. 09

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BRIGHTON STUDENTS, ELECTED OFFICIALS CUT RIBBON TO OPEN NEW SCHOOL By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com

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hirty years ago this fall, Quinn Falk was entering his senior year at Brighton High. His older brother, Daniel, graduated from the school in 1990 and had excelled in the autobody program. Quinn was in the aeronautics club and had spent his free time building and launching rockets, some which landed on the school’s circular rooftop. Their parents, Mike and Kris, had supported their sons in many school activities, even enjoying the “great hamburgers,” Mike said, while watching the football games in the stadium; since then, they’ve watched the Bengals play from their home on 2500 East, which sits just above the field. The last three years, as the school was torn down and rebuilt on the same campus, Mike said, “We’ve put up with the dust and noise from the big trucks rumbling by and it took away part of our view.” “We’ll just have to go down there (to the stadium) to watch,” Kris said, adding that, “Brighton was good for both of our kids.” The two were amongst several neighbors, community members and students and faculty who Brighton Principal Tom Sherwood, Canyons Board of Education President Nancy Tingey and others thanked for their patience and support the past few years. “I want to thank you for what you’ve endured,” Tingey told the crowd of about 100 who gathered Aug. 11 at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, outside of the arts and technology center. Many in the crowd were eager to tour the $117-million comprehensive high school, which was made possible with the $283-million bond that was approved by voters in 2017. Tingey, and Canyons Board member Amber Shill represent the Brighton area, and both began their involvement in schools by volunteering in the classrooms, on the PTA and with the school community councils. “It gave me a bird’s eye view of the comings and goings of the school,” Tingey said, adding that the building isn’t just a structure. “The legacy of Brighton is told through its students and the circles are a reminder of that legacy—giving the students of today and tomor- Canyons Board of Education member Amber Shill and Board president Nancy Tingey cut the official ribbon to open the new $117-milContinued page 4

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Community members, gathering inside the auditorium foyer, took tours of the new Brighton High after its ribbon-cutting. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

Continued from front page row a sense of pride and a sense of place and arching toward a purposeful future.” Shill also made reference to the former building’s circular floor pattern: “Tonight is a special occasion for me. If you’re familiar with the old Brighton High, you might say it feels like we’ve come full circle.” In the new design, homage was paid to that tradition with lighting and carpeting having circular patterns, but not in the hallways themselves since “they had a downside; they blocked natural light from the classrooms and failed to capitalize on the stunning views we have,” she said. The new Brighton houses a 1,100-seat auditorium with modern lighting and sound system; a field house that allows more flexibility for physical education and sports team practices; expanded trades classrooms and shops with state-of-the-art technology; an

Journals T H E

With circular light fixtures and carpeting throughout the school, the new Brighton High pays homage to the old school, which was built in a circular design. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)

expansive culinary and careers and technical education suite to give students more opportunities; and more. There also are spaces for small group projects and teacher collaboration. The former school design also was a safety concern and was in need of an upgrade, said Canyons Chief Financial Officer and Business Administrator Leon Wilcox. “In rebuilding Brighton, our focus was on safety and sustainability. This is a beautiful campus, but the steel structure is also seismically safe, wired for today’s teaching technologies and built to last,” he said. Wilcox said that the building, which was designed to be energy efficient, was completed in phases to allow students to continue studying at their campus. He hopes it will be fully completed by December with the paving of a new parking lot; the media center and commons are expected to be completed

Brighton High’s drumline, marching band and cheerleaders performed at the new school’s ribbon-cutting ceremony as the Bengal, sporting construction gear, cheered. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

by the end of September. “I’d like to acknowledge the residents who live near this school and have had to put up with the noise and clutter associated with a major construction project like this,” Wilcox said. “Brighton’s students, teachers and staff also deserve a big thanks for their patience. They did a great job of making the best of a difficult time with good cheer and an eye toward the future. I think you’ll agree the end result was well worth the trouble and wait.” Sherwood, who apologized to the senior classes which did not get the “front row parking spots” these past few years, told the audience, “When the project started, I was not sure what it would look like or what each day would bring,” but if they looked past “the boxes that still need to be unpacked” they could see the “tremendous building with a great amount of potential” for the students. Former Cottonwood Heights Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore, Jr., who lobbied for and

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voted in support of creating Canyons School District more than 10 years ago, sat in the front row of the ceremony, witnessing everything from the marching band and drumline’s performance and the cheerleaders waving pom poms to the speeches and the cutting of the ribbon signifying the official opening of the new Brighton High School. “This is why we created a new district— to improve our educational buildings for the kids,” Cullimore said before he took a tour of the new school. “It’s always been about the kids.” Canyons District Superintendent Rick Robins, who often walked the neighborhood as a kid with his cousins who lived there, said he felt the warmth of the community, welcoming him as part of the “Bengal family.” “What an amazing year it’s going to be for the Brighton faculty, staff and students,” he said. “What a great time to be a Bengal!” l

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Healing Field Flag Memorial marks the 20th anniversary of 9/11 attacks By Ileana Brown | ileana.b@thecityjournals.com

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n the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Al Qaeda terrorists aboard three hijacked passenger planes carried out attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. A fourth plane crashed into a Pennsylvania field after crew and passengers attempted to take control of the hijackers. Nearly 3,000 people were killed in the attacks that shocked the nation and became the deadliest foreign assault on U.S. soil. The country crumbled for a bleak moment as friends, family and loved ones became engulfed with despair. Yet, just as quickly as those were lost, America unwaveringly transformed into the proud and strong “United We Stand.” “Twenty years ago, on Sept. 11, 2001, three determined firemen managed to raise the American flag on a mangled flagpole amid the vast destruction at ground zero,” said Paul Swenson, president of the Colonial Flag Foundation Board of Trustees. “Within 24 hours, individuals across the country saw the first sign of hope rising from the ashes. From that powerful image of hope and strength, woven in the Stars and Stripes, came the inspiration for the first Healing Field display of flags.” The 20th annual Healing Field Flag Memorial, organized by the non-profit Colonial Flag Foundation and Utah Healing Field Committee, will take place at the Sandy City Promenade, at 10000 Centennial Parkway, from Sept. 8-13. On Wednesday, Sept. 8, at 5:30 p.m., volunteers will post more than 3,300 flags in remembrance of the 2,977 victims of the terrorist attacks, our Utah fallen soldiers, and first responders who have died since 9/11. On Sept.9, the field will officially open to the public. Visitors can read the personalized tags attached to the flags with each victim's name and a short bio. In addition, there will be a 14-poster exhibit from the 9/11 Memorial Museum titled “September 11th, 2001: The Day That Changed the World.” “My hope is that each of us will slow down, walk through the flags alone or with our children and remember that day 20 years ago when we lost so many and stood together,” said Swenson. On Sept.10, Rockin Hot Rod Productions hosts the “United We Stand” classic car show featuring local cars in the parking lot of the Aetna building at 10150 South Centennial Parkway, from 5-8 p.m.. The event will include awards, raffles, and food trucks. Following the car show will be a “One Light, One Life” luminaria light display by Real Salt Lake. Volunteers are encouraged to arrive at 6 p.m. to help Real Salt Lake and mascot Leo the Lion place luminaries by each flag to light up the field. The tribute representslight through darkness, offering hope and healing to friends and families who lost loved ones that day. On Sept. 11, the day’s events begin with a “Ride to Remember” motorcycle ride. Riders will meet at Barbary Coast Saloon

The 20th annual Healing Field Flag Memorial, organized by the non-profit Colonial Flag Foundation and Utah Healing Field Board, will take place on the Sandy City Hall grounds at 10000 Centennial Parkway. (Photo courtesy Colonial Flag Foundation)

(4242 South State Street), at 6 p.m., then proceed to Sandy City Hall with a police escort. At 7 p.m., Conner Gray Covington will conduct the Utah Symphony to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Covington states, “All of us at the Utah Symphony are honored to partner with Utah Healing Field to present a concert to commemorate the tragic events of that day. We've chosen music that will provide a sense of comfort and healing to the audience but will also serve as a way to promote a feeling of optimism and unity moving forward.”“ The symphony will perform John Williams' “Hymn to the Fallen,” Elgar's “Nimrod” from “Enigma Variations,” Copland's “Lincoln Portrait” and Valerie Coleman's “Umoja: An Anthem for Unity.” Tickets for this performance are available at utah20th. eventbrite.com. The performance is in conjunction with the annual “Honoring the Fallen” from each branch of the United States Military, including all fallen soldiers and first responders from the state of Utah. The patriotic observance includes the national anthem, a flyover by four F-35s performed by Hill Air Force Base, the

presentation of the colors, a 21-gun salute, a bugle performance of “Taps,” and a performance by The Utah Pipe Band, all until 8:30 p.m. Funds raised through donations and sales and the event will support ongoing charitable programs of the Colonial Flag Foundation. These programs include service dogs for veterans, child abuse prevention, food banks, homes for heros and homeless veterans assistance. Two decades later, hundreds of organizations have hosted Colonial Flag Foundation programs, raising millions of dollars for local charities. “The legacy of all these souls that were lost that day lives on through the millions of lives that are touched by those that walk among the flags and those that are assisted and uplifted through the thousands of benefiting charities,” Swenson said. The Healing Field will be open to the public until Sept.13, at 5:30 p.m., when volunteers will take down the flags. All flags are available for sale. Flags can be sponsored for $35 and taken home after the event. For more information visit, www.healingfield.org/event/sandyut21/ or 911flags.org. l

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Adversity didn’t deter these students’ accomplishments to get a college education By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com

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tah State University, Missouri Valley College, Salt Lake Community College and University of Utah will enroll some recent Canyons School District graduates, thanks to the Canyons Education Foundation. Six graduates from the class of 2021 were awarded partial scholarships to further their education. The annual Bright Star Scholarship of $1,000 was also awarded to seniors from each high school in Canyons School District who has shown improvement or exemplary effort in working toward the goal of post-secondary education. This year’s scholarship recipients are Saskia Paepke-Chile, Alta High; Sean Spackman, Brighton High; Abbey Aamodt, Corner Canyon High; Martha Lopez Rodriguez, Diamond Ridge High; Miriam Camacho, Hillcrest High; and Elijah Martin; Jordan High. Brighton’s Hailey Timm was awarded $2,500, the Rising Star Scholarship for having “risen” above trying circumstances either in family life, financially, emotionally or scholastically; Timm and all scholarship winners are dedicated to furthering their education, said Denise Haycock, Canyons Education Foundation development officer. For Timm, the road hasn’t been easy as she has achieved despite “the adversity she has faced,” said Brighton band director Mikala Mortensen. “Hailey is a wonderful musician” as she “is always willing to perform for the community,” Mortensen wrote in her recommendation letter. “Her willingness to share the gift of music with others is unmatched.” Timm, who played in the symphonic band, also was the drum major in last year’s inaugural marching band and played for the school’s jazz band. “As a drum major in the marching band, she leads with kindness, assisting all of them to succeed as individuals and an ensemble. I find Hailey to be particularly exceptional leader because she has endured her fair share of hardships in her young life,

yet never lets that get in the way of her dedication to her peers,” Mortensen said, adding that Timm also is an intelligent student. This fall, Timm will study at USU to become a high school biology teacher. Her classmate, Sean Spackman, will attend SLCC. Diagnosed with autism at age 3, he has been involved in student government, Link Crew, National Honor Society, Hope Squad and track. He has learned to face trials head-on. “I still have autism and I always will have it,” Spackman said. “Instead of letting it hold me back, I learned to overcome the challenges it has brought to my life. I have a very bright future ahead of me.” Lopez Rodriguez and Camacho also are enrolling at SLCC. Lopez Rodriguez’s counselor, Suzy Santos, said that as a Diamond Ridge student, Lopez Rodriguez, who wants to be a nurse, learned how to balance high school coursework with her certified nursing assistant courses at CTEC. “Coming into the program, she couldn’t see how college could happen for her, but through grit and determination, Martha has discovered the thrill of learning new things while achieving big goals,” she said. Camacho is described as “inquisitive, humble, focused, resilient and compassionate” by her counselor, Nicole Huff, who said that Camacho turned her life around and did “not let grief define her. Hard work, outstanding attitude and determination have resulted in a senior year of nothing but As and Bs.” The high school graduate, who has a “keen eye for fashion,” wants to model in her own clothing designs. Alta’s Saskia Paepke-Chile, knowing little English, moved to Utah from Brazil her freshman year. “I was very concerned about her ability to not only acclimate to a new language, country, school and living situation, but also her ability to successfully complete her classes,” wrote her counselor, Jennifer Scheffner, in a recommendation letter. “I quickly learned that Saskia is a young wom-

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Brighton’s Hailey Timm was presented a $2,500 check as the Rising Star Scholarship winner from Canyons Education Foundation Development Officer Denise Haycock. (Photo courtesy of Canyons Education Foundation)

an with a fiery determination to succeed and an insatiable desire for knowledge. What I did not take into consideration was her determination to learn and incredible work ethic.” Paepke-Chile, who plans to attend the U of U, was Alta’s Sterling Scholar in World Languages. She also was Alta’s Ballroom Team president and was active with the school’s Latinos in Action and Peer Leadership Team as well as involved in the district’s Student Advisory Council and tutoring Sprucewood Elementary students despite her mother dying from cancer in Brazil. “She is a prime example of resilience, hard work and immense potential,” Scheffner said. Corner Canyons’ Abbey Aamodt also has shown her drive to succeed in the face of adversity, Haycock said. “Early challenges molded her commitment to setting ambitious goals, which included challenging coursework, excellent grades and setting her sights on a college education,” Haycock said. “In the midst of it all, there have been moments of heartache, grief and pain due to family crises, but Abbey rose to these challenges and uses them to gain strength and purpose. She now dedicates herself to leadership and service.” Aamodt plans to join Paepke-Chile at the U to pursue a degree in architecture and interior design so she can renovate and build homes to give back to the community. Jordan High graduate Elijah Martin

moved 11 times before settling in with his aunt during his high school career, said his teacher Aubrie Grass. “Elijah had a lot of classes to retake, but he’s done so through hard work and determination,” she said, adding words like respectful, kind, supportive, hardworking, personable and a natural leader to describe her former student. Martin, who is attending Missouri Valley College this fall, has a passion to become a world history teacher. “This passion for teaching is already evident in how he helps fellow students to understand difficult assignments, listens well to varying perspectives and makes sure people feel that they are heard and understood. As an African-American male, he sees the need to have more minority males in teaching positions to inspire and connect with minority students,” Grass said. Martin thanked Canyons Education Foundation. “You guys are really helping a lot of people,” he said. “Not just me, but then my future family. You’re going to help my kids and their kids’ kids. Two years ago, college wasn’t something I saw myself doing. One financially, it just wasn’t possible for me; and two, I didn’t have the drive for it. A scholarship like this is going to help me help my own kids and other kids one day.” l

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Example of RDA area in Holladay City. 2007 to 2019. (images/Google)

Government 101: Redevelopment Agency By Erin Dixon | e.dixon@mycityjournals.com hat is an RDA, or Redevelopment Agency? Most Salt Lake County cities have one. Each agency has a single goal: Bring neglected parts of the city back to life. Why would a city invest time and money, rather than leave development up to the economy? Cody Hill, Midvale RDA manager, explained during a discussion about the Midvale Main Street project. “The basic philosophy is you have an area that is not growing for whatever reason. We can do nothing, and we’ll get the same tax dollars.” If the city puts in money and effort to rebuild the area, the tax income will increase. City assistance can also help reduce crime, attract new jobs, improve roads and utilities and in turn stimulate private investment in homes and surrounding areas. Council and staff find a “blighted” area they want to rebuild. They define the borders, and research costs and potential benefits a revival would have. Before a project is started, a public hearing is held, then the council votes to open the project and begins working. The RDA decision makers are the city council members, but meetings are held separately from city council meetings. Meetings are typically on the same day as a council meeting. The council will adjourn the city council and reopen as RDA. The RDA has a separate budget and does not collect taxes like the city government. The RDA gets its money from nearby taxing entities (organizations that collect taxes) such as the city, school districts, water conservation districts, libraries, etc. Each entity collects taxes from residents and businesses in its area. A taxing entity will promise the RDA a portion of what they collect over a future period of time, for instance, 5, 10 or 20 years. All the taxing entities benefit from this agreement because as areas are improved, there is more tax money to collect from increased active businesses and residents. Overall, all groups benefit. The RDA is also able to issue bonds to bring in money. A bond is a term-specific loan to the city that is paid by investors that the

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RDA pays back in the future Canyons School District, Unified Fire Authority, Midvale City and South Salt Lake Valley Mosquito Abatement District all contributed some of their income to fund the reconstruction of the Midvale Main Street area. The property is currently worth $53 million. Each taxing entity that is diverting some of their future funds will get more money as the property values increase with the development. “If [they] will funnel 60% of the increased value over $53 million, we can in-

crease the total taxable cost in this area,” Hill said. “They’ll get 40% of the increased value, which is projected to cover growth. Once that cap is hit, the school district will get 100%.” Other areas currently have RDAs, such as Draper and South Salt Lake. Draper has a 69-acre project called Sand Hills near 1300 East and Draper Parkway. According to the Draper City website, ‘The original purpose of the Sand Hills Project Area was to stabilize and strengthen the commercial business and economic base of the City.’

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South Salt Lake is working on a project just north of I-80 and south of 2100 South. The new South city mixed-use project is in the zone, getting financing from the Zueller Apartments that were developed five to 10 years ago. South Salt Lake also has a project along 3900 South, east of State Street. Basically, they are using the power of the RDA to bring mixed-use projects. City Journals writer Bill Hardesty also contributed to this report. l

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School districts face rising costs in construction materials By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com

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his fall, Aspen Elementary opened its doors to elementary school children in the Daybreak community. The Jordan School District school was completed this summer, after holding its groundbreaking days before COVID-19 spiked in Utah in March 2020. Like many construction projects around the area, shortages of materials and labor were constantly monitored along with the rising costs of supplies, such as wood—and even wood glue, said Dave Rostrom, District director of facility services. In fact, Bingham High’s upstairs remodeling project was delayed because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, so the start of school was moved to online, the first time a Jordan District project wasn’t completed on time, he said. “It’s a really large project this summer that we were trying to accomplish and that plays into it a little bit, plus we’ve run into labor shortages and the supply chain on all our projects, which has been very difficult,” Rostrom said, adding that scarcities have ranged from HVAC components to whiteboards and hardware for doors. “I think a lot of the factories shut down and they’re still trying to get caught up from orders after they shut down. There’s been a big shortage of truck drivers and a lot of companies that have material are struggling to get things shipped.” However, the Aspen Elementary contract had already been awarded to Hughes General Contractors; its overall cost was $18.5 million. It was designed by VCBO Architecture, the same design used in other Jordan elementaries, including Golden Fields, Antelope Canyon, Bastian, Mountain Point and Ridge View. “The (Jordan) Board (of Education) has asked us to do a repeat on our buildings because we kind of get them down to a science. There’s no or very little change orders because we’ve built it so many times that we’ve got all the bugs worked out of the design. It saves a lot of money when we do a repeat building,” he said. The District currently is working off of two elementary school designs, a one-story and a two-story, which can save additional dollars; two middle school plans and one for the high school. Even so, Jordan factors in 8% construction inflation per year. “Every time we hit a mark, it’s basically we were paying an additional 8%. That can vary, it’s all supply and demand. I would say this last year, it’s probably been a little higher,” he said, adding that costs also would include projects such as leveling slopes before building schools. Currently, an elementary in Herriman with the exact same floor plan is under construction; just two years behind Aspen, its price tag is $19,950,000, right at the mark—a

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7.8% increase from Aspen Elementary’s cost. “I do have a concern on the elementary that we’re building out in Herriman now because you don’t know what’s going to be delayed,” he said about the school that is scheduled to open fall 2022. “Hopefully, these factories are able to start getting back up on top of their orders.” Rostrom said it’s school officials who decide upon projects and what to do with rising costs. “That’s when our school board has to determine what we do,” he said, adding that fewer projects may be considered. “There’s been some years where we wanted to do X amount of projects and because costs come in higher, we’ve had to eliminate projects or postpone.” Fortunately, Jordan District already owns property when the Board decides to build additional schools, so they aren’t looking at high land costs, he said. While Jordan has 13 construction projects underway, the Herriman elementary is the only new build. Other schools are undergoing renovations, expansions or installation of security doors. Nearby Canyons School District also is facing escalating costs with several new construction projects underway. Officials just held ribbon-cuttings for two rebuilt high schools and a renovation of a third, days before school opened Aug. 16. They also held three ribbon-cuttings for two elementaries and a middle school this past spring. Initially, when the $283-million bond was passed in November 2019, Hillcrest’s rebuild was estimated at $85 million, said its principal Greg Leavitt, and Brighton’s rebuild was $87 million, its principal, Tom Sherwood said. Now, the price tags are higher. “We thought early on, they could be around $90 (million), but that quickly turned on us. Hillcrest will be about $121 million, and Brighton will be about $117 (million),” said Leon Wilcox, Canyons chief financial officer and business administrator. “We’re hearing (new) high schools now can be close to $150 (million in Utah).” That’s about a 34% increase of cost on Hillcrest and a 30% on Brighton. At Alta High, renovations were first expected to cost $38.5 million and resulted in about $57 million, he added. Canyons Superintendent Rick Robins said that “rebuilding a high school is quite an undertaking. Tackling two is ambitious. But remaking three all at once is something for the record books. The pace at which construction costs are soaring shows no signs of slowing. With those costs, other inflationary pressures and Utah’s labor shortage, it’s fortunate we started all of our school improvements when we did.” This summer, Canyons Board of Educa-

With the rising cost of materials and labor, Jordan School District officials estimate an 8% increase in construction prices annually. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

Canyons School District has multiple schools under construction, including Union Middle, so to cover expenses in addition to a 2017 voter-approved bond, Canyons Board of Education has been discussing taking out lease revenue bonds. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

tion started taking the steps to approve $38 million in lease revenue bonds to cover expenses, Wilcox said, adding that it is a customary practice in cities and some school districts to take out a loan or a bond, sell bonds, and repay it out of capital funds. “So, it will impact our future things we can do, but we promised the public we were going to complete these projects. We had three schools—Union (Middle), Peruvian Park and Edgemont (elementaries)—that were seismically unsafe and we really needed to replace and rebuild those so that’s why we’re doing what we’re doing right now on issuing these bonds,” he said. “If we didn’t do this, we would have to wait about two to four years to complete Glacier Hills, Peruvian and

Union and we just didn’t feel like that was the right thing to do.” A future Draper elementary school also is figured into the numbers, Wilcox said. “We feel like we’re in a very good position with our buildings,” he said. “We put a lot in the last decade. We’ve done basically 20 projects. We’ve got our high schools all modernized, all our middle schools with the exception of Eastmont all brand new or renovated. So, all our secondary schools are taken care of and around six of our elementaries are brand new with a few of them, just a few years older than that. These bonds will take up to 16% to 18% of our capital allotment or balance each year. We still have 80% to keep these buildings modern and functioning.” l

Cottonwood Heights City Journal


Mascots make a comeback, bring student involvement, spirit back to schools By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com

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ascots are making a comeback as many area schools this year look to bolster school spirit and pride, which in any year school officials say is good, but especially after 18 months of uncertainty in school life during the COVID-19 pandemic. “The mascot is one of the foundations of the visualization of school spirit,” explained Tara Battista, Cottonwood High School’s student government adviser. “When you see a mascot and you see your logo represented, jumping and cheering, that brings a whole new energy to the crowd, to the students, and allows them just to see their school pride to come to life. We want student to feel when they come back to school, we will have this revival of things happening again. We will make it fun, we will make it safe and most of all, we want them to be able to display their Colt pride, so having a mascot is a critical piece of that.” Cottonwood High’s Colt is expected to be part of their homecoming, Sept. 23. Murray High’s Spartan made its debut at the Fourth of July parade after an absence of years, then welcomed the football team onto its new field in the season opener. Brighton High is in the process of ordering a Bengal costume. “Our costume was just old and hammered,” said Brighton Principal Tom Sherwood, adding that looking for a new mascot began after the Bengal’s last appearance fall 2020, but between COVID-19 and rebuilding the school, the process got pushed back. For the new school’s ribbon-cutting, the construction company rented a costume so the Bengal could make an appearance, Sherwood said. “It’s not a matter of not having to have a mascot, but I think the costume might have gone down with the ship—or the building in this case,” he said. “I think mascots can be a good way to get fans involved and they can help control the crowd, they can help lead the cheers, they can be a support to cheerleaders, they can build school spirit.” Mascots can be seen in all levels of schools. Recently, Midvale Middle purchased a Trojan costume. Riverview Junior High renamed its mascot to a Raptor, and the mascot was paraded through the school’s hallways as part of the announcement. When Altara Elementary showed an updated look for its Kittyhawk, the mascot made an appearance—and many more since at assemblies, fun runs and other events. At Cottonwood, student government adviser Tara Battista said Charlie the Colt has been absent for at least the five years she has worked at the school; when inquiring, she was told that the old costume went missing. “When it disappeared, it was quite old, like 10 years, so maybe it was time to get a new one, but then no one ever took charge to make it happen so the mascot just got lost,”

CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com

she said. School officials say losing costumes is more common than one thinks as the responsibility of the role of the mascot shifts from cheer to athletics to student government advisers. Battista said that when she became student government adviser two years ago, it was decided to bring back the Colt. Then, COVID-19 hit, and the mascot got pushed to the backburner. Now, the $1,200 dark brown stallion costume is on order (from the same company that makes the Utah Jazz Bear’s costume) and tryouts, which is open to any student gender, are being scheduled. There is a possibility of more than one student to be the mascot to share its responsibilities, but that depends on tryouts, she said. Battista anticipates Charlie the Colt to wear a football jersey on the field or a basketball uniform when it cheers on those teams. “We’re working with our student organizations to disperse the mascot where they want it,” she said, adding the Colt could wear a Cottonwood hooded sweatshirt when it’s at assemblies or supporting organizations and clubs. “One of the biggest goals for student government this year was to increase school spirit and school pride and get kids involved and excited coming to all types of activities.” However, don’t look for Charlie to tumble and do stunts. “We are still working through some safety concerns with that with the (Granite School) District,” Battista said. “Right now, it’s going to be hyping up the students, their passion for Cottonwood, their Colt pride.” That’s the role the Spartan is taking this season, although previous mascots have been tumblers and on the cheer squad, said cheer coach Lia Smith, who is overseeing Murray High’s mascot in Murray School District and interviewed the student who was interested in being the mascot. “There weren’t any (tumbling) skills involved, it’s more just the student’s personality and drive to involved others, to create a positive environment and include as many people in the school and in the community,” she said, adding that the Spartan also has good grades and citizenship. The Spartan, which is named Leonidas or Leo for short, made its comeback this year as a result of students approaching Smith. “A group of students came to me as cheer coach March last year and said they really wanted a mascot again and they missed having a Spartan,” she said. “We felt like that would bring a lot of energy and it’s something that we’ve been missing.” Wanting to bring spirit to the school and community, Leo asked to be part of the Murray parade, but didn’t expect a costume malfunction which resulted in missing the last third of walking in the parade. However, the

Brighton Principal Tom Sherwood poses alongside the Bengal mascot during the recent ribbon-cutting ceremony. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

Spartan has asked others to generate ideas and appearances, watched YouTube videos of other mascots and plans to reach out to college and professional team mascots. The mascot agreed to break his code of silence for this article to share his insights; the condition was that he could only be identified as Leo. “I always thought of being the mascot; it’s cool,” Leo said. “I think my personality is already outgoing and wacky and I feel that if I’d have a mask on, I feel I’d be amplified and make it fun for everyone. Before this, I’ve just liked being in the student section. I was always one of the people who just tried to get cheers going or if cheerleaders were doing a cheer, I would just start doing the dance with them.” While he hopes to “go to as many things as possible,” Leo said one of his responsibilities will be to wave a giant Spartan flag, which Leo said, “I will definitely have a lot of fun with.” He also knows being the mascot will be “physically demanding” so he does plan to stay in shape through running and joining cheer in some workouts. Leo isn’t worried about getting recognition. “If no one knows me, I can do a lot more wacky stuff that I would be otherwise embarrassed to do. It’s just one of those things I could have a lot more fun,” he said. That also was a highlight of Aaron Dekeyzer, who as 2003-04 senior class pride president, was Harvey, Hillcrest High School’s Husky mascot. “It just let me take on a persona that I could just be silly and fun to the max without any discomfort about doing it and having nobody know who it was,” he said, but admitting that the costume was “miserably hot, itchy and

Midvale Middle School recently purchased its Trojan mascot costume to build unity in the school. (Photo courtesy of Midvale Middle)

just generally uncomfortable.” However, Dekeyzer’s secret mascot identity was short-lived as students knocked off his head at one of the last football games, so he only wore the costume at a couple of basketball games. Dekeyzer didn’t audition, but said the position fell into his lap. “I think there was a vacancy and cheer was looking for someone to do it when they came to student government. I was one of the silliest, funniest ones of the bunch so I decided to volunteer,” he said. “I was energetic, fun, goofy and good at getting the crowd to do chants. I wasn’t flying through the air or doing backflips.” The Husky has evolved from its early days when a cheerleader had dog face paint while wearing a shaggy costume to taking on a full mascot costume in 1978-79 when former teacher and international baccalaureate coordinator Brian Bentley, who was a student at Hillcrest, first took on the role of Harvey. Nowadays, the student costume-wearers are highlighted in the yearbook, which is distributed at the end of the year. After Dekeyzer’s year, the mascot costume went missing—he maintains he didn’t take it—so Harvey took a leave of absence. “I don’t know if they found it or if it was just time to get another costume, but it was my understanding that he was MIA for a bit,” he said. “It was super fun though. I really enjoyed doing it and it was a great way to demonstrate the pride of the school and for students to identify with the spirit of the school.” l

September 2021 | Page 9


Page 10 | September 2021

Cottonwood Heights City Journal


Former Brighton athletes excel in college and beyond By Jerry Christensen | j.christensen@mycityjournals.com Editor’s note: This is an ongoing column highlighting Brighton athletes who continue to excel at the next levels. Send profile recommendations to j.christensen@mycityjournals.com ridger Hansen is one of the litany of soccer standouts that Brighton High School has produced over the years. He was just named First Team NCAA All-American leading the University of New Hampshire to its best winning percentage and the America East Championship. He anchored a defense that allowed only eight goals all season. Hansen said, “I am very humbled to have received all of these accolades. I definitely attribute my success to my team as a whole.” Hansen graduated from Brighton in 2015 and served a two-year mission for his church in Russia. After returning to Utah, he played for SLCC for one year and was named First Team All- Conference and First Team All-Region. He then transferred to Westminster College to continue his soccer career and graduated in December 2020 with a double major in international business and business management. At Westminster he was named First Team All-Conference, First Team All-Region and Third Team All-American. Hansen

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married another Brighton soccer standout, Jayde Jones (class of 2014), who played on two state championship teams at Brighton and was named First Team All- State. Jones played at Colorado State University her freshman year of college and after a church mission in Brazil she transfer to Westminster College where she played soccer for three years graduating with a bachelor’s in nursing. Hansen added, “Brighton, SLCC and Westminster were the perfect balance of competitive soccer, great friendships and valuable life lessons that motivated me to keep playing.” Teammate Warren Cook recalls of the younger Hansen, “He was a hard worker, versatile and dangerous in the air. This made him defensively very valuable but also a goal scorer off corner kicks and set plays.” Cook preceded Hansen to an impressive college soccer career at Westminster. Hansen is currently playing his last year of collegiate eligibility soccer at The University of New Hampshire. He is earning his master’s degree in kinesiology with an emphasis in sports studies. This year he was also named a MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist. This prestigious award honors the United Soccer Coaches National Players of

Bridger Hansen was named First Team NCAA All-American this past season. (Photo credit China Wong)

the Year in NCAA Division I soccer based on voting by member coaches. This honor came his way through his stellar defensive performances that also earned him the America East Defensive Player of the Year award.

Hansen hopes to keep soccer in his future whether that is playing professionally, coaching or working in the industry. The Hansens plan on starting a family and raising soccer kids. l

September 2021 | Page 11


Increasing Use of Technology Strengthens Communities By Bryan Thomas, Vice President of Engineering, Comcast Mountain West Region The internet is a powerful resource for furthering education, assisting with job searches, tracking your benefits, engaging in telehealth and keeping up with life. There’s no doubt, having access to the internet is more important than ever. And teams of hi-tech experts are working nonstop to provide Americans with internet access. In fact, Comcast and others in the broadband industry have invested nearly $2 trillion since 1996 to build some of the world’s fastest, most resilient, and most widely deployed networks anywhere—a remarkable commitment by any standard. ACCESS vs. ADOPTION As we emerge from the impacts of the pandemic, we are seeing that access isn’t the only gap to bridge. What often stands in the way of connectivity are roadblocks to broadband adoption, be it language barriers, lack of knowledge of available options, privacy concerns and more. Across Denver, and in metropolitan areas around the country, most homes have multiple

choices of broadband providers. According to Broadband Now, there are nearly 48 internet providers covering 98 percent of Utahns having access to broadband speeds over 25 Mbps. Utah ranks high as the 8thmost connected state in the country. For more than a decade, Comcast has been committed to doing our part to close the digital divide and addressing both the access and the adoption gap. Our partnerships with community organizations, educational institutions and business leaders are critical in making progress. Since 2011, Comcast has offered our Internet Essentials program, which has connected nearly 160,000 low-income Utahns to low-cost, highspeed internet at home—over 90% of whom did not have a connection when they applied for the service. Internet Essentials offers heavily discounted residential broadband ($9.95 per month) to qualifying families, seniors, and veterans in need, and serves as a model for other providers nationwide. Impressively, the NAACP hailed Internet Essentials as “the largest experiment ever attempted to close the digital divide.” And Comcast, through its Internet Essentials program, invested almost $700 million nationally in

digital literacy training and awareness. With its new “Lift Zone” initiative, Comcast is equipping community centers across the state with free Wi-Fi to support distance learning. But it doesn’t stop here. Over the next 10 years, Comcast will invest $1 billion to further close the digital divide and give more people the needed tools and resources to succeed in an increasingly digital world. The combined work and partnerships with community, education and business leaders like you will be critical to ensuring people have access, the hardware, the skills and are willing and able to connect with a reliable, secure broadband network. You all know and work directly with your constituents, clients, neighbors – and you have the trust of the people you serve. The axiom, “It takes a village…” has never been more relevant. Achieving the goal of having all people connected to the power of the internet will take the kind of focus and commitment on the part of all of us to connect more people to what matters most. To learn more about Comcast’s digital equity initiatives, or to refer organizations or people who might benefit from these services, please visit https:// corporate.comcast.com/impact/digital-equity.

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Page 12 | September 2021

Cottonwood Heights City Journal


Governor wants to incentivize lawn removal with a statewide buy back program By Alison Brimley | a.brimley@mycityjournals.com

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ov. Spencer J. Cox has a little bit of good ficiencies of past water conservation efforts would be available to all counties within the news for Utahns. could be eliminated,” Jenkins said. district. The district includes much of Salt “Every water district has reported sigJenkins says the two programs have al- Lake, Utah, Juab, Uintah, Sanpete, Wasatch nificant water savings this year as compared ready seen great demand in West Jordan this and Duchesne counties, though a Flip Your to previous years,” Cox told an audience at year. So far in 2021, 659 households have Strip program is also available to Layton resiConservation Garden Park in West Jordan on applied for Flip Your Strip, with 392 coming dents. (Murray City and South Jordan City are July 29. In response to Utah officials’ repeat- from within Jordan Valley Water’s service not eligible for Flip Your Strip because these ed pleas to conserve water in a record drought area. This represents a significant increase cities offer their own park strip programs.) year, Utahns have stepped up. from 2020, when a total of 177 Flip Your Strip Utahns in eligible areas can apply to beAnd thanks to Utahns’ compliance with applications were submitted. gin the process at utahwatersavers.com. fireworks bans, the state has also seen a sigThis year, Cox announced his intention Not only will those who participate get to nificant reduction in wildfires, particularly in to make Utah the first state to offer a “state- help the state save water, they’ll also see savthe weeks of July 4 and July 24. This is espe- wide buyback program.” ings on their own monthly water bill and get cially important in years like this one, when Going forward, Utah needs to be a state back a significant chunk of time they might extra dry land increases the risk of fire and the where grass is planted only “in areas where it have previously spent on lawn maintenance. state can’t afford to use precious water fight- actively is used, rather than using it as a de“While the actual water savings will vary ing flames. Still, Cox warned that we have fault groundcover.” depending on the size of the park strip and the “several months of dangerous wildfire season At the July 29 event, Rick Maloy of the materials used, we estimate that an average ahead of us,” and that people need to remain Central Utah Water Conservancy District, 5,000-8,000 gallons of water will be saved “vigilant.” announced that beginning Aug. 1, these turf each year for every park strip that is flipped,” Though some of the worst outcomes buyback programs pioneered in West Jordan Jenkins said. l have been (so far) averted this year, Utah needs to step up its long-term plans for water conservation. As one of the fastest growing states in the nation, the systems put in place now to decrease water use will have huge impacts as the population increases. “Our administration is committed to advancing more aggressive water conservation measures,” Cox said. The governor spoke of four distinct areas in which Utah needs to act in order to lay the foundation for a more waterwise future. One of these areas involves individual home landscapes. Cox announced his intention to implement the Localscapes rewards and Flip Your Strip programs—initially developed in West Jordan and administered by Jordan Valley Water—across the whole state. “Turf buyback” programs like Localscapes Rewards and Flip Your Strip incentivize homeowners to replace “thirsty grass” in their yards with more waterwise plants. Flip Your Strip involves paying homeowners to Various waterwise landscape plans—as well as details on how to receive rebates for implementing yours—are replace grass in park strips, while Localscapes available at utahwatersavers.com. (Photo courtesy Jordan Valley Water) Rewards participants take a class about waterwise landscaping, then receive a cash incentive when they implement the landscape plans in their yards. Jordan Valley Water began offering Flip Your Strip and Localscapes Rewards in 2017. “With growing participation year over year and proven water savings, it became natural FOR for other agencies to want to start offering similar programs,” said Megan Jenkins of AND Jordan Valley Water. “In fact, this was something Jordan Valley planned for.” While developing its rebate website, utahwatersavers.com, Jordan Valley Water Trustee – District #2 recognized they could expand the programs’ Cottonwood Heights effectiveness by collaborating with other Parks and Recreation agencies across the state. “By allowing mul@patti.m.hansen Service Area tiple agencies to offer conservation programs and rebates on the same website, many inef-

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September 2021 | Page 13


City Council approves Gravel Pit development By Cassie Goff | c.goff@mycityjournals.com

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Hillside reclamation will be a major part of construction for the first phase (yellow) of the gravel pit development. (Photo courtesy of Cottonwood Heights City)

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he development planned on the northern end of the Gravel Pit (6695 S. Wasatch Blvd.) is one step closer to beginning construction. The Cottonwood Heights City Council voted to approve and enact PDD-2 (Wasatch Rock Redevelopment) on Aug. 3. Now, each of the seven phases within the project will need to address the remaining Sensitive Lands (Evaluation & Development Standards (SLEDS)) concerns, receive site plan approval by the Architectural Review Commission (ARC), and gain a city building permit. Before the vote, Community and Economic Development Director Michael Johnson informed the city council one of their main concerns had been deferred for a future date. Multiple councilmembers had voiced repeated worry over the height of a condominium building (previously proposed at 13 stories). “I have been a thorn in the side when it comes to height,” said Mayor Mike Peterson. The approved development plan includes the location and use of the condominium building only. Unit count, building height, massing, size, and density will all have to be deliberated and finalized by future planning commission and city council members. In other words, the developers will have to work through the PDD (Planned Development District) process again for the condominium building alone. When completed, it will be an amendment to the current PDD-2. “This will be a council discussion to tie up final height,” Johnson said. The condominium building will require future deliberation from the Planning Commission and City Council to establish final massing and density. In addition, language addressing concerns over SLEDS was incorporated into the final development plan. “All sensitive land studies will need to be submitted, reviewed, and approved by the DRC (Development Review Committee) before any vertical construction can take place for this development.” The DRC is comprised of city engineers, city planning staff members, city building department members, fire department representatives and geologic consultants. These individuals carry out the sensitive lands ordinance, checking for extremely specific criteria. “Before (the developers) can do any work, (DRC members) all sit down and say ‘OK, you have to do this work, here’s how you need to do it, here’s what we want to see’ and then they have to submit that report to us,” Johnson said. He further clarified the DRC process is strictly defined within city ordinance.

The DRC members work to make sure the procedures and regulations are followed, especially as it pertains to sensitive lands. City Manager Tim Tingey clarified that every member of the DRC has to sign off on any given plans and development details. “If every individual does not sign off, it’s not approved—it doesn’t move forward.” With that final clarification, Councilmember Scott Bracken motioned to approve the Gravel Pit Development Plan. “There was a lot of time and effort spent on this and it is a better application,” he said. Councilmember Christine Mikell agreed. “I think we as a community need to be part of the solution and not the problem. I don’t love the look of it but I don’t have to love it. I appreciate that we can be part of the solution.” Councilmember Doug Peterson seconded the motion. “I think we have mitigated a lot of problems to make this a better project. I feel much better about this.” Mayor Peterson offered his comment before calling for the vote. “I’m quite pleased with the project. I really appreciate the effort for reclamation of the hillside, the plazas, walkability, and the connection to Bonneville Shoreline. We are setting precedent for what we will see in the rest of that development.” Ordinance 363-A: Approving enactment of the PDD-2 (Wasatch Rock Redevelopment) Zone; Approving the rezone of 21.56 acres of real property located at 6695 S. Wasatch Blvd. from F-1-21 (Foothill Residential) to PDD-2 (Wasatch Rock Redevelopment); and Amending the Zoning Map was approved unanimously by the city council on Aug 3. Councilmember Tali Bruce was absent and therefore excused from the vote. Now, the focus is SLEDS. “No vertical construction may take place for any phase until all sensitive lands have been approved,” Johnson reiterated. When all sensitive lands issues have been addressed, phase one of seven can begin. Residents may see construction focusing on hillside reclamation and the proposed apartment building first. “The apartment building, including parking, will be seven stories (75 feet tall). The Corporate Center (2795 E. Cottonwood Parkway) are 85 feet tall,” Johnson said. For more information, visit the Cottonwood Heights City website (cottonwoodheights.utah.gov) and navigate to the Planning Commission tab and the Wasatch Rock Redevelopment Proposal page.

Cottonwood Heights City Journal


BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

Desert Star Playhouse

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Business Spotlights are a service offered to our advertisers to help them inform our readers about their businesses. For information on scheduling a Spotlight, please call us at 801-254-5974 or email us at ryan.c@thecityjournals.com

Bringing you less misery than 2020, Desert Star presents its upcoming parody, LES MISERABLES. Join the laughtastic revolution as this knee-slapping spoof opens August 26th. It’s a merry-making musical melodrama for the whole family! Written by Tom Jordan, and directed by Scott Holman, this show follows Jean LeviJean who is on the run from the nefarious grime fighter Javert. LeviJean just wants to start a new life making a new kind of pants. But he and his adopted daughter Cassette get caught up in the French revolting. Now they must navigate the sewers of Paris, finding a way to get Cassette to the wedding on time before Javert flushes their plans. Colorful characters include Garlique and Camembert, LeviJean’s wacky factory workers, and the Thenardiers, the innkeepers who take you through this raucous adventure. Make your 2021 less miserable with Les Miserables. “Les Miserables” runs August 26 through November 6, 2021. The evening also includes one of Desert Star’s comical musical olios, following the show. The “Fang-tastic Olio” treats

you to popular Halloween tunes. There are two options for enjoying our menu. You can order from your table, in the traditional way. Come 30 minutes prior and order from your server once you have found your seat. If you feel more comfortable wearing a mask while you are in the theater, we will still be offering food service one hour beforehand in our banquet area. If you prefer this option, just text our main number, 801-266-2600, that you want a reservation. CALENDAR: “Les Miserables: Less Miserable Than 2020” Plays August 26 - November 6, 2021 Check our website for showtimes: www.DesertStarPlayhouse.com Tickets: Adults: $26.95, Children: $15.95 (Children 12 and under) 4861 S. State Street, Murray, UT 84107 Text 801.266.2600 for dinner reservations For additional information, visit our website at www.DesertStarPlayhouse. com

CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com

September 2021 | Page 15


Community organizations seek volunteers

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hroughout the summer, the Cottonwood Height City Council heard from various community organizations throughout Salt Lake County. These organizations are primarily seeking exposure and looking for participants, as their membership bases have dwindled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On July 6, Salt Lake Academy of Music (SLAM) Executive Director Steve Auerbach presented an overview of their programs. SLAM offers musical education and instruments to community youth members on a sliding fee scale. “We’ve created this safe and fun space where music students, of any background or socioeconomic status, can find a community with like-minded peers and expert staff. Students have opportunities to develop a craft and build the confidence for leadership skills,” Auerbach said. SLAM and KRCL Community Radio partnered to being a musical instrument recycling program called SLAM-EX. Residents can drop off unwanted or unused musical instruments which are then recycled for SLAM students. Students receive instruction from internationally renowned DJs, producers, and musicians. “Our teachers really care. It’s hard to describe how much passion they have for the kids,” Auerbach said. SLAM students and graduates can perform live at many different venues throughout Salt Lake County. Previous SLAM students have performed at the Utah Blues Festival, Salt Lake Arts Festival and the Sugar House Park firework shows. Auerbach shared the success of some SLAM graduates. While a handful never left SLAM and continue to teach music to incoming students, others found careers in music. For example, Maddie Rice started in School or Rock, a precursor program to SLAM, and moved to play on the “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” Now, she sits on the guitar chair for “Saturday Night Live.” “We have a contingency of families in Cottonwood Heights,” Auerbach said as he introduced resident Cory Deagle. “Our two girls (nine and 11) joined SLAM earlier this year, since Butler Elementary does not have a music program. It’s exhilarating to see the confidence SLAM instills in the youth. It’s not completely about teaching them to play like Eddie Van Halen, which they do by the way,” Deagle said. SLAM opened a state-of-the-art studio in Sugar House early in 2020. Seventy-three days after opening, they had to close down for the COVID-19 pandemic. Since reopening, they have been successful in keeping the spread of the virus low by implementing numerous precautions.

Page 16 | September 2021

By Cassie Goff | c.goff@mycityjournals.com

Resident Cory Deagle emphasized the importance of music for developing brains. (Photo courtesy of Steve Auerbach/ Salt Lake Academy of Music)

“If there’s an opportunity to increase the visibility and access for the kids in our community, I think it can only do us all well,” Deagle said. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, SLAM receives funding from both public and private entities including the Zoo, Arts, & Parks Program (ZAP) and Salt Lake County’s Arts Council. On July 20, Circles (Salt Lake County) Support Specialist Wes Long presented an overview of their program. Circles offers resources and social support to residents experiencing poverty. “Our program is designed to empower people to leave poverty situations and help facilitate systemic change to barriers that can block a person’s financial stability,” Long explained. Participants who choose to enter the Circles program are called Circle Leaders. Circle Leaders are provided training to discuss topics such as finances, trauma and healthy communication. They attend weekly meetings and monthly forums for which they set their own agenda. Circle Leaders set their own personal goals and receive assistance achieving those goals. “We are grounded in research that shows low-income families must have strong social capital and human connection across class lines in order to improve their economic situation,” Long said. Circle Leaders are paired with allies from middle-to-upper income levels. Allies work with Circle Leaders for 18 months on average to listen and support them while developing connections and friendships. “Those who graduate from the program achieve a roughly 71% increase to their income. They report being recognized and respected for who they are,” Long said. “They use their voice to teach the rest of us about the experience of poverty.” “The path out of poverty can be long and unpredictable. Whether such a path entails finding safer housing, more reliable transportation, or accessible pathways to

Students who participate in SLAM programs have the opportunity to perform live across Salt Lake County. (Photo courtesy of Steve Auerbach/ Salt Lake Academy of Music)

SLAM Executive Director Steve Auerbach hopes to collaborate with the Cottonwood Heights Arts Council in the future. (Cottonwood Heights City Council)

education or a career, it is worth the effort,” Long said. Long asked the city council and staff members for help reaching some of the city’s residents. “Roughly 5.3% of Cottonwood Heights’s population, around 1,800 people are living in poverty. We would like to help those individuals and involve those who are not in poverty situations.” Circles is searching for volunteers. Short-term volunteers are needed to help with weekly events and monthly forums. Long-term volunteers are needed to be allies and long-term friends for the Circle Leaders.

“I feel the people of Cottonwood Heights have much to offer in this regard, if only they could be reached.” Circles is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with 80 chapters around the United Sates and Canada. The Salt Lake City chapter launched recently so they will be continuously working with other chapters throughout the State of Utah. For more information on Circles (Salt Lake): call 801-364-0200, search Circles Salt Lake on social media platforms, or visit www.CirclesSaltLake.org For more information on SLAM, visit: www.slamslc.org. l

Cottonwood Heights City Journal


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.

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Cottonwood Heights Parks & Recreation September 2021 | Page 17


Fall is in the air at Snowbird Oktoberfest By Linda Steele | l.steele@mycityjournals.com

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Hillcrest High students arrived early for the first day of the 2021-22 school year to find their classes in the newly rebuilt school, which is the first four-story school in Utah. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

Summer’s over…it’s back to school By Julie Slama | j.slama@cityjournals.com housands of school children sharpened Salt Lake County Council in a 6-3 vote overtheir pencils and filled their backpacks turned the public health school mask order in Granite, Murray and Canyons school dis- for children under age 12, those who are not tricts for their first day of school on Aug. 16. yet old enough to be vaccinated, which was In Jordan School District, high school issued by county health director Dr. Angela students returned Aug. 16 and elementary Dunn. and middle school students plan an Aug. 17 The free breakfast and lunch program return. continues this school year in many districts In Canyons, students at Brighton High under an extended waiver from the USDA. and Hillcrest High arrived early to learn how All students are automatically eligible for the to navigate through their new school build- benefit, which will last through the 2021-22 ings. school year or until federal funding runs out. Masks in schools are optional as the l

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ktoberfest is back after a long year in suspension due to COVID. Snowbird’s Oktoberfest is one of Utah’s largest festivals. It is family-friendly with food, activities, live music and brews. The free festival takes place on Saturdays and Sundays, running from Aug. 14 through Oct.17, from noon until 6 p.m. each day. . Oktoberfest features 18 fun activities to attract guests and keep them coming back. Activities include the Mountain Coaster, Woodward WreckTangle and Alpine Slide. The festival includes street performers, smoked meats from Traeger, face painting, traditional Bavarian bratwurst, and pretzels. The Utah Jazz and Snowbird Ski Resort have an apparel line that is available at the merchandise tent, along with Oktoberfest items. “We could not be more excited to welcome our Snowbird community back to the mountains to celebrate this favorite Utah tradition with us. Oktoberfest has been taking place at Snowbird since 1972, bringing our community together for fun and festivities for the last 49 years. We are glad to be able to offer the experience again in a welcoming, outdoor environment,” said Dave Fields, Snowbird President and General Manager. Military Appreciation Days are Aug. 14,15, 21 and 22 with tram rides free for active and retired military, and their immediate family with valid ID. Labor Day weekend is a tribute to the original Oktoberfest, the Grand Entry of the Breweries in Munich, Germany. Sept. 5. is the beard and mustache competition presented by the Salty Saints Social Club. Bring your own mustache and beard or

wear a fake mustache and beard. Any style of facial hair and whiskers are accepted. Daily from noon to 6 p.m., enjoy polka dancing to live music inside the Oktoberfest Halle. On the Chickadee Stage, there are daily performances from 2 - 5 p.m. with music from local musicians, weather permitting. Harry Lee and the Back Alley Blues band performed on the Chickadee Stage Aug.15, 2020, the second day of Oktoberfest. The audience enjoyed listening and dancing on the lawn to this band with the beautiful mountains surrounding them. “It is great to play live music at Snowbird Oktoberfest with the surroundings of the Utah mountains. We enjoy playing in this event. Our band has enjoyed playing Oktoberfest off and on since the ‘90s,” said Michael Ricks, bass guitarist for Harry Lee and the Back Alley Blues Band. The history of Oktoberfest started in 1810 to celebrate the October marriage of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig to the Saxon-Hildburghausen Princess Therese. Citizens were invited to join in the festivities which were held over five days in front of the city gates. The main event of the original Oktoberfest was a horse race. It has come a long way since only a horse race. In Utah 1972, Oktoberfest took place one year after Snowbird opened and has been a staple event for 49 years, with food, brews, live-music and fun activities for the whole family. For more information about Oktoberfest, reach out to Snowbird Communications Manager, Sarah Sherman at ssherman@ snowbird.com. l

Oktoberfest at Snowbird is running from Aug. 14 to Oct. 17. (Photo courtesy: Rob Aseltine/Snowbird)

Page 18 | September 2021

Cottonwood Heights City Journal


Cottonwood Heights looks to spend $4 million from Recovery Act funds

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4,005,340 has been allocated to Cottonwood Heights by the federal government through the American Recovery Act. As part of the stipulations for expenditure set forth by the U.S. Department of Treasury, the city will receive half of that total amount now and half at a later date. As the other part of those stipulations, expenses must fall under one of four categories. Now, Cottonwood Heights must decide how to divvy the funds. “This will help us to offset some general funds,” said Mayor Mike Peterson. On Aug. 3, Cottonwood Heights Finance and Administrative Services Director Scott Jurges and City Manager Tim Tingey shared the four categories for allowable expenses: support urgent COVID-19 efforts to decrease the spread of the virus and bring the pandemic under control; replace lost public sector revenue to strengthen support for vital public services and help retain jobs; support immediate economic stabilization for households and businesses; and address systemic public health and economic challenges that have contributed to the unequal impact of the pandemic. Jurges and Tingey presented a handful of potential projects qualifying as allowable expenses to the city council for consideration including: contributing funds to service areas/ districts; implementing a small business grant program; contributing to the Utah League of Cities and Towns; upgrading City Hall’s badge and automatic door system; and funding storm water projects. The Unified Fire Authority (UFA), Cottonwood Heights Parks and Recreation Service Area (CH2), and Wasatch Front Waste and Recycling District (WFWRD) will receive a portion of the funds to help contain and mitigate the spread of COVD-19. Tingey explained how the federal government shared a detailed formula to work through in order to determine appropriate funds to contribute to additional entities. The formula takes into account what was lost during the pandemic year. As of publication, Tingey is still working with all three entities to determine appropriate dollar amounts but $30,000 has been set as a placeholder. “We must ensure that all funding meets the eligibility requirements outlined by the federal government or we would likely have to reimburse the federal government if we do not meet these requirements,” Tingey explained. As of publication, UFA has requested all the entities they service replenish their capital funds. Based on the serviced population for Cottonwood Heights, UFA has asked for $71,791 from the city. This would help cover some of their lost funds for PPE and leave time during the pandemic. In addition, WFWRD has requested $5,886 and CH2 has requested $398,257 for similar lost revenue and expenditures. The League of Cities and Towns hired a temporary employee to help with a technical

CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com

By Cassie Goff | c.goff@mycityjournals.com

Supporting COVID-19 efforts is one of the main reasons cities are allowed to spend federal funds. (Photo courtesy of the Unified Fire Authority) City Manager Tim Tingey hopes to use some of the American Recovery Funds for a few of the over $2 million worth of storm drain projects. (Cassie Goff/ City Journals)

assistance assessment. As of publication, Cottonwood Heights budgeted $16,000 to help fund that employee’s salary. The Cottonwood Heights Community and Economic Development Department has been working to draft a potential grant program aimed to assist small businesses within the city, ultimately enhancing economic stabilization for the community. As of publication, $200,000 has been set aside for that program. Tingey mentioned the splash pad at Recirculation of water at the Mountview Park Splash Pad could be a capital project the Cottonwood Mountview Park (1651 Fort Union Blvd.) Heights City Council could spend federal funds on from the American Recovery Act. (Cassie Goff/City could use an upgrade for water circulation. Journals) The city could look at recirculating the water directly back into the splash pad, which igible to be funded through the American Re- the storm drain fee since some of the associatcould cost around $500,000 for the appropriate covery Act money as well. $825,000 will fund ed projects can now be funded with the Amerequipment. The city could also consider recira critical investigation of the existing storm ican Recovery Act money instead of the funds culating the water to the lawns within the park, drain system which will include raising buried collected through the fee. for a much lower cost. Looking into this option manholes to grade, surveying and documentCouncilmember Christine Mikell counfurther, Tingey and Jurges do not recommend ing storm drain facilities, and cleaning and ex- tered, “If there is a way we can keep the storm this option as of publication. amining by camera the existing system. water fee as it is and move some money to open $120,000 has been set aside for upgrades Additional eligible project may include: space, I’d feel warm and fuzzy about that.” to City Hall (2277 Bengal Blvd.), specifically replacing part of the storm drain system along On Aug. 17, the Cottonwood Heights to enhance the building’s badge system and for Alta Hills Drive ($194,250), construction on City Council approved the expenditure of the the building to become more ADA compliant. the waterway along Timberlane Drive and American Recovery Act funds. “We would like to upgrade our buildQuick Silver Way ($173,160), and replacing Out of the over $4 million, $2,002,670 ing badge system to be able to open certain part of the storm drain pipe along Keswick has been received by the city already. The adhigh-traffic doors without the need to touch Road ($856,250). ditional $2,002,670 will be received approxihandles or crash bars, similar to the front “We were resurfacing on Alta Hills Drive mately one year from now. doors,” Jurges said. when we had a sink hole show up,” explained “The funds have to be spent, or in the case An upgrade to the building’s badge sysPublic Works Manager Matt Shipp. “When we of a capital project entered into a contract, by tem would help with security inside the builddug into the storm water system, we found it Dec. 31 of 2024,” Jurges explained. “We hold ing as well, allowing for more controlled achad eroded significantly. This is something we the additional funds in a prepaid account and cess to certain areas. need to address soon.” don’t touch it. It’s unearned funds at this point “If we hired someone (needing ADA While these were the only storm drain in time.” compliance) now, they’d have a very hard projects discussed as of publication, Tingey The Cottonwood Heights City Council time,” Tingey explained. He shared an anecmentioned there are many other projects that will consider a budget adjustment related to dote from a previous city he worked for where could be pursued through this funding. “I’m the American Recovery Act during its council a newly elected official used a wheelchair. “We worried about what else is out there,” he said. meeting on Sept. 21. l had to do significant modifications.” Mayor Peterson asked if they could lower A handful of storm drain projects are el-

September 2021 | Page 19


Gondolas or buses? Sandy City says ‘either one’ for Little Cottonwood Canyon By Justin Adams | justin.a@thecityjournals.com

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or over a year now, the Utah Department of Transportation has been working on coming up with a solution for the traffic problems that plague Little Cottonwood Canyon during the winter months. After studies and rounds of citizen feedback, it has narrowed down to two “preferred alternatives” - a rapid bus transit system or a gondola system. Given that either system will originate at the mouth of Little Cottonwood, and that users will have to travel on Sandy roads to even reach that point, UDOT’s decision will obviously have a big impact on Sandy residents. So which option does the Sandy City Council prefer? Well, both of them. (As long as they’re done right.) A draft letter to UDOT from Mayor Kurt Bradburn reads, “We recognize that there are pros and cons to each of the proposals and depending upon how the selected transportation plan is implemented, either alternative could have significant long-term consequences for Sandy City.” The letter then goes on to lay out Sandy’s main concerns. The most important issue for the city is water quality. With so much of the city’s water coming out of Little Cottonwood Creek, any major construction projects within the

canyon could be potentially dangerous for the city’s drinking water supply. “Regardless of which transportation alternative is selected, every precaution and best management practices must be used to minimize any negative impact to the stream and the watershed, both in the design and construction of the transportation improvements,” reads the letter. Another one of the city’s concerns is a lack of traffic impact studies focused on the east-west corridors within Sandy City. A current study being done by UDOT only considers how people will travel to the new transportation hub from the north driving along Wasatch Boulevard. Of just as much importance (if not more) according to Sandy City, is analyzing the potential impacts and needed improvements to 9400 South. In explaining his position to the City Council during an Aug. 17 meeting, Bradburn said he “fully believes” that both a rapid bus system and a gondola will be implemented eventually. “In theory we can support both, but we have to see the details,” he said. One secondary detail is whether or not the new transportation system will be accompanied by the implementation of a toll for driving

y Council District 3

The two preferred transportation alternatives were chosen because they met two of UDOT’s goals: mobility and reliability. (File photo Joshua Wood/City Journals)

Cottonwood Heigh

up the canyon. “We have to have things that encourage people to change their behavior. We have to have something that gets people out of their cars and into transit,” said Council member Marci Houseman, who represents the city on

the Wasatch Front Regional Council. According to her, the idea of a toll road has been a consensus within all the meetings she’s attended. Some other council members were either not yet sold on the idea or tentatively opposed. l

Informed Passionate Dedicated

Cottonwood Heights City Council District 3 Cottonwood Heights City Council District 3 District 3 Cottonwood Heights CityMY Council COMMITMENTS TO YOU Informed Informed Passionate Passionate Dedicated

Dedicated

• Prioritize public safety including police, fire, and public works • Work collaboratively with the city manager, mayor, and council • Support events that build unity and community identity • Be accessible to constituents 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

www.electmikehanson.com - electmhanson@gmail.com - 801-550-7509 Page 20 | September 2021

Cottonwood Heights City Journal


Area high school principals reflect on lessons learned from COVID-19 By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com

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igh school students aren’t the only ones who research, study and learn from their lessons. This past 18 months, most every high school principal had a crash course in how to operate a school successfully and keep students engaged and learning during a pandemic. Now, even as a new variant of COVID-19 emerges, administrators took time to look at some of the lessons they’ve learned in addition to overall improved technology and incorporating it into teaching and learning. Cottonwood High Assistant Principal Jeremy Brooks saw faculty and staff members bond more through the pandemic. “I feel like staff members have been willing to be more vulnerable with each other, which has helped foster relationships within the school,” he said. “Having a sense of belonging can help us achieve our collective vision of cultivating excellence and fostering a global community.” Former Jordan High Principal Wendy Dau echoed those sentiments. “I think the most important thing is that we really came together as a school community,” she said. “We understood that the expectations for everyone increased, and we tried to help one another out and to be appreciative of the contributions of everyone as we tried to have as normal of a school year as possible. I think we learned to be more flexible, and that the new norm was change.” Administrators also found people willing to help, including parents and those in the public and private sectors. “What was really interesting was how many parents stopped by and recognized all that our teachers were doing,” Dau said. “We had doughnuts delivered. We had treats and oranges and thank you notes dropped in teachers’ boxes. While certainly there were many who were critical of the restrictions, for the most part, our parents were super supportive and actually took the time to write positive emails thanking staff members for their efforts and expressing that they understood that we were in a tough spot as we navigated the new norm.” She also appreciated donations from businesses for masks and hygiene items which were “super helpful.” At Cottonwood, there was a greater help from community businesses and community members in terms of food, clothing, and entertainment (card games, board games, decorations, puzzles and more), Brooks said. “Our food pantry saw an overabundance of food that we were able to give to local families that were in need. We also saw the greatest display of our Christmas Extravaganza that we hold each year right before the holidays. Students were in awe of the things they were able to take home for their family,” he said. Brighton High Principal Tom Sherwood appreciated the help his school received not only from the PTA and seminary next door, but also from the community. “We had plenty of people asking how they can help and be of service,” he said. “I think everyone just wanted to lighten the load.” Murray High School Principal Scott Wihongi was grateful for his community. “We had several donations from Kids Eat that provided extra food for our students throughout the year, as well as goody bags for all faculty and staff,” he said. “We also had a company donate $10,000 in cash to be used for highly impacted families. We had several fam-

CottonwoodHeightsJournal .com

ilies lose a parent to COVID, so the donations were gratefully received.” Even with the community support, there were some lessons principals learned. “We’ve recognized the need to have student engagement specialists to help connect students more readily to school,” Dau said. “We lost a lot of students as a result of online education in that they didn’t engage with their learning for an entire year. We are now putting in place support staff to help with this, which is a resource that should likely continue. We have increased our social and emotional supports for students, which should absolutely be continued.” Sherwood added that there were more students who were credit deficient than before the pandemic because they weren’t engaged as much in school because of remote options. So, this past summer, “we’ve had a bigger effort with student remediation.” Wihongi also saw a need to increase student engagement after these past 18 months. “I think we underestimated the number of students that would not show up to school, even though they could. Many went missing, and many took advantage of the hybrid attendance and curriculum even though they were not doing well academically and should have been in class,” he said, adding that his teachers are focused to re-establishing relationships and student engagement in what he hopes will be a more normal year. Brooks, too, said re-establishing those student relationships is an important part of his school’s attention. “We are in the process of accreditation this year and our focus will be literacy and relationships. In previous years we’ve had elements of each of those in our professional development, but it has been a focal point this year,” he said. Dau said there was a rocky start to the quick adaption to online learning “because information was just coming at us so fast and was changing so quickly.” However, one area her school could have improved was “in communicating effectively and in a timely manner to families where English is not their first language. We got much better at it as the year progressed, but it could still be better.” Some positives, in addition to more personalized learning whether it’s online, in person or a hybrid, was online ticketing for athletic events, performing arts shows and concerts, school dances and more, said Wihongi, as well as Sherwood, who both said those services will continue past the pandemic. “The pandemic forced us to online ticketing, and streaming for events, as well as demonstrated the importance of in-person learning. It was clear that nothing can replace the direct instruction and help of a teacher, counselor or mentor,” Wihongi said, adding that the school will likely continue with sanitary practices like hand sanitizing, mask wearing when sick and possibly contagious with a cold, and air purifying as all classrooms are equipped with a purifier. Corner Canyon Principal Darrell Jensen said his school will continue to have air filtration, hand sanitation stations around the school and directional walking in the hallways. While things were “spinning on a dime” during the pandemic, Jensen said he felt schools rose to the occasion with the test to stay. “I felt the community and the students were very

At Bingham High, like at many schools, signs were posted last year reminding students to social distance and wear a mask. (Julie Slama/ City Journals)

supportive and understanding why we had to do that and that’s still on the table, in fact, if we get to a 2% threshold, then we’ll have to do tests to stay,” he said. Wihongi, too, said that COVID-19 testing, tracing and protocols improved during the year and can be quickly put in place if necessary. Sherwood appreciated not only the emphasis placed on academics, but also athletics. “I hope people recognize how unique Utah was amongst other states. Utah was one of only five states in the country that played all their state championships in every sport last year. There was a lot of effort to pull that off…to make sure the kids got the experience they want and deserve to have,” he said. Dau saw students appreciate the efforts made by teachers and others. “I think our students did a great job of showing their appreciation for all that the school did to try to make the school year as normal as possible. It was such a hard adjustment with no dances and several extracurricular activities canceled, but when they finally got to participate in these, they were so kind and so appreciative because they understood how lucky they were,” she said. Jensen said that overall, everyone has become more grateful. “I learned, ‘don’t take it for granted,’” he said. “Don’t take being at school or being in your workplace or being with your colleagues for granted because when the schools shut down, there was no life in the building. It wasn’t a good feeling; I missed the excitement and livelihood that students and teachers bring to this place. So then, it was just a big empty building. It’s not good.” l

September 2021 | Page 21


Part of Cottoncrest’s team celebrates after biking to the summit of the Olympic Park, a 1,240-foot vertical climb over 2.6 miles on the Yeti’s trail. (Anthony Stowe/Cottoncrest mountain bike team)

Cottoncrest team creates fun memories, rides; expected to be competitive this season By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com

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ottoncrest mountain biking team senior Georgia Barrus isn’t the star of the team or even the next best, she says. “I’m always in the last, and I’ll literally come through the finish line, and everyone (will be) screaming for me,” she said. “It’s the best ever. No one really cares (where) you’re racing; we’re just proud of each other—no matter what. It’s awesome.” In fact, Barrus, whose brother is four years older and raced with the team, remembers times when “I couldn’t make the cut-off line (after) two laps in 45 minutes. For me, that was a struggle to get through some races and I’d be so devastated. When I actually made the two laps (in the time limit), I would let off like the biggest scream of happiness and it’s made people cry. I know Tony (her coach) was telling me, he’d be bawling with my mom on the sideline, and I’ve even made other people cry that I don’t even know.” Her coach, Anthony Stowe, said what’s fun about Barrus, who rides JV B, is “she always finishes with just the biggest smile, the most positive attitude; she just likes the celebration of the group ride and race day. I’ve spent more time crying with her mom, watching her ride, just because it means so much to her. She loves it.” The Cottonwood captain is one of three, along with Hillcrest seniors Matt Hinks and Connor McMillan, representing high school student-athletes from Cottonwood, Hillcrest and AMES on the team. “With these three, it’s a team culture. They’re the athletes; they’re fun to be around. They are the team. Just a week ago, Matt was having some mechanical stuff with his bike. He was able to ride, but he wasn’t

Page 22 | September 2021

able to ride really fast, so he dropped back with group three of five I had. He just chatted with them, and you could see the pace of the kids just skyrocket. They were excited to be riding with one of the varsity kids and he shared some techniques,” he said, adding that McMillan often helps his teammates with their bikes’ mechanical issues. For Barrus, it’s about team bonding and helping her teammates be successful, at whatever their level. “I love doing stuff for the team. Every year, I would just make the team bracelets (with embroidery floss or string threaded through part of the bike chain) and I like talking to everyone, getting everyone involved; it’s something I’ve always loved to do, with or without the team captain (title). It’s so cool to see how (my friends) have grown and how I’ve grown—even one year ago when I wasn’t as confident on the bike. Then, I have my friends that cheer me on, and I just feel so confident,” she said, adding that part of the joy of riding comes from enjoying the scenery whether it’s Park City or Lake Tahoe or even riding across the Golden Gate Bridge, which “was a little scary and windy.” Recently, the team got caught in a rainstorm and after getting off the mountain, they got to the parking lot and started splashing in puddles. “We’re all covered in mud and we’re all wet. It was so much fun,” she said. “It’s one of those things about mountain biking. It doesn’t feel like a sport you’re dreading; you’re excited to go to it.” This year, the girls’ team has helped Free Bikes to Kids repair donated bikes for

kids and took part in some field games as part of GRIT—Girls Riding Together. Barrus also wanted new riders to feel comfortable with racing, so she helped plan a prerace competition within their own team and had parents cheer them on. However, the team also was focused on its first race, scheduled for Aug. 21 at Soldier Hollow. They also are scheduled to race Sept. 4 at Snowbasin, Sept. 18 in Vernal and Oct. 2 at Eagle Mountain. State championships are Oct. 22-23 in St. George. As of press deadlines, fans—“about 10,000,” according to Stowe—may be able to attend races whereas last year, they were unable to because of COVID-19 safety and health guidelines. Utah has more than 6,300 registered middle and high school mountain bike racers; Cottoncrest has a team of 37 racing in the east region that registered 1,450 student-athletes. Cottoncrest team members started practicing in April and continued three times per week throughout the summer, with Saturdays being a longer three-to-four-hour endurance ride. Although not required, Stowe continues to recommend his team follow using hand sanitizer and has masks available so his team can stay healthy to compete. Stowe is looking to Cottonwood/AMES senior Rachel Arlen to be a strong contender in the JV A division as well as his daughter, Hillcrest sophomore Kenna Stowe, who competed and took third in a USA cycling race this past summer in Temecula, California. Sophomore Hiley Campbell should race well in JV B and Anna Hinks will “probably be my fastest freshmen girl this year,” he

said before the first race. The boys’ team is led by Matt Hinks and McMillan. They are the first varsity-level athletes that Stowe has coached. “I’ve known Rachel and Hiley since they were fourth-graders. Georgia Barrus has been riding with me for years and I have a couple of boys who have been riding with me a long time, Matt and Connor. I love everyone on the team, and they have become part of my family,” he said about his team. He also expects good rides from Ziek VanDijk and AJ Call, who are “extremely fast and competitive freshmen,” and sophomore Braxton Little as an “up and comer” in JV A with “his eyes set on varsity.” He said that sophomore Kolby Butler has “really made a big jump, massive improvement” to ride JV A. Cottonwood/AMES junior Jacob Arlen, who was on the podium in a couple races last year “is definitely one to watch.” With the depth and talent of the team, it may be possible the team could reach the podium at state, which “would be really cool to share with them. I think that would be an awesome memory for them.” However, while Stowe doesn’t usually make predictions about the season, he does make one: “If we’re out having fun, and they were coming off with a smile, even if they were coming off with tears and learning lessons about goal setting, learning how to accept failure and building upon that, I know I’m building a stronger athlete and a good contributor to society and we’re sending someone off that is going to be a strong adult.”

Cottonwood Heights City Journal


Brighton football set to excel By Jerry Christensen | j.christensen@mycityjournals.com

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reestone Field at Brighton High School is back under Friday night lights. Eightyfive varsity football players are set to continue the string of winning seasons that thirdyear Coach Justin Hemm has put together. Last year’s football season ended with a single loss in the state quarterfinals and earned the team a top eight finish. Coach Hemm noted, “While we have a young team, I expect the team to grow week by week. We expect to exceed last year’s finish.” The signal caller this year is sophomore quarterback Jack Johnson. In the first game against the 6A Pleasant Grove Vikings, Johnson threw four touchdown passes in a comeback 49-24 win. Hemm was impressed with how the young team handled their first test of the season. “We knew we had a rough draw against a big team, but I loved how our kids responded after a tough start. We overcame the early team errors and came out with energy in the second half and really executed better.” Key to the team’s post-season prospects are Brighton’s two D1 prospects seniors Jake Reese and Lander Barton who set the pace for the young team. Reese has received an offer to play at Utah State next year. Barton has received D1 offers from most of the PAC 12 schools plus Michigan,

REGION GAMES Sept. 3 @ Highland Sept. 10 v. Olympus Sept. 17 v. Skyline Sept. 24 v. East Oct. 1 @ Park City Oct. 13 v. Murray Texas, the University of Mississippi and LSU. Barton added to his highlight reel by reading the Pleasant Grove quarterback and snagging a pick-six interception running it back 95 yards. That single play changed the momentum of the game and propelled the Bengals to the comeback victory. That key play and the dominating win against a 6A team could be the catalyst for a region championship repeat. l

Head coach Justin Hemm addresses the team after its opening win of the season. (Jerry Christensen/City Journals)

Local football players to follow in the NFL By Jerry Christensen | j.christensen@mycityjournals.com

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Kieran Dunn lines up a putt at Old Mill Golf Course. (Jerry Christensen/City Journals)

Brighton golf gears up for fall season

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By Jerry Christensen | j.christensen@mycityjournals.com

righton golf will continue its rivalry with region foes Skyline and Olympus. The 2021 boys golf team is guided by first-year head coach Ron Meyer who takes over the helm from retiring coach Jim Gresh. New to the region mix is Park City High School which fields a formidable golf team. “It is going to be a dog fight to determine which team is going to challenge Skyline for the region championship,” Meyer said. Olympus was 5A state champions in 2018 followed by Skyline

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in 2019 and 2020. Skyline continued on to win the 2021 national title. Meyer, the former assistant coach to the venerable coach Gresh, has strong senior co-captains setting the pace for the team—Anthony May and Kieran Dunn. Dunn, a Brighton three-sport athlete (golf, basketball, tennis) stunned the field in the seasoner opener at Murray Parkway golf course with a four-under-par 68. The Brighton golf team makes its home at Old Mill Golf Course. l

t the time of this writing there are four former Brighton Bengals active in the NFL. Simi Fehoko, a 6-foot-4, 222-pound receiver who played D1 football at Stanford suits up in the blue and white of the Dallas Cowboys. Football analyst Steve Muench scouted Fehoko for the 2021 NFL draft. “Fehoko is a big target with very good timed speed for his size. He tracks the ball well and he makes over-the-shoulder catches. He flashes the ability to make contested catches,” Muench said. Isaiah Kaufusi, a 6-foot-2, 221-pound linebacker earned his opportunity to make it to the NFL this year by signing with the Indianapolis Colts as an undrafted free agent. Kaufusi racked up 83 total tackles, 46 solo tackles, one pass breakup, four sacks, three forced fumbles, one interception and even scored a touchdown his senior year at BYU. Cody Barton, a 6-foot-2, 237-pound linebacker is in his third year with the Seattle Seahawks. He

was a stand-out athlete at the University of Utah and was drafted 88th overall in the 2019 NFL draft. He spent the majority of his rookie season on Seattle's special teams and became a starting linebacker in the 2020 season. Jackson Barton, a 6-foot-7, 302-pound offensive lineman played together with his brother Cody at the University of Utah under coach Kyle Whittingham. He is under contract with the NY Giants since 2020 but owns a Super Bowl ring from his rookie season with the Kansas City Chiefs. Brighton Principal Tom Sherwood noted that “in addition to these NFL athletes showcasing Brighton and our community in the NFL, Brighton alumnus Alex Whittingham is an assistant coach with the Kansas City Chiefs. Brighton is well represented.” The accomplishments of these athletes and their Brighton cohorts are on full display in the Brighton Athletic Hall of Fame at the new Brighton athletic building. l

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UWLP survey shows women in the workforce are struggling

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f there’s one good thing about COVID-19, it might be that the pandemic illuminated the challenges that women face in the workforce, especially with childcare. As schools and daycare facilities closed at the beginning of the pandemic, women bore a disproportionate share of the burden as they tried to keep their heads above water by juggling job responsibilities, homeschooling kids and taking care of housework. Salt Lake County resident Heather Stewart felt the struggle firsthand when her office shut down, schools closed and she was stuck trying to homeschool two elementary school-aged children while keeping up with her full-time job. “It was hard to get done what I needed to for work and be present for my kids,” she said. “I felt stretched in every direction. My daughter got behind in math. I knew it was happening, I could see it happening but I didn’t have the energy to do anything about it. I was so burned out.” Dr. Susan Madsen, Founding Director of the Utah Women & Leadership Project, said she thinks it’s time to start a conversation about supporting women in their roles as business leaders and mothers. “Finally, the pandemic is opening the eyes of some legislators,” Madsen said. “Lt. Governor [Deidre] Henderson is on this and she knows we need to support our families.” More than 3,500 women responded to a survey sent out by the UWLP, asking them to share challenges they’ve faced during the pandemic in regard to caregiving, career advancement, homeschool experiences and burnout. The results showed 16% of women had some type of withdrawal from the workplace, whether it was a lay-off, the company closed, their hours were cut or they were furloughed. For

another 12%, women saw their workload increase by moving from part-time to full-time or by taking on more responsibility. “We had women who just couldn’t do it. They couldn’t watch their toddler and teach their 3-year-old and manage their departments,” Madsen said. “Teachers really took the brunt. They weren’t being appreciated and put in so much more.” Madsen shared an example of a teacher who was sick with COVID but was still teaching online. There was nobody to fill in for her and she couldn’t let her students down. Childcare workers were also heavily impacted by COVID. The ones who responded to the survey expressed frustration at being disrespected and unseen. They don’t want to do it anymore. “In every case, they felt they were trying to take care of essential workers’ kids while worrying about spreading the virus to other children who might take it home to a parent or grandparent,” Madsen said. While national and global reports show the majority of workers were adversely affected by the pandemic, women seemed to be affected disproportionately. When Stewart was asked to participate at an in-person meeting for her job, all the men could be there, but she couldn’t attend without finding childcare. “Why was I the only one who had to stay home with the kids?” she said. “It’s such an entrenched part of how our society operates. My workplace was actually great and very understanding. It’s just how things shake out. But it’s how things always shake out.” The survey found similar results for women trying to balance working from home with teaching children. Mothers did the lion’s share of the work to keep everything together.

A survey conducted by the Utah Women & Leadership Project shows women have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

“It was really the moms that took a beating,” Madsen said. “Only 24% of respondents said they had a supportive spouse or partner. The hard thing about work is it’s societal. You have to change society. We've been socialized from the time we’re born to believe that men should be leaders.” Madsen wants to start the discussion with legislators about improving the workplace for women by enhancing leave policies, creating flexible schedules and helping moms with childcare support. The UWLP will host a free, online fireside chat with Henderson on Friday, Oct. 1 at noon to tackle these topics. The event will be livestreamed to reach as many people as possible. Madsen hopes men will also listen to the conversation. Visit UTWomen.org for more information about this discussion with the lieutenant governor who has secured the reputation for being an advocate for women. “I feel called to do this work,” Madsen said. “It’s not women versus men. What lifts women, lifts men, too. More people are listening but more people need to join the conversation.”l

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Back-to-School Shopping Costs More this Year By Robert Spendlove, Zions Bank Senior Economist

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arents with school-aged children have probably noticed that backto-school shopping is costing more this year. Spending on school supplies is expected to hit an all-time high of $850 for the average family in 2021, according to the National Retail Federation. That’s about $60 more than last year. And families of college students are paying even more, with an average spend of $1,200, up $140 from last year. Of course, inflation is affecting much more than just school supplies. Over the past year, we’ve seen price growth across nearly all spending categories, with higher sticker prices everywhere from the grocery store to the gas pump. This is the result of pent-up demand as well as supply chain delays. Fortunately, it looks like price gains may be moderating. In July, the Consumer Price Index had its smallest month-tomonth increase since February after reaching a 13-year high in June. Still, inflation is well above pre-pandemic levels, with consumer prices increasing 5.4% over the past year. When it comes to school expenses, your pocketbook may feel the sting in a few areas: • Clothing prices have jumped

Page 28 | September 2021

4.2% over the past year, with girls’ apparel up 5% and boys’ apparel up 2.6%. • Replacing outgrown kids’ shoes with new ones will cost 3.6% more than last year, while footwear overall is up 4.6%. • Educational books and supplies have ticked up 2.6% since last year. • Prices on personal computers, including tablets, desktop computers and laptops, are 3.7% higher than last year, due in part to a global chip shortage pushing up prices. • Packing your child’s lunchbox is more expensive than last year, with food prices up 3.4%. • The school carpool has gotten much more expensive, with gas prices jumping 41.8% year over year. How long will price gains continue? That’s the big question economists are debating right now. Some are concerned that these inflationary increases could continue to build because of increased federal spending and low interest rates. Others say these price

increases are temporary and will slow down when the current supply chain disruptions start to recede. The surge in COVID cases tied to the delta variant could also slow price increases as consumers pull back on spending amid concerns about the virus, but no one wants that solution to inflationary pressures. Regardless of whether price increases slow in the future, we won’t see immediate relief on family budgets this back-to-school season. However, Utahns can take heart in the latest jobs report that shows our economy remains among the best in the nation. Beehive State employment increased 4.2% from July 2019 to July 2021, compared to a 2.8% decline nationally, according to Utah’s Department of Workforce Services. Meanwhile, the state’s unemployment rate of 2.6% is near historic lows, compared to 5.4% unemployment nationally. Despite the challenges of the past year and a half, our state’s economy has shown itself to be resilient and continues to perform well. Robert Spendlove is senior economist for Zions Bank, a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A

Cottonwood Heights City Journal


Why didn’t anyone help? By Cassie Goff | c.goff@mycityjournals.com

A

s I was perusing through my social media channels this month, I noticed a few different posts and threads related to the bystander effect. Security camera footage of an ex-boyfriend attempting to kidnap a young woman in July was circulating. The video showed individuals watching but not acting in any way to stop the crime, sparking discussions of surprise and outrage. Many comments attributed this nonaction to the bystander effect. The bystander effect is the theory people are less likely to offer help to a victim when others are present. It’s a social psychology theory with framework, research and scholarship dating back for decades. The most famous example of the bystander effect dates back to March 19, 1964. When Kitty Genovese returned to her apartment building after getting off of work one evening, she was stabbed 14 times. During the murder investigation, police were perplexed as to why no one had called about the crime. Interviews with 38 neighbors revealed they all had the same thought—surely someone had already called to report Genovese’s 30 minutes of pleas. Through these famous and current examples, we can see how the bystander effect can be life-threatening and dangerous. Many workplaces have now implemented Bystander Intervention Trainings in response. These trainings are framed around realizing most of us have a

certain propensity to be a bystander. Sometimes called upstander training, bystander trainings help individuals to “recognize potentially harmful or hurtful interactions and respond in way intended to positively influence the outcome.” Trainings may focus on verbal and nonverbal techniques to de-escalate situations. When I was learning about the bystander effect in my own psychology education, I remember one of my University of Utah professors providing the class with important suggestions. He told us if we ever find ourselves in an emergency situation where someone needs to be calling 911, solicit a specific individual explicitly. Look someone directly in the eye, point to them, and tell them “You call 911!” Any action helping to limit the diffusion of responsibility can negate the bystander effect. I might shift my professor’s suggestions based on actionable behavior to a more cognitive one. Now that you’re aware of the bystander effect, make a conscious effort to not be a bystander. Take initiative in a situation where something needs to be said or done. I often take my own advice here. For example, I was recently driving on a Salt Lake City highway at night. I had passed a handful of cars when I started to descend a hill. I noticed bright flames as soon as they came into view. I looked to my passenger and asked, “Do you think we need to call that

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in?” I caught myself in that moment, didn’t allow my passenger time to answer, and started calling. I could have easily thought to myself the few cars that had passed surely called it in. Being aware of the bystander effect and implementing strategies to help counteract it can help in everyday situations as well. Have you ever had an instance in your workplace where a task didn’t get done because you thought your boss would handle it? And they thought you, or your coworker, were on it? Delegating personal responsibility can ensure all tasks are being completed. And it’s totally fine to do so together. In a meeting, my team and I can delegate

tasks needing to be accomplished that week by preference or schedule. These types of strategies can be helpful in personal relationships and social interactions as well. One of the most useful strategies to negate the bystander effect is to use names. If everyone knows very clearly that Rai is calling your friend to see where they are and Tyler is grabbing drinks, there’s limited room for miscommunication or dropping the ball. Research from: Carpenter, Cherry, Darley, Dimsdale, Fox-Glassman, Hortensius, Kassin, Keltner, Legg, Latane and Over. l

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A bit of everything This column could be a bit divisive. I expect 48% of readers will send me envelopes of cash and loving social media messages. Another 48% will steal my birdbath and mail me dead raccoons. The remaining percentage are too busy stocking their underground bunkers to frivolously read newspapers. Let’s start with COVID-19, shall we? What a &$%@ nightmare. Cases and tempers continue to rise as we’re asked to wear masks and get vaccinated. It seems like a small price to pay if it ends a global pandemic that has killed more than four million people worldwide. Four million. Instead, Utahns are shouting about “rights” and “freedoms” and shooting guns in the air and hugging flags and buying MyPillows and yelling at federal and local leaders like this is some type of sporting event, but instead of winners or losers, people die. I hate wearing a mask, but I do it. I am terrified of shots, but I got the vaccine— twice. There are some things you just do because you love the people around you and want them to be happy and alive. I understand it isn’t possible to “reason” someone into “reason” but here we are. Next up, let’s talk about racism. Remember in “Jane Eyre” when you find out Rochester had his wife locked up on

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the third floor because she was insane? Well, Rochester represents the people who turn a blind eye to our country’s racist history, and his nutty wife is racism. And what happened when she got loose? She burned the damn house down. Just because you don’t want to talk about racism or teach how our country was built on the backs of enslaved people, or admit that systemic racism exists, doesn’t mean it’s not there. The last few years have shown us how it’s beating on the locked door, hoping to run rampant and destructive. (Sorry if I ruined “Jane Eyre” for you but you’ve had almost 175 years to read it. That’s on you.) And finally, let’s throw women some childcare love. Women have been the main childcare providers since Homo sapiens appeared on Earth’s party scene 200,000 years ago. It’s been a long slog. I think we can all agree that women are in the workplace. Correct? Women are working full-time, right? It took 199,910 years for women to step into the spotlight of their own comedy special, thanks to people like Susan B. Anthony and RGB. We can now get a charge card! Vote! Own a home! But we’re still the main caregivers, even if we run a company, own a small business or fly to the moon twice a week.

Maybe it’s time for men to step up with us. Women often worry about taking time off to take kids to dentist appointments, doctor visits, piano lessons, lobotomies, etc. Do men do that? I’m genuinely asking because I’m willing to bet the majority of child Uber-services are performed by moms. If you’ve never been a single mom with a sick 12-year-old and you have to decide between using a vacation day or leaving your child home alone, then don’t tell me there isn’t a childcare problem in America. We’re a smart people. We are innovative and creative. Don’t you think we can use our brains to make society better instead of more divided? Maybe we’re not. Maybe our evolutionary progress ends with screaming and finger pointing. Just don’t mail me a dead raccoon.

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September 2021 | Vol. 17 Iss. 09

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BRIGHTON STUDENTS, ELECTED OFFICIALS CUT RIBBON TO OPEN NEW SCHOOL By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com

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hirty years ago this fall, Quinn Falk was entering his senior year at Brighton High. His older brother, Daniel, graduated from the school in 1990 and had excelled in the autobody program. Quinn was in the aeronautics club and had spent his free time building and launching rockets, some which landed on the school’s circular rooftop. Their parents, Mike and Kris, had supported their sons in many school activities, even enjoying the “great hamburgers,” Mike said, while watching the football games in the stadium; since then, they’ve watched the Bengals play from their home on 2500 East, which sits just above the field. The last three years, as the school was torn down and rebuilt on the same campus, Mike said, “We’ve put up with the dust and noise from the big trucks rumbling by and it took away part of our view.” “We’ll just have to go down there (to the stadium) to watch,” Kris said, adding that, “Brighton was good for both of our kids.” The two were amongst several neighbors, community members and students and faculty who Brighton Principal Tom Sherwood, Canyons Board of Education President Nancy Tingey and others thanked for their patience and support the past few years. “I want to thank you for what you’ve endured,” Tingey told the crowd of about 100 who gathered Aug. 11 at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, outside of the arts and technology center. Many in the crowd were eager to tour the $117-million comprehensive high school, which was made possible with the $283-million bond that was approved by voters in 2017. Tingey, and Canyons Board member Amber Shill represent the Brighton area, and both began their involvement in schools by volunteering in the classrooms, on the PTA and with the school community councils. “It gave me a bird’s eye view of the comings and goings of the school,” Tingey said, adding that the building isn’t just a structure. “The legacy of Brighton is told through its students and the circles are a reminder of that legacy—giving the students of today and tomor Canyons Board of Education member Amber Shill and Board president Nancy Tingey cut the official ribbon to open the new $117-milContinued page 4

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lion Brighton High School. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

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