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January 2018 | Vol. 18 Iss. 01


ROBERT HALE: MIDVALE’S FIRST NEW MAYOR SINCE 1998 By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com


or the first time in more than two decades Midvale has a new mayor. Mayor-elect Robert Hale will be sworn into office on Jan. 2, replacing long-time Mayor JoAnn Seghini, who chose not to run again. After consulting with his wife and nudging from those around him (including Seghini), Hale decided to throw his hat in the mayoral ring. Hale, a Midvale resident since 1969, won with almost 59 percent of the vote over Sophia Hawes-Tingey. Due to his experience interacting with voters on the campaign trail, Hale said he had premonitions the election would go well. He invited people over who assisted his campaign on election night for what turned out to be a celebration. “That was a good day, good evening, and we were all pretty happy,” he said. The mayoral election included five candidates in August who Hale had to beat out as part of a campaign that started on the west side of the city and moved eastward. Having served on the city council, the planning and zoning commission, the Union Community Council and various roles as an ecclesiastical leader for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Hale, 69, has met and worked with many people in the city. “I think longevity and honorable service starts to pay off in time if your health’s good,” said the mayor-elect. That time spent in civic leadership positions means he’s gained an understanding of the administrative part of running a city, Hale said. Whether that’s seeing pavement, curb, gutter and sidewalk coming to Mecham Lane (approximately 7600 S. 1000 East), which used to be a dirt road or working with residents to increase civic participation. Hale was actually nearing the end of his second term on the city council in 2014 when he and his wife Susan, were called to serve an LDS mission in Brazil. Hale said he’s gearing up mentally for the challenge of directing a city that, he noted, is staffed with “great directors and very capable employees.” “They’re not afraid to do dirty work, they’re not afraid to do hard work, they’re not afraid to do long hours into the evening if necessary to get things done.” He singled out the public works department for a situation in his neighborhood several years ago. A company had been putting fiber optics into the ground when they bored into a city water line. Hale said crews were out there way into the cold, wet, muddy night repairing it. “I just have nothing but praise for public works, they’re not

Robert Hale was elected Midvale’s mayor in November. (Courtesy Robert Hale)

afraid. Give them the tools and they’ll take care of it. Just step back and watch,” he said. Hale will be replacing a city employee who has worked for the city since the mid-80s. “This is one of the greatest mayors this city has ever had,” Hale said of the departing Seghini. He noted how she was on more than 30 committees always looking out for the city and ways to improve it. Hale said getting State Street paved, curbed, guttered and

Local Postal Customer ECRWSS Scan Here: Interactive online edition with more photos.

sidewalked from 6500 South to 8400 South might be her greatest victory. “Somebody told me once, ‘You got some big high-heeled shoes to fill,’” he said. While Hale—a retired US Postal Service worker of 40 years, 35 of which were in management—will inevitably have different preferences and tendencies in his leadership role, he said there three main focuses he takes into the mayoral seat. The first is the Jordan Bluffs site south of Center Street (7800 South) and just west of Main Street (700 West) that is a remnant of the federally deemed Superfund site, designated as a contaminated area to go through a long-term cleanup process. No longer a Superfund site, the area is now available for development with varying opinions from residents, city officials and developers on what to do with it. “I want to work through the RDA (Redevelopment Agency) director and our planning and zoning people and the developers to make sure that area becomes another diamond in the county,” Hale said. With good minds, plans and execution the area should become a drawing card for first-class businesses, Hale said. He insisted there needs to be public input from those who will be closest to it. “It’s got to be something that makes you glad to live there, makes you glad that happened in your neighborhood,” he said. His second focus will be on The Road Home shelter for families located in Midvale. He wants to ensure people leave the center better off than when they came, and that works best with good agency and citizen contacts with the shelter. “We need to help them get hope that life really can become better,” Hale said, highlighting work, education and mental or physical health as services to be available. The third point of emphasis will be getting public input from residents throughout the city. Hale specified both the Bingham Junction area west of 700 West and east of State Street as areas he’d like to see getting involved by sharing input or joining city committees. “There is so much intelligence and charity and caring to make Midvale a good place for their neighborhood, and if they can expand their mind, to the whole city,” Hale said. He added he’d like to find people willing to give time to sit on committees whether it’s for arts, beautification or planning and zoning. “I know there’s people willing to do it, but putting the ability and the need together, I’d like some ideas,” he said. Hale speaks Portuguese and Spanish, respectively, in addition to collecting stamps (he did work at the post office) and pins with his wife. They have raised six kids in Midvale. l

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Hillcrest students to perform two plays this January By Julie Slama | Julie@mycityjournals.com The Midvale City Journal is a monthly publication distributed directly to residents via the USPS as well as locations throughout Midvale. For information about distribution please email circulation@mycityjournals.com or call our offices. Rack locations are also available on our website. For subscriptions please contact: circulation@mycityjournals.com The views and opinions expressed in display advertisements do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions held by Loyal Perch Media or the City Journals. This publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written consent of the owner.

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Hillcrest High School students rehearse “The Farnsworth Invention.” (Josh Long/Hillcrest High School)


illcrest High senior Collin Voeller was hoping he would be selected to be in the school’s upcoming production of “The Farnsworth Invention,” and was excited when he was cast as Philo Farnsworth. “I was thrilled,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity to grow as a person and actor. Every kid has learned about him in elementary school.” “The Farnsworth Invention” and “Is He Dead?” will be performed at Hillcrest High in January. Tickets are $8. “The Farnsworth Invention” will be performed Friday, Jan. 12 and Saturday, Jan. 13 and again, Monday, Jan. 15 and Tuesday, Jan. 16 in the school’s Little Theatre, 7350 S. 900 East in Midvale. Created by Aaron Sorkin, best known for the television show “The West Wing” and movies, “The Social Network” and “A Few Good Men,” the Broadway play follows Utahn Philo T. Farnsworth and the race for the invention of the television. The play stars Collin as well as senior Gabriel Aina as David Sarnoff. Student directors are seniors Sterling Larson and John Ruff and the stage manager is senior Kaden Pigsley.

Theatre director Josh Long said he wanted the community to become familiar with the story of Farnsworth. “I chose (the play) because it is a story that is not often told, even though Philo Farnsworth is one of Utah’s most famous contributions to the world,” he said. “It is written by one of the greatest living writers, Aaron Sorkin. His dialogue is so quick and witty and sharp and he makes the story very exciting.” Just nine days after “The Farnsworth Invention” closes, “Is He Dead?” opens in the school auditorium. Performed Thursday, Jan. 25 through Saturday, Jan. 27, the show is a farce written by Mark Twain where French painter Jean Francois Millet appears as his great aunt at his own fictitious death to ensure fame and increase the value of his paintings. The play was written in 1898, but it wasn’t published until 2003 after it was discovered in the archives of University of California at Berkeley. It premiered on Broadway in 2007. The show will star seniors Brighton Miller, Spencer Sanders, Nathanael Abbott, Scotty Abbott, Lindsay Kenner, Maddie Elledge, Luke Morley,

Bennett Chew, Nikolas Vidal, Annee Burton and Dakota Heugly. The stage is managed by senior Lillian Willis. Long said that farces like “Is He Dead?” are not commonly performed on Hillcrest’s stage. “I really wanted audiences to have a fantastic experience with a well-written physical comedy. When I read the script, I could tell that it played very well to the strengths of our kids, but strengths that our audiences hadn’t seen yet. So I’m excited about that,” he said. Collin, who wants to pursue a career in acting, said that he has prepared for his role by reading an autobiography about Farnsworth as well as several articles and has rehearsed with different views, objectives and mindset. Expectations of the community are high after the success of this fall’s sold-out musical, “Les Miserables,” he said. “It’s given us motivation to keep up the reputation as we tell the local story of Farnsworth and explore the lesser known Mark Twain story,” Collin said. “We’re excited to put these on.” l

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Midvale City Journal

Canyons District to rebuild, renovate schools in 2018, continue offering student opportunities


ith 58 percent approval by voters for a $283 million tax-rate-neutral bond in November’s election, Canyons School District will rebuild two high schools amongst 11 construction projects while continuing to offer many opportunities and services to students and the community. This comes as the District is concluding the 13th and last project earmarked with the 2010 $250 million bond — Indian Hills Middle

By Julie Slama |


for schools that need updating. He often ties in the new logo with remodeling or reconstruction, such as the completion of the new Alta View Elementary and Midvale Middle schools this year. “The logos are marks of identity that I love to work on,” Olson said. “There’s emotional attachment to these logos. I’ve learned they mean a lot to people so now I make sure I talk to key people about the logo as I update

Hillcrest High School art students paint portraits of Syrian refugee orphans and through Memory Project, the children received the personal keepsakes. (Kari Bennett/Hillcrest High School)

School. While students are currently housed in the former Crescent View Middle School, two new additions as well as windows and natural light are being added to the 37-year-old school. “It’s exciting to see all the windows going up on all sides of the building and solar tubes being placed for the inner classrooms,” Principal Doug Graham said. “It’s definitely giving it a cleaner, lighter feel.” With all exterior walls expected up by the end of 2017, crews were working on drywall and paint in the south end of the building. The construction is slated for completion by summer so the school will open to about 1,125 students in August. “We will open up with 95 percent of our equipment new. We’ll replace our mismatched desks, chairs, tables and upgrade our equipment so when the kiddos walk in, they’ll realize this is a great place to be, a great place to learn and it will be fresh, clean and new,” he said. The students, who gathered 10,521 items in late November for the Utah Food Bank, also will be able to embrace the heritage of the school as Native American designs will be in tile in the commons area and carried throughout the building. The new Indian Hills logo also will be illustrated on the cafeteria wall as well as the marquee. The logo suite is one of 18 that District graphic designer Jeff Olson has created

it. Whenever I’ve redesigned logos, I create a logo suite so we can use the logos for different circumstances that fit the need, shape, color or size.” In the past, Olson said many of the logos were left up to the schools that borrowed artwork or didn’t specify uses of it. Now with the redesigns, the logo copyrights will belong to the District. He recently completed Diamond Ridge’s logo after the school decided to call themselves the raptors. “It’s a different mascot. People remember the different ones — the Beetdiggers, the Kittyhawks — so it’s really cool to be able to work on something unique. I made it edgy and fierce and high school appropriate,” he said. Refining logos, making animals not as cartoons, and giving them clean, fresh looks are what he has done through several schools, including Ridgecrest Elementary, which held its 50th celebration this year, bringing back former teachers and students to sing the school song and look through yearbooks. Bell View’s 50th offered a carnival-type atmosphere to current and former students and the community. This coming year, Olson plans to work on logos for Silver Mesa, Crescent, Altara, Oak Hollow and East Sandy elementaries as well as look into logos for Sunrise Elementary and Jordan High. With the construction, the

completion dates aren’t set as he will need to focus on a new logo for Brighton High as well as upcoming logos for the new elementary school that will be coming in Draper and possibly a White City logo with the rebuild. However, the initial recommendation by the Canyons administration is to begin with the high school construction —new schools for Hillcrest and Brighton, major renovation for Alta and new classroom wing for Corner Canyon, said Superintendent Jim Briscoe. Canyons School District Business Administrator Leon Wilcox said the goal with the high school projects is to have little disruption to students, who will remain onsite during construction. Construction is expected to begin by summer. In the meantime, classes and activities will continue, including Hillcrest’s dedication to helping Syrian children. This past year involved 24 students in advanced placement and international baccalaureate programs who painted portraits of Syrian refugees in conjunction with an organization called the Memory Project. The Memory Project gave Hillcrest students photographs of the children to paint. Then the students gave the portraits to the Memory Project who delivered their artwork to the children. The high school students then received a video of the children receiving their artwork. “As we watched the video, a few of the students got emotional,” Hillcrest art teacher Kari Bennett said. “It is a touching experience to know that you have made a child in such dire circumstances so happy. They all sat and watched with huge smiles on their faces and loved seeing how excited the kids were upon receiving their portraits.” In addition, three students had replicas of their portraits included in a traveling exhibition featuring 70 students who had made portraits of Syrian children living in refugee camps in Jordan. Students already are asking if they can participate in 2018, Bennett said. At the nearby new Midvale Middle School, which held its ribbon-cutting in August, finishing touches of the auditorium were being completed as the first play in the middle school was produced in November. Students have much to celebrate with the move. Before moving into the new school building that was constructed on the same site as the former school, it was announced that a team of students won third place in the nonfiction worldwide junior division of the firstever online Shakespeare Student Film Festival. The team’s film submission entitled, “Portia’s Example” beat 76 student teams from 22 countries across three continents. Student director Elizabeth Martin said that the project was “massively more complicated” than she anticipated.

“There were costumes, props, schedule conflicts and struggles between our visions that we had to work out,” she said. “We put in a lot of detail, effort and time and it was clear how much work went into it. I learned a lot of people skills and how people think which has helped me now that I’m in high school in a different atmosphere. It’s been easier to work in groups and meet people.” Theatre teacher Bethany Lenhart said that the student-produced film was evaluated in three rounds by students in Germany as well as professional Shakespearean directors, actors and professional filmmakers. Elizabeth said that when it was announced they were the top film from North and South America, she found it hard to focus on her schoolwork the rest of the day. “I couldn’t believe we were going on into the international round. I realized they appreciated how much work goes on behind the scenes,” she said. With the announcement of their third-place international finish, Lenhart said students celebrated. “They were screaming, jumping up and down and teary eyed,” she said. “They couldn’t believe it. It was a great experience where they had an authentic audience who could see the really hard work they dedicated to the project.” Their classmate, Zach Jessop also had reason to celebrate in June as he placed fourth in the National History Day competition in Washington, D.C. His documentary entitled, “Each Life is Worth a World: Gil and Eleanor Kraus and the Rescue of Fifty Jewish Children From Nazi Germany,” was also chosen as the Outstanding Junior Division Entry from Utah. Zach’s documentary tells the story of an American Jewish couple who went into Nazi Germany and were able to save 50 children from the Holocaust. He interviewed one of the children rescued as well as other survivors’ now adult children and others who lived in Germany under the Nazi regime. Next for Zach is an opportunity to share his film at the Utah State Capitol on Jan. 24 for History on the Hill day. Zach wasn’t the only Canyons student who went to Washington, D.C. Students from both Alta and Corner Canyon attended the presidential inauguration and Alta High’s marching band participated in the national Memorial Day parade. “D.C. was just fantastic,” Alta marching band director Caleb Shabestari said. “We turned the corner on Constitution Boulevard by the National Archives and thousands, maybe upward to 5,000 just there, were watching the parade on the stairs. I’d say there were 20,000 to 30,000 along the entire mile route. We marched under a massive flag that was hanging from a crane and finished right in front of the White House.”

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January 2018 | Page 5

MidvaleJournal.com In addition to upcoming parades in Salt Lake City, Sandy and Draper this year, the marching band will be joined by the entire Alta music department to go on tour to New York City this coming April. Six Corner Canyon Peer Leadership Team members attended the national Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America conference in Washington, D.C. where they learned leadership skills and ways to approach substance abuse and bullying situations. “We learned how to analyze our community to address issues that need to be improved,” student Nic D’Amico said. “We want to provide more service and take the initiative as PLT members to help our community.” Already, the PLT has done that with receiving the Youth Service America 9/11 Service Project Grant. They assembled boxes of goodies and delivered them to Draper police and fire departments as well as made blankets and delivered food donated from a school-wide food drive to veterans and their families. “Only 50 schools in the nation were awarded this grant. It’s been incredible to receive it and plan a school-wide service project,” said senior Amber Wood, who is PLT’s school community representative and will coordinate the Global Youth Service Day for the school in April. Brighton High Peer Leadership Team, which is in its first year, also provided baskets for the local police and fire departments on 9/11. They are continuing to look at other opportunities to

serve from tutoring to helping with the elderly. “When we work together, we can make a difference,” Brighton teacher and PLT adviser April Ball said. Working together has made a difference to many others throughout the District. Several schools and school groups have received donations of clothing, food and personal hygiene items to provide students and their families in need. Students who are active in Latinos in Action, National Honor Society, international baccalaureate and other organizations have provided tutoring for their peers or younger students. At Jordan High, with a greater diversity of students expected with boundary changes, students have been welcomed with the #DigDiversity Project. “We wanted to make sure the refugee students knew they had an inviting, safe place at Jordan High,” English and social studies teacher Shannon Callister said. “(Students) are wanting a better environment for the school and have welcomed everyone.” This has extended to supporting families for the past year, Spanish-speaking parents have been invited to attend Puertas Abiertas or opendoor meetings with assistant principal Roberto Jimenez to learn more about Jordan High. “We held the meeting as a way for these parents to become familiar with the school, its resources and key people for them to talk to about their students’ classes,” Jimenez said.

Alta High School’s band marches under the Stars and Stripes in the Washington, D.C. Memorial Day parade. (Alta High School)

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Page 6 | January 2018

Midvale City Journal Callister said that the school is becoming more multi-cultural and students are embracing it. “We’re making a change and already it feels different,” she said. “It’s been fun to see students get excited.” Across the district, families are supporting an effort that began by both student Kaleb Broderick who attended Ridgecrest and parent Cindy Boyer at Altara — a campaign to make the District’s schools idle-free. “Besides educating students, I feel we have some responsibility for their health, and their future health,” said Superintendent Jim Briscoe, who supported the Board of Education in making the District’s schools idle-free. Since then, Altara Elementary has continued to hold an idle-free week celebration. “We want students to talk to their parents so they understand that even by doing a little, such as not idling, they are contributing to promoting healthier air,” Boyer said. “We are giving a path for them to follow and I hope to see every school embrace being idle-free.” Safety also is a district-wide concern of the 34,000 students. This year, the District emergency management committee — which includes risk managers and crisis counselors — has updated its emergency plans that include school drills and preparedness, said Canyons spokeswoman Kirsten Stewart. “We’ve taken what we learned and improved upon our existing plans,” she said. Each drill, such as shelter-in-place, hazmat, fire, earthquake and bomb, will be practiced according to a schedule so the team can evaluate what works and how to improve upon it, Stewart said. In emergencies, communication with parents through Skylert will continue and she encourages parents to follow the Facebook or Twitter feed for additional information. In addition, emergency tip sheets are posted at all schools. As part of this, all elementaries are becoming communication centers with Salt Lake County and have emergency supply tubs in place to help network the community and responders. Canyons’ middle and high schools will continue with its Red Cross agreement to provide shelters, when necessary, she said. “Learning can only happen in environments where students feel safe and well cared for and that is the aim of our District,” Stewart said. Altara Elementary teacher Joani Richardson, who received the Huntsman Award for Educational Excellence, and other teachers throughout the district, were provided a new salary boost of an average 6.5 percent this year, and have the opportunity to continue their own learning through professional development and certifications. About 26 percent of teachers have earned level-one certification in the instructional use of technology, which is about halfway to the point the Canyons Board of Education would like the District to be in 2019, Canyons spokesman Jeff Haney said. Outside the classroom, teachers have

continued to support students in striving for success, he said. Among the numerous awards students have achieved, four of Canyons District’s traditional high schools have been recognized for the number of students who take Advanced Placement courses and two students won 2017 National Merit scholarships. In technology, Jordan High’s robotics team won the 2017 Utah Regional FIRST Robotics competition and a team from Hillcrest High won the STEM Entrepreneur Award at the 2017 High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge and two Midvale Middle School students were part of a team that won best prototype at the same competition and received the Presidential Youth Environmental Award. Twenty-four students representing all five of Canyons traditional high schools won superior honors at state choir, band and orchestra events. Hillcrest High took the state crown in 4A theater. Thirty-four Canyons students took first place in state career and technical education competitions, including two Hillcrest students who won top honors at the national Future Business Leaders of America contest. Helping Hillcrest students get to this stage has been the addition of the summer Husky Strong Academy to give entering freshmen a jump on high school and put them on the path to excel. The program, coupled with daily mentoring and social and behavioral supports, has contributed to a 10 percent increase in the number of Husky freshmen on track to graduate. It has earned Canyons the honor of being named a 2017 District of Distinction by District Administration Magazine and has served as a model for Jordan High’s AVID Summer Bridge Program, which served 45 freshmen in its inaugural summer academy this past year. Hillcrest administrators this fall created Taco Friday, where students with perfect attendance are rewarded with free tacos. In the first months of the program, more than 1,800 tacos were awarded and attendance had increased about 0.4 percent overall from October 2016 to October 2017, said Principal Greg Leavitt. “Every kid is in a different situation, but we’re able to help students and reward them with incentives,” he said. “We want students in class so they are learn important information that is relevant and we’re celebrating that they’re learning.” Taking that a step for further learning is the goal of the Step2theU new early college pathway program created by Alta High Principal Brian McGill. “Through taking general education classes in the summer between their junior and senior year, then college math during their senior year and more classes the summer after their high school graduation, (students) can receive a general education certificate from the University of Utah,” McGill said. “The focus is directed at the transition to college and getting those students the first years of college while they are in high school. This partnership is just giving them an option to be successful in their education.” l

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Sounds of Summer pulses to array of bands

January 2018 | Page 7

By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com

free summer concerts at Midvale City Park, 455 West 7500 S. “This is our way of letting our community have a place to come together again and just enjoy an evening in the park,” said Melanie Beardall, treasurer on the board of directors and a chief organizer of the series. The weekly musical event began four years ago when Beardall said they “were happy to get 40 or 50 people” to attend. It’s lowest attended concert so far in 2017 was 230. But it’s grown each year with total attendance for last summer reaching 10,000 where a Levitt Amp matching grant allowed the council to have a higher budget attracting big stars like American Idol winner Taylor Hicks and Alex Boye. The grant did carry restrictions though such as no cover bands were allowed and the performers had to be a mix of national, regional and local. Without the grant this year, it’s allowed the council more freedom. Groups like Bent Fender and Assembly The Sounds of Summer concert series randuring the summer at Midvale City Park every Friday night. 6.0 were allowed to perform (both are cover bands). (Travis Barton/City Journals) Beardall said they had a contest to award someone a chance to come on stage with Assembly 6.0. She said 12-15 people “I’ve been (to the concerts) with friends, with my dog, been here on dates,” she said. “It’s just a really relaxing place and there’s would send the arts council a video of them singing Foreigner’s “I so much green with the trees and the grass, that’s probably my want to know what love is” with the winner coming up on stage to sing the chorus. favorite.” Another sign of its growth from the first year is the amount Every Friday until Aug. 4, the Midvale Arts Council will feature ichelle Mullen knows a good concert venue when she sees it. That’s why you can find her on many a Friday night at Midvale City Park enjoying the Sounds of Summer, a free concert series at the outdoor amphitheater.

of emails Beardall receives from artists wanting to be a part of it. Beardall said she spends lots of time checking into the bands to “make sure the quality is there.” She also wants to have a variety of performers, both in styles and geographically. “There’s a lot of talent in Utah that we don’t have to worry about going outside of the state, but at the same time, I love bringing in a few groups like Jarabe Mexicano to give people that experience of seeing these groups that they might not see anywhere else,” Beardall said. She found Jarabe Mexicano (playing July 28) at a conference last August. The group planned to do an outreach program with the local Boys & Girls Club. “We were really impressed with these young men,” Beardall said of the San Diego St. graduates who sing Latino pop along with some traditional music. The variety this summer has included the energetic Los Angelesbased group Incendio, 23rd Army Band (who have performed every year of the series) and local non-profit Cityjazz. The concerts take place at the unique outdoor amphitheater where people sit and watch the shows from blankets or chairs on the park’s lawn. The stage also hosts events for Harvest Days and occasional musical productions. Beardall said the arts council is working with the city on stage upgrades. Plans include a bigger dressing room, ticket booth, awnings that close the sides a bit more, finding better places for speakers and a closed off area to leave production sets there without taking it down each night. Beardall said the best part of the concert series is seeing people, like Mullen, come to the park to enjoy music in the great outdoors. “It’s been a wonderful place,” she said, “the last few years especially now that people know that we’re there.” l



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(801) 567-1736 (801) 567-7202 (801) 567-7202 (801) 567-7212 (801) 567-7207 (801) 255-4234 (801) 567-7202 (801) 567-7213 (801) 567-7246 (801) 567-7235 (801) 256-2575 (801) 567-7231 (801) 567-7208 (801)256-2537 (801)256-2541

EMERGENCY OR DISASTER CONTACT Public Works (7 am–4:30 pm) (801) 567-7235 Public Works On-Call (after business hours) (801) 580-7274 OR (801) 580-7034 Fire Dispatch – Unified Fire Authority (801) 840-4000 Midvale Police Precinct (385) 468-9350 or Police Dispatch Unified Police Department (801)743-7000 EMERGENCY 911

The Heart of the Matter


By Mayor Robert Hale

Thank you, Midvale, for your vote of confidence! I am humbled by to the great history of this Nation and its seats of government, museums, arts, and the opportunity to serve the citizens of Midvale as your elected Mayor. I’d like to start these monthly communications by sharing a few the microcosm of the world’s peoples we stories about me and my family. This is probably the best way to explain lived among. I was able to earn a Master’s Degree from American University in Orgawho I am and what has formed my experiences and outlook on life. My father was the fifth of ten children born to a farming and ranch- nizational Training and Human Resource ing family in Oakley, Cassia, Idaho. He pursued a teaching degree after Development. We returned to our home in high school, served two years each on a mission for the LDS Church Union at the conclusion of the not-to-exceed three-year term and raised and in the US Navy as World War II came to an end. My mother was all our children with the help of the Jordan School District. I have been serving in civic duties since about 1989, beginning the youngest of five children in a sod-busting farm family in Heyburn, Minidoka County on the north side of the Snake River from Burley, Ida- with the Union Community Council under tutelage of Salt Lake Counho. She also received her teaching degree. While she was teaching in ty government. Our Council was especially involved in the first master Minidoka County, my aunt (also a teacher) set up a date for my mother plan for Union, reviewing zoning change requests, and building applito come to my grandparent’s home to meet my father. They dated and cation reviews. With no boundary protection of our community, we saw Union married in 1944 while Dad was home briefly on furlough. After the war, being devoured from the south and north. We tried an ill-fated attempt they settled in Oakley. In 1955-56, my father decided small-town farming was not his fu- at incorporation of Union, losing by only two percent. Mayor JoAnn ture. He loved to work with his hands and went into carpentry, which Seghini knew of our plight and made a bold invitation: annexation into Midvale City to preserve the remainder of Union as a cohesive commueventually led him to relocate his young family to Murray, Utah. I and my five younger siblings were educated in Murray School nity. We jumped at the chance. The majority of voting citizenry agreed District. I met my future wife, Susan Green, during our sophomore and, as this Century began, we were part of a city that doubled with our year at a “get-to-know-you” social at the home of a mutual friend. entrance. We have never looked back! I served six years on the Planning and Zoning Commission, two We dated for two years, graduated from Murray High and began our college educations. I clunked through one quarter at the University of terms representing District 1 on the City Council and nearly ten years as Utah, then was called to serve in the LDS Brazilian South Mission. a Trustee for the Midvalley Improvement District. In 2014, Susan and I That taught me a new language, Portuguese, and much about goal-set- served a 23-month mission to Brazil introducing the Self-Reliance Initiative of the LDS First Presidency in metropolitan São Paulo. ting and humility. We love this city “In the Middle of Everything”. The people, the When I returned home to Murray, Susan and I started our relationship all over and in five months were married. We have had a Midvale history, diversity, arts, languages, and cultures are rich and promising. address since the beginning. Susan worked as a stockbroker while I Let us build it together. attended the University for four more years. I worked for the United States Post Office in the afternoons in Salt Lake City collecting outgoing mail from blue street boxes. DentaQuest, a leading oral health company, recently presented a donation to support the dental services I graduated in 1973 cum laude with a Bachat the Midvale Community Building Community (CBC) Clinic. The dental clinic provides high quality dental care elor’s Degree in Fine Art with an emphasis in to low-income and uninsured families at an affordable price. DentaQuest’s mission is to “improve the oral health Graphic Design and a minor in Spanish. We of all.” Pictured from left to right: George Lansgard, Midvale CBC Board member; Mauricio Agramont, Midvale moved to our current address that same year and CBC Executive Director; Rodrigo Castilleja, DentalQuest Sales Director; Yolanda Rodriguez, Midvale CBC; Mayor purchased our home from Susan’s extended famJoAnn B. Seghini, CBC board member; Tim Cosgrove, CBC Board member; Dr. Floyd Tarbet, CBC Dental Director; ily. One year later, a son was born, the first of and Laura Magness, Midvale City Communications Specialist. two sons and four daughters, each now with four children of their own. (It keeps the math straight in our heads when we’re asked how many grandchildren we have – 6 x 4!) They live near Tucson, Arizona, San Antonio, Texas, near Portland, Oregon, and three families here in Utah. In 1986, after eleven years of postal employment as a carrier and management, I took an opportunity to teach management for three years in the William F. Bolger Postal Academy in Potomac MD. We lived in Northern Virginia, in the Washington DC metropolitan area. This was a terrific opportunity to expose my family

Generous Donation to the Midvale CBC

In The Middle of Everything


Celebrating Mayor JoAnn Seghini’s Legacy

Christmas Tree Recycling

Hundreds of people attended Mayor JoAnn Seghini’s retirement reception on December 14 to pay tribute to a woman who has given more than 59 years of service to our community.

The holiday season is over and the Christmas tree is dropping needles everywhere. Midvale City Public Works is here to help by providing free curbside pickup of fresh-cut, non-flocked Christmas trees from January 2 through January 19. Please be sure to remove all decorations, icicles, lights, hooks, tree stands, etc. Public Works crews cannot pick-up flocked, decorated or plastic wrapped trees; and trees over 8 feet tall should be cut in half to help facilitate handling by our crews. Absolutely no late pick-ups will be available. For additional information, please call Midvale City Public Works at (801)567-7235.

Call For Auditions The Midvale Arts Council will hold auditions for “Nunsense” a musical written by Dan Goggin on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Midvale Performing Arts Center: 695 West Center Street (7720 South), Midvale, UT. “Nunsense” will be directed by Nolan Mitchell, music directed by Glen Reber, and choreographed by Jann LeVitre. “Nunsense” is a musical for five adult women. Those wishing to audition should come prepared with 16 bars of music, a resume, and headshot; accompanist will be provided for your sheet music, no minus tracks allowed. All roles are open. Callbacks, by invitation only, will be held on Saturday, January 20. Audition forms and character descriptions can be found on www.midvalearts.com under the production events page. Please direct questions to productions@midvalearts.com.

SHARE YOUR VISION Midvale City kicked off the process to develop Small Area Plans for two areas - the 7200 South TRAX Station Area and Center Street TRAX Station Area (maps available online). The goal of a Small Area Plan is to examine the current conditions of the area, develop a future vision of what community members want the neighborhood to become and then formulate specific goals, objectives and policies that will help implement that vision. A stakeholders group of City Council and Planning Commission members, and neighborhood representatives are guiding the creation of the Plans. After the planning process, the Plans will be submitted to the Planning Commission and City Council for consideration. The community is invited to participate in public workshops to help identify the vision for the areas. More than 60 people attended the first workshops which were held on November 28 and 29. Additional workshops will be held as follows: 7200 South Area Plan - January 30, 2018, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Midvale City Hall Center Street Area Plan – January 31, 2018, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Midvale City Hall For more information, please visit midvalestationplans.org or call 801-5677230. If you are unable to attend the workshops, you can submit comments and ideas through the Contact section of the website.


A New Years Resolution for Your Pet Salt Lake County Animal Services As humans many of us set a resolution for ourselves for the new year. Since our pets can improve our physical and mental health, lets improve the lives of our cats and dogs this year as well. 1. Update Their Tags & Microchips: If your contact information has changed, get your pet a new tag and update your info that’s attached to their microchip. Also, make sure the info on their tag is still readable, often it rubs off. 2. Bring Out the Brush: Not only does brushing improve their coats, it helps you connect. 3. Declutter! Throw away those dirty, germy, broken toys. Get them something new to play with. 4. Make Time to Play: Whether it’s swimming, hiking, or learning new tricks; your pet needs time to play and bond with you because they love you unconditionally. 5. Measure They’re Food: It’s easy to overfeed a pet who acts like there’s never enough food in the bowl. Throw a measuring cup in their food containers and use it every day. Food is often a way we say, “I Love You.” Love your pet with other things like attention, play dates, or more car rides. 6. Take Them to the Vet: Just like humans, pets should see their veterinarian for an annual checkup. They need to have their yearly vaccinations to keep them healthy and happy. Often when pets get sick, there is something going on with them that we can’t see. Licensing or renewing a license? Every pet that lives in: Bluffdale, Copperton, Emmigration Canyon, Herriman, Holladay, Kearns, Magna, Midvale, Millcreek, Salt Lake City, and White City can walk-in to Salt Lake County Animal Services, Monday – Saturday, 10 AM – 6 PM, and receive a free DHPP (vaccine for dogs), FVRCP (vaccine for cats), and a microchip. Rabies vaccinations are done by appointment only. For more information visit AdoptUtahPets.com or come by 511 W 3900 S, in Salt Lake City.

Snow Removal

Mission Statement: The mission of the Midvale Historical Society & Museum is to collect, preserve, and interpret for the public benefit, education and enjoyment; the historical heritage of Midvale City, Utah.

Midvale Public Works snow removal team is requesting your help to provide the best possible snow removal service. City trucks will begin plowing when snow reaches a depth of two (2) or more inches. By observing the following guidelines, you’ll help make winter driving and snow cleanup easier. NO PARKING ON THE STREET Although City ordinance prohibits parking overnight on the streets from November 1 through March 1, we request that, whenever possible, cars not be parked on the street during the day as well. Vehicles parked along the curb may limit snow and ice control services and, unfortunately, snow accumulation can take place during the day as well as the night. GIVE SNOW REMOVAL CREWS A “BREAK” Be conscious of snow removal equipment and remember to give the plow drivers the right-of-way at all times. Please be patient, snow will be removed from your street following a significant storm (2 or more inches); however, it does take time. Streets will be plowed on a priority basis with the main arterials receiving top priority. Residential streets are plowed, but not salted.

REMOVE SNOW FROM SIDEWALKS Remember, it is your responsibility to remove snow, sleet, hail or ice from sidewalks adjacent to your home or business in a timely manner. This is extremely important as a large number of school children walk to school in our community. When clearing your sidewalks and driveways, keep the snow that you shovel on your property. DO NOT throw snow into the streets as it creates a liability for you as a property owner. Keep in mind that residents failing to clean snow or ice from their sidewalks will be notified. Repeat violations will carry penalties. We appreciate your courteous assistance in making this program work.

Midvale Museum 801-569-8040 7697 Main Street Midvale UT 84047 Hours - Tuesday, Wednesday & Saturday 12 - 4 p.m.

Page 12 | January 2018

Midvale City Journal

Opportunity: Angels football team grants playing chances for girls By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com

Quarterback Kammie Bilanzich hands the ball off to Hannah Johnson during the Angels opening game. The team plays every Saturday through May at Westmore Elementary in West Jordan. (Travis Barton/City Journals)


ou probably didn’t know Canyon School District (CSD) had a girls football team that practices at Midvale City Park. You will now. Until a few months ago, the Angels football team didn’t exist, but now the 16-member team is made up of girls from eighth to 12th grade from across CSD. Led by head coach Barbara Calchera, the Angels are a part of the Utah Girls Tackle Football. “It’s seeing the children…feeling like they have grown and accomplished something, gotten faster, catching more balls. That’s always what drives me,” Calchera said. Calchera, a lifelong lover of football who has attended USA football camps, said she felt she didn’t have a chance to play when she was younger. Now, she’s coaching a team of girls who do. “I love it so much. My driven nature is why I’m here and my love for girls having opportunity,” she said. A former member of the women’s football team Utah Falconz and current member of the Utah WildKats, Calchera has two daughters on the team. One of them, Maddy Calchera, used to play with a boys team. She said after suffering through a negative experience that included a sexual assault, she’s found the right place with her new league and team. “It was a really nice opportunity to play in a safe environment and a much more positive environment,” Maddy, a sophomore, said. That environment involves a level of acceptance for girls’ appearance. “It’s definitely really inclusive for all body types,” Maddy, who plays center, said. “Bigger girls like me have a place because we can plow

down other girls, skinnier girls that are faster have a place because they can run the ball and in-between girls [size] can be linebackers or the bigger running people.” Assistant coach Quinn Wesley, who plays center for the championship winning Falconz, said it helps girls to be comfortable in their own skin. “A girl who people deem might be too skinny or too small can come out here and, all of a sudden, she starts to feel good about herself because she ran the right route or made the right block,” Wesley said. The girls have also provided support for each other. “There’s no bullying. You don’t have to worry about your insecurities here. Everyone’s open minded and works hard to motivate each other,” said Lesli Lopez, a sophomore running back from Hillcrest High School. It’s Lopez’s first year playing football. With many of the girls participating in the sport for the first time, it’s an opportunity during the eight-game season to soak up knowledge not only about the game, but about life. “And if we win? Great. But, most importantly, I want them to learn life skills by participating with this team and, if I accomplish those, I’ll be happy,” Barbara said. Players and coaches said the game teaches character development, determination, health habits, strategy, teamwork and provides a haven from personal issues. Maddy said it even assists in anger management. “You get to hit people for fun and its totally legal,” she said with a laugh. Allaynah Tau, a Jordan High School

sophomore, plays guard for the Angels. She also competes in softball, basketball and volleyball. She recently returned two weeks earlier than expected from an injured ankle she suffered while playing volleyball. “I love sports, that’s all I do is sports,” she said. Tau has found another opportunity for it with the Angels. While the team plays its games every Saturday at Westland Elementary in West Jordan, the team practices at Midvale City Park, which came about after Calchera and league advocate Brent Gordon approached the city council for permission to use the field. “We’re thankful,” Calchera said of Midvale

City. “This is a great opportunity for the girls, for them opening their arms and letting us participate here.” Two other teams could follow suit also calling the park their practicing field. A fledgling league, it’s continuously growing whether it’s Lopez and Tau being recruited by their friends or new teams being added. Players and coaches urged other girls interested to come check it out. Wesley said, “it’s a great environment, people should come check it out,” while Tau added for girls to “come experience and see what’s going on cause it’s really fun.” l

Update: By Jennifer Gardiner | j.gardiner@ mycityjournals.com What started out as a 16-member all-girls football program has seen some fast changes this year, and Head Coach Barbara Calchera said the program is doing great. “One exciting change for this upcoming season is the high school and middle school girls will be playing 11 V 11 instead of the 8 V 8 last year, plus the corresponding increase in field length,” Calchera said. “That means that the girls will now be playing on an 80-yard field. This is wonderful and will add another level of competition.” In May, The Lethal Angels captured the

championship title in the 5th-6th grade division over the West Jordan Bone Crushers with a 19-0 shutout. The Lethal Angels also captured the 7th8th grade championship title, defeating the West Jordan Lightning 20-12. This was the first season of participation for the Canyons School District in the Utah Girls Tackle Football League. Founded in March 2015, the league has seen tremendous growth to include six districts in three different age groups: 5th-6th grade, 7th-8th grade and high school. The spring season is open for registration. For more information about the league, visit www.utahgirlstacklefootball.com l

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Talented gymnasts spring to new heights in Utah and beyond

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By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com You might miss it driving along 300 West near 7200 South, but along there exists a gym with six high-caliber gymnasts training and preparing. Hunt’s Gymnastics Academy currently holds a level 7 team (competitive levels range from 2-10), that took second at the Utah State Gymnastics Championships in March and saw various girls earn the highest all-around scores in their age groups. “Everybody really just grouped together, and they killed it this year,” said Jessica Hunt, one of the team’s three head coaches along with Paul Hunt and Nikki Chavez. Three of the state’s top four all-around scores belonged to girls on the level 7 team. The state meet calculates scores from each event and adds them together for the teams rather than adding the all-around scores. “All of (the level 7s) are just all-around really good on everything which is not always super common,” Jessica said. Hayli Westerlind, 10, earned the top allaround score at state posting an almost perfect 38.75 (out of 40). She went on to take second at regionals in California. “She’s our top one in our gym, she’s the top in the state of Utah. She’s doing really good,” Jessica said. But it’s not just Westerlind whose been performing well. Nya Samora and Monet Ward, both 11, finished in the top four and many on the team are working level 9 and 10 skills. Hunt said level 10 gymnasts are typically college bound gymnasts. The level 7s won most of the tournaments they entered during their January to March season taking first at the Missy Marlowe Wasatch Cup at the Salt Palace. They also competed in Park City, Las Vegas and Reno. Summertime means the season’s over and it’s time to “work, work, work and push, push, push as hard as we can,” said Jessica. With the girls working out 20 hours a week, commitment to the sport comes from a love for it. “It’s just really fun, and I love to flip around,” said Nya, who got involved in gymnastics almost six years ago after her mom saw her doing cartwheels and flips in the hallway. Having seen the Ute’s famous Red Rocks gymnastics team performing the uneven bars, Ward got started in gymnastics coming from a tumbling background. “I thought it was cool watching the Ute gymnasts doing all these cool flips from high bar to low bar (and back),” Monet, who hopes to do gymnastics in college or the Olympics, said. She also likes getting “big calluses” on her hands. While the girls’ commitment to the sport helps, Jessica said there’s a few components that makes the gymnasts excel.

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Monet Ward (middle) stands on the podium at a gymnastics meet. (Jileen Ward)

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Hayli Westerlind performs her routine on the balance beam. (Rune Westerlind)

“They’ve got the heart, the drive, they’ve got the talent and we just try to push them as hard as we can without breaking them. We don’t want injuries,” Jessica said. “There’s a good balance here of expect(ing) the best but not over the top.” But what really separates them, Jessica said, is their courage. “They’re fearless which is awesome for gymnastics. They’ll try anything you put in front of them,” she said. Nya, who hopes to be an Olympian someday, said she’s scared at first but loses all fear after doing it a few times. The coaches may carry more fear than the gymnasts. “(My coaches) are more afraid of me getting hurt than I am,” Hayli said. Though the team’s ages range from 10 to 15, the girls are all friends.

“I feel like they’re my sisters,” Nya said. “Because we’re so close and they’re really good and we always have fun together.” Jessica said it contributes to a strong team morale and healthy competition. “They’re all best friends, they all hang out and have their little sleepovers together, but they’re all very competitive with each other. It’s also what drove them to be so good,” she said. Paul added that when one learns a skill, the others want to learn it too. It makes for a unique group since oftentimes members start to surpass each other and the team splits up. “It’s kind of rare to have the group we have right now,” Jessica said. “It hasn’t happened to us in many years that they’re all progressing together really well. That’s kind of the best thing about them this year and hopefully next year.” l

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Page 14 | January 2018

Midvale City Journal

Main Street’s newest ballad: ‘Rock of Ages’ By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com

1987 called, and wants you to know it’s in Midvale. The musical “Rock of Ages” played at the Midvale Main Street Theatre June 8-24. The show revolves around The Bourbon Room, a local club along Hollywood’s Sunset Strip under threat of redevelopment, and its employees aspiring toward their dreams. “I have to admit I was in tears,” Director and theatre owner Tammy Ross told the cast after the opening night performance. “I don’t normally cry until the end of the run, but you guys really blew me away tonight.” Set in 1987, the show featured famous classic rock songs of the ’80s like “I Wanna Rock,” “Can’t Fight this Feeling,” and “Don’t Stop Believin’,’” to name a few. “For me it exceeded expectations,” said Jeremy Heaps, who plays various roles in the show. “It’s just been a show up until tonight when it turned into a rock concert.” Kassandra Torres, who plays Constance Sack added she expected to have a positive experience considering her last stint at the theatre. “I thought that was as good as it gets you know, but I didn’t anticipate how phenomenal this cast is, how phenomenal this show is and how great it all turned out,” she said. I wanna rock (to live music) Utilizing a live band on stage to play all the songs marks the first time in five years Ross has done a show with live music. The band was made up of a piano (Hannah Bayles), drums (Cameron Kapetanov), bass (Anthony Sailer) and guitar (Jacob Lambros) with Eric Williams, who plays club owner Dennis Dupree, occasionally filling in as a second guitarist and saxophonist. The band remains on stage the entire show and at times serves as cast members. “I love being on stage. I feed off the audience and they feed off of us,” Sailer said. “It’s a rock concert with a little bit of acting.” The live aspect provides unique challenges for cast and band members as the band takes its cues from the actors along with finding the sound level balance between the instruments and vocals. “It’s this choreographed ballet of music that makes it a little bit more difficult than if we were just playing the music,” Kapetanov said. The band’s compilation of members and rehearsals happened only weeks prior to the show’s start. “The band is amazing, seriously they are incredible,” said Danny Eggers, who plays narrator and Bourbon Room employee Lonny. Eggers said the live music is one of the “challenges and blessings of the show.” Typically shows employ a recorded track which doesn’t change, but a live band can give actors more liberty.

“Enjoying the benefits of the live band while also making the product that gives the audience the consistency that a track would have was kind of a challenge for this show,” he said. Ben Brinton, who plays famous rock star Stacee Jaxx, said he was enthusiastic with the dice roll Ross took having live music. “Suddenly there’s a whole new layer of creativity,” he said. “It’s more than just being loud, you want the audience to feel things, you want certain elements to be theatrical. Those are these really kind of sophisticated choices that I don’t think the audience in general really pay attention to.” We built this city (with healthy vocals and limited time) The Midvale Theatre completed its youth production of

“Legally Blonde Jr.” only three and a half weeks prior to opening “Rock of Ages.” It gave set designer Sean McLaughlin a shortened timeframe to recreate a 1980’s Hollywood bar with a portable toilet-style bathroom he built. “I just about died,” said McLaughlin who—along with everyone else involved with the show—has a full-time job and was also preparing a show at the Hale Theatre. McLaughlin said he wanted the set to be a yearbook for the cast. Walls and props were adorned with things written by cast members including signatures and drawings on Williams’s sanded down guitar. Cassidy Ross, who plays small town girl Sherry Christian, directed the youth show and had to overcome a polyp growth in her throat requiring her to be on vocal rest for almost three weeks. l

Jake Holt and Cassidy Ross play love interests Drew and Sherry in Midvale Theatre’s latest show, “Rock of Ages.” (Midvale Main Street Theatre)

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January 2018 | Page 15


Midvale 2017 year in review By Ruth Hendricks | Ruth.H@mycityjournals.com

Bingham Junction Park will have some improvements next year. (Ruth Hendricks/City Journals)


idvale city leaders and staff had numerous accomplishments in 2017. Here are some of them, along with upcoming and continuing projects. New city staff • Larry Wright was appointed as the Public Works Director in January. • George Vo-Duc was appointed as a city Justice Court judge in February. • Ivan Sandoval became a Court Administrator. • Matthew Dahl was hired as Redevelopment Agency (RDA) Housing Director. • Wade Watkins was hired as Emergency Manager. • Brandon Smith became City Treasurer. • Laura Magness was hired as the new Communications Specialist. • In October, Chief Brad Larson became the representative for Midvale with the Fire Department. • In November, Police Chief Jason Mazuran moved to work as Bureau Chief with the Sheriff’s Office. Lt. Mark Olson was made acting Police Chief. • Matt Pierce became the new Information Technology Manager. Election results JoAnn Seghini retires as mayor at the end of the year, after serving the city of Midvale for more than 30 years as a council member and as city mayor. Seghini was first elected as mayor in 1995. Before that, she worked in education for 36 years. In the November election, Robert M. Hale was elected as mayor for a four-year term beginning in 2018. The elected council member for District 4 is Bryant Brown. The council member for District 5 is Dustin Gettel. The city council voted to support the Canyons School District bond initiative to modernize and upgrade several schools that were identified as needing improvement. Voters approved the $283 million tax-neutral bond. Parks and recreation

The Bingham Junction Park had some drainage problems. Repairs began in November. A public art piece is planned for construction, and work on a Tot Lot for young children has also begun and should be completed in the spring of 2018. A new splash pad in Midvale City Park opened on Memorial Day. Construction also began on new pickle ball courts in the park. New school Midvale Middle School was completed after two years of construction and had a ribbon-cutting ceremony on August 8. Mayor Seghini called it “a school of the future, not of the past.” The construction was part of a $250 million bond that was approved in 2010. The new school was built on the same location as the old school at 7852 Pioneer St. City infrastructure The eastern half of Midvale city gets water from Sandy, which has caused issues with both cities’ water pressure. The city council planned to have the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District take over and supply the water. The first phase of the project was to build a metering station that would connect with the city’s distribution system. The city council approved a contract awarding the work to VanCon Inc. in February. A sales tax revenue bond was issued to fund reconstruction and rehabilitation of roads, with the purpose of bringing roads up to a certain quality standard. The project includes reconstruction of 14 roads, addition of curb, gutter, sidewalk and storm drain features and rehabilitation of more than 100 sections of roads that were below the quality standard. All the projects are scheduled for completion by the summer of 2019. Transit-oriented development In March, after several months of discussion and public hearings, the city council amended the current Transit Oriented Development (TOD) zone to reduce maximum allowable height of buildings from seven to three stories, and reduced maximum allowable density from 100 residential dwelling units per acre to 25.

The council also approved creation of a TOD overlay zone which, by going through the rezoning process that requires public hearings by the planning commission and city council, could allow up to 85 units per acre and a height up to seven stories. The city council believes the adoption of these zones will let the city take advantage of creating a denser housing mix near transit stations while looking at identified parcels on a case-by-case basis. The intent of the ordinance is to provide for an orderly transition from the high-density development to the surrounding stable single-family neighborhoods as these parcels develop. The changes were adopted in April. Jordan Bluffs project The original zoning ordinance for the area known as Jordan Bluffs, between 7200 South and 9000 South, and Main Street to Bingham Junction Boulevard, was adopted in 2004. Since then there has been a 10-year vetting process and numerous geotechnical studies that give updated information on the realities of developing that property. The property contains a former Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site that had to be cleaned of toxic tailings from the Sharon Steel mill and was one of Utah’s most dangerous waste sites. A section of the property is covered by a cap that

protects the soil underneath from being penetrated by water. The studies conclude that large footprint office or warehouse buildings are best suited for the capped area, while residential buildings should be constructed off the cap. The project includes plans for the extension of Bingham Junction Boulevard. The city council made changes to the way the property was divided into sub-areas and the allowed uses in those areas, such as making the office/ warehouse space on the capped area an allowed use rather than conditional. The project covers 263 acres divided into four sub-areas. Haunted house ordinance The city council had received many complaints about noise, traffic, loitering, and parking issues related to haunted houses in neighborhoods. In 2016, the council adopted a temporary ordinance prohibiting “amusement houses” in residential zones, which refers to any house or building open to the public to tour for entertainment or fright. The council passed a permanent ordinance in September after clarifying the language. Amusement houses continue to be allowed in commercial areas. The ordinance does not restrict holiday decorations, private social gatherings or community events within a public facility or church designed to accommodate large groups of people. l

Police Chief Jason Mazuran was moved to work as Bureau Chief with the Sheriff’s Office. (Unified Police)

Not Just News... Your Community News...

Page 16 | January 2018

Midvale City Journal

Breathe in, breathe out and bowl By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com

Emily Pelzer, a Hillcrest High freshman, bowls at Fat Cats in April. Pelzer had major lung reconstruction in January and will be heading to nationals in July. (Travis Barton/City Journals)


idvale’s Emily Pelzer is a 15-year-old used to winning bowling championships, sending a 16 pound bowling ball down the lane. So, she wasn’t about to let dime-sized holes in her lung ruin her game. “It’s the only hobby I felt like I could connect with and the only thing that makes me happy,” said Pelzer, who started bowling at age 7 at Big City Bowl. The Hillcrest High School freshman won the past seven Pepsi Youth Bowling championships and is now preparing for the Junior Gold Championships in Cleveland, Ohio July 15-22. But at one point last year, she almost lost her chance to keep bowling. One morning in September, Pelzer felt pains in her chest—pain strong enough to force her onto the floor and for her mom to rush her to the doctor. “Heart rate was perfectly fine,” recalled Pelzer’s mother Sherry Harding. “(Then) they took a chest X-ray and they go ‘oh, you have holes the size of a dime.’” Three of them. In her right lung. Doctors rushed her in for a successful chest tube procedure and then every two weeks she had to go in for a check-up. Pelzer was back bowling a week after the lung collapse, though she couldn’t last long due to the pain it caused in her chest. “It got to the point where I need to get this fixed so I can continue bowling where I don’t have to take any breaks,” she said. On average, she bowls five days a week and averages a score of 176 (the highest average in the high school league). In January, Pelzer went in for major lung reconstruction surgery where surgeons repaired the dime-sized holes in her lungs. “That was a scary situation,” Harding said of the lung surgery. “I didn’t know if she would ever be able to go back bowling because of her lungs, but she fought hard and kicked right back.” The day after surgery, when Pelzer asked if

she could go bowling, the nurse suggested she go to the play room and bowl with the plastic pins and a ball. “She was like ‘that’s an insult to me,’” Harding recalled her daughter saying. A few months later, recovered at 100 percent health, Pelzer won the qualifying tournament sending her to this summer’s nationals. “[Her] one quote is ‘champions will always find a way to win.’ That has actually kind of kept her going since she had major lung reconstruction,” said her mom. Pelzer has also broken both wrists, both prior to the lung surgery, one while skating and the other when she fell backwards, affecting her ability to bowl. “Those are her trials,” Harding said. Despite difficulties and broken bones, she’s earned a bowling scholarship to Texas A&M. “I’m pretty pumped,” Pelzer said adding her first reaction to being offered a scholarship was to work harder. “I was like ‘wow, I didn’t even know I was this good…okay, I have to work harder now,’” she said. For Harding, seeing her daughter’s progression has evoked constant happiness— from watching Pelzer win her first tournament to being set for college. “I’m very proud of her for what she’s done with bowling. I think she’ll go far,” Harding said. Pelzer may only be 15, but she knows exactly what she wants to do. Her aspirations include becoming an ultrasound technician and bowling coach, especially for people with disabilities. “That would just make my life complete,” she said. But, before she gets there, Pelzer has high school to complete and a national competition to attend. Prior to leaving Midvale, you’ll find her at Big City Bowl where she’ll be practicing and breathing deeply. l

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January 2018 | Page 17


Shakespeare ‘smushed’ By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com


illiam Shakespeare’s most famous play is coming to Midvale, along with his other 36. Midvale Arts Council will present “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)” at the Midvale Performing Arts Center on March 3, 4, 6, 10 and 11. The show sees three actors (Wendy Dang, Blake London and Matt Oviatt) take the audience on a modernized ride through all of Shakespeare’s plays reenacting and satirizing his famous work. “I’ve seen it three times before and I just absolutely love it. It’s not a show you see done a lot in community theatre and when I saw that they were doing it I leapt at the chance,” London said. It is a play the cast and crew hope welcomes people to Shakespeare. “Everybody thinks of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘Hamlet,’ two of the deepest tragedies. But he has so many comedies and in our show we took all of them and smushed them all into one and its great,” said Candice Jorgensen, the play’s director. The play, written by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield, sees all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays acted out in 97 minutes. But it’s not what you might typically expect from a Shakespeare story. “Hopefully, the takeaway for the audience is that Shakespeare is accessible, Shakespeare isn’t old and boring. It is wild and crazy, that it’s really a ton of fun to watch,” Oviatt said. Featuring a rap number during Othello, a cooking show for Titus Andronicus and one section where they enact a play in reverse; the actors playfully modernize all of Shakespeare’s tragedies, comedies and histories. “It’ll be nice to expose the audience to the shows that aren’t very popular like the histories…[those] will be really exciting to make fun and enjoyable,” Dang said of what is possibly the most physically active part of the show. The cast also voiced their excitement about the audience interaction that takes place. “It’s a little different for me, a different energy interacting with audience members, but it is a lot of fun cause that’s where the most exciting, engaging parts of the show are,” Oviatt, a freshman at UVU, said. Much of the show rests on the shoulders of the three actors and their onstage chemistry. It was something Jorgensen was looking for and knew she had when all three rapped the Othello section at the callback audition.

Matt Oviatt, Brenda Dang and Blake London will be performing in the Midvale Arts Council’s “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)” at 7:30 p.m. at 695 W. Center Street on March 3, 4, 6, 10 and 11. (Midvale Arts Council)

“It was as if they had been rehearsing it forever, they just stepped right in and got the beat of it and it all connected,” Jorgensen said. “The moment the three of them stepped together I leaned over to [production assistant] Kristen [Thelen] and said, ‘I think that’s my cast.’” The actors noticed the chemistry as well. “That was like the bonding experience we had at auditions. We were like, ‘wow we really got this going,’…it just works together, it’s beautiful,” Dang said. For Jorgensen, this play is one of her favorites. So much so that she owns a DVD and copy of the script in addition to seeing it various times. “This is my number one play that I want to direct so it’s like a dream come true. A dream show with my dream cast,” Jorgensen said. With everyone in the show a self-proclaimed lover of Shakespeare, Thelen said you can feel that passion onstage. “There’s an enthusiasm about the actors and that comes through on the show. So, they’re having a good time on stage, you’re going to have a good time as an audience…I think [they’re] rock stars,” she said. In a play where the three actors play multiple roles (including themselves), not only are there “crazy costume changes,” but it requires lots of preparation—be it inhabiting the various characters or the challenging dialogue. “When it’s iambic pentameter, when it’s vocabulary you don’t use on (a) daily (basis) it’s a little more difficult,” Dang said. London, who plays Romeo and Julius Caesar among others, said it is both easy and difficult to play so many characters. “I’m trying to make sure each character is different so it’s clear this is one character and this is different by the way I talk, the way I stand, the way I move,” London said. “But that’s part of the fun is getting to be 15 different people instead of just one.” Oviatt, who heard about this audition two hours before it happened, said he tries to use a different voice for each person he plays, especially his female roles. Juliet, being a teenager, carries what Oviatt described as a Valley girl dialect while Ophelia is flighty with a high-pitched, British accent. For Dang, she loves the characters she gets to play. “I get to play the ones I’ve always wanted to play that I, as a female and ethnic actress, would never be cast as—Hamlet or Macbeth or Othello or Titus Andronicus,” she said. Jorgensen said there’s many messages in the show that she hopes people focus on how they pertain to their lives. “And if they don’t go that deep into the performance, I hope they at least are just very, very entertained,” she said. l

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Page 18 | January 2018

Midvale City Journal

How to beat the January Blues



Christmas is over, money is tight and our waistbands are even tighter. We can’t help but feel a little let down. After eating too much, spending too much and maybe a few too many parties for many people January means buckling up the spending and the prospect of hitting the gym. I can’t help but feel a little bleak however, this year I’m determined to have the best January yet without breaking the bank. Here are some things I’ve got planned for the month that build up the cheer and won’t demolish the budget. Check out the Wildlife - Hogle Zoo is free the last Wednesday of the month from November through February (January 31 and February 28 2018). Plus, Tracy Aviary offers $1 admission the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month through March. Go to a Hockey Game – The Grizzlies play at the Maverick Center in WVC through April. If you’ve never been to a hockey games, they are fast paced and exciting! You can

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January 2018 | Page 19


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Midvale City Journal Jan 2018  

Midvale City Journal January 2018 Vol 18 Issue 01

Midvale City Journal Jan 2018  

Midvale City Journal January 2018 Vol 18 Issue 01