August 2017 | Vol. 14 Iss. 08
REPTILES REVEALED during library presentation By Kelly Cannon | firstname.lastname@example.org
olladay youngsters got an up-close look at some of the native Utah reptiles that may be prowling around their backyard. Held on July 5, Revealing Reptiles was a special presentation by the Ogden Nature Center that brought three live animals to the Holladay Library. “Our mission is to unite people with nature. We bring nature to individuals and to libraries and things like that,” said Shawnee Sawyer, the outreach educator with the Ogden Nature Center. “The Salt Lake County Library has asked us to come and do programs throughout the summer.” The two programs this summer are Revealing Reptiles and Owl Tales, both with live animals and facts about the animals in question. “This program was all about reptiles,” Saywer said. “We basically talked to people about what makes a reptile a reptile and how they’re different from amphibians.” At the Holladay Library, the live animals included Laser, a desert tortoise. Native to Utah, the desert tortoise measures between 10–14 inches long and 4–6 inches tall. They can weigh between 25–30 pounds. While they have long back legs for crawling, their front limbs are flattened with sharp scales for digging. They spend about 95 percent of their lives underground since, as reptiles, they are unable to regulate their body temperature. Adult tortoises can live a year or more without access to water. They can live to be 50 years old. The desert tortoise is currently an endangered species. While ravens, gila monsters, kit foxes, badgers, roadrunners, coyotes and fire ants are all natural predators to the tortoise, they are mainly threatened by man-made dangers including urbanization, habitat destruction, vandalism and illegal collection. Another animal was Bert, a Great Basin gopher snake. Tan with large square blotches, the gopher snake is a constrictor. It asphyxiates its prey, usually rodents, rabbits, birds and occasionally lizards. The gopher snake is also a great imitator. It can vibrate its tail rapidly if threatened, and if there is dry grass or leaves nearby,
Shawnee Sawyer explains the difference between a tortoise and a turtle with Laser, the desert tortoise. Desert tortoises are native to Utah and an endangered species. (Kelly Cannon/City Journals)
the resulting sound can resemble a rattlesnake. It can grow up to seven feet long, but the average length is two-and-a-half feet to six feet. The last animal presented by Sawyer was Gil, the salamander. Gil was used to demonstrate the difference between amphibians and reptiles. Because he’s not a reptile, Gil does not have scales and lives in aquatic surroundings. Sawyer said she picked Laser, Bert and Gil because they are native to Utah.
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“I like to show people something that they might actually see,” Sawyer said. “These animals have been to lots of programs so they’re good around crowds.” The goal for the presentation was to get kids to understand these types of animals are all around them. “It’s not just animals in the zoo but they can find in Utah and in their own backyard, and a few ways to protect them, specifically the tortoise,”
Sawyer said. “Because they’re endangered, I think it’s important for people to see them and have a connection with an actual endangered species so they can make choices in their life to protect them.” To learn more about the Ogden Nature Center visiting different Salt Lake County libraries, visit http://www.slcolibrary.org. To learn more about the Ogden Nature Center, visit http:// www.ogdennaturecenter.org/ l
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Page 2 | August 2017
Holladay City Journal
Highland Drive Master Plan amendment request met with mixed emotions The Cottonwood-Holladay City Journal is a monthly publication distributed directly to residents via the USPS as well as locations throughout Cottonwood and Holladay. For information about distribution please email email@example.com or call our offices. Rack locations are also available on our website. For subscriptions please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org The views and opinions expressed in display advertisements do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions held by Loyal Perch Media or the City Journals. This publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written consent of the owner.
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By Aspen Perry | firstname.lastname@example.org
uring a city council public hearing held July 6, council heard mixed emotions of residents neighboring Arbor Lane regarding their preference on a proposed amendment of the Highland Drive Master Plan (HDMP) to allow the property at 5025 S. Highland Drive to move from segment B, commercial use, to segment A, residential use. Based on the input from the residents who addressed the council, the major deciding factor on whether they were for or against amending HDMP appeared to be rooted in their concern over what type of impact a new development would bring – regardless if it was commercial or residential. “I would love to see commercial, but I don’t want to take the risk that there’s a restaurant or a bar, or something there that is not really part of what the neighborhood feel is,” said one male Arbor Lane resident. Remarks that contrasted his fellow Arbor Lane neighbor, who later stated, ““If it’s between a business and 16 units, I want the business.” The proposed amendment was first heard during a June 6, planning commission meeting. Though the commission’s vote was not unanimous, commissioners’ recommendation to the
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Closed down Roots Garden Nursery last to utilize property in question. (Aspen Perry/City Journals)
city council was to deny the request to remove the property from Segment B, commercial use, to Segment A, residential use. During the June 6 planning commission meeting, Richard Duggar, current co-owner of the property where Roots Garden Nursery attempted to operate, explained the struggles the owners have faced attempting to lease the property to businesses over the years. “We’ve had three or four different businesses in there… I’ve let them all out of their leases, never held any of them, because they couldn’t make a buck, “ Duggar said. The planning commission heard both neighbor protests not in favor, as well as statements from property owners, before the motion to recommend denial of the request passed 5-1. The majority feeling another age restrictive, high-density development would not serve the community, as well as maintaining the commercial use could. Upon city council opening up the public hearing portion on July 6, residents of Arbor Lane spoke to the council with mixed emotions regarding moving the property from commercial to residential use. The second resident to address council was not in favor amending the property for residential use, nor were a few others who spoke of their interest in having more services in their neighborhood. Following these statements, Duggar addressed the council to, again, express his concern over the difficulty previous businesses on the property faced before inevitably closing up shop. “We need people to support these business-
es, they’re in business for 3 months and they (leave), because they can’t make it,” said Duggar. Duggar further explained how easily housing would fit on the property and how him and the other property owners felt it would be a winwin for the neighborhood. Steve Breitling, also co-owner of the property addressed the council to point out his interest in having a property that benefits the community. “I care about this property and this city, so I want something positive, something that’s going to be successful. I live in the community… and pass this property every day,” Breitling said. Breitling went on to state when the opportunity arose for residential use, it seemed like a win-win for the property owners and the community. During the public hearing only one resident expressed a clear position of being in favor, regardless of the density of the current development being proposed. “It’s time to see something nice over there. I’m in favor for moving this from segment B to segment A,” said one male resident residing across from the property. Though a couple others expressed interest in commercial, even if the business was not something they would be able to patron. Those opinions seemed to waiver when high traffic businesses were mentioned. After the city council adjourned, councilmembers reviewed public comments during a closed working session with plans to hold a second public hearing on July 20. l
August 2017 | Page 3
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Page 4 | August 2017
Holladay City Journal
Hughes General Contractor hired for Knudsen Park By Aspen Perry | email@example.com
ight acres of prime nature real estate, set in Knudsen Park, are officially in the works to be made into a destination nature park. Of the nine companies who responded to the City of Holladay’s request for proposals, Hughes General Contractors stood out as the best candidate for the Knudsen Park designbuild project after meeting with the Knudsen Park subcommittee. “Of the final three, all had great proposals and great teams. What (the subcommittee) felt stood out was how much time and effort (Hughes) put into their proposals,” said Mark Stewart, part of subcommittee and District 5 representative. Stewart went on to explain the in-depth nature of Hughes research of Holladay City, and the Knudsen Park area. “(Hughes) contacted The Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, to provide a background and history of Knudsen Park area,” Stewart said. Holly Smith, grants and project coordinator with Holladay City, and part of the subcommittee was also impressed with the level of historical touches Hughes included in their proposal and during presentation with the subcommittee. “During the presentation they brought in a piece of concrete, they had manufactured specifically for the interview, that looked like wood,” said Smith. In a later interview, Doug Chatterton, project manager with Hughes General Contractors, explained the importance for them in utilizing sustainable practices and materials to give the park a historic feel. Hence Hughes decision to propose using concrete with an overlay design that will give
Historic photos of Knudsen mill with proposed restroom and pavilion design (Hughes General Contractors)
the structures, such as the proposed restroom and pavilions, the look and feel of wood to mimic the aesthetics of the old Knudsen flour mill. Timeline was another factor subcommittee members were impressed with upon deciding between the potential candidates, as Hughes proposed timeline estimated Knudsen Park could be completed by the end of summer or early fall of 2018. “They were very well prepared, and bespoke a good organizational skill for them,” said Steve Gunn, part of subcommittee, and District 4 representative. Once vetted for all the reasons
previously listed the only remaining issue was cost, which Smith explained Hughes budget was competitive with the other potential candidates. “We feel like we’re getting quality, as well as, good cost. It’s a nice balance of both.” Smith said. Though there are no official plans ready at this time, as this is a design-build project in the earliest stages of inception. If the 2015 ZAP Recreational Application is any indication of might come, Knudsen Park has the potential for some great features. Potential features listed in the 2015 application include passive recreation areas
such as; open lawns, picnic areas, preserved oak forest for wildlife habitat for bird and animal watching, wildlife and river education nodes, 1 mile of new onsite trails, in addition to connections to the regional trails of Big Cottonwood, Bonneville Shoreline, Jordan River, and Heughs Canyon - to name a few. “This has been years in the making… beginning well before I came into office… it is a big deal. I’m thrilled to hear that in a littler over a year from now we’ll have protected this space for generations,” said Mayor Rob Dahle, during the city council working session. Dahle went on to express his gratitude to all involved, including both current and past council and Holladay City representatives. Hughes is looking forward to their role in bringing a beautiful park to Holladay residents, as well. “We want this to be a destination park,” said Chatterton. During the working session, Stewart expressed the subcommittees plan to have residents involved during the process, including the potential for a resident committee that will be invited to sit in on various subcommittee meetings to provide input on park amenity decisions. In addition to, less formal forms of resident input. “Of course, we’ll have public hearings, and open houses. Where residents will have the opportunity to participate in the process. Which will be a great,” Stewart said. In a later interview, Stewart went on to express his enthusiasm as he stated, “I am excited about the park because it will provide our residents with another location that they can gather with friends and family, be active, and enjoy nature.” l
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August 2017 | Page 5
Pat Pignanelli will not seek re-election By Aspen Perry | firstname.lastname@example.org
fter three terms serving as the District 3 representative for the Holladay City Council, Patricia Pignanelli decided to not seek a fourth re-election. “I have a personal belief that there should be term limits for elected officials,” said Pignanelli. As she further stated, “I have been honored to serve three terms… and have enjoyed this position, but it is appropriate that another District 3 citizen have this opportunity.” Pat decided to run for office while recuperating from cancer surgeries. Although Pignanelli was not bored, she felt she needed to have more of a sense of fulfillment. Pignanelli explained this was during a time when many living in the area felt frustration over lack of services in the newly annexed area. Twelve years ago when it was announced the city had plans for a councilperson to represent district three, Pignanelli threw her hat in the race per a friend’s recommendation and the rest is history. “Every positive change, provided a sense of accomplishment,” Pignanelli said. During her time on council, Pignanelli worked on the obtainment of sidewalks to increase foot bound citizen safety. During the first project, Pignanelli worked with Holladay City Planning and Salt Lake County to complete a sidewalk on Murray Holladay Road. “This area is now well used by walkers,
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runners, and families,” said Pignanelli. The second sidewalk was the result of Spring Lane Elementary wishing to become part of a walk to school program, only to realize Spring Lane was not a safe road for students to walk on. After much city staff and public involvement, a sidewalk was installed on the south side of Spring Lane. “Working on this project reinforced my belief that a major role of municipal government is safety of our citizens,” Pignanelli said. Pignanelli’s sense of responsibility has not gone unnoticed, as Mayor Rob Dahle described Pignanelli’s passion for the community of Holladay. “Pat has always been a hands-on, engaged representative. She listens to the issues intently (before voting) the decision she feels is in the best long term interest of the citizens of our city,” Dahle said. Another sense of her responsibility can be seen in Pignanelli’s involvement with the Holladay City Foundations scholarship program, which offers $1,000 to six Holladay students each year. Though Pignanelli feels it is time for a change, she has loved her time on council and will miss the frequent association with residents, city staff, and council members. When asked what she most enjoyed during her time on council Pignanelli said, “The people my family and I have met… several have become
Patricia Pignanelli, speaking with constituents during district 3 council meeting. (Aspen Perry/City Journals)
close friends.” Pignanelli further stated, “I will really miss the association and friendship of the present council. We represent a wide range of age, interests, and philosophies.” It seems the council will miss her too, as fellow council member of District 5, Mark Stewart said, “I have greatly appreciated serving with Pat. Pat makes sure her constituents concerns are brought to the table… and has contributed immensely to many of the successes of Holladay and will be missed.” City staff shared these sentiments, as well. “I’ve found Pat to be one of the most caring and considerate elected officials, I’ve ever worked with,” said Paul Allred, community development director for Holladay City. Allred further explained he and Pignanelli started with the city within a few weeks of each other, and how impressed he has been over the
years. “She has been an example of diplomacy and tact while dealing with difficult and sometimes controversial issues,” Allred said. Given her enjoyment of being engaged, problem solving, and the feeling of achievement, Pignanelli feels she will remain involved in community activities. “I think there are many opportunities for Holladay citizens to work together,” Pignanelli said. Pignanelli is confident the residents of Holladay are in good hands. “I truly believe that the Holladay City Council is concerned about the citizens and projects in our city,” said Pignanelli. As for her, Pignanelli is looking forward to having more time to spend with her husband of 58 years, Francesco Pignanelli, their three children, and seven grandchildren. l
Page 6 | August 2017
Holladay City Journal
Carpe Di End
Holladay summer skate camp still going strong in 14th year, thanks to “Spock” By Jesse Sindelar | email@example.com
hile one can learn many things about skateboarding at one of Eric “Spock” Uequillas’s skate camps, there is more than just skateboarding being taught. “We are all about teaching kids how to skate, and the safety and park etiquette that go with that. But we also want to teach respect, for their environment, their self, and their fellow skaters. And most importantly we want all of that to be fun,” stated Spock. The camp teaches all levels of skaters, from first time beginners, to those with a deeper experience on a board, with both a beginning class and an intermediate class. Skaters bring their own boards, and they are then split up by ability.
Other instructors have more familial ties with the participants. “Numerous dads help out as well. It’s great, because if they know how to skate, they, as dads, know how to deal with kids too,” Spock chided. The first camp was in 2003, and there was just one. Now Spock hosts skate camps across the valley, far and wide. The original skate camp, that is still going on today, started at the Holladay Lion’s Recreation Center in Holladay. Cam Barenbrugge, who oversees the administrative aspect of the camp, doesn’t see this camp going anywhere anytime soon. “We don’t have any plans to upscale or downsize, because
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“Spock” has been running these skate camps for 14 years (Eric Uequillas/Holladay)
The instructors, led by Spock, coach these skaters with a lot of feedback and hands on supervision. “The kids are taught with progression. So we start with balance and staying on the board, and then we can move to tricks, and how to use the skate park as a whole,” added Spock. Spock’s recruiting process for instructors is a simplistic, yet very effective method. He works as the assistant director for the sports school at Brighton ski resort. “When we do hiring, I’m working with and looking at snowboarders who have good chance of also being a skater. Since we train so extensively in this kind of stuff, it’s perfect for those excelling at it boarding, who know how to skate, to teach kids how to skate,” Spock said.
its works so well now. We never really sought an instructor for a skate class, we have this class more because of him [Spock], because he loves doing it, and because the kids love it too,” stated Barenbrugge. “It has been so popular with the kids. I think the beginning class has around 40 kids in it. It has been popular for a number of years, and occasionally kids will return and come back for the next year, in the harder class,” Barenbrugge concluded. With a positive attitude, and patient willingness to teach these kids how to skate, “Spock” has been, and will seemingly continue to be, a great mentor for these kids, as well as an exciting instructor for an exciting sport. Live long and prosper, Spock. l
August 2017 | Page 7
Libraries team up with 4-H to teach STEM By Kelly Cannon | firstname.lastname@example.org
group of kids learned all about design, programing and engineering during a special robotics camp held June 26–27 at the Holladay Library. Focused on a building a robotic arm, the kids broke up into small groups of two or three, using Lego kits to build their engineering feat. “The kits in front of them today are called EV3s. They’ll be using them to build a robotic arm. They’ll follow pictorial instructions that will show them how to put it all together,” said Melissa Ivie, a camp coordinator with 4-H. “Later, they’re going to experiment with programing it. They’ll have a drag, drop program that goes with it. They’ll pull that up and they’ll experiment with trying that out with different programs.” The second day of the camp focused on improving the design of the robotic arm, as well as designing their own robot based on their experiences of the first day. “Then they’ll play a game with the robotic arm ones to help develop their programming skills,” Ivie said. The camp has two main goals for the participants. The first is to increase exposure to science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM. “Most of the kids in school and in their life experience don’t have a huge exposure to that kind of thing,” Ivie said. “Part of it is just to bring STEM into it.” The other goal is to develop a number of engineering concepts to the kids so they begin to look at the world in a different manner. “Even things like Legos, things they can find in their house, they can see it with more of an inventor’s mind,” Ivie said. “They can use them to make things and engineer new things.” Funding for the program comes from the Salt Lake County Library Services, who hired 4-H to bring their community program and STEM-focused activities to the library for short summer camps.
Three kids work together to figure out how to build a robotic arm. (Kelly Cannon/City Journals)
“They’re making robotic thinks like mouse traps or catapults out of household things. We have Beginnings Robotics, which is a different level of EV3s,” Ivie said. “We have The Human Body, which explores how the human body works and sensory perceptions. We have photography and a programing one. We have aerospace and Mission to Mars.” Ivie said she hopes the kids who participate in the summer
camps take away an interest in STEM and engineering. “I hope they’re interested in continuing to pursue those things and interested in inventing things at home and trying it out at school and in after school clubs,” she said. To learn more about 4-H camps and other programs provided by the Salt Lake County Library Services, visit http://www.slcolibrary. org. l
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Page 8 | August 2017
Holladay City Journal
Diagon Alley comes to Holladay By Kelly Cannon | email@example.com
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Two girls create wands during a Harry Potter themed event. The different Diagon Alley shops at different libraries were leading up to the OWL Camp in West Jordan. (Kelly Cannon/City Journals)
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n July 6, Holladay children had a chance to experience the magic of Harry Potter during a special wand-making craft day at the Holladay Library. Part of several activity days, the different shops of Diagon Alley at different county libraries led up to a special OWL Camp at the Viridian Center in West Jordan. Ollivander’s wand-making shop at Holladay was open all day for families to come in and make their own wands using wood dowels and other materials. “We’ve got various pieces that they can choose and lots of different craft items that they can be as creative as they want,” said Heidi-Marie Anderson, the youth services librarian at the Holladay Library. “It’s actually a part of our maker cart. We just replaced some of the items with wand-making materials because we’ve been doing a maker cart all throughout the summer as well.” The Diagon Alley shops functioned as a way to expand the OWL Camp that was held July 10–15. “A lot of people apply and some receive their OWL and they get to go,” Anderson said. “But you had to be 11 to 18 to be able to go and Harry Potter fans are all ages and so this was a way to be able to stretch out the ages that can participate, families who would like to be there or people who didn’t make it into OWL Camp.” The various shops included Pottage’s Cauldron Shop in Herriman, the Magical Menagerie in Bingham Creek, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes at Hunter, Jokes and Pranks: OWL Camp Prep in Sandy, Sock Puppet Pets at Tyler and U-No-Poo Craft and Scramble in West Jordan.
The OWL Camp at the Viridian Event Center was a week-long summer camp; each day corresponded to a day in the Harry Potter books. Classes were set up to look like Hogwarts, and kids attended different classes, such as potions and charms, that were based on science, technology, engineering, art or math. “They will be separated into the four houses and those houses will be the ones going between classes,” Anderson said. “At one point, they may be playing Quidditch outside, doing a scavenger hunt in the library that has to do with the year. They’ll be seeing things throughout the day that have to do with the year, like there might be a three-headed dog or a dragon.” At the end of each day when the families come to pick up the campers, they can go to Hogsmeade and go to various shops as a way for the rest of the family to get the camp experience. July was the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Harry Potter novels. The Salt Lake County Library Services holds different Harry Potter events throughout the year. “We do a Yule Ball every year and that’s very popular, so we’re trying to stretch it out to have it a bit more STEM related. We’re hoping it will be annual,” Anderson said. “It’s always great to have a fandom and to be able to share it with others, especially at the library because the library is a central point for fandoms. It’s a way to make friends with others and be able to tie in actual education with a fandom, with the library.” To learn more about different activities by Salt Lake County Library Services, visit calendar.slcolibrary.org. l
August 2017 | Page 9
Magical Harry Potter camp brings Hogwarts to life By Kelly Cannon | firstname.lastname@example.org
or the week of July 10-15, the Viridian Events Center in West Jordan was transformed into the magical world of witches, wizards and all things Harry Potter. Called OWL Camp, the five day summer camp combined kids’ love of the Harry Potter books/movies with science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) based learning. Each day of the camp was based off a book in the Harry Potter series with the first day being “The Sorcerer’s Stone” and the second day being “Chamber of Secrets.” The final day was a combination of both “Order of the Phoenix” and “Half-Blood Prince.” The camp did not include “Deathly Hallows” because of the serious and tragic subject matter in the book. The campers attended classes throughout the day that corresponded to the book of the day. “So this is second year, which is based off of ‘Chamber of Secrets.’ We have a potions class today where they’re learning how to make slime,” said Nyssa Fleig, the library program manager for the Salt Lake County Library Services. “We also have a defense against the dark arts class where they are learning self-defense moves. We have herbology where they are learning how to make mandrakes.” Various classes were taught by volunteers in the community. These included Utah State University Extension 4-H teaching herbology, Hogle Zoo teaching care of magical creatures, University of Utah graduate poetry students teaching charms and Family Tae Kwon Do teaching defense against the dark arts. “There are two components to OWL Camp. One is the STEAM classes that goes from 10 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. They have four classes each day,” Fleig said. “The other part is the immersive experience.
We really want them to feel like they are going to Hogwarts.” In addition to the classes, the “Chamber of Secrets” day also included a guest appearance by Gilderoy Lockhart and a basilisk on display. Kids could also download an interactive version of the Marauder’s Map. At the end of each day, family and friends of the campers could come and take a trip to Hogsmeade where local businesses set up shops full of fun treats and trinkets. The idea for OWL Camp stemmed from other successful Harry Potter programs put on by the library services. “We’ve done movie release launches and book release launches and midnight parties. We’ve done an annual Yule Ball for the past five years. It happens in January and it’s just for the teens,” Fleig said. “We’ve always had a lot of success with Harry Potter themed programs. It’s a great combination of literacy and fandom and we get to add a little STEAM education so it was a great fit. We wanted to build on the success of the programs.” Fleig said the library services wanted to try their hand at summer camp, explaining there are a lot of kids in the community who can’t attend traditional summer camp for a number of reasons. “We wanted to meet that need in an environment that is free and accepting, that is flexible so they can feel welcome and they already have a connection with the fandom,” Fleig said. Leading up to the camp, several library locations held special Diagon Alley shops where anyone, not just campers, could come in and make Harry Potter themed crafts. These included Pottage’s Cauldron Shop in Herriman, Magical Menagerie at Bingham Creek, Ollivander’s Wand Making in Holladay, Weasly’s Wizard Wheezes in Hunter, Jokes and Pranks in Sandy, Sock Puppet Pets
Volunteers from across the valley helped teach Hogwarts classes at OWL Camp. (Kelly Cannon/City Journals)
in Tyler and U-No-Poo Craft and Scramble in West Jordan. Fleig hoped the campers built confidence and learned a new skill they didn’t have before attending the camp. She also hoped it made an impact on the summer slide. “We already known that when they get out in the spring and when they go back in the fall, a lot of kids end up behind,” Fleig said. “We’re hoping this is just one more opportunity where they can learn and keep those skills strong.” l
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Page 10 | August 2017
Holladay City Journal
M ayo r ’s M E s s aG E the following concerns: There is one issue I can set my calendar by; phone calls and emails will exponentially increase in the month of July. Residents needing to vent their frustration over the seemingly endless discharge of ﬁreworks reach the boiling point. This year was no exception. That said, the frequency and tenor of the exchanges this year escalated well beyond normal levels. We even had elected ofﬁcials from around the County take to social media, news outlets, and local radio in support of their friends and neighbors. It appears we may be approaching the critical political mass necessary to facilitate productive dialogue that would help with addressing this issue. Allow me to provide a little background before I conclude my comments. The State Legislature allows for Class C common ﬁreworks to be discharged 3 days prior to and 3 days after the July 4th and 24th holidays; so a total of 14 days in July. They may be ﬁred from 11am until 11pm, moving to midnight on the 4th and 24th. Municipalities have some minor ﬂexibility in restricting use with the assistance of the local Fire Marshall, but it is limited. These extended block times, in my view, form the basis for most of the complaints. It’s my experience that the vast majority of our residents are reasonable. Though many may wish to ban private ﬁreworks outright, they also realize that it would be an unrealistic pursuit. I believe most would welcome a reasonable compromise. With these restrictions in mind, I invited a group of state and city representatives, along with Roger Tew from the Utah League of Cities and Towns to the city to discuss proposed amendments to the current legislation that would address
• Fireworks discharged after approved hours and extending beyond the block times listed above agitate families in our community. • Fireworks traumatize family pets, the shorter the block time the easier it will be to manage. • Some veterans suffering with PTSD complain that this can be a very difﬁcult time for them. • Air quality experts will tell you that the discharge of ﬁreworks dramatically degrades the already poor quality of the air shed in July. • Last but not least, they present a serious ﬁre hazard to bordering wild lands, residential and commercial structures. We were all in agreement that pursuing a total ban of private ﬁreworks would be viewed as over-reach. We also agreed that 14 days is excessive. Our local legislators will be introducing the idea of shrinking the approved discharge dates to include the day before and the day of the two holidays we celebrate in July; the 4th and 24th. This would potentially reduce the current 14day period to possibly 4, allowing those that traditionally celebrate in this fashion to continue, but restrict the celebration to a 4-day window. We felt this would strike a fair balance between those that wish to discharge ﬁreworks and those that feel the current block times are excessive. There seems to be growing support in the community to pressure our state legislature to amend current legislation and/ or move decision making down to local communities. Please let your councilmember and state representatives know how you feel about this pending policy debate.
School Zone Traffic By Chief Don Hutson, Uniﬁed Police District The Holladay Community will once again be bustling with activity as another school year gets underway. This dramatic change in trafﬁc patterns and pedestrian activity causes all of us concern about the well-being of our children as they travel to school. I believe we would all agree that obedience to the reduced speed limit in school zones is of critical importance to ensure the safety of children crossing streets near our schools. We will have ofﬁcers conducting trafﬁc enforcement in school zones throughout the city to remind the motoring public of our commitment to keep kids safe. Some residents may have noticed Holladay City has put no parking signs in the area immediately surrounding some of the crosswalks throughout the city. The intent of these signs is to ensure the crosswalk areas remain clear of trafﬁc, and it applies to all parking, stopping, or standing, even if you are only stopped there momentarily to pick up or drop off. It is critically important to keep the crosswalk area clear to allow cars traveling down the road the visibility to see children as they are leaving the sidewalk toward the roadway, rather than as they are entering the roadway. Please be aware of this issue as you are dropping off or picking up your children from school. Try to ﬁnd a spot to pull off the road away from any crosswalks or take the time to pull into the school parking lot to keep the roadway clear and less chaotic during drop off and pick up times. I look forward to another banner school year in Holladay and I thank you in advance for helping us keep our kids safe.
–Rob Dahle, Mayor
City Of Holladay • 4580 South 2300 East • 801.272.9450 • www.CityOfHolladay.com
August 2017 | Page 11
CITy InForMaTIon City CoUnCil MeMBers:
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City Council – first and third Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. Planning Commission – first and third Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m.
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City Of Holladay • 4580 South 2300 East • 801.272.9450 • www.CityOfHolladay.com
801-527-3890 801-527-2455 801-273-9731 801-527-3890
Emergency 911 UPD Dispatch (Police) 801-743-7000 UFA Dispatch (Fire) 801-840-4000 Animal Control 385-468-7387 Garbage/Sanitation 385-468-6325 Holladay Library 801-944-7627 Holladay Lions Club 385-468-1700 Mt. Olympus Sr. Center 385-468-3130 Holladay Post Oﬃce 801-278-9947 Cottonwood Post Oﬃce 801-453-1991 Holliday Water 801-277-2893 Watermaster - Big Cottonwood Tanner Ditch system - Art Quale 801 867-1247
Page 12 | August 2017
Holladay City Journal
2017 Budget Message By Gina Chamness, City Manager On June 15, the Holladay City Council adopted the City of Holladay’s FY 2016-17 budget for the ﬁscal year that began July 1. During May and June each year, the City Manager and the City Council spend time discussing projections of revenue that the City expects to receive as well as anticipated needs of the City for the upcoming year. This year, Holladay expects to receive about $14.6 million in revenue from a variety of sources. Property tax is the City’s largest and most stable source of funds. While property taxes for individual property owners may change from year to year depending on a variety of factors, state law is designed to keep the funding that Holladay receives at roughly the same level over time. Any increase in the property tax rate would require a Truth in Taxation notice and public hearing, something that Holladay has not chosen to do in its 16 year history. A quarter of the City’s overall budget comes from sales tax. Sales tax funding, as well as revenue from licenses and permits varies as overall economic conditions in the area and in the state change.
Close to half of the City’s overall funds (47%) are spent on critical public safety services. Holladay City contracts with the Uniﬁed Police District (UPD) and United Fire Authority (UFA) to provide these services for Holladay residents. Approximately 15% of the City’s funds are spent maintaining roads and other infrastructure needs, while about 11% of the City’s funds are spent making debt service or bond payments on City Hall, the City’s Fire Station, and a bond that improved the City’s roads and streets nearly a decade ago. Holladay City is a very lean organization, with 9% of our overall budget supporting administrative functions. This year’s budget emphasizes the importance of the following priorities: • Recognizing and valuing the contribution of City of Holladay employees • Changes in contractual obligations for both police and ﬁre services. These changes total approximately $200,000. • Investment in preventative maintenance and the City’s infrastructure. Most signiﬁcantly, this proposal adds $100,000 to the City’s contract with Salt Lake
County Public Works to provide for proactive maintenance of the City’s storm drain system. • Support for the arts, including the addition of a half-time FTE to coordinate the City’s Arts Council and arts activities, as well as support of the Arts Council’s summer concert series. • Additional resources to build administrative capacity in the City’s organization. Over the next nine months, the City Manager and the City Council agreed to develop a long term, sustainable ﬁnancial plan for the City, including both our operations as well as long- deferred investment in our capital needs. This will include the City’s roads, bridges and storm water systems, as well as other key infrastructure. If you have questions about the Holladay City budget, please feel free to contact me at (801) 272-9450.
City Of Holladay • 4580 South 2300 East • 801.272.9450 • www.CityOfHolladay.com
August 2017 | Page 13
Petapalooza: A Pet Adoption Extravaganza By Salt Lake County Animal Services Join Salt Lake County Animal Services for the LARGEST pet adoption event in Salt Lake County on Saturday, August 26 from 9 AM – 4PM! This is the 4th Annual Petapalooza, a Pet Adoption Extravaganza you won’t want to miss. This is a FREE, family-friendly event at The County Library: Viridian Event Center in West Jordan. There will be hundreds of adoptable dogs, cats, birds/ducks, and reptiles from over a dozen different pet rescues across Utah! The Food Truck League will have tasty offerings from a variety of yummy food trucks.
The Holladay Youth Council The Holladay Youth Council is now accepting applicants for the 2017-2018 school year. Membership is available for students grades 9-12, registered in either a private or public school. Members must be residents of the City of Holladay. Applications will be available, after Aug.1, at the reception desk in the Holladay City Office Building. Completed applications are to be returned to the reception desk. It is necessary that former members fill out the membership application. For more information or questions call Pat Pignanelli at 801-455-3535.
There will be fun events for current pet owners and their pets:: from pet related products, to treats for humans! Join us for this farmers market like atmosphere at the The County Library: Viridian Event Center, located in West Jordan at 8030 S 1830 W. The vendor market will spread out into the adjacent West Jordan Veterans Memorial Park. Current pet owners bring your pups there will be fun events for them: a pet psychic, Course A ‘Lure for them to race through, a pet photo booth, and more! Salt Lake County Animal Services will be on hand to vaccinate, microchip, and license pets in our jurisdiction as well. For more information visit AdoptUtahPets.com, call 385-468-7387, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
City Of Holladay • 4580 South 2300 East • 801.272.9450 • www.CityOfHolladay.com
Page 14 | August 2017
Holladay City Journal
Olympus cornerback Brach Davis overcomes injury to become newest BYU recruit By Jesse Sindelar | email@example.com
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Brach is a star cornerback for Olympus, recovering from a recent ACL tear to become BYU’s newest recruit (Brach Davis/Holladay)
rach Davis has always loved football from a young age. From his elementary school years in Las Vegas to playing cornerback for Olympus, Davis has always had the passion. “When I lived in Vegas, a bunch of my friends played football. We played during recess, and because of that, I wanted to play on an actual team, I wanted to try out. So, my mom signed me up, and here we are,” Davis said. The newest recruit for BYU football has always put in a lot of hard work throughout his sporting life to be the highly touted recruit he is today. “It took a lot of work, but my speed helped. I was always fast, so that always helped,” Davis added. Davis had a bright athletic future ahead of him. Unsurprisingly, he is a multisport athlete, and participates with the track team in the offseason from football. But a year and a half ago, disaster struck. Davis tore his ACL and LCL at a track meet. “I was doing the long jump. The first jump I attempted, I
landed towards the end of the pit. So, for the second, they moved me back on the start. But since I was moved, my steps were all wrong. Before I jumped, I was thinking ‘This isn’t right’. I landed bad, and I hyper extended my knee, and tore my ACL and LCL,” Davis lamented. For many athletes, their possible sporting prowess is never fully explored due to injury, and for Davis, that looked like it could be a real possibility. “It was really hard. I had been talking to a lot of coaches about football. I missed my whole junior season,” But, Davis was not about to let that happen. “I just tried to stay positive. I worked really hard on physical therapy to get back to the level I was at,” Davis said. Davis is now in the latter stages of recovery, and is still working with the track team now that it is the football offseason. At a recent track practice, BYU coaches were in attendance to watch the football teams spring training, which is where he caught their eye. “I was at practice, and the
BYU coaches were there for [football] spring training. They watched me, and watched me sprinting. I talked with some of the coaches after and they offered me a spot,” Davis continued. Davis was more than appreciative of BYU and what they had done. “[BYU] they still had faith in me. They believed they could make a good athlete out of me. I felt so blessed that they took a chance on me, even after my injury,” After a lifeline like that, Davis now his mind on one thing: his upcoming senior year of football for Olympus. “I want to ball out. I want to show all those colleges that were hesitant about me, on what they missed out on,” Davis added. After suffering a possible career ending injury, Brach Davis fought back, and got himself right back to where he wanted to be. With a fighting spirit, and a tuned athletic gift, Davis seems to be set for the future, whatever challenges the future might have in store for him. l
August 2017 | Page 15
Slowpitch softball helping people one Friday at a time By Billy Swartzfager | firstname.lastname@example.org
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A member of the Unmanageables up to bat in a game this season (Billy Swartzfager/City Journals)
or 18 years the Clean and Sober Softball Association of Utah has been putting together teams of coed softball players for friendly competition while the players find comradery, support and some fun. The league is one of the largest in the state with 67 teams and seven divisions. Four fields in Sandy are home to many of the divisions. Games are played every Friday night from late March all the way in to November some years. The league is something powerful for many who are looking for a reason to stay away from drugs and alcohol. There is a rule that in order to play, one has to have been sober for at least 14 days. That may not seem like much, but to someone going through the struggles of addiction, two weeks can seem like a very long amount of time. Some players even attribute the league to their long term sobriety. According to Nick Daniels, league secretary and captain of the Unmanageables, he stayed sober in order to be on the diamond. “For the first sixty days or so, I stayed sober just so I could play ball,” Daniels said. He’s come a long ways from there, and has found others who have done the same. There are close to 15 people on his roster and most have stories similar to his and being together on the field every week gives them all something to look forward to as well as a sense of community . “We are more like a family out here,” Daniels said, “We know each other and are here to support each other.” The support and care for one another extends past game time as well. Many of the players are close due to the nature of their struggles and share time over the BBQ or at the bowling alley when not in uniform or during the off-season.
“This is a place where people can meet others with similar experiences, whether it’s someone in recovery for 20 years or someone who is just starting out,” Daniels said. Daniels’ story is similar to many of the people he faces every Friday night. He sought treatment for his struggles and heard about the league from others who had found it to be helpful. Many of the teams in the league are sponsored by treatment centers, made up of players who are participating in the center’s programs, or who have been through the center previously. Other teams, like the Unmanageables, are put together through various channels and pay their own way with help from sponsors. Daniels’ team gets a share of their league fees and money for jerseys from Lone Pine Cabinet. Most players discover the league through friends and support networks, or the league’s Facebook page. They generally reach out to a team captain, an old timer from meetings or one of the league’s numerous officials and board members hoping to get placed on a team. With 67 of them, it usually doesn’t take long to get someone a team to call their own, so they can begin the process of recovery, surrounded by a group of people who have been there and are willing to help. The league requires that participants be a part of a recovery program, though one could argue that being part of one of the many teams on a Friday night serves every bit as good as a meeting. Watching the teams play games shows just how close these folks are. They know each other’s first names, each other’s history. They share respect for the work they are doing off the field and it shows on it. The upper divisions in the league are competitive, but never at the expense of what really matters, which is the fact that the league helps people change their lives, and has been doing so for a long time. l
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Page 16 | August 2017
Holladay City Journal
Olympus track has historic season to send off long time coach Kushlan By Jesse Sindelar | firstname.lastname@example.org
801-979-5500 | holladaychamberofcommerce.org The Holladay Chamber of Commerce is committed to actively promoting a vibrant business community and supporting the responsible nature of the greater Holladay area. The Chamber supports issues and activities dedicated to meeting member needs while enhancing the quality of life for all of Holladay.
UPCOMING EVENTS: Monthly Coffee Social and Networking at 3 Cups Holladay Every 3rd Thursday | 7:30 - 9am The 4x400 team stands on the first place podium after barely finishing ahead (Anna Mitchell/Holladay)
Member Orientation at myBusinessBar Every 1st Thursday | 8 - 9am
Evolve Salon and Day Spa Ribbon Cutting Friday, August 4th
Annual Member Summer Social & Dinner Party Saturday, August 5th | 5:30 - 8:30pm
Washington Federal Olympus Cove Branch Ribbon Cutting and 100 Year Anniversary Friday, August 11th
Granato’s Deli Ribbon Cutting and After Hours Social Tuesday, August 15th
Thank You Renewing Members Rick Hepner with Next Level Consulting The Abbington Senior Living Zions Bank Holladay Branch Holladay Village For more information and to register please visit our website holladaychamberofcommerce.org
Please follow our Facebook page and check the chamber website for more information and member incentives.
he Olympus track team has been under the helm of coach Mike Kushlan for 24 years, with coach Todd Mitchell by his side for the last 6. With this year being Kushlan’s last, the team did not want to dissapoint. And nor did they. Both the girls and the boys were Region 6 champions for the second year in a row, and the boys finished second overall at state. “This year was pretty great. Several school records were set and we had state champions in the 400 (Mussa Mahitula) and 4x400 (Max Spence, Brayan Chavez, Jima Rout, Mussa Mahitula),” Mitchell said. The 80-strong team was split dead even down the middle of boys and girls, with both sides competing as sprinters, jumpers, distance runners, and throwers. At the state tournament, the boys team performed well enough that going into the last meet, they had a chance to take home a first or second place trophy. “[To take home a trophy] a lot of things had to go in our favor,” Mitchell added. And while things did go in their favor, it was not without heroic performances from the whole team. “On the final day of competition all of the boys really stepped up and had many lifetime best performances. We were really proud of how everyone performed under pressure, and a total team effort allowed us to finish second, our best team performance in more than 25 years,” Mitchell stated. For Kushlan, who had coached 24 of those 25 years, the send off was perfect. There were some memorable performances from the boys team to clinch second, including Kayden Hossfeld’s long jump, and Max Spen-
Mussa Mahitula runs the last leg of the 4 x 400. Mahitula won the race for Olympus by .01 seconds. (Anna Mitchell/Holladay)
ce’s and Nate Osterstock’s performances in distance races. However, the most memorable, according to coach Mitchell, was Mussa Mahitula’s winning last leg in the 4x400. “Seeing Mussa hang on to win the 4x400 for us in his 4th event of the day by .01 seconds was incredible. Definitely the best 4x400 I’ve ever witnessed and fun to come out on top in a thrilling race,” Mitchell beamed. With Kushlan retired, Mitchell is the head honcho now, and the goals for the future are simple: sustain this level of competition. l
August 2017 | Page 17
Young talent lead young Olympus wrestling team for future By Jesse Sindelar | email@example.com
6088 SOUTH HIGHLAND DRIVE SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH 84121 MONDAY - FRIDAY 10AM-6PM
Riley Noble (third from left) was the state runner up for the 132-lb. division. (Devin Ashcroft/Holladay)
lympus wrestling will have a bright future to look ahead to for some time now, with a young team led by two young stars. And this young team is already starting to have success. After a long season from November to February, the team ended the regular season 2nd in the region, with three wrestlers qualifying for the state tournament in early February. Two of those wrestlers that went to state were sophomores Issac Wilcox and Riley Noble, the teams star wrestlers and leaders. Noble was the runner up for state in his weight class, and Wilcox won the state championship for his weight class. These two young wrestlers are the helm of this young team, and are starting to make waves in the wrestling community, and they are only sophomores. “Making it to a state title fight is tough, which speaks plenty to the amount of time these two have spent wrestling. They have different styles, but both work,” said head coach Devin Ashcroft. Wilcox won the 138-lb. weight class state title, and Noble lost in the finals of the 132-lb. state title, but they are only improving more and more. “These two are great wrestlers, and their talent is clear if you knew how much time they have spent in wrestling matches. They are wrestling all year long, for high school, spring time with clubs, and national matches” continued Ashcroft. With such a young team, coach Ashcroft is looking to mold the team as a whole into a very competitive force. To do that, he is working more with the team this summer, and trying to permit wrestling to be prioritized in their lives. “A lot of these athletes are multi-sport athletes that play football or do cross country,
• Handmade Paper Wreaths • Ribbons & Lace by the yard • Seasonal Gifts & Accessories • Party Supplies • Hand Craft Cards • Children’s Books Issac Wilcox (center) won the state championship for 138-lb. division (Devin Ashcroft/Holladay)
so it is all about finding the balance, while still trying to get the most out of them as wrestlers,” Ashcroft added. To be that competitive force however, their summer training is needing to be intensive as well. The team is attempting to do that, with open mats during the summer, as well as a weeklong camp. “We have a weeklong camp up in Heber that is led by some college level wrestlers, so that will be great to use their experiences to show some of the younger, less experienced guys what it is all about,” said Ashcroft. For the future, Ashcroft has some lofty goals
for the team, which he excited for them to chase after. “My goals are team oriented. I want us to be region champ, and place in the top 10 in state. This is a young team. We have good-sized junior, sophomore, and freshman classes. We wanna be successive for years to come” Ashcroft stated. While their goals are high, they are nowhere near impossible. After a 2nd place finish in region, and finishing 13th in state, they are ever closer to getting there. And with a young team, led by young stars like Wilcox and Noble, there is no telling when this Olympus wrestling team will slow down. l
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Page 18 | August 2017
Holladay City Journal
Now Accepting New Patients
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Olympus Family Medicine is excited to introduce Dr. Kristen Romo. She is a Board Certified Family Practice Physician specializing in adolescent medicine and women’s health. She is also fluent in the Spanish language. Dr. Romo believes that open communication is the key to providing exceptional health care and it is her mission to provide that to a diverse patient population. In her years of practice with the University of Utah Health Care, she has had the opportunity to participate and lead in quality improvement projects focusing on chronic illnesses and preventative care. Dr. Romo is an Illinois native and currently resides in Holladay with her husband, two children and dog, Loki. She enjoys Pilates, spending time with family, snowboarding, hiking and mountain biking. Dr. Romo brings fresh enthusiasm and proven experience to Olympus Family Medicine and looks forward to serving you.
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LEARN WHY AND HOW TO RUN FOR PUBLIC OFFICE... AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE! A woman’s voice matters! This interactive and instructive training will teach you the how and why of running for public office. You will join a cohort of women and over the course of six months hear from a variety of experts and participate in various workshops - all designed to prepare you to run for office.
Register Now at www.wliut.com Class Dates Thursday, September 21, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 Thursday, November 9, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 Thursday, January 11, 2018 Thursday, February 8, 2018
Keep Our Community Safe Remember August is Back to School Traffic Nearly 70% of Car Accidents Occur Within 10 Miles of Home! Sooner or later it’s going to happens to most of us – getting into a car accident. The vehicle insurance industry estimates all motorists are likely to be involved in at least four auto accidents in his or her lifetime. Additionally, very young or novice drivers are more likely to be involved in a car accident, as opposed to more experienced drivers. More revealing are interesting survey facts that of all collisions that occur, 52% occur within a 5-mile radius of home while an astounding 70% occur within 10 miles. Although the vast majority of accidents occur close to home, most of them tend to be relatively minor. Perhaps you’re leaving your neighborhood and a neighbor pulls out of their driveway and hits your car in the side. Or maybe you’re at the neighborhood grocery store and you have a small fender bender in the parking lot. But serious injuries can occur especially when we add to our neighborhood roads increased pedestrians, loose pets, playing children and recreational runners and bikers. Local traffic safety issues for our communities is always an ongoing concern. Data from surveys also show that the farther from home the accident occurs, the more severe it tends to be. This is especially true for accidents that occur on busy highways and interstates where vehicles are traveling at much faster speeds over longer distances. Why do so many accidents occur so close to home? The surveys shed some light on this important question. Broadly speaking, drivers tend to have a false sense of security when driving close to home. For example, drivers are less likely to wear their seatbelts when driving to the neighborhood convenience store. Another big factor is distractions. Whether it’s talking on a cell phone, texting, scanning the radio or eating while driving, any little thing that diverts your attention from the road can open the door for a collision. When on a busy highway, drivers are more likely to maintain their focus on the primary task at hand and save the cell phone call, texting or radio scanning for later. Most Law enforcement, safety experts and personal injury attorneys, are pretty vocal about distracted driving. Local personal injury attorney - Ned Siegfried of Siegfried & Jensen sees cases of this type everyday and reminds us: “Just because you’re close to home doesn’t mean the danger of a car accident is lowered. In fact, you should be even more cautious when driving in your neighborhood or down to the corner mini-mart. Driving
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the speed limit and simply being aware dramatically reduces the chance of you being in a car accident, regardless of whether you’re just cruising down the street or traveling in another state.” Stay safe - Avoid these dangers! These three major factors can also significantly increase the risk of being involved in a car accident: Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI / DWI) Speeding - Nearly one-third of all car accidents are caused by someone driving over the speed limit or driving too fast for the current weather and/or road conditions Driving while distracted - which includes texting, eating, applying make-up or any other behavior that takes a driver’s attention away from the road While not all of these accidents result in a fatality, the overwhelming majority of them result in some type of injury, property damage or litigation. Also, important to note that data from the Annual U.S. Road Crash Statistics journal suggests more serious car accidents are more likely to occur during specific days of the week, as well as during specific times of each day. The following is a breakdown of the days of the week and times of day when a fatal car accident is most likely to occur: Monday — 7am to 9am and 3pm to 6:00 pm Tuesday —7am to 9am and 3pm to 6pm Wednesday — 7am to 9am and 3pm to 6 pm Thursday — 7am to 9am and 3pm to 9pm Friday — 9pm to midnight Saturday — midnight to 3am Take note that weekday mornings and late afternoons with its increase traffic dangers are also times school children are on the move. With schools back in session this month it’s a good reminder to watch out, slow down and avoid distracted driving. Protect your family – Before an accident! Mr. Siegfried advises: “The only thing you can do to protect your family before an accident is to have enough insurance. With uninsured drivers, more expensive vehicles on the road and the high cost of medical care for any injury - it’s vital to make sure your family is adequately covered. In many cases - you can increase your insurance limits up to ten times for just a few additional pennies a day. This greater coverage will adequately protect yourself and your family. Review with your insurance company the benefits of increasing your liability, uninsured motorist coverage (UM) and under-insured motorist coverage(UIM). It’s one of the best values out there. “- Ned Siegfried
August 2017 | Page 19
Parental Guidance Not Suggested When I was 10 years old, my dream of living as an orphan was swiftly derailed when my parents refused to die. How else could I achieve the spunky, independent status that comes from living without parents who constantly insist on manners and bathing and church on Sundays? Being orphaned was the best option, but being motherless would work, too. My mom was aware of my wish for a motherless future and seemed to take it personally. She’d tell me to stop lying around the house like a depressed sloth because she had no intention of leaving me motherless. She assumed once I was permanently without maternal supervision I’d start drinking Coca-Cola and swear. I blame literature for my orphanic life goals. Most of the books I read featured young women who endured their motherless lives with flair. Jessie Alden, the 12-year-old heroine from “The Boxcar Children,” was one of my role models. After her parents’ death, Jessie lived with her siblings in an abandoned boxcar, keeping it tidy and preparing tasty meals by picking berries and gathering random kitchen scraps that she turned into
delicious stew. It didn’t matter that I couldn’t even boil an egg, I wanted to live with my sisters and brother in an abandoned train car. Still do. Pippi Longstocking had a big house in a Swedish village and a pet monkey named Mr. Nilsson. With her mother dead and her father lost at sea, Pippi’s outlandish behavior never got her grounded from the TV. In fact, she had a horse, a suitcase full of gold, and no one telling her to go to bed before midnight. Left at a boarding school, motherless Sara Crewe learns her father is missing in the war, and probably dead. She enters a life of servitude at the school and uses her imagination to stay upbeat by telling stories. I could tell stories for food. That’s basically what I do now. Scout Finch, the crusading heroine in “To Kill a Mockingbird” got along just fine without a mother. She wasn’t afraid to fight for what she knew was right. Scout inspired me to think about what justice really means, and to be outraged when justice isn’t served. And the queen of them all, Nancy Drew, shaped my entire life. With her wealthy father, Carson Drew, and her
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band of friends Ned, Bess and George, Nancy drove her fancy convertible through River Heights, her Midwestern hometown, that seemed to be bustling with international criminals. If her small town hosted so many depraved lawbreakers, certainly Murray, Utah, could have its share of brazen jewel thieves. Nancy was plucky and fearless as she investigated broken lockets, whispering statues and tolling bells. Her adventures left me breathless with jealousy because I knew her success could be directly attributed to her motherless stature. Then there’s Anne Shirley, Jane
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Eyre and even Cinderella—all motherless success stories. However. Several years ago, I found myself without a mom. I was devastated. I discovered it wasn’t cool at all. It certainly didn’t allow me to live in a Swedish boxcar while telling stories, crusading for justice and solving mysteries. I finally realized that her influence is what taught me to be a kind, independent, free-thinking, literate, crusader for justice. Being motherless is not what it’s cracked up to be. But my mom was right about one thing, I did start drinking Coca-Cola and swearing. l
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