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December 2019 | Vol. 13 Iss. 12



hen you ask 18-year-old Zayden Hunlow what the best part of his recent trip to Tanzania was, he’ll say it was visiting school children in a local Maasai village. While in Tanzania, however, he also climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, set a world record as the youngest person to paraglide from the 19,341 foot summit, turned 18 years old and donated $5,000 to the Tanzanian people.


Zayden’s amazing adventure started when his dad, professional paragliding instructor Chris Hunlow, was asked to be the tandem paragliding pilot for a fundraising flight off of Mt. Kilimanjaro. The expedition was planned during Zayden’s birthday week. “I had missed his 16th birthday doing a flight for Wings of Kilimanjaro. I didn’t want to miss another birthday so I asked Zayden if he would want to go,” Chris said. “I was pretty unsure about going,” Zayden said. “I knew that there was a big chance I wouldn’t be able to fly because of the weather. I also had school and my birthday and I wanted to hang out with friends. But one day I realized it was a really great opportunity. It’s for a charity way bigger than what I am and I’d be doing it for a great cause. Just climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro would be an amazing experience even if I didn’t fly.” The Hunlows would be embarking on a journey with Wings of Kilimanjaro (WOK), an Australia-based nonprofit organization that raises money to provide clean water, build schools and finance microloans for the people of Tanzania. But this isn’t your typical fundraiser. It is a life-changing experience that includes hiking up Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa,

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Draper’s Chris and Zayden Hunlow with their expedition group shortly before paragliding from the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. (Photo courtesy Chris Hunlow)

paragliding from the 3.6-mile-high peak, followed by a visit to villages to see how your fundraising dollars are helping change lives. WOK was one of the first companies to receive a Kilimanjaro Paragliding permit, allowing them to bring spectators, paragliders and tandem paragliding pilots to the summit for an unforgettable flight. To participate, spectators must

fundraise $2,000 for WOK, solo paragliders $5,000, and those wanting to tandem paraglide with a professional need to raise $10,000. One hundred percent of the fundraising money goes to the people of Tanzania. The original plan was for Zayden to go as a spectator, hiking up the behemoth mountain Continued page 5

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No humbug here — Draper Historic Theatre’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ returns By Katherine Weinstein | Katherine@mycityjournals.com

I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the past, the present, and the future, the spirits of all three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!” – Ebenezer Scrooge, “A Christmas Carol” These well-known words will ring out once again from the stage of Draper Historic Theatre in the 2019 production of “A Christmas Carol.” Over the years, this original musical adaptation of Dickens’ tale has become an audience favorite. This year’s production, however, will feature a few changes to the way the story is told, a new song, and some new faces on stage. “A Christmas Carol” at Draper Historic Theatre is a constant work in progress. “We rewrite it every year,” said director Craig Haycock. “It is always written in the spirit of Dickens.” The script contains story elements from the novel. For example, as Haycock explained, “There is a beggar child in every scene who gives Scrooge an opportunity to be charitable. He ignores her until the end, which shows the change in his character.” One of the script writers for the production is Randy Young, who is a direct descendant of Dickens. “He has a hand in the rewrites every year,” Haycock said. “It is dear to his heart. The show is true to Dickens in every way.” Themes of empathy, charity and redemption are central to the show’s message. Performing in “A Christmas Carol” is a beloved tradition to many in the cast who return year after year. Co-director Cliff Harris has been playing the role of Ebenezer Scrooge since the beginning. After nine seasons in the role, Harris estimates this year he will give his 100th performance as Scrooge. “I love theater because it’s fun,” he said. “This show is especially meaningful to me.” Music Director Kyle Woodruff is re-


Cast members of “A Christmas Carol” join in song in the Draper Historic Theatre original musical. (Photo courtesy Draper Historic Theatre)

turning to “A Christmas Carol” this year after having moved out of state for a couple of years. He composed the orchestration for the musical pieces in the very first production. “What I love about [the show] is the fact that there are original pieces that you can’t hear anywhere else. It’s fun to have a hand in cre-

ating them,” Woodruff said. A pianist who began playing at age 3, Woodruff first became involved with Draper Historic Theatre 10 years ago. “I just love theater! I’ve been doing it since junior high. It’s addictive,” said Woodruff. In addition to being the music director,




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Woodruff will be playing one of the gentlemen who asks Scrooge for a charitable donation for the poor. Woodruff’s greatest challenge as an actor is the fact that he is blind. He lost his sight in infancy but does not let his blindness stop him from doing what he loves. “Someone is walking with me at all times on stage,” Woodruff said. “When acting I am always in a group.” For this year’s production, Woodruff created the orchestration for a new song composed by Harris. In the story, Scrooge takes a trip back in time with the Ghost of Christmas Past and sees himself as a lonely boy left behind at boarding school for the Christmas holiday. Harris decided to write a solo for young Scrooge in that scene in which he laments his loneliness. He woke up one morning with the tune in his head. “I’m really pleased with how this song came out,” he said. New actors have joined the cast this year. Among them is Draper resident Jonathan Saul, who initially came to the auditions to give his daughter moral support. He ended up with the role of Bob Cratchit, and his daughter, Stella, is singing and dancing in the chorus. This is Saul’s first time performing in musical theater. He has been honing his musical skills performing in a local rock band. “I love the creativity and camaraderie of the group,” Saul said. “The level of talent in the show is amazing. It’s a great family show, a great date night — perfect for the season. Everyone is so committed.” Draper Historic Theatre will present “A Christmas Carol” Dec. 6, 7, 9, 12, 13, 14, 16, 19, 20 and 21 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 7, 14 and 21 at 2 p.m. Draper Historic Theatre is located at 12366 South 900 East in Draper. For tickets, visit www.drapertheatre.org or call 801-5724144 during the run of the production. l

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Continued from front page with his dad, watching him fly, then hiking back down with the rest of the group. Then Zayden decided he wanted to tandem paraglide with his dad. Not long after, Zayden approached his mom, Trista, about the possibility of him flying solo. “I said, ‘Absolutely not, no way,’” Trista said. “I had to battle my main fear of him going by himself without his dad. But he wanted to do it and I try to let my children do what they want to do especially something important like this.”


the kite goes overhead and get really good at landing. I did not want to fall.” “He really put in a lot of work to show that he could fly himself,” Chris said. “By the end of the summer, he was good enough that we were both confident he could do this.”


Chris and Zayden began to hike Mt. Kilimanjaro on Sept. 20 and reached the summit eight days later. “For the first couple of days it was super easy,” Zayden said. “I was breathing really good at the lower elevations and was super excited for the hike. By the third day, I was getting sick, I couldn’t breathe and it hurt to drink. The clouds came in and it was cold and miserable.” After battling cold weather, elevation sickness and fatigue, the Hunlows reached Uhuru Peak, the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, in the early-morning hours of Sept. 28. Zayden felt rejuvenated and ready to fly; Dad was feeling very nervous. “I had done it once and knew what to expect,” Chris said. “But it was extremely stressful to see my son go in the air that high, doing things that very few have done to date. It was very nerve-wracking for me.”

passengers on this WOK expedition. Zayden watched several of them take off, not all successfully, and then came his moment. He recorded it in his journal. “In no time the flag was in the perfect direction. My dad yelled, “This one is yours if you like it!” My brain said don’t go, but my gut said send it! So I turned my mind off and I ran. I ran giving it my all. I ran forgetting any struggle I’ve ever had in my life and I ran with the desire to fly. Before I knew it I was swept off my feet and began flying. I started flying more up than out which was a little scary. Many people said it looked like I went into an elevator and selected the highest floor. I got over the edge and struggled to get in my seat. Because of my massive snow pants and jacket, I couldn’t slide into my seat like normal. It took a good minute to get in, not only because of my clothes but also I was a bit scared to make sudden movements. Flying up like I did and flying off the edge, I quickly was at the highest point I’ve ever flown at. I pushed all fear away and fought my way into the seat. When I got in my seat a massive weight fell off my shoulders and I was left feeling calm and overexcited that I made it off. I was flying! I yelled and cheered with glee for about five minutes straight then looked behind me and saw my dad flying. I

Once Zayden made up his mind to fly solo off Mt. Kilimanjaro (and convinced his mom), the real work began. He had to become proficient enough to safely execute many possible launching, flying and landing conditions on his own, and he had to raise $5,000. “I did any odd job I could get,” Zayden said. “One morning me and my mom and dad woke up early and made a whole bunch of food and had a burrito bar for paragliders on the south side. A lot of people loved what I was doing and made donations.” “For a kid to raise $5,000 in one summer is amazing,” Chris said. “He had a goal, he THE FLIGHT In total, there were 18 pilots and six knew what he needed to do and he did it.” The Hunlows also approached local companies to help sponsor Zayden’s gear: equipment for flying from BGD paragliders, travel clothes and bags from Topo Designs, warm gear from Fortress Clothing, and solar power from Goal Zero. Purple Air donated money toward Zayden’s fundraiser as well as providing air sensors to leave in Tanzania to monitor air quality. Zayden also spent most of his summer working on the technical aspects of paragliding, often heading to the flight park at 5 a.m. and again at sunset to work on the skills he might need to fly off Kilimanjaro. “I really focused on launching and landing,” Zayden said. “I was there in the early morning when there was no wind doing no wind launches. When the sun was going down I worked on picking up my wing with Zayden Hunlow during his visit to a Maasai village school in Tanzania that he helped raise money for. (Photo no wind. I needed to learn how to make sure courtesy Chris Hunlow)

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was filled with even more relief.” Father and son then flew for around one hour and 15 minutes before reaching their landing zone. Since Chris had a passenger he was heavier and in the air for less time than Zayden. Chris said Zayden had a picture-perfect landing. Then 17, Zayden was the youngest person to successfully paraglide off of Mt. Kilimanjaro. “The first thing I did was call Mom and let her know we had both landed safely,” Chris said. Trista was at a computer watching GPS coordinates when her husband called. “When Chris called and said they were both down safe and sound I got teary,” Trista said. “I felt so relieved. It was all okay.”


A few days later, following showers, quality sleep and Zayden’s 18th birthday, Chris and Zayden were able to visit the Wings of Kilimanjaro Primary School to see the expansion that their fundraising efforts had helped to build. Zayden called the experience “life-changing.” “When we got there, there were close to 1,000 kids waiting,” Zayden said. “They wanted to shake our hands and welcome us. They were so full of love and you could see the gratefulness in their eyes.”


Then 17 years old, Zayden Hunlow holds the world record for the youngest person to successfully paraglide off of Mt. Kilimanjaro. They’ve sent in paperwork to the Guinness World Records and hope Zayden’s story will encourage other kids to work hard and dream big. Zayden said he learned so much from his WOK trip, and experienced joy he will never forget. Chris said he is inspired by his son, and hopes Zayden’s story inspires others. “This was an 18-year-old kid who wanted to do the impossible and did it,” Chris said. “People of all ages should be inspired to try and do what they’ve been afraid to do. It might not be easy, but let’s find a way to reach our goal and not just to do it for ourselves, but help other people along the way.” l

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Two local composers celebrate the Christmas story with ‘King of Kings’ By Katherine Weinstein | katherine@mycityjournals.com with Draper Philharmonic & Choral Society in 2017 when he learned that the organization needed a percussionist. “I kind of fell in love with the group,” he said. Performing with Draper Philharmonic & Choral Society holds special meaning for many of its members. Second violinist Elizabeth Valentine has commuted to rehearsals all the way from Spanish Fork. “For me it’s about the emotion, the feeling. It’s not just a focus on technique; it’s more than that,” Valentine said. Playing in last year’s Christmas concert, she said, “I felt a rush of emotion and love in the Christmas spirit,” she said. “It did wonders for my soul.”  Lucas Erasmus has been singing bass in the choral society since it began. “There’s something really unique about this organization,” he said. “I love it. The music is uplifting and patriotic. It is a joy to sing it.”  For Lives, “King of Kings” as a musical experience is “heaven-sent music. It’s inspiring, touches your soul and your heart.” The Draper Philharmonic & Choral SoComposers Tyler Teerlink and Jake Lives are collaborating on “King of Kings,” an original holiday musical ciety will present “King of Kings” at Union experience to be performed by Draper Philharmonic & Choral Society. (Photo courtesy Michael Kralik/DrapMiddle School on Dec. 6 and 7 at 7:30 p.m. Sherri Jensen conducts a recent Draper Philharmonic er Philharmonic & Choral Society) Union Middle School is located at 615 East & Choral Society Christmas concert. (Photo courtesy 8000 South in Sandy. For tickets and more Michael Kralik/Draper Philharmonic & Choral Sociefining Draper Philharmonic & Choral the audience.” information, visit www.draperphilharmonic. ety) Society’s new orchestral and choral Lives and Teerlink are collaborating on org. l Christmas piece, “King of Kings,” is no sim- the music, lyrics and orchestration for the enple task. “It’s not quite a cantata or an ora- tire piece. “We talk about what message we • Socks • Snow Shoes • Backpacks • Luggage • Gloves • Ski Bibs • torio,” said Director Sherri Jensen, although want to convey and characterization,” Lives it is based on scripture. The musical style is said. “Sometimes we start with the lyrics, more contemporary than classical.  like writing a poem together. There are other Tyler Teerlink, who is writing “King of times when we just wake up one day and the Kings” with fellow composer Jake Lives, music is there.” said, “It’s not a collection of holiday songs “It’s like a puzzle we’re putting togethbut a narrative, telling the Christmas story er. The creative process is inspiring but also through music.” confusing. It’s a refining process. There was “You can convey messages that words a day when Tyler wrote a whole song and I cannot speak through music,” Lives added. loved it. Another day I woke up with just part “Our goal is to tell the story in a relatable way of a song in my mind. It can be a struggle to and address what the Christmas story means finish it, it doesn’t always come easy,” Lives to us now.” said. Inspired by the sacred works of LatBoth composers are just 23 years old ter-day Saint composer Rob Gardner, Lives and both grew up in Draper. Teerlink was a Bring in this ad and Teerlink refer to “King of Kings” as a member of the first graduating class at Cor“musical experience.” ner Canyon High School while Lives attendand get FREE Used Ski Packages “This is something the community has ed Jordan High School. Teerlink and Lives Gloves, Hat or Kids and Adult never heard, something different,” Jensen started writing music and playing in bands Survival Knife! said. “’King of Kings’ will put people in the in their teens and performed in high school SKI∙BOARD∙BLADE mood for the real meaning of Christmas — a choir and band respectively. Currently, both really meaningful concert.” are pursuing degrees in music education at “King of Kings” will be performed Dec. UVU. 6 and 7 at 7:30 p.m. at Union Middle School “King of Kings” is not the first piece for in Sandy. choir and orchestra that the two have worked As Teerlink explained, “King of Kings” on together. They collaborated with another 00 examines the inner lives and feelings of the composer on “George Washington: Ordained biblical characters in the story of the birth of of God,” which was performed by Draper Jesus Christ. For example, Mary processes Philharmonic & Choral Society last summer. her doubts balanced with faith following the Teerlink aspires to teach and direct a visitation from the angel Gabriel in a song ti- choir one day. “There is something magical tled, “I Know Not.” The song “sheds a light about choir,” he said, “about people coming on her story in a new way,” Teerlink said. together to create a unified sound.” “We want to make the characters relatable to Lives is a percussionist and got involved • We Have Twin Twip Skis! Try Our Demos & Get Half Back! •

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Draper’s ‘MisCast’ production features musical hits with an imaginative twist By Stephanie Yrungaray | s.yrungaray@mycityjournals.com


ith green hills alive in the background and a lederhosen-clad Rolf riding a bike on stage, all signs pointed to a “typical” performance of “16 Going on 17.” Then Leisl started scrolling through her cell phone. This “MisCast” performance was part of Draper Arts Council’s final show of the year, performed on Nov. 8, 9 and 11 at the Draper Historic Theatre. Twenty-eight cast members played with time, gender, age and characters to create 16 Broadway mash-ups and parodies, like a dog performing “Memories,” Wednesday from the Addams’ Family singing “Part of Your World” and a modern “16 Going on 17” (selfies included). Broadway holds an annual “Miscast” gala, but this is the first time it has been done in Draper. First-time Director Jessica Yergensen approached the arts council with the idea and they loved the concept. “We said absolutely yes,” said arts council member and “MisCast” Producer Jocelyn Allred. “Jessica has done shows with the Draper Arts Council before. We knew of her talents and her work ethic and how things translate from her head to the stage and said we will try this.” People came from all over the valley to try out for the unique show. “It hasn’t been done in this area,” said Riverton’s Leah Allred. “It is so fun to get to play a character you probably wouldn’t ever get the chance to play.” Yergensen said she and musical director Dave Martin had a few songs in mind during tryouts. “I wanted [the show] to be lighthearted,” Yergensen said. “It was important to choose songs people were familiar with. That is part of what makes the show funny. People need to recognize the song to know how it is miscast.” Chad Smith, who starred as Rolf and performed in three other numbers, said the

An all-male cast shows off their twirly whirly hips singing “Honeybun” from South Pacific. (Stephanie Yrungaray/City Journals)

process to create the show was enjoyable. “They gave us tons of leeway,” Smith said. “The director and musical director gave us great ideas and then said have fun with it.” “Honestly it was one of the best experiences,” said performer Chelsea Ottoson. “It’s been so much fun to just be silly with so many people. It brings you together. We’ve all been laughing and building each other up.” That laughter spread right to the “Mis-

The modern take of “16 Going on 17” included selfies and online dating apps. (Stephanie Yrungaray/City Journals)

Cast” audience. “On opening night I was really worried if the audience would get my sense of humor,” Yergensen said. “The audience participation was great. They laughed the whole time — it was exactly what I wanted.” “If it is half as fun to watch as it is to perform, it will be a roaring success,” Smith said. And three sold-out shows proved his

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theory correct. Yergensen said she has already been commissioned to direct and choreograph next year’s “MisCast” in Draper. “It has just been a fun, talented cast and crew and it was delightful to work with everybody,” Jocelyn Allred said. “The community theater world is very small and productions are all about old friends coming together and making new friends.” l


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Book club helps Draper seniors connect with younger generations By Stephanie Yrungaray | s.yrungaray@mycityjournals.com


hen Draper Librarian Linda Gee decided to start a book club for the neighboring Draper Senior Center, she wanted it to be a connecting force between readers and their grandchildren. “We focus on award-winning youth and children’s books,” said Gee. “We read books you wish you read when you were young, books your grandchildren are reading and children’s books you want to re-read again.” Since 2013, Gee has been selecting books, reserving them in bulk, and holding a Young at Heart book club meeting the second Monday of each month at the Draper Senior Center. Jane Brinton remembers how warm and welcome she felt at the first book club she attended five years ago. “I stopped in and listened and now I’ve never stopped going,” said Brinton. “I love that Linda chooses the books every time, she prepares background information that is interesting about the author and book and she has discussion topics. She just makes it so easy for us.” Brinton also values Gee’s expert book selections. “She selects books with confidence,” said Brinton. “We’ve read all genres: graphic novels, fantasy, historical books. They are

always interesting and easy for us to read in time.” Brinton said her book club reading has given her things to discuss with her grandkids. “We had one [book club member] early on that bought the book we had discussed for all of her grandchildren because she enjoyed it so much,” said Gee. “The book club helps them relate to their children and gives them a connection with grandchildren as well as a social outlet.” Both Gee and Brinton hope more people will join them for the Young at Heart book club. “We usually have eight or nine people come,” said Gee. “People that come really enjoy it. We would always love to have more people.” “There is always a lively discussion,” said Brinton. “We talk about many things. People need to come, it’s a real treasure.” You can visit the library for more information and to pick up a copy of this month’s book “Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow” by Jessica Day George. The Young at Heart book club will meet Monday, Dec. 9 at 12 p.m. at the Draper Senior Center. All adults are welcome. l

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The Young at Heart book club will meet Monday, Dec. 9 at 12 p.m. at the Draper Senior Center. All adults are welcome. (Photo by Gregory Culmer/Unsplash)

Draper City Journal

Courage was the theme of Veterans Day ceremony By Mimi Darley Dutton | m.dutton@mycityjournals.com


n a crisp, sunny fall day, members of the community gathered to show gratitude and respect for Draper’s veterans and those of the entire nation at Draper Park. Parents brought their children, couples came with their dogs and generations of families sat together for the ceremony. Uniforms and hats indicating military membership dotted the crowd. Draper Parks and Recreation Director Rhett Ogden spoke about the importance of honoring veterans, Councilman Mike Green told of when he joined the Army National Guard on July 1, 2001 just two months before “everything changed” on Sept. 11. He told the veterans gathered, “We all continue to stand on your shoulders.” And Mayor Troy Walker addressed the crowd as the son of a soldier and a father to two sons in the service. “My father had three bronze stars, all for valor. I didn’t know that about my dad until he was in his casket. I wish I could have discussed that with him in the day,” he said. Walker closed his remarks by reading a prayer requested by General George Patton for good weather that included the words, “grant us fair weather for battle…that we may advance from victory to victory and establish justice.” Among the many veterans gathered at

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the ceremony was Lorin Welker, who served in the Army and the Army National Guard. He proudly showed two of his dad’s medals from World War II along with those he had earned himself, all of which were pinned to his uniform. “Be sure to thank the families. Families suffer along with the veterans,” Welker said.

Lorin Welker, who served as a chief warrant officer 4 in the Army and Army National Guard, stressed the importance of thanking military families for their sacrifice. (Mimi Darley Dutton/City Journals)

And Draper resident Charles Keller, a World War II veteran who served in the 95th Infantry Division at the Battle of Metz, France, was present at the ceremony and got a standing ovation. All the veterans present

gathered for a group photo following the ceremony and many wanted to shake Keller’s hand. Keller will turn 98 this November. “There are amazing veterans in Draper…my hat is off to you,” Walker said. l

WWII veteran Charles Keller, accompanied by his friend and fellow veteran Barry Skinner, visited with Mayor Walker. (Mimi Darley Dutton/City Journals





he long line at the local auto body shop isn’t The Utah Department of Public Safety sugjust for oil changes, it’s for winter tires too. gests on its website to have jumper cables, a With temperatures (and leaves) dropping, it’s tow rope and small shovel in case the car gets time for a refresher course on safe winter driving. stuck, reflectors or flares to make sure your car is visible to others driving, flashlight and bat1-Know the conditions Technology affords us the privilege of teries, extra winter clothes, first-aid kit, battery knowing road conditions before ever leaving or solar powered radio, sleeping bag, fresh water and non-perishable food, paper towels and the house. Utah Department of Transportation has hand warmers.

more than 2,200 traffic cameras or sensors which gives visuals and data on all major UDOT roads. Drivers can then adjust their routes or schedules according to the heaviness of traffic making for less congestion and less risk for accidents. The UDOT app means you can see all those cameras from your phone. 2-Prepare the car Make sure the car is prepared for the road conditions, first with good tires. Snow tires give greater tread for better traction. Snow and ice should be completely removed from the windows, headlights and taillights prior to driving to ensure visibility. If your car is parked outside overnight, place towels over the windows. This keeps the windows from icing over.

DraperJournal .com

3-Control the vehicle Keeping the car under control requires some safe driving tips. The most obvious: drive slow. Despite our impatience or urgency to get to the desired location, slow driving is the safest driving. Staying under the speed limit, which is meant for ideal conditions, becomes even more important when traveling over snow, ice, standing water or slush. In drivers education courses, prospective drivers learn about the rule for distance between your car and the one in front of you. Driving 60 mph? Stay six car lengths back. 70 mph? Seven car lengths back. This distance should be increased even more during wet conditions to allow the car time and space to stop without rear ending the vehicle in front.



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Plentiful planning required for Point of the Mountain project By Mimi Darley Dutton | m.dutton@mycityjournals.com

Envision Utah has come up with some concepts and graphics of what might happen at the prison site, but these are just concepts. The actual plan is still in the early stages of development. (Courtesy Envision Utah)


hough the move of the Utah State Prison and the development of the Point of the Mountain are still several years out, important planning is happening now to ensure the area’s potential is maximized while considering the opinions of stakeholders, including the residents of Draper. “The thing that makes it unique for us is the prison. It sits inside our city limits. It could potentially have a very big economic impact,” Draper Mayor Troy Walker said. Draper has a vested interest in that planning given that the mix of state and privately owned land sits largely within the city limits. The current prison site is about 680 acres of state-owned land and it is surrounded by what is projected to be about 20,000 acres of prime developable land in surrounding communities. As a result, Walker is a member of two groups who are instrumental in that planning to represent the best interests of the city. One group Walker participates in is the Point of the Mountain Commission, established in 2016. The commission meets about once per quarter and recently met in late October. Their members were appointed by the legislature “to study the issues regarding the prison site and the greater Point of the Mountain area,” Walker said. Their work is funded by the legislature ($700,000–$800,000 cumulatively to date, per Walker), but it’s a volunteer board with no stipends for its members. The funds in their budget have gone toward hiring a consultant, Envision Utah. Walker said Envision Utah did a scenario-based project where they got public input by putting on 50 workshops with affected cities. “They really reached out a lot,” Walker said. They

Page 10 | December 2019

came up with four scenarios of how it should develop, less dense through most dense, and one scenario was chosen roughly two years ago. “Keep in mind the Point of the Mountain Commission doesn’t develop anything, they’re just a body that’s hired people to do high-level studies on how it should go. The transportation problem and all the growth it is going to create are what need to be solved. The commission’s job is to wrangle the studies and get the best recommendation on how to proceed, how to fund it, including transportation…making it work for the whole area,” Walker said. In other words, they’re a study group that doesn’t have any executive authority, according to the mayor. The second group Walker participates in is the Point of the Mountain State Land Authority, established in 2018. “They will decide what goes there, what companies, how big it is, everything. The job of that agency is to actually do the work. It has all authority… and is tasked 100% with development of the prison site,” Walker said. Walker feels strongly that the current prison site will likely be the catalyst for the surrounding area. “It’s going to kick off and lead the future of the area. The way it’s developed will have a significant influence on the development of the rest of the area around it,” he said. Walker envisions “the most unique development in the state with respect to transportation. I’d like to see it be a development where the car is not the king. I think it’s got to have excellent mass transit opportunities. We need to develop this project with an eye

to clean air. The car is the biggest polluter so we’ve got to do a clean development. It needs to be a walkable, liveable community where you can work, live and play all there.” He imagines tall buildings to consolidate high-density housing but said the geology of the site will drive the results. Muriel Xochimitl, owner of the PR firm X-Factor, has been hired by the city as a consultant. She’s helped with the city’s recent work and outreach on the general plan and also Draper’s interest in development of the Point of the Mountain area. She attends both the land use and commission meetings. “The risk is that they don’t think big enough. This is a generational opportunity and they want to do it right,” she said, adding that a key takeaway from the city’s recent general plan survey was that Draper residents want to see much of the city’s growth on that prison site. Alan Matheson was hired in July as executive director of the Point of the Mountain State Land Use Authority. He was previously executive director of the department of environmental quality and he started Envision Utah more than two decades ago. “It has two different counties meeting, metropolitan planning organizations, a number of municipalities. It’s important that we all communicate and work together to achieve the benefits for the region. Our organization has responsibility for that prison site, but if we focus on that site to the exclusion of everything else, we’ll miss some real opportunities,” Matheson said. Matheson agrees with Walker that the prison site will set the tone of quality and a focus for the area, “not just on development,

but on helping to address some of our social challenges with transportation, housing, resource use, those kinds of things. We’re trying to get a good return for the people of the state, both economic and social return.” Matheson said the next step after public outreach will be funding to do site work to identify environmental and geotechnical issues, and transportation, which he described as the skeleton around which the site will develop. That will be followed by a national or international competition for a master developer. “We need to make sure we’re on solid footing, get the funding that’s needed and get the best partners in place to get a great result,” he said. According to Matheson, the department of corrections is targeting mid-2022 to move prisoners to the new prison being built three miles west of the Salt Lake City International Airport. That will be followed by a period of time to do demolition and site work, with a hope to begin building on the site a year or so after that. One idea is to bring a nationally recognized research presence to make the area an innovation hub, according to Matheson, for research that would develop skills for the work force, create technologies and spur the economy. “We’re looking at what others are doing around the world in innovation hubs where divergent disciplines come together and interact, share ideas, spur creativity and solve the world’s problems,” he said. “My hope is still that it will be the finest, most economically viable development in Utah when we’re done,” Walker said. l

Draper City Journal

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December 2019 | Page 11

Draper Mayor’s Youth Council is 65 dynamic members strong



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By Mimi Darley Dutton | m.dutton@mycityjournals.com


hat began as a group of 15–20 youth has now grown to a Draper City Mayor’s Youth Council (DCMYC), whose membership is capped at 65 but whose enthusiasm for helping in the community is boundless. The group is comprised of high school students who are Draper residents. They are charged with running four major events each year, including Haunted Hollow, the Draper tree lighting, the Easter egg hunt and the Draper Days children’s parade. Caroline Sagae serves as the main adult advisor to the DCMYC. She’s been with the organization for seven years, first as an adult volunteer, and now as a part-time employee of the city whose job is to be the liaison between the youth council, their volunteer adult advisors and the city. Joaquim Sagae (Caroline’s husband), Mindy Van De Graaff and Hubert Huh serve as the volunteer adult advisors. “We’re well organized now, well oiled. We just get better,” Caroline said. “I like to see the youth and their personalities and how they react with each other, how they change through leadership. I like to see their enthusiasm as they are serving in the community and seeing them learn new things about the city and leadership where they wouldn’t normally experience. I feel privileged to be part of this group. They are excited, work hard, are kind, passionate and enthusiastic, selfless, and are willing to put themselves out there.” The DCMYC is more than just volunteering for city service projects four times per year. The youth are led by seven youth “executives” who organize the group into three committees: service, leadership and activities. The entire group meets twice monthly to explore various aspects of what makes a city run such as visiting and learning about Draper City’s Fire Department. In addition to that, they have projects. Recently they volunteered to clean up the Jordan River Parkway Trail, including working there to remove an invasive weed, and also cleaning up the Draper Cemetery by clearing grass from around gravestones. They also break into smaller groups and are asked to pick a service project, devote at least two hours to that project, and then present their projects to the rest of the council. “It is awesome to see some of the fun ideas that they come up with to help the community,” Caroline said. If the youth log enough volunteer hours, they’re eligible to at-

tend a Legislative Day at the capitol and/or a leadership conference at Utah State. “They are learning how our government works, how budgets are spent and learning about each facet of politics. Hopefully each one can apply what they learn today and later in life become more involved in government leadership to improve people’s lives. It is a prestigious position to be part of the Draper City Youth Council,” Caroline said. Elle Stoker is a senior at Corner Canyon and the current youth mayor of the council. This is her third year with the group. What keeps her coming back is the people. “My favorite thing ever it so see and meet all the people of Draper and feel like I’m helping the community in some way. I feel that if I didn’t, I wouldn’t feel as fulfilled. Our community is amazing and I want to contribute in any way I can,” Stoker said. Her favorite activity of the year is when the youth council takes their oath of office in front of the city council and their parents, promising to defend the constitution and valuing the opportunity to help their community. “It really gives you a sense of confidence and purpose which I love,” she said. She’s headed to college next year and she’s thinking about becoming an attorney. “I’m kind of on the fence about it. I don’t like confrontation, but I want to make society better and leave some legacy that improves the quality of life for people around me,” she said. Stoker explained that you must first complete a year on the youth council before you can apply to be one of the executives, or youth leaders, in the second year. After completing a year on the executive board, those interested in being mayor must turn in a resume and portfolio of things they’ve done outside the youth council and then go through an interview with the adult leaders who ultimately choose the mayor. Stoker commended the members of this year’s youth council. “I’ve gotten to meet so many new people. They’re all goal oriented and they want to get into good colleges, they have good grades. It shows what hard workers they are and how they value their community and other people, which I think is pretty special.” She also very grateful to the Sagaes. “They’ve helped me with college applications and scholarships. They’re not just there for the council, they help the individuals. You don’t find people

Corner Canyon senior Elle Stoker, this year’s youth mayor, said being on the council gives participants a sense of confidence and purpose through their civics lessons and volunteer projects. (Mimi Darley Dutton/City Journals)

like that very often. They just really care,” Stoker said. The youth council assisted the City Journals in hosting a debate for the city council candidates in October at City Hall. DCMYC members helped gather and formulate questions for the candidates as well as time their responses in an effort to give equal speaking time to each candidate. Applications for next year’s DCMYC will be accepted online in March and April of 2020 with interviews for membership to follow. The adult advisors who conduct the interviews want to be sure the youth demonstrate a readiness and willingness to lead, but also that they’re not too busy to fulfill the commitment of being part of the DCMYC. Watch for advertising about the DCMYC at local schools or check the city’s website for more information. They’re also looking for more adult volunteer advisors. Information on that can be found on the city’s website as well. l

Draper City Journal

SunCrest’s spacious and picturesque park By Mimi Darley Dutton | m.dutton@mycityjournals.com

Families Creating Memories. The Crescent Way.

Draper’s newest park, sitting on six acres in SunCrest, overlooks Utah Lake. (Mimi Darley Dutton/City Journals)


itting on six picturesque acres overlooking Utah Lake and the valley, Draper City’s new park in SunCrest has a lot to offer residents of all ages. “It has the most spectacular view of any park in our Draper park system. It’s really amazing,” said Rhett Ogden, Draper parks and recreation director. Located at 15350 South Traverse Ridge Drive, the park opened Oct. 16 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, following six months of planning and one and a half years of construction work. The park offers two pickleball courts, a large playground area for children that has play equipment, climbing structures and slides as well as swings, and a group pavilion that holds up to 80 people and can be rented through Draper’s parks and recreation department. It also offers two picnic tables, each with their own pavilion cover for shade, as well as a ¼ mile paved path around the perimeter of the park so walkers and runners can measure their miles. There are about 1,200 homes in SunCrest whose population this park will help serve. “It’s a Draper City park so any residents are welcome to use it. We’ve known for a while that one of our goals was to get a nice area park in SunCrest, so this will be a great addition. It’s a place they can exercise and it has playground features you won’t find in any of the other 40 parks in Draper,” Ogden said. Though challenging, the city worked to take advantage of the existing landscape to build the park. “We used the different elevation gains to have a nice, unique playground, and we were able to use a lot of the onsite boulders. We uncovered some beautiful rocks that we were able to save and implement in different areas of the park. It turned out really unique,” he said. Barbara Gibby lives nearby and can see the park from her house, so she’s noted a lot of activity happening since it opened. “We were anticipating it for a long time and were delighted when it was finished. We love it,” Gibby said. Kari Rodgers is also a SunCrest resident making use of the new park. “It’s just nice to have a great park up here,” she said. Gibby has made use of the pickleball courts, and both Gibby and Rodgers like the flat, paved walking path as an alternative to walking their hilly neighborhood.

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This was a park that might not have been, according to Ogden. He said the property was once slated to be residential and then at one time it was going to be a salt dome for the public works department. “I think we ended up with a really neat property,” he said. l

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Channing Hall students explore Moab’s natural beauty By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


hanning Hall eighth-grader Quinton Harker had been to Moab before, but not like this. For three days, Quinton and 29 of his classmates explored the area, learning about rock formations, petroglyphs, wildlife and flora, all while keeping camp and sleeping in tipis. “I expected to learn about the types of rocks there, and I did, but I learned so much more and had so much fun,” he said. It was the first time Channing Hall students attended Canyonlands Field Institute’s (CFI) Professor Valley Field Camp, 20 miles outside of Moab and Arches National Park. In their “outdoor classroom,” taught by CFI’s naturalist, students learned about desert plants, animals and geology as well as public lands management, said Jeff Meyers, Channing Hall science teacher. “We wanted the students to learn and grow as people and have experiences outside the norm,” he said. “We chose from several types of activities and focuses for the trip, but the day-to-day was planned and executed by the staff at CFI.” After traveling to CFI on bus, the students were welcomed, assigned to Lakota-style tipis and learning groups, and then signed up for jobs. Quinton signed up to cook for the crew. “I mostly cut veggies since I didn’t have a food handler’s permit, but I loved the job,” he said. “It was fun to get to make your own meals and cook for over 30 people.” Then, they went on a silent hike to an area where a counselor welcomed them and shared with them about the area and “read some poetry and stories to give us a sense of place. We then contemplated and shared some of our feelings and observations,” Meyers said. Quinton appreciated the night skies. “There were so many stars; it was amaz-

Dressed in costumes, Channing Hall students Lucas Reynolds, Sheldon Holen and Quinton Harker are ready for their mock town hall meeting. (Jeff Meyer/ Channing Hall)

ing,” Quinton said. On the second day, the group hiked six miles, using dry waterfalls as stairs, learning about local wildlife and flora and trying to interpret the meanings of the ancient petroglyphs. “We looked at the petroglyphs and what the symbols may mean to figure out what they were communicating,” Quinton said about what appeared to be a man and a mountain goat etching. Sharing with an audience of families after the trip, Meyers said they learned the plant nicknamed Mormon Tea is similar to a decongestant, and yucca plants were useful with their sharp spines serving as needles, their fibers as thread, while their roots were used for soap. “We learned that cyanobacteria hold water and resists erosion, so it takes 50 to 200 years to recover from footprints,” Meyers said. “We learned about desert varnish made up of oxidized metals and clay and that it

coats rock surfaces for thousands of years.” On the hike, they also stopped to practice team-building exercises. For example, they placed backpacks on the ground, then blindfolded some students. One student would be able to see what the blindfolded student needed to do, but couldn’t speak. However, the student who could see could mime it to a speaking student who wasn’t able to see the process in hopes that clear communication reached those trying to maneuver the course blindfolded. Once they continued on and reached Pride Rock, they sat in silence to appreciate the view. “We also wanted them to experience the world unplugged,” Meyers said. “We all noticed that as time progresses, people who did not normally talk or hang out together started to be more comfortable with each other because they were in their learning groups. We had many students remark on how it was good to be away from electronics.” That evening, a mock town hall was held about how the land should be used — farming, ranching, hiking, camping or possible commercial and business use — and students were given roles of buyers, sellers and community members. Some said it would help the Moab community if it were sold and apartment complexes were built; others said it would destroy the natural beauty. One student even dressed up as a deer and asked how harmful these business ventures would be to the environment and those who lived there. It was eighth-grader Georgia Barrett’s first visit to Moab, and after seeing the beauty of the land during the hike, she felt it should be preserved in real life. However, her role was part of the tourist council to support building on the land. “It was hard to get in character, but I kept asking questions about keeping it the same or farming on how it would make mon-

ey, which put flaws into their presentations,” she said. “We ended up supporting a spa and hotel, which will make money, but ultimately, it wasn’t what I wanted.” The nights were colder than many students expected as the tipis didn’t reach the ground, but instead let in cool night temperatures of 21 degrees. Water bottles froze and extra blankets were shared, Meyers said. Georgia, who said she wore three coats while roasting marshmallows, didn’t appreciate the temperatures during her first tipi stay. “It was so cold,” she said. “The first night, the flap flew open and wouldn’t stay closed. The cold air came right up under the tipi. I’m more of a glamper than a camper.” The group’s last full day was spent floating on the Green River. On three rafts, each team learned to row together and got excited as they went over class I and II rapids. They kept their eyes open for interesting rock formations and wildlife and were rewarded by seeing an otter and a bald eagle. Upon seeing the national bird, students recited the preamble and spontaneously broke out singing the national anthem, Meyers added. “The river rafting was so much fun,” Quinton said. “Some people in the boats had a hard time rowing, but we were the best coordinated rowers on the river.” Georgia was glad she had the opportunity to be a part of the eighth-grade trip. “I expected to learn about rocks and see red rocks, but there were pretty views and lots of wildlife,” she said. “I loved it all. The bus ride was fun, but it was loud as everyone was singing nonstop.” Meyers said Channing Hall plans to return next year. “We wanted this to be a culminating experience for our students here,” he said. “The last year they are with these kids, we take them on a special trip. This is something they can look forward to.” l


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Changing the case of the Mondays: Student council greets every student arriving to school By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


oon after the custodian opened the main doors to get the morning newspapers and before many faculty and Principal Mary Anderson arrived, seventh-grader Michael Wheatley was opening the door for people arriving to Draper Park Middle School on the last chilly October Monday morning. “Have a great Monday,” “I like your backpack,” “I know you; you’re in my class,” he said to students and teachers alike. He wasn’t the only one greeting people as they arrived to the school. Behind him were three other seventh-grade student council members giving high-fives and telling classmates, “Have a good day.” And at other entrances, eight other seventh-graders welcomed teachers and students. The greeters are all student council members, 34 who rotate and are in position by 7 a.m., every Monday morning, making sure every student, teacher and staff member get the door held open to them and are greeted. “I like it,” sixth-grade student Kinana Gonzales said. “It makes me feel welcome here.” That, sixth-grade teacher Pam Saltmarsh says, is the point.

Draper Park Middle School student leaders welcome students and faculty each Monday morning as part of a concerted effort to make the school more welcoming and build a positive culture. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

“We want to make sure kids feel comfortable at school, especially our sixth-graders who are new,” she said. “We want to make everyone feel welcome.” Saltmarsh said student council adviser and assistant principal Jodi Roberts was behind the idea to greet everyone at the door. “It’s a way everyone can touch base and greet everyone. Most everyone seems to be happier when they come in and it’s really been helpful for those shy kids, or ones

with anxiety or who are scared. Just a smile makes a huge difference. I heard last week, our eighth-grader council members even made up a cheer to greet students,” said Saltmarsh, who helps oversee the meet and greet sub-committee. Seventh-grader Ellie Miller was one of the students greeted at the main door. “I like it; when students are tired and dragging to come to school on Mondays, it’s nice to get greeted before hearing all the

noise inside,” she said. “We’re seeing more of our student council this way this year than just at assemblies like last year.” Student council member Talmage Watson agrees it is hard to get up in the 22-degree temperatures when it was “pitch black,” but “we want to start off people’s days better,” he said. Michael agrees: “If people are having a bad Monday, and we tell them to have a good day or open a door for someone who needs it, we are making a difference. Hopefully, we’re bringing some happiness.” Student council member Will Russell said he gets mixed reactions from students. “I’m getting people to smile when I help open the door or give them a high-five,” he said. “A couple students think they’re too cool and are frowning when I say, ‘have a good day.’” Classmate Kate Shakespear said that won’t deter their efforts. “It may not make a difference to every person, but if it makes a difference to any person, it’s worth it,” she said. “Plus, it’s fun. I get to be at school, hang out with friends, see everyone as they arrive and it makes most everyone happy.” l




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Draper City Journal

Alta to pilot U special education course next term


lta High student Chelsea Pierson is looking to add a new course to her schedule in January — Introduction of Special Education, offered by the University of Utah. “I have loved being a peer tutor and am a member of Happenings, where we do activities with students with special needs every month,” said the senior, who would like to pursue a career in horse therapy or nursing. She and classmate Stefani Helm listened as the new partnership program was outlined where students would attend one class per week, then complete assignments through working as a peer tutor. “These are meant to weave together really well,” U of U special education professor Shamby Polychronis said. However, instead of taking the class at the U, it would be offered at the high school for two hours after school and tuition would be reduced from “thousands to $60,” Polychronis said. “Whether or not it’s a career path, it can count toward credits and save an incredible amount — and it is a class that I think everyone would benefit from,” she said. “It gives people a better perspective and understanding on relationships and working with people with disabilities.” Plus, Canyons School District Human Resources Administrator Jo Jolley said the

By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com credits would transfer to any college or university. Polychronis said that while more people are familiar with the Civil Rights Act in the 1960s, fewer realize that the People with Disabilities Act came about around the same time. “There used to be the notion that ‘special people go to special places.’ That’s problematic. We need to be respectful and learn how to make better opportunities. We have a sense of justice, inclusion, respect and care,” she said. Helm said she has learned those principles through volunteering with SNAP — a church program that partners volunteers with a person with special needs to interact and do activities together. “I’m going to be a peer tutor next semester so I thought I should learn about this class,” Helm said, adding that in college she may pursue African studies or math. “It’s important to learn about all people.” Alta was selected to pilot this program because it has a strong peer tutor program, Jolley said. Alta Principal Brian McGill said they have about 30 slots for students to explore this course, and that high school students are encouraged to be a peer tutor. On an average, McGill says there are 100 peer tutors who help students with disabilities.

“We feel that many of these students already are thinking of careers in education and special education, so this is a way we can further prepare them,” he said. “There’s a shortage in special education teachers and this gives them a jump start in determining their future.” Jolley said to help encourage people to enter the field, the state adds $1,000 to the salary of any teacher with a special education degree and that Canyons School District adds another $3,000 on top of that for any teacher with the same degree teaching in a special education classroom. Canyons’ Special Education Program Administrator Nate Evaldson said this pilot course allows students to learn about the field. “It’s giving high school students a chance to explore, jump in and learn more about special education and could be a head start for college,” he said. “It gives them a chance to know more about it before they commit to a post-secondary option.” Polychronis agrees, saying it is similar to other fields that may have an introduction to engineering or introduction to business in high school. “We’re giving students that introduction that they may not be getting otherwise until college,” she said. “There are a lot of misconceptions about the skills needed in special ed.

You’ve got to be able to think on your feet.” Alta High special education teacher Chris Clarkson said her peer tutors are students who show compassion and are upbeat. “These are students who are positive and flexible as they may be able to switch what they’re doing in a moment’s notice,” she said. “They have to have patience to get everyone on the same page, learn classroom management and be able to run programs and collect data.” Polychronis said the coursework may include collecting data, learning to differentiate assignments and record supportive behavior amongst peers and teachers, helping students game a better understanding of the field. “For example, they may record if a hearing-impaired student signs to request help or students with behavioral concerns, raise their hands to use the bathroom,” she said. “This can help drive decisions that will benefit students in the class.” Evaldson said this will benefit students as they look at teaching in the field. “They’ll get a lot of practical experience as a peer tutor and gain an understanding of these students who may have intense needs and behavioral struggles,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity, for these are students who are trustworthy and willing to put themselves out there; it may give them a head start toward their career and passion.” l






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December 2019 | Page 17

Juan Diego honored by U.S. Secretary of Education

Colds may be a thing of the past By Priscilla Schnarr


More and more people are saying they just don’t get colds anymore. They are using a new device made of pure copper, which scientists say kills cold and flu viruses. Doug Cornell invented the device in 2012. “I haven’t had a single cold since then,” he says. People were skeptical but New research: Copper stops colds if used early. EPA and university studies Businesswoman Rosaleen says when demonstrate repeatedly that viruses and bacteria die almost instantly when people are sick around her she uses CopperZap morning and night. “It saved me touched by copper. That’s why ancient Greeks and Egyp- last holidays,” she said. “The kids had tians used copper to purify water and colds going around, but not me.” Some users say it also helps with heal wounds. They didn’t know about sinuses. Attorney Donna Blight had a viruses and bacteria, but now we do. Scientists say the high conductance 2-day sinus headache. When her Copperof copper disrupts the electrical balance Zap arrived, she tried it. “I am shocked!” in a microbe cell and destroys the cell in she said. “My head cleared, no more headache, no more congestion.” seconds. Some users say copper stops nightSo some hospitals tried copper touch surfaces like faucets and doorknobs. time stuffiness if used before bed. One This cut the spread of MRSA and other man said, “Best sleep I’ve had in years.” Copper can also stop flu if used earillnesses by over half, and saved lives. Colds start after cold viruses get in ly and for several days. Lab technicians your nose, so the vast body of research placed 25 million live flu viruses on a gave Cornell an idea. When he next CopperZap. No viruses were found alive felt a cold about to start, he fashioned a soon after. Dr. Bill Keevil led one of the teams smooth copper probe and rubbed it genconfirming the discovery. He placed miltly in his nose for 60 seconds. “It worked!” he exclaimed. “The cold lions of disease germs on copper. “They never got going.” It worked again every started to die literally as soon as they touched the surface,” he said. time. The handle is curved and finely texHe asked relatives and friends to try it. They said it worked for them, too, so tured to improve contact. It kills germs he patented CopperZap™ and put it on picked up on fingers and hands to protect you and your family. the market. Copper even kills deadly germs that Now tens of thousands of people have tried it. Nearly 100% of feedback have become resistant to antibiotics. If said the copper stops colds if used within you are near sick people, a moment of 3 hours after the first sign. Even up to 2 handling it may keep serious infection days, if they still get the cold it is milder away. The EPA says copper still works even than usual and they feel better. Pat McAllister, age 70, received one when tarnished. It kills hundreds of diffor Christmas and called it “one of the ferent disease germs so it can prevent sebest presents ever. This little jewel real- rious or even fatal illness. CopperZap is made in America of ly works.” Now thousands of users have pure copper. It has a 90-day full money simply stopped getting colds. People often use CopperZap preven- back guarantee. It is $69.95. Get $10 off each CopperZap with tively. Frequent flier Karen Gauci used to get colds after crowded flights. Though code UTCJ8. Go to www.CopperZap.com or call skeptical, she tried it several times a day on travel days for 2 months. “Sixteen toll-free 1-888-411-6114. Buy once, use forever. flights and not a sniffle!” she exclaimed. advertorial

Page 18 | December 2019

By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


n Nov. 18, when students and faculty return to Juan Diego Catholic High after the weekend, there will be something new at the school — the National Blue Ribbon School Award. On behalf of the Juan Diego community, Principal Galey Colosimo, Vice Principal John Colosimo and Superintendent of Catholic School for the Diocese of Salt Lake City Mark Longe were to accept the award from U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos at the ceremony Nov. 14-15 in National Harbor, Md. Students were made aware of their success late September at a school-wide assembly. “It turned into more of pep rally,” Colosimo said. “The kids are proud and know this is a good school, but to be recognized as being competitive and amongst the best in the nation is something for them to cheer about.” Juan Diego, which displays a poster in its office, is one of 362 schools in 46 states to be recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School in 2019, and one of only four in Utah. The other state winners include McMillan Elementary in Murray, North Rich Elementary in Laketown and Crimson View Elementary in St. George. The award is based on a school’s overall academic excellence or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. National Blue Ribbon Schools demonstrate that all students can achieve to high levels, DeVos said. In her video message, DeVos applauded the 2019 schools: “We recognize and honor your important work in preparing students for successful careers and meaningful lives. As a National Blue Ribbon School, your school demonstrates what is possible when committed educators hold all students and staff to high standards and create vibrant, innovative cultures of teaching and learning.” Juan Diego, with its top-tier sports, arts, robotics and other extracurricular programs, was named an “exemplary high performing” school. This honor is the first for a Utah high school since 1997, when Judge Memorial Catholic High School in Salt Lake City received the award. Colosimo said Juan Diego is one of only eight private high schools receiving this award amongst the 20,000 public, private and charter high schools. “We were nominated as we were one of the top 15% (student achievement in English and mathematics) of all schools in the nation, but that didn’t mean we automatically get the award. We had to compete for it and make a case why our scores are high and how are programs are built to help students receive this level of success,” he said. One of the programs Colosimo pointed

to is the Advanced Placement Capstone program. “Those are amongst our very brightest students who when they complete the AP Capstone program, have written and defended the equivalent of a college-level master’s thesis and have received high scores in their AP exams,” he said. Juan Diego was the first high school in Utah to offer the AP Capstone program, introducing it in 2016. Fourteen Juan Diego students have received their AP Capstone diplomas in 2018 and 2019, and there are 17 students on track to graduate in the program this school year. Another success story is to place two math teachers in every math classroom. “We learned some students didn’t understand the math, but they were too afraid to raise their hands. As a result, some students fell through the cracks. Now, we have the eyes and ears of a second teacher who can see the level of the student reaction and can stop, explain and re-think the teaching. It’s an effective way of team-teaching and our students understand their assignments. Now, we’re seeing our standardized test scores up,” Colisimo said. Another non-conventional approach is the school’s reading program where 750 students and faculty alike stop to read for 30 minutes. By having “their nose in a book,” students have learned to become critical readers, built up their stamina, improved fluency and developed a deeper level of concentration, Colosimo said about the initiative that started in 2017. “Our aim is to prepare our students for college and we want them to acquire the leisure reading to go along with the classics and rigor they will have in a classroom,” he said, adding that of the college freshmen who drop out, 40% say it is because “they can’t handle the reading load and difficulty.” Colosimo said because of the time the student body and faculty unite in the auditorium to read, it resulted in a positive culture. “What I didn’t expect was that it has built a sense of community; we’ve created a culture of reading,” he said. Juan Diego, he said, also supports the students’ social-emotional as well as spiritual growth. A special aspect of this is during January of each student’s senior year when they dedicate service to one of 30 nonprofit agencies in the area, reinforcing the school’s strong emphasis on spiritus donorum, or “spirit of giving.” “We see a lot of growth and maturity as they learn more about themselves and become leaders by serving those in need in their community,” Colosimo said. At the ceremony, 312 public and 50 private schools were to be recognized. In its

Draper City Journal

Western is proud to announce our new physician: Janet Eddy, M.S., M.D. Accepting New & Existing patients from previous West Jordan clinic – Starting October 1st, 2019 A poster of the school’s most recent accomplishment is proudly displayed in Juan Diego Catholic High School’s office. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

37-year history, the National Blue Ribbon Schools program has bestowed this coveted award on more than 9,000 schools. After the ceremony, Colosimo was hoping to share the award with the entire Skaggs Center campus so St. John the Baptist Elementary and Middle School students could join in the celebration. “There’s a lot of pride and respect in our community in Catholic education. People value education for their children and this is a really nice milestone in our 20-year history, knowing we’ve reached this level of excellence,” he said. “But don’t think we’re done. We’re recognized as a traditional school, but we are looking ahead and want to be on the

cutting line of blended and online learning. It will blur the lines as all learning doesn’t have to happen in a classroom.” While Colosimo has had talks with Arizona State University, what he calls “the higher education leader in innovation,” they are still identifying the “shape and size” of what education will look like for Juan Diego students. “We want to continue being forward-thinking and creative, not just stand by for what has been,” Colosimo said. “When there’s a good idea we can implement, it’s every bit as powerful as receiving a national award.” l

Girls cross country sets school history with first team at state By Catherine Garrett | c.garrett@mycityjournals.com

For the first time in Juan Diego history, the girls cross-country program sent a girls team to state. Senior Kristi Deffner finished 20th in a time of 19:43; the Soaring Eagle squad placed 18th as a team. “Those are some cool successes for our team,” first-year coach Joe Elliott said. Also competing at the 4A state championships at Sugar House Park Oct. 23 were freshman Alynne Croons (113th), senior Kiely Rasmussen (120th), senior Sierra Bieling (121st), senior Aspen Hodlmair (124th), junior Samantha Lengerich (126th) and junior Beth Penderghast (127th). Junior Aidan Hodlmair took 93rd at state on the boys side while senior Matthew Hudson (122nd) and junior Landon Johnson (127th) also represented Juan Diego at the state event. (Photo courtesy Joe Elliot) l

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Corner Canyon runs away with state cross country title by Catherine Garrett | c.garrett@mycityjournals.com


ith the lowest team total in state history, last year’s 5A state champion boys cross-country team, Corner Canyon, stayed on top — this time in the 6A classification, which is stacked with three other nationally ranked programs in American Fork, Davis and Skyridge — at the 6A state championships Oct. 23 at Sugarhouse Park. “It’s an amazing feeling to win a state championship, but even more wonderful to feel a sense of pride in how far we have come,” head coach Devin Moody said. “We won last year as an underdog, but this year we learned we could thrive in the limelight.” Senior Caleb Johnson ran the three-mile course in 15 minutes, 21.5 seconds, seven seconds behind Skyridge’s Creed Thompson, who won the individual title. Only 14 seconds separated Johnson and the next three Chargers — seniors Mark Boyle, Alex Harbertson and Easton Allred — who came in third, fourth and fifth respectively. Junior AJ Rowland finished in 10th place and junior Ben Dastrup was 12th, while senior Arik Manwaring crossed the line in 24th place. “We try to stay focused on the process throughout the season so each competition leading up to state isn’t really about the results on paper, but the growth of each individual’s abilities,” Moody said. “It feels really rewarding to see the team reach its po-

tential when it matters most.” Corner Canyon also set other state records at the meet. The first was the largest margin of victory as the squad had 22 points and second-place Davis had 80. Additionally, the Chargers topped the state charts with a team average of 15 minutes 34 seconds. The two-time state champions have also won region titles in 2018 and 2019 and ran

last qualifying spot at the Region 4 meet, the “toughest region in the state,” according to Moody. “Their sixth-place finish as a team was exciting and inspiring,” Moody said. “They really came together with their best racing at the state meet.” Senior Lexi Larsen placed eighth to lead the Chargers with senior Kali Richardson 26th, sophomore Avery Hartey 39th and freshman Charly Murie 50th. Freshman Courtney Madsen, senior Mallory McCarter and sophomore Rachel Oldham also competed at state for Corner Canyon. “The girls team has grown so much over the past few seasons,” Moody said. “I’m really proud of how our girls have created a team culture of hard work, positivity and a commitment to each other.” Other girls on the 2019 squad were Abbi Anderson, Rachel Ball, Annika Gilson, Lisa Hastings, Makenzie Lawson, Allison Oler, Anna Nelson, Jaden Singleton and Kate Wing. Corner Canyon competed at the Nike Southwest Regionals Nov. 23 (after press deadline) in Casa Grande, Arizona against teams from Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah. The top two teams qualify for the Nike Cross Nationals event in PortThe Corner Canyon boys team pose with their trophy and state championship medals Oct. 23 at Sugarhouse land, Oregon Dec. 7 against the nation’s top Park for the second year in a row, this time in the 6A classification. (Photo courtesy Devin Moody) teams. l

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this year’s meet in “dominating” fashion, according to Moody. Also on the varsity boys team are Lance Andrewson, Nate Beltran, Ben Dastrup, Carson Day, Noah Hanson, Eli Kimball, Jayden Loeser, Steve Oler, Tyler Rhoads, AJ Rowland and Connor Whatcott. The Corner Canyon girls squad placed sixth at the 6A state meet after grabbing the

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Defending 5A state soccer champs reach final eight in new classification


hree-time First Team All-State midfielder Kenli Coon scored four goals in the 6A state tournament for Corner Canyon — including their lone goals in the team’s finals two games to lead the Chargers to a final-eight showing in its first year at the 6A level. They were tied with top-ranked Pleasant Grove 1-all through two overtimes in the quarterfinals before the decision went to penalty kicks and the Vikings won 4-2. “We battled hard,” Coon said. “I was extremely proud of my team. It was an evenly matched game. We fought hard and gave it everything we had.” First-year head coach Bayleigh Steed said she was proud of her team’s accomplishments this season and their finish in a new classification. “Their performance our last game was everything I could’ve asked for,” she said. “They played so hard and so well together. They gave it everything they had and in the end it didn’t go our way; but to lose in PKs after that team had beaten us in the run of play was something I was so proud of. They fought every minute of that game and they fought together. It was awesome to see them play like I knew they could.” After ending the regular season with a 10-6 record, Corner Canyon defeated West 8-0 with Coon scoring two goals while Aly Milford, Hallie Tripp, Jadaisha Waahile, Maggie Hart, Maryn Granger and Paje Rasmussen also scored. It was Milford’s, Tripp’s and Waahila’s only goals on the year. In the second round, the Chargers beat Layton 1-0 after Coon put the game’s only goal in the net in the second half on an assist from Reagan Winget. The win sent Corner Canyon to the state quarterfinals. “That game meant a lot to us as a team,” Coon said. “Moving to the final eight in 6A was a great goal for us.” The Chargers took an undefeated record through the first six games into a Region 4 schedule that proved tough right from the

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by Catherine Garrett | c.garrett@mycityjournals.com

Corner Canyon girls soccer players celebrate a goal this season. The Chargers, who won the 5A title a year ago, moved up to 6A this season and finished eighth. (Photo courtesy AStrong Photography)

start. They managed to win just four region games, yet five of its six losses were by just one goal. “As a team, we realized we needed to make some adjustments with our formations and that seemed to help for future games,” Coon said. “We seemed to always be right

there but one thing we had to do as a team was believe and stay confident, which can be tricky when we are a team that’s used to winning all the time.” A highlight of the season for Corner Canyon was defeating American Fork 2-0 with Winget scoring a goal each half. The

Cavemen went on to win the 6A title this year. Senior Grace Jeppson said, “Our team made a lot of improvements as the season progressed. As we were able to overcome some barriers, we started to play more united.” Coon, who signed with Utah State University Nov. 13, led the team with 12 goals this year, while Winget had nine. Willow Rasmussen added six, while juniors Willow Collins, who has committed to Gonzaga, and U of U commit Maryn Granger had six and four goals respectively. Freshman goalkeeper Meg Covey recorded eight shutouts this season. “It was hard to see our season cut short, but in all the season was very successful,” Jeppson said. “I have loved playing with these girls all these years as we have grown and improved as a united team.” Also on the varsity squad this season were Abbie Flamm, Maggie Hart, Avery King and Kaytlyn Scott. The junior varsity team includes Sarah Broadbent, Sage Burt, Sophie Burt, Sydney Christensen, Esme Fletcher, Brighton Jakeman, Ellie Jones, Skye Meyers, Ellie Mills, Ella Muir, Lucie Packer, Riley Stevens, Kayla Welker, Eliza Willey and Mikayla Zvekan. “To see the girls adjust to new positions and a new formation was a great moment as a coach,” Steed said. “So much was asked of them and they absolutely stepped up to the plate. That’s what I’m most proud of.” Steed was assisted by Ali Houghton and Krissa Reinbold on the coaching staff. “I think next year Corner Canyon soccer will do big things,” Coon said. “They have experienced 6A and have a better idea of what it’s going to take to beat these teams. I have no doubt Corner Canyon girls soccer will continue to be successful in the future.” l

December 2019 | Page 21

First year in 6A for Corner Canyon volleyball, first year in top 10 by Catherine Garrett | c.garrett@mycityjournals.com

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Corner Canyon’s girls volleyball team hauled in 11 All-Region awards for athletic and academic excellence this season. (Photo courtesy Mindy Wilder)


he Corner Canyon girls volleyball team, competing for the first time in the 6A classification, entered the state tournament with seven All-Region players and came out with a top-10 finish. First Team All-Region junior outside hitter Baylee Bodily and senior libero Kylie Johnson, along with Second Team All-Region players Brooklyn Leggett and Grace Anderson and Honorable Mention All-Region players Halle Richards, Karen Crapo and Emilee Anselmo, helped the Chargers to straight-set wins over Jordan and West Jordan to reach the quarterfinals. There they faced No. 1 seed Copper Hills and lost 25-18, 25-20, 7-25 and then lost a five-setter to Syracuse to end their season in ninth place. “The state tournament is always fun,” head coach Mindy Wilder said. “The girls prepared and were mentally tough throughout the downtime heading into the tournament. This was a great season for us.” Senior captain Lindsay Matsuura said motivation and drive led their team to move past the doubts of facing stiffer competition in the 6A ranks. “I think that we held our own and played our hearts out on the court,” she said. “We all wanted one thing — to be state champs — but more importantly, we wanted to win it for each other. Unfortunately, we lost but we left it all on the court fighting Copper Hills for the chance to advance. I am so proud of everyone.” Corner Canyon’s focus this season, according to Wilder, was on strengthening their team with an emphasis on the African phrase, “Ubuntu — I am because we are.” “We knew that this season would be challenging as we entered 6A. We came into the season focused on having a growth mindset and taking opportunities presented to learn and grow. It was evident in the way we played,” she said.

“The girls set goals every day at the beginning of practice and worked towards reaching those goals. We improved every time we stepped on the court for practice or a match.” All four seniors — Anderson, Matsuura, Lauryn Nichols and Emma White — were recognized as Academic All-Region for their excellence in the classroom and on the court. “They are incredible leaders who are always positive and hard working,” Wilder said. “The seniors really set the tone for our practices.” Anderson said the up-and-down 17-15 season has been quite the journey, but the hard work paid off in the end. “We’ve had many moments of greatness and many moments of struggle,” she said. “We struggled to find our grit and win. It’s been an amazing ride.” Matsuura agreed. “This season has been an eventful one, for sure,” she said. “This season compared to others we have grown to be a family and have truly gotten so close.” Also on the Chargers’ squad this season were Telesia Afeaki, Halle Beerman, Kenlee Burt, Jada Clayton, Jocelyn Cosgrave, Isabel Croft, Lily Croft, Mia Curtis, Arden Edwards, Caitlin Madsen, Ashley McDonald, Sydney Millar, Ellee Moore, Breauna Nez, Brinn Nichols, Kate Nielsen, Kaitlyn O’Connell, Ashlyn Price, Alison Reading, Elsie Smith, Mia Smith, Chesney White and Brooklyn Yeomans. Wilder was assisted by Jeff Wade, Sara Dumas and Sydnee Peterson on the coaching staff. “We couldn’t have done so well without our amazing Coach Wilder,” Anderson said. “She’s been the best coach and we owe everything we earned to her.” l

Draper City Journal

JD volleyball finishes 16-7 with a ninthplace finish at state By Catherine Garrett | c.garrett@mycityjournals.com

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Nine seniors headlined a squad that entered the state tournament as the No. 1 seed. (Photo courtesy Bob McLellan, Shooting Star Photography)


he Juan Diego Catholic High School volleyball team set a goal to enter the 4A state tournament as the No. 1 seed, and they were able to do just that. The Soaring Eagle program had one more goal for the season and that was to win the title. On that note, they got to the quarterfinal round before losing to Desert Hills in four sets 25-20-24-26, 25-17, 25-21 and then Stansbury 25-14, 22-25, 2521, 25-18. Juan Diego finished among the top 10 in the state with a ninth-place showing. “We did well, but had a lot of hitting errors that contributed to our two losses,” head coach Sam Vaitai said. “The kids were excited and couldn’t settle down and play, which is something we need to work on next year.” The squad was led by outside hitters Annie Sokolow, a senior, and junior Ciaran Carter, as well as seniors Kylie Bench, Ella Candace, Beverly Niz, Chloe Radican, Lilli Ryan, Fabi Sosa, Sarah Spurgin and Laulea Tavake. “All nine seniors contributed where we found them all roles and I’m proud to say that they did well,” Vaitai said. “They matured as the season progressed. They were a great bunch and I can’t say enough about their growth in many areas of the game as well as their development as human beings.” Also on the Juan Diego team, who finished with a 16-7 record, were juniors Paige Williams and Sally Trawick; sophomores Lizzy Mataele, Abbie Nelson and Rachael Strelow; and freshmen Ali Ryan and Lauren Zlotucha. “I am grateful for the kids and how they carried themselves throughout the season,” Vaitai said. “I would consider this a very successful season as we were able to fight together as a team and improve from No. 16 last year. The championship is great, but their development as

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Soaring Eagle soccer loses heartbreaker shootout at state By Catherine Garrett | c.garrett@mycityjournals.com


irst Team All-Region player Kirsten Baca, along with Kira Rhay, who was named Second Team All-Region, and Honorable Mention All-Region players Daneille “Ellie” Simkins and Haley Mezenen, led the Juan Diego Catholic High School girls soccer team this season. The Soaring Eagle squad finished fifth in Region 10 and lost in the first round of the 4A state tournament to Crimson Cliffs. The teams were squared up at 1-all through two overtimes when the matchup went to penalty kicks and the Mustangs prevailed 4-3 over Juan Diego. “We had our opportunities and we couldn’t seem to get the ball to hit the back of the net,” first-year head coach Joe Baca said. “We were sound defensively and the only goal they scored was off a corner own goal. We left it all out on the pitch. I am very proud of the girls.” Baca said his varsity returning players had a “big learning curve to adjust” to his system, but he was happy with the improvement of the team, particularly through the second half of the season. “Overall, we accomplished what we wanted to this year,” Baca said. “We rebuilt the tradition and implemented a system of technical Juan Diego finished its first season under head coach Joe Baca that saw them fall in the first round of the playoffs to Crimson Cliffs High school. (Photos courtesy Joe and tactical approaches to the game for the Baca) team and future of the program.” l


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Winter skies hold less pollution than 10 years ago By Erin Dixon | erin@mycityjournals.com


inter is coming. With it comes trapped pollution. Air pollution in the Salt Lake valley is a problem: an obvious statement. The good news is, it’s become less of a problem than it was in 2010. In a presentation to the American Planners Association, Thom Carter, UCAIR (Utah Clean Air Partnership) executive director, stated that, “From 2002 to 2017, total emissions have dropped 38% despite the population increasing 34% during that same time period.” Why is the air better? Because we discovered the primary culprits for pollution. Us. Fifty-two percent of Utah residents are now aware their own vehicles are the biggest contributor, whereas six years ago 56% thought mines, refineries and other industries were at fault. Because residents see themselves as responsible, many are making efforts to change their habits. Taking public transit instead of driving alone is one of the biggest changes people are making. “With 50% of pollution coming from our tailpipes, not idling, reducing cold starts, taking transit, carpooling are most beneficial

to reducing our impact on air quality,” Carter “Regarding thermostats, we know that average family emits 25 tons of CO2 emissaid. people are turning down their thermostats to sions per year,” Carter said. Another major contributor to pollution save money and help air quality…. This 2 deHowever, if any of these small efforts is old appliances. gree difference can save 1 ton in CO2. The stopped, pollution would again skyrocket. l “Changing out a traditional water heater to an ultra-low NOx water heater can make a big difference. Experts at the Department of Environmental Quality tell us that nitrous oxide or NOx is a precursor of PM2.5 (Particulate Matter 2.5 micrometers)…. When a homeowner switches to an ultra-low NOx water heater, it reduces NOx emissions by 75%,” Carter said. There’s even a way to save yourself cash and reduce pollution; turn your furnace down by two degrees.

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Page 26 | December 2019

Draper City Journal

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December 2019 | Page 27

Santa sightings, Christmas concerts and tree lightings: Inexpensive holiday fun for the family By Christy Jepson | Christy@mycityjournals.com

A girl visits with Mr. and Mrs. Claus at the Riverton’s annual Christmas event, Santa’s Arrival in Riverton. (Photo courtesy Riverton City Communications)


udgets can get tight around this time of year. Sometimes taking your family to certain holiday events can be pricey. But don’t despair. Take a peek at this list (but not Santa’s!) and enjoy inexpensive holiday fun for the whole family.


Draper Tree Lighting Ceremony: Monday, Dec. 2 from 6-8 p.m. at the Draper City Park. This celebration will consist of lighting over 65,000 lights, including those on the large willow tree in the center of the park. You can also visit with Santa, listen to live music, and stroll through the park. Each night after Dec. 2, the lights come on at 5:15 p.m. and turn off at 10:30 p.m. Candy Cane Hunt: Monday, Dec. 9 from 4-5 p.m. at the Draper Historic Park, 12625 S. 900 East. Children ages 6 and younger will enjoy this free event that starts at 4 p.m. sharp. Not only will there be thousands of candy canes hidden throughout the park, some of those candy canes can be redeemed for a new holiday toy. There will be a special arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus on a fire truck to meet the children. Santa will be available for photos in the gazebo. There will also be hot chocolate and jumbo marshmallow roasting.


Night of Lights: Monday, Dec. 2 from 5-9 p.m. at the Herriman City Hall and Crane Park (5355 W. Herriman Main St.). Enjoy the night while watching the tree lighting, visit with Santa, make a holiday craft, eat at one of the many food trucks, listen to live music and watch a laser light show.


Santa’s Arrival in Riverton: Monday,

Page 28 | December 2019

Dec. 2 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Riverton City Park (1452 W. 12600 South). Come greet Santa as he and Mrs. Claus arrive to the park on a fire truck. Enjoy making crafts, cookie decorating, visiting with vendors, writing letters to Santa, roasting marshmallows, and enjoying a free warm scone with honey butter and a cup of hot chocolate. ‘Twas the Lights before Christmas: Dec. 6-12, 14-18, 21-23 from 6-9 p.m. at the Riverton City Park. This new holiday event costs $10 per vehicle. While staying warm in your car, you can read “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” on giant storyboards and see holiday lights. (Enter the park through 12800 South via 1300 West) Christmas Night of Music Concert: Monday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. at Riverton High School, 12476 S. Silverwolf Way. Beautiful holiday music will be performed by a 100-member choir and orchestra from the area.


Mad Holiday Science: Thursday, Dec. 12 at 4 p.m. at the Sandy Library, 10100 S. Petunia Way. Santa Eggbert will explore science with a holiday twist. Children will get to watch: The Northern Lights, foam the melts before their eyes, indoor fireworks and dry ice experiments. Christmas in the Wizarding World: Visit this unique retail experience now until Jan. 6. The hours at The Shops at South Town are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. This is the final year that this event will be in Utah. Visitors can browse for free or if there is a Harry Potter fan in your family there is a wide selection of Harry Potter merchandise. Santa’s Toy Bag presented by the Utah

A child explores the unique retail experience, Christmas in the Wizarding World at The Shops at South Town. (Photo courtesy The Shops at South Town)

Puppet Theater: Monday, Dec. 23 at 10:30 From now until Dec. 31 be amazed at the a.m. and 11:30 a.m. at the Sandy Library. 14 handcrafted whimsical holiday-themed SOUTH JORDAN window displays. Open Monday through Light the Night Tree Lighting Celebra- Thursdays 4-8 p.m., Friday and Saturdays 10 tion: Friday, Dec. 6 from 6-8:30 p.m. Af- a.m.-5 p.m. and from Dec. 21-31 the window ter the tree lighting ceremony, walk down displays are open Monday-Sunday 10 a.m.-8 Towne Center Drive and enjoy the festive p.m. Parking fees apply if you park at the hoholiday candy window displays, shop at the tel. The hotel is located at 555 S. Main Street. Winter Market, visit with Santa, enjoy hot co- WEST JORDAN The Magic of the Christmas Season: coa, gingerbread house displays, live music, sleigh rides, drum line and a holiday movie. Tuesday, Dec. 3 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the SoJo Choral Arts presents the 15th An- West Jordan Library, 8030 S. 1825 West. This nual Sounds of the Season Choir and Orches- festive night is presented by Mont “Magic” tra Holiday Concert: Dec. 7 at 2 p.m. or 7 and children who attend will find out what p.m. at Bingham High School, 2160 S. Jor- happened to The Grinch and learn what other dan Parkway. This is a free concert and will reindeer games Rudolph wasn’t allowed to play. Children will find the answers to these last a little over an hour. SALT LAKE CITY silly Christmas questions and learn some The Utah Olympic Oval Holiday Festi- magic tricks. val: Saturday, Dec. 7 from 6-10 p.m. At this A Visit from St. Nicholas: Saturday, event there will be an oval figure skating ice Dec. 7 from 11 a.m. -2 p.m. Bring your kids show, crafts, a visit and pictures with Mrs. for an afternoon of Christmas stories and take and Mr. Claus, a photo booth and public ice your picture with Santa. This is a free event skating. Admission is $5 for adults (13 years at the Viridian Event Center (8030 S. 1825 old and older) and $3 for kids (3-12 years West). old). Ice skate rentals are $3.50 per person. West Jordan Arts Annual Holiday ConThere is free entry when you bring a non-per- cert: Saturday, Dec. 7 from 6-8 p.m. featurishable food item benefiting the Kearns Food ing several of West Jordan’s City’s musical Pantry. Skate rental fees will still apply, how- groups including the West Jordan Symphony, ever. The Utah Olympic Oval is located at Mountain West Chorale, West Jordan City 5662 S. Cougar Lane (4800 West) in Kearns. Band and the West Jordan Jazz Band. This Christmas Carole Sing-Along: Monday, event will be held at the Viridian Event CenDec. 16 at 7 p.m. at the Vivint Smart Home ter (8030 S. 1825 West). Arena. This free concert is presented by the The West Jordan Symphony’s 26th anLarry H. Miller family and will feature songs nual Handel’s “Messiah” sing-along: Sunday, by Ryan Innes, with the emcee being Jason Dec. 15 from 7-9 p.m. at the Viridian Event Hewlett. Center, 8030 S. 1825 West. This program will The Grand Christmas Hotel Holiday feature local soloists and the West Jordan Window Stroll at The Grand America Hotel: Symphony and Mountain West Chorale. l

Draper City Journal

What to know about HIV risk factors, prevention and latest treatment


Welcome to Draper City! Latest Ribbon Cuttings and 2019 Community Spirit Award Winners CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL!

By Amy Green | a.green@mycityjournals.com

ecember is an important time on the national awareness calendar. It is officially recognized as AIDS Awareness Month. Dec. 1 is recognized worldwide as AIDS Awareness Day. Now is time to learn more about human immunodeficiency virus or HIV. HIV is a virus that develops into AIDS without the proper care and antiretroviral drugs. There are exciting new prevention measures for HIV, and there is a national need for more awareness. HIV wasn’t just a passing Hollywood scare of the 1980s. There are still newly diagnosed patients each year in Utah. Kevin DeMass is a registered pharmacist with the state of Utah and a guru on HIV support. He is a trustee for the Utah AIDS Foundation and owner of The Apothecary Shoppe (www.apothecaryshoppeut.com), an independent community pharmacy and part of the Good Neighbor Pharmacy network in Salt Lake City (82 S. 1100 East, Suite 104). His goal is to help patients already diagnosed and educate everyone about prevention measures. DeMass believes knowledge is a key factor to someday eradicating HIV in Utah’s population and beyond. DeMass can show anyone the statistical data. HIV is being diagnosed now most often at the ages of 13-34. It’s not just an STD (sexually transmitted disease) prevalent among the “promiscuous.” It can be more comfortable to think it’s not a problem in monogamous life. Actually, HIV is spread in ways one might not realize. “A low-risk life is not a zero-risk life,” DeMass said. Who is at risk for possible exposure? DeMass explained who should be paying attention. “You’re working in the ER, you’re a first responder, you’re a member of the SLC police department, you’re a dental assistant, you come upon an accident, you are a teacher and a child cuts their hand during cut-and-paste in the afternoon.” People of any age can be carriers. And people in many professions can be exposed. HIV can also be spread by sharing needles, even one sample of heroin at a party. Or exposure can happen at a medical clinic where an employee gets poked when handling or cleaning surgical instruments. Do employers have a plan to protect medical and dental workers? Do staff members know what to do if they get cut, punctured or splashed in the eye? HIV is a crucial staff meeting subject. If you have an exposure to an HIV positive person, there’s now an approved protocol for immediate treatment. Actually, there are two new treatment methods for the prevention of HIV transmission. The two methods are called PrEP and PEP. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) is for people who do not have HIV but are at risk of getting HIV. Treatment is a simple daily pill. Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (or PEP) is the use of antiretroviral drugs after a single high-risk event, like a needle puncture or unprotected sex. PEP must be started as soon as possible to be effective. One should not wait more than 72 hours after a possible exposure. More information on PrEP and PEP can

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be found at the cdc.gov/hiv website. There are different medication brands with both PrEP and PEP, with different side effects to each so talk to your health care provider if you may be a candidate. DeMass offers important reminders that some jobs have daily exposure to bodily fluid contaminants. Also, that relationships come easier and more frequent through dating websites like Tinder and Bumble. Many people, including teens, are sharing stuff, navigating social and sexual freedoms. These are reasons to continue to take HIV and transmittable diseases very seriously. Get tested, DeMass said. “If you’re a high-risk person, the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends you get an HIV test every year. If you have been a high-risk person only in the past, you should still get a new test each year, because you may be asymptomatic.” DeMass promotes getting a test at least once, even if you’re a low-risk person. Knowing your HIV status is an important part in prevention. The Utah AIDS Foundation offers free confidential HIV/STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection) testing and counseling (UtahAids. org). Many might think that if one is living a conservative lifestyle, getting an HIV screening is not necessary. DeMass disagreed. “All of us, globally, should get one test in our lifetime. Even if you’re monogamous, never had surgeries, haven’t been to the dentist or never bleed. It’s just one test.” DeMass encourages people to check out the Ryan White story at ryanwhite.com. Ryan was a 13-year-old boy who contracted HIV through a blood transfusion in the 1980s. There are modern screenings in place to prevent HIV from being transmitted through blood transfusions today. However, DeMass pointed out, “We live on this planet with a lot of people. There are 38 million people infected with HIV today, and we share space every single day.” DeMass said one can be exposed even if they haven’t had surgery. One screening in a lifetime is suggested for everyone. He encourages all to ask for a test at least once. It can be done easily when getting regular blood work taken. Ask your doctor. Anybody can visit AIDSVu.org to find out where to get a free HIV test. The UNAIDS organization has set an ambitious 90-90-90 treatment target to help end the AIDS epidemic. This goal is to have 90% of the world population know their HIV status. Then, to have 90% of infected individuals receiving sustained antiretroviral therapy. Finally, the goal is to have 90% of people receiving antiretroviral therapy, in viral suppression. More about the 90-90-90 program can be found at UNAIDS.org When it comes to HIV prevention, there’s one more simple thing all people can do: communicate. Talk with loved ones about prevention. Talk about the dangers of needle sharing. Get up to date with safety protocol in the workplace. And maintain strict protective sexual health habits. l

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Hyped over lights





or some reason unbeknownst to me, us Utahans get way too hyped over holiday lights. Perhaps, we really like them because of the creative designs. Or maybe it’s because it’s a cheap or completely priceless way to spend a magical night with friends and family. It might even be a way for many of us to fight the seasonal depression that comes along with the winter darkness. Whatever the reason may be, we love some holiday lights. If you haven’t checked out these locations yet, I recommend them for a usually-completely-free experience (unless you’re buying some hot chocolate). My favorite light events over the past few years have been the Trees of Life. While originally named the Tree of Light, many residents have nicknamed the trees “Trees of Life,” for various reasons. One of the most stunning trees grows in Draper City Park (1300 E. 12500 South). Every year, over 65,000 lights are carefully strung throughout the tree. When lit (which occurs the first Monday evening after Thanksgiving) all of the branches of the tree are illuminated; making it seem like a tree from a magical world. Throughout the valley, many more Trees of Life are being decorated. The closest one to me personally resides in a cemetery. That’s where I would check to see if there’s a Tree of Life near you. Temple Square arguably has the most famous lights within the valley. Located in

downtown Salt Lake City, Temple Square decorates their 10-acre complex with many different colors and styles of lights. This year, the lights will be on from Nov. 29 until Dec. 31. Check them out from 5 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. The Grand America Hotel in SLC (555 S. Main St.) is a building to sight-see all year round. When it’s lit up with Christmas lights though, it’s hard not to miss. City Creek (50 S. Main Street in Salt Lake City) will turn on their lights for the season on Nov. 21. Their event titled “Santa’s Magical Arrival” will kick off at 6 p.m., when the Candy Windows at Macy’s on Main Street are revealed. The Westminster College Dance Program will be performing “Eve” and will be followed by a fire fountain show. Light the Heights in Cottonwood Heights will occur on Dec. 2, beginning at 5 p.m. A holiday market will be open as City Hall, located at 2277 E. Bengal Blvd., turns on their lights for the first time this season. Other public spaces that are worth walking through to see the lights are This is the Place Heritage Park (2537 E. Sunnyside Ave., Salt Lake City), Gardner Village (1100 W. 7800 South, West Jordan), and Thanksgiving Points (3003 N. Thanksgiving Way, Lehi). Beginning on Dec. 6, Hogle Zoo (2600 E. Sunnyside Ave.) will host Zoo Lights! intermittently throughout the season until Jan. 5. This event does require an entrance fee of

$9.95. On Sundays through Thursdays, they will be open from 5:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. On Fridays and Saturdays, they will be open until 10 p.m. One other event with an entrance fee that’s worth mentioning is Christmas in Color in South Jordan, at 1161 S. 2200 West. You’ll need your car for this one as you drive through lighted tunnels and landscapes for at least 30 minutes. Tickets are $27 per vehicle. Now back to the free-of-charge neighborhood lights. In Sugar House, Glen Arbor Drive (also unofficially known as “Christmas Street”) is a popular destination for holiday drivers. While driving, please be courteous of the street’s residents.  In Taylorsville, (another unofficial) Christmas Street has been causing quite a stir. It’s a festive neighborhood where the residents really take to the holiday. Located around 3310 W. Royal Wood Drive, this street is one to cruise down. The Lights on Sherwood Drive in Kaysville is also a neighborhood gaining popularity. According to their Facebook page, their Christmas light shows are fully controlled and synchronized to a light show. Shows start at 5:30 p.m. and run until 10 p.m. every day of the week. If you’re looking for even more places to visit, you might want to check out chistmaslightfinder.com. l




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Draper City Journal

Son of a Nutcracker


t’s the time of year people pretend “The Nutcracker” ballet is a fun holiday activity. If you’re one of the lucky few who never sat through this weird production involving multi-headed vermin, living toys and one unsettling old man, here’s a recap. Picture a festive house in the late 1800s with dozens of dancing guests, skipping children and happy servants, basically it’s the “12 Days of Christmas” come to life. Young Clara and her obnoxious brother, Fritz, are the ballet version of little kids crazy-excited for Christmas. (The ballet version differs from real life because ballet dancers don’t speak, where real children don’t shut up from Thanksgiving to Christmas morning.) Dr. Drosselmeyer, Clara’s super-creepy godfather, appears at the party dressed like Count Chocula and presents her with a wooden nutcracker. Clara is over-the-top ecstatic, for reasons I’ll never understand. I guess children had a different relationship with nutcrackers in the 19th century. Clara’s brother is SO jealous of the gift (right??) that he flings the nutcracker across the room, because really, what else can you do with a nutcracker? Clara’s despondent. She wraps his broken wooden body in a sling (like ya do) and falls asleep on the couch, snuggled to her nutcracker. During the night, the Rat King and his minions sneak into Clara’s home, because why not? She wakes up and freaks out. The


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nutcracker turns into a handsome soldier and wields his sword to defeat the rodent army. “Nutcracker! You’re my hero!” screams Clara, if people in a ballet could talk. “That’s Prince Nutcracker to you, peasant,” he sniffs in pantomime, before taking her to the magical Land of the Sweets ruled by the Sugar Plum Fairy who has an unclear but definite sexual relationship with Prince Nutcracker. While in the Land of Sweets, Clara watches dancers from Russia, Spain, China and Arabia (?) as they perform in a culturally stereotypical fashion. Prince Nutcracker sits next to Clara cracking walnuts with his jaw like some football jock. Mother Ginger shows up in drag with a skirt full of tumbling children, then there’s a flower waltz and dancing pipes and tons more pirouetting before the Sugar Plum Fairy takes the stage to make everyone else look clumsy and insipid. It’s all performed to Tchaikovsky’s musical score that stays in your head through January. In the end, it turns out it was all a dream, as most stories involving young girls and adventure turn out to be. I told you that story to tell you this story. When I was a gangly 11 year old, still full of hope, I auditioned for Ballet West’s “The Nutcracker.” As the audition drew nearer, I practiced every spin and arabesque I’d ever learned. I played the music all day until my

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dad walked into my room, removed the album from the turn table and smashed it into pieces with his bare hands. I showed up at the audition with my hair pulled into a bun so tight it closed my eyes. An elegant dancer performed several steps that we practiced for a few minutes, then we performed for the judges. It was over so quickly. As dancers were given roles as soldiers, party goers and mice, I held my breath. But my number wasn’t called. I was heartbroken. Maybe decades later I’m insulted that the ballet judges couldn’t see my awkward talent. Or maybe I’ve endured enough versions of this tale to see it’s craziness. And if “The Nutcracker” is your family’s favorite holiday tradition, ignore my opinion. It’s all a dream anyway. l


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