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December 2016 | Vol. 13 Iss. 12


Charity dance captures the heart By Rubina Halwani | r.halwani@mycityjournals.com


The entire cast sits on the stage at the finale. (Rubina Halwani/City Journals)

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1635 E Murray-Holladay Road / 385-468-3130 The Cottonwood-Holladay City Journal is a monthly publication distributed directly to residents via the USPS as well as locations throughout Cottonwood and Holladay. For information about distribution please email circulation@mycityjournals.com or call our offices. Rack locations are also available on our website. For subscriptions please contact: circulation@mycityjournals.com The views and opinions expressed in display advertisements do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions held by Loyal Perch Media or the City Journals. This publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written consent of the owner.

Cottonwood Heights Team CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Bryan Scott bryan@mycityjournals.com EDITOR: Kelly Cannon kelly@mycityjournals.com ADVERTISING: 801-254-5974 DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING: Ryan Casper ryan.casper@mycityjournals.com 801-671-2034 SALES ASSOCIATES: Melissa Worthen melissa@mycityjournals.com 801-897-5231 Steve Hession steve@mycityjournals.com 801-433-8051 CIRCULATION COORDINATOR: Brad Casper circulation@mycityjournals.com

Mt.Olympus Social/Dance is Friday, December 2 from 12:30-3:30 Our September event was such a success , another social/dance is on the calendar! Please plan on joining us for a great afternoon with Bart playing a variety of danceable music. The Advisory Committee will be sponsoring the refreshments. This was a well attended event and a wonderful way to meet other Mt. Olympus participants. Stress Workshop: Integrated Wellness, Thursday, December 1 at 12:30. This is the most stressful time of the year. We invited Integrated Wellness to teach an informational workshop on the natural ways to avoid the #1 chronic health condition in America. Hillcrest High Choir Performance, Monday, December 5 at 11:30. Alcohol Ink Pendant Necklace Making Class, Tuesday, December 6 at 12:30. Get creative with Carolyn Draper as she guides you through the steps to make an alcohol ink pendant necklace. Great for gifts! Cost of materials is $5-$7 payable to the instructor. Seasonal Crafts-Wednesday, December 7 & 21 at 12:30. Get ready for the holidays with another round of seasonal crafts. Cost of material is $4.00 payable at the front desk when you sign up. Please sign up at least a week in advance. December 7: Christmas Fairy Garden. December 21: Winter Snow Globe. The Manhattan Project Thursday, December 8 at 12:30. Come hear the extraordinary story of the young 18 year old WWII recruit who worked on creating the atomic bomb. Soap Making, Wednesday, December 14 at 12:30. Join Lisa from Moonlight Soap Making to design your own soap bars with the scent of your choice. Great for Christmas gifts! Makes 8 bars. Cost of materials is $10 payable to the Instructor.

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Holiday Poetry Reading, Wednesday, December 14 at 12:30. The Holidays are among us! Join Florin, Mt. Olympus’s poetry instructor, as he brings in the holiday spirit with a poetry reading of poems for the Season The Renaissance, Thursday, December 15 at 12:30. U of U history professor Peter Von Sivers will be here to talk about the infamous religious centuries long wars that are known as the crusades. This will be a very interesting presentation. White Christmas, Thursday, December 15 at 12:30. Enjoy this holiday classic where two war buddies fall for two sisters and follow the girls to a resort owned by their former commanding officer, who is in danger of losing the place. Holiday Party and Basket Raffle on Friday, December 16 at 11:30. The holiday meal will include…..Entertainment provided by Heart and Soul. The winning tickets for the basket raffle will be drawn right after lunch. Please let Cheryl know by December 6 if you will be joining us. Suggested donation for this fabulous feast is $3.00. Ted Talks: What the People of Amazon Know that We Don’t, Thursday, December 22 at 10:00. “The greatest and most endangered species in the Amazon rainforest is not the jaguar or the harpy eagle,” says Mark Plotkin, “It’s the isolated and uncontacted tribes.” In an energetic and sobering talk, the ethnobotanist brings us into the world of the forest’s indigenous tribes and the incredible medicinal plants that their shamans use to heal. He outlines the challenges and perils that are endangering them — and their wisdom — and urges us to protect this irreplaceable repository of knowledge. Noon Year’s Eve Party on Friday, December 30 at 11:30. The Mixed Nuts will be helping us bring in the new Year! Sparkling cider will be served for our toast. Please Join us for this special event. Let Cheryl know by Tuesday, December 20 if you will be attending. Suggested lunch donation is$3.00.






Tumult for many for-profit colleges, why students still attend By Mandy Morgan Ditto | m.ditto@mycityjournals.com


any students and graduates of ITT Technical Institutes didn’t expect a college to close so rapidly. However, that’s exactly what happened with ITT Tech on Sept. 6, right as the school year was beginning. ITT Educational Services, which operates ITT Technical Institutes — private colleges that have operated in more 140 locations across the nation for more than 50 years — announced closures after the Department of Education decided “to bar the chain of colleges from using federal financial aid to enroll new students,” according to the New York Times. The only ITT Tech location in Utah was in Murray, Utah, and students that planned to attend the 2016 fall semester on Sept. 12 were surprised to have plans changed a few days before. “It is with profound regret that we must report that ITT Educational Services, Inc. will discontinue academic operations at all of its ITT Technical Institutes permanently after more than 50 years of continuous service,” said ITT Tech’s official news release announcing the closure of the schools. “The actions of and sanctions from the U.S. Department of Education have forced us to cease operations of the ITT Technical Institutes, and we will not be offering our September quarter.” For Kevin Neff, a graduate from ITT Tech in Murray in 1998, the worth of his degree and the education he received is still entirely valid to him, no matter the school closure. Neff, who received an associate of applied science degree in computer-aided drafting and design technology, was looking for a school to help him get a secondary education degree and have time to spend with his family. “In speaking with the school, reviewing the schedules and looking further at the classes offered, I was pretty much sold from day one,” Neff told the City Journals in an email. He had considered the programs for computer-aided drafting and architecture at both Salt Lake Community College and the University of Utah, but the programs would take too much time while he was working full time, and he was hoping to get his degree in less than four years. “I feel the education and training I received at ITT Tech was as thorough as I would have received attending any community college,” Neff said. “There was never a time at ITT that I felt the curriculum or my instructors were sub-par when compared to my public community college options. I did feel that the algebra and physics courses at ITT were tailored more towards real-world applications faced in drafting and design scenarios than an overall study of each course.” Neff has worked for over the last 16 years in a position focused on “the utilization of both GIS and computer-aided drafting systems.” He and his family currently resides in Oregon. Though most graduates haven’t felt much impact from the closure of the school, it was jolting for some employees. Tony Rose, who worked at the Phoenix location of ITT Tech, was surprised to see an email several days after it was sent to his work account about the school closure, before the semester started. There was an email sent to all ITT Tech employees’ work accounts at 4:30 a.m. in Arizona, right after Labor Day weekend, he recalled. “Nobody had checked their email unless you worked in the offices,” he said. “I’m driving home from my day job, and I hear on the radio that they closed it.” He believes management was aware before other employees that the institute would close. He also said many people didn’t get their final paychecks due to scattered management of finances overall. Luckily, Rose has another job working as a network administrator in the Creighton School District in Phoenix, but he won’t have a chance at another community college job until potential hiring takes place before the next semester that starts in January. For those students who were hoping to finish their degree at ITT Tech, there is a process some qualify for to get their student loans through

A sign posted on the door of the ITT Tech campus in Murray announces the closure of the school. The national for-profit school closed all its doors in September. (Kimberly Roach/City Journals)

“It is with profound regret that we must report that ITT Educational Services, Inc. will discontinue academic operations at all of its ITT Technical Institutes permanently after more than 50 years of continuous service,” the school forgiven, Rose said, though some are simply going to have to pay off federal loans and find another school that may or may not take already earned credits to finish a degree. The sudden closure of ITT Tech hasn’t impacted Kyle Judson much, as he has security in his current job. Judson, who graduated from one of the previous two ITT locations in Massachusetts in 2007, was top in his class with a degree in computer networking. He is still living in Massachusetts. “I’ve never actually had a job in computer networking, but that’s the same old song and dance for all of us,” Judson said. “I work for a medical device company now, I’m a technical support manager after being in the engineering world for about seven or eight years after I graduated.” Why students choose schools like ITT Tech over four-year colleges is a question that can only be answered by everyone at these schools, who like Judson, have found factors that work best for them. Judson wasn’t exactly sure what he wanted to do after he graduated from high school; he attended a few universities before landing on ITT Tech. “I’ve always had an aptitude for math and science,” he said. “I knew computers were kind of a combination of the two, and I needed a degree and I needed one fast, so I said ‘ITT Tech, why not?’” The smaller class sizes and regular interaction with professors who worked in the industry all provided positives for Judson at ITT, which led to more connections and networking. There wasn’t, however, as much hardware to use and learn from at the university, which was something Judson said he saw as a bit of a problem, especially with the amount of tuition being paid. For being a technical college, it was the one thing that didn’t quite make sense — to not have the very equipment there all the time to help students really learn the trade they were studying. When it came to funding at ITT, Judson said “there were always some rumors and some whispers about — for lack of a better term

— some shady financial practice,” Judson said. “But at the time I didn’t really know about it, and I just wanted an education, but I’m lucky it worked for me. I got a great job after I graduated, and I was able to pay my student loans, but I also did really well in school so I got a really good job when I was done.” Judson graduated with $48,000 in student loan debt, after a two-year program, including two private loans that were $20,000 and $18,000, with high interest. His federal government loan was low-interest, and he has paid off every loan since. Though programs may end up costing students a lot at schools like ITT Tech, the quicker nature of getting degrees from them is often what brings students to their doors. As for accreditation, Judson feels ITT Tech never had any problems with that; most concerns came with finances, which is ultimately what led to the closure of the nationwide school. However, other colleges that have remained open in the valley are dealing with accreditation issues, since the Department of Education took away accreditation privileges from the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), the largest national accrediting organization of degree-granting institutions. Those like The Art Institute of Salt Lake City, Broadview University, Neumont University and Eagle Gate College are either waiting for the appeal to go through and provide ACICS with authority once again or are making plans to gain accreditation from another source. Though all schools accredited by ACICS will remain so through a transition period of 18 months, all will want to be sure students from their university will leave with valid, accredited degrees. Neumont University President Shaun McAlmont announced shortly after the announcement about ACICS that they were already in the process — months ago, in fact — of changing accreditors. Neumont is located in downtown Salt Lake City. “We’re already through the first two steps of the five-step process for changing accreditors,” McAlmont said. “This change will not affect the quality — or value — of education that has always set Neumont apart. Regardless of our accreditor, Neumont will continue to deliver a hands-on, rigorous, project-based and results-driven computer science education for all of our students.” Neumont expects to have a new accreditor in the next six to nine months. Since finding out about the possible loss of accreditation from ACICS, Broadview University — located in West Jordan — has also started on the process of being re-accredited with a previous accreditor as a backup plan. “The process is already in place as far as taking care of the front-end work, as kind of a preventative measure, just in case, should we need to use that,” said Michelle Knoll, senior marketing and communications manager for Broadview. “And then, should ACICS prevail, we would just stay with ACICS.” If any changes were to occur, Broadview University would inform students of the change, which would only mean they might have a different company accrediting the university by the time many of them graduated, Knoll said. “It’s kind of a tricky situation, but we know that the students are top priority, so we want to make sure that anything that impacts them they are aware of, but now it shouldn’t impact them, until there’s a decision,” Knoll said. If Broadview had believed that ACICS was doing anything they shouldn’t have done as an accreditor, they wouldn’t have stuck with them, Knoll said. The university supports ACICS and will stay with them if they win with the appeal. No one at the ITT Technical Institute, the Art Institute of Salt Lake City or Eagle Gate College responded to the City Journals for comment. 



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Chaffetz visits Chamber of Commerce before election By Kelly Cannon | kelly@mycityjournals.com


week before the election, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, visited with members of the Holladay Chamber of Commerce and residents to discuss the election, Hillary Clinton and his plans to help the community. Chaffetz visited with attendees on Nov. 1 at Holladay City Hall. Chaffetz began his comments by talking about the Mountain Accord legislation, a bill that combines the efforts of government officials, community leaders, local businesses and environmental groups to find long-term solutions for canyons east of Salt Lake City, including Big Cottonwood Canyon. “We really did have a lot of people come together,” Chaffetz said. Chaffetz said more visitors go up the canyons during the summer than do in the winter, causing the need for transportation relief year-round. “With our growth trajectory, it’s not going to change,” Chaffetz said. Chaffetz also used the time to talk about his work on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, specifically addressing his criticism of the email scandal involving Democrat Nominee Secretary Hillary Clinton where private email servers were used rather than government ones. “If Clinton wins, we have a mess to clean up. This was the largest breach of security in the history of the state department.

comments about a woman host. Chaffetz called it a dilemma. “I find Hillary Clinton to be unqualified and repulsive,” Chaffetz said. “(But) I didn’t want to endorse someone who would say that.” Chaffetz also criticized early voting because people cast votes before all the information is out. “I don’t like early voting,” Chaffetz said. “People should vote on the same day with the same information.” Kathryn Christiansen, the executive director of the Holladay Chamber of Commerce, said the luncheon with Chaffetz is an annual event with the representatives of the district. “It really resonates with the chamber and business owners,” Christiansen said. She explained during an election year, it’s important for Rep. Jason Chaffetz addresses the chamber of commerce and other Holladay business owners during a special luncheon. Chaffetz spoke about his efforts residents to meet their candidates and hear their views. in the House of Representatives, as well as criticized Hillary Clinton. “We’re really fortunate to get him the week before the (Kelly Cannon/City Journals) election,” Christiansen said. Christiansen said these types of interactions between business owners and elected officials are important for the We don’t take that lightly,” Chaffetz said. “You cannot have chamber. classified information walking out the door.” “It makes the association between the chamber and Attendees asked Chaffetz about his stance on Republican politics,” she said. Nominee Donald Trump and about why he’s still voting for To learn more about the Holladay Chamber of Commerce, Trump despite Chaffetz’s removal of an endorsement after visit holladaychamberofcommerce.org.  videos came out of Trump making misogynistic and derogatory

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Residents asked to shop local this holiday season By Kelly Cannon | kelly@mycityjournals.com


esidents are encouraged to look local while shopping this holiday season. The Holladay Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Local First Utah and the Economic Development Corporation of Utah to do a campaign that encourages residents to shop, eat and do business in Holladay. “We’re coupling it with (the holiday season) because people are out and about, doing a little bit more shopping than usual. It’s something we hope to do again and maybe another time of the year,” said Holly Smith, grant and special projects manager at Holladay City. “This year, we’re doing it with the holiday season so we can try to capture some of that extra spending that is happening in every household.” The city received a $1,000 grant from the Economic Development Corporation of Utah, along with a match from the city. The funds are being used to create local shop signage that will be placed around the city. “We’ll have a cross-street banner right by city hall. And then the light poles that are around Holladay will have some banners,” Smith said. “Then we’ll have some lawn signs that will be in the park strips and the medians close to our business district.” The city also received a welcoming kit from American Express, who is known for promoting Small Business Saturday, a

movement where consumers shop local the day after Black Friday. “They provide communities free of charge these kits that have reusable bags and signage and pins and pens,” Smith said. “One thing that we’re going to do with those materials is we’re going to have a welcoming booth on Small Business Saturday, which is on Nov. 26. The chamber and the city and Local First Utah will be there. We’re just going to be talking to people and handing out items to educate and encourage people to shop local.” Along with Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams and Holladay Mayor Rob Dahle, Local First Utah hosted a press kickoff on Nov. 25 that kicked off Small Business Saturday and Shift Your Spending Week, which is Nov. 25 through Dec. 3. “Naturally, Local First Utah’s mission is to try and get people to think about holiday shopping and trying to get them engaged locally,” Smith said. Shopping locally can have a huge impact on the local economy. According to Local First Utah, if every household shifted 10 percent of their spending to locally own businesses yearly, nearly $1.3 billion would stay within the Utah economy. “It’s numbers like that that help people realize a little shift have a huge impact,” Smith said. To learn more about shopping local, visit localfirst.org. 

With the help of Local First Utah, Holladay residents are being asked to look local for the holiday season. (Local First Utah)




Hope mentors help students prevent suicide By Rubina Halwani | r.halwani@mycityjournals.com


ope Squad students from Lone Peak High School talked to peers from around the state about suicide prevention. The session was one of several lectures at the Utah PTA Vital Issues/Advocacy conference. The program was held on Nov. 7 at the Granite School District Administration Building. Suicide is the leading cause of death in children aged 10–17, according to the Utah Department of Health. Paul Dymock, licensed clinical social worker and suicide prevention specialist for Alpine School District, explained Hope Squad is a student-led, suicide prevention advocacy group. Hope Squad members are nominated by their peers. They are trained to identify signs of suicide and be a comfortable contact for peers. “What they do is go into the classroom and students present to students, which is way more effective than adults presenting to students,” Dymock said. Hope members offer information on causes, treatments and resources to fellow students. Dymock added that the support structure of Hope Squad includes trained teachers and student mentors, counselors, administrators, parents, police and religious community members.

Hope Squad members at the Utah PTA Vital Issues conference. (Rubina Halwani/City Journals)

“We’re finding that as we’re working and being involved the numbers are dropping and we’re seeing great successes,” Dymock said. Youth suicide rates in Utah have been consistently higher than the national rate.

An average of 550 Utahns die annually from suicide and over 4,500 people attempt suicide each year. Three key factors discussed by the student presenters were failure, anxiety and stress.

“Anxiety is highly treatable, but one-third of people that do have anxiety are not getting help for it,” said Hope student Brittan Allphin. Hope Squad member Sierra Anderson suggested for students to know one another on an individual level as a way to build social connectivity and ward stressful and anxious situations. “The teachers who notice the anxiety systems — those are the teachers that makes the difference in people’s lives,” Anderson said. “And those don’t even have to be teachers, those can be students and parents as well.” Suggested treatments include ways to be happy and healthy, and the specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound (SMART) goal-setting method. Utah offers the SafeUT crisis line, a statewide, 24/7 service for anyone facing suicide, depression, anxiety, loss/grief, school problems, substance abuse, self-harm, or relationship difficulties. It is free, anonymous and confidential. You can call 1-800-2738255. There is also an available app. For more information, visit http://healthcare.utah.edu/ uni/clinical-services/safe-ut/. To learn more about Hope Squad and how to begin one in your school community, visit http://hopesquad.com. 

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County libraries offer resources to potential novelists By Kelly Cannon | kelly@mycityjournals.com


alt Lake County residents with a desire to write a novel were offered a multitude of resources during National Novel Writing Month. Every November for the past three years, the Salt Lake County Library System has encouraged writers to participate in the national challenge of writing 50,000 words in 30 days, the length of an average novel. “It encourages folks to get out there and share the stories that are in their brains,” said Liesl Seboard, the senior librarian for adult outreach programing. According to Seboard, National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, is a national organization that’s been encouraging potential novelists since 1999. “Not only does the website platform provide support through digital means and digital discussion groups, but it also coordinates regional leaders who help support and encourage local writers in their area,” Seboard said. “We’ve partnered with those regional leaders and the organization for the past three years.” In addition to providing space for people to write their novels during the month of November, the library system also offered several how-to books on how to write novels, the book market, how to get an agent and various book publishers. Additionally, writing classes were offered that will continue on after NaNoWriMo is over. Throughout the month, different libraries held weekly write-in sessions with supportive groups. These libraries included the Whitmore, Millcreek,

Kearns, Smith, South Jordan, West Valley, Sandy and Hunter libraries. “All of our write-in events across the system have had lots of participants to share the success of writing their novels and do word sprints and bounce ideas off each other,” Seboard said. “Already, it’s been doing really well.” On Nov. 17, Brandon Mull, a Utah writer famous for his Fablehaven series, was at the Viridian Event Center in West Jordan to not only talk about his latest book, “Fablehaven Book of Imagination,” but also to talk about his experience breaking into the book industry. “That actually is a great way for young people to begin thinking about adventures and getting into writing their own stories and working on their imaginations,” Seboard said. On Nov. 22, four other Utah authors met at the Holladay Library to talk about their books and answer questions about writing and publishing. The authors included Tess Hilmo, Bobbie Pyron, Ilima Todd and Carol Lynch Williams. “We offered those workshops for our writing community out there,” Seboard said. “We have some of the most amazing and productive writing communities in the nation. We have more coming out of this state than any other.” For more information about NaNoWriMo, visit www.nanowrimo.org. For more information about the Salt Lake County Library System, visit www. slcolibrary.org. 






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Thunder Paws provides haven for flyball enthusiasts By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com


veryone aims to climb the ranks of their given passion. Nathaniel Coleman is literally doing it. As a competitive climber, Coleman is enjoying a successful 2016. Earlier this year, he won USA Climbing’s Bouldering Open National Championship and the Youth Bouldering National Championship in Madison, Wis. In October, he took second representing the United States at the inaugural International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) World University Championships in Shanghai, China. “I feel honored really to be at a level where I’m able to win these competitions,” Coleman, 19, said. He also won the collegiate national championship in bouldering in May as a member/coach of the University of Utah climbing team. “This year has been a picture-perfect way for him to complete his youth career,” said Jeff Pedersen, CEO and co-founder of Momentum Indoor Climbing—where Coleman began training at age nine. Pedersen was one of Coleman’s first coaches. With the sport of climbing approved by the International Olympic Committee to be included in the 2020 Olympics games, Coleman’s success figures to see him as a prime contender to represent his country. Coleman said he definitely has aspirations for the Olympics. Already getting a taste of it by representing USA at international competitions around the world, Coleman said competing in China gave him a “team feeling.” “It was cool to have that sense of team that you usually don’t get in such an individual sport,” Coleman said. “I was just excited to do well and have my team be proud of me.” Olympic climbing will be a combination of sport climbing, bouldering and speed climbing. As a specialized boulder climber, Coleman said many world cup climbers specialize in one discipline

Bandit, a Jack Russell terrier, leaps off the springboard during practice. Thunder Paws competes in competitions in Las Vegas and Hurricane. (Nikelle Perkins/Thunder Paws)

Callie, an Australian shepherd, runs toward her owner as Ralph, a blue heeler, finishes running through the course. Both dogs participate in flyball with the Thunder Paws club. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

rather than all three. Each discipline requires different types of training. “It’s kind of up in the air whose gonna be best at that time, with four years to train I’m sure I’ll be able to get pretty decent at all three,” Coleman said. Considering his career accomplishments, his parents, coaches and competitors expect him to continue his “incredible journey” because of his talent. “He knows how to move his body, he knows his strength. He can execute moves that a lot of climbers can’t because of his strength and body awareness,” said Rosane Coleman, Nathaniel’s mother and Momentum competitive team manager. This natural talent has led to sponsorships and compensation

for doing what he loves. Nathaniel has sponsorship deals with Prana clothing company, Five Ten footwear and Petzl, a climbing gear manufacturer based out of France. Nathaniel doesn’t earn enough money to make a living, but there remains a level to which he can make a living off of climbing. Something he realized a possibility at age 15 when he won the Youth Bouldering Nationals. Nathaniel said the victory motivated him to train harder and get more comfortable in the competition setting. But it was when he took fifth at the adult nationals at age 18 that he took it seriously. “At that point I knew this was definitely worth considering doing for the rest of my life,” Nathaniel said. “When I was 15 I knew it was a possibility, and at 18 I knew it was happening.” 

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M AYO R ’S M E S S AG E Our annual Interfaith Service was held on Sunday, November 20th. It’s my favorite event of the year, and this year, the hope of their mission and message could not have been more appropriate. Due to the good fortune of working in our family apparel business, I became acquainted with textiles early on. A functional bolt of fabric begins with a single thread. The thread is infused with color and the weave executed to provide both strength and beauty. It can then be assembled into functional articles of clothing. The strength and beauty of our faith community mirrors this process. Our Mosques, Temples, Synagogues, Cathedrals and Churches create the individual threads, that when blended with diverse religious traditions, combine to form the fabric of our community. Working together they create the safety net we often take for granted. I am a witness to the benefits of their good work each and every day.

It’s a humbling sight to behold. I thoroughly enjoy watching individuals of differing faiths work together to deliver a service that gathers our citizens together in common worship. The interaction is always respectful; each faith tradition is genuinely interested in the belief system of their sister council-members. They are eager to learn about the unique nature of each practice. Their differences are respected; the primary focus is on the common themes that bind them together--- spiritual nourishment, focus on family, ministering to the poor, community outreach, etc. It’s a lesson that deserves more of our focus this New Year. Our Interfaith Council reminds us that the common values we all cherish are not unique to a race, religion or culture. This holiday season I hope we all seek opportunities to share their message, “there is much more that binds us together than seeks to tear us apart.” You may have to search a bit, but in Holladay you won’t have to look too far! As always, the opportunity to serve as your Mayor has been my high honor and privilege. On behalf of my family and our City of Holladay Council and Staff, I wish you and your family a blessed Holiday Season and a New Year filled with abundant happiness and good health.

Wishing you a blessed Holiday Season

–Rob Dahle, Mayor

Happy PAWlidays! Salt Lake County Animal Services Winter in Utah brings a flurry of activity not only for us, but for our pets also. Here are some tips for winter fun and care to keep your pets safe, happy and healthy this winter. • Be prepared if you take your dog on wintertime adventures. Make sure they have a coat and even dog booties to protect their paws. • Check your dog’s paws for snow clumps when they come in after being outside. • Ice melt is dangerous to our pets if ingested. Please wipe their paws when coming inside from a dog walk or a cat outing. You do not want them to lick ice melt from their paws. There is animal-safe ice melt you can purchase at your local garden and hardware stores. • Millcreek Canyon, Uinta Mountains, American Fork Canyon and Parley’s Historic Nature Park are a few fun hiking places to take your adventurous dog for a fun day outing. • If your dog stays outside in your backyard during the day, please be sure that they have access to shelter and un-frozen water. During night freezing temperatures, please bring your dog inside (garage, basement, etc). Dogs can suffer from hypothermia just like humans. If you are cold, your dog is cold also. • If you have a community cat colony at your residence, please make sure they have adequate shelter. On behalf of all of us at Salt Lake County Animal Services, we wish you and yours a very merry holiday season! If you’re looking to collect holiday donations for the pets here at the shelter, visit our website, AdoptUtahPets.com, for ideas.

City Of Holladay • 4580 South 2300 East • 801.272.9450 • www.CityOfHolladay.com



Holladay Snow Tips With winter just around the corner, here’s a quick review of Holladay’s snow removal ordinance and process plus other key tips to help keep our community safe this season. • Holladay contracts with Salt Lake County (SLCO) for street snow removal. Major arterial streets are first priority to provide access to schools, hospitals, fire stations, police and other emergency services. Depending on the size of the storm, teams may need to continually plow these roads. After a snow event has ended, snow teams return to residential streets to push the snow back to the curb or edge of the road, which can cause additional snow in driveways. SLCO makes every effort to clear all roads within 48 hours after the storm ends. • Snow removal team members are working 12-16 hour shifts and appreciate courteous and friendly drivers. Please use caution when you see a snow removal vehicle and remember the snow removal vehicle is harder to stop than a regular vehicle.

• Snow team members have been instructed not to clear roads with cars parked on them. DO NOT park on the street when it is snowing or after a snow accumulation of 4” or more, until 24 hours after the end of the storm. Residents may call their local code enforcement or police department to assist with the removal of the cars to enable the plows access. When clearing your driveways and sidewalks, do not deposit snow in the road. Set garbage cans at the curb in the morning and remove promptly. • Sidewalks and mailboxes are the responsibility of the abutting property owner to keep clear of snow. Remove snow off paved sidewalks within 24 hours after the storm. Be mindful of new sidewalks and sidewalks that may be blocked from view by a fence, hedge, ditch or other barrier. • When the temperatures drop below 17 degrees the salt used on the road is less effective. The melt rate slows and the snow & ice may take days to completely melt. Drivers need to exercise extreme caution. • Please help your neighbors. Look out for the elderly, handicapped and others with hardships who could use some assistance with their sidewalks. Keep a snow shovel and de-icer/salt by each exterior door. Consider a snow shovel with an ergonomic design and/or snow blower. For additional information, please call the City of Holladay at 801-272-9450 or Salt Lake County Public Works at 385-468- 6101 or visit www.pwops.slco.org/html/snow.

City Of Holladay • 4580 South 2300 East • 801.272.9450 • www.CityOfHolladay.com

Rob Dahle, Mayor rdahle@cityofholladay.com 801-580-3056 Sabrina Petersen, District 1 spetersen@cityofholladay.com 801-859-9427 Lynn Pace, District 2 lpace@cityofholladay.com 801-535-6613 Patricia Pignanelli, District 3 ppignanelli@cityofholladay.com 801-455-3535 Steve Gunn, District 4 sgunn@cityofholladay.com 801- 386-2605 Mark H. Stewart, District 5 mstewart@cityofholladay.com 801-232-4544 Gina Chamness, City Manager gchamness@cityofholladay.com


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.


Mon-Fri. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. • 801-272-9450 4580 South 2300 East • Holladay, UT 84117

Community Development Finance Justice Court Code Enforcement


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

Holiday Tips for Holladay Residents This holiday season remember to show extra vigilance in protecting your family, home, and valuables. Thieves love the holidays as much as everyone else, especially, because it’s an opportune time for crime. Here are some tips on how to celebrate safely this holiday season: If You Are Shopping On-line Criminals are aware of the volume of high-dollar items being delivered to homes. If you’re expecting a delivery, try to be home or make arrangements with a neighbor to remove the package from your porch. You can specify delivery instructions with some couriers to place packages in a more secure location. If You Are Shopping at Retail Shops When shopping at retail establishments, never leave packages, purses, briefcases, or any other valuable item in plain view in your vehicle and always lock your vehicle. A better option is to secure items in your trunk. If You Are Mailing Items Do not place cards or any outgoing mail in your unsecured mailbox. Mail theft is very

popular and entire identities, along with valuable negotiable instruments, are stolen in this manner. Take the extra time to place your outgoing mail in a secured mailbox or take it to the post office. If You Are Traveling Consider an automatic timer for your lights. Ask a neighbor to watch your home, shovel snow, and park in the driveway from time to time. Don’t forget to have mail and newspaper delivery stopped. If it piles up, it’s a sure sign you’re gone.

City Hall Holiday Schedule The following is a listing of meeting dates for December and when City Hall will be closed. Special meetings of the Council and Planning Commission may be called, so please watch the city’s website. Thursday, December 1 City Council Meeting Tuesday, December 6 Planning Commission Meeting Friday, December 23 City Hall will close at Noon Monday, December 26 City Hall CLOSED Monday, January 1, 2017 City Hall CLOSED

If You Want to Keep Your Car Help prevent your vehicle from being stolen by always locking your car and using anti-theft devices. Although it’s cold, never leave your vehicle running while you run inside your home or a store—even if for only a minute or two. Celebrate Responsibly The holiday season is a time of celebration and revelry. Drinking and driving is a danger to everyone on the road. Remember that the risk isn’t worth it—if you choose to drink alcohol at a party, don’t drive. Take a cab, use public transportation or a designated driver. Additionally, please always be aware of your surroundings and be on the lookout for circumstances which seem odd or outside of the norm, particularly in your own neighborhood.. Lastly, we are extremely proud to be able to serve the citizens of Holladay and on behalf of the men and women of the Unified Police Department Holladay Precinct: Happy “Holladays”! (I couldn’t resist) –Chief Don Hutson Holladay Precinct

City Of Holladay • 4580 South 2300 East • 801.272.9450 • www.CityOfHolladay.com


Fraud/Scam Prevention Being informed is half the battle when preventing fraud and scams. Here are five tips to help avoid fraud. • Scammers often pretend to be someone you trust, a government official, family member, or charity. • Don’t trust your caller ID. Technology makes it easy to manipulate what shows on your ID. • Consider how you pay. Credit cards have fraud protection built into the process, others don’t. Wiring money is risky because you can almost never get it back. Government offices and honest companies wont require you to pay through these methods. • Talk to someone you trust before you give away your money or personal information. Scammers want you to make decisions in a hurry. Take your time, do an online search to see whether or not it is valid. • Sign up for free scam alerts at ftc.gov/scams. Updates will be sent right to your inbox so you can be in the know about different scams to watch for. For more information visit the consumer information page on Federal Trade Commission website at www.consumer.ftc.gov.


Wasatch Front Waste & Recycling Green Waste Collection The last pickup date for Green Waste Collection in 2016 for Holladay will be Tuesday, December 6. We remind residents to not place the green cans out on the curb after that date. They will not be picked up nor emptied. Green Waste Collection will resume next March.

Leaf Bag Collection Please do not deposit leaf bags at any drop-off location after November 30. Instead, consider starting a compost pile, place your fall leaves in your green recycle can (until December 6), or in your black waste can. If you use your green waste can, please do not bag your leaves.

Curbside Christmas Tree Collection Your tree will be picked up, from your curb, on any of your regularly scheduled collection days during the month of January. If we don’t get your tree one week, we will be back on your next regularly scheduled collection day. Please feel free to call our office for more information. • Do not put trees in your garbage, green waste, or recycle can. • Trees must be bare of tinsel, flocking, ornaments, stands, lights, and all other decorations. • If the tree is over eight feet tall, please cut it in half.


JEFF & ALICE WILLIAMS for DONATING THE TREE Holladay City Parks Department for lighting the tree

As we approach the cold, winter months, we also see the possibility of bad weather affecting our ability to provide timely service to your neighborhood. Our Facebook page is the best way for residents and customers to find out if there could be a delay in service due to weather or traffic complications. Please follow us on Facebook to stay apprised of these issues, and also to receive waste and recycling tips.

City Of Holladay • 4580 South 2300 East • 801.272.9450 • www.CityOfHolladay.com



Third-graders at Upland Elementary pay tribute to veterans By Rubina Halwani | r.halwani@mycityjournals.com



Dont Text & Drive

Third-graders hoist the flag for a Veterans Day ceremony. (Upland Elementary)


n Nov. 11, the nation honored the service of veterans in a variety of remembrance ceremonies. Thirdgrade students at Upland Terrace Elementary held a special flag-raising ceremony outside the school. On the cool but sunny fall morning, the students raised the American flag and held their hands over their hearts for the pledge. Parents also gathered for the event. One boy in a Boy Scout’s uniform played the trumpet during the ceremony. “These third-graders are so lucky to have such awesome teachers,” said Michelle Loosli, a parent with kids attending Upland Terrace Elementary. “Best school with the best teachers!” Amy Brindley, another parent, added, “I stood outside and watched this ceremony this morning. The kids did awesome and Mrs. Duff’s son on the trumpet was such a great touch! Way to go third grade!” Inside the school stood a symbolic “America’s White Table” display. The display is based on the book authored by Margot Theis Raven. The story describes a white table erected in mess halls as a reminder of fallen, missing or captive service members. The display features a small table covered with a white tablecloth,

honoring a soldier’s pure heart when called for duty. A white plate was covered with salt, representing the tears that family shed over missing loved ones. A lemon slice was placed on top of the salt, symbolizing a soldier’s bitter fate. The black napkin represented the sorrow of captivity. Each element added to the table represented something symbolic for the soldiers. A white candle stood for peace. An overturned glass symbolized the meal that will not be eaten. A red rose tied with a red ribbon for hope that the missing will return. An empty chair pushed under the table to indicate a place set where no one will ever sit. Finally, one large and several smaller American flags decorated the rest of the exhibit. 

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Helping Families Heal for Over 130 years “America’s White Table” exhibits inside Upland Elementary. (Upland Elementary)





Charity dance captures the heart By Rubina Halwani | r.halwani@mycityjournals.com


he annual Art with Heart dance performance took place on Saturday, Nov. 5 at the Grand Theatre in Salt Lake City. Proceeds from the performance benefit Shriners Hospital for Children. Over 100 children from the Winner School in Holladay, Dance Impressions in Farmington, and the Dance Club in Orem gave a combined performance to raise funds to aid children with physical injuries. The dancers, ranging from toddlers through high school aged, performed a combination of ballet, classical, improvisation and modern dance routines. In all, 35 performances graced the stage. Two shows were offered, an afternoon matinee and evening recital. Music, mood and costumes alternated for a variety of artistic and technical presentation. Art with Heart has been in production for over 15 years. The concept for the show began after a dance competition. The three dance companies gathered together to discuss the option of performing for a worthwhile cause. To date, the benefit has raised approximately half a million dollars for the hospital. “There was a dance teacher at the Dance Club who had a child with cerebral palsy and was being treated at Shriners. When the family heard we were looking for a good cause, she suggested the hospital,” said Connie Saccomanno, director of the Winner School. Shriners Hospital was first founded in 1922. It has served injured children and their families for 90 years. The facility specializes in orthopedics, burns, spinal cord injuries and cleft lip and palate treatment. “We were so impressed with (what) the hospital does for children and they do it with no cost to the families,” Saccomanno

Connie Saccomanno poses with her dancers from the Winner School.

said. “Our dance students, patients and parents that come to our show are all very grateful and excited to participate in this event. It is wonderful to see such love and teamwork and caring. It does make you realize how much good can be done when all are willing to participate and contribute. Caring for our kids is very rewarding and can really make our future more bright for so many.” Seth Miller, interim director of the Grand Theatre, offered the venue rent-free for the event. “We got lucky a few years ago with the Salt Lake Community College on State Street. We approached them to rent their facility and Seth Miller was so interested and helpful. He talked with the

college officials and they, actually, host the event at no charge,” Saccomanno said. “That was huge for us because all that rent could be donated to the hospital. Even our teachers donate their time.” Deserae Dorton, public relations specialist at Shriners, said, “Art with Heart is our largest community fundraiser.” Kadence Joy, a 10-year-old patient at the hospital, came on stage at the finale. She suffers from infantile scoliosis, a defect affecting the curvature of the spine, and has been with the hospital since the age of two. She thanked the audience for support for the hospital. An emotional crowd, in turn, gave her a standing ovation. She was also presented with a basket of red and pink paper hearts, as a show of continued commitment to the hospital. “The students are given pink and red hearts that they sell, door to door, to relatives, at school, etc. for one dollar each or as much as anyone will donate. We write their names on the hearts. The weekend closest to Valentine’s Day we three studios and students and parents go to the hospital, where they have a light dinner for us and we spend the evening plastering hearts all over the lobby or designated area they give us,” Saccomanno said. “It looks amazing! The patients wake up the next day to hundreds of hearts pasted all over the windows, walls, etc. It is a very festive look and such fun for all involved!” Proceeds support Shriners “Un-limb-ited Progam,” a ski and snowboard camp for patients. This year 25 teens attended, a 32 percent increase from past years. The program also welcomed its first quadrilateral amputee skier, who hit the slopes despite the challenge of skiing on four partial limbs. For more information, visit http://www.unlimbitedcamp.org. 

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ired of the same old shows every Christmas season? Treat your family to a delightful comedy that will knock your toeshoes off: “Nutcracker: Men in Tights.” This jolly holiday romp opens November 10. It’s Christmastime, and the small Utah town of Slagville is in financial trouble. The town council has come up with a tremendous plan to save them from disaster, they’ll put on a show! And what better show than “The Nutcracker?” Hoping to draw big crowds, they sign up a once-famous dancer, Maurice Money, who is trying to revive his career. But when a crabby town member, Candy Kancor, is overlooked for the show, she sets out to ruin everything. Chaos and hilarity ensue, culminating in the craziest production of “The Nutcracker” you’ve ever seen!

“Nutcracker: Men in Tights” is written and directed by Scott Holman and combines wacky gags and zany characters with Desert Star’s famous brand of screwball comedy. This show will run from November 10 to December 31. The evening also includes one of Desert Star’s signature musical olios following the show. The “Let It Snolio” features many of your favorite, heartwarming Christmas songs, served up with a helping of Desert Star’s holiday comedy. Desert Star audiences can enjoy gourmet pizza, fresh wraps, burgers, scrumptious desserts, and other finger foods as well as a full selection of soft drinks, smoothies and a large array of iced and hot steamers and coffees while they watch the show. Food is available from an á la carte menu and is served right at your table.

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Olympus volleyball still struggling with mental game By Kelly Cannon | kelly@mycityjournals.com


he Olympus High School volleyball team didn’t finish their season exactly where they wanted to after being eliminated in the first day of the state tournament. However, the entire team is happy with their third place position in the region. Players and coaches attribute the struggles with the team to their mental game. “Our team is pretty good athletically but mentally we struggle,” said senior Clara Smith. “Volleyball is mostly a mental game because athletically you can train and you can have the skills but mentally, that’s half the battle. Mentally, I don’t know what it was. We tried to fix it throughout the whole year with team bonding and being a team. But usually when we start losing, we destroy ourselves mentally. It’s a spiral.” During the regional tournament, Smith said their main competitors were Skyline High School and Murray High School. If the team had beaten Skyline, Smith said they could’ve been first in the region. “That game was rough. We went in and we totally could’ve beat them. We knew we could. But mentally, it was just blocking,” Smith said. “We beat them one match and that was really cool. It was the first time we beat them in a match in a while. That was really fun

Coaches and players attribute mental blocks as the reason for the poor showing at state. (Olympus High School)

and they played really hard. They were really close matches too.” The mental aspect of the game is frustrating for many players, including junior Tessa Nebeker, who said the team has improved over the last few years. “We’re al really talented players but

sometimes it’s hard for us to work together and figure things out,” Nebeker said. “That was an issue we had to work through.” Head coach Emily Kennington worked with her players throughout the year to try and improve not only the team’s competition but to also try and build the confidence of the

players. “I don’t think the girls know how good they really are, which is hard to try and transfer that, to not only teach them the sport but also try to teach them the mental aspect, how to be mentally prepared,” Kennington said. “We have a lot of versatile players who can play a lot of positions. We had a lot of depth, which is huge, especially for a volleyball team.” The team is losing six seniors this year, which will take a toll on the team next year. However, Kennington believes in the talent of the younger players. “We’ve got a ton of young girls who area really, really talented,” Kennington said. “I really do think we have a lot of young talent coming up so we’ll be pretty good next year.” Smith, who is one of the seniors leaving, expressed sorrow leaving the team but felt positive about the season. “It’s really sad because I’ve played since I was a freshman and being on the team and being involved, you feel like you have a place to be and you’re accepted. It’s really sad and state was really hard,” Smith said. “But we wanted to end strong and I think we did. We played really good and we beat a lot of teams and I feel good about the season.” 

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Olympus swim team is deeper, stronger and more mature team By Kelly Cannon | kelly@mycityjournals.com


he Olympus High School swim team is ready to show they are a competitive force during this year’s swim season. The 60-member team, evenly divided between girls and boys, started practice on Oct. 3 and held their first meet on Nov. 5. Last year, both the girls and the boys teams finished seventh at the state competition. Coach Thomas Thorum believes the teams are poised for better seasons. “It’s a deeper, stronger and more mature team,” Thorum said. “We’re going to be pretty good across the board in all the events.” Thorum said the team is prepping for the season by doing what they always do — focusing on technique and skill acquisition, as well as being smart swimmers. “We’re just trying to make sure everyone knows how to swim properly,” Thorum said. Last year, the Olympus High swim team lost two contributing swimmers from each team after they graduated. However, Olympus High School is also home to Olympus Aquatics. “Olympus Aquatics is an age group program from ages five to 18 with a strong

emphasis on lessons. That program now has 166 kids,” Thorum said. “They’re the best kids in the state. It’s a top program in the state. It’s beginning to contribute swimmers to our high school team.” According to Thorum, the main competitors for the team this year will be West High School and Skyline High School. “For the girls, a meet with West (High School) is a big deal. Our girls haven’t beat their girls since I’ve been coaching here. They’re 5A,” Thorum said. “Our big meet for the boys is Skyline at the end of the year. Skyline is a perennial powerhouse and that will be a good opportunity for these guys to shine.” Seventeen-year-old Isabella White has been swimming competitively for the past six years and is a captain of the Olympus girls team. White swims the 200 meter individual medley, the 100 meter butterfly and the 100 meter breaststroke. White said this year the goal for the team is for everybody to do their best. “I think it would be for everybody to do their best, to have a good supportive team at

After years of building, the Olympus High swim team is set to compete. (Olympus High School)

meets,” White said. “It’s not about winning for us. It’s more about trying our best, being positive towards each other.” White said she feels they are a more competitive team because they have faster swimmers this year and other teams have lost fast seniors. “We’re getting better as we go. Last year,

we went from 11th to seventh,” White said. “This year, I think we’re going to do a lot better.” Eighteen-year-old senior Jake Ference is the captain of the boys team and swims both the 50 meter freestlye and the 100 meter freestyle. Ference says the team has grown so much in the years he’s been there. “When I started for the Olympus swim team four years ago, it was nothing. It was me and 20 other kids,” Ference said. “Now to see our team, our numbers have completely taken off. The skill has completely taken off. We have the best chance of placing really well at state this year. Our biggest strength is numbers now.” Ference said the goal for the boys team is to do as well as they can at state and take on Skyline High School. “Get as many guys there, even if it’s just in relays and stuff. Just get the biggest team we’ve had in a while. That’d be awesome,” Ference said. “Skyline has been this dominating force for years. They’re a team to look at to beat. Our guys could beat Skyline, which I think is totally possible.” 



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The Holidays: Time to Start Giving Back…. Or, is it?


ay it Forward, Serve, Give Back, Random Act of Kindness, no matter how you spell it, it’s that time of year where we are all thinking about giving. What a relief! After the troubled times of November, I for one am looking forward to the positivity the holidays bring. But, this leaves me pondering, what is all the excitement about. After all, December is just one month out of an entire calendar year. Studies show that people that help our fellow man are more successful in life, have improved health and happiness. Plus, children who volunteer are more likely to grow up to volunteer and serve as adults. Communities with more volunteers are typically more stable and better places to live (USA Today). So why are we saving all those positive benefits for only 1/12 of an entire year? Lets face it, in today’s world we need to make the effort to put a smile on the faces around us everyday. So, I’m proposing, in addition to the plans you already have to serve this holiday, you add just one more thing, a big cardboard box. For years I’ve had a box that’s plunked right next to my front door. It’s become a bit of joke for friends, as every time they stop by, I make some excuse for the tripping hazard. To the untrained it could look like a pile of unorganized junk waiting to be hauled out to the trash, but my charity box is actually a dropping ground for denotable food and clothing, household items or children’s niceties. I’ve found that having the box right where I enter and leave encourages me to add to it and reminds me to drop it of. To get you started here are a few things that have landed in this years box. January: Hot Cocoa Mix A little treat to enjoy with a neighbor after shoveling their sidewalk

February: Oatmeal Did you know February is National Hot Breakfast Month? What a great time to do a neighborhood Oatmeal Drive for the Food Bank. March: Books, Puzzles and Board Games It’s national reading month, so how bout encouraging a little reading? Volunteer at the Library; donate books to children in need. Senior homes also enjoy donations of books, puzzles and games. April: Pet Food Pet rescues, such as the Humane Society, Best Friends Animal Society and Rescue Rovers not only need pet food, they also need for paper towels, garbage bags, and old blankets. May: Pantry Staples Because of Memorial Day sales not only is May a great month to break out the coupons for grocery shopping. It’s also the month we see both the Boy Scouts Scouting for Food and the Letter Carriers Stamping out Hunger. I like to buy extra so I’m ready for them. June: Tomato Plants and Pots Plant patio tomatoes in flowerpots and deliver them to an elderly neighbor or retirement home. July: School Supplies Kids all over Utah need school supplies and teachers love getting them too. Donate to your local school or participate in Stuff the Bus and help fill backpacks for kids. (stuffthebus.uw.org) August: Personal Care Items Even the casual coupon user knows that personal care items like toothpaste; soap and hygiene products are easy pickings. Instead of

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October: Diapers Families all across Utah are need of diapers, diapers and more diapers. Visit utahdiaperbank.org to find a list of drop of locations. November: Holiday Wrapping Paper, Tape and Gift Cards Remember all of those donated gifts need to get wrapped. Most charities collecting gifts also have a need for wrapping supplies. One idea would be the Holiday Gift Box. They provide individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families who are in need gifts for Christmas. More info at uaidutah.org/holiday-giftbox While I may trip over my charity box every now and again, it helps me remember to make those important little donations the entire year. And as for my friends that stop by, well… I’ll just let them continue to think I’m a little unorganized. Wishing you the happiest of holidays, all year long. 

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O Tidings of Comfort Annoy


ow that Facebook has become a year-round newsletter, packed with enough posts to make us feel miserable all year long, can we finally call it quits on those dreadful holiday letters? I understand a family newsletter can be a highlight of the season, recapping all your adventures with witty repartee and candy cane clip art, but to many people, this bragalicious tradition is lemon juice in the paper cuts of life. Reading about how you cured black lung disease or saved an endangered species makes others’ successes look like table scraps. My newsletter would go something like this, “Dear family and friends, I did not get arrested this year. Happy New Year! Love, Peri.” (Disclaimer: The year’s not over yet.) So, first of all, don’t write a Christmas letter. However, if you feel you must write an annual message or your life won’t be complete, here are tips to make it bearable for friends and family. Let your children do the writing. I would LOVE getting a Christmas message that read, “Mom cries in the bathroom and tells us to eat Froot Loops for dinner. Dad has a special ‘drinking mug’ in his garage. Aunt Ethel spent Thanksgiving in the county jail for walking streets. Happy Holidays!” Use your letter as a weapon. A Christmas newsletter can encourage friendly competition amongst your offspring. Announce who had the most As, the best-cleaned room or who

peed the bed the least amount of times. Be sure to embarrass the *&%$ out of them so they’ll be on their best behavior next year. Create an acronym. For instance, NOEL can be Notice Our Exceptional Lives or No One Enjoys Letters. Quote Quiz. Choose the funniest quotes said by your family during the year and have your readers guess who said it. January--”Who left the %&@* lights on?!” February—“Is there a reason there are a dozen shoes by the back door?” March—“Who left the %&@* lights on again?” Write from your pet’s perspective. “This is Peri’s dog, Ringo. I was taken to the vet three times this year and had to get shots. She forgot to give me a treat twice last week, even after I sat under her feet for three consecutive episodes of Westworld. She also didn’t pet me long enough after she got home from work, but she gave me a steak bone, so all’s forgiven.” Share a family recipe. If people ask for your sugar

cookie recipe, put it in your Christmas newsletter. But don’t be like my neighbor who leaves out key ingredients so my cookies never taste quite the same as hers. Not cool. Don’t recount Family Disasters 2016. Your water heater broke, your car died in the desert, you have rats in the basement and bats in your belfry. You lost several jobs, were abducted by aliens and SWAT kicked in your door at 3 a.m. Newsletters are not catastrophe competitions. Next! Don’t brag. For every straight-A accomplishment, for every award-winning dance competition and for every highersalary promotion you exclaim over, your letter will be read by a man with kids struggling in school, a daughter with no noticeable rhythm and a woman in a dead-end, mind-numbing job. Take it down a notch, will ya? Even better, since I never receive mail anymore (except for Hickory Farm catalogues and postcards from mortgage companies), maybe save all your glowing updates for Facebook and Instagram where you can gush all you’d like. You can even add clip art. 

Profile for The City Journals

Holladay December 2016  

Vol. 13 Iss. 12

Holladay December 2016  

Vol. 13 Iss. 12

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