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June 2018 | Vol. 18 Iss. 06




illcrest senior Megan Okumura had enjoyed singing with Concert Choir and her middle school choirs, but she partly auditioned for Vocal Ensemble because of director RaNae Dalgleish. “I enjoyed Concert Choir last year and working with our director RaNae,” said Okumura, who is an accomplished pianist. “She is very passionate about music and getting us to do our very best.” Performing at a high caliber level took on a whole new meaning this school year as the Vocal Ensemble had great expectations — to perform at Carnegie Hall — and under the direction of world-known composer Eric Whitacre. “Last year’s Vocal Ensemble is really the reason this year’s Vocal Ensemble was able to perform with him. They actually did the audition tape that was sent and selected by Eric Whitacre to perform in Carnegie. We have them to thank for this experience as well as our hard work,” she said. However, this year’s Vocal Ensemble did have their work cut out for them. Okumura said they started learning their music at the beginning of this past school year for their April performance. By January, Dalgleish said even with 90 concerts the group was performing during the school year, they still had eight pieces to perfect. Once they learned the pieces, they traveled to different locations around the Salt Lake Valley, including the State Capitol for its acoustics under the rotunda, to record their singing and sent those for Whitacre’s approval. “Some of the songs were fun which made it easier to learn than others,” Okumura said about the rehearsals. “Early morning, late afternoons — it was hard work, but paid off because

Hillcrest High’s choirs and dance company toured New York when they weren’t in workshops, rehearsals or performances. (Photo courtesy of RaNae Dalgleish/Hillcrest High)

Eric Whitacre, the Grammy award-winner who directed us in New York, was amazing and fun to work with. Some of the music was extremely hard to learn like, ‘Rumor of the Secret King.’ This piece was unlike any music piece we had ever sung before.” At the same time, the group also was fundraising through selling mattresses, tumblers and cookie dough. Okumura, who was working part-time at the time, was caught between a rock

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and a hard place. “Because the Vocal Ensemble group of singers is required to be a part of the school’s Concert Choir and be a part of the school musical, I had to quit my job because of the massive time commitment to Hillcrest High School music and theatre departments. This left me without a way to pay for the school trip. The trip was ‘a once in a lifetime experience’ with a Continued on page 2...

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price tag, so I started early in August looking for ways to raise money,” she said. With Okumura’s extended family, she held three yard sales early last school year, selling items for $1 to $3 to pay, which raised $800, about half the cost of the trip. “I made a sign telling people why I was having the yard sales and some people just donated money,” Okumura added. “People were very generous when they knew why I was trying to raise money.” Of the 33 Vocal Ensemble members, 28 students were able to make the trip. So when Okumura took the stage to sing nine pieces with Vocal Ensemble and seven other choirs, including one from Dubai, she said it was worth it. “It was an absolute dream to perform in Carnegie Hall. This was the first time I had ever been to New York and meeting Eric Whitacre was an experience I would never have again. He has a pure talent for what he does and the way he is able to get so many kids to sound like a choir of angels is impeccable,” she said about the group of 260 singers who sang in the performance, “The Music of Eric Whitacre,” as part of the Distinguished Concerts International New York concert series. Singing alongside the Vocal Ensemble,

Page 2 | June 2018

was their director, Dalgleish. “We were invited to join our groups, and since it was a double whammy to sing under Whitacre and in Carnegie Hall, it doesn’t get any better than that,” said the four-year member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. “When we sang one song, a lullaby, in the concert that he wrote for his wife and his son, it was an overwhelming moment. I got choked up as it was very personal. It was so moving and touching.” The students also got to meet with Whitacre to ask questions about his career, the inspiration for his music and about his life. “Eric was an amazing guy and could really relate to us. He has a true gift of working with teenagers. He had a lot of patience and was very positive and encouraging to all the singers,” Okumura said. Before singing, Dalgleish made sure the students understood the importance of Carnegie Hall. “I wanted them to understand why this is such a cool thing and why Andrew Carnegie created it,” she said. “I think knowing about Carnegie Hall and meeting the famous composer gives them deeper, greater appreciation for the music they sang here.” Hillcrest Principal Greg Leavitt sat in the

audience for the performance. “They did a great job,” he said. “It was so beautiful. They sang a song about little birds and it sounded just like birds. It was amazing. Eric Whitacre was very complimentary of our students and for their excellent work on some of his very challenging, original pieces.” After the concert, Leavitt said the students presented Dalgleish a conductor’s baton from Carnegie Hall. “It was a surprise to show their appreciation for all her effort,” he said. Dalgleish, who was on the tour just one week after returning from a tour in San Diego with the symphonic orchestra, said this performance may bring fond memories for the students. “This is something they’ll never forget. When they look back, they may not remember all the details, but they will remember walking onto this famous stage and being in Whitacre’s presence,” she said. Joining Vocal Ensemble on the tour, were members of the Concert Choir and Dance Company, who had opportunities to have workshops with Broadway artists. “Concert Choir visited a real recording studio, learned about vocal techniques and about

the business of being on Broadway,” Dalgleish said. “The dancers learned a routine that helped them sparkle and shine.” All the students had the opportunity to see “Hello, Dolly!” and other Broadway plays, visit the 9-11 Memorial, Ellis Island, Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Times Square, Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Opera. “I had never been to NYC and I hope to return one day. It was a completely new adventure. We rode the subway from the airport and that was a scary experience for someone from sheltered Utah,” Okumura said. While she plans to pursue elementary education and special education at Utah State this fall, Megan plans to use her music skills in her career as an educator — and fondly remember and appreciate this time with Vocal Ensemble. “Carnegie was just a wonderful experience that brought me closer to my Vocal Ensemble family,” she said. l

Midvale City Journal


June 2018 | Page 3

Aikido instructor teaches self-improvement through martial arts The Midvale City Journal is a monthly publication distributed directly to residents via the USPS as well as locations throughout Midvale. For information about distribution please email circulation@mycityjournals.com or call our offices. Rack locations are also available on our website. For subscriptions please contact: circulation@mycityjournals.com The views and opinions expressed in display advertisements do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions held by Loyal Perch Media or the City Journals. This publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written consent of the owner.

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eremy Neff was about 10 years old at an Aikido dojo in Logan, Utah. Having accomplished the technique being taught, Neff’s teacher, Lara Anderson, told him to go assist the other students in the class. It was a small moment, and Neff’s first memory of Aikido, but it was a sign of things to come for his life. He became an assistant instructor that day in the dojo almost 22 years ago and he continues teaching today. Neff is an Aikido instructor at Copperview Recreation Center in Midvale (8446 Harrison St.) where he holds classes three days a week for both kids and, currently, 85 adults. What exactly is Aikido? It might sound familiar to avid “Walking Dead” watchers. The character Morgan, is known for utilizing the skill and espousing its philosophy for a time. Aikido is a martial art known as a way to harmonize with energy (the literal translation of the word). Neff explained it as a means to disable an escalating situation. “It is a very defensive martial art,” he said. “A lot places you go, (like) karate, it can focus more on how I’m going to punch you in the face. Aikido is very defensive in that you wait for the other person to give energy, or attack you, and then you blend with it to disarm or calm down the situation to a point where you can deal with them without injuring them as much as possible.” With most martial arts, the philosophy is to inflict the least amount of damage possible. That aspect is probably best exemplified through Aikido. Its focus is “blending with the energy,” Neff said. “So if someone is coming at me with a punch, how do you accept the punch, not get hit with the punch and then redirect it into a throw or a pin to disable the situation,” said Neff, a programmer with Sorenson Forensics by day. He added that Aikido is fundamentally founded on the principle to do no harm and peacefully resolve the situation. Rather than boiling to the surface, a dispute is meant to simmer through Aikido. “The art itself feels philosophically like a good way to approach conflict,” said Elliot Scheelke, an Aikido student of eight years. “Where it isn’t so much about beating up whoever approaches you in a bad way. It kind of deals with the conflict more peacefully and less by breaking people.” While other martial arts train with kicks and jabs, or striking techniques, Aikido involves more soft techniques. Karate offers different levels that can include both methods. Aikido has built a reputation as a martial art for all ages, especially the elderly, because it’s training isn’t as body straining. There are also no competitions. Neff, who holds a third-degree black belt in Aikido and a black belt in Karate, said the goal is harmony,

By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com

Instructor Jeremy Neff (right) demonstrates with his student Elliot Scheelke Aikido take downs. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

not superiority. “The martial art is about self-improvement, how do I improve myself, how do I become a better person, not am I better than you?” said Neff, who also learned Tae Kwan Do from his father as a child. Neff teaches children—he’s taught kids as young as 4—the necessary techniques, but also the mental fortitude that comes with the martial art such as discipline, respect and stillness. Something not easily done with that age group. “I’ve helped a lot of students with the ability to focus on and sit and pay attention to what’s going on around them,” he said. “It’s not a quick change where they’re better in five weeks (but) after a year they start having those things.” One student, a problem child in school at the beginning of the year, recently had a report card from his teacher that said the student was paying attention, focusing, listening and sitting up straight. A complete difference from the child’s radical ways early on. Another boy, who has autism, is experiencing better connections with his brain, Neff said, Aikido is almost like physical therapy for the child. “As he goes through and does these techniques and moves his body and thinks about it, he’s more integrated with himself and it helps with his demeanor.” Neff’s teaching ability isn’t only noticed by parents, but by the Aikido community at large. Rachel Rayner is a student of Neff’s. She moved to Herriman a few months ago from Kansas where she attended a dojo that’s part of the Aikido Association of America (just as Neff’s is here). She even met Neff at a National Instructors Seminar a few years ago. “I was really impressed by his teaching,” she said noting she had heard of him in Aikido

circles a year before meeting him. “His technique, the rolling and falling, he’s really, really good at that. It’s kind of legendary in the association so we’re really lucky to have someone as skilled as he is.” Just as he had mastered a technique well enough as a child to instruct his students, Neff’s technical comprehension continues to set him apart. Rayner said his deep understanding of techniques allows him to adapt his teaching for all types of people. Rayner not only benefits from Neff’s technical training (she noted he adapts his teaching to each person giving them “cheats” as she called it). She’s also experienced subconscious assistance of Aikido in her life. The Herriman resident was studying abroad in Germany (where she trained under a man who was taught by Aikido’s founder, Morihei Ueshiba). She was walking down the street when a guy broke off from his group to run into her. Without looking up, Rayner put her arm into the man’s chest. Her perfect timing and momentum almost knocked the man over. “His friends got a good laugh out of it,” she said. While Rayner can speak to personal experience, Neff can speak to the structure Aikido gives his life. The mental and emotional abilities to diffuse situations due to his almost lifelong experience with it, he even spent three months training in Japan. “One thing the martial arts do is they constantly, as you go through the ranks, they make it more stressful and more stressful and more stressful,” Neff said. “So then when you’re put in a stressful situation outside the martial art, your body doesn’t over react to it because you’ve dealt with worse. I had a guy come at me with a sword, I can deal with this.” l

Midvale City Journal

Welcome to your summer festival guide By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com


ometh summer, cometh the festivals. Each year, cities across the Salt Lake Valley hold a summer celebration to commemorate the community, city or country. They do so with parades, contests, music and fireworks. This year’s slate of festivals starts after Memorial Day and will run into fall. Here’s a chronological guide to everything on tap for summer 2018. SoJo Summerfest | May 30–June 2 South Jordan kicks off the summer spectacles with its third annual SoJo Summerfest. This replaced its traditional Country Fest two years ago. The four-day festival features events all over the city from Mulligans Golf Course (10600 South 692 West) and City Park (11000 South Redwood Road) to the public works parking lot (10996 South Redwood Road) and fitness and aquatic center (10866 South Redwood Road). Events will feature family fun activities such as the carnival, 5K race, parade, car show, superhero party or swim with local performing group, Utah Mermaids. A skateboard competition, tennis tournament, chalk art contest and multi-category Battle of the Bands are also set to take place throughout the festival. A complete list of events and times can be found at sjc.utah.gov/sojo-summerfest/. Fort Herriman PRCA Rodeo | June 1–2 Held at W&M Butterfield Park (6212 West 14200 South), Herriman’s annual rodeo features a family night on Friday and military night on Saturday. The rodeo will also include a special needs roundup on Saturday from 3–4:30 p.m. Visit herriman.org/prca-rodeo/ for more information. Music Stroll | June 9 The seventh annual Heart and Soul Music Stroll returns to Sugar House on June 9. Dozens of local performers will share their musical talents throughout the day (last year featured 44). Free to the community, the Music Stroll has 14 different locations spread throughout a two-block radius along Filmore and Glenmore streets between 2700 South and Zenith Avenue. Thirteen performing areas are arranged on front lawns with one stage set up at Imperial Park (1560 East Atkin Avenue). Heart and Soul is a nonprofit organization based out of Salt Lake City that aims to bring the “healing power of music” to people in isolation. Performers donate their time throughout the year performing at places like senior centers, prisons or hospitals. Streets are lined not only with hundreds of people but several food trucks as well. Visit heartsoul.org/music-stroll for more information. WestFest | June 14–17 What started in the late ’70s at Granger Park with a car show, pony rides and a few food booths has blossomed into one of West Valley City’s premier events. The annual celebration, which commemorates the establishment of West Valley City and the recognition of its residents’ various backgrounds, will take place at Centennial Park (5415 West 3100 South) from June 14–17. The 2018 version will feature a WestFest Sombrero Bowl Skate Competition, the 13th an-


nual Dutch Oven Cook-off, a 5K and 10K and entertainment from No limits, This is YOUR Band, Chance McKinney and Channel Z. For more information and for those interested in volunteering, visit westfest.org. Fort Herriman Towne Days | June 18–23 The city’s weeklong celebration of everything Herriman begins on Monday, June 18, with a talent show and ends on Saturday June 23 with a carnival, parade and fireworks. Each day of the week features something different such as a disc golf tournament, home run derby, K9 and trampoline shows and a foam party. All events will take place at W&M Butterfield Park (6212 West 14200 South), J. Lynn Crane Park (5355 West Main Street) and Rosecrest Park (13850 South Rosecrest Road), where the Herriman Hyzer Disc Golf Tournament will take place. Times and events can be found at herriman. org/fort-herriman-days/. Taylorsville Dayzz | June 28–30 Located at Valley Regional Park (5100 South 2700 West), Taylorsville Dayzz holds a full slate for its city celebration on the west side of the valley. From Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. when the carnival begins to Saturday’s fireworks finale at 10 p.m., the festival is nonstop with entertainment. Tributes bands Imagine (Beatles) along with the West Valley Symphony & Cannons will perform Thursday night, Desperado (Eagles) takes the stage Friday night and Stayin’ Alive (Bee Gees) with the Taylorsville Orchestra will close it out on Saturday. Every show is free to the public. Saturday also includes a 5K fun run, pony rides and a car show. A full list of events and times is available at taylorsvilledayzz.com. Riverton Town Days | June 28–July 4 Riverton starts its celebration one day early this year on June 28 with its Three-Man Arena Sorting Competition and the Riverton Rodeo and runs right through to July 4 with its full slate of activities on Independence Day. July 4 will feature the 11th annual ATV Rodeo (Riverton Rodeo Grounds, 12780 South 1300 West) where races will include pole bending, barrel racing, pantyhose race, a key hole race and a hide race. Independence Day will also see Riverton Country Mile 10K, 5K and one-mile races in addition to the Tour de Riverton Bike Race. The starting lines will begin on the south side of Riverton City Park at 12800 South. Food, hay dives and a July 3 evening parade are still on the docket for this tradition since the early 1900s. For more information, visit rivertoncity.com. Western Stampede | June 30–July 4 What starts with a fun run, children’s parade, carnival and family fun night on June 30 continues with the focus of West Jordan’s summer festival — its rodeo. July 2–4 features a PRCA rodeo at the city’s rodeo arena, 8035 South 2200 West. The rodeo also features the winner of the Western Stampede Queen Contest, which was scheduled for May 12. Visit westernstampede.com for more infor-

Children enjoy a carnival ride at Butlerville Days 2016. (City Journals)

mation. Murray Fun Days | July 4 Murray City carries a full slate of activities for Independence Day. Beginning at 8:30 a.m. will be the annual parade, which begins at Fashion Place Mall (6100 South State Street) and ends at the west end of Murray Park (296 East Murray Park Avenue). Awards are given for the following parade entry categories: special interest/antique, business/commercial, equestrian/animal and civic/ royalty/political/float. The rest of the day takes place at Murray Park. It features a community breakfast, chalk art contest, talent show, a Ducky Derby along the creek in Murray Park, a coed volleyball tournament on the softball field and ends with fireworks. For exact times and events, visit murray. utah.gov/283/Fun-Days. July 4 Parade and Festivities | July 4 South Salt Lake will continue its festival tradition at Fitts Park (3050 South 500 East) on July 4. The day begins with a 5K fun run at 8 a.m. while the parade gets underway at 9:30 a.m. and the one-day celebration rounds out with a festival from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sandy City 4th of July | July 4 Sandy holds its Independence Day Celebration on the grassy promenade between Sandy City Hall and South Towne Mall at 10000 South Centennial Parkway. The Sandy Classic 5K race begins at 7 a.m. A youth arts festival commences at 10 a.m. where children ages 4–12 can participate in face painting, craft stations and sand sculpting. At 6 p.m. the parade begins with a concert at 7:30 p.m. and fireworks to close out the night at 10 p.m. Draper Days | July 5–7, 12–14 Draper’s festival will take place over two weekends in July. Culminating in the second weekend with fireworks and concerts, Draper Days will begin with various athletic contests the first weekend including a tennis tournament, pickleball tournament and 3 v. 3 basketball tournament. Other events include Splash Dogs, horse pull, pie contest, rodeo, Draper Idol and a children’s parade. Full event schedules and information can be found at draper.ut.us. Butlerville Days | July 23–24 Cottonwood Heights continues its traditional celebration this year on Monday and Tuesday, July 23–24. Planned by volunteers, city staff and the

Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center, Butlerville Days takes place at Butler Park (7500 South 2700 East). The festival expects to have games, entertainment, a carnival, parade and fireworks show. A creative craft market and pickleball tournament are recent additions to the yearly commemoration to go along with the 5K fun run. Bluffdale Old West Days | July 27–28, August 6–11 While the rodeo will take place July 27–28, the city’s official Old West Days celebration goes all week long in August. Details for events are still to come, but if last year is anything to go by then this year can expect another monster truck competition. Last year also featured a 25-mile cycling ride and ATV rodeo. Check bluffdaleoldwestdays.com later this summer for more information. Harvest Days | August 6–11 1938 marked the first Harvest Days in Midvale, according to the Midvale Historical Society. It was sponsored by the Midvale Kiwanis club. Details are still being ironed out, but the weeklong celebration of Midvale, begins August 6. The week’s events generally feature an induction into the Midvale Arts Council’s Hall of Honors, a parade and a grand festival and Midvale’s City Park (between Center Street and 7500 South, at approximately 425 West). Check midvaleharvestdays.com later this summer for more information. Blue Moon Arts Festival | August 25 Holladay rounds out the summer season with its annual Blue Moon Arts Festival. The one-day celebration is different from other cities’ week-long engagements. Holladay will have its Concerts in the Commons series running from July 14 through Aug. 25. July will also feature Jim McGee’s ambitious art project combining storytelling and large-scale charcoal portraits. “It’s an opportunity for people to model and collaborate, to be seen and heard in a unique kind of way,” McGee told the Journals in February. Culminating in a festival for music and arts, the Blue Moon Arts Festival takes place at Holladay City Hall Park (4580 South 2300 East) from 3-10 p.m. on Aug. 25. This year’s musical attractions will include Motown group Changing Lanes Experience and Gypsy jazz group Red Rock Hot Club. For more information, visit holladayarts. org. l

June 2018 | Page 5

Play Preview: ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’ By Heather Sky | heather@mycityjournals.com


he Drowsy Chaperone” is a musical within a comedy set in the 1920s. The show-within-a-show concept was originally created as a bachelor party spoof, which evolved over a period of nine years and debuted in 1998. Music and lyrics were written by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison, with book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar. The metatheatre production is a parody of American musical comedy and follows a middle-aged musical theater fanatic, who comments on his favorite fictitious musical as he plays the jazzy LP record set in his dingy apartment. The story comes to life around him as the Man in Chair comments on the music, story, and actors of a play he has never actually seen — making cynical remarks, such as “Everything always works out in musicals. In the real world, nothing ever works out and the only people who burst into song are the hopelessly deranged.” With such unforgettable songs as “Show Off,” “Accident Waiting to Happen,” “I Do, I Do in the Sky,” and “As We Stumble Along,” the over-the-top soundtrack hits all the right notes. Viewers are sure to be carried away by the elaborate set, zany dance numbers, and feverish imagination. The show has been nominated for multiple Broadway (2006) and London (2008) theatre


“The Drowsy Chaperone” opens at the Midvale Performing Arts Center on June 8 at 7 p.m. (stock photo)

awards, winning five Tony Awards — including Best Book and Best Original Score — and seven Drama Desk Awards. The two-hour critically acclaimed musical runs June 8-16 at the Midvale Performing Arts Center. 695 W. Center St. in Midvale. l


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Midvale City Journal

Shake it up this summer with concert series By Heather Sky | heather@mycityjournals.com


ach summer, Midvale Arts Council’s produces a free concert summer series. Nine concerts will bring live music to the Midvale City Park Amphitheater on Friday evenings from June 8 through August 11, with a local lineup that is sure to have something for everyone. The free, family friendly concerts will be held at 455 W. 7500 South in Midvale. This summer’s schedule kicks off June 8 at 7 p.m. with local 80’s pop/new wave/rock/ metal band, Channel Z. They play songs from artists such as Blondie, The Cars, Pretenders, Depeche Mode, and Frankie Goes to Hollywood — as well as favorite current hits. The band was named SoDa Row Battle of the Bands Champions in 2013 and is made up of Salt Lake City musicians Keri Peshel (vocals/bass), Juli Holt (vocals), Frankie Hollywood (vocals/bass/ keys), Josh Oshoy (lead guitar), Chris Ishoy (keyboards), and Stephanie Selcho (drums). Head to the park at 6:30 p.m. dressed in your best ‘80’s getup for a chance to win prizes for “totally rad ‘80s outfits.” On June 15, this cover band of friends will get you up and moving with dance, classic rock, rock, and pop music. Assembly 6.0 is made up of Layton musicians Alta Baxter (vocals/percussion), Jake Baxter (vocals/guitars), Richard Bradley (vocals/guitars), Mike Nash (vocals/ keyboards), Scott Purcell (vocals/bass) and Tyler Christensen (vocals/drums). They will also be bringing back the “Volunteer Audience Choir” again this summer. If you’ve always wanted to sing with the band, come at 6:30 to rehearse!


On June 22, a collective of band members raised on music from Peter, Paul and Mary, Gordon Lightfoot and AC/DC will take the stage. Buzzard Whiskey is a group of acoustic pop/folk enthusiasts that was born in the South Valley Unitarian Universalist Society when six choir members and acoustic pop enthusiasts began to put poems to music. In 2015, they released their first album called “51,” and plan to release a follow-up album in late 2018. Buzzard Whiskey is made up of Salt Lake City musicians Sutton Morgan, Amy Quigley, David Lane, Travis Potter, Collin Surles, and Richard Coleman. Be prepared to enjoy acoustic originals mixed with covers. All shows are free to the public with lawn seating — bring your lawn chairs and blankets. The evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with free family friendly games, contests with prizes, and activities including free face painting and balloon artistry, chalk and bubble fun, and the splash pad. Full lineup: Channel Z – June 8 Assembly 6.0 - June 15 Buzzard Whiskey – June 22 Utah National Guard 23rd Army Band – June 29 Londs – July 6 AmironVillage – July 13 City Jazz Big Band – July 20 Crazy Coyote – July 27 Jersey Street Band – August 3 The Bellamy Brothers – August 11 l

June 2018 | Page 7

Life is short. Eat dessert first. Here’s where. By Heather Sky | heather@mycityjournals.com


he dessert-only dining movement is on the rise (no surprise!), and we’re lucky enough to have three establishments in Midvale that are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. Each one offers a unique approach to modern dessert culture, creating an experience that keeps consumers coming back for more. Straws is a local family-owned and operated business and was the first drive-thru soft drink and treat destination in northern Utah. When I enter the store, I am greeted by Jamie —daughter of Straws founder, Tina. “She started this five years ago on her 60th birthday,” said Jamie. “She has always been a big soda drinker. She wanted her own fountain drink store.” Although drive-thru drink companies are on the rise, Jamie knows what makes Straws unique. “We are all family-owned. I have a sister that does all the cookies, my other sister does all the social media, and I do all the books. We keep it within the family. I think that sets us apart.” If you’re interested in trying one of their creative concoctions, the Loaded Diet Coke (coconut and fresh lime) is the most popular. Can’t decide? They offer a wide range of choices on the menu that are sure to please, including: custom sodas, ice cream, shakes, shaved ice, cookie dough, soft pretzels, sugar cookies, and more. You can visit them Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. at 7386 S. Union Park Ave. in Midvale.

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Smart Cookie Company was opened in 2005 by Christian McDaniel, following his quest to perfect a handful of cookie dough recipes in order to create Smart Cookie Company’s signature dessert — an ice cream cookie sandwich. Smart Cookie offers 25 cookie varieties that customers can enjoy or combine with premium ice creams in order to create a unique dessert masterpiece. Sixteen-year-old Dani has been working at the Smart Cookie Company for over a year and thinks the fact that they make all of the cookies fresh, from scratch, in each store, makes them different from other cookie companies. “The ice cream sandwich is really popular on Fridays and Saturdays. We get a huge movie rush, but we don’t ever really sell out. We keep making [cookies] throughout the day.” The Smart Cookie company now has three locations in Utah, with intentions of expanding further. You can visit the Midvale location at 7710 S. Union Park Ave. (right next to the Union Heights movie theater). They are open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sweet Tooth Fairy It doesn’t take long for 17-year-old Vasti to remind me that Sweet Tooth Fairy won “Cupcake Wars.” The announcement is displayed proudly on the wall. Owner Megan Faulkner Brown won Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” in 2012 and has since expanded to nine Utah and

Sweet Tooth Fairy cupcakes fly off the shelf, so you may want to stop by early. (Heather Sky/City Journals)

Arizona locations. The shop is every bit as enchanting as you would expect the home of the Sweet Tooth Fairy to be. The walls are lined with confections from gumballs to chocolate covered pretzels to cotton candy. The cases were equally tempting with a wide variety of cake bites, cookies, and cupcakes to choose from. “For the kids, it’s definitely the fairyfetti,” said Vasti. But this fun twist on the traditional

funfetti cake isn’t the only thing that distinguishes them from other cupcake shops. “Our number one priority is to make the customers happy.” The Midvale store is located at 1140 E. Fort Union Blvd. They are open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. You can also order a wide variety of sweet treats online at thesweettoothfairy.com l


ElevateHER Challenge Participants The Women’s Leadership Institute would like to thank all 40 new businesses and organizations who have joined the ElevateHER Challenge to elevate women in the workplace. We also appreciate the continued efforts of the 170 organizations who have participated in the past and continue to work for change. Together we are elevating the talents of women.

To See a Complete List:

wliut.com/participants Midvale City Journal

Applewood residents celebrate success in buying property By Ruth Hendricks | Ruth.H@mycityjournals.com


he 56 homeowners involved in a local David-and-Goliath story recently celebrated their victory. On Friday, May 4, the residents of Applewood Mobile Estates, located at 150 West 7500 South, held a dinner at the Midvale Senior Center. Merridy Bagley and the Applewood social committee worked hard to make arrangements and put up decorations for the celebration party. Over a dinner catered by the Midvale Mining Café and a cake donated by Larene Butler, they celebrated the culmination of a major effort to buy the land under their homes. “We’re the boss now,” said Shirlene Stoven who led the project. “We don’t have to worry about being evicted. Our payments won’t increase. It’s such a relief.” The park is now a resident-owned community (ROC), which is a neighborhood of manufactured homes owned by a cooperative of homeowners as opposed to an outside landlord. “It took a lot of tears and a lot of sleepless nights, but a lot of help from a lot of people,” Stoven said. This included the Midvale City Council; city planning; Olene Walker’s housing loan fund; ROCusa, a national non-profit group and UROC, the Utah branch of the national group. “Now we can go to bed and have a good night’s rest,” said Stoven. “We beat them. We won. It’s been a miracle, and I want to say thanks to everybody.” The dilemma faced by the residents was the likelihood that the land owners would sell to developers who could raise the rent so high that the mostly senior residents couldn’t afford it and would be forced out. The land is close to a TRAX station, which makes it attractive for developers to build higher density housing. The Applewood residents’ fight for their community began back in 2014 when the land was bought by Ivory Homes, with a plan to build a three-story, 186-unit apartment complex. Stoven helped to gather 2,600 signatures on a petition to stop this action. She also helped form a homeowner’s association and has served as its president. When Ivory Homes was unable to develop the land, they sold it to Nate Brockbank and Paul Shupe. These new owners met with the residents and listened to them. They agreed to let the residents try to buy the land for $5 million. Many people told Stoven she could never raise that much money. However, she took that as a challenge and is happy to prove those people wrong. At the party, Stoven recognized former mayor JoAnn Seghini who attended, saying, “She has been a big help to get us to this point.” Seghini joined Stoven to congratulate the group. Seghini said, “I really think what you all did individually, all the people that donated


Members of the Applewood cooperative celebrate ownership of their property. (Ruth Hendricks/City Journals)

money, you all did it with heart. You all did it because you care about people. I want to congratulate every single one of you for making this happen.” Later Stoven said, “I especially want to thank the current owners Nate and Paul for allowing us the opportunity to buy the land.” Stoven recognized that these men could have made more money by selling to other developers. “They saw our plight. They made a personal decision rather than a business decision.” Stoven said that Mayor Robert Hale told her that what they accomplished was a miracle. He asked her to document her efforts because this was a huge accomplishment and part of history for Midvale. The Applewood cooperative received $100,000 from Midvale City and $1 million from the Olene Walker Housing Fund, which is a loan fund supporting quality affordable housing options for low-income persons. Donations were also raised through a GoFundMe website, and ROCusa provided some of the funding. The deal was targeted to close in early December, but more time was needed to get the agreement approved by all the parties. Each separate organization had an attorney, and the Applewood cooperative had their own attorney who coordinated everything. “It took a lot of effort from lots of people to iron out all the kinks,” said Stoven. They were was able to get the deadline extended. The papers were signed on February 9 to purchase the property. Stoven wants to let other Davids know that they too can face their Goliaths. She said earlier, “When we buy this land, it will be a huge success story for other mobile park residents to see that it can be done. You just need to work hard and never give up.” l

June 2018 | Page 9

Midvale City continues plan to improve Main Street By Ruth Hendricks | Ruth.H@mycityjournals.com


idvale City is midway through the process of creating a small area plan to revitalize historic Main Street. A follow-up open house was held on May 9 at the City Hall. Midvale City staff received input and feedback from the first open house held on Feb. 28 and through a public survey. They then worked on developing goals and strategies for phased investments in the Main Street neighborhood in the near term, the mid-term and long-term. Urban planning and landscape design company VODA was hired as a consultant to help make the plans to meet the goals of the city and residents. Bryce Bushman with VODA explained that a small area plan outlines what the city hopes to achieve. It’s more about guidance. “Once you have a plan, you can say this is what we want, what we need money for,” said Bushman. Part of the goal is to attract more business to the area. “We can’t tell anyone to come here,” said Bushman. “But when a business does come, we can choose to make sure that what they build will fit with the overall goals, so that it will work together as a neighborhood instead of random choices that are made independently.” Annaliese Eichelberger, project manager with the Redevelopment Agency (RDA), explained that one of the most important next steps will be to form a business association. “This will really create one voice for our Main Street businesses and gather their input as the process moves along.”

One of the first projects identified is that there are power poles that need to be buried. “It’s a huge problem for different companies who are not able to fully develop because there are power poles in the middle of their property,” said Eichelberger. “It’s important for the business owner to have more opportunity.” “We are really excited, and we want to make this process something that’s true and feasible. Everyone is more than ready to see Main Street revitalized, and we want to finally make it happen.” The city conducted a community survey online from January to April, which had 20 questions. Of the 501 responses, 87 percent strongly agreed or agreed with the statement, “A strong Main Street is good for Midvale.” When asked “Which improvements would you support on Main Street?” the top answers were storefront improvements at 86 percent, historic preservation at 76 percent, streetscape improvements at 67 percent, family-friendly amenities at 66 percent, and public space/plaza at 55 percent. At the first open house in February, public input was gathered through two exercises. The first asked participants which activities they would like to see on Main Street and the timeof-day and day-of-week when they would come to participate in those activities. Participants were asked to write their ideas on sticky notes and put them on a board. The second exercise focused on funding

priorities. Visual examples of seven different project types were presented. Each person was given four mock $100 bills and used them to choose which of the project types they would pay for. The project types were: facade improvements, public space, connectivity, public art, infill development, streetscape and housing choice. The top response was facade improvements. Phase One of the plan, which would go for one to two years, identified the projects of creating a Main Street business association and updating the electrical infrastructure by removing existing utility poles and burying the lines. Additional goals of Phase One include implementing a continuous and consistent streetscape design and façade improvements, and creating a small business incubator to recruit and help new businesses become established and self-sufficient enough to succeed. Phase Two, which is two to five years out, has two projects identified. First is Main Street infill, which would construct new buildings in vacant and underutilized parcels of land that will expand business and contribute to a continuous development pattern. The second is to redesign the Center Street streetscape to calm traffic, increase pedestrian activity and include it in the Main Street neighborhood visual identity. Phase Three, which is five or more years out, has projects for Holden Street. There is an infill goal to construct new buildings in vacant and underutilized parcels, and reclaim Holden

Matt Dahl, director of the Redevelopment Agency, talks with resident Ben Hill at the open house. (Ruth Hendricks/City Journals)

Street as a pedestrian friendly road that connects the neighborhood. Ben Hill, a resident on Main Street, attended the open house. “I just hope they make it very pedestrian friendly. We’ve had problems with Center Street and Main Street, with people getting hit and low lights on Main Street.” l

Remember these safety tips during fireworks season


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

Page 10 | June 2018

tempting to be creative and construct your own fireworks, the results may not be worth it. Just ask a friend who lost half his hair and needed to wear a hat/bandana for six months to protect his scalp. 5. Responsible adults should not only be present, but should supervise closely. Never give fireworks to small children. 6. Alcohol and fireworks does not make a good cocktail. Save your alcohol for after the show. 7. Light one firework at a time and don’t linger. Fireworks look just as pretty from 30 feet away as they do from five. 8. This one may seem obvious, but fireworks should be shot outside, not inside. 9. Dress appropriately. Loose clothing that can catch fire easily should be left in the drawer, while snugly fitted long sleeves and pants can protect from potential burns. 10. Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby. 11. Never shoot fireworks into metal or glass containers. The ricochet hurts just as much. 12. Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting

them down and place in metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials. 13. Report illegal explosives. They ruin it for the rest of us. 14. Don’t forget about your pets. Make sure they are securely indoors and have identification tags in case they do escape during a fireworks display. 15. Keep fireworks out of reach where

curious children can’t get to them. High heat or damp air can damage the fireworks. The best place to put them is in a cardboard box in a high location such as a cabinet or shelf. 16. Last, but not least, make sure everyone using fireworks has safety glasses or goggles. l

Midvale City Journal

In The Middle of Everything


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

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

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


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

After such a long spring, and the forecast of a slightly warmer average summer ahead of us, who of us hasn’t been out to take a walk – a walk alone – a walk with our spouse – a walk with a neighbor friend? Here is a group that needs your personal time: children. It doesn’t matter their age or yours. If you want to make a favorable change in the life of a very impressionable human being; take a young person for a walk. And while you walk, talk. Talk about family, sports, outdoors, current events. If they ask how life was when you were young (How inviting that would be, right?), keep your excitement and the synopsis short. Listen twice as much as you talk. After all, you were given two ears and only one mouth. You may not understand all that youth wants to talk about, or the expressions they frequently use, but the mutual experience you both have is such a growth experience for our youth. Their electronic social media experience is NOTHING like what you experienced as a youth. And unfortunately, it is morphing their outlook on life, friends, the world, family, good and bad, everything. That’s where you come in. Your smile, handclasp, walk and talk puts a youngster back into the most real human interaction, the most vital of all interaction, real, virtual or otherwise. Speaking of children, I recently was treated to a board meeting and tour of the educational experiences provided by service agencies

to assist underprivileged children from the homes within the boundaries of the Title 1 Copperview Elementary School on Monroe Street. I met a representative from Canyons School District, the principal of the school and two program specialists, as well as four representatives of United Way. These dedicated leaders, together with the after-school teachers and parents, help between 50 and 80 children daily receive accelerated learning exercises to bring their language and learning skills to a much higher level of achievement. Not everyone living in a Midvale family can communicate well within the society; not everyone has three square meals a day; not everyone has access to computers and the Internet. But with before-school meals, and after-school instruction and fun practices, our less advantaged student-children are provided with fair, equal, and significant opportunities to obtain a high-quality education. I want to thank the dedicated school employees and community service agents and most of all, the dedicated parents and eager learners for putting so much energy into our children’s future. These children are our future. They will rise to do many great personal accomplishments with sufficient education, care, love and being valued as individuals.

FREE Vendor Space Now Available 801-567-1736 801-567-7202 801-567-7202 801-567-7212 801-567-7207 801-255-4234 801-567-7202 801-567-7213 801-567-7246 801-567-7235 801-256-2575 801-567-7231 801-567-7208 801-256-2537 801-256-2541 385-468-9769

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

By Mayor Robert Hale

Vendors Sought for Midvale City Harvest Days Event

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

The Heart of the Matter

JUNE 2018

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


The Midvale City Harvest Days Committee is pleased to announce that plans are underway for the annual Harvest Days Festival. The festival will take place on Saturday, August 11 at Midvale City Park. Starting in 1938, as a day-off from the harvest, Harvest Days is an honored tradition that brings a fun-filled day that residents look forward to every year. Country music artists the Bellamy Brothers will headline the free evening entertainment. The Bellamy Brothers are best known for their easy rolling, 70’s Southern soft rock classic “Let Your Love Flow” and are the most successful duo in country music history. In addition to free live entertainment, fireworks, parade, pancake breakfast and activities, Midvale Harvest Days provides a venue for area merchants, artists, and home crafters to display and sell their products in a family oriented atmosphere. “We are very interested in expanding our vendor booths to go along with our incredible entertainment line-up,” Harvest Day Committee Chair Laura Magness said. “We welcome informational booths, non-profit agencies, arts and crafts products, as well as those that offer on-site services.” Vendors can participate FREE OF CHARGE. However, we will require a $100 refundable deposit and vendors are required to pro-

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

In The Middle of Everything Community Council

WWW . MIDVALECITY . ORG Midvale City Housing Plan

By Community Council Chair Andrew Stoddard Things are going well for the Community Council. Last month, at our meeting, we learned about the County’s program for houses with lead paint. It has been great to have so many different presenters come and speak at our meetings. As for the Council, we are working on putting together a beautification committee to highlight different homes and businesses in the City. If you are interested in being a part of this committee, please email me at drewcstoddard@gmail.com. Our next meeting is on June 6th at 7 pm at City Hall and everyone is welcome to attend. We are looking forward to all the fun summer events in the city and hope everyone can get out and enjoy them!

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 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 801-743-7045. 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.

The Redevelopment Agency is in the process of preparing the Midvale City Housing Plan. The Plan will be formulated using the housing goals outlined in the 2016 General Plan, and will incorporate current data, best practices, and public input to establish objectives and strategies for making progress over the next fiveyears on the City’s housing goals.

The Goals of the 2016 General Plan are as follows: 1. Maintain and strengthen stable neighborhoods. This goal includes preserving the quality and character of existing neighborhoods; providing neighborhoods with better connectivity and access to recreational amenities; and ensuring that infill and adjacent development is compatible with the existing neighborhoods. 2. Maintain and improve the quality of the existing housing stock in Midvale, and revitalize the physical and social fabric of neighborhoods that are in decline. 3. Expand the variety of housing opportunities to allow for more choices in types and locations of residences. This includes providing for a mixture of housing sizes, densities, types and affordability in each area of the City. 4. Support the development of more affordable housing in appropriate locations, i.e., near transit, retail commercial, schools and recreational amenities. 5. Encourage higher density residential in appropriate locations in Opportunity Areas to create the market needed for viable commercial development. 6. Continue to encourage a variety of housing types, sizes and pricing with new developments. As a resident of Midvale City, you have a valuable perspective that will help us understand your experiences with housing. Therefore, the City will be conducting a robust public outreach program, including public meetings and online engagement. We encourage you to attend the Housing Plan Open House which will take place on June 6 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Midvale City Hall. The Open House will offer the public an opportunity to learn about Midvale’s housing stock and current market trends, as well as provide feedback on how best to address Midvale’s housing needs. This will be an Open House format, please stop by ny time. City staff will be on hand to provide information, gather input and answer questions. We also encourage you to take the Housing Plan Survey which is available online at www.midvalecity.org/Housing-Survey. It is expected that the survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. We appreciate your input!


Monthly Bulky Item and Green Waste Program – Follow the guidelines The Bulky Item and Green Waste Program is available to customers who pay for waste collection services through Midvale City. Items are picked up on the third FULL week of every month on the customers normally scheduled trash day. Ace Recycling and Disposal’s guidelines continue to remain the same as they were when we offered the biannual clean up events in April and October. Unfortunately, there are still some residents who are not complying with the program, so their items cannot be picked up by Ace. Therefore, we encourage everyone to take a moment to review the guidelines. We appreciate everyone’s assistance in sharing this important information.

Date and time • Place bulky and green waste items curbside the night before or no later than 6:30 a.m. on your normally scheduled trash day. • If items are not picked up due to noncompliance, you must remove them from the curb; properly prepare the items and place them on the curb the next month. Do not leave noncompliant items on the curb or you will receive a notice of violation from Code Enforcement, which may result in fines.

We will NOT PICK UP the following items: • Loose piles of yard waste and trimmings • Paint • Dirt and/or Rocks • Sod • Bricks and/or Broken concrete • Tires • Vehicle parts • Propane tanks • Major construction or demolition debris • Commercial, industrial, and business waste • Contractor-produced waste of any kind • Hazardous and toxic waste

• Grass clippings (Grass clippings can be placed on top of other garbage in your trash can so they don’t get stuck in the bottom.) • Every day household garbage, such as food waste and packaging • Flammable materials such as oil and gas • Explosive and radioactive materials • Freon must be removed from items (refrigerators, freezers, etc.) by a professional and tagged with a copy of the receipt. If you are unable to meet these guidelines, we would be happy to provide a free Dump Pass so you can take your items directly to the landfill. Call Public Works at 801-5677235 if you require a Dump Pass.

Visit www.midvalecity.org to learn more about the bulky item and green waste program.

Size and weight • Bagging, bundling or boxing loose items (leaves, twigs, wood chips, etc.) is required. • Boxes must be 30 gallons or smaller (please do not set out boxes in wet weather.) • All green waste must be cut into 4-foot sections and be twined together in 18” diameter bundles.

Operation Chill – Slurpee Justice A tasty reward for staying cool

This summer, Unified Police patrol officers will be dispensing well-deserved Slurpee justice to good kids in Midvale. For the 23rd year, 7-Eleven is working with local police and sheriff’s departments to distribute free Slurpee drink coupons to children and youth through its popular Operation Chill community-service program. During 2018, 7-Eleven will issue up to 1.4 million Slurpee coupons to almost 1,100 law enforcement agencies. 550 of those will be distributed in Midvale, most during the summer months and back-to-school season. Chief Randy Thomas said, “We are always looking for ways to help our officers build strong relationships in the community. Operation Chill makes it easy to interact with kids in a positive way. This is a great short- and long-term investment for 7-Eleven and for Midvale.”

Big-city departments and small-town forces alike use the Slurpee coupons to enhance relationships with the young people of their cities by rewarding them for good deeds, constructive activities and acts of kindness. Appropriate “offenses” might include helping another person, deterring crime or participating in a community or police-sponsored event. Although the reasons for being “ticketed” are varied, the result is the same for every youngster: a free Slurpee drink and a smile for being a good kid. Each coupon can be redeemed for a small Slurpee drink at participating 7-Eleven stores. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook @MidvaleCity, and be sure to post a photo of your kiddo receiving their Slurpee Justice with #MidvaleSlurpeeJustice.

What Is Storm Water Pollution? Stormwater pollution is the sediment, bacteria, fertilizers, pesticides, automotive fluids, and other materials that are washed from surfaces such as parking lots, roads, roofs, and construction sites during a rain storm or snow melt. The gutters, storm drains, pipes, ditches, and outfalls that comprise the stormwater system transport these pollutants to the nearest waterway. In many cases, stormwater runoff is not treated at a wastewater treatment plant.

Pollutants in urban runoff: Sediment, Nutrients, Bacteria, Oxygen demanding substances and Pathogens. The Solution to stormwater pollution– There are many ways you can help: 1. Never dump anything into a storm drain 2. Use fertilizers only when needed 3. Reduce the use of pesticides 4. Take your car to the car wash instead of washing it in the driveway 5. Clean up pet waste and dispose of it in the trash

In The Middle of Everything Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Highlights The total General Fund Budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2018 and ending June 30, 2019 is increasing by 2.7%. The City Council is not recommending a property tax increase, as other revenue sources are growing enough to cover essential services. Public hearings on the budget were held on May 1 and June 5. Final adoption is scheduled for June 19, 2018. The revenue graph shows that revenue is increasing in almost every category. The expenditure graph shows a sizeable increase in public safety, which represents 43% of the City’s budget. Capital projects planned for FY 2019 and 2020 include City Park improvements (including a new bowery), cemetery expansion, and remodeling of the former Senior Citizen Center into a community center. The $9 million road improvement project funded by a 2017 bond will continue through FY 2020. In other funds, water rates are increasing 5-7% in the area generally west of State Street (Service Areas 1 and 2). As we continue to equalize water rates throughout the City, the rates are decreasing by 5% in the area generally east of State Street (Service Area 3). Sewer rates are increasing 3%, and garbage rates are increasing by 10% due to increases at the Trans Jordan Landfill and the recent improvements to our bulky waste program. Storm Water and Street Lighting rates remain unchanged. You can find more detail on the FY 2019 budget on our website under “Finance.”


Cinco de Mayo celebration brings together Midvale class, community By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


idvale Elementary fifth-grader Julissa Rodriguez stayed after school every Monday for two months leading up to her school’s Cinco de Mayo celebration so she could learn “Danza de las ollas de Michoacán” or dance of the pots from the Mexican state of Michoacán. “It was hard because at first, we only had one pot and we had to take turns,” she said. “We were practicing it on the gym floor and it was slippery.” The dance, which on the May 4 morning before school not only featured the girls carrying the clay pots on their shoulders, but also had them balancing and dancing on top of them. Julissa’s mother, Claudia, said that typically afterschool, her daughter does ballet and plays soccer. “She’s very athletic,” Rodriguez said. “She was looking forward to dancing for the school celebration.” Julissa’s teacher, Diana Benetias, brought the pots and Mexican traditional costumes for both the girls and boys from Mexico during spring break. Parents had agreed to purchase them for the celebration. “This is the third year we have celebrated Cinco de Mayo and I thought it would be good to teach them about the different regions of Mexico and the diversity of culture there,” Be-


netias said. “Many of the students’ ancestors are Mexican so they love learning about their traditions. Our dances and arts bring joy.” Of the 33 fifth-grade students in her class, Benetias said about 80 percent have Latino her-

itage. However, this celebration gives all students a chance to learn and appreciate the culture, she said. “It gives our students a chance to come together and understand about Cinco de Mayo

and why it’s important for both countries, Mexico and America (in their respective struggles against Europe for independence),” Benetias said. After not being able to afford to pay back the French government, the French Empire took to battle the Mexicans. Cinco de Mayo, or May 5th, commemorates the Mexican army’s unexpected victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. In the United States, the holiday has become an opportunity to observe Mexican culture, whereas in Mexico, it is more of a commemoration of the battle, she said. The Cinco de Mayo celebration also had several boys to perform “Chinelos de Morelos.” Chinelos are traditional costumed dancers who typically wear masks that originally tied into religious celebrations, such as Carnival, but now are used “to celebrate freedom, joy and happiness,” she said about the popular dance from her home state. Several students waved flags and helped with the production of the celebration, under the guidance of fifth-grade teacher Nicole Pecum. “This is a great activity especially in Midvale, where we can live in diversity and acceptance,” Benetias said. l

Midvale Elementary fifth-graders perform “Danza de las ollas de Michoacán ” or dance of the pots from the Mexican state of Michoacán as part of the school’s Cinco de Mayo celebration. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

June 2018 | Page 15

Techniteer Troupe provides opportunities for Midvalley students


his past school year, Midvalley fourth-grader Vanessa Cruz joined her school’s Techniteer Troupe since she had never made a movie or learned how Spheros worked before. “I wanted to learn and Ms. Blunt inspired me to try to do something I never had done before,” Vanessa said about the group’s adviser, Canyons School District education technology specialist Katie Blunt. “It was pretty hard to learn the controls of the Spheros, and the more I learned, the more I had fun. I now want to make my own codes.” The first year of Midvalley’s Techniteer Troupe began in October 2017 when Blunt and Principal Tamra Baker decided to have a fun activity to offer students afterschool. This year’s focus was on filmmaking, Spheros and Makey Makeys. “We offer our students technology during the day, but sometimes the needs are not met for those who just love technology more than we are able to provide them, so we thought this would give an opportunity to the group of students who wanted to learn more,” Baker said. Blunt began the year with filmmaking. “We wanted them to learn the art of storytelling and to be able to practice their communication skills,” she said. “We created movies that supported the positive behavior at the school and included school rules and citizenship in the films.” Fourth-grader Haroon Javid said he learned how to use a tripod and the steps to create a movie. His classmate, Elijah Zabriskie, who had moved to the school from Arizona, said that he liked learning about filmmaking — and having the opportunity to make movies with his new friends in the group. Fifth-grader Joshua Digerness said it sparked his interest in films. “We made a film about our school rules, PAWS, which are

Page 16 | June 2018

By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com practice safety, accept responsibility, work toward mastery and show respect and it was a lot of fun,” Joshua said. “We showed it at our school assembly and at the end of the film, we wore giant mustaches and our PAWS shirts and asked, ‘We mustache ask you…’ — and anyway, everyone laughed.” From the movie-making sessions, the group moved onto Spheros, white orbs that roll in the direction controlled by an electronic device. “The students were learning how they were connected with an iPad and how they could control them,” Blunt said. “They learned block coding. Spheros and coding will help them with their problem-solving skills and no matter where their education takes them in the future, the ability to problem-solve will help them. It’s a great life skill.” The challenges for the students to solve included determining the speed, direction and going up ramps for the Spheros, she said. Fourth-grader Jon Digerness said it was his first time learning about Spheros. “It’s a lot of fun, having them roll around,” he said, adding that he joined the group to have fun and make new friends. The final part of the year was dedicated to Makey Makeys, an electronic invention tool that uses a circuit board, alligator clips and a USB cable to allow the device to turn everyday objects into touchpads. Blunt had plans for the students to understand the conductor and insulator of electricity through experiments with Makey Makeys and Play-Doh, wood, their skin and other objects. “By understanding technology, these students will have a step in the future job market,” she said. “Technology is vital for college and careers and it’s fun.”

Midvalley’s Techniteer Troupe members learn how to control Spheros. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

Fourth-grader Payton Dox agreed that it was exciting. “I signed up because it sounded fun,” she said. “We’ve been able to make a film as a group and we learned how to code our Spheros. It’s going to be a blast to do Makey Makeys. We’re already talking about next year and I can’t wait.” l

Midvale City Journal

Rachel & Friends conquer Dragons in friendly book battle By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


idvale Middle School recently was host of the Canyons School District’s inaugural America’s Battle of the Books competition, which featured two teams from six of the district’s middle school teams. Midvale and Draper Park were unable to compete because of scheduling conflicts, said Midvale Middle librarian Brenda Anderson, who coordinated the April 13 event in six different locations at the school. “I love the energy and the fact students are reading books of all different genres,” Anderson said. “It’s an activity where students work together and have fun at the same time.” Battle of the Books is a reading incentive program for students who have created teams to read books and come together to demonstrate their abilities and to test their knowledge of the books they have read. Canyons School District Library Media Specialist Jim Wilson said that they started talking about bringing the program district-wide about one year ago. “There was enough positive talk and contributions from the schools that have held their own competitions, that we felt this would benefit our students district-wide,” he said. “There are some elementary schools that also hold their own contest, so this would lead them up to this competition.” Wilson said about 500 middle school students prepared for the competition by reading from a set book list. “There is so much emphasis in academic reading that it has taken the joy out of reading, so this is an exciting way to see students be able to dig into a story they may not have chosen otherwise and understand it,” he said. Much of the coordination was put in the hands of Eastmont’s teacher and librarian Sonya Miles, who has overseen her own school’s competition for three years and is a supporter of the program. She wrote and received a $357 Donors Choose grant to help get the program started. “I really believe this helps students read more books and the exposure to more books, improves their reading strategies and their education,” she said. Miles and other district librarians met to review the book list and changed a few to allow for more genres to be read, which resulted in librarians creating their own questions. The questions, posed to the students in a Family Feud game-style, asked

130 Years


Butler Middle School students prepare for Canyons School District’s inaugural Battle of the Books competition. (Brenda Anderson/Midvale Middle School)

students to answer the question with the title of the book before receiving additional points with the author’s name. Miles said Battle of the Books is more than just the competition. “One of my favorite things is to see the students check out books that they never would normally read and to see them really enjoy them. With greater exposure to literature, they’re expanding their selection of reading,” she said. At Eastmont, students have the support of faculty, some who even participated on their own teams, and participate as part of their English honors classes. The school had 300 students participate on 62 student teams, which had to compete for two entries into the district-wide Battle of the Books. The Magical Mages won the school competition and their second-place team, Rachel & Friends, advanced to the district. At district, the two teams met up with Mt. Jordan’s teams, who has had the program for six years at their school, as well as teams from Albion, Butler, Indian Hills and Union. “Battle of the Books goes along with intramurals, chess and debate as a way for our students to showcase their talents,” said Mt. Jordan librarian and coach, Kim Mitchell, who held a school competition between the nine school teams before the district-wide tournament. “It’s also a lot of fun for the students.” Besides creative names, students made signs or wore matching clothes. Mt. Jordan’s Dragons came with silkscreened shirts and the school’s Kick’n Chickens, brought their own (stuffed) mascot.

While most teams divided the book list into a sizeable number to read, Mitchell said some of her team members read every book. “They thought it was more likely that they could answer the questions if more than one team member had read the book,” she said. Every team competed in the first three rounds, then, the field narrowed between the two veteran schools. Before the final round, there was a sudden death tie-breaker between Rachel & Friends and Kick’n Chickens. “It was very close and intense. These students seem to thrive on it,” Mitchell said. When Rachel & Friends edged out Kick’n Chickens, they met the Chickens’ classmates, the Dragons, in the final round. In the end, Eastmont’s Rachel & Friends pulled ahead with Mt. Jordan’s Dragons finishing in second place. Mt. Jordan’s Kick’n Chickens placed in third ahead of Eastmont’s Magical Mages. Students received books as prizes. Rachel & Friends received “Grimm Fairy Tales,” the Dragons got “Chronicles of Narnia,” and Kick’n Chickens, “The Book Thief.” Eastmont Middle School seventh-grader Avery Williams loves to read so when the opportunity came for her to compete with her America’s Battle of the Books team, she was excited. “It sounded like fun,” she said. “I liked reading the books and hanging out with my friends on the team.” l


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June 2018 | Page 17

Honored teachers dedicate their careers to students By Julie Slama | Julie@mycityjournals.com


ometimes music can touch a soul and spread far beyond who may be listening to it. That was the case for Midvale Middle School instrumental teacher Lena Wood, who connected with a percussionist as a youngster. “I was listening to the drummer for Yanni and thought percussion was so cool,” Wood said. “I connected and it saved me from going down an icky path.” Being able to relate to students is part of the reason Wood was selected amongst 46 other teachers representing schools in Canyons School District as not only her school’s teacher of the year, but first runner-up for the district. Corner Canyon’s Amber Rogers was named teacher of the year and Alta View Elementary’s Jamie Richardson was second runner-up. They will be honored at a Real Salt Lake game June 2. In addition to a crystal award and a gift basket, Rogers received $1,000 from the Canyons Education Foundation; Wood received $750 and Richardson, $500. Wood doesn’t duck from her past. In fact, at the beginning of the school year, she tells her students that her path started in sixth grade when her dad was sent to prison. She now tells her students that it’s the choices that students make that can send them to success or into not good circumstances.

“I didn’t tell my friends and kept it quiet,” she said. “I always felt like I didn’t fit in because of it. I wasn’t good at math and struggled. It wasn’t until I discovered music that I flourished.” After listening to the drummer for Yanni, Wood used her piano background to learn percussion in junior high and became involved in marching band and drumline in high school. She graduated from Weber State University with a music education degree on scholarship. “Kids need to hear that we all aren’t super successful from the start; that we struggle. Sometimes there is a person they can relate to or something at school that gets them going. It’s OK if it’s music, dance, theatre or gym. The arts are important in school and they can keep us going,” she said. Wood, who followed her mother’s footsteps into teaching, has taught for 11 years, but said it wasn’t until she came to Midvale Middle School she felt comfortable. “I fell in love with the diversity here,” she said. “It’s so different. I felt accepted. Now I feel super honored to be honored. It gives me more confidence in my teaching and tells me that (I’m) doing OK. It gives my students that encouraging message.”l

Canyons School District’s top three Teacher of the Year finalists — Alta View’s Jamie Richardson, Corner Canyon’s Amber Rogers and Midvale Middle’s Lena Wood — were all smiles after receiving their awards in April. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

Utah native and three-time Olympian returns to showcase volleyball By Catherine Garrett | c.garrett@mycityjournals.com


hree-time Olympian Jake Gibb, 42, who hails from Utah, is coming home for an exhibition beach volleyball match and clinic Saturday, June 16 during a Wasatch Beach Volleyball Juniors tournament at the Utah Sports Mall, located at 5445 S. 900 East in Murray. “I love interactions with kids who want to learn about volleyball,” Gibb said. “It’s a cool position to be in with the wealth of knowledge I have and to be able to share a little bit of that. I just want to share my passion and help people see that and feel that.” “Jake is a global icon in the beach volleyball community,” said WBV Juniors Director Warren Van Schalkwyk. “He is also one of the most down-to-earth people you’d ever meet. To have Jake participate in this event speaks to his love for the game and his willingness to give back.” Gibb grew up in Bountiful, the youngest of 11 children, and played basketball and golf in high school until he tried boys volleyball on a club team his senior year. Following an LDS mission, he played with his twin brother, Coleman —who is 6 inches shorter than the 6-foot-7 Jake—in a Utah Outdoor Volleyball tournament in the “B” division and took second place. “We thought that was pretty good,” Gibb said. “So, there was my real competitive start to outdoor volleyball, in a ‘B’ tournament on grass.” While playing on grass, Gibb said he often watched the players on the sand and thought they were “pretty cool cats with their tattoos and everything.” One of those players—a Utah legend named Joe Famasino—asked Gibb if he wanted to play with him. “Here I was, this big clunky kid, and I literally was so ner-

Page 18 | June 2018

vous that Joe was talking to me that I couldn’t even remember my phone number to give him,” Gibb said. And, that was just the beginning of Gibb’s rise in the sport while he studied business at the University of Utah and married his wife, Jane. Following graduation and working toward becoming a loan officer, his wife encouraged him to give professional beach volleyball a try. So, the pair moved to California in 2002 for a twoyear trial run to see if the sport could become their livelihood. “That’s the scariest move I’ve ever made in my life,” Gibb said. “I was comfortable being where I was at as the best in Utah. Good thing I was young; I don’t think I would do it now.” Gibb said he showed up at a beach in California for the first time, trying to get into a game and was told there was a six game wait. “I left the beach that day without getting a game and with my tail wagging between my legs thinking, ‘Nobody knows that I’m pretty good,’” he said. Gibb’s wait for a court paid off, and by 2004, Gibb won his first Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) tour title and was named the Most Valuable Player the next season. He has since won 27 more titles with several partners —most notably, Sean Rosenthal and Casey Patterson—and competed at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics, placing tied for fifth twice and 19th. For the past year and a half, he has been partnered with Taylor Crabb and feels “fortunate to get a young kid who doesn’t know how good he is yet.” Gibb, who is the father of 6-year-old Crosby and 3-year-old Cora Jane, said, “This sport has given me my entire lifestyle,” he said. “I feel like I’m the most fortunate guy on the planet.” The June 16 match and clinic in Murray is free although

seating will be limited. Spectators will be able to take pictures with Gibb and hear about his experiences from over two decades in the sport. l

Pro beach volleyball player Jake Gibb, from Utah, has been a top player on the world circuit for several years. The three-time Olympian will appear in an exhibition match and then host a clinic during a Wasatch Beach Volleyball Juniors tournament Saturday, June 16 at the Utah Sports Mall. (Photo courtesy Jake Gibb)

Midvale City Journal

Teens rewarded for serving others By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


idvale Middle School seventh-grader Abigail Slama-Catron was honored April 29 in the nation’s capitol as Utah’s top middle school volunteer during the 24th annual presentation of the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. Abigail, along with other top youth volunteers from across the United States and several other countries, received a $1,000 award and personal congratulations from Olympic champion Lindsay Vonn at an award ceremony and gala dinner reception held at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. She also had the opportunity to meet Miss America Cara Mund, who also was a Prudential honoree when she was a student. Along with the monetary award, which Abigail plans to put toward her college education, she received a silver medallion and the all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. for four days of recognition events. Abigail, who was honored for her work in environmental education, helped invent a “bionic scarecrow” that keeps birds away from airplanes as they take off and land at airports. There currently are three devices being tested at the Salt Lake International Airport. She has demonstrated the environmentally-friendly device to scientists, wildlife officials and government and education leaders as well as to students wanting to learn to be inventors themselves. Abigail also created a film, “Strike Out,” about her device, which won Canyons School District’s 2017 middle school best documentary and was shown at the Colorado Environmental Film Festival in February. She also created the film, “Stand Up, Speak Out,” to inspire other youth to become advocates about their passions. She was nominated by 4H, who honored her with the outstanding youth award in environmental education and earth sciences. Prudential Financial Chairman and CEO John Strangfeld said that through the 24 years of the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program, which is sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary Schools Principals, he has seen many projects, but this one was unique. Abigail, who was joined by Utah’s top high school volunteer and senior at Waterford School, Tabitha Bell, also a Sandy resident, was selected for giving of themselves and their time. “They have demonstrated leadership, compassion and perseverance,” Strangfeld said. Both Bell and Abigail also received the President’s Volunteer Service Award. With the honor, they each received a personalized certificate from Donald Trump for giving more than 100 hours of service to their community. Tabitha Bell Bell also was selected as one of 10 national Prudential Spirit of Community winners. “I couldn’t believe it was me,” Bell said. “I was so overwhelmed. Oh my goodness, I remember thinking, ‘It can’t be happening; it’s like a dream.’” Bell, who has Dejerine Sottas, a form of mus-


cular dystrophy, relies on her German shepherd to give her mobility and balance. But her story doesn’t begin there, her mother said. “She was born severely premature in Siberia,” Jennifer Bell said. “It was in extremely poor conditions we discovered when we went to pick her up in September 2011. We were told under no circumstances were we to ever give up our passports because we wouldn’t know what would happen. But then we were asked to and told about what was happening in the U.S. that day, 9-11, and we handed them over.” That was the start of a long journey that has taken Tabitha to this place of recognition. The journey, which includes nine surgeries, seven for her feet, as well as operations to fuse all her vertebrae and long-term therapy after suffering severe concussions from falls, hasn’t left Bell emotionally scarred. “I was meeting with my surgeon, when I realized he had other patients who needed a service dog and couldn’t afford one. I realized even with my own struggles, I wasn’t as bad off as they were. I’m by nature a go-getter, so after I learned about it, I started Paws at my school, where there are a lot of other go-getters, to help getting service dogs to those who need them,” she said. Paws, short for Pawsitive Pawsibilities, is a non-profit organization that, to date, has provided nine service dogs. But Tabitha didn’t start with Paws. When her family first moved to Utah, she lived in Park City and had heard about the National Ability Center. After visiting, but not actually riding there, she realized they needed new tack for the horses. As an equestrian, she took it upon herself to gather $5,000 as well as some unused tack to donate to the Center. “I learned right there, I could make a difference in people’s lives,” said the winner of this year’s 14- to 18-year-old Canadian National Championship for equestrians of all abilities. “I knew a huge community of people growing up in the horse world and if I could tell them about the need, they were generous in helping people. It was a lesson I learned and have continued to build upon.” That lesson transformed into Tabitha’s efforts, along with those of her friend, Morgan Kane. They raised more than $100,000 through selling bracelets, holding a school dress-down day fundraiser and organizing a 5K race and benefit concert. Tabitha also overcame her shyness and battles with needing her first service dog (Sunny, who now is retired). “At first, they would just stare at me and say, ‘I love this dog,’ and that was really hard. I was mad and thought, ‘Why can’t they mind their own business?’ I came to realize they were just curious. So, I became an ambassador for service dogs and would say, ‘Yeah, this is my dog, let me tell you about him,” she said. That lead Bell to creating a coloring book to help youngsters learn about service dogs as well as speaking to others at schools, camps and civic group gatherings about her mission. “It was definitely scary and nerve wracking

2018 EvEning SEriES

Abigail Slama-Catron and Tabitha Bell represented Utah as the top youth volunteers at the Prudential Spirit of Community awards in Washington, D.C. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

the first time I spoke to a Rotary group. I remember waving my hands all around, but since then, I’ve become a much more composed speaker,” she said, then added, “Up until Prudential — I was genuinely surprised and taken back.” At Prudential, she said people accepted her as well as her dog — including Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn, who was the keynote speaker. “She stopped to pet Nox. It was super cool that she noticed him and asked me about what he does and his breed. My dog always outshines me,” she joked, but also added that she has been invited to tryout to train for the U.S. Paralympic team for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics herself. Even after being accepted as a state winner and flying to D.C., Tabitha admits she didn’t understand the significance of being a Prudential honoree. “Even when I walked onto the red carpet after getting off the bus from the airport, I didn’t understand how big of a deal it is. They flew in all 102 winners to honor them and when I heard their stories, I was blown away at what all they had done. I was the first winner from Waterford and I thought that was a big deal, but understanding what they all did, was incredible,” she said. “It was great to meet all these people and already started connecting with the other kids and we want to create a nationwide fundraiser to benefit our organizations.” As a national winner, Tabitha received a gold medallion and $5,000 for her non-profit organization, along with a second $5,000, which she plans to use at University of California-Berkeley in the fall as she plans to become a CEO or CFO of a company. Abigail, who also performs service work with Girl Scouts and with her school, Midvale Middle, was grateful for the experience. “Being part of this amazing program helped me realize that there are so many others who care about our future as much as I do,” she said. “Service doesn’t have to be something you go out of your way to do. As one person, you can volunteer to show you care and make an impact.” l

Season Tickets: $49 Adult, $45 Senior, $29 Child Murray Amphitheater Parking: 495 E 5300 S Ticket Info: 801-264-2614 or murrary.utah.gov June 2 ................................... Hairspray, Sing-A-Long June 9 ................................. One Voice Children Choir June 21-23, 25-27 .............Thoroughly Modern Millie June 30 .................................... Murray Concert Band July 7.................................... Murray Symphony Pops July 13-14 ............................... Ballet Under the Stars July 26-28, 30, 31, Aug 1....................Into the Woods August 10-11, 13, 16-18 ......................Secret Garden August 25...................................... SLC Jazz Orchestra September 3 ..............Murray Acoustic Music Festival


Bring the Whole Family Young and Old! The 2nd Monday of every month at 7 p.m., FREE Murray Heritage Senior Center (#10 E 6150 S – 1/2 block west of State) June 11 – In Cahoots.......................Cowboy Music July 9 – Skyedance..............................Celtic Music Aug 13 – Company B....................................Oldies Sept 10 – Mixed Nuts .......................... Jazz, Swing


Every Tuesday at Noon in Murray Park Pavilion #5 FREE June 5 – Michael Robinson ............Cowboy Poetry June 12 – Eastern Arts ...................... Ethnic Dance June 19 –CHASKIS......Music & Dance of the Andes June 26 – Chris Proctor .. Guitar for the New World July 10 – Wasatch Jazz Titans .................Jazz Band July 17 – Red Desert Ramblers............... Bluegrass July 31 – Time Cruisers.................................Oldies


Every Thursday at 2 p.m. in Murray Park Pavilion #5 FREE June 7 – Stephanie Raff ......................Storytelling June 14 – Nino Reyos .........Native American Drum June 21 – Miss Margene ..............Children’s Dance June 28 – Coralie Leue .............The Puppet Players July 12 – Jonathan the Magician ....... Magic Show July 19 – Rebeca Wallin ........Shakespeare for Kids July 26 – Popcorn Media .....................Family Rock Aug 2 – Honey Buns........................... Song/Dance This program has received funding support from residents of Salt Lake County, SL County Zoo, Arts, and Parks (ZAP), Utah Division of Arts and Museums, and Museums & National Endowment for the Arts.

June 2018 | Page 19

The youngest driver might be the fastest By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com

Natalie Waters pilots this limited sprint race car at Rocky Mountain Raceway at speeds approaching 115 mph. She is 14 years old. (Photo courtesy Natalie Waters Facebook page)


ocky Mountain Raceway kicked off its final season, and 14-yearold Natalie Waters is having an impact already. “I grew up with racing,” Natalie Waters said. “My uncles are Jimmy Waters and Lynn Hardy (veteran racers at the RMR), so I was at the track when I was about 6 months old. I got into a quarter midget (similar to a go-kart) when I was 6 years old. Then I drove a junior stinger and a focus midget.” Waters is currently driving a new midget racecar and an open wheel limited sprint car. In both classes, she competes against drivers more than double her age. “I like the adrenaline rush,” Waters said. “I have always thought it looked so cool. It is nice to know that I am doing well. Last year was my first year on the entire track, and I think I have gotten it a little bit. This year I feel I can go as hard as I can.” She has been fast. Her limited sprint averaged 91.2 mph around the ⅜-mile oval. Her qualifying time was fourth fastest for the opening night racers. In her midget division, she has raced competitively against Chaz Groat for several years in quarter midgets and now in the focus midgets. Groat was last year’s class champion. “My family is really close with

Page 20 | June 2018

Chaz’s family,” Waters said. “We both got into this class together and seem to be in the same step in racing. There is a little pressure being a girl, and I am the youngest ever to drive a sprint car in the state of Utah. It is different, but knowing that I get out of the car and beat those grown men is cool.” Waters has dreams of racing in NASCAR. She has support from several sponsors and a working crew. Her grandfather John Waters is her crew chief and has set up her cars from the beginning of her racing career. “I have been racing since I was 11 years old, and I have never seen anything like this,” John said. “It is so emotional to see her start racing when she was 6. She told me, ‘All I wanted was a trophy.’ She has so much passion for it. She just finished racing, and she is back here waxing her car to make them look nice.” In a race last November at the Bullring in Las Vegas, she flipped her car and totaled it. John found another car, purchased it and prepared it for this season. In set-up, John has always prepared the car limiting her on her throttle availability to ensure she could learn the handling of the car. “I did not want to give her full power,” John said. “I wanted her to drive where she felt comfortable. This year, we

are giving her more of the edge. We are close to $35,000 to race these cars this year. It is expensive, but she has learned to work with the sponsors and meet their expectations.” Seeing her daughter race has been a heart-racing experience for Natalie’s mother, Cassie Waters. “When she drives by the wall and I can see her face for like a split second, it might make me cry; I can’t believe that she is in control of the car,” Cassie said. “It is just crazy. I am with her every day. I make the oatmeal and do her laundry and buy her makeup. Now, she is here racing at night.” The final season at Rocky Mountain Raceway continues all summer. The sprint cars are scheduled to return June 16. “They started racing quarter midgets with the track and with the talent they have I know they are going to do a good job,” Rocky Mountain Raceway General Manager Mike Eames said. “These young drivers have potential, and it is sad that the track is closing because it would be fun to see what they could do. They are respectful, and watching them is one of the favorite parts of my job. I can’t cheer for her because she has cooties and is a girl, but I like good racing and hope she does well.” l

Midvale City Journal


June 2018 | Page 21

Travel Budget



Schools out for summer! It’s time for vacation! One of my friends told me that her family spent around 10 grand on a two-week holiday. Don’t do that. Instead, use this nifty little invention called the internet to do some research. There are hundreds of blogs and forums where people share their travel experiences, sharing information about the cheapest transportation and best deals in various cities worldwide. Before going anywhere, check what people say about that destination and what they recommend when traveling on a budget. Flying can be an expensive hassle. Many travel bugs recommend using a credit card that offers the chance to earn miles. Cashing in those miles can mean a free plane ticket. I’ve also heard that checking fares on Tuesday, two weeks before your travel date, will be the cheapest option. Don’t hold me to that though. Driving can be boring. Don’t forget entertainment if you’re going on a road trip. If you have a Netflix subscription, download the app on your phone, and download episodes, podcasts, or comedy specials. Have everyone in your car do the same for hours of internet-free entertainment. Oh, and make sure to bring an auxiliary cord. And water. Stay hydrated people.

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For lodging, don’t stay stay in your destination city. It’s generally cheaper to book a place outside of the area. For example, it’s cheaper to stay in Murray than it is is downtown Salt Lake City. It’s cheaper to stay in Sandy or Cottonwood Heights than it is to stay in the canyon resorts during ski season. Know the areas around your destination city. Luckily, we live in the era of Airbnb, where hotel prices are almost obsolete. The website is fantastic for any kind of group traveling. If you’re going with the whole family, you can check for full homes to book. If you’re traveling alone or with friends, you can rent out a room for low prices. Hostels are also great options for the lone traveler. If you’re going on vacation to see a physical place, and not going for an event, go during the off season. Tourist attractions, lodging, and other accommodations will be marked down. Plus, there won’t be so many crowds. You may end up on a tour with just a few other people, instead of a few busses. When visiting new cities, check for free walking tours. Not only are they budget-friendly, they help you get acquainted with the city. You may see something you want to visit, which you didn’t know existed.

While you’re on that walking tour, find the local grocery store. Take some time to do your grocery shopping and make your own meals. Eating out is expensive, especially if you’re doing it every day. I recommend trying some local food no matter where the destination, but don’t go crazy. Eat out on only a few occasions and pack your own food the rest of the time. Booking tours or buying attraction tickets the day-of can be mind-bogglingly expensive. Before you leave home, take some time to research ticket prices for the places you might want to visit. Many places have discounts if you book in advance or through third-party websites. If you have a discount associated

with your identity, ask for it. There are so many places that offer discounts for military personnel, seniors, students, etc. Bring some proof, just in case. I used my University of Utah student card to get a discount on a tour in Australia. Want to work while traveling? Many places offer free lodging in exchange for labor. Like farm-stays, where you can stay for free if you help out around the farm. They may even feed you too. There are also many programs outside of the country for teaching English. One day, I plan to go help baby turtles make it to the ocean safety. A free place to stay for chasing birds away?! Yes. Please. l

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Midvale City Journal

Don’t Kill the Messenger


Laughter AND




Back when Paleolithic man ruled the world, humans only learned what was happening outside their cave when another caveman rode into town on his velociraptor. Soon, dinosaurs evolved into horses (duh, that’s just science) and traveling merchants shared stories and events as they roamed the country. They’d sit around campfires, making s’mores and spreading gossip. In cities, town criers walked the streets in ridiculous outfits, ringing bells and shouting information at passersby. When Johannes Gutenberg mechanized the printing process, he started a revolution that led to books, newspapers and inexpensive bird cage lining. Town criers became journalists, people dedicated to the pursuit of truth, shining a light on injustice and living on hot coffee and cold pizza. America’s Founding Fathers recognized the importance of the press, protecting free speech in the first amendment. Journalists were regarded as necessary vermin, an invaluable cog in the democratic process of checks and balances. Distinguished reporters like Carl Bernstein, Dan Rather and Walter Cronkite took journalism to its apex before its Icarus-like plunge into the mud of “journalism” today.

With the introduction of the Internet Machine, news has changed. A flood of misinformation is available at our fingertips and anyone can post “news” and share it as reality. Your crazy Uncle Joe has the ability to post his conspiracy theories as fact, while negating facts as theories. (Yes, I’m talking to you, holocaust deniers and urine therapy adherents.) As newspapers fold and journalists are fired, consumers must find their way in a wild wilderness, navigating blogs, podcasts, posts, tweets, forums and websites, searching for truth, justice and the American way. On TV, Barbie and Ken dolls throw softball questions at politicians, making no effort to hide their biases. They’re like balloon bouquets; pretty






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to look at and fun for a while, but then they float creepily through your home, lurking in doorways and scaring the skittles out of you at 3 a.m. Sponsored content (advertorials) sneak their way into news broadcasts and articles, looking like journalism, but in reality they’re just fancy ads. Usually, readers don’t even know. Journalists have become public relations specialists, crafting news instead of reporting it. On top of all that, our president declared war on the press. The U.S. just ranked 45th on the World Press Freedom Index, coming in behind places like Bahari, Namibia and Sokovia. (Only one of those countries is real, but I’m presenting it as fact. Most readers don’t bother dis-



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covering the truth.) Do reporters pick on Trump? Yes. Does he deserve it? Maybe not all the time. Maybe. But his anti-press pomposity further erodes the faith we’ve placed in our news agencies as his bellowing cry of “Fake news!” rings from media outlets. Investigative journalists are an endangered species. It seems little vetting, research or fact-checking is being done. It’s more important to have the story first—even if it’s inaccurate. Wikipedia isn’t research. (I know that, because I looked up journalism on Wikipedia and it said, “This is not a news source.”) Here are other things that aren’t news sources: Facebook, Twitter, hateful bloggers and venom-spewing talk show hosts. In 2009, I wrote a column, grumbling about the sensationalizing of stories where a celebrity’s activities were treated as breaking news. (FYI: It’s not.) Things have only gone downhill. There are many journalists working diligently to present the truth, but it’s getting harder to hear their voices over the screeching of velociraptors, the screaming of town criers and the bellicose rants of our leaders. No news isn’t good news. No news is no news. l


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June 2018 | Page 23

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Profile for The City Journals

Midvale City Journal June 2018  

Midvale City Journal June 2018

Midvale City Journal June 2018  

Midvale City Journal June 2018