Midvale Journal | October 2021

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October 2021 | Vol. 18 Iss. 10



ix years ago, three sisters from the French Congo walked into Hillcrest High School counselor John Oliver’s office. The family had sought asylum and moved to Utah. However, they only knew French. So, Oliver talked to them through Google translate and learned they wanted to earn their high school diplomas. “Two of them, they were twins, were at the end of their junior years and had a lot to make up,” he said. “They took 16 quarters of classes online to be on track to graduate. I’d see them and ask them if they were OK and they said that they’d sleep once they graduate. They knew where they had come from and saw their opportunity here and saw the value of education.” That wasn’t all. All three of the girls, after graduating from Hillcrest, went on to college. “That’s where my love of working with and helping refugees started,” Oliver said. A few years later, during the 201819 school year, Oliver began Hillcrest High’s program, Resources Opportunity

Access for Refugees, for refugee students. Since then, ROAR has continued to offer students assistance, even through the COVID-19 pandemic. “We first were able to meet monthly and had some college representatives come speak or we’d go to their campuses,” he said. “We went to college day at Westminster, or went to UVU (Utah Valley University) and they got to climb the rock wall or they’d cook with SLCC’s (Salt Lake Community College’s) culinary program.” However, like most opportunities, those excursions ceased during the past 18 months during COVID-19. However, Oliver continued to bring in guest speakers, when allowed with health and safety protocols, from college representatives to professional soccer player Phanuel Kavita. The school, with the help of America First Credit Union, also continued to support these students’ educational dreams. Three or four students received $1,000 scholarships to further pursue their education after high school. Continued page 5

Hillcrest High students, as part of the ROAR program, try out the climbing wall at Utah Valley University. (Photo courtesy of Hillcrest High)

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Midvale City Journal


October 2021 | Page 3

Local high school students volunteer to support Midvale-Murray community By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com


illcrest High School student body president Jason Mun was immediately on board when he was approached about doing a service project for the community. “We want to increase our involvement and be able to help out in our community,” he said. “They support us so we, in turn, want to support them.” Hillcrest High student body and class officers, along with Murray High students, held donation drives as part of the “Power of an Hour”—9/11 National Day of Service supported by JustServe. According to JustServe’s website (justserve.org), it was a day to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks by transforming “9/11 from a day of tragedy into a day of doing good.” At Murray High, senior Emma Thompson is a varsity cheerleader who also is supporting her squad becoming more involved in the community by serving others. “When you involve more people around you, you have a better high school experience,” she said. Performing service and being part of the community is part of what cheer adviser Lia Smith also wants so when she was approached to participate in the service day, she jumped at the chance which not only involved her cheerleaders at Murray High, but also the school’s student government and Latinos in Action leaders. Both schools held donation drives for food, socks and hygiene items at their schools Friday, Sept. 10 and Saturday, Sept. 11. At Murray, there were collection tables at lunchtime and donation boxes at their home Friday night football game. Hillcrest also had donation boxes at their Friday night football game; both schools had drive-by donation drop-offs on Saturday.

Journals T H E

At the end of the drive, students sorted items and loaded a U-Haul of food items. Each food bank in the Murray and Midvale area will receive donations, Smith said. Other donated items were earmarked for local shelters. Mun was excited to partner with Murray High School’s cheerleaders, student government leaders and Latinos in Action leaders. “It’s great to partner with Murray High, to provide great opportunity for doing service and providing necessary staples for the winter for our community,” he said. “I’m grateful that we have this opportunity and for everything we’re receiving to make a positive difference in our community.” Mun said that Hillcrest student body and class officers also plan to perform monthly service projects and possibly team up with international baccalaureate and National Honors Society chapter members to provide more students those opportunities. Murray High cheerleaders also want to become more a part of the community. Last year, the Spartan cheerleaders helped with home renovations—scraping paint, replacing windows, painting, replacing front doors, planting flowers and more—with Little Miracles, a local nonprofit committed to enhancing communities. They also cheered at the regional unified soccer tournament for all the teams. l

After the “Power of an Hour”—9/11 National Day of Service, Murray High students sort items to donate to local shelters and those in need in the community. (Lia Smith/Murray High)




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Internal Accessory Dwellings now required in Utah By Erin Dixon | e.dixon@mycityjournals.com


Flourish Bakery for making a difference in the community.

The Utah Legislature now requires cities to allow internal apartments, aka IADU. (image/pixabay)


he Utah Legislature is requiring all cities to allow internal accessory dwelling units (IADU), or more simply put, apartments inside single-family homes. To qualify as an IADU it “must exist inside the footprint of the home, or be a detached dwelling,” Midvale Community Development Director Nate Rockwood said. The owner of the property has to live in the main house for most of the time. “They would still have to comply with all the building regulations and fire codes,” Rockwood said. Within residential zones, the city can only prevent 25%, and must allow 75% of the homes to build an IAUD, if they wish.

Continued from front page This year, Oliver has already received the green light to resume activities. On Oct. 8, he plans to take about 30 refugee students to SLCC’s culinary program so they can make a meal together. Before that, they will meet with a college access adviser to learn about opportunities and resources available to them. Hillcrest is home to a number of refugee students who come from countries such as Uganda, Iraq and Syria. “We started this program because we realized a number of these families need resources and may not be familiar with them because they aren’t from this country. We want to provide them information, resources and help. They’re a great asset to our school and to our community,” he said. In mid- to late September, Oliver, Hillcrest Principal Greg Leavitt, other counselors and some teachers will meet in the Canyon


“A city may not...limit the size of the IADU; the lot size or frontage,” Rockwood said. Each city is allowed to make some restrictions on the IADUs, but very few. In August, Midvale City discussed the exact terms for these apartments within their borders. “What a city can do is require a business license...and that the dwelling still looks like a single- family home. [We] can require an additional parking spot, prohibit separate utility meters for the IADU, not allow them in a mobile home, or in a home with a failing septic tank or on a lot of 6,000 feet or less,” Rockwood said. Some council members were not happy

Salt Lake Community College extends the opportunity to Hillcrest students to try cooking in their culinary kitchen as part of the high school’s ROAR program. (Photo courtesy of Hillcrest High)

Crossing at Riverwalk neighborhood to meet with refugee families and help bring materials

with the state requiring IADUs. “It’s an issue of the state thinking they knew better than us,” councilmember Dustin Gettel said. Councilmember Bryant Brown was concerned about the city's ability to make sure every IADU is managed correctly. “How are we going to enforce that? Are you going to send the chief out and ask, ‘Are you the primary owner?’ I want to limit it because we’re already so close to that threshold. In my area there are so many that are non-conforming.” There are no changes to external accessory dwelling units (EADU). These were allowed previously and will continue to be. l

and information to them where they otherwise may not be able to access because of work or transportation issues. “We’ll go over Skyward (student information system), and grades and talk to the families about their students’ future plans,” Oliver said. “We want to provide them resources and help them know what is available.” In addition to providing school information, Hillcrest also has a student services area where refugee students, students in need and others can gain access to laundry and shower facilities as well as a food pantry. The school also provides some health clinics or referrals, he said. If community members want to volunteer with Hillcrest’s ROAR program and introducing refugee students to the community by sharing their professions, mentoring or other ways of helping, contact Oliver in the Hillcrest counseling center, 801-826-6020. l

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October 2021 | Page 5

Local school districts join mass-action lawsuit against e-cigarette maker, Juul Labs By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com


ordan, Canyons and Murray are amongst the hundreds of school districts that have joined a mass-action lawsuit against e-cigarette maker, Juul Labs, Inc., claiming that they deceitfully and intentionally marketed their products to children. This has led to an increase in e-cigarette use amongst youths, statistics reveal, so in the mass-action lawsuit, they are wanting to hold the company responsible and seek damages for the “vaping epidemic” on school campuses around the country. Jordan Board of Education President Tracy Miller said, “vaping is a really big problem in our schools.” “We have a lot of kids who vape, a lot who don’t necessarily know how bad it is,” she said. “They are companies using different flavors and marketing, aimed at youth, and it caught on and became popular at a lot of schools. We (Jordan Board of Education) recognized that it’s a problem and need to hold Juul accountable. The problem is they weren’t forthright and transparent about what was going on. There’s high levels of nicotine in vape products, (which are) highly addictive and it was not marketed that way.” Canyons Board of Education member Mont Millerberg agrees. “We need to call a spade a spade,” he said. “Vaping is not a healthy habit and with them having Captain Crunch and sugary flavors, it’s targeting our most vulnerable population to lead them to believe ‘it’s a cool thing.’ If this puts a stop to marketing unhealthy products to children, I’m happy to support it.” Jordan District approved the legal service agreement on Aug. 24 as they joined the mass-action lawsuit. Canyons joined in Sept. 7, and Murray, Sept. 9. Granite’s school board has studied the litigation, said Ben Horsley, Granite School District spokesman. “The Granite School District has recognized the harmful effects of vaping on our youth,” he said on Sept. 17. “The Board of Education and district administration has studied the associated litigation and is inclined to participate.” Vaping products, known as e-cigarettes or mods, are battery-powered devices that heat up a liquid to create an aerosol vapor which typically contains nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals. Since the user inhales and it doesn’t emit the strong odor associated with conventional combustion cigarettes, and they are designed to resemble USB flash drives, keychains or lipstick tubes, youth often have them in plain sight, even plugged into a laptop, officials say. According to 2020-21 statistics collected by Jordan School District, 90% of the tobacco violations in the district’s schools were infractions against vaping, with only 10% for regular cigarettes.

Page 6 | October 2021

“Vaping is just so prevalent these days,” said Sharon Jensen, Jordan District’s student support services consultant. Jensen said that youth see vaping in social media or have greater access to it, even getting it from family members as 56% say their parents or other close adults are nicotine users. Sometimes, even adults are unfamiliar with the harm and addiction from e-cigarette use, including that it can hamper long-term adolescent brain development, according to Utah Department of Health research. In a 2021 report, it states Utah’s youth vape at nearly twice the rate of Utah’s adults. Jordan’s statistics reveal that the majority are regular users. Last year, of the students caught with tobacco, 98 were directed to attend an online first-offenders class for nicotine. Of those students, 18% used nicotine 26 days-plus in the last month—“basically daily,” she said. Another 11% used it between 13 and 25 days in that past month. Most students who vape are teens, she said. Of those 98 students assigned to the online class, 25% are age 13. Another 24% are 14 years old. Six percent are age 12 or younger, making the greatest amount, at 45%, in high school. “Often they vape on the job and their outside-of-school-life is much more colorful than

their in-school-life,” Jensen said. Those statistics are in line with the state, according to the Utah Prevention Needs Assessment that showed 12.4% of eighth graders tried vaping; 25.5% of high school sophomores; and 32.1% of high school seniors. In Canyons District in 2019, there were 219 school office referrals, first-time and/or repeat referrals, for e-cigarette use or possession, up from 35 referrals in 2010. Justin Pitcher, who has served as an administrator in Canyons District in the Midvale and Cottonwood Heights communities at both elementary and secondary levels, said vaping is “definitely a concern.” “If it’s happening in high schools, then it’s happening in elementary; the frequency is different,” he said, saying there are fewer younger students caught with devices although all age levels may have access to them despite administrators taking them away. Jensen said that Jordan District policy is to collect and lock up Juuls and other violating products; they can be returned to an adult in the family. She’s hoping their first-time user classes as well as well as the END—Ending Nicotine Dependence—course for regular users will help youth identify the harm it does to their bodies. “What we want our kids to do is to learn

and to quit,” Jensen said. There is no fee for the classes as Jordan District has a state SAFE (Supporting America's Families and Educators) grant which it dedicated to alcohol and drug abuse prevention. However, hundreds of school districts nationwide are wanting Juul to foot the bills for public resources being used to pay for the current and future costs. The lawsuit, which was filed in the Northern District of California Federal District Court by the Frantz Law group, is a mass tort lawsuit where damages for plaintiffs, or in this case, school districts, are calculated individually. Therefore, multiple plaintiffs can be awarded differing amounts of damages for the amount of its past and future damages. Those costs can range from providing information and resources to students regarding the negative impacts of vaping, student services or counseling, or installing vape detectors. “It’s not really about getting money as much as sending a message,” Miller said. Millerberg agrees: “I don’t expect a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It’s more of a moral stance than anything else.” l

Midvale City Journal

Canyons’ schools continue to get updated logos, mascots


n August, Canyons Board of Education member Mont Millerberg took to the Virgin River Trail in St. George on his bike and along with him, was JarVis, Jordan Valley School’s chameleon mascot. Well, his was one of 250 brightly colored laminated paper copies which Principal Stacey Nofsinger and her office staff distributed to every student, faculty and staff member as well as the school’s board member before school was out last spring. Each of the chameleons was unique in its color combination as each school member is to its community, she said. The idea was for everyone to photograph JarVis with themselves this summer—a take on the Flat Stanley project that is popular in many schools. “We had families post photos on our Facebook page so they could see JarVis playing in the water in a student’s backyard or on a family trip to Wyoming or even travel to Austria,” she said. “It’s been a fun way to connect.” Introduced as the new mascot last spring, the chameleon replaced a black-and-white mountain silhouette that dated back to 1975. The school community voted for the name of the chameleon, named after the computer software although Nofsinger has made the connection with the Marvel’s fictional character. “The chameleon is incredibly adaptable and that’s what our students are, and what our

By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com staff needs to be as they are flexible to meet each student’s learning,” Nofsinger said. “It is just a perfect fit. With all the different colors chameleons have, it fits our individual students and represents the same brightness that are in the lives of our students. They also have intelligence beyond what we can see, just like our students. The chameleon is something we can all rally around.” The chameleon was created by Canyons School District graphic artist Jeff Olson, who created the tail in a J-shape to represent the school. In a district full of cats and eagles, Olson said this project stands out. “It definitely was one of the more fun projects I’ve worked on,” Olson said. “There’s so much versatility with the chameleon.” Since then, Olson has introduced Copperview Elementary’s updated mascot—a female cougar. A suite of complementary designs accompanies the single cougar; in one look, it’s the female with a couple of offspring. “We wanted them to still be cats, but not on the prowl or aggressive,” he said. Olson met with outgoing principal Jeri Rigby and as well as current principal Colleen Smith to gain insight into the look and feel that the school wanted for its mascot. Smith said that the values of the school were discussed. “We wanted the mascot to represent our

community—our students, our parents, our teachers,” she said. “We talked about the importance of the mascot, its value and how to display it. We’re a community so the mother and two cubs showed the importance of our families. It exemplifies our community and how we’re one big family.” Olson also added the accent color copper to the logo as when it was built in 1961, the school, Copperview, was named after its view of the open pit copper mine. “Jeff did a great job capturing the feel of our community and adding accent colors to help our school stand out,” Smith said. “It’s really exciting for our community; we have a lot of Cougar pride.” Already students and community members have received mascot stickers, some which were distributed at the Harvest Days parade early August in Midvale. A new marquee sign will include the updated mascot and is expected this fall. Over the summer, Olson also worked with Eastmont Principal Stacy Kurtzhals to update the appearance of Eastmont. Banners outside and in the gymnasium, exterior door coverings, column wraps in the hallways and cafeteria, Patriot mascots on the auditorium walls, freshly painted red and blue lockers and inspiring quotes in the stairwells contribute to the Patriot look in the middle school.

Left: Jordan Valley School selected its new mascot, a chameleon, last spring. (Image courtesy of Canyons School District) Right: Eastmont Middle School updated its look this summer with Patriot Pride splashed around its hallways, auditorium, gymnasium, lunchroom, and exterior lamp posts and doors, as seen here. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

“It helped instill more pride in our Patriot pride,” Kurtzhals said, with a pun. In addition to the Eastmont new branding, Olson also worked on school pins for Draper Park Middle School and is currently updating other logos for several schools. He has updated logos for 31 of the 50 schools since September 2015. “It’s fun and I like to make the logos personal to communicate the feel of each community,” Olson said. “I want it to resonate with the kids, so they’re excited about their school.” l

Wayne Sharp | City Council District 5 Having been on the council before, I know what it takes, and I am ready to serve again. I am running because I have a vested interest in Midvale and its residents. As a council member, I want to give back to the community that has treated me, my family, and my business so well for the past 56 years. • Owns and operates Sharp Yards landscape/maintenance company in Midvale since 1979 • Lifelong Midvale resident • Served LDS mission in the Philippines • Accepting of all beliefs. • Lived in a Midvale apartment first year of my marriage • Now own a home and rental properties in Midvale • Remarried, have 4 grown children, 5 grandchildren

• Chainsaw carver/sculptor • Been arrested. Very embarrassing! Misunderstanding with my neighbor. All taken care of and expunged. • Financially conservative person, and will expect the city to be wise and accountable with the use of your tax dollars • Support quality, responsible development • Partially responsible for the development of Bingham Junction and Jordan Bluffs • Open minded to new and innovative ideas that could improve the city

waynesharp.midvale@gmail.com • 801-232-7234 MidvaleJournal.com

October 2021 | Page 7

Four elementary schools get freshened up, thanks to community volunteers By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com


bout 100 community volunteers were paired up with four schools in Canyons School District for projects from sprucing up school grounds and gardens to painting murals as part of the annual United Way of Salt Lake’s Day of Caring. The community members were part of 1,000 volunteers from more than 30 companies who provided service on Sept. 9 to schools and nonprofit organizations, according to the United Way of Salt Lake’s website. A noticeable project was at East Midvale as volunteers from Jacobsen Construction came to not only paint the school’s playground gaga ball courts, but to also paint a mural on the school’s exterior. They also worked on a kiosk to display information about the school as well as tidied the school garden. “It’s a mural to brighten our school and make it be more welcoming,” said Shelley McCall, East Midvale Elementary community school facilitator. “As a community school, we are the hub of our community; we want to welcome our community and provide resources for them.” The mural is intentionally simplistic, McCall said. It shows a reflection of the mountains with a soaring eagle—tying in the school mascot. Sandy Elementary also had a 12-foot by

11-foot mural painted, but it is located inside, in the school library. The mural was created by local artist Brandon Bouck. Volunteers helped to paint the mural of children climbing and sitting in a tree under the words, “We Grow Together.” “It ties into our theme of inclusiveness and what brings us together,” said Isa Connelly, Sandy Elementary community school facilitator, before it was painted. “We also will ask our fifth-graders to add their handprints to it. We want our fifth-graders to have pride and ownership in their school and it will be fun for them to see when they come back when they’re older.” The volunteers from Williams Company also helped to assemble two gaga ball courts on Sandy Elementary’s playground, which were kept as a surprise to the school children. At Midvale Elementary, Mark Miller Subaru volunteers helped to turn the school’s community garden into a kindness garden, which will feature buddy benches and a Little Free Library that will encourage book exchanges. “We found with our community garden that it’s locked over the summer, which makes gardening difficult,” said Heidi Sanger, Midvale Elementary community school facilitator. “This way, we can have promote kindness and

United Way of Salt Lake volunteers prepare to paint a mural on the outside of East Midvale Elementary. (Shelley McCall/East Midvale Elementary)

friendship as well as literacy year-round. It also will be a great space for students to find a calm, quiet place on the playground.” Volunteers also restocked student emergency kits at Midvale Elementary as well as at Copperview Elementary.

CHG volunteers at Copperview also cleaned up the school’s community garden and school grounds as well as the faculty lounge with new appliances and a chair that features a massager, said Jenna Landward, Copperview Elementary community school facilitator. l

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Midvale City Journal

Hillcrest High thespians excited to perform Utah premieres, big celebratory shows in new auditorium


illcrest High junior Lily Greenwood loves to dance and perform on stage, but admits an audition with a Broadway song, even for 30 seconds, isn’t her cup of tea. “It’s out of my comfort zone, but being part of Hillcrest’s musicals are so much fun,” she said. “I’m happy with dancing.” As part of the school’s dance company, she was required to audition for the upcoming musical, “Holiday Inn,” which is slated to be performed on the school’s new stage, if completed at its scheduled late October date. Greenwood will dance in the ensemble, much as she did when she performed two years ago in “42nd Street.” Rehearsals are already underway for the fall musical, scattered in the atrium, dance room, theatre room and “wherever we can find space” for the 175 students who are part of the show, said Josh Long, Hillcrest theatre teacher. Hillcrest High opened the doors to its new school this fall, but portions of the new building including the stage and auditorium, are still under construction as of press deadline. However, Long is going forward with his season schedule. “We wanted a gigantic joyous community celebration as our show in the new auditorium and the new school, and this musical is that huge joyous celebration that we want to do with our community,” he said. “It’s a show that goes through different holidays and there’s big numbers for all of them and that’s what holidays are, big gatherings and celebrations like this.” The musical is about a man who leaves show business to settle down on his farmhouse, but realizes he misses the stage of song and dance. He meets a schoolteacher who also is talented and together they create an inn with performances for each holiday until the man’s best friend tries to lure away his love. The show will run at 7 p.m., Nov. 18-20 and again on Nov. 22 at Hillcrest High, 7350 S. 900 East. Show tickets, as well as season tickets, will be available Nov. 1 at hillcresttheatre.com. Before the show, Hillcrest will compete to repeat its Shakespeare sweepstakes title Sept. 30-Oct. 2 in Cedar City. Having won its division, the Oxford division, last year, the school won the ensemble scene; took first and third place in monologues and second place in duo/trio scenes. The tech team won the tech Olympics as well as took first in portfolios, lighting and sound. This year, the 55-member ensemble will perform “Henry VIII” while the stage crew will once again compete in the tech Olympics. New this year was submitting


By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com monologues and scenes by Sept. 18, with the finalists to perform in-person. On Oct. 4, the Shakespearean team is expected to perform their talents in the school’s black box theatre. The students open up the 2022 year with “A Monster Calls” at 7 p.m., Jan. 2022 and again on Jan. 24. There will be a 2 p.m. matinee on Jan. 22; the shows will be performed in the black box theatre. “I’m so excited about this show,” Long said, who saw it in London a few summers ago. “It’s a brilliant production and a really cool adaption that I think it will become a big staple in high school and professional theatres in America. And in our black box theatre, it will open up cool creative options to tell the story in a more intimate way.” Taken from the best-selling children’s book, the show is a powerful insight into love, life and healing, Long said. “A few years back, I wasn’t familiar with it, but I kept hearing about it from multiple people in my life that were very emotionally moved by it,” he said about the show he later saw at the Old Vic in London. “So I went and thought it was a really creative telling of that tale and very impactful. I wanted to do it with us because it seems to be something that really is effective to audiences from all sorts of backgrounds and histories.” The plot is about a 13-year-old boy, whose mother is sick and dying of cancer. As the boy struggles to fit in with his classmates and acknowledge the seriousness of his mother’s illness, his grandmother offers help, but he doesn’t want it. Then, one night, the boy is woken by his mother’s favorite tree which came to life and walked into his dreams. It, as a monster, tells the boy stories of truth, which prompts him to face reality. The show was expected to be on tour, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, was delayed. Long contacted the theatre and talked to the British agent who gave rights for Hillcrest to perform it as the Utah premiere. “Prince Caspian,” based upon the “The Chronicles of Narnia,” is another show that Long is excited about and the Huskies will premiere in the state, with the permission of the author’s stepson. “I’m a huge C.S. Lewis fan and this is the going to be huge and epic and a big action-adventure piece,” he said. Long and stage tech and technical theatre teacher Giselle Grimmert have worked on the design all summer as it is a more technically challenging show. “It’s going to be an epic spectacle,” he said. “We’re really excited to use our new auditorium facility to the most of its potential with that show and create a whole lot of great visual elements for audiences. It’s going to be really magical, exciting and ad-

venturous.” The tale tells the story of the four children (who first discovered the land of Narnia after walking through their magical wardrobe) returning to the kingdom to help the rightful king and heir take the throne. The show will run at 7 p.m., March 1619, 2022. At the same time, the Huskies will prepare and compete at region contest in March. State competition is held in April. Last year, the Huskies won the 5A state title. The thespians return to their stage at 7 p.m., May 12-16, 2022, with “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” a 2014 Tony Award-winning musical comedy. “It’s a British musical farce that has a lot of broad comedy humor and is a lot of fun,” Long said. The show tells about how a distant relative and eighth in line as heir to the family fortune “speeds up” the line of succession, first by “accidently killing” a relative, then “intentionally, charmingly murdering those ahead of him to get to the fortune,” Long said. A fun twist of the show comes from one actor portraying all the family members. As the season unfolds, final touches to

Hillcrest High’s new trophy case displays drama awards that the Huskies have acquired through the years. (Photo courtesy of Hillcrest High School)

the theatre behind the scenes will help the new space become home to the Huskies, including the wall where actors add their handprints and autographs that was saved from the former school’s auditorium. “We love theatre here and we’re excited to share our talents in the new performing arts center with our audiences,” Long said. “This year, we hope they come in and experience something new with us because we’ve got a whole lot of new experiences for people.” l

To learn more about Paws With A Cause and to find out how you can help, just download this simple app and watch this story come to life:


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October 2021 | Page 9


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Midvale City Journal

Hillcrest High pair compete at speech and debate nationals; Liu wins second place, scholarship By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com


his school year, senior Zoe Liu doesn’t have lofty goals to win nationals in debate. Instead, the Hillcrest High student, who finished second nationally this past summer, said although she will compete in Lincoln-Douglas, her attention will turn to her teammates. “Rather than focusing a ton on competing, I'm planning on spending more of my effort supporting my underclassmen and helping them succeed at competitions this year,” Liu said. Liu, of Sandy, along with her teammate, junior Priyanka Mathews, also of Sandy, competed at the National Speech & Debate Tournament, which was held online in June. Liu, who began debating in fifth grade, competed in the Big Questions debate format. Big Questions is a solo event, where she prepared for both sides of the argument in advance. During the competition, she was assigned a side for each 40-minute round. Then, each side gives a total of four speeches—one pre-written constructive speech and then three responding speeches that are made on the spot. After the first two speeches, there are two question periods. “Our topic was ‘Mathematics was discovered, not invented,’” she said. “This year, on the affirmative, my arguments surrounded the idea that quantities and shapes


exist even without human observation. On the negation, my arguments more surrounded the idea of how math is not simply the existence of quantities and shapes but the active manipulation of them which requires human invention.” This was her third time qualifying for nationals, but since she wasn’t able to compete her freshman year, she has only competed twice. Both national experiences have been online because of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I decided to do Big Questions because I thought the format, being a bit more philosophical than other debate formats, was really interesting. It's also a bit more reasoning-based rather than research-based compared to other forms of debate which definitely intrigued me,” she said. Her competition began June 14 and after advancing, she competed every day for four days. “I was mostly excited and nervous,” she said, adding that there were 50 competitors in her event. “I was pretty excited when I was announced as a finalist.” Then, after finals, she watched the announcement that she finished second, and earned a scholarship of $2,500. “I was definitely really happy,” said Liu, who also recently was named a National Merit semifinalist. Her Hillcrest teammate participated in

nationals in Informative Speaking in what was her third tournament competing in that competition; in her second competition she won the state title. Mathews has been involved in debate since her freshman year. As a ninth grader, she competed in Congress and last school year, started in Lincoln-Douglas. “I actually did a lot more of speech work in middle school, and I was wanting to transition into that,” she said. “Informative (speaking) is also something I’m interested in with science, so I decided to give that a go.” Mathews dove into scientific research before emerging with her topic CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat) genetic engineering. “Within the science community, it’s really kind of a hot topic right now. My outlook on this was to give people a sense of the science behind it—but with genetic engineering, there’s a lot of controversies about it—so I really wanted to include some ethical material as well,” she said, adding that she would like to pursue studying biochemistry in college. Mathews recorded her speech for her first tournament and again for the state preliminary round, before giving it live, though virtual, for state finals. Mathews said it was her choice to deliver it live.

“I wanted to challenge myself and I didn’t feel like I would really be a deserving win if I didn’t go in and do it live,” she said, adding that she was thrilled to win state. “I was pretty shocked, I was ecstatic. Honestly, it was amazing, and I was definitely excited for the opportunity to move on to nationals and to experience that level of competition.” Mathews’ competition was held June 15-16. In each of the five preliminary rounds, competitors listened to one another’s 10-minute speech; each speech also had a visual aid, which she learned hers was hard to see virtually. While she didn’t advance, Mathews was glad she competed and it has motivated her for this year. “I got to see the best of the best in terms of informative speakers in the nation. I feel like it gave me a better perspective. Some of those were awesome speakers; it’s so inspiring to see,” Mathews said, adding that she already has been reading various science articles for her informative speech this coming year. Mathews also wants to try her hand at Lincoln-Douglas again to improve her debating skills. Hillcrest will be competing under a new head coach as Emily Kunz took over from interim coach Ron Hill. l

October 2021 | Page 11

History teacher remembered for positive energy, excitement to help students learn By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com


ccording to the U. S. Department of Transportation, in 2019 there were more than 5,000 motorcyclist fatalities. That number hit home recently to the Midvale Middle School community as a seventh-grade history teacher died on his bike. Jonah Glenn, 24, was killed Aug. 25, eight days after the school year had begun, when an alleged drunk driver pulled out in front of Glenn on his motorcycle. Glenn had taught for Canyons School District since 2020. Midvale Middle Principal Mindy Robison reached out to students’ parents in a letter: “I am writing with great sadness to inform you that one of our seventh-grade social studies teachers, Mr. Jonah Glenn, has died from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time. As so many of his students will tell you, Mr. Glenn was a wonderful teacher. I also knew him to be a trusted colleague and great friend. The Midvale Middle community will miss him so much.” Her letter also addresses the availability of counseling staff to assist students with experiencing the loss and expressing their sorrow.

The middle school held a memorial tribute to their teacher for students, staff and faculty. Mihn Liew’s son, Dillon, is in the Salta (accelerated) social studies class that was being taught by Glenn. “My husband and I met Mr. Glenn, Dillon's seventh-grade social studies teacher on back-to-school night at Midvale,” she said. “He sounded sincerely excited and (was) looking forward to teaching his next group of students.” When Liew inquired about needing to obtain books for his class, she was told he had textbooks they would refer to, but he’d also use “teaching materials from current events as it would be more relevant for the students. He said there will be lots of discussions in class.” Glenn promised her that her son would “have fun and be contributing excitedly in class discussions.” Her son had reported to his parents in those first few days of the school year that Glenn was a good teacher. “Mr. Glenn's genuine excitement and positive energy left both my husband and I feeling happy that he was going to be one of Dillon's teachers for this school year,” she

Eight days into the school year, Midvale Middle School social studies teacher Jonah Glenn died after an alleged drunk driver pulled out in front of his motorcycle. (Photo courtesy of Canyons School District)


Several families and friends posted their thoughts and tributes of their beloved teacher on the neighborhood Facebook page. l

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Page 12 | October 2021

Midvale City Journal

In The Middle of Everything City Hall – 7505 South Holden Street • Midvale, UT 84047

The Heart of the Matter

MIDVALE CITY DIRECTORY City Hall Finance/Utilities Court City Attorney’s Office City Recorder/Human Resources Community Development Public Works Ace Disposal/Recycling Midvale Historical Museum Midvale Senior Center SL County Animal Services Police Dispatch Unified Fire Authority Fire Dispatch Communications

801-567-7200 801-567-7200 801-567-7265 801-567-7250 801-567-7228 801-567-7211 801-567-7235 801-363-9995 801-567-7285 385-468-3350 385-468-7387 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 - Heidi Robinson Email: Hrobinson@midvale.com District 4 - Bryant Brown Email: bbrown@midvale.com District 5 - Dustin Gettel Email: dgettel@midvale.com

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 Code Enforcement Building inspections Graffiti

801-567-7200 801-567-7202 801-567-7202 801-567-7212 801-567-7207 801-567-7265 801-567-7202 801-567-7213 801-567-7246 801-567-7235 801-256-2575 801-567-7231 801-567-7208 801-567-7228 385-468-9769

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

801-567-7235 801-840-4000 385-468-9350 801-743-7000


Here comes Autumn! We all have looked forward to cooler days and nights. I am so glad to have four seasons! I was so happy for the harvest days when those came, weren’t you? Other than squash bugs in the crookneck squash (which delayed the fruiting and ripening), our produce was bountiful. I know those 30+ quarts of peach halves my wife bottled will taste so good on a winter’s day -- with a light coat of heavy cream (Oh, now my mouth is watering!) I share now with my fellow Midvale residents a bit of a melancholy forecast: You have no doubt noticed the hundreds of “Help Wanted” signs around town; some even advertise the available hourly wages. One even shouts, “Competitive Wages.” The apparent shortage of employees is economy-wide! Here is my observation and prediction: There are too few laborers working in our society to maintain the level of commerce we had grown accustomed to. Even Midvale City has had a much higher level of turnover among employees as higher paying jobs become available elsewhere. Our Unified Police Department is bracing for what has been coined “Wage Wars” among municipalities in an attempt to attract applicants from an ever-shrinking labor pool. My prediction is that our economy will tighten while attempting to attract more employees than are typically available. Then what? It may once again become necessary, if not fashionable, for many in the labor force to work two or more jobs. Perhaps in this cycle not necessarily to make the mortgage or rent payment (though those have also increased at an alarming rate!) but because more flexible people are needed to keep essential businesses open!


What will this mean for fathers, mothers, and employees of all stripes? I hope business owners and management will be able to effectively evaluate the thrust of their particular industry and provide meaningful employment, wages and working conditions for those willing to work that extra job just to assure business doors remain open. I think we will all individually and unitedly help define which commercial ventures are truly meaningful to our society based on which businesses are able to attract sufficient staff to perform/ produce. I believe a focus on self-sufficiency will become primal in all decisions individuals and families make through the rest of this decade. I’m not talking about the “bunker mentality” of the 1950-1960’s, where people built underground hideaways capable of withstanding a nuclear attack. No, I mean getting out of debt. Developing small home industry capable of producing and preserving home-grown vegetables. Community gardens have become the topic du jour lately. What level of interest in these is there in Midvale households? Many apartment dwellers have limited space to grow vegetables. Perhaps linking resources with others who have a small plot of ground, water, and sunshine would be advantageous in the long run. This could include Cityowned properties. The long run is the best outlook to have. A short sprint to the grocery store is vital in so many cases. Yet we are all aware that when distribution systems become disrupted for even a short time, chaos results. Yes, we need to be more like the proverbial ant which stores foodstuffs all summer, and less like the grasshopper, which eats and eats and stores nothing, only to suffer from lack of food or warmth when winter arrives.

Water Meter Replacement As with many things in this world, water meters can slow down or fail over time. The result is that they begin to under-register water usage or estimated reads are required. Since February 2020, Meterworks Services (the City’s contracted installer) has been replacing water meters throughout the Midvale City service area to ensure the meter is registering water use accurately. Meterworks is scheduled to replace a total of 3,268 meters over a three-year period. Not every meter meets the replacement criteria, so your neighbor may receive a new meter, but you may not need one. FAST FACTS • The Installer. Midvale City has contracted with Meterworks to install the new meters. Their crew members will be wearing jackets or shirts bearing their company name, and their vehicles will also have the Meterworks logo. The meter technicians may be out as early as 8:45 a.m. to start changeouts. They try to avoid peak morning hours.

• The Plan. MeterWorks started replacing meters at the end of September and anticipates installing the third-year meters (1,364) by the end of November. • What you need to do. The installation process is simple and there is only about a 15-minute interruption to water service. Customers do not have to be present during the process. When the technician arrives at a home to replace the meter, they check to see if the water is running through the meter. If so, the technician will knock on the door to let the homeowner know the meter is going to be changed out and water will not be available for 5-15 minutes (generally closer to the 5–10-minute range). Pre-COVID, the meter technician would knock on every door. However, they found that most people did not want strangers knocking on their door in a COVID world and want to maintain social distancing. QUESTIONS? For questions or more information regarding the contractor or process, call Midvale City’s Utility Billing Department at 801-567-7200 option #1.

In The Middle of Everything


Vote in the upcoming municipal elections Midvale City will hold a non-partisan municipal election on November 2, 2021, to elect a Mayor and two City Council positions to serve fouryear terms. City Council positions will be elected from Council Districts four (4) and five (5) and the Mayoral position being elected at-large. On May 4, 2021, the Midvale City Council adopted a resolution to participate in the Municipal Voting Methods pilot project for the 2021 Municipal Elections. This voting method is better known as Ranked Choice Voting. Ranked Choice Voting is a voting format allowing voters to rank candidates by preference, instead of selecting only one candidate. Voters can rank candidates, one, two, three, and so on. If a voter’s top choice in candidate does not win, their vote also counts towards their second, third, and other choices. In an RCV format, if no candidate wins a majority (over 50%) of first-choice votes, then the candidate with the fewest first-choice votes is eliminated. This is achieved through rounds where the candidates with the lowest number of votes are eliminated, and the second, and the third, etc. rankings of their voters are redistributed to the other candidates. A candidate will only win when they receive the majority of votes, instead of the normal plurality required in traditional elections. Learn more about Ranked Choice Voting and complete a practice ballot at www.MidvaleCity.org/RCV.

Midvale City Council approves Midvale Murals Program Coca Cola Mural


Historic Main Street

Bingham Junction Park

Public Art is an interesting and important way to represent Midvale’s history and current culture. There is public art in many locations around the city. These works appear in a wide variety of mediums including everything from the Impressions Murals under the TRAX overpass on State Street, to the historic Main Street wall murals, Utah Bit and Mine sculptures at Bingham Junction TRAX Station, and the Magic in the Mundane utility box art in Bingham Junction, to the Flora sculpture at BinghamMa Junction Park. gic in the Mundane Magic in the Mundane Bingham Junction Midvale City is looking to partner with Commercial Property owners to am Junction Bingh increase the number of public art installations within Midvale City. To kick a Cola Mural Flora of this initiative, the Midvale City Council approved a pilotCocprogram that will provide up to $1,500 for three mural installations on the wall of commercial buildings located in Midvale City. If you are a property owner and have a wall that you would love to host a one of a kind piece of art work, then please fill out a Midvale Mural Request form on our website www. MidvaleCity.org/PublicArt. Contact Kate Andrus at kandrus@midvale.com Magic in the Mundane Magic in the Mundane with any questions. Historic Main Street

Bingham Junction Park

Curbside Bulky Waste 2021 Fall

Ranked Choice Voting is here!

Midvale City voters now have the option to rank their top 5 candidates in our local elections. Mark Ballot by Order of Preference

Do I have to use all 5 rankings? No. Your vote will still count if you only rank one or a couple candidates. Does it hurt my favorite candidate to have a 2nd choice? No, your 2nd (3rd, 4th, 5th) choices will only be looked at if your 1st choice is eliminated.

Curbside Bulky Waste Curbside Bulky Waste Utah Bit and Mine Utah Bit and Mine 2021 Fall

2021 Fall

Bingham Junction TRAX Station

You can now rank up to five candidates in order of preference, instead of choosing just one. Step 1: Pick your 1st choice candidate and fill in the circle next to their name under the first column. Step 2: If you have a 2nd choice candidate, fill in the circle next to their name under the second column. Step 3: You can rank up to five choices.

Visit www.MidvaleCity.org/RCV to learn more!

Bingham Junction

Bingham Junction

Bingham Junction TRAX Station

Coca Cola Mural


Historic Main Street

Bingham Junction Park

Utah Bit and Mine

Utah Bit and Mine

Bingham Junction TRAX Station

Bingham Junction TRAX Station

The curbside bulky waste program is available to all Midvale City residents who currently receive City garbage service.

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Utah Bit follow Mine and Mine your regularly Please scheduled garbage pick up day listed below to determine when Utah Bit and Bingham Junction Bingham Junction Please follow your regularly Bulky scheduled day listed below to determine whenWaste your Curbside TRAX Station garbage pick up Station Waste pick up dayTRAX is scheduled. Comply with the Bulky Pick Up Guidelines (list Bulky Waste pick up day is scheduled. Complywith withthese the Waste Pick Up your Guidelines back). Ifup. TheBulky curbside bulky waste program is available to all(listed Midvale City currently you don't comply important guidelines items will noton beresidents pickedwho receive City garbage service. you don't comply with these important guidelines your items will not be picked up. Curbside pick up will be provided for approved items that are boxed, bundled or bagged. The intent of this program is to reduce pollution in our streams, rivers and lakes and to keep our City clean. When utilizing curbside collection, residents are reminded that hazardous materials such as oil, batteries, paint, tires and other pollutants will not be collected.

2021 Fall

Impressions Murals State Street

Between 7800 S & 8000


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Properly prepared items may be placed curbside up to one week prior to the scheduled pick up dates, no later than 6:30 a.m. on the scheduled Curbside Bulky Waste pick up day. Items placed at the curb must not obstruct sidewalks, gutters, storm drain inlets, water meters, or the free movement of traffic.

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For more information, visit www.MidvaleCity.org/BulkyWaste or call 801 For more information, visit www.MidvaleCity.org/BulkyWaste or call 801-567-7235


HOWL-O-WEEN Pet Safety Tips Halloween can be a lot of fun for humans, but pets may not appreciate the costumes and candy. Protect your pets from Halloween dangers with these tips! 1. Keep candy out of reach: All forms of chocolate and the artificial sweetener can be poisonous to dogs & cats. Call your emergency vet if your pet has eaten either. 2. Keep pets confined and away from the door: Dogs may be likely to dart out the door or become anxious with trick-ortreaters in costumes and yelling for candy. Put them in a crate or a backroom and keep everyone safe. 3. Close the blinds or drapes, disconnect doorbells: If your dog reacts every time someone walks by or rings the doorbell close the drapes and disconnect the doorbell.


The Midvale City Council, Redevelopment Agency and Main Street Business Alliance invite you to bring your costumed ghosts and ghoulies to trick-or-treat on historic Main Street on Saturday, October 30 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The free, family friendly event will include trick-or-treating, costume contests, arts and crafts, games, food trucks, and a DJ who is sure to keep the party going! Main Street will be closed from Center Street through 1st Avenue and Main Street businesses and community partners (Unified Police Department, Choose Gang Free, Unified Fire Authority, Tyler Library, and more) will turn Main Street into a nostalgic spooky downtown full of fun and treats! Main Street Theatre will offer live performances and characters for photo opportunities. Visit www.MidvaleCity.org/Halloween to learn more.

The Midvale Main Street Business Alliance and Midvale City Present

4. Keep outdoor pets inside before and after Halloween: Keep dogs and cats indoors to prevent them from being injured, stolen, or poisoned as part of a Halloween prank. 5. Don’t approach dogs while in costume: Even if you know the dog, a strange costume or mask can frighten them. They may not recognize you in costume. If a dog escapes a house or yard and runs up to you, tell your child to stand like a tree, and wait for the owner to grab the dog. 6. Test out pet costumes before: Make sure the costume isn’t causing them distress or giving them an allergic reaction. It shouldn’t restrict their movement, ability to breath, bark or meow. 7. Leave them at home: It may be best with all the distractions to leave your pet at home while trick-or-treating. Take them for a walk earlier in the day before the ghosts and goblins come out for the night to spook them. Find a lost pet? Call Dispatch 801-840-4000. Need to get your pet microchipped? Don’t forget all pets in Salt Lake County can receive a free microchip at our location. Email animal@slco.org for more info or visit AdoptUtahPets.org.

Calling all decorating goblins and creative ghouls Out-BOO your neighbors by decorating your house with the silliest, scariest, funniest, spookiest Halloween decorations! Midvale City is partnering with the cities of West Jordan, Bluffdale, South Jordan, Millcreek, and South Salt Lake to showcase our communities’ spirit and creativity during this Halloween season. PRIZES will be awarded to the most HALLOWEEN THEMED and elaborate houses in Midvale! Winners will be announced on social media on October 30th! Let’s show off our community spirit, Midvale! Learn more at www.MidvaleCity.org/Halloween

Halloween on Main Street

When: October 30, 2021 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Where: Midvale Main Street Center to 1st Avenue Parking available at City Hall

Who: Trick-or-Treaters, Parents, Residents, Neighbors and Friends

Join us on Main Street for Trick-or Treating, Arts & Crafts, Live Performances from Main Street Theatre, a Spook Alley at Tres Gatos, Food Trucks, Games, Contests & So Much More! This Halloween Will Be Spooky y Fun For Everyone!

Nine years without a cold? By Priscilla Schnarr


Scientists have discovered a natural way to kill germs fast. Now thousands of people are using it against viruses and bacteria in the nose and on skin. Germs, such as viruses and bacteria, can multiply fast. When unwanted germs get in your nose they can spread and cause misery unless you stop them early. In the last 20 years, hundreds New device puts copper right where you need it. of studies by government and “What a wonderful thing!” exclaimed university scientists show the natural element copper kills germs just by touch. Physician’s Assistant Julie. “Is it supThe EPA officially declared copper to posed to work that fast?” Pat McAllister, 70, received one for be “antimicrobial”, which means it kills microbes, including viruses, bacteria, Christmas. “One of the best presents ever. This little jewel really works.” and fungus. Frequent flier Karen Gauci used to The National Institutes of Health says, “The antimicrobial activity of cop- suffer after crowded flights. Though skeptical, she tried copper on travel days per is now well established.” Ancient Greeks and Egyptians used for 2 months. “Sixteen flights and not a copper to purify water and heal wounds. sniffle!” she exclaimed. Businesswoman Rosaleen says when They didn’t know about microbes, but people around her show signs of unwantnow we do. Scientists say the high conductance ed germs, she uses copper morning and of copper disrupts the electrical balance night. “It saved me last holidays,” she in a microbe and destroys it in seconds. said. “The kids had the crud going round Some hospitals tried copper for touch and round, but not me.” Attorney Donna Blight tried copper surfaces like faucets and doorknobs. They say this cut the spread of MRSA, for her sinus. “I am shocked!” she said. “My head cleared, no more headache, no and other illnesses by over half. The strong scientific evidence gave more congestion.” A man with trouble breathing through inventor Doug Cornell an idea. He made a smooth copper probe with a tip to fit in his nose at night tried copper just before bed. “Best sleep I’ve had in years!” the bottom of his nose. In a lab test, technicians placed 25 The next time he felt a tickle in his nostril that warned of a cold about to million live flu viruses on a CopperZap. start, he rubbed the copper gently in his No viruses were found alive soon after. Some people press copper on a lip nose for 60 seconds. “The cold never got going,” he ex- right away if a warning tingle suggests claimed. “That was September 2012. I unwanted germs gathering there. The handle is curved and textured to use copper in the nose every time and I increase contact. Copper can kill germs have not had a single cold since then.” “We don’t make product health picked up on fingers and hands. The EPA claims so I can’t say cause and effect. says copper still works when tarnished. CopperZap is made in America of But we know copper is antimicrobial.” He asked relatives and friends to try pure copper. It has a 90-day full money it. They reported the same, so he patent- back guarantee. The price is $79.95. Get $10 off each CopperZap with ed CopperZap® and put it on the market. Soon hundreds of people had tried it. code UTCJ14 at www.CopperZap.com The feedback was 99% positive if they or 1-888-411-6114. Buy once, use forever. used the copper within 3 hours after the first sign of unwanted germs, like a tick- Statements are not intended as product health claims and have not been evaluatle in the nose or a scratchy throat. Early user Mary Pickrell said, “I ed by the FDA. Not claimed to diagnose, can’t believe how good my nose feels.” treat, cure, or prevent any disease. advertorial

Page 16 | October 2021

Semper Fi: Memorials honor Ssgt. Taylor Hoover, Utah native and Hillcrest alumnus By Heather Lawrence | h.lawrence@mycityjournals.com


n Aug. 26, an ISIS suicide bomber attacked the Kabul, Afghanistan airport during an evacuation. Thirteen U.S. service members were killed in the attack. Several others were injured, in addition to dozens of Afghan civilians. Utah native Marine Corps Staff Sergeant D. Taylor Hoover was one of the servicemen who died. The first of many Utah memorials to honor Hoover was Aug. 29 at the state capitol building. It was attended by hundreds of people. On Sept. 11, a Sandy senior living community honored Hoover with a balloon release and drive-by parade. “Ssgt. Hoover is a Sandy native. Our wellness director Katelen Perfili had the incredible idea of holding an event on Sept. 11 to honor him and his sacrifice,” said Austin Sorenson, executive director of Cedarwood at Sandy. It was a fitting day for the tribute: family and friends say the 9/11 attack was Hoover’s motivation for choosing the military as a career, though he was only 11 years old at the time. “Many of our residents have served in the military or have spouses who have served. This type of event hits many tender feelings of the heart. It was really special and emotional. It was a beautiful feeling of unity and patriotism,” Sorenson said. On Sept. 18, a memorial was held at Hillcrest High School on the football field. Hoover played football at Hillcrest and graduated in 2008. The memorial was conducted by family friend Kevin Salmon. Speakers included Hoover’s uncles; his dad Darin Hoover, mom Kelly Barnett and sisters Tori Manning and Allison Dillon; church youth leader Eric Hoffman; fiancée Nicole Weiss and best friend Kayleigh Snedeger. Speakers noted that Hoover was deployed three times. A decorated soldier, he earned the Combat Action Ribbon and the Purple Heart. Utah band Dyer Highway, who Snedeger said “dropped everything to be here,” performed their song “This Country Stands.” A former football coach at Hillcrest High led a traditional Polynesian Haka dance on the field. Hoffman said earlier in the day he met someone whose life Hoover had saved in Kabul “just minutes before he himself was killed. Taylor didn’t just protect Americans, he protected Afghan civilians. He served so he could help anyone who was suffering from tyranny and oppression,” Hoffman said. Marci Houseman of the Sandy City Council said helping to organize the event was a powerful experience she will never forget. She was contacted by Gold Star widow Jenny Taylor of Ogden. Taylor said the Hoovers needed help organizing a memorial

The many patriotic residents of Cedarwood at Sandy senior living honored the country and the memory of Ssgt. Taylor Hoover with a drive-by parade and balloon release on Sept. 11. (Courtesy of Cedarwood at Sandy)

and wanted to have it at Hillcrest. “We organized this within a matter of a week so the Hoover family could have a local memorial before going to Arlington for the burial. Organizing it was an incredibly collaborative process. Everyone we talked to just said yes, from the school to the local leaders to service groups,” Houseman said. Houseman, whose father was in the army, wanted the family to feel the love of the community down to the way the field was decorated. “I wanted them to feel like they were being wrapped in a hug.” She posted a notice on the website Justserve.org and got volunteers to come Saturday morning and set up over 500 flags around Hillcrest’s field and along 900 East. “Volunteers included students, groups from Beaver and Lehi, and the Maj. Brent R. Taylor Battalion of U.S. Naval Sea Cadets. I could go on and on about how many people answered the call to help this family,” Houseman said. The hundreds of flags created a powerful backdrop for the service, and were visible to anyone driving along 900 East that day. A GoFundMe account raised over $140,000 for Hoover’s family. Final donations will be delivered to his mother. The organizers were fellow marines who served with Hoover: Ryan Matthews, Jared Charpentier, Anthony Pen, Dillon Stephens and Hunter Spiri. “Staff Sergeant Taylor Hoover made the ultimate sacrifice defending Afghan civilians and leading fellow Marines,” the organizers wrote in the fundraiser description. “On Aug. 26, 2021, he and some of his younger Marines were on security at the [Kabul] airport when they were engaged by enemy combatants…ultimately taking his life. His selfless service and courage are remembered by those who served with him and those who knew him. Semper Fi, God bless.” l

Midvale City Journal

Donations help small cake shop stay open after burglary By Sarah Morton Taggart | s.taggart@mycityjournals.com


hen Saikhantuya Ganbold was helping her mother and her friend open a cake shop, they wanted to come up with the perfect name. They decided on “conte de fée,” which means “fairy tale” in French. And just like in a fairy tale, the owners of the little shop showed kindness, faced an obstacle, and found a happy ending—though in this case the villain remains unpunished. The shop opened on Jan. 18 at 7695 S. 700 East, where a Subway used to be. They renovated, creating a stylish yet cozy space that takes advantage of the natural light streaming in from the south and west windows. “We just wanted to bring different flavors and tastes,” Ganbold said. “We went to different bake shops and didn’t find what we had at home. Asian tastes are a little different. Cakes are less sweet, and they’re light and fluffy.” Ganbold and her mother, Bayasgalan Purevdorj, both grew up in Mongolia. Co-owner Ai Tanaka is from Japan, and together they have created desserts that are unique and appreciated. One customer, using the handle Nathan C., left a review saying that his family had searched all over for a bakery that could make a chestnut cake that his mother remembered from her childhood in Hong Kong. They came across Conte de Fée, which was able to create the right flavor just from the description and a photo found online. Finding success after being open for just over six months, the bake shop decided to organize a fundraiser. “We have lost a lot of our loved ones during this difficult time and have shed many tears,” Ganbold said in an Instagram post. “And yesterday we have lost another great soul. So that’s why we have come to this decision. All our profits from our flower cupcakes will be donated to the families of the people we have lost….We just opened so we are skeptical about how much we can make, but we believe it’s better than nothing.” Not long after that, the cake shop organized another fundraiser—this time to keep the shop from closing. On Sept. 4, Tanaka arrived at the shop and noticed something glittering on the floor. At first she thought it was ice, but then realized it was glass from a shattered window pane. A quick look around showed that someone had rummaged behind the counter, so she went back outside and called the police. The thief took nearly everything of value—cash, equipment, ingredients and finished cakes—as well as things of little value, like a leaky bucket. “I don’t know what they’re going to do with all that butter,” Ganbold said. “They even took all the Halloween cookies. It’s like they took a bag and went shopping.” Some items remained when Tanaka


arrived at the shop, but the fridge door had been left open and the cakes left inside were spoiled. “The most difficult thing was that we’re so busy during the weekend, and a lot of preorders ready for pick up were gone,” Ganbold said. “It ruined our whole schedule. People were so nice, but we wanted to get the stuff ready. Even though we were in shock, the most important thing was that we (replace the orders).” Tanaka and Purevdorj managed to replace the stolen cakes that had been meant for birthday celebrations and a wedding, but had little left to sell in the shop. They chose to shorten their hours and close for several days. “People told us to do a GoFundMe,” Ganbold said. “We felt embarrassed, but thought that if people want to help us, they can.” In the first 18 hours, the campaign raised $700. Within a few days, 32 individuals had donated $2,135—more than doubling the cake shop’s goal and allowing them to reopen within a week. They have been able to replace much of what was stolen, but some tools, special teas and ingredients are more difficult to come by. Even before the theft, the bakers struggled to find the right ingredients to make the items they wanted. “A main struggle we have is that the fruits in Asia are different,” Ganbold said. “The strawberries in Japan are sweeter. In America they’re more sour. When we use the strawberries here we have to use more sugar.” “Mongolia is not known for its sweet stuff,” Ganbold continued. “We eat Russian desserts, like the Napoleon.” Ganbold came to the United States from Mongolia in her late teens, and her mother joined her four or five years later. Ganbold received a bachelor of business administration from Utah Valley University and handles marketing for the shop. The sense for business runs in the family. “My mom used to own so many different businesses,” Ganbold said. “She’s pretty experienced. She owned grocery stores and a karaoke place back in Mongolia. She’s liked baking since she was a little girl.” Tanaka majored in accounting at UVU and also loves to bake. “When we had a time to hang out we would always bake something,” Ganbold said. Another distinctive feature of the shop is its logo featuring the silhouette of a black French bulldog named Coffee. “Technically, he’s my little sister’s dog but we all love him,” Ganbold said. “He loves food more than anything. Before we opened, we brought him to the space and he ran straight to the kitchen as if to say, ‘Hey! This is my cafe.’” Coffee the dog is in fact a co-owner. “He

Conte de Fée Cakes offers a light-filled dining area for customers to sit. (Sarah Morton Taggart/City Journals)

has a 1% share in the store,” Ganbold said with a laugh. Conte de Fée plans to have a special promotion in honor of Coffee the dog on his second birthday, Oct. 18. In spite of the smiles, Ganbold, Purevdorj and Tanaka don’t feel as safe in the shop as they did before the robbery. A week after

the break-in they installed cameras and a security system, but they still feel the need to be extra cautious when working late. “We used to love those windows,” Ganbold said. “Now I feel like someone’s watching us.”l

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October 2021 | Page 17

Hillcrest freshman may net recognition at state tennis tournament By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com


abiana Gonzalez picked up a tennis racket when she was three years old and living in Venezuela. She moved to the United States two years and three months ago, to Midvale. The 14-year-old is Hillcrest’s No. 1 singles player and as of press deadline, was undefeated on the court as a high school player. “My goal is to go to state and if I can make it to the quarterfinals, I’d be proud of myself,” she said. First-year head tennis coach Creighton Chun says, “I got lucky,” when she moved into Hillcrest’s boundaries. “If her opponents have a second hit, they won’t have a third. She’ll hit it hard and put it away. She can drill it as hard as anyone can,” he said. Gonzalez said she was surprised that she unseated junior Sowmya Paritala, Hillcrest’s best solo player the past two seasons. “I was really surprised and never thought I’d be playing No. 1. Everyone has treated me nice and on the bus rides, we talk about how fun it is and how we learn from each other. I learn something new about myself in the game every day. Tennis is about technique and it’s also a mental game,” she said. With her steadiness and the strong play of teammates of Paritala, who now is playing No. 2 singles, and senior captain Erin Zhang, at No. 3 singles, and the leading doubles team of ju-

Page 18 | October 2021

nior Lily Greenwood and senior captain Shay Minoughan, Chun believed the team could be the region-contender this year and qualify players for state. Paritala, Chun said, has been playing well in the No. 2 spot. “I’m really good playing in this spot,” she said. “Fabiana is definitely a better player even though I’m playing some of my best tennis without the pressure of our old region. She makes very little mistakes and even has given me feedback when I hit with her. Our whole team is like that. We’re not afraid to give each other feedback to help one another to get better and our coaches are great to help us understand how to change to improve our game.” Paritala started playing in her later elementary school years after watching her brother play at state for the Huskies. “Playing at state became my goal, too,” she said, hoping to realize it this season. “I’ve worked on my consistency, my form, my shots so I hit it hard every single time.” Off the court, the 4.0 grade-point average student is studying to earn her international baccalaureate diploma. She also is involved in HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America), FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) and National Honors Society. “Our team has players who are involved in a lot of school activities in addition to tennis

and holds one of the highest team GPAs at the school,” Chun said. For example, Zhang has a 4.0, according to Chun; she also was recently named a National Merit semifinalist. Greenwood, who takes IB and Advanced Placement classes and is a member of the school’s dance company, teams up with Minoughan, who is an outfielder on the Huskies softball team. The duo leads the school’s doubles teams. “We hadn’t played together until the start of the season,” Greenwood said. “We work well together, and we’re able to play off each other’s energy.” Greenwood, who started playing tennis as an elementary school girl and credits her sister, who played for the Huskies, for helping her become a stronger player, said by playing doubles, her shot placement has improved and she has learned a different skill set in tennis. “The coaches (Chun, and his brother, Chris) have motivated us and are helping each of us with improving our skills,” she said. “Creighton’s helped me a lot with volleying; it’s not my favorite to be close to the net with balls flying at you.” Minoughan said their play complements one another as she said playing the net is her strength. She first tried out for the tennis team for fun and “I ended up loving it.”

Freshman Fabiana Gonzalez, who plays No. 1 singles for Hillcrest High, is seen here defeating her Cottonwood opponent on Aug. 23. (Julie Slama/ City Journals)

Now, as her fourth year on the tennis team comes to an end, she’s still enjoying the sport. “We play our best, we have fun and with our new region, we’re seeing some different players,” Minoughan said. “We all get along, hang out at times and have a lot of fun at team dinners.” l

Midvale City Journal

Cross country 5A, 6A divisional race date changes; new venue set for state meet By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com


hen 5A and 6A cross country runners line up on the start line at Lakeside Park for the divisional meets, they will have the opportunity to have their full varsity teams. In what is considered the qualifying meet for teams as well as individuals for the state competition, organizers had worked with coaches to determine a good meet date. For this year’s meet, it was voted on for Oct. 13—the same date as the statewide PSAT college entrance exam. The PSAT date likely wasn’t communicated to coaches or put on school calendars, so organizers were not aware of the conflict, said Randy Quarez, 5A representative for track and cross country with the Utah High School Track Coaches Association. “This has happened multiple times in my 24 years of coaching,” he said. “I used to have it happen with region cross country meets.” Quarez said that the conflict also could be that coaches discussed the date more than one year in advance, so it could have been the testing dates weren’t yet released at that time to high school counselors. Typically, high school sophomores and juniors take the PSAT standardized test administered by the College Board. The test measures readiness for college, serves as a practice test for college-entrance exams and is a determination for National Merit scholarships. Once learning about the conflict, Quarez quickly reached out to others in the Utah High School Track Coaches Association. After checking the park availability for the alternative date, Oct. 12, the meet date was changed so all student-athletes could participate.


“We were able to move it. If we can fix it, we’ll fix it. It would have been a struggle for kids to do that test,” he said. The qualifying runners then will have more than two weeks to prepare for the state meet, which will be held on a new course this year. The course, which many teams ran in the pre-state multi-day meet in mid-September, is at the Salt Lake Regional Athletic Complex, located off of Rose Park Lane. Utah High School Activities Association Assistant Director Jon Oglesby said there were multiple reasons for moving the meet site after more than 40 years of holding the state cross country race at Sugar House Park. Last year, it was held on the Soldier Hollow course in Midway. “Our state meet had outgrown Sugar House Park,” he said. Oglesby said the coaches’ association was contacted to determine the best place with a course that coaches like, meets the needs of the student-athletes and what was wanted and needed, such as ample parking. “The Regional Athletic Complex in Salt Lake City just east of the airport was the perfect spot,” Oglesby said. “It actually has a really nice setup.” He also said that “coaches more and more are wanting a flatter course that allows for fast times because that allows them to then compete and qualify into various postseason meets.” With the change of venue comes an admission charge. “That’s something that’s been talked about for quite a while. The expenses continue to rise every year and it’s hard for us to push forward with adding the other things that

At one of the pre-state races in mid-September, junior and senior girls try out the new state course, located at the Salt Lake Regional Athletic Complex off of Rose Park Lane. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

we want to add knowing that the expenses around even just hosting it are increasing,” he said. “Our coaches are really insistent on wanting chip timing where their splits are at the miles and on RunnerCard, it’s very easy to follow what’s going on. I think that’s a really wonderful thing for the kids, but there’s a cost associated with that.” Timing isn’t the only cost. The venue, officiating, athletic trainers, awards, dumpsters, portable restrooms and water are some other costs that contributed to the change in charging admission, he said. Oglesby said the coaches have supported the change to the new course. “Our coaches are ecstatic about it,” he said. “I am hopeful that it will be a long-term venue for us.” l

October 2021 | Page 19

Wahsatch Rendezvous differs in cross-country format, attracts teams for more than 30 years By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com


At the Wahsatch Rendezvous, the unique format has seven varsity races for girls and boys resulting in only a handful of runners in each race, as seen here at this year’s meet. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

Page 20 | October 2021

hen varsity cross-country runners line up for the Wahsatch Rendezvous, it isn’t a sprint out of the mass crowd to jostle for position. Instead, there are seven varsity boys’ and seven varsity girls’ races with each race commencing every half-hour. The format has each team’s top runners enter the No. 1 race, the No. 2s in the No. 2 race and so on. “I like it because the format is different,” said Hillcrest High cross-country coach Scott Stucki, who has coordinated the meet the past six years. “If a team is deep, then usually your sixth and seventh runner don’t score and this gives those varsity runners a chance to win a meet and a chance to medal, where they don’t usually do. It forces the runners to rely on themselves than following the pack.” This year’s Wahsatch Rendezvous was Aug. 28 at the Cottonwood Complex, the same location where the meet originated. The top five varsity runners in each race and the top 20 JV runners each received a medal. The top three teams won trophies for males and females.

While Hillcrest High didn’t win, they have had recent winners. In 2019, Anthony Davies won the No. 1 boys race and in 2018, Zac Hastings won. In 2017, Cat Webster won the girls’ top race. In 2008, the Huskies won the boys’ team race, Stucki said. Stucki, who has been the Huskies’ head coach since 2014, coached before that alongside John Olsen, who after being head cross-country and track coach was Hillcrest’s athletic director and now is the school’s international baccalaureate director. It was Olsen’s uncle, Willie Cowden, who was Brighton High’s cross-country coach for 15 years, established the race and organized it until he died of cancer in 1998 at the age of 52. Brighton continued to host the meet until Hillcrest took it over to continue it because Stucki liked the meet format. It’s a format that isn’t commonly seen, but now it has popped up in meets in Montana, Florida and Illinois. Olsen, who ran the meet as the No. 1 runner for West High in the 1990s, remembered his uncle and aunt running the meet.

Midvale City Journal

His aunt, Becky, would have a stopwatch in her hand. “It was just so different than anything else you did during a season, so it was kind of fun to see how you’d stack up against other No. 1 runners,” he said. “You approached that race differently than the traditional cross-country race. It’s a different challenge; you didn’t want to get left in the dust by every school’s No. 1 runner, so it was sort of this little bit of added pressure.” Olsen also remembered, both as a runner and a coach, the race lent itself to faster times as racers would set their own paces and with more teammates were watching them, there felt more emphasis to finish in top spots in the race since every placement scored. “It was a different mindset. When you’re going up against all the No. 1 kids or No. 6s, use this opportunity as a chance to approach the race differently—you’re going to have them in sight the whole time, keep them close. Being in a smaller than typical race, you have a chance to focus in on certain runners that you want to go after,” he said. Back in his high school days, Olsen would train alongside Brighton High runners in the summer, following his uncle’s workouts—some which high schools continue to use today. “He instilled this love of running, just the sheer joy of running into his athletes. It wasn’t that get into your face, run faster. You ran for the love of it, for the joy of running

and that was what he was about,” Olsen said, adding that it was definitely Cowden who was the No. 1 reason he got into running. “When I think of someone who just loves life, Willie is the first person who comes to my mind.” Cowden’s wife, Becky, said her husband taught English at Brighton and had a love of language and literature as well as the area. So, when he wanted Brighton to have its own invitational, he drew upon his passions to name it the Wahsatch Rendezvous. Becky Cowden said her husband named the race after the Native American spelling of Wahsatch, a Ute word for a passageway in the mountains; there also was Shoshone Chief Wahsatch. Although the spelling commonly now is seen without the H, she said that “it’s just neater, more unique.” She also said that he used the term rendezvous as it refers to what the area mountain men did. “They got together as a gathering of people and that’s what the race is, a gathering of people from all over the state. It’s just better than calling it the Cottonwood Park race.” Jeff Arbogast, who was Bingham High’s longtime cross-country coach and now is the school’s golf coach, said his team regularly ran in the Wahsatch Rendezvous that started in the late 1980s. “It took a couple years to catch on, then the word spread that you got to come do this; it’s a lot of fun,” he said. “It became a meeting ground not only for good teams, but also for a way coaches could do more than

get their team on a bus, get them off, run and get them back. There were tactics involved; there’s thinking involved. It was a new take on cross country.” Arbogast said coaches would use tactics, switching around their runners—which was legal— trying to win the meet. “Back in the day, the top teams at that time were Viewmont, Mountain View and Bingham; Brighton was tough, but those three schools were nationally ranked in the top 20. There was one point, one year around ’89, ’91, ’92, where all three schools were ranked in the top five in the United States,” he said. “It was quite a battle. Willie had his hands full because we all loved the race because he had come up with that really unique and interesting format.” Brighton, who always was competitive, won the meet several times after many of the other top runners at those three schools graduated, Arbogast said. The Wahsatch Rendezvous also attracted teams from throughout the region, including teams from Idaho and Wyoming, he said. “Back in the early days, there weren’t as many invitationals, so it got national prominence when these teams ran,” Arbogast said, adding that the field may be of about 30 teams, so the JV race, which was held in traditional meet fashion, would have a mass start of 600 runners. “It was a big deal. The whole park was pretty much buzzing.” l


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Nature and learning combine during outdoor story time By Sarah Morton Taggart | s.taggart@mycityjournals.com


librarian is leading a group of children in singing “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” then suddenly interrupts herself. “There’s a squirrel!” The children turn their attention to the small animal until it scampers away, then they finish their song. This scene took place on the lawn behind the Ruth Vine Tyler Library during the Wednesday morning story time. “We were talking about animals, and I look over and there’s a squirrel,” Melinda Tooley said. “There are distractions, but I try and be really flexible (during story time).” Tooley is a youth services librarian, and her weekly story time—like all Salt Lake County Library programs—went on hiatus in March 2020. But she was able to resume in May with a twist—rather than meeting inside the library, Tooley now reads to young patrons outside. “There are some things I love about being outside,” Tooley said. “It’s nice to be out in the breeze. I enjoy nature and seeing animals and hearing birds.” There are some challenges that come along with the change. “It can be a little challenging with people spread out and not having the kids right by me,” Tooley said. “I’m adjusting by using bigger books and moving around. I have

Children jump and count during outdoor story time at the Tyler Library on Sept. 15. (Sarah Morton Taggart/City Journals)

props so everyone can be involved in the story. Making sure that everyone can hear and see and be engaged is my biggest concern.” Children and their caretakers bring their own blankets or chairs and spread out in a semicircle around Tooley. The lawn behind the library is shady and welcoming, with whimsical touches that invite exploration. “I love the space out here,” Tooley said. “It’s a really nice space, and I want people to

know they can come and enjoy it.” The story time on Sept. 15 had a pirate theme with paper hats for each child and a packet with song lyrics and pages to color, including a treasure map. The packet was a hit with Caroline Liedtke’s family. She had walked to the library with her two-year-old twin niece and nephew to attend the story time. “They like the songs and they want to


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go home and color the papers,” Liedtke said. “My friend told us last week that it was outside, so that’s why we came. I don’t know of anything else that’s started up and in the good weather they like to be outside.” Every branch in the Salt Lake County system has been creative with keeping patrons involved and engaged while working to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Several other branches, including Taylorsville, Millcreek, Draper and Whitmore have also moved their story times outdoors. In addition, most libraries offer take home craft kits or self-guided activities and scavenger hunts for families. The Tyler branch, located at 8041 S. Wood St., has also moved its LEGO Club outside. All ages are invited to join the next drop-in activity on Tuesday, Oct. 12 at 3:30 p.m. Other upcoming activities include take home craft kits and a scavenger hunt through Oct. 15 for Hispanic Heritage Month and a pumpkin craft on Oct. 8 at 4 p.m. Tooley plans to continue outdoor story time every Wednesday morning at 10:30 as long as weather allows. “It’s for the kids,” Tooley said. “You want them to have a good experience. You want them to enjoy the library and come back.” l

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he husband and I spent 245 days driving to California last month to attend his high school reunion. As we drove through his old neighborhood, he pointed to a house and said, “That’s where the witch lived.” I had a witch that lived in my neighborhood, too. She didn’t wear a pointy hat and she never caused the crops to wither or danced naked in the moonlight (that I’m aware of) but we all knew she was a witch. She lived alone and she was female. That was all the proof we needed. Women have been labeled as witches since forever. One myth tells the story of Lilith, believed to be the first wife of Adam, who insisted they were equal. So, obviously she was a demon. She left Eden to live an independent lifestyle in Oregon, saying, “He’s all yours, Eve.” Things only went downhill from there. A witch could be any female who was smart, witty, courageous, quarrelsome, beautiful, self-sufficient or reserved. Women who were healers were probably witches. A woman who could read? Definitely a witch. A woman who disagreed with her husband? Get the matches. If there was too much rain, not enough rain, bugs, curdled milk, a windstorm, mice, or a solar eclipse, it must be a curse placed by the old lady living alone in the woods. If a woman hummed an unknown tune or

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laughed too loud, she was a witch who wanted to eat your children. Witch hunting became a profession. Need to get rid of your son’s unsuitable match? Call the witch hunters and have her sentenced to death. Did your husband smile at an attractive young lady? Who you gonna call? Witch hunters! Here are some signs someone is a witch: She is a woman. She is 10-80 years old. She has a pet. She’s irritable. She weighs more than a stack of Bibles. She can or cannot float. She has a mole. She isn’t married. The bravely outspoken Joan of Arc was found guilty of heresy and witchcraft, and was burned alive, which seems a little unreasonable for someone expressing her own opinions. Over the span of about 300 years,

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tens of thousands of witches were killed in Europe. More than 80% were women. America is great at mass hysteria and enthusiastically bought into the witch trend. The most famous witch trials were held in Salem, Massachusetts, where 19 witches were executed by hanging. This was the first documented case of Mean Girls syndrome, with gossipy teenage girls starting the whole debacle. If you visit Salem, you’ll find a campy tourist attraction where you can watch a reenactment of the trials, purchase a crystal ball, eat broomstick-shaped cookies and laugh at how silly we were in the 17th century. We’d never turn against our friends and family now, right? Wrong. We don’t burn witches at the stake anymore, but we definitely burn women on the altar of social media and public opinion. If women in our country demonstrate too much power, too much influence or too many opinions, we ignite the fires of shame, disapproval and judgement. We roast Instagram influencers, scald TikTok performers, incinerate female politicians and torch women who act loud and proud. It leaves us all blistered and scorched. What if we become fire fighters instead of fire starters? And if that doesn’t work, I’ll eventually become the witch of the neighborhood; pointy hat included.



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October 2021 | Vol. 18 Iss. 10



ix years ago, three sisters from the French Congo walked into Hillcrest High School counselor John Oliver’s office. The family had sought asylum and moved to Utah. However, they only knew French. So, Oliver talked to them through Google translate and learned they wanted to earn their high school diplomas. “Two of them, they were twins, were at the end of their junior years and had a lot to make up,” he said. “They took 16 quarters of classes online to be on track to graduate. I’d see them and ask them if they were OK and they said that they’d sleep once they graduate. They knew where they had come from and saw their opportunity here and saw the value of education.” That wasn’t all. All three of the girls, after graduating from Hillcrest, went on to college. “That’s where my love of working with and helping refugees started,” Oliver said. A few years later, during the 201819 school year, Oliver began Hillcrest High’s program, Resources Opportunity

Access for Refugees, for refugee students. Since then, ROAR has continued to offer students assistance, even through the COVID-19 pandemic. “We first were able to meet monthly and had some college representatives come speak or we’d go to their campuses,” he said. “We went to college day at Westminster, or went to UVU (Utah Valley University) and they got to climb the rock wall or they’d cook with SLCC’s (Salt Lake Community College’s) culinary program.” However, like most opportunities, those excursions ceased during the past 18 months during COVID-19. However, Oliver continued to bring in guest speakers, when allowed with health and safety protocols, from college representatives to professional soccer player Phanuel Kavita. The school, with the help of America First Credit Union, also continued to support these students’ educational dreams. Three or four students received $1,000 scholarships to further pursue their education after high school. Continued page 5

Hillcrest High students, as part of the ROAR program, try out the climbing wall at Utah Valley University. (Photo courtesy of Hillcrest High)

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