June 2019 | Vol. 19 Iss. 06
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MIDVALE CONTEMPLATES WITHDRAWING FROM UPD
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he city budget was sitting pretty. It was nearly perfectly balanced before the final numbers would be adopted in June. Then the Unified Police Department (UPD) asked Midvale City for an increase in contribution that equaled nearly 20 percent to fund their portion of the police force. Some of Midvale City Councilmember Bryant Brown’s first words were, “This is insane. I don’t know how else to word this.” City Manager Kane Loader assured the council if they wanted to continue to support UPD that they would need to raise Midvale property taxes by 50 percent. “And that would [only] cover this year,” Loader said. However, Unified Police is not the only first responders force that is struggling. Unified Fire Authority (UFA) and other police in the valley are facing the same issues that spurred UPD to make such a monumental request. “Earlier in the morning ... I went to UFA and they’re facing the same issues. It’s an issue because ... skilled people are trading occupations, and their skills move along with them and agencies are trying to protect the ability of their agencies to perform their duties,” Midvale Mayor Robert Hale said. Assistant City Manager Bryce Haderlie was the one presenting the new numbers to the council. He was unsure where all the extra money would be going. “They’re representing that they have made reductions [since Riverton and Herriman left]. You can say, I don’t see how the pie is getting smaller, I can only share with you the numbers I have here,” Haderlie said. Hale spoke up for UPD’s accounting and said that he had faith in their numbers. “I might give a pitch for the UPD accountant Lisa and her assistant have literally gone through... and reduced and categorized everything so that every nickel has a proper accounting and that where they’ve found errors from previous administrations.” Councilmember Dustin Gettel appreciated the pitch, but said that the numbers are the deciding factor. “At some point it doesn’t matter whose fault it was or when it happened, this is the reality. I’ve always been a supporter of us being in UPD, I think pooled services are better than just a city working for themselves but at some point you can’t defend it anymore,” Gettel said. Midvale joined Unified Police in 2010. The change was made to save money and take advantage of pooled services.
Loader was a proponent of pooling with Unified Police at the time. “When we joined UPD, we saved about $800,000 a year. Our budget was about $6.1 million. We went down to about a little over $5 million,” he said. “I don’t know what happened. I know that when the townships came into being and they reshifted everything around…. Now what’s happened with Riverton ... Herriman pulling out, I think it’s a perfect storm and it’s all hit in one year,” Loader said. Loader is confident that Midvale could support their own police services. “I can tell you right now I can do it for less than that and I can provide all the services.” Councilmember Quinn Sperry was hesitant but hopeful. “Kane, you can say you can do it for less than that, I’d like to see that analysis and see what are we giving up, what are we losing from the pooled services.” In regards to raising property taxes to support the increase, so far it looks unlikely that council will. “I would prefer not to [have truth in taxation], but I mean if we’re looking at the option of potentially pulling out and that would save money. Maybe we have to cut out some things that we put in the budget,” Sperry said. The city cannot immediately cut and run. UPD will continue to be the first responders for Midvale residents for the time being. “One of the requirements of the interlocal is that we give them a year’s notice.... The other thing is we can put them on notice of our intent to pull out and then offer that, ‘If you guys can get this thing figured out in the next six months, we don’t want to leave UPD but we can’t sustain this.’ If not, our intent is that we’re going to leave July 1, 2020,” Loader said. On May 21, city council decided to wait on withdrawing from UPD. In the two weeks since the last council meeting, UPD proposed a lower increase, 9.7 percent rather than nearly 20. Loader cited the reasons for the increase. “One of the issues they’re looking at in that meeting is employee compensation. What they’ve proposed here is a 2 percent cost of living (increase), a 2.75 percent merit increase and a 2 percent salary adjustment for all of the uniformed officers. [However,] some of the board think that might not be enough,” Loader said. There was some discussion about raising Midvale taxes.
Unified Police has been the first responders for Midvale City for nine years. The Midvale City Council is looking to change back to providing the city with their own police force. (Justin Adams/City Journals)
Most of the council was not in favor of this action. Councilmember Paul Hunt said, “Personally, I have no appetite to raise taxes. The citizens of Midvale are already going to receive a tax increase from Canyons School District.” How does the city propose to cover the increase payment to UPD without increasing taxes? Loader said there are other funds that could be pulled which were originally meant for other things. “We have $108,0000 that...was going to fund balance. There’s a $200,000 placeholder for a…future swimming pool. From transportation tax in our streets department...an additional 300 there. [Chief Thomas was] looking at prolonging the life of their vehicles by one year, which our portion of that would be about $200,000.” On June 4, there is another UPD meeting that will include more budget discussion. For residents, on June 4 there will be public hearings at the City Council meeting at 7 p.m. regarding the new fiscal year budget starting July 1. More discussion on this topic will likely happen in this meeting. l
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Page 4 | June 2019
Young actress finds a home in Midvale Main Street Theatre’s production of ‘Frozen Jr.’ By Sarah Morton Taggart | firstname.lastname@example.org
tephanee Chidester had to audition, just like every other kid performing in Midvale Main Street Theatre’s upcoming production of “Frozen Jr.” But unlike other kids, she also needs special accommodations to practice at home. For the past several months, Stephanee and her family have been living at the Midvale Family Resource Center operated by The Road Home. There isn’t a lot of room to sing and dance, so Stephanee explained her situation to the staff and got permission to practice in a stairwell. “Ever since I was 5 I’ve wanted to be an actress,” said Stephanee, who is now almost 12. “I used to hang up scarves as a backdrop and perform for my parents. I kept wanting to audition [for plays], but always chickened out. I’m glad I did, because then I wouldn’t have come to this theater. I love this theater.” Stephanee had been planning to sing “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” for her audition because she thought she would need to sing a song from “Frozen.” But when she heard the other kids singing different songs during the audition she switched to David Bowie’s “Magic Dance.” Her favorite subject is math and she is homeschooled by her mom while her dad works a full-time job. Stephanee admits that life at the shelter can be hard. “You don’t have a lot of room there, and it’s always loud. The schedule dictates a lot of your life, but you get used to it.” Stephanee is a member of the ensemble, which means she has just one line, but multiple costume changes. Her favorite part of the show is dancing during the song “Fixer Upper.” Rehearsals are a lot of work, but for Stephanee it’s usually the best part of her day. “It’s fun to have time off and chill with my friends,” she said. The young actors in “Frozen Jr.” range in age from 5 to 18 and live as far away as Bountiful. Forty-three youth were narrowed down from the nearly 100 who auditioned. During a Saturday morning rehearsal a month before opening day, the kids fully embodied the characters they were playing, with only the occasional character break or peek at the script. The director, Cassidy Ross, provided firm guidance, encouragement and the occasional laugh when the kids improvised around missing props and scenery. Ross started the youth program six years ago and, as far as she knows, it’s the only youth theater in the area that doesn’t charge a fee to participate. The money to run the program comes from ticket sales and fundraisers. Parents can donate if they’d like, but it is not required. Some parents volunteer their time and talents to help. “We all volunteer because we love our kids,” Ross said. She tries to run the program
Ella Henrie, seen here in rehearsal with other members of the cast, plays Elsa in the Midvale Main Street Theatre upcoming Utah premiere of “Frozen Jr.” (Photo courtesy Midvale Main Street Theatre)
just like an adult theater, which instills a strong work ethic and commitment from the kids. The lead from her first youth production continued acting in shows until she aged out and is now Ross’s assistant director. Three other young actors from that first show will appear in “Frozen Jr.” Ella Henrie, who plays Elsa, is 14 and has been in 10 productions since she was 8. This is her first production at Midvale Main Street Theatre, but she knew some of her cast mates from previous shows. “I like acting because it’s how I express myself,” Ella said. “Once I come to a new theater I’m shy at first, but I really like working with people and getting to know the people around me.” It can be challenging for the young actors to make the part their own in a story they’ve watched the movie version of many times. Ella gets inspiration from the actress Caissie Levy, who originated the role of Elsa in the stage adaptation of “Frozen.” As a special treat, the Theatre is hosting a “Frozen Jr.” Tea Party on Saturday, June 8 at 11:30 a.m. where young theatergoers can enjoy crafts and treats and have their photo taken with Anna and Elsa in full costume. Tickets to the tea party are $25 per child (adults are free) and all proceeds go toward operating children’s programming at the Theatre. “Frozen Jr.” will run from June 6-15 with show times at 7 p.m. plus 2 p.m. matinees on Saturdays. The show is 90 minutes long with a 15-minute intermission and tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for children.
Kids of all ages are welcome and are given a brief lesson in theater etiquette before the show starts. Midvale Main Street Theatre, located at 7711 S. Main St. in Midvale, is the first in Utah to stage “Frozen Jr.” The musical features all songs from the hit Disney movie plus five new songs written for the Broadway production. “Frozen Jr.” tells the story of finding love and acceptance, a theme that resonates with many of the young actors, including Stephanee. “Stephanee is overcoming the challenges of living in a shelter while working with our staff to find a place to practice within the existing space constraints,” said Matthew Minkevitch, executive director for The Road Home. “Our team at The Road Home is excited for Stephanee and proud of her achievements.” l
Cast members of “Frozen Jr.” finish a number during a rehearsal at Midvale Main Street Theatre. The Utah premiere of “Frozen Jr.” runs from June 6-15. (Photo courtesy Midvale Main Street Theatre)
Midvale City Journal
Sounds of Summer at Midvale Park offers free music for all By Sarah Morton Taggart | email@example.com
uring a summer season crowded with outdoor entertainment options, what makes Midvale’s Sounds of Summer series unique? “It’s really here for Midvale residents to come out and enjoy,” said Glen Reber, this year’s chair for the concert series. “The park is nice and the amphitheater is unique. You can get really close to the stage. If you want to sit two feet from the performer, you can. If you want to get that shady spot you should get there early. But the park never fully fills out and you can sit wherever and hear because the sound system is great.” Some favorite bands returning to perform in 2019 include Channel Z, an 80’s pop/ new wave/rock metal band (August 2), Jarabe Mexicano, an ensemble playing a unique blend of Mexican folk, rock and roll and reggae-cumbia (June 28) and the Utah National Guard 23rd Army Band, which was established in 1923 (July 5). “I love the Army Band. I try to catch them each year because they’re really good,” said Reber. “It feels nostalgic to me, to listen to a very nice live band in a park. It’s something different for me, as a 26 year old.” New to the fest is a keyboard duo called Leesy. Terry Chisholm of Herriman plays songs in a variety of genres, including jazz,
rock, country, pop and new age music with his daughter Elise Snow of South Jordan singing lead vocals and also playing keys. “My dad had been trying to get me in a band with him for years,” Snow said. “We had a gig set up for a different band we were in together and the other band members accidentally booked a trip [at the same time]. We decided to try to put together a set in just a couple of weeks for the two of us. It was so fun we decided to keep the duo going.” Snow’s favorite song to perform is a haunting version of Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” Leesy will perform on June 14. Also performing are Fab Folk (music of The Beatles with a folk twist on July 12), Flynns Tones (funk, rock, jazz and Latin on July 19) and Crossroads (classic rock on July 26). All bands in this summer’s lineup are from Utah with the exception of Jarabe Mexicano, whose members live in California and Arizona. “I get the final say [on which performers to bring in], but I bring the options to the council to discuss,” Reber said. “We’re looking most of all for a variety of styles that fall within our budget.” Reber keeps a list of every act that has reached out to him and encourages residents
to suggest bands for future summers. Reber is also an active participant in Midvale Arts Council theater productions. He was a musical director, producer, director and performer, respectively, in the Council’s last five productions. He will also appear in the Council’s upcoming production of “The Pirates of Penzance.” The classic comic opera will run June 7 - 15 at the Midvale Performing Arts Center (695 W. Center Street) with performances at 7:30 p.m. and a 2:00 p.m. matinee each Saturday. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for children, and Midvale residents get $1 off for tickets purchased at the door. The musical is directed by Candice Jorgensen, music direction by Heather Shelley and choreography by McKenzie Maag. The Council is always on the lookout for volunteers like Reber, Jorgensen, Shelley and Maag to bolster their existing team. “We have a solid crew of about eight volunteers [for Sounds of Summer], and it takes at least five people each evening to greet the performers, do setup and take down, and operate the merch table,” said Reber. The Midvale Arts Council’s 2019 concert series will take place on Friday evenings at the Midvale Park (455 W. 7500 South)
Father/daughter keyboard duo Leesy will perform at Midvale Park on Friday, June 14 as part of the Midvale Arts Council’s Sounds of Summer concert series. (Photo courtesy Elise Snow)
June 14 through Aug. 2. Free activities (family-friendly games, sidewalk chalk and soap bubbles) begin at 7 p.m.; music begins at 7:30 p.m. All seating is on the lawn, so attendees are advised to bring blankets and chairs. All concerts are free. The series may operate on a small budget, but it offers a quality experience. “I’ve been impressed with how many bands have stepped forward to say that the arts are having a hard year and we’re willing to perform at a discount because the community wants it,” Reber said. “Our bands make it happen, our community makes it happen.”
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June 2019 | Page 5
Midvale Elementary’s extended turnaround status put to the test By Julie Slama | Julie@mycityjournals.com
ack in February, after compelling testimonies showing the Utah State School Board that Midvale Elementary was on track to make significant strides in student achievement, the school was given a twoyear extension. School-year data, after implementing new programs, showed the school is on track as administrators point to sizeable increases in testing scores in reading and math. This spring, students are taking the RISE — Readiness, Improvement, Success and Empowerment — assessment tests, which will generate a year-end score that will be compared to the past five years of SAGE — Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence — testing, as well as their third assessment in reading and math. “We’re working with a private consultant as well as a U of U consultant; the Board of Education has pumped in additional money for resources; and that school is busting their tails,” Canyons Superintendent Jim Briscoe said. “We’re optimistic the students’ RISE scores will reflect their hard work.” Board member Mont Millerberg is cautiously optimistic. “It’s looking good, but I won’t promise anything until I see the test results,” he said. “I hope every early indication is indicative of what we’ll see testing this spring.” The RISE scores will be data the Utah State Board of Education will use in part to determine if granting the two-year extension was the right move. “The bottom line for all of us is, students first,” Midvale Assistant Principal Jeri Rigby said. “It’s our vision and our mission. The hearts of the staff and faculty want these children to be successful beyond their wildest dreams. We believe in providing the greatest opportunities for every child.”
Turnaround schools The 2015 School Turnaround and Leadership Development Act originated with former Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, who represented the district where Midvale Elementary lies as well as other schools within the boundaries of Canyons District, which honored him with its APEX award that same year. Turnaround schools are those in the lowest 3 percent of student achievement statewide measured by the year-end testing in language arts, math and science. These schools, which have formed a turnaround committee of educators, administrators, parents and a school board member, receive grants and are given assistance from experts to help increase student performance and assistance. Schools are granted three years to show significant improvement to exit the turnaround status or face rigorous consequences, Niederhauser said. “The genesis of this, Speaker (Rebecca) Lockhart and I, as president of the Senate, on
Page 6 | June 2019
the Education Task Force, saw school grades slipping especially in the Title I schools, which face challenging demographics,” he said. “Several schools on the turnaround program, with the consultants to help them, have improved with kids receiving a better education and improved proficiency in reading and math. That 10 to 20 percent growth to raise their school grade is huge and those students are receiving that much better education.” In 2015, Midvale, as well as other schools, was identified by state education officials as a turnaround school, meaning it was given three years to improve its low school grade or face sanctions which could mean transferring the school control to another entity outside the Canyons Board of Education. At the time, the state report card gave Midvale Elementary a D. Three years later, the school grade was an F and last fall, the school was notified it failed to meet the exit requirements. It wasn’t alone. The charter, Pioneer High School for the Performing Arts, in American Fork, voluntarily closed this past fall, ahead of its turnaround deadline. When the 61-year-old Oquirrh Elementary didn’t meet its turnaround status this winter, Granite Board of Education decided to close the school and redraw boundaries. Another charter, Entheos Academy, in Magna, received an extension, but must report back to the Board within a year on its progress. “It may seem harsh, but I consulted everyone and got their input on implementing turnaround schools. It forces discussion on what to do for these kids and to provide them the best opportunities. The past system for the last 20 to 30 years wasn’t working. Now, 2,000 students have better opportunities they didn’t have before,” Niederhauser said. Midvale’s extension Niederhauser said he wasn’t involved in granting Midvale Elementary a two-year extension. “We set the time at three years because that is half of the time an elementary student is in that school. Longer would mean the majority of time students’ early education is in a poor-performing school and that is failing our students. I was not involved in the extension, but I hope it is based on the commitment to improve and make progress,” he said. However, that was exactly what Principal Chip Watts took to the state school board. “The results we’re already seeing from the program we implemented last fall, we haven’t seen in the past,” he said. “We’ve already had amazing growth and we are on target to turnaround.” Watts said the DIBEL — Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills — scores in math and language arts “exceed any growth achieved by Midvale students in the last three years.”
“The truth is our students are growing at impressive rates,” he said in the parent newsletter. “The past few years we have seen a trend of having kids get further and further behind in math throughout the year. This year we have reversed that trend. We have almost reached our goal of having 60 percent of our kids make typical or above typical growth in reading.”
ing”). Watts became Midvale Elementary’s principal about one year before the school was put on turnaround status, when the school’s state academic test scores dipped to amongst the lowest in the state. This fall’s program, which includes a social and emotional part as well as an academic portion, re-emphasized those home visits
Midvale Elementary administration is using data to track student academic improvement to ensure an exit from its turnaround status. (Julie Slama/City Journals)
With DIBEL testing at the school slated for May 15, Watts expected students to reach that mark before school was out for the year. That, he said, is remarkable since school turnaround experts have told him “it takes at least five years to be able to turn a failing school around and build a culture that will support it.” The change This past fall, Midvale Elementary administrators implemented its new approach to education, much as it tried in 2016, when Watts and his team implemented an Arizona-based program with an academic parent and teacher team approach to set measurable goals to improve academics (see Midvale Journal’s “Midvale Elementary Introduced New Program To Boost Academic Learn-
of its 750 students. “We’re developing relationships with the families, making them understand their part of the community and the importance of academic success,” Watts said. That alone is critical, he said, but also challenging as the school has about a 30 percent mobility rate, and serves a sizable population of students who are refugees or are experiencing homelessness. About 60 percent of the dual immersion Spanish-speaking school population’s native language is Latino-based and 300 students are English learners, Rigby said. The school began with restructuring its day, moving the free and reduced breakfast time earlier and introducing a morning meeting to help students focus on the day as well
Midvale City Journal
Midvale Elementary teacher Sharon Aitken reviews area and perimeter with third-grade students. Administrators say small group instruction is contributing to improved test scores and understanding of subject material. (Julie Slama/City Journals)
as connect with their classmates and school. Social-emotional assistance The plan called for adding a social and emotional support team, led by Assistant Principal Ashley McKinney. The team includes a school psychologist, school counselor, social worker, and this year, adding in two full-time behavior assistants, to address social, emotional and behavioral needs of all students, Watts said, adding that the plan is pro-active instead of reactive. “We want them to have the social skills so they know how to deal with situations before melting down, running out of class and not returning. We used to spend 80 percent of our time on behavior crisis, but now it’s 10 percent, if that. This allows our faculty to have classroom instruction,” he said. McKinney said that about 25 percent of the student body need additional assistance with their social skills. “Some of our students are refugees, and may have different traumatic experiences and history; 197 students are homeless, some are doubled up in housing that is creating stress for our students,” she said. “We need to respond to these kids’ social and emotional needs if we are to reach them academically. When life gets overwhelming, it causes grief, anxiety, anger and all sorts of emotions. We need to support these students and give them
skills on how to cope so they can be successful.” McKinney said the team is working with these students during some of their art and physical education time and the outcomes have been significant. “Their overall attendance has increased,
al behaviors, then I’m losing instructional time. We need to support our students in all ways to achieve the best outcomes,” she said. Watts said on the academic side, the instruction was switched to a two-teacher model. “This allows our teachers to focus on
“The bottom line for all of us is, students first,” Midvale Assistant Principal Jeri Rigby said. “It’s our vision and our mission. The hearts of the staff and faculty want these children to be successful beyond their wildest dreams. We believe in providing the greatest opportunities for every child.” which is big. It’s hard to serve the kids if they aren’t here. We used to have a quarter of our students chronically absent and that’s hard if we want to meet their social, emotional and academic needs,” she said. Academics That has a direct impact on the academic side of the program, led by Rigby, includes two achievement coaches, to review curriculum and help with reading intervention. “If I’m dealing with social and emotion-
teaching those subjects, and reteaching those lessons again, reducing planning time on other instruction,” he said. For example, Canyons School District’s teacher of the Year Jessica Beus teaches math and science to third-grade students while her counterpart focuses on language arts. “It’s been awesome to focus on just math and science,” she said. “It’s been a lot more beneficial.” Watts said the method is effective for as-
suring students understand the material presented, which includes new phonics and new math programs. “Teachers have time to be better prepared teaching the core curriculum and are being observed so the best practices are resulting in better outcomes for kids,” he said. Rigby said teams are scheduled to meet weekly to discuss content, but often meetings occur daily. “If we want the best for our students, we have to do the best we can,” she said. “We are motivated by the success stories we are seeing. It’s when a student finally gets what we’re teaching – that’s the joy. Three or four months ago, there was a student who got 100 percent on a test, and before that same student was achieving only 30 or 40 percent. I was almost in tears; the kid was almost in tears. That’s the joy, seeing real progress.” Results Watts said that already has been proven evident. “We shared our data after the restricting plan with the State Board and the impact it has had on our students. The Board was impressed with the growth and the components of our plan,” he said. “We are celebrating what is happening and want to duplicate and triplicate our success.” l
June 2019 | Page 7
Comcast employees help spruce up Boys & Girls Club By Sarah Morton Taggart | firstname.lastname@example.org
A crowd forms to watch youth from the School of Rock perform at the conclusion of the Comcast Cares service day at the Midvale Boys & Girls Club on April 27. (Sarah Morton Taggart/City Journals)
There was only one reported casualty at the Comcast Cares service day at the Midvale Boys & Girls Club — a cell phone dropped in a pan of paint. Luckily for the owner, the phone landed face up “and she likes the color,” said Steve Proper, senior director of Government Affairs at Comcast. Proper was painting a nearby wall when the accident happened. More than 50 volunteers arrived at the Midvale Boys & Girls Club at 7631 S. Chapel Street on April 27 as part of the Comcast Cares service day program, now in its 18th year. However, this was the first time Comcast Cares has served the Midvale Club. The volunteers, including Comcast employees and their families as well as staff and volunteers from the Boys & Girls Club, went to work cleaning and painting the interior of the building. The Club’s staff selected the colors to be used — a bright shade of turquoise — and Comcast purchased the necessary supplies. “It’ll be fun on Monday when the school kids come and see,” said Machelle Lake, senior development officer at the Boys & Girls Club. “It’s fun for me to watch as the staff makes the space their own. And this is great timing, because we’re just heading into the summer programming.” A daily average of 175 youth participate in programs at the Club during the school year, and that number increases to 250 during the summer. Two of Lake’s children have been going to the Murray Boys & Girls Club for nearly a decade. “I love what the Clubs do for kids,” Lake said. “As a club parent, I truly see the impact the club has on my kids. The confi-
Page 8 | June 2019
dence they have, it doesn’t just come from me.” Prior to painting, volunteers gave the building a scrub down. The Club has janitorial services and the staff regularly cleans, but grime can quickly build up with so many kids using the building. “I’m always amazed by all the places their little fingerprints turn up,” Lake said. In addition to the services provided by the volunteers, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Salt Lake will also receive a financial contribution from Comcast that can be used to further their mission or make additional improvements. In 2018, Comcast provided $2.1 million worth of support in cash and in-kind donations to Utah organizations. Comcast employees can nominate nonprofit organizations, schools and cities to be future project sites. This year 22 projects happened in Salt Lake County as part of Comcast Cares Days. But Lake believes that Midvale’s event was the only one to conclude with a performance by students at the local School of Rock. “The kids are always looking for a chance to perform, and it gives the volunteers a chance to hang out and listen to music,” Lake said. The youth played classic rock tunes while the volunteers relaxed and ate a lunch provided by Sizzling Platter through a partnership with Dunkin’ Donuts and Little Caesars Pizza. “Comcast Cares Day is a very special part of our commitment to investing in local communities, but is just one example of our dedication to helping our communities thrive,” said Deneiva Knight, an external
Amanda Hughes of Midvale helps her 3-year-old son, Coy, paint a wall during the Comcast Cares service day at the Midvale Boys & Girls Club on April 27. (Sarah Morton Taggart/City Journals)
affairs director at Comcast. “Our employees give their time year-round to make a positive difference through serving on nonprofit boards, mobilizing disaster recovery efforts, mentoring children and more.” l
Rebeca Cruz paints a wall during the Comcast Cares service day at the Midvale Boys & Girls Club on April 27. (Sarah Morton Taggart/City Journals)
Midvale City Journal
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Ken Mears, age 15, does a chapter reading for fans, to launch his first book at The Chocolate dessert shop. (Amy Green/City Journals)
en Mears of Midvale was not born a natural writer. He struggled to want to write anything as a preteen. But he worked hard at something he didn’t originally like, continued to practice and kept going. His ideas grew and eventually turned into some interesting characters and a substantial storyline. At 15 years old, Ken had his first book published. “Stones of the Middle Lands: The Castaway Hero” is now available in paperback or e-book through Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. Ken will turn 16 soon and many might agree that’s a big accomplishment to make even before getting a driver’s license. His book is planned as a series. A continuation of the fantasy tale is in the works. His mom, Deanna Mears, described Ken when he was around 9 years old. “He hated writing. I would ask him to write a two or three sentence paragraph, and there were tears, crying and arguing,” she recalled. Mears saw that situation as a call to action with her son. “I came across a curriculum called ‘Brave Writer,’ which is a very gentle approach to writing. Part of that was a project where he had to create his own continent or island chain; and that’s where the Middle Lands was born.” Ken held a book launch gathering at The Chocolate dessert shop in West Jordan (9120 S. Redwood Rd.) on April 26. Visitors came to eat treats and hear the young author read a chapter aloud. The novel has a simple yet dramatic front, showing a boy collapsed over the bow of a washed up wooden boat where rocky land meets sea. The illustrations, done by Ryan Kessler and Stephen Kenny, could easily draw a reader in, to find out who the weary
ocean voyager might be. An additional book signing was held at The Printed Garden bookstore (9445 S. Union Square) in Sandy May 2. Ken put in some dedicated writing time for the book and explained how his method was put to action. “When I wrote the original draft it was a long and laborious process, because I was flying by the seat of my pants. I didn’t completely love writing as much as I do now.” His mom would sit down with him and they’d talk about what was going on in the story and brainstorm over what things could or needed to happen. “I ended up doing two chapters a week over the course of half the school year,” he described. His parents, Spencer and Deanna, encouraged him and spent time guiding him through the frustration when writing seemed like an impossible chore for Ken. They eventually found a publisher with Kenny B. Smith, owner-operator of Teapots Away Media. Smith does all the acquisitions editing for Teapots Away Press, a nonprofit based in Utah, that works with authors who would not necessarily get picked up by a traditional publisher. She helps authors publish their books and learn how to self-publish in a mentorship way. Smith explained the target audience for Ken’s story. She said it is a middle grade novel, perfect for ages 9 to 14 and would even make for easy 10-minute reads with kids before bedtime. But, she said, many adults like the simplicity of Ken’s action and straightforward style. No matter who reads it, Smith said, “It’s an engaging story and a lot of fun.” l
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he Midvale Redevelopment Agency (RDA) is the financial hammer that drove redevelopments Jordan Bluffs and Bingham Junction. Now they are turning their eyes towards a new project: State Street. During a Redevelopment Agency meeting in April, six possible project areas were identified that could use revitalization. Redevelopment Project Manager Annaliese Eichelberger discussed the parameters land must meet to qualify to be an RDA project. “We would need to have vacant land. This makes redevelopment less costly if you don’t have demolition. Another trait … is parcel size. If you have a lot of small parcels it’s not as easy as assembling large parcels for sale. And then … what are the businesses in the area that could attract and spur more development?” All of the zones that were identified were exclusively commercial zones. “We excluded residential … because residential does not create property tax increment like commercial,” Eichelberger said. The RDA focuses on land improvements within the city that are empty or suffering and attempts to do so in a way that would benefit city residents and businesses as a whole. Redevelopment Agency Director Matt Dahl detailed where the money for the agency comes. “We have to go to the other taxing entities, the county, the school districts, mosquito abatement…Then we ask them to give us a portion of the taxes that are generated from growth in that area,” he said. When there is redevelopment, the value of the land increases. There is a base value for the land, but then as a project area, the taxable entities give the RDA a percentage of the increase to help develop that parcel. After the period of redevelopment expires, typically 15 to 25 years, that agreement expires and the tax money reverts back to the taxing entities to be used at their discretion. Rob Lambros, co-owner of RAL Images near State Street in Midvale, appreciated the idea of improvement but hesitated to fully support something that could become a hardship. “I like the idea that a lot of the older areas could use a facelift but getting businesses and property owners on the same page might take some work...I was involved in a business up on North Temple when the city came in and told every business what they had to do to bring the curb appeal up to date,” Lambros said. “I think local government can voice their opinion on what they would like to see with updating the look but I don’t think they can demand or tell a business what they have to do. Not every business has the disposable money just to update the curb appeal,” he said. Dahl explained the RDA rarely uses em-
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State Street Project Areas Midvale’s Redevelopment Agency identified possible project areas along State Street that they see needing Boundary 1 Boundary 4 Midvale City Limits revitalization. (Image courtesy Midvale City) Boundary 2
inent domain and it is highly unlikely that they would force a business to do anything against their will. “That has been one of the classic issues with RDA, has been in other places that I’ve worked is there’s this concern that when we come in we’re just going to wholesale, take the streets and tell people what they have to do. That’s just not something that we’re going to do,” Dahl said. The RDA functions separately from the state and city government. They regulate based on the Community Reinvestment Agencies Act that must be followed and primarily works under the direction of the city council. “Essentially we are a tool that is intended to improve the city by implementing the plans of the city,” Dahl said. Council members weighed in with their
thoughts. However, there are no current plans for any action at this time. Council member Bryant Brown, referring to the maps color coding said, “It seems to me that purple and orange would be prime. You’d know when you were in Midvale, ‘Hey, they really put money and time into this.’” Council member Paul Glover proposed a different angle for approaching redevelopment in the area. “The other philosophy is how to help the owners that are already there to upgrade their properties. To me that’s probably the direction we need to go.” Council member Paul Hunt was also in favor of the area surrounding State Street and 7200 South. “We’ve talked a lot about 7200 South, that orange area there. That’s a prime area for redevelopment right there.” 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
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MIDVALE CITY ELECTED OFFICIALS MAYOR Robert Hale Email: Rhale@midvale.com
CITY COUNCIL District 1 - Quinn Sperry Email: email@example.com District 2 - Paul Glover Email: firstname.lastname@example.org District 3 - Paul Hunt Email: email@example.com District 4 - Bryant Brown Email: firstname.lastname@example.org District 5 - Dustin Gettel Email: email@example.com
By Mayor Robert Hale
When June arrives in our City, it truly locks out “Old Man Winter” and welcomes in the summer months of vacations, warm weather, pleasant family gatherings, and the ﬁrst harvests in the garden. Apricot trees and some early cherry trees are ready to provide tasty treats right from the branches. Oh, how sweet! There are hundreds of school children that are counting the days, then hours, then minutes to when the last school bell will be heard for the year. Don’t we always remember that special feeling of Summer Daze appearing right in our face! How welcome they are! Hillcrest High School will have its graduation exercises at the Maverik Center on the 5th of June. Hundreds of Husky seniors will have completed all the required classwork and training to obtain the diploma, which up to now, has been among their highest goals. The sun will rise the next day and life will move into other realms, but for this day (and thankfully, many days in their futures) these students will be very glad to have paid the high price of graduation. Congratulations to all of you, and your parents, guardians,
teachers, and staff! All were facilitators to your completion and graduation. Midvale has residents and businesses that have expressed a desire to be of service – especially to the youth who live among us. To provide unique opportunities for service, the Kiwanis Club of the Canyons was formed this year. They meet on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays at noon in the Dahl Conference Room of Midvale City Hall, 7505 Holden Street. I know there are residents that desire to assist the youth of Midvale in an organized and meaningful way. Come join us on June 12 and 26! How can I emphasize this any greater? The United States Census for 2020 is coming next year! The Congress of the United States uses the data gathered next year to fund programs for the budget years of 2021 through 2030, TEN YEARS, based on data gathered during early 2020. It is so important for you and me to take the time and complete the census either on line, by mail or when presented with the census form by an enumerator. Be willing to assist others in this task as well. For most, it won’t take even ﬁve minutes. But it is so important! The census is a constitutional duty of our government and of us, the governed, to complete the decennial census. Have a great and productive summer!
FUNDRAISER TO BENEFIT JOANN SEGHINI SCHOLARSHIP FUND 801-567-7200 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
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LUNAFEST Shines Spotlight on Women in Film
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The Kiwanis Club of the Canyons is partnering with the Midvale Main Street Theatre and LUNAFEST to showcase a collection of short ﬁlms by, for, and about women on Fri., July 12, 2019 at Midvale Main Street Theatre, located on Midvale’s historic Main Street. Proceeds from the event will beneﬁt the Kiwanis Club of the Canyons JoAnn Seghini Scholarship Fund, awarded to young women who are pursuing education in male-dominated ﬁelds. Since 2000, LUNAFEST has showcased the work of talented women directors from all over the world. The ﬁlms are incredibly diverse in style and content and united by a common thread of exceptional storytelling. The program will compel discussion, make you laugh, tug at your heartstrings and motivate you to make a difference in your community. LUNAFEST was the ﬁrst all-women travelling ﬁlm festival to hit the circuit and amplify the voices of strong women everywhere. The ﬁrst event was a small yet hopeful screening in California. Today, there are screenings in more than 175 cities across the nation, showcasing the work of talented female directors. Kit Crawford, owner and co-chief visionary ofﬁcer at Clif Bar & Company, has always been a champion behind the festival who insists on “telling stories that have to be told.” There are 2.13 male
short-ﬁlm directors for every one female director, 2.13 male voices to every one female heard, and 2.13 male stories to every one female story not yet told. “The ﬁlms are short, but they are powerful and creative,” said Tammy Ross, Midvale Main Street Theatre owner. “They are about situations women ﬁnd themselves in all around the world, and their inner strength to deal with challenges that particularly affect women.” The evening starts with a VIP reception with complimentary hors d’oeuvres, beverages, cash bar and silent auction beginning at 6:30 p.m., followed by the ﬁlms starting at 7:30 p.m. VIP Reception tickets ($30) include the reception and ﬁlm screenings and must be purchased in advance. General admission tickets ($20) include ﬁlm screenings only; concessions will be available for purchase. Tickets are available online at www.eventbrite.com. Films featured in LUNAFEST are not rated but we suggest age 13+ for this season’s lineup, which can be viewed at www. lunafest.org/ﬁlmmakers. Questions? Visit @KiwanisClubofMidvaleUT on Facebook or contact Laura Magness, Kiwanis Club of the Canyons President, at KiwanisClubOfTheCanyons@outlook.com.
In The Middle of Everything Petty Theft to Headline Harvest Days
San Francisco Tribute to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers to Headline Evening Entertainment on August 3 At the forefront of classic and contemporary American Rock and Roll you are sure to ﬁnd Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. If you’re a fan of Tom Petty’s amazing song catalog, then you’re sure to like Petty Theft. Comprised of six professional Bay Area musicians that have come together to pay tribute to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Petty Theft delivers Tom Petty’s songs true to the originals and in the spirit of his legendary band’s live shows, performing everything from his revered classics to his more recent hits. Petty Theft is not an average cover band. They are the ultimate tribute to one of America’s most endearing rock n’ roll legends… Tom Petty. Since the band’s inception in 2003, Petty Theft has been entertaining audiences with an electrifying live show. No matter where they play, it’s a guaranteed sing-along. Audiences everywhere know these classic radio hits and when performed by Petty Theft, it sounds like you are hearing the real deal! Petty Theft is not an average cover band but an ultimate tribute to one of America’s most endearing rock n’ roll legends… It’s not about costumes and getups, it’s all about the music! Petty Theft continues to build a strong reputation and following as a premier tribute band. So, be sure save the date! Saturday, August 3, 2019 at Midvale City Park. Visit www.MidvaleHarvestDays.com for more information.
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Neighborhood Block Parties SIGN UP NOW Neighborhood block parties are a fun way to meet neighbors, build friendships, and develop a sense of belonging and security among residents. Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring the City, police, ﬁre and neighbors together under positive circumstances. 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 at city parks or 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. We are happy to assist you in this endeavor. Party organizers are encouraged to invite the Midvale City Council, Uniﬁed Police Department and Uniﬁed Police Department to attend their parties. Upon request, the City will also provide street barricades. Space is limited and is available on a ﬁrst-come-ﬁrst-served basis. Contact 385-468-9350 to arrange a visit from the Mayor, City Council, staff, Uniﬁed Police Department and Uniﬁed Fire Authority.
SUCCESSFUL BLOCK PARTY IDEAS Get everyone involved. Ask your neighbors to join in on the planning. They will provide great suggestions for the block party. Help get the word out on the block. Build up interest by handing out ﬂyers and recruit people to help get the block party set up. Get the word out early. Advertise early and often. Give your neighbors notice so they can schedule their activities around this date. Tell your neighbors on the ﬂyer the kind of activities that are planned, to make it exciting and spark their interest such as free food, face painting, sidewalk chalk painting and rafﬂes. Solicit donations from local businesses. This is their chance to make their advertising dollars work for them. Good will goes along way. Many businesses are willing to provide gift certiﬁcates, donate store items that can be rafﬂed, provide coupons for refreshments. Create a block map. Make a master copy of your block map for everyone on your block so they can keep in touch. Find out about the talents and resources of the neighbors on your block.
Midvale Community Council By Sophia Hawes-Tingey, Chair Margarita Santini with the National Census paid us a visit in May and spoke about how important it is that we get an accurate count of the people that live in Midvale in 2020. She encouraged the Community Council to make sure that we are involved in the Complete Count Committee. For every person that is not counted, it is projected that over a thousand dollars in resources is lost. Afterwards, at our Community Engagement meeting, the Uniﬁed Fire Authority led the Community Council and all present through a hands-only CPR training and answered our questions. Mayor Hale announced that the city had just had a reduction in force with regards to code enforcement ofﬁcers and building inspectors. He told us that Midvale is planning on contracting those services to streamline services, save money, and ensure the safety of our code enforcement ofﬁcers.
On June 5, Bryce Haderlie, the assistant city manager in charge of ﬁnance, is going to give a brief overview of the new city budget. In addition, Midvale’s Economic Director will be providing an overview and update on the Jordan Bluffs Development Project area. On July 5, the Uniﬁed Police Department will be providing Active Shooter Training. Please bring your questions and concerns. The Community Council is focused on community engagement and dialogue, and is open to the public, with the business portion of the meeting at 6:15 p.m. and community engagement with community watch and presentations starting at 7:00 p.m. We are looking for new members, especially if you live in Midvale City Council District 3. Follow us on Facebook (@ MidvaleCommunityCouncil) and come check us out. We’d love to see you there.
JUNE 2019 CITY NEWSLETTER WWW . MIDVALECITY . ORG
MARCH OFFICER OF THE MONTH Officer Chad Pedersen
New Midvale Youth Ambassadors Recognized
On March 31, Ofﬁcer Chad Pedersen responded to a citizen assist call in which the complainant suffered from a mental illness which caused her to think that someone was trying to break into her home on a continual basis. Ofﬁcer Pedersen approached this call with compassion and patience despite the fact other ofﬁcers have responded to this residence multiple times in previous weeks and found the complaints were the result of delusions. That night, Ofﬁcer Pedersen took the time to help the complainant insure her residence was secure and spent most of the remainder of his shift parked outside her apartment to help her feel safe. The following day, Ofﬁcer Pedersen brought some of his own tools and arrived for work early. On his own time, and at his own expense, Ofﬁcer Pedersen installed some wooden dowels into the window jams of the complainant’s apartment to insure her windows were secure. He also obtained permission from the property manager to install an interior chain lock on her front door adding to her feeling of security. Ofﬁcer Pedersen did this without being asked and did not seek recognition for his actions. His compassionate act was only discovered when the Uniﬁed Police Department Mental Health Unit did a follow-up visit with the complainant a few days later. This example is but one of many others in which Ofﬁcer Pedersen has gone above and beyond his duties and exhibited exceptional care to the citizens we serve.
Congratulations to the 2019-2020 Midvale Youth Ambassadors. On May 21, the Mayor and City Council recognized the following new Youth Ambassadors: Adamaris Gonzalez, Katheryn Lopez, Zay Salih, Autumn Thelen, Yovanni Valdez and John Zhao. This is an exceptional group of youth who have demonstrated their commitment to service in the community. The Youth Ambassador program provides them with a wonderful opportunity to increase their leadership skills and gain a greater understanding of local government. Watch for them this summer as they will be riding the Midvale City ﬂoat in many of the local parades. Congratulations!
What to do When You Find a Lost Pet (or Lose Your Own) Some pets are escape artists, others accidently run away because of something scary that may have happened at or near their home such as emergency sirens or ﬁreworks. Salt Lake County Animal Services would like to remind you if you ﬁnd a lost pet, it is the LAW that the pet be brought to the shelter within 24 hours. Remember, if it was your pet, you would want to ﬁnd them as quickly as possible, and the ﬁrst place you will think to search, besides your neighborhood, is your local animal shelter. HERE ARE SOME SIMPLE STEPS TO TAKE IF YOU FIND A LOST PET: • If the pet has a tag with a phone number, call it and let them know you have found the animal. • Do not assume that the animal you found is a stray or has been abused. Assume that it is simply lost. • If you ﬁnd this pet in Salt Lake County Animal Services jurisdiction, take it directly to the shelter (511 W. 3900 S.) during business hours (10 AM – 6 PM, Mon-Sat.) If it’s outside of business hours, please call animal control dispatch at 801-743-7000. Our animal control is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. • You can take a picture of that pet and post it on social media (ex: Facebook, Next Door App, KSL) with where you found the animal and that you took it to Salt Lake County Animal Services. • We will scan that animal for a microchip and call the owner if there is information on that microchip. • The BEST thing you can do for that animal and that animal’s owner is to take it to the shelter.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR PET IS LOST: • Visit your local shelter and surrounding shelters within 24 hours. Keep returning. We post all the animals that come in to our shelter on our website at www.adoptutahpets.com. • Post your pet’s photo on social media, ﬂyers on public bulletin boards and around the neighborhood. • Look for your pet during the day and at night. Call for your pet and stay in one place long enough for your pet to respond to your call. Organize a search party. • DON’T GIVE UP! We’ve had lost pets come in to the shelter after having been missing for a year. PREPARE YOURSELF BEFORE YOUR PET GETS LOST: • Make sure your pets have current ID tags and are microchipped. Double check that your information is current on your microchip. You can get a microchip for your pet at your local veterinarian or at Salt Lake County Animal Services. This will help if your pet ever does become lost. ID tags can come off while your pet is on their “adventure.” Remember, the shelter is the BEST place to look for your pet.
In The Middle of Everything
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Vendors Sought for Midvale City Harvest Days Event – FREE vendor space now available The Midvale City Harvest Days Committee invites vendors to participate in the annual Harvest Days Festival which will take place on Saturday, August 3 at Midvale City Park. Harvest Days is an honored tradition that brings a fun-ﬁlled day that residents look forward to every year. 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 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 by completing an application located on the Harvest Days website (www.MidvaleHarvestDays.com). Contact Laura Magness at 801-567-7230 or Lmagness@midvale.com for more information. Spaces ﬁll up quickly. So, please submit your application as soon as possible.
Midvalley STARRS making own mark By Julie Slama | firstname.lastname@example.org
You are invited & dinner is on us!
Learn more about Advanced Funeral Planning • Wills • Trusts • Burial Plots • Cremation After speaking to Midvalley fifth-grade students as part of the school’s new STARRS program, Midvale Mayor Robert Hale shook their hands. (Julie Slama/City Journals)
tah has a connection to the name “stars” – starting with the former Utah Stars, the first and only Utah professional basketball team to win a championship title; the Utah Starzz – one of the WNBA first franchise teams that played here; and the Salt Lake City Stars – the Utah Jazz development team. When Midvalley Elementary students are talking stars teams, they have their own. The Midvalley STARRS team represents fifth-grade Students That Are Responsible, Respectful and Successful, School Counselor
place, but learning responsibility and respect and looking toward their future,” she said. Midvalley administrators, along with Midvale Youth Ambassador Kosha Hansen, who helps at the school and also speaks to youth about goal setting, established the program. The key components of the program include service – tying fleece blankets for The Road Home shelter; looking to their future – writing letters to their future selves and placing their handprints on a poster committing to excellence; etiquette – including a
““Be a leader,” Hale encouraged the attentive students. “Be respectful; you will have many more friends.” Gina Lloyd said. “We want the kids to learn how to be successful,” she said. “We want them to learn how to be of service in the community, be kind, be respectful, have empathy, work as a team and prepare themselves to be successful in secondary school and afterward.” This year, Midvalley introduced the new program to help these students develop leadership after administrators noticed fifth-graders were struggling. “They need to show that they are important at this time and place. They’re preparing for middle schools, but at the same time, they are needing to be leaders here. They are learning how to be successful at this time and
formal luncheon with a surprise guest speaker later this month; kindness and teamwork – creating a paper chain of kind acts performed that wrapped around the entire school; and learning about respect and responsibility from Midvale Mayor Robert Hale, who recently visited the school. “Be a leader,” Hale encouraged the attentive students. “Be respectful; you will have many more friends. When you are, you can help other people and you will become more successful in life. Reach out, share, take responsibility. These will take you far.” Hale told students about when he attended the first Liberty Elementary in Murray, a two-story school where in fifth grade, he
struggled in math. “It challenged me,” he said. “But I kept working, trying to understand the principles, trying to do the best I could. Today, I have a mind for math and that started in fifth grade. But I also learned, if I kept trying, testing myself again and again, I could do hard things and be successful.” Hale said that it was about that time when he was playing at recess and a younger student came up to him, asking for help with his basketball shot. “When you demonstrate maturity, love and respect, people look to you as a leader, as friend. It doesn’t matter if it’s football or math, you can help someone and they will give you their respect and friendship,” he said. Students posed questions to Hale — from train safety to those who have impacted him (amongst those he named were his family and his sixth-grade teacher who served as a World War II soldier and taught them about respect for the flag, country and those who serve). Hale said as mayor, he appreciates the culture in Midvale and hopes they appreciate their classmates at Midvalley. “All of us look different. We have different hairstyles, different clothes. And all of us are unique and wonderful and that’s a blessing,” Hale said. “If we looked all the same, then how would your teacher tell the difference of each of us and how valuable we each are? We all can bring our strengths and share them. That is what will make you promising great leaders and make our community better.” l
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Midvale Elementary’s Jessica Beus named Canyons teacher of the year By Julie Slama | email@example.com
Teacher of the year runner-up, Josh Long, of Hillcrest High School, shakes hands with Canyons Teacher of the Year Jessica Beus, of Midvale Elementary. Anna Alger, of Eastmont Middle, also was named a runner-up. (Julie Slama/City Journals)
here was not one, but two standing ovations April 23 when Canyons School District officials named the teacher of the year and also, a possible teacher pay increase. After recognizing 47 teachers from Canyons District schools and programs, Midvale Elementary’s Jessica Beus was announced the district teacher of the year. The other two finalists were Anna Alger from Eastmont Middle and theater teacher Josh Long from Hillcrest High. Each of these three teachers received $500, with Beus as the top teacher, receiving an additional $500. Every school teacher received a crystal award plus a Real Salt Lake jersey with their name silkscreened on it that they can wear to the Canyons School District-RSL night May 24, where they will be recognized on the field. But afterward, teachers got another treat. Canyons Board of Education President Nancy Tingey read a statement addressing a tentative agreement with the Canyons Education Association proposing that this fall all Canyons teachers would receive a $7,665 per year salary increase. “This would put the starting teacher annual pay at $50,000 — elevating the teaching profession by bringing salaries in line with those of other professionals in Utah, and making it possible for teachers to pursue their passion, and do what they’re good at while also earning a living wage,” Tingey said. This would be made possible with a property tax increase, which will be present-
Page 16 | June 2019
ed for approval at a required Truth-in-Taxation hearing in August, she added. (See article Canyons Board announces proposed teacher salary increase) For Beus, it was an unbelievable evening. “I had let my mom know that I was in the final eight, but when they announced my name, she was emotional for both of us,” Beus said. “She was just bawling. I was more shocked, surprised — and very honored. It was fun to see the support of my school there.” The support was a crowd of teachers and her principal all holding up cut outs of Beus’ face and cheering her on. “Nobody deserves this more than Jessica,” said Midvale Elementary Principal Chip Watts, who acknowledged that Beus can reach even the toughest students at the Title I school. “She’s incredibly hard working and is a teacher willing to do whatever it takes for her students. She always puts them first and is a critical part of our incredible turnaround progress we’re making here at Midvale.” (See article Midvale Elementary turnaround status extended) However, Beus quickly shares the credit. “It’s exciting what we’re doing and where we’re going with Midvale, but it comes from the support we have of each other. We are a team, we all dive in and do what is best for our students,” she said. Her role at Midvale is to team-teach third grade, focusing on math and science.
Midvale Elementary’s Jessica Beus, seen shaking hands with Canyons Board of Education President Nancy Tingey, was named Canyons School District Teacher of the Year 2019. (Julie Slama/City Journals)
“I have a natural curiosity about the world and am bursting with observations in science. I encourage them to become more independent thinkers,” she said. Beus began her focus on becoming an elementary teacher after taking a year off to teach English in China. She graduated with a bachelor’s in elementary education and a minor in English language development from Brigham Young University, then began her teaching career in Alpine School District. She now has taught five years, her third year with Canyons District. Beus also had inspiring role models, starting with her mom, Anne Beus, who taught music and Spanish in Granite School District and currently is teaching orchestra at Park Lane Elementary. “My mom inspired me with her dedication to kids. She believed and helped them succeed,” the Canyons School District teacher of the year said. Beus also credits her former third-grade Silver Mesa teacher, Kay Cook, who made “learning so fun and totally put everything into it.” She also interned for Westmore Elementary (Orem) teacher Aleesha Ottley, whom she learned patience in working with students. “She is able to connect with students in tough situations and has a demeanor where ‘everything is going to be fine.’ I’ve tried to emulate that and take the best from her, my mom and Mr. Cook as I teach,” she said. However, she has her own talent, as was
shared at the ceremony, when she also was referred to as the “child whisperer.” “That started with the principal saying that. He said I’m able to reach students, connect with them and help them make progress,” Beus said. “I speak to them as adults, on the same level, with love and respect, and empower them. I want them to realize, they are the boss of themselves and they are capable of success.” The high school runner-up, Long, was highlighted for his ability to bring the team of choir, band, orchestra, stage crew and theatre students together to realize an award-winning program. “Josh welcomes everyone who wants to participate in theater, drawing diverse teachers together and overseeing casts of hundreds of students. He chooses plays and musicals that connect to a wide variety of students and their experiences, and no matter how many awards his students win — and they win a lot — he is always working with them to become even better,” his statement read. Tingey showed her appreciation for every teacher who has a positive impact on students. “The positive influence and knowledge you and your fellow educators impart to young people strengthens our community and individual lives in immeasurable ways,” she said. “Words cannot adequately express the gratitude we have for the wonderful work you are doing. So please, accept this simple and heartfelt thank you.” l
Midvale City Journal
Canyons board announces proposed teacher salary increase By Julie Slama | firstname.lastname@example.org
s the Canyons School District teacher of the year celebration drew to a close, Canyons Board of Education President Nancy Tingey read a statement that brought the auditorium of educators to their feet erupting in applause. Tingey’s statement on April 23 addressed a tentative agreement with the Canyons Education Association proposing that all Canyons teachers would receive a $7,665 per year salary increase. “This would put the starting teacher annual pay at $50,000 — elevating the teaching profession by bringing salaries in line with those of other professionals in Utah, and making it possible for teachers to pursue their passion, and do what they’re good at while also earning a living wage,” she said. The $50,000 starting teacher salary would be the highest school district pay in the state. However, she also said this would be made possible with a property tax increase, which will be presented for approval at a required Truth-in-Taxation hearing in August. “All of the funds from the proposed property tax increase would go exclusively to teacher salaries. We see this investment as a positive step toward inspiring college students to regard teaching as a viable career and reinforce the belief that teaching is a destination profession,” she said. Utah’s Truth-in-Taxation law shifts the base for taxation from a fixed rate to a fixed revenue amount, with a sliding scale for population growth or to reflect property value. It also requires local government entities to notify the public and hold hearings with intended raising of taxes to allow transparency to decision-making about taxes. While she said more information will be available forthwith, Tingey and other Board members were decisively quiet following the announcement. “I believe we’ll just let the statement stand,” she said. However, teachers were elated following the announcement. East Sandy Elementary teacher and former teacher of the year runner-up Stephanie Cobabe supported the statement. “Just prior to the awards and recognitions, all of the teachers in the room were asked to stand and declare, ‘I am a teacher,’” she said. “We were thanked for the work we do to help inspire, guide, and change the future for children. With this announcement, I’m certain many of us feel supported and encouraged to continue to make a difference the way we do. I am grateful for the continued support from our school communities, from the parents to our principals, to our school board. We all need to be a team to make the most impactful differences.”
Canyons Superintendent Jim Briscoe said he was proud of the Board. “I think it took courage from the Board to be willing to have a Truth-in-Taxation to increase the pay for teachers, to set the bar high and put that high priority on education,” he said. However, he did acknowledge that it could be hard on some community members, such as seniors who live on a fixed income. “They can file an appeal – a circuit breaker – with the Utah State Tax Commission so their taxes don’t go up,” he said. There also are exemptions such as veterans with disabilities, legally blind property owners, active or reserved duty armed forces and others. (For more information, see https://tax.utah.gov/forms/pubs/pub-36.pdf) Briscoe said there will be opportunities for community discussion about the proposal. On June 18, there will be a budget hearing and in July, discussion on the tax bill. There will be a date in August announced on the canyonsdistrict.org website where the community can speak about the proposal. Park Lane Elementary Principal Justin Jeffery said while the news is exciting, he could see taxpayers initially being nervous about the potential increase. “I think when they realize the funds will just go to the teachers, they’ll be more receptive than seeing a tax increase for roads. I hear back east, the teachers have great pay and their roads have pot holes. We have great roads, but are teachers aren’t paid as well. It’s exciting that our Board is wanting to give teachers more money,” he said. Draper Park Middle School eighth-grade teacher Jared Collette said this will step up the quality of teachers in Canyons District. “With the big demand for teachers, we’ll be offering teachers a salary they deserve and filling those with great professionals who will deliver students a high-quality education,” he said. Eastmont Middle School seventh-grade teacher Cody West supported the Board’s proposal. “When I choose to work for this district, I asked family and friends about Canyons,” he said. “My mother-in-law works at Midvale Elementary and she said how well teachers are taken care of. My experience is a true reflection of that level of dedication of the care of teachers who, in turn, take care of the future of our students. If teachers aren’t taken care of, how can students prosper? This is a step in the right direction.” Draper Elementary Principal Christy Waddell was pumped up about the possible increase. “I’m so excited about it,” she said. “It’s so needed. It’s impressive how Canyons District is at the forefront of it.” l
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Many Canyons School District teachers, like East Sandy kindergarten teacher Stephanie Cobabe (seen here), support the proposed teacher salary increase. (Julie Slama/City Journals)
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Memories aside, Midvalley community eager for new school By Julie Slama | email@example.com
This is where we would fly our model airplanes very early in the mornings,” Canyons Board of Education member Mont Millerberg told a crowd of hundreds of neighbors. He pointed beyond the yellow caution tape around Midvalley Elementary’s former grassy field east of the school, which had been torn up and become muddied from the rain the previous day when the groundbreaking was originally scheduled. “The neighbors would call the police, because the motors are very loud. The police would come, and we would grab our stuff and head to the back gate. I think the police figured giving us a good scare was justice enough, because we got away every time,” he said. “Then, the sign showed up.” The sign, at the entrance of the school grounds, prohibits the flying of model airplanes. “We proudly refer to that as the ‘Millerberg/Tennyson’ rule,” he said, pointing out houses of the Tennyson family, his grandparents and great grandparents across 7800 South. Millerberg now lives in that same block. He recounted tales of how Midvalley school grounds served as memories for his childhood and for those of his children and now, grandchildren at the ceremonial
Canyons Board of Education member Mont Millerberg, Midvalley Principal Tamra Baker and Midvalley Elementary 36-year custodian Jim Sheeley take their turn helping shovel the spot where a new Midvalley Elementary will stand. (Julie Slama/City Journals)
Midvalley Principal Tamra Baker shows Midvale Mayor Robert Hale the plans and colors for the new Midvalley Elementary. (Julie Slama/City Journals)
groundbreaking for the new school on April 17, which was delayed one day because of downpours. Midvalley is the first elementary school to be rebuilt (at a cost not to exceed $21,242,000) from a $283 million bond approved by voters in November 2017. Already under way are the rebuilding of Hillcrest and Brighton high schools and additions for Alta and Corner Canyon high schools from the bond funds. The new elementary school, which is
scoop up dirt. “I scooped up one shovel and it felt so good, I did another,” Millerberg said. After a ceremonial dig from dignitaries, students rushed in to turn the dirt themselves. Second-grader Spencer Lee was amongst those who stayed the longest to “help” build the new school. “He will attend the new school when he’s in fourth grade,” said Suzy Lee, his mother and a parent volunteer in the school. “I think this will be awesome to have a nice, new beautiful building that is up-to-date and they’re being pro-active in taking care of kids.” Parent Polly Gallman has two children, Jacob and Callie, at Midvalley and three older kids already have graduated from the school. While she acknowledged her kids’ memories are tied in with the existing building, she is looking forward to the new school. “Part of it to me is that the building is a structure that is connected to a generation of educators and employees who give their heart and soul to teaching and represent that era and for me, it’s the memory of my kids’ youth and education, but with a new building, it will be far better in terms of safety, air conditioning and learning,” she said. Gallman, who works in the front office, said that the school is more than the building. “Midvalley integrates all different ethnicities, income diversity, backgrounds and our children see the world differently because of that. We embrace this culture; it’s a great community. Whether the building is old or new, it symbolizes who we are. It’s awesome to see when a child comes to the school without knowing a single word in English and six months later, I see them say, ‘Hi Miss Polly,’” she said. “These kids, some who may be experiencing difficult circumstances, are given a chance and with positive support from people who care about them, are able to thrive. There are great things in store for them.” l
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expected to open in fall 2020, will sit on the former grassy field as the current 435 students will continue to study in the 62-yearold school. The new school will be the largest elementary at 85,000 square feet to house 800 students, anticipated to help school children in the growing west side of the city, Principal Tamra Baker said. “Many of the older folk remember that cleaning chalkboard erasers was regarded a privilege and duck-and-cover drills were the staple of school safety plans,” she said. “We have some pretty amazing students and teachers who, over the years, have achieved great things despite the roof leaks and sometimes uncomfortably hot and cold classrooms. Imagine what’s possible when the excellence we have come to expect from ourselves is mirrored by our surroundings.” NJRA Architects designed the building with input from teachers, students and the community and held a preliminary preview of the school last fall. Crews with Bud Mahas Construction already have started work this spring on the two-story school that will include a safety vestibule entrance in addition to clear view of entrances and exits and a perimeter road to allow emergency responders access to the building. Classrooms will have natural light, technology, a sink with a drinking fountain, storage and space for learning. Nearby will be restrooms and drinking fountains with water bottle filling stations as well as collaborative spaces as well as a small kiva for teaching. “It allows us lots of flexibility for teaching and learning as well as looks to the future and what needs may be,” Baker said. “It gives us space to be productive.” Throughout the building, which will use school colors of red, white and blue, in addition to shades of teal, green and gray, there will be large skylights, a multi-purpose room for lunch and inside gym and power towers for electronic devices. With a performance from the school choir, Millerberg jumped in a backhoe to
Midvale City Journal
Monitoring the workload of competitive youth athletes By Catherine Garrett | firstname.lastname@example.org
or the past several years, youth sports have become increasingly competitive and time-consuming with year-round opportunities on various fields of play. Is there a benefit? What is the cost? Over the next two issues, the City Journals will explore the current trends of competitive youth sports with signing up for yearround options at young ages and specializing in sports early versus trying out multiple sports while looking at the effects of the intense training required that can lead to recurring pain in young athletes and burnout. Why children play sports The first thing we need to do with our young athletes, according to Aspen Institute Executive Director Tom Farrey, who authored “Game On: The All-American Race to Make Champions Of Our Children,” is to make sure this is what the kids want to do. “Youth sports is a wonderful thing. They’re terrific. We just have to understand that we’re dealing with human beings – little human beings – they’re not miniature adults and we need to listen to what they want.” The number one reason children participate in sports is because it is “fun.” In a study by George Washington University, youth listed 81 definitions of “fun” as social bonds, access to action and coaches treating players with respect. Interestingly, “winning” was the 48th reason and “earning medals” was 67th on the list as far as motivations behind young athletes playing sports. John O’Sullivan, in an article, “Why Kids Play Sports,” recommends that we let young athletes define their level of enjoyment with sports and continue to listen to their perspective throughout our evaluations of their “sporting path.” “As they get older…you might have to tell them that in order to pursue their goals in a sport, they might have to step it up a notch environment wise,” he said. “But when that time comes, let it be their decision to make the jump. If you force it, you may lose them. When we force kids to try out for a high-commitment, performance-pathway sports team, and all they want is to play and be with friends, they will burn out, lose the love of the game, and quit.” O’Sullivan also encourages parents to be patient with the varying levels of growth and performance of our children. “Your nineyear-old soccer player who only made the B team is just fine. Your 11-year-old basketball player who isn’t playing AAU is not a lost cause. Every child develops at different ages and on an individual timeline, and your best contribution is to help them fall in love with a sport so that they actually want to play and practice enough to get good at it” He further states, “The greatest athletics-related gift you can give your child is love of sport. They will take it from there.” As the entire landscape of the competitive youth sports environment has changed
over the past decade, the one constant through all of this is: kids play sports to have fun, most stay in sports for many years because they are still having fun and a large percentage have left athletic fields because they are not having fun. Demands on young athletes At younger and younger ages, club and accelerated sports leagues options are available which lead youth into spending more time focused on one sport. Aside from the financial burdens that increase at older ages and levels, the intensity of the training for that sport – and sometimes at the exclusion of all other activities – also trends upward. Multi-sport athletes also risk overtraining and overuse with different workouts from different coaches. Despite some benefits of avoiding burnout from one sport and developing different skill sets from various sports, a high demand is put on youth’s bodies with minimal recovery time. This is where the greater cost potentially lies as more and more is being demanded of youth athletes. “Where is the research that more is better? I don’t see it,” said Carolyn Billings, Brigham Young University director of Sport Medicine and head athletic trainer. “We are pushing our youth to train more than some of our college and professional athletes, and it is wrong. Under this system we have created with such a desire for prestige and winning, we are doing a real disservice to these kids. Sports used to be such a positive thing, but we’re losing sight of those life lessons.” George Washington University professor of sports management Mark Hyman said, “The system is now designed to meet the needs of the most talented kids. We no longer value participation. We value excellence.” That demand on the bodies of those in youth sports is taking its toll with injuries that are up 500-700% from 10 years ago, including severe ones. Billings noted that she began her career in 1995 and didn’t see an ACL injury until nine or 10 years later. “Now, I typically don’t see a soccer player who hasn’t had some type of knee injury,” she said. “And those are just some of the results of what’s been happening over the last 15 years.” According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, millions of young athletes are injured each year with half of those injuries considered preventable. Utahbased Sport Ready co-founder Robin Cecil, a physical therapist of 25 years, said. “Look around. Has an ACL become common? Have you heard your child often complain of pain? Injuries are becoming so common that it is now considered normal. Playing with pain is not normal. Giving our children Tylenol to get them through a game should not be considered normal. The ‘no pain, no gain’ motto was for a different era with different param-
If you are concerned about the health of your athlete within the current youth sports system and would like to be included in an injury surveillance project that will be completed through a weekly questionnaire starting on Aug. 1, 2019 and continuing for eight weeks, sign up at www.rusportready. com/injury-surveillance-sign-up/ or email email@example.com for more information. Males and females, ages 10 to 22 who play any kind of sports at the club, middle school, high school or university levels are welcome to participate in this free-of-charge study. The objective is to gather much-needed data regarding the health of young athletes to assess the current trends within youth sports. The deadline to submit request for participation is Friday, July 26, 2019 eters. The pains that hurt at night are typically growing pains, but if it’s pains during the day, we need to address it.” Cecil often finds athletes approaching her asking for help and reporting frequent pain. “We know what causes a lot of what’s going on. We need to first recognize that it is a problem and then find ways to place the child back of the center of their own sports experience.” Some things to consider For parents with younger children considering competitive sports: • There is not a magic starting age for competitive sports • Identify your focus. Are you looking to develop your athlete or win at all costs? • Find a system that will allow children to play multiple sports through elementary school. • Understand the early specialization sports, such as gymnastics, diving, figure skating have very complex skills that are able to mastered before maturation, and also the late specialization sports (basketball, soccer, field hockey, tennis). • Consider children’s interests and match sports to children’s temperament, size and level of commitment • Consider the cost For parents with children already in competitive youth sports • Recognize that sports have changed • Recommended guidelines are that a child does not compete or train more hours per week than their age • Understand that playing multiple sports in the same season when competing in
at least one sport at the competitive level leads to greater chances of injury • Consider the benefits of taking two months off each year for specialized athletes • Ensure that athletes are warming up and cooling down with each training and competition. • Ensure that your athlete is hydrate. • Understand that you are the child’s best and most invested advocate. Speak up if your child is in a situation of overtraining and/or is dealing with injuries on a regular basis or burnout. • Understand your role in caring for and monitor your athlete’s health, wellness and workload or make sure the coaches and clubs they play for are doing so. (Compiled from sources including the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, John O’ Sullivan, Francois Gazzano, “A Home Team Advantage by Brooke Lench, Sport for Life, Project Play and other health professionals) The competitive youth sports industry pulls at wallets, time, desires, goals at a financial price tag of upwards of $15 billion with opportunities of accelerated sports leagues and elite traveling teams and the “possible” college scholarship. This is the cost. Young athletes and parents can weigh the benefits and risks involved with the high-level training it takes to get there. In the July 2019 issue, the City Journals will discuss ways to monitor workload, wellness and injury and burnout to increase the safety of our young athletes within the school and club settings. l
June 2019 | Page 19
Father’s Day around the County 2019 By Jennifer J. Johnson | firstname.lastname@example.org
appy Father’s Day, Salt Lake County! The City Journals gives a tribute to Valley dads by sharing what they are doing this holiday.
for her husband’s Father’s Day. She is going to recreate a memorable Hawaii anniversary, by turning their Holladay backyard into Hawaiiday—creating a temporary sand pit and paddling pool, complete with 12 children and Father’s Day bows to Mother’s Day Like a gentleman, June’s Father’s Day parents in grass skirts, sipping “mocktails.” bows to May’s Mother’s Day, opening the The ModernDad.Com—‘We get to famidoor for her and letting her go first. Father’s lies in different ways’ Day, according to some fathers the City JourUtah is somewhat famous for its momnals interviewed, like to keep their day more my bloggers — women who write on the modest than a more elaborate Mother’s Day. Internet about their experience as moms. Explains Jeff Stenquist, a Draper res- Jason Dunnigan, senior digital communicaident and Republican member of the Utah tions specialist at Riverton-based Stampin’ Legislature, “Myself and fathers in general, Up!, has been presenting the other side of the we don’t get into celebrations so much. We story, giving “a guy’s perspective” on being don’t try to draw a lot of attention to our- a parent since the first posting of his “The selves.” Stenquist noted that gifts for Father’s Modern Dad” blog in 2014. Day tend to be “socks,” versus more exotic This Father’s Day will be the first time gifts for Mother’s Day. Dunnigan, who was adopted, is armed with Socks work just fine for the Draper dad information about his biological parents. of adopted children from the Ukraine, folAt Christmas in December, he was giftlowed by the added gift of biological children ed with ancestry DNA from local company in what some parents would consider an en- Ancestry.com. Through the experience Dunviable boy-girl-boy-girl formation. “Father- nigan ended up in dialogue with his birth hood is a great honor. It’s a great experience mother and learned about his birth father. to be a dad.” The experience—and what he said he will be thinking about this Father’s Day—is Father’s Days on the road, again a gift for himself, knowing, “I am where I am Utah daddy blogger Jason Dunnigan has been writing about being a modern dad for the past five years. This Born in India and then growing up in supposed to be.” Dunnigan, a father of three Father’s Day he is grateful for his adoptive parents and three young children. (Photo Credit Jason Dunnigan) Kearns, Salt Lake County District Attorney and Salt Lake City Foothill neighborhood who said he looks like his father, Taylorsville resident Sim Gill recalls spending Father’s resident Jim Dunnigan, a long-time Republican representative of the Utah House of Day on the road with his father. Back in those days, property assessment Representatives, observed, “Sometimes, we was a centralized function for the state, ver- get to families in different ways. I am really sus a responsibility now delegated to coun- grateful.” ties. Gill’s father, Jagdish, then an appraiser for the state of Utah, now residing in Cottonwood Heights, would travel the state to assess land values. “Delta, Kanab, St. George, Price, Duchesne,” Gill rattled off Utah municipalities as if in a speed challenge. Gill and his brother and sister always viewed Father’s Day as “an adventure” and a “special time,” spent on the road, away from their Kearns childhood home.
Giving fathers a head start West Valley City resident Frank Bedolla said he has coached more than 600 low-income Utah dads on how to be the best fathers possible, by un-learning behaviors and attitudes. Through his nonprofit Fathers and Families Coalition of Utah, Bedolla offers the Nurturing Fathers Program, a 13-week, evidence-based training course designed to teach men parenting and nurturing skills. Fathers and Families Coalition starts the work of growing great future dads for young men, as well. Bedolla’s “Wise Guys” course, currently being taught at Murray High School and downtown’s Horizonte School, “teaches young boys how to be men, how to treat women.” Bedolla said that previous generations of parents misunderstood “quality time,” to the detriment of their children and families. “They thought quality time was being present, but it is also being interactive.” His advice to Utah fathers, for Father’s Day 2019? “The best thing you can do is invest in your child. Be the best father you can be. Be there.”
Foster Father of the Year—A Hawaiiday in Holladay Just in time for Father’s Day, Holladay resident and head of strategic insights for Western Governors University Michael Morris was named Foster Father of the Year for the Salt Lake metropolitan area. First fostering, then adopting seven children within the first six months of marriage, Morris and his wife, Amy, were a phenomenon. Now, almost three years later, the couple has achieved near super-foster hero status for fostering another five children, all siblings, hoping to ultimately reunite them with their birth parents. The Utah Foster Care Chalk Art Festival at the Gateway is officially honoring him the last day of the festival—and the day before Prizes for papas - keeping fathers safe on Father’s Day. the job by remembering their children Wife Amy Morris has another surprise For the past 14 years, WCF Insurance
Page 20 | June 2019
2018 Exemplary Father Vladimir Cespedes receives his honor with the best gift of all – his children. (Photo Credit: WCF)
(Workers Compensation Fund) has reached out to Utah’s growing Hispanic and Spanish-speaking audience. As can be imagined, many of those folks are dads. WCF wants to remind dads to be careful on the job, and do it through the gentle and most powerful tug of all—through the heartstrings of their children. The Padre d’el Año—Father of the Year—competition gives Utah children a way to nominate their fathers to earn the special honor and to be gifted with prizes WCF touts as being $500 in value. Children in three age groups—ages 7-11, 12-15, and 1517 nominate their papas for the prizes. Three fathers each season are honored,
receiving cash and one-of-a-kind gifts. This year’s Padre d’el Año and two runners-up will be honored at the June 29 Real Salt Lake game later this month. While the program is targeted to Hispanic and Spanish-speaking audiences, the honor is available to all. Entry forms (offered in Spanish and English) are available at www. wcfespanol.com/. The contest is a case of all fathers being winners. “The major reward that each father receives is knowing they are heroes for their children,” said Carlos Baez, community relations manager for WCF and Taylorsville father of three. l
Midvale City Journal
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.
• 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.
• 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.
• Check with your city to determine what areas allow fireworks. Cities such as Sandy and Herriman have decreased the areas that permit fireworks.
• Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
• Know your fireworks. Read cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting. • Don’t get fancy. While it may be tempting to be creative and construct your own fireworks, the results may not be worth it. • Responsible adults should not only be present, but should supervise closely. Never give fireworks to small children. • Alcohol and fireworks does not make a good cocktail. Save your alcohol for after the show. • Light one firework at a time and don’t linger. Fireworks look just as pretty from 30 feet away as they do from five. • This one may seem obvious, but fireworks should be shot outside, not inside.
• Never shoot fireworks into metal or glass containers. The ricochet hurts just as much. • Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials. • Report illegal explosives. They ruin it for the rest of us. • 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. • 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. • Last, but not least, make sure everyone using fireworks has safety glasses or goggles.
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801-568-3944 June 2019 | Page 21
Money, get away
o you know what the first day of summer (June 21) means for a music lover like myself? Summer concerts! Utah, surprisingly (or maybe unsurprisingly?), has an amazing music scene. From rock shows, to country extravaganzas, to electronic music festivals, to rap concerts, to musicals, to recitals; we’ve got it going on. When purchasing tickets, concertgoers have a few different options. You can purchase tickets through one of the most popular local ticket vendors: Smithstix. Alternatively, you might seek out tickets from TicketMaster, VividSeats, Songkick, Stubhub, or other similar websites. Or, you might buy tickets directly from the venue. For example, if a show is at The Complex or Eccles Theater, you can visit their website and purchase tickets there. The final option is to buy tickets at the door (or maybe even from scalpers). After spending years refining the craft of buying tickets for the best price possible, the best advice I can give is: it depends. I know, I know, that’s not the answer you were hoping
for. Here’s why: it depends on how much the tickets are, how excited you are to see the artist, and when/where/and how long the show is. When considering buying concert tickets, I recommend answering the following question: how much do you care about seeing the performance? Usually, that answer has some follow-up questions. Have you been waiting to see this artist/band/show? If so, how long have you been waiting? Do you know song lyrics (if there are lyrics)? Would your life benefit from seeing the artist/band/ show live? Or will it be better to only know them from their videos, televised concerts, etc.? After gauging your desire to attend the show, figure out how much you would be willing to pay for a ticket. If it’s someone like Lady Gaga or Paul McCartney, are you willing to pay in the triple digits? If it’s someone local, or niche, are you willing to pay $20? Maybe $40? Once you have an acceptable number in your head, go ahead and search for those tickets, but not before. At this point, if you find the desired ticket is about $10 below your acceptable price range, go ahead and snag that ticket. Allow for that $10-$20 flexibility, because online vendors will charge various service fees. Smithstix has at least three different service fees, generally totaling around $15.
Or, if you find the ticket is a little over your price range, but your desire to attend far outweighs the cost, make sure to buy early. You don’t want to get stuck in a situation where you want to go to a show, but it sold out quickly, so now all the tickets are over $200, when they were originally around $40. No one wants that. If the ticket is not in your desired price range, and you’re not sure if you really want to go, you have some options. Buying at the door isn’t a bad one. The awesome thing about buying tickets at the door is the absence of service fees. If a show is going to be $20 at the door, I can bring a $20 bill and be just fine. Not like when a website says it’s going to be $20, then all of a sudden, it’s $35 because of fees. However, if you wait to buy your ticket at the door, there’s the possibility that the show could sell out. And then you’re back to the question, how much do you care about seeing the performance? Is it worth potentially missing it? If you’re looking for shows or performances to attend, sign up for newsletters. There are places on many websites where you can sign up for pre-sales. Additionally, some ticket vendors, Live Nation for example, will occasionally have $20 ticket weeks, where they list a handful of shows for $20 a ticket. Those are an absolute steal!
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Page 22 | June 2019
The Children’s Service Society of Utah (CSS) is set to host its annual Calling All Heroes 5K Fun Run/Walk on June 22 at Wheeler Farm, located at 6351 S. 900 E. in Murray, Utah. Proceeds from the event will go toward preventing child abuse and neglect. Super Heroes from Wish Upon a Party will attend the race, celebrating the everyday heroes present in children’s lives. Costumes for runners and children are highly encouraged but must be safe to race in. Registration is $10 per child and $35 per adult. Each runner will receive a Calling All Heroes 5k t-shirt with registration. Race packet and t-shirt pick-up will take place at Salt Lake Running Company from 3pm to 7pm on Thursday, June 20. The 5K run/walk will take place on the grounds of the historic Wheeler Farm, followed by a FREE 100 meter fun run for younger children, and a postrace celebration with refreshments. Information and race registration is available at cssutah.org/funrun Benefits of the charity fun run help CSS to provide services to Utah’s children and their families. CSS programs include adoption, parental home visitations, and kinship care support services for children being raised by grandparents or extended family members. For more information about CSS, visit CSSUtah.org.
BEAT WRITERS Earn extra cash. Be involved in the community. Write for the City Journals. Send a resume and writing sample to
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ne of my favorite writers, Anne Lamott, said, “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” I think of this when I’m feeling glitchy, when my processor runs slow, my memory won’t upload and I can’t download complete, coherent sentences. When my energy drains like a cell phone battery, that’s the sign I’ve neglected my mental health for too long. I get snappy with my husband to the point he tells me to get out of the house and come back when I can act like a grown-up. After flipping him the bird, I pout to my car. Self-care isn’t just bath bombs and margaritas. Bath bombs dissolve too quickly and margaritas only get me into trouble. Selfcare is tapping into activities that recharge your energy levels. This might mean asking for help (I know, a woman’s ultimate sign of weakness) or finding more time for yourself. Ordering pizza Monday nights is just fine. Jogging through the park is just fine. Hiding under your bed eating Hershey kisses is just fine. Telling your family you’re going to get ice-cream, then taking a monthlong drive through the Andes is on the border of just fine. The point is, find your own self-care routine. This should involve spending time alone. I’m sure in the 1600s, women who practiced self-care were burned at the stake. Why would a woman want to be alone when she gets to care for a 75-year-old husband
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and 10 children? She must be a witch. I must admit, coming home from work I’ve had the thought, “I have so much to do tonight. I can’t even.” Then I drive around listening to self-help audiobooks until I can face life again. Sometimes self-care is hiding in the bathroom with a magazine for 30 minutes because if the kids ask for One. More. Thing. they’ll find themselves living in the garden shed for three months. Every woman’s self-care routine is different. Some women wear face masks while they create a vision board they hope will teleport them to a mansion in Newport Beach where they’ll frolic with a Hemsworth brother. Some women need a hammock, a book and a set of earplugs. And DIY facial scrubs might get your skin glowing, but your mental health needs some polishing, too. Women are so good at controlling everything. Well, women are so good at trying to control everything. Stress does not equal control. Worry does not equal control. You going out of your friggin’ mind is not control. Self-care is a mental practice that involves 1) saying “No” once in a while, 2) saying “Yes” once in a while, 3) not berating yourself, 4) taking plenty of naps, 5) noticing when you’re running on fumes and 6) the occasional margarita. It’s about accepting who you are. Unless you eat Miracle Whip. Then you might need to reevaluate your life. How often do you play? How often do you sleep? Are you so attached to the white-
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June 2019 | Page 23
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Midvale Journal June 2019