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November 2020 | Vol. 20 Iss. 11


MURRAY FD LEADS TASK FORCE HELPING WITH CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES By Shaun Delliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com


t didn’t take much to convince Murray Fire Department that California needed help fighting wildfires, as the smoke reached all the way to Utah and most of the Western United States. Murray City was asked to send crews out on three different occasions, once to Colorado and twice to California, to help overwhelmed fire crews in those states. Murray was notified via the State Division of Emergency Management in conjunction with Salt Lake County Emergency Management. This season, and many other seasons in recent history, California reached a critical level for the amount and severity of wildfires. A formal state of emergency declaration was issued, and then they sent out requests to other states in an attempt to get out-of-state trucks and crews to help fight the fires. This happened because the local, state, and county fire responders and managers were completely overwhelmed. Essentially, they have no one else available in California to respond to their own fires. As part of a task force, firefighters from Murray, Provo, Orem, Lone Peak, West Valley, and Unified Fire were split up to attack fires in Medford, Oregon, and Northern California. Captain Stephen Olson, joined by Murray firefighters Shiloh Neale, John Riley, Cameron Willden, and James Oyler, led Utah’s response to California from Sept. 9 to Oct. 1. According to Olson, “The principle difference between our fires in Utah and California is this: population. When they have a fire, it affects way more people. They have more people to deal with, and that means more lives at risk. You have to be a little more aggressive with strategy and tactics where you’re talking about a major life-safety threat to the

Murray firefighters Shiloh Neale, John Riley, Cameron Willden, James Oyler, and Captain Stephen Olson prepare to head out in their brushfire truck in California. (Photo courtesy of Murray FD)

general population.” Comparatively, over 4 million acres have been burned in California, while Utah, Nevada, southern Idaho, and northern Arizona combined have seen over 300,000 acres burned. Part of Murray FD’s assignment included the North Complex Fire around Chico, California, where 15 fatalities occurred and

2,342 structures were lost. “The forests are beautiful, but as NorCal has been in a state of prolonged drought for many years, these forests are dangerously dry. For firefighters, trees and forests equal fuel. So, when you have thousands of acres of extremely dry forests, results can be explosive,” Olson said. “The boots-on-theContinued page 5

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Utah Virtual Academy shows growth, improvement as State School Board grants turnaround status exit By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com

Utah Virtual Academy, which at the start of the school year had a studentbody of more than 3,000 students, exits turnaround status during COVID-19 pandemic. (Julie Slama/City Journals)


urray-based Utah Virtual Academy extends to students statewide, so some numbers are harder to track, according to the school’s presentation made to the Utah State Board of Education in September. Even so, the Board’s review panel could see the vast improvement the school has made. “The State Review Panel concluded that Utah Virtual Academy (UTVA) would have achieved above the bottom 3% threshold for a second, consecutive year and exited School Turnaround,” it was stated. “The UTVA team presented positive qualitative and/or quantitative data from the imple-


mentation of its School Turnaround Plan regarding numbers of students taking the ACT, increasing graduation rates, numbers of different classes offered, and the retention of important staff.” The School Turnaround and Leadership Development Act, passed by the Utah Legislature in 2015, is a state initiative that identifies low-performing schools as being in the bottom 3% of schools statewide for two consecutive years. Those schools are provided outside resources and have three years to show improved academic achievement to exit out of the turnaround status. “The improvement we’ve made has

made us a better school,” UTVA Head of School Meghan Merideth said. “We’ve set a long-term model of structure with the Utah Education Policy Center at the University of Utah and will be continuing with their support because there’s always room for improvement.” In UTVA’s turnaround exit criteria presentation, it showed ACT participation more than doubled from 2015-16 through 2018-19, and the students’ scores have remained fairly consistent. School officials also stated that logistics in administering the state year-end SAGE (now RISE) exam was difficult as students would need to travel to testing locations, in unfamiliar environments and some simply chose to opt out. Furthermore, last spring’s soft closure, which directed in-person instruction to online because of the COVID-19 pandemic, postponed and canceled many statewide assessments, which are used to determine schools’ academic performance. However, graduation rates have improved from 38.4% in 2017 to about 77% in 2020. Concurrent enrollment has improved from 12 credits in 2016-17 to around 400 credits the past two school years. Staff retention also has improved, going from 82% in 2016-17 to 97% this current school year, which UTVA officials believe is less disruptive to the school environment. According to the UTVA presentation, the top three reasons for students enrolling in the virtual school is to remove the students from bullying at traditional schools, decrease their anxiety levels and improve




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their health and safety. This year, more students turned to UTVA as their educational option as an alternative to in-person education during the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 1,500 K-12 students took advantage of the opportunity to enroll at Utah Virtual Academy once the Utah legislature authorized an increased enrollment cap for the online charter school in August. UTVA’s studentbody, at more than 3,000 this fall, is almost half economically disadvantaged and just above half credit deficient upon enrolling. The stats reveal that 48% are mobile, with several homeless or experienced homelessness, and 21% are students with disabilities, according to the statistics presented to the state board. Since there was the disruption of many statewide assessments, the State School Board established a review board in April to evaluate schools’ data and make recommendations whether each school has demonstrated sufficient improvement to exit school turnaround status. Schools presented responses to the Board's guiding questions: Did the school achieve above the lowest 3% threshold using the 2018-19 school accountability data/measures? Can the school provide evidence of substantial progress and growth in addition to the data in the accountability system? Does the school have qualitative and/or quantitative data from the implementation of its School Turnaround Plan that also demonstrates substantial improvement?

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Continued from front page ground part of fighting fires in California is not unlike fighting fire elsewhere, but we have a bit of a learning curve to overcome in regards to learning the local weather factors, terrain, and forest-fuel type.” Typically, Murray FD was assigned to work 24-hour shifts. The shifts included working on the mountain fighting fire, building control lines, thinning trees and vegetation, digging fire breaks, deploying hose-lays, locating and controlling breaches in the fire line, and performing structure protection for homes in the immediate area. They were granted a “down-day” after 24 hours of firefighting, which was spent catching up on sleep, hydration, meals, and cleaning-up equipment and tools to get ready for the next day. “It’s like you would count on sleeping every other day,” Olson said. While in California, Murray FD worked alongside firefighters from throughout the country and Canada, New Zealand and Israel. Still, after their deployment, Murray City Fire rotated a second team, consisting of Steve Roberson, Rick Best, Pete Rude and Zac Hansen. States receiving Murray FD’s assistance, in turn, will reimburse the city for the cost incurred during the task force’s deployment. “I made friends with a California firefighter who has been working 46 days continuously without a single day off, no

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weekend, no vacation, nothing. Many other California firefighters had a similar story. Those firefighters are exhausted from seasons like this, and I was glad we could respond to help give them a bit of assistance and relief,” Olson said. “I know that California would be just as willing to respond and help us.”

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Register Online at gslclubs.org/sports-programs Captain Steve Olson rests against Murray City’s brushfire truck. (Photo courtesy of Murray FD)

November 2020 | Page 5

SROs: mentor, trusted adult, police officer By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com


n a time of social justice and political unrest, some parents may feel comforted that a police officer is assigned to protect their children in school, while other parents do not feel that way. In some U.S. cities, school districts are even reviewing their ties with police departments. “A few states are getting rid of school resource officers; I don’t know if it’s because of the symbol or it’s just a way of retaliation how certain people feel about police,” Hillcrest Junior High School Resource Officer Matt Dibble said. “I wish people would just see the impact that school resource officers have on kids.” Often, the role of the school resource officer isn’t clear to an outsider. In Murray, there are school resource officers assigned to Murray and Cottonwood high schools, respectively, while in Murray school district, the two junior highs and seven elementaries share two additional Murray Police Department officers. Dibble said he is responsible for safety and crime prevention, and also to have a presence at Hillcrest and the east-side elementary schools. “Usually about this time of age, they’re more curious about life and things and what they’re introduced to so hopefully we’re here to push them away from bad decisions they may make,” he said. “This is a prime time for kids to learn the positive things about police officers and just have an interaction.” Besides checking for school safety, surveying security cameras, and usually walking the halls, giving the kids highs-5s, in a nonCOVID-19 year, Dibble also is a guest speaker in classes, teaching students about his job as a police officer, the laws and protection of citizens’ rights, drug and alcohol awareness and answering questions they may have. With more tensions in the world, Dibble was a little uncertain how students would see him this fall. “I wasn’t sure how coming into this school year kids would be with me, but I haven’t had any issues,” he said, adding that his concern was more with new students who didn’t know him than the returning students who “know who I am and how I treat people.” Building relationships with students is key. “It helps with interaction with students and police, a lot of them have bad experiences so we’re here to show them we’re human and I’m not here to get you in trouble,” he said. Two years ago, following the Parkland, Florida school shooting, Dibble and the school administration knew students were going to hold a protest against school violence. “We had a walk out and we knew it was going to happen and we let them. We just told them protest all you want, but just stay in the field,” he said, adding that every student com-

Page 6 | November 2020

plied. If the situation would have turned violent, Dibble would call for back-up. Then, he would identify students and notify their parents. “A big part is getting parents involved so they’re aware of behaviors and what’s going on in school,” he said. “If, they’re (the students are) destroying property, we’re not going to let that happen. If they start assaulting others, they’re definitely going to be in custody or secured until we can let things calm down.” Dibble works closely with school administration, counselors and the school social worker to determine the best course of action for students in any situation. He also said there is a level of trust with student relationships. While SROs can’t randomly search lockers or backpacks without probable cause, Dibble can escort a student and a backpack to the school office, when he receives a tip, such as a student has a gun from either another student or the SafeUT app. Once at the office, Dibble and the administration would check for the weapon and address any issues surrounding it. What makes it more challenging is when something may be posted online, and Dibble has to determine what is credible. “It’s a big issue here, and at any school really, is social media and texting. A lot of kids say a lot of things over social media. A lot of things get misconstrued and you can’t really read emotions over texting, so it makes things really difficult,” he said. “A lot of bullying is done online, or over the phone, or it’s in person so they don’t leave a paper trail so if it’s difficult since there’s not a paper trail to determine if someone is being bullied or not.” Dibble said he still investigates the charge and lets students know there are consequences. For the most part, Dibble, who wears a blue polo and khakis, and carries his badge, handgun and handcuffs, hasn’t used much force with Hillcrest students. “I’ve wanted to avoid putting kids in handcuffs as much as possible because I don’t think that is the right answer for a lot of situations. I’ve only had to put like maybe two or three kids in the past five years in handcuffs. There are some that I’ve had to because they’ve been so unruly or combative,” he said, adding that one circumstance was after the student assaulted an administrator and another time, the student was flipping over a conference table. Dibble has never had to draw his handgun at the school, but he did say besides communication and having the mindset of working with this age group, having a situational awareness is important so he is able to respond immediately to a situation if necessary. “Training just kicks in,” he said. “I’ve

experienced where I haven’t dealt with something in a long time and all of a sudden, some kind of threat comes up, not necessarily here at the school, but on patrol for something, and all of a sudden your training kicks in. I don’t have to think twice. It’s a mode that I can turn on and off.” Dibble’s role in elementary schools is also to calm an unruly student, or to track down a student who may have run away and answer students’ questions. High school SROs also attend extracurricular activities for a police presence. SROs also may have a role with talking to students about truancy. Dibble had more than a decade of experience on patrol before he became a SRO five years ago. To become a SRO, he completed a 40-hour training program.

worked with or talked with, showing his past as a singer of a four-member group, Twenty4seveN, based in Cincinnati. “It kind of shows ‘I’m no different than you,’” he said. After performing two years in the music industry, Dibble was ready for change. “I have a buddy living out here who said, ‘why don’t you start in law enforcement?’” So, he moved. Although Dibble now wears police blue, he hasn’t walked entirely away from music. In a recent Murray City Police Department lip sync video (https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=OShxMZt6pOY), Dibble is front and center, leading the department in the performance. While Murray Department typically rotates its SROs every five years, Dibble isn’t

Hillcrest Junior High School students get to know Matt Dibble, their school resource officer, as well as appreciate his talents in music as he stars in Murray Police Department’s 2018 lip sync video. (Screenshot courtesy of Matt Dibble)

In the summer months, Dibble returns to bike patrol in Murray’s parks or on the Jordan River trail where he will see students and they say hi. Dibble is comfortable in the role as a mentor, a caring and trusting adult, a police officer who will give students high-5s—and in the role as a tactical cop. “I just be myself and let them decide if they’re going to like me or not. I don’t try to convince them to like me, but I show them I am who I am,” he said. Dibble hasn’t always been a police officer. He allows students to learn about him as a person behind the badge. On his office walls, there are pictures of musical artists that he’s

sure his next move. He does have dreams of being a pilot. “I do this to give back to the community,” Dibble said. “I feel like I’m doing something important for the kids so they can reflect back later in life and had a good few years in my 7th, 8th and 9th grades. I think more people need to understand the job of a SRO. We’re not there just to be police officers; we’re not running radars down the hallways. We’re there to help kids in any way possible and let them know, you can come talk to me even if it’s not even police-related or criminal-related, you can just come talk to me and have a conversation.” l

Murray City Journal

Olympus captures region girls soccer crown, advances to state championship By Josh McFadden | j.mcfadden@mycityjournals.com


year after missing out on a region title, the Olympus girls soccer team dominated during the regular season this time around. The Titans also made it farther in the state tournament. Olympus racked up 13 wins in its 14 Region 6 games, losing only to Brighton 1-0 on Sept. 10. The Titans were strong on both offense and defense during the regular season, racking up a 14-2 record in the process. Olympus shut out seven opponents and held seven others to a single goal. Meanwhile, behind the play of Emma Neff and Lily Webster—who both had 17 goals as of our press time—along with Sofia Ward and Kelly Bullock (10 goals apiece), the Titans were difficult for foes to stop. Olympus had eight games it the regular season in which it had at least four goals. Olympus’ 13-1 league mark was two games ahead of second-place Skyline, which it defeated 2-1 on Aug. 20 and 3-0 in a Sept. 17 road contest. The Titans also got revenge against Brighton for its lone region loss. When the two teams got together a third time, the stakes were much higher. The Titans knocked off Brighton 1-0 in the Class 5A state quarterfinals on Oct. 15 to advance to the semifinals on Oct. 21. In the quarterfinals victory, Olympus only needed a firsthalf goal from Bullock to secure the win. The defense was solid all game long, as junior goalkeeper Callie Droitsh got shutout No. 8.5 on the year. Olympus’ march to the semifinals began with a first-round blowout over Payson, 8-0. The Titans entered the state tournament with the No. 4 seed (by virtue of their RPI ranking), meaning they just missed out on a first-round bye and but would get home games for the first two rounds. Olympus made short work of Payson on Oct. 8, amassing seven goals in the first half alone. The Titans added one more in the second half for good measure in their second-largest margin of victory of the season (shared with two other games: an 8-0 win over Highland on Sept. 15 and a 9-1 victory over Highland on Aug. 18). Ward scored three times in the win, and Bullock and Neff added two more. Brynn Fisher contributed a goal as well. On Oct. 13, a second-round matchup with East proved to be much more challenging. Olympus prevailed 1-0, and the close game shouldn’t have been surprising. Though East was 6-7 in Region 6 and finished in fifth place, it played Olympus tough during the regular season. Olympus got by with a 2-1 win at East on Sept. 29. In the postseason tilt, Ward scored in the first

half, and the defense once against kept the opposition’s offense at bay. The two foes were familiar with one another, with the Titans scoring a pair of tight wins over the Spartans in the regular season. The region rivals went to shootout on Sept. 3, with Olympus outkicking the Spartans 3-1 in the penalty kicks. On Oct. 1, the Titans edged Murray 4-3 in the regular season finale. Incidentally, Murray ended Olympus’ season last year in a 2-1 win in the second round of the 5A tournament. This year’s 5A state title game is set for Oct. 23 at Rio Tinto Stadium. Editor’s note: The Olympus girls soccer team advanced to the state championship game defeating Murray High 2-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium on Oct. 20. The Titans would go on to face Bonneville in the state championship match (after the City Journals print deadline).

Senior forward Lily Webster makes a cut along the sideline. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

Mary Anderson attempts to maneuver around a Murray defender. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

MurrayJournal .com

Hillcrest Junior High School students get to know Matt Dibble, their school resource officer, as well as appreciate his talents in music as he stars in Murray Police Department’s 2018 lip sync video. (Screenshot courtesy of Matt Dibble)

Mary Anderson attempts to maneuver around a Murray defender. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

November 2020 | Page 7

What’s your legacy?

Sustained interest in Murray’s solar credit program By Shaun Delliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com

Solar panel users can take advantage of net metering programs to receive credit toward their energy bills. (Shaun Delliskave/City Journals)


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urray residents continue to join the city’s net metering program, where credit is issued to power customers for electricity fed back into the power grid, such as solar. Murray Power Energy Services Manager Matt Youngs spoke July 7 to the Murray City Committee of the Whole meeting, noting that despite the pandemic, the number of enrollees in the program continues to be healthy. “Net Metering” is a method of measuring the difference between the electricity supplied by the city to the customer through the city’s electric distribution system and the electricity generated on the customer’s premises, which is fed back into the city’s electric distribution system. A customer is then issued a credit for any net energy. As one of the first net metering programs in the state, dating back to 2006, Murray currently has 11 commercial customers and 153 residential customers in the city. Those installations’ capacity is 936-kilowatts (kW), which provides enough energy to cover less than 1% of the city’s energy demands at peak usage time. Solar panels containing photovoltaic cells are installed on a customer’s roof. Sunlight is then converted into Direct Current (DC), but the kind of power used in the home is Alternating Current (AC). An inverter is used to convert the electricity from DC to AC. The electricity is used to meet the customer’s energy needs, but the excess is exported to the power grid if more is produced. When less is created, the customer receives electricity from the grid. A net meter is installed that measures the amount of electricity that flows to and from a residence. At the end of a billing period, usually 30 days, if the customer has exported more energy to the grid than they received, they would receive a credit of kilowatt-hours (kWh) on their next bill. Residents on the east side of Murray who are customers of Rocky Mountain Power have access to a net metering tiered system. In contrast, Murray Power currently has a one-to-one

credit structure. According to Youngs, “There is value in continuing the one-to-one credit as it eliminated transmission costs, and I believe solar is a valuable locally produced form of energy.” Credits do not accumulate perpetually with Murray Power but are reset every March. “The goal of the net metering program is to offset the demand for energy a customer had, not to sell excess energy back to the utility,” Youngs said. Youngs believes the return on investment is one reason why there weren’t more net metering customers in Murray. It could take 20 or more years to pay off the solar energy system that some customers purchased. Other factors include the reduction in Utah State Tax Credit, from $2,000 to $1,600, and the reduction in Federal Tax Credit, from 30% to 26%, for solar energy systems. He expects a surge of installations toward the end of the year, as customers try to use these tax credits before they are eventually phased out. “There were not a lot of early adopters, but things took off from 2014 on, due to the cost of solar coming down and tax incentives. Murray is currently on target to have the same number of installations as last year; approximately 20,” Youngs said. Currently, Murray City Power has a 10kW installation cap, but most installations were between 3- and 6-kW, with the average system size being 5-kW. Part of the reason for Murray’s 10-kW cap was to ensure installation limits did not have to be implemented. Based on a recent third-party Cost of Service Analysis, Murray City Power recommended that Murray continue the one-to-one credit as long as the 10-kW cap stayed in place for residential customers. More information about Murray City Power’s Net Metering program can be found at https://www.murray.utah.gov/77/Net-Metering-Program. Rocky Mountain Power net metering program can be found here: https://www. rockymountainpower.net/. l

Murray City Journal

Mountain-bikers climb to reach goals, 14 qualify for state By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com never care where we sit overall. I care about these young adults setting goals, working toward those goals, understanding how to readjust them so they can be successful and improve,” he said, adding that the team is young with only five seniors graduating. Stowe said that in addition to his riders’ goals, a measure of the team’s success is when an athlete who has never mountain biked before puts in hundreds of miles training, with thousands of vertical climbs, to competing at divisionals at Cedar City’s At the divisionals in Cedar City, Cottoncrest biker Matt Hinks finishes 12th in his division. (Photo cour- Three Peaks Throwdown without getting injured since “it’s pretty advanced riding.” tesy of David Butler) Some of the season’s highlights include senior Elliot Meyer, in his first race ever, ourteen mountain bikers on the started in 38th place and placed third in his Cottonwood-Hillcrest-AMES composite division, and freshman Jacob Arens, in his team were slated to compete at state Oct. 23- first race, started in the back and moved up 23 spots to finish 19th. His second race, he 24, as of press deadline. “I feel amazing about the season,” Cot- made the podium. For the girls, he said Hiley Campbell toncrest coach Tony Stowe said. “Each athis up-and-coming, placing 16th in her divilete has shown so much growth.” While the team has no varsity athletes, sion. To learn more about the club sport, two—Connor McMillan and Matt Hinks, and possibly a third, Justice Robinson—are Stowe recommends student-athletes turn to expected to compete at that level next year. utahmtb.org, Cottoncrest mtb on Facebook “We are dead last in our division, but I or huskycoltmtb on Instagram. l


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Ordinary pumpkins become extraordinary in the hands of ‘The Carving Chizel’ By Katherine Weinstein | k.weinstein@mycityjournals.com


Aaron Reimschiissel, “The Carving Chizel,” carved this “punk beast” pumpkin which was displayed at Primary Children’s Hospital last year. (Photo courtesy Aaron Reimschiissel)

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Page 10 | November 2020

rowing up in Spanish Fork, Aaron Reimschiissel always celebrated Halloween with his family in a big way. His mother’s birthday happened to be on Oct. 31 and she celebrated every year with a special party. By carving jacko’-lanterns for her annual celebrations, Reimschiissel discovered his special talent for transforming ordinary pumpkins into works of art. This year, Reimschiissel plans to create his unique pumpkin carvings at Halloween events around the state including the Utah Water Conservancy Pumpkin Walk and the Pumpkin Walk in Daybreak. Last year, he carved pumpkins at Pumpkin Nights in Salt Lake City. He specializes in carving very large pumpkins that often can weigh several hundred pounds. These pumpkins have extremely thick and hard rinds which allow for sculpting depth and texture. He has carved everything from faces to monsters and animals to elaborate castles out of pumpkins. “I try to do something a little bit different each time,” explained Reimschiissel, who uses the name “The Carving Chizel” professionally. He never knows what the pumpkin will look like in advance. “Within just a couple of minutes I have to decide what to make. I have to look at the shape and see what fits into it. That’s the biggest challenge. A face can fit any type of shape. You have to adjust with the pumpkin,” he said. At age 16, Reimschiissel tried his hand at three-dimensional pumpkin carving and sculpted a Dracula face in a pumpkin. That pumpkin was featured in a local newspaper article and he was asked to carve pumpkins at another Halloween party. It was there that he met members of the Utah Giant Pumpkin Growers Association. He has been carving for them ever since. Reimschiissel credits his mom, who enjoys crafting and drawing caricatures, with encouraging his interest in art. He has studied drawing as well as sculpture. Reimschiissel continues to study form and shape to build his repertoire of pumpkin designs. “Right now I’m learning about skeletons,” he said. “I just bought one to learn more anatomy. I have a lot of ideas in my head!” Reimschiissel’s wife, Chelsea, had never seen 3D pumpkin carvings before she saw his work. “It’s so cool how creative he can get,” she said. “He never goes in with a plan. Most of the time he just wings it which is amazing to me. He gets asked all the time how he plans [his designs] but most of the time he just shows up and carves.”

“It’s so cool how creative he can get, He never goes in with a plan. Most of the time he just wings it which is amazing to me. He gets asked all the time how he plans [his designs] but most of the time he just shows up and carves.”

Chelsea Reimschiissel

The spontaneous nature of Reimschiissel’s art and the fact that he is often carving in front of an audience is the most challenging aspect. “When people are watching there’s a level of thinking ‘you have to make it look good!”” he said. He recalled a particularly difficult carving project in which he sculpted a winged devil out of a pumpkin and ended up inserting a separate piece of rind to make the head. Reimschiissel’s two young daughters, Kaiyah and Kinlee, are his biggest fans. Kaiyah, who is 9 years old, is showing an interest in carving pumpkins as well. “They have so much pride in their dad’s pumpkins. The best thing is bringing them to events. They get so excited and will just stand there forever watching him. They like to tell people that’s their dad,” Chelsea said. “It’s fun to see the kids’ reactions,” said Reimschiissel, describing the aspect he likes best about carving in front of an audience. In 2019, he carved a “punk beast” pumpkin at Thanksgiving Point. The Utah Giant Pumpkin Growers Association later took that pumpkin and displayed it in front of Primary Children’s Hospital. Being able to share his work with the hospitalized children was one of the highlights of his carving career. He is looking forward to the upcoming Halloween season and carving more unique pumpkin creations. Images of Reimschiissel’s carved pumpkins as well as updates on the Halloween events he is appearing at may be found on facebook. com/thecarvingchizel and instagram. com/Thecarvingchizel l

Murray City Journal

Neighborhood up-in-arms over proposed Murray subdivision By Shaun Delliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com

Neighbors fear extending Willow Grove Lane to Tripp Lane will bring excessive traffic. (Shaun Delliskave/ City Journals)


west Murray neighborhood is upset about a proposed subdivision near Riverview Junior High School. At the center of contention is the road that would connect Tripp Lane, which the junior high sits on, with Willow Grove Lane, a new subdivision bordering the proposed property. In the Sept. 15 Murray City Council meeting, nearby resident Steve Fidel told the council, “In my 20 years living about a 100 yards away from the proposed development, I believe connecting Willow Grove to Tripp Lane would do nothing to alleviate current traffic congestion around Riverview Junior High along Tripp Lane but would create a

new safety hazard for pedestrians going to and from both Riverview and Viewmont Elementary.” The property in question sits west of the Riverview Park baseball complex. Formerly farmland, it was acquired by NeighborWorks Salt Lake, a nonprofit organization that works to revitalize neighborhoods. NeighborWorks proposes a 10-lot, single-family detached residential subdivision. The property is located in the Single-Family Residential (R-1-8) Zone. Murray City Power owns part of this property on the north end. Murray City Power will dedicate the property to Murray City for Tripp Lane to be extended

into the development. One point of contention is the proposed connection of Willow Grove Lane, which dead-ends at the property’s border to the south. A small parking strip leads to a pedestrian accessway to the park and is privately owned. That strip of property would need to be taken by the city using eminent domain, or the city would have to purchase the property for a road to be connected fully to Willow Grove Lane. The city engineer approached the owner about buying that property; however, they are not interested in selling. The city council would have to approve the use of eminent domain before acquisition takes place. Consequently, many neighbors have expressed concerns that Tripp Lane would bring significant traffic through the Willow Oaks subdivision, especially those whose destination is the two nearby schools. Presently, to drop off students who live west of those schools, residents must either utilize Bullion Street or Green Oaks Drive. Willow Oaks subdivision resident Emily Barnett told the city council, “…this plan will overwhelm my peaceful neighborhood and the future subdivision with traffic by moving school traffic off high-volume roads. Willow Grove Lane would see an increase of 200-

300% in traffic along the safest walking route for the children in this area. This will lower the value of my property and do nothing to help alleviate the issues on Tripp Lane, as there is still only one access point into each school lot.” At the July 16 city planning commission meeting, Murray City Community and Economic Development Supervisor Jared Hall told the commission that although cul-de-sacs can be preferable in some instances, they limit connectivity. Adding 10 lots will not require the applicant to do a traffic study. Hall said that this is a case of changing traffic patterns in the area instead of increasing traffic. If this proposal ends up being a cul-de-sac due to the road not going through, Murray City planners recommend that utilities and pedestrian access still be provided through to Willow Grove Lane. Not all residents oppose linking the two roads. Lucinda Milne told the commission, “We are definitely happy the road is going through. That’s what was in the plans when we did our subdivision many years ago, and so we are glad it’s finally coming through.” The planning commission unanimously approved the NeighborWorks proposal. The city council will deliberate on the final proposal in a future council meeting. l

Millcreek father’s search to return home his 6-year-old son


ast month, Millcreek father Timothy Butler told local news outlets he was searching to return home his son. Butler is the legal guardian of the 6-year-old boy. For several years the boy has been cared for by Butler and a partner. An Amber Alert was issued reading, “Police seeking 6-year-old taken by his possibly ‘dangerous’ mother.” Local law enforcement agencies, the FBI and police here and to the west looked for the young boy, since it was believed his mother could be driving with him to Washington State. Butler’s son was last in Millcreek attending a supervised custody visitation with his mother, Emily Jolley. Law enforcement explained the situation saying, “Jolley distracted a visitation official supervisor before exiting with the boy.”

Mother Emily Jolley and “sympathizer” Bonnie Jackson were booked into jail in Oregon after taking the boy from Utah. (Coos County Sheriff’s Office)

MurrayJournal .com

By Kirk Bradford | k.bradford@mycityjournals.com The boys first six years of life where described by his father. Butler said, “it’s been a long road of legal and emotional battles between the mother yet his only goal was to have a healthy co-parenting relationship.” The mother made allegations of Butler being abusive during their custody battle, but Unified Police have confirmed, they found those allegations to be untrue. After four long grueling days of coordinated policing by the UPD, FBI and Lincoln County, Oregon, the UPD announced, “We are happy to announce that the missing Millcreek 6-year-old boy has been safely located in Coos Bay, Oregon,” via a tweet from Unified Police Department who also stated in a follow-up tweet, “Emily Jolley has been taken into custody. Thank you for all the help! This is still an active investigation, so we are unable to release additional details, but wanted to inform the public, who has been extremely helpful in providing and sharing information in this case, that he has been found safe.” The boy was traveling through Oregon with his mother and one of her “sympathizers” named Bonnie Jackson. The two were identified with boy in Oregon and both will now be facing charges. “Through investigative measures, detectives from the UPD were able to provide potential locations of the suspects with whom the child was presumed to be,” said the UPD released statement. “As a result of an investigation conducted by the Coos County Sheriff’s Office in cooperation with UPD, the suspects, 43-year-old Emily Jolley and 56-year-old Bonnie Jackson, were located at a residence on Broadway Street in North Bend, along with the child. The

Mother Emily Jolley and “sympathizer” Bonnie Jackson were booked into jail in Oregon after taking the boy from Utah. (Coos County Sheriff’s Office)

child was found unharmed and in good health.” The child was taken into protective custody by the Coos County Sheriff’s Office. Jolley and Jackson were arrested and incarcerated at the Coos County Jail. “The alleged federal crime of abduction and kidnapping of a minor and taking him across state lines from the state of Utah and the Utah state crime of custodial interference are both third-degree felonies,” UPD reported. Coordination between states and the boy’s father eventually returned the boy safely back in Millcreek and home safe with his father. l

November 2020 | Page 11

Halloween film haunts in our backyard


tah, and Salt Lake City in particular, has seen a growth in film productions in recent years, and television series and films that fall in the horror genre are no exception. According to a report that came out late last year by the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) which includes the Utah Film Commission, film production dollars spent in Utah more than doubled between 2015 and 2019 to about $87 million. The state film commission attributes the growth to a variety of scenery, economic incentives, and available talent. In a press release from this September available on the film commission’s website, it was announced that the GOED board has approved “five new productions for state film incentives, generating an estimated economic impact of $6.5 million and creating over 185 local jobs.” Utah horror film enthusiasts will find no shortage of locations to visit this Halloween season. A recent production that was filmed around Salt Lake City and has a story set in the state is the critically acclaimed 2018 horror tragedy film, “Hereditary,” starring Gabriel Byrne and Toni Collette and written and directed by Ari Aster. The story follows a family in turmoil as they are haunted by a menacing presence following the death of a secretive maternal grandmother. School scenes were shot at West High School in the Salt Lake City School District and at Utah State Fair Park. The exteriors of the family’s house and tree house were shot in Summit County, and perhaps the most picturesque and hauntingly beautiful scenes at the cemetery were filmed at Larkin Sunset Gardens in Sandy. “Hereditary” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in early 2018 and was a critical and commercial success grossing over $80 million. Two of the films in the legendary “Halloween” horror franchise were also filmed in Utah, primarily around Salt Lake City and Midvale: “Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers” released in 1988 and “Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers” released the following year. Although receiving negative reviews from critics, much like the other films in the franchise, they have maintained a strong cult following. More than 40 years after the first film’s release, you will still find Michael Myers masks, costumes, and decorations in Halloween stores like Spirit Halloween. Although principal photography for “Halloween 4” was completed in California, filmmakers moved production to Salt Lake City in the spring of 1988 because of rising costs and had to import fall leaves and other fall scenery to make it look like October. The film follows the iconic antagonist, Michael Myers, as he awakens from a 10-year comatose state and escapes transport to a sanitarium in a plight to kill his only living relative, his niece, Jamie Lloyd, daughter of Laurie Strode, a prominent character in the first two and later films in the franchise. The McGillis School

Page 12 | November 2020

By Katy Whittingham | k.whittingham@mycityjournals.com in Salt Lake City stands in for Jamie’s school, and her home with her foster family is located in the lower Avenues and was actually up for sale in late 2019. Much of the outside shots and roads for the town of Haddonfield, Illinois, where the story is set, is Midvale on 1-15. A foreshadowing scene when Jamie’s foster sister, Rachel, takes her to get a Halloween costume where her boyfriend also happens to work was filmed at Vincent Drug in Midvale. A popular soda and shake shop in the ’40s and ’50s, Vincent Drug has served as a filming location for many other film and television shows of the ’80s and ’90s, including Stephen King’s 1994 horror miniseries, “The Stand.” Filming for “The Stand” began in and around Salt Lake City in the bitter winter of 1993 and stood in for the setting of the novel the miniseries was based on, Boulder, Colorado. The jail sequences of the series were filmed at the Utah State Prison in a wing where the prisoners were temporarily moved during filming. In some confusion, crew members mistook actual prisoners’ belongings as props and moved them between cells not realizing the mistake until after the first day of shooting. Other upcoming horror films that were or are currently being filmed in Utah include the werewolf, horror-comedy, “The Wolf of Snow Hollow,” set for limited release in theaters on Oct. 9, and the feature, “Deadstream,” written and directed by local filmmakers, Vanessa and Joseph Winter, and described as a “love letter to ’80’s horror cinema.” It’s expected to be released in January 2021. For more information on the Utah Film Commission and past and upcoming projects being filmed in Utah, visit film.utah. gov.

The entrance to the Utah State Prison where scenes were filmed for the 1994 horror miniseries, Stephen King’s “The Stand.” (Katy Whittingham/City Journals)

Larkin Sunset Gardens in Sandy served as the location for cemetery scenes in the 2018 horror film, “Hereditary.” (Katy Whittingham/City Journals)

Merchandise and masks depicting Michael Myers, the iconic villain from the horror franchise, “Halloween” films, are displayed in a Spirit Halloween store in Taylorsville. (Katy Whittingham/City Journals)

Murray City Journal


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Murray City Journal


Mayor’s Message


Grant Elementary . . . . . . 801-264-7416



Heritage Center (Senior Programming) . . 801-264-2635 Hillcrest Jr. High . . . . . . . 801-264-7442 Horizon Elementary . . . . 801-264-7420 Liberty Elementary . . . . . 801-264-7424 Longview Elementary. . . 801-264-7428 Ken Price Ball Park . . . . . 801-262-8282 Miss Murray Pageant (Leesa Lloyd) . . . . . . . . . . 801-446-9233 McMillan Elementary . . 801-264-7430 Murray Area Chamber of Commerce.. . . . . . . . . . 801-263-2632 Murray Arts Advisory Board (Lori Edmunds) . . . . . . . . 801-264-2614 Murray Boys & Girls Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . 801-268-1335 Murray City Cemetery . . . 801-264-2637 Murray Community Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . 801-264-7414 Murray High School . . . . 801-264-7460 Murray Museum . . . . . . . 801-264-2589 Murray Parks and Recreation Office . . . . . . . 801-264-2614 Murray Parkway Golf Course . . . . . . . . . . . . 801-262-4653 Murray Park Aquatics Pool . . . . . . . . . .801 290-4190 Mick Riley Golf Course (SL County) . . . . . . . . . . . 801-266-8185 Parkside Elementary . . . . 801-264-7434 Riverview Jr. High . . . . . . 801-264-7446 Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation . . . . . . . . 801-468-2560 Salt Lake County Ice Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . 801-270-7280 The Park Center . . . . . . . . 801-284-4200 Viewmont Elementary . . 801-264-7438

As November is upon us once again, many of us will be making plans for the Thanksgiving holiday and the subsequent holiday season. As we look forward to these events, I hope none of us will forget the other important November holiday on the eleventh, Veterans Day. Veterans Day is a day to remember and honor all the men and women who have served our country in any branch of the military in war or peace. The date of November 11 has significance. On November 11, 1918, an armistice (agreement made by opposing sides to stop fighting) went into effect between the Allied nations and Germany on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. November 11, 1918 is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.” In 1938 Congress made the 11th of November a legal holiday known as “Armistice Day” to honor veterans of World War I, and in 1954 the Act of 1938 was amended by changing the name to “Veterans Day,” a day to honor all veterans of all wars. On June 28, 1968, the Uniform Holiday Bill was signed into law moving four national holidays (Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day) to Monday in order to provide three-day weekends for federal employees. But according to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, “the first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on October 25, 1971. It was quite apparent that the commemoration of this day was a matter of historic and patriotic significance to a great number of our citizens, and so on September 20th, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 94-97 (89 Stat. 479), which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11.”

D. Blair Camp, Mayor

801-264-2600 We have many Murray residents as well as employees who 5025 S. State Street have served, or are currently Murray, Utah 84107 serving in the military, both active and reserves. You all have family members, friends, or loved ones who have served. I wish to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to all veterans for your service to our country. Thank you. Thank you all. During these recent tumultuous times and this divisive election season, it may be a little difficult for some to remember what a great nation we live in! Despite the flaws, the United States of America is the greatest nation in the world, and that is due largely to those who have sacrificed in defending our freedoms. Former United States Representative John Linder once said, “Our soldiers have nobly fought to protect freedom since our country’s birth, and have fought to protect those that could not protect themselves, even in foreign lands when called upon.” While Veterans Day is one day a year set aside to remember and honor those who have “nobly fought to protect freedom,” I believe we must remember and honor them every day of the year. The veterans of the United States of America deserve our respect and gratitude. On a personal note my father, Al Camp, a World War II veteran, passed away on November 11, 2011, the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the eleventh year. Thanks for your service, Dad! This year as we are all bustling to prepare for the holiday season and our delicious Thanksgiving traditions, let’s not forget that other important holiday in November, and may we all pause to honor and express appreciation to those who have served us and our great nation.

Murray Senior Recreation Center On Friday, November 6, & 20, December 4 & 18 we will offer a Grief Support Class at 10:30 on zoom. Please call the Center to register for these classes. Jody Davis, a Chaplin from Rocky Mountain Hospice, will discuss ways to process grief in this 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 too common as we age. This is a free class. Call the Center 801-264-2635. This year’s Thanksgiving Meal will be served in a box on Wednesday, November 18. Cost is $4 a meal (Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, roll, slice of pumpkin pie) and you must register in advance, limit 3 meals per person. Registration begins, Monday, November 2 for a pickup window starting at 11:30 and going to 12:30. Deadline for registration is Friday, November 13 at 12:00 p.m.

We are in the process of purchasing several Chromebooks, the same device school children are using to connect with their school classes from home. These Chromebooks will be available to checkout, much like a library book, to use to access classes and other programs we will be offering. If you do not have a WiFi connection in your home, you can access Murray City’s free WiFi from the parking lot at our building (10 East 6150 South) or in the parking lot east of the Park Center in Murray Park. Some of the programs/classes we are putting together include History Classes with Jim Duignan, Grief Support with Jody Davis and Avoiding Funeral Pitfalls from Jenkins-Soffe. These presentations will be either via Zoom, Facebook Live or recorded on YouTube. We will have a full schedule available when the Chromebooks arrive. We are also working with our Tax preparers at AARP to provide individual tax assistance starting in February.

Jr. Jazz Grades 1-6 Dates: Cost: Registration: Locations: Register at: Deadline:

Jan. 9. 16, 23, 30, Feb. 6, 13, 20, 27 Residents $60, Non-residents $70 Murray Residents Oct. 12-Dec. 7 Non Residents Nov. 13-Dec. 7 based on availability Gyms throughout Murray Online at www.mcreg.com, Murray Rec Office or the Park Center. December 7, 8:00 am

COVID Restrictions: • One spectator per player. • Spectators must wear masks and practice physical distancing • Coaches must wear masks. • Players must wear masks while seated on the bench. • Spectators and players must leave the facility immediately upon the game completion. • No congregating. • Temp. check for all spectators and participants. • Teams must wait outside until directed to enter by supervisors. • 15 minutes between games for sanitizing. • Limited number of games. • Hand sanitizing entering building and between subs • No treats or snacks allowed • Participants must bring their own water bottles.

Jr. Jazz 101

Jr. Jazz 101 is for kids 4-6 who want to learn skills specific to basketball. This fun program focuses on developing coordination, dribbling, passing, and learning the rules of basketball. Each class will consist of 35 minutes of instruction followed by 20 minutes of game time encouraging the participants to practice their newly learned basketball skills. Limited to 14 kids per class. Dates: Jan. 9, 16, 23, 30, Feb. 6, 13, Cost: $35 Residents, $45 Non-Residents Place: Hillcrest Jr. High Aux Gym Times: 9:00 am, 10:15 am, 11:30 am Registration: Online at www.mcreg.com, Murray Rec Office or the Park Center. Ages: 4-6 COVID Restrictions: • One spectator per player. • Spectators must wear masks and practice physical distancing • Participants must wear masks • Spectators and players must leave the facility immediately upon the completion of class. • No congregating. • Temp. check for all spectators and participants. • Participants must wait outside until directed to enter by supervisors. • 15 minutes between classes for sanitizing. • Limited number of classes • Hand sanitizing entering building and between drills • No treats or snacks allowed • Participants must bring their own water bottles.

Jr. Jazz Grades 9-12 Dates: Cost: Registration: Locations: Register at: Deadline:

Dec. 4, 12, 19, Jan. 9, 16, 23, 30, Feb. 6, 13, 20 Residents $65, Non-residents $75 Oct. 12-Nov. 4 Gyms throughout Murray Online at www.mcreg.com, Murray Rec Office or the Park Center. December 4, 8:00 am

COVID Restrictions: • One spectator per player. • Spectators must wear masks and practice physical distancing • Coaches must wear masks. • Players must wear masks while seated on the bench. • Spectators and players must leave the facility immediately upon the game completion. • No congregating. • Temp. check for all spectators and participants. • Teams must wait outside until directed to enter by supervisors. • 15 minutes between games for sanitizing. • Limited number of games. • Hand sanitizing entering building and between subs • No treats or snacks allowed • Participants must bring their own water bottles.

Top Flite Basketball Competitive Basketball

Monday Night-7th Grade League Jan. 11- March 15 Tuesday Night-5th Grade League Jan. 5-March 16 Tuesday Night-6th Grade League Jan. 5-March 16 Wednesday Night-8th Grade League Jan. 6-March 17 Thursday Night-4th Grade League Jan. 7-March 18 Cost: $475 Locations: Various Schools throughout Murray Deadline: Wednesday, Dec. 16 or until leagues are full Register: Online at www.mcreg.com, Murray Rec Office or the Park Center. COVID Restrictions: • One spectator per player. • Spectators must wear masks and practice social distancing • Coaches must wear masks. • Players must wear masks on the bench when not playing. • Once games are over spectators and players must leave the gym immediately. • No congregating. • Teams must wait outside until directed to enter by supervisors. • 15 minutes between games for sanitizing.



@MurrayCityCulturalArts @Murraycitymuseum

Resident on Display First place winners from the Adult Juried Art Show will be showcased at City Hall in the central display window outside the City Chamber room. Murray residents who would like to be considered for our Resident on Display series, may contact Lori Edmunds (ledmunds@murray.utah.gov). Residents must be 18 years or older and must submit examples of their 2D or 3D artwork for consideration. Artwork is typically showcased in City Hall for a 2-month period.

Adult Juried Art Show

Murray City Cultural Arts holds an annual Adult Juried Art Show for Murray artists ages 18 and older. Typically held at the Murray City Library, this year, the art show will be held at Fashion Place Mall (Inside Dillards Entrance) November 3-5. For those who are not able to attend in person, a virtual tour of the Art Show submissions will be available on Facebook, the morning of November 6th.

During the 11 week closure, due to COVID-19, our 4 full time staff employees remained working. We were able to clean, remodel and update the Center.

Here is a glimpse of what we accomplished!

NEW Competition Pool chair lift. 2 Expresso game bikes, Precor recumbent bike, 2 Precor Treadmills, Life-fitness Smith Machine, 4 Matrix benches and Matrix Functional Trainer. CULINARY BOILERS & LEISURE POOL BOILER REPLACED: New water treatment system was added to the culinary system to help with hard water build-up. This included new piping and 4 high tech heating systems. The old tank removed. PROJECTS - Front entrance concrete replaced - Remodel of our Conference room with re-purposed cabinets from fire station 81, new paint, carpet, and ceiling panels. - Painted window frames, repaired and painted front desk ceiling “cloud�. - Replaced vending area with storage. - Cleaned, sanded, and repainted all wood benches throughout the center. - Replaced entry carpet. After gym floor refinished

HEAVY DUTY CLEANING - All floors were deep cleaned, or refinished, along with detail cleaning around all edges, walls, thresholds, door frames and hard surfaces. - Refurbished stairs. - Pool beam rust removed and repainted. - New grout and deep cleaning in all shower and restroom areas. - All ceilings dusted, along with the top of first aid and main entrance cleaned. - Gym floor and studio refinished/deep cleaned and sanitized. Deep clean, steam and disinfect 9 treadmills, 24 bikes, 29 versatile adaptive pieces plus 12 sectorized weight machines, 7 plate load machines, 10 benches, 4 cable systems.

Continue reading on 2nd page.

Former Utah First Lady’s books address internet safety at a time when more students are online By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com


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

Cottonwood speech, debate students preparing for a season – either online, or in-person By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com


n a world of looking at the positive side of things, Cottonwood High speech and debate teacher Adam Wilkins is doing just that. He is planning the school’s first virtual debate tournament. “There’s a lot of logistics with judges, virtual training, preparing students’ skills set to speak or debate over a Zoom call with just seeing their face and not having body language—it makes it more about the speech itself,” he said. “It’s all a fun challenge. The students’ safety is, has to be, and will be my primary concern so if teaching them and having them have this experience is virtual, I’m happy to oblige and make it work for them.” While Wilkins prepares for this tournament, he still is teaching about 50 speech and debate students in person as well as students online. It is one of his largest teams despite half his team graduating last spring. He also is placing more emphasis on skills, including a new one—how to speak through masks. “Masks aren’t going away here for a while so we need our students to be able to communicate with them in what is now called the ‘new normal,’” Wilkins said. “I think with COVID, it has given me a chance to re-evaluate what and how I’m teaching and providing them in class. It has taken the urgency out of things and given us a chance to slow down and evaluate to become better speakers and communicators. We used to be go-go-go and get going before a competition, but now we’re able to dive into our speaking and organizational skills.” Those may include skills such as artic-

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ulation and projection and addressing what makes a better speaker. Wilkins said that he is encouraging his students to speak about topics that interest them. “Students are feeling more muzzled, for lack of a better term, with masks during this pandemic. They have reason to talk, to express their opinion. Students want to be heard and validated, especially now when the year 2020 will go down as one of the worst years of the last 100 or in their generation politically, socially, economically in the U.S. and in the world. These kids have grown up a lot in the last year,” he said. Many of the speeches he expects students to address this year may focus on the year’s headlines: social justice, global pandemic, world-wide recession, and U.S. elections. “It’s a world of uncertainty and they’ll talk about those issues—and the new ways we’re facing this world,” he said. Historically, Cottonwood’s forensics team performs well, being amongst the top for the past dozen or so years. Last year, Cottonwood placed second in region last February and was already competing at state at Wasatch High when Gov. Gary Herbert put schools on soft closure in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. “I don’t know what in-person debate looks like this year. We will hope for the best and plan for the worst,” Wilkins said. “The kids are excited and are ready to work hard and do their best.” l

ight in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, former Utah First Lady Jackie Leavitt launched the sixth book in the Faux Paw series she has co-written — and said it’s a perfect time to do so. “Children are at home as we practice social distancing to avoid the coronavirus, but they also are likely spending more time being connected on the internet through technology,” Leavitt said. “But we want the children to be safe online and understand the importance of guidelines while using the internet.” Her series of adventures address internet safety with Faux Paw – a now 20-yearold orange polydactyl (six-toed) cat who used to reside in her husband’s office when Mike Leavitt was governor. “Faux Paw was the perfect way to talk about internet safety with school children,” she said. “People would come to the office to see the cat even more than the governor. There was so much interest in the cat, that it just fit he would be the mascot or the star of the books.” While the cat at one time had his own website, now the former First Lady said the books about Faux Paw the Techno Cat are available as a free online resource to parents on iKeepSafe.org under the family access tab. In addition, each elementary school throughout the state has two copies of each book in the series. “In each of the books, Faux Paw the Techno Cat addresses different issues and gets curious and into trouble, but he has good friends who help him understand how to be a good digital citizen. In this last book, “Faux Paw and the Unfortunate Upload-Digital Ethics for Kids,” he posts pictures of the band without permission and learns how important it is to treat others well to have their respect,” she said. The books begin with Faux Paw learning firsthand about privacy online. In another book, he learns what to do if someone says something untrue with the help of former U.S. First Lady Laura Bush. The other books address balancing screen time as Faux Paw gets distracted playing online games, illegal downloading when he wants to get a new song, and making healthy media choices. The series aren’t written on her own. After consulting with two child psychologists, Leavitt said she “wrote the nuts and bolts” of the stories. She credits co-author Sally S. Linford for making the stories “more fun and clever” as well as illustrator Adrian Ropp, who “was able to take a very difficult subject and add an element of fun and comfort to it.”

The books also come with internet resources, discussion questions and the newest, with catchy informative tunes to familiar melodies. With precautions taken for COVID-19, this time with children at home can be a unique window that can be used for learning digital ethics and positive online skills, she said. “We know that many of our youth will have more access and be online during this time and with parents trying to teach and work at home, this is a free way to communicate how to be a good citizen online,” Leavitt said. Healthy living in a “connected world” does require these necessary skills and conversations, she said. Seeing the need for those conversations in her own family inspired Leavitt to write about the issues surrounding being online. She also heard the need to address these concerns from other parents – including the last one from her daughter. “In each of these books, there are different topics that can be looked at and talked with our children and youth and there are additional resources, such as ‘Be Internet Awesome,’ that can be accessed for free on the page,” Leavitt said. “It’s a fun way to get kids interested in talking about being safe online. They know so many things, but as parents, we need to make sure our children and teens do it safely.” iKeepSafe originated in 2003 as an effort from the Leavitts, then grew as the First Spouses from other states joined. While Leavitt has written other books ranging on experiences such as hosting the 2002 Winter Olympics and the tornado that uprooted 90 trees on the capitol lawn, she is dedicated to the cat who gives schoolchildren practical internet lessons. “I enjoy writing,” said the former elementary school teacher. “It’s more compelling and necessary to write about online safety. It’s vital our parents and children know about it and are making healthy online choices.” Once schools resume, Leavitt plans to read about Faux Paw’s latest adventure to school children and share with them internet safety rules she’ll pass out on bookmarks — and she may even be asked what is Faux Paw the Techno Cat’s next adventure. “If there are new areas that we need to address, then I’ll write another,” Leavitt said. “There’s no set number, but we do the books as we need them to ensure the children’s, students’ safety online.” l

November 2020 | Page 19

Thanksgiving culinary traditions and adaptions in 2020


raditions of Thanksgiving, in terms of celebrations and foods served, has usually varied across cultures and regions in the U.S., and includes modern twists and trends. Utah is known for some unique holiday dishes that are both embraced as favorites and rejected by locals and newcomers alike with an either “love them or hate them” mentality. Levi Meyers, originally from Salt Lake and now living in Kanab, said he remembers two staple dishes at the Thanksgiving table when he was growing up — funeral potatoes and cottage cheese Jell-O, but he has not elected to continue the tradition of serving or eating either as an adult. His partner, Christelle DelPrete, also of Kanab and originally from Rhode Island, said that they don’t “really celebrate Thanksgiving,” but if invited to a Thanksgiving meal she brings her own contribution. “As a vegan, I try to find a vegan pumpkin pie recipe online. Vegan crust is tough. I’ve yet to make one I’d recommend, but the filling is generally easy and tasty,” she said. Funeral potatoes generally consist of grated potatoes, sour cream, cheddar cheese, butter, cream of chicken soup and frosted flakes. They are so much of a staple of culture here that according to a Thanksgiving Utah.com article some local restaurants have adapted their own “foodie” versions. The

By Katy Whittingham | k.whittingham@mycityjournals.com name seems to derive from what one would expect, the dish being served at funerals and sent to grieving families, particularly within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints community. Cottage cheese Jell-O recipes vary, but most consist of lime Jell-O, cottage cheese, Miracle Whip, pineapple and pecans, while other fruits and nuts may be substituted or added. Starr Wahlen of Cottonwood Heights, originally from New York State, said she makes cottage cheese Jell-O “sometimes,” but prefers another local favorite, sweet potato and marshmallow casserole, “but without the marshmallows.” Another local and distinctive Thanksgiving and winter holiday beverage is root beer and eggnog, which is somewhat comparable to a root beer float, but with a nutmeg flavor and overall spicier taste. Several recipes can be found online on sites like allrecipes.com with some replacing ginger beer or cola for the root beer. Of course, Thanksgiving isn’t all about the food and drinks and is known for a time to gather together. Dixie-Jo Loveless of Eden said one tradition they have tried to uphold every year is “inviting those who have no one near.” With social distancing, travel restrictions, and group gatherings limited in numbers, there certainly will be more Zoom and

A fruit turkey prepared for Thanksgiving 2019 in a vegetarian household in Sandy. (Katy Whittingham/City Journals)

FaceTime Thanksgiving celebrations this family, friends, and especially my kids and year, but overall we all hopefully can find their good health and spirits during these unreasons to celebrate and be grateful. Wahlen certain times.” l said she is most grateful this year, “For my

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Murray City Journal

Miss Murray 2021 Kyleigh Cooper hopes to promote unity By Shaun Delliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com

Miss Murray 2021 Kyleigh Cooper and Miss Murray 2020 Sarah Nelson. (Photo courtesy of Miss Murray Pageant)


ne of the aims of the Miss Murray pageant is to bring the community together, but the coronavirus pandemic has other plans. Still, in a socially distanced world, the Miss Murray pageant crowned in September Kyleigh Cooper whose social initiative is promoting unity. Cooper, the daughter of Jaren and Angie Cooper is a Murray High alum and senior at Brigham Young University studying history and world dance. She is president of Phi Alpha Theta, the Honors History Society at BYU and works at the Museum of Peoples and Cultures at BYU. Fluent in Korean after serving an LDS mission to Busan, South Korea, Cooper hopes to pursue a master’s degree in art administration/cultural management. Q: What inspired you to enter the pageant? A: Our family friend, Cary Charron, was the emcee of the program for many years and he was the one that originally inspired me to do the pageant. He had always encouraged me to do it. He believed that the Miss America Organization helped women learn leadership skills, gain confidence, build character and earn scholarship money. While I was on my mission, I found out that Cary had unexpectedly passed away. I decided then I needed to do the pageant in honor of him, although it took me a couple years before I felt it was the right time to enter. Q: What was it like to be named Miss Murray? A: I was pleasantly surprised to be crowned Miss Murray. The competition was tough. My competitors are all amazing girls who I love and look up to, so I’m truly honored to be Miss Murray. My family and friends like to tease me about being Murray’s biggest fan, which I am. I feel being Miss Murray is the perfect opportunity for me to give back some of that love to my community. Q: What have you learned about yourself during the process? A: One thing I’ve learned in life and especially through this pageant process is the value of persistence. Things don’t always work out the first time around. I ran for Miss

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Murray the previous year and won first attendant. I almost didn’t come back to compete again, but family and friends encouraged me not to give up and give it one more try. There have been several things in my life that I’ve had to re-apply or re-audition for and this was a good reminder to be persistent and never give up. Q: What is your platform as Miss Murray? A: My focus as Miss Murray will be to “End the Culture War by Promoting Unity.” We could use more respect, tolerance and kindness in our society for all walks of life. I wholeheartedly believe that when we take the time to genuinely listen to where people are coming from, and why they think the way they do, we can better understand their stance on controversial topics. We will never all agree, but we can become better at knowing the facts on social issues, using common sense and logic and not taking offense to every little thing. We are all humans craving connection, validation and understanding. Working toward all-inclusiveness and unity is a brave and worthy endeavor, and I believe our community and society as a whole would greatly benefit from it. Q: What inspired your choice of platform? A: The reason I chose my social impact initiative is that I have always had a fascination for other cultures. I have family members from other countries and an uncle who has traveled the world. He is one of the reasons I have had a strong desire to travel and see the world. I have continued my love of learning about the world through studying history in college. Becoming a part of the World Folk Dance program at BYU has been an amazing experience because I’ve been able to combine my love of learning of other cultures and my love for dance. Because I am a diplomatic person and a good listener, I feel I am able to understand different points of view and in that way able to promote my platform effectively. Q: Tell us about family and friends who were influential to you, and what are some of the most meaningful things they have done? A: I wouldn’t be where I am today without my tribe of people. My mom and dad have always supported me through everything… school, dance, mission, crazy adventures, and ideas, like entering a pageant. My mom is my No. 1 fan and my dad is my coach. I couldn’t ask for better parents or sisters, who are always willing to help me. My BYU Folk Dance team director Amy Jex has also been influential in my life. She truly cares about each of her students and I have been a recipient of her kindness and mentorship. She’s made me a better dancer, given me opportunities to showcase my talents, and believed in me. l

Miss Murray 2021 Kyleigh Cooper and pageant director Leesa Lloyd. (Photo courtesy of Kyleigh Cooper)


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Utah National Guard takes to the skies to fight California wildfires


s unprecedented wildfires raged in California at the end of August, the Utah National Guard was ready to offer what assistance it could. When guard members answered the call to assist in California, the National Guard’s 97th Aviation Troop Command, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment was acting on a request from California through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact. The EMAC is a mutual-aid agreement between states, coordinated through state emergency management agencies. The compact means that “any state can request support from other states if they need it,” said Lt. Colonel Jeremy Tannahill, who led the Utah detachment supporting Californians in their fight against wildfires. “For instance, if Utah had an earthquake, and our forces couldn’t respond appropriately, forces from other states might be called in.” The Utah detachment arrived in California with two UH-60L Black Hawk helicopters and nine soldiers. After departing Aug. 27 from the Army Aviation Support Facility in West Jordan, the soldiers participated in two days of training with an expert forest service firefighter in California. For the next week, they staged out of a helibase in Red Bluff, California (about 100 miles north of Sacramento). Each day, they flew the heli-

By Alison Brimley | a.brimley@mycityjournals.com copters from a small reservoir, where they would fill up with 600 gallons of water, which they would transport to a designated location and dump it on the fire. They flew for 14 hours per day. The object of the mission was not so much to eradicate the fire as it was to cool down the fire so that ground crews could fight it more effectively, said Tannahill. Their aim was to “buy time” for people on the ground. Tannahill said they were able to save at least one cabin and one dozer driver. Though wildfire fighting is inherently dangerous, Tannahill said he and his crew never felt their lives were in imminent danger. “We’re very well trained,” he said. “We are risk-averse enough to not put ourselves in a situation when we’re in jeopardy. We are flying helicopters at the edge of their limits and at the edge of our limits as pilots. But we know what we’re doing. And command did a great job at getting us the resources we needed.” Though the Utah detachment was initially booked for 14 days, Tannahill reported they “started to get a handle on the fires” after only eight days and were able to return home early. “I don’t know the overall strategy,” he said. His crew was playing a small part in a much larger plan. What stands out in Tannahill’s mind,

As of Sept. 14, California wildfires had burned an estimated 3.2 million acres, an area roughly the size of Connecticut.

though, was not the drama or the danger of the mission, but the camaraderie and support of the crew he worked with. Some canceled family vacations when the call came in from California. One has missed the opportunity to spend the last four holidays with family for

his training. “It amazes me every time how willing and ready our National Guard soldiers are to stand up and serve,” he said. “I’ve been doing it for a lot of years, and it blows my mind every time.” l

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Granite rewards ‘tremendous efforts’ by staff with a bonus on top of pay raise


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By Heather Lawrence | h.lawrence@mycityjournals.com

ranite School Board sent out a message Oct. 6 that they had approved a bonus for all employees, which would arrive in their Oct. 30 paycheck. “As a board, we understand that you are working so hard under difficult circumstances. You are doing a tremendous job navigating through the restrictions and extra requirements that come with COVID, as well as learning new things along the way. We know and understand that this is not easy,” said Karyn Winder in a video sent out to educators. Winder is board president of the Granite School District. Hourly employees received a onetime $100 bonus in their Oct. 30 paycheck. Contract employees received a 1% bonus. In addition, contract employees will receive a 3% bonus in their November paychecks. This was negotiated in the spring as part of their benefits package. Contract employees’ salaries had been adjusted for a 5% cost of living raise in the annual 2020-2021 contract

negotiations, which brought an incoming teacher’s salary to over $50,000. “We wanted to back up our words with action. We have relatively low COVID numbers, and are proud to be one of the most transparent districts in the state. We spent nearly $4 million on equipment and building upgrades this year to keep schools safer. A surplus from the spring will help us make sure there are no teacher layoffs this year,” Winder said. Many principals report that their teachers are working harder than ever this year, coming in earlier and leaving later. They’re trying to balance several learning modalities and develop online resources for kids who are distance learning. Custodial staff is cleaning much more often, and all school employees are getting creative about limiting interaction among students. “The bonus was a nice and unexpected token of appreciation. It’s a nice compliment for everyone and how hard they’re working right now. Teachers are

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overwhelmed. They’re tired. Things are difficult and frustrating, but they care about these kids,” said Benjamin Peters, principal at Howard R. Driggs Elementary. Principal Afton Lambson at Spring Lane Elementary thought the bonuses were good not just for bank accounts, but for morale. “We’re incredibly grateful that the board is recognizing that this unique circumstance is more than the teachers and staff planned on. It’s a small gesture of appreciation that’s noticed by Are you a business leader? our staff. They’re all being asked to do At no cost, the ElevateHERTM Challenge is easy things differently. to accept and will benefit your company. “One of our hourly employees said Join businesses across Utah in they were so happy to see that increase our mission to elevate the stature in their paycheck because they’ve nevof women’s leadership. Take the er gotten anything like that before. I ElevateHERTM Challenge and stand with hope people understand that budgets are other businesses as we pledge to elevate thin—we’ve added PPE and had to be women in senior leadership positions, in creative in our staffing this year. So, it boardrooms, on management teams and makes a big difference to know that they on politcal ballots. care and we’re appreciated,” Lambson said. l





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New community center planned for Murray/Millcreek border By Shaun Delliskave|s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com


center for after-school and adult programming will soon sprout on 4500 South, which will provide opportunities for learning and offering service to local communities and globally. Youthlinc, a nonprofit organization, plans to open a 3,200-square-foot community center on an acre of ground near 346 East in Murray. Youthlinc, according to their mission statement, creates “lifetime humanitarians through local and international service.” Their programming includes student leadership, sustained hands-on service, effective mentoring, cooperative, and project-based learning. A groundbreaking occurred Oct. 24, with the grand opening of the building expected in early 2022. The building will include activity rooms, outdoor recreation space, Youthlinc offices, event and board room space for low or no rent to local nonprofits. A community garden is also planned. The nonprofit already partners with Millcreek Promise for its after-school programming and has partnered with South Salt Lake Promise for 10 years. Youthlinc plans with this new building to serve James E. Moss Elementary, Parkside Elementary, Hillcrest Junior High, and Murray High School with after-school programming, and provide much needed green space and a community center for residents of all ages in need of life skill-enhancing curriculum, a computer lab, and a place to gather together. “Youthlinc offers programming important to Murray City School District and will greatly benefit the youth served in this area and the greater community,” Murray Schools Superintendent Jennifer Covington said. “Youthlinc’s after-school program, Real Life, targets demographics of youth within Murray City School District boundaries that need additional and ongoing support so that they can perform at a higher level in school, be more prepared for life after high school through job skills

and college readiness, and have a safe and constructive place to be after school hours.” Each year, over 180 Utah students participate in Youthlinc’s “Service Year,” with 50-60 adult professionals serving as mentors; students provide 15,000 local service hours. A Service Year provides a structured school year-long curriculum, including up to 80 hours of local service and monthly meetings where young people are mentored to take leadership roles in service activities at their international sites. “During these challenging times, we really need something positive to cling to, something that builds our souls and provides hope. Our youth have been especially hard hit by the lockdown orders and social distancing rules,” says Youthlinc Board Treasurer Von Wallace. “Someday, hopefully soon, this pandemic will end. When it does, our young people will need Youthlinc more than ever. The special-purpose building Youthlinc is pursuing is a perfect community gathering place to provide essential services and education, to serve and give back to the community.” Teen refugees in South Salt Lake are mentored by Youthlinc Service Year students through Real Life Salt Lake City. Under the guidance of a local service director and program interns, Youthlinc students plan and implement an after-school curriculum of financial literacy, health and hygiene, job and college preparation, and cultural exchange. This teen-to-teen mentoring program provides additional leadership and service opportunities to students as well as learning and acculturation, and mentoring experiences for the refugee teens who participate. “Although the proposed building is not within Millcreek’s boundaries,” Millcreek Mayor Jeff Silvestrini said, “it is directly across the street from us and will be inclusive of our population of refugee and immigrant families. We value the work that Youthlinc does already in other parts of Millcreek and look forward to working to-

Youthlinc’s new community center will include 3,200 square feet of programming space. (Photo courtesy of Youthlinc)

Youthlinc’s new community center will sit on the banks of Little Cottonwood Creek on 4500 South. (Photo courtesy of Youthlinc)

gether to support this vulnerable and valuable demographic.” The budget for the building is $2.7 million. Over $700,000 has been raised, and

the organization is actively seeking donations. More information can be found online at Youthlinc.org/capital-campaign. l

Keeping the brain happy By Cassie Goff | c.goff@mycityjournals.com


s more of us are working and learning from home, it’s important to keep in mind how our brains stay happy and efficient. Years of psychology research (traced back to the late 1700s) has shown us that our brains do well in states: the particular mode or condition that the brain is in at a specific time. Whether we are learning or working from home, it’s important to keep the locations in which our brains are active separate from the spaces in which they aren’t. State-dependent memory has been defined as the phenomenon in which the retrieval of a memory is most effective when an individual is in the same state of consciousness

Page 24 | November 2020

as when the memory was formed. Psychologists have determined that state-dependent learning can help or hinder our brains while learning new things, emphasizing where and how we learn new information is important. Further, recalling that information is easier if our brains are in the same location with similar stimuli. A common recommended study habit related to state-dependent learning is to study in the same room where a test will occur (Godden, Baddeley, Goldstein, etc.). One recommendation I commonly share to explain state-dependent learning concerns smell. I’m sure we have all been surprised by a memory experience related to that sense.

These experiences are commonly retold as: I smelled a food my family used to make when I was little and remembered a moment from my childhood. While we still aren’t completely sure why smell has such a strong relation to memory (Chen, Proust, Herz, etc.), we can utilize this knowledge for our own learning. Do you remember scented pens (pens that exude different smells, commonly fruity, depending on the color of the ink)? Before the current age of technology, students were recommended to use a different pen for each class, so the subject-specific smell would help the brain recall information spe-

Murray City Journal

cific to that class or subject and further help learning. (Sniffin’ Sticks research by Tekeli, Larsson, Rumeau, Liu, Besser, etc.) Outside of learning, our brains typically like separations of states. As phones, and other screens, have become more and more prevalent, researchers (Hawse, Chang, Duffy, Aeshbach, etc.) discovered that the brain activity associated with being on a screen was not conducive for relaxation or sleep. Now, the National Sleep Foundation recommends putting screens away for at least an hour before going to bed. The simple idea of separating brain states can be applied to broader areas of our lives. A common recommendation is to separate work and relaxation states. This means don’t work from your bed (Hammerness, Moore, Miller, etc.). If possible, separate your workspace from your sleep space, at the very least. If possible, I always recommend setting some sort of work or office space outside of the room that you sleep in. Before the pandemic, as I was trying to incorporate this idea of brain states more into my life, I set a rule for myself that I would not work at home (unless absolutely necessary). A few weeks into it, I noticed that once I entered my designated workspace, my brain turned on and got focused faster and easier. I didn’t have to convince myself to get to work. Now with the pandemic, embodying brain states has been more difficult. I spent

R U O Y some time a few months back setting up a workspace in my home. It’s as far away from my relaxation space as possible, and it’s near a window (natural light is also important for our brain and circadian rhythms). State-dependent memory does not only apply to location and space, but to the state of the body and brain as well. States may include variables like being under an influence, (Hoine, Bremer, and Stern), intensity and type of mood or emotion (Reus, Post, and Weingartner), and pain (Pearce, Isherwood, Hrouda, and Radulovic, Jelena, Lee, Royce), among others. Whether we are learning or working from home, state separation is important. In keeping our workspace strictly for work, and our relaxation space saved for relaxation, our brains become happier and healthier. l

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Kids make history with COVID Memory Project


hat was daily life like for kids living through the last global pandemic? We don’t really know. “There are very few written accounts of the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic; we have pictures, but very few accounts of how people handled their regular lives,” Copper Hills High history teacher Lorna Murray said. “We are not going to make that mistake again. Personal accounts are essential for understanding not only the past, but also the present when the past gets repeated, such as this pandemic. Hopefully, a pandemic is a oncein-a-lifetime experience. We must leave a better record behind us than what we got in 1918.” Murray assigned her history students last spring and again this fall to share their personal experiences of living through this COVID-19 pandemic with The Utah Division of State History. Historical Collections Curator Lisa Barr is heading up a collection of primary source accounts from K-12 students. Young people are invited to share their pandemic experience—how it has affected their school, family, extracurricular activities and lifestyle. Kids can answer a questionnaire or submit journal entries, artwork or photographs which will all become part of a permanent collection in the state archives. “We have access and ability to collect

Page 26 | November 2020

By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com this info in a way they couldn’t 100 years ago,” Barr said. “Technology has so much to do with the way we’re navigating the pandemic and kids are very savvy to that.” Barr said the responses, which have come from children and teens across the state, have varied widely and are representative of how the pandemic is affecting them differently. The mood of the entries has varied, from the shock of changes in spring to the “new normal” by autumn. Some express frustration, others optimism. A 12 year old wrote:“We’ve had to wear masks now. And we have had a ton of deaths. I didn’t leave my house to do anything except go on a walk or bike ride with my family. It was weird being home so much.” A 14 year old wrote: “I have many negative impacts from the pandemic, but I think that the biggest impacts on me are isolation from friends and extended family members, as well as cancellation of sports, clubs, and school. I could go on and on but I think that it is safe to say that the pandemic is one of the worst and best things I have experienced.” Common themes in submissions so far have been students missing teachers, friends and family and missing out on end-of-theyear school activities and family traditions. One child shared: “Before the pandemic I would play baseball every Friday, Saturday

Many families participated in community strengthening activities this spring such as window decorating. (Photo courtesy of Lisa Barr)

or Sunday. And if I got lucky, all three days in a row...I still play baseball, but only with my parents. We go to empty parks and stay at least six feet away from people and it’s still fun...My family and I would go to a Dodgers game once a year, it’s kinda like a tradition

but this will be the first year in a long time we won’t be able to go.” A 12 year old wrote: “During quarantine my grandparents would do drive-by visits. We also did some door drop-off surprises for my cousins. We did lots of Facetime and

Murray City Journal

texting. Once we were free to get out of our houses, we did a lot of activities together. I missed seeing my grandparents and cousins.” Students have also shared how they’re discovering things about themselves they wouldn’t have known—like learning better online or strengthening family relationships. “I have been learning how to cook more complex meals...and I’ve been getting more into art recently,” said one child.

young person’s perspective for her class content so a collection of this kind will be helpful for future teachers. So, in 100 years, students will be able to study this entry written by a 13 year old in the early months of the pandemic: “We have to be by each other all the time. My older sister and I try to hide in our rooms as much as we can. I also try to go outside and swing alone. I play a lot of video games or watch

MISSION STATEMENT The Murray Chamber creates synergy among professionals. We facilitate the creation of long lasting business relationships between members that are based on trust, value, and cooperation. We provide tools to connect education, service opportunities and interaction between members.

The Murray Chamber is working for you each and every day to bring updated Covid-19 information, talking with our local, State and Federal Legislators to keep business flowing in Murray. Please let us know if you have questions regarding the PPP, EIDL, Small Business Administration or how to contact your Legislators. The Murray Chamber welcomes our two newest Board of Directors. We look forward to adding their energy and expertise to grow the Murray Area Chamber of Commerce.

Joseph Silverzweig: Comcast Jenn Kikel-Lynn: Kikel Real Estate We wish to THANK our members for their continued support during these challenging times. We appreciate you! Remember to shop local!

One submission included a picture of local chalk art. (Photo courtesy of Lisa Barr)

A teenager wrote: “I have recently started learning how to play the ukulele again. I have also learned some new tricks on the trampoline. I think that I have gotten better with house chores.” Another wrote: “I’ve been a better person then I could’ve been. I’ve learned to get along with my little brothers. I’ve also had lots of time to spend with my big brother and we talked a lot. I enjoyed being with my family.” Barr said this project gets kids excited about history. “A lot of time, in order to get history to matter for people, you have to make it personal and so this is a great opportunity to do that,” Barr said. Joy Anderson, who teaches U.S. history at Oquirrh Hills Middle School, agrees. “It is always beneficial to have a perspective that students can truly relate to,” Anderson said. “If they see something from someone their own age, they always pay more attention to it than an adult’s perspective.” Anderson, who also assigned her students to submit entries for the collection, said her students will someday be answering these questions for their children or grandchildren for their history class. She said it is almost impossible to find primary sources from a

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TV….People don’t visit each other anymore in my neighborhood. It has affected our state because we can’t go to school or church so a lot of people just stay home all day.” Some entries provided advice to future generations facing a pandemic: “It changes your life. You realize all the blessings you have and are thankful for your health. I believe it’s a great thing that happened to slow us down in life.” “I would want future generations to know that something like this truly changes your life! To experience something like this, well, it is really tough. It’s not easy. But, I do think maybe this will shape my future in a good way. So, never give up!” “Sure we have to wear a mask but it does not mask who we are or how we act. Some people exaggerate corona just a little bit, just a little...If people like me look on the bright side and see things from a different point of view, we realize that we are ok. We still get to do fun things and we can still learn things like normal.” Barr said they will collect submissions as long as the pandemic continues. The submissions will be digitized and stored as part of a special collections archive which will be available for public research or, possibly, a public special exhibit in the future. l

Costco Murray – Alex (Marketing Manager) 5201 South Intermountain Drive • Murray City

Aries Global – Lauren Duran 1275 Fort Union Blvd • Midvale City

www.murraychamber.org November 2020 | Page 27

Murray spook alley carries on in nightmarish times By Shaun Delliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com


t might seem like there are enough anxiety-inducing things in the world lately, so a frightening Halloween venue might be the last thing people want. Yet owners of Murray’s Dead City Haunted House (5425 S. Vine Street) think now is a perfect time for patrons to get a supernatural scare. “Entertainment via escapism is always needed in the darkest of times. We can’t expect everyone to feel comfortable participating this year. We can, however, do everything possible to guarantee safety procedures are in place for those who do,” a Dead City spokes-monster (wishing to stay in character) said. “This industry has its fans and artists that desperately need a distraction; we understand the responsibility not to disappoint, having invested in all the necessary resources to keep everyone happy and healthy.” Dead City Haunted House is one of Utah’s newest indoor haunted attractions, now in its third season. They are featuring over 50 rooms of fear, with three all-new areas for 2020. Owner Tim Riggs has a history with the local spook alley industry, dating back to the Utah Fun Dome Haunted House, Rocky Point, and more. With the COVID pandemic, attraction organizers have had to address customer safety by adding additional precautions and

mothballing certain practices. “We can only do this together, so face masks are mandatory—to keep the screams safe. The show has been completely overhauled this year while maintaining as many scare spots as possible. Hands-on options have been suspended, while all actors are kept at socially distanced positions inside the show,” the Dead City spokes-monster said. “Surfaces are cleaned regularly, several UV air filtration systems have been installed above the show to run constantly, and nightly fog sanitizes surfaces from entry to exit. All mazes and claustrophobic tunnels have been removed to maintain group distancing and avoid touching. Online ticket purchases are encouraged at a discounted rate.” All staff and cast members have temperatures checked before being allowed backstage. Employees communicate and operate through personal mobile devices, and all backstage meetings are kept outside whenever possible. Cast members apply their own makeup, with very few needing it due to the heavy use of masks this season. Bridges have been built above the tighter areas to give actors the ability to operate some new surprises from a safe distance. As part of keeping staff and patrons apart, Dead City will employ puppets or an-

imatronic monsters to provide the screams. “You will all have to come see if you can tell who (or what) is real or not inside the show and what they (or it) might do. Very cutting edge to our knowledge, just one of the many custom creations by our engineering owner that helps make Dead City Haunted House unique to Utah,” the spokes-monster said. Halloween isn’t Dead City’s only exclusive holiday; they have adapted their attraction to multiple holidays this past year. They hosted a “Krampus Night” in December, based on the central European tradition of a half-goat, half-demon that visits naughty children on Christmas, a complete opposite of Santa Claus. The Krampus event allows Dead City to give the Christmas season a monstrous makeover with a visit by Krampus and his minions. Dead City also hosts “Love Bites,” a vampire-themed Valentine’s Day experience that they hope to do again this coming year. Krampus Night caught national recognition, and Dead City was recognized by HAuNTcon and Haunted Attraction Network as “2020 Haunters to Watch.” The award stated, “Dead City Haunted House impressed us with their video creation, narrative tie into their overall theme, social media contest, and

overall use of a limited budget.” Dead City is open 7:30 p.m. every day in October (except Sundays) and a few weekends in November. l

Masks required, even scary ones. Dead City Haunted House will operate with COVID precautions. (Photo Courtesy of Dead City)

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Vote-by-mail in Salt Lake County works

Aimee Winder Newton Salt Lake County Council | District 3

cluded in ballot packets, and can be found at got-vote.org. Ballots can also be returned to the county clerk’s office or to a vote center. If you aren’t returning your ballot by mail, it must be dropped off at one of the above locations before 8 p.m. on Election Day. A limited number of vote centers will be open on Election Day, but with all social distancing guidelines and precautions around the pandemic, voters are encouraged to use the vote-by-mail system to avoid potential lines and long waits. The vote centers are to accommodate those who did not receive a ballot in the mail. Some people may not realize how ballots are processed and counted. When the ballots arrive at the clerk’s office to be processed, the first step is a signature match. This is done electronically by a state-of-the-art machine designed just for this purpose. Ballots with signatures that don’t match what the clerk has on file are “challenged” and the voter is contacted to confirm their identity. Once they’ve verified the voter’s identity, the signature and the


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Laughter AND



Falling Apart

Well, 2020 finally broke me. I’m overwhelmed, worried about COVID, stressed about the election, climate change, immigration and poverty, and disillusioned to learn Ellen DeGeneres is an actress. It feels like someone shook Pandora’s Box 2.0 like a maraca, releasing sadness, greed and hubris. I started this column dozens of times, but it feels like my funny is numb. I’d begin writing but devolve into an angry rant where I’m pounding the keyboard like a furious Elton John. I’ve gone feral. During yoga, I asked my students for advice on how to find my funny. They suggested sharing recipes for Doomsday Survival beverages like Meltdown Mimosas and Disaster Daquiris. I’m afraid if I start researching drinks, I’d sober up around Groundhog Day. (If there is a Groundhog Day in 2021.) I’m run through a gamut of feelings, enough emotions to create a second or third generation of Snow White’s Seven Dwarfs. I start each day with Hangry then work my way through Weepy, Lonely, Screamy, Worry, Panic and Gloomy. My husband never knows which Peri he’ll bump into when we pass in the hall. It makes everyday discussions a bit wobbly. Hubbie: What sounds good for dinner? Me: We’re on a spinning planet, slowly moving toward the sun where we’ll be consumed like a fly in a bug zapper. Hubbie: So . . . enchiladas? Americans are resilient, right? We’ve been through tough times, right? We’ll come together and make the best decisions for our country . . . oh, who am I kidding? I started screaming at the moon every night like some kind of demon weredog. I’m sure my neighbors are terrified. (Sidenote: I hope someone who’s been living in a bunker since Y2K finally emerged this year to see if it’s safe to come out. Joke’s on them.) My meditation practice has become a slow descent into madness. But then. I zoom in close and watch my grandkids teach a disinterested dog to roll over. I see myriad kindnesses in my life like chocolate, warm blankets and Disaster Daquiris. I zoom out and witness this beautiful world with its billions of people just doing the best they can. Compassion is abundant. I talk to the trees (literally). I smell pumpkin spice (everywhere). I hike through gorgeous canyons, watching leaves release their grip on branches and freefall to the ground. The stillness settles my thoughts.

I don’t know if you’ll read this before or after the election. I don’t know if we’re facing martial law, a presidential coup or (finally) an alien invasion. But I know optimism feels better than despair. We can continue to Catastrophe Scroll though vile social media posts, created by friendless trolls with no sense of humor and a serious case of ringworm, or we can turn off our phones and relearn what “community” means. One day soon, we’ll have to acknowledge the friendships we’ve lost, the unnecessary arguments we waged and the times we refused to back down. It will be a political hangover of epic proportions, especially if you’ve been drinking Calamity Cosmopolitans. Those who follow my social media platforms know where I stand politically, and it’s easy to look at the rage in the world and point fingers at The Other Side. I can stop the blame game, but I won’t stop calling for equality, justice and inclusion in places it doesn’t exist. We must remember that Hope remained in Pandora’s Box. It’s our job to nurture it.



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November 2020 | Vol. 20 Iss. 11


MURRAY FD LEADS TASK FORCE HELPING WITH CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES By Shaun Delliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com


t didn’t take much to convince Murray Fire Department that California needed help fighting wildfires, as the smoke reached all the way to Utah and most of the Western United States. Murray City was asked to send crews out on three different occasions, once to Colorado and twice to California, to help overwhelmed fire crews in those states. Murray was notified via the State Division of Emergency Management in conjunction with Salt Lake County Emergency Management. This season, and many other seasons in recent history, California reached a critical level for the amount and severity of wildfires. A formal state of emergency declaration was issued, and then they sent out requests to other states in an attempt to get out-of-state trucks and crews to help fight the fires. This happened because the local, state, and county fire responders and managers were completely overwhelmed. Essentially, they have no one else available in California to respond to their own fires. As part of a task force, firefighters from Murray, Provo, Orem, Lone Peak, West Valley, and Unified Fire were split up to attack fires in Medford, Oregon, and Northern California. Captain Stephen Olson, joined by Murray firefighters Shiloh Neale, John Riley, Cameron Willden, and James Oyler, led Utah’s response to California from Sept. 9 to Oct. 1. According to Olson, “The principle difference between our fires in Utah and California is this: population. When they have a fire, it affects way more people. They have more people to deal with, and that means more lives at risk. You have to be a little more aggressive with strategy and tactics where you’re talking about a major life-safety threat to the

Murray firefighters Shiloh Neale, John Riley, Cameron Willden, James Oyler, and Captain Stephen Olson prepare to head out in their brushfire truck in California. (Photo courtesy of Murray FD)

general population.” Comparatively, over 4 million acres have been burned in California, while Utah, Nevada, southern Idaho, and northern Arizona combined have seen over 300,000 acres burned. Part of Murray FD’s assignment included the North Complex Fire around Chico, California, where 15 fatalities occurred and

2,342 structures were lost. “The forests are beautiful, but as NorCal has been in a state of prolonged drought for many years, these forests are dangerously dry. For firefighters, trees and forests equal fuel. So, when you have thousands of acres of extremely dry forests, results can be explosive,” Olson said. “The boots-on-theContinued page 5

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Murray City Journals | November 2020  

Murray City Journals | November 2020