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March 2018 | Vol. 18 Iss. 03


HILLCREST HIGH DRILL TEAM ‘ALL IN,’ TO COMPETE AT NATIONALS By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com


lthough Hillcrest High School’s football coach, Cazzie Brown, died in late August, he hasn’t been forgotten. Throughout the school halls and at sporting events, he is remembered as the one who brought pride to the Husky dog pound with “one pack, one goal.” He is the one who inspired athletes and students alike, said Chelsea Divine, who coaches alongside Brenda Searle, Myranda Scherschligt, Enli Reyes and Annette Jones. “Coach Brown inspired me and the school community,” she said. “We would joke about coaching, but he helped me become a better coach. He sent the message through our school to be committed.” Taking that dedication to heart, Hillcrest drill team set their motto as “all in” and have started and ended every practice with that cheer in a huddle. They’ve also recognized a person each day who has brought their heart “all in.” “I think he has helped us to better unite and be committed this season. We are more fierce and confident because we all are ‘all in,’” Divine said. The team, affectionately called HD, swept every competition in its region, winning for the fourth straight year, and finished third overall at state in its first year in 6A. The Huskies also took top honors with junior Lindsey Wehrli winning the state drill down against about 350 competitors. The 6A coach of the year was Brenda Searle. HD plans to compete nationally in the Contest of Champions March 3 at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando. “This team is awesome. They are very talented and tough competitors who rise to the occasion. This year, we’ve performed for the passion and love of it and as a result, we haven’t been stressed about it,” Divine said. Their season started after they traveled to New York together last year to take classes at the Broadway Dance Company, including a Rockettes master class.

‘Messiah’ March 25.

“It was a good way for them to enjoy what they love to do – dance,” Divine said. After learning routines and rehearsing in the summer, as well as performing halftimes at football games, HD began its competition season. In early December, they competed at the Mustang Classic in Herriman. The team took first place in sweepstakes, after winning military, dance, lyrical and pom routines. At the Utah Valley University Classic in mid-December, the Huskies got points docked with a penalty.

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Hillcrest High School’s drill team, which swept its region competition, will compete at nationals this March in Florida. (Canyons School District)

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“It was a good wake up call, something we could fix for our future routines. Competing there also gave us a chance to compete on the floor where state was and get used to being in a big arena,” she said. At the Rocky Mountain Invitational in January in Draper, the team took second overall. They won the military, pom and lyrical routines, took second in dance and third in character. Slated for February, the Miss Drill Utah Pageant features junior Kyra Revill, who is the current teen Miss Drill Utah, and her sister, freshman Peyton Revill, who represented Hillcrest. At region, HD captains and seniors Annie Bunker, Sydney Brey and Rylee Bergmann were named to the all-region drill team. The all-region academic team, with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.75 out of a 4.0, include HD members Annie Bunker, Bella Jones, Brooklyn Stromberg, Brynley Kershaw, Emily Rimmasch, Kyra Revill, Leah Cisneros, Lexi Green, Lizzie Moss, Michelle Sluga, Nicole Aragundi, Olivia Ojala, Olivia Rodgerson, Paris Freebairn, Peyton Revill, Rachael Roper and Shaylee Kershaw. In amongst all the practices and performances, the drill team also donated about 500 toys, diapers and kids’ clothes to a local women’s resource center in December. “We’re learning if we’re ‘all in’ then, we’re all in for our community as well. At state, we (had) a ‘sea of green’ supporting us as well,” Dvine said. “It’s ‘all in’ all the time.” This season will end at 6 p.m., Thursday, March 15 with a year-end showcase in the main gym, 7350 S. 900 East. Tickets will be $5 and funds will be used toward the drill program. Try-outs for next season will be held at 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 10 and Thursday, April 12. A pre-audition clinic, for girls in good standing in academics and citizenship, will be held at 4 p.m., Thursday, March 22 and will cost $20. A pre-audition dancer-parent meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m., March 22 at the school. l

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Midvale City Journal

Bonnie Owens and Promise, a perfect match 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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ormer Hillcrest High student Bonnie Owens’ happiness spreads to those around her as she works with kids through the South Salt Lake Promise program. Her passion, joy, and ability to listen to youthin-need compliments Promise and matches their goal of helping children reach their highest potential. After graduating college in 2011 during a shaky job market, Owens was unemployed. “I was in that weird bubble of being over qualified for many jobs and under qualified for many jobs,” Owens said. With an undergraduate degree in gender studies and a graduate degree in cultural studies and education from the University of Utah, Owens had never worked with young children. “I spent my master’s learning about underrepresented students and how to best serve them in school and my intention was to teach adults,” Owens said. She taught college for a while during her master’s program and taught teens for a bit between her degrees. Yet a happy accident brought her into the world of elementary-age kids, which she fell in love with. Once a week Owens would play basketball at the Columbus Center during her eight months of unemployment and she heard about a position opening. She remembers going into the interview and learning about the specifics of the job. “When they started in the interview talking about kids I was like, ‘Wait a minute, what is this job? What are you talking about?’ And I hadn’t had any experience at that point with elementary kids, I had only experienced teenagers, and I was pretty nervous but I was also really desperate and I thought, ‘Hey you know, I just got a degree in this. Maybe I’ll give it my best shot,’ and I went for it.” She reluctantly began as, what was called at the time, a group leader, now titled prevention specialist, which she explained with a smile is “a glorified camp counselor.” Six years later Owens has moved up the ladder, with her most recent promotion to deputy director of Promise, and she couldn’t be more thrilled. “The only reason that I was afraid of kids was because I didn’t have any experience with them. They actually are really cool people and an honor to have in anyone’s life,” said Owens. The Ninja Turtle Christmas wrapping paper, amongst all the other kid-friendly toys and games like basketballs and jump

By Holly Vasic | h.vasic@mycityjournals.com

Bonnie Owens (center) was named the Outstanding Afterschool Site Coordinator in Utah by the Utah Afterschool Network in October 2017. (Photo courtesy South Salt Lake)

ropes, in her office is a reminder of a recent action the Promise Program and Owens took because they listened. “We had a huge year for Sub for Santa and Angel Tree. More than 80 families were able to get gifts and needed items and a lot of the ways we figured out which families to support was just knowing the kids and listening to what they were talking about,” Owens explained. She remembers one child in particular who said he didn’t celebrate Christmas and she asked him if he celebrated another holiday. “He said, ‘No we don’t celebrate because we can’t afford presents.’” Owens kept a mental note of this and when Christmas time rolled around programs within Promise, like the Family Liaison, were able to reach out to the family. “Bonnie’s dedication and impact are evident on the faces of all the youth she serves,” said South Salt Lake Mayor Cherie Wood. “She invests in them as individuals and sparks interest in the things that will help them thrive not just while in Promise programing, but in life. Having Bonnie as a Deputy Director will certainly impact South Salt Lake and our youth for the better.” Owens grew up on the SandyMidvale area and recalls a time when she was a student at Hillcrest High School. That time in her life motivates her in her role today. A few of her teachers got together to encourage her to switch to the AP English class because they knew she

could succeed. “This idea that they were talking about me when I wasn’t around and that they were working together. I was resistant, I was like, ‘No that sounds like really hard and it’s in the middle of the semester, how would I catch up?’ And they basically were like, ‘No you got to do this,’” Owens recalled. This experience endeared her to teaching because she remembers how they believed in her. Owens identifies as, what she calls, “gender variant or gender nonconforming” and always has. She spent her childhood seeking out adults who looked like her that she could relate to but most told her it was a phase she would grow out of. “It’s super fun for me to be in this role and for the kids who look like me and who are looking for someone to look like them, it’s really rewarding. Also, for kids who don’t. For them to get the experience of learning from and really caring about someone who is different from them is something that keeps me around the kids for sure,” said Owens. Owens looks forward to her future with Promise and getting to see more kids succeed. She has now seen kids graduate and get scholarships to Westminister and other schools, as well as a student she had when she first started who returned to work for Promise. “It’s good times,” Owens said with a smile. l

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Midvale City Journal

Hallelujah! ‘Messiah’ is coming in time for Easter By Ruth Hendricks | Ruth.H@mycityjournals.com


ll are welcome at a community Easter celebration of Georg Friedrich Handel’s “Messiah” on Sunday, March 25 at 7 p.m. at the Union Middle School auditorium (615 E. 8000 South). The “Messiah” is an English-language oratorio composed in 1741 by Handel, with a scriptural text compiled by Charles Jennens from the King James Bible, and from the version of the Psalms included with the Book of Common Prayer. Considered the most magnificent classical masterwork of all time, Handel’s “Messiah” features the “Hallelujah Chorus” and a host of other glorious orchestrations, both choral and solo, many of which contain very familiar melodies. Concert producer Suzanne Walker is hoping to spread the word to people who don’t know about this community tradition. She said she believes that communities are losing their “front porches,” where people used to sit and visit with neighbors. “Community traditions, particularly the arts, are a way for us to find a ‘front porch’, to find a way to connect with our neighbors, friends, and family,” said Walker. This performance on March 25 will be the 33rd annual presentation of the Midvale Utah Community “Messiah.” Directed by

Jan Litster and Sean Raleigh with the choir, soloists, and orchestra made up of local professional and amateur musicians, this is truly a community tradition. Litster has been with the “Messiah” since its inception and was instrumental in starting this tradition. Raleigh has recently joined the ranks of conductor and also plays in the orchestra. A full chamber orchestra will accompany the interfaith choir and soloists. Traditionally performed at Christmas, “Messiah” was originally an Easter offering. It burst onto the stage of Musick Hall in Dublin on April 13, 1742. Handel was generous to those in need and as such, he gave his portion of the “Messiah” debut proceeds to a debtors’ prison and hospital in Dublin. In that tradition of giving, concert organizers are asking patrons to bring a can of food to donate to the local community food pantry. According to Wikipedia, for this 1742 Dublin concert to have the largest possible audience, gentlemen were requested to remove their swords and ladies were asked not to wear hoops in their dresses. More information can be found at www. facebook.com/MidvaleCommunityMessiah. l

Rehearsal for 2016 “Messiah” concert. (Midvale Utah Community Messiah)

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March 2018 | Page 5


UDOT updates plans for Southbound I-15, 7200 South improvements


onstruction is scheduled to begin this spring on the Utah Department of Transportation’s (UDOT) southbound I-15 and 7200 South improvement project. Lisa Zundel, UDOT project manager, gave an update to the Midvale City Council on Feb. 6 about the status of the plans to reduce delays along southbound I-15 from 2100 South to 12300 South, and along 7200 South near the I-15 exit. Zundel said that a lane would be added along 7200 South starting near the Top Golf entrance. The southbound project will include the following improvements: adding a lane to southbound I-15 between S.R. 201 (2100 South) and 12300 South, widening 7200 South to three lanes in each direction from I-15 to Bingham Junction Boulevard in Midvale, and modifying the I-15 interchange at I-215 to improve traffic flow. The project has a value of $180 million. A final environmental study was completed in the spring of 2017. The initial design phase was going on during the winter and spring of 2017. The design/build contract was awarded in December. Zundel had said last March that the design/build process has been used by UDOT many times with great success. The design/ build process is a contracting method where

By Ruth Hendricks | Ruth.H@mycityjournals.com

the design and construction are combined into one contract that is awarded to a single design/ build team. In addition to expediting construction projects, Zundel said, “Design/build is a good idea because we can get the proposals out to the community, and we can benefit from innovative design ideas and construction methods that are out there.” Having a single point of responsibility for both the design and the building of a project can reduce risks and overall costs. Zundel described the benefit of the construction by looking at estimates of afternoon commute times along I-15 in 2024. “The traffic delay without the project would be five minutes. With the project, delay will be 40 seconds.” During construction, “there will be some weekend closures of I-15 at the 7200 South entrance, along with some pedestrian rerouting,” said Zundel. UDOT staff have been meeting with businesses in the area to support them in coping with the closures. They encourage workers to visit UDOT’s TravelWise website which is a resource to find alternate ways to travel, including carpooling, riding transit, walking and biking. Estimated completion is this fall for the I-15 portion of the project from 7800 South to

12300 South. The I-15/I-215 interchange is planned to be complete in the early fall of 2019, and the 7200 South project is also due that fall. Improvements are planned for I-15 northbound as well, but that is a separate project that is in the scoping process now. A public open house for that project was held on Jan. 30, 2018 to receive input related to transportation needs and environmental concerns within the study area. Comments were accepted through February 13. This spring a range of alternatives for the northbound project will be considered that meet the transportation needs. The potential social, economic and environmental impacts will be examined and summarized in a draft environmental assessment this summer. The public will have an opportunity to review this environmental assessment during a 30day comment period. The environmental assessment will be finalized in the fall. Details of the southbound project are available at UDOT’s website, udot. utah.gov/i15southbound. Information about the northbound environmental study are also available at udot.utah.gov/ i15northbound. l



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Map of the Southbound I-15/7200 South project. (udot.utah.gov)


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Midvale City Journal

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March 2018 | Page 7


Learn English to ukulele at Midvale Elementary’s Family Learning Center By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com

Family Learning Center teacher Leslie Mourigan and fellow teacher Thomas Sandquist help provides adults with classes in English and other subjects. (Julie Slama/City Journals)


idvale Elementary’s Family Learning Center provides adults with classes in English, computers, financial literacy, healthy relationships and ukulele. Yes, ukulele. Family Learning Center teacher Thomas Sandquist said that many adult learners come to the center to learn or improve English and from those classes, he began teaching students how to strum the ukulele. “You can learn a lot, including English, through music,” he said. “The (Canyons School) District supports the instruction and bought 30 ukuleles that I use at the learning centers.” Sandquist, and fellow teacher Leslie Mourigan, also teach them English through songs with actions. School community facilitator Heidi Sanger said the Family Learning Center offers ukulele and other classes as a way to reach out to their community. “We want to offer classes that will engage more families,” she said.

While class sizes may vary weekly and by subject, she estimates that there are about 10 adult learners who regularly attend the classes in English, citizenship, computers and ukulele. Many of them also attend the Parents Talk class series that are hosted by community agencies such as South Valley Services and America First Credit Union. “South Valley Services offers classes to our adult learners in self-esteem, healthy relationships, effective communication, community resources and other topics to support them,” she said about the organization that provides safe shelter and supportive services for domestic violence victims. American First Credit Union will hold classes this spring in financial education, home buying, planning financially for the future and teaching children about money. The free community classes, taught informally in both English and Spanish, are held weekly at 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays in the Family Learning Center, 7830 Chapel St. (400 West). There is


free childcare provided. “They’re more conversations versus a formal class. We’re developing relationships with our parents and they’re learning from one another. Many of these parents want more for their kids than they’ve had so they’re here to better themselves and give a hand up to their children. At the same time, we welcome them, what they’re proud of and ways they’ve impacted our community. It’s a bonding and learning opportunity,” Sanger said. Three other elementary schools — East Midvale, Copperview and Sandy — also have Family Learning Centers. Mirna Olivas said five years ago, she attended classes at Sandy Elementary’s Family Learning Center. “I wanted to learn more English,” she said. “I lived on the border of El Paso in Juarez, Mexico and English classes were expensive. I wanted to learn as I wanted to be involved in the schools and with parents of my kids’ classmates.” She said the environment was welcoming and she instantly felt at ease. “It was more comfortable with others wanting to learn and having resources right there. We’d have parties with food from all over the world and learn about other languages and their homes,” Olivas said. “We did learning through activities and some in books. When the time came to share our experiences, we’d try to say them in English and when it got hard, nobody laughed. We were all in it together.” Since then, Olivas has gotten a job in Midvale Elementary’s office, helping students and parents speaking either English or Spanish. While many of the adult learners are improving their English, they also are interested in improving their computer skills. Teacher Kenia Bush has taught the basics from how to type and use a mouse to programs such as Excel and PowerPoint. She has helped many adult learners with setting up their email accounts and searching online. “I tell them not to be afraid,” she said. “Many of them don’t have access to computers or are able to get to a library to learn to use one. Once they learn, they master the skills and become sharp on it. Some have shopped online since they don’t have transportation and others search for jobs where they can use a computer.” Sandquist said that teaching adults came out of his love of wanting to help at the schools. “I didn’t know where to go or what I could do to help. So many of them didn’t know how to get the help they needed so this makes sense,” he said. “It’s exciting to teach them and they’re wanting to learn more.” l


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Midvale City Journal

East Midvale students explore Africa during Living Traditions week


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By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com

ast Midvale students didn’t have to travel to Africa to learn about its countries, cultures and customs. Through the school’s Living Traditions week, students in each grade level learned about an assigned country and created posters that featured facts, customs, flags, animals, places to visit and more. Several classes also had fellow classmates speak about the countries where they once lived. Third-grade teacher Keith Piccolo said students from Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Kenya talked about their countries, their language, weather and other facts about the countries. “It gave our students a greater appreciation of the demographics of our school and we’re able to have a better understanding of cultures and traditions around the world,” he said. Families of about 600 students, many who moved here from other countries, crowded the hallways and multi-purpose room Jan. 18 during the 10th annual Living Traditions night. When the students arrived, they received a “Passport to Africa” to eight countries — Madagascar, Uganda, Ghana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Egypt, Botswana and South Africa — and were presented with finding answers to questions such as which endangered animal is found almost entirely in Uganda and what would you typically eat for dinner in Botswana. Community School Facilitator Shelley McCall said those countries were selected since the school has students who came from Uganda, Ghana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Botswana. Kindergarten teacher Carrie Dumas said that her students were introduced to the different food, clothes, traditions and beliefs of Madagascar during the week, but the night allows them to see what others learned during the week. “It’s an opportunity for families to come to school and learn about different places in the world, many that create our diverse student body,” she said. Her students appreciated learning about lemurs and created their own paper replicas in class. That night, students also crowded around the second-grade table where they had a chance to make an African paper doll. “Students can make it dressed traditionally or as themselves, but it gives them a chance to express themselves as they explore other cultures and see the world from others’ perspectives,” said second-grade teacher Tanisha De La Espada, who came up with the paper doll activity. Colleague Pam Leonard, who also teaches second grade, said that having a hands-on activity in the hallways was new this year. “It’s a great opportunity for our students and parents to engage while learning about others and their traditions,” she said. At the table, first-grade twins Jashlyn and Joanna Sevrano were making dolls. Their mother, Cony Perez, said that she hoped they were learning about the Ghana culture. “I want them to learn about the culture, what they do, what they eat, and wear as they learn about making dolls typical of the Ghana people,” she said translated by her seventh-grade daughter, Emily Serrano, who said she appreciated Living Traditions nights when she attended the school. Others in the community got involved, McCall said. CHG Healthcare is participating in the Adopt-a-Classroom program through United Way of Salt Lake “They came in and read with two classes—a kindergarten and a fifth-grade class,” she said. “They also supported making multicultural dolls with our after school students.”

Food services provided a traditional African meal with black beans, rice and curry chicken while a teen dance troupe, “Because He First Loved Us,” performed several cultural dances from Africa. Student Jayden Graham said she was having fun learning about different countries. “I learned Egypt’s big river is the Nile and the blue monkey lives in Rwanda and the Congo,” she said. “The Congo borders nine countries, spinach and pumpkin are common in Botswana and Oudtshoorn in South Africa is known as the ostrich capital of the world.” Fourth-grade teacher Jessica Iverson said her students were motivated to learn about Egypt. “I asked them to find 10 things about the country and they became so excited, they kept running up to me and saying, ‘I have another fact,’” she said, adding that they also watched a documentary about ancient Egypt and tried writing in hieroglyphics. Iverson said that a student who lived in the Sudan spoke to her students, teaching them how to say “hello” in Arabic. Third-grade teacher Adam Genovese had students who lived in Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo share about their homelands. “One of them just moved from a refugee camp to the United States two months before school began and she told them this was her first experience in a school and couldn’t believe when she came that there was a school with teachers and books that was for her,” he said. “It gave our students an understanding of others and how different their world may be from Midvale.” He said in his classroom, there are students who have lived in other countries — Iraq, South Sudan, several Latino and Hispanic countries as well as from the continent of Africa. “Our classroom is from around the world,” he said. “This week teaches us to embrace that.”l

East Midvale students and families create African paper dolls as part of Living Traditions night. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

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By Mayor Robert Hale

Pedestrian-vehicle accidents are a serious problem on our roadways across the nation. Midvale City strives to provide safe, accessible, and efficient travel for all pedestrians. Although the City’s pedestrian-vehicle accidents have declined over the past few years, we continuously explore how we can improve pedestrian safety because more than zero pedestrian-vehicle accidents are too many. The following are ways we are moving towards improving pedestrian safety: • The City has completed numerous safety-related improvements throughout the city, including traffic-calming installations such as speed humps, as well as adding, relocating and removing crosswalks. • Every year Midvale City and the Canyons School District meet to discuss the Student Neighborhood Access Plan (SNAP) that outlines safe walking routes for students. Prior to meeting with the City, the District solicits community input through School Site Councils to ensure that we are meeting the safety needs of our students. The City implements recommendations (such as moving crosswalks, adding crosswalks, etc.) based on these meetings. • The City Council approved a $12,000 agreement with a third-party engineering firm to perform a traffic study on Center Street to identify potential safety issues and recommend solutions. • The City received a $158,000 federal grant, which the City will match with $40,000 (for a total investment of $198,000), to improve and enhance the crosswalk for the Center Street TRAX station. • In March, City staff is making recommendations to the City Council to provide approximately $50,000 worth of improvements to the crosswalks at Grant Street/Center Street and Pioneer Street/ Center Street. • The City Council approved $206,000 of funding for the installation of a traffic signal at Bingham Junction Blvd. and Tuscany View Drive. The signal will be a 4-way lighted intersection with flashing yellow arrows for left-hand turns. The intersection will include crosswalks in all directions, as well as push button walk signals. The expected completion date is June 30, 2018. • The Unified Police Department Midvale Precinct is continuing with selective crosswalk enforcements to educate drivers and pedestrians about the importance of crosswalk safety. The crosswalk awareness initiatives involve an off-duty, undercover police officer posing as a pedestrian crossing at a crosswalk. If oncoming drivers don’t stop for the pedestrian—as required by law—the vehicle will be pulled over by a police spotter farther down the street. We continue to analyze data to determine factors that influence pedestrian safety. The Utah Department of Public Safety published the following statewide statistics (2016): • Nearly one-third (32%) of drivers who hit pedestrians were turning. • Failed to yield right of way (32%), hit and run (10%), and driver distraction (7%) were the leading contributing factors in total pedestrian-motor vehicle crashes.

MARCH 2018

• The majority (86% of known) of total pedestrian crashes occurred where the speed limit was 20-45 MPH. • Over half (52%) of pedestrians struck by motor vehicles were in a crosswalk. • 61% of drivers in total pedestrian crashes had a contributing factor and 49% of drivers in fatal pedestrian crashes had a contributing factor. (Sometimes both the driver and pedestrian were at fault). • Improper crossing and darting were the leading contributing factors for pedestrians in total crashes. 55% of pedestrians had no contributing factor in the crash.

The data emphasizes the importance of watching for pedestrians, especially where the speed limit is 20-45 mph. So, please take time when you are driving to watch for pedestrians. Pay special attention for pedestrians when you are making a turn and always follow speed limits. The roadways are a dangerous place and the speed limits are designed to protect everyone—drivers, passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. When entering a crosswalk, please take the time to make eye contact with each other before entering the crosswalk. I encourage everyone to pay attention to your surroundings. Please do not text and drive, or text while walking. We all need to work together to ensure the safety of our community.

In The Middle of Everything


Officer of the Month (January 2018) Officer Jeff Fenton On January 29, 2018, Officer Jeffery Fenton began proactively looking for an aggravated assault suspect, who violently shot a victim in the face in Murray City. Initially, limited information was available but as Officer Fenton listened to Murray Police dispatches, he was able to obtain a description for the involved suspect and that he had possibly boarded a UTA Trax train, traveling south towards Midvale. Officer Fenton quickly responded to the Trax Station, located at 7378 S Bingham Junction Blvd. He obtained information that a subject matching the description of the suspect was about to exit the train. Officer Fenton tactically engaged the potential suspect and his female companion and took them into custody without incident. It was determined through the investigation that Officer Fenton had arrested the person responsible for the shooting. Officer Fenton’s rapid and decisive actions were directly responsible for taking a dangerous individual off the streets. Officer Fenton continually performs with a tenacious desire to serve the members of the community, protect life and property, and proactively prevent the intrusions of the criminal element into the lives of the citizens of Midvale City. He should be recognized for his hard work, love for the job, and outstanding efforts in keeping us all safe.

Meet the Animal Control Officer of the Year Salt Lake County Animal Services At Salt Lake County Animal Services, we know we have some of the best Animal Control Officers in the state working for us. Everyday many of them go out of their way to help the public while they are out on patrol or responding to calls. Salt Lake County Animal Services is proud to have the 2017 Utah Animal Control Association Officer of the Year working on our team. Animal Control Officer, Melanie Bennett, was nominated for the award for helping a passerby with lawn mower fire in Magna in May 2017. The fire had spread to the surrounding bushes and fence leading to a chicken coop. Officer Bennett called over the radio to have Unified Fire Authority respond to the fire. In the meantime, she grabbed her fire extinguisher and helped prevent the fire from spreading. Thanks to her

quick thinking, Officer Bennett helped prevent any major damage to the home and the chickens. Officer Bennett has over 19 years of experience in Animal Control and has been with Salt Lake County Animal Services for 7 of those years. She comes from a family of Animal Control Officers and has extensive knowledge of animal control protocol and livestock. If you see a Salt Lake County Animal Control Officer out in the field, please feel free to ask them questions. Our officers can license and microchip your pet there in your community. Please mark in your calendar we will be hosting a Central Valley Licensing & Vaccination Clinic on May 16 at the Midvale Senior Center, time TBD. For additional information please check adoptutahpets.com. You can also come to Salt Lake County Animal Services, Monday through Saturday from 10 AM – 6 PM, to license your pet.


Just In Time For Spring Cleaning!

Midvale City Housing Plan

City Council approves monthly bulky and green waste program

Midvale City is commencing with the preparation of the Midvale City Housing Plan. The Housing Plan will use the housing goals outlined in the 2016 General Plan as its foundation. These goals recognize the need to support new and established residential neighborhoods, as well as encourage excellence in design and a diversity of housing types throughout the city. The Housing Plan will incorporate current data, best practices, and public input to establish objectives and strategies for making progress over the next five-years on accomplishing the City’s housing goals. The planning process is anticipated to be completed in the Fall of 2018.

On February 20, the City Council approved an agreement with Ace Disposal to provide monthly curbside bulky and green waste pickup to homeowners who pay for waste collection services through Midvale City. This monthly program replaces the annual bulky and green waste events that are held in April and October. Starting April 16, Ace Disposal will pick up bulky and green waste items that are too big to fit in trash cans. Items will be picked up on the third week of every month on the your normally scheduled trash day. The City encourages everyone to recycle bulky items that can be reused by donating them to a local charity. Several charities will pick up the donated items at your house. If you have items that you need to dispose of, please follow these guidelines: 1. Bulky waste items include furniture, carpet, mattresses, water heaters, lamps, minor/small automobile parts, car seats, bikes, large toys and household appliances (without Freon). There is a 75-pound limit. 2. Green waste items include wood products such as 2 x 4’s, particleboard, plywood, etc. (large metal and concrete must be removed), leaves, twigs, pine needles, wood chips, and tree limbs. Green waste does NOT include grass clippings, weeds or non-woody plants. 3. Place bulky and green waste items on your curb no sooner than 2 days prior to your normally scheduled trash day and no later than 6:00 a.m. on trash day. Ace Recycling will not return to pick up items if they are not properly prepared and placed on the curbside in time. 4. Stack green waste together, bundled in 4-foot sections. Place bulky waste in another pile at least 2 feet away from green waste. Do not park vehicles within 15 feet of either pile. 5. All materials including tree limbs and stumps should be cut into 4-foot lengths and be no more than 18” in diameter, and must weigh less than 75 pounds. 6. Loose material (leaves, twigs, pine needles, wood chips, etc.) should be placed inside trash bags or boxes. They may also be placed in trash cans. 7. Snow blowers and lawn mowers must have the oil and gasoline removed. 8. Freon must be removed from items (refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners) by a professional and be tagged with a copy of the receipt. 9. 55-gallon drums must be emptied and have the tops removed. 10. Do not place items in front of your neighbor’s home. 11. Scavenging is discouraged. 12. If you hire a landscaper or carpenter to do work at your home, they are responsible for removing contractor debris.

Unacceptable items include: • Rocks, concrete, gravel, dirt, asphalt, or construction debris • Vehicle parts, tires, or propane tanks • Oil, gas, batteries, paint flammable toxic or hazardous chemicals. • Regular household waste (these items should be put in your garbage container) Additional information to help with items that are not accepted for bulky pick-up: TIRES Trans-Jordan Landfill - 10600 S 7250 W, 801-569-8994 (Limit 2 per load) MOTOR OIL O’Reilly Auto Parts - 8164 S State Street, 801-569-1886, or 681 E Ft. Union Blvd., 801-563-5142 (Limit 5 gallons) BATTERIES Intermountain Battery - 2775 S 300 W, 801-266-7465 Caesars Motorcycle Empire - 7922 S State Street, 801255-4466 CONSTRUCTION DEBRIS Trans-Jordan Landfill - 10600 S 7250 W, 801-569-8994 HAZARDOUS WASTE Trans-Jordan Landfill - 10600 S 7250 W, 801-569-8994 PAINT Trans-Jordan Landfill - 10600 S 7250 W, 801-569-8994 GLASS Midvale City Park-7720 S. Chapel St. (325 West - In the SE corner of the parking lot) ELECTRONIC WASTE Trans-Jordan Landfill - 10600 S 7250 W, 801-569-8994 Any Best Buy or Staples store Locations PRESCRIPTION DRUG DISPOSAL To ensure proper, safe disposal of prescription drugs, a drop off location has been established at the Unified Police Department Midvale Precinct (7912 South Main Street) For more information or assistance: Please call Midvale City Public Works at 801-567-7235.

As part of the planning process, the City will be conducting a robust public outreach program, including public meetings and online engagement. The public is encouraged to participate and provide their feedback. For more information, please visit the City’s website at www.midvalecity.org. Additionally, anyone with questions about the Housing Plan or the housing in general can contact Patrick O’Brien at 801-567-7261 or at pobrien@midvale.com.

Community Council of Midvale City – Council Updates By Community Council Chair Andrew Stoddard We have some exciting things going on with the Community Council this year! We are going to be helping out with some local events and are looking for other service opportunities. The program for our meetings has been set for the year and we are trying to bring some interesting presentations to the citizens of Midvale. We will be hearing about things such as the Jordan Bluffs development, the future of Midvale Main Street, the state of homelessness, and the future of Midvale housing. The Community Council meets on the first Wednesday of every month at 7:00 p.m. at Midvale City Hall. All members of the community are welcome to attend, and if you are interested in becoming a member of the council, please email me at drewcstoddard@gmail.com and can send you the information you need. One thing the Council is really excited about is sponsoring a contest to design our new logo. This contest is open to any Midvale resident age 18 or under. The artist who designs the logo that is picked by the Council will receive $100. The deadline for submissions is April 30, 2018. If you would like to enter your design, please email it to drewcstoddard@gmail.com by the deadline.

In The Middle of Everything You Can Now Pay Your Utility Bills Online Midvale City now offers free online bill payment options! If you have an internet connection and an email address, you can now pay your bill online. You’re also able to “opt in” to paperless billing and receive an email notification when your bill is ready to view. It’s fast, easy, and you no longer have to write a check each month or find a stamp when it’s time to send in your payment. We offered this service at the request of our customers — you asked and we delivered! HOW IT WORKS We have partnered with Xpress Bill Pay, the premier provider for online payment systems. When you sign up for online bill payment you’ll create a secure password that you use to access your personal account. Every month we’ll send you a reminder email to let you know when your bill is available online. Then, just login in through your web browser and view your bill. Select a payment type – credit card, debit card or electronic funds transfer – enter the information, and you’re done! It’s that easy, and it only takes a few minutes each month. ONLINE BILL PAYMENT FACTS • It’s free to sign up and pay bills online. • Every month we’ll send you a reminder email to let you know when your bill is available online. • You can pay your bills with a credit card or debit card, or you can transfer funds directly from your checking account. • No need to worry about late payments if you’re out of town when your bill is due, just login and pay. • After you complete the transaction, you can receive an email receipt to confirm that the payment went through. • You can view up to two year’s history of your account online, so you can compare your current bill to previous bills. TO REGISTER FOR XPRESS BILL PAY 1. Go to www.xpressbillpay.com (the link is also available on www.midvalecity.org – scroll to the bottom of the home page and click “Pay Utility Bill”) 2. Click “Sign Up” on the top of the home screen 3. Fill in your email and password, then click in the “I’m not a robot” box and follow the prompts 4. Complete the short registration form and click “Next” 5. Go to your inbox and open the verification email, click “Verify Email” and “Continue” to log in 6. Select your billing organization and follow the prompts for linking your bill 7. Once your bill is added to your account, you can add another bill, view and pay your bill online, or setup a recurring auto payment schedule



Hillcrest High artists paint murals in room to make it their own By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com

As part of a class assignments, Hillcrest High School art students paint murals in their classroom. (Julie Slama/City Journals)


hen stepping into Michael Brzozowski’s Hillcrest High art classroom, newcomers may stop mid-step and say, “Wow!” “I get that reaction a lot,” Brzozowski said. “I really like public art murals so this was a fun thing for my students to do. It gives them a way to be part of class and to transform this room how they want it.” Last fall, Brzozowski gave the go-ahead to his arts foundation students working together in small groups to create murals based on the prompt of freedom and their identity. The results ranged from bright colors around an eye to a piano to a honeybee. “The groups had to come together on their designs and each person had a part of it. Then, we had to figure out how to make them work together and scale them on grids before we let them work on the walls. They started with chalk, worked on blending and then filled in the shapes with tempura paint,” he said. Brzozowski had students write poems and critiques about what their art sketches meant. “Some were really powerful,” he said. In one student’s submission, he wrote about a sun in his mural.

“Will the sunshine come after the rain? So let the colors scream emotion. Let us stop time as the roses grow strong beneath us, as the unknown quickly falls upon this wonderful journey of life.” Another student explained why he included an alien in his group’s mural. “I have always been interested, wondered if there is another type of life form out in space….With this idea, I was able to expand and have my artwork with a bunch of ideas such as roses, skulls and the alien, wearing a hoodie,” he said. He also wrote, “Art is about being able to express yourself the way you feel. There is no right or wrong way with whatever type of art you may be up to, as long as you are being yourself.” Freshman Catherine Ramirez said that her group focused on one member’s picture as their symbol for freedom. “At first, it was a disaster, we were arguing over everything – colors, techniques, anything,” she said. “Then, we told Mr. B we didn’t know what to do and he had us start with the sun, then we talked it out and included other aspects of Utah, like the bee. Making the decisions was the hardest part. Except for

it being crowded while painting, the painting was the easiest. It was kind of cool doing it.” Brzozowski said that the collaboration project was new for many of the students. “Once they learned how to work together, they got excited about what they could create,” he said. “Art on its own can be intimidating, intriguing and curious. We’ve had other classes come to see what they did and they want to take art foundations as well so they can create this kind of art.” The arts foundation class is a basic course that can be used toward the high school art requirements, he said. Brzozowski said he already has approached Principal Greg Leavitt about his spring term students painting the exterior of the school or maybe some outside storage containers. Leavitt isn’t opposed to the idea. “We just have to look at it and see where it can be done,” he said. Brzozowski said that several students are inspired by it. “It’s meant to inspire,” he said. “It can change people’s feelings when students come into the room. They say, ‘I want to do this.’” l

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March 2018 | Page 13

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Midvale City Journal

Hillcrest High wrestling team makes a comeback By Jennifer Gardiner | j.gardiner@mycityjournals.com

Sariah Gist, Abi Wolf and Elisa Madison take home medals at the all-girls wrestling tournament. (Photo/Hillcrest Wrestling Facebook)


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illcrest High School used to being known for great wrestling in the ‘80s and ‘90s but over the past several years they have had their share of struggles. But those struggles seem to be a thing of the past as they made their mark with a much anticipated comeback. In an article published in the Midvale Journal before the season began, Gentry Gasser, Hillcrest High wrestling coach said Hillcrest was on the rise again and they would continue to look forward. Gasser stated at the beginning of the year that Hillcrest had returned a solid core of varsity athletes, only losing five seniors to graduation and with a big push and extra support from the football coaching staff they were hopeful for a lot of newcomers to help build the team. “Last year, Hillcrest had its first state placer in seven years when junior Keala Mahe placed fourth,” Gasser said. This gave the team and the now senior hope for a successful new season. Although the Hillcrest wrestling team fell short of its 2017-18 season goal of becoming region champs, the coaching staff felt this past season was a huge success and a giant step towards the long-term goal of becoming one of the most respected wrestling programs in Utah. Noah Nicholls, Scotty Abbott, Haakon Groth, Keala Mahe, and Alex Cardona represented Hillcrest well over the season and they all qualified to compete in the 6A State Championship Tournament at Utah Valley University. Out of those five wrestlers, two walked away with awards the final night of the tournament—Keala Mahe and Scott Abbott. After anticipating a good year for not just himself, but for his entire team, Mahe wrestled his way to the state finals where he took second place. This year proved to be just about everything he had expected with a season full of accomplishments, starting with first place at the 17th Annual Mat Classic where he was also awarded the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler. Keala took

first place at the 2018 Best of the West, second place at the Christmas Clash Invitational, second place at the UHSAA 2018 6A Division A tournament, and seventh at the Rockwell Rumble. Keala finished with a season record of 38-5. Scott Abbott, also a senior, was presented at the 6A State Championship Tournament with the prestigious Academic All-State Award. Coaches said Scott defines what it means to be well rounded. In addition to finishing his season with 24 wins, he’s actively involved in drama and theater and manages to maintain a 4.0 GPA in Hillcrest’s International Baccalaureate program. The Hillcrest wrestling coaching staff also recognized senior classman wrestler Pete Heslop saying a lot of the team’s successes can be attributed to the behind-the-scenes hard work and intensity he contributed on a daily basis in practice. Hillcrest wrestling strongly believes it will be able to improve on its successes and is anticipating big results from veteran wrestlers like Brody Roemich, Noah Nicholls, Haakon Groth, Jesse Peart and Jason Barnes as well as the developing talents of Talon Yates, Ean Abbott and Tanner Wilde. Hillcrest also sponsored its first all-girls wrestling club and garnered a lot of interest from the girls at the school. Sariah Gist has been competing with the boys her entire life and at the AllGirls State Tournament last year came home with a third place finish. She took home a first place finish at the all-girls tournament and clinic run by a two-time Olympic wrestler from Nigeria, back in December. Abi Wolf and Elisa Madison both took home third place medals. Hillcrest has a youth program for grades K-8 run by Eddie Gist that is looking for more members and they are also trying to establish a junior high team for 5th-8th graders. More information on the wrestling team can be found at Hillcrest Junior Huskies Wrestling on Facebook. l

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Page 16 | March 2018

Midvale City Journal

Determination, skill and courage drive Hunt’s gymnasts to succeed By Jennifer Gardiner | j.gardiner@mycityjournals.com

(From left to right) Hayli Westerlind, Nya Samora and Monet Ward recorded some of the highest scores at the Utah Stat Gymnastics Championships in March 2017. (Jileen Ward)


unt’s Gymnastics in Midvale has a lot to be proud of, including the level of quality of their athletes. Last year, they had several level 7 gymnasts, who all have moved into level 8 competitions after a phenomenal year in 2017 (competitive levels range from 2-10). They won most of their tournaments during the January to March season taking first at the Missy Marlowe Wasatch Cup at The Salt Palace. They also competed in Park City, Las Vegas and Reno. Hunt’s Gymnastics, located just north of 7200 South along 300 West, was started by Paul Hunt. Hunt has coached in Utah since 1974 and was the coach of Utah’s first Olympic level gymnast. He has coached many state, regional, and national champions. Many of Hunt’s gymnasts receive college scholarships for gymnastics, including many to the University of Utah. Hunt’s daughter, Jessica, is the manager of Hunt’s Gymnastics Academy. She has been involved in gymnastics her entire life. Jessica has been coaching gymnastics at Hunt’s Gymnastics Academy since she was 14 years old. In 2007, Jessica joined an acrobatic team called The Xtreme Team. They performed at all the Utah Blaze football home games. As for the gymnasts, this year, they’ve already had their first meet in Salt Lake City. The team will be traveling to Palm Springs, Colorado Springs and Las Vegas this season to compete in competitive meets with teams from around the country.

The team is composed of athletes as young as 10. Hayli Westerlind doesn’t seem to let being so young stop her from showing the world what she has to offer. She qualified for the National TOPs Testing in Houston, Texas in October and is currently training elite. TOPs (Talent Opportunity Program) is a talent search and educational program for female gymnasts ages 7-10 and their coaches. During the months of June and July, these gymnasts are evaluated on their physical abilities at the state or regional level. The top gymnasts with the highest scores qualify to Nationals. The Elite Program is designed to provide competitive experiences for athletes aspiring to the National Team or the Pre-Elite Training Squad. The National Teams (Senior and Junior) are selected from the USA Championships each year. These athletes represent the United States in international competitions. Jessica Hunt says the girls’ commitment to gymnastics is helpful, but there are other components that make these gymnasts excel. “They’ve got the heart, the drive, they’ve got the talent and we just try to push them as hard as we can without breaking them. We don’t want injuries,” Hunt said. “There’s a good balance here of expecting the best but not over the top.” Hunt says it is the girls’ courage that sets them apart. “They’re fearless, which is awesome for gymnastics. They’ll try anything you put in front of them,” she said. l

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Trans-Jordan Landfill


10473 South Bacchus Highway

Business Spotlights are a service offered to our advertisers to help them inform our readers about their businesses. For information on scheduling a Spotlight, please call us at 801-254-5974 or email us at ryan.casper@mycityjournals.com


pring is nearly upon us and that means two things: the weather will continue its unpredictability and people begin landscape work on their properties. Trans-Jordan Landfill, formed in 1958, is the place to go for your landscaping needs. They are the best choice for purchasing compost and wood chips and, even better, their prices are much lower than bagged compost from home improvement stories or nurseries. Taking care of green waste, which consists of yard trimmings and wood products, is one of Trans-Jordan Landfill’s primary objectives. Their green waste disposal takes care of those pesky lawn clippings and weeds, tree branches and leaves that come from spring cleaning. What this efficient program does is ground those extra yard clippings into smaller pieces, placing them in windrows (long lines laid

out to dry). Every three days the compost is watered and turned. After four months of meticulous care, the compost is then screened and used for your gardening and landscaping purposes. Last year saw Trans-Jordan Landfill keep 24,000 tons of green waste out of the landfill. No human waste or manure can be found in the compost. It is made from purely organic clippings. Beginning in 2006, the green waste program uses compost certified by the US Composting Council and includes no dirt or bio-solids. Draper, Murray, Midvale, Riverton, Sandy, South Jordan and West Jordan. They are all neighboring cities, but they share something else in common: they own the Trans-Jordan Landfill. It’s why free compost and wood chips are provided to the cities for their parks and schools. Whether it’s Draper City Park; Murray Park;

Aspen Park in Riverton; Falcon Park in Sandy; South Jordan’s Sunrise Mountain Park, whose secret is embedded in the park’s walking path or West Jordan’s enormous Veteran’s Memorial Park, compost and wood chips are freely available. And that says nothing of the countless elementary, middle and high schools dotted across the cities landscaped with the compost and wood chips from Trans-Jordan Landfill. Located at 10473 South Bacchus Highway, Trans-Jordan Landfill also offers tours to groups like scouts, businesses, schools or clubs. It is 60 years old, so Trans-Jordan Landfill has decades of experience dealing with your excess grass and pruned trees. Keep that in mind as grass starts to peek through the snow. Visit www.transjordan.org to find out more or call Lesha Earl at 801-256-2824. l

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Page 18 | March 2018

Midvale City Journal

Saving tricks from budget-minded students




id-semester is a stressful time for college students. Not only are we prepping for midterms and projects, working on assignments, completing readings, and cramming in some additional studying, there’s also spring break plans to make. Being a college student is a full-time job; but instead of being paid, we pay for it. Tips and tricks on how to be frugal as a student are learned out of necessity (do you know how much textbooks cost?!). As a student, “you really have to focus on needs, not wants,” said education graduate student Brett Merkley. “I am really, really careful to budget my money. I have a spreadsheet where I list everything I spent in the last month so I can keep track of where I’m spending what and if my budget is holding up or if it needs work,” said writing and rhetoric student Casey Koldewyn. Food spending is one of the biggest cuts students make during their time in college. “Learn to cook. Eating out is really expensive. It’s especially cost effective to make large amounts of something and then eat it over the next couple of days—beans in particular. They are a really great way to eat healthily and heartily on a budget. I make a crock-pot of some kind, often beans, 3 to 4 times a month. Mix it with rice to change things up and it can last a while,” said rhetoric graduate student Justin Whitney. “Take a lunch instead of buying one, especially on campus,” suggests mechanical engineering student Francie Rodriguez. “If I do buy food on campus, sometimes I’ll wander up to the hospital cafeterias. Specifically, Pri-

mary Children’s, where I can get a good sized breakfast burrito for around $5,” says sociology student Luis Silva Santisteban. “Try to buy food in bulk. If you don’t have a Costco card, pay attention to grocery stores like Smith’s that have case lot sales. Also, pay attention to events held on campus that give out free food,” says communications graduate student Mitchell Reber. “Don’t go out for coffee—make your own and take a Thermos. Also, scan through mailers and see if there are coupons. They may not seem like much, but they can add up to a lot,” says theatre student Cate Heiner. A few restaurants around town offer student discounts including: Red Robin, The Pie Pizzeria, Village Inn and Costa Vida. For clothing, many students repurpose articles they already own, or just try not to get their clothes too dirty. “If you ever find yourself needing clothing, Uptown Cheapskate, a clothing exchange store, has both quality and affordable options. I scored a $600 suit for $60,” said Reber. Thankfully, some clothing stores offer student discounts including: J Crew, ASOS, American Eagle, Banana Republic, Forever 21 and Redbubble. For the extremely limited amount of free time students have, there are free or cheap entertainment options as well. “Outside of the obvious, like hiking and skiing, there is the Nickel Arcade. There are also loads of free concerts, guest lectures, and other activities on campus (utah.edu/events),” said Reber. “Rather than spending money to go see a movie

in theatres, see if it’s playing at the library or through a school function,” Heiner said. Cinemark theaters offer occasional student discounts if you don’t want to see a movie on campus. For other entertainment forms: Ballet West offer $15 student tickets, StubHub offers student discounts, and Red Butte Garden as well as the Natural History Museum offer free admission for students. In order to make some extra cash, writing and rhetoric student Claudia Sauz says, “I donate plasma. It pays like a part-time job with working less hours. Donating plasma really just feels like being harvested for organs.” One of the biggest recommendations from students is to keep a good relationship with your parents. “I’ve been very dependent on my parents for food since I’ve been paying for school all on my own; everything I’ve made while working has been going towards school,” said psychology student Sam Llewellyn. Sam’s classmate, psychology student Candice Jensen echoes her statement. “Eat at your parents’ house as often as possible.” For tech savings, Amazon Prime, Spotify, Tidal, and Best Buy offer student discounts. Additionally, many schools offer free downloadable software, such as Microsoft Office products and the Adobe Creative Cloud. Get the most out of a student ID with tap-on tapoff services from UTA for transportation needs. Lastly, when all the savings in the world can’t help the financial stresses of student life and you feel down, visit your student health or wellness center for quality, low-cost physical and mental health care.


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March 2018 | Page 19


Laughter AND




In an alternate universe, I’m a prima ballerina. I’m performing jetes and arabesques and other fancy-sounding French words. I’m twirling across the stage in a flowing costume. I’m curtsying to my adoring fans while they toss roses at my feet. However, in this universe, I’m a . . . what’s the opposite of ballerina? Whatever that is, that’s what I am. I’ve fought a lifelong battle with grace and gravity. My family watches in horror as I ricochet off doorknobs, fumble down stairways and trip on carpets. I tried really hard to be a dancer. I enrolled in classes when I was 5, and wore pink leotards and white tights, creating some serious panty lines. My mom pulled my long hair into a bun so tight I looked constantly surprised. Every week we’d butcher a series of ballet steps while my dance instructor tried not to handcuff us to the barre. She often sipped from her “dance thermos.” I’d cut up the Arts section of the newspaper, snipping out photos of Ballet West dancers to glue into my scrapbook. I had ballerina paper dolls, ballerina coloring books and ballerina dreams—but a giraffe-like body with knobby knees that bent in several different directions.



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Would you care to dance? As a child, I went to see “Giselle” at Kingsbury Hall. The ballet is pretty grim. A disguised prince breaks the heart of a peasant girl who kills herself then becomes a ghost who has to dance the prince to death. Dancers are pretty melodramatic. For weeks after the ballet, I wore tutus that draped toward the floor and floated when I jumped. I channeled Giselle through my 7-year-old body. Picture a little girl evoking the devastation of betrayed love while falling on a sword that ends her life. I’m pretty sure I nailed it. When I was 12, I was finally able to go en pointe. That’s French for “Standing on the tips of your toes until your toe-knuckles bleed and you’re crippled for weeks, all for the sake of those beautiful satin slippers.” The purpose of pointe shoes is to give the illusion that ballerinas are weightless wisps, floating gracefully as swans or nymphs or any type of ethereal and doomed young women. In reality, learning to dance en pointe is similar to putting your toes in a vise, then running a marathon. But I didn’t give up. I continued to practice daily in the hope I’d channel Anna Pavlova, the acclaimed Russian bal-

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lerina who died at the age of 49, probably from gangrene from her pointe shoes. Because I’m writing this column instead of performing in “Swan Lake,” you can correctly surmise that my ballet career fell flat. I tried out for Ballet West’s “Nutcracker” a couple of times, to no avail, and after years of practice, I hung up my pointe shoes and succumbed to gravity. I never transformed from gangly giraffe to graceful swan. I never glided across the stage, hoping to lure a young prince to his death. (At least, not as a ballerina.) I never received standing ovations for my role in “Coppelia,” the ballet of a young woman pretending to be a mechanical doll. (Because that makes total sense.) But. In that alternate universe, I’m


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soaring, twirling, spinning, leaping and gliding en pointe, hearing the crowd bellow “Brava!” as I take a bow at the edge of the stage. And because in this alternate universe, I’m graceful and lithe, I don’t fall into the orchestra pit. l


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Midvale March 2018  

Midvale Journal- March 2018 Edition Published by The City Journals

Midvale March 2018  

Midvale Journal- March 2018 Edition Published by The City Journals