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September 2018 | Vol. 15 Iss. 09




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BRIGHTON STUDENTS CHEER AT THE groundbreaking of new school


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By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


ith the band playing the fight song, the cheerleaders waving their pompoms and the football team leading students and the community in applause, the groundbreaking for Brighton High School could have been mistaken for a pep rally — with the exception of Bengal hard hats, shovels and a backhoe sitting near the torn-up parking lot in front of the school. Even Canyons School District Superintendent Jim Briscoe played along with the festive mood: “Any Bengals here tonight? Any excited about next Friday’s football game?” However, Aug. 9 was a celebration for the building of a new Brighton High School, one that will be done in phases over three years. The project starts this fall with construction of a new performing arts auditorium, arts, career and technical education program spaces and a field house to the west and east of the existing building. The Bengals baseball and softball fields will be reworked to provide a new point of entry at the south end of the property. For the first 16 months of construction no classrooms will be impacted; the gymnasiums, the existing auditorium, Continued on page 5...

Members of the Brighton High football team helped break ground for the new school that will be built over the next three years. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

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

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Artists paint a Jordan River overpass. (Van Hoover, by permission)


he Jordan River is often overlooked as a natural asset of the Salt Lake Valley, but one local nonprofit is working to raise awareness among the community’s youth. Hartland Community 4 Youth and Families recently completed a three-year project that focused on beautifying the area around the Jordan River and raising awareness of the river’s importance. The project also provided at-risk youth with the opportunity to get outside to enjoy this underappreciated natural area that flows through their neighborhoods. The river serves the Salt Lake Valley as a unique and diverse ecosystem running right through its heart. The project was conceived as a way to beautify the Jordan River Trail while helping to connect young people in the area with the river. “The initial idea for the project was that there were so many old signs along the trail that had been tagged,” Project Leader Van Hoover said. “They were these old dilapidated signs that were structurally sound, and the thought was how cool it would be for people who were passing by to see cool art to appreciate rather than an old sign.” During the first two years of the project,

five directional signs were painted each year to cover graffiti and to add art to the area expressing appreciation for the river and the trail. The concept evolved to focus on art created by kids and community artists. Inspiration for the artwork was derived from activities that Hartland organized for local kids to enjoy, such as canoeing the river and biking the Jordan River Trail. “The overarching goal was to help the community have ownership of the river and the trail,” Hoover said. “They’re a lot less likely to destroy public spaces when they made it better or got to play a part. Now kids can go on the trail and say, ‘I got to help paint that mural.’ To me that’s a powerful connection.” During the third year of the project, which concluded this May, larger murals were painted on buildings facing the river near 1700 South and 300 South and a river overpass. The project involved dozens of kids from Hartland’s programs as well as community artists and other volunteers. “Everybody that participated saw the city in a new light,” said Pete Vordenberg, project volunteer and Hartland board member. “They discovered this thing flowing through their city that they had no idea was there. They cross over

the river in their car or the bus. People don’t think of it as a natural resource.” Project organizers hope this will be part of a larger movement to appreciate the Jordan River and what it can mean to the community. “It’s an opportunity for the city and the whole valley to enjoy this natural thing,” Vordenberg said. “Cities can revolve around a river like the Jordan River. This is such a great step in the right direction.” “People can think of the river in a different way,” Hoover said. “What sections of the trail are safe? People ask me that all the time. The river is being stigmatized. We can change the way people see it, that it is a positive place to be.” The artwork along the river depicts natural features of the Jordan River like pelicans, turtles and trees. The images also show ways that the river can be enjoyed like canoeing. “The artwork was very connected to what the kids did on the river,” Hoover said. He hopes their connection to the river will continue to grow and that more people in the community will value the Jordan River as a resource to be protected and enjoyed. l

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Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Continued from front page... media center, main office and academic wings will remain untouched. The second phase will include focusing on classrooms, cafeteria and commons and a new Bengal plaza as well as some demolition of the existing building. Once a three-story wing of classrooms is completed — connecting the performing arts area with the athletics facilities — the final phase of school grounds and better-flowing parking lots will begin. While building a high school usually takes more than one year to design before starting to build on a vacant 50 or 60 acres, District Business Administrator Leon Wilcox complimented MHTN Architects and Hogan Construction for being able to do it on the 36-acre campus while school is in session. Briscoe thanked the voters’ support of last fall’s $283 million tax-neutral bond earmarked to modernize and upgrade Canyons School District schools, and Canyons Board of Education first vice president Nancy Tingey acknowledged the disruption. “We know that it’s not easy to live near, or in the case of students and employees spend your day in, a major construction site, but we trust you’ll feel that the result is well worth the trouble,” she said. Involving students, parents, teachers and the community, Tingey said their impact was critical to the design of the new Brighton High. “Canyons takes pride in building schools that reflect the communities they serve and that serve those communities well with safe, high-quality learning environments that inspire students to set and achieve challenging goals,” she said. The new design will provide administrators and teachers

clear sight down hallways, rather than the circular pattern Brighton now encompasses. The current circular halls are mentioned in the school’s traditional hymn: “Within these circled halls, there dwells the soul of Brighton High.” This means the lyrics may need to be revised after the rebuild, Tingey said. In addition to improved vision inside the school, there will be a security vestibule for visitors to pass through the office before proceeding inside, and lock-down buttons that can close classroom areas in an emergency. Improved wiring for technology will be a vast improvement, Principal Tom Sherwood said. “When this school was built, the state-of-the-art technology was a black-and-white TV,” he said about the 49-year-old school. The redesign will include classrooms that can open into common areas to allow for small group and collaborative learning. Classroom wings will be named after different features in Utah, such as mountain peaks, lakes and natural landmarks. There also will be improved vision looking outside of the school as large windows and skylights will bring natural light into the classrooms and common areas. “When they built Brighton, it was on one of the prettiest vistas in the Salt Lake Valley and they built it without windows. Once the new building is done, we’ll have an amazing view of the valley and of the Wasatch Mountains,” Sherwood said. Brighton already is known for having one of the most scenic football stadiums in the state, Tingey said, receiving cheers from the football players. Sophomore Colton Beames, who plays football, basketball

and baseball for the Bengals, is excited for the field house. “It will be great with turf, hanging batting cages, new basketball courts, a track above,” he said, adding that his favorite sport depends on whatever season it is. Both Tingey and board second vice president Amber Schill, who are helping to provide input to the design and building of Brighton, have had children attend the school. “Over the past half century, alumni of Brighton have gone on to be accomplished scholars, athletes, government and industry leaders, artists and contributors to their communities,” Tingy said. “What I like about Brighton, is there is something for everyone. Whether your children are involved in arts or sports, whether they have an affinity or math or passion for science, they will find in this school a welcoming place to thrive.” And those opportunities will be found in the new school, Sherwood said. “Any decisions we have made about the design of this new school have been with the students in mind. The physical, emotional and educational welfare of students will always be at the forefront of our decision making,” he said. Keeping that school spirit alive, Brighton is establishing a legacy committee and alumni association and requests former students to be involved by sending an email to BrightonLegacy@gmail.com. Construction updates, including those already underway at nearby Hillcrest and Alta high schools, can be found at bond. canyonsdistrict.org. l

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More courts on the way as pickleball surges in popularity By Joshua Wood | joshw@mycityjournals.com

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Mayor Mike Peterson returning a serve during a game of pickleball in Cottonwood Heights. (Joshua Wood/City Journals)


relatively new pastime has taken off in communities throughout the Wasatch Front. In fact, pickleball has grown so much in popularity that the Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center is putting in more courts to accommodate crowds of players. “It’s a fun game and one that everybody can play,” said Mike Walterscheid as he waited for his next game. “You pick it up quickly. Anybody can show up. It gives you a chance to play a lot of different people.” On a weekday morning in August, a dozen or so people stand outside the pickleball courts behind the rec center waiting for their turn to play. Within the fences, three games — each involving doubles teams — see the yellow pickleball fly back and forth over the net. The crack of the paddles striking each ball serves as the background for each conversation outside. Among those playing is Cottonwood Heights Mayor Mike Peterson. “About six years ago at the Utah Parks and Recreation Association conference in St. George, they had a pickleball professional introduce the game,” Peterson said. “I brought it back and started it here indoors for about three months, and no one wanted to play.” During a later visit to St. George, Peterson saw a new pickleball complex

and decided to give it another try. “I tried it again about four years ago and put up two nets in our gymnasium, and all of a sudden it went nuts. The word was out.” Pickleball isn’t just new to the Salt Lake Valley. It is a relatively new game altogether. It was invented in 1965 by Joel Pritchard and two friends, Bill Bell and Barney McCallum, in Washington State. They had returned from a game of golf to find their families bored on a Saturday afternoon. A game of badminton was proposed, but when a shuttlecock couldn’t be found, they decided to improvise. They lowered the net, grabbed a whiffle ball, and constructed paddles out of some spare plywood. The USA Pickleball Association stated that the game may have been named after the Pritchards’s dog, Pickles, while Joel Pritchard’s wife, Joan, said the game got its name because it reminded her of a pickle boat, with its crew composed of the leftovers from other boats. From those whimsical origins comes a game that has spread throughout the country with millions of players. The game’s accessibility draws people to it. “It’s a game you can learn in an hour and be competitive in an hour,” Peterson said. “Now you’ll see these young kids playing with the older guys. We have people from 12 to 90 right here at this site.” People of varying backgrounds and

age ranges are also drawn to the game. Some have played tennis and look for something else to play as they get older or return from injury. Others are drawn by the game’s apparent popularity. “I played tennis for a long time and it just looked like something new and fun to try,” said Steffie Williams as she took a break from a game. “My daughter goes to middle school here, and every morning I dropped her off it was packed, so it had to be pretty fun, right?” Her partner on the court that day began playing earlier this year. “I play with a couple friends from work,” said Mike Kannenberg. “They play every day now, five times a week. They play tournaments. They are so in love with the game — I mean, they are all in.” Kannenberg said he can play the game despite past injuries. “I had my ACL torn three times, and I still can play,” he said. “I think everyone can play.” As the crowds gather each morning and teams wait for their turn on the courts, anyone can show up and take part. “It has taken off,” Peterson said. “Every morning you will see a group here. We have three more courts coming this fall.” As he said those words, Peterson turned to head back to the court for his next game. l

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

City council approves 13.4 percent property tax increase By Joshua Wood | joshw@mycityjournals.com


he Cottonwood Heights City Council held an open house and public meeting on Aug. 14 to share information and hear input from residents before voting on a proposed property tax increase of up to 22 percent. In the official vote the following day, the City Council approved a 13.4 percent increase. The proposed 22 percent hike was the maximum amount the council could have approved. It could have voted on anything from no increase at all to the full amount. While some residents participating in the public meeting offered their support for the increase, the majority of voices expressed disapproval of the council’s proposal. The reasons most cited for opposing the tax increase involved the effect higher taxes could have on senior citizens living on fixed incomes and the size of the proposed increase. Some residents expressed their support. “Cottonwood Heights City is a small chunk of our tax bill,” said resident Bob Jacobs. “I think we’re getting a bargain for our money.” Others in attendance, citing an open house held earlier in 2018 highlighting community preferences for new open spaces, asked that more funds be allocated to parks, trails and other open spaces in the community. “Please fund open spaces,” said resident Steve Sorweid. “We are falling behind other east bench communities like Sandy and Draper when it comes to parks

Residents shared their concerns regarding the proposed increase in property taxes. (Joshua Wood/City Journals)

and trails.” City council members spoke after public feedback had concluded. “As a new council member, it’s been eye-opening to see how difficult it is to go through the budget process,” said Councilmember Tali Bruce. The council responded to comments from several residents on the cost of the new Cottonwood Heights City Hall. “We were spending

$300,000 to $500,000 a year in rent, and that was just going to keep going up,” said Councilmember Scott Bracken. “Over the long term, this building will be, I think, a net cost savings.” “A 22 percent tax increase is significant. It’s real money to everyone,” said Councilmember Mike Shelton. “Hopefully nothing we said today downplays the fact that we understand that. At the same time, the services that we provide, we think, are really significant.”

Shelton said the process included searching for services that could be reduced without seriously impacting residents. “We found some places where we could do that, and we found some places where we did not feel that reducing the service was in the best interest of the residents,” he said. The council stressed that is was not seeking a 22 percent increase in spending, stating that the tax increase represented an accumulation of costs over the years. Their options, Shelton said, were to cut services further, spend the city’s savings or increase taxes. The city’s proposed budget includes an increase in total spending from $19.6 million to $19.8 million. “The reason we have truth in taxation is to allow you to come and comment,” Mayor Mike Peterson said. “You have made a lot of great comments, and we have taken notes. Some of you will get a call back from staff to clarify a couple things.” Since some residents could not attend the open house prior to the public meeting, Shelton proposed an additional 30 minutes of time after the public meeting for people to ask questions and share their opinions directly with council members and city staff. The council met the following day, on Aug. 15, and voted to approve a smaller tax increase of 13.4 percent. The new rate takes effect when property taxes come due in November. l

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Developing on the Wasatch Fault By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com


constant concern for recently elected Cottonwood Heights District 3 Councilwoman Tali Bruce is the city’s fault lines and other geological hazards. During the work session city council meeting on July 17, Adam McKean and Steve Boman from Utah Geological Survey (UGS) presented their geotechnical analysis of the area. UGS is a hazards program working to assist the Utah Division of Emergency Management. UGS creates geologic hazard maps and provides information on hazardous lands. They frequently make recommendations to regulatory agencies by providing maps and other information. They also create a variety of publications for anyone interested. Boman began the presentation with some preliminary background information. “A fault study was completed in 1977; trenches identified sentiment about 10,000 years old. We can estimate that Lake Bonneville existed around 12,000 to 30,000 years ago,” he said. “An earthquake is generated when rocks rupture,” Boman continued. “The basin between the Wasatch Front and the Sierra Mountains is expanding so the rocks won’t be able to take it at some point and they will rupture.” For Cottonwood Heights, the major hazard UGS presented (besides radon) is the Wasatch Fault. It is only one of the five central faults in Utah that are most active. McKean is a geologic mapper who was tasked with mapping the entirety of the Wasatch Fault. The fault line lies right along Wasatch Boulevard. It also sits right between two tectonic structures. McKean began mapping the fault line based on evidence

from aerial photos and other similar resources. However, that didn’t give him the full picture. He needed to go out and visit the site to try to get a more accurate mapping, but he ran into a problem. “In the cities, development was covering the geology we were trying to map,” said McKean. Luckily, geologic mappers have many resources at their disposal. McKean used a tool called LiDAR to help him map the Wasatch Fault. LiDAR is a detection system that works on the principle of radar, but with light. It helps to provide high resolution topographic data. Additionally, many developers will data dump information to the UGS. Many geologic mappers can use the information collected to continually update their maps. By the end of McKean’s mapping journey, which may take anywhere from one year and beyond to complete, he had an accurate and complete map of the area. A complete geological map provides information about human disturbance, faulting, bed rocking, landslides, and other hazards. “If you have a fault zone, we expect that to reoccur,” McKean said. Through fault studies, UGS uses predetermined distances to estimate where the fault will occur again. For the Wasatch Fault, there is an 80-foot wide distance of anticipated reoccurrence. The Cottonwood Heights city planning staff tries to accommodate for at least 25-feet variability. “We don’t care where the fault is, we care where it is not,” said City Engineer Brad Gilson. “I am advocating tightening our city ordinances regarding earthquakes,” Bruce told McKean and Boman.

The Wasatch Fault in relation to the surrounding topography. (“Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country”/Utah Geological Survey)

“We can be a resource to help guide the process,” Boman said. “Building codes are a balance of economics. Codes deal with structure collapse — wanting to make sure that people can get out. Not every building is built like a critical facility.” “In Utah, we haven’t had a damaging earthquake since pioneer settlement,” Boman said. “There’s a 50 percent chance we get one in the next 50 years.” For more information, visit UGS’ website at geology.utah. gov. l

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Cottonwood Heights City Journal

An individual’s right to their land By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com


Land owners have to block public use if they want to protect their land from becoming a public thoroughfare. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)


ead Attorney in the Office of the Property Rights Ombudsman Brent Bateman discussed property rights with the Cottonwood Heights City Council during a regularly scheduled city council meeting. “My job is to help people who have disputes with the government over their land,” said Bateman. He came to the meeting ready to answer any and all questions the mayor and council members had about land-use laws. This included any legal issues with land use, roads, trails, eminent domain and any other questions about land use. “The constitution protects the residents of Cottonwood Heights from you,” Bateman told the city council to begin. “My unifying theory is: the basic right that people have with their property is that they can do whatever they want with their land. I get to do anything I want on my land, that’s my right.” However, chaos would ensue. “We tolerate laws that allow government to control what people can do on their land. The council has that power to tell people what they can and cannot do on their land.” In order to do so, however, the governing body has to create ordinances. The Cottonwood Heights Code of Ordinances provides the formal exception to Bateman’s overriding unifying theory. Mayor Mike Peterson asked Bateman about the balance between land use for the public and private landowners. Bateman answered by describing a specific Utah statute that is referred to as the prescrip-


tion road statute. “A prescriptive easement arises when someone crosses your land for about 20 years. You didn’t give them permission to cross your land, so they’ve been trespassing.” After 20 years of consistent trespassing, the hooligan(s) gains a prescriptive easement which means they gain a right to cross that land. “It arises no matter who owns the land, since it is connected to the land,” Bateman explained. If that land is sold to a new owner, the public still has a right to cross that land, even under the new ownership. The same easement applies to public roads, but instead of 20 years, it only takes 10 years of consistent trespassing. “Ten years pass with the public using a thoroughfare without the landowner saying anything, and bam, it becomes public use,” Bateman said. However, landowners can protect themselves from losing their land under a prescriptive easement. If the landowner realizes that some part of their land is being used by the public as a thoroughfare, they can interrupt the use with intent to block. They can do this a few different ways. One of the easiest ways is to put up a fence and man the gate until someone comes by. “They have to prove that they stopped somebody,” said Bateman. If that landowner is blocking the thoroughfare and the police ask him or her to stop the blocking, then the landowner has not been considered interrupting the use with intent to block. Bateman explained how there is a debate right now at the state level around if this type of easement rule applies to trails.

If the public has been using a trail for 10 years, it has become a public right of way. It doesn’t even have to be a recent 10-year period; it just has to be any 10-year period. Many people have been showing public use through satellite photos and witnesses. In these cases, the defense lies on the landowners. “Proving the negative is impossible,” Bateman said, illustrating the debate. After discussing public use on private land, Peterson asked a question he has frequently heard from many Cottonwood Heights residents: “Why aren’t residents required to take care of their lawns?” Bateman laughed as he referred back to his unifying theory. “People can have a mess. They can do anything they want on with their land.” Realistically, the city could create a nuisance ordinance. However, that would become an enforcement problem for the city because “zoning power comes from the police power,” Bateman explained. Eventually, the discussion led to questions about trees on property lines. “If a property owner plants a tree on the property line, the tree is owned equally by both sides,” Bateman said. If that tree has branches and/or apples, the apples and branches are owned equally by both property owners. “One property owner cannot pick those apples, cannot cut a branch, without the other property owner’s permission.” “Tree law is difficult,” Bateman said as he closed the conversation. For more information on land-use law, visit Bateman’s educational website at luau.utah. gov/author/brentbateman.l

Just over two years ago, the United Nations asserted that the internet is a basic human right. Comcast – the Philadelphia based video and high-speed internet company – has been doing its part since 2011 to democratize online access. To date, Comcast’s Internet Essentials program has connected more than six million people with low-cost, high-speed internet. The program has steadily expanded, but has swelled considerably in the last year, increasing from 4 to 6 million total connects. Since its inception, Internet Essentials has taken hold in our own backyard, with 88,000 individuals in Utah connected. The breakdown: 20,800 individuals in Salt Lake City; 10,800 individuals in West Valley City; 8,400 individuals in Ogden; 4,000 individuals in West Jordan; 3,600 individuals in Orem; 3,200 individuals in Logan; and 2,400 individuals in Provo. Now, in its latest expansion, we’re extending Internet Essentials to low-income veterans. There are about 1 million vets living within Comcast's national footprint, and upwards of 27,000 in Utah alone. "We are excited to extend this to Veterans who have stood up for our country, now it’s time for us to stand up for them by providing access to life-changing digital tools and resources," Comcast Senior Executive Vice President David L. Cohen said in a statement. And the data thus far has been compelling. Comcast released a seven-year progress report detailing how IE is changing lives. Ninety-three percent of households have seen a positive impact on their child’s grades and 62% said the broadband at home has helped them or someone in the family find a job. Ninety-six percent of IE households would recommend IE to friends and family, and 84% already have. This is good news for veterans in our community. Elizabeth Mitchell External Affairs Director Comcast Utah

September 2018 | Page 9

Why does CHPD always have new cars? By Cassie Goff | cassie@mycityjournals.com

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Page 10 | September 2018

Fully-outfitted CHPD vehicles are provided by Garff Enterprises every two years. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)


ewly designed police cars have been roaming the streets. As they were first spotted, many residents questioned the expenditure for the Cottonwood Heights Police Department’s (CHPD) fleet, especially with the current budget discussions and potential of a property tax increase. “I often get questions about the kinds of cars we drive,” wrote Police Chief Robby Russo on July 1 in a weekly report. CHPD’s public safety fleet is leased biennially, not owned. The lease agreement is best illustrated through the two different resolutions brought before the Cottonwood Heights City Council for approval of the agreement. The first resolution is a vehicle repurchase option agreement. CHPD enters into this agreement with Garff Enterprises for police vehicles and associated equipment. Under this agreement, Garff Enterprises provides CHPD with cars fully outfitted with all the equipment officers will need, including lights and sirens. After the two years, Garff Enterprises buys the fleet back at a predetermined cost. “The vehicle lessor requires the city to purchase the fleet at the end of the two-year lease term. The city requires the original seller of the fleet to agree, at the same time of sale, to repurchase the fleet at the end of the lease term. Thereby insulating the city of repurchase risk,” explained City Attorney Shane Topham. The second resolution is a lease-purchase agreement. Cottonwood Heights enters into an agreement with a local or national bank (previous lenders have included Zions Bank and Chase Bank) for

the lease. “The lender provides an interest rate for the money used to purchase the fleet for the next two year period,” Topham said. During those two years, Cottonwood Heights pays for interest on the lease-purchase agreement and basic necessities for the cars including gas, oil changes, tires and brakes. “The city doesn’t need to hire mechanics for a city shop to repair the cars since, under lease, they are under warranty and the repairs are free,” Russo explained. “The city is only responsible for oil changes and a set of brakes and tires over the two-year term of the lease.” The original lease agreement was written when the city incorporated in 2005. It allowed the city to lease the fleet instead of buying police cars and equipment outright. The agreements are explained in every city’s annual comprehensive budget: “At the end of the two-year lease purchase, the dealer repurchases the vehicles for a previously agreed amount, usually clearing the remaining balance of the lease obligation in full.” “When the dealer gets the cars back in two years, they hold a much greater resale value. The city gets the fleet cost and doesn’t pay tax,” Russo said. For example, this year’s fleet includes F-150 Lariat trucks. For each of those trucks, the city cost is $38,180 with the equipment adding $4,965. However, with the high return after two years under the lease agreement, the city’s cost for each of the trucks is $11,146 or $464.41 a month.

In the 2018–2019 fiscal year’s proposed budget, the police equipment and vehicles are a line item under expenditures and have a price of $1,859,827. For comparison, the Unified Police Department (UPD) owns their fleet vehicles. During the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2017, UPD purchased $3.1 million of vehicles. The total balance for their fleet as of the same date was $16,116,917. “Besides the initial capital expenditure, the lease program is a better product,” Russo said. “Safety of the officers, less down time of vehicles and professional appearance to the residents are some of the added benefits.” On July 17 this year, the Cottonwood Heights City Council approved Resolutions 2018-45 and 2018-46, which approved the lease agreement for the CHPD fleet. (Resolution 2018-45 approved a vehicle repurchase option agreement with Garff Enterprises for police vehicles and associated equipment. Resolution 201846 approved entry into a governmental lease-purchase agreement with Zions Bank, National Association, for the lease of police vehicles and associated equipment and authorized the execution and delivery of all related documents, taking all required actions.) At that time, the council expressed interest for being more involved with the lease-agreement negotiation process. “It will be reviewed during the budget discussions,” said Councilman Scott Bracken. This current lease agreement will extend through 2020. l

Cottonwood Heights City Journal


September 2018 | Page 11

Brighton cross country has sights set on state tournament By Josh McFadden | josh@mycityjournals.com


very team wants the experience of playing for a state championship, so falling just short of the state tournament can motivate athletes to come back stronger the next season. This is exactly how Brighton High School cross-country athletes feel. The Bengals were on the outside looking in during last season’s state meet. But with some returning talent and an influx of new runners, head coach Angie Welder is confident her squad can compete against the top runners and team in Class 5A. “I fully expect that our entire varsity team will qualify for the state championship this year,” Welder said. “We were only a few points off qualifying as a team last year, and this year we have a lot of new athletes that bring a lot of experience and talent to the team as a whole.” Welder said Paige Sieverts and freshman Caroline Rupper will headline the girls. She likes their competitiveness and desire to push their own limits. Sieverts competed individually at state last season. As for the boys, Welder expects big things out of senior Declan Gleason and James Fetzer. She said these boys are “two of the strongest, quickest and hardest-working athletes on the team. They are great examples to the younger athletes.” Even though Welder believes her athletes

are good enough to vie for a region title and get to the state meet, she’s more concerned that everyone puts forth his or her best effort. “I have high expectations for a successful season this year,” she said. “I look forward to our meets and believe we can compete on a level equal to every school in our region. That said, I don’t define a successful season based only on whether we qualify for the state championship, although that certainly is a goal. I also believe that a successful season is one where each athlete competes at the very best of their ability and develops the confidence to push their limits and achieve their goals, all while supporting every other athlete on our team.” In order to enjoy success, Welder said the team needs to stay healthy and run consistently throughout the year. The Bengals push themselves in practice but also know when to take time to rest and heal. Welder emphasizes proper stretching and other injury-prevention techniques. In a sport that requires stamina, endurance and determination, Welder is impressed with the boys’ and girls’ attitudes and mindset, even under difficult conditions. “Our biggest strength as a team is our work ethic,” she said. “Our athletes are not afraid to get out of their comfort zone and work hard.

The Brighton cross country team (shown here during its first practice of the season) is excited to compete for a spot in the state tournament. (Photo courtesy of Angie Welder.)

We started afternoon practices two weeks before school started to get the athletes acclimated to running in the heat of the day. When it’s 90 degrees outside and you have kids excited to get out and put in the miles, it makes my job a whole lot easier. Whatever the challenge, they meet it and never complain.” One thing that will help Brighton compete in its meets this season is sheer numbers. There are more than 100 runners on the squad, nearly twice as many as were in the program a few years ago. As numbers increase, so does talent

and ability. “We’ve got some freshmen and sophomore boys and girls on our team that have the potential to be varsity runners this year and make a huge contribution to our program,” Welder said. The Bengals opened the season Aug. 17 at the Highland Invitational at Sugar House Park. The team will compete at the Pre-Region Meet at Kiwanas Park in Provo on Friday, Aug. 31. l

Top five ways to avoid an accident


ccidents are inevitable. Or are they? We’ve all met someone who says (more like “claims”) they have never experienced a car accident before. While we might doubt the veracity of such a statement, there are countless ways to avoid those nauseatingly time consuming situations — the ones where you wait for law enforcement on the side of the road (or middle of the intersection), deal with insurance companies and figure out finances for fixing the fender. There are countless ways to avoid an accident, here are the top five. 1. Attitude You probably weren’t expecting this one first. As a driver, you control over 3,000 pounds (or more) of metal that can cause incalculable damage. Driving with maturity and the right mindset makes a world of difference. Speeding to beat another car to the exit or to get back at the person who cut you off a minute ago may give you a moment of satisfaction, but is it worth the risk and ramifications? If all drivers commit to having a responsible attitude, imagine how much less we’d find ourselves in bumper to bumper traffic waiting to pass the accident. 2. Speed From 2012-2016, 40 percent of motor vehicle traffic crash deaths in Utah were because

Page 12 | September 2018

of speeding, according to Utah Department of let someone else go first. Public Safety’s crash data. This also applies when driving in poor Slowing down isn’t going to kill you, but weather conditions. Heavy rainfall and snowflying past others just might. storms blot windshields and make roads slick, 3. Distraction adverse circumstances to traveling safely. BaStay focused. Keep your guard up. Though sics become even more vital like keeping your you may be a phenomenal driver, others aren’t. distance from the vehicle in front of you. Be aware of your surroundings by paying 5. Maintenance attention to what’s in front of you and checking The best way to avoid car malfunction is your mirrors. Knowing where everyone else is the maintenance of said car. helps avoid collisions. If you’re distracted by Ensure tires and brakes are operating withyour phone, music, or billboards with cows out issue. Keep fluids to their proper levels. writing on them, it limits your response time to Oil changes and car washes make a difference. what another driver may being doing in front These simple, but effective maintenance tips of you. ensure your car remains a well-oiled machine 4. Defense (pun intended). l This was one of the first concepts taught in driver education and one of the first we forget: drive defensively. Failing to yield caused 12 percent of deaths from 20122016 in the same data mentioned before. That comes to 154 people who died because they didn’t Here are some ways to avoid a car accident, like this one. (Photo by David Shankbone)

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

New coach at the helm for Brighton football By Josh McFadden | josh@mycityjournals.com


t the high school football level, change comes every year. But the Brighton Bengals are facing a lot of it as the 2018 season gets underway. Every team has to replace graduated seniors and break in new starters and newcomers to the program. But not every team does so with a brand-new coach and without any returning starters. This is the task the Bengals face this season. Brighton is coming off a 5-5 season a year ago. It finished 1-4 in region play and end up in fifth place, missing out on the postseason. In fact, the Bengals are looking for their first state playoff berth since 2015. They last won in the state tournament in 2014 when they advanced to the semifinals. It won’t be easy to accomplish this goal this season, but the determined Bengals have postseason play in their sights. Former head coach Ryan Bullet stepped down at the end of the season. His replacement is Rafe Maughan, who formerly coached the offensive line at Snow College in Ephraim. Brighton was decimated by transfers and gradation at the end of last season, leaving Maughan with the challenge of finding 11 starters on both sides of the ball. The Bengals averaged a modest 24 points

an outing last season. This year, Alex Clifford will step in at quarterback. He saw limited time as the backup last season, completing 4-6 passes for 54 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 20 yards and kicked three extra points. Jacob Hoole will take on a much more expanded role in the backfield. The running back carried the ball just three times for 19 yards last season but will see plenty of action in Maughan’s scheme. MJ Cirillo will also get some carries after lining up as a reserve wide receiver in 2017. Mike Whittington caught two passes for 28 yards last season but could be the featured wideout this year. Brighton will also use its tight ends in the passing game. Lander Barton and Kabe Marhish are candidates to start at that position. The defensive also has no starting experience, so Maughan is starting from square one. The unit surrendered nearly 30 points a game last season. The Bengals gave up a total of just 46 points in four non-league games but had some struggles once the region battles began when they allowed 38.6 points per game. That included holding Cottonwood to just seven points in the regular season finale in a 42-point win. Expect Cirillo to play both sides of the ball this season. He’ll likely start at cornerback where he made 11 tackles last season. Whitting-

The Bengals practice on Aug. 22. Brighton defeated Fremont 17-9 in its home opener. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

ton will also go both ways. The safety had 17 tackles in 2017. Brighton opened up the season at home against Fremont on Aug. 17. The Bengals play

at Layton Aug. 24 against the Class 6A Lancers. The first Region 7 game is Sept. 14 at Skyline. Brighton needs to finish in the top four of the six-team region to qualify for state. l

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


his fall, Brighton High graduate McKayla Dumas may be found in classes at Salt Lake Community College, thanks to the help of the Canyons Education Foundation. Dumas, who wants to earn her nursing degree, received the Canyons Education Foundation’s $1,000 Bright Star Scholarship. “I’m really excited,” she said. “I love everything about learning and am so thankful to have the opportunity to learn more.” Dumas was one of eight students who were awarded scholarships based on their abilities to overcome difficulties in their lives, said Foundation Officer Denise Haycock. “New to the position of development officer I can easily see where awarding scholarships to deserving students will be one of my favorite parts of this job,” she said about the scholarships that were awarded to many students who have already made great strides in their lives, from improving grades to overcoming trials in their lives. This is the third year Canyons Education Foundation has awarded scholarships. On April 19, the foundation awarded a record $11,000 in college scholarships. Dumas credits Stephanie Isley for helping her succeed in high school as well as learning about the scholarship. “I was in the hospital a lot of time and saw how the nursing staff spent time one-on-one

with patients and got to know them, so I knew that was something I wanted to do. But, it also meant I had to make up a lot of classes after my surgery, so I was taking online classes at the same time — 14 credits. I was studying around the clock, but Ms. Isley, who told me about the scholarship, believed in me,” she said. Dumas wrote a one-page paper about why she deserved the scholarship and about her high school academic history and desire to attend college. Isley wrote a letter of recommendation. “I learned from my principal, Tom Sherwood, and assistant principal, Matt Shelby, that I was selected and they told the entire class. I was so happy,” she said. Dumas wants to work at Primary Children’s Hospital as a certified nursing assistant. “The kids are so optimistic and positive so I hope I can help them and make an impact in their lives,” she said. She also wants to be a role model for her 11-year-old sister, who also lives with her grandparents. “I spend a lot of time with her, reading and helping her realize how important education is. I want to set an example for her and show how she can also push through challenges,” she said. “I came back and took all those classes and made it on the honor roll. It was important to me to graduate. I’m the first in my family to walk at graduation. I’m proud of myself.”

Brighton High graduate McKayla Dumas received a Canyons Education Foundation scholarship for college. (Canyons Education Foundation)

Dumas was presented a large cardboard check at the Canyons Education Foundation Spring Gala. At the gala, other Bright Star winners were recognized: Marthe Mfourou, Hillcrest High; Olivia Steadman, Alta High; Makayla Wright,

Jordan High; Vanesa Beers, Jordan High and CTEC; and Sam Aamodt, Corner Canyon High. Celena Slesser of Diamond Ridge was awarded the $2,500 Rising Star Scholarship and Corner Canyon High’s Emily Arthur received the Mountain America Scholarship. l

Cottonwood Heights gymnast wins national championship By Joshua Wood | joshw@mycityjournals.com


ymnast Lundyn VanderToolen of Cottonwood Heights won the all-around title for the 12–13-year-old division of the GK Hopes Championships. The event took place in Columbus, Ohio, and featured female gymnasts who are just below the elite level of national gymnastics. “Lundyn had the goal of hitting 4/4 on all her routines and having fun at the champion-

ships,” said her mother, Julie VanderToolen. “She accomplished both.” Lundyn also won gold on the uneven bars, her favorite event. She qualified for the championships in a competition in early July at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City. “She was so honored to win the championship as all the girls work so hard and are so deserving,” Julie said. l

Lundyn VanderToolen of Cottonwood Heights won the national championship in the 12–13-year-old division of female gymnastics. (Julie VanderToolen, used by permission)

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Got notebooks? Donations still needed in area schools By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


anyons Education Foundation Officer Denise Haycock is grateful for the help Canyons School District students will receive from this year’s Tools for Schools. “It was a fun collaborative effort, where we worked together to collect and share donations and money to help every kid receive what they need,” she said. The donations included backpacks, school supplies, clothing items including socks, coats, shoes and undergarments, and food for school pantries. All the contributions were donated in early August during the second annual Tools for Schools drive, which benefitted students in eight school districts statewide. Other area districts include Granite, Jordan, Salt Lake and Murray. During the three-day drive, Z104 KSOP radio personalities Dave and Deb lived on school buses at the Shops at South Town to broadcast the need. Salt Lake Board of Realtors, district volunteers and others accepted and organized donations. “This was an easier way for our com-

munity to be able to give items directly to the kids. Each school district identified what they needed, and then we divided those up as to who needed which items,” she said. “We didn’t have a goal as far as numbers of items or donations; our goal was to help as many students as we could.” Canyons School District was looking for ways to help students and families who have been identified as having a need as well as those who may be transitioned at the Road Home Overflow Family Shelter in Midvale. “We have a list on our Facebook page and website so people can make donations, even if it is just to help out a child or two,” Haycock said. “We are so appreciative to any contribution we receive from our community and are grateful to the Board of Realtors and others who have come out to support and organize donations and to Z104, who are illustrating some of the hardships and going without things that some students may be experiencing, as well as broadcasting to their listeners the need that is out there.” The idea to hold a collaborative drive came


eliable water quality data is critical to understanding the overall health of our watershed, specifically how development and other landscape-altering activities can impact the health of our streams. To gain a better understanding of water quality data and trends, Salt Lake County’s Watershed Planning & Restoration Program has been collecting chemical and biological data in county streams since 2009.

Routine monitoring of water quality allows the Watershed Program to analyze stream segments where watershed conditions appear to be changing, identify potential areas of concern, and plan restoration activities to address impacts and improve stream health. It also helps in understanding the impacts of seasonal high flows and irrigation and storm drain inflows to streams. The distribution of sampling sites throughout the county is based on the availability of water, therefore not all streams are monitored on the same schedule and at the same intensity. The Watershed Program’s goal is to regulate both sampling frequency and sampling density per each creek subwatershed to accurately establish the best estimate of overall watershed health. But there are limiting


Community members were encouraged to bring donations to school buses parked in the Shops at South Town as part of a supply drive for students. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

from Jackie McKay, on-air promotions director for Z104. “It’s a way we can help our community as there is so many kids in need,” she said. “We’ve had people dropping off notebooks, backpacks, cash donations, food and other items we listed on a website. With some of the cash donations, we’ve gone out to buy more needed items like socks and underwear and flash drives so students can save their work if they don’t have computers at home. We have a great group of

listeners who love to support the community and are helping to stuff backpacks full for all the students in need.” In addition to Tools for Schools, Canyons employees held their Gathering for Good campaign, allowing school employees to donate to students. Both Alta View Hospital and RC Willey have made donations of school supplies and backpacks, and Grifols Worldwide is holding an in-house supply drive for Canyons school children. l

The importance of monitoring water quality in Salt Lake County streams

factors. Some west side streams flow only during irrigation season from April to October. Some east side streams are unsafe to access during winter months. Stream hard freeze, construction activities, instrument failure, and so on, can all inhibit data collection. Considering these barriers, the County collects as many samples as possible. The chemical data collected include temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, total dissolved solids, and turbidity. The biological data include E. coli bacteria and aquatic macroinvertebrates (a.k.a. bugs). Aquatic bugs are an especially helpful tool, as the presence and/or absence of certain species provides a clear picture of the overall health of the stream ecosystem. Monitoring changes in the bug community can determine if pollutants are widespread in the waterbody, as well as what those pollutants might be. In addition to water quality monitoring, the Watershed Program maintains a network of 21 streamflow gauges (and 15 rain gauges) placed strategically throughout the watershed. Understanding the flow of water in streams plays a vital role in flood protection, water supply, pollution control, and environmental management. Streamflow measurements are key to modeling watershed

By Salt Lake County Watershed Planning & Restoration Program

pollutant loads and flow data are also used to assess the relationship between precipitation and streamflow (e.g., how quickly streamflow reaches its peak), which can vary significantly depending on the level of watershed development. While the County data are collected to provide a general assessment of water quality, and not to meet any regulatory requirements, the Watershed Program does work with agencies collecting data for regulatory reasons. Utah Division of Water Quality collects water quality data at various locations in the county for the purpose of supporting regulatory programs. Salt Lake City Public Utilities collects water quality data for the purposes of drinking water source protection and treatment. Ultimately, the goal of Salt Lake County’s ongoing water quality monitoring is to serve as a check and measure of the stresses put on our urban streams, understand the type and severity of water quality impairments, and set achievable targets for improvement. l

(Top) Collecting aquatic macroinvertebrate samples (a.k.a. bugs) in upper Little Cottonwood Creek. (Bottom) Stonefly macroinvertebrates are a reliable indicator of excellent water quality.. (Salt Lake County Watershed Planning & Restoration).

September 2018 | Page 15

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Brighton volleyball confident it can bounce back for big season By Josh McFadden | josh@mycityjournals.com


ome teams might not have a lot of optimism following a 6-11 season, but the Brighton volleyball squad is optimistic about its chances for the 2018 campaign. Brighton finished fifth out of six teams in Region 7 standings a year ago, missing out on the state tournament. However, with a blend of returning talent and promising newcomers, Head Coach Adam Fernandez has set the bar high this season. “We’ve got a nice even mix of veteran varsity leaders and talented incoming freshmen,” Fernandez said. “I expect them to gel as a group and I expect us to compete for a region championship and make some noise at state.” Of course, this doesn’t mean the Bengals won’t have some challenges to begin the season. Fernandez has to find a way to replace some departed seniors from last season. He plans on giving time to some freshman and believes they can perform well if they can overcome the first-year jitters. “We have a lot of varsity holes that will be filled by ninth-graders,” he said. “They need to not get spooked and perform in matches.” Senior Cate Monson will lead the team on the court with her talent and leadership. Juniors Adi Terry and Taeya Pilgrim will also fill key

roles. Fernandez will also rely on youngsters Olivia Ponte, a sophomore, and freshmen Graysen Trupp, Savannah Cottam and Fefe Rees. It’s rare at Brighton to see such a stacked class of ninth-graders. Fernandez said his freshmen will be a big part of the team’s success. “This is the deepest ninth-grade class I have ever seen in my 12 years at BHS,” he said. “There’s lots of talent. They just need to perform under the bright varsity lights.” Not only does Fernandez think his team has what it takes to contend for a region title and compete at state, but he also enjoys working with the girls. He appreciates their attitudes and work ethic. “I just love my job and love this sport,” he said. “I am excited to see what we can get done. They are great girls and have great personalities. They are a ton of fun to be around.” Brighton began the season Aug. 16 at Copper Hills and hosted Box Elder Aug. 21. The Bengals travel to Riverton Tuesday, Aug. 28. On Sept. 13, Brighton plays its first Region 7 game when it travels to Alta. The Bengals need to finish in the top four in Region 7 if it helps to qualify for the Class 5A state title. The Bengals reached the state tournament in 2016 before missing out last season. l


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Compassion campaign continues at Butler Middle School By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


t’s been months since the Parkland, Florida shooting and protests, but Butler Middle School students are keeping the effort to spread kindness alive. “After the Parkland shooting, our students wanted to do something more than a one-day protest,” school librarian Jennifer VanHaaften said. “Most of our students wanted to find a voice to show they cared.” After seeing a Facebook post about doing 17 acts of kindness, Butler students jumped on board to pledge to build their school community. Then, they participated in random acts of kindness. “We hoped they would make a new friend or get to know someone better through their acts of kindness,” VanHaaften said. “It was a voluntary action and done on the honor system. We wanted their actions to help build a positive school culture in our middle school.” Those efforts were refreshing and rewarding; enough so that the program will continue this school year. “We saw a group of girls post uplifting notes on the lockers of 900-plus students. Kids introduced themselves to new friends and sat together at lunch. They were giving smiles and high-fives. Middle school can be a hard time for some students and our students brought a positive light to our school,” VanHaaften said.


Their actions were displayed with the pledges in the school library under “Compassion Saves Lives” as well as posted on “Butler Bruins, what’s your 17?” The number comes directly from when a gunman opened fire Feb. 14 at a Parkland, Florida high school, killing 17 students and staff members and injuring 17 others. The shooting sparked unprecedented demands for gun control and school safety, arising from the high school survivors as well as students nationwide. VanHaaften said the effort to have a more compassionate school environment also extends through the school’s book club as they read the novel “Wonder,” by R.J. Palacio. “We try to keep the conversation going. We also talk about relationships, life skills, being responsible with technology, cyberbullying and kindness through our Bruin times every Friday. In middle school, there always is a need to have this conversation and learn why it’s important to be compassionate,” she said. The compassion campaign and mini lessons, in addition to school announcements and emails, were prepared by teachers who wanted to help students find a way to be impactful and make the difference positively. “We wanted our students to know why they would be walking out and what they needed to do and how they needed to behave respon-

Butler Middle School is the home of a compassion campaign, in response to the Parkland, Fla. Shootings. It is designed for middle school students to make creative a positive school culture. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

sibly to have adults listen to them,” VanHaaften said. “We also wanted to support them as they showed they cared and wanted to do something

purposeful to help the situation at their own school,” she said. l

September 2018 | Page 17

Beginning teachers begin to see better salaries By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com Julie Slama | Julie@mycityjournals.com


anice Voorhies began her teaching career in Alpine School District in 1969, a time when it was the lowest-paying school district in a state with the lowest teacher salary in the nation. “I arguably was—for a brief while—the lowest paid teacher in America,” she said. Voorhies is now Board of Education president for Jordan District and was thrilled to announce a pay increase for Utah teachers for the 2018-2019 school year. The raise includes an $875 step increase for every teacher and a $2,500 cost-of-living adjustment for every licensed employee for a total raise of $3,675. “We had a goal to retain quality teachers and attract new teachers,” Voorhies said. “This compensation is something I never could have dreamed of when I started my first-year salary at $4,800.” When the package was announced, some teachers argued the raise was unfair because, by percentages, new teachers got a bigger raise than experienced teachers. Others, like Jordan Ridge Elementary’s Laurie Christensen, thought it was a great package. With the announcement, she reminded her colleagues that it incentivizes college students to enter and remain in the profession.

Page 18 | September 2018

“We’ve got to shift our view,” she said. “We’ve got to look at what’s best for all of the educators out there.” West Hills Middle teacher Victor Neves has been teaching for 27 years. He said before the raise last year, he was making about twice as much as a first-year teacher. “I certainly don’t work twice as hard as first-year teachers,” he said. “I’d say I work about one-tenth as hard as first-year teachers. And because I know what I’m doing, I think I teach better than them — but not twice as well as them.” In Canyons District, first-year teacher Whitney Lott will be teaching Midvale Middle School eighth-graders. “My contract begins Aug. 17 and already I’ve been getting the room ready,” she said in late July, adding that she has read the core curriculum, a teaching strategy book and will have attended a teaching “base camp” before her contract begins. “Being a new teacher may be more work than a veteran as I’m learning everything and creating a curriculum while veteran teachers usually are not on the same learning curve. (But) I truly, truly believe this is the one of the most important jobs we can do.” Neves said the salary arms race among the

districts competing for new teachers is encouraging. “If we’re going to attract and retain new teachers, which we need to do, we have to pay them market rates,” he said. Voorhies said the board had beginning teachers in mind when they approved the raise. “It’s never easy for a first-year teacher — financially or with the workload—there’s a huge learning curve,” she said. “But anything we can do to allow teachers to earn more money—they’ll go someplace else if they can’t feed their family.” Emily Oscarson is a first-year teacher at Golden Fields Elementary in Jordan District, starting at $42,800 a year. She survived on her intern wage last year—50 percent of a teacher’s wage—even while she ran her classroom independently. “Like any career, you have to work your way up,” she said. “You’re not going to start fresh out of college making some huge salary.” Utah Education Association spokesman Mike Kelley said that school districts together worked to “set the mark above $40,000 in all school districts here in the valley,” but that starting salary is not across the state as rural school districts may not have the same resources.

Murray Education Association President and Murray High School government teacher Mark Durfey is grateful for the pay raise. “Murray Education Association members are appreciative of the 2.75 percent raise,” he said, adding there won’t be an additional increase in insurance rates. “With this increase, added to the considerable adjustment from last year’s negotiations, we think Murray is a great place to work.” Utah teachers have always been quick to point out they are some of the lowest paid in the nation. According to statistics from EdBuild.org, a nonprofit organization in support of public schools, (see table), Utah’s salary ranking moved up from 35th to 31st when average teacher wages were adjusted for cost of living. However, the study used 2013 wages. The recent raises—nearly 12 percent last year and the additional bump from this year’s packages— may have moved Utah closer to the middle of the pack. However, there still is a need to make the pay scale equal to those of starting professionals, such as a computer programmer or a medical technician. (see table). In a recent article, the National Education

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Association states: “It is true that most educators decide to enter the teaching profession because of a desire to work with children, but to attract and retain a greater number of dedicated, committed professionals, educators need salaries that are literally ‘attractive.’” In a 2006 NEA study, half of new U.S. teachers are likely to quit within the first five years because of poor working conditions and low salaries.

However, with salaries on the rise, the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Educational Statistics study found in 2015 that after three years, only 17 percent of teachers leave their field. The determining factor was money. Their study of 1,900 teachers showed that 97 percent of teachers who earned more than $40,000 their first year returned the next year, compared with 87 percent who earned less than $40,000.

Utah teachers, like Neves, are hopeful additional funding for education will be approved by the state legislature. He said it’s important to ease the burden of the high rent many young teachers are facing. “The raise is big and it’s great but the legislature needs to step up,” he said. “If we are going to get teachers, we have to pay new teachers enough to pay their rent.” Voorhies said those employed by taxpay-

ers—police, fire fighters and teachers—have traditionally been underpaid and undervalued by the community. “I don’t think they have to be rich, but they should be able to make a living so we can encourage good people—people that really care about the community—to work in the fields that will influence our children for better and keep us safe,” she said. l

Whitney Lott, a first-year teacher stands outside her classroom at Midvale Middle School a week before school starts. (Photo/Daniel Davis)


September 2018 | Page 19

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The Brighton girls tennis team has gotten its season underway. The team returns some key starters from last season. Head coach Natalie Meyer and her players have chosen their 2018 motto as: “Alone, we can do so little; together we can do so much.”


ennis, like any sport, requires specialized skills and abilities, especially when you’re playing against highly competitive teams. As the Brighton girls squad proves, there’s much more than these elements to achieve success on the court. Brighton Head Coach Natalie Meyer emphasizes having the right attitude and mindset as well as building strong bonds with teammates. Her approach has worked so far, and she hopes it will help carry the team as it goes up against some of the top teams in the state. “Every young lady on the team this year has a good nature about her,” Meyer said. “They are hard-working, teachable, coachable and look out for each other. They have been working hard to either move up from the position that they had last year or make the team as a newcomer. They spend hours every day in the hot weather practicing to do their best. They care about each other. Each girl knows they have a unique place on the team and that their contributions matter.” Interestingly, Meyer hasn’t set any goals to win a certain number of matches or to advance to state. She knows her players will compete against some experienced, talented players and teams. She’s more concerned that girls do their best and enjoy each practice and match. “My expectation is to create a positive learning experience for each young lady so when the season is over, each one will have a love for the game and for each other,” Meyer said. “As always, we are in a tough region. We hope to come through region play with a record that can qualify the team to go to the state tournament. Along the way, we enjoy the competitiveness and camaraderie that comes from playing the teams in our region.” Meyer welcomes back two returning starters at the singles positions. Senior Carli Elggren will hold down the No. 1 spot, while fellow se-

nior Brynley Olsen will be the team’s No. 3 singles starter. At the No. 2 single spot, freshman Rebecca Schwartz steps into a big role on the varsity squad. Meyer hadn’t yet set the doubles teams early in the season, as a handful of players were still vying for the positions. Meyer is happy with the way her players treat one another and with how much they enjoy playing. She believes playing at this level is more about having a positive experience than picking up victories. “We have fun,” she said. “They are positive, hard-working, dedicated and teachable. High school tennis should be about learning a sport for a lifetime and creating lifelong memories and friendships.” Brighton will face Alta, Corner Canyon, Jordan, Cottonwood and Timpview in Region 7. Meyer knows each of these teams poses significant obstacles. Many of the top squads have players who compete year-round and who have several years’ experience on the court. “We are competing against some well-seasoned and highly competitive teams,” she said. “Many of the girls in our region and across the state play local, intermountain and national tournaments. If you didn’t start this level of competition at a young age, the gap is hard to close.” Brighton finished eighth at the Class 5A state tournament last season. Meyer believes her girls have improved and have dedicated themselves in all aspects of the game. “The girls are focused on developing all aspects of their game,” she said. “They have been practicing and playing tournaments since last season ended. I have many new young ladies this year who spent hours and hours practicing to get a spot on the team. We have a committed mentality to improving and having a successful season.” l

Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Ridgecrest Runners are marathoners By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


Dont Text & Drive

Ridgecrest Runners, seen here in May, finished running a marathon over the course of the school year. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

26.1 miles? No sweat for more than 130 elementary school children at Ridgecrest Elementary. These students form the Ridgecrest Runners and over the course of the school year, complete a marathon running laps around their school field before school. Last year, several of the runners had completed five marathons, as they started as first-graders, when the program began. “The kids like doing it,” said Marci Cardon, who organizes the runners. “We have a big group of volunteers who help. Some run with the students, others are making sure they sign in or stretch. It’s become something everyone counts on.” This fall, students can sign up to participate in the free activity, which not only has the students running laps, but also having fun doing relays, springs, playing tag, doing strength workouts, springs and yoga and stretching. They meet before school on Fridays for 45 minutes. The Ridgecrest Runners also have been known to take 30-second breaks for jumping jacks and push-ups. “As the kids come, they get better in shape and become faster. It helps with their strength and agility,” she said. “We teach them how to warm up, cool down, set a pace, what the difference is between

sprints and distance, and talk about everything at the end of our workout. Some like it to compete and others do it with their friends as a team atmosphere. We want it to include anyone who wants to participate,” she said. Third-grader Jay Thompson is one of those who wants to use the endurance training to improve his speed. “I’ve been wanting to get stronger and faster — as fast as my brothers,” said the student-athlete in May who also likes to play football, indoor soccer and does karate. “I’m looking forward to finishing the marathon and maybe running some 5Ks this summer.” Fifth-grader Vincent Riccardi finished his second marathon with Ridgecrest Runners. “I run because I like it,” he said. “It’s actually pretty fun to run a lot and play the games afterward for more exercise. I may run cross country now at Midvale (Middle School).” Six years ago, Cardon said several students wanted more physical education, so she began a running club and about 30 students participated. They even ran in Cottonwood Height’s annual race around the Thanksgiving holiday. However, the next year, the group’s


vision shifted and Ridgecrest Runners emerged, with the goal following an Iowa school — for any student to complete the marathon during the morning runs. That first year, 85 students joined. Since then, each year more than 125 students have participated. When the weather becomes inclement for running around the field, the Ridgecrest Runners take to the school hallways. “We have exercises and fun ways for them to keep moving so they continue to get exercise and build their endurance and stamina,” she said. In addition to leading a healthier lifestyle, the students can be selected as a “Star Runner,” where they receive a Gatorade. Those who complete the marathon are rewarded with a “finisher shirt,” snacks and a chance for raffle prizes — reflective vests, sunglasses, shoelaces, running lights, Frisbees and other active sporting equipment. “Many of these students realize they can accomplish something hard and how they can break down a long-term goal so they can be successful,” Cardon said. “They’re learning to have fun with physical fitness while building friendships.” l

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h no! Summer is just about over — September 22 is officially the last day of the season. Are you worried there won’t be anything fun left to do? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! Make the most out of your time with the new Ultimate Pass of all Passes that is currently on sale. (coupons4utah.com) The pass includes: unlimited admission to Seven Peaks Waterpark in Salt Lake City, Seven Peaks Fun Center in Lehi, and Peaks Ice Arena in Provo during public skate times; select admission to Rocky Mountain Raceway events, Brigham Young University athletic events, University of Utah athletic events, Utah Valley University athletic events, Orem Owlz home games, Utah Falconz games, Utah Warriors games, Utah Grizzlies games, REAL Monarchs, and Utah Royals FC games; one 10-minute tram ride at Snowbird; one lunch at the Lion House Pantry; one admission to SCERA Shell Outdoor Theatre production, Scales and Tails, RC playgrounds, Crystal Hot Springs, Dome Theatre Screening, Clark Planetarium IMAX Screening, Discovery Gateway, Museum of Natural Curiosity, Natural History Museum, Red Butte Garden, Thanksgiving Point Ashton Gardens, Thanksgiving Point Museum of Ancient Life, Tracy Aviary, This is the Place Heritage Park, The Leonardo, Utah’s Hogle Zoo, Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Utah Olympic Park and Lagoon. Whew! Usually this pass is priced at $149.99, but it is currently on sale for $129.99. After purchase, redeem the pass within 90 days and the offers will last for one year. It’ll be good for next summer!

If you don’t need the entire Ultimate Pass, smaller package passes are available such as: Sports ($9.99), Amusement ($59.99) and Culture ($79.99). Additionally, Groupon is offering the classic Pass of all Passes for $24.99. Looking for an event a little different during the month of September? Check out these festivals and conventions: Snowbird’s Oktoberfest began on Aug. 18 and will continue every weekend until Oct. 21. The festival begins at noon every Saturday and Sunday and closes around 6:30 p.m. Admission is free but parking is $10 per car. For more information, visit www. snowbird.com/oktoberfest/. Salt Lake City’s Greek Festival will be held from Sept.7 through Sept. 9 at the Holy Trinity Cathedral Greek Orthodox Church, located at 279 S. 300 West. On Friday and Saturday, the festival runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. On Sunday, the festival will close around 10 p.m. Check them out for all the Greek food you can imagine, including: baked Greek chicken, gyros, keftedes, souvlaki, baklava, macaroons, loukoumathes, roasted lamb, tyropita and more. Admission is $3 per person with children under 5 free. For more information, visit www.saltlakegreekfestival.com. Downtown Salt Lake City’s Dine O’Round will begin on Sept. 15 and run until Oct. 1. The Dine O’Round includes 45 of downtown’s top restaurants featuring $5 to $10 two-item lunches, as well as $15, $25 and $35 three-course dinners. Some of the featured restaurants include Bocata, Gracie’s, Green

Pig Pub and Tony Caputo’s. Attendees can post their photos on Instagram for a chance to win dinner for one year (remember to use the hashtag dineoround and tag downtownslc). For more information, visit www.dineoround.com. The Utah State Fair will be from Sept. 6 to Sept.16 this year at the Utah State Fairpark on 155 N. 1000 West in Salt Lake City. Doors open at 10 a.m. almost every day. Adult tickets are $10 per person, while senior and youth tickets are $8 per person. Fan-X (Salt Lake City’s version of Comic Con) will be held from Sept. 6 through Sept. 8 at the Salt Palace Convention Center on 100 South Temple in Salt Lake City. Hours vary for each day and tickets range from $45 to $250. For more information visit www.fanxsaltlake.com. Enjoy the last days of summer! P.S. Did you know you can follow us on social media? Check us out of Facebook by searching for the Coupons4Utah Group Page. Check us out on Instagram by searching coupons4utah. Or visit our blog at coupons4utah.com. l

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Cottonwood Heights City Journal

Life and Laughter— Things We Forget


Laughter AND





here was a time, before we got all jaded and grumpy, that our main purpose was to have fun. As kids, we jumped out of bed every morning, eager to find the best ways to a) get candy, b) meet friends, c) watch cartoons and d) avoid chores at all costs. We had it all figured out. Why did grown-ups make everything so difficult? Politics, manipulation and sociopathic behaviors were things we didn’t understand. (I still don’t understand.) After life punches us in the face for several decades, we get out of bed a little slower and rarely find time for cartoons or candy. Friends become precious. Chores increase exponentially. But maybe those 10-year-old versions of ourselves were right all along. Maybe we need to remember some basic rules about life that were totally obvious to us before we finished elementary school. These things are truths at any age. • Going to the bank is boring— unless there are those chain-attached pens you can play with • If you’re good at the store, you might get a Butterfinger • Going to the zoo sounds like a good idea, but it’s actually exhausting • Visiting grandma gets you

spoiled • Sometimes you need to stay in bed all day reading a good book • Making friends is easy • Going to bed early is a punishment • It’s okay to cry when your feelings are hurt • Saturday morning cartoons are awesome • Spending an afternoon in the park is the best use of your time • A $20 bill makes you rich • When your friend is mean, it’s okay to tell them that wasn’t nice • It’s fun to be excited for birthdays and Christmas • Eating cold cereal for dinner is the best • Throwing a water balloon at your sister is thrilling • You never have to watch your carbs • Shoes aren’t always necessary • Cloud watching is not a waste of time So how did we go from being fun-loving kidlets to cranky adults? When did we decide it was better to be busy than to have fun? As with most terrible things, I blame the teenage years. Being 13 years old can






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be devastating. If you watch the movie Eighth Grade, be prepared for some serious junior high PTSD as a beautiful young girl destroys her own self-esteem with anxiety, junior high romance and pool parties. Seriously triggering. Once we drag ourselves out of the primordial swamp of high school, we’ve become a little less trusting and optimistic. Then we double-down on our cynicism as we enter the workforce. When you were in elementary school, dreaming about the time you’d be a grown up with your own car and the ability to eat ice cream after midnight, you never considered the possibility that working sucks. Sure, we saw our parents come home from work, down a bottle



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of gin and collapse on the couch like a bag of old pudding, but that was because they’d had SO MUCH FUN at work! Something needs to change. If you find yourself scowling at happiness, it’s time to check back with your inner fourth-grader and do something fun. Skip work and go hiking. Have an ice-cream sundae, without promising to jog later (because 10-year-olds don’t jog). Start a conversation with a stranger. Spend $20 on something entirely useless. Have Lucky Charms for dinner. We need to remember, it’s fun to a) get candy, b) meet friends, c) watch cartoons and d) avoid chores at all costs. Life’s too short to grow old. l

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801-819-9158 September 2018 | Page 23

Profile for The City Journals

Cottonwood Heights City Journal September 2018  

Cottonwood Heights City Journal September 2018

Cottonwood Heights City Journal September 2018  

Cottonwood Heights City Journal September 2018