Midvale Journal | September 2021

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September 2021 | Vol. 18 Iss. 09




ormer Hillcrest High teacher Don Marr remembers his and former art department colleagues’ students taking top awards in statewide competitions, and receiving college scholarships for their pottery, painting, drawing, crafts, 3D art and other mediums. The favorite memory of the teacher, who climbed the stairs above the auto shop to his room from 1969 to 1981, was an assembly where Hillcrest High received an American flag that flew above the White House. “It was in 1971 and Sen. Frank Moss presented it to us,” Marr said. “He said that we had the best auditorium in the entire country. He said that the gym and auditorium were world class and he had noticed it.” Marr said that flag flew above the school for years until U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch replaced it with another flag that flew over the White House. Marr was on hand to witness the first time the American flag and Hillcrest High flag were raised above the new school during its Aug. 13 ribbon-cutting ceremony. Hundreds of students, alumni, current and former teachers, city and school leaders and community members came to witness not just one, but three, snips of the ribbon signifying the opening of the new school that has been under construction since its May 31, 2018, groundbreaking. The first ribbon cut was by Student Body President Jason Mun, followed by Principal Greg Leavitt and Canyons Board of Education member Mont Millerburg, alongside school and school district officials. The third cut was by Midvale Mayor Robert Hale, Utah State Sen. Kathleen Riebe and area elected

Hundreds of community members turned out to witness the ribbon-cutting of Midvale’s only high school, which was rebuilt on the same campus over the past three years. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

officials. More than three years ago, the new building’s groundbreaking was on the Huskies’ soccer field, now buried under the foundation and parking lot, but only yards away from where Millerburg stood welcoming the crowd. “It was hot, and I was decked out in a suit and tie, so I

think this shirt is just fine,” he said, but joked that if he knew the building with air conditioning was so close to the ceremony, he would have dressed up more, with reference to the former non-air-conditioned school. Millerburg gave praise to lead architect Greta Anderson at FFKR Architects, who, like himself, graduated from Hillcrest. Continued page 4

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Continued from front page “This school has been a labor of love for Greta,” he said. Canyons Chief Financial Officer and Business Administrator Leon Wilcox added he hoped her classmates voted her “most likely to succeed.” The Westland Construction crew were called “lifesavers” by Wilcox for their dedication to “living at the school” for months as they built the new school on 38 acres. As they were acknowledged, the principal leapt up from his chair to give them each a roll of Lifesavers candy. Wilcox thanked the community for supporting the 2017 $283-million bond that allowed rebuilding Hillcrest as well as Brighton High and renovating Alta High, in addition to 17 other schools having major improvements or rebuilds. Millerburg pointed out that every school that has been promised by Canyons Board of Education to build, renovate, remodel or improve has been done, is in progress or is planned. In Midvale alone, Hillcrest, Midvale Middle, and Midvalley and Midvale elementaries have been rebuilt. “These buildings are an investment in Midvale’s children and Midvale’s future,” he said. Canyons Supt. Rick Robins pointed out Hillcrest is more than a structure that is wired for today’s technology. “There’s just something about our time in high school that sticks with us: the friendships we build, the struggles we overcome, and the pressures we endure,” he said about the first school he visited when he became superintendent just over one year ago. “This school is special; it’s more than a building. Year-round, day and night, for generations to come, it will serve as a training ground for tomorrow’s scientists, business leaders, aspiring athletes and artists.” Former teacher Marr was hired by the school’s first principal, Joel P. Jensen, worked

Journals T H E

The new Hillcrest High School was built to take advantage of the views of the mountains, as the Wasatch range is seen from the school’s commons. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

under its second, DelMar Schick and was teased by its third, Ted Lovato, who was a former art teacher at Bingham High. “Lovato helped bring up my stature after teasing I’d burn students’ hair in the kiln; it was an ongoing joke,” he said as he was on a tour of the new building, hoping to capture a glimpse of his former kiln. As groups toured the school, they saw the new college-seating presentation room which will function as an academic lecture hall, a student kitchen designed for ProStart culinary students, a media center and weight room that overlook the Wasatch Mountains, rooms dedicated to student life such as student officers and international baccalaureate; a music department that features practice rooms and a

library, shop rooms that are set to have stateof-the-art technology and a black box theatre designed for more intimate shows. Parts of the school pay homage to the former building. The former basketball court from Art Hughes gymnasium has been placed on the walls outside of the new main gymnasium that features an indoor track around its top and near a dedicated wrestling room. The sports complex also includes a field house, which allows for flexibility of sports teams’ practices and physical education classes and has a banquet and meeting room that overlooks the north end of the football field and track. Even though the first day of school was only three days away, parts of the school were not quite done.




The Midvale City Journal is a monthly publication distributed directly to residents via the USPS as well as locations throughout Midvale. For information about distribution please email brad.c@thecityjournals.com or call our offices. Rack locations are also available on our website. The views and opinions expressed in display advertisements do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions held by Loyal Perch Media or the City Journals. This publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written consent of the owner. © 2019 Loyal Perch Media, Inc.

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Students had yet to be issued lockers – and there weren’t enough of those for each of the 2,300 students; school bells and air conditioning weren’t functioning; and water just had begun working. Many rooms stood unfurnished even though custodians, class officers, teachers and staff had been furiously moving items in place. Leavitt thanked the students, faculty and staff for their patience during the construction and pointedly, thanked the custodial staff for “working their tails off.” The commons and kitchen are to be completed by the end of September, so students will be supplied with bag lunches at the start of the school year. The auditorium was expected to be completed by late October and the stu-

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dent parking lot, in December. The ball fields and tennis courts should be ready next fall. As COVID-19 has impacted every facet of life, it also has had its mark with Hillcrest, Robins said. “The pace at which construction costs are soaring shows no signs of slowing,” he said. “With those costs, other inflationary pressures and Utah’s labor shortage, it’s fortunate we all started all of our school improvement projects when we did.” Hillcrest cost about $120 million, Wilcox said, a 34% increase from early estimates. Even the best-laid plans didn’t always go as expected, Wilcox said. “We’ve even had a bit of trouble tearing down the old building, so maybe it’s more seismically safe than we thought,” he said, adding that the new building was constructed in phases to allow students to continue learning in their former school through the end of this past school year. Then, Wilcox, added to cheers and applause, “This building we’ll almost guarantee will keep the bats out,” making reference to recent years when a colony of bats nested in the auditorium and made frequent visits during classes. In fact, it was during a Halloween music concert when bats flew around the auditorium during a spooky instrumental song and a visitor wondered how Hillcrest was able to time that, amazed at its theatrical enhancement during the concert.

Hillcrest High’s vocal ensemble, under the direction of Ranae Dagleish, sang the school song at the official ribboncutting of the new high school. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

Two of the performing arts groups were highlighted during the ribbon-cutting. Hillcrest’s marching band, making its return debut performance, played the national anthem, fight song and others and the award-winning vocal ensemble sang the school song, “Through All the Seasons of the Year.” Marr had come to campus earlier to see his old room one last time, but it was too late. Much of the 59-year-old building was in rubble, with only the auditorium tower expected to be in place until mid-day on the first day of school, Aug. 16.

“This [new] school is absolutely stupendous. The architecture is so much wiser than others as it incorporates the mountain views from both sides of the school, the safety of being able to see down the hallways and the compactness of having everything you need right here,” Marr said. Leavitt, who was born the same year as the former school, reminded the community that the first four-story high school in the state was built for the view of the Wasatch and Oquirrh mountain ranges. “We built this school on the concept of

a view,” he said, encouraging people to look not just at the view in front of them, but one of the future. “Hillcrest will be here a long time. You’ll see state championships, you’ll see academic accomplishments, you’ll see strong students come out to run their community. That’s the view Hillcrest will have. It’s more than just a view. It’s what people will be. Hillcrest High School will help with its great teachers and families that come here to Hillcrest will produce amazing results — not only in this community, but worldwide.” l

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September 2021 | Page 5

St. Therese of the Child Catholic Church dedicates new statue By Sarah Morton Taggart | s.taggart@mycityjournals.com


n Sept. 14, 2020, the parish community of St. Therese of the Child Jesus Catholic Church discovered that the beloved statue of their patron saint had been destroyed in an act of vandalism. Eleven months later to the day, a crowd gathered to celebrate the dedication of a new statue. “Our hearts were shattered,” said Ana Alamo of Murray, a member of the parish council who has attended services at St. Therese for more than a decade. “Our faith was shaken. When it happened we were under quarantine. There was so much divisiveness going on. It was a scary time.” The statue had been pushed off its podium in a deliberate act, though parishioners don’t feel that it was a hate crime. “When it happened, we weren’t allowed here for services,” said Terri Mueller, another member of the parish council. “Our parishioners aren’t used to donating online and we couldn’t meet in person to do a fund raiser. We were struggling just to pay the bills, and then this happened.” Galey Colosimo, the principal of Juan Diego Catholic High School, heard about the destroyed statue and sent a team to see how they could help. “Juan Diego involved the students,”

said Alamo. “They held pep rallies and had a spirit week with a contest to see which class could bring in the most money.” Thanks to the efforts of Juan Diego and donations from other parishes and individuals, St. Therese dedicated a new statue in front of the church Aug. 14. Around 100 people gathered to witness the blessing of the new statue. Rev. José Barrera, the parish administrator, gave a welcome and led those assembled in prayer and song. April van der Sluys, the advancement coordinator for Juan Diego, oversaw the efforts to find, fund and place the new statue. “I was so moved by Father José quoting of St. Therese when she said, ‘After my death, I will let fall a shower of roses,’ van der Sluys said. “It’s my belief that St. Therese so lovingly placed Juan Diego Catholic High School and the schools at the Skaggs Catholic Center to be the ‘roses’ for Father José, André and the parish community of St. Therese. With roses also having great significance to St. Juan Diego and our school community, we feel equally blessed to be able to help this wonderful parish community.” Dave Brunetti, director of campus life at Juan Diego, selected the statue from

The broken pieces of the original statue will be restored and placed elsewhere in the church. (Sarah Morton Taggart/City Journals)

among several choices. “We wanted one that was beautiful and would weather well,” Brunetti said. The statue was made in Italy by Demetz Art Studios. The original was carved in wood, then cast in bronze. The version that

now stands in front of St. Therese is made from a composite of marble and fiberglass that was hand-painted. “It’s almost indestructible. It will outlive us all many times over,” said Jim Markosian, facilities director at Juan Diego.

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Markosian brought in a landscape company to build a base for the statue surrounded by a decorative fence, rocks and flowers. Juan Diego also paid to have new fencing, lights and security cameras installed around the campus at 7832 S. Allen St. that also includes a social hall and historic chapel. “It was a corner area that’s easy for people to cross through,” said André Sicard, a Sandy resident and parishioner who is studying to become a priest at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. “There hasn’t been trouble since the fence was put up.” Sicard joined van der Sluys in unveiling the statue during the dedication ceremony. “It’s so amazing to walk out of the church and see St. Therese again,” Mueller said. “What they did for us…it just touched my heart that they cared so much. It showed us that we’re a bigger community. As tragic as it was, it brought a lot of blessings. It showed that we all care about each other.” The broken pieces of the original statue were displayed in the church lobby during the dedication ceremony. The figure will be restored and placed elsewhere in the church as a reminder of what happened. “As part of the St. Therese parish community, we deeply thank all of those who gave of their time, talent and treasure for the statue and the success of today’s celebration,” Alamo said in her word of thanks to conclude the dedication. “As St. Therese said, ‘remember that nothing is small in the eyes of God. Do all that you do with love.’” l

Bishop Oscar Solís blesses the new statue at St. Therese of the Child Jesus Catholic Church on Aug. 14. (Sarah Morton Taggart/City Journals)

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Harvest Days returns in full force with old favorites and new activities By Sarah Morton Taggart | s.taggart@mycityjournals.com


020 put Harvest Days on hiatus, but this year residents were able to gather again. 2021 marked the return of the full Midvale Harvest Days celebration, complete with a parade, bingo night, food booths, concerts and more. “While we always cherish this annual celebration, this year is particularly pertinent by the ongoing pandemic, whose dwindling seems finally in sight,” said Mayor Robert Hale. “Some things will go back to the way they were before, and some won’t. But it’s a wonderful opportunity to safely gather to celebrate what makes Midvale such a wonderful and connected community.” Neighborhood block parties took place July 27, Aug. 2 and 3. The block party on Millerberg Drive drew neighbors out of their homes with the sounds of a live band and the smells of hot dogs being grilled. The Unified Fire Authority parked an engine nearby for children to examine, and the firefighters joined residents in a game of tug of war. The Unified Police Department joined the firefighters in the fun during bingo night, which took place Aug. 5 in the new pavilion at Midvale City Park. Police Chief Randy Thomas served as the celebrity bingo caller. The Midvale Arts Council presented pop rock cover band Exit Strategy Aug. 6. In another departure from previous years, this concert was performed on a temporary stage constructed on Main Street, rather than the park. Traffic was diverted to make way for pedestrians, and food vendors and games lined the street, creating a festival atmosphere. The festivities concluded Aug. 7 with the parade and music, activities and vendors at Midvale City Park. Even baby goat yoga was back. Some new activities included tours of the Midvale Historical Society Museum, which relocated to the community center at the park earlier this year, and disc golf clinics on the brand new disc golf course. To Laura Magness, chair of the Harvest Days Committee, the highlight of this year’s events was the many ways that celebrated Midvale’s diverse community. The parade included dancers, charros and representatives from the Mexican Consulate and the Wat Munisrirattanir Lao Buddhist temple. The afternoon stage performances included Ballet de Colores and 1520 Arts, a nonprofit hip hop dance group. Some residents questioned the wisdom of holding public events in light of the recent resurgence of COVID-19 and the Delta variant. “As one of the decision makers who gave the green light to all Harvest Days festivities this year, including the parade, rest assured that we have followed all CDC guidelines for over a year and a half and have allowed the science to provide a logical path to reopening the city when it was safe to do so,” said Midvale City Council member Dustin Gettel in a Facebook post. “We canceled every single Harvest Days event last year because of the pandemic, and doing so again would have been an extreme blow to the morale of our city, and quite frankly, would have required us to ignore the consensus from the medical and scientific communities that outdoor events are entirely safe to attend.” COVID-19 accommodations included limiting the number of booth vendors, adding additional hand washing stations and signage encouraging attendees to spread out. “We limited our advertising to ensure the crowds weren’t huge,” Magness said. “We had a perfect turnout. Everyone was so energetic, positive and enjoyed getting

Page 8 | September 2021

Neighbors play tug of war at a Harvest Days block party July 27. (Sarah Morton Taggart/City Journals)

The Unified Police Department joined the firefighters in the fun during bingo night, which took place Aug. 5 in the new pavilion at Midvale City Park. (Photo courtesy Laura Magness)

together safely to celebrate our community.” Still, challenges emerged. “Many of the vendors we purchased services from are not yet fully staffed,” Magness said. “And our public works team had the extra challenge of preparing for Harvest Days while cleaning up debris from the severe thunderstorm. They worked long hours and did an incredible job.” An additional environmental factor was smoke from wildfires in California and Oregon, causing the air to be

Fireworks at Midvale City Park concluded the 2021 Midvale Harvest Days. (Photo courtesy Amanda Isaacs)

dangerous for sensitive groups. Still, the week-long celebration ended with a 20-minute fireworks show at Midvale City Park. “It was great to see the city return to some sense of normalcy after more than a year of canceled events due to the pandemic,” said City Council member Dustin Gettel. “The block parties, parade, concerts and fireworks were all very well attended and prove that our community was ready to get back out and enjoy the excitement and tradition of Harvest Days.” l

Midvale City Journal

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Nine years without a cold? By Priscilla Schnarr


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September 2021 | Page 9

UWLP survey shows women in the workforce are struggling


By Peri Kinder | peri.k@davisjournal.com

f there’s one good thing about COVID-19, it might be that the pandemic illuminated the challenges that women face in the workforce, especially with childcare. As schools and daycare facilities closed at the beginning of the pandemic, women bore a disproportionate share of the burden as they tried to keep their heads above water by juggling job responsibilities, homeschooling kids and taking care of housework. Salt Lake County resident Heather Stewart felt the struggle firsthand when her office shut down, schools closed and she was stuck trying to homeschool two elementary school-aged children while keeping up with her full-time job. “It was hard to get done what I needed to for work and be present for my kids,” she said. “I felt stretched in every direction. My daughter got behind in math. I knew it was happening, I could see it happening but I didn’t have the energy to do anything about it. I was so burned out.” Dr. Susan Madsen, Founding Director of the Utah Women & Leadership Project, said she thinks it’s time to start a conversation about supporting women in their roles as business leaders and mothers. “Finally, the pandemic is opening the eyes of some legislators,” Madsen said. “Lt. Governor [Deidre] Henderson is on this and she knows we need to support our families.” More than 3,500 women responded to a survey sent out by the UWLP, asking them to share challenges they’ve faced during the pandemic in regard to caregiving, career advancement, homeschool experiences and burnout. The results showed 16% of women had some type of withdrawal from the workplace, whether it was a lay-off, the company closed, their hours were cut or they were furloughed. For

Page 10 | September 2021

another 12%, women saw their workload increase by moving from part-time to full-time or by taking on more responsibility. “We had women who just couldn’t do it. They couldn’t watch their toddler and teach their 3-year-old and manage their departments,” Madsen said. “Teachers really took the brunt. They weren’t being appreciated and put in so much more.” Madsen shared an example of a teacher who was sick with COVID but was still teaching online. There was nobody to fill in for her and she couldn’t let her students down. Childcare workers were also heavily impacted by COVID. The ones who responded to the survey expressed frustration at being disrespected and unseen. They don’t want to do it anymore. “In every case, they felt they were trying to take care of essential workers’ kids while worrying about spreading the virus to other children who might take it home to a parent or grandparent,” Madsen said. While national and global reports show the majority of workers were adversely affected by the pandemic, women seemed to be affected disproportionately. When Stewart was asked to participate at an in-person meeting for her job, all the men could be there, but she couldn’t attend without finding childcare. “Why was I the only one who had to stay home with the kids?” she said. “It’s such an entrenched part of how our society operates. My workplace was actually great and very understanding. It’s just how things shake out. But it’s how things always shake out.” The survey found similar results for women trying to balance working from home with teaching children. Mothers did the lion’s share of the work to keep everything together.

A survey conducted by the Utah Women & Leadership Project shows women have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

“It was really the moms that took a beating,” Madsen said. “Only 24% of respondents said they had a supportive spouse or partner. The hard thing about work is it’s societal. You have to change society. We've been socialized from the time we’re born to believe that men should be leaders.” Madsen wants to start the discussion with legislators about improving the workplace for women by enhancing leave policies, creating flexible schedules and helping moms with childcare support. The UWLP will host a free, online fireside chat with Henderson on Friday, Oct. 1 at noon to tackle these topics. The event will be livestreamed to reach as many people as possible. Madsen hopes men will also listen to the conversation. Visit UTWomen.org for more information about this discussion with the lieutenant governor who has secured the reputation for being an advocate for women. “I feel called to do this work,” Madsen said. “It’s not women versus men. What lifts women, lifts men, too. More people are listening but more people need to join the conversation.”l

Midvale City Journal

Center Stage at the Midvale Performing Arts Center renamed to honor JoAnn Seghini By Sarah Morton Taggart | s.taggart@mycityjournals.com


oAnn Seghini made such a positive impact on Midvale during her lifetime that she was honored for it — twice. Every year, the Midvale Arts Council celebrates impactful Midvale residents and names them to the Hall of Honors. Seghini is the awardee for both 2020 and 2021. The auditorium in the Midvale Performing Arts Center has also been named in her honor. The induction ceremony took place on Aug. 4, which would have been Seghini’s 84th birthday. Current Midvale mayor, Robert Hale, led the audience in a rousing version of the “Happy Birthday Song” to mark the occasion. Seghini died on June 19, 2020 as a result of causes incident to old age. The Midvale Arts Council board of directors voted for Seghini to be included in the Hall of Honors earlier that year. Wade Walker, president of the board of directors, had the chance to tell Seghini about their decision before she died and Walker reports that Seghini was pleased to be included with prior inductees. Her own father, Benedict Grant Bagley, was inducted in 1987. Bagley and his wife, Marie Pehrson Bagley, moved to Midvale in 1938, when Seghini was just one year old. She enjoyed growing up in Midvale and even got her first job serving milkshakes and malts at Vincent Drug on Main Street. Seghini later earned a degree in education from the University of Utah and taught at local elementary schools for more than 10 years. She continued her own education, receiving a master’s degree and Ph.D. while raising two sons as a single mother. She retired from education and served three terms on the Midvale City Council before being elected mayor in 1998. Seghini was the first female to hold either of those positions. She served as mayor for nearly 20 years while also volunteering for numerous boards and local organization. She had a special love for music and the arts, frequently attending the opera. The unanimous resolution to name the auditorium after Seghini makes it clear what an impact the mayor had on the city. The resolution states that “JoAnn B. Seghini encouraged everyone to be a good neighbor, support the arts, support the schools, and work together for the betterment of the community.” Also, “JoAnn B. Seghini was a staunch supporter of the arts and providing quality entertainment at little or no charge to Midvale residents, particularly those in disadvantaged situa-


Current mayor Robert Hale (left) and Steve Seghini hold the plaque that now hangs outside the JoAnn B. Seghini Memorial Auditorium in the Midvale Performing Arts Center. (Photo courtesy Stephanie Johnson)

tions.” Stephanie Johnson, Midvale Arts Volunteer Council president, conducted the event and officially inducted Mayor Seghini into the Hall of Honors. During the ceremony, Steve Seghini spoke about his mother’s love of Midvale and about how important being a teacher was to her. Mayor Hale’s comments mentioned how instrumental Seghini was in annexing the Fort Union area and bring Utopia fiberoptic internet to the city. Former Midvale city manager Kane Loader also spoke and shared memories of working with Mayor Seghini. “She was universally respected among her peers,” Loader said. “Very often other political figures would try to get her on their side because they knew if they had Mayor Seghini on their side, their cause was more likely to pass.” One of those causes was converting the vacant former city hall building at 695 W. Center St. into a performing arts center. Over the nearly 20 years since, the building has been the venue for countless performances including plays, musical productions and improv comedy shows as well as the annual Hall of Honors ceremony. To conclude the evening, Johnson and Hale declared that the space would now officially be known as the “JoAnn B. Seghini Memorial Auditorium.” l

Former Midvale Mayor JoAnn Seghini hugs former City Manager Kane Loader as he is recognized for service to the city. Loader spoke at the induction ceremony. (File photo courtesy Kane Loader)

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September 2021 | Page 11

Area high school principals reflect on lessons learned from COVID-19


igh school students aren’t the only ones who research, study and learn from their lessons. This past 18 months, most every high school principal had a crash course in how to operate a school successfully and keep students engaged and learning during a pandemic. Now, even as a new variant of COVID-19 emerges, administrators took time to look at some of the lessons they’ve learned in addition to overall improved technology and incorporating it into teaching and learning. Cottonwood High Assistant Principal Jeremy Brooks saw faculty and staff members bond more through the pandemic. “I feel like staff members have been willing to be more vulnerable with each other, which has helped foster relationships within the school,” he said. “Having a sense of belonging can help us achieve our collective vision of cultivating excellence and fostering a global community.” Former Jordan High Principal Wendy Dau echoed those sentiments. “I think the most important thing is that we really came together as a school community,” she said. “We understood that the expectations for everyone increased, and we tried to help one another out and to be appreciative of the contributions of everyone as we tried to have as normal of a school year as possible. I think we learned to be more flexible, and that the new norm was change.” Administrators also found people willing to help, including parents and those in the public and private sectors. “What was really interesting was how many parents stopped by and recognized all that our teachers were doing,” Dau said. “We had doughnuts delivered. We had treats and oranges and thank you notes dropped in teachers’ boxes. While certainly there were many who were critical of the restrictions, for the most part, our parents were super supportive and actually took the time to write positive emails thanking staff members for their efforts and expressing that they understood that we were in a tough spot as we navigated the new norm.” She also appreciated donations from businesses for masks and hygiene items which were “super helpful.” At Cottonwood, there was a greater help from community businesses and community members in terms of food, clothing, and entertainment (card games, board games, decorations, puzzles and more), Brooks said. “Our food pantry saw an overabundance of food that we were able to give to local families that were in need. We also saw the greatest display of our Christmas Extravaganza that we hold each year right before the holidays. Students were in awe of the things they were able to take home for their family,” he said. Brighton High Principal Tom Sherwood

Page 12 | September 2021

By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com appreciated the help his school received not only from the PTA and seminary next door, but also from the community. “We had plenty of people asking how they can help and be of service,” he said. “I think everyone just wanted to lighten the load.” Murray High School Principal Scott Wihongi was grateful for his community. “We had several donations from Kids Eat that provided extra food for our students throughout the year, as well as goody bags for all faculty and staff,” he said. “We also had a company donate $10,000 in cash to be used for highly impacted families. We had several families lose a parent to COVID, so the donations were gratefully received.” Even with the community support, there were some lessons principals learned. “We’ve recognized the need to have student engagement specialists to help connect students more readily to school,” Dau said. “We lost a lot of students as a result of online education in that they didn’t engage with their learning for an entire year. We are now putting in place support staff to help with this, which is a resource that should likely continue. We have increased our social and emotional supports for students, which should absolutely be continued.” Sherwood added that there were more students who were credit deficient than before the pandemic because they weren’t engaged as much in school because of remote options. So, this past summer, “we’ve had a bigger effort with student remediation.” Wihongi also saw a need to increase student engagement after these past 18 months. “I think we underestimated the number of students that would not show up to school, even though they could. Many went missing, and many took advantage of the hybrid attendance and curriculum even though they were not doing well academically and should have been in class,” he said, adding that his teachers are focused to re-establishing relationships and student engagement in what he hopes will be a more normal year. Brooks, too, said re-establishing those student relationships is an important part of his school’s attention. “We are in the process of accreditation this year and our focus will be literacy and relationships. In previous years we’ve had elements of each of those in our professional development, but it has been a focal point this year,” he said. Dau said there was a rocky start to the quick adaption to online learning “because information was just coming at us so fast and was changing so quickly.” However, one area her school could have improved was “in communicating effectively and in a timely manner to families where English is not their first language. We got much better at it as the year progressed,

Hillcrest High provided face masks and hand sanitizer stations at its school during 2020-21. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

but it could still be better.” Some positives, in addition to more personalized learning whether it’s online, in person or a hybrid, was online ticketing for athletic events, performing arts shows and concerts, school dances and more, said Wihongi, as well as Sherwood, who both said those services will continue past the pandemic. “The pandemic forced us to online ticketing, and streaming for events, as well as demonstrated the importance of in-person learning. It was clear that nothing can replace the direct instruction and help of a teacher, counselor or mentor,” Wihongi said, adding that the school will likely continue with sanitary practices like hand sanitizing, mask wearing when sick and possibly contagious with a cold, and air purifying as all classrooms are equipped with a purifier. Corner Canyon Principal Darrell Jensen said his school will continue to have air filtration, hand sanitation stations around the school and directional walking in the hallways. While things were “spinning on a dime” during the pandemic, Jensen said he felt schools rose to the occasion with the test to stay. “I felt the community and the students were very supportive and understanding why we had to do that and that’s still on the table, in fact, if we get to a 2% threshold, then we’ll have to do tests to stay,” he said. Wihongi, too, said that COVID-19 test-

ing, tracing and protocols improved during the year and can be quickly put in place if necessary. Sherwood appreciated not only the emphasis placed on academics, but also athletics. “I hope people recognize how unique Utah was amongst other states. Utah was one of only five states in the country that played all their state championships in every sport last year. There was a lot of effort to pull that off…to make sure the kids got the experience they want and deserve to have,” he said. Dau saw students appreciate the efforts made by teachers and others. “I think our students did a great job of showing their appreciation for all that the school did to try to make the school year as normal as possible. It was such a hard adjustment with no dances and several extracurricular activities canceled, but when they finally got to participate in these, they were so kind and so appreciative because they understood how lucky they were,” she said. Jensen said that overall, everyone has become more grateful. “I learned, ‘don’t take it for granted,’” he said. “Don’t take being at school or being in your workplace or being with your colleagues for granted because when the schools shut down, there was no life in the building. It wasn’t a good feeling; I missed the excitement and livelihood that students and teachers bring to this place. So then, it was just a big empty building. It’s not good.” l

Midvale City Journal

School districts face rising costs in construction materials


his fall, Aspen Elementary opened its doors to elementary school children in the Daybreak community. The Jordan School District school was completed this summer, after holding its groundbreaking days before COVID-19 spiked in Utah in March 2020. Like many construction projects around the area, shortages of materials and labor were constantly monitored along with the rising costs of supplies, such as wood—and even wood glue, said Dave Rostrom, District director of facility services. In fact, Bingham High’s upstairs remodeling project was delayed because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, so the start of school was moved to online, the first time a Jordan District project wasn’t completed on time, he said. “It’s a really large project this summer that we were trying to accomplish and that plays into it a little bit, plus we’ve run into labor shortages and the supply chain on all our projects, which has been very difficult,” Rostrom said, adding that scarcities have ranged from HVAC components to whiteboards and hardware for doors. “I think a lot of the factories shut down and they’re still trying to get caught up from orders after they shut down. There’s been a big shortage of truck drivers and a lot of companies that have material are struggling to get things shipped.” However, the Aspen Elementary contract had already been awarded to Hughes General Contractors; its overall cost was $18.5 million. It was designed by VCBO Architecture, the same design used in other Jordan elementaries, including Golden Fields, Antelope Canyon, Bastian, Mountain Point and Ridge View. “The (Jordan) Board (of Education) has asked us to do a repeat on our buildings because we kind of get them down to a science. There’s no or very little change orders because we’ve built it so many times that we’ve got all the bugs worked out of the design. It saves a lot of money when we do a repeat building,” he said. The District currently is working off of two elementary school designs, a one-story and a two-story, which can save additional dollars; two middle school plans and one for the high school. Even so, Jordan factors in 8% construction inflation per year. “Every time we hit a mark, it’s basically we were paying an additional 8%. That can vary, it’s all supply and demand. I would say this last year, it’s probably been a little higher,” he said, adding that costs also would include projects such as leveling slopes before building schools. Currently, an elementary in Herriman with the exact same floor plan is under construction; just two years behind Aspen, its price tag is $19,950,000, right at the mark—a


By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com 7.8% increase from Aspen Elementary’s cost. “I do have a concern on the elementary that we’re building out in Herriman now because you don’t know what’s going to be delayed,” he said about the school that is scheduled to open fall 2022. “Hopefully, these factories are able to start getting back up on top of their orders.” Rostrom said it’s school officials who decide upon projects and what to do with rising costs. “That’s when our school board has to determine what we do,” he said, adding that fewer projects may be considered. “There’s been some years where we wanted to do X amount of projects and because costs come in higher, we’ve had to eliminate projects or postpone.” Fortunately, Jordan District already owns property when the Board decides to build additional schools, so they aren’t looking at high land costs, he said. While Jordan has 13 construction projects underway, the Herriman elementary is the only new build. Other schools are undergoing renovations, expansions or installation of security doors. Nearby Canyons School District also is facing escalating costs with several new construction projects underway. Officials just held ribbon-cuttings for two rebuilt high schools and a renovation of a third, days before school opened Aug. 16. They also held three ribbon-cuttings for two elementaries and a middle school this past spring. Initially, when the $283-million bond was passed in November 2019, Hillcrest’s rebuild was estimated at $85 million, said its principal Greg Leavitt, and Brighton’s rebuild was $87 million, its principal, Tom Sherwood said. Now, the price tags are higher. “We thought early on, they could be around $90 (million), but that quickly turned on us. Hillcrest will be about $121 million, and Brighton will be about $117 (million),” said Leon Wilcox, Canyons chief financial officer and business administrator. “We’re hearing (new) high schools now can be close to $150 (million in Utah).” That’s about a 34% increase of cost on Hillcrest and a 30% on Brighton. At Alta High, renovations were first expected to cost $38.5 million and resulted in about $57 million, he added. Canyons Superintendent Rick Robins said that “rebuilding a high school is quite an undertaking. Tackling two is ambitious. But remaking three all at once is something for the record books. The pace at which construction costs are soaring shows no signs of slowing. With those costs, other inflationary pressures and Utah’s labor shortage, it’s fortunate we started all of our school improvements when we did.” This summer, Canyons Board of Educa-

tion started taking the steps to approve $38 million in lease revenue bonds to cover expenses, Wilcox said, adding that it is a customary practice in cities and some school districts to take out a loan or a bond, sell bonds, and repay it out of capital funds. “So, it will impact our future things we can do, but we promised the public we were going to complete these projects. We had three schools—Union (Middle), Peruvian Park and Edgemont (elementaries)—that were seismically unsafe and we really needed to replace and rebuild those so that’s why we’re doing what we’re doing right now on issuing these bonds,” he said. “If we didn’t do this, we would have to wait about two to four years to complete Glacier Hills, Peruvi-

an and Union and we just didn’t feel like that was the right thing to do.” A future Draper elementary school also is figured into the numbers, Wilcox said. “We feel like we’re in a very good position with our buildings,” he said. “We put a lot in the last decade. We’ve done basically 20 projects. We’ve got our high schools all modernized, all our middle schools with the exception of Eastmont all brand new or renovated. So, all our secondary schools are taken care of and around six of our elementaries are brand new with a few of them, just a few years older than that. These bonds will take up to 16% to 18% of our capital allotment or balance each year. We still have 80% to keep these buildings modern and functioning.” l

With the rising cost of materials and labor, Jordan School District officials estimate an 8% increase in construction prices annually. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

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September 2021 | Page 13

Keep an eye out for new outdoor murals in Midvale By Erin Dixon | e.dixon@mycityjournals.com


n the next year, expect three new pieces of art around the city. Midvale is funding three outdoor murals and aims to complete them before summer 2022. The city originally approved the project to start last year, but pulled the plug in March 2020 with the quarantine mandate. Officials set aside $4,500 to pay for the murals. In August this year, the city began its search for artists and businesses. Kate Andrus, community development executive assistant, presented the plan to the Midvale City Council in late July. “Applications will be reviewed by the committee, [including a] council member, redevelopment agency rep., city planner, city communications and community development director,” Andrus said. If an owner accepts a mural on their façade, they must agree to maintain it for five years. Artists must provide a design sketch with the application so the committee can approve content. “It can’t reflect partisan politics, it can’t contain sexual or religious content or express a commercial aspect through logos, slogans or other advertising messages,” Andrus said. Councilmember Heidi Robinson was concerned about loose definitions of religion and politics. “That kind of seems broad, because you see...those angel wings, those are a really big thing. But I think that also is a broad religious spectrum as well,” Robinson said. Committee members will decide what specific details are included in the art. Councilmember Dustin Gettel is excited for the project to begin. “If we can spend $4,500 to get three murals, I think that’s money well spent,” Gettel said. “It’s like when you do the small projects around the house that actually add the most value to your house than putting in a pool.” l

This is an example of mural art. Pieces of art will appear on Midvale buildings in the next year. (Photo by Jonne Huotari on Unsplash)

This is an example of mural art. Pieces of art will appear on Midvale buildings in the next year. (Photo by Samuel Regan-Asante on Unsplash)

Page 14 | September 2021

Midvale City Journal

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

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 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

I have a calendar in my office with Western scenes that illustrate insights into the life of cowboys, horses, and life on the range. For the month of September, the Tim Cox artwork shows five mounted cowboys out on a late summer/early fall hardscape in the late afternoon. By the dress of three in shirtsleeves, it isn’t an early morning ride with the full moon in the west; but rather a mild post-sunset afternoon clop, clop return to the ranch house picturing a threesome verbally reviewing the work of the day and perhaps planning tomorrow’s workload. As this year passes out of another unforgettable summer, and as we prepare for the lovely fall weather, for which this part of the Great Basin is renowned, it’s good to slow down and reflect on our work in the elements, with our workmates, and appreciate each good, productive “day.” Plans easily roll off our tongues as we look forward to this month of September as the weeks roll toward cooler weather (maybe even with increased precipitation), perhaps a good harvest from our vegetable plots, perhaps even some good ballgames. Summer wear will be tossed, stored away for next May-June, or donated to collection agencies to be recycled to the benefit of others less fortunate. I personally hope to see less “Help Wanted” signs in our local businesses – not because businesses close down, but because the desire to be employed, to earn and use good income from employment to benefit family, self, and society increases –

By Mayor Robert Hale

as more and more employable come work for the benefit of themselves and society. And what of another favorite topic: Education. It makes a big difference in everyone’s life when each person learns skills that can be shared with customers, employers, neighbors, family, and friends. Undereducated citizens are soon displaced by AI (artificial intelligence), machinery, electro-tools, or left behind because they are unprepared for the future as commerce and industry advances beyond their current or former skills. Continuing education, whether formal or informal, is an absolute requisite to find value in the future. Never stop learning! Learn a new skill or a new tool. Learn a new language: if you know Spanish, learn English better; if you know English, learn Spanish, French, Portuguese. Or why not learn English better? Never stop learning! The day a bird stops learning, it gets caught by a predator; the day a businessperson stops learning, a competitor advances right into their territory or product line and whisks away their customer’s cash flow. There are so many examples! You’ve seen our young students on the streets– school has started up again. Your driving skills must be ever alert at certain hours of the day and in certain locations in city traffic. Drive defensively! Drive like your mother or father instructed you from the passenger seat while she/he sat there white-knuckled as you were learning the pedals, gear shift knob, mirrors, dials and observing everything going on inside and outside the glass bubble of the vehicle that a driver commands. You are precious and we want you home every night!

UTOPIA Fiber Has Fully Connected Midvale City

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


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


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


Roger Timmerman, CEO, UTOPIA Fiber announced happily today that every address in Midvale, Utah can sign up for service, completing UTOPIA Fiber’s high-speed fiber network throughout the thriving Salt Lake City suburb. Now, all 35,000 residents, anchor institutions, and businesses in Midvale can access the fastest residential and business internet speeds in the United States. Notably, Midvale City, is one of the original 11 cities that founded the UTOPIA Fiber network. “Completing Midvale City is especially gratifying because its city leaders shared UTOPIA Fiber’s vision of a net-neutral, fiber-connected future. At the time, residential fiber networks were virtually unheard of in the United States, so my predecessors had to pioneer many modern-day best practices through trial and error,” explained Timmerman. “Now, much of the key learnings gleaned from building UTOPIA Fiber’s original cities, like Midvale, are influencing national broadband policy and innovative funding mechanisms,” he added. Today, UTOPIA Fiber is laying approximately 45 miles of fiber conduit every few weeks and is fully building cities in months, not years. Investors have taken notice as UTOPIA Fiber—through its financial arm Utah Infrastructure Agency (UIA)—has raised nearly $300 million in the last decade, with over $100 million in the last 15 months alone. A portion of a $52 million capital raised in February was used to quickly complete Midvale City.

“The people of Midvale City are reaping the rewards of sticking with UTOPIA Fiber through the network’s early years,” said Robert Hale, Mayor of Midvale City. “Midvale residents and businesses not only have access to the fastest speeds in the nation, they also have access to Smart City services like free public WiFi, and UTOPIA Fiber’s revolutionary air quality monitoring and early-wildfire detection systems.” Midvale City joins a long list of Utah cities that UTOPIA Fiber has completed including Brigham City, Centerville, Morgan, Perry, Layton, Lindon, Tremonton, West Point, and Woodland Hills. According to Timmerman, the network has an extensive pipeline of upcoming fiber projects throughout the state. “The mission is plain and simple: Enhance quality-of-life by connecting everyone to high-speed fiber, and that’s exactly what we’ve done,” he said. Today, UTOPIA Fiber provides fiber-to-the-home services in 16 cities, and commercial services in over 50. It operates as an Open Access network, meaning that UTOPIA Fiber builds the infrastructure and allows private sector ISPs to offer net-neutral internet services through public fiber lines. Service starts at $65/month for 250/250 Mbps and residents have the option to choose speeds up to 10 Gbps (up to 100 Gbps for business) from 15 local providers—the fastest internet speeds in the nation.

Shre d ding Ev ent Saturday, September September 11, 11, 2021 2021 Saturday,

9:00 a.m. a.m. toWWW 11:00 a.m. September 11, 2021 .MIDVALECITY .ORG In The Middle of EverythingSaturday, 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. 9:00City a.m. to (Parking 11:00 a.m. Midvale Hall Lot) Midvale City Hall (Parking Lot) 7505 S S Holden Street Lot) Midvale City Hall (Parking 7505 Holden Street

- W as a s te te and E -W S h r e dd d d i n g Ev E ve n t Sh 11, 2021 2021 Saturday, September 11, a.m. 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

(Parking Lot) Lot) Midvale City Hall (Parking Holden Street Street 7505 S Holden

7505 Sentrance Holden(Holden Street Enter from the southwest Street) and exit Enter from the southwest entrance (Holden Street) and exit out from of thethe southeast entrance onto Main Street. Enter southwest entranceonto (Holden Street) and exit out of the southeast entrance Main Street. out of the southeast entrance onto Main Street.

Acceptable items items Acceptable Acceptable items

Documents Documents Cell Documents Phones Cell Cell Phones Phones Computers & Laptops Computers & Laptops Computers & Laptops Keyboards Keyboards Keyboards iPods/MP3 Players iPods/MP3 Players iPods/MP3 Players Hard Drives Drives HardHard Drives Stereos/DVD Players Stereos/DVD Players Stereos/DVD Players Fax Fax Machines Machines Fax Machines

NOT Accepted Accepted NOT NOT Accepted Televisions Televisions Televisions CRT Monitors CRT CRTMonitors Monitors Cracked LCDs Cracked CrackedLCDs LCDs Printers Printers Printers

This program isisstrictly for Midvale This programis strictlyfor for Midvale Midvale This program strictly residents and their residential items residents and their residential items residents and their residential items

Questions? CallCall 801-567-7235 Questions? 801-567-7235 Questions? Call 801-567-7235

Monday through Thursday, 6:30 a.m. 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 6:30 a.m. to to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 6:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Enter from the southwest southwest entrance entrance (Holden (Holden Street) Street) and and exit exit southeast entrance entrance onto onto Main Main Street. Street. out of the southeast

Acceptable items Documents Cell Phones Laptops Computers & Laptops Keyboards Players iPods/MP3 Players Hard Drives Stereos/DVD Players Players Fax Machines

NOT Accepted Accepted NOT Televisions Televisions CRT Monitors Monitors CRT Cracked LCDs LCDs Cracked Printers Printers This program program is is strictly strictly for for Midvale Midvale This residents and and their their residential residential items items residents

801-567-7235 Questions? Call 801-567-7235 Thursday, 6:30 6:30 a.m. a.m. to to 5:00 5:00 p.m. p.m. Monday through Thursday,

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


Water and Sewer Rate Increase After careful analysis and discussion, Midvale City passed a water and sewer rate increase effective with September 2021 billings. For water customers, the actual increase depends on water consumption and service area. An “average” residential water user will see an increase of $1 to $5 per month. Larger water users (such as commercial and multi-family apartment complexes) will see increases ranging from $66 to $83 per month for water. Sewer rates will increase 10%. Why is this Increase Needed? The City hired an independent engineering firm to create a Drinking Water System Master Plan, which looked at the current and future needs of the water system. The Plan identified over $23 million in projects, along with another $2 million in annual needs for existing system replacement (such as pipes). Currently, sewer rates do not cover improvements needed for the system. After this Plan was created, the City hired a separate consultant to perform a Comprehensive Water and Sewer Financial Sustainability Plan to develop a model to fund the needed improvements. Both water and sewer systems have served the City well for many decades, and the City wants to make sure both systems service current and future residents for decades to come. How does the New Water Structure Work? The new water rate structure still has a “base” fee, which is charged regardless of the amount of water used and does not include an allowance for water usage. Water usage is now charged based on four “tiers” (instead of just a “peak” and “off peak” rate), with the cost of water going up as more water is used. Simply put, the more water used, the more that is charged for water. This type of rate structure encourages conservation and allows users more control over the effect of the rate increase.

What Other Alternatives did the City Look at? The water and sewer rate review process began earlier this year and was discussed at four City Council meetings, the City Council budget retreat in April, and the Town Hall in August. The City looked at 4 different scenarios. To ease the overall increase, the City will put most of its American Rescue Plan Act funds from the Federal government towards water projects and will gradually increase repair and replacement funds up to the recommended $2 million per year. Where can I get More Information? The City’s website www.MidvaleCity.org/water contains all the information presented at the Town Hall. A “Frequently Asked Questions” flyer is also available on the website, which answers many common questions presented to the City. If you have any additional questions about the increases, please contact Utility Billing at (801) 567-7200.


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Midvale council sets goals on crime reduction, communication boost By Erin Dixon | e.dixon@mycityjournals.com


idvale City manager Matt Dahl presented the City Council goals to the public in July. These projects have been accounted for in the current budget and don’t require more money. A big goal is to “reduce crime on 7200 South corridor through enforcement, investment, development and engagement,” Dahl said. “We have...to do a fee study that we hope to use to encourage businesses throughout the city.” The next goal is to “enhance the appearance of public and private property through investment, incentives and enforcement,” Dahl said. “Our process has been a relatively soft process. We will be coming to you in the future with a plan for ways that may make it a little stricter process in order to get some of these weeds and junk dealt with in a faster fashion.” “This is a difficult one, every day I have someone call that they are mad at me because we are not hard enough on people who have weeds and junk, and the following call will be someone who is mad because we are too hard on people,” Dahl said. City Journals covered more on this topic

in this article: https://www.midvalejournal. com/2021/08/09/365037/midvale-city-addresses-resident-concerns-on-parks-andtraffic Communication with residents is another goal. “[We’re looking for] how to increase the information we’re sending out,” Dahl said. “Emails of what the results of a council meeting were, things like that. We have done some things that are new. We did signage in the streets and social media. We also had an interpreter [at the open house for water rates]. “Our hope is that we’ll continue to get more Spanish speakers.” Building a public recreation center is a long-term goal. “We have been in regular communication with Salt Lake County. [We’re in] meetings to make sure they are on track for the 2027 ZAP (Zoo, Arts & Parks) fund,” Dahl said. The city is also planning on improving active transportation with trails and bike lanes. This is not a complete list of Midvale City goals. More information on the July 20 city council meeting can be found on YouTube. l

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Midvale City set some goals this year, from communicating more with residents to improving bike lanes. (Photo/Midvale City)

Midvale City Journal

Hillcrest students celebrate withwhite lab coats, excel in new medical pathways program By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjourn


his fall, University of Utah pre-dental student and Hillcrest High School graduate Angie Jeffery may have a leg up on her classmates, thanks to the high school’s medical pathway program. Jeffery completed courses such as, intro to health sciences, biology, chemistry, physics, exercise sports medicine, medical anatomy, medical terminology and psychology to graduate in the program, capped by a white coat ceremony days before graduation. “It has given me a big step up,” she said. “The white coat ceremony is pretty cool. [The lab coat] has my name embroidered on it and I can wear it for med school. I’m pretty excited.” Jeffery and about 25 others who completed the medical pathway program and passed a state test, received honor cords and medallions to wear at Hillcrest’s commencement. In addition to coursework, students also create a community project, a service that they originate to give a lasting impact. Weeks before graduation, Jeffery was creating and distributing pamphlets for refugees, who may not be familiar with the American health system. She outlined common over-the-counter medicines and how to administer them for correct dosage, and worked with translators to translate it in several languages. Jeffery, who represented Hillcrest participating at state and nationals in Health Occupation Student Association— Future Health Professionals, was advised by Matt Hart, who oversees the program, which just completed its second year. “He’s so pumped about the program and has worked so hard to establish it and involve students. He’s right behind us every step, supporting us,” she said. Hart said that the courses outlined for students help them determine if a career in the medical field is something that interests them and streamlines their classwork. “They take several classes in core sciences and they have electives they can take, including things like CNA (certified nurse assistant) at CTEC, so when they leave school, they’ll have a pretty good foundation and skills that are marketable,” Hart said. “It’s pretty rigorous and aggressive. I’m excited because it’s multi-disciplinary. It’s a really exciting time to try and get students really motivated and thinking about these high-paying careers that have offered a lot of social mobility and stability that we need.


We’re hoping to turn out the next generation of health science professionals.” Hart started teaching at Hillcrest three years ago. During this tenure, he asked administrators if he could teach a health science course. After advertising, the classes filled. “Now, our classes are capped,” he said, adding that he later introduced medical terminology, anatomy and intro to health science careers that introduce students to fields such as forensic science and epidemiology. “We have a lot of students who want to be EMTs, or firefighters. I’ve got students who want to be researchers and others want to teach. Many plan to go to medical school and nursing.” He said two of his students have been motivated with the advancements of telemedicine, which with COVID-19 has become more commonplace. “What they’ve designed is an otoscope that examines the tympanic membrane of the ear drum and ear canal. It attaches to a smartphone so parents insert it into the child’s ear and then the app would analyze it to see whether or not they have a middle ear infection. Then, that could be uploaded to a telehealth service and the practitioner could then do the exam from a distance,” Hart said. Hart invites speakers – some who have connected over Zoom – to share with students about their experience and give them a first-hand look of their careers. Many speakers come to their HOSA meetings, which has about 45 active members, and interact with students. During the meetings, students also partake in hands-on learning, such as dissections, and prepare for competitions. Junior Aryanna Hinckley participated in last spring’s HOSA competition as well as is in the medical pathways program. In the HOSA competition, she read five medical-related books for the medical reading test at the state contest and teamed up with a partner to create a career poster display about the flight medic careers. “I try to get them to compete and push themselves beyond the curriculum of the classroom,” Hart said. “What’s nice about HOSA is I can find things that the students have a particular interest in, and I can help them beyond what I get to teach in the class.” Although Hinckley isn’t thinking about a career as a flight medic, she said she’s glad she researched it. “It was a great experience and in-


Hillcrest Medical Pathway White Coat Banquet Tuesday, May 11th | 7 PM Hillcrest High School Field House Gallery Regrets only to matthew.hart@canyonsdistrict.org Dress Semi-Formal

sight into health careers,” Hinckley said, adding that she has learned from guest speakers in the surgical tech and neonatologist fields. “I’ve gotten to learn from them, what they’re doing, and I’ve gained different insights and the overall experience [with HOSA], of becoming more than a team, especially doing group projects. The process of learning can help me with college and my health career and with a lot of the classes [in medical pathways], go in-depth with different career possibilities.” Hinckley, who said she’s appreciated the support and direction from Hart and from science teacher Andie Arnold, is enrolled in medical terminology this year and hopes to enroll in sports medicine, which works well into her schedule as an international baccalaureate student. Hinckley, who was planning to take many of these courses anyway for her dream to work in the medical field with children, said medical pathways is a bonus for her as she was able to enroll in intro to health sciences, and study something that applies more directly to her future, instead of a general health course. She is looking forward to her white coat ceremony next year. “It’s exciting,” Hinckley said. “It’s hard to get a white coat and this will be specialized for you, and it’s from Hillcrest, my high school.” l

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September 2021 | Page 19

Government 101: Redevelopment Agency By Erin Dixon | e.dixon@mycityjournals.com


hat is an RDA, or Redevelopment Agency? Most Salt Lake County cities have one. Each agency has a single goal: Bring neglected parts of the city back to life. Why would a city invest time and money, rather than leave development up to the economy? Cody Hill, Midvale RDA manager, explained during a discussion about the Midvale Main Street project. “The basic philosophy is you have an area that is not growing for whatever reason. We can do nothing, and we’ll get the same tax dollars.” If the city puts in money and effort to rebuild the area, the tax income will increase. City assistance can also help reduce crime, attract new jobs, improve roads and utilities and in turn stimulate private investment in homes and surrounding areas. Council and staff find a “blighted” area they want to rebuild. They define the borders, and research costs and potential benefits a revival would have. Before a project is started, a public hearing is held, then the council votes to open the project and begins working. The RDA decision makers are the city council members, but meetings are held separately from city council meetings. Meetings are typically on the same day as a council

meeting. The council will adjourn the city council and reopen as RDA. The RDA has a separate budget and does not collect taxes like the city government. The RDA gets its money from nearby taxing entities (organizations that collect taxes) such as the city, school districts, water conservation districts, libraries, etc. Each entity collects taxes from residents and businesses in its area. A taxing entity will promise the RDA a portion of what they collect over a future period of time, for instance, 5, 10 or 20 years. All the taxing entities benefit from this agreement because as areas are improved, there is more tax money to collect from increased active businesses and residents. Overall, all groups benefit. The RDA is also able to issue bonds to bring in money. A bond is a term-specific loan to the city that is paid by investors that the RDA pays back in the future Canyons School District, Unified Fire Authority, Midvale City and South Salt Lake Valley Mosquito Abatement District all contributed some of their income to fund the reconstruction of the Midvale Main Street area. The property is currently worth $53 million. Each taxing entity that is diverting some of their future funds will get more money as the property values increase with

Example of RDA area in Holladay City. 2007 to 2019. (images/Google)

the development. “If [they] will funnel 60% of the increased value over $53 million, we can increase the total taxable cost in this area,” Hill said. “They’ll get 40% of the increased value, which is projected to cover growth. Once that cap is hit, the school district will get 100%.” Other areas currently have RDAs, such as Draper and South Salt Lake. Draper has a 69-acre project called Sand Hills near 1300 East and Draper Parkway. According to the Draper City website, ‘The original purpose of the Sand Hills Project Area was to stabilize and strengthen the

commercial business and economic base of the City.’ South Salt Lake is working on a project just north of I-80 and south of 2100 South. The new South city mixed-use project is in the zone, getting financing from the Zueller Apartments that were developed five to 10 years ago. South Salt Lake also has a project along 3900 South, east of State Street. Basically, they are using the power of the RDA to bring mixed-use projects. City Journals writer Bill Hardesty also contributed to this report. l

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Midvale City Journal

Governor wants to incentivize lawn removal with a statewide buy back program By Alison Brimley | a.brimley@mycityjournals.com


ov. Spencer J. Cox has a little bit of good news for Utahns. “Every water district has reported significant water savings this year as compared to previous years,” Cox told an audience at Conservation Garden Park in West Jordan on July 29. In response to Utah officials’ repeated pleas to conserve water in a record drought year, Utahns have stepped up. And thanks to Utahns’ compliance with fireworks bans, the state has also seen a significant reduction in wildfires, particularly in the weeks of July 4 and July 24. This is especially important in years like this one, when extra dry land increases the risk of fire and the state can’t afford to use precious water fighting flames. Still, Cox warned that we have “several months of dangerous wildfire season ahead of us,” and that people need to remain “vigilant.” Though some of the worst outcomes have been (so far) averted this year, Utah needs to step up its long-term plans for water conservation. As one of the fastest growing states in the nation, the systems put in place now to decrease water use will have huge impacts as the population increases. “Our administration is committed to advancing more aggressive water conservation measures,” Cox said. The governor spoke of four distinct areas in which Utah needs to act in order to lay the foundation for a more waterwise future. One of these areas involves individual home landscapes. Cox announced his intention to implement the Localscapes rewards and Flip Your Strip programs—initially developed in West Jordan and administered by Jordan Valley Water—across the whole state. “Turf buyback” programs like Localscapes Rewards and Flip Your Strip incentivize homeowners to replace “thirsty grass” in their yards with more waterwise plants. Flip Your Strip involves paying homeowners to

replace grass in park strips, while Localscapes Rewards participants take a class about waterwise landscaping, then receive a cash incentive when they implement the landscape plans in their yards. Jordan Valley Water began offering Flip Your Strip and Localscapes Rewards in 2017. “With growing participation year over year and proven water savings, it became natural for other agencies to want to start offering similar programs,” said Megan Jenkins of Jordan Valley Water. “In fact, this was something Jordan Valley planned for.” While developing its rebate website, utahwatersavers.com, Jordan Valley Water recognized they could expand the programs’ effectiveness by collaborating with other agencies across the state. “By allowing multiple agencies to offer conservation programs and rebates on the same website, many inefficiencies of past water conservation efforts could be eliminated,” Jenkins said. Jenkins says the two programs have already seen great demand in West Jordan this year. So far in 2021, 659 households have applied for Flip Your Strip, with 392 coming from within Jordan Valley Water’s service area. This represents a significant increase from 2020, when a total of 177 Flip Your Strip applications were submitted. This year, Cox announced his intention to make Utah the first state to offer a “statewide buyback program.” Going forward, Utah needs to be a state where grass is planted only “in areas where it actively is used, rather than using it as a default groundcover.” At the July 29 event, Rick Maloy of the Central Utah Water Conservancy District, announced that beginning Aug. 1, these turf buyback programs pioneered in West Jordan would be available to all counties within the district. The district includes much of Salt Lake, Utah, Juab, Uintah, Sanpete, Wasatch

Through the expansion of Localscapes Rewards and Flip Your Strip programs, residents of Salt Lake, Utah, Juab, Uintah, Sanpete, Wasatch and Duchesne counties just became eligible to get money back for removing grass from their home landscapes. (Photo by Daniel Watson)

and Duchesne counties, though a Flip Your Strip program is also available to Layton residents. (Murray City and South Jordan City are not eligible for Flip Your Strip because these cities offer their own park strip programs.) Utahns in eligible areas can apply to begin the process at utahwatersavers.com. Not only will those who participate get to help the state save water, they’ll also see sav-

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September 2021 | Page 21

Cottoncrest team creates fun memories, rides; yet expected to be competitive this season

Part of Cottoncrest’s team celebrates after biking to the summit of the Olympic Park, a 1,240-foot vertical climb over 2.6 miles on the Yeti’s trail. (Anthony Stowe/Cottoncrest mountain bike team)

The Cottonwood captain is one of three, along with Hillcrest seniors Matt Hinks and Connor McMillan, representing high school student-athletes from Cottonwood, Hillcrest and AMES on the team. “With these three, it’s a team culture. They’re the athletes; they’re fun to be around. They are the team. Just a week ago, Matt was having some mechanical stuff with his bike. He was able to ride, but he wasn’t able to ride really fast, so he dropped back with group three of five I had. He just chat-



Page 22 | September 2021

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ottoncrest mountain biking team senior Georgia Barrus isn’t the star of the team or even the next best, she says. “I’m always in the last, and I’ll literally come through the finish line, and everyone (will be) screaming for me,” she said. “It’s the best ever. No one really cares (where) you’re racing; we’re just proud of each other—no matter what. It’s awesome.” In fact, Barrus, whose brother is four years older and raced with the team, remembers times when “I couldn’t make the cut-off line (after) two laps in 45 minutes. For me, that was a struggle to get through some races and I’d be so devastated. When I actually made the two laps (in the time limit), I would let off like the biggest scream of happiness and it’s made people cry. I know Tony (her coach) was telling me, he’d be bawling with my mom on the sideline, and I’ve even made other people cry that I don’t even know.” Her coach, Anthony Stowe, said what’s fun about Barrus, who rides JV B, is “she always finishes with just the biggest smile, the most positive attitude; she just likes the celebration of the group ride and race day. I’ve spent more time crying with her mom, watching her ride, just because it means so much to her. She loves it.”



By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com

3 2014 2


ted with them, and you could see the pace of the kids just skyrocket. They were excited to be riding with one of the varsity kids and he shared some techniques,” he said, adding that McMillan often helps his teammates with their bikes’ mechanical issues. For Barrus, it’s about team bonding and helping her teammates be successful, at whatever their level. “I love doing stuff for the team. Every year, I would just make the team bracelets (with embroidery floss or string threaded through part of the bike chain) and I like talking to everyone, getting everyone involved; it’s something I’ve always loved to do, with or without the team captain (title). It’s so cool to see how (my friends) have grown and how I’ve grown—even one year ago when I wasn’t as confident on the bike. Then, I have my friends that cheer me on, and I just feel so confident,” she said, adding that part of the joy of riding comes from enjoying the scenery whether it’s Park City or Lake Tahoe or even riding across the Golden Gate Bridge, which “was a little scary and windy.” Recently, the team got caught in a rainstorm and after getting off the mountain, they got to the parking lot and started splashing in puddles. “We’re all covered in mud and we’re all wet. It was so much fun,” she said. “It’s one of those things about mountain biking. It doesn’t feel like a sport you’re dreading; you’re excited to go to it.” This year, the girls’ team has helped Free Bikes to Kids repair donated bikes for kids and took part in some field games as part of GRIT—Girls Riding Together. Barrus also wanted new riders to feel comfortable with racing, so she helped plan a pre-race competition within their own team and had parents cheer them on. However, the team also was focused on its first race, scheduled for Aug. 21 at Soldier Hollow. They also are scheduled to race Sept. 4 at Snowbasin, Sept. 18 in Vernal and Oct. 2 at Eagle Mountain. State championships are

Oct. 22-23 in St. George. As of press deadlines, fans—“about 10,000,” according to Stowe—may be able to attend races whereas last year, they were unable to because of COVID-19 safety and health guidelines. Utah has more than 6,300 registered middle and high school mountain bike racers; Cottoncrest has a team of 37 racing in the east region that registered 1,450 student-athletes. Cottoncrest team members started practicing in April and continued three times per week throughout the summer, with Saturdays being a longer three-to-four-hour endurance ride. Although not required, Stowe continues to recommend his team follow using hand sanitizer and has masks available so his team can stay healthy to compete. Stowe is looking to Cottonwood/AMES senior Rachel Arlen to be a strong contender in the JV A division as well as his daughter, Hillcrest sophomore Kenna Stowe, who competed and took third in a USA cycling race this past summer in Temecula, California. Sophomore Hiley Campbell should race well in JV B and Anna Hinks will “probably be my fastest freshmen girl this year,” he said before the first race. The boys’ team is led by Matt Hinks and McMillan. They are the first varsity-level athletes that Stowe has coached. “I’ve known Rachel and Hiley since they were fourth-graders. Georgia Barrus has been riding with me for years and I have a couple of boys who have been riding with me a long time, Matt and Connor. I love everyone on the team, and they have become part of my family,” he said about his team. He also expects good rides from Ziek VanDijk and AJ Call, who are “extremely fast and competitive freshmen,” and sophomore Braxton Little as an “up and comer” in JV A with “his eyes set on varsity.” He said that sophomore Kolby Butler has “really made a big jump, massive improvement” to ride JV A. Cottonwood/AMES junior Jacob Arlen, who was on the podium in a couple races last year “is definitely one to watch.” With the depth and talent of the team, it may be possible the team could reach the podium at state, which “would be really cool to share with them. I think that would be an awesome memory for them.” However, while Stowe doesn’t usually make predictions about the season, he does make one: “If we’re out having fun, and they were coming off with a smile, even if they were coming off with tears and learning lessons about goal setting, learning how to accept failure and building upon that, I know I’m building a stronger athlete and a good contributor to society and we’re sending someone off that is going to be a strong adult.” l

Midvale City Journal

Hillcrest soccer starts season off with win, anticipates competitive season


n the season opener, senior forward Grace Pruden scored two goals and had a pair of assists as the Hillcrest High Huskies beat Gunnison Valley on the road, 11-0. She was one of six players who scored in the opening game. “We just spread the love; everyone got a goal,” she said. Huskies coach Eldon Brough, in his third year, was happy that several players scored. “We want to be a team where we can beat you with a lot of different people in different positions and be very unselfish and the girls did a good job with that,” he said. “They kept their energy up and kept playing hard and we were really happy with all they were trying to play together offensively and be really dynamic and aggressive. I was really pleased with the girls; they were, by no means, content with what they’ve done; they could recognize the areas that they could improve.” One area of improvement is to adjust to a more offensively-minded emphasis on style of play this year, Brough said. “We switched up our formation, kind of our style of play a little bit this year. We’re going to be a much more attacking team. We’re just scratching the surface on becoming more comfortable with having that many opportunities. With this new formation we’re playing and having more people in the attack, they’re just going to get better at it. It should be very realistic to score a lot more goals, but we still want to try to be a good defensive team. Every position has to be more committed to getting back defensively. We hope to win a lot of games and be able to make some noise come October in the playoffs,” he said. Pruden, who is the team captain along with seniors Allysa Rogers and Havana Chamberlain and junior Teya Snowder, said that the team played with more confidence than in the past. “We’re going to be a lot better than last year because we’ve got 10 of our 11 varsity starters returning, so super excited about that,” she said. “I think chemistry is really good this year because (about) everyone’s returning.” Last year’s goalkeeper, Ashby Worth, graduated; senior Isabella Andrews was expected to fill the position until she tore her ACL last spring during a club soccer game. “At first we were pretty concerned. Bella is a good player, and we were excited to have her play. We’ve been pleasantly surprised with Addy (Back); she’s got a lot of potential, she’s comfortable right there and confident and doesn’t get rattled,” Brough said, adding that the Huskies also have two other younger players who play keeper. The freshman keeper during the Gunnison game during her first high school game, used her club experience to hold the opponent scoreless.


By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com Game two, two days later at home, Pruden had another pair of assists and scored another goal to beat Union High 5-1 and start the team off with a winning record. Each of the five goals was scored by a different student-athlete. Game three, at West High, Pruden scored two goals to take the Huskies to victory, 2-1. It was Pruden’s freshman year that was the last time the Huskies had a winning record; they went 7-1 in league play in region 2, 6A that year. The past two seasons, Hillcrest only amassed a total of three wins as region 6, players and coaches say, is was one of the most competitive. “Obviously, the last region we were in was really difficult for us, but I think it helped us grow as a team because we were playing the best teams in the state, like state champions were from our region, year after year,” Pruden said. “So that was really good for us just to play some better competition and to improve because of that. Now, we’re in a region that is a little more our speed; we’re on the other end of things. We have that experience so we can take that and apply it to this region.” The Huskies are now playing in 5A region 7, which includes teams about an hour away including Tooele, Stansbury, Cedar Valley in Eagle Mountain, Payson and more than three hours away with Uintah in Vernal. They also play nearby Cottonwood High, who they beat in last year’s region. “Cottonwood—that game was our one and it was not an easy one. We had to fight tooth and nail for that game, and we worked so hard in practice the week before,” she said that it helped the team learn how to “really commit and prepare physically and mentally for tough games.” Brough said that this region still is competitive for the Huskies. “If we don’t bring our A game and do the best that we possibly can, then we’re not going to win games,” he said. Pruden expects Stansbury and Cedar Valley both to be contenders for the region title based on preseason games. “I think they’ll be good games for us— definitely be a challenge,” she said. “It’s just been really good to kind of get into a new region, kind of a new perspective to some new teams. It’s very refreshing. We were ready for a change. We’re really hoping to host and win a playoff game, which would be really big for us.” The last time the Huskies hosted the first round of state was in 2018, when they lost to Northridge High. That also was the first year, the girls soccer team used East Midvale Elementary’s playground as their home field since the rebuild of Hillcrest High tore up their field. Pruden never has played at the Hillcrest campus except for senior nights on

Hillcrest High School senior Grace Pruden, seen here in fall 2019, already has scored five goals in the first three games of the season. (Photo courtesy of Riley Mathis)

Hillcrest High soccer team started its season with three wins and has 10 of its 11 starters returning, including senior Grace Pruden, seen here in 2020. (Photo courtesy of Lizzy Hamilton)

the football turf. Pruden expects the team will benefit this season from this summer’s scrimmage play as well as from lifting weights not just running drills and conditioning as in past summers. “Every year leading up to try out, we do trainings over the summer and usually that’s been mainly conditioning, but this year, we’ve shifted the focus to more technical and tactical side of the sport. Then, we amped up conditioning as tryouts got closer and I think that was helpful,” Pruden said. Brough said the dedication came from offseason play as well. “They were all really committed throughout the summer and came to the majority of what we did, and they all worked on their games in the last 10 months and became better players. They all raised their level of play and are really committed,” he said, adding that, “Some of these seniors, I don’t know that they’ll necessarily play, but they should

have a chance if they want to be able to play somewhere maybe DII or DII; there’s lots of opportunities to play at the next level.” Pruden hopes to continue playing soccer in college, maybe for a community college or division II team. “I haven’t totally decided what I want to do after high school,” she said. “Just keeping my options open for now.” Pruden began playing Sandy recreational soccer at age four, then transitioned to play both rec ball and a year of AYSO (American Youth Soccer Organization) before joining a club team. She grew up idolizing U.S. national team member and Olympian Alex Morgan, whom she was able to see play when Morgan’s Orlando Pride played the then Utah Royals. “We play the same position and she’s one of the best,” Pruden said. l

September 2021 | Page 23

Hillcrest unified student-athlete pair highlighted in Special Olympics Utah commercial By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com


illcrest High junior JR Rugg recently walked into Dick’s Sporting Goods store in Midvale and was looking at a pair of shoes before a salesclerk asked if he could help him, and found a pair of comfortable walking shoes in his size. This had happened before. And it happened again and again and again. It was part of a commercial shoot which he and his unified soccer teammate, Abigail Slama-Catron, were part of to promote Special Olympics Utah’s inaugural Walk for Inclusion, held Aug. 12. “It was a lot of fun; my favorite part was laughing at the jokes Abigail made as we walked into the store,” he said about the video shoot, adding much of their conversation between takes trended toward video games he plays in his spare time. “It was my first time shooting a commercial and I loved it. I think it turned out good.” The two were selected to participate in the video shoot as they represent their school in the newly formed Special Olympics Youth Activation Committee, a group of eight to 12 high school pairs from across the state who are dedicated to seeing inclusion and unified sports in schools. In fact, when the pair walked the two-mile perimeter around Liberty Park for the Walk for Inclusion, they earmarked funds they raised for the committee’s work. “The main purpose of it is really a fundraising platform for our local programs,” said Special Olympics-Utah Special Events Manager Haley Nall, who said the goal was to raise $20,000 between the walk and a silent auction. About 100 walkers laced up their shoes and participated after Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall cut an official ribbon. In addition, other participants walked in their communities and cities across the state, Nall said. “We offered to them to walk virtually, in their neighborhoods or if coaches or areas want to do their own local walk, they could and still fundraise and be a part of this bigger event; it makes it more accessible for more people,” she said. About 15 teams and 60 individuals signed up earlier in the week before the event, with about a dozen community partners and sponsors who participated from raising donations to volunteering along the route. Some had outreach tables at the race site. The walk was more than a fundraiser. “The Walk for Inclusion was more on with our mission,” Nall said. “We wanted to make it more intentional and on purpose with that.” It also included a community component of engagement and celebration with a birthday cake celebrating Special Olympics-Utah’s 50th birthday. Other 50th birthday Special Olympic events are planned such as a black-and-white bocce ball tournament Sept. 18; an Oct. cham-

Page 24 | September 2021

Hillcrest High unified student-athletes Abigail Slama-Catron and JR Rugg were part of about 100 participants to walk in the Aug. 12 Special Olympics’ Walk for Inclusion at Liberty Park. (Photo courtesy of Scott Catron)

pionship week for Special Olympics awareness; and a Nov. 12 polar plunge and law enforcement torch run in Summit County. The event Rugg is looking forward to is the unified soccer championship tournament Oct. 8-9 at Rio Tinto Field, which also will offer youth and high school unified athletes several activities, drills, and even an obstacle course. It was this past spring when Rugg and Slama-Catron met on Hillcrest’s unified soccer team which played in the May 1 all-day regional tournament. “I loved it, it’s probably my most favorite thing,” Rugg said about playing unified soccer and meeting his teammate. “The best part is getting to know new people, talking to them and helping them throughout the season. Abigail is a great teammate, and she was there for me when I had a pain in my side. She made sure I was alright and gave me a high-five. It’s a great way to make friends.” The Unified Sports program matches high school students with student-athletes who may have autism, cerebral palsy, blindness, deafness, or other difficulties including ADHD and ADD, which Rugg said he has, to play together on the field, or on the basketball court, or to race around the track. “The whole idea of unified sports is that it’s for everyone and to help everyone learn and have fun; we cheer on our teammates and our opponents,” Slama-Catron said. “Inclusion should be a part of all schools, each and every day, not just in a competition.” As part of the campaign to kick off the next 50 years, there was an opportunity for people to

Hillcrest High unified student-athletes JR Rugg and Abigail Slama-Catron along with Dicks Sporting Goods employee, Andrew Paul, were in a commercial about comfortable walking and running shoes for Special Olympics’ Walk for Inclusion. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

sign up to be amongst Special Olympics Utah’s next 50 volunteers to their next 50 unified athletes. The Walk for Inclusion commercial was filmed by two volunteer videographers, Afflerbach, in her first time volunteering, and Jake Eveler, who has helped with filming for Special Olympics the past six months. The video also starred Dick’s employees Andrew Paul and Dan Doell and was available on Special Olympics’ YouTube channel, Instagram and website as well as other outlets. Nall also plans to use it for the Special Olympics’ Healthy Athletes’ Fit Feet program.

Nall said that Dick’s, which is a year-round partner of Special Olympics-Utah, was a natural fit for the commercial. “Customers specifically at that store in Fort Union, are into walking and running and hiking, so Dick’s was really interested in the Walk for Inclusion,” she said. “We wanted to film something showing our athletes and what a running shoe looks like and what you should look for in a running shoe. Luckily, we had wonderful, unified partners from Hillcrest who were available. They were so awesome and represent our program perfectly.” l

Midvale City Journal


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September 2021 | Page 25

Victim Advocates and what they do: Saving lives behind the crime scene By Erin Dixon | e.dixon@mycityjourna


Page 26 | September 2021

Carmen Contreras and her four volunteer victim advocates work for Midvale police and are available any day or night. (Photo courtesy Carmen Contreras)

“Sometimes victims think they don’t have a way to survive without the abuser. We show them there’s a little light at the end of the tunnel (offer services, medical help, shelters, protective orders, financial resources),” Contreras said. With resources, “they are more willing to leave and more willing to cooperate with the charges,” Contreras said. After an event or report, the advocates continue to guide victims. They will help people move out of state, help coordinate therapy sessions, walk victims through court

processes and even go to the courtroom with them. “Sometimes we have to hold their hands. We will explain the setting of the courtroom. [We explain], don’t make eye contact with the perpetrator, they will be there,” Contreras said. Contreras continued to help the mother of the two teenagers who were fatally shot. “Weeks later I’m still dealing with this mother. [Utah Office for] Victims of Crime approved her and her family for counseling,” Contreras said.


SEPT. 10-25, 2021

he body of a teenage girl on the ground, her brother in an ambulance, both surrounded by neighbors and police officers. Some are trying to get a look; some are looking for the shooter. These two kids have a family, a mother and siblings in shock. Within nine minutes of the police call, Carmen Contreras and her volunteers are at the family’s side. Conteras is a full-time Victim Advocate with Midvale Unified Police Department. She has four volunteers, with two of them available, day or night. Victim advocates show up whenever there is a victim of a crime, to be a calming presence and guide them through what is happening around them, get them financial help, and find a safe place or medical care. You do not need to speak English or be a legal citizen to qualify for help. If you need it, you get it. “It may be child neglect, child abuse, child sexual abuse, domestic abuse, rape assault, shootings, or homicides,” Contreras said. “When we have a victim, we are willing and able to respond.” After a traumatic event, victims are prevented from entering a crime scene, which may be their own home. Officers are making reports, taking statements, and coordinating searches if necessary. “People get so aggravated; they think the officers don’t care. They do care because they call me,” Contreras said. Back at the crime scene, Contreras and her volunteers are doing everything they can to help the police, and the victims. “We helped with crowd control, to hold up the victims and not go and get the body,” Contreras said. The body was on the ground the whole night. I transported the mother [to the hospital]. The daughter died on scene; the son was transported. She gets this call now that he died too. “We are trying to make it a little easier, even though I don’t know how easy it is. All night long, all day long we were with them helping them to find the resources to find money for the burial, for the ambulance.” Norma Hood, a volunteer victim advocate, has worked with the city for years. Even if an officer is available to help a victim, they might be too intimidating. “Sometimes. . . they don’t want to talk to that uniform,” Hood said. “There’s confusion. There can be the issue of alcohol or drugs and embarrassment. There’s pain. Sometimes it’s just the thing of somebody sitting on the same level. “You’re not an authority but you are there to provide resources. Sometimes they just want a hand to hold. Being willing to listen.” Victims can deny the offer of assistance. But if they do want help, what can an advocate do?

While the family receives counseling, law enforcement continues to process the criminal charges. The mother calls Contreras frequently, thinking that no news is bad news. Contreras explains the process and that there are more than 50 pages of reports on her children’s case and that the process is moving forward. “I’m talking about a period of two years before the sentencing,” Contreras said. “We keep it professional, but you form this bond because you are going to help them; explaining the court process, just knowing that we do care. We went with this family to the court hearing, we sat down with the family, holding hands, explaining to them. Once the perpetrator knew we were there, he pleaded guilty.” The pandemic has not stopped the victim advocates’ work, though sometimes with distance for health and safety from the virus. “Especially now with the pandemic. . . the officers have been calling us over the phone,” Contreras said. “[But] if the officer sees we need to be there in person, we will go in person.” Contreras and her volunteers are available any time, day or night. They can be reached in person at the Midvale Police Station, 7912 South Main Street, or by calling 801-743-7000. l




Midvale City Journal

Husky golf season underway, team posting good scores By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com


illcrest High golf coach Dave Richardson may be in a tough position. His team of 15 talented players are athletes, meaning many of them play other high school sports —mostly baseball and soccer, summertime sports. And this season, in a new region, 5A region 7, half of the high school’s tournaments are in the summer, before school starts. “I called a practice for tomorrow at 1 o’clock, but seven guys play soccer in these super leagues and they’re going to be gone…leaving tonight to go to a soccer tournament,” he said in early August. “So that’s hard.” Even so, the team, which counts the lowest four members’ scores, recorded under 400 in their opening tournaments. “As a team last year, we didn’t do that at all, so, the scores are better,” Richardson said, adding he hopes to see more improvement as the season progresses. At Tooele’s tournament held at Oquirrh Hills Golf Course, senior Braden Rosenhan appreciated the “old school” style on the front nine—with holes closer together, trees dotting the course and a windy course versus the back nine which was much more open and had longer fairways. Even with a course Rosenhan liked, he didn’t hit as well as he hoped. “It was one of my higher or worse rounds; I don’t know that day—golf is so weird like that,” Rosenhan said. “It’s just one sport that day after day, hour after hour, you just keep going or else it’s going just start going downhill for you. You just keep playing. You can hate it and love it in a matter of like three seconds. I like the mental side. That’s why I like golf so much as I like having to think about stuff instead of just like running and being tough. I’d rather be methodical.” The team captain also can identify with other teammates who might not have a good game. “I’ll text some of the younger ones individually if they had a bad golf day. I told them that golf sucks and it’s weird because your swing is rarely, rarely the same unless you’re a robot and none of us are robots,” he said. Rosenhan played better at the tournament at Stansbury Park Golf Course, adding that the team improved as well. “We’re getting better and better as the golf season goes on,” Rosenhan said. “At the driving range, we hit some balls and (coach Richardson) will go around and help out. And then some other older kids and me, we’ll go and try to help the younger ones with their swings, and we’ll do some chipping and putting.” Rosenhan began playing golf when he


was three or four, first using plastic clubs, being coached by his dad. He also picked up a bat and glove at age three and has been a devoted baseball player since then as well. He plays pitcher as well as first and third bases for the Huskies. “I have more talent in golf, but I’m better at baseball. All my life, even since I’ve been young, I just put more work into baseball,” he said, adding that he is continuing to play for a scout team, hoping to play baseball in college and possibly walk onto the golf team there as well. “I never really put much work into golf until high school came around. (Golf is) kind of like a fun, little release from everything. It’s nice to go hit some golf balls and get all the stress out of my life, just relax for a few hours.” However, gearing up for this season, he had a few weeks where he’s golfed daily. “It costs a lot of money, but it’s really fun,” he said. Since July, Rosenhan and other team members have picked up range balls for a couple hours every Monday in trade for a round of golf at River Oaks course, their home course. In fact, the team will host a tournament at River Oaks, Sept. 8—the second to last tournament of the season. Cedar Valley’s tournament in Eagle Mountain will round out the season on Sept. 13. Region date has yet to be announced and state is in early October. Rosenhan hopes the team will improve to have a chance to play at state as all, but only one player graduated. He missed qualifying individually last year by three strokes. “Our last region, we had Skyline and all those kids who are basically on the PGA tour, so we really didn’t have much of a chance. This year, I think third place is kind of where we will sit,” he said. “We have a lot of kids with a lot of potential on the team, which is really nice to see. (With this region), I’m like shooting about the same as all the other No. 1’s (instead of like the previous region’s No. 5 players), and everybody’s on even levels, so they actually feel like they can compete. It gives them confidence and I think they’ll realize that they’re pretty good at golf.” Each region sends the top two teams to state and after that, it’s an average of the lowest scores. Players also can qualify, individually if they are in the top 12 finishers in the region, so even if the team doesn’t meet the mark, Richardson hopes that some of his players will, such as Rosenhan and junior CJ Poulson. He also hopes to see strong play from junior Cole Wardle and sophomores Camden Lampshire, Matthew Miller and Jeb Thomas as the season progresses. l

Hillcrest High senior captain Braden Rosenhan will lead the Huskies on the golf course this fall in its new region 5A region 7. (Photo courtesy of Stacie Rosenhan)

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September 2021 | Page 27

Adversity didn’t deter these students’ accomplishments to get a college education


By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com

tah State University, Missouri Valley College, Salt Lake Community College and University of Utah will enroll some recent Canyons School District graduates, thanks to the Canyons Education Foundation. Six graduates from the class of 2021 were awarded partial scholarships to further their education. The annual Bright Star Scholarship of $1,000 was also awarded to seniors from each high school in Canyons School District who has shown improvement or exemplary effort in working toward the goal of post-secondary education. This year’s scholarship recipients are Saskia Paepke-Chile, Alta High; Sean Spackman, Brighton High; Abbey Aamodt, Corner Canyon High; Martha Lopez Rodriguez, Diamond Ridge High; Miriam Camacho, Hillcrest High; and Elijah Martin; Jordan High. Brighton’s Hailey Timm was awarded $2,500, the Rising Star Scholarship for having “risen” above trying circumstances either in family life, financially, emotionally or scholastically; Timm and all scholarship winners are dedicated to furthering their education, said Denise Haycock, Canyons Education Foundation development officer. For Timm, the road hasn’t been easy as she has achieved despite “the adversity she has faced,” said Brighton band director Mikala Mortensen. “Hailey is a wonderful musician” as she “is always willing to perform for the community,” Mortensen wrote in her recommendation letter. “Her willingness to share the gift of music with others is unmatched.” Timm, who played in the symphonic band, also was the drum major in last year’s inaugural marching band and played for the school’s jazz band. “As a drum major in the marching band, she leads with kindness, assisting all of them to succeed as individuals and an ensemble. I find Hailey to be particularly exceptional leader because she has endured her fair share of hardships in her young life, yet never lets that get in the way of her dedication to her peers,” Mortensen said, adding that Timm also is an intelligent student. This fall, Timm will study at USU to become a high school biology teacher. Her classmate, Sean Spackman, will attend SLCC. Diagnosed with autism at age 3, he has been involved in student government, Link Crew, National Honor Society, Hope Squad and track. He has learned to face trials head-on. “I still have autism and I always will have it,” Spackman said. “Instead of letting it hold me back, I learned to overcome the challenges it has brought to my life. I have a very bright future ahead of me.” Lopez Rodriguez and Camacho also are enrolling at SLCC. Lopez Rodriguez’s counselor, Suzy Santos, said that as a Diamond Ridge student, Lopez Rodriguez, who wants to be a nurse, learned how to balance high school coursework with her certified nursing assistant courses at CTEC. “Coming into the program, she couldn’t see how college could happen for her, but through grit and determination, Martha has discovered the thrill of learning new things while achieving big goals,” she said. Camacho is described as “inquisitive, humble, focused, resilient and compassionate” by her counselor, Nicole Huff, who said that Camacho turned her life around and did “not let grief define her. Hard work, outstanding attitude and determination have resulted in a senior year of nothing but As and Bs.” The high school graduate, who has a “keen eye for fashion,” wants to model in her own clothing designs. Alta’s Saskia Paepke-Chile, knowing little English, moved to Utah from Brazil her freshman year. “I was very concerned about her ability to not only acclimate to a new language, country, school and living situation, but also her ability to successfully complete her classes,” wrote her counselor, Jennifer Scheffner, in a recommendation letter. “I quickly learned that Saskia is a young woman with a fiery determination to succeed and an insatiable desire for knowledge. What I did not take into consideration was her determination to learn and incredible work ethic.”

Page 28 | September 2021

Brighton’s Hailey Timm was presented a $2,500 check as the Rising Star Scholarship winner from Canyons Education Foundation Development Officer Denise Haycock. (Photo courtesy of Canyons Education Foundation)

Paepke-Chile, who plans to attend the U of U, was Alta’s Sterling Scholar in World Languages. She also was Alta’s Ballroom Team president and was active with the school’s Latinos in Action and Peer Leadership Team as well as involved in the district’s Student Advisory Council and tutoring Sprucewood Elementary students despite her mother dying from cancer in Brazil. “She is a prime example of resilience, hard work and immense potential,” Scheffner said. Corner Canyons’ Abbey Aamodt also has shown her drive to succeed in the face of adversity, Haycock said. “Early challenges molded her commitment to setting ambitious goals, which included challenging coursework, excellent grades and setting her sights on a college education,” Haycock said. “In the midst of it all, there have been moments of heartache, grief and pain due to family crises, but Abbey rose to these challenges and uses them to gain strength and purpose. She now dedicates herself to leadership and service.” Aamodt plans to join Paepke-Chile at the U to pursue a degree in architecture and interior design so she can renovate and build homes to give back to the community. Jordan High graduate Elijah Martin moved 11 times before settling in with his aunt during his high school career, said his teacher Aubrie Grass. “Elijah had a lot of classes to retake, but he’s done so through hard work and determination,” she said, adding words like respectful, kind, supportive, hardworking, personable and a natural leader to describe her former student. Martin, who is attending Missouri Valley College this fall, has a passion to become a world history teacher. “This passion for teaching is already evident in how he helps fellow students to understand difficult assignments, listens well to varying perspectives and makes sure people feel that they are heard and understood. As an African-American male, he sees the need to have more minority males in teaching positions to inspire and connect with minority students,” Grass said. Martin thanked Canyons Education Foundation. “You guys are really helping a lot of people,” he said. “Not just me, but then my future family. You’re going to help my kids and their kids’ kids. Two years ago, college wasn’t something I saw myself doing. One financially, it just wasn’t possible for me; and two, I didn’t have the drive for it. A scholarship like this is going to help me help my own kids and other kids one day.” l

Midvale City Journal

Increasing Use of Technology Strengthens Communities By Bryan Thomas, Vice President of Engineering, Comcast Mountain West Region The internet is a powerful resource for furthering education, assisting with job searches, tracking your benefits, engaging in telehealth and keeping up with life. There’s no doubt, having access to the internet is more important than ever. And teams of hi-tech experts are working nonstop to provide Americans with internet access. In fact, Comcast and others in the broadband industry have invested nearly $2 trillion since 1996 to build some of the world’s fastest, most resilient, and most widely deployed networks anywhere—a remarkable commitment by any standard. ACCESS vs. ADOPTION As we emerge from the impacts of the pandemic, we are seeing that access isn’t the only gap to bridge. What often stands in the way of connectivity are roadblocks to broadband adoption, be it language barriers, lack of knowledge of available options, privacy concerns and more. Across Denver, and in metropolitan areas around the country, most homes have multiple

choices of broadband providers. According to Broadband Now, there are nearly 48 internet providers covering 98 percent of Utahns having access to broadband speeds over 25 Mbps. Utah ranks high as the 8thmost connected state in the country. For more than a decade, Comcast has been committed to doing our part to close the digital divide and addressing both the access and the adoption gap. Our partnerships with community organizations, educational institutions and business leaders are critical in making progress. Since 2011, Comcast has offered our Internet Essentials program, which has connected nearly 160,000 low-income Utahns to low-cost, highspeed internet at home—over 90% of whom did not have a connection when they applied for the service. Internet Essentials offers heavily discounted residential broadband ($9.95 per month) to qualifying families, seniors, and veterans in need, and serves as a model for other providers nationwide. Impressively, the NAACP hailed Internet Essentials as “the largest experiment ever attempted to close the digital divide.” And Comcast, through its Internet Essentials program, invested almost $700 million nationally in

digital literacy training and awareness. With its new “Lift Zone” initiative, Comcast is equipping community centers across the state with free Wi-Fi to support distance learning. But it doesn’t stop here. Over the next 10 years, Comcast will invest $1 billion to further close the digital divide and give more people the needed tools and resources to succeed in an increasingly digital world. The combined work and partnerships with community, education and business leaders like you will be critical to ensuring people have access, the hardware, the skills and are willing and able to connect with a reliable, secure broadband network. You all know and work directly with your constituents, clients, neighbors – and you have the trust of the people you serve. The axiom, “It takes a village…” has never been more relevant. Achieving the goal of having all people connected to the power of the internet will take the kind of focus and commitment on the part of all of us to connect more people to what matters most. To learn more about Comcast’s digital equity initiatives, or to refer organizations or people who might benefit from these services, please visit https:// corporate.comcast.com/impact/digital-equity.

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, and as a council member I want to ensure that Midvale is a safe, positive place to live, work, and do business in. • Owns and operates Sharp Yards landscape/maintenance company in Midvale since 1979 • Chainsaw carver/sculptor • Lifelong Midvale resident • Served LDS mission in the Philippines • 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

• Survived Covid, mild symptoms. • 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

September 2021 | Page 29

Back-to-School Shopping Costs More this Year By Robert Spendlove, Zions Bank Senior Economist


arents with school-aged children have probably noticed that backto-school shopping is costing more this year. Spending on school supplies is expected to hit an all-time high of $850 for the average family in 2021, according to the National Retail Federation. That’s about $60 more than last year. And families of college students are paying even more, with an average spend of $1,200, up $140 from last year. Of course, inflation is affecting much more than just school supplies. Over the past year, we’ve seen price growth across nearly all spending categories, with higher sticker prices everywhere from the grocery store to the gas pump. This is the result of pent-up demand as well as supply chain delays. Fortunately, it looks like price gains may be moderating. In July, the Consumer Price Index had its smallest month-tomonth increase since February after reaching a 13-year high in June. Still, inflation is well above pre-pandemic levels, with consumer prices increasing 5.4% over the past year. When it comes to school expenses, your pocketbook may feel the sting in a few areas: • Clothing prices have jumped

4.2% over the past year, with girls’ apparel up 5% and boys’ apparel up 2.6%. • Replacing outgrown kids’ shoes with new ones will cost 3.6% more than last year, while footwear overall is up 4.6%. • Educational books and supplies have ticked up 2.6% since last year. • Prices on personal computers, including tablets, desktop computers and laptops, are 3.7% higher than last year, due in part to a global chip shortage pushing up prices. • Packing your child’s lunchbox is more expensive than last year, with food prices up 3.4%. • The school carpool has gotten much more expensive, with gas prices jumping 41.8% year over year. How long will price gains continue? That’s the big question economists are debating right now. Some are concerned that these inflationary increases could continue to build because of increased federal spending and low interest rates. Others say these price

increases are temporary and will slow down when the current supply chain disruptions start to recede. The surge in COVID cases tied to the delta variant could also slow price increases as consumers pull back on spending amid concerns about the virus, but no one wants that solution to inflationary pressures. Regardless of whether price increases slow in the future, we won’t see immediate relief on family budgets this back-to-school season. However, Utahns can take heart in the latest jobs report that shows our economy remains among the best in the nation. Beehive State employment increased 4.2% from July 2019 to July 2021, compared to a 2.8% decline nationally, according to Utah’s Department of Workforce Services. Meanwhile, the state’s unemployment rate of 2.6% is near historic lows, compared to 5.4% unemployment nationally. Despite the challenges of the past year and a half, our state’s economy has shown itself to be resilient and continues to perform well. Robert Spendlove is senior economist for Zions Bank, a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A

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This column could be a bit divisive. I expect 48% of readers will send me envelopes of cash and loving social media messages. Another 48% will steal my birdbath and mail me dead raccoons. The remaining percentage are too busy stocking their underground bunkers to frivolously read newspapers. Let’s start with COVID-19, shall we? What a &$%@ nightmare. Cases and tempers continue to rise as we’re asked to wear masks and get vaccinated. It seems like a small price to pay if it ends a global pandemic that has killed more than four million people worldwide. Four million. Instead, Utahns are shouting about “rights” and “freedoms” and shooting guns in the air and hugging flags and buying MyPillows and yelling at federal and local leaders like this is some type of sporting event, but instead of winners or losers, people die. I hate wearing a mask, but I do it. I am terrified of shots, but I got the vaccine— twice. There are some things you just do because you love the people around you and want them to be happy and alive. I understand it isn’t possible to “reason” someone into “reason” but here we are. Next up, let’s talk about racism. Remember in “Jane Eyre” when you find out Rochester had his wife locked up on


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the third floor because she was insane? Well, Rochester represents the people who turn a blind eye to our country’s racist history, and his nutty wife is racism. And what happened when she got loose? She burned the damn house down. Just because you don’t want to talk about racism or teach how our country was built on the backs of enslaved people, or admit that systemic racism exists, doesn’t mean it’s not there. The last few years have shown us how it’s beating on the locked door, hoping to run rampant and destructive. (Sorry if I ruined “Jane Eyre” for you but you’ve had almost 175 years to read it. That’s on you.) And finally, let’s throw women some childcare love. Women have been the main childcare providers since Homo sapiens appeared on Earth’s party scene 200,000 years ago. It’s been a long slog. I think we can all agree that women are in the workplace. Correct? Women are working full-time, right? It took 199,910 years for women to step into the spotlight of their own comedy special, thanks to people like Susan B. Anthony and RGB. We can now get a charge card! Vote! Own a home! But we’re still the main caregivers, even if we run a company, own a small business or fly to the moon twice a week.

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Maybe it’s time for men to step up with us. Women often worry about taking time off to take kids to dentist appointments, doctor visits, piano lessons, lobotomies, etc. Do men do that? I’m genuinely asking because I’m willing to bet the majority of child Uber-services are performed by moms. If you’ve never been a single mom with a sick 12-year-old and you have to decide between using a vacation day or leaving your child home alone, then don’t tell me there isn’t a childcare problem in America. We’re a smart people. We are innovative and creative. Don’t you think we can use our brains to make society better instead of more divided? Maybe we’re not. Maybe our evolutionary progress ends with screaming and finger pointing. Just don’t mail me a dead raccoon.

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September 2021 | Page 31

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September 2021 | Vol. 18 Iss. 09




ormer Hillcrest High teacher Don Marr remembers his and former art department colleagues’ students taking top awards in statewide competitions, and receiving college scholarships for their pottery, painting, drawing, crafts, 3D art and other mediums. The favorite memory of the teacher, who climbed the stairs above the auto shop to his room from 1969 to 1981, was an assembly where Hillcrest High received an American flag that flew above the White House. “It was in 1971 and Sen. Frank Moss presented it to us,” Marr said. “He said that we had the best auditorium in the entire country. He said that the gym and auditorium were world class and he had noticed it.” Marr said that flag flew above the school for years until U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch replaced it with another flag that flew over the White House. Marr was on hand to witness the first time the American flag and Hillcrest High flag were raised above the new school during its Aug. 13 ribbon-cutting ceremony. Hundreds of students, alumni, current and former teachers, city and school leaders and community members came to witness not just one, but three, snips of the ribbon signifying the opening of the new school that has been under construction since its May 31, 2018, groundbreaking. The first ribbon cut was by Student Body President Jason Mun, followed by Principal Greg Leavitt and Canyons Board of Education member Mont Millerburg, alongside school and school district officials. The third cut was by Midvale Mayor Robert Hale, Utah State Sen. Kathleen Riebe and area elected

Hundreds of community members turned out to witness the ribbon-cutting of Midvale’s only high school, which was rebuilt on the same campus over the past three years. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

officials. More than three years ago, the new building’s groundbreaking was on the Huskies’ soccer field, now buried under the foundation and parking lot, but only yards away from where Millerburg stood welcoming the crowd. “It was hot, and I was decked out in a suit and tie, so I

think this shirt is just fine,” he said, but joked that if he knew the building with air conditioning was so close to the ceremony, he would have dressed up more, with reference to the former non-air-conditioned school. Millerburg gave praise to lead architect Greta Anderson at FFKR Architects, who, like himself, graduated from Hillcrest. Continued page 4

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