Millcreek Journal | August 2021

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August 2021 | Vol. 03 Iss. 08




t just 20 years of age, Shelby Jensen will be one of the younger athletes competing at the Tokyo Paralympic Games next month. Jensen competes in para-fencing which is like fencing except done in wheelchairs. After several hours per day of practice over the last few years, the hard work has finally paid off. The Millcreek native has competed at national and even international levels, but this will be her first time in the Paralympics. After trying several sports in her youth, Jensen finally found her niche at this sport where she could compete at the highest level. It has become her greatest passion for several reasons. “I can hit people and not get yelled at,” Jensen said. “It’s a mental game. It gives you an adrenaline rush. No one else matters because you are only focused solely on your opponent. You have to think two or three steps ahead of what your opponent is thinking. You have to predict your opponent’s next move. You can be as buff as a bodybuilder, but the mental game is where it’s at.” Due to COVID restrictions, her trainer (Brandon Smith) cannot go to Tokyo to attend the games. Instead, the one para-fencing coach for Team USA will be there to give instructions to her and the other para-fencers. Smith works with her on a regular basis at Valkyrie Fencing. The club has several locations along the Wasatch Front. Jensen is one of the most talented fencers that Smith has coached. “She has these moments where it all connects and she tunes in,” Smith said. “That makes her actions really easy. She still has a lot of development to work on to untap her full ability. Her drive is great and she’s still developing that. Sometimes we have to slow it down because she wants to go fast. We need to practice techniques slowly, and then speed it up. If you have a bad action then you’ll get bad results. Full force isn't the best strategy in this sport.” With no spectators allowed, this will be a Paralympics unlike any other. “I want her to go out and do what she knows best and enjoy herself,” Smith “I can hit people and not get yelled at,” Jensen says of the sport she competes in at national and international levels. (Photo courtesy Continued page 4 Shelby Jensen)

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Continued from front page said. “This will be a different Olympics. It will be quiet enough that she will probably hear the other coach talking. It’s a different scenario. It’s a unique experience for sure. She will enjoy it. Mickey, the Team USA coach, will be on her side in Tokyo. I will be able to call in if they are struggling to communicate. Sometimes I need to be quiet and let her figure it out. Training is how you’ll perform.” To even make the Paralympics is a marvelous feat in its own right. Even if Jensen does not medal, she will represent the state of Utah well. “I’m excited for Tokyo,” Jensen said. “I want to do my best. Medals don’t really matter as long as I do my best to make my country proud.” Jensen and the rest of Team USA will have their work cut out for them. While they are usually a perennial favorite, China and Russia have strong teams. Japan, the host country, is also strong. Korea has amazing footwork. For 13 years, Jensen has had to get used to having a disability that has completely changed her life. “I had a stroke when I was seven,” Jensen said. “It was caused by a brain aneurysm. When they went to clip off the blood clot, another stroke paralyzed my right side. I now have right-side hemiparesis.” While it might be easy for many to give up on achieving greatness after a traumatic moment like this, that was not in the cards for Jensen.

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After trying several sports in her youth, Shelby Jensen finally found her niche at fencing where she could compete at the highest level. (Photo courtesy Shelby Jensen)

“After that, my parents put me into sports,” Jensen said. “Sports are the best kind of rehab. I am around other like-minded people. People share their mental and physical accomplishments.” This isn’t the first time around the global para-fencing scene for Jensen. Several trials and experiences have prepared her for this month. “I once fenced with my friend in Dubai for the U23 Junior World Championships in February 2019,” Jensen said. “She is from Amsterdam but fences for Turkey. I got a bronze medal. It was the best feeling knowing I won an international medal against another country.” When explaining how she got to this point, Jensen made it clear that one can’t be expected to be a great fencer overnight. “I train five days a week for three to four hours a day at the club I go to,” Jensen said. “When home I’m also working out and hitting a dummy for several hours. I watch videos of my oppo-




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Travis Barton |


Ryan Casper | 801-254-5974


Jen Deveraux | Mieka Sawatzki |


nents and how they fence.” Fencing was not a sport that Jensen knew much about early on. She had to discover her passion. “I was first introduced to it at a wheelchair sports camp,” Jensen said. “I liked the aspect of a one-on-one sport with my opponent. I tried other sports before fencing. Once I found fencing, I found a niche. There are also team events. I like individual events more but with team events you can face a different team or country.” Jensen was not hesitant to encourage other young athletes to try the sport of fencing. “Try it,” Jensen said. “You’ll never know if you like it until you try it. Everyone should try it once.” Jensen leaves for Tokyo on Aug. 17. Her events happen Aug. 24-28. No streaming options have been announced, but fans can follow her progress on l

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By Bryan Thomas, VP Engineering, Comcast Mountain West Region

Working and learning remotely for the past 15 months brought unique circumstances for all of us to navigate in several areas, and central to it all is having access to a reliable, secure internet connection. The pandemic posed the biggest technological test in the history of the internet. When offices and schools closed in March 2020, internet traffic across the U.S. surged by 20 – 35 percent, as millions of people transitioned to working, learning and consuming all of their entertainment at home. Now our communities are transitioning back to working from offices or making hybrid work arrangements, and schools are planning to reopen their doors beginning in August. A flexible, continuously evolving network staying ahead of customer demand is critical. The success of a network hinges on three factors: decades of strategic investment, continuous network innovation, and the best team in the business. Investment In the last three years alone, Comcast invested $389.6 million in technology and infrastructure in Utah, including upgrades to our network. Since 2017, Comcast devoted more than $15 billion nationwide to strengthening and expanding our network – including building more than 33,000 new route miles of fiber, which is like driving from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine more than 10 times. Every two and a half years, the company has added as much capacity to the network as it has in all the previous years combined. One of the greatest advantages of our massive network is we already pass 60 million homes and businesses with a powerful, fiber-dense network, and we have the ability to quickly, surgically, and efficiently add additional fiber and capacity when and where it’s needed. Because of our continuous investment in our network, we can often complete targeted upgrades in weeks rather than months and years. We have a proven track record of completing network upgrades and improvements ahead of schedule, and delivering the performance our customers need well before they need it. Innovation Continuous innovation throughout every part of a network is key. Comcast is a leader in the 10G initiative, which leverages new standards and technology to dramatically increase internet speeds. The technology lays the groundwork for network operators, like us, to deliver multigigabit download and upload speeds over connections already installed in hundreds of millions of homes worldwide. Meaning, we can deliver multigigabit speeds to homes without the need for massive digging and construction projects. With this technology, Comcast can continue to deliver ultra-fast service today, while simultaneously building capacity for future needs.mAnd with decades of experience, Comcast is advancing network virtualization and data access to cloud-based technologies for greater performance, increased reliability and easier upgrades. Simply put, we’re able to meet the needs of tomorrow – today, and continually improve the customer experience by delivering faster speeds, greater capacity, and more dynamic connected experiences. Team Support In addition to investing billions in building and evolving our network, Comcast engineers, artificial intelligence scientists, and cybersecurity experts across the country are continuously developing and deploying new technologies to protect our customers and ensure our network can meet emerging threats and challenges. We have a team of cybersecurity experts scanning the network for threats and actively defending our network and our communities. Our teams are made up of elite talent working at every level of the network from software and artificial intelligence at the core, to the best field teams laying new fiber and upgrading the network year-round in all conditions. New network entrants who don’t have a plan or resources to support never-ending network evolution, cybersecurity protection, and hardening may put customers who rely on them at unnecessary risk. As the country shifts yet again, home and business internet connections remain essential for video calls, education, healthcare access, workforce development, streaming entertainment, and more. At Comcast, we remain relentlessly focused on connectivity, to deliver the smartest, fastest, most reliable network to the communities we serve – keeping you connected to more of who and what you love.

Millcreek City Journal

Free Neuropathy and Diabetes Seminar

Bonneville Junior High with the national and state flags blowing gently in the wind above the school. (Aloyious Sorano/City Journals)

Bonneville Junior High’s new principal talks goals and guidelines for upcoming year By Aloyious Soranno |


onneville Junior High School’s new principal, Jennifer Johnson, has hit the ground running. “Helping students and teachers reconnect and feel welcome in school,” is her first plan of action. She continued, “We want to help our students and teachers feel a part of a strong Bonneville Viking community.” Part of student reintegration back to school after a long summer is for teachers to get them comfortable again, ready to learn. This in turn will relieve some anxieties students may have post pandemic. Second on Johnson’s agenda is to “address learning loss in a systematic, focused way.” She does not want students or staff to focus on educational losses but instead, take those losses and turn them into gains that she knows the school, teachers, and students can reach. She said, “Our teachers have done incredible things over the past 18 months and we need to trust their professionalism and expertise.” With all of the guidelines with social distancing, masks, quarantine, and even mourning the loss of loved ones due to illness, there is always the concern of mental health issues. That is why Johnson sees the need to “be understanding and aware of the increase in mental health needs and address that many of our students/families/teachers may have experienced trauma over the last 18 months,” she said. Bonneville is not letting up on keeping students and faculty healthy either. Proper hygiene will continue to be practiced, including reminders by teachers for their students to keep up with the practice of handwashing and using hand sanitizer. Additionally, the right to wear a mask will be respected. The safety of the students will always be a top priority.

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Lastly, Johnson believes that Bonneville should continue to offer numerous opportunities in academics, athletics, and other programs. She said, “Bonneville has a great history of offering many programs that support student achievement and growth.” And she looks forward to continuing this tradition. As the new principal, she is excited to get started and looks forward to a collaborative effort to help start the new school year on a positive note. “As a school community, it takes the efforts of many to make things work. These achievements cannot be done by one person. I look forward to the opportunity of working with the Bonneville community to begin rebuilding after a very long year of Covid,” she said. l

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August 2021 | Page 7

Martin Bates retires after 11 years as GSD superintendent By Bill Hardesty |


hh…the blessings of retirement. “I will go to bed at night on the 30th (of June) and turn my phone off, and it will be the first time in 11 years. So that it won’t wake me up at five on the first, and so I’ll sleep a little bit longer, maybe,” said Martin W. Bates, retiring superintendent of Granite School District. Bates has worked for the Granite School District for 26 years—the last 11 as superintendent. Richard Nye took the reins on July 1. Future In his retirement Bates plans to be a more hands-on grandpa. “We’ve got five and two-thirds grandchildren, and I’m jealous of the time my wife gets to spend with them,” Bates said. “In the past, she calls me from Thanksgiving Point at the dinosaur museum, or, from the zoo. They’re watching this baby gorilla grow up, and I’m texting from meetings that I’m in, so I’m looking forward to being a grandpa.” Bates told a story that one of his sons called because he needed to take a couch to the dump. Bates had the truck, but he had to schedule it in two weeks. “I ought to be able to go help him when he needs help. I shouldn’t have to schedule those two weeks from now.” The Bates are also planning some traveling, and they hope to serve missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 11 years of change Bates mentioned that technology had changed education over his years as superintendent. For example, he told a story about a measles outbreak in a high school 10 years ago. In that case, anyone who couldn’t show their shot record for measles had to go home without access to education until they were vaccinated. “I was looking at the technology that we had, and I said, ‘We got to be able to teach from a distance. We got to have the tools for that,’” Bates said. He credited this measles experience as the catalyst for preparing GSD for 2020. In between, the district did a lot of work about distance learning, but it was just theoretical. Then, with school closing, the plans went from theory to reality. “It was what a shock. Frankly, I’m so honored to have worked with people, shoulder to shoulder with people who stepped forward and did things they’ve never done before. In an environment where they were just more than a little bit uncomfortable,” Bates said. “Technologically infrastructure wise. We were perhaps a little more prepared for what happened this past year because of that experience that we’d had 10 years previously.” Another change is the morphing GSD demographics. Social-economic demographics continue to shift, and Bates says

Page 8 | August 2021

Former GSD Superintendent Martin Bates retired June 30 after 26 years of service—11 of them as superintendent. (Courtesy of Granite School District)

that the district and teachers had to move their teaching. “We don’t have any teachers that are teaching the same way they were teaching 10 years ago because they’ve got different students and different families in different neighborhoods,” Bates said. Ben Horsley, GSD communications director, added, “I think there’s this notion that school buildings and classrooms still look like it did when somebody graduated 10 years ago, 20 years ago, or 30 years ago. I think most people wouldn’t recognize what instruction looks like or what that classroom looks like.” Bates mentioned the importance of adopting best practices. He noted that there is so much more knowledge about teaching and learning than a decade ago. “Especially in our secondary schools, classes and classrooms and schedules don’t look like they did before. We’ve got this technical center next door where students are working with cadavers,” Bates said. “We’ve got second and third graders that are multiplying and dividing fractions. They used to not do that until sixth grade. So, the teachers had to step up because that’s where our society or community needs schools to do.” Another change is the increasing amount of public interaction. Bates observed that he had been more engaged with the public than his predecessors. For example, he started to hold town hall meetings throughout the district. He also created 400 to 500 “snapshots,” short videos where Bates answered a question. Bates said they ranged from “It is OK to eat our desk?” to “What are we doing with Special Ed challenges?” Another change is the demands on schools. Bates mentioned how the Armstrong Academy has these really tall tables for kids to sit around. The tables force students to lean into each other. “Just by the way it’s set up, they do group work. So, we’re able to do group work and research and productivity in real-world kinds of ways. Because the real workforce works in groups, they work in teams,” Bates said. “We are building schools so they can do much more real-world practice and use

Former GSD Superintendent Martin Bates talks with students. He retired June 30 after 26 years of service—11 of them as superintendent. (Courtesy of Granite School District)

real-world tools, elementary through high school. So, from the very architecture of the building to teaching methodology, we’re changing.” Administration accomplishments Bates was hesitant to list his administration accomplishments, but he did share some thoughts. “I think what we’ve done transitioning from a textbook lecture style to an interactive student production style. We’ve jumped miles in that direction,” Bates said. He mentioned they were always creative and aggressive in hiring and retention. They always were fully staffed on the first day of every school year. They focused on employees and their families. One of these creative initiatives is the creation of the GSD Wellness Center. The center is an instacare for GSD employee and their families and is entirely free. GSD is the only school district to have such an employee benefit. “I think we do, community engagement, better than we’ve ever done. Because kids go to school, but they’re also part of a larger community,” Bates said. “We get to work with their families and businesses and communities and siblings and parents.” GSD operates 30+ Family Engagement Centers at elementary, junior high, and high schools. Besides help for parents to interact with the district, many of these centers have food pantries. In addition, Bates served on the Utah Refugee Connection board, which is closely affiliated with the district, and on the Department of Workforce Services for refugee board. “My mother was a refugee, so I’m a first-generation American. English is my second language. And so, I look at those kids, and I see me. I see myself,” Bates said. “The difference. It’s all in education. Edu-

cation is what it’s all about. And that’s the future for everybody. So, the education this little gal, this little guy gets while they’re sitting in one of my schools is going to affect them and their children and their children’s children.” Horsley added that respect of his peers is another accomplishment. “If you talk to any of his peers at the Superintendent’s Association, they will point out that Granite is always considered one of the more innovative and progressive organizations and looking to enhance student learning,” Horsley said. “He knows each and every mayor in Granite School District, by name and they know him, and they know they can call him. If they have questions or concerns, and so he has preeminent credibility and stature.” Message to students To the students of GSD, Bates’ farewell message is: “We’ve done our best to give every one of them a teacher who cares about them and is going to give them what they need to be able to take the next step forward on their way to successful college career and lifetime experiences.” Message to teachers, staff and district employees To the employees of GSD, Bates said, “There is no greater profession. There’s no more honorable profession than education. When I say education, I’m talking about the classroom teacher and the principals who oversee and direct. But, still, none of us could do our work if it weren’t for custodians, for grounds, for glazers, for painters and HVAC technicians. Students couldn’t go to school if it were the same temperature inside as it is outside in January or in June.” l

Millcreek City Journal

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August 2021 | Page 9

Defending champs take the field Aug. 3 Photos by Justin Adams

Memory loss that disrupts daily life may be a symptom of Alzheimmillion people are living er’s 6.2 or another dementia. Alzheimer’s is a brainwith disease that causes 6.2 million people are living with a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. There are Alzheimer’s diseaseEvery in the United 10 warning signs and symptoms. individual may experience Alzheimer’s disease in the United one States. or more ofOver these signs in a different degree. If you notice any 34,000 people in Utah of them in yourself or a34,000 loved one,people please see in a doctor. States. Over Utah

alone. This disease kills more people

10 SIGNS OF This disease kills more people alone. each year than breast cancer and ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE

eachloss year 1. Memory that than disruptsbreast cancer and prostate cancer combined, and is the daily life prostate cancer combined, and is the 2. Challenges in planning or 4th leading cause of death in Utah. problem solving 4th leading cause of death in Utah. 3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, More than 104,000 people in Utah More than 104,000 people in Utah work or at leisure 6.2for millionsomeone people are living with Alzheimer’s provide living 4. Confusion withunpaid time or care disease in the United States. Over provide unpaid carepeople for insomeone living34,000 place Utah alone. This disease kills withunderstanding Alzheimer’s disease. The impact is 5. Trouble more people each year than breast cancer with Alzheimer’s disease. The impact is visual images and special and prostate cancer combined, and is the widespread and can be devastating to 4th leading cause of death in Utah. relationships widespread and can be devastating to 6. New problems with words families. More than 104,000 people in Utah proin speaking or writing families. vide unpaid care for someone living with 7. Misplacing things and Alzheimer’s disease. The impact is widelosing ability to Forthemore information, aboutto families. spreadto and learn can be devastating For more information, to learn about retrace steps Together we can work to findor a cure support groups or other resources, 8. Decreased or poor and ultimately have our first survivor! support groups or other resources, or judgment Join the fight and lend your to to get from helpwork immediately contact thevoice 9. Withdrawal or this critical cause by attending the to get help immediately contact the social activities Walk to End Alzheimer’s this fall. There Alzheimer’s Association’s free 24/7 are eight Walks throughout the state 10. Changes in mood Association’s Alzheimer’s free 24/7 of Utah: and personality Helpline at:

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Mary Anderson attempts to maneuver around a Murray defender during the semifinals last year. The Titans beat Murray in the semis 2-1 before overcoming Bonneville in the championship game 1-0 to claim the 5A state title. Olympus kicks off its season Aug. 3 against Corner Canyon at home at 7 p.m.

Returner Kelly Bullock escapes pressure during the semifinals last year. Olympus graduated important squad members of the title-winning team a year ago, but returned key players like Bullock and Emma Neff. The Titans have a difficult nonregion slate facing teams like Corner Canyon, Riverton, Viewmont and American Fork before a tough region featuring contenders like Skyline, Murray and Brighton.

to get help immediately contact the Alzheimer’s Association’s Togetherfree we24/7 can work Together we can work Helpline at:

to find a cure to find a cure and ultimately have our first survivor! 800-272-3900 and ultimately haveRegister our first survivor! at: orJoin visit our thewebsite fight at: and lend yourtoday voice to Join the fight and lend your voice to this critical cause by attending the this critical cause by attending the Page 10 | August 2021 Walk to End Alzheimer’s this fall. There Walk to End Alzheimer’s this fall. There are eight Walks throughout the state

Millcreek City Journal

Ready to have fun again! We are pet friendly! Improvements to be implemented on 900 East as presented in a slideshow. (Millcreek City website)

Mayor addresses population growth in Millcreek By Bridget Raymundo |


he moving patterns of people shift making it difficult to predict how to adapt a city to fit new demand. However, Millcreek and other cities in the Salt Lake valley can expect serious expansion in the coming decade according to Millcreek Mayor Jeff Silvestrini. The mayor has opened up his Friday afternoons to the needs of the public by taking phone calls scheduled on a first come first served basis. To schedule a call, call his Millcreek office (801-214-2700) and schedule an available slot for the upcoming Friday. Silvestrini talked to the Millcreek Journal about his plans to accommodate population growth within Utah. Silvestrini stated the numbers of incoming people is “the biggest issue within Utah” to manage. So how does this connect to the frequent road construction seen in the streets of Millcreek? The mayor explained the construction is in preparation for the expected population in the near future. He leads as chair for the distribution of highway expansion grants from the Utah government which he claims is a difficult subject to advocate for funding and requires much reminding. The construction sites can encompass vehicular access and parking, traffic control, temporary barriers and enclosures, and more. Elements which have been included involve embankments, erosion and sedimentation controls, slope protection, special foundations and load-bearing elements, street lighting, and more. The Millcreek City website has extensive information

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Detailed improvements on a map of I-80 and I-215. (Millcreek City website)

on projects underway such as the 900 East, I-80 and I-215 improvements. Special attention has been paid by government officials to arranging roads which are wide enough and making homes more accessible. Of course, in order for people to afford these homes, the city has also been exploring future employment opportunities to offer. Inconveniences now can have a big positive outcome for the future conditions of Utahns. Understanding that road construction regularly leads to traffic backups, offers information about projects to avoid which cause street congestion. The question of where new residents come from and why they come

remains. Although the cost of living in big cities is rising higher every year, Silvestrini attributes one-third of the new inhabitants as “returnees.” As in, new Utah inhabitants are actually people who may have been raised or spent time in Utah, left to another place, and then came back to settle down. For example, graduated college students like Silvestrini’s daughter who left to pursue an education in another state and are returning home having completed their degree. Noted as one of the fastest growing cities of this decade, Salt Lake City has much to come in terms of both the development of city infrastructure and the growth in its population. l

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August 2021 | Page 11

The building blocks of Millcreek’s City Center By Bridget Raymundo |


ithout a doubt, the great majority of a city’s appeal lies in the beauty of its center. In Millcreek, the City Center Master Plan has been implemented since June 10, 2019 and is reaching the end of its development. The project has been featured on the Millcreek City website with details and updates on the master plans; the common groundbreaking ceremony on March 9; study of traffic impact; city center zoning; budgeting; and preview images. As time rolls on, the city center is nearing its final additions before opening to services for residents. A press release from April 8, 2020, from Jordan Hatch, information center manager for the City of Millcreek, included images of Mayor Jeff Silvestrini digging on the site of construction. “The Richmond at Millcreek will be a mixeduse building on the corner of Villa Vista Avenue and Richmond Avenue,” stated the release. An expected 328 residential units and 13,000 square feet of street-level retail will become available after the project is finished. Both Atlas Ventures and Cottonwood Residential are the major contributors to the construction underway. “We have a number of incredible projects in the queue still coming to Millcreek’s City Center, and this critical building is just the beginning,” Silvestrini said. “As a city, all of our essential business functions are continuing through these times, including welcoming quality development projects.” In the most recent City Council newsletter update sent on July 16, concerns over the digital marquees approximated to cost $250,000 each are being resolved. According to the newsletter, on July 12, the City Council discussed the matter of sponsorship for the potential marquee at the city commons is in negotiations.

Moreover, the 40-foot-high billboard on 1347 E. 3300 South must be removed from the way of construction, but the right to remove it will be expensive. Utah law requires the sign owner be paid for the expected lifetime income the billboard could have provided were it not removed. In this case, the billboard has a value between $1 million and $1.3 million. Although, current discussions task Reagan Outdoor in charge of sponsoring all three Millcreek Common marquees, so the city would not have to pay to build, operate or maintain them. More than one-third of the turns on the digital signs would belong to Millcreek—or three of eight turns for Millcreek and five for Reagan. Six billboards in the city center area would be removed by Reagan as a result. The light from the electronic marquees would be unseen from side angles and dimmed at night. The height of the signs would be decided by the city who would consult the electronic messaging center guidelines issued by the International Dark-Sky Association. City officials have their hands full based on the agenda for the Millcreek Planning Commission held on July 21. Despite this, progress continues for Mill Town and updates are released routinely. In order to establish a tangible city market, the city has decided to focus on elements in the design involving red brick, glass, concrete, and steel similar to the style of a typical New York apartment in a television show. Millcreek stone will also be making an appearance much like pale cobblestones on walls. Stucco and carbonized wood will be used together for a clean, wholesome look. The visuals can be found titled “Millcreek Common Design Update - June 22, 2020” (PDF) on the Millcreek City website. l

Millcreek Mayor Jeff Silvestrini holds a shovel at the site under construction for the upcoming Millcreek City Center. (Millcreek City)

Page 12 | August 2021

Plans from an overhead point of view depict the future Millcreek City Center dated April 16 and made by the company EPG Design. (EPG Design)

Artist’s digital rendering of the Millcreek Common in the upcoming City Center.

Millcreek City Journal

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Millcreek City Journal

Food truck rallies bring international fare to locals By Lindsey Baxter |


illcreek has embraced the food truck phenomenon and involve these restaurants on wheels with almost any event they have. Venture Out has created another great community weekly event—Food Truck Rallies have been taking place on Thursdays at Millcreek City Hall from 5-8 p.m. and have been quite the hit. They will go through Aug. 26. Millcreek resident of 30 years, Mont Rogerson and friend Andrea, came to their first Thursday night rally with high expectations. They’ve been to the Millcreek night out and tried the food trucks there and wanted to come try it out on another night. Rogerson said, “I definitely missed the events last year so I’m making up for them this year. The plan of action for the night is to try a little bit of everything here as it all looks so good.” Abby Ensaqa, owner of Falafel Tree for 40 years, moved to Utah four years ago. He has been serving from Falafel Tree on different nights and in cities all over. “…I have been in Millcreek for three years. I was by Mount Olympus before and now I live on this same street. I love being in Millcreek,” Ensaqa said. Ensaqa spoke about food truck nights. “I love food truck nights as they have become very popular over the last some years. The Food Truck League have done very good marketing and spreading word in the cities and helping business. This definitely helps our business and helps our exposure for residents in every city to know who we are and which food we present. We have a Facebook page which is Falafeltree and Instagram. The Facebook is much easier to engage cus-

Longtime Millcreek resident Mont Rogerson and friend Andrea about to start sampling the food from all the trucks. (Lindsey Baxter/City Journals)

MillcreekJournal .com

Bonnie Bruchs, owner of Udder Rivals, welcomes patrons for ice cream. (Lindsey Baxter/City Journals)

tomers with.” Bonnie G. Bruchs, owner and operator of Udder Rivals, also uses Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to help her customers to follow and see where she is going to be. Bruchs came up with the clever name for the truck walking through the Utah State Fair with her husband. Her husband saw they were having a big creamery night and he saw that both USU and BYU would be there and said that “not only are they rivals in football, but they are udder rivals.” Bruchs said that was a million-dollar idea and they went with it. She has been the owner and operator for three years.

Udder Rivals food truck. (Lindsey Baxter/City Journals)

“I love meeting the people that live in my community. I live just by Skyline and Wasatch and this is where I live. This is where my kids have grown up. I love seeing their old teachers come up and say hi to them. It’s just a beautiful commu-

nity, and I love to be part of Millcreek,” Bruchs said. Since Millcreek has become their own city, Bruchs said, “We feel a lot closer together. I feel like it’s given us an identity almost. And having food truck nights is a huge part of that. It’s really brought a sense of community that we were all missing before. Before we were kind of just an unknown corner of Salt Lake City, now we have people who are looking out for our needs, we’re getting our streets improved, a lot of facelifts on the buildings. This has been a really big improvement for us.” Bruchs said patrons want to continue doing the food truck rallies until the snow starts to fly. “As you can see, there is food from literally all over the world. You can get a falafel from Egypt, you can get Puerto Rican food from Papito Moe’s. This is just a great microcosm of the world,” Bruchs said. “Concentrating so much energy on being globally minded, how can you do that better than supporting a little tiny microbusiness that represents the entire world, it’s fantastic!” l

Abby Ensaqa’s son helps the family food truck out. (Lindsey Baxter/City Journals)

August 2021 | Page 15

Millcreek home to Jean Massieu School of the Deaf By Aloyious Soranno |


ean Massieu School of the Deaf first opened in 1997 and over the years they have occupied a number of buildings before finding their home in Millcreek. One hundred and seventeen students attend the school for the deaf and 22 students are attending the school for the blind. With a building constructed in 2017, the campus offers features rarely found in other schools around the nation. Getting around the school was uniquely designed for all students. The color red is a perfect marking for exits, doors, and stairways, the textures of the walls allow students to feel their way through the hallways while the change in patterns from one wall to the next helps guide student to their desired destination, and the change in flooring from carpet to tile lets the students know that an exit is nearby. Classrooms are equipped with digital clocks that have a built-in public address system and TVs are mounted on the walls that are linked to the school’s digital PA system. This allows for the office to send messages directly to that classroom or even all at once. But it’s not the technology that makes JMS a special place, it’s the students. “When meeting a deaf person for the first time, you may shake hands like with anyone else but to end the conversation, you will probably get a hug. Then from that moment on, that is how the conversation will start and end with that person,” said Nathan Harrison, curriculum director for the Deaf, who explained the caring nature of the students. Growing up hard of hearing means communication uses lots of body language and facial expressions. “For a lot of these kids, they don’t hear such words as ‘I love you,’ instead they learn to sign it,” Michelle Thomas, associate superintendent of the Deaf said and demonstrates the sign for “I love

you.” She recalls times when she sat and participated in activities with the students and received one of these gifts as a thank you for her time. Children from all over the state are served by the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind with a number over 4,788. These children are not only enrolled in schools like JMS but they also attend public schools. “We send our teachers out to these schools to support the children there,” Thomas said. The support services they offer is an outreach program. “They have been known to be called traveling teachers,” Sheri Ramirez, executive assistant for the Deaf said, “or Deaf Education Specialists.” Their programs even extend to the summer by providing weekly activities with reading, crafts, and even field trips. As far as sports go, there are several options. In the fall, girls have volleyball, in the winter there are both girls and boys basketball teams that play other deaf schools around the West, and in the spring there is ultimate frisbee. And then there is goalball. Athletes are blind and because not all of them are 100% blind, they have to wear goggles for fairness. Two teams of three are facing each other on opposite sides of a 59-foot-long court. Behind them is a nearly 30-foot-long goal divided into three sections. Each team takes a turn at rolling a nine-inch ball with bells inside across the court. The opposing team has to listen and feel for the ball in order to stop it. Goalball is played at the Paralympics and has been since 1978. l

STEM summer camp at the Utah School for the Blind. (Courtesy of Todd Keith)

Utah School for the Deaf summer camp for the Listening and Spoken Language Program for hard of hearing preschoolers. (Courtesy of Todd Keith)


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Millcreek City Journal

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August 2021 | Page 17

August sees return of perennial contenders Skyline soccer Photos by Justin Adams Senior Ali Swensen returns this season having been a key contributor to the Eagle program during her three previous years. Those years include a state championship in 2019 and a semifinal finish in 2020. Skyline starts its season Aug. 3 at Bingham.

Sophomore Lily Hall returns for the Eagles after an impactful year as a freshman scoring seven goals and providing five assists. The 2020 season saw Skyline fall in the semifinals to Bonneville 2-0. The Eagles get a chance for revenge on Aug. 12 at home to the Lakers from Bonneville. Skyline will also take on Bingham and Ridgeline in preseason.



Page 18 | August 2021

Millcreek City Journal

Skyline football kicks off Aug. 13 Photos by Travis Barton


Braxton Bolingbroke hands the ball off to sophomore Porter Brockman against Bountiful in the second round of the playoffs last season. Brockman led the team in rushing for the 2020 season and returns for his junior year in 2021. Skyline bested Bountiful 38-28 to advance to the quarterfinals last year where it fell to eventual state champion Orem 49-28. The Eagles will have to replace the now-graduated Bolingbroke, who completed almost 70% of his passes with 42 touchdowns compared to just six interceptions for a quarterback rating of 133.5 according to MaxPreps.

Teammates celebrate Zach Tueller bringing down the Bountiful running back deep in the backfield. Tueller returns for his senior season this fall. The Eagles kick off their campaign Aug. 13 at Juan Diego with nonregion games against Springville, Mountain View and Bountiful before starting region play against Highland on Sept. 10.



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he Salt Lake City International Airport is bustling. Visitors are pouring into Utah’s state and national parks. And the iconic Temple Square is once again welcoming visitors from around the world to our capital city. After the coronavirus pandemic dramatically impacted travel and tourism – along with so many aspects of our lives and our economy – it’s exciting to see travel returning to our state. In July, the Salt Lake City International Airport reported that passenger volumes were at 105% of 2019 levels – one of the strongest rebounds nationally. And a year after Covid-19 halted most international travel, our Zions Bank branches have seen an uptick in people coming in to get foreign currency for their summer travels, particularly the Mexican Peso, the Euro and the British pound. This return to travel is important. The travel and tourism sector generates over a billion dollars in state and local tax revenue each year, according to the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. Tourism and visitor spending support more than one in 11 Utah jobs directly or indirectly. And in some parts of the state, the employment impact is much

larger. From the snow-capped mountains to the majestic red rocks, statistics show that not even a global pandemic can keep people away from all our state has to offer. Despite the pandemic, a record 10.6 million people visited Utah state parks in 2020 – a 33% increase from 2019. Similarly, Utah’s ski resorts saw a record-breaking 5.3 million skier days during the 202021 winter season, according to Ski Utah. The previous record was 5.1 million, set in 2018-2019. The business side of tourism continues to recover, although much more slowly than the leisure side of travel. It will take some time for business travel to fully recover from the effects of the pandemic, but the future is looking bright. More than a year after the economic recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic began, Utah’s economy has emerged as one of the strongest in the nation, with the second-highest job growth of any state. This busy season of travel is a great sign that our travel and tourism industry is making a strong comeback. A boost in summer travel will have far-reaching impacts on the economy, bringing back jobs

and stimulating additional growth. Robert Spendlove is senior economist for Zions Bank, a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A.

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My grandson and I thought we’d practice hitting golf balls into lakes and shrubbery, so we went to a par 3 course to get our game on. It was sunny, the birds were singing, everything was right with the world, until the clueless 20-something young man at the counter asked if I was eligible for the senior discount. Cue record scratch. First, I’m NOT. Second, you NEVER ask a woman if she’s eligible for the senior discount. I’ll die at 107 without ever accepting a $3 dotage deduction off ANYTHING. Soon after my ego-destroying golf course incident, I visited my dad in the hospital when the nurse assumed I was his wife. First, eww. Second, I have to accept the fact that my “Best By Date” has come and gone. It’s not that I wander the streets carrying a tabby cat and a bag of knitting, but I find myself becoming less visible to anyone under 30. Trying to get help at a store is impossible because I must look like a pair of sandals walking around by themselves. No one wants to help a foot ghost. I receive barely disguised disdain at the make-up counter as the salesperson indifferently directs me to the anti-aging, skin-firming, wrinkle-removing face spackle, even if I want mascara. It’s a social science exper-

iment to get older. Gen Zers hype equality, but only for demographics they care about. But here’s the secret: I don’t give one flying Fig Newton (old people cookies) if the Millennial and Gen Z crowds think I’m irrelevant. I’m a laid-back Gen Xer, raised with minimal adult supervision to be independent, resourceful, fun, flexible and humorous. [Me, shaking my cane at the world]. My generation learned to entertain themselves before the Internet but also became technologically savvy as high-tech advances changed the world. We grew up on Sat-

urday morning cartoons and I wanted to be “bionic” or a Charlie’s Angel. I also rocked a smallpox vaccine scar (because vaccines work, people). We were easily amused. One of our favorite toys, the Clacker, was two heavy plastic balls attached to a string that you knocked together – for hours. We also had pet rocks, Silly Putty and Weebles. Okay, yes, our toys were stupid – but we were not. We used our imagination and became innovators, dreamers, creators and visionaries, and don’t need to be talked down to. Patronize a Gen Xer and you’ll end up with a pet rock shoved in your ear. I celebrated my birthday in July and love every day that my heart is beating, my lungs are breathing, and my mind is learning. I’m resilient, hopeful and optimistic, and look forward to turning even older next year. I’ll continue to wear shorts, tank tops, mini-skirts or anything else I damn well please. The only thing I refuse to wear is a fake smile because I’m done playing small. But I’m not done playing golf. Even if it means getting carded to prove I’m not a senior (yet), age won’t stop me. I still have lots of golf balls to hit into lakes and shrubbery.





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A Gondola is the Sustainable Solution for Little Cottonwood Canyon

7/22/2021 2:17:10 PM

By Mayor Jeff Silvestrini Here in Millcreek, we are privileged to live at the feet of majestic mountains with canyon entrances minutes away from our doors. I often find myself swallowed up in their beauty while camping, biking, or skiing. Just as I enjoy them now, I want the next generation to have the chance to spend time in the canyons I love. For years, I’ve been part of organizations tackling obstacles facing our canyons. One of those conversations is at a critical point, as UDOT decides how to address growing transportation problems in Little Cottonwood Canyon. In recent years, congestion has imposed unacceptable traffic burdens on the communities at the base of the Cottonwood Canyons and threatened public safety. UDOT has narrowed its decision to two options, one of which I believe does not go far enough, while the other I believe is the preferred long-term solution. UDOT’s first proposed option is to widen SR 210 to add dedicated bus lanes for expanded bus service. This would have a significant impact on the environment, and it does not adequately address the large numbers of visitors. Adding miles of pavement and cutting into the mountainside requires blasting thousands of tons of rock to build massive retaining walls and concrete

tunnels, called snow sheds, that would cover more than half a mile of road. This work would permanently damage the visuals of the canyon and destroy habitat and watershed. This destruction would introduce more diesel buses spewing more emissions into our already troubled airshed. Electric buses do not have the range to make the steep climb and their recharge time makes them unfeasible; permanent electrification of the road would still be vulnerable to avalanches and as unsightly as gondola towers. Alta and Snowbird have more than 10,000 skiers on a busy day. UDOT’s study outlines transporting only 20% of those people using a bus system, with a bus arriving every four minutes to each resort. That is UTA’s bus proposal’s top carrying capacity, and it does not account for future increased demand. Those projected bus times are calculated on dry roads with no obstructions, which is uncommon, especially on busy ski days. Slippery roads or a crash can block the entire road. With only one way in and out, and thousands of cars headed to the same place at the same time, the trip through the canyon, even on clear roads, can take hours. I believe UDOT's second option would handle the increased number of visitors with the least impact to the canyon. A gondola system would move visitors

above that curvy, snow-covered road while traffic is snarled below. Withstanding high winds, adverse weather and avalanches, the gondola has the capacity to transport more than 3,000 people an hour. The end destination for 85% of canyon users year-round is either Snowbird or Alta. A gondola would drop those people there, while backcountry wilderness trailheads (which have little infrastructure to handle the crowds) could still be accessed by the existing road. A gondola system is the sustainable choice to preserve this canyon. It could be carbon-neutral, quiet, and would not harm wildlife habitat or the watershed. The towers to support the system would have minimal impact on the land and take a fraction of time for construction compared to road widening. This system would also open up a secondary route for the canyon in emergencies. This is our chance to get this right to support and preserve this canyon. UDOT’s proposed road-based option is not practical, nor does it solve the majority of the problems the current congestion creates. A gondola, while it may not be a completely perfect solution, is the best option for transportation needs in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

August 2021 | Vol. 03 Iss. 08




t just 20 years of age, Shelby Jensen will be one of the younger athletes competing at the Tokyo Paralympic Games next month. Jensen competes in para-fencing which is like fencing except done in wheelchairs. After several hours per day of practice over the last few years, the hard work has finally paid off. The Millcreek native has competed at national and even international levels, but this will be her first time in the Paralympics. After trying several sports in her youth, Jensen finally found her niche at this sport where she could compete at the highest level. It has become her greatest passion for several reasons. “I can hit people and not get yelled at,” Jensen said. “It’s a mental game. It gives you an adrenaline rush. No one else matters because you are only focused solely on your opponent. You have to think two or three steps ahead of what your opponent is thinking. You have to predict your opponent’s next move. You can be as buff as a bodybuilder, but the mental game is where it’s at.” Due to COVID restrictions, her trainer (Brandon Smith) cannot go to Tokyo to attend the games. Instead, the one para-fencing coach for Team USA will be there to give instructions to her and the other para-fencers. Smith works with her on a regular basis at Valkyrie Fencing. The club has several locations along the Wasatch Front. Jensen is one of the most talented fencers that Smith has coached. “She has these moments where it all connects and she tunes in,” Smith said. “That makes her actions really easy. She still has a lot of development to work on to untap her full ability. Her drive is great and she’s still developing that. Sometimes we have to slow it down because she wants to go fast. We need to practice techniques slowly, and then speed it up. If you have a bad action then you’ll get bad results. Full force isn't the best strategy in this sport.” With no spectators allowed, this will be a Paralympics unlike any other. “I want her to go out and do what she knows best and enjoy herself,” Smith “I can hit people and not get yelled at,” Jensen says of the sport she competes in at national and international levels. (Photo courtesy Continued page 4 Shelby Jensen)

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