Draper Journal | February 2022

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February 2022 | Vol. 16 Iss. 02




n the first Monday of the new year, Draper Mayor Troy Walker took the oath of office for the third time and councilmembers Mike Green and Tasha Lowery repeated the oath for the second time. All three spoke about dealing with life’s challenges in their remarks. Green applied lessons he learned playing football at Utah State as lessons for life. “Teamwork is a form of trust. Football only cares about selfless play (for one player to make a touchdown, the rest of the team works to make that happen). That’s kind of the same thing as city council. It doesn’t matter who gets the credit as long as the job gets done.” He referenced Aggie football coach Blake Anderson who has encouraged his team to “get one degree better every day.” Green credited that mindset for leading a typically underdog team to a conference championship and a bowl game victory and he encouraged everyone to adopt that same goal. “We’re going to do hard things together…as a team,” he said of the council.

Green said taking the oath was different this time. “I know the level of work and responsibility.” Four years ago, Green was the youngest to take the oath for Draper. That record is now held by Councilman Cal Roberts. Green has learned that “citizen input is critical.” He laments when the council has to make a decision without public input, only to have people lash out in anger after a project is complete, prompting him to wonder where those people were when the decision was being made. “The more outreach we can have, the better decisions we can make. It’s hard because people aren’t as engaged sometimes and I need to figure out how to get people more involved.” His profession as an attorney influContinued page 4 Mayor Troy Walker and councilmembers Mike Green and Tasha Lowery were re-elected to new four-year terms. They took the oath of office Jan. 3 at City Hall. (Photo courtesy Tasha Lowery)


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Continued from front page ences his conduct on the council. “All of my decisions are done with restraint…with cognizance of the law. I only do things within the authority the state legislature has given me.” But Green also knows the importance of fun. During his first campaign, he met a boy with disabilities named Ethan whose dad drove him 45 minutes to an all-abilities playground. Green pushed for Draper to have an all-abilities playground, a project that will come to fruition this summer at Draper Park. Lowery, a mother of three, likened campaigning and elections to pregnancy and childbirth. She said deciding to run for office is a lot like deciding to have a baby, in that once the baby arrives or once you’ve won an election, you forget how grueling the process was. “Both take a tremendous amount of courage and hope and faith, and both can be simultaneously beautiful and challenging all at once. You have a child because you believe in the future and you run for office for the same reason.” Lowery’s dad passed away during this campaign. “I miss him every day. I learned…on your worst and saddest days, people you love will pick you up and help you along. I think that’s what it’s really about…how we treat others, how we show compassion, how we lift together.” “Draper is doing so well and we want to keep it that way—stable, successful and beautiful… I want all of our residents to feel welcome and included and glad to live here. I feel the true weight of responsibility…not only for those who voted for me, but for every single resident,” Lowery said. She hopes for civil discourse with residents to reach decisions on city matters. “I’ve learned to listen more than I talk, that there are rarely perfect answers, and that as much as you may want to, you can’t make everyone happy all the time. Our town remains a sanctuary of civility and diplomacy, trust and mutual respect. We can agree to disagree….I want residents to see this as a partnership. We are all in this together….There will always be challenges from growth to traffic to water to maintaining a robust staff, but as long as we tackle those problems together and listen to each other, we will figure it out,” Lowery said. Walker, a David Letterman fan, had composed a humorous list of top ten reasons it’s good to be mayor. His No. 1 reason: “Mountain biking is one of my official duties.” Having recently turned 55, Walker said his perspec-

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tive is more pragmatic, a bit more relaxed and a little more optimistic. He’s trying to enjoy the present more and have a better understanding of what he can and can’t control. “You spend a lot of time occupied with how something’s going to turn out and it almost never turns out exactly how you thought it would. But in this collaborative process, we end up with something good—not perfect, but good. There’s a lot of tension in our culture politically right now. I think it’s bad how angry everyone is. The rancor is bad. I hope that subsides. I think the stress of Covid has really impacted the country. Life is pretty good, and if we try to stay the course and do the best we can for the most people, stuff works out and we get the things we need.” Walker first became mayor in 2014. Back then, he marketed himself as a bulldog in his profession as an attorney and in his political campaign. He said councilmembers now say he’s more like a sheepdog in that he herds them along. Draper’s form of government only allows councilmembers to vote. The mayor can only vote when necessary to break a tie in the absence of a councilmember. Without a vote, Walker admits to trying to persuade councilmembers to his point of view. “My personality is I say what I think, take my position, and try to win people over to my side.” Entering into his third term as mayor, he’s given some thought to other political opportunities, including county mayor or attorney general. “I’m not planning anything, but those are two jobs I’d be interested in doing.” He also doesn’t know yet if this will be his final term as mayor or if he’ll run again. “I’ve really enjoyed doing it but I don’t want to overstay my welcome either. Hopefully I’ll know when I get there. I’m really just enjoying the journey.” He predicts the part-time job of Draper mayor will likely become full-time in the future. This mayoral term will end in 2025. Walker said the city is largely built-out, but the biggest growth and change will come at The Point. He’d like to see an NFL stadium or other large sports venue there and he advocates for better transit. He anticipates the biggest challenges in this new term will be managing growth while maintaining high quality public safety and services within the budget, and addressing the housing crisis. “This housing business is real and it’s a hard problem…it’s our kids, they’re the majority of our growth. We’ve just got to find places for them to live and opportunities for them to work.” Walker thanked his wife, Stefani, for encouraging




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Tasha Lowery shares a moment of laughter with her sons Luke and Zack at the city’s oath of office ceremony. (Photo courtesy Tasha Lowery)

him to get involved in the community through volunteering which led to his involvement in local politics. “The government closest to the people is us. We do a good job in this town…the greatest city in Utah,” Walker said. The oath of office ceremony included the Pledge of Allegiance led by Draper City Youth Council Mayor Valerie Witzel, the Posting of Colors by members of Draper’s Police and Fire departments, and vocal performances by Stephanie Olson, Cole Hartley and Colin Baker. l

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Draper City Journal

Chargers sweep region cheer third year running By Catherine Garrett | c.garrett@mycityjournals.com

For the third consecutive year, Corner Canyon High’s varsity and junior varsity cheer teams won the Region 4 championships. This year’s event was held Jan. 8 at Westlake High School. Junior Jessica Flores also won the region title for jump off against other athletes doing toe touches, hurdlers and other jumps, which qualifies her to compete in the event at the 6A state meet. Others on the varsity squad this season were Avery Adamson, Reagan Alleman, Brooke Barney, Lizzie Boyle, Ella Duffin, Lauren Easton, Shannon Gillespie, Annabelle Harris, Zoe Kener, Sophie Kennedy, Ashley Macievic, Brooklynne Nelson, Ella Nelson, Paige Rees, Olivia Sharp, Jade Winkel, Danika Wood and Kylie Wood. They were coached by Whitney Lunk and Kyler Schofield. On the JV team were Sienna Carlsen, Jordan Cromar, Bailey Davis, Cambreigh Dykman, Kiki Howard, Ellie Keys, Gretel Kinnersley, Macie Lewis, Bridgette Marsh, Brooke Miller, Kenady Parkin, Liv Quick, Christine Schmidt, Kennedy Scoot, Bella Shelton, Ava Silkman, Brinklee Tebbs and Eilee Wilder. They are coached by Schofield and Bria Bowthorpe. Cameron Larsen is the choreographer for both groups. (Photos courtesy Whitney Lunt)

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February 2022 | Page 5

Draper warehouse turns out labor of love for Afghan refugees By Heather Lawrence | h.lawrence@mycityjournals.com


ecalling the national footage of the major evacuation of Afghan refugees last August, Jonathan Lo of Overstock.com in Utah said, “Our hearts were tugged.” Thankfully, as director of the local Overstock Cares program, he was in a position to help those Afghans who were relocated to Utah. Lo helped organize a project that combined the efforts of his company, International Rescue Committee of Salt Lake, and Catholic Community Services. On Jan. 14, volunteers met at a donated warehouse in Draper to assemble tables donated to refugee families. The idea of the table is both practical and symbolic. “A table gives families a gathering place, and we want every refugee who is resettled in Utah to have a seat at their table and at our table as a community,” Lo said. Lo said Overstock.com has a paid volunteer leave program. Several of their employees used paid volunteer leave to assemble the tables and chairs. “It wasn’t hard to find people who were willing to help. They signed up quickly and just dove in. They were fast and efficient and got several sets assembled this morning,” Lo said. Helping refugees can feel overwhelming. Lo knew he needed local experts to tell him the best way to be of service. “We knew we wanted to help, and we

could donate the furniture and assemble it. But we needed to find partners in the community who are experts and know how to get the help to the right people,” Lo said. They found that partner in International Rescue Committee, a nonprofit based in Salt Lake. “The initial evacuation effort in Afghanistan involved 100,000 refugees. Gov. Cox created a coalition to help those who would be resettled in Utah, and we’ve been part of that coalition,” said Jesse Sheets, development manager for IRC. Many Utahns watched the desperate efforts of Afghan civilians who wanted to leave Afghanistan when the Taliban took over in August 2021. It also hit close to home for Utah residents, as Ssgt. Taylor Hoover of Sandy was killed in an explosion during the evacuation. “The initial evacuation moved those refugees to ‘lily pads;’ other refugee camps or military bases that could process them. Now temporary and permanent housing in the US is being set up, and the process in Utah is ongoing,” Sheets said. Sheets said the table project also involved volunteers from Catholic Community Services, and together their organizations have been able to help the 850+ refugees who will be resettled in Utah. “We have a group of people who work

Employees from Overstock.com in Utah use their paid company volunteer time on Jan. 14 to assemble tables for Afghan refugee families arriving in Salt Lake. (Jonathan Lo/Overstock.com Utah)

together to do intake evaluations: health care workers, social workers, people who help with cultural and other needs. And the need for monetary help to fund housing and other essentials is ongoing,” Sheets said. Sheets said the help from Overstock.com employees was a great contribution, but they still have more furniture to assemble before they can deliver it to all the refugees. He said IRC is grateful for all the donations that went into this project: the furniture from Overstock.com, the time and manual labor from their employees, the donated warehouse space in Draper from Price Real Estate, and the coordination efforts of CCS. “We are so grateful, and we want peo-

ple to know there are always opportunities to serve. If you want to join us and support the efforts of refugees in our area, check our website www.rescue.org or email us at slc@rescue. org ,” Sheets said. The warehouse space in Draper was also filled with donated winter coats and food kits, examples of some of the projects that are already underway with IRC and CCS. “Our website is updated with the current needs, and everything stays here in Utah and helps our community. Monetary donations are always helpful, too. You can find lots of ways to reach out and let refugees know that in Utah there is a network of people who care about their neighbors,” Sheets said. l

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JDCHS football staff loaded with talent By Catherine Garrett | c.garrett@mycityjournals.com


or the second time in two years, the Juan Diego Catholic High School football team has a new head coach. Ron James, who had been the defensive coordinator for the Soaring Eagle squad the past two seasons, will take the reins of the program that won eight state titles under legendary coach John Colosimo. Greg Williams, who was the head coach this year and led the group to an 8-3 record and a top-four finish in the 3A ranks, will resume the offensive coordinator position he was in under Colosimo. “We are very excited to have coach Ron James as our new head football coach as he brings a wealth of experience and familiarity to our program,” JDCHS athletic director Ted Bianco said. “We are certainly looking forward to him carrying on the great tradition of success in football at Juan Diego Catholic High School.” James, a longtime coach in the collegiate and professional ranks, said he is thrilled to be coaching in Draper. “The school and these kids give you everything they have, and the parents are always there with amazing support,” he said. “It’s a pretty special environment here.” James has been coaching for nearly 30 years—14 in college and 15 in the pros—and came to Juan Diego last fall as the Soaring Eagle squad’s defensive coordinator before taking the reins for the upcoming 2022 season. “It’s so refreshing to work with high school athletes,” James said. “You feel more like a sculptor who is molding clay into something wonderful. They’re raw, but that’s what makes this process fun. I’m having a blast! I think I had more fun this past season than I’ve had in years.” James is familiar with the Catholic school system, having been educated beginning in kindergarten at Christian Brothers Academy in New York where he later starred on the high school football team. After being a two-time All-American offensive tackle—and four-year starter—at Siena College, he tried his hand in the professional ranks. He was signed by the New York Giants and got practice time with the New England Patriots and Cincinnati Bengals. In 1986, he realized that the “locker room had gotten into my blood,” so he returned to his alma mater and began a collegiate coaching career that would also include stints at Kentucky Wesleyan College and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The Arena Football League came calling in 2005 so James headed up the Las Vegas Gladiators for two seasons before joining the Utah Blaze staff under Danny White. When White resigned in 2008, James was promoted to head coach, where

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he went 29-32 over the next five years until the team folded. He continued on at the Pittsburgh Power and Portland Steel for the next two seasons with each program folding after a year. In 2017, he led the Tampa Bay Storm to the ArenaBowl where they lost to the Philadelphia Soul 44-40. James was named AFL Coach of the Year for the second time; the first was in 2012 when he was with the Blaze. He concluded his AFL coaching journey as the inaugural head coach of the Atlantic City Blackjacks in 2019, having taken his team to the playoffs four times, and then was most recently with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football Team before moving back to Utah. James preaches accountability and discipline to his Juan Diego players. “We want them to be good football players, students and citizens so we take kind of a holistic approach,” he said, noting the emphasis in weight training within his program where he has already seen a “phenomenal increase in strength” within his players. He has also zeroed in on the leadership among his older players. “You have to get your juniors and seniors to buy into what you’re trying to do and they set the example for the younger kids and help bring

New Juan Diego Catholic High School football coach Ron James instructs his defensive players last fall. (Photo courtesy Ted Bianco)

them along,” James said. “Mentorship is more important with this age group.” James isn’t the only one with extensive playing and coaching experience on the JDCHS staff. Among others, Ron McBride—the former head coach at the Uni-

versity of Utah and later Weber State—as well as former NFL player Caesar Rayford, coach for the defensive line. “We couldn’t have a better group working with our defense and they do it with such detail and integrity,” James said. l

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All-American runner helps team to national title By Catherine Garrett | c.garrett@mycityjournals.com


nstoppable. That was the theme for the Race Cats Elite team from Draper that took 39 runners to the USATF National Junior Olympics in Paris, Kentucky recently. And, amid freezing temperatures, tornado warnings, hailstorms, 40 mph wind, the Utah contingent proved just that. Draper’s Teagan Harris earned All-American honors as part of the 11-12-year-old girls team that brought home a national championship Dec. 11. She placed 11th overall and came in third on the team. “We got pulled off the start line and our race was delayed. It was crazy,” said Teagan. “It was such a hard race, but it was so fun.” Also on the championship team were Maya Bybee, Adria Favero, Hadley Flach and Tatum Flach—who also earned All-American status—along with Lily Jameson and Tyana Lake. “This did not come easy to them. These girls travel from all over the state of Utah to practice with our team in Draper,” Race Cats head coach Michele Brinkerhoff said. “They practice three to four days a week together and travel from Park City, Salt Lake, Sandy, Taylorsville and Utah County. Some of them even choose to homeschool just so they can run on this team.” Draper’s Ryan Brinkerhoff, who was an All-American in 2020, ran on the 11-12-year-old boys team who placed third. “Hail was just pelting my eyes as we were getting prepared to race,” Ryan said. “But, we train hard and make it through practices, so I had been taught that I can do hard things. I can keep going through dark places, even through a tornado.” Ryan’s brother, Jake, ran on the 8-and-under team that came in fifth. “It was very muddy, but it was good,” Ryan said. “I really liked the downhill and running in the rain.” Ryan’s sister, Ava, competed for the fifth time at nationals this year as well. Last year, she finished in the top 100 and this time she finished 36th. “It was kind of crazy this year, but every year, I’m getting closer,” she said. Also placing at nationals were the 13-14 girls team, who came in seventh, while Kenneth Briggs, Cole Jameson, Bethany Mittelstaedt and David Webb also finished their events as All-Americans. “We sent four full teams to nationals and they all came back in the top 10 in the entire country in their age division,” coach Brinkerhoff said. “This is an amazing accomplishment with teams competing from all over the United States.” Other Draper runners competing at nationals were Gabby Beall, Cooper Hurl, Isaak Knutsen, Lucia Martinez, Max Martinez, Brody Meier, Isabelle Saley, Olivia Saley, Genevieve Turcotte and Cameron White. “Every single athlete finished the race, even though some had severe trauma and anxiety from the natural disasters. We are so proud of them. They travel from all over to compete and train together, sacrificing so much to be part of something special. And they are so special and deserve to be recognized for it,” coach Brinkerhoff said. Teagan, daughter of James and Tanya Harris of Draper, has been running since she was eight years old. “I love the feeling you get once you finish and then you can congratulate your teammates,” she said. The sixth-grader at St. John the Baptist Middle School said running has helped her keep a “positive circle around me,” as she aims for a top three finish at nationals, knowing she has parents and coaches that will cheer her on toward her goal.

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Draper’s Teagan Harris helped her 11-12 year-old girls team to a national championship at the USATF National Junior Olympics in Paris, Kentucky recently. She placed 11th and earned All-American honors. (Photo courtesy James Harris) Draper’s Ava Brinkerhoff competed at her fifth nationals recently, this time in Paris, Kentucky Dec. 11. (Photo courtesy Michele Brinkerhoff)

Draper’s Jake Brinkerhoff helped his 8-and-under team to a fifth place finish at the USATF National Junior Olympics in Paris, Kentucky recently. (Photo courtesy Michele Brinkerhoff)

Draper’s Ryan Brinkerhoff, who was an All-American in 2020, helped his 11-12-year old boys team to a third-place finish at the USATF National Junior Olympics in Paris, Kentucky recently. (Photo courtesy Michele Brinkerhoff)

Ryan, Jake and Ava, the children of Matt and Michele Brinkerhoff, have joined in their mother’s love of running and found their own way. Ryan, a sixth-grader at Draper Park Middle School, said he ran as fast as he could in his first race—which he ended up winning—and hasn’t stopped since. “I’m really competitive, and I love to run,” he said. “It just makes me really happy and I just try to stick with it. I’ve learned that if you just believe in yourself, you can do anything.” Jake, who is a second-grader at Channing Hall, loves that running helps him “stay in the game longer” in basketball. “It’s pretty fun,” he said. “You get to work your body. My goal is to get to the Olympics and get first.” Ava ran on the varsity team at Corner Canyon as a fresh-

man this past fall, continuing on in the sport she has competed in for 10 years. “I like trying to achieve goals so I can keep growing and improving,” she said. “Running is a good way to do that.” Matt Brinkerhoff sees the behind-the-scenes work that his wife has been putting in to running the Race Cats program the past few years. “The time and passion Michele has for these kids is incredible,” he said. “She memorizes their numbers and knows where each of them should be. Before nationals, she wrote an individual note to each runner. She doesn’t just give group speeches; she cares about the one.” Coach Brinkerhoff is assisted by Draper’s Rachel Martinez, Jeremy Hurl and Amy Lyn Schmidt, along with Teren Jameson and Rachel Moody. l

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Rowley soars into being top Hawk as Alta High’s McGill heads up District’s student services By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com


efore Alta High Principal Brian McGill packed up his office, he told students to take charge of their education. It’s a motto he has displayed around the school for the past eight years as he finished his dissertation in education at the same time as providing his students more educational opportunities. “One of the best investments is in educating yourself; the sky is endless,” he said. “But it is difficult (to move out); I’m not going to lie.” McGill, who also attended Alta as a student, will continue supporting the school community as his son is a sophomore at the school. The former Alta principal recently was named 2021 Utah Principal of the Year by the Utah Association of Secondary School Principals. During his tenure, he has overseen the campus renovation, created the successful Step2theU early college pathway with the University of Utah, and has added several academic programs, the link crew peer mentoring program, and Hope Squad’s depression and suicide prevention program that connects youth with proper resources. McGill also has been an involved principal, hip hopping his way alongside the A-town dance company, deadlifting 245 pounds at an assembly, and at the last assembly in 2021, as a duet with his son, lip-synced Justin Bieber’s “Santa Claus is coming to town.” Now, he will become Canyons School District’s first student services director, which oversees counseling, health and nursing services, behavior interventions, school psychology and other areas. McGill said he is looking forward, as a member of the superintendent’s cabinet, to sharing his “visionary leadership, which in turn means visionary change and have a larger reach, make a larger impact with more kids across the span of the entire district.” During his last month, McGill introduced 26-year educator Ken Rowley to his community. He officially began as principal Jan. 18. Rowley had served as Corner Canyon High’s assistant principal this past fall and before that, he taught Spanish and history for 11 years at Juab Junior High in Juab School District followed by serving as principal for 15 years. “He has a very similar temperament, leadership style and approach to school improvement and I feel confident he can step in (to) lead Alta and push the rocks I’ve pushed here even further,” McGill shared in a letter to parents. Rowley, who was in the first class to

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graduate from Western Governor’s University, where he earned his master’s degree in learning and technology and then received his administrative endorsement from Southern Utah University, said he’s been rewarded again and again with his choice of entering education as a career. “I’ve never once woke up in the morning and said, ‘Oh crap, I have to go to work.’ I wake up with a smile on my face every day and I get to work with the best population in the world,” he said. Pursuing education wasn’t his first choice. He was grounded from the dream of being an Air Force pilot for medical reasons. So, as a former high school basketball and football player and 400-meter runner, hurdler and jumper, he took up coaching high school basketball, which lead him into teaching—a career he shared with his father. “The most rewarding things I have found in any part of my life is the relationships I’ve been able to build—and not just with adults, but with teenagers, the students I get to work with every day. What drives me, is for me to be able to sit down and get to know somebody well enough that I can learn the things that they need and then I can help them. That’s what I love about education and this opportunity,” Rowley said. While he said he doesn’t have a checklist of things he’d like to change, he does have one expectation. “I am a person who seeks the truth. I want people to be honest with me. I want people to tell me exactly what’s going on because if you hide the truth, real change and real improvement will never happen. I am not afraid of the cold hard facts,” Rowley said. “I will never judge anyone, and I will show kindness and love every opportunity.” He learned that while growing up on the family’s fruit farm near Santaquin. “My dad would say, ‘OK, roll them up. Let’s get going.’ And we’d roll our sleeves up and go to work. I’m not afraid to get dirty. I’m not afraid to get down and get in the grease and oil and diesel or whatever. I mean, you see something that needs to be done, so you do it. You figure out how to solve the issues and move forward and improve every day,” Rowley said. That leads to his goal of “a relentless pursuit of excellence. I will try to do the best and be the best that we can possibility be all the time. I am a collaborative-type leader. I will seek input from as many people as I need and sometimes, I’ll make a decision that doesn’t go along with what everybody gave me, but it won’t be for lack of seeking input from the people

Brian McGill, who has served as Alta High’s principal for eight years, leaps for a high 5 with its new principal, Ken Rowley. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

around me. It’ll just be because that’s what I think is the right thing to do.” From his experience, Rowley has learned that students should become empowered in their own learning—a message McGill shared before he left. He saw the powerful impact ownership of education had while he was in Juab District. “I used to see kids walk into a classroom and they’d sit back and say, ‘Teach me if you can’ and teachers, we’re having to do a song and dance and backflips and everything just to entertain the kids enough so that they would remember a little bit,” he said. “So, when we change

the culture to, ‘OK, here’s the goal for today’ and start teaching kids how to set a learning goal every day in every class, and we’d put up a proficiency scale that lets them self-evaluate how they did on their goals, I found that students will actually set their own learning goal and it almost doubled what I was setting. Each day, the depth went deeper because of that change in attitude.” Rowley hopes to see that become a norm at Alta, a place he expects to nest for quite a while. “I’m hoping to be a long-term Hawk,” he said. “I like that idea.” l

February 2022 | Page 9

As pandemic continues, Canyons School District navigates students’ social-emotional learning By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com


s Brian McGill comes into the position of student services director at Canyons School District, he sets foot into a heated issue at school board meetings for the past several months: social-emotional learning. A whirlwind has risen over the use of third-party social-emotional curriculum and not being able to control online material or additional resources. “Most school districts have offered social-emotional learning in schools for decades, but part of the issue is what some districts have run into is some have adopted and used third-party curriculum; it’s hard to control the internal measures of content that arises unless you’ve got somebody just reviewing it day in and day out and checking every little change, which doesn’t happen,” McGill said. Looking back Canyons was one of those districts that used a third-party curriculum. Second Step, which was introduced in the elementary schools in 2018, came in a three-ring binder, so there was not an issue with content changing online. For the most part, teachers and principals’ reviews were positive, and they supported the curriculum. More recently, when Second Step’s online curriculum was being added into the middle schools, it came under fire. It became a public debate after the Draper Park Middle choir teacher sent a letter to parents and quit, citing his refusal to teach the curriculum. The controversy continued during the Superintendent’s listening tour, where he invited the community to weigh in on issues related to the schools. The high school curriculum called School Connect had not been rolled out. Parents, teachers, principals all weighed in on the debate at school board meetings until Supt. Rick Robins said it would be reviewed. Eventually, the school board voted not to continue using Second Step for what Robins said, “the philosophy and direction that Second Step was going, it really did not align with our board’s vision and priorities.” One of the additional resources that was listed, loveisrespect.org, was one Canyons Board of Education Mont Millerberg cited as not being aligned with the board’s vision. Millerberg said he isn’t opposed to teach social-emotional skills, but he wants a different curriculum. “I feel social-emotional learning is an important component of education, and can recognize the value of it, but looking into the curriculum that has been put in place of Second Step’s external links, I can see the potential harm outweighing the good,” he said. “Our young people in middle school and high school are very vulnerable as they go through physical changes, trying new things,

Page 10 | February 2022

peer pressure. What they need is a safety net and support.” Second Step is used in some of Jordan School District schools. Jordan Board of Education President Tracy Miller said the board has “gone through the curriculum and the links are not given to students. We have taken them down. We feel it’s important to teach social-emotional skills and there is a lot of good content in that curriculum. We are trusting our teachers not to introduce any inappropriate material.” Robins said that was looked at, but “for me, it’s a challenge to say, we’re only going to turn off this or we’re going to pull this part of it. That becomes problematic. I think from the time that the curriculum was adopted until now, there have been many changes. I think that was really due to a shift of Second Step’s direction of philosophy.” Robins directed teachers and principals to no longer use the material. “Second Step is only a small part of our overall support to students in Canyons,” he said. “All of us, including our students, are experiencing all kinds of different challenges and trauma (heightened during the COVID-19 pandemic). We’re going to have to deal with this together and as a community, and as parents and as patrons, to take an all-in approach to invest in our students. Skills of self-regulation, empathy, kindness, respect—we’re still very committed to ensuring our students are able to learn those skills and to make that part of their educational experience.” Now The U.S. Surgeon General recently said that youth are struggling more than ever as students cope with the pandemic, anxiety in school and family challenges. A report was released saying that in the past 10 years, prior to COVID-19, high school students reported persistent feelings of “sadness or hopelessness” increased 40%. “The Surgeon General, a couple weeks ago, said that 40% of all kids either have anxiety or depression—and those are just the kids that have been identified,” McGill said. “I think it’s a clear telltale sign of what’s happening with our youth and these middle schoolers and high schoolers at a pivotal time in their lives and if they’re struggling with their mental health, then they’re going to struggle in all aspects of their behavior.” “Quite frankly,” he continued, “there hasn’t been a more critical time, I think, in our history especially the educational history, having gone through COVID, and having to deal with things that we’ve had to deal with. The behaviors that we’re seeing something out of the first wave of COVID in school settings, with an increase of kids not going to class, increase in parties, van-

Former Alta High Principal Brian McGill, who was named Utah Principal of the Year 2020-21, will head Canyons School District’s student services and oversee social-emotional learning for the school children. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

dalism of property, treatment of one another in schools to behaviors of kids in schools, drug use, fake news, all of that is just off the charts. And the one thing that we can come back to in terms of looking at the key variable of these situations is COVID—when we basically locked down schools at a period in time and their lives, those interpersonal connections and the social piece of worrying and relationship building were basically taken away from them.” McGill has mental health and substance abuse training. He earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology and his master’s degrees in clinical psychology, school counseling and school administration. He has worked as a school counselor and as a clinician at a family center. He advocates for schools to use the SafeUT mobile app to prevent suicides, reduce instances of bullying, and maintain a safe learning environment; his former high school was the first to use the state-funded


McGill said that as mental health impacts students, it can escalate to school violence, suicide, cyberbullying, sexting and even the recent TikTok threats. “Throughout all my research that I found, kids stating and responding to over and over and over again, was how much the metacognitive skills they need to be successful in school. It’s a huge concern because at the end of the day, if a child doesn’t have their basic essential needs met, then learning isn’t going to come. Learning becomes secondary,” he said. Going forward McGill already has met with other school districts discussing social-emotional learning. “A lot of districts are building skillbased activities, looking at things like establishing resilience, building connections with others, learning about empathy, and trying to see things through a different lens or per-

Draper City Journal

Draper Elementary fifth-grader designs Draper Police vehicle wrap


By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com

They were super excited and there were a lot of different drawings and options. It was fun for them to have the opportunity to participate in something like this. Adam Neff

riving down Draper City streets, a police SUV is sporting a patriotic look as stripes cover its hood and sides and stars cover the rear portion of the car. On the back is a lion wearing a graduation cap and a DARE T-shirt. Behind the wheel is Draper Police Detective Adam Neff, who teaches the DARE classes at the area elementary schools. His ride’s new look was one of 125 elementary students’ designs. Fifth-graders from six Draper elementary schools were psyched to create and enter their drawings for a Draper Police vehicle wrap. Of those entries, Draper Elementary fifth-grader Addison Hudson’s design was selected for the overall wrap of the police vehicle. “I thought of America and I thought of the American flag so I put that around the car and then, I included the lion (that promotes the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program) with a DARE graduation cap; I drew different perspective of the car so he can see different ways on how I wanted it to work,” she said. “It actually came out exactly how I wanted it to look. Honestly, I really liked my drawing. I was really proud of it.” Neff said that Addison’s entry stood out. “She actually drew a whole vehicle, the car itself, and drew on the car the things she wanted the car to look like. It made more sense to me, and she did a fantastic job with it. I liked that she incorporated the kinds of things I was looking for with it,” he said. To complement Addison’s drawing, Neff selected the badge drawing from St. John the Baptist fifth-grader Monica Keegan and placed it inside the letter O on Police on the side of the SUV. The design shows the DARE lion with the words, “Keeping It Real.” The contest was to encourage the art-

work based on the fifth-grade DARE curriculum from students at Channing Hall, Draper Elementary, Oak Hollow Elementary, St. John the Baptist Elementary, Summit Academy and Willow Springs. “They were super excited and there were a lot of different drawings and options,” Neff said. “It was fun for them to have the opportunity to participate in something like this.” This was the first time Draper has had a wrap on its DARE vehicle, although Neff said other DARE officers across the country have sported wraps. Neff said that Interstate Image and Design wrapped the vehicle at no cost to the police department. After the vehicle was wrapped, Addison and her classmates were the first to go to the school parking lot to see it. “My name is on the back and on the sides,” said the young artist. Addison, who has participated in the PTA’s Reflections program in the past, also took part in the police department’s annual holiday card design contest, taking second place. She said that she likes to make art using her imagination when she’s creative, but also can appreciate other artists’ talent. “He told me that they added the badge from another student’s drawing, and when

spective—the metacognitive elements to learning. I’m taking a look at how we build those best practices that relates to building skill sets that make kids successful in school as well as in life and having things like motivation, resiliency and determination. Drive, motivation, all those things that basically make us not only successful in life and drive us to do things that we do, our purpose. I think most parents, if not all parents, would agree with that,” he said. McGill acknowledges parents’ concerns. “Some parents have some questions around what are the teachers or educators teaching my kid as it relates to their emotions and emotional regulation, and you’ve got a faction of parents that don’t believe that it should be (taught) in a school setting,” he said.

So, with that line drawn between what should be taught in school versus in the home, McGill, who recently served as principal at Alta High, said that teachers and administrator feel pressure to help students succeed. “Schools have had a lot of pressures placed on them to provide different services besides just educating kids. A lot of schools have food pantries, and a lot of schools are providing mental health supports at a higher volume than they’ve ever done before in the history of education in America. They’re a lot of these supports that schools are providing that are needs for kids so they can focus on their learning.” Already underway is to bring in speakers on several topics one night this spring to educate and involve parents in

DraperJournal .com

Draper Elementary fifth-grader Addison Hudson smiles alongside her school DARE officer, Draper Police Detective Adam Neff in front of the DARE wrap she designed. (Photo courtesy of Lori Hudson)

I saw it, I actually really liked it. It looks really good,” she said. Neff, who has been in law enforcement for 15 years, is in his first year teaching DARE at the elementary schools; he is stationed at Draper Park Middle School. “This is something that I’ve always thought would be fun to do. It’s a great gig. It’s really a hidden treasure that a lot of people don’t know about in law enforcement,” he said. Through the curriculum, Neff teaches students about being responsible and safe. “We talk about communication styles, being unsure and confident; we talk about peer pressure— there’s so many things that

we talk about. In there, we give them resistance strategies when they come across things in the future, such as alcohol or drugs or vaping products and that kind of stuff. We educate them on that as well and give them all the tools beforehand, so they’re well equipped to be able to say no,” he said. Addison learned that lesson: “You should never take drugs or alcohol because it can affect your body and health—like a lot.” Neff said that through the contest, students gained ownership for the program and could say they were a part of the program. “It’s something that they can remember,” he said. l

such topics. McGill said he will be watching the lawmakers this session to see if there’s legislation that comes out “and changes the dialogue around what school districts do as it relates to SEL (social-emotional learning) supports because there has been so much discussion and controversy,” he said. There is a history of the legislature introducing dialogues and bills around student issues, as state Rep. Susan Pulsipher said happened in 2020. “We’ve increased resources and left it up to school districts to choose how to be most effective in incorporating it, like we did with vaping and having the schools introduce education,” she said. “Jordan (District) has put counselors and psychologists in every school. I know Canyons wasn’t

happy with the changes that were taking place online with its curriculum and that can be challenging. So, they’re taking control by writing their own. The state interim committee on education looks into student services so it may look into handling the online situations.” Through the change, McGill supports teachers’ efforts to engage students in the classroom. “They’re getting them interested in their learning, helping them advocate for themselves and learn about self-awareness about how to improve their learning,” he said. “We’re going to take more of a focal approach on helping our elementary, middle and high school kids identify those strongest skill sets and then figure out ways to incorporate that within the current curriculum that they’re already teaching.”l

February 2022 | Page 11

Draper Park Middle students help community bundle up through the winter


By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com

ome families may be a little warmer this winter, thanks to Draper Park Middle School’s Latinos-in-Action club. The group recently organized a clothing drive to benefit people at The Road Home shelter, providing winter outerwear as well as clothing and shoes. “I really liked the idea of donating and having a drive to benefit The Road Home,” said seventh-grader Paige Hillstead, who came up with the service project. “After having a Zoom meeting to learn about the homeless shelter’s needs, we learned there was constant turnover and it’s harder in the winter when it’s cold and the shelter doesn’t have enough space there. So, we wanted to help them get more warm clothes to wear.” The club’s service committee then organized a week-long new and gently used clothing drive at the school. “We offered raffle tickets for students who brought in donations,” eighth-grader Natalie Mompo said about the doughnuts that were given to the six lucky winners. “There were a lot of people interested in the service project and in making a big impact.” Throughout the service project, students organized the clothes and sorted them. “We had storage bins and they got completely full, which was really cool,” she said.

LIA counted more than 100 bags of clothing, said eighth-grader and club president Alex Robichaux. “We spread the word and we ended up with donations jam-packed in the principal’s truck,” Alex said. “It was a lot, a big donation. We expected a few boxes, but instead, it definitely will make a big impact.” Draper Park’s LIA chapter was created last school year, but it was limited in activities because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both Latino and non-Latinos are involved, all wanting to make a positive impact in their school community and getting a chance to have leadership roles. Already, the group is active in tutoring their peers. LIA leaders are looking at more possible service projects as well as learning about professional career opportunities and possibly go on field trips. The group, which is advised by Edith Goodrich, also has introduced cultural Fridays at the school so they can educate their classmates to Latino perspective of the world through music, food, videos and other ways. l A Latino-in-Action student helps Draper Park Middle Principal Chip Watts load his truck with donated winter clothes to give to The Road Home shelter. (Photo courtesy of Canyons School District)

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Draper City Journal

Snapping traps, coyote calls, tall tales: Summit students captivated by mountain man


ummit Academy’s Angela Grimmer has moved on from teaching at the Draper campus to overseeing high school students as the principal at the Bluffdale campus, but at least one tradition she started remains—inviting mountain man Scott “Grizzly” Sorensen to teach fourth-graders about Utah history. “He provides a cool, hands-on interaction with the students,” Grimmer said. “And his tall tales don’t disappoint. Every year he shares about the five-point buck on the bicycle and we all laugh hysterically—and the students are so excited to hear more.” This school year was no exception as his visit and the school’s 13th annual mountain man rendezvous was held as a sampling of what students will study this year. When Sorensen visited Summit Academy, he wore his own home-sewn buckskins and showed students the tools of early trappers and explorers who mapped out much of the west. “Remember there was no Utah back then,” he told students. “Utah was the name of the tribe, not a place to mountain men.” In between tall tales, he snapped steel animal traps, called out for elk and coyotes, and sang folk songs while playing his dulcimer. Fourth-grader Ivy Pizza remembered jumping when the beaver trap clinched. “They had to work it with these jaw-like traps and if they got their hand caught in them, it could break it,” she said. “They’d hide the traps in mud around Cottonwood trees because that was what the beavers liked. We learned how mountain men would call and make animal sounds, like the elk one is really highpitched, and what all the mountain men did with the animal skins.” Intermixed with the fun, Sorensen introduced Kit Carsen, Jedediah Smith, Jim Bridger and other real mountain men from the 1800s, telling students about their survival skills such as skinning beavers to trade as they were used to make top hats or hunting moose to make moccasins. His own fringed pants were made

By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com of five deers. “These mountain men knew the trails, the passes, the waterways; they weren’t the ones who were interesting in mining or gold. They loved adventure and exploration,” he said. He brought coyote, wolf, raccoon, lynx, mountain lion, elk, bear and other animals’ skins, but most he admitted he acquired, not that he had to shoot them on the grounds of the fishing lodge on the Kipawa River, about 500 miles north of Toronto, where he has lived for 46 summers. In the wintertime, for more than 30 years, he has visited thousands of classes in the western United States to tell them about living in the wilds. “I like to make history and education fun and there are no better audiences in the world than fourth-graders,” said the former high school teacher. “Through showing and telling them about this style of life, they’re learning without even realizing it. I try to present it in a way students won’t forget.” Fourth-grader Jacob Broadbent said he liked feeling the hides with the back of his hand, but also hearing Sorensen’s stories. “I learned not to take Twinkies when I’m out where there are bears and I bet his grandma is still chasing the deer on the bike,” he said with a laugh referring to Sorensen’s tall tales. “What I really learned was how people came to the west to discover what was here and how they lived and survived while exploring.” Many students have written to Sorensen through the years. After writing “Kipawa River Chronicles,” which includes many of his tall tales, Sorensen composed a second one of letters he received from schoolchildren called “Dear Mr. Mountain Man.” He hopes to write another book with even more letters. Ivy’s and Jacob’s teacher, Emily Fox, said that during their writing time, she will encourage students to pen a letter to the mountain man. For those who are interested in sharing theirs, she will send it onto him as she did for three students following his last visit. After the presentation, the students took

part in their own mountain man rendezvous where they dipped candles, made arrowhead necklaces, played with button whirligigs, practiced gold panning, tried lassoing and took part in more hands-on activities. Fox said this was an introduction into their fourth-grade study of the mountain men. Before he came, they started studying the five tribes in Utah and how mountain men traded with them. Typically, Sorensen’s presentation comes later in the year, but since he was already booked during the winter months, Summit

teachers decided to have him come and give the students a preview of what they will study. “We’ll study more in detail about the mountain men and have each student choose one for a report, which will be more specific to Utah, but it’s usually pretty interesting for them and they find some cool stories to share,” she said. “With having the mountain man come and letting the students have hands-on activities such as soap carving and working with leather, they’re actively learning about what life was like during this time period.” l

Mountain man Scott “Grizzly” Sorensen shows Summit Academy fourth-graders a black bear pelt. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

DraperJournal .com

February 2022 | Page 13

Recycling revisited: The Big 3 is still the big focus By Mimi Darley Dutton | m.dutton@mycityjournals.com


ere months before the pandemic started, Draper City launched a “Be Bright, Recycle Right” campaign. The city instructed residents to “Focus on the Big 3” and only recycle three things: corrugated cardboard, plastic bottles and jugs with necks and lids on, and metal food and beverage cans. That was it, keep it simple and keep it to “The Big 3.” In fall 2019 those changes were necessary and The Big 3 remains the city’s recycling approach, both because it helps to save the city money and it helps the environment. Leading up to that new approach, the worldwide recycling landscape had changed drastically. China had stopped taking many of America’s recycled commodities (plastics and paper) and the city realized that much of what residents thought was being recycled was actually going to the landfill. In some cases, the city was paying double—first the higher recycling rate, and then the additional rate for those items that couldn’t be recycled to go from the recycling facility on to the landfill. “We always paid overall (to recycle), but sometimes as low as $5/ton. By late 2018, the city was paying $50/ton for materials that had value and $75/ton for materials that previously were considered recyclable but were now considered trash,” said Robert Markle, deputy

public works director. Corrugated cardboard was the one thing that the city sometimes got monetary credit for recycling. When the new recycling campaign was launched pre-pandemic, city officials talked about a big education campaign for residents. There was even a discussion of “recycling police” marking the bins of residents who were tainting the loads for others. “If we don’t enforce it, it’s really self-defeating,” City Manager David Dobbins said in fall 2019, adding that he used to think when in doubt on an item, it was best to throw it in the recycle bin. “But the reality is that contaminates the load,” Dobbins said. The city was pleasantly surprised to see that the majority of residents picked up on The Big 3 campaign. Then Covid hit and the recycling and garbage landscape quickly changed again. “Covid brought record tonnages of material picked up due to everyone being home, doing home projects to keep busy, and doing more takeout and delivery shopping,” Markle said. Covid meant the city couldn’t interact with residents nor could they implement “recycling police” due to staffing shortages. But the city did suspend some accounts of those who were blatantly breaking the rules. They also gave residents the option to opt out of re-

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Costs for recycling have come down recently and the city has even received credits for recycling some commodities. Meanwhile, Draper pays $20/ton to haul garbage to the landfill while some parts of the U.S. pay nearly $150/ton. (Courtesy Draper City)

cycling. “Residents can opt out, but they do not receive any credit on their bills because the average tonnage of waste per household is still the same whether they recycle or not. We want to encourage our residents to recycle when they can to prolong the life of the landfill and do what is right by recycling,” Markle said. More than two years after the change to The Big 3, Markle said commodity values are going up because new capacity is being added to perform some recycling in the U.S. instead of overseas and some major consumer brands established recycled content goals. “We continue to tag cans of people that we can see aren’t recycling correctly, but it hasn’t been as big of a focus because we were able to reduce our contamination through The Big 3 campaign,” he said. In addition to only recycling The Big 3, residents need to remember two other basics: 1) Don’t bag it! Plastic bags destroy big equipment in the recycling process, so place your items loosely in your recycling bin for pick up and never include plastic bags. 2) Caps on! Keep plastic lids on milk jugs and plastic bottles. This prevents them from getting loose in the washing process and ending up in rivers, creeks, lakes and oceans. Plastics such as sour cream, yogurt and cottage cheese containers and waxy paper milk and juice containers still can’t be recycled in Draper, nor can aerosol containers or clear plastic containers used for berries and salad. But for those who want to recycle as much as possible, there are easy opportunities to properly recycle commodities such as paper (including junk mail, magazines, newspaper, cereal and cracker boxes, toilet paper tubes, etc.) and glass.

1) Paper can be dropped off at any of the Green Fiber bins located in most school parking lots and at City Hall. The Green Fiber company uses those paper products to make insulation, and the school from which the paper was collected gets a monetary kickback. Markle noted that the Green Fiber bins are for mixed paper and the city would prefer residents recycle cardboard in their recycle bins or deliver cardboard to the dumpster at the city’s Public Works building at 72 E. Sivogah Court. “If the bins are full, please do not pile up boxes and papers on the ground outside the bin. This makes a mess and Green Fiber will not take it. Also, always break down your cardboard boxes so we can store more per dumpster delivery,” Markle said. 2) Glass can be recycled for free at City Hall on the southeast side of the parking lot, or residents can sign up for curbside glass recycling through Momentum, the link for which is on the city’s website. The initial setup fee for Momentum’s service is $25 and the service costs $8/month. The city also provides an opportunity for residents to dispose of leaves in the fall and living Christmas trees in the winter at the Public Works site on Sivogah Court. Things are looking more optimistic on the recycling front than they did just a couple years ago. “Over the past year, our cost to recycle started dropping. In the past months we have seen a value of about $20/ton paid. That means we’ve received a payment of approximately $3,000/month rather than paying more than $13,000/month like we did in 2018,” Markle said. For now, the city’s recycling focus is still as simple as one, two, three. “The Big 3 is still our focus and is working,” Markle said. l

Draper City Journal

Alta basketball riding high Photos by Travis Barton

Alta fans turn out for the crosstown rivalry game with Jordan where the Hawks would win 73-59. At 9-5 at press time, Alta was holding the No. 5 seed.

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Draper City Journal

Learn about notable Utah African Americans for Black History Month By Karmel Harper | k.harper@mycityjournals.com


ntil the November 2020 elections, slavery in Utah was still legal as punishment for a convicted crime. According to Article 1, Section 21, in Utah's state Constitution, "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within this State." However, on Nov. 3, 2020, Amendment C, which bans slavery in all forms, passed with 81% of the vote. Utah House Rep. Sandra Collins, who sponsored Amendment C, said, “Our constitution serves as a basis for all of our laws and policies. We need to be clearer about what prison is for and what prison is not. The notion of ‘slavery or involuntary servitude’ should not be imposed on people merely because they are convicted of a crime. By passing this measure, we will assert that slavery is not a Utah value.” Although slavery in Utah was not widespread, some Utah pioneers held African-American slaves until 1862, when Congress abolished slavery in all of its territories. Brigham Young sent three African-American men as part of an advance party in 1847 to clear brush, trees, and rocks to make a road for pioneer wagons. These men were Green Flake, Hark Lay, and Oscar Crosby. Their names appear on a plaque on the Brigham Young Monument in downtown Salt Lake City with the inscription: “Green Flake, Hark Lay, and Oscar Crosby, Colored Servants.” Kristine Murdock, a historian, and administrator for Our Kaysville Story Facebook page, said, “After Green Flake and his wife Martha Crosby (also a slave) were freed, they settled in the Salt Lake Valley. They were members of the LDS Church and very loved in the community. They are buried in the Union Cemetery Cottonwood Heights, Utah.” However, some Utah slaves’ stories were tragic. 1n 1858, when he was only 3 years old, Gobo Fango of the Xhosa tribe in South Africa was given to white property owners Henry and Ruth Talbot after famine afflicted the Xhosa. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Talbots set sail from South Africa to Boston in 1861, where they would join the gathering of saints in Salt Lake City. The Talbots smuggled Fango aboard in a wrapped carpet, but Fango was reported to have provided entertainment and helped take care of the sheep on-board once the ship set sail. After traveling west to Utah,

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A member of the Daybreak Diversity & Inclusion club places a sign at Oquirrh Lake for Black History Month. You can visit the lake in February to read about notable African Americans. (Photo courtesy Vanessa Janak)

the Talbots eventually settled in Kaysville. According to an article by the University of Utah’s Marriott Library, Fango’s feet froze one year when the Talbots allegedly forced him to herd animals in bare feet. When someone suggested that one of his feet required amputation, he said he ‘would rather have part of a foot than none at all.’ It seems that part of his heel was removed, but that doctors did not amputate his foot at the ankle. Years later, a woman reported that Fango would place wool in his boot so that his foot would fit into it and he could walk. He left the Talbots and worked as a laborer for the Mary Ann Whitesides Hunter family, who lived in Grantsville, Utah, roughly between 1870 and 1880. He was listed as a “servant” (likely employed as such) in the 1880 U.S. Census living in Grantsville. Fango settled in the Goose Creek valley of Idaho territory by the 1880s and worked as a sheepherder. However, tensions between sheepherders and cattlemen in the area led to Fango’s murder by cattleman Frank Bedke, who was acquitted. Fango, who was described as generous with a cheerful disposition, dictated his final will and testament before succumbing to his gunshot wounds. He bequeathed half of his estate ($500) to the Salt Lake Temple Construction Fund.

Nearly 45 years after his death, Talbot and Hunter’s family members could not find evidence of Fango’s membership in the church and thus performed his baptism by proxy in the Salt Lake Temple on Sept. 20, 1930. The U of U article said, “Because Fango was a Black African, he could not be ordained to the priesthood posthumously, which would have made it possible for him to receive other LDS liturgies by proxy. As Louisa Hale wrote to a historian seeking information on Fango in 1934, ‘a Negro cannot hold the priesthood. So [performing his posthumous baptism] was all we could do for him. I, of course, feel that he is more worthy than many that do hold it.’” As February is Black History Month, we honor the stories of African Americans who have shaped this country and state. Notable African American Utahns include Mignon Barker Richmond (1897-1984), who was the first African American woman to graduate from a Utah college and was a human and civil rights activist, and Anna Belle Weakley-Mattson (1922-2008), an astute businesswoman who was a significant force to Ogden’s growing Black community in the 1900s. l

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February 2022 | Page 19

Want cleaner air? Get rid of that old wood-burning stove By Justin Adams | justin.a@thecityjournals.com


lean air has become an increasingly wood-burning stoves, the DEQ has creatimportant issue for Utahns. It impacts ed an assistance program that incentivizes the state’s collective health, its environ- homeowners to upgrade to cleaner heatment, even its economy. There are many ing devices. Applicants can receive anydifferent methods by which Utah can where from $500 to $3,800 to help pay for work towards cleaner air—both on the in- the cost of making the change. dividual and institution level—and one of There are a few qualifications for those is by getting rid of old wood-burn- homeowners wanting to take advantage of ing stoves. the program. For example, the stove must Thom Carter, energy advisor to Gov. be actively used for a “significant amount Spencer Cox wrote about the danger of of home heating” in order to qualify. (So these stoves in a guest post on the Depart- you can’t use the program to get rid of that ment of Environmental Quality’s website. stove in the basement that’s only gathered “Wood-burning stoves are a sig- dust for the last 20 years.) The program nificant source of air pollution—pollu- also can’t be used for remodeling work or tion that negatively impacts individuals’ on rental or commercial properties. personal health and the environment,” To learn more about the program and he wrote. “Particles that make up the see if your home qualifies, you can visit smoke and soot from wood-burning stoves.utah.gov. l stoves can cause breathing difficulties and sometimes permanent lung damage for those who inhale the smoke. Especially during the cold winter months, smoke from wood-burning stoves gets trapped with other air pollutants resulting in health-threatening inversions. In fact, A new program from the Utah Department of Enwood-burning stoves can cause a mini-in- vironmental Quality is urging Utahns to upgrade from their old wood-burning stoves. (Stock photo) version within neighborhoods.” To help people get rid of their old

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Sometimes it is rocket science


hree things could doom our country: domestic terrorism, Olivia Rodrigo and the rejection of science. The first two are obvious, but rejecting science? When did scientists become the bad guys? As more people deny mainstream science, I think about the good, old Russian pseudoscientist Trofim Lysenko. (You can call him Tro.) He and Joseph Stalin were BFFs after Tro convinced Stalin he could “educate” crops to grow using his “law of the life of species” theory which included planting seeds close together and soaking plants in freezing water. Stalin embraced this nonsense and seven million Russians died from starvation when the country ran out of food, because Tro (you can call him The Idiot) convinced Stalin that science-based agricultural practices were garbage. There’s lots of science I don’t understand, like quantum mechanics, curved spacetime and string theory, which proves kittens will play with a ball of yarn indefinitely. But I don’t have to understand science because, and here’s a key point, I am not a scientist. I’m saying this louder for those in the back: science shouldn’t be a partisan issue. But here we are. Anti-science is on the rise and people (i.e., non-scientists) are putting their own batty (often dangerous) theories


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out in the universe, much like Tro the Idiot. More than 2,000 years ago, Aristotle decided our planet was a sphere, not a flat disc flung through space in a game of Frisbee golf played by Greek gods. But people didn’t believe him. Some flat-folk still don’t believe him. Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for his theory of the cosmos which included the heretical idea that the earth revolved around the sun. Before his death he proclaimed, “Perhaps you who pronounce my sentence are in greater fear than I who receive it.” And that’s what it boils down to: fear. A campaign of distrust based on fear slowly erodes faith in scientists and any theory they present. We all know the government is run by rabid lizards in human suits, but scientists have saved our bacon for centuries. In 1796, Dr. Edward Jenner used gunk from a cowpox sore to inoculate a child against smallpox and gave the world its first hope to combat the terrible illness. When he wasn’t performing in “Hamilton,” President Thomas Jefferson strongly recommended smallpox vaccinations to eradicate the disease. Dr. Jonas Salk developed the polio vaccine in 1955, becoming a national hero. When vaccines for measles, whoop-


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