Millcreek City Journal DEC 2019

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December 2019 | Vol. 01 Iss. 12

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MILLCREEK RESIDENTS’

CONTINUING ISSUE WITH ‘THE CIRCUS TENT’ By Kirk Bradford | k.bradford@mycityjournals.com

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large building recently went up in the middle of a residential community. Many who live in the area of 3300 South and 1500 East purchased their homes especially for views of the Wasatch Mountains or the beautiful sunsets to be viewed along the Oquirrh Mountains. Then, in a matter of weeks, that view was blotted out. One resident, Scott Brown, has been actively seeking a solution to the issue of what many have now termed “the circus tent.” He said he loved the house and when viewing it for the first time, he walked out on his deck and saw the unobstructed view of Mount Olympus. That sealed the deal for him and he immediately closed on the home. For the past couple of years, Brown and other residents routinely take in the mountain scenery. But on Labor Day weekend the structure started going up without any notice to the residents. As the building got taller and taller, residents became concerned and started calling to ask questions. After quite a bit of research, the city of Millcreek responded in a statement from Francis Xavier Lilly, Millcreek’s planning director. On behalf of the city, Lilly apologized and said ultimately they were responsible for the building error. The error was complicated, Lilly said, but summarized it as being the result of incorrectly issuing a building permit. Mayor Jeff Silvestrini addressed residents at the city council meeting and said the matter was an internal mistake with one employee that is being handled in-house and “not going to be addressed in a public setting.” Residents who continue to attend council meetings to ask about what is being done

The new view with the completed Dewey Bail Bonds building. (Photo courtesy Scott Brown)

about the situation, as well as possible solutions, are referred to Francis Lilly, and he then refers them to the Facebook statement posted about the situation, which is how similar issues have been handled in the past. In his statement, Lilly wrote an error occurred in approving the permit “on the basis of plans that weren’t entirely ac-

curate.” The property in question, Lilly wrote, is in two zones — commercial and multifamily. Neither the property owner nor city staff knew of the two zone designation, which city staff is now working to fix. Lilly wrote there was information missing in the building application, but he had “no reason Continued page 10

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Opus Green development coming to Millcreek By Kirk Bradford | k.bradford@mycityjournals.com

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n October the Millcreek City Council voted for and approved the plans for the Opus Green Townhomes development. It represents what many are calling a transformational opportunity for the local Millcreek community. The project calls for building 140–150 modern townhomes in front of Big Cottonwood Creek Frontage. The developer for the project is Utah’s Clearwater Homes. “When I realized the sheer numbers of 1,251 linear feet on riverfront property, I became so excited and we just had to buy it,” said Clearwater Homes CEO Micah Peters. He said they will also construct a dynamic 1.15-acre river walk trail and children’s park, in an agreement that the park will be dedicated to Millcreek City upon completing. Additionally, to complete the Main Street Frontage in a dynamic fashion, five live-work units and a 2,200-square-foot neighborhood market deli/coffee shop will be built at the Main Street entrance to the Riverwalk Park. There will be an outdoor deck overlooking Big Cottonwood Creek. Most importantly, this development will have a minimum of 50% of all residential units as for-sale product (70–75 for-sale units). In a neighborhood dominated by rentals, some residents said owners of occupied homes will increase the pride of ownership, community spirit and the fabric of the neighborhood. The main build will be called Meadowbrook Center. It is planned to contain a diverse mix of uses, including multifamily condominiums and apartments, retail and office space and room for the possible build of restaurants. The secondary building will contain cultural and public facilities, health services, plazas, pocket parks, community gardens and other get-together type of services. Flex users are also appropriate for the

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building. The building plan states their intent is to create and “promote cohesive urban design with consistent development standards.” Peters expanded on some of the unique features of this project. It will include a trail, park and bridge over the river to access the Murray side. “This will give people access to get over to the facilities and businesses nearby on foot,” he said. Clearwater Homes developed about 53 modern townhomes in Murray, available for anyone curious to see the build style and quality of work. “We are just finishing the contract with Rocky Mountain power to set up all of these homes so they’re completely emissions free. They will not have gas lines run to them and will be powered all electric by utilizing the Blue Sky program with the solar farms down near Milford, Utah. With the problems we already have with local air shed, we are committed to not adding to it,” Peters said. The 2,300-square-foot local deli store will also be built to include a coffee shop as well. Parking has been calculated to allow two parking stalls for each townhome and over 30 extra stalls to help with business in the area. There is a problem in the current area with rent not including parking. Because of the additional parking fee, it has resulted in the use of Main Street for parking. In regards to the local market deli, Peters explained to the council they don’t want to compete with local businesses. The deli and coffee shop is the business idea that showed the least impact on current businesses while providing a needed service. They may even develop a micro-brewery near the deli and coffee shop down the road. At their meeting on June 4, the Millcreek Community Council recommended the development agreement be approved by a vote of 8-3 with the following conditions: 1. At least 50% of the units be for sale. 2. Separate

Clearwater example. (Photo courtesy Clearwater Homes)

parking be provided for the park in addition to the required residential and commercial parking. 3. Secondary access be provided. 4. Snow removal be managed so guest parking stalls are not used for snow storage. A couple of business owners in the area expressed concern about the lack of parking in the area. Residents of Artesian Springs use all of the available on-street parking and park in private lots due to the charge for parking at their complex. One of the issues with the earlier project was only one access point off of Main Street. Peters said Clearwater Homes is working with the developer of the Front Climbing Gym to provide them with more parking spaces in exchange for access to both Main Street and Central Avenue. A parking study was originally done on the 403-unit project. With this project being only about one-third the size of the original one, staff did not feel another parking study was needed. Again, the concern with the first project was people

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worried about the lack of a secondary access. Clearwater Homes is negotiating access to both Main Street and Central Avenue. In comparison with the plan earlier this year, the parking numbers should now successfully accommodate the project. There will be about 140 residential units and 330– 340 parking stalls. There will also be 278 private residential stalls, almost 40 guest parking stalls, and the Riverwalk Park area will contain another 22 stalls. To view all of the details for the project, see the Planning Commission Staff Report. The green build and townhomes are designed to allow further development in the area without affecting the air quality and view. The renovations for the park and any interest accrued will be paid back to Clearwater Homes over time by tax increment by the community’s reinvestment agency. Residents seem optimistic and supportive of the project and it’s a win for the community to receive an upgraded park, trail and bridge. l

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Skyline drama alum finds home in internationally recognized Shakespearean theater By Heather Lawrence | heather.lawrence@mycityjournals.com

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hen Chris Johnston scored the lead in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” at Skyline High, he felt like he was on to something. He was right. Eighteen years later, he’s part of a worldclass Shakespearean acting team in Staunton, Virginia. He also arranged music for the premiere of a new musical. In an interview with the City Journals, Johnston said the journey of how he got there is as important to him as the achievement itself. Johnston grew up in Millcreek and graduated from Skyline in 2001. He was president of the drama club when an energetic new drama teacher, Kyle Lewis, was hired. “We started doing tournaments, one-acts, Shakespeare scenes and scholarship auditions. I was accepted to the University of Utah’s Actor Training Program, and it was directly because of my teacher,” Johnston said. While at Skyline he developed his musical talents. “I grew up singing in church. I took piano lessons and voice lessons. My senior year I taught myself to play guitar,” Johnston said. Johnston’s time at the U included studying with Shakespearean scholar Jaq Bessell. Johnston’s world changed when Bessell attended the biennial Blackfriars Conference at the American Shakespeare Center (ASC) in Staunton, Virginia. It is the only recreated Blackfriars Theater in the US. Its historically inspired staging techniques include having the actors sing and play instruments before and during the show. “When Jaq got back, she said, ‘Chris, you have to audition there. You would love it. You would get to act and play music.’” Johnston auditioned, but wasn’t offered a position. “That was good for me because I came back and finished my degree. I liked Shakespeare, but I didn’t love it yet. My passion came from doing it over and over again,” Johnston said. Four years ago he finished the canon, meaning he has performed in some aspect of each one of Shakespeare’s 37 plays. Johnston auditioned for Blackfriars again in 2006. This time he was cast for two seasons of the ASC’s touring troupe. He continued learning new instruments. He met his wife and decided to stop touring. After a short return to Utah to act and teach, he joined the ASC’s team of in-house repertory actors and settled in Staunton. “This city is a gem — it’s beautiful,” Johnston said. Johnston said he’s seen a lot of growth at the Blackfriars. “Two years ago, we got a new artistic director, Ethan McSweeny. He made my position as manager of music official. I choose, write, arrange and teach all the music for our shows. All of our actors learn to play instruments and sing. There’s nothing really like it, not even at the Globe in London,” Johnston said. In February, Johnston was approached

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Valley, and he doesn’t get back to visit them as often as he would like. But career-wise, he’s where he wants to be. “I’ve never had the time to worry about, ‘Can I make this a career?’ because I’m always thinking about the next show.” His advice to people who want to work in theater or music is both practical and philosophical. “Learn as much as you can. Take acting classes. Learn to read music and sing. Play an instrument or two. Don’t be afraid to fail. You’re telling people’s stories, so learn about all kinds of people. Take care of yourself because you don’t get sick days. It’s a hard career, so you really have to want it.” Johnston said acting was always a fallback to music, which he really loves, so it’s a dream come true to do both. “I feel like I’m having the realization every day that I’ve made this a career. I’ve been employed with a livable wage at the same theater for over a decade. I’m very lucky. Every day it hits me how lucky I am.” “Shakespeare’s stories are beautiful. Chris Johnston in The Willard Suitcases, a world-premiere musical by Julianne Wick Davis; directed by Ethan They’re 400 years old, but they’re really about people, and people haven’t changed McSweeny. (Photo by Lindsey Walters) that much. Theater is so ephemeral. So focus by McSweeny with a new musical, “The gave the theater’s season a positive review, on the journey, because that’s what’s magical. Willard Suitcases.” Written by Julianne Wick and described Johnston as a “guitar-strum- Over time you’ll look back and be amazed at Davis, it imagines the lives of residents who ming troubadour.” what you did,” Johnston said. l lived in the real Willard Psychiatric Center in Johnston has family in the Salt Lake upstate New York many years ago. The contents of some leftover suitcases were the only clues to who these people were. “[McSweeny] gave me the music and I arranged it from piano to fit other instruments in our production. [Davis] was a treat to work with. She’s like Shakespeare in that she writes people. What he does in verse she’s written into this musical,” Johnston said. “The Blackfriars is an ideal theater for musicals. We have actors who can sing and play. It’s just small enough that it feels intimate, but big enough that it can be grand. This music was challenging, but we have a great work ethic. No hill is too high,” Johnston said. (A performance of “What Would You Pack?” with Johnston on guitar is on YouTube.) Johnston said he would like ASC to be Sabrina Peters part of the Shakespearean theater conversation. “I want actors to say that if you’re going REALTOR to do Shakespeare, you have to work here.” 813.909.6726 The fall repertory season at ASC ran from Sept. 25 to Dec. 1. They presented Sabrina@BrieRealty.com “Antony and Cleopatra,” “Julius Caesar,” “Caesar and Cleopatra” and the world premiere of “The Willard Suitcases.” The productions ran concurrently, with all the actors performing in each show. The ASC gains international attention kw SALT LAKE CITY for its work. The Telegraph in the UK wrote KELLERWILLIAMS REAL ESTATE a piece about them in October 2018. They’ve been covered this year in April and Novem- 2121 South McClelland, Suite 201 ber by the Washington Post. In his Nov. 6 Salt Lake City Utah 84106 article, the Post’s theater critic Peter Marks Each Office Is Independently Owned and Operated

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Jeff Silvestrini, the first mayor of Millcreek, wins second election By Kirk Bradford | k.bradford@mycityjournals.com

Mayor Jeff Silvestrini (Photo courtesy Jeff Silvestrini)

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he final day of voting ended with a win for Millcreek’s current Mayor Jeff Silvestrini. As the one and only Millcreek mayor, Silvestrini has gotten the city off to a positive start. His leadership has helped bring the city more options for employment; over 1,000 new jobs have been added since 2017. He has progressively sought funding and the city has received more than $22 million in grants for infrastructure. Silvestrini has many commercial connections from his background as a lawyer that helps the city progress. He has increased the number of businesses in Millcreek by 33%. For those unfamiliar with Silvestrini, he has been the mayor in Millcreek for almost three years and is the first mayor in the history of Millcreek since its township. Silvestrini comes from a legal background. He graduated from Michigan with an AB in history in 1976. He then transferred to the University of Utah where he earned his juris doctorate in 1979. He has practiced civil litigation for 37 years. He is now the president of Cohne

Kinghorn, which is made up of two dozen highly skilled attorneys. Silvestrini is an avid bicyclist and frequently commutes on his bicycle. He also enjoys boating, camping and skiing, and is a champion tailgater at University of Michigan and University of Utah football games; he holds season tickets at the Big House and at Rice Eccles. The Millcreek Journal asked Silvestrini about what the public may not know he deals with or how they can get to know him better if they have an issue. Silvestrini explained, “I would like Millcreek residents to know that the mayor’s job occupies a great deal of my time, usually 10–12 hours per day. I see things sometimes on social media which I would like to address but I don’t have the time to engage in extended discussions or debates with people. I make it a point to be available to answer questions and address residents’ concerns through normal email and phone channels and those are a better way to contact me, because some days I just don’t get to the social media.” Referencing some opinions and social media posts that have gone around the past couple months and even were somewhat hostile during the election, Silvestrini talked about needing to keep his eye on the ball. “I regret the tone of some of the social media stuff. There are people on there who assume the absolute worst about everything. Even when I would like to defend the city sometimes, I can’t do my job if I spend a lot of time doing that. I hope that most people understand this and recognize that I need to spend my time actually doing things for our city rather than getting bogged down responding to the same critics over and over.” Silvestrini said the position is largely occupied setting policy and representing the city on a number of boards such as Unified Fire or Unified Police. It means he can’t be involved in “every permit, inspection and other task assigned to city workers.” “Some people wrongly assume every

detail is the mayor’s job and I accept that the buck stops with me, but our organization can’t function without proper delegation and reliance on others to do their part,” he said. One of Silvestrini’s campaign promises was an immediate exit from the municipal services district allowing Millcreek control over their funds before entering into contracts with Salt Lake County for services. As a result, Millcreek has been able to negotiate a scalable and customized level of services and can continue to negotiate cost savings for courts, prosecution and legal defense services among others. Where cost savings could be achieved, the other types of services have been taken in-house for the city’s benefit. Silvestrini led and negotiated Millcreek’s exit from the Salt Lake Valley Law Enforcement Service Area. In so doing, Millcreek received a transfer of Millcreek’s share of fund balance (over $1 million). Silvestrini spotted some accounting errors in the UPD budget whereby Millcreek had been overcharged $1.1 million for shared services, and was able to leverage and negotiate this oversight. It resulted in the city obtaining six additional UPD officers to serve the Millcreek precinct. One of the officers has duties with the DEA Drug Enforcement Task Force. The other five comprise the Millcreek Community Crimes Suppression Unit, a team that concentrates on solving street crimes, free of the duties of regular patrol. This unit is responsible for numerous arrests for vehicle and residential burglary, busting drug dealers and other operations. The City Journals now reports on these cases with its “Officer of the Month” articles. Silvestrini campaigned for updating Millcreek’s 60-year-old zoning ordinances. The ordinances have now been rewritten, getting rid of outdated uses like rendering plants and drayage. Ordinances are being continually reviewed and updated to allow for better processes. Since the city was incorporated, the council adopted new regulations for the

multifamily residential, manufacturing and commercial zones. The City Council also approved new standards for parking, residential accessory buildings and short-term rentals. In response to community concerns, the council passed new rules requiring a height transition wherever a multifamily building is proposed next to a residential zone. Silvestrini and the council are making efforts to make sure the Millcreek “circus tent” situation never happens again. City staff is currently updating the city’s sign code and how the public is noticed for for land use decisions. Plans for a city center for Millcreek, currently Utah’s 10th largest city, are coming together, with planning help from the Wasatch Front Regional Council. State tax increment and financing tools are set up through a community reinvestment agency, and phase one is approved for 560 residential units and 28,000 square feet of new retail. The draft plan envisions a significant open space to be built as part of the development. Millcreek was recognized as a leader in transparency and responsive government by the University of Utah Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative and the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah. The distinction is granted to governmental entities within the state in recognition for their integrity, trust, accountability, transparency, fairness, respect, rule of law and viability. The financials speak for themselves. Millcreek ended the fiscal year 2018 with a balance of $4,345,632, paid cash for all purchased fleet vehicles and start-up costs, and underwent an outside audit which resulted in no negative findings. For fiscal year 2019, the city has maintained a fund balance of 16.04%, — consistently many points higher than the statutory 5% minimum. The city also has an AA+ bond rating in the summer of 2019 from outside financial experts. The final voting numbers in this past election showed a 70% vote for four more years with Silvestrini at the helm. l

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Could hormone treatments bring balance to your life? This Millcreek business owner thinks so By Hannah LaFond | h.lafond@mycityjournals.com

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n Nov. 6, Aviva Woman hosted a free hormone and thyroid clinic to discuss how hormones can affect the health and balance of daily life. Aviva Woman is a medical spa located in Millcreek and this is the third event like this they’ve hosted over the past three months. As a medical spa, Aviva Woman provides a variety of treatments. Some of these are mostly cosmetic such as fillers, anti-aging treatments and anti-wrinkle Botox. However, they also offer hormone optimization treatments, which is what the hormone and thyroid clinic focused on. Suzi Sands, founder and executive director of Aviva Woman, explained how many people could benefit from hormone optimization. According to Sands, hormone treatment can improve many symptoms such as fatigue, low libido, mental clarity, sleep, menstruation and osteoporosis. But many women aren’t aware these symptoms could be related to hormones. Which is why she’s started these clinics to bring more awareness to the topic. “Many women wonder if they have a hormone imbalance and get a few levels checked and are told (by there health care provider) ‘Everything is normal,’” Sands told the Millcreek Journal. “We aim at differentiating normal and optimal and helping individuals get to the optimal health range.” So, what exactly is hormone optimization? Many treatment centers, including Aviva Woman, use bio-identical hormone replacement Tterapy to treat a variety of symptoms such as fatigue, trouble sleeping, migraines and other symptoms Sands listed. According to an article published on the subject by the Cleveland Clinic, “Bio-identical hormones are man-made hormones that are very similar to the hormones produced by the human body.” After testing someone’s hormone lev-

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els, treatment centers like Aviva Woman administer bio-identical hormone pellets to patients. These man-made hormones aim to balance the patient’s hormone levels. Of course, as with any treatment, there are possible side effects to look out for. These may include tiredness, blurred vision, weight gain, cramping and so on. It’s always

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The waiting area in Aviva Woman’s office, located in Millcreek. (Provided by Suzi Sands)

important to do your research and be careful. However, Sands said she’s seen many lives changed by this treatment. She described one man who gets hormone treatments for headaches. He comes to Aviva Woman every five months and one week. A pretty specific schedule, but according to Sands, they have perfected the timing of his treatments. “He suffered for decades with debilitating migraines and the hormone pellets are the only thing that has helped him live like a normal person. He says if he goes any longer than the five months and one week he will get migraines again the next day,” Sands said.

“We have fine-tuned his treatment plan so we don’t treat him too soon but don’t let him go too long without optimizing his hormones.” She talked about another patient who they helped with sleep disturbances. According to Sands, the woman had visited sleep specialists and tried various drugs on the market to help her sleep. Nothing helped until she started doing hormone optimization. “After 30 years she is finally sleeping through the night and waking up well-rested,” Sands said. Sands hopes through these clinics she can find more patients to help. Aviva Wom- Suzi Sands, founder of Aviva Woman, sits on her desk. an’s next hormone and thyroid clinic is (Provided by Suzi Sands) scheduled on Dec. 4. l

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Diwali celebrates new beginnings at the new Krishna Temple By Hannah LaFond | h.lafond@mycityjournals.com

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Guests arrive for the Diwali celebration at the newly constructed Krishna temple. (Hannah LaFond/City Journals)

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iwali is always an important time of year in the Hindu faith, but this year was even more special for those of the Utah Krishna community. It was their first opportunity to celebrate the Festival of Lights in their newly built temple located at 965 East 3370 South in Millcreek. This is the second Krishna temple constructed in Utah. The other is in Spanish Fork. Before opening the new temple on Aug. 17, members of the faith in the Salt Lake area worshiped in a small renovated classroom. Now, they’re able to gather each Saturday at 7 p.m. in an ornate 7,000-square-foot temple topped with gold spires. Temple priest Caru Das Adikari said anyone who is curious is welcome to join them. Diwali is the festival of lights celebrated between October and November. It has a great deal of significance for many reasons. Adikari explained in the Hindu tradition it celebrates good’s triumph over evil or light’s triumph over darkness. According to Hindu doctrine, Diwali celebrates when their deity Rama was welcomed back to Ayodhya after years of exile. The city was lit brightly to welcome him home, hence the festival of lights. “Light represents goodness, represents knowledge, represents truth, represents integrity and then darkness represents the lack of all those things. So, the Festival of Light celebrates all those virtues,” Adikari said in an interview with the Millcreek Journal. Along with these meanings, Diwali also celebrates the harvest and new beginnings. Adikari compared it to Thanksgiving and New Year’s celebrations.

“If you’re on an agricultural calendar the year actually starts now when you finish your harvest and everything is stored away for the winter,” Adikari said. The festival is at the end of October, making it a time of gratitude for the harvest and for new beginnings. For the Salt Lake City Diwali celebration on Saturday, Oct. 26, members of the Krishna community and visitors gathered in the auditorium by the new Krishna temple. It was free to anyone who wanted to attend, and many who weren’t members of the faith joined the celebration. All guests were asked to leave their shoes outside the auditorium, which was decorated beautifully with many lights. Guests sat in chairs facing the stage for a cultural program from 6 to 8 p.m. Performances included traditional music, a drama put on by the children, dance, and delicious food that was available for purchase. The theme of light and goodness was prominent throughout the evening. At one point between musical performances, the priest asked the audience to look into their neighbor’s eyes, telling them they would see the light in them. “Light is truth, and that light doesn’t die,” he said. “Don’t worry, it’s not a religious thing,” he joked for anyone in attendance from other faiths. When the cultural program had finished, everyone was invited to watch a fireworks display at the temple. The golden spires of the temple glowed with colorful light as fireworks soared above it, making the perfect end to the first of many Diwali celebrations at the Salt Lake City Krishna Temple. l

Millcreek City Journal


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stellarliving.com December 2019 | Page 9


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“Good news,” said Millcreek resident Scott Brown. “I discovered last night while cleaning my gutters that if I stand on the highest point of the roof of my house, that even though there is still the eyesore of an inappropriately built warehouse that I still must try to ignore, I can regain a small portion of what I lost when the city approved this monstrosity ‘in error.’” (Photo courtsey Scott Brown)

to believe the applicant mislead” them. City officials are working with the property owner and neighboring residents to include façade and landscaping improvements While the city admits they’re at fault, they cannot legally remedy things to make it right for the people wronged. For now, it seems things are going to stay the way they are. Some are trying to stay hopeful, like Brown, who posted a photo of the view from the very top of his house. You can glimpse the mountain scenery where a large portion is still blotted by the large blue Dewey Bail Bonds building. Silvestrini has

also responded in kindness to individuals on social media. “The mistake our planner made was unfortunate and we have taken steps to prevent this type of error from happening again. I am not at liberty to discuss personnel matters (particularly on Social Media) but I can assure you that we are addressing that also. It’s not often cities admit that they made a mistake. Mistakes do happen and I don’t think any mayor can prevent them completely. I think it’s important to admit mistakes and learn from them and try to make them right if possible.” l

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Millcreek City Journal


Millcreek business owner crashes, still finishes third in 207-mile bike race By Catherine Garrett | c.garrett@mycityjournals.com

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pencer Johnson, who won the 207-mile Lotoja event in 2018 with a course record time of eight hours, 18 minutes and 29 seconds, placed third at this year’s race in September. Racing with his team Johnson Elite Orthodontics (JEO) this year, Johnson collided with his teammate’s wheel and crashed early in the race. He got back up and continued racing and, although his tire tube began to bulge, his bike held up for the final

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190 miles, and he finished the course in eight hours, 47 minutes and 59 seconds with driedup blood on his hands. His JEO team, sponsored by his orthodontic practice, which has offices in South Jordan and Millcreek, and Centerville builder’s CW Urban, “defended” their title this year with Farmington’s Roger Arnell taking the title this time around. The 40-year-old Johnson, who lives in Riverton with his wife, Stephanie, and three children,

grew up biking and has been competing in the pro categories of races for the past few years. He trains several hours a week and participates in two events each month. “Kids love Christmas. I love that same type of unknown with what’s going to happen in a race,” Johnson said. “This is something I feel like I’m decent at, and it helps with my competitiveness and ability to keep in shape.” (Photos courtesy Spencer Johnson) l

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December 2019 | Page 11


Eagles soar to state championship Photos by Justin Adams

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The Skyline soccer team raises the 5A state championship trophy after defeating Bonneville 2-1 in overtime. Senior Ani Jensen (lifting the trophy) scored the game winning goal on a left-footed strike from the top of the 18.

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Sophomore Allie Swensen paced the Skyline attack all season, including setting up a few goals in the 3-1 semifinal win over Mountain View. Swensen knocked in 18 goals this season.

The Eagles defeated Cottonwood, Park City, Timpview, Mountain View and Bonneville in the state tournament to win the title. They defeated Timpview in a shootout in the quarterfinals overcoming a nemesis who had knocked them out of the playoffs in 2016 and 2017.

Millcreek City Journal


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Living, the cozy, elegant home for seniors that proves that your golden years can be the most satisfying decades of your life. Located in Holladay, the 77 beautiful and spacious apartments nestle under the same roof as a professional salon, a library, an ice cream and pastry bar and a busy activities room. Residents can live in a secure, comfortable environment while keeping the same level of lifestyle they maintained at the peak of their retirement — without having to worry about the laundry, cleaning or cooking. Three times a day, residents select meals from a diverse menu prepared by the community’s chef. The dining room is a popular meeting place for visiting family members to share meals with their loved ones. A variety of exercises, social events and organized outings keep experiences fresh and allow residents to keep their lives as busy and active as they would like. There’s everything from craft nights to marshmallow roasting on the spacious patio. The hardwood-trimmed hallways are painted in warm, creamy tones, and large windows look toward the mountains.

Whether studio-style, one-bedroom or two-bedroom, each apartment is beautifully styled and has plenty of space for residents’ personal belongings. Though Abbington Senior Living might sound more like a resort than a care home, its passionate and professional staff bring the same level of dignity and style when caring for assisted living and memory care residents. Well-trained nursing staff members carefully craft individual care plans alongside residents and family members to fit residents’ unique needs. Music therapy and a comforting, secure environment contribute to memory care residents’ beneficial experience, and a nurse is on-call 24/7. Members of the staff enjoy taking Abbington Senior Living residents on organized outings, including trips on the Heber Valley Historic Railroad or to the University of Utah for a lunch and learn experience. Staff members often pair up with residents for one-on-one outings tailored to their specific interests. After all, just because some residents are unable to drive themselves shouldn’t stop them from living life to the fullest.

Last month, a care staff member and some residents visited Hill Aerospace Museum in Ogden. For one United States Air Force veteran, this was a unique and deeply meaningful opportunity to reminisce — and a drive he likely wouldn’t have taken alone at this stage. Thanks to the staff, another resident recently visited his old workspace to greet dear friends. The Romney family’s beloved Veda lived in memory care at Abbington Senior Living for the last years of her life. The family says they were happy to see the staff become like a second family to her. Ultimately, Abbington Senior Living offers seniors a great place to age gracefully, and it gives family caretakers peace of mind. Come and take a look for yourself — the staff will happily give you a personal tour. Abbington Senior Living will soon open a new location in Murray. You can also find Abbington Senior Living Communities in Lehi, Mapleton and Heber. Call or text the Holladay location at 801-432-7003. The Holladay location is at 2728 E. 3900 South.

December 2019 | Page 13


Winter skies hold less pollution than 10 years ago By Erin Dixon | erin@mycityjournals.com

Vehicle emissions are one of the biggest contributors to airborne pollution. (Adobe stock photo)

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inter is coming. With it comes trapped pollution. Air pollution in the Salt Lake valley is a problem: an obvious statement. The good news is, it’s become less of a problem than it was in 2010. In a presentation to the American Planners Association, Thom Carter, UCAIR (Utah Clean Air Partnership) executive director, stated that, “From 2002 to 2017, total emissions have dropped 38% despite the population increasing 34% during that same time period.” Why is the air better? Because we discovered the primary culprits for pollution. Us. Fifty-two percent of Utah residents are now aware their own vehicles are the biggest contributor, whereas six years ago 56% thought mines, refineries and other industries were at fault. Because residents see themselves as responsible, many are making efforts to change their habits. Taking public transit instead of driving alone is one of the biggest changes people are making. “With 50% of pollution coming from our tailpipes, not idling, reducing cold starts, taking transit, carpooling are most beneficial to reducing our impact on air quality,” Carter said. Another major contributor to pollution is old appliances. “Changing out a traditional water heater

Page 14 | December 2019

to an ultra-low NOx water heater can make a big difference. Experts at the Department of Environmental Quality tell us that nitrous oxide or NOx is a precursor of PM2.5 (Particulate Matter 2.5 micrometers)…. When a homeowner switches to an ultra-low NOx water heater, it reduces NOx emissions by 75%,” Carter said.

The little things, like turning down the thermosat and replacing old appliances, can help lessen pollution. There’s even a way to save yourself cash and reduce pollution; turn your furnace down by two degrees. “Regarding thermostats, we know that people are turning down their thermostats to save money and help air quality…. This 2 degree difference can save 1 ton in CO2. The average family emits 25 tons of CO2 emissions per year,” Carter said. However, if any of these small efforts stopped, pollution would again skyrocket. l

Millcreek City Journal


4 tips from a parenting expert By Hannah LaFond | h.lafond@mycityjournals.com

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ith all the books, advice and theories on the subject, it can be hard to know how to raise your child. But one Utah local believes she’s found the best way to parent with purpose. Katie Nelson is a mother of four and has a bachelor’s degree in human development and a master’s in early childhood special education. While working for a school she became certified to facilitate Love and Logic courses. These classes are designed to teach parenting in a similar way to what Nelson does now, but after teaching them for 12 years, there were some aspects of the curriculum she felt could be improved. “Overall it was a great program, but there were just some things missing,” Nelson told the Millcreek Journal. So, drawing from her personal experience and her education, she created her own curriculum, which she teaches today. That curriculum is called Lead Guide Walk Beside: Parenting with Purpose. Nelson says its overall mission is to help parents and families “increase the peace within their home.” Nelson explained the name of her curriculum saying, “First you learn how to lead as parents, then how to guide as parents and then how to walk beside. But it’s not necessarily a certain age where you do those

things, you do them simultaneously.” This is why Nelson stresses this curriculum isn’t just for parents of young children. It is effective for parenting children from birth up to 18. Nelson said the same communication tactics can even be implemented outside the home, though they are created for parenting. Nelson teaches this curriculum through her Positive Parenting workshops. She recently hosted one in Millcreek on Nov. 2. During these workshops, she focuses on three objectives: strengthening the relationships between parent and child, improving the parent’s behavior and improving the child’s behavior. Nelson’s parenting strategy is well Katie Nelson, her four children, and husband pose for a photo together. (Photo courtesy Katie Nelson) thought out. So, these workshops take four hours to get through all of the material. But demands. Nelson said. “Parents yell and they enNelson was willing to give her top four par3. Praise good behavior: This one is pretgage in arguments with their children.” enting tips here: ty self-explanatory. Nelson, along with But Nelson warns this often leads to 1. Stay calm even when your child is many other parenting experts, believes parenting as a dictator rather than being not: Nelson believes it’s important it’s important for children to receive a purposeful parent. even when your child is having a tanpositive feedback. In her curriculum, These four steps are key to parenting trum to stay calm and show that you are Nelson puts a lot of emphasis on pos- with purpose, which Nelson defines as a parin control of the situation. Overreacting itive interactions and focusing on the ent who “sets realistic expectations and folwill only escalate the situation. good. lows through with love… They provide qual2. Let them believe you can handle their 4. Don’t yell: “A lot of parents yell, and ity time between parent and child and praises misbehavior: This means you won’t kids shut down when parents yell, “ the child.” l lose your temper or give into a child’s

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December 2019 | Page 15


How Millcreek seniors live life to the fullest By Hannah LaFond | h.lafond@mycityjournals.com

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allet, yoga, bridge, line dancing and karate are just some of the most popular classes at the Millcreek Senior Center, where anyone 60 years or over is welcome to participate in classes, activities and eat lunch for free. The Millcreek Senior Center was completed in 2012 and is one of 16 Salt Lake County senior centers. It shares its building with the Millcreek Library and the recreation center. Having a shared space makes it a great one-stop center for the community. Upon entering, the building is a lot livelier than one might envision a senior center. You could walk straight into a line dancing class moving to “All About the Bass.” A wide variety of classes are offered, and Sunni Hobbs McKinney, Senior Center manager, said she can never be sure which ones will take off. The group of seniors who attend the center are very physically and intellectually active, and try as she might McKinney can’t get bingo to take off with them. She jokes that they consider it “too senior.” Tai chi and bridge go over much better with this group. Unlike many of the other senior centers, Millcreek has a cafe model. This means all the lunches are prepared on-site, which they serve Monday through Friday. McKinney told the Millcreek Journal they usually feed

A group photo from the antique hat fashion show organized by the Millcreek Advisory Committee. (Provided by Sunni Hobbs McKinney)

between 80 and 120 seniors a day, except Thursday when they get anywhere up to 220 people. “Salmon day is huge,” McKinney said. “Salmon Thursday is a thing that people all know about. I’ve had people from Lehi come out here. I’ve had people from Farmington, and anyone’s welcome.” Thanksgiving dinner is also a popular day when McKinney said they get up to 350

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attendees. Providing healthy food to seniors is an important mission of the Senior Center. After research found many elderly were malnourished, facilities like this began to provide food. This started with the Older Americans Act in 1965. Centers also started providing fitness classes and activities to keep their bodies active, but they quickly found it was about more than physical health. It’s about mental and emotional health. “Depression levels within seniors are so high and that has everything to do with socialization,” McKinney said. “Studies over and over tell us what helps keep you looking forward to waking up is having friends, having connections to people. So, that to me is really what this center is about.” And fortunately, the Millcreek seniors do a great job looking out for each other. McKinney said new visitors are always welcome to the center with open arms. Nobody ever sits alone for long and one senior has even taken it upon himself to serve lunch to any of the less mobile visitors. One of McKinney’s key concerns is rais-

ing the seniors’ self-esteem, especially that of the women. “So many women don’t feel beautiful anymore. It is a serious issue with aging women. They feel like they’ve just got nothing to say, that they’re not important like they are invisible,” McKinney said. They’ve had a few programs to help combat this mindset. One is the ballet classes run by Ballet West at the center, which many of the women enjoy and have benefited from. Another hugely successful event that was put on by the Millcreek Advisory Committee, who raise money for the center, was an antique hat fashion show. One of the women has an antique hat collection and the committee came up with the idea to invite seniors to model them. McKinney admits at first she thought it was a crazy idea, but she was overjoyed when about 50 women signed up to model the hats. The advisory committee set up a photo-shoot and even got a catwalk for the ladies to walk down. “They looked fabulous,” McKinney said. “To see them all feel so beautiful and be the center of attention, it was amazing.” l

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Page 16 | December 2019

Millcreek City Journal


Improvements starting January on 3900 South By Kirk Bradford | k.bradford@mycityjournals.com

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This section of roadway has intermittent sidewalk, utility poles in the asphalt shoulder, open irrigation/ storm drain ditch, and no bicycle facility, all of which creates an unsafe transportation environment.

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he cities of Holladay and Millcreek came to an agreement and have plans to start to improve 3900 South from 2300 East to Wasatch Boulevard. 3900 South will be structured to accommodate parking, motorists and pedestrians in a safe, aesthetic way. The reconstruction project will complete the east-west active transportation corridor between I-215 and 2300 East. According to the Millcreek Government website, “This section of roadway has intermittent sidewalk, utility poles in the asphalt shoulder, open irrigation/storm drain ditch, and no bicycle facility, all of which creates an unsafe transportation environment.” An open house for the project was held at the end of October, where residents could get a better understanding of the area and its future. The improvements take into account the significant growth projected to occur along the corridor. The project includes the addition of curb and gutter, sidewalks, and enhanced UTA bus stops. A bike lane will be added on both sides of the corridor that will merge into shared lanes at each intersection. Pedestrian safety improvements include a new HAWK signal at Birch Drive and an overhead flashing beacon at 3100 East. One hundred percent of the funding for this project is from grants, resulting in a zero net cost to Millcreek and Holladay residents. The project leverages $8.7 million in grants obtained from Salt Lake County and the federal government as a result of Mayor Jeff Silvestrini’s work with the Wasatch Front Regional Council and the Salt Lake County Council as well as Holladay officials. This project is co-sponsored by Millcreek and Holladay. The environmental study was completed earlier this year and the preliminary design is almost finished. You may have noticed the orange-vested land surveyors on the street and an occasional drone being flown over the roadway. This has all been to map the 3900 South corridors for planning future construction. Construction is anticipated to begin at the beginning of 2020 and reach completion sometime in fall 2020. If you missed the open house or have any additional questions, you can still reach out to talk to a project team member. They can be reached by calling Google rendering of Millcreek’s 3900 South planned (801) 509-6639 or by email at 3900South- for construction beginning in 2020. (Photo courtesy Millcreek City) Project@gmail.com. l

December 2019 | Page 17


Hyped over lights

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by

CASSIE GOFF

or some reason unbeknownst to me, us Utahans get way too hyped over holiday lights. Perhaps, we really like them because of the creative designs. Or maybe it’s because it’s a cheap or completely priceless way to spend a magical night with friends and family. It might even be a way for many of us to fight the seasonal depression that comes along with the winter darkness. Whatever the reason may be, we love some holiday lights. If you haven’t checked out these locations yet, I recommend them for a usually-completely-free experience (unless you’re buying some hot chocolate). My favorite light events over the past few years have been the Trees of Life. While originally named the Tree of Light, many residents have nicknamed the trees “Trees of Life,” for various reasons. One of the most stunning trees grows in Draper City Park (1300 E. 12500 South). Every year, over 65,000 lights are carefully strung throughout the tree. When lit (which occurs the first Monday evening after Thanksgiving) all of the branches of the tree are illuminated; making it seem like a tree from a magical world. Throughout the valley, many more Trees of Life are being decorated. The closest one to me personally resides in a cemetery. That’s where I would check to see if there’s a Tree of Life near you. Temple Square arguably has the most famous lights within the valley. Located in

downtown Salt Lake City, Temple Square decorates their 10-acre complex with many different colors and styles of lights. This year, the lights will be on from Nov. 29 until Dec. 31. Check them out from 5 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. The Grand America Hotel in SLC (555 S. Main St.) is a building to sight-see all year round. When it’s lit up with Christmas lights though, it’s hard not to miss. City Creek (50 S. Main Street in Salt Lake City) will turn on their lights for the season on Nov. 21. Their event titled “Santa’s Magical Arrival” will kick off at 6 p.m., when the Candy Windows at Macy’s on Main Street are revealed. The Westminster College Dance Program will be performing “Eve” and will be followed by a fire fountain show. Light the Heights in Cottonwood Heights will occur on Dec. 2, beginning at 5 p.m. A holiday market will be open as City Hall, located at 2277 E. Bengal Blvd., turns on their lights for the first time this season. Other public spaces that are worth walking through to see the lights are This is the Place Heritage Park (2537 E. Sunnyside Ave., Salt Lake City), Gardner Village (1100 W. 7800 South, West Jordan), and Thanksgiving Points (3003 N. Thanksgiving Way, Lehi). Beginning on Dec. 6, Hogle Zoo (2600 E. Sunnyside Ave.) will host Zoo Lights! intermittently throughout the season until Jan. 5. This event does require an entrance fee of

$9.95. On Sundays through Thursdays, they will be open from 5:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. On Fridays and Saturdays, they will be open until 10 p.m. One other event with an entrance fee that’s worth mentioning is Christmas in Color in South Jordan, at 1161 S. 2200 West. You’ll need your car for this one as you drive through lighted tunnels and landscapes for at least 30 minutes. Tickets are $27 per vehicle. Now back to the free-of-charge neighborhood lights. In Sugar House, Glen Arbor Drive (also unofficially known as “Christmas Street”) is a popular destination for holiday drivers. While driving, please be courteous of the street’s residents. In Taylorsville, (another unofficial) Christmas Street has been causing quite a stir. It’s a festive neighborhood where the residents really take to the holiday. Located around 3310 W. Royal Wood Drive, this street is one to cruise down. The Lights on Sherwood Drive in Kaysville is also a neighborhood gaining popularity. According to their Facebook page, their Christmas light shows are fully controlled and synchronized to a light show. Shows start at 5:30 p.m. and run until 10 p.m. every day of the week. If you’re looking for even more places to visit, you might want to check out chistmaslightfinder.com.

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Millcreek City Journal


Son of a Nutcracker

I

t’s the time of year people pretend “The Nutcracker” ballet is a fun holiday activity. If you’re one of the lucky few who never sat through this weird production involving multi-headed vermin, living toys and one unsettling old man, here’s a recap. Picture a festive house in the late 1800s with dozens of dancing guests, skipping children and happy servants, basically it’s the “12 Days of Christmas” come to life. Young Clara and her obnoxious brother, Fritz, are the ballet version of little kids crazy-excited for Christmas. (The ballet version differs from real life because ballet dancers don’t speak, where real children don’t shut up from Thanksgiving to Christmas morning.) Dr. Drosselmeyer, Clara’s super-creepy godfather, appears at the party dressed like Count Chocula and presents her with a wooden nutcracker. Clara is over-the-top ecstatic, for reasons I’ll never understand. I guess children had a different relationship with nutcrackers in the 19th century. Clara’s brother is SO jealous of the gift (right??) that he flings the nutcracker across the room, because really, what else can you do with a nutcracker? Clara’s despondent. She wraps his broken wooden body in a sling (like ya do) and falls asleep on the couch, snuggled to her nutcracker. During the night, the Rat King and his minions sneak into Clara’s home, because why not? She wakes up and freaks out. The

Life

Laughter AND

by

PERI KINDER

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nutcracker turns into a handsome soldier and wields his sword to defeat the rodent army. “Nutcracker! You’re my hero!” screams Clara, if people in a ballet could talk. “That’s Prince Nutcracker to you, peasant,” he sniffs in pantomime, before taking her to the magical Land of the Sweets ruled by the Sugar Plum Fairy who has an unclear but definite sexual relationship with Prince Nutcracker. While in the Land of Sweets, Clara watches dancers from Russia, Spain, China and Arabia (?) as they perform in a culturally stereotypical fashion. Prince Nutcracker sits next to Clara cracking walnuts with his jaw like some football jock. Mother Ginger shows up in drag with a skirt full of tumbling children, then there’s a flower waltz and dancing pipes and tons more pirouetting before the Sugar Plum Fairy takes the stage to make everyone else look clumsy and insipid. It’s all performed to Tchaikovsky’s musical score that stays in your head through January. In the end, it turns out it was all a dream, as most stories involving young girls and adventure turn out to be. I told you that story to tell you this story. When I was a gangly 11 year old, still full of hope, I auditioned for Ballet West’s “The Nutcracker.” As the audition drew nearer, I practiced every spin and arabesque I’d ever learned. I played the music all day until my

dad walked into my room, removed the album from the turn table and smashed it into pieces with his bare hands. I showed up at the audition with my hair pulled into a bun so tight it closed my eyes. An elegant dancer performed several steps that we practiced for a few minutes, then we performed for the judges. It was over so quickly. As dancers were given roles as soldiers, party goers and mice, I held my breath. But my number wasn’t called. I was heartbroken. Maybe decades later I’m insulted that the ballet judges couldn’t see my awkward talent. Or maybe I’ve endured enough versions of this tale to see it’s craziness. And if “The Nutcracker” is your family’s favorite holiday tradition, ignore my opinion. It’s all a dream anyway.

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December 2019 | Page 19


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