Murray Journal | June 2021

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June 2021 | Vol. 31 Iss. 06

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CITY COFFERS UP, PROJECTS SLATED By Shaun Delliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com

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ayor Blair Camp presented his budget address at the April 20 city council meeting, announcing improved revenues for Murray City’s general fund. Murray’s current fiscal year is forecasted to end $12 million in the black due to higher-than-expected sales tax and COVID-19 stimulus funds. Comparatively, the budget year ends on a far more positive note than when it began amid the pandemic. The city lost significant revenue due to decreased sales tax, and city departments instituted severe budget constraints, including freezing several large projects, like the Murray Theater renovation. In FY2021, the city received $2,913,244 from the Federal CARES ACT to reimburse qualified expenses of the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, CARES ACT funding offsets a $2.7 million use of fund balance that would have been required in FY2022 to balance the proposed budget. Without CARES ACT funding, the city would have been obligated to consider a 3%6% property tax increase or a reduction in services. “There is no property tax increase proposed in this budget,” Camp said. According to Camp, one of the challenges facing Murray City is that over 30% of its properties are owned by governments or nonprofit organizations that are tax exempt. By law, Murray’s budget must balance. If there is a deficit due to lost revenue, the city transfers a dividend from its Enterprise Funds to the General Fund. If the city did not do this, property taxes would have to increase, or services would have to be reduced. The most significant contributor to the Enterprise Fund is Murray Power. “Property owners in Murray should note that only 18%20% of their annual tax assessment, depending on which school Continued page 8

Among Murray City’s budget requests is a $742,000 fire engine replacement. (Photo courtesy of Murray City)

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‘The Little Mermaid’ takes Murray Amphitheater stage in June By Shaun Delliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com

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udiences are invited under the sea and to the Murray Amphitheater for Murray Arts Council’s production of “The Little Mermaid.” The Disney musical will run June 17-19 and 21-23 at 8 p.m. Disney’s “Little Mermaid” is the musical adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale about the journey of a young mermaid who is willing to give up her life in the sea as a mermaid to gain human legs. Most have seen the animated Disney version, and this production has new musical numbers in addition to the ones in the animated version. Veteran director Candace Tippetts helms this year’s production, and it marks her return to Murray’s Arts in the Park theater. She has a personal connection to this particular play. “It just so happens that I am a direct descendant of Hans Christian Andersen,” Tippetts said. Tippetts directed “Thoroughly Modern Millie” on the Murray Amphitheater stage in 2018 and “Fiddler on the Roof,” performed at Murray High School, in 2017—both for Murray Arts Council. She has also directed productions for Midvale City Performing Arts, Bountiful Performing Arts and the Grand Theatre. Unlike the film version of “The Little Mermaid,” the theater production includes new songs “Human Stuff,” “One Step Closer” and “The Contest.” Some songs from the film are extended, such as “Fathoms Below.” Taking the lead role of Ariel is Kat Hawley Cook. Cook is a musical theater student at UVU and has performed along the Wasatch Front, including at Sundance Summer Theatre. Newcomer Thomas Sant performs Prince Eric. Sant is a medical student at the University of Utah and is a newcomer to the stage. Quentin Hodges takes on Sebastian the crab. A graduate of Murray High School, Hodges is an Academic Advisor at the University of Utah School of Business. Performing the role of Ursula is Alan LaFleur. LaFleur is a second-grade teacher at South Jordan Elementary School and played Tevye in Murray Arts Council’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof.” “Many do not know that Disney based the character of Ursula on a drag queen and that the original Broadway cast was to include Harvey Fierstein,” Tippetts said. LaFleur also pulls double duty as assistant director and choreographer. He has been doing theater for over 40 years, participating as actor, director or choreographer. Off stage, an experienced team is helping “The Little Mermaid” come to life in Murray. Behind the orchestral baton, An-

Journals T H E

The cast of Murray Arts Council’s “The Little Mermaid”: (l-r) Alan LaFleur as Ursula, Kat Hawley Cook as Ariel, Thomas Sant as Prince Eric, and Quentin Hodges as Sebastian. (Photo courtesy Candace Tippetts)

thony Buck serves as musical director. Buck also serves as the assistant director of Utah Lyric Opera and is an adjunct professor at Utah Valley University and Salt Lake Community College. Former South Summit High School drama teacher Karen Allred handles costumes. She costumed “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” for Murray Arts Council in 2019. Set designer Jared August will transform the stage into an underwater kingdom. This year’s productions are more hopeful, after COVID not only limited the Amphitheater productions last year but shut down the only offering after some of the cast contracted coronavirus. “The hardest thing is rehearsing with face masks and striving to social distance,” Tippetts said. “Cast members, if not fully vaccinated, have been required to do weekly COVID testing. To

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date, we have all been safe and healthy and are looking forward to a fully vaccinated cast soon.” Tippetts hopes the audience picks up on little surprises throughout the show. “We are adding lots of Disney surprises to this production. Look for Disney princesses and other famous Disney characters throughout the production. We will also be having photo ops with our Disney princesses and main characters at each performance,” Tippetts said. Due to COVID precautions, seating will be limited to 650 per night. Tickets can be purchased via Venmo at Viola Murray@ Murray-Arts-Council or in advance at the Murray Parks and Recreation Office (296 E. Murray Park Ave.) or at the gate approximately 30 minutes before showtime. l

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Murray’s Story Crossroads Festival grows during the pandemic

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hile most performing arts had to shutter during the pandemic, the Story Crossroads Festival expanded to include online and international performances. The festival ran May 10-13, virtually and in person at Murray Park. “In 2020, Story Crossroads had an all-virtual festival that had audiences from each of the six major continents,” Story Crossroads Executive Director Rachel Hedman said. “For 2021, the nonprofit moves forward and declares that every year from now on will be hybrid, using the computer screen as well as venues such as Murray City Park.” As host of the festival, the Story Crossroads Academy is a nonprofit organization with year-round oral storytelling events and arts education. The festival is their culminating event, featuring 40 youth and seniors sharing the stage with 15 multicultural story artists. This year marks their first hybrid festival of online and in-person. “We believe the art of storytelling needs to be available to learn for all ages, peoples, and languages. We started the academy with two languages—English and American Sign Language (ASL)—and anticipate adding more languages, hopefully 100 at some point,” Hedman said. “We’ll take it one year at a time. Already, youth and adults from India, the United Kingdom, Italy, and throughout the United States have signed up for the free course.” Back with its inaugural festival in 2016, the plan was always to live stream and broadcast. That timetable was pushed forward when faced with the pandemic. “Ever since the 2020 virtual festival, Story Crossroads has been looked upon as a leader of storytelling from Singapore to Canada to here in the states. Meanwhile, the academy is in the works of becoming more than ‘Storytelling Basics in 8 Hours,’ but as possible continuing education for ASL interpreters,” Hedman said. The academy hosts self-led, online storytelling courses, including the free Storytelling Basics in 8 Hours, complete with American Sign Language, open captioning, and handouts. The course has four modules and 16 lessons and introduces 10 storytelling genres, such as liar’s tale, folktale, fairy tale, personal narrative and historical. In 2014, Murray City Cultural Arts Director Mary Ann Kirk collaborated with Hedman at a community planning meeting for a Salt Lake County storytelling event. Kirk wanted another opportunity for the youth tellers with the Murray Storytelling Festival to share their stories. Hedman founded the academy, and the festival has expanded ever since. Story Crossroads is a yearly festival in preparation for the World Story Crossroads kick-off in 2030. Once launched, the World Story Crossroads will be held once every

Page 6 | June 2021

By Shaun Delliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com

Youngsters prepare to deliver their stories at the Murray Storyteller Showcase. (Photo courtesy of Story Crossroads Academy)

Story Crossroads Academy records Jim Luter’s myth story. (Photo courtesy of Story Crossroads Academy)

four years, in an Olympic-style way, at Murray Park and its pavilions and amphitheaters. The six-day event will feature each of the six major continents through broadcasted state-of-the-art addresses, story workshops, cross-disciplinary papers, cultural explorations and performances. Some stories shared will merge other art forms such as dance, music, theatre, visual arts and film. The “off” years will be the Salt Lake County level of the Story Crossroads Festival. The academy has reached out to Murray City schools, library and other venues, offering residencies for teachers to showcase the

storyteller’s art. They also focus on youth, community, and senior tellers who have received guidance from certified story-teachers during free residencies. “Besides teaching others the art, the purpose of the Academy is to allow people from Utah and beyond to be selected as community tellers to share the stage—virtually or in-person/proper-distanced—for the hybrid festival along with 15 story artists from Hungary, Alabama, Colorado and Utah,” Hedman said. More information can be found online at www.storycrossroads.org. l

Rachel Hedman leads the Story Crossroads Festival. (Photo courtesy of Story Crossroads Academy)

Murray City Journal


your murray schools – Murray City School District Newsletter MURRAY CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT 5102 South Commerce Drive • Murray, UT 84107 Phone 801-264-7400 | Fax 801-264-7456

Website: www.murrayschools.org | Facebook: Murray School District UT The Your Murray Schools section is a Murray City School District publication, under the direction of Doug Perry, MCSD communications & public information.

A Message from Superintendent Jennifer Covington

Mrs. Jennifer Covington

As the 2020-2021 school year concludes, we are confident that each of us is a little stronger, tougher, smarter, patient and better than we were at the beginning of the school year. Although there were challenges, those challenges pushed us to examine things in new and different ways. This allowed us to grow, discover new opportunities, and become better as a school district. No school year is ever perfect, yet we feel we had an exceptional one this year thanks in large part to the commitment, flexibility, strength and resiliency of our students, educators, families, and community. We are grateful we were able to provide our students and their families the opportunity to participate in, and be supported through, both face-to-face and online instruction. Regardless of the format of instruction, our educators were committed to providing the best support and instruction possible. We want to thank our school community for their support throughout the year. Helen Keller said, “A bend in the road is not the end of the road...unless you fail to make the turn.” We feel humbled by the flexibility and strength our Murray City School District community demonstrated on our ‘bendy’ road this school year. We look forward to our 2021-2022 school year, which begins on August 16, 2021, and the new possibilities it will bring.

2021 MCSD Calendar Highlights Aug. 9 Teachers Begin Aug. 13 First Day of School, Grade 7 Aug. 16 First Day of School, Grades 1-6, 8-12 Aug. 23 First Day of School, Kindergarten Sep. 6 Labor Day Holiday (No School) Sep. 21-23 Secondary Parent/Teacher Conference Sep. 24 Secondary Teacher Compensatory Day (No School) Sep. 24 Elementary Professional Development Day (No School) Sep. 29-30 Elementary Parent/Teacher Conference The 2021 MCSD School Year Calendar is now posted on the District website. The Murray Board of Education reserves the right to alter or amend this calendar.

MurrayJournal .com

District Recognition Teacher of the Year: John Johnston, CCA/ CTE Skilled and Technical, Riverview Teacher Nominees: Whitney Morris, Coach, Grant Elementary; Ari Trevizo, 5th DLI, Horizon Elementary; Laura Maxfield, 2nd Grade, Liberty Elementary; Tracy Findlay, 1st Grade, Longview Elementary; Kathleen Orgin, 3rd Grade, McMillan Elementary; Lisa Pearson, Special Education, Parkside Elementary; Marie Cook, Special Education, Viewmont Elementary; Mark Pope, World Language/Social Studies, Hillcrest Jr. High; Lia Smith, Math, Murray High School Classified Employee of the Year: Tabitha Brooks, Custodian, Parkside Elementary School Classified Nominees: Evan Kiester, Custodian, Viewmont Elementary School; Caryn Waterman, Secretary, Horizon Elementary School; Ryan Oberhansly, Student Advocate, Longview Elementary School; Trent Asay, Custodian, Murray High School; Danny Larson, Bus Driver and Custodian, Horizon Elementary School; Ruth Palmer, Secretary, Hillcrest Jr. High School; Roxanne Nelson, TSSA Aide, Liberty Elementary School; Danny Larson, Bus Driver, District Office; Liz Peek, Custodian, Hillcrest Jr. High School; Teresa Bigelow, Secretary, McMillan Elementary School

JUNE 2021

Murray Education Foundation Pinnacle Award Recipients Stacey Parker Jeannette Bowen Alicia Brimley Mike Okumura Jennifer Simpson Leigh Nelsen Michelle Christie

Social Studies Teacher, Hillcrest Jr. High School Volunteer, Hillcrest Jr. High School Secretary, Parkside Elementary School First Grade Teacher, Longview Elementary School First Grade Teacher, Grant Elementary School Fifth Grade Teacher, Viewmont Elementary School Kindergarten Teacher, Horizon Elementary School

PTA School Employee and Volunteers of the Year McMillan Elementary: Kate Hoag (Volunteer); Teresa Bigelow and Cole Robinson (Employees) Liberty Elementary: Rachel Dille (Volunteer); Shay Lavallee (Employee) Viewmont Elementary: Joelle Bangerter (Volunteer); Steffie Williams and Jenny Lundeberg (Employees) Riverview Jr. High School: Suzy Dooley (Volunteer); Janie Moysh and Jenny Baldwin (Employees) Parkside Elementary: Candyce Lee (Volunteer); Heather Nicholas and Brittany Lund (Employees) Hillcrest Jr. High School: Jacque Ashcroft (Volunteer); Brecken Gnehm (Employee) Horizon Elementary: Katrina Harris (Volunteer; Caryn Waterman (Employee) Murray High School: Laurel Fetzer (Volunteer); LeAuna Brown (Employee) Longview Elementary: Jen Madsen (Volunteer); Sharon Gillen (Employee) Grant Elementary: Holly Saniger (Volunteer); Sierra Marsh (Employee)

Murray City School District Retirees Steve Scheidell, MHS Science Teacher, 28 years with MCSD Janet Wayman, MHS FACS Teacher, 36 years with MCSD, 39 years total Mark Pope, HJH Social Studies Teacher, 28 years with MCSD, 39 total Christopher Stephan, RJH Custodian, 13 years with MCSD Jill Spracklen, MHS Child Nutrition Program, 16 years with MCSD Vicky Yocom, Child Nutrition Program, 33 years with MCSD

June 2021 | Page 7


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Continued from front page district the property resides, goes to Murray City. Most of the property taxes paid by Murray property owners go to the school districts, Salt Lake County government, or other special districts,” Camp said. Most noteworthy of the mayor’s requests are a new fire engine and police cars. The police department rotates on a minimum of 12 police cars a year, on a seven-year rotation, with the expected cost next fiscal year totaling $480,000. By comparison, one fire truck costs $742,000, and it has been preordered. Murray Park may receive an upgraded playground by Parkside Elementary. The current equipment is over 20 years old, and parts are no longer available for repairs. The total cost of the playground is forecasted at $220,000. As for buildings, the mayor proposes stashing $500,000 to fund the eventual remodel of the Murray Theater. Currently, the city has saved $1,256,888 toward the upgrade. Salt Lake County funding to support the theater’s renovation evaporated during the pandemic, causing the city to postpone the project indefinitely. Hoping to open another phase of the Murray City Center, Camp proposes moving forward with renovation work on the Murray Mansion. The mansion will serve as the new home of the Murray Museum, currently in City Hall, and the Murray Arts and History

Department staff. Phase I of the renovation would focus on exterior repairs to the structure, built in 1899. Phase II will focus on interior preparation for the new museum, with total costs forecasted at over $1,000,000. Big road project requests include $500,000 on Commerce Road to accommodate the Bonnyview Apartments, proposed for the former Bonnyview Elementary School site. Also earmarked are $450,000 in matching funds for the Vine Street project, completing road and storm drain construction between Van Winkle and 1300 East. Revenue for transportation projects will increase by $1 million as a result of new legislation. Camp proposes a 3% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for all city employees. Last year, there was no COLA included in the budget. The mayor also requests three new full-time employees to assist with increased development within the city and emerging law enforcement trends. These positions are a civil engineer, a senior planner, and an additional job in police administration. “The employees who provide our city services make up the largest expense of the General Fund at 64%. Attracting, training, and retaining employees remains a high priority in this budget. At my request, department heads have kept operational costs unchanged with some line-item amounts restored to pre-pandemic levels,” Camp said. l

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Murray City Journal


Murray High’s Toad rock band jammed during Battle of the Bands gig By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com

M

urray High junior Alex Johnson likes to strum on his electric guitar along with his friends who make up the rock band, Toad. So in 2020, when Utah PTA posted the annual Battle of the Bands competition, the group signed up to compete for Murray School District’s title. Only, last year’s event was canceled because of the soft closure of schools in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, PTA region 19 PTA president Jeannette Bowen remembered the group and invited them to represent the school district at the regional Battle of the Bands competition. “Toad was the only group who had responded to the call for Battle of the Bands before the pandemic outbreak, so we wanted to offer them the opportunity this year,” she said. As part of the competition, Toad had to play a cover song as well as an original piece. This year, however, it was not performed live, but videotaped on their school stage. “With all the tech, lights and sound, it took hours and hours to set up,” Bowen said. Johnson said that the school’s tech club helped to set up lights around the band and helped them pick out a backdrop that looked like “a weird futuristic thing that looked cool.” The tech club also helped them set up the microphones and monitored the sound level. After that, it was filmed like a competition with the band having a 10-minute limit to play the set and take it down. Johnson, who also plays in the school’s jazz band, said that it “was a little different than we had expected” since it was not live.

“In a way, there was no pressure as it can be scary to go on in front of people on stage,” he said. “But, at the same time, we didn’t have the energy to feed off of the crowd so that was hard.” After finding their music online and working out the “instrumental parts that are kind of tricky,” the group performed “Bastille Day,” by Rush, with their bass guitarist, Murray High junior Case Elliott, singing and “hitting all the high notes,” Johnson said. The lyrics of Toad’s original song, “Crawling Slow,” were written by Elliott, with Johnson adding in the guitar and bass and drummer and Brighton High junior Maddie Ballard adding in the percussion part. “I played with Maddie in another band and she’s a mutual friend of ours, so we’ve gotten together every week or two over the past year or so—even during COVID, we’ve tried to figure out a way to play,” he said. “Our original song is heavier than Rush, but it’s not metal. It’s more like old school metal sound.” Bowen, who got to witness the recording, said their performance “sounded really great, they have a lot of talent and did a great job” although she wished they could have performed in person so more people could enjoy the music. The group lost to Bingham High’s Paper Cut Party in the multi-regional competition, the band that eventually won the fans’ favorite title at the state competition that was held at SLCC’s Grand Theatre announced by area performer, Alex Boyé. Squid Picnic from Bountiful High won the state title. “It was fun to do and have this experience,” Johnson said. “It was cool.” l

Case Elliott, Maddie Ballard and Alex Johnson make up the rock band, Toad, who competed virtually in the multi-regional Battle of the Bands. (Photo courtesy of Jeannette Bowen/Murray PTA)

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June 2021 | Page 9


Community rallies to support Murray High seniors as they ‘Carry On’ during pandemic to hold magical senior ball By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com

D

uring the last few weeks of her high school career, senior class president Liberty McBride was busy. She helped with senior week, spirit week, Spartan Spectacular and graduation. “We are trying to get everything in the last two months,” McBride said. Then, word reached her that the students could hold the senior ball May 8—one of the few dances allowed this year during the COVID-19 pandemic, which canceled many high school activities her senior year. McBride picked the theme, “Carry On,” based on the pop song by Fun. “The song starts that we’ve ‘never been through hell like that’ and this year hasn’t been what we expected. Then at the end, it talks about being shining stars and how ‘no one's ever gonna stop us now’ and it kind of fits. We got in our last dance and it was really fun,” she said. However, there was a catch. Instead of holding the ball at the University of Utah, where Murray High typically holds it, it would be held outside at the school. She said she was nervous about how to make it special from typical school dances and was uncertain as to the turnout. But it turned out that McBride didn’t have to worry. With her idea of lighting up the school plaza with white lights decorating the trees and plaza, she rallied support to make it a reality. Her mother, Emily, also reached out to the community, asking for support of the high school seniors to hold their dance this special way. “I posted that they had the vision to light up the plaza and the

Page 10 | June 2021

whole city came through,” Emily McBride said. “People came and donated or loaned their Christmas lights and helped us light up every tree.” Not only neighbors, but the community reached out as she said Illuminate Lighting and Window Cleaning loaned and strung up more than 6,000 lights on trees and loaned a canopy, all to light up the plaza. “Dozens of people came and donated and loaned lights and about 20 people volunteered to help put them up,” she said. “I was so overwhelmed by the support. It was a big ask and big vision and people rallied to make sure it happened.” Liberty McBride said that students as well as student government pitched in on decorating the plaza over four or five days after school and during the evenings. The dance, which had a deejay, included a churros truck, a photo booth, a suspended backdrop lit with fairy lights and a Murray High graduate who was a photographer taking photos as well as a red carpet in the center. The finishing touch came when a group reached out to McBride. “The Murray High Tech Club came to me and asked if they could project the names of all the seniors on the wall,” she said. “It looked cool, and everybody watched for their names to come up.” The club also projected graphics of the Spartan mascot, Class of 2021 and Senior Ball as well as videotaped parts of the dance, including the last dance of the 350 seniors and their guests from the school roof. “The highlight was the last dance,” McBride said. “We had a big dance circle, and we all were dancing as ‘Carry On’ played.

Instead of holding the ball at the University of Utah, where Murray High typically holds it, it would be held outside at the school. (Photo courtesy James Richheart)

When it was over, since it was our last dance, we all hugged and cried. There were a lot of emotions, but it was cool.” Her mother agreed: “It was magical. They were having so much fun, dancing and twirling in that circle. Then, they started crying when it was over; they never wanted to leave. Set up took more than 50 hours and many hands contributed to make it happen for these students who have had a year that none of us expected. I’m so grateful for everyone who helped. It really meant a lot to the seniors to end on a great note.” l

Murray City Journal


Cottonwood speech team places second in region, becomes better communicators adapting to virtual competition By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com

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A Cottonwood speech and debate team watch the sparring of fellow debaters. (Photo courtesy of Nizhoni Tsosie)

C

ottonwood speech and debate team took full advantage of having its competitions virtual this year. “It went incredibly better than we anticipated,” coach Adam Wilkins said. “We learned the more we do over Zoom, the more experiences the kids could do; some did at least one dozen tournaments. They learned to talk into the webcam, have solid presentation skills, have good lighting and background and deliver. It’s a skill they learned and practiced.” For example, he said that students learned to communicate with their eyes and faces since that was what was showing on the screen. “We practiced our diction and expression, making sure we weren’t scrunching our noses or looking off. The judges were paying close attention to presentation of material as well as to the presenter,” he said. “This has helped students to become better communicators as they have the skills to be more articulate, have clear diction and be able to project when they speak.” That was an important lesson since the majority of the 30-member team is new due to graduations last year. “Many members of our team are new so together we learned both speaking and how to virtually compete,” he said, adding that the

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team even hosted their own virtual competition last fall. “It’s utilizing 21st-century skills with Zoom calls to compete.” During virtual competitions, students could compete against teams locally or nationally, Wilkins said. “We could interact with students from across the country—Tennessee to Utah and learn different perspectives and options and hear different topics. It builds more camaraderie in the speech world. It opens up more ways to communicate and schools are more accessible,” he said. The team took what they learned to place second in their virtual regional competition. While Wilkins was happy with the team’s results, he knew it wasn’t a perfect year as there were glitches—technologically speaking. “Sometimes, there is a harder, unforeseen problem as there are glitches or the lack of technology keeps some kids from participating,” he said. “Still, I think the virtual tournaments and the preparation for those helped us learn more about honing our skills and improving how we do things from our research to our presentation. Our team wanted to compete and that meant our work ethic doesn’t change; we just learned to adapt.” l

• 4th Generation Murray City resident • Murray Female Business Owner • Salt Lake Board of Realtors “Good Neighbor” Award Recipient • Salt Lake Board of Realtors Top 500 Agents & Hall of Fame 5x Award Recipient • Utah Business Magazine “30 Women to Watch” Award Recipient • Founder of a Local Non-profit for Suicide Awareness

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June 2021 | Page 11


Ramped up Murray Rotary/local business clean freeway entrances By Shaun Delliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com

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urray’s freeway interchanges are well-worn thoroughfares in which thousands of people pass each day. Unfortunately, with tens of thousands of travelers comes the inevitable trash that occurs with it. On May 15, Murray Rotarians arranged for a second service project in as many months, this time focusing on cleaning Murray’s interstate gateways. After a significant community service project in March, the Murray Rotary club felt more could be done and targeted some of Murray’s onramps and off-ramps. Murray Rotary and Miss Murray Kyleigh Cooper organized the “Murray Safe City Clean-up” last March. At that activity, 90 volunteers removed 190 55-gallon bags of litter from seven sites Murray City had requested. That project focused on Murray-owned properties. Jerry Summerhays, a Murray Rotarian, approached the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) and asked if Murray Rotary Club could organize a project to remove litter adjacent to on-ramps and off-ramps in Murray. UDOT was receptive and provided orange bags and orange vests to help volunteers remove the trash. “My family was supposed to go on a turkey hunt, but we stayed and bagged litter instead of bagging a turkey,” Murray Rotary Club President Terry Putnam said. Tackling all four of Murray’s freeway entrances required more hands than Murray Rotary had immediately available. They placed a notice on JustServe.org, an online posting site that lists volunteer opportunities with communities to recruit help. Alexandra Nixon and her husband responded to the ad. “We have to do this,” Nixon said.

For safety reasons, volunteers for the interchange cleanup had to be 18 or older. So volunteers were harder to get. Murray Rotary appealed to their adjacent Midvalley Rotary Club and the Midvalley Rotaract Club (college-age Rotarians). They approached businesses close to the interchanges to provide workers. With a lot of effort, they gathered 74 volunteers. In two hours, they collected 84 60-gallon bags of trash from the I-15 interchanges at 4500 South and 5300 South and the I-215 interchanges at State Street and 280 East. UDOT then collected all the trash. Murray Rotary club has been part of the Murray community since 1957. Service to the community is a keystone of membership. This year they will be honoring the top 10 Murray High School seniors and providing the pancake breakfast for the July 3 Murray Fun Days. They do International projects too. Last March, 20 Murray Rotarians went to Mexico to help a medical clinic in a small town in Baja California. Gabrielle Shipley, one of the 10 Rotaractors (college-aged Rotarians), said, “I enjoyed the clean-up because it is something I can do to make a positive change in my community. Our city is beautiful and doing my part helps keep it that way.” Murray Sam’s Club general manager Josh Brower said, “The Sam’s Club team had a great time teaming up with Rotary. We felt awesome seeing how clean the on- and offramps at State Street and I-215 turned out. This brings us together and helps drive business into the local sectors. Sam’s Club is always looking for ways to give back to the place we all live.”

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Community

Champions

are leaders who lift and inspire. They work to build a better community.

Murray Rotary Club volunteers cleaned Murray’s freeway interchanges on May 15. (Photo courtesy Jerry Summerhays)

And volunteer Rodrigo Ortiz, owner of La Cocina de Mama Hila, immediately west of the 4500 South interchange, when asked why he would volunteer to give up a Saturday morning, said, “We need to be willing to take care of our city and our planet.” More information can be found online regarding Murray Rotary Club and future service projects at murrayrotaryutah.com. At the end of the project, Summerhays said, “Everyone who volunteered had one thing to ask: please don’t throw litter on our interstates.” l

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Page 12 | June 2021

Murray City Journal


Zombies recruited to help Murray Fire Department By Shaun Delliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com

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eally, Murray City Fire Department recruited zombies to train their Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT). The training has been so successful that Murray FD wants to do it on a regular basis. It seems unusual for a fire department and a haunted house amusement attraction to join forces. But, when you consider all the fake blood and existing space filled with devastated scenery and dark-lit rooms, then a haunted house makes a natural place to train Murray residents to support emergency responders in a real-life disaster. The idea of using Dead City Haunted House (5425 S. Vine St.) as a CERT training venue happened, quite literally, on accident. “It only took one fire inspection to realize what an amazing environment this could be for CERT training,” Murray City Fire Department Assistant Chief Joey Mittelman said. Of course, the zombies/pretend victims were Dead City performers, who are well-practiced in the art of dramatic suffering. The performers were placed in specific scenarios that simulated disasters. Dead City’s costume and make-up department provided fake gashes and torn outfits to replicate cer-

Dead City performers, complete with fake wounds and real bandages, relax after being treated in a Murray FD mock drill. (Photo courtesy Tom Roberson)

tain conditions in which a CERT member might find a person who survived a calamity. According to CERT instructor Tom Roberson, Fire Inspector and Safety Education Coordinator George Zboril came up with the idea. “During his fire department responsibilities, George has developed a relationship with the owners of Dead City. He asked their permission to use the facility and they recruited volunteer ‘victims’ for us. They moulage (apply mock injuries) them to enhance the effect,” Roberson said. Murray City FD began offering CERT to Murray residents 14 years ago. Over the past two years, Murray has been developing extended community relationships and reaching out to local neighborhood emergency preparedness groups and other organizations to offer this instruction. CERT training provides a base understanding of potential disasters such as earthquakes, windstorms, fires, HAZMAT, medical emergencies and more. The goal is to create Murray resident teams that can assist during those kinds of disasters. The training comprises four classes, each two to three hours, mainly in the classroom, with some hands-on practice. The fifth class is a comprehensive hands-on learning experience. Practice situations include fire hazard awareness, fire chemistry, use of a fire extinguisher, hazardous materials awareness, natural gas emergencies, first aid and patient transport. “The classes in this course are essentially the same as previous ones. The real bonus is the excellent facility and the make-up and acting by the Dead City staff,” Roberson said. In the past, the hands-on training took place at a Murray FD firehouse or the emergency training base at the Salt Lake City Airport. Dead City, which spends most of the year prepping for their annual haunt fest (September through November) agreed that helping the fire department with training was a good use of their off-time. “We just utilize a couple of existing hallways and rooms [in the haunted house]; these were lights-out to encourage the students to work with headlamps and flashlights. We also

Dead City performers prepare for mock scenarios involving Murray FD’s Community Emergency Response Team training. (Photo courtesy Tom Roberson)

used the entrance area for lifting and cribbing and the parking lot for fire extinguisher practice,” Roberson said. Dead City applied spirit gum and plastic wounds, and the performers acted as though injured or in shock. Dead City’s talent for scares has been honored as one of the 2020 “Haunters to Watch” winners by HAuNTcon and Haunted Attraction Network. “Each time a CERT class is taught, they become better. We are learning what is cru-

cial for our citizens and how to best test their knowledge of the skills learned throughout the course. Dead City has provided these advancements through hands-on practicality,” Mittelman said. CERT training is free for Murray residents. For $25, an emergency response backpack is available for participating students. Residents can find more information about Murray FD’s CERT program online at www. murray.utah.gov. l

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June 2021 | Page 13


‘Team’ important as Murray High hosts, plays in unified soccer tournament

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urray High senior Emmie Brinton likes to be with her friends, enjoys school and has fun playing sports with her teammates. This spring, she walked off the field for the last time wearing a Spartan jersey after playing two years on the coed unified soccer team—and getting a hat trick in her last tournament. “I like to kick and keeping the ball out of the goal,” she said, after playing their final game versus Jordan and receiving a ribbon for their fourth-place finish in the Salt Lake region on their home field. Earlier this year, Brinton and her teammates brought home the silver medal in unified basketball, but she said she likes soccer better. “It’s fun to play with my teammates; I like to play for my school,” said the twotime unified basketball player. “It’s fun.” Her coach, Jessie Agiriga, said the team of five student-athletes and three partners prepared for the tournament by practicing shooting, passing, dribbling and playing defense. “They did pretty well, some of them remembered their skills and they improved their skills,” she said, adding that there wasn’t a season during spring 2020 as schools were closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. “They had a lot of fun and appreciate the

By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com opportunity to play. We had a lot of support from parents and others cheering for the team and helping out with the tournament.” Equally as important to getting to participate in the sport is the ability to work together as a team and learn sportsmanship, have a chance to interact with their peers and showing their pride in their school. “After basketball, I saw them get excited when they saw each other in the halls, and always saying hi,” Agiriga said. That is something that Courtnie Worthen, Unified Champion Schools manager who oversees the unified sports program, appreciates. “We hope this helps to create lasting friendships, where they see each other in the hallways and say hi, eat together at lunch and have fun,” she said. “This helps to build camaraderie. I’d love to host unified dances or see clubs that help build leadership with the students and their peers. I see that bond happening here at Murray as they are hosting the tournament and have their cheerleaders cheering for not just their team, but every team.” There also were student volunteers who retrieved balls, distributed lunches, kept score and helped set up and clean up. While those on the field had to follow the safety and health precautions as other

Murray High’s Caden Stackhouse kicks the ball for his unified soccer team, which finished fourth at the regional tournament. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

high school teams, the tournament was set up regionally to reduce travel and have less teams playing at a site to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, Worthen said. Before Brinton was to graduate, she and other unified teammates were to be honored during a year-end banquet that was planned

to recognize their contributions to their teams and school, Agiriga said. Next year, unified soccer in Utah will become a fall sport, allowing year-round unified sports, with basketball in the winter and track in the spring. l

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Murray City Journal


JUNE 2021

FREQUENTLY REQUESTED NUMBERS Attorney .................................. 801-264-2640 Business Licensing .................. 801-270-2432 Cemetery ................................ 801-264-2637 City Council ............................. 801-264-2603 Finance Department ............... 801-264-2513 FIRE DEPARTMENT Administrative Office .......... 801-264-2781 Non-Emergency Calls ......... 801-840-4000 General Information................ 801-264-2525 Heritage Center (Sr. Center)..... 801-264-2635 Human Resources.................... 801-264-2656 Library .................................... 801-264-2580 Mayor’s Office.......................... 801-264-2600 Municipal Court....................... 801-284-4280 Museum .................................. 801-264-2589 Murray Park Outdoor Pool ....... 801-266-9321 Murray Parkway Golf Course.... 801-262-4653 PARKS AND RECREATION Administrative Office .......... 801-264-2614 Rain-out Information ......... 801-264-2525 Park Center (indoor pool) ........ 801-284-4200 Passports................................. 801-264-2660 POLICE DEPARTMENT Administrative Office .......... 801-264-2673 Animal Control ................... 801-264-2671 Code Enforcement .............. 801-264-2673 Non-Emergency Calls ......... 801-840-4000 POWER DEPARTMENT Administrative Office .......... 801-264-2730 After Hours Emergency....... 801-264-9669 PUBLIC SERVICES Administrative Office .......... 801-270-2440 Building Inspection ............ 801-270-2431 Green Waste Trailers ........... 801-270-2440 Planning and Zoning .......... 801-270-2420 Solid Waste......................... 801-270-2440 Water, Sewer, Streets.......... 801-270-2440 Zoning Enforcement ........... 801-270-2426 UTILITIES After Hours Emergency....... 801-264-9669 Billing Questions ................ 801-264-2626

murray.utah.gov

Mayor’s Message

MAYOR’S OFFICE

Let’s Get Outside!

mayor@murray.utah.gov 801-264-2600 5025 S. State Street Murray, Utah 84107

I love the arrival of summer! The warm sun invites us outdoors for sporting events, outdoor recreation activities, and even yard work. Visiting a city park is a great way to enjoy a summer day. It has been said that “parks and playgrounds are the soul of a city.” A friend of mine whose house backs one of our city parks refers to the sounds of the park as “fun noise,” the sound of people of all ages enjoying the outdoor amenities. Murray City has a long history of providing outstanding parks and recreation facilities and related programs. We enjoy ten city-owned parks in addition to our popular and well-maintained section of the Jordan River Parkway. But it’s much more than just having great parks, it’s also the programming that brings people to these amenities. There’s something fun for nearly everyone who visits our parks. For those looking for passive activities, there is great bird watching on the Jordan River Parkway and the wooded areas of Murray Park. Over 100 different species of birds can be found including the Bald Eagle, Golden Eagle, Osprey, Cooper’s Hawk, Wood Duck, Barn owl, and the list keeps going. The Arboretum in Murray Park is a popular place for visitors to stroll and observe the cacti garden, hybrid iris bed, water ponds, shrubbery beds, seasonal flower plantings, and many varieties of trees. The rose garden on the west end of Murray Park near State Street shows off multiple varieties of roses. Murray’s park system boasts of 21 miles of trails and paths, both paved and unpaved. The addition of the Canal Trail from Wheeler Farm to Fontaine Bleu Drive a few years ago has proven to be a very popular addition to the trail system. You can also walk around the pond at Willow Pond Park and take your fishing pole if you want to take advantage of our urban fishery. You can also fish in Little Cottonwood Creek in Murray Park. All of Murray’s parks have playgrounds for the kids. The city has endeavored to provide a variety of playground equipment from traditional ladders and slides in some of the parks to a climbing wall at Southwood Park and the newest addition of a boulder climbing playground at Winchester Park. This boulder climbing playground is already becoming popular and we have received a lot of positive feedback.

D. Blair Camp -Mayor

There are many more passive activities available in our parks, but for those looking for more active activities and entertainment, we’ve got you covered! The Murray “Arts in the Parks” series is back for the 2021 season! Check out the free Lunch Concerts every Tuesday in June and July, featuring artists such as the Wasatch Jazz Syndicate, Time Cruisers (oldies), Wendy and the Lost Boys, and others. The Murray Library presents “Summer Shorts” every Wednesday at 1:00 pm in June and July, featuring entertainment such as a juggling show, Irish step dancing, and the ever-popular firefighter’s soak on July 28 at the softball field. The Children Matinees are every Thursday in June and July (except July 1) at 2:00 pm in Murray Park. In addition to these activities, there will be four family night concerts on the second Monday of the month in June through September at 7:00 pm at the Senior Recreation Center. These are free of charge and are a lot of fun to attend. One of the most attractive venues in Murray Park is the Murray Amphitheater near Little Cottonwood Creek at 495 East 5300 South. The “Evening Series” at the Amphitheater runs from June 4 through September 11, with tickets ranging from $3.00 to $15.00 each, depending on the event. Stop by the outdoor fitness area in Murray Park on your way to our very popular Pickleball courts. Also watch for our Movies in the Park series and visit the Food Trucks every Tuesday evening through September. These are just some of the great opportunities offered by the extraordinary Parks and Recreation Department. As Murray residents, we enjoy a great system of parks and trails. Not only do I express my appreciation to the amazing parks and recreation staff, but also to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board for their valuable contributions. Former Arizona Governor Bruce Babbit is quoted as saying, “City parks serve, day in and day out, as the primary green spaces for the majority of Americans.” Please visit the Parks and Recreation page on our website at murray.utah.gov for additional information, times and locations of events, park pavilion reservations, recreation programs, or any questions you may have.

Stay informed.

murray.utah.gov

MURRAY


Message from the Council As I enter the last part of my first term serving on the Murray City Council, I find myself reflecting more and more on the dedicated Murray City employees. Throughout my career, from being a welder mechanic to serving as the president of the Utah AFL-CIO, I have Dale M. Cox worked vigorously to protect the rights of District 2 working families. Murray City has the greatest employees of any municipality in the State of Utah. We currently have over 400 full-time employees as well as many part-time and seasonal employees. Our employees work tirelessly, going above and beyond, to serve this wonderful community. Murray City prides itself on being its own selfsustaining community and promises this will be the case well into the future. However, without dedicated employees, this would not be possible. With our own Power Department that provides power to a portion of the residents and businesses in the city, the Power Department employs top notch individuals who do everything from planning and engineering to tree planting and power pole maintenance. These employees are an integral part to ensuring the city has reliable power. Not only does The City Attorney’s office handle legal matters for the city, they also have a criminal division that prosecutes misdemeanors and infractions of city ordinances and state laws. The city’s risk and safety department, whose mission is to create a safe working environment for all employees, is also a very important part of the City Attorney’s office. Our Community and Economic Development houses our building, business licensing, planning and zoning, and economic development divisions. These employees do everything from process business license applications and issuing building permits to working on the city’s General Plan. In the Finance and Administration Department you will find the City’s Treasurer and Recorder along with utility billing and purchasing. These dedicated staff take utility payments, process monthly bills, ensure the city’s procurement policies are being followed, keep the city’s records in order and process passport applications.

One of the bigger departments in the city is the Parks and Recreation Department. This department oversees activities and meals at the Senior Recreation Center, cares for the cemetery and the golf course, and administers the cultural arts and history programs. The Park Center is also part of this department. Employees in the Parks and Recreation Department do everything from mowing lawns to creating programs for the seniors in our community to implementing sports and other healthy minded activities for adults and youth. Another big department the city has is Public Works. These employees work hard to take care of our precious water, stormwater, sewer, streets, and tend to our garbage and recycling. They oversee everything from ensuring the city’s water system is clean to fixing potholes and sidewalks. The city’s engineers are also a valuable part of the Public Works Department. Employees in the Information Technology, Geographic Information Systems, and Human Resources Departments provide greatly needed internal services to the city’s employees. Although you may never see these employees, the work they do is invaluable to our front-line employees. Murray City also has its own library and justice court. The library employees always provide a good selection of books, videos, and e-books, along with fun and educational programs for our community. And where would we be without our justice court employees who ensure that every person who goes there receives fair treatment. Lastly, I want to recognize our public safety departments. Our Police and Fire Departments keep the residents of Murray safe and sound 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Both departments are filled with superb individuals who are well trained, well qualified, and want nothing more than to provide a safe environment for our community. As you can see, although I was elected to the city council to represent and work for the citizens of Council District 2, it is really the city’s employees who do all the work. These hard working, dedicated employees make Murray City what it is and without them, this city would not be the great city that it is today. Thank you Murray City employees! Your hard work has not gone unnoticed by the council or other members of the community. Dale Cox , District 2

CITY COUNCIL Council District 1 Kat Martinez 801-264-2624

kat.martinez@murray.utah.gov Council District 2 Dale M. Cox 801-264-2624

dale.cox@murray.utah.gov Council District 3 Rosalba Dominguez 801-264-2624

rosalba.dominguez@murray.utah.gov Council District 4 Diane Turner 801-264-2624

diane.turner@murray.utah.gov Council District 5 Brett A. Hales 801-264-2624

brett.hales@murray.utah.gov Executive Director Jennifer Kennedy Office: 801-264-2622

jkennedy@murray.utah.gov Telephone Agenda Information 801-264-2525


JUNE 2021 Murray Senior Recreation Center CLASSES & SERVICES History Class (Hybrid) — On Wednesday, June 9 10:30, Jimmy Duignan, who originally hails from Dublin, Ireland, and is a retired history teacher, will be presenting Clarissa Barton (founded the American Red Cross in 1881). Grief Support Class (Zoom) — On Friday, June 11, & 25 at 10:30 a.m., Jody Davis, a Chaplin from Rocky Mountain Hospice, will discuss ways to process in this Grief Support Class. Grief is not limited only to the death of a loved one; it may also be caused by a reaction to divorce, a decrease in physical ability, and other grief-producing events that are all too common as we age.

#10 East 6150 South (one block west of State Street) For information on these and other programs call 801-264-2635 Blood Pressure Clinic — Monique from Harmony Home Health and Hospice will be conducting a BLOOD PRESSURE CLINIC on Thursday, June 10 from 10:30 a.m. to noon. No appointment necessary. Legal Consultation: (Zoom) — An attorney is available for 30-minute LEGAL CONSULTAION no charge on Tuesday, June 8 from 1-3 p.m. This will be a virtual appointment, please call the Center to scheduled. Kyle Barrick is a local attorney and he has been working with the Center for many years.

TRIPS ARE BACK!

Wednesday Painting Class — Jeanette Morris’s painting class will start Wednesday June 16 and run through August 4. This 8- week course will feature watercolors, oils, pastels, and acrylics. This class will meet the needs of both new and experienced painters. Cost is $40 and capacity is limited to 15.

Heber City and Granny’s Drive Inn — Come take a drive on the Center bus to HEBER CITY and visit Granny’s Drive Inn for one of their classic milkshakes. On the way back, we’ll drive through scenic Midway, then down Provo Canyon and back to the Center. The trip leaves on Thursday, June 24 at 11 a.m. Cost is $8. Lunch or milkshake is on your own. Call to register.

CPR/First Aid — On Friday, June 4 at 10 a.m. George Zboril, from the Murray City Fire Department will present a CPR and First Aid refresher class. You will learn basic CPR and First Aid techniques. It is always a great idea to refresh first aid skills that you may have forgotten over the years. These skills are simple, fast, and easy to learn. This is a free class.

Wendover — Travel to WENDOVER on Thursday, August 12, and enjoy a day at the Rainbow Casino. The cost is $20 per person which includes transportation, bonus package from the casino, buffet lunch, and free bingo on the bus. The bus will depart the Center at 8:30 a.m. and return about 7 p.m. The deadline to register is Thursday, August 5.

Protecting Yourself from Scams and Financial Exploitation — On Thursday, June 10 at 10:30 a.m., Kate Nance, Grant Coordinator for the Utah Department of Human Services, and former elder law attorney, will offer a class called Protecting Yourself from Scams and Financial Exploitation. You will learn some simple tips to protect yourself and your loved ones. This is a free class.

RECREATION

EXERCISE CLASSES: NIA ($10.) Mondays 9-10 a.m. YOGA ($20) Mondays & Wednesdays, 10-11 a.m. STRENGTH CONDITIONING ($20) Mondays & Thursdays, 2-3 p.m. TAI CHI ($20) Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10:30–11:30 a.m. CHAIR AROBICS (FREE) Wednesdays & Fridays 11:15-11:45 a.m. EXERCISE ROOM ($5) Open daily from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. UNIVERSITY OF UTAH STUDENTS Tuesdays & Fridays 12:30-1:30 p.m. Overall fitness

Murray Public Works Department Beginning in June, Cedar Street from Creek Drive to 6100 South will be reconstructed and have sidewalk added to the west side to encourage a safe walkway for students of Liberty Elementary. Murray City water crews will begin replacement of the water line on Shiloh Way off 5900 South and will be followed by a roadway reconstruction complete with curb and sidewalk repairs. New storm drain will be installed along 5400 South as part of a phased project to address flooding issues in the Clover Meadow neighborhood. With the summer heat fast approaching, the Murray City water division wants to remind water users to conserve this valuable resource by avoiding overwatering and wasting water. We ask that residents refrain from watering their landscape between the hours of 10 a.m.-6 p.m. as the water evaporates quickly and is not efficiently absorbed by plants and grass. All water conservation efforts can make a difference!

As of Wednesday, June 2, Bingo will be moving inside on Wednesdays and Fridays at 12:45 p.m. Cornhole — Some of you might have played the bean bag toss game known as CORNHOLE. We will put some cornhole boards out on the plaza for open play every day. Cornhole toss can be a 2 or 4 player game. The cornhole boards are set up 27’ across from each other. Each team stands behind the front edge of their board and tosses their bean bags at the other teams board. Teams take turns throwing bags at the other side’s board; the first team to reach 21 points wins. Bags that land on the board are worth one point; bags that go into the hole are worth 3 points, bags that touch the ground, including bags that hit the ground first then bounce onto the board, are worth 0 points. Let Wayne know if you are interested in learning how to play or would like to volunteer with this program.

For additional information: 801-270-2440


RESIDENT ON DISPLAY Original artwork by Murray resident artists are displayed in the central display case at City Hall. Lucy Batey will be showcasing her pottery June-July. She started creating pottery to occupy her time when Covid-19 hit, or as she refers to, the “dark winters”.

ARTS IN THE PARK TICKETS Tickets will be available for the Evening Series performances at the Murray Parks and Recreation Office (296 E Murray Park Ave) or online through RegTix. *If Pavilion #5 is still under construction, Lunch Concerts & Summer Shorts will be held at Pavilion #2. Most of the Children Matinee Series will be held at the White Gazebo or Pavilion #2.

Lori Edmunds: 801-264-2620

SECONDARY ART SHOW 2021 First Place Winners: “Shogun Defeated” (Acrylic) by London J. “Still Life” (Pencil) by Sarah H. “Untitled” (Photography) by Carissa H. “Sgraffito Tower (3-D) by Benjamin P. “Beauty in the Dark” (Junior High) by Yhilary G.


Cottonwood High softball wraps up 2021 with big numbers, best record since 2018 By Brian Shaw | b.shaw@mycityjournals.com

A

lthough the Cottonwood Colts season ended somewhat surprisingly at home during the first round of the 5A state softball tournament in a two-game sweep to No. 17 seed Bonneville, there isn’t anything shameful for them to hang their heads about. Last year, the Colts were able to play in only two games due to the pandemic. And so this year, getting a chance to play a full season and have the success that earned them a No. 16 seed at state was reason enough to celebrate. The Colts (11-9) finished 2021 losing in two straight games to Bonneville, 23-0 and 17-6. In what turned out to be the season finale on May 17, the Colts fought back after going down 13-0 in the first inning to make their last outing of the year respectable. Junior pitcher and infielder Gianna Hohaia had a huge game, hitting a double and a triple and had two RBI’s, while taking the mound for Cottonwood. Senior Hailey Thompson hit a triple and fellow senior Mykenna Rolfe had an RBI in the loss. Going 9-5 in Region 5 was also a great way for the Colts to close out playing in this region, because in 2022 Cottonwood will be reclassified and placed into a new league—one that will stretch from Vernal to Tooele and continue all the way south to Payson. Cottonwood will also be saying goodbye to several seniors, including Thompson and Wolfe. It’s the end of the

Cottonwood High junior Gianna Hohaia pitches in the Colts’ 8-7 win over the Hillcrest Huskies April 28. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

line as well for Katheryn Alvarez and slugger Faith Godina, all of whom will be missed—especially Godina, who was the Colts hitting leader in home runs with four in the year and in RBI with 34. Rolfe wasn’t far from Godina in RBI’s, though; she had 30 total and led the team in doubles and triples. The majority of the Colts are slated to return next year, giving an already dangerous Cottonwood team that averaged a whopping 17 runs per game in league play and players like the junior Hohaia many reasons to be optimistic about next year. l

Cottonwood student body president Faith Godina, who scored two runs, catches the ball at first base in their April 28 game against Hillcrest High. After the Colts took an early lead, the Huskies tied it in the fourth inning. A Cottonwood run in the sixth inning secured the win, 8-7, at Hillcrest’s home field in Midvale’s Union Park. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

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June 2021 | Page 19


How does Murray like the changes slated for its neighborhoods? By Shaun Delliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com

M

urrayites have strong feelings when it comes to future planning projects impacting their neighborhoods. The May 6 Planning Commission meeting clocked in at nearly four hours, with the proposed Bullion Street mixed-density development as the hot topic on the agenda. Residents near the development took issue with the developer’s proposal to rezone for mixed density instead of single-family homes for the site and organized to oppose the plan. Staff members of Murray City’s Office of Community and Economic Development were also called out by residents on why they recommended approval. In a rare close vote, Planning Commissioners Ned Hacker, Jake Pehrson, and Sue Wilson were outvoted by Jeremy Lowry, Lisa Milkavich, Travis Nay, and Maren Patterson to recommend approval to the city council. Such contentious meetings might become more commonplace as developers and property owners seek to convert current and former retail properties into mixed-use development. The push to redo these properties has become so great that the city council has instituted a temporary moratorium on such projects. The Murray Journal surveyed 213 residents about their feelings about major development projects in process around the city. While some respondents wanted to include such issues as adding green space and performing arts venues to the city, the survey focused strictly on construction or zoning moving forward in the city. As far as mixed-use development goes, Murrayites do not like it. Mixed-use zoning includes a mix of commercial and residential, including condominiums and apartments. Sixty percent of the respondents moderately or strongly disliked this zoning, while 25% viewed it favorably. Some Utah state legislators have been pushing legislation forcing cities to approve more high-density zoning to ease Utah’s housing crunch. As the survey indicates, cities might be stuck between what residents want for zoning and what the legislature mandates. Legislative initiatives have not addressed the local government’s concerns about providing supportive infrastructure for such large-scale projects. Currently, the only high-density, mixed-use development that is under construction is Murray Square (4200 South and 900 East), being built on the former Kmart site. Residents panned the design, with 48% moderately or strongly disliking it. Murray Square will feature 421 multi-family units along with 21,000 square feet of retail and commercial space. Residents in the neighboring Millcreek City Green Valley subdivision expressed

Page 20 | June 2021

concern to their city council about the four-story units that will border their neighborhood. Originally christened Van Winkle Crossing, Kimball Investments later changed the name to Murray Square. Also under construction is the new Murray City Hall, and Murrayites are favorable to the architectural drawings for it. Of all respondents, 59% like it moderately or a great deal, while 20% have no strong feelings about it. As part of a more extensive Murray City Center District (MCCD) or downtown Murray, the city hall will bring most city departments under one roof. Most Murray residents, 37%, did not feel the city was transparent enough in selecting a city hall design. According to the city, “On July 16, 2019, Murray City elected officials reviewed a site plan and concept drawings for a new city hall building during a Committee of the Whole meeting.” Through the competitive bid process, GSBS Architects were awarded the contract. Yet, the city did not hold an open house on the new city hall, and it is unclear whether elected city officials solicited resident input. Murray City estimates that the whole project, with construction and land, will cost $34 million. An even split might best describe Murray residents’ take on the large Murray downtown project that will radically change the westside of State Street. The MCCD (4800 S. State St.) property between 4800 South and 5th Avenue will have 273 residential units along with retail and commercial space. Of those completing the survey, 48% liked the proposed project, from “a little” to “a great deal,” while 43% disliked it. MCCD’s downtown project has pitted historic preservationists against city planners, as the proposal calls for razing three buildings that are over 100 years old. Also, the city council voted down a recommendation from the Community and Economic Development Department that would have eliminated the MCCD Design Review committee staffed with Murray residents. Motions like these may have contributed to why a large majority, 37%, of respondents do not believe that there was enough transparency in selecting a Murray City Center District design. However, public feedback sessions are planned for this year. The bid committee that selected developer Gerdling Edlen (now Edlen & Company) not only consisted of elected officials Mayor Blair Camp and City Councilors Brett Hales and Dale Cox, but members of the mayor’s immediate staff, Chief Administrative Officer Doug Hill, and Chief Communications Officer Jennifer Heaps. What respondents felt very strongly about and disliked the most is another MCCD design, and perhaps the most controversial, the Vine Apartments (184 Vine

Survey respondents had a generally positive impression of the new Murray City Hall’s design. (Illustration courtesy Murray City)

St.). Sixty-two percent disliked “a little” to “a great deal” the replacement plans for the former Mount Vernon School Campus (historic Murray First Ward and Carnegie Library buildings), only 25% liked them. The project will have 130 residential units along with 6,000 square feet of retail and commercial space. The adverse reaction may stem from the fight to preserve the historic buildings on the site, resulting in a successful lawsuit against the city to halt the demolition. The city, in turn, modified its code to allow for the removal of historic structures. Also, negative feedback mentioned on social media websites states that the Vine Apartments’ design is out-of-character with the surrounding subdivisions. Survey respondents were united in their ambivalence regarding the new Utah Education Association building proposed

to replace the current structure on 5100 S. 900 East and Center 53 (5300 S. 500 West). A majority of respondents neither liked nor disliked the designs. Center 53, being constructed by Security National Financial Corporation and Nuterra Partners, plans to develop and lease approximately 1,000,000 square feet of commercial space. The complex includes five six-story buildings, one of which has been completed. Murray residents seem to be quite excited about the new Youthlinc building, slated to go in at 346 E. 4500 South. Sixty-seven percent of respondents liked “a little” to “a great deal” about the new youth center. The facility will provide program space for youth engaged in student leadership and service. l

Murray City Journal


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By Shaun Delliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com

any Murrayites lament the loss of the iconic smelters that served as a type of lighthouse, declaring “Here is Murray!” Another landmark, not as tall but built in the same era, still stands, welcoming visitors to Murray’s northern gateway— the Murray Laundry tower (4200 S. State St.). With its Art Deco styling and illuminated sign tower, the water tank seemed more fit for a castle than a laundromat. However, for a place that handled the wash, it has a history that is as fascinating as the architectural style of its water tower. George N. Strike saw an opportunity in the late 1900s to move his Murray Laundry from downtown Murray to the brickyards vacated by Interstate Brick. There on the banks of Big Cottonwood Creek and its nine artesian springs, Strike and his investors envisioned a super laundry, serving all of Salt Lake County. Even though it sits barely outside the city’s boundaries in Millcreek, Strike retained the Murray name. When it opened in 1911, the laundry was the pride of Utah. Newspapers lauded its state-of-the-art technology and its large capacity. Laundry entrepreneurs from across the nation planned their vacations to visit it. In 1914, the Salt Lake Telegram said, “This new building is evidence of the fact that the Murray Laundry has shared in the general prosperity enjoyed by Salt Lake during the last year. It is commodious and well-built and is a witness to the constantly growing business activities of the city.” Murray Laundry generated elec-

tricity for its own operations and consumed 125,000 gallons of artesian water daily. Customers came to see the special equipment maintained to handle flannels and woolens. Electric vacuums were installed for drying the different materials washed. The work of starching, drying, and distributing constituted a single department of the business. Advertising their “Rain Soft Artesian Water,” the proprietors seized a marketing opportunity, boasting that they did not bother with the newfangled dry-cleaning chemicals. With branches in Salt Lake City, Holladay, Midvale, American Fork, Park City and Bingham Canyon, the Murray Laundry Company and its wells could not keep up with business. To keep up with demand, the laundry’s owner built a 217,000-gallon tank in 1931. Rather than a regular old silo, they commissioned construction of a tower to broadcast its presence throughout the valley. With 23 tons of steel and 300 bags of cement, it was built to withstand a 60mph wind gust. The tower’s electric sign flashed “Rain Soft Artesian Water” in bright neon. Drama rocked the laundry palace with criminal escapades. Masked robbers broke into its office, bound and gagged the night watchmen, and cracked the safe not only in 1924 but in 1927 and 1932. The first go-round, the yeggs made out with two dollars, the second time with five dollars, but the last one was the biggest loot of $30. The crimes remain unsolved to this day. Strike sold the Murray Laundry in the 1950s to a competing conglomerate, Paramount, and the business

The Murray Laundry tower has been restored by its new owners. (Shaun Delliskave/ City Journals)

continued until the 1970s. As dry cleaning became king and rain soft artesian water lost favor, the company deserted its landmark location. When stories circulated about the Murray Laundry being haunted, the old place got one more shot at glory. In the 1980s, the March of Dimes was forced to move its annual Halloween spook alley out of the Old Mill in Cottonwood Heights. The tower called out a natural replacement, and the Salt Lake Tribune observed that the venue was the largest spook alley in North America. Eventually, the spook alley moved on, and developers bought the land. In the 2010s, the building was cleared from the ground, and apartments were slated. The owners spared the iconic tower and renovated it to its former glory, this time advertising its new name: Artesian Springs. While never really in Murray, the tower’s presence still echoes what the Murray Eagle proclaimed in 1931. “The Murray Laundry helps make a ‘greater Murray’ in every way. Tell your friends that when they reach the Murray Laundry—that’s Murray.”l

Murray City Journal


Cottonwood baseball goes on late-season tear, comes up short in playoffs By Brian Shaw | b.shaw@mycityjournals.com

G

oing into the 5A state baseball playoffs, the defending 5A state champion Cottonwood Colts have been rolling. The hitting that struggled like a filly for most of the first half of the season has caught up with the pitching and now, the team that many thought Cottonwood would be is gelling into a formidable force. Heading into the playoffs, the Colts hadn’t lost since April 23 when they played a non-league game against 4A power Stansbury and took that six-game winning streak into the state tournament. But what’s most impressive about this streak that Cottonwood is on is that the Colts haven’t lost a region game since April 6 when they fell 2-0 to Olympus, the eventual region champion. At 17-6 overall and finishing the season 12-2 in league play, the Colts entered the state tournament as the No. 4 seed. That seeding affords Cottonwood several luxuries. One is the Colts don’t have to play in the first round, giving them even more time to rest and heal up the nicks and injuries they might have. Second, because Cottonwood is also one of the top eight teams in the entire 5A state classification according to the final Utah High School Activities Association RPI standings, it also gets to avoid playing in a second-round

we are

state playoff game as well. For the defending state champs who have had some trouble staying healthy, this is a positive, however, the long layoff of not having played a game for eight days by the time the state tournament begins for Cottonwood on May 20, may have its drawbacks. That said, this is a veteran Cottonwood team that will begin this state tournament at home and has capable arms up and down the roster—one that has five pitchers who have had two or more wins, which includes senior ace Riley Prescott who sports a 4-1 record going into the state playoffs. Like other Colts teams of the past, this one manufactures runs in a big way. Of the four total home runs Cottonwood has hit this year, senior catcher and outfielder Hunter Neumayer leads Cottonwood with three of them and has also smacked 28 RBI—both are tops on the team. Meanwhile, fellow senior Isaac Morris—who is also Cottonwood’s co-ace on the mound with a 4-1 record—has batted in 18 runs and five other Colts have 10 or more RBI. To give you an idea on how dominant the Colts have been since that loss on April 23, they two-hit Murray, allowed four hits to Skyline and shut out Hillcrest 14-0 in five innings. Editor’s note: after press deadline, the Colts fell to Orem in the playoffs ending the season with a 17-8 record. l

Lefty CJ Slagowski goes hard against the Skyline lineup in a game the Colts would emerge victorious 4-3. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

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June 2021 | Page 23


Cottonwood boys soccer season ends with first state tournament game in years By Brian Shaw | b.shaw@mycityjournals.com

W 2021 EVENING S ERIES Amphitheater Parking: 495 East 5300 South Ticket Info: 801-264-2614 or www.murray.utah.gov June 4 ................................. Les Miserables, Movie Sing-Along June 5 ................................................... Murray Concert Band June 17-19, 21-23 ........................ Disney's The Little Mermaid June 26 ...................................................... Murray Symphony

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ith a team as fit and ready as it has been all season, the Cottonwood Colts went into their first 5A state soccer tournament game in years feeling optimistic, according to head coach Dominic Militello. “We were pretty healthy for the most part,” Militello said. “We were only missing one player due to injury.” Ranked No. 29 in the Utah High School Activities Association RPI that seeds all the teams, the Colts hopped on the school bus Friday, May 14 and headed south toward Spanish Fork where they would take on their first round state playoff opponent, No. 4 seed Maple Mountain. An hour later, the bus eased to a stop and out jumped the Colts, playing in their first state tournament game since 2011. Wearing their new black and gold striped jerseys, the retired No. 20 jersey seated on a bench on the sideline to honor those unable to play in 2020, the Cottonwood players warmed up on a sunny afternoon deep in the heart of Utah County. A few minutes later, the whistle blew and the game got underway, said Militello. “Maple Mountain is big, strong, smart... we knew we were in for a tough game,” said

Cottonwood takes on Highland in region action. The Colts won its first game this season in several years. (City Journals)

the Cottonwood head coach. “They got up on us early with three goals in the first half.” The Colts came off the pitch at halftime trailing 3-0, but Militello added that the fighting spirit that Cottonwood had all season wasn’t gone despite being down on the road in the biggest game the program has had in 10 years.

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“It could have been real easy for some of the kids to quit the team and give up — but despite the record they ALL hung in there and competed to the final whistle,” Militello said. By the time the Colts walked back onto the field for the second half, they struck first, thanks to a mazy run by senior captain Pablo Calderon who collected the ball, slalomed

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Murray City Journal


past several defenders and slid the ball past the goalkeeper to cut Maple Mountain’s lead to 3-1. “Pablo scored midway through the second half — we had the momentum and I believe we had better possession,” added Militello, who was frustrated by the lack of calls, in particular one in the last 20 minutes of the game that at the time was still 3-1 in favor of Maple Mountain. “Late in the game, we believed were fouled in the [Maple Mountain penalty] box — it ended up being a free kick for them,” said the Cottonwood head coach who then watched in vain as Maple Mountain scored right after the disputed call, against a shellshocked Colts side that watched in vain as the decision snatched the game and momentum

out of Cottonwood’s grasp. That made it 4-1 to Maple Mountain, which frustrated Militello, because in his estimation the Colts were so close to turning the game around and were denied the opportunity to do so. “If we had been awarded the PK [penalty kick] it would have made it 3-2 — I believe we could have tied it up,” said the head coach. “Instead they get the call, go down and score — game over.” Maple Mountain would tack on one more goal to take the 5-1 victory. None of this came without a fight from a Cottonwood side that would make what many thought would be an easy victory for the No. 4 Maple Mountain team anything but. “It was our best game of the season

— besides our win at East,” said Militello, whose Colts end the season at 1-16 overall and venture into a new region spread across 300 square miles for 2022. For a Cottonwood side that played two juniors and six sophomores in almost every game in 2021, Militello said he intends to retain them all for what should be an even better year, next year. “We are really excited for the new region and the group coming up! We were so proud of our guys this year,” added the Cottonwood head coach, now in his eighth year at the school. “You know, our record over the years is not a real good indication of the kind of kids we have and what we are able to get out of them.” l

Murray 2021

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The Cottonwood goalkeeper holds onto the ball during a region game against Highland. (City Journals)

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Murray City Journal


City Journals Economic Overview

Utah Employment Exceeds Pre-Pandemic Levels By Robert Spendlove, Zions Bank Senior Economist

O Garrett Metcalf started skating at two and played his first organized hockey games when he was five or six. (Photo courtesy of Robert Church/Utah Grizzlies)

Metcalf returns home to the Utah Grizzlies By Greg James | g.james@mycityjournals.com

M

etcalf is a household name amongst Utah hockey fans. Garrett Metcalf has made the Utah Grizzlies his first stop in what he hopes is a long professional career. “I was like two or three when I started skating,” Metcalf said. “Then I think my first organized games came when I was five or six. I started playing in the Salt Lake County lightning program until I was about 14 years old.” His father Steve played on the Highland High School team and by his own admission was not very good so he turned his love of the game into more than 25 years of hockey refereeing. Many remember him as someone who gave his all to hockey. “Steve trained me as an official,” current ECHL linesman Jim Mckenna said. “He was the top guy in the IHL (International Hockey League). I asked him for pointers and he was always willing to give, anything he did, he did with a love for hockey. He was willing to give back.” Metcalf recalled memories of his dad refereeing. “My brother and I grew up going to the games with our dad and I spent many years at the Maverik Center. It has now come full circle and for me to play my first year of pro hockey there is pretty special,” Metcalf said. His hockey career started at home, on the driveway. “We had a net and my brother started taping pillows to my legs and gave me a helmet and glove. He told me to stand in front of the net,” he said. “One time in Phoenix I ran across some equipment in a store. I begged my dad to buy them. I knew he would not pay full price, but it was on clearance. I told him they were on sale. He called my mom and they knew that I was never going back.” He has logged lots of years on the ice to get to this point in his career. “I spent a lot of summers early at the rink. My dad and I would get out to the oval (Kearns Olympic Oval). I would be on the ice at 4:45 in the morning before school. I

MurrayJournal .com

did that multiple times a month. I had the support of my parents to get me there and they took me all across the country. I have been very blessed,” Metcalf said. Metcalf was drafted by the National Hockey Leagues Anaheim Ducks in the sixth round of the 2015 amateur draft. “It was a special moment to be drafted. It is something I will cherish the rest of my life,” Metcalf said. His player rights are still owned by the Ducks. He is under a professional tryout contract. Those contracts are short-term deals that generally only pay per diem. After his draft rights expire in August he can actively pursue a player contract and may end up in the American Hockey League or East Coast Hockey League. He has enjoyed his time with the Grizzlies. “It is very special to be at home. I moved away from home when I was 15 and have not spent more than five days at home since then, but we are cherishing this time we all have together. I have stayed in touch with friends. It has been cool to have all of the support. At games I see familiar faces in the crowd,” Metcalf said. As a goalie he is competing for playing time with contracted players already on big league clubs. In his first two games with the Grizzlies he went 2-0, saved 94% of the shots against him and had a sparkling 1.5 goals against average. He has learned new things playing professional hockey and playing with the Grizzlies has been difficult at times. “We have struggled to score goals, but the guys have worked hard. For my first taste of pro hockey I have seen some success from my work habits and playing with an unbelievable group that has been nothing but supportive,” he said. The Grizzlies are scheduled to close the regular season June 5-7. At press time they stand in fourth place and could be in the ECHL playoffs. l

ne year after the economic recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic began, Utah’s economy has emerged as one of the strongest in the nation. Utah’s unemployment rate in April was 2.8%, down from 2.9% in March and nearly as low as it was before the pandemic. Utah is now tied with South Dakota and Nebraska for the lowest unemployment in the nation. Utah also has the second-highest job growth in the nation, ticking up 2.5% in the last 24 months. This is just behind Idaho’s job growth of 3.9% in the same time period. In fact, Utah and Idaho are the only two states that have added jobs in the last two years. Utah added 35,600 jobs over the past two years, with professional and business services (+15,700) leading the growth. Other sectors that saw notable gains were construction (+11,900); trade, transportation and utilities (+9,800); financial activities (+8,800); and manufacturing (+6,900).

However, the government (-10,500); leisure and hospitality (-7,600); and natural resources (-1,400) sectors have all lost jobs in the past 24 months. While the strong job market and low unemployment are very positive for Utah, our state is once again struggling with a labor shortage. Simply put, there are not enough people in the Utah labor force to meet demand for workers. If this continues for too long, it could constrain potential economic growth, especially for smaller companies that must compete with larger employers for these workers. Robert Spendlove is senior economist for Zions Bank, a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A.

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Dive into summer fun at Salt Lake County outdoor pools By Heather Lawrence | h.lawrence@mycityjournals.com

I

f you needed another sign that things were returning to normal, here’s a good one: the Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation outdoor pools opened Memorial Day weekend! The pools are scattered throughout the county and will stay open through the summer. The county advises patrons to check their website at www. slco.org for updates on COVID restrictions including mask requirements. In general, those who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear masks. Most of the pools have fun features like lap lanes, leisure areas, zero-depth entry, ADA accessibility, kids play areas, diving boards, sunbathing areas or slides. All have lifeguards on duty during operating hours. Opening hours, times and prices differ slightly for each location, so it’s wise to call ahead. And for an extra fun and exclusive event, many of the pools are available after hours to rent for private parties.

POOLS IN YOUR AREA • Crestwood Pool 1700 E. Siesta Dr. (7485 S.) 385-468-1683 • Draper Pool 657 E. Vestry Road 385-468-1995 • Liberty Park Pool 900 S. 650 East 385-468-1564 • Magna Pool 3270 S. 8400 West 385-468-1826 • Redwood Pool 3060 S. Lester St. (3100 S. Redwood Road) 385-468-1870 • SLC Sports Complex Pool 645 S. Guardsman Way 385-468-1925 • South County Pool 12765 S. 1125 West 385-468-1362 • Taylorsville Pool 4914 S. 2700 West 385-468-1740 • West Jordan Pool 8125 S. 2200 West 385-468.1941

Crestwood in Cottonwood Heights is one of nine Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation outdoor pools that opened Memorial Day weekend. (Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation)

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Salt Lake County marks 75 years of Parks and Recreation with tree planting By Lindsey Baxter | l.baxter@mycityjournals.com

N

eighbors, elected officials, and community members joined together on a sunny day to kickoff a summer-long celebration at Evergreen Park May 14. Mayor of Salt Lake County, Jenny Wilson recognized Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation’s 75th birthday. Evergreen Park was chosen because it was the first in what is now over 100 park spaces across the valley managed by Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation. The acquisition of Evergreen Park 75 years ago on May 11, 1946 launched what has now grown into one of the largest parks, trails, recreation, and open space management organizations in the region. Evergreen Park, located at 2230 E. 3425 South, is a beloved jewel of the community that had many members in attendance reminiscing about their childhoods. Wilson had fond memories of playing at Evergreen Park. She said, “I think the 75-year history of Parks and Recreation is to be noted. I have a particular love of this park because I remembered it from my childhood. I mentioned the pumpkin Cinderella-esque playground round item, and I remember when we came in here to update the park with the building of the community rec center, there was a lot of love for this park but also for that sculpture.” Jeff Silvestrini, mayor of Millcreek, said, “The pumpkin is really beautiful, and it has a lot of memories for people that grew up in this park like Mayor Wilson, and for our kids who still play on it.” Amy May, executive director of Tree Utah, explained that the collaboration between Ivory Homes, Tree Utah, Salt Lake County Park and Recreation, and the county

started in fall 2020 after a major windstorm. May said, “Ivory homes, to help the community address the loss of numerous trees, the replanting efforts began. We also actually planted a bunch of trees with the Jordan River Commission in Millcreek on the Jordan River this spring with students from major high schools as well.” Silvestrini added, “I just think that this is a terrific public-private partnership that we have great private sponsors with Ivory and others and Tree Utah and the county. It’s really nice to see us working together on something that’s worthwhile that not only beautifies this park and replaces some of the trees that were taken by the…storm, but it helps with air quality, it helps with keeping our environment cooler, it helps with climate, it’s really important work.” May said, “I was doing a walk-thru last week and noticed there wasn’t a single evergreen in Evergreen Park, and I wanted to make sure we planted evergreens.” Silvestrini added, “It’s Evergreen Avenue, that’s where it got its name from.” Wilson said, “This is a great small park, and one of the jewels in the county park system. It’s just great to be here on the 75th anniversary in a great community, in a park that’s quite loved.” Check slco.org/parks-recreation/ for a schedule of commemorative celebrations this summer. l Mayor of Salt Lake County Jenny Wilson, Amy May, the executive director of Tree Utah, and Millcreek Mayor Jeff Silvestrini at the 75th birthday celebration of Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation. (Lindsey Baxter/City Journals)

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Workforce is vital as we push for a strong economy

Aimee Winder Newton Salt Lake County Council | District 3

There is great satisfaction in successfully providing for oneself and one’s family, but when someone falls upon hard times, shortterm government assistance can be helpful to get residents back on their feet. We must recognize, however, that government assistance shouldn’t be relied upon forever, and that helping people find jobs and contribute to their community is vital for them and the rest of us. We need the expertise and skills that our Salt Lake County residents have to offer. In the midst of the pandemic, when joblessness was on the rise, the federal government took measures to subsidize state unemployment payments across the nation. This was intended to keep jobless individuals and families afloat during a time of economic uncertainty. While some states are still struggling, Utah is performing exceptionally well. Our unemployment rates are among the lowest in the nation, and we are one of two states that actually had a net gain in jobs in 2020. In fact, many businesses are struggling to find employees to fill their open positions as they reopen and strive to return to pre-pandemic levels of business. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many “Help Wanted” signs and advertisements before. Because of the economic trajectory of

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our state, Governor Spencer Cox recently discontinued Utah’s participation in those earlier mentioned federal unemployment subsidies. This was done, in part, to combat what are called “perverse incentives,” meaning incentives that attempt to solve a problem but actually prolong or worsen the problems they are meant to solve. In this case, federal unemployment subsidies were intended to help those who could not find employment, but by continuing these benefits in good economic times, we would be disincentivizing those who are unemployed from finding gainful employment in a strong job market. We want government to avoid perverse incentives, and instead encourage people to find a long-term path to success. There are certainly extenuating circumstances that make it difficult for people to work, but for those who can work, please know that there are plenty of people hiring and you are most certainly wanted! If you are looking for a job, I encourage you to check out any number of job posting websites. You can visit the state’s employment website at jobs.utah.gov and see if there’s a good fit for you. Our workforce is better with you in it. Our quality of life is better when we take an active role in contributing to our families, neighborhoods and communities.

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Before COVID, when the hubbie and I used to travel, I’d book us in places that provided breakfast, because I love me a good breakfast buffet. At one hotel, the breakfast bar offered freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and I couldn’t resist. I don’t usually drink fruit juice because it has so much sugar, which is hilarious because I have no problem downing an entire box of Milk Duds. Anyway. I poured myself a cup of beautiful, pink grapefruit juice and was walking back to our table when a herd of unruly children came dashing around the corner and crashed into me, spilling grapefruit juice all over my shirt and the floor. I stood there dripping and waiting for an apology that never came. The monsters ran past me to fill their plates with bacon. I eyed them scornfully, poured more juice and put on my Hat of Judgement. What kind of mother lets her kids douse perfect strangers with grapefruit juice? What heathen had failed to teach these kids manners? I got back to my table and told my husband to move so I could take his seat because he had a better view of the dining room. I needed to see the parents of these miscreants and judge them accordingly. If anyone can sip grapefruit juice with disdain, I can. I sipped and glared with ma-

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licious intent. Through narrowed eyes, I watched the kids eat all the bacon, touch all the bananas, grab several muffins and gallop back to their table, where their mom sat staring at her phone. My judgement level increased. This neglectful mother didn’t realize her childish baboons were running amok; she had no idea they spilled juice all over me, and she was too involved in her social media and texting to be a good mother. Verdict rendered. Guilty as charged. Gavel pounded. Oh, it felt good to be so superior. But then my stupid brain stepped in. “Ahem,” it said politely because it

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doesn’t like to cause trouble. “Perhaps you’re being a bit harsh.” “Shut up, brain. I’m busy.” Instead of shutting up, my brain brought up a memory of my daughters. We were at an all-you-can-eat-buffet and the girls were not sitting like civilized humans. They were fighting, dropping food all over the floor, running back for seconds and thirds, and taking every single brownie from the dessert bar. They were animals. And I just sat there, so happy for the break from making dinner. I’d been that mom I was judging. My daughters had often run amok. If I’d had a cell phone when my kids were little, I would have been on that phone all the damn time. I slowly removed my Hat of Judgement and reevaluated the current situation. I turned to my husband and said, “It’s just juice. They’re just kids. She’s just a mom.” He didn’t know what I was talking about, but he chewed his bacon, nodded, and said, “That’s good.” Suddenly, I was teary-eyed and felt a camaraderie with this mother. She was in the trenches, doing her very best. Aren’t we all? The more I practice dropping judgement, the easier my life is. It’s exhausting calling out everyone’s behavior. There are better ways to spend my time, like drinking fresh grapefruit juice and remembering when my kids were wild animals.

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June 2021 | Vol. 31 Iss. 06

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CITY COFFERS UP, PROJECTS SLATED By Shaun Delliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com

M

ayor Blair Camp presented his budget address at the April 20 city council meeting, announcing improved revenues for Murray City’s general fund. Murray’s current fiscal year is forecasted to end $12 million in the black due to higher-than-expected sales tax and COVID-19 stimulus funds. Comparatively, the budget year ends on a far more positive note than when it began amid the pandemic. The city lost significant revenue due to decreased sales tax, and city departments instituted severe budget constraints, including freezing several large projects, like the Murray Theater renovation. In FY2021, the city received $2,913,244 from the Federal CARES ACT to reimburse qualified expenses of the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, CARES ACT funding offsets a $2.7 million use of fund balance that would have been required in FY2022 to balance the proposed budget. Without CARES ACT funding, the city would have been obligated to consider a 3%6% property tax increase or a reduction in services. “There is no property tax increase proposed in this budget,” Camp said. According to Camp, one of the challenges facing Murray City is that over 30% of its properties are owned by governments or nonprofit organizations that are tax exempt. By law, Murray’s budget must balance. If there is a deficit due to lost revenue, the city transfers a dividend from its Enterprise Funds to the General Fund. If the city did not do this, property taxes would have to increase, or services would have to be reduced. The most significant contributor to the Enterprise Fund is Murray Power. “Property owners in Murray should note that only 18%20% of their annual tax assessment, depending on which school Continued page 8

Among Murray City’s budget requests is a $742,000 fire engine replacement. (Photo courtesy of Murray City)

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