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July 2018 | Vol. 18 Iss. 07


PORTRAIT OF A LIFELONG PHOTOGRAPHER By Heather Sky | heather@mycityjournals.com


t is no exaggeration to say that Tomas Mitchell’s photography career spans 30 years. “I got interested in ’85, Mitchell said. “I had a friend that was doing photography, and he had a film camera he sold me. I started taking pictures and pretty quickly decided that was what I wanted to do. I started doing it as a hobby and started working at a camera store in ‘87. I learned how to develop and print black-andwhite film and how to develop color film.” Between positions at one-hour photo labs, portrait studios and camera repair shops, his knowledge within the field of photography encompasses a wide range. Eventually, Mitchell opened his own camera repair business, shot freelance for modeling agencies and finally started a career with Fuji Film, which has now been his day job for 20 years. “Taking pictures is something I’ve always done,” he said. But it wasn’t until 2015 that he decided to start selling his photographs again. “This kind of [work] was always my love,” he said. “I always wanted to sell it, but I never did. Then we went to England and Scotland in 2004, and it was one big photographic safari. We traveled for three weeks, and when we got back, [I decided] to start selling at Renaissance Fairs and Scottish Festivals. People liked the

Tomas Mitchell stands in his gallery of work in his kilt. He once spent three weeks in England and Scotland, which was a “photographic safari.” (Photo courtesy Tomas Mitchell)

stuff.” The response he received convinced him it was time to start sharing his art. Throughout his career, Mitchell has watched digital technology propel the evolution of photography, and—like most professional photographers—eventually had to retire his film cameras. “I shoot with a digital camera, and I manipulate my [work] some,” he said. “Once I decided to start shooting digital, I didn’t really like it. It was a big shift, and I didn’t really like my results because it wasn’t like shooting film.

Different types of film will give you different saturations, different contrast ranges—and digital seemed really flat.” Mitchell said it has helped getting familiar with editing software. “When I started shooting in raw format and started learning Photoshop, that helped a ton,” he said. “I spend hours and hours and hours editing pictures. It’s been a huge learning curve, and it’s very time consuming.” Mitchell exudes just as much humility as he does kindness.

“I do not think I am the best photographer,” he said. “Sometimes I see the shot and [know] that’s what I want. Other times, I have to find the right perspective. Sometimes it’s just luck. One thing I have learned in life is no matter how good you are—or think you are—there is always someone better. Another thing I have learned, is you can learn something from almost everyone you meet.” Regardless of the success he has found within the field of photography, Mitchell admits music is his first love. His basement man cave is where he spends hours editing photos and playing music. He is a multi-instrumentalist musician—but primarily spends his time playing guitar, drums and percussion. “If I get frustrated I come down here and take a 10 minute break,” he said, before demonstrating his drum skills. The room is packed with a wide variety of string instruments, keyboards and even an accordion. Luckily, his wife, Erica, also loves music and doesn’t object to his closet addiction. You can find a link to his music—as well as his image galleries—on his website at twmitchell.com. Tomas is the only artist representing Midvale at Salt Lake Arts Fest. You can see his work in person at Library Square in Salt Lake City from June 21–24. l

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Sounds of Summer By Heather Sky | heather@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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ummer is officially here, and the Midvale Arts Council’s free concert summer series continues to fill the air with the sound of local musicians. This month Assembly 6.0 sat down to chat with Midvale Journal staff before their show on June 15. The band was originally established in 2006, but the current assembly of members have been playing together for about tw years. James Baxter—vocals, guitar, and husband of lead vocalist, Alta—playfully admits, “It feels like 28.” “We were all in the same neighborhood,” said Tyler Christensen—vocals, drums. After realizing how many of them played various musical instruments, they decided to get together and jam. It wasn’t long before the band began to formulate, which originally played at church functions, parties, and weddings. The name of the band has undergone nearly as much evolution as the band itself. At one point, they went by the name Some Assembly Required. However, it didn’t take long to realize the cleverness was lost on their fans. “People were confused. They thought maybe they had to provide the instruments,” laughed James, who gets a kick out of “double meanings.” They finally settled on Assembly 6.0, because “nobody said no,” according to Tyler. This was Assembly 6.0’s second year at the Midvale Summer Concert Series. They learned 11 new songs for this particular show, although they have about 100 in their repertoire. They continued the tradition of the “Volunteer Audience Choir” and were joined by fans in singing “Heal the World” by Michael Jackson. The fun and friendly band members also passed out red balloons to the kids during their cover of “99 Luftballoons.” Many of the band members are multi-instrumental and “all of us sing lead at one point or another, and everyone sings backup,” adds Tyler—who started jamming with the band after not having picked up a drumstick for 20 years. There is no denying that this fun and friendly band puts on a good show. “We really strive to work on our vocals and harmonies. That’s very important to us,” said Richard. You can find more information about additional upcoming events on their Facebook page. Next up in the series is Londs (LA ONDA NOREÑA DE SÁENZ) on July 6. This Salt Lake City band has made their mark on the Mexican Music scene, performing in venues from Las Vegas to Denver to Los Angeles. Their most recent album, Intentemos, was produced by American Grammy winner, Rafael Guevara. LONDS is made of six multi-instrumental musicians with high energy and a unique style. In 2015, LONDS were winners of the national Reality TV show, Tengo Talento Mucho Talento—which has attracted the attention of various radio, television and social media platforms. LONDS takes great pride in the responsibility to always provide an excellent performance for the public. “We love music. We love our fans. And we sincerely appreciate the op-

The free summer concert series is happening at Midvale City Park all summer long. (Heather Sky/City Journals)

portunity to perform for you,” says band leader, Allan Moreno. They will have an opening act performance at 6:30 p.m. Amiron Village will be playing on July 13, and is made up of Pleasant Grove musicians K.C. Johnson, Shaun Johnson, Ryan Johnson, Cameron Johnson, and Kevin Johnson. Amiron Village is a group of talented musicians who have played all over Utah at dozens of festivals and events. You may recognize their lead singer (Ryan Johnson) as the winner of several popular vocal competitions across Utah Valley. Their performances always appeal to a wide audience with popular songs from a variety of musical genres (including rock, pop, country and funk). You can learn more about them and preview their music at www.amironvillage.com. There will be a cake walk before the show at 6:30 p.m. On July 20, concert-goers will experience the musical stylings of the City Jazz Big Band—a nonprofit organization whose mission is to bring the jazz musical art form to the public in a manner that is meaningful, educational, entertaining and affordable. The City Jazz Big Band is conducted by Emmy award-winner, composer and arranger, Dr. Marden Pond (ASCAP), and Julie Christofferson, M.Ed. The band is made up of twenty music educators and professional musicians in the Salt Lake, Orem and Provo area. The set list features sophisticated and entertaining original compositions, along with various big band contemporary styles and classic chart toppers. The band supports numerous community events, has been

the headline group for Utah’s Arts in Education and the Mountain West Arts Conferences, and has performed for the Excellence in the Community concert series. You can find more information on their website at www.cityjazz.org. The final show in July will take place on the 27th with Crazy Coyote. The band is led by the head of the guitar department at BYU, Larry Green, and was established with his daughter, Julia, in 1993. This versatile four-piece country band is also made up of Robyn Green (bass and vocals), and Rocco Green (drums). Playing country music that ranges from nostalgic to current, as well as pop and rock favorites, this band is sure to keep the party going. The concert begins at 7 p.m. with free family activities beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the park including free balloons by a balloon artist. The remainder of the summer concert series lineup is as follows: Londs – July 6 AmironVillage – July 13 City Jazz Big Band – July 20 Crazy Coyote – July 27 Jersey Street Band – August 3 The Bellamy Brothers – August 11 The 6 remaining concerts will be held at 455 West 7500 South in Midvale. All shows are free to the public. Please bring your own lawn chairs and blankets. The festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. with free family friendly activities including: games, contests with prizes, face painting, balloon artistry, chalk and bubble fun, and the splash pad. l

Midvale City Journal

Where old meets new: how the Midvale Museum digitized city newspapers By Heather Sky | heather@mycityjournals.com


he Midvale Museum was established in 1979 with the help of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. The museum, filled with the unmistakable smell of antiques and old books, was initially located in the old Midvale City Hall. When the Midvale Museum moved to its new location on Main Street, that created room for expansion in City Hall. Bill Miller is the director of the Midvale Museum and president of the Midvale Historical Society. Andy Pazell is the vice president of the Midvale Historical Society. Andy has been with the museum five years. “Midvale is my hometown,” Pazell said. “It was a great place to grow up.” Growing up in the Midwest, there was a main street in every small town Miller traveled through not unlike the one located in Midvale. “So, I fell in love with Midvale,” he said. “I had to have something to do, so I [eventually realized] I had to have a museum. It’s in my blood. I was born in Lawson, Missouri. We lived on about 165 acres, and our closest neighbor was about a mile away. I think that’s why I love the museum life.” Pazell has now been running the museum for 13 years. “One of our main goals since I’ve been here was getting the newspapers stored properly,” Miller said. “We have the newspapers from 1925 up until today. We’ve attempted [several] times to get them digitized, and every time we

would get to that point, it proved to be cost prohibitive.” In 2017, they found a solution to their problem. “About a year ago, we got a call from OCI, the Oklahoma Correctional Institute, and they said they would digitize every yearbook we had,” Miller said. “It was part of a work training program for prisoners. They had a goal of contacting libraries and museums nationwide to digitize [yearbooks] for free. There were pages that were so fragile, they would crumble in your hands. They came back to us on DVD, and I have never seen any other place that has done such a beautiful job in digitizing [newspapers]. They did such a good job, I asked them if they would digitize newspapers too. They said there would be a charge, but when we got the final bill ,it was even less than we anticipated.” According to Miller, “The process took almost 11 months, from the time we shipped the [newspapers] out until we got them back. If you look online, you don’t see the blemishes. I don’t know how they did it; they must have been meticulous.” Upon receiving the newspapers in digitized form from OCI, Miller said, “Andy contacted the University of Utah, and Tina Kirkham (digital project library manager at the Marriott Library) was so excited she came down and I gave her a thumb drive with all the newspapers on it. She told me yet would have to hire a student to

break the files down, because of the way they were formatted. She called two days later and said it had already been done. Within three days they had them online.” Miller was so excited, he couldn’t wait to share the news. “I called Joe [at OCI] and told him we already had them online,” he said. “He wanted to know how to get to it, so the prisoners could see it. They are very grateful people. We never heard one negative word in [our time working] with them.” You can find the Midvale Journal Sentinel newspapers at digitalnewspapers.org “We were able to digitize up to 1950, and we’re trying to raise funds to do more,” Miller said. “I don’t know how many museums have newspapers that span 100-plus years. We’re looking to get the rest of them [digitized] by the end of the year.” A lack of funds isn’t the only challenge the museum faces. “The museum has continued to grow, but our volunteers are shrinking by the day,” Miller said. “It’s entirely run by volunteers. We do have a paid secretary from the city that works 10 hours a week, but we are desperate for volunteers.”. “We need youth,” added Pazell. “We are hoping to interest the younger generation by having this information online. I’m a little worried about the future.” The museum is actively

The front page of the then-called Jordan Journal on May 14,1925. The Midvale Museum recently had Midvale Journal Sentinel papers digitized from 1925-1950. (Courtesy digitalnewspapers.org)

seeking volunteers of all ages to work one fourhour shift per month. You can visit the Midvale Museum at 7697 Main Street in Midvale on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. For more information on how you can get involved, call 801-569-8040. l

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July 2018 | Page 5

Quick Wits brings the funny all summer long By Bob Bedore | bob@mycityjournals.com

The “Totally Awesome 80’s Show” kicked off Quick Wits’ Summer of Fun. Cast members (Cassis Smith, Kelley Wood, Jake Harenberg, Blake Heywood, Lorin Bruns and Talitha Hanks) had a great time not only making people laugh, but also dressing up. (Bob Bedore/City Journals


tah’s oldest name in improv comedy, Quick Wits, is set to give you plenty to laugh about this summer. Once again, it announced its “Summer of Fun” series with different comedy-filled themed shows every weekend. “Last year was a big hit for us,” said Jason Wild, a Quick Wits owner and Midvale resident. “The crowds loved to see what different types of shows we could pull off, and this year we are looking to make it even bigger.” Quick Wits has been performing nearly every weekend in the Salt Lake Valley since 1994 and have called the Midvale Performing Arts Center (7720 South 695 West) home for the past three years. The group performs a fast style of comedy where audience suggestions send them into comedic bits of genius. If you’re a fan of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” you’ll love Quick Wits. Their shows are appropriate for most audiences, with material rarely getting into the PG13 range. For those unfamiliar with improv, the actors create comedic scenes based off audience suggestions and stylized rules for each scene. As an example, the game “A to Z” will have the actors doing a scene based on a given suggestion, but the first actor must use the letter “a” as the first letter of the first word he or she speaks. The next actor will use the letter “b” as the first letter of the first word he or she speaks. This continues until they get to the letter “z,” and the

Page 6 | July 2018

scene must come to a conclusion. Quick Wits plays from a stash of over 400 games, though, admittedly, some favorites get played more than others. Normally, the troupe likes to do a competitive style where two teams (Dim Wits vs. Half Wits) battle for points and laughs. But this summer you’ll see shows like “Freakshow” where they play their craziest games (like “Mousetraps” and “Helping Hands”). Other themed titles include “Musical Extravaganza,” “Wheel of Fun,” “Super(hero) Show,” “Hooray for Hollywood” and their own version of the TV show “Survivor” set with a comedic twist to see which comedian is left on stage. The full rundown of all the different shows can be found on the troupe’s website, qwcomedy.com. There, you can also find out about booking them for corporate events, buying books, learn about the actors, download an improv app and even check out some of the card games the members created. Quick Wits also does a lot of outreach to the local schools in Midvale. For the past two years members have given free classes in the elementary schools. The main thing they teach, besides being funny very quickly, is that everyone contributes, and teamwork is essential not only on stage but throughout your whole life. “We find that at an early age kids have so many things that are pushing them to all types

Memebers of Quick Wits (Lorin Bruns, Talitha Hanks and Blake Heywood) recreate a famous scene from “E.T.”. (Bob Bedore/City Journals)

of influences,” said Wild. “Some are good, but a lot, like bullying and racism, can be very harmful. We try to teach them about acceptance and trust in everyone. Plus, we have them laughing the whole time.” Quick Wits recently hosted the Wasatch Improv Festival and played host to over two dozen troupes from around the country. The troupe plans to make this an annual event every

January. Quick Wits performs Saturday nights at the Midvale Performing Arts Center with showtimes at 10 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students, seniors and military. Tickets can be purchased on their website or at the door. There is a “very” light snack bar and no alcohol served at the theater. You can get more information by calling 801-824-0523. l

Midvale City Journal

A Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious adventure for youth By Heather Sky | heather@mycityjournals.com


s soon as the lights go out, the Midvale Main Street Theatre was filled with the familiar sound of the classic “Mary Poppins” song, “Chim Chim Cher-ee.” Based on one of the most popular Disney movies of all time and the award-winning Broadway musical, the “Mary Poppins Jr.” adaptation was just released for licensing last year. The beloved character, Bert, takes on the role of narrator as we are introduced to the troubled Banks family in early 20th century England. The part of Bert is played by Wyatt Stensrud, 18, and he was joined on stage by his sisters Emma, 15, and Maddie, 13. This was approximately their fifth production together. The starring role of Mary Poppins is played by the oldest cast member, Lilah Stratton, 18, who—to borrow a line from the show—proves to be “practically perfect in every way.” As a camp counselor by day, it’s not hard to believe the warmth and love she exhibits toward the Banks children. She is no stranger to theater, having performed in a numerous productions throughout her high school career. This was her first opportunity

to work with the Midvale Main Street Theatre, and “working with [the fun and welcoming] cast” was the most memorable part of the experience. Stratton is joined by 20 additional cast members from all over the valley who have always had a love for theater and a desire to act on stage. They agreed that their favorite part about the show was getting to spend time with friends who share the same interests. The youngest member of the cast is Austin, 8, who played the role of Michael Banks. This was his second musical and— along with Stratton—Austin agrees “the tap dancing” proved to be the most challenging part of rehearsing for “Mary Poppins Jr.” However, he loved the catchy and nonsensical verbiage used by the characters. Cassidy Ross, daughter of theatre owner, Tammy Ross, runs the Children’s Program “I started this program five years ago because I did youth theatre growing up.” She said. “I loved it, but I hated having to pay to be in shows. So I wanted to start a program,

where the kids felt like they had to earn their part. It teaches them how it works.” Tammy has owned the theater for about 10 years and produces every show. “The biggest challenge is getting the word out about the theater because we either have to spend our money on great sets and costumes or advertising,” she said. “What we make in each show helps us put on the next show, so we rely on word of mouth. Our first few shows we only had 20–30 people in the audience, but now we have a full theater.” This was the second youth theater production of the 2018 season for the Midvale Main Street Theatre’s Children’s Program. You can find more information about the program, auditions and upcoming productions at midvaletheatre.com. Midvale Main Street Theatre’s next performance will feature an adult cast and adult content. “American Idiot” will run July 12-22. A two-time Tony Award winner, the show is based on Green Day’s Grammy Lilah Stratton, 18, plays Mary Poppins. (Photo courtesy Tammy Ross) Award-winning album. l

Remember these safety tips during fireworks season


ndependence Day is a day (and night) to celebrate the birth of our nation. There’s watching parades, enjoying backyard barbecues and, of course, igniting fireworks. Fireworks. There’s lots of them here, especially with July 24 , Pioneer Day, also being a holiday where fireworks play a major entertainment role. In makes for month full of blasts, bangs, whizzes, and sparkly colors lighting up the dark. But the joys of fireworks come with risks. To avoid accidents (or even death), here’s a few tips to remember as you and neighbors prepare to celebrate your state and country. 1. Recent legislation passed in Utah limits the days of the year allowed to light fireworks. Only light fireworks during those days in accordance with the newly passed law. 2. Check with your city to determine what areas allow fireworks. Cities such as Sandy and Herriman have decreased the areas that permit fireworks. 3. Know your fireworks. Read cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting. 4. Don’t get fancy. While it may be tempting to be creative and construct your own fireworks, the results may not be worth it. Just ask a friend who lost half his hair and needed to wear a hat/bandana for six months to protect his scalp.


5. Responsible adults should not only be present, but should supervise closely. Never give fireworks to small children. 6. Alcohol and fireworks does not make a good cocktail. Save your alcohol for after the show. 7. Light one firework at a time and don’t linger. Fireworks look just as pretty from 30 feet away as they do from five. 8. This one may seem obvious, but fireworks should be shot outside, not inside. 9. Dress appropriately. Loose clothing that can catch fire easily should be left in the drawer, while snugly fitted long sleeves and pants can protect from potential burns. 10. Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby. 11. Never shoot fireworks into metal or glass containers. The ricochet hurts just as

much. 12. Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials. 13. Report illegal explosives. They ruin it for the rest of us. 14. Don’t forget about your pets. Make sure they are securely indoors and have identification tags in case they do escape during a fireworks display. 15. Keep fireworks out of reach where curious children can’t get to them. High heat or damp air can damage the fireworks. The best place to put them is in a cardboard box in a high location such as a cabinet or shelf. 16. Last, but not least, make sure everyone using fireworks has safety glasses or goggles. l

July 2018 | Page 7

UFA fires into the world of podcasts By Aspen Perry | a.perry@mycityjournals.com


hat began as a way to provide more training and internal communication for Unified Fire Authority’s emergency medical services division, has plans to venture into the public outreach realm. “Roll Call Podcast,” was adapted as a forum for various UFA paramedic training options developed when EMS Division Chief Wade Watkins, Captain Layne Hilton, and UFA paramedic, Chris Middlemiss, began bouncing around ideas regarding the annually required training for UFA’s paramedics. “Each year, paramedics need to certify in advanced cardiac life support, and we rotate every other year for pediatric life support,” Watkins said. After some deliberation regarding the best way to get the message of medical director Dr. Kim Roland out to the department, as well as encourage questions, Watkins and Middlemiss felt a podcast offered the best potential to create an open forum dialogue. “I chose a couple street medics and an operations captain, and they could ask any question they wanted to,” Watkins said. “Having the medical director there to interact was phenomenal as far as the communication that happened.” Watkins further explained the level of outreach the podcast format allotted was significant, given the large size of UFA with 640 employees, including 200 paramedics.

“They could methods for sucall hear the why cess, Watkins ex[behind proceplained how the dure], they could podcast forum hear the doctor’s was beneficial as mindset, and then a means for expethe paramedics diting the learncould get answers, ing process for and it worked,” new paramedics. Watkins said. For Watkins, The level of the conversationsuccess reached al style of a podfrom the first atcast also lends to tempt at the poda natural mode of cast led to more learning through possibilities indialogue. cluding case re“I love the views to broaden conversation; it’s the knowledge of easy to [underpositive outcomes stand] a converthroughout the sation where it’s EMS division. OK to be wrong “Let’s say UFA Podcast 1: Roll Call Podcast hosted by UFA EMS Division and learn from paramedics go (Roll Call itunes) [that dialogue],” on a call that renWatkins said. dered good results for a patient,” Watkins said. In addition to “Roll Call” discussing train“We’re going to take those paramedics and talk ing and community issues, UFA has recentto them, so our other practitioners can hear that, ly started exploring micro-learning episodes, embrace it and learn from it.” ranging from 10–15 minutes on topics such as In addition to receiving first hand feed- drug of the month, which could serve as a tool back from division directors, and in-the-field for residents to understand community issues as

much as the intent for UFA education. While the majority of “Roll Call” podcasts at this time are geared toward furthering the education and training of UFA staff, the knowledge can also be used by civilians to better understand why UFA operates as it does today. It also provides lessons on both the successes and challenges facing the men and women charged with saving lives. In preparation for summer, Watkins has plans for a two-part episode covering wild land firefighting, in which he hopes to include not only best practices for local and national firefighters who tune in but also address concerns of the average resident. For individuals who prefer watching interview conversations, Watkins, Lane and Middlemiss recently started filming podcast recordings with a virtual reality camera, so viewers can feel as though they’re in the room and part of the conversation. The VR video recording of the fourth podcast; part 1: CVA, EMS review with 104A, is available to view via YouTube. The “Roll Call” podcast is available for free on iTunes, under the category of “Science & Medicine,” for anyone interested in better familiarizing themselves with UFA happenings.l

Podcasting is where it’s at, especially in Utah By Keyra Kristoffersen | keyrak@mycityjournals.


he Miller Business Center campus of Salt Lake Community College welcomed dozens of presenters and attendees on Saturday, June 2 to celebrate and instruct on podcasting, a type of media that has taken a strong hold throughout Utah. “There’s a cool tradition in Utah of storytelling and coming together to tell each other stories. There’s so much potential for podcasting here but we didn’t really see a coherent podcasting community, there’s little pockets but nothing that’s brought everybody together under one roof,” said Chrisella Sagers Herzog, one of the Utah Podcast Summit’s creators. Herzog is editor-in-chief of WhiteHat Magazine and host of the podcast “Let’s Go Eat” and with network engineer and host of The Fandom Podcast, Brandon Ushio and Bobby Glenn James from the Biz 4 Good show went about gathering successful podcasters and letting aspiring podcasters know that they intended to help them on their journey. “We wanted to really focus on what it takes to create a successful podcast and to connect,” said James. With several addresses and a fireside chat with Ever Gonzales from Outlier, participants could split between beginner and advanced classes such as How to Start a Podcast, Storytelling: Breathe Life into your Brand and quitting your day job by making money with a pod-

Page 8 | July 2018

Q and A session with the hosts of various Utah podcasts, moderated by Chrisella Sagers Herzog. (Keyra Kristoffersen/City Journals)

cast taught by media professionals like Bobby Glenn James, Laura Montoya the digital product owner at Womankind and Chris and Krissie Holifield of I Am Salt Lake podcast. Kathy Dalton of The Happy Camper podcast, which focuses on three core values: explore the world, grow together and give back to humanity, and she and her husband have begun the journey of bringing hope and happiness to others. “I think it’s nice to have that kind of community because let’s be honest we don’t really know what we’re doing,” said Dalton. “I think any time when we can connect with other peo-

ple in a similar space.” Like blogging, podcasting has an audience and a show for everyone. “It doesn’t matter if you are interested in a certain subject of comic books. There other people on the internet interested as well so you can go out and start a podcast, you can find your tribe, you can find your community,” said Ushio. Danielle Bates, a Bountiful resident, found a way to incorporate her writing into a podcast called Pond Town Podcast. Every few months, Bates will record episodes of herself reading a fictional story she has written.

“It’s really hard for me to want to put my writing out there,” said Bates. “This way I’m in control of what I put out there and there’s not so much pressure.” Podcasting has become more popular in the last three years as a new way to get news and entertainment on every subject possible, both local and international, especially for commuters who don’t have time or the ability to read a newspaper or blog post. It’s a media source that allows just about anyone to have their voice heard by others. Major broadcasting groups like Bonneville host podcasts on their sites to widen their market. “Salt Lake is just grown there’s more business grown from Salt Lake to Provo than anywhere else in the U.S. right now and I believe that podcasting has a correlation with that. I think that podcasting is the new marketing,” said Bobby. Sponsors from KSL and other radio sources helped make the event as large as it could be and workshops in live podcasts were held during the classes from shows like Dog and Thimble, The Cultural Hall and The World’s Greatest Comic Book podcast to show the backstage of creating a podcast on air. Groups around Utah have meet-ups to discuss how to be better podcasters and the hosts of the Utah Podcast Summit already have plans for next year’s event. l

Midvale City Journal

Sandy City Youth Council honors outstanding Hillcrest High teachers By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


illcrest High School band director Austin Hilla is in his rookie year teaching for the Huskies, after attending Vanderbilt University then teaching in Houston, Texas. That didn’t stop Sandy City Youth Council member and Hillcrest junior Alex Cheng from honoring him as one of the Council’s outstanding teachers. Neither did the fact that Hilla, who was directing Hillcrest’s concert band and wind symphony at the regional competition, wasn’t able to attend the recognition. “Mr. Hilla really cares about every student’s success, and he is able to connect with his students very well,” said Cheng, who is enrolled in his advanced placement music therapy class. “I have seen him countless times help students one on one, identifying each student’s weakness so he can gear homework and activities for each individual.” Hilla was one of three Hillcrest High School teachers who were recognized at the Council’s 24th annual teacher appreciation dinner. Hilla, as well as language arts teacher Katie Bullock and math teacher Kenneth Herlin, each received a plaque. The event was coordinated by volunteer youth council teacher appreciation dinner coordinator Marsha Millet. “It’s a special night where teachers are being honored by their students,” she said. “For many of these teachers, they have never been honored in years of teaching, and if they have, few have ever been selected by their students who have been directly impacted by their teaching.” The evening’s events included remarks by Utah Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, who recalled how teachers impacted him, she said.

Area teachers were honored by Sandy City Youth Council students for making an impact on their lives. (Photo courtesy of Jessica Arnett)

“He spoke about the importance of honest and good characters and how that is also learned from teachers,” Millet said. The event, which honored 11 teachers and coaches, was supported by four city council members: Steve Fairbanks; Linda Martinez-Saville, Chris McCandless and Zach Robinson. Youth council co-mayor Megan Okumura welcomed teachers, while members Cheng, on piano, and Abby Murri, on violin with her mother accompanying her, provided entertainment. Students paid tribute to their teachers, in-

cluding Okumura, who nominated Bullock. “It is obvious that she wants her students to succeed because she is always willing to give up her time to answer our questions or talk one on one about how we can improve in her class,” she said. “Her motto is ‘I leave no child behind.’” Other area teachers who were recognized included Jordan High’s Brandon Cressall, David Morrill, Carrie Earl and Rachel Hardy; Alta High’s Chad VanOrden; Park Lane Elementary’s Susan Homer; American Preparatory Academy’s Amanda Larsen; and Brighton High’s assistant swim coach Jordan Fletcher.

Okumura said it’s important to honor teachers. “As a future educator myself, I find teachers to be very under-appreciated yet very needed,” she said. “I can thank every teacher I’ve ever had for shaping a part of who I am today because they have such an impact on our lives. It’s important that teachers are recognized not just by their students, but by the city as well to show that all the hard work they’re going does not go unrecognized or unappreciated. Without teachers, our world would be a lot darker place.” l

RizePoint awards Midvale Middle student coding camp scholarship


riselda Hernandez has two children attending schools in Midvale and knows it’s important to keep them active this summer. “My son plays soccer, and my daughter is always active,” said the mom that participates in Zumba. “It’s important to be healthy.” That is part of the reason Hernandez took part in the annual Sombrero Walk, where about 40 participants — parents and young kids — recently walked from Midvale Elementary to Copperview Elementary and back. “It’s a great way to meet new people and be involved in some amazing activities with the schools,” she said. The walk, which included participants from East Midvale, Midvale, Sandy and Copperview Family Learning Centers, also featured Renato Olmedo, the community affairs representative from the Mexican consultant who spoke to the crowd about the importance of healthy choices. “Education is important, and so is your


By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com health,” he said. “A lot of our food gives us really high blood pressure as we use a lot of salt and sugar. We need to change the way we cook, and we need to encourage our community to get out and exercise. Go outside. Go hiking. We’re only 20 minutes away from the mountains. Or go ride a bike — always with your helmet — and encourage your kids to get off Nintendo, websites and YouTube.” Family Learning Center Specialist Mirna Lundquist, who organized the walk, said she encourages her kids to walk five times around the block or shoot 50 baskets or goals every day. “We want to just get everyone to be exercising this summer and be active,” she said, adding that it is called a Sombrero Walk as to stress the importance of wearing hats with the summer sun. “Everyone is wearing a hat, as too much sun isn’t healthy.” Olmedo also stressed the importance of sunscreen, drinking water instead of soda and

the need for health insurance. “It’s part of our outreach so people know the opportunities there are in our community and can get the help they need for health and education,” he said, adding that with language and cultural barriers it’s good that this event engages and educates the community. He said Ventanilla de Salud is a health outreach for anyone, which is available at the consultant’s office, 660 South 200 East, near the downtown Salt Lake City library. Copperview Community School Facilitator Jenna Landward also said nearby Copperview Recreation Center has several summer activities for families offers financial scholarships as well as have a medical clinic and food bank for the community. The Family Learning Centers offer free community classes in English, computers, financial literacy, citizenship, healthy relationships, ukulele and other subjects. l

Midvale Middle School seventh-grader Michael Chen translated in Chinese for RizePoint CEO Frank Maylett a congratulatory message of Michael’s scholarship to his grandmother in the audience. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

July 2018 | Page 9

Canyons School District students able to check out online books By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com

Canyons School District held its kick off for online book service simultaneously throughout the District with the visit of the OverDrive bookmobile at Lone Peak Elementary. (Julie Slama/City Journals)


his summer, getting in reading hours or books assigned for honors classes may be easier for stu-dents, thanks to Canyons School District adding OverDrive online book service. The service will provide digital e-book collection of classroom titles and audiobooks as well as books for pleasure, said Canyons Library Media Specialist Jim Wilson. “Students can have access to their (reading) level and below,” he said. “We will have titles appropri-ate for up through high school.” For Midvale Middle School students, librarian Brenda Anderson hopes that will include a greater se-lection of books in languages for native language speakers. “We want to serve all our population and find books appropriate for our students, so I’m hoping this will offer more titles in languages,” she said. Anderson said initially Midvale Middle administrators didn’t want to add e-books, as not every stu-dent had an electronic device or reader. “We wanted to be fair to all our students, but we’ve become a global world, and we can’t pretend technology isn’t part of education,” she said. “This makes sense, as now we’re sharing the same

Page 10 | July 2018

books throughout the district for all our students.” Canyons held its kick-off simultaneously throughout the district with the visit of the OverDrive bookmobile at Lone Peak Elementary in early May. “It showed us what was new, including the bookmobile itself; it’s a digital bookmobile with a large screen and stations to look up ebooks, not the bookmobile many of us knew in our past,” Wilson said. In the bookmobile, which is just used as a promotional tool for libraries across the United States and Canada, a class of first-graders was learning that it could highlight words as students read along with e-books as demonstrated by Lauren Bajda, OverDrive digital media events specialist. Other features she showed students included clicking and holding on a word to find its definition, highlighting a section and then being able to write notes about it, customizing the book for font, point size and background color. “If you come back to check out the book again, it will remember your settings, the page you’re on and still have the notes available,” Bajda said. “It’s awesome to have reading available 24/7 so stu-dents

can read all summer and will never have late fees nor will any book be damaged. It’s a com-plement to physical books.” Bajda said Canyons sets up its filters, from allowing students to check out three titles for two weeks, to currently focusing on e-books rather than videos or music. Wilson said startup costs are more than $20,000, but students will have access to thousands of titles. Currently, Salt Lake City, Jordan, Granite, Davis and Weber school districts and Brigham Young University as well as Salt Lake County and Murray libraries also use OverDrive. “About 98 percent of public libraries use OverDrive,” Bajda said, adding it began in 1986. Anderson compares OverDrive and libraries to a microwave and an oven. “Many of us have a microwave as well as an oven,” she said. “An oven can cook everything and serve our purpose. However, we love our microwaves and how fast we can prepare food. We still have our ovens and we aren’t doing away with them. With OverDrive and ebooks, we can read faster off digital print, but we are going to maintain our traditional library collections.” l

Midvale City Journal

In The Middle of Everything


City Hall – 7505 South Holden Street • Midvale, UT 84047 MIDVALE CITY DIRECTORY City Hall Finance/Utilities Court City Attorney’s Office City Recorder/Human Resources Community Development Public Works Ace Disposal/Recycling City Museum Midvale Senior Center SL County Animal Services Midvale Precinct UPD Police Dispatch Unified Fire Authority Fire Dispatch Communications

801-567-7200 801-567-1736 801-255-4234 801-567-7250 801-567-7228 801-567-7211 801-567-7235 801-363-9995 801-569-8040 385-468-3350 385-468-7387 385-468-9350 801-743-7000 801-743-7200 801-840-4000 801-567-7230

MIDVALE CITY ELECTED OFFICIALS MAYOR Robert Hale Email: Rhale@midvale.com


CITY COUNCIL District 1 - Quinn Sperry Email: qsperry@midvale.com District 2 - Paul Glover Email: pglover@midvale.com District 3 - Paul Hunt Email: phunt@midvale.com District 4 - Bryant Brown Email: bbrown@midvale.com District 5 - Dustin Gettel Email: dgettel@midvale.com

Neighborhood Block Parties Why sit in front of a tele screen when there are so many cultural, family, and neighborly things to do? This is one of the best seasons to get to know your neighbors. Start organizing today to set up a central location close to your home where you and your neighbors can have a potluck dinner in early August. Neighborhood block parties are widely celebrated throughout Midvale. These community-building evenings really bring people together. Neighborhood Block parties are made up of a wide range of creativity ranging from simple neighborhood meetings to large neighborhood dinners with live entertainment. Some groups choose to close a neighborhood street while others hold events in a neighbor’s yard. It does not require a large amount of money to make an event a success; many groups have pot-luck events where everyone in the neighborhood brings a favorite dish to share. You can request the Unified Police Department, Unified Fire Authority, City Council and myself to attend the block parties to learn more about the services we offer - you are paying for them to be at the ready in case you need their help! – and to entertain the children with the red/blue lights and the sirens.

just over $43 million. On June 19, the City Council voted unanimously to approve the three elements of the budget: General Fund, Redevelopment Agency and the Municipal Building Authority. Department heads and city senior management are always evaluating how they spend the valuable tax dollars of our citizens. They are constantly improving efficiencies, training city employees on how to serve the citizens and businesses better, and assisting families and developers to plan and create the best and safest structures possible within the constraints of the building codes adopted by the City Council. Harvest Days Harvest Days is just around the corner! We are looking for volunteers that would like to help during the festival on Saturday, August 11. Visit www.MidvaleHarvestDays.com to learn about the exciting festivities that will be offered. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Laura Magness at 801-567-7230 or Lmagness@midvale.com. Have a Happy and Safe Summer!

Vendors Sought for Midvale City Harvest Days Event FREE Vendor Space Now Available 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 385-468-9769

EMERGENCY OR DISASTER CONTACT Public Works Fire Dispatch – Unified Fire Authority Midvale Police Precinct or Police Dispatch Unified Police Department EMERGENCY

By Mayor Robert Hale

Midvale City Budget Our City Fathers have passed the Fiscal Year 2019 Budget totaling

WHO TO CALL FOR… Water Bills Ordering A New Trash Can Reserving the Bowery Permits GRAMA requests Court Paying For Traffic School Business Licensing Property Questions Cemetery Water Line Breaks Planning and Zoning Building Inspections Code Enforcement North of 7200 S Code Enforcement South of 7200 S Graffiti

The Heart of the Matter

JULY 2018

801-567-7235 801-840-4000 801-468-9350 801-743-7000


The Midvale City Harvest Days Committee invites vendors to participate in the annual Harvest Days Festival which will take place on Saturday, August 11 at Midvale City Park. Harvest Days is an honored tradition that brings a fun-filled day that residents look forward to every year. Country music artists the Bellamy Brothers will headline the free evening entertainment. The Bellamy Brothers are best known for their easy rolling, 70’s Southern soft rock classic “Let Your Love Flow” and are the most successful duo in country music history. In addition to free live entertainment, fireworks, parade, pancake breakfast and activities, Midvale Harvest Days provides a venue for area merchants, artists, and home crafters to display and sell their products in a family oriented atmosphere. “We are very interested in expanding our vendor booths to go along with our incredible entertainment line-up,” Harvest Day Committee Chair Laura Magness said. “We welcome informational booths, non-profit agencies, arts and crafts products, as well as those that offer on-site services.” Vendors can participate FREE OF CHARGE. However, we will require a $50 refundable deposit and vendors are required to provide

their own tent, tables and chairs. Prospective vendors can visit the Harvest Days website (www.MidvaleHarvestDays.com) to download an application or contact Laura Magness at 801-567-7230 or Lmagness@midvale.com. Spaces fill up quickly. So, please submit your application as soon as possible.

In The Middle of Everything Community Council By Community Council Chair Andrew Stoddard This past month we had the honor of recognizing a longtime member of the Community Council, Floyd Tarbet. He spent over twenty years as a member of the Council and has done, and continues to do, amazing things for the residents of this City. We presented him with a fantastic looking trophy from local business The Trophy Case, and it was my pleasure to present it to him. People like Floyd are what makes this community great, people who care about their community and want to make it a better place. I love Midvale and I love the people of Midvale. That is why I joined the Community Council. If you feel the same way, come join us. Our next meeting is July 11th (the second Wednesday this month because of the holiday) at 7:00 p.m. at City Hall. We will have a fantastic program and will be able to hear from our police chief and elected officials.

Fireworks & Your Pet Do you and your dog dread the sound of fireworks echoing in the neighborhood? Utah has an extra-long fireworks season. Residents can legally set off fireworks 2 days before, and 1 day after the 4th of July and the 24th of July. For dogs (and cats) this can be very stressful. During July, Salt Lake County Animal Services sees an increase in lost pet’s due to the number of pets who escape from their homes or yards because of the noisy fireworks. Here are a few tips to make sure your pet stays safe this July during this celebratory time for our state. 1. Be sure your pet is wearing their ID tag and that their information is up-to date. 2. Keep windows and doors closed, we often hear of pets breaking out screens when they get scared. 3. Leave your pet at home when you head out to the fireworks display. They would prefer to be at home with a tasty treat or food puzzle. 4. Provide a safe place for them to retreat (hide) when the fireworks start going off. Close bedroom doors to prevent them from getting stuck under beds. Take them to the basement, turn on some mellow music, and snuggle with them. 5. Take your dog for a walk earlier in the day before the fireworks start going off. If you find a lost pet, contact Animal Control Dispatch at 801-743-7045 to have an officer come get the animal. Or bring it to Salt Lake County Animal Services at 511 W 3900 S, SLC, 84123. Shelter hours are Monday – Saturday, from 10 AM – 6 PM. Animal Services is closed Sundays and will be closed July 4 and July 24. Is your pet lost? Check the “Lost Pets” section of AdoptUtahPets.com for your animal or come into the shelter during open hours to look for them.

WWW . MIDVALECITY . ORG Purge the Surge

Myrtle spurge, Euphorbia myrsinites, is a mounding perennial with long trailing stems and chartreuse bracts that house inconspicuous flowers. Most identifiable are the thick succulent, blue green triangular shaped leaves that exude thick white milky sap. In the early spring, the eastern foothills of Salt Lake County are dominated with this escaped ornamental. Although, not a new invader to Salt Lake County, it is prevalent in gardens and landscapes throughout the valley. Efforts are underway to limit its spread into our open spaces and natural lands through community education and stewardship, and you can help too by removing it from your landscape. Myrtle spurge started out as a pretty ornamental touted for its unique flowers and drought resistance. However, after being widely sold at garden centers and traded by neighbors, plant populations reached a critical level within the watershed, and it quickly jumped the fence and began spreading into natural areas. Its’ ability to displace native plants due to its aggressive matlike growth habit and prolific seed production, is only the precursor to its worst attribute. Toxic milky sap. All parts of the plant contain white milky latex laden with phototoxic properties that cause mild to severe contact dermatitis ranging from a mild rash to blisters needing medical care. Severity of the dermatitis seems to be related to the length of time the sap remains on the skin before it is washed off (Dermatitis, Spoerke and Temple, January 1979). So how can you help stop the spread of this biological wildfire and keep it from impacting you and your family? Get to know myrtle spurge and its identifying features. Check out Salt Lake County Noxious Weed Control website at www.slco.org/weeds for a downloadable factsheet that you can share with neighbors and friends. How can you spot this county noxious weed? Look for these key identifying features: • Flowers: Inconspicuous flowers with showy yellow bracts. • Seeds / Roots: Plants spread primarily by seed and are capable of projecting seed up to 15 feet. • Leaves: Blue-green triangular shaped leaves with white milky latex. • Flowering Time: March- May What can you do about it? • Purge your Spurge! Encourage neighbors and friends to do their part and control infestations on private land: • For mature plants, hand pulling/digging in early spring before seed production is the most effective form of control for small infestations. • Warning!!! Care should be taken to prevent the plant’s sap from contacting your skin or eyes as it can cause severe irritation. It is recommended that one wear long sleeves, pants, gloves, and protective eyewear when removing it. • Disposing of all plants parts in the trash is crucial, as pulled plants with seed pods left on the ground can still produce viable seed. • For large infestations, and when digging is not possible, spraying in the spring and fall with an approved herbicide is an effective form of control in specific circumstances. Talk with your county weed supervisor for more specific information related to your site conditions and always follow the label. • Participate in community weed pulls or start your own! Groups such as Urban Habitat, Cottonwood Canyons Foundation, or Salt Lake City Parks and Open Space annually hold weed pull events focused on removing myrtle spurge and other noxious weeds from our Public Lands. For more information contact Sage Fitch, Salt Lake County Noxious Weed Supervisor at sfitch@slco.org.


Protect Children and Pets From Overheating in Vehicles This Summer With temperatures rising, it is important to remember we cannot leave children and pets unattended in vehicles. • In the first 20 minutes a vehicle is turned off and left in the heat, almost 70% of the heating occurs. So even leaving children and pets in a car for a short duration is dangerous. • Cracking windows does very little to help with this. • During days where temperatures are as low as 80 degrees, interior temperatures can climb as high as 123 degrees in less than an hour. • Dark objects inside a car can reach temperatures close to 200 degrees. • Complicating this is the fact that children’s thermoregulatory systems are not as efficient as an adult’s and their body temperatures warm at a rate of 3 to 5 times faster than an adult. • Only 18% of children who die in a hot vehicle are left there intentionally.

• To prevent this, we suggest getting in the habit of looking in the back seat before leaving and locking your vehicles. Practice this until it becomes habit, to lessen the likelihood of leaving your pet or child in the car on accident. OTHER STATS: • 87% of children who die are 3 years old or younger • 54% are forgotten in a vehicle • 27% are playing in an unattended vehicle

Identity Theft The loss of identity is considered one of the fastest-growing crimes in the United States. As of July 25, 2017, there have been 858 breaches, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center, exposing 16.4 million records. Here are some warning signs that your identity has been stolen according to IdentityTheft.gov: • You see withdrawals from your bank account that you can’t explain • You don’t receive your bills or other mail • Merchants refuse your checks • Debt collectors call you about debts that aren’t yours • You find unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report • Medical providers bill you for services you didn’t use • Your health plan rejects your legitimate medical claim because the records show you’ve reached your benefits limit • A health plan won’t cover you because your medical records show a condition you don’t have • The IRS notifies you that more than one tax return was filed in your name, or that you have income from an employer you don’t work for • You receive notice that your information was compromised by a data breach at a company where you do business or have an account Protecting your online identity • Many of us have some type of online presence. Whether it be social media, online shopping or online banking, be careful about the information you share online. Personal information such as address, work history, hometown, date of birth, relationship status, pet names, interests or hobbies can be used to access other accounts. Set your privacy settings to the highest level of security. • It is best practice to follow these common suggestions to ensure accounts, such as health portals, banks accounts, shopping sites, are secured: • Use complex passwords for your accounts • Do not use the same password for all of your accounts • Consider using a phrase specific to you while avoiding common phrases • Include special characters, spaces, upper and lower-case letters, and numbers • The longer the password, the harder it is to gain access to your account • Ensure antivirus software is installed, running, and up-to-date • Always keep firewalls turned on Visit sites which are trusted or are verified with this emblem: • Avoid public or open WiFi networks. • Do not click on links in email, from Facebook, or from any other social media or messenger app which is asking you to do something out of the norm, especially if the wording contains misspellings or grammatical errors

In The Middle of Everything

WWW . MIDVALECITY . ORG Call for Artists – Main Street Art Walk

Midvale City is seeking artists in visual arts to feature at our Main Street Art Walk Wednesday, August 8 at 5:30 p.m. All artists are welcome to submit applications. Applications should be submitted by July 27. Selected artists will be contacted by July 31. Selected artists will be invited to display and sell their art inside one of the downtown Main Street businesses on August 8. There is no fee to apply or participate. Merchants, volunteers, and others are welcome to help in our planning. If you are interested or have questions, please send an email to Lmagness@midvale.com.

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

Film festival teaches life techniques for students By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


hen Quail Hollow fifth-grader Owen Christensen was younger, he watched his school’s video announcements. “The more I watched the morning announcements, the more I loved them and knew I wanted to help,” he said. Little did Owen know that this year, when he got to be part of the news team, Quail Hollow would win its third straight Canyons Film Festival for best elementary newscast. The ninth annual film festival offers students to submit films they create individually or in teams in nine categories: public service announcement, feature, animation, documentary and newscast. There is a teacher category as well as American Graduate news story and public service announcement categories and the annual film festival poster contest. Katie Blunt , district education technology specialist, has said that through filmmaking, students learn skills such as organization and literacy. “The students start with brainstorming, turn their idea in to a story with a story board and screen play; they write, they research, they synthesize the information to learn how best to communicate their message,” she said. “It’s a group project, they learn how to collaborate. These are skills that translate into the classroom as well as into the real world.” Through the process, students learn not only how to create their film, but also how to edit and revise. “Students learn how to do revisions just like they may have to with a writing assignment in school. We see improvements in films from year to year,” said Blunt, who is the project lead of the film festival. At Quail Hollow, a dozen student council members, under fifth-grade teacher and student council adviser Nicholas Heinz, are responsible for the weekly announcements. Their equipment is basic: a green piece of fabric for their green screen, microphone and lights purchased off Amazon, an older computer that wasn’t being used in the computer lab for editing and a point-and-shoot camera to film. Fifth-grade member Avery Cornia has learned filming techniques such as using different camera angles for the perfect shots. However, Avery also wanted to add more to the newscasts and learned stop motion through the firealpaca app. “When I joined the morning announcements, I wanted to add new things, such as stop motion animation,” Avery said. “I had done some coding, but I didn’t know how to do stop motion.” Stop motion, a skit for the word of the week and a decisive theme are some of the distinguishable features of their winning newscast, classmate Brady Deeds said. “We tried to make it our best,” Brady said. “We talked about themes and when we planned it out and when it was time to film, we even dressed up as if it were the ‘80s with people on



Other film festival winners in newscast include Union Middle School and Jordan High School. Public Service Announcements Winners:

Quail Hollow’s student council won its third straight Canyons School District’s Film Festival award for best elementary newscast. (Photo courtesy of Quail Hollow Elementary)

Darius Potupchik and Brandy Zarate, Midvale Elementary; Katie Ritter and Tiana Keetch, Indian Hills Middle; and Emily Erickson, Hillcrest High.

Animation Winners:

Lizzie Crockett, Peruvian Park Elementary; Lucie Packer and Ellie Pinnock, Draper Park Middle; and Justie Marinez, Corner Canyon High.

Documentary Winners:

Anna Sokol and Izzibelle Hansen, Sprucewood Elementary; Makena Lelepali, Midvale Middle; and Colton Ebert, Caleb Christiansen, Chris Moore, Tyler Kimball, Dallin Nowotny, David Thayne and Ethan Crittenden, Entrada High Draper Campus.

Feature Film Winners:

Canyons School District’s ninth annual film festival allows students to submit films they create individually or in teams in public service announcement, feature, animation, documentary and newscast. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

the set being nerds, cheerleaders and business (leaders).” Avery, who dressed like a hippie, said more jokes were added this year to keep viewers attention. Brady said that when they introduced the word of the week, they created a skit to better illustrate how to use the word in a sentence. “In the past, others said the word straight up, but we tried to make ours funny.” Owen said those improvements have helped the newscast. “We watched previous years’ newscasts and knew that we wanted to make ours worthwhile, but also ‘funner’ so we had the anchor spice it up so those who were watching had fun too,” he said. Being on the news team has helped the students. Avery, who said it has helped with giving oral presentations, now wants to continue filmmaking next year in middle school and wants to start an audiovisual club.

Brady said that by working on the newscasts before school it will help him be on time for middle school, which has an earlier school bell. He also said it has given him confidence. “I used to be very scared to talk in front of people when I was younger. Now I can get up in front of people without that fear,” he said. Owen said he has made lots of friends through the news team. “I’ve gotten to know people, both on the newscast and those around school, and I have really enjoyed learning how to film,” he said. Canyons Board of Education member Steve Wrigley, who applauded the winners of the film festival, said that the festival gives students opportunities. “They’re learning new skills that will be useful to them in school and life,” he said, adding that he and his wife have created some videos for Willow Canyon as well as other films. “It’s great for these kids to be recognized for their creative talents. We applaud those who are talented in the arts.”l

Burke Gehret, Crescent Elementary; Sarah Newman, Jacob Thomsen, Katie Kosk and Paisley Reber, Eastmont Middle; and Parker Olsen, Jaxson Wilde, Brady Jorgenson and Cate Gillingham, Brighton High.

Teacher Best Film Winner:

Wade Harman, of Entrada High Draper Campus, won the teacher best film with “The Wood Shaper — A Story of Lifelong Learning.”

The American Graduate News Story Winners:

Colton Ebert, Caleb Christiansen, Chris Moore, Tyler Kimball, Dallin Nowotny, David Thayne and Ethan Crittenden, Entrada High Draper Campus; and the American Graduate public service announcement winners were from Midvale Elementary. Poster Design Contest Winner: Jake Wixom from Draper Park Middle

July 2018 | Page 15

Page 16 | July 2018

Midvale City Journal

New path set for Hillcrest sports teams By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


his year marks a year of firsts for Hillcrest High athletics. It’s a year where the ground was broken for the first athletic fieldhouse as part of the entire school rebuild. It’s a year when several new coaches are being hired to coach the Husky student-athletes. And it’s a year when an athletic administrative team of Sally Williams and Joshua Griffel will replace the current athletic director. Hillcrest Athletic Director John Olsen isn’t going far — just down the hall, in fact — but he also will be new to the position of international baccaulerate director at the school. “I’ve coached and been the AD during my 12 years here and have been in the classroom and on the field and court for the students,” he said. “But it was during my son’s wrestling match that I realized I want to be more involved in his and my daughter’s athletic careers.” Olsen has been a part of the cross country, track, basketball and Unified soccer coaching teams, advised the Latinos in Action, taught classes and has been the athletic director for the past four years. “I’ve been involved in athletics my whole life, and I’ve liked talking to the students outside of the field and court about their games or meets. I’ve had a lot of proud moments as a coach,” he said, adding that a highlight was the 2007 cross country season, his first as head coach, where the boys team beat Brighton High by one point to advance to state after 11 years of not qualifying. Another highlight was hiring Cazzie Brown, Hillcrest’s head football coach, who unexpectedly died at the beginning of last fall. “He was a good friend and breath of fresh air here. He was the right fit for our football program — and helped lead all our students,” Olsen said. Olsen said that the athletic teams are doing well, with the boys’ varsity basketball team reaching the final four last year, and this year, the sophomore boys’ basketball team finished 18-1 (under Olsen himself). This past year, the Hillcrest boys basketball team won 11 region championships after being moved to 6A. “I’m not walking away completely, but I just won’t be at as many events,” he said. “I’ll still keep track of what’s going on. I can’t quit cold turkey,.”. Olsen will step down from his coaching duties — at least for now — after taking members of the school’s state champion division II and runner-up division I unified soccer team to represent Utah at the USA Special Olympic Games this July in Seattle. His next step is to build the IB program, which currently involves about 115 juniors and seniors. “I’ve been around the IB program since the 1980s, so I’m familiar with it,” said Olsen, who also has taught IB Spanish. “I want to see more students be involved in it and have it be a posi-


John Olsen, pictured here coaching the 2012 cross country team, will step down from the athletic director position in July to allow the team of Sally Williams and Joshua Griffel to oversee Hillcrest’s sports teams.

tive path for them.” That positivity is part of what Principal Greg Leavitt also wants for the IB program. “John Olsen has been the man that is able to pull so many parts of HHS together,” he said. “Teachers, students and parents all respect his fairness to students and the many activities he coordinates. John is a student advocate wanting all students to succeed to their highest capacity.” Head cross country and track coach Scott Stucki said that he has appreciated Olsen as AD and looks forward to working with Williams and Griffel. “I will miss working closely with John,” he said. “We started coaching together in 2007.” Senior cross country and track runner and jumper Grace Cobabe will fondly remember Olson’s support. “I am grateful to our athletic director, coach Olson, who would always announce and cheer us on at home meets and our region championships,” she said. Teacher Sam Richins, who just recently stepped down as head boys basketball coach, said he believes under the new ADs, the “boys basketball team will continue to get to the tourney to find success.” The boys’ basketball team will fall under Griffel’s responsibilities along with swimming, golf, football, baseball, wrestling, boys’ soccer and unified soccer. Williams will be over tennis, track, volleyball, girls’ soccer, girls’ basketball, softball, cross country, drill and support cheer. Scott Carroll will assist both ADs. “I’m excited for the new field house and facilities we’ll have across the board for our athletic teams,” said Griffel, who not only has taught social studies, but has been on the school’s football coaching staff and been a

student government adviser. “John Olsen has set the bar really high, and I want to keep on building upon our successes and support our programs. I’m here to listen, understand, communicate and support our students and address any issues.” He also wants to continue to emphasize Brown’s unifying motto: “One pack, one goal.” “I want us to envision that, not just be individuals in sports, but as an athletic department and as a school,” Griffel said. “Our field house will be part of that. It will help our PE department with classes, but also it will be an indoor facility for many spring sports and have additional space for our winter sports. It will be a facility to rival any in the state.” In the meantime, Williams, who has been Hillcrest’s volleyball coach in the past and has been on the coaching staff for girls basketball and softball at Woods Cross High, said that they are working with Olsen to identify neighborhood fields and courts for the fall sports. Many of the school’s current athletic fields are being torn up to make room for the new facility, which has plans for an indoor track, a full-size soccer field and two gymnasiums, should be completed in the fall of 2020. “I think the new field house really will get kids excited and motivate them to be athletes,” she said. “It will modernize our facilities and create a positive atmosphere.” Williams said she also would like to build the school’s weight training program so as a result, students are learning how to prevent injuries rather than recovering from them. She’d also like to see student-athletes learn to build confidence, develop a stronger mental state and become school leaders. “I’m excited for our student-athletes at Hillcrest,” she said. “It’s a bright future.” l

July 2018 | Page 17

Midvalley still looking good at 60 By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


omeone wants to know about Midvalley Elementary, just ask Jim Sheeley. As head custodian for the past 35 years, he knows a thing or two about operating the school. If someone wants to know about the Midvalley’s instruction and activities through those years, talk to Joyce Bedont, a retired teacher who hasn’t left the beloved school as she has substituted, advised student council and most recently, planned the school’s anniversary celebration. As usual, these two long-term dedicated individuals ensured Midvalley’s 60th anniversary, that was coupled with culture night, ran smoothly — right down to last-minute items of getting some zip ties to mount the newly unveiled logo banner on the school fence and retrieving an extra extension cord for the music that was played as each grade twirled and spun to a different country’s traditional dance. Leading up to the May 30 event, which attracted neighbors as well as current and former students, teachers and principals, students in each grade learned and practiced their dance that was performed between raindrops outside on the pavement. Aimee Fisher’s second-grade daughter, Lila, was part of a line dance to “Cotton-Eye Joe,” and her fifth-grader, Lola, performed “The Hustle” with her grade. Although Fisher has been pleased with the school, her family was looking forward to a new school with air conditioning, more computers and additional playground equipment, which could be part of the plan as the community approved a $283 million tax-neutral bond to modernize and upgrade Canyons School District schools, including rebuilding Midvalley Elementary School. That being the case, the celebration indirectly was, in a way, a farewell. District officials haven’t yet determined the date to break ground for the new school, said Canyons Board of Education member Mont Millerberg, who had five of his six children attend the school and currently has a grandson, kindergartner Calvin Millerberg, attending Midvalley. Millerberg saw Calvin take part in a traditional Mexican dance with his grade, along with his son, Cordell, who attended Midvalley in the late 1980s and early 1990s. “The portables in the back are gone, as is the playground that was here when I was in kindergarten,” he said. “I saw Mrs. (Carrolyn) McCann’s bench (a buddy bench placed in the playground 2016 in honor of the former thirdgrade teacher) and said hi to my first-grade teacher Mrs. Bedont, who is a friend for life.” Bedont, who has worked at the school under seven of the school’s 12 principals, was looking through some school memory books she retrieved from behind the school stage. “They were dusty, even after we had gotten them out 10 years ago for our 50th,” she said, then pointed out how hairstyles and clothing

Page 18 | July 2018

changed in the books through the years. “Watch how my hair changes from strawberry blonde hair (in the 1966 yearbook) to how it looks (silvery white) today. I taught for 35 years and have loved being around children, watching them learn.” Families took a break from looking at the yearbooks to eat birthday cake and mingle with former principals, including the most recent, Jeff Nalwalker, who now is Butler Elementary’s principal. “It’s fun to be back,” he said. “I love these kids and all the diversity this school offers. There always was some fun in amongst the learning here.” Some moments of fun are what former Midvalley first-grade teacher Stephanie Cobabe and her former Midvalley daughter, now recent Hillcrest High School graduate, Grace, recalled when they came to the anniversary celebration. Grace said one of her favorite memories was making root beer in fifth grade as part of an end-of-the-year science project. Her mother had another one. “Grace had a broken foot, so she had a scooter to get around school, and Mr. Nalwalker took it from her and raced it down the hall,” Stephanie Cobabe laughed. “We’ve appreciated that this always has been a community school, with huge numbers of families coming to support activities.” Current Principal Tamra Baker said this event fell in line with other large turnouts. “We anticipate it will be the last big 0-ending birthday celebration here at this school, so we thought it would be fun to combine it with our community tradition of culture night,” Baker said. “A lot of members of our community have been excited to see former teachers and principals and we also are gearing up for the changes ahead.” Part of the new vision for the school included the unveiling of the new logo of Shasta, Midvalley’s junior Husky, that was designed by Canyons School District graphic designer Jeff Olson. “I gave it a more modern and realistic look and hope it will last the Junior Huskies another 60 years,” he said. Baker, who has been meeting regularly with community members to get a vision for the new school, likens it to before 1958, when “those community members sat around a table and dreamed what this school would be like.” Although some things have changed with time, she said. For example, in the school’s second year, Baker said according to school mimeographs, deer hides were salted and brought to Midvalley after the fall break to sell as a schoolwide fundraiser. “I don’t see that happening anymore,” she laughed. The school has undergone some change through the years, including constructing a third- and fourth-grade wing in the 1970s and, in the 1980s, putting in seven classrooms that

Principal Tamra Baker, with Shasta by her side, has the unveiling of the new Midvalley mascot showcased at the Midvalley 60th anniversary and cultural night. (Julie Slama/City Journals)City Journals)

now house second grade, Head Start, a computer lab, Brain Boosters room and the copy room. “There has been a lot of change, but through it all, it has been a very child-centered school,” Baker said. Although the infrastructure has been in place since the 1980s, other parts of the school have changed, said the head custodian, who between him, George James and Marvin Burton, have been the three who have serviced the school since it opened. Sheeley, who had watered the saplings in front of the school entrance with a 5-gallon bucket since there were no sprinklers, has watched them grow into mature trees — as well as acknowledged there now is a sprinkler system. He has constantly fought rusted galvanized pipes, refinished floors removing “20 years of built-up wax” until carpeting went in and nursed the “Great Dragon,” a nickname given to the school’s boiler, until it finally quit in 2015. “We’ve had steam and water leaks, replaced tile, dealt with asbestos and even found a tin can of crackers dated back to 1965 in the bomb shelter,” he said. “I’ve been here through earthquakes, and she moans a little, but she doesn’t shake. This building is like a good ol’ friend.” Co-worker Rick Balser said Sheeley “knows every brick in the building.” Still, even though he can make about everything work smoothly in the building — and claims it can last another 10 years—his favorite part isn’t the school, but it is interacting with the students. “I was recently in Head Start and was taking part in show and tell,” Sheeley said. “I

Former Midvalley teacher and student council adviser Joyce Bedont knows much about Midvalley after she instructed students for 35 years and volunteered many years after her “retirement.” (Julie Slama/City Journals)

showed them some tools and my keys and told them they could help take care of the school by picking up after themselves. I thought that was it; then they sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to me, and that got me. This is a great school.” l

Midvale City Journal

Hillcrest track team wins region title, athletes place in top 10 at state By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


or four years, Hillcrest High School long distance runner Justin Canals could be found hitting the pavement, getting miles in for his cross country and track seasons. The former soccer player turned to running after a successful freshman cross country season and finished his senior season, running both the 1600 meters and his favorite race — the 3200 meters — to help lead the Hillcrest Huskies at the state championship at Brigham Young University. “I think that my greatest accomplishment this year was helping my team win the region title,” he said. “My best accomplishment from my four years was being on the varsity team and competing at the region meet every year.” That also included running the 4x400 relay, which Canals said, “I never thought I was going to be running the 4x400 meter relay as many times as I did, but in the end I was happy to contribute to the team any way that I could.” Hillcrest High’s track and field team won the boys’ and girls’ Region 2 titles despite moving from 4A to 6A. “Moving to 6A didn’t matter much,” head track coach Scott Stucki said. “We won almost every event.” They won enough events that the boys won Region 2 by 49 points, and the girls won by 86 points. Both teams qualified numerous athletes to compete at the state championship. Canals

Hillcrest senior hurdlers Madeline Martin and Grace Cobabe share the podium after the 100-meter hurdles at the state meet. (Stephanie Cobabe/Hillcrest High)


said state is his favorite meet. “It’s a honor to be able to compete with the best athletes in the state and to qualify to compete puts you in that category,” said Canals, who also has participated against top Western U.S. athletes at the Footlocker cross country meet in California and the Simplot Games track meet in Idaho. “I have learned to work hard and have dedication in order to get the results that I want. Having a good work ethic is definitely a strength that goes between each sport. If you don’t work hard then you’re not going to improve as much.” At state, Canals’ teammate, junior Zac Hastings, finished eighth in the 800 meters and ninth in the 1600 to help lead the boys’ team to an overall 16th place finish. “Zac ran the best race ever, and it was unexpected that he placed so well, but overall, our boys did not have as much depth as we needed,” said Stucki, who also coaches the cross country teams in the fall. “Our distance team will be strong next year. I have a group of sophomores and a freshman, who as a team, with Zac, in cross country, should place in the top five at state.” Stucki also was impressed with Huskies’ junior James Reich and senior Keala Mahe, who placed sixth and seventh, respectively, in shot put. Mahe also placed 10th in discus. “Keala is a good leader who keeps others grounded,” Stucki said. “I’ll miss Alex (Cordova)’s speed (12th place, 100 meters) and Justin’s leadership. Justin has the ability to run an even pace and lead others with him.” Canals’ fellow seniors Madeline Martin and Grace Cobabe, took third and fifth, respectively, in the 100-meter hurdles, and Martin took fourth in the 300-meter hurdles to lead the girls’ team to an overall 11th-place finish, just one point out of the top 10. “State went almost as well as I expected,” Stucki said. “Our girls’ relays went better than I expected, and we had quite a few kids get their PRs (personal records).” The 4x100 girls’ relay of Martin, Cobabe, senior Olivia Finlayson and sophomore Morgan Miller placed seventh, as did the sprint medley team of Martin, Miller, senior Madison Hooper and junior Amelia Slama-Catron. The last four members also placed fifth in the 4x400 relay. Individually, Hooper placed ninth in the 400 meters. “Our 4x100 ran a faster time this year than last year, and our medley team ran the second-fastest time in school history, and the 4x400, the fifth-fastest time in our history,” Stucki said. “Olivia has been overlooked but is a solid 100 runner and a good pole vaulter. She is underrated, but she is a leader who is a hard worker and has improved her strength and speed.” Finlayson placed 10th in pole vault while senior, and school record-holder Tara Sharp pole-vaulted 11 feet to place third at state. Senior Taylee Allen placed seventh in shot

Hillcrest High track and field team wins both boys’ and girls’ regional titles. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

put and ninth in discuss, and senior Annabelle Jensen finished 10th in javelin. “We have a lot of seniors graduating, and I’m going to miss them, but we have a young team that shows some promise,” Stucki said about the girls team. “We also have several athletes sign with colleges — Hooper and Cobabe will be going to Westminster College; Sharp and Martin could sign as well.” Canals, who plans to run cross country and track at college, has appreciated Stucki and other coaches as well as his teammates. “I’m going to miss the relationship between the athletes,” he said. “Everyone cares about each other, and there’s support from each other that really makes the team feel like a family. What I’m going to miss from the coaches is that they work with every athlete, fast or slow. The coaches always have a winning mentality and want us to work hard, but they know that everyone needs the same help and deserve it no matter their talent level.” Having a strong metal outlook is something that Cobabe has gained from track. “This year in track my greatest accomplishment has been getting over the mental block of thinking I am not good enough,” she said. “These last four years, I have been able to set personal goals for myself. Some of these goals I have set for myself include getting stronger so I wouldn’t get hurt, or perfecting my hurdle form so when I run my races I am running them more efficient.” Cobabe set a personal goal to be in the top 10 in state in events she regularly competes in, which she was able to do individually in both 100-meter hurdles and long jump. “One of my favorite events was the 100 (meter) hurdles,” she said. “I like this race because I could push myself to be better every race. I learned that it doesn’t matter what place (I) take, or who is running next to (me); all that matters is that I was able to get through my 10

hurdles as clean and as fast as I could. My other favorite event is the long jump. I like this event because it is fun to ‘legit’ — fly through the air. When you practice on perfecting your technique in the air or your extension before you hit the sand, it is so rewarding at a meet when you see all the practice come together and you are able to jump an insane distance.” Cobabe also tried the high jump, which she placed third at region, after winning the region title in the 100 hurdles, long jump and as part of the 4x100 relay. “I am grateful for Coach A (Anthony Alford), who was always there for me and believed in me and helped me get to where I wanted to be,” she said about her sprint and jumping coach. After state, Cobabe participated in the USA track and field developmental meet, where she long jumped 18 feet, which would have placed her second at state. “What I have learned through high school track is that you don’t have to be the best as long as you are improving because that is what matters in the end,” she said. “I have learned how to never give up. When something gets hard, I push through it rather than giving up — because that is how you get stronger. It doesn’t matter if you took first place, but it does matter if you never stopped trying to be the best that you could be.” Canals said it has been an honor to represent Hillcrest track and cross country for four years. “I have loved having the opportunity to lead my teammates to reach their full potential,” he said. “I have helped them to get over one bad result so it doesn’t affect the next race. I have been able to give advice about injuries and make sure that my teammates are in the best shape for them to compete. It’s definitely been a big part of my life that I’ll never forget.” l

July 2018 | Page 19

Seventh annual Sombrero Walk places emphasis on healthy lifestyles By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


riselda Hernandez has two children attending schools in Midvale and knows it’s important to keep them active this summer. “My son plays soccer, and my daughter is always active,” said the mom that participates in Zumba. “It’s important to be healthy.” That is part of the reason Hernandez took part in the annual Sombrero Walk, where about 40 participants — parents and young kids — recently walked from Midvale Elementary to Copperview Elementary and back. “It’s a great way to meet new people and be involved in some amazing activities with the schools,” she said. The walk, which included participants from East Midvale, Midvale, Sandy and Copperview Family Learning Centers, also featured Renato Olmedo, the community affairs representative from the Mexican consultant who spoke to the crowd about the importance of healthy choices. “Education is important, and so is your health,” he said. “A lot of our food gives us really high blood pressure as we use a lot of salt and sugar. We need to change the way we cook, and we need to encourage our community to get out and exercise. Go outside. Go hiking. We’re only 20 minutes away from the mountains. Or go ride a bike — always with your helmet — and encourage your kids to get off Nintendo, websites and YouTube.” Family Learning Center Specialist Mirna Lundquist, who organized the walk, said she

encourages her kids to walk five times around the block or shoot 50 baskets or goals every day. “We want to just get everyone to be exercising this summer and be active,” she said, adding that it is called a Sombrero Walk as to stress the importance of wearing hats with the summer sun. “Everyone is wearing a hat, as too much sun isn’t healthy.” Olmedo also stressed the importance of sunscreen, drinking water instead of soda and the need for health insurance. “It’s part of our outreach so people know the opportunities there are in our community and can get the help they need for health and education,” he said, adding that with language and cultural barriers it’s good that this event engages and educates the community. He said Ventanilla de Salud is a health outreach for anyone, which is available at the consultant’s office, 660 South 200 East, near the downtown Salt Lake City library. Copperview Community School Facilitator Jenna Landward also said nearby Copperview Recreation Center has several summer activities for families offers financial scholarships as well as have a medical clinic and food bank for the community. The Family Learning Centers offer free community classes in English, computers, financial literacy, citizenship, healthy relationships, ukulele and other subjects. l


Families participated in the seventh annual Sombrero Walk, a summer kick-off for healthy lifestyles. (Julie Slama/ City Journals)

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Midvale City Journal

Behind-the-scenes look at major fireworks shows By Lana Medina | l.medina@mycityjournals.com


he telltale BOOM goes off, followed by several more bursts, and then a series of fireworks flash into the sky. Every July 4 and 24, crowds come from far and wide to witness one of dozens of fireworks shows that light up the Salt Lake valley. Behind the scenes, it’s a very different picture. “I think of it as painting a canvas,” said Lantis Fireworks salesman and licensed Utah pyrotechnician Jeffery Ott. “And I have the sky to paint on.” Lantis Fireworks produces some of the major fireworks productions in the Salt Lake Valley, including the popular Salt Lake City and Sandy City fireworks shows. Each one of those 15- 20-minute fireworks displays takes hours of work to organize the performance, set up fireworks connections, coordinate with local fire marshals and ensure safety. Organizing One of the most prominent shows in the Salt Lake Valley is the one where hundreds of fireworks shoot off the roof of the Sandy City Hall every Fourth of July. Months beforehand, Lantis Fireworks is coordinating with Sandy City officials to decide how long the show will be, how close viewers can get to Sandy City Hall and still be safe, and what music will help time out the display. In the background of almost every fireworks show are carefully timed pieces of music, stitched together, to which the fireworks are choreographed to match tempo. “When you’re playing ‘The Star Spangled banner,’ you’re not shooting pow, pow, pow; you’re shooting one shell, then another,” Ott said. “You want your shells in the air to match the music. The music really dictates what you see.” This year, it won’t just be music. Sandy City is partnering with FM radio station Z104 to broadcast the music, along with recordings of service members’ wives talking about them coming home. “We try not to make it just about things exploding,” said Mearle Marsh, community events director for Sandy City. “The ending has always been spectacular; we don’t expect anything less this year.” Marsh says this is the second year that Sandy City will have fireworks discharged from the roof of the Sandy City Hall. “It’s a challenging location, but it makes for a really beautiful setting for the fireworks,” he said. Lantis Fireworks and Sandy City officials have big plans for this year’s fireworks display. There are the “cake” fireworks: multi-shot aerial fireworks

that make a rapid staccato burst of noise during the show. Then, in the Sandy City show, there are the 3-inch shells that light up the night sky with a big boom; the two combine to create the overall, bigger fireworks display. By using a mix of colors and matching several different types of shells to music, a “Pyro” technician can create an amazing fireworks show for viewers. “Pyros” This term may sound like a dangerous person with fire, but for fireworks, it’s the exact opposite. “Think about a conductor conducting an orchestra, that’s what a Pyro does; they’re part conductor and part magician,” Ott said. Lantis Fireworks’ Pyro technicians go through extensive training before they can even touch one of the production fireworks. According to the state of Utah regulations, Pyro technicians — or Pyros for short — are required to work on at least three fireworks shows and go through extensive safety training. Once they meet these requirements, a potential pyro technician can then take a test to get a license that would allow them to legally shoot off production-quality fireworks. “Production is a 1.3G fireworks classification,” Ott said. “The stuff that your neighbors are doing, that’s consumer grade, that’s 1.4G. It’s measure on gram weight per item. Consumer is supposed to be safer, less gunpowder.” Ott also but cautioned that, “all fireworks are explosives.” All that training is necessary. At every show, there are fire marshals, firefighters and other emergency experts on hand in case something goes wrong. Safety “We’re attempting to put explosives in the air in a safe manner,” Ott said. Safety is the No. 1 priority for Lantis Fireworks pyro technicians, Ott explained. “We take every possible safety precaution from the time they’re loaded onto the truck, up until the point we shoot them, and even while we’re shooting them,” he said. “Because the truth of it is, if you’re lucky and something bad happens, you’ll lose a finger. If they don’t get lucky, they get dead. You have to think like a fire marshal. Safety is always your first priority.” Ott remembers a few years ago during a Lantis production in the Salt Lake Valley, and there was a wind shift. “When a shell goes off, it doesn’t just go up into the air; there’s often some fiery debris that comes out of the mortar tube along with the shell ,” he said. “We

had some fiery debris that blew over and two-thirds of the way through the show; it prematurely ignited part of the finale (fireworks). So some of that ‘boom, boom, boom’ started going off much sooner than it was supposed to.” There are specific rules governing major production-style fireworks displays. For every 1-inch shell used in a fireworks show, viewers have to be kept at a distance of 70 feet in radius from the firework discharge zone. This means at the Sandy City Hall, when Lantis Fireworks uses 3-inch shells to light up the night sky, nobody except for the licensed pyro technicians and safety personnel can be within 210 feet in any direction from the roof of the Sandy City Hall where the fireworks are set off. Local fire officials will be on hand at these major fireworks displays. Salt Lake City Fire spokeswoman Audra Sorenson said they prefer it when Utahns visit the fireworks shows instead of setting off their own fireworks, because it’s much more safe. “Going to a fireworks display that’s sponsored by a city or company is ideal for us,” Sorenson said. “They work hand in hand with the city to make sure the location, the display and conditions are ideal so that they’re discharged properly. We can work hand in hand with those shows’ teams to make sure it’s a safe fireworks display.” Setup For a 20-minute show, it can take a team of Pyro technicians 10–12 hours to set up the fuses, tubes, electronics and fireworks for the display. “You have to wire in every shell by hand.,” Ott said. “Then if it’s choreographed, every shell has a specific place it has to be wired in.” But when it’s done right, you end up creating a lasting and memorable experience for everyone watching—from young children who’ve never seen a fireworks show, to the people who never miss a fireworks show. “Our whole goal is the ooh, ahh, wow,” Ott said. “That two to three seconds of silence between the last shell going off and thunderous applause that often follows a show is beautiful.” If local residents are planning to set off their own fireworks, there’s a map showing restricted areas: https://slcfire. com/fireworks/. For the month of July, residents can legally discharge fireworks July 2 to 5, and July 22 to 25. l

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July 2018 | Page 21

Free events to illuminate your summer fun




chool’s out for summer! Here’s a list of free events and activities to keep monotony out of the month of July. Festivals! Cities all across the valley host activities and events to celebrate our independence. Draper, Murray, Riverton, Salt Lake, South Salt Lake, and Sandy all hold their own celebrations for the Fourth of July. Bluffdale, Cottonwood Heights, and Holladay celebrate Pioneer Day with multi-day festivals and concerts. For more information on these festivals, refer to the Summer Festival Guide in the latest edition of the City Journals. Sandy will be hosting a balloon festival on August 10-11 at sunrise at Storm Mountain Park. These festivals highlight the magic of hot air balloons. Farmers Markets were quite the rage last year, with over 30 to choose from. On July 11, the Sugar House Farmers Market will be at Fairmont Park from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. On July 14, check out the Sunnyvale Farmers Market in Midvale from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. It will include a food pantry, free lunch and activities for kids, and music. Don’t miss one-night free events like: the Parade of Raptors presented by HawkWatch on July 9, at the Salt Lake Public Library Riverside Branch from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

On July 13, Trivia Night will be held at the Leonardo. Up to six people can sign up to be a team, or go solo! On July 10, the Local Author Showcase continues at The King’s English Bookshop. Jared Garret will introduce his new book, “Usurper.” On July 18, Yappy Hour will be at Fairmont Park. There will be an offleash play area for the dogs, and music, beer, and food trucks for the humans. On July 21, the Indian Food Fair will be held at the Gallivan Center from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Presented by Bollyfood lunch, there will be live entertainment, ethnic shopping, and of course, food! On July 28, Mindy Dillard will lead a songwriting workshop for teens ages 12-18 at the Salt Lake Public Library Sprague Branch, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Many free series-styled events will be held. Every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. the Gateway will host Yoga on the Plaza in the Olympic Plaza. Shopping and food options will be available after yoga. July is Pacific Island Heritage Month. On the 28th, their annual KickOff will begin at 5 p.m. at the Sorenson Multicultural Center. This event has entertainment and activities from nine Pacific Island countries.

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The Community Writing Center will be hosting FreeFest: a youth workshop series, at the Downtown Salt Lake Public Library, Suite no. 8. This series is intended for young adults ages 15-19. Four different workshops will be offered: on July 25, check out the XYZine, zine-making extravaganza. On July 26, learn basic bookbinding skills during the Book-Making Workshop. On July 27, EnTwined will teach you how to create a twine game. On July 28, check out Poetr?- make a mess of poetry and all things poetic. Zoo, Arts and Parks (ZAP) is offering a Kids Summer Passport. Get a passport (available to download online), earn five stamps by visiting destinations like the Utah Cultural Celebration Center, Salt Lake County Center for the Arts, and the Wasatch Community Gardens, by August 25. Show the fully-stamped passport at the local library to reserve a spot for a final party at the Clark Planetarium. The party

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Page 22 | July 2018

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will be held August 30, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., with movies, popcorn, exhibits, and prizes. Our canyons also have fabulous options for getting outside. If anyone can do all the following hikes in one summer, let me know so I can be impressed. There’s Buffalo Point, Bloods Lake, Ensign Peak, Bridal Veil Falls, Golden Spike, Cecret Lake and Albion Basin, Willow Lake, Dooley Knob, Hidden Falls, Adams Waterfall, Patsy’s Mine, Grotto Falls, Donut Falls, Timpanogos, Brighton Lakes, Bell Canyon, Stewart Falls, Broads Fork Trail, Silver Lake, Battle Creek Falls, Diamond Fork Hot Springs, Mirror Lake, Fifth Water Hot Springs, Dripping Rock, Mount Olympus, Suicide Rock, Elephant Rock, White Pine Lake, Jordan River, and the Bonneville Shoreline, and Provo River Parkway. In conclusion, none of us have an excuse to be bored this summer! l


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Midvale City Journal

Life and Laughter—Girls Camp


Laughter AND





hat do you get when you have 25 teenage girls camping in tents? A motive for murder. I’m convinced every crazed serial killer roaming a summer camp, was once a mild-mannered camp counselor hoping to teach peace, love and kindness to a herd of snarling 15-year-old girls. While men can plan a Scout camp over a 4-hour Call of Duty session, women meet for months to plan an inspirational and life-changing camp that every single girl will whine through. Leaders schedule dozens of meetings to choose the theme (Let’s Get Dirty!), create the menu (Fun With Tofu!) and decide on the camp color (glittery unicorn pink). Once those main decisions are finalized, the real job begins: planning hours of activities to teach young women the importance of a) nature, b) bonding and c) indoor plumbing. An ordinary day at young women’s camp can look something like this: 6 a.m.—Flag ceremony and motivational singing 6:15 a.m.—Breakfast/clean-up/ inspirational stories/singing 9:00—Nature hike/Identify native plants/singing Noon—Lunch/Clean-up/singing 1:30-3:30—Glittery art project to

encourage sisterhood/singing 3:30-5:30—Journaling/free time/ singing 5:30-8:00—Dinner/clean-up/ singing 8:00-10:00—Campfire/uplifting stories/singing 10:30—Lights out/quiet singing An ordinary day at young women’s camp actually looks like this: 6 a.m.—Leaders go from tent to tent, waking up girls who spent the night vaping in the woods. No singing. 7:48—Quick flag ceremony followed by burned oatmeal, cooked in a Dutch oven. Inspirational stories interrupted by young women fighting because someone’s journal is missing and, “I know it’s you, Jessica, because you’re such a $#*$&!” Girls are ordered to get ready for the day. 11:17—Hiking! But everyone’s waiting for Angela to finish curling her hair with her butane curling iron because she will NOT be seen looking like a hillbilly in case she runs into lumberjacks wandering through camp. 2:25—Having been chased by a moose, the hikers are now lost and trying to figure out how to get cell service in the middle of the Wasatch Mountains. Leaders consider making a break for it, leaving the girls to wander the wilderness forever. No singing.






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4:58—Leaders have bagged the art project and journaling, and have moved onto the dinner part of the program. Girls are napping in various locations and refuse to help prepare any meal. Leaders consider a mass poisoning but decide against it because they’re too tired. 8:20—Dinner is finally served. The girls are STARVING and complaining that dinner wasn’t ready hours ago. A few girls half-heartedly sing two camp songs before everyone sits and stares into the campfire. Someone is crying. It’s one of the leaders. 11:45—Girls are told to stop talking because people are trying to sleep. Someone is singing. 1:35 a.m.—The girls are told, for the millionth time to, “Shut the $%&$ up or I’m going to dismantle your tent and you can sleep under a tree!!!” 4:17 a.m.— Everyone is crying. 6:30 a.m.— Someone asks when breakfast will be ready.


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Repeat for five more days. (Note to CIA: If you decide to torture me by making me camp with teenage girls, please, just waterboard me instead.) At the end of camp, the girls’ matching shirts are covered with mud and glitter. No one is smiling. Even Friday the 13th’s Jason Voorhees wouldn’t approach this scene. No one is singing. But girls’ camp is like childbirth. Once it’s over, you only remember the good parts, and soon leaders are optimistically planning the next camp with even MORE glitter, MORE bonding and MORE singing. The men slowly shake their heads and return to Call of Duty. l


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July 2018 | Page 23

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Profile for The City Journals

Midvale City Journal July 2018  

Midvale City Journal July 2018

Midvale City Journal July 2018  

Midvale City Journal July 2018