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September 2017 | Vol. 14 Iss. 09


COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS YOUTH MAKES SERVICE HIS SENIOR TRIP By Shaun Delliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com


sk most Utah high school seniors if they are planning on a senior trip before they head off to college, go on an LDS mission or start a full-time job, and the typical response might be a long camping trip in the mountains, Disneyland or even some exotic beach locale. But not so for recent Brighton High graduate Ryan Seal; he chose to go to genocide-scarred Rwanda to provide services to a clinic and school in a country coming to grips with its past. Gisenyi, Rwanda is a world away from the Willow Creek Country Club where Ryan works and far less affluent than the communities in the Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission, where he will serve for of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) starting in September. Ryan spent this summer working with the Ndengera Foundation, an affiliate ministry of the Church of the Nazarene in Rwanda run by Pastor Simon Pierre. The foundation’s objective is to provide assistance to the orphans and other vulnerable people living in the Rubavu District in northwest Rwanda. “My uncle is a gynecologic oncologist who goes on a medical humanitarian mission every year. He went to Rwanda six years ago and knew he wanted to go back when the opportunity was available. He contacted my mom (Heather Seal, a registered nurse) to see if she could go and be part of the medical team. My mom wanted me to go to have the opportunity of serving and giving back — especially before my mission,” said Ryan. Rwanda was decimated in the 1990s as rival Tutsi and Hutu clans engaged in a civil war. The Hutu-dominated government killed an estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000 Tutsis in just 100 days. Nearly 2,000,000 refugees fled the country. Today Rwanda is recovering relatively peacefully, but the average life expectancy is only 59.7 years. Ryan’s group divided their efforts between medical and humanitarian services. Prior to the group’s departure, they raised money and collected supplies to stock the clinic and school. Many Cottonwood Heights citizens made

Cottonwood Heights residents Ryan and Heather Seal volunteered in Rwanda. (Heather Seal/courtesy)

donations to help support the foundation. “So many people in our neighborhood and community brought over suitcases and supplies for us to take with us on our trip. It was amazing to see all of the donations come in and see people from all over wanting to help the people of Rwanda,” said Ryan. Once he arrived in Rwanda, Ryan was assigned to work with the humanitarian team, while his mother worked in the medical clinic. “My group spent most of our time at the preschool playing games, singing songs, teaching English, teaching dental hygiene and passing out the supplies.” Some of the supplies Ryan distributed were feminine hygiene kits called “Days for Girls,” which included washable sanitary napkin kits and were prepared by local LDS wards. Many factors cause young female Rwandans to drop out of school, including the

Local Postal Customer ECRWSS Scan Here: Interactive online edition with more photos.

high cost and limited availability of feminine hygiene products. Ryan noted, “At first I thought the high school next door to the preschool was an ‘All Boy School’ because I didn’t see any girls, but then I realized that is how high school is everywhere in Africa.” The medical group had nearly 500 women show up for clinical services in just one weekend. The volunteer group taught young Rwandan women how to create “Days for Girls” kits for future use. One of the biggest challenges, however, was the language barrier — very few spoke French, most spoke Kinyarwandan. Ryan had his own health challenges while in Rwanda and needed the medical team to treat him. He recovered and was able to return working at the school where he developed many friendships with the children. When asked what he learned from his

experience, Ryan said, “Those kids had barely anything, yet they were still so happy. It was awesome to see and realize that happiness isn’t found in material goods. We have so much stuff and most of it we really don’t need. Instead of always wanting more, we should be grateful what we have.” Ryan feels his experience has changed him. “This trip has given me a new perspective on life and how to treat others. It’s amazing to realize how recently that (the genocide) took place in Rwanda and how they were able to forgive and move forward with love for one another. It is only because of that love and forgiveness that the people of Rwanda were able to move forward and be united in rebuilding their country once again.” More information on the Ndengera Foundation can be found on online at http:// ndengera.org/. l

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Cottonwood Heights City Journal

It’s a parade, petting zoo and partying at Butlerville Days The Cottonwood-Holladay City Journal is a monthly publication distributed directly to residents via the USPS as well as locations throughout Cottonwood and Holladay. For information about distribution please email circulation@mycityjournals.com or call our offices. Rack locations are also available on our website. For subscriptions please contact: circulation@mycityjournals.com The views and opinions expressed in display advertisements do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions held by Loyal Perch Media or the City Journals. This publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written consent of the owner.

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By Shaun Delliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com

n 1877, Butlerville Days consisted of just the Butlers and the McGies. While legend has it that there were five Butlers and only four McGies as the first settlers, the voting favored the name Butlerville, and hence a celebration, 140 years in the making, to recognize all the current citizens of Cottonwood Heights. While the publication “Utah Place Names” indicates that this is mostly lore, it’s a fact that an estimated 20,000 to 25,000 attended Cottonwood Height’s annual festival this year.

cluding Utah’s famous food trucks. We also added the first-ever Mayor’s Cup Pickleball Tournament.” This year’s parade included the first-ever grand marshal, with that honor going to Don Antczak. According to the BV Days festival announcement, “Don has a proud heritage in our community stemming back to the early 1900s when his parents emigrated from Germany. Don was also part of a group that started the Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center and was a member of the community council that laid the groundwork for the incorporation of the city. He was also a member of the original CH City Council. Since stepping down from the council, Don has served as a member of the Board of Adjustment and on the Historic Committee. He still works as a crossing guard for present-day Bella Vista Elementary students.” A realistic steam locomotive that billowed smoke sat atop the city’s float entry this year. The float was titled “Visions of the Past, Steaming toward the Future.” The float received various accolades from several parades around the state, including the Governor’s Award at the Days of ’47 parade. Ground zero for BV Days events was Butler Middle School. The carnival, pie-eating contests, chalk art and petting zoo were all hosted there. Saturday featured stage entertainment, capped off by the Dance Doctors, which features some of Utah’s first-call musicians and vocalists who perform dance hits from past decades along with current top-40s hits. A fireworks show ended the evening. “Something different about this year was that the attractions were spaced out over the venue and there was a steady flow of participants throughout both days, instead of just attracting larger groups Cottonwood Heights’ float titled “Visions of the Past, Steaming toward the Future” leads the Butlerville Days Parade. for the bigger gatherings, like the parade and fire(Shaun Delliskave/City Journals) works,” said Metcalf. The BV Days committee is already looking at For 12 years, Butlerville Days, BV Days for including a parade, a few game booths, ‘bouncy’ atshort, has reigned as the premier festival in Cotton- tractions, musical entertainment, food vendors and how they can improve upon this year’s event. “BV wood Heights. An eclectic mix of carnival rides, a fireworks show. Over the years the event grew, Days would not be what it is without dozens of volparade and fireworks was held on Friday and Sat- including a 5K run and other attractions like the unteers who dedicate their time and talents throughout, before, during and after the event. The CH Classic and Antique Car Show.” urday, July 21–22. In the last few years, the popularity of the Youth City Council also chips in a lot. Big shout-out Cottonwood Heights City Events Coordinator Ann Eatchel and volunteer chairperson Kris Mon- event has really expanded. “In 2015, we added a to BV Days Chairperson Kris Monty and her husty were the masterminds behind the success of this small carnival. Last year, we expanded the carni- band Jim (who was last year’s chair),” said Metcalf. l year’s festivities. They were supported by a citizens val, added a chalk art contest and more food, incommittee, the Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center, Unified Fire Authority crews, CH City Police and Public Services, Canyons School District and the Cottonwood Heights Historic Committee. This year the festival added more events. According to Dan Metcalf, Cottonwood Heights public relations specialist, “This year we’ve added a craft market, showcasing local artists.” Metcalf recalls the evolution of the annual fest. “Butlerville Days began the same year we incorporated in 2005. It started as a one-evening event

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Cottonwood Heights City Journal

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It’s major-league eating at this year’s Oktoberfest


s the Germans say, “Jetzt geht’s um die Wurst!” Or, as it translates into English, “Now it goes around the sausage,” which is how a native Oktoberfest celebrant expresses “all or nothing.” Snowbird Ski Resort kicked off its annual Oktoberfest with an all-or-nothing Bratwurst Eating Championship. Brats are as much a staple of the annual event as beer and pretzels, but this year Snowbird hosted an officially sanctioned Major League Eating (MLE) event featuring top-ranked MLE competitors from around the United States. “This is the first bratwurst eating contest at Snowbird during Oktoberfest,” said Snowbird manager Brian Brown. Indeed, major-league eating is serious business. MLE was founded in 1997 by brothers George and Richard Shea as the International Federation of Competitive Eating, Inc. (IFOCE). The penultimate event for the IFOCE, the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, held on Independence Day, saw legendary eater Joey “Jaws” Chestnut gulp down 72 hot dogs in 10 minutes with 2.8 million people watching on ESPN. The IFOCE also sanctions La Costeña’s “Feel the Heat” Jalapeño Eating Challenge, the Krystal Square Off World Hamburger Eating Championship and the National Buffalo Wing Festival. The Cottonwood Heights area resort’s bratwurst contest is Utah’s first foray into the world of professional eating. The event took place Saturday, Aug. 19, at the Oktoberfest Halle, and local Utah company Colosimo’s provided the sausages. Fresh off her victory from winning the female division at Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating, as she has done since 2014, Mika Sudo, the No. 1 ranked female eater in the world, competed in the event. Competitors had 10 minutes to eat as many bratwursts as possible. The event attracted other superstar eaters as well, and the victors

By Shaun Delliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com

Chefs prepare hundreds of bratwursts for this year’s Oktoberfest competition. (Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort)

took home a $4,000 cash prize. Cottonwood Heights residents and other aspiring local competitive eaters were also invited to compete against Sudo and the other major-league competitors. If the bratwurst gorge-fest was too overwhelming, Oktoberfest revelers could opt to participate in the 45-year-old festival’s traditional events.

“The best way to experience Oktoberfest is to make a weekend out of it and carefully split your time between hiking, scenic tram rides, eating and drinking over two days. We also offer great weekend lodging packages during Oktoberfest,” said Brown. While Americans typically associate Oktoberfest with beer, it is actually known as a Volksfest (people’s festival) that also includes rides and games. Snowbird’s 10-weekend Oktoberfest celebration, which includes food, beer, merchandise vendors, entertainment and Snowbird activities, ends on Oct. 15. “Oktoberfest continues to grow in attendance each year as the summer activities and mountain bike trails also expand and offer more great reasons to visit Snowbird in the fall,” Brown said. Another event at this year’s Oktoberfest was the Snowbird and Salty Saints Social Club and Facial Hair Society’s fourth annual Beard and Mustache Competition. The competition included different categories for all types of facial hair: Whiskerina, Full Natural Beard, Natural Mustache, and a Kids Craft Beard or Mustache. Proceeds from competitive fees were donated to Wasatch Adaptive Sports, a nonprofit organization that provides adaptive recreation for veterans, adults and children with special needs. “Admission to Oktoberfest is always free,” said Brown. Festival goers, however, will need to purchase food, drinks and passes to activities including the Vertical Drop, Alpine Slide, Mountain Flyer and Aerial Tram. “Men’s Journal Magazine” voted Snowbird’s annual German homage as one of America’s 10 Best Oktoberfests. Snowbird’s annual Oktoberfest attracts over 60,000 visitors every year, and those traveling to and by the resort can expect congestion at the resort. Carpooling is advised for those attending the events. l

Page 6 | September 2017

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Basement apartments could face new city codes By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com

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The Cottonwood Heights City Council and city staff are working on drafting an ordinance for accessory dwelling units along with the Cottonwood Heights Planning Commission. (Kari Sikorski)


n Cottonwood Heights, basement apartments are an attractive housing option for young families on a budget. However, there has not been an ordinance specifically addressing such apartments. As the apartments become more popular, more complaints have been raised to city officials. Cottonwood Heights City Council and staff have begun drafting an ordinance to address some of these issues. On Aug. 8, during the city council meeting, the city council discussed some of their opinions, problems and possible solutions for such an ordinance. “The purpose of this ordinance is to provide more housing options for more people,” said Senior Planner Michael Johnson. “Councilman Mike Peterson felt that we should make the primary purpose of this ordinance based on the fact that so many of these basement apartments exist and need to be regulated,” Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore said, since Peterson was absent for this meeting. As the discussion moved through specific sections of the ordinance, Councilman Scott Bracken brought up an issue. “Where you talk about alternative flexible housing, it gets lost in the ordinance. We should add more clarity that these cannot be used for short-term rentals. This is meant for single family only.” In order to license or permit these basement apartments, owners would need to go through the Planning Commission with a conditional use on an existing building designation. “The Planning Commission needs to be approving the use of the structure, not the structure itself; which will have its own approval process,” Councilman Mike Shelton said. “We need to decide if we can enforce specific codes,” Shelton continued. “You have a lot of

things that met code when they were built but would not meet code today. It would be illegal nonconforming. It totally makes sense for the ones that are being built today, but for the ones that are already existing this doesn’t make sense. Some of them have been there a long time and they fit well within the neighborhood.” In response, Cullimore said the ordinance “will act as a tool in addressing some of those issues.” “We need to recognize that this problem exists. Someone will come in and demand that we enforce the code and they don’t want the basement apartments in the neighborhood. It could create a domino effect and have no path right now that doesn’t require us to shut them all down. We like them because it brings young families into the neighborhood. I want to see more of these in our community and I want it done right.” City Manager John Park said parking is the primary complaint from neighbors. Such parking issues could be classified as a nuisance. Johnson recommended city staff look into what other cities are doing “We are trying to protect the singlefamily housing factor,” Johnson said. Cullimore said they want the ordinance achievable for people so the majority of applications meet requirements while also ensuring safety issues are addressed. He said this will improve the situation in the city creating a path forward. “We want to make 80 to 90 percent of the people attain it. We want to encourage them,” Cullimore said. As of Aug. 8, the Planning Commission had a draft for this ordinance and plan on making revisions. After they are finished, an initial public hearing for a finalized draft will be planned for later in September. l

September 2017 | Page 7

C ottonwood H eightsJournal .com

Mortgage industry recognizes Cottonwood Heights resident By Shaun Delliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com

We’re proud to be part of the neighborhood!

september 1 — november 15

Cottonwood Heights resident Ruth Green was recognized as an “Elite Woman” in the mortgage industry. (PRMI)


ottonwood Heights resident and local mortgage professional Ruth Green was recognized by the industry publication “Mortgage Professional America” (MPA) as one of its Elite Women of 2017. Green was nominated by peers to receive this recognition for her leadership and for overcoming obstacles in a trade the magazine recognizes as “still dominated by men.” Green is senior vice president of operations at Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc. (PRMI). She has spent 23 years in the mortgage industry and has held numerous positions with titles including underwriter, training manager and vice president of business relations. “I love that my current position constantly challenges me to find ways to innovate, improve, solve problems and change,” Green said. The publication cited her humanitarian activities including raising funds for the Utah Food Bank and Feeding America, a hunger relief organization that has a larger network

of food banks. She has also participated in international outreach programs in places like Jamaica to help with the SOS Children’s Village. This year she volunteered at an elementary school in Costa Rica. In addition to her role at PRMI, she also holds positions on the Mortgage Bankers Association Residential Loan Production Committee and the FHA Subcommittee of the Mortgage Bankers Association. This isn’t the first accolade for Green; in 2015 she was recognized with her team for earning the Ellie Mae (a national mortgage processing firm) Hall of Fame Award for Implementation Excellence. “I get to challenge and mentor others to change and grow as well,” says Green. “This recognition couldn’t have been accomplished without the help and support of my team.” MPA is a national publication, part of the Key Media company family of journals that includes coverage of finance, legal, education, property and human resources industries. l

The new Hale Centre Theatre in Sandy opens it’s JEWEL BOX Theatre (a horse-shoe shaped theatre) September 1st with Forever Plaid. Your 4 Favorite Crooners Return! What happens when a 50’s quartet is allowed to come back from heaven to do the show they never got to do on earth? Fabulous music… 16 Tons, Love is a Many Splendored Thing, Three Coins in a Fountain… Experience it all on our new, cozy Jewel Box Stage! By Ross and Raitt. One of your most requested shows of our 32 years!

For tickets call: 801.984.9000 or visit HCT.org

Page 8 | September 2017

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

An easier commute thanks to new traffic technology By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com

Twenty-five intersections in Cottonwood Heights have been equipped with traffic adaptive technology to quickly clear intersections and reduce traffic. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)


ommuters rejoice! Traffic will be a little smoother in Cottonwood Heights thanks to some new technology. Traffic adaptive technology, which is designed to move traffic through intersections more efficiently, has been installed on many of the traffic signals within city boundaries. “It’s a great concept,” said Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore said. The new traffic adaptive technology he said, “reads at the minute and adjusts the timing of the lights so you can empty intersections quickly.”

Several years ago, City Engineer Brad Gilson applied and got approval for a grant aimed toward a traffic adaptive study within the city boundaries. However, the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) wanted to make the area of study more inclusive. They asked Cottonwood Heights City if they would be willing to reallocate that money for a broader project. Cottonwood Heights agreed, but under the requirement that the city would be the first to receive and benefit from the technology recommended from the findings.

After a few years of waiting for recommendations from the traffic study, “a traffic signal optimization approach seems like the best way of handling things,” Gilson said. Currently, the new traffic adaptive technology can be found in 100 intersections statewide, with 25 of those within Cottonwood Heights. The installation of the hardware on those 25 intersections was complete on Aug. 9. On Aug. 23, software implementation began. This began the process of making data adjustments for the system, and will continue through October. “Data will be analyzed in real time and someone will be tweaking it as they assess the data,” Cullimore said. When the traffic adaptive technology sends the tracked information to the data center, intersections that are especially problematic will be flagged so they can be better dealt with. By the end of October, the intersections with this technology will be fully functional. With the traffic adaptive technology intact, the attempt to optimize includes a minimum goal of a 10 percent improvement. That means it should take 10 percent less time to get through the traffic signals. Eventually, every intersection in the city that needs this technology, will have it, Cullimore said and will include incorporation in the canyons. If everything goes according to plan, Purdue University, which is helping work on this project, will publish this in their journal, Cullimore said. “We will have the most modern coordinated traffic system in the state,” Cullimore said. “It’s an exciting thing.” UDOT hopes that “this will replace the central system for the whole state of Utah,” Gilson said. “They are taking this statewide.” Check out the city website for more information. l

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C ottonwood H eightsJournal .com

Police department celebrates new hires, promotions and retirements


he Cottonwood Heights Police Department (CHPD) experienced significant change over the past few months. Three of CHPD’s original officers retired, five new recruits finished the academy and began work, and two officers were promoted. On July 25, Lt. Mark Askerlund celebrated his retirement with the Cottonwood Heights City Council during a weekly city council meeting by thanking the mayor and council for being there. “We want to thank you,” replied Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore. “If we could make you stay longer, we would. (Chief Robby Russo) has relied on you. You should feel tremendous pride with developing this police department.” The councilmembers asked Askerlund what his favorite highlights were from his years with the city. “Getting in on the ground level and helping to build and organize the police department,” Askerlund said without hesitation. “And working with the good citizens of Cottonwood Heights. The citizenry here has been great. They support our police officers.” Two additional officers, Sam Dawson and Ken Eatchel, retired this past month. On Aug. 8, Russo introduced five new officers to the city council members and staff. First and foremost was Brady Askerlund, “nephew of the retired guy,” Russo said. “Brady Askerlund just completed post. In a few short months, he will be a working officer,” Russo said as Brady’s wife of five months pinned his badge to his uniform while his uncle and dad sat in attendance. “I’m excited to start my career here and carry on the legacy. I’ll hopefully live up to Mark’s name,” Brady said. Russo continued with Brady’s introduction, “He graduated from Riverton and started the academy on his 21st birthday. He was in the academy for four months and is looking forward to FTO (field training officer). He met his wife in high school where they dated for four and a half years.” City Manager John Park said they interviewed him two and a half months before getting him into the academy. “I wanted him to start tomorrow, but we

By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com

Brady Askerlund is the second Askerlund to join the police department. His uncle, Lt. Mark Askerlund, just retired. (Dan Metcalf Jr./Cottonwood Heights City) had to wait four months before he turned 21. We are very excited to have him.” The next officer Russo introduced was Devon Blaisdell. “He came from another police department, where he worked for three years. He is 22 years old and grew up in the valley. He has already been here for two and a half months.” “Cottonwood Heights is a great city with lots of support from the citizens,” Blaisdell said. The next officer to be introduced was Kyle Maloney. Russo introduced him as his wife and two girls stood up next to him for the badge pinning. “He was working for UTA but wanted to do real police work,” Russo joked. “He will fit right in, we are really proud of him and his family.” Maloney said he was with UTA for about two years and noted how quiet it was. “I’m happy to be here,” he said. Kenyon Kowa was the next new officer to be introduced. “Kowa was one of the AP&P (adult probation and parole) officers assigned over here,” Russo said. “If he was after you, you better turn yourself in because he is real good at his job.” “I’ve been with corrections for six and a half years,” Kowa said. “I started

there and was there for two years, supervising sex offenders and paroles. Most recently I’ve been on the FBI major crime task force. I grew up in Centerville, went to Weber State and got my degree in criminal justice.” Kowa said the culture and the feeling of family within the CHPD were big selling points for him. Lastly, Adam Jeter was introduced as a new officer for the CHPD. Jeter has many years in police work, including four and a half years at the Sheriff’s office. Before the Sheriff’s office, he worked for West Valley for a year. This was his fifth badge pinning ceremony. After the new officers had been introduced, Russo announced the promotion of JD Tazoi to sergeant. “It’s a difficult thing to do because of all the competition in the department,” Russo said. Tazoi’s family, including his mom, dad, son and daughter were in the audience to support him. “Thank you very much for the opportunity. I love working here. I’ve been here for five years, two of which were on special assignment with the DEA,” Tazoi said. After Tazoi was seated, Cullimore called up a member from the audience named Amber. She approached the podium timidly, not knowing what to expect. “It was my privilege to perform a wedding between Amber and Dan, who is now part of our police department. It’s felt like they have been family for quite a while,” Cullimore said before turning to Amber and handing her something. “Do me a favor, and have your husband come up and pin this on him. He is being promoted to one of our sergeants.” As Dan walked up to meet his wife, Cullimore informed the audience that the new sergeant didn’t know he had passed the test, until just now. His kids attacked him with hugs. “The city has been wonderful to me and my family for five years,” he said. “This is just the next step.” “I honestly do feel like we have the best police department in the state,” Cullimore said. “We are thrilled to have the police force that we do. We are being successful and recruit only the very best.” l

Page 10 | September 2017

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Girls explore woodworking through Brighton High’s summer workshop By Julie Slama | Julie@mycityjournals.com

During a free Brighton High summer woodworking workshop, middle school and high school girls used creativity to design and build projects. (Julie Slama/City Journals)


ore girls may be enrolling in Brighton High’s woodworking and engineering design courses this fall, thanks to a summer workshop targeting middle school and high school girls to get hands-on experience.

This is the third summer Brighton has offered the free one-day class, encouraging girls to learn non-traditional skills, said Paul Otterstrom, who taught the workshop two days this summer. Boys also take the workshop.

“We teach safety, then give an introduction to solving problems, designing and engineering in the wood shop,” he said. “Many start without any experience, but once they begin, they realize ‘I can do this.’” This summer, students made three wood projects — an ice-cream scoop handle, a night light cover and a bracelet. Some students also had time to make a magic wand. “The ice-cream handle is popular — what kid doesn’t like ice cream? All the projects require the students to learn skills, but they’re able to walk away with completed projects the same day they come,” Otterstrom said. With the ice-cream handle project, students design the handle, and then select pieces of leftover wood in the shop and use the lathe to create the shape. “It’s a good lesson in engineering, not only to see what will work best in their grip, but also to make it attractive. They know if they create too many grooves or notches that bacteria can reside there since it’s a kitchen tool,” Otterstrom said. After the handle is perfected, mineral oil is added and it is fit onto an ice-cream scoop. Students also learn the laser for their nightlight cover. “They use the lathe and laser and learn quickly. I see their eyes open and they get excited. For many, making something for the first time is pretty cool,” he said.

Brighton Career and Technical Education Coordinator Denise Hodges hopes this experience opens the doors for more students to enroll in classes. “It opens up a new world to many of the students and makes them feel more comfortable at the school and in the classes,” she said. “They learn what engineering is like, get to have some hands-on woodworking classes and know they can envision and create doing more technical designs.” Hodges said sometimes students watch before trying. “Many of them are nervous at first, but as they try, it just clicks and they have a lot of fun,” she said. Brighton sophomore Savannah Stapleton, who assisted students, has loved being in the woodworking lab. “It’s really fun to see the wood transform, making some really cool projects,” she said. “I’ve made all three projects, but in Woodworking I, I made a nightstand out of knotty alder wood using the same skills. It’s creating and designing and fun.” This is the third summer Brighton has offered the program. Otterstrom said it first began with a $6,000 grant from the Utah State Office of Education to target girls to encourage enrollment in non-traditional courses. For the past two summers, Canyons School District has continued to fund the workshop. This year, the workshop was so popular students were put on a waiting list. l

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September 2017 | Page 11

C ottonwood H eightsJournal .com

Brighton High graduate awarded foundation college scholarship By Julie Slama | Julie@mycityjournals.com


his fall, Brighton High graduate Cassandra Hatcher may be studying business at Salt Lake Community College, thanks to the help of the Canyons Education Foundation. Cassandra, who wants to become an entrepreneur, received the Canyons Education Foundation’s $1,000 Bright Star scholarship. “I want to create my own business, maybe a healthy fast food place, as well as either be a yoga instructor or a physical therapist,” she said. Cassandra was one of six students who was awarded a scholarship, which was based on their abilities to overcome difficulties in their lives, said Foundation Officer Laura Barlow. “We awarded the scholarships to students who we see a difference in their life, whether it’s improving their grades, or overcoming a trial in their lives,” Barlow said. “Many students have a need and through the scholarship, we hope we’re able to help them succeed in their future.” This is the second year Canyons Education Foundation has awarded scholarships. Cassandra said while working with a school counselor, she learned about the scholarship, and later, that she won it. “I was really excited and super shocked,” she said. “I knew I had improved my grades and stepped up my game, but I didn’t know I’d get a special award for that.” Cassandra said while in high school, she started hanging with the wrong group of friends. “I was involved in the wrong crowd and learned how I allowed them to influence me to skip school,

Brighton High graduate Cassandra Hatcher joins other Canyons graduates who received the Bright Star scholarship from the Canyons Education Foundation. (Canyons School District)

do crazy things and be a follower. Then, one day, a friend pulled me away and helped me create a better lifestyle. I went from a D student to an honor roll student,” she said.

Cassandra said that although her parents tried to make her understand her choices, she didn’t listen to them. Getting back on track came after she moved out of the house and was living on her own with her

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friend. “I realized it was tough going to school, being a nanny, buying my own groceries and car insurance. It was tough, but I learned it. Before I hung out with the wrong crowd, I used to run cross country, but then I held back from things I loved doing. I’m back running now, but I couldn’t compete last year because of my grades. That, too, was a wake-up call,” she said. Through her high school career, Cassandra credits government and history teacher Stephanie Isley for helping her get through her problems. “She’s the best teacher ever. She’s helped so many kids graduate who have had problems like I have. She works with us, even on her own time. When she notices I’m slipping on turning in an assignment or missing school, she’s upset and keeps me motivated and on track. She’s one I have to thank for helping me graduate so I can become what I want to,” she said. At her school’s senior awards assembly, the scholarship information was presented to her in front of her peers. She also was awarded a large cardboard check at the Canyons Education Foundation Spring Gala. At the gala, other Bright Star winners were recognized — Jennifer Pomeroy, from Alta High; Hailee Thorn, from Corner Canyon High; Danielle Coccimiglio, from Hillcrest High; and Ismael Zarate-Guillen, from Jordan High. Alta High’s Vinnie Vala’au received the Rising Star scholarship. l


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Page 12 | September 2017

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Ridgecrest 50th celebration set for Sept. 8 By Julie Slama | Julie@mycityjournals.com

967. It was the year of the world’s first heart transplant, the first ATM and 475,000 American troops were serving in Vietnam despite peace rallies multiplying as the number of protesters against the war increased. Gas was 33 cents per gallon, movie tickets cost $1.25 and the Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the first Super Bowl. The Beatles topped the charts three times, with the Monkees and the Supremes each hitting it twice that year. Flowing skirts, bold stripes, bright flowers, velvet bell-bottoms, calf-high boots and afros were the fashion. It also was the year Ridgecrest Elementary opened its doors to Cottonwood Heights elementary children, welcoming them to a brand new school. Fifty years later, current and former students, staff and faculty and their families are invited back to the school to help celebrate its birthday. “We want to have all our kids, our former principals and teachers, and our community come celebrate with us,” Principal Julie Winfree said. The celebration begins at 5:30 p.m., Sept. 8 at Ridgecrest Elementary, 1800 East 7200 South. At 7 p.m., current and former students are invited to gather to sing the school song. “We’ve had people in the community ask if we’ll be singing it because they still know it,” said Winfree, who has been principal at the school for the past three years. She also is hoping to have a drone fly overhead to take photos of the celebration, including having

people form the number 50 on the school field. Also at the celebration will be the unveiling of the new school logo. Since February, Canyons School District graphic artist Jeff Olson has been designing it with the input of the school administration, School Community Council and PTA. “We’ll have food trucks and birthday cake and some giveaways that will have the new logo, plus the PTA will be selling shirts with the new logo,” she said. The T-shirts are $10. Some current Brighton students who attended Ridgecrest are overseeing children’s games as part of the celebration. Alumni and community members can tour the school with student leaders, including seeing the remodeled front entryway that was completed last summer. The new vestibule doors serve as a secure entrance and are Americans with Disabilities Act compliant. “We will have table displays and memory books so former students can see pictures from through the years at the school. We’d love to hear some of their stories of when they attended school here,” Winfree said. Ridgecrest, the home of the Tigers, serves 650 students and is a Chinese dual-immersion school. For a number of years, the school also housed advanced students in the accelerated learning program. l

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September 2017 | Page 13

C ottonwood H eightsJournal .com

Pickleball engages people of all ages at Butlerville Days’ second annual tournament


idden amongst the carnival-like setup of rides, food trucks and booths at Cottonwood Heights’ Butlerville Days was another attraction: a pickleball tournament. Pickleball is a fast-growing sport in the Beehive State. Though the game has been around since the mid-1960s, Nick Galanis — a pickleball instructor and competitive pickleball athlete — said it’s only recently begun to pick up popularity. “Let’s call it a relatively new sport that’s taken off in the Salt Lake County,” Galanis said. Galanis has been playing competitively for the past four years. The mixed-doubles tournament allows teams of men and women to play against each other. Expertise levels varied from only a few months experience to a several years. The tournament began with the 2/5 division, beginners who had been playing the sport for only a few months and were still developing shots and technique, and moved on to the 5/0 division, people Galanis said are technically considered professional players at the top of their game. Since pickleball is not as aggressive a sport as its cousins tennis or racquetball, it is not so physically demanding, Galanis said the game attracts people of all ages — from the very young to the very old. “We have everything from juniors — 15 years old — all the way up to people that are in their 70s playing,” Galanis said. The second annual tournament has grown from

By Jessica Parcell | j.parcell@mycityjournals.com 28 teams to this year’s 45 teams, a growth rate that Galanis says is phenomenal. Cottonwood Heights Mayor Kelvyn H. Cullimore said they selected pickleball as a sport to host because they wanted to be different, and there’s been an increase in demand for the sport since they built the pickleball courts around the city’s recreation center a couple of years ago. “Since we built these pickleball courts they have just been in constant use,” Cullimore said. “We recognize that there is a real interest in this particular sport in our community so we wanted to foster that.” He said they are hoping to be able to build at least double the number of courts they have right now, because the demand is so great. Cullimore said he does not play himself, though those in the sport have been trying to get him to learn how to play. Cullimore also said that since the pickleball courts have been built, the response from the community has been more from those of “mature years” than those of “younger years,” but with such a rapid growth in popularity, they have seen more youth and young adults involve themselves in the sport. This year the tournament consisted of more people in their 20s and 30s than before. “The nice thing about pickleball is you can do it even when you’re my age,” Cullimore said with a chuckle. l

Beginner players start their first tournament match. This year was Butlerville Days’ second annual tournament. (Jessica Parcell/City Journals)

Page 14 | September 2017

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

People-oriented centers could help manage Utah’s population growth By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com

Eleven critical issues have been pinpointed for needed solutions with the proposed doubled population in Utah by 2050. (Envision Utah)


nvision Utah is a public and private partnership dedicated to a better future for the state. A team from the partnership, including Lead Planners Ryan Beck and Brian Heart, are visiting different city and state organizations to present solutions to the potential problems stemming from the proposed growth in Utah over the next 30 years. On July 18, they spoke to the Cottonwood Heights City Council. Envision Utah began in January 1997 with the purpose of harnessing growth for the best possible outcomes. Currently, Scott Anderson resides as president with Spencer F. Eccles and Gary R. Herbert sitting as co-chairs. Thousands of Utah residents along with just under 150 members on the board of directors and executive committee have voiced their opinions on the 11 most pressing issues for Utah’s growth: agriculture, air quality, disaster resilience, education, energy, housing and cost of living, jobs and economy, public lands, recreation, transportation and communities, and water. “We recently surpassed 3 million people in Utah. By 2050, the population will double,” Heart said. “We are running out of land.” In order to keep infrastructure costs low, emergency response times quick, and properly manage other impacts, Envision Utah has suggested a focus on centers. Currently, most cities are designed with automobiles in mind with disconnected streets and separate uses. However, centers are designed with people in mind. “Centers are promising for the proposed population growth within Salt Lake County instead of intersections or other sorts of developments,” Beck said. “They are based on the ideas of recreating an urban environment with large population centers.” Centers work on a grid network with connecting streets, instead of one main arterial road. They are zoned for mixed uses including commercial, office and housing. They also make walking to destinations more accessible because, “you don’t have a parking lot between you and where you are going,” Heart said. Historic examples of centers include Bingham, Park City,

City Creek, Sugar House and the Ninth and Ninth neighborhood in Salt Lake City. Some more recent examples of centers include Daybreak and Riverwoods in Provo. “The great thing about centers is that they can occur on lots of different scales,” Heart said. “They can also have different types of housing, to match the character of the area. “ As the population grows in Utah, apartment rent prices increase as well. The average rent price currently in the Salt Lake area is $1,700 per month. The supply for housing is pretty low, “some houses sell within two hours of being on the market,” Heart said. “Developers can build good apartments and see them rented before the building is even finished.” In a survey done by Envision Utah, 80 percent of people support different types of housing that aren’t just large lots. They are supportive, in general, of a new trend. Multi-family units are more popular. “Centers give people more options so it’s less congested overall,” Beck said. Centers provide public spaces and walkable areas, with community services. Automobile parking becomes more concentrated, instead of being spread out, with the use of underground parking and parking structures. They also attempt to facilitate different modes of transportation, brick and mortar stores instead of online shopping, and grid patterns for accessible streets. “You can control traffic speeds and behavior by the way you design the street,” Heart said. Cottonwood Heights is built out, for the most part. However, “Fort Union has the right character for centers and higher density housing,” Heart said. “The Wasatch Front should be an area of centers,” Beck recommended. “City Hall could even be a center, just on a different level.” To learn more about Envision Utah, visit http://envisionutah. net/ or their Facebook page at EnvisionUtah. l

September 2017 | Page 15

C ottonwood H eightsJournal .com

New region alignment, same expectations for Brighton volleyball


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By Josh McFadden | josh@mycityjournals.com

The Brighton volleyball team is focused on winning another region title, this time in Region 7. (Photo by Adam Fernandez)


s it seems to happen every few years, the Utah High School Activities Association has shaken things up in region organizations across the state. The changes have affected Brighton High School somewhat, but the stakes remain high for the Bengals volleyball team. And why shouldn’t they? Brighton has been one of the state’s most successful programs the past couple of years. The Bengals have shared the last two Region 3 titles with Bingham. Last season, Brighton went 29-3 overall (capturing fifth place in state) and 11-1 in region play, losing only to Bingham. This season, with the creation of Class 6A, Brighton remains in 5A and moves to Region 7, where it will compete with Alta, Corner Canyon, Cottonwood, Jordan and Timpview. There are some familiar faces in the region, such as Alta and Jordan, and

some teams the Bengals have never faced in region action, such as Timpview. “We have a brand-new region,” said Head Coach Adam Fernandez. “It’ll be exciting to face some new teams.” One noteworthy difference in the region realignment is that Brighton won’t have to worry about nemesis Bingham. Fernandez, though, knows the new competition will be no slouches. With all the success Brighton had a year ago, he has high hopes this season. “We want to compete for the state championship,” he said. “We’d love to win region.” Attaining either of those goals won’t be easy. Brighton must find a way to replace a departed senior sensation from last year’s squad in Dani Barton. The team leader and 2016 Ms. Volleyball (as awarded by the Deseret News) is now playing for the University of Utah and leaves a big hole to fill on the

team. However, Fernandez isn’t without options. Senior middle blocker Corrine Larsen, who has committed to sign with Utah State University, was an honorable mention All-State performer a year ago and will be counted on heavily this season to keep the Bengals’ momentum going. Setter Anna Gloeckner and Cate Monson will be other varsity squad members to keep an eye on this season. The Bengals will have to overcome some inexperience if they hope to win the region crown. Fernandez said he has 10 players who haven’t seen varsity action before; however, he also said a couple of freshmen from last year’s team are returning as sophomores this season poised to make an even bigger contribution. But what it really comes down to, Fernandez said, is the mental aspect of the game. “The biggest thing when

dealing with high school athletes is attitude,” he said. “Kids need to be coachable. If they come in overly confident, it’s going to be a problem. Ninety percent of the battle is the mindset.” Fernandez is confident, however, that his players have the will to win and have the proper demeanor to not let up this season, despite losing Barton. “They’re coming back with confidence,” he said. “Consistency as a coach is key, and the girls believe they can do it.” The Bengal players get along with one another on and off the court. Team building has been instrumental in developing trust and rapport. Fernandez said even the most talented teams in the world will struggle if the players don’t learn to play together and buy in to the team concept. Brighton opened its 2017 season Aug. 15 at Box Elder. l

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Page 16 | September 2017

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Brighton cross country already off and running By Josh McFadden | josh@mycityjournals.com

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The Brighton cross-country team, led by new head coach Angie Welder, is ready to make a run for state accolades. (Angie Welder/Brighton cross country)


n a sport where you’re constantly moving, it shouldn’t be a surprise that preparation for the cross-country season rarely takes much of a break. First-year Brighton crosscountry coach Angie Welder has hit the ground running as well, taking the helm of a program that she said already has many pieces in place for success. The Bengals are just getting their regular season underway, but the squad spent the summer running four days a week. Some team members even ran on their own outside of practice time. “Building that summer base is critical to starting off the fall season strong and healthy,” Welder said. “We consistently had 30 to 40 kids show up every single day in the summer to run. That tells you a lot about this team’s dedication. Now that fall is getting underway, these kids are anxious to step up their training, refine their skills and log more miles. They’re ready to race. All the miles they banked this summer will help

them start and finish the meets feeling strong and confident.” Welder took the job as cross-country coach unsure of what lay in store. It didn’t take her long to realize it wouldn’t be a full-scale rebuilding job from scratch. “I very quickly realized that we have an excellent group of returning athletes,” she said. “Specifically, our group of senior girls have displayed not only excellent leadership skills but outstanding work ethic, natural athleticism and determination.” Morgan Mehrley is the team’s captain. Welder is impressed with her initiative to lead by example, even by the little things such as getting people warmed up. She also has great speed, which, naturally, comes in handy in the sport. The rest of the boys and girls teams consist of a blend of experienced returners and some promising newcomers. “We have some brandnew junior and senior varsity athletes participating this year that bring outstanding ability

and enthusiasm to the team,” Welder said. “However, our varsity squad isn’t limited to seniors and juniors. We have some freshmen and sophomores who are more than capable of running varsity this year. They work hard and make a huge contribution to this team. It will be exciting to watch them grow and progress.” This combination excites Welder, not just because it will go a long way in helping the team be competitive this season, but it bodes well for the future, as well. “We have a lot of diversity in the number of boys and girls represented as well as upperand under-classmen,” she said. “We have a large group of talented incoming freshmen that will help Brighton cross country remain competitive in upcoming years.” As she begins her tenure as Brighton’s coach, Welder is focusing on basics such as endurance, speed and form. She also acknowledges the cerebral side of the sport such as focus and mental toughness.

Welder also has a unique approach to coaching. She doesn’t necessarily get caught up in wins and losses; she is concerned about effort and improvement. “While it would be great to participate in the state finals, there is much more that defines a successful season,” she said. “To me, a successful season is one in which the runners have put in the day-to-day work, got out of their comfort zone, supported each other and have improved with every meet. In addition, distance running requires just as much mental training as physical training. It’s a sport about patience. Breaking through a plateau and developing the mental toughness required to perform to the best of your ability takes a lot of practice.” Still, the first-year coach sees no reason why her squad can’t qualify as a team for the state meet. “I cannot wait to watch every athlete give it their all and see how the season unfolds,” she said. l

September 2017 | Page 17

C ottonwood H eightsJournal .com

Canyon View principal receives top PTA award By Julie Slama | Julie@mycityjournals.com


t the end of an assembly announcing the school’s teacher of the year, Canyon View PTA President Rayna Drago said she had one more thing after the principal finished up. Canyon View Principal BJ Weller didn’t think a thing about it. During his two years at Canyon View, the PTA has been an active group of parent volunteers. Last school year, they kicked off the year by raising $24,000 with their fun run fundraiser that Weller not only participated in, but also provided the incentive of sleeping on the roof if they reached their $20,000 goal. So he stepped back and handed the microphone to Drago, figuring it was an announcement about an upcoming PTA activity. Weller then went over to Lisa Joko, the teacher who was honored as Teacher of the Year, and took a selfie as Drago announced there was one more award to be given. While Drago was talking, Weller noticed his family walking toward the front of the assembly, rolling out a banner that was delivered to the school the evening before as Weller was leaving the school. “I accepted the banner, but never even looked at it,” he said. “I just set it in the office on my way out.” The banner announced Weller was named the Utah PTA Administrator of the year. “I was completely surprised,” Weller said afterward. “I didn’t know anything about it until the assembly. It was super touching.” At the ceremony, he told the students and teachers, “I couldn’t do this without all of you, my family, without great people.” Drago said in her nomination letter that Weller is a model principal. “This man exemplifies every aspect of the award — every one,” she said. “His love for his job, his staff and students is beyond measure. Every single day he has a smile

on his face and is just a joy to be around.” She said she wasn’t sure of her expectations of Weller since he was new to the school two years ago. “Though we were both new to our positions, Mr. Weller took his job and just ran away with it. He would always be open to meet with me and talk to me about what the PTA was doing, what he could do to help and always followed through with what I needed immediately,” she said. Drago said he always communicated to parents and the community through weekly emails, phone calls, updating the marquee sign and just being available. “He always has an open door for parents, students and teachers no matter how busy he may be. He is always excited to see parents helping out in the school and wants more of it,” she said. Weller interacted with the students and families before and after school, in the lunchroom, classrooms and playground. “He has taken the time to get to know each and every student’s name and learns about each one and who they are, where they came from and any issues they may have,” Drago said. “He is truly concerned for every student and wants to make their time at Canyon View successful and productive yet as fun as can be. He adores his students and cares deeply for each and every one of them. He has brought a sense of family to our school that I did not see when I first came here almost three years ago.” She said he makes everyone feel welcome and valued at the school. “He takes into account everyone’s opinion, which shows such respect he has towards others. Everyone feels so welcome

Beloved Canyon View Principal BJ Weller, joined by his family, celebrates as he received the PTA State Outstanding Administrator Award. (BJ Weller/Canyon View Elementary School)

that they are not afraid to express an opinion…they know he will listen to what they have to say with no judgment,” Drago said. She added that Weller does not punish those who have acted poorly, but instead tries to help them succeed and find ways to turn their behavior around in a positive way. At the same time, Weller isn’t afraid to let his guard down, Drago said. “Being the fun, awesome guy that he is, he makes all our events that much better. The kids love when he is around and he loves to be silly with the students. He wears goofy hats, comes to school on a hover board and has funny costumes he will wear — so silly but we love it,” she said. Drago decided to return as PTA president because of the cooperation and support she has received from Weller. “One of the reasons I decided to do two

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years as PTA president was because I was going to get to work with Mr. Weller again. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity again,” she said. However, Weller received an appointment for the Canyons School District’s new position, director of responsive services, and announced at the assembly that he wouldn’t return to Canyon View this fall. “It will bring in my background in social and emotional support work with the team of school counselors, social workers and psychologists to make sure everyone feels emotionally and socially safe,” Weller said, adding that the team will provide training for teachers and administrators. “I’ve loved every minute of being a principal. I love the kids, the teachers, the parents. We’ve been like a family.” l

Page 18 | September 2017

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

‘Lasing’ aircraft harmful and punishable By Mariden Williams | mariden.w@mycityjournals.com

Shining lasers at aircraft is punishable by a $25,000 fine and up to five years in federal prison. (Robert Williams/ courtesy)

On the night of July 11, a National Guard helicopter circled Herriman for about 15 minutes, much to the annoyance of city residents. Soon messages appeared in neighborhood Facebook groups: “What’s up with the hovering helicopter?” More concerning than these initial complaints were the replies that followed, some offering such sage advice as, “Next time, take your laser pen out and shine it at them. They stop circling when you do that.” “No. Don’t do that,” said Chief Warrant Officer Robert Williams in an interview. He was one of the pilots of the helicopter in question. “That would be breaking federal law, and breaking federal law is bad.” “Lasing” an aircraft, as the practice is known, is a felony punishable by fines of up to $25,000 and up to five years federal prison time. The FBI even offers a $10,000 bounty in exchange for reporting incidents. However, most people aren’t even aware that it’s a crime, which means that many end up facing harsh punishment for something that they perceived as a harmless prank. “This is actually a serious crime,” said Dave Teggins, the general aviation manager at the Salt Lake City Department of Airports. “I think people don’t realize that as the beam travels, it widens. So, what you’re seeing right here as a little pinprick could illuminate a whole window.” This can be very dangerous for the pilot. “If it’s dark, and your eyes are dark-adjusted, and all of a sudden, your window turns green and lights up, it causes disorientation, and the afterimages left behind can make it difficult to land safely,” Teggins said. Lasing is not only illegal and dangerous, but it is also terrible at making helicopters go away. In fact, Williams and his copilot wouldn’t have circled Herriman at all had somebody not lased them when they were returning home from a training exercise. “I was hoping that it was just an inadvertent thing and that we could just forget about it and go home,” said Williams. “But then a few seconds later they did it again. And again. And

they wouldn’t quit doing it. So, we said, ‘OK, we’re going to come find this guy.’” Williams and his copilot circled the area for around 15 minutes, remaining at least a mile away, and used the helicopter’s infrared camera to identify the source of the laser. “We were able to video the guy in his house, identify the shape of the yard,” he said. “Then we went to Google street maps, and there was their address, painted on the curb.” The perpetrator turned out to be a teenager. “We specifically requested that the cops not get the FBI involved,” Williams said. “I don’t want any kids going to jail or getting felony charges on their record. When the cop showed up at the door and explained to the dad what was going on, the dad broke the kid’s laser there on the spot.” In 2009, one of Williams’ coworkers did report a lasing incident to the FBI. The perpetrator, a 30-year-old Bluffdale man, had been outside shining a laser pointer for his cats when, on a whim, he decided to turn the laser toward a passing helicopter. He hadn’t realized that the laser was bright enough to hinder the pilot, but even so, he faced up to five years in prison. Tragically, he committed suicide shortly before he could be sentenced. Since that sobering incident, no Utah National Guard pilots have reported lasing incidents to the FBI—but not for lack of occurrences. “My unit alone has had two incidents in the past three months,” said Williams. “It’s way more prevalent than people think,” said Teggins. Over the past two years, Salt Lake International had 239 reports of aircraft illuminated on approach or takeoff, roughly one every three to four days according to Teggins. And that’s just from one airport. “The problem with it is, I don’t think any of them are really nefarious; they’re usually people of the younger persuasion out trying to have fun,” said Teggins. “Parents who buy these laser pointers for their kids have no idea how much trouble they can get in. There are kids on probation that are now felons because they’ve done this. It is serious business.” l

September 2017 | Page 19

C ottonwood H eightsJournal .com

Local high school students give smiles, goals while playing for RSL’s unified team By Julie Slama | Julie@mycityjournals.com


ain poured soon after Real Salt Lake’s (RSL) unified soccer team landed in Kansas City — and it didn’t stop. RSL’s unified team, which teams up area special education and regular education students in matches, was expected to take the field April 29 after the RSL team played Sporting Kansas City. However, fear of ruining the field spread, so their time on the field got changed to walking out, uniforms drenched, and waving to the fans as they were introduced. “It was really awesome to be on the field, looking at the crowd and exchanging our team scarves,” said RSL player Kyle “Pickles” Kareem, who also plays for Jordan High’s freshman-sophomore team. With the game being rescheduled for Real Salt Lake (RSL) unified soccer team and Sporting Kansas City’s unified team forged a friendship when they took the indoors the next morning, it didn’t deter field together. Sporting Kansas City travels to RSL’s field in October. (Maison Anderson/RSL Unified) Pickles. Even when the team was split in half so they could play two games at the same time, Pickles remained focused. that she had coached Special Olympics in Ogden for the past 18 years and “It was a really fun game,” Pickles said, who got his first hat trick — coached the Special Olympics USA team in 2014. “This team melts my three goals — in the same game. “I was able to anticipate what they were heart. It’s such an amazing team.” doing after the second goal.” Iacobazzi, who credits special education teacher JoAnn Plant for Pickles and his team ended up winning, but that wasn’t the point, inspiring him, has helped with Hillcrest’s unified team along with Anhe said. derson and several other students who have played and cheered on their “It’s about what you do when you play and if you have fun. We love classmates. to go out to play for the sport of it and have that experience to go against However, Iacobazzi said when his counselor first suggested he beother players,” he said. come a peer tutor at school, he was uncertain. His dad and goalkeeper coach, Bryan Kareem, said that is his son’s “I was kind of scared, but I really fell in love with all the kids,” he mentality. said. “They have the same things and want the same goals, but we tend “He doesn’t have an agenda or an ego,” he said. “He loves to play to prejudge them that they’re not smart or strong and I’ve learned how and he cherishes the opportunity to play with other kids and to have fun wrong that attitude is. I have learned more from them than they have while playing with his teammates. He loves this team and knows he’s learned from me. They treat everyone with love and kindness and we never alone on this team.” need to learn that.” RLS unified player Maison Anderson, who is a sophomore at HillIacobazzi, who is a sprinter for Hillcrest’s track team and will be crest High School, agrees. He said another highlight was just being at the the school’s student body president in the fall, said that last year the RSL Major League Soccer game with the Sporting Kansas City unified team. team, which included Hillcrest’s Ivan Yin, played Colorado. The team “We sat together and not only was it fun to get to know one anoth- also traveled to the MLS All-Star game in San Jose. er, but to cheer for the players, not just the teams,” he said. “When we This fall, RSL unified team played Hillcrest for the Husky Cup and met up, we knew it was about selflessness and becoming friends unified will play other local unified teams preparing for the October 22 rematch through sports. It gives us more satisfaction to help one another. This against the Sporting Kansas City unified team. Their games will include changes our perspective on life when we’re involved on a personal level.” local teams — Jordan, Alta and Brighton high schools have unified teams A handful of local high school students participate on the co-ed in Canyons School District — as well as others throughout the state. RSL unified team, which is comprised of 16-year-olds to 25-year-olds Throughout the season, RSL players and staff are known to give the throughout the state. Half of the roster is regular education students who unified team high-fives and have Leo the lion mascot cheer for the team. partner with student-players who have intellectual disabilities. However, Kyle Beckerman gave the players a pep talk before a game. Before the Coach Jenna Holland said that isn’t emphasized. season began, they held a “signing day,” where the unified team toured “We’re a team, each player helping another to improve, and we’re the locker room, got jerseys and then joined the team at the America First there for the love of the sport,” she said. “It’s amazing to see the friend- Field in Sandy for a team photo. ships develop between our players and now between the two teams from Anderson, who has played club and high school soccer, said his first two states. That’s the beauty of the unified team. We don’t single out one experience with the RSL unified team has been different than others. player from another.” “Before our game against Sporting Kansas City, we ate together and Holland said the unified team originated from an idea of Hillcrest we went to a Kansas City Royals game. It wasn’t in groups, but individHigh School junior Boston Iacobazzi, who ironically did not grow up ually, and we talked about sports and having fun,” he said. “It’s not just playing soccer and got his first-ever goal in the Kansas City game. about competition; it’s about becoming friends and being there for one “Boston went to the RSL Foundation with his idea last year and a another.” l few months later, they were asking me to coach,” Holland said, adding


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Page 20 | September 2017

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Is tackle football safe? By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com


rofessional, college, high school and youth football players have strapped on their pads and laced up their cleats this fall. The health of these players, as well as the risks they take, are again hot topics among fans and team administrators. “We (parents and coaches) really need to educate ourselves. Football gets a black eye for things, we can do better at helping ourselves recognize dangers and learn to react appropriately. I wonder if the guys that get hurt are wearing a mouthpiece all of the time? Does their helmet fit correctly? This training is something I pride myself on. We have coaches that are aware and watching,” Herriman head coach and acting Utah Football Coaches Association President Dustin Pearce said. Risk Injuries in football are frequent. Knees, ankles and shoulder joints are often times the most commonly affected areas. Today brain injuries and concussions are making football executives wonder if the game is safe for its players. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, known as CTE, was found in 99 percent of deceased NFL players brains donated for scientific research, according to a study published July 25 in the medical journal JAMA. The disease affects the brain in ways doctors still do not understand. In 2016, the NFL publicly acknowledged for the first time a connection between football and CTE. Concussions and head injuries being the most likely culprits. The disease can be found in individuals who have been exposed to repeated head trauma. It can only be formally diagnosed with an autopsy, but carriers of the disease have shown symptoms of memory loss, confusion, aggression, depression, anxiety and sometimes suicidal behavior. “I think we have averaged 10 concussions a year, but it seems to be on the decline,” West Jordan High School head trainer Sarah Bradley said. “Even mild concussions should be treated the same. They (the injured player) need to go 24 hours without contact before they can get back at it.” The force of even a youth player’s tackle

can be startling. According to a Popular Mechanics 2009 study, a fighter pilot may experience a G-force rating of 9 g’s; an extremely hard football tackle can produce as much as 30 g’s and an NFL hit 100 g’s. Diagnosis and Treatment Symptoms that parents and coaches should watch for include dizziness, nausea, blurred vision and drowsiness. Bradley said to watch for lack of concentration and confusion in the athlete. She said players should be reminded to tell the truth about what they are feeling. Rest is the best treatment. The athlete should avoid watching TV and using a cell phone. Bradley said they should not return to play until they have been evaluated and cleared by a licensed health care provider. “Something we forget that is simple is just staying hydrated, but they always need to see a doctor for the best treatment,” Bradley said. Prevention In high schools, the athletic directors are responsible for the safety of the players. In the youth leagues it’s the commissioners. Training and education has become important in the involvement of coaches and parents. “I think our league did a lot to prevent injuries. We train our coaches with USA Football and teach about heads-up tackling. They are also trained to watch for symptoms and we have a concussion protocol. In our three years we have documented only six concussions,” Utah Girls Tackle Football league director Crystal Sacco said. “I had to trust our coaches. We trained them so well that we left it up to them.” USA Football is a national program supported by the Utah High School Activities Association. Training includes emphasis in concussion recognition and response, heat preparedness and hydration, sudden cardiac arrest, proper equipment fitting and proper gameplay techniques. Coaches and administrators agree that education is the first step to improving prevention of injuries. “I have seen the numbers of concussions decrease after we implemented a neck strengthening program. We have seen good results from


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concentrating on the player’s development. We taught the players exercises they could do. During lifting workouts every other day they work on it. These kids are just learning about their bodies so we have tried to help them through it,” Bradley said. The UHSAA supports a national recommendation on limiting contact in practice. The national task force suggests limiting full contact to two or three times a week. They also support an initiative to reduce two-way players (players who play both offense and defense). Benefits “Nothing can replace football, getting 11 guys to work together and depend on each other to win a game is a hard thing. Football is hard, not everyone can do it. It is easier to sit at home and play the Xbox. It is just like life, not everyone is going to be the CEO. It teaches life skills to these kids,” Pearce said.

In its injury prevention bulletin, the UHSAA stated it believes athletic participation by students promotes health and fitness, academic achievement and good citizenship. They agree that there is a risk in playing all sports. “I personally would only feel comfortable with my kids playing if they were prepared physically, and I would want the coach to be safety oriented. I played when I was younger and know the commitment it takes,” West Jordan resident Mike Taylor said. According to USA Football, every year nearly three million children ages 6-14 take to football fields across America. College and university fans pack stadiums on Saturdays and NFL fans are glued to every move of the NFL on Sundays. And, football is a multi-million dollar industry. Recently, the Dallas Cowboys franchise was appraised at $4.2 billion dollars. l

September 2017 | Page 21

C ottonwood H eightsJournal .com

With new surroundings, Brighton football looks to return to postseason By Josh McFadden | josh@mycityjournals.com


ith 36 appearances in the state tournament and 16 region titles under its belt, the Brighton High School football program is accustomed to winning and to playing in November. This year’s Bengals team hopes to prove that last season was an anomaly. Brighton missed the state playoffs last season for the first time since 2009, finishing 3-6 overall and 2-4 in Region 3. It was just the second time during Head Coach Ryan Bullet’s 11 years that the team failed to qualify for the state playoffs. The Bengals have been narrowly close to state titles in recent years. The team advanced to the 5A semifinals in 2014 and lost in the championship game in 2013. The Bengals are hoping for a fresh start this season, and they’ll even have a new home of sorts in which to attempt it. Ever since Class 5A was created in 1994, the Bengals have competed in the top classification in the state. This season, Utah high school sports includes a new Class 6A; however, Brighton will stay put in 5A and will move to Region 7. Gone is juggernaut Bingham, but the Bengals still have plenty of challenging foes on the schedule. Region 4 power Timpview joins 5A and should provide stiff competition for the other teams, which includes Alta, Corner Canyon, Cottonwood and Jordan. Region 7 should boast some offensive firepower, which could cause concern for Bullet. His defense had its struggles last season, allowing at least 33 points in five games. However, Bullet, who also serves as the team’s offensive coordinator, welcomes back seven starters on that side of the ball, including defensive linemen Tui Kefu, Olive Fifita and Teamour Djahanbani. The linebacking corps should be solid as well, with 2016 starters Sione Angilau, Alexander Marks and Salua Masina ready to resume their roles as the second line of defense. Angilau is just a sophomore and saw plenty of action as a freshman a year ago.

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Get $250 OFF & Free The secondary took a hit to graduation, with only safety Brooks Johnson coming back. However, new faces Devin Elder, a cornerback, Trey Davenport, a safety, and cornerback Makendy Wunderli could lessen Bullet’s corners in defending the passing game. On the offensive side, the Bengals will likely have to up their scoring average this season if they hope to return to postseason play. Brighton did post a pair of 44-point games last season but was also held under 17 four times. Just four returning players started on offense last season. One of those was quarterback Alex Zettler. The junior threw for 757 yards last season and tossed seven touchdown passes. He has some room to improve on his 52 percent passing, but he did a better than 2-1 touch-

down-to-interception ratio. Jackson Owens, Luke Martin and Taotasi Laufau return on the offensive line to protect Zettler. They’ll look to open holes for the running game that must replace the departed Sione Lund, who scampered for more than 1,200 yards last season. Bullet has a few candidates to replace Lund, including Evona Hall and Junior Heimuli. Hall saw very limited game time last season, carrying the ball six times for 17 yards as a sophomore. Finding a dependable wide receiver will be critical for Zettler and the offense. The top five wideouts from last season all graduated. The Bengals opened their season Aug. 18 at Fremont before opening their home slate against Hillcrest the following Friday. l

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Cottonwood Heights City Journal

The 7 Deadly Fictional Sins That Will Kill Your Grocery Budget I can often be heard telling people the number one way to save money in your day to day spending is at the grocery store. Our food budget is one of the few monthly bills we can actually control and I get quite passionate about telling people just that. Here are some not so fictional facts that will help you stay on track at the grocery store. 1.Your Budget Is Fictional: There’s that word, budget, it can sound so restrictive. The fact is, most American’s go to the grocery store first, and then live on what is left. Shopping this way is 100%“bass-awkards”. Setting a budget, IN STONE, allows you to begin to plan for life’s setbacks and luxuries. How much your budget should be is a personal figure. It varies by income, where you shop and the kinds of food you like. Start by taking a look at your last 3 to 4 months expenses. Break out the receipts or bank statement and add every single transaction, you’ll likely be surprised at the amount. Now cut that figure by 30% and make the commitment not to go over it. Set up a separate account for groceries if you have too, let that extra 30% pile up and you’ll soon be challenging yourself to cut the budget even further. 2.Your List Is Fictional: No matter how good your memory is, you must write a grocery list and make



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a meal plan. Not only will it ensure you don’t forget things you need, it will deter you from buying the things you don’t need. Make it your goal, to ONLY buy what’s on your list. 3.The Day Of The Week You Shop Is Fictional: We’ve all run out of milk or found ourselves running to the store for a single item and the next thing we know checking out with a cart full of groceries. That single trip can shoot your entire budget. Avoid this by shopping with a list on a specific day of the week. Remember, extra trips to the store cost extra money. If you run out of something, find an alternative and go without. 4.Your Price Points Are Fictional: Being armed with the knowledge of the when lowest price hits and what the price should be gives you the confidence of knowing when to buy extra. Start a notebook of the prices you see for the items you purchase routinely and make sure to date it. Specific items have sale cycles that are usually in 3 – 4 month increments. You can view my personal guideline for pricing on Coupons4Utah. com/grocery-price-point. 5.What You Buy Is Fictional: For me impulse buys happen most when I’m either shopping with little ones or shopping when I’m hungry, avoid both, and stick to your detailed list. If it isn’t on the list, don’t buy it. Try allowing

kids to add 1 or 2 items to the list during the week before shopping. When you’re in the store and they ask for a box of special cereal or cookies, you can inform them, it’s not on their list and would they like that to be their item for next time? 6.The Store Organizes It’s Shelves To Make Shopping Easier Is Fictional: Grocery stores are full of marketing gimmicks used to convince you to buy more than you went for. It starts with high priced salad bars at the front of the store, tasty fresh baked breads and cakes to follow. They are experts at putting conveniently cut fruit and vegetable trays on end caps, candy stocked shelves in the aisles at the check out and the most expensive milk, eggs and cheese on the end caps right near self checkout. Stick to your list and you won’t get detoured. 7.Clipping Coupons Is Fictional: Finally I have a few words about clipping coupons. After all, I am the owner of a couple of coupon websites. I’ve heard it time and time again, “I tried using coupons, but the store brand is cheaper” or “The coupon isn’t worth the time it takes to clip them.” Maybe you’ve heard from others how much they saved with “extreme coupon” tactics, but when you tried it, you failed at it, and gave up frustrated. While I don’t define myself as a “couponer” I am am huge proponent of using coupons for everyday savings and can’t remember a time when I didn’t clip

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them. Here are some facts about coupons that you might be surprised to hear me say. 1- Using coupons to create extreme stock-piles will cost you money 2- Clipping or printing a coupon you intend to use will cost you time 3- Not using coupons at all will cost you money There, I just gave you permission to let yourself off the proverbial coupon hook. Shopping with coupons should not be extreme. It will cost you money, and causes you to buy things you don’t need or won’t use. You can however, get awesome results that can amount to as much as 90% off the regular price of the food and household items you buy and use everyday, when you combine a coupon with the sale. The secret is organizing before you get to the store and knowing what the lowest prices. There’s a handy database that lists which newspaper a specific coupon came in or links you to a printable or digital coupon at www.coupons4utah.com/ grocery-coupons. You may also want to check out an app call Flipp. It links you to store ads and coupons. If you are a Smith’s shopper follow Crazy4Smiths. com, they are experts at finding coupons for items on sale. Following these simple strategies can save you big non-fictional money.l

September 2017 | Page 23

C ottonwood H eightsJournal .com


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Is it hot in here? In the near future it should be much easier for us to keep our heads in the sand about climate change, mostly because the entire earth will be a desert. Hundreds of scientific organizations worldwide are convinced that human-caused global warming needs to be addressed ASAP but many people still don’t believe in climate change. It’s not a fairy, people. You don’t have to believe in it and clap your hands really fast in order for it to be real. A Gallup poll earlier this year shows Americans are finally warming to the idea of climate change, with nearly 70 percent agreeing our wasteful habits are destroying Mother Earth. It’s about @$#& time! With gas-guzzling vehicles, energy draining habits and the entire city of Las Vegas, it can’t be a coincidence that levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide have skyrocketed since WWII. Those rising pollutants trap the earth’s heat and slowly cook the planet like a Sunday dinner rump roast. Warming ocean temperatures create stronger hurricanes, more dangerous tropical storms and tornadoes filled with sharks! Glaciers in Alaska are shrinking, not from global warming but because people use so much ice in their gal-

lon-sized soft drink mugs. (As a creepy sidebar, bodies frozen in glaciers for centuries are being discovered and could possibly bring back old-timey diseases.) Polar bears are applying for refugee status, hoping to be relocated to Bemidji, Minnesota, where they can integrate into a similar society. Arctic seals and Antarctic penguins are losing their homes as sea ice melts. So if you’re looking for a rescue animal, there’s a couple of really cool options. Inexplicably, President Trump is convinced global warming is a mocktastrophe created by Bill Nye the Science Guy and Neil DeGrasse Tyson to keep him from using aerosol hairspray. (“Inexplicably” is a word I’ve used a lot with the Trump administration.) Trump’s decision to step away from the Paris climate agreement and reinvigorate the coal industry is a big middle finger to planet Earth. His stance is not just embarrassing, it’s potentially disastrous. (FYI to the Prez: Nuclear war is very bad for the planet.) In fact, Trump is convinced the whole global warming rumor was started by the Chinese to make the United States less competitive. I don’t think the earth’s possible annihilation was Made in China, and sponsored by Nye and



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leaders who support effective climate legislation. We buy energy-efficient cars and appliances. We recycle, we compost our table scraps and eat locally grown foods. We walk more. We turn off lights. We support organizations working on solutions. This one’s on us, folks. We can only do small things, but if we all do small things—that makes a big thing. And if you still don’t believe in global warming, I don’t really care. Once the world burns up like a marshmallow in a campfire, you won’t be around to judge me. l


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Cottonwood Heights September 2017  

Cottonwood Heights September 2017