Murray Journal | October 2021

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October 2021 | Vol. 31 Iss. 10

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CONTENTIOUS MURRAY RESIDENTIAL PROJECTS GREEN-LIGHTED By Shaun Delliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com

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erhaps it was the conflicting University of Utah football game, or maybe people were getting a start on Labor Day weekend, but two of the most contested residential development projects passed in a nearly empty planning commission meeting. The Bullion Street development project conditional use hearing at the Sept. 2 meeting took only a fraction of the time when the property was rezoned residential. “I am surprised about the public turnout, but I guess that went a little bit smoother than we were anticipating,” Murray Planning Commissioner Maren Patterson said. Residents around the Walden Ridge Subdivision bitterly contested the Hamlet Development proposal to develop an 8.6-acre site at 935 Bullion St. Initially, the Planning Commission was to deliberate on developer Michael Brodsky’s proposed changing the property’s land use to medium density in February. However, after the public notice was served, Brodsky met with neighbors at an open house to explain his plans regarding the site. Outcry concerning the potential construction of apartments in the center of a residential neighborhood caused Brodsky to reconsider his initial proposal. Historically, the property sits on the site of the former Highland Boy smelter. That mill closed in Continued page 9

The Bullion Street development will include removing this satellite facility that sits on the property. (Shaun Delliskave/City Journals)

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October 2021 | Page 3


Murray City Hall construction up and running By Shaun Delliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com

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elays caused by a cell tower operator cost Murray City over a half million dollars on the new city hall project. American Towers Corporation’s cell tower, located on 0.27 acres in the center of the currently-under-construction city hall property hindered the project for 11 months. By starting construction on city hall before all property issues were resolved, construction analysts estimate that the city saved millions by beating inflation. Most of the steel for the project was purchased before the pandemic drove construction costs sky high. “Approximately $800,000 was spent on building a new cell tower, moving the equipment, demolishing the existing tower, and purchasing the land where the old cell tower was located. The cell tower delayed the construction-critical path for city hall from Oct. 21, 2020 through Aug. 11, 2021. “The estimated cost impact (of the delay) is approximately $506,000,” Murray City Chief Administrative Officer Doug Hill said. Murray City Hall’s completion date changed from Oct. 31, 2022 to March 22, 2023. The cell tower is now relocated a quarter mile west of its former home. Hill told the Murray City Council at the July 6 Committee of the Whole meeting that construction started before the removal of the cell tower to avoid foreseen escalating construction costs. The hope was to get the city hall project underbid and under contract for a price of $28 million. The city took a chance in October of 2020 to begin construction, knowing problems existed without an agreement in place to relocate the cell tower.

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“The city did not control the schedule for the demolition of the cell tower,” Hill said. “Working in good faith with American Tower Corporation (ATC), the city believed the cell tower would be demolished in January 2021. Because ATC negotiated with the city in good faith, the city did not believe eminent domain was necessary.” The overall bond for city hall came in at $34 million, which did not include the $4 million price for the city hall properties. The city still needs to purchase furniture, fixtures and art for the new facility. “Layton Construction (the project’s contractor) believes the decision to start city hall before the cell tower was demolished will result in an overall cost savings to the city because of increases in construction costs. For example, Layton was able to purchase materials early on and store materials before prices increased,” Hill said. As of July, Layton Construction had been paid $4.6 million of the $28 million budget. Hill told the city council that a clause within Layton Construction’s contact allows them to charge the city for demobilization costs and expenses such as for rental equipment. With the cell tower still in place, contractors pulled construction workers from the site and did not return. Hill said the city issued six change orders due to unforeseen things not called for in the architectural drawings. Layton Construction re-mobilized on Aug. 12, and construction began in earnest the week of Aug. 23. In early November, ground level work will commence. However, after November, the public will notice steel being install and construction more evident.

The newly relocated cell tower held Murray City Hall construction up for months. (Shaun Delliskave/City Journals)

According to Hill, Layton Construction conducted a cost comparison analysis in May of 2021. It was determined that with current inflation, the city saved $2.5 million by commencing construction before the removal of the cell tower. In August 2017, the city council

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Road Work Ahead: Murray reveals new transportation plan By Shaun Delliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com

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etter sidewalks and more active transportation routes are what Murrayites want to see most in future transportation projects. According to the Murray City Transportation Plan released in August, Murray residents want a more walkable community with better bike lanes and pedestrian pathways. The previous plan was developed and adopted in 2006, and a significant number of the projects identified then have been completed. However, other projects, such as downtown’s Hanauer Street continuation, were not identified in it. “Since the last plan, there has been significant growth and number of changes in our City’s Land Use Regulations including the development of a new general plan which includes a number of identified zoning changes which directly affect transportation levels of service (LOS) throughout the City,” Murray City Engineer Trae Stoke said. “Ideally, the plan is updated every 10 years; however, it was important to integrate updated land use and other elements from the 2017 general plan into the transportation plan, so additional time was needed.” Initially, the city began the process with a detailed public survey to identify problem locations and set priorities for the

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Murray’s new master transportation plan highlights projects to be completed over the near future. (Shaun Delliskave/City Journals)

master plan. The public input in the initial responses was to encourage better active transportation (i.e., bike lanes and sidewalks), and the capital project list generated from those responses reflected these priorities. With this information, city staff and firm Avenue Consultants prepared and distributed a draft plan and sought additional input from residents and Murray City commuters. This draft review was set into motion to ensure the planned transportation projects met the expectations of respondents. Adding bike lanes will be included in eight out of the top 10 phase one projects. First on the list is downtown’s Hanauer Street. Hanauer Street is proposed to be a portion of a one-way couplet with Box Elder Street, but completing that transformation may yet be a ways off. “This lies in the future as growth and demand to access downtown progress. In the near term, improvements to intersections at 4800 South and State Street and Vine Street and State Street are slated. Additionally, bike lanes on 4800 South will be prioritized to provide connectivity from downtown to the Jordan River Trail,” Stokes said. Growth in the northwest quadrant of the city will be a primary focus for building access and capacity. The city has proposed that Murray Boulevard/500 West be widened from three to five lanes, and it will likely be the most challenging project in the immediate future. “This project is needed because of recent growth, and the city will need to consider the types of trips (residential and commuter) and where people are coming from,” Stokes said. With many large-scale multi-use housing projects proposed for Murray, the survey suggests residents are looking for ways to cut down traffic within the city. However, survey respondents showed less interest in improving road capacity than in improving walkable spaces. “It has been a trend for some time now, but the survey showed a desire for better connectivity with active and public

A heat map of crash locations illustrating the highest concentrations of crashes within Murray City. (Photo courtesy of Murray City)

transportation. Sidewalks were ranked as the highest priority by respondents, and with the challenges of COVID-19, the public appears to have a greater appreciation for our public spaces than before. It is important to remember that our public roadways comprise the majority of public space in most cities, and capital projects can help improve these spaces. The capital plan was developed with this focus and resulted in a plan that improves safety and connectivity for active transportation users while accommodating growth,” Stokes said. Murray City not only solicited input from residents but those who make Murray a destination during the day. Commuters

who flock to Murray for jobs or shopping cause the daytime population of Murray to swell and place significant stress on existing infrastructure. Stokes presented the plan at the Aug. 24 City Council meeting. The council unanimously approved it. “It is time to go to work,” Stokes said. “Several projects highlighted in the capital plan have been initiated and completed. This plan will be the basis to obtain funding through local, state and federal funding sources to achieve the capital projects.” The Murray Transportation Plan can be viewed online at www.murraytransportationplan.com. l

October 2021 | Page 5


Morgan Workman crowned Miss Murray 2021

VOTE JOE FOR AN INCLUSIVE AND PROSPEROUS COMMUNITY

University of Utah sophomore takes this year’s honors

Protect Murray’s quiet neighborhoods Invest in a vibrant, historic downtown Conserve water and clean our air Preserve our independent utilities

www.joeformurray.com This summer, I connected with thousands of voters.You’ve met my family and learned about my experience building partnerships as a nonprofit leader, former Assistant Attorney General, and expert in city issues. I want to get to work on our shared vision of a Murray that brings people together, preserves our community and history, and boldly embraces the opportunity of tomorrow. To do that, I need your vote. I believe my vision, values, and experience are the best choice for our community. I’d be honored to have your support.

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Page 6 | October 2021

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By Shaun Delliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com

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n aspiring entrepreneur studying at the University of Utah was named Miss Murray 2021, Sept. 11, at Murray High School. Morgan Workman, a 2020 Murray High graduate, was awarded a $3,000 scholarship at the pageant, which she will apply toward finishing her degree in entrepreneurship with a minor in modern dance. In addition to being the daughter of Brandi and Ben Workman, she has a full-ride scholarship to the university. She also hopes to open a fitness studio. Q: What inspired you to enter the pageant? A: Lisa Lloyd. I had sports psychology with her in high school, and she kept pushing me to compete in the pageant/scholarship competition. I entered the first year, in 2020, and didn’t place at all. I wasn’t going to compete again, but she really wanted me to, so I went for it. I prepared all summer and felt much more prepared this year, and I won. I love what the Miss Murray and Miss America organizations stand for: service, scholarship, style and success. Q: What was it like to be named Miss Murray? A: It was a very surreal and overwhelming experience. Putting that crown on means, I am stepping into a position of service and leadership for Murray City. Q: What have you learned about yourself during the process? A: I learned that I have a voice and that I need to use it if I am going to change the world. That’s what this organization does; it gives a voice to all women. I am so honored to be in this position. Q: What is your platform as Miss Murray? A: My platform is the “Gift of Movement Scholarship.” It’s a scholarship for youth 18 and under who can’t afford to participate in sports or performing arts. I raise money through different fundraising events and select the scholarship winner by having the applicants submit an essay on why they deserve the scholarship. Prior to winning the title of Miss Murray, I raised $1,000 through a self-defense fundraising class taught by Dan Smith, a police officer willing to donate his time. I was able to award that scholarship to a girl named Gracie, who loves to dance and needed this scholarship to continue dancing. Q: What inspired your choice of platform? A: I chose the “Gift of Movement Scholarship” as my platform because growing up, I couldn’t afford to do what I love, which

Miss Murray 2021 Morgan Workman with Little Miss Murray, Kirsten. (Photo courtesy Miss Murray Organization)

was dance. I would search long and hard for scholarships, but unfortunately, there aren’t many out there for youth. Luckily, I received scholarships throughout my dancing career to continue training. My goal is to continue creating scholarships through the “Gift of Movement.” I know how much it means to receive a scholarship to continue chasing your dreams, and I want to continue doing that for the youth in Murray City. 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: All of my family and friends have been highly supportive, and I wish I could give them all a shout-out. My biggest influences are my little brothers, Carson and Hayden. We have been through a lot together, and they have always had my back. All I want is to be a good role model to them. They show up to every performance and always have, and that means everything to me—lastly, my parents. I got lucky because I have four: my mom (Brandi), my stepdad (Tim), my dad (Ben), and my stepmom (Megan). They are always there to support me and would give anything and everything to see me succeed. I got extremely lucky. l

Murray City Journal


Fall festivals return to Murray By Shaun Delliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com

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ith the return of fall colors also comes fall festivals that were absent last year. Murray’s perennial “Haunted Woods” and Wheeler Farm’s “Pumpkin Days” are back, except with COVID precautions. Haunted Woods Some people report a ghost lives in the woods of Murray Park, and during three days in October, there is a good chance you will spot one at the “Haunted Woods.” The annual event is hosted by the Salt Lake City-area Exchange Clubs, and all proceeds go toward the fight against child and domestic abuse in Utah. The “Haunted Woods” runs Oct. 25-27 at Murray Park. The not-scary, kid-friendly “Silly Trail” will run from 6-7 p.m. each night. Then, from 7-9 p.m. each night, the “Spooky Trail” will open for the more thrill-seeking guests. “There are three Exchange Clubs across the valley (Taylorsville, Murray, and Bonneville) that help with the Murray Chamber of Commerce to support all the haunting that will be going on before, during, and after. And we have Murray High student clubs filling the woods, along with clubs from Skyline, American Prep, Granger, and West High Schools,” Exchange Club representative Cheri Van Bibber said. New in 2021, each night of the event will

feature a unique theme. For example, Monday is Superhero Night, Tuesday is Disney Night, and Wednesday is Star Wars Night. Admission is $5 per person or $20 for families of five. Kids three years old and under get in free. Tickets are sold as timed ticket reservations, available online through Ticketleap. There are a limited number of tickets available for each half-hour time slot, and organizers expect that time slots will sell out. Also included in admission is a doughnut and hot chocolate at the end of the trail. New in 2021, refreshments can be enjoyed in the remodeled Pavilion 5 or around the bonfire in Murray Park’s giant outdoor fireplace. Masks and social distancing encouraged. Tickets and information are available at www.hauntedwoodsmurray.com. Pumpkin Days October is not complete without visiting a pumpkin patch, and as Linus from the “Great Pumpkin” might declare, Wheeler Farm’s is the most sincere. “Pumpkin Days” runs from Sept. 24 through Oct. 31, Monday-Thursday: 11a.m.-8 p.m., Friday and Saturday: 9 a.m.-9 p.m, and Sunday: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The $10 admission includes the playland and straw maze, a cow train, or a wagon ride. “Our annual crowd favorite is back this

year and better than ever. We will have a straw maze, corn pit, pedal tractor track, and more,” Wheeler Farm Program Coordinator Jane Wylie said. Guests can visit the not-so-scary pumpkin patch and purchase their own pre-carved jacko-lantern. They can also hop aboard a tractor-drawn wagon ride around the outer rim of the farm. The tour pulls you through Wheeler Woods. Wagon rides are wheelchair accessible. The straw maze allows parents to watch children, just in case the maze proves too tricky. Children can also immerse themselves under bushels of maize in the corn pit. Finally, the cow train tows children behind a small tractor in an individual wagon deco- A ghoul awaits travelers on the Haunted Woods “Silly Trail.” (Photo courtesy Sheri Van Bibber) rated as a cow. More information is available at www.slco.org/wheeler-farm/events/pump- contest, please feel free to come in your finest kin-days/ Halloween attire,” Wylie said. Dog Dayz in the Maze This event is pre-registration only at On Oct. 25, Wheeler’s “Pumpkin Days” www.slco.org/wheeler-farm/events/dogliterally goes to the dogs from 5-8 p.m. days-in-the-maze/. “Here’s the scoop. You and your pup will Holiday Market enjoy our ‘Pumpkin Days’ Event and a trick Wrapping up fall and getting you in the or treat bag for your pet. Hone in your pup’s mood for the holidays, Wheeler Farm invites directional skills to find your way through the local artisans and crafters to the big barn for straw bale maze and enjoy a fall wagon ride. a holiday market. This event is free and runs Your pup will also get to trick or treat down Nov. 26-28 Friday, 5-8 p.m., Saturday and our Vendor Alley. While this is not a costume Sunday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.l

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October 2021 | Page 7


Do Murray renters have options to resolve apartment problems?

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fter 50 people were displaced July 1 at the Stillwater Apartments due to a neighbor deliberately setting fire to his unit with his barbecue, social media also went ablaze about renters feeling unsafe in their apartments. As Murray is home to several large apartment complexes, renters have access to information on what they can and cannot do with problem neighbors or landlords. “Most apartment complexes thoroughly screen renters,” Executive Director Paul Smith of the Utah Apartment Association said. “Just because someone screens well does not mean they will behave perfectly or comply with contracts. Mental illness and societal woes affect renters as well as the general population. There are 300,000 renter households in Utah. Some simply choose to ignore the rules. It would not be appropriate to blame landlords for their behavior. Most apartment communities ban barbecues on balconies in the lease, and I am sure Stillwater did.” With cameras now prevalent in every person’s phone and social media a convenient outlet, renters frequently post videos of problematic neighbors acting out, even violently. “Much of the time, the neighbors know more about what is going on than the owners because the owner isn’t there all the time. If bad renters are violating the lease and disturbing others, they can be removed normally by eviction. As you know, the eviction rules and enforcement have been different the last 15 months, making it harder for landlords to deal with issues,” Smith said. Depending on the offense, landlords, particularly large complex owners, follow guidelines spelled out in the renter’s contract. Before an eviction, a landlord may have to serve a no-

By Shaun Delliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com tice of compliance for more minor nuisance issues. “Can neighbors force landlords to take action against someone they don’t like? No. In fact, the person they don’t like may be complying with the contract, and the landlord couldn’t evict them if they wanted. So, it’s more complicated, and there are more moving parts to these situations than appear at first glance,” Smith said. Utah has landlord-tenant laws that both protect property owners and renters. One principle of landlord-tenant law is the opportunity to comply. For instance, if a tenant doesn’t pay rent or violates the rules, like disturbing others, the landlord cannot act until they serve a three-day notice giving the tenant a chance to fix it. If they don’t, an eviction can move forward. But the opportunity to fix it must be provided. Likewise, if a tenant has something break, like a furnace, state law allows them to serve a three-day notice to the landlord to begin repairs within three days. If the landlord doesn’t, the tenant can fix it themselves and deduct from rent or cancel the lease and move, getting any pre-paid rent back. They can’t do those things until they allow the landlord to fix them. “The Fit Premises Act gives renters the right to serve a notice of uninhabitable premises and request work be done within a timeframe. If it isn’t started, the tenant can break the lease and move, or fix themselves and deduct from the contract,” Smith said. However, not all building issues fall under the Fit Premises Act. For example, a property owner does not need to comply with cosmetic issues to the property, such as decorations. “If it is safety issues, city code enforcement will force repairs. If it’s a habitability issue like heat, hot water, plumbing,

A Murray renter’s nightmare came true when a neighbor deliberately torched his Stillwater Apartment, causing 50 renters to be displaced. (Shaun Delliskave/City Journals)

A/C, or doors and window, the tenant can use the three-day notice. If it is a contract issue like leaky roof, broken garage door, things the contract calls for the owner to maintain, it’s a 10-day notice. There are many options depending on which issue it is,” Smith said. To assist renters with learning more about resolving problems or serving notice with landlords, the UAA’s website, uaahq.org, has information listed under Tenant Resources. For safety issues, renters can contact the city code enforcement office. “Tenants often don’t communicate issues early so they can be easily remedied. That’s my top tip— communicate,” Smith said.l

Murray Rotary Club Monthly Service Update

Let’s help some Native American leaders with construction of a new community center. Oct. 28-31 we are working with residents of the Halchita Community on the Navajo Reservation in southeastern Utah. Halchita leaders asked Utah Rotary clubs to help them convert a vacant Head Start building into a 2,200 square-foot community center for youth and adults. “IT, electrical, and plumbing helpers are needed,” says Murray Rotarian Jim Charnholm. “Other volunteers can prepare and paint the inside of the building, replace ceiling tiles, fix playground equipment, host a trunk-or-treat, cleanup and serve food.” “But we always have fun too,” says Murray Rotary President Kyle Wither. “We will take the time to get out and see this beautiful country.”

Go to MurrayRotaryUtah.com Help us with a local or international service project. Join us at one of our bi-monthly meetings.

“Fun with a purpose” is our motto. Page 8 | October 2021

Murray City Journal


Continued from front page a landmark environmental case in the early 1900s due to its emulsions. However, slag from the mill can still be seen on the property, and the soil remains contaminated with lead and arsenic. In the 1980s, US Satellite Corporation excavated a privacy berm and constructed a communications facility. Developers constructing neighborhoods around the property had to contend with cleaning up contaminated soil. The property, which is in a desirable location, has been on the market for a considerable time. Buyers, including Murray City, have passed at purchasing the lot based on environmental cleanup costs. Brodsky, whose firm has cleaned up and developed other properties around Murray, such as the Birkhill at Fireclay project (4200 S. Main St.), believes that the most viable way to develop the property is by adding medium-density housing. At the April 1 planning commission meeting, the first public hearing of Brodsky’s reconfigured proposal, public pressure continued against the proposal. Before the vote, Brodsky tabled to rezone a portion of the property to R-1-6 (low density) and a part of the property to R-M-15 (medium density), and that doing so will limitthe maximum density that anybody can build in this neighborhood. At the May 6 Planning Commission meeting, after several hours of discussion

and public input, the commission narrowly approved the proposals with changes amended to it to address traffic on Bullion Street. At the June 15 Murray City Council meeting, in an acrimonious atmosphere, the zoning proposal passed unanimously. At the Sept. 2 Planning Commission meeting, a nearly empty chamber was present for Hamlet Developments’ conditional use permit to receive the green light to start their project officially. Only one email was received for the public hearing. “I think everybody here expected 100 people here tonight,” Brodsky said. “Yeah, we’re surprised that there’s not a lot of public comment. Right now, I am really stunned.” The commission required 11 modifications to the Hamlet proposal, after which the permit passed by unanimous vote. The project, slated for 20 single-family and 54 townhomes, is scheduled to commence in November. Less onerous but still generating a large amount of public input is the Ivory Home’s Murray Heights subdivision planned for the corner of 5400 South and 700 West and situated on a narrow angle of land between two busy roads and the Aspen Heights subdivision. After initially planning three-story townhomes that would border the homes to the south, neighbors opposed the layout of the development. Unlike the contentious Bullion development, residents arranged for

Ivory Homes to meet and discuss their concerns. “Thanks to Rochelle White (Aspen Heights resident), I want to thank her publicly for kind of rallying the troops and organizing her neighbors. I think we had a really productive meeting on-site, and I was able to better understand the concerns of the neighbors to the south, which was very helpful,” Ivory Homes representative Brian Prince said. Ivory Homes agreed to move most housing units off the borderline and instead buffer the property with an access road. Still problematic for the development is access into the subdivision. Residents can only enter the complex from the north on 700 West and exit to the south due to a traffic island designed by the Utah Department of Transportation. This traffic island has created traffic problems for people wanting to enter the shopping center at the intersection. Drivers unfamiliar with accessing the parking lot must drive around the traffic island and will use the Allendale subdivision’s driveways to turn around and access the center. Zac Smallwood of Murray City’s Community and Economic Development Division stated that he would talk to City Engineer Trae Stokes about addressing the issues caused by the traffic island. The planning commission voted unanimously to approve the project. l

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October 2021 | Page 9


New arts programs added to Riverview Jr. High By Victoria Wetzel

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ack to school means different things for different people. Parents buy school supplies and make bus and carpool plans. Students choose their electives and put themselves back into the school year frame of mind. Mackenzie Barlow and Alexie Baugh, two teachers at Riverview Jr. High School have had a different thing to prepare for. As of the 2021-22 school year, Riverview added two new programs for students to pick for their electives: a dance class and an advanced theatre class. “I spent the summer looking at Shakespeare pieces because I knew that would be how we would start,” said Baugh, who will be teaching the advanced theater class. This is the first time Riverview has had an advanced theater class since the school’s establishment in 1961. “I kind of knew we could make the class what we wanted, so I asked the students what they wanted to do [for the year] in the first week of class,” Baugh said. Some of the ideas the students had were stage tech, musical theatre, costume design and playwriting units. Barlow said she was excited to be

teaching a new program at Riverview. “I taught dance for almost eight years, and I am so excited to navigate that. We’re going to be diving into a lot of things this year. We’ll start with line and folk dancing, then we’ll shift over to modern and jazz and then we’ll finish with hip-hop.” Barlow has a lot of dancing experience. Throughout her youth, she was in several commercials including one for Get Air and another for Young Living. After high school, she joined the dance group Underground which performed in Salt Lake City, Boise and Denver. “Dance can be a new or different way to express feelings and emotions,” said Barlow, on explaining why dance is an important thing for kids to learn. “I'm excited to maybe perform in front of people,” said Reagan Fish, an eighth grader participating in the new dance program. “I’m excited to make new friends, friends who like dance, like me. Some goals that I want are to learn to be a better dancer and to maybe go on pointe.” When asked what theater advice she would give to her students, Baugh replied, “I think the most important thing is to just be willing to try stuff. We do stuff

The advanced theatre class practices for the Shakespeare Festival in the auditorium. (Victoria Wetzel/City Journals)

in this class that other people might find a little strange, like we do games that kind of push us out of our comfort zones, and we do some vocal warmups that sound

pretty weird sometimes.” The theater students are set to compete in the Utah Shakespeare Festival this fall. l

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Murray High thespians plan for Broadway—on their stage and in NYC By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com

B

right lights, glitz and all that goes with it is in the plans for Murray High thespians as they plan to put on the Broadway blockbuster “Oklahoma” in November before traveling to New York City to see Broadway shows in March. “We’re already deep in rehearsals,” Murray High theatre director Will Saxton said in September. “It’s ageless, one of the shows that has made a place in American musical theater history.” “Oklahoma” first piloted as “Away We Go” in Connecticut to not so favorable reviews. A little bit of modifications, and the first collaboration between Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II opened in the 1940s with a Broadway record 2,212 performances before closing five years later. “It’s a point in American musical theater history where they initiated change. They wrote the words, then composed the music. The songs move the story along. It was revolutionary and was only seen in operas or operettas before this point,” Saxton said. With a few changes to modernize the “very old fashioned, little cheesy” script and to make it less offensive today, Saxton said the directors voted to produce “Oklahoma” over six other possibilities. “We picked one that was recognizable, but also one we had the right group of kids for,” he said. The show is slated for 7 p.m., Nov. 11-13 and Nov. 15. Ticket cost $9 and are available at www.showtix4u. com/mhsoklahoma or at the door. However, before the students take to their stage,

they will head to Cedar City to perform at the 45th annual high school Shakespeare Festival. New this year was submitting monologues and scenes by Sept. 18, then finalists perform in-person. Ensembles, such as Murray’s “Two Gentlemen of Verona,” also were to be performed in-person during the festival, Sept. 30-Oct. 2. In January, students will put on an all-acoustic show, “Café Broadway II,” in their Little Theatre. Along with seeing the performance, patrons will be served hot chocolate and pastries. The show will be at 7 p.m., Jan. 12-14, 2022; tickets are $5 online and at the door. In the spring, students will perform the world debut of the science-fiction production, “Corralis.” Written by Murray High senior Morgan Champine, the show promises to be a thriller in the style of “Star Trek,” and will include space travel, robots and lasers, said Saxton, who is co-directing it with Champine. “Corralis” will be performed on the auditorium stage at 7 p.m., March 10-12 and March 14, 2022. Also in March, the students will perform in region competition. State contests are in April. Students will be given the opportunity to go to New York City in late March during their spring break to see three Broadway shows, attend two theater workshops and sightsee during their spring break. “We want to give the students the opportunity to see Broadway musicals and take workshops. We’ll do one acting workshop and one Q&A with a performer so they can learn what it’s like to be on Broadway,” Saxton said. They return to perform “Hamlet” at 7 p.m., May 4-6

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Murray High drama club supports theatre productions, performs service and holds socials amongst other activities during the school year. (Will Saxton/Murray High)

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Shows aimed to make world better place planned for Cottonwood High stage By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com

I

n a world of choices, Cottonwood High theater director Adam Wilkins wants his students to consider the ones that will make the world a better place. “I like shows with a message, something to give students and the audience a chance to think, reflect and take it to heart,” he said. “This year, our theme is that we have choices, and we want to make the world better. We want to know that we can get through this with faith, hope and responsibility.” For that reason, he picked the traditional musical, “Annie,” to be performed on the school stage at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 1820 and Nov. 22, and at noon on Nov. 20. Tickets are $9 and are available at cwoodtheatre.com. “I love Annie, and I think it’s a beautiful show,” he said. “There is a sense of optimism and hope when we hear ‘The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow.’ It was set in the Great Depression; everything was in upheaval, and they didn’t know their place in the world. It was scary. Then, this plucky red-headed kid full of optimism and love wants to make the world a better place. What’s not to love? It’s a message we need right now.” The 150-member production also in-

cludes area junior high students on stage as well as stage crew and orchestra members. The show was cast last spring and rehearsals started Aug. 23. This allowed the cast to learn the songs and get to know the show, Wilkins said. Before the students take to the stage, they will host the return of their annual— with the exception of during COVID-19 — Haunted Hallway. Patrons can get spooked as they walk the “grand tour” of the theatre, black box theatre, underneath the theatre area and hallways. Donations of canned foods are being accepted to stock the school’s food pantry and proceeds will be earmarked for their winter charity fundraiser. It will be held for two hours beginning at 6 p.m., Oct. 19. In late January, students will travel to Cedar City to take part in the Utah Theatre Association’s conferences, where they will take workshops from professors across the country. They also will see some Utah Shakespeare Company’s, Southern Utah University’s and other high schools’ performances and there is an opportunity for seniors to be screened for college scholarships. The Colts return to their home stage Jan. 27-31 with a Broadway Revue; and in

March, they’re performing “The Book of Will,” written by Lauren Gunderson. “The Book of Will” is a play about two men, John Heminges and Henry Condell, and their decision to publish the works of William Shakespeare so the world could remember the scripts, Wilkins said. “Because of the thoughtfulness of these selfless friends, they gathered some of Shakespeare’s—the world’s greatest playwright—work for us and for the future,” Wilkins said. “They’ve given us this hope and optimism for a brighter tomorrow. It’s my first time directing it and I’m finding joy in it.” The students also will compete in their regional competition in mid-March, which they will host. State competition is planned for April. “I’ve learned a lot in the past year and few months. COVID has forced me to be a better teacher, embracing a digital teaching format, becoming more organized and finding ways to connect with all my students,” Wilkins said. “But I think we’ve come to realize that while science solves world problems, it’s art that gets us through them and through life’s challenges. So, it’s these shows with choices of hope and optimism that will carry us this year.”l

Ivy Dunbar as Annie and Lily as Sandy, her dog, rehearse for their upcoming production of “Annie,” directed by Adam Wilkins, seen directing in the background. (Photo courtesy of Anna Boone)

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Murray City Journal


OCTOBER 2021

FREQUENTLY REQUESTED NUMBERS Attorney .................................. 801-264-2640 Business Licensing .................. 801-270-2432 Cemetery ................................ 801-264-2637 City Council ............................. 801-264-2603 Finance Department ............... 801-264-2513 FIRE DEPARTMENT Administrative Office .......... 801-264-2781 Non-Emergency Calls ......... 801-840-4000 General Information................ 801-264-2525 Senior Recreation Center ......... 801-264-2635 Human Resources.................... 801-264-2656 Library .................................... 801-264-2580 Mayor’s Office.......................... 801-264-2600 Municipal Court....................... 801-284-4280 Museum .................................. 801-264-2589 Murray Park Outdoor Pool ....... 801-266-9321 Murray Parkway Golf Course.... 801-262-4653 PARKS AND RECREATION Administrative Office .......... 801-264-2614 Rain-out Information ......... 801-264-2525 Park Center (indoor pool) ........ 801-284-4200 Passports................................. 801-264-2660 POLICE DEPARTMENT Administrative Office .......... 801-264-2673 Animal Control/SL County .. 385-468-7387 Code Enforcement .............. 801-264-2673 Non-Emergency Calls ......... 801-840-4000 POWER DEPARTMENT Administrative Office .......... 801-264-2730 After Hours Emergency....... 801-264-9669 PUBLIC SERVICES Administrative Office .......... 801-270-2440 Building Inspection ............ 801-270-2431 Green Waste Trailers ........... 801-270-2440 Planning and Zoning .......... 801-270-2420 Solid Waste......................... 801-270-2440 Water, Sewer, Streets.......... 801-270-2440 Zoning Enforcement ........... 801-270-2426 UTILITIES After Hours Emergency....... 801-264-9669 Billing Questions ................ 801-264-2626

murray.utah.gov

Mayor’s Message

MAYOR’S OFFICE

Where do your property tax dollars go?

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

As I have talked with Murray’s constituents over the years, one of the more common topics that comes up is that of property taxes. I have discovered there is a lot of misunderstanding and misconceptions by homeowners about property taxes, such a who levies the taxes and where the money goes. Since property evaluation notices are mailed (or emailed) in July and August, the questions start to surface each year at that time, especially if the notice indicates an increase in the proposed tax for the year. The property evaluation notice itself contains a wealth of information and I encourage every property owner to carefully read the information found there. The first line on your notice will be the school district. This will be the largest single assessment on your notice. In Murray, you will either be in the Murray School District or the Granite School District depending on your property location. It’s important to note that both school districts are independent entities with their own governing boards and are entirely separate from the city government. The Murray City Council does NOT set the tax rates for any school district, as the Murray City Board of Education is the legislative body of the Murray School District and the Granite Board of Education is the legislative body of the Granite School District. The school boards are the taxing authority for school districts, not the city. The next two lines on your notice are also for schools, the State Basic School Levy, and the Utah Charter School Levy. Both are mandated by the State Legislature to help offset the cost of providing educational services. The next line on your notice is Salt Lake County. This is the tax imposed by the Salt Lake County council to fund the cost of general government in Salt Lake County, such as public health and human services, jails and courts, county administration, etc. The next two lines are for Murray City services: the Murray City levy, and the Murray City Library. These are the only two lines on your property tax assessment that are controlled by the Murray City council. The Murray City line is for the cost of general government in

D. Blair Camp -Mayor

Murray and accounts for about 19% of the general fund revenue. This is spent on public safety, parks, public works, and the cost of government administration. The Murray City levy for 2021 is .001608 and the Library levy is .000418. The other lines on the tax notice are for special service districts and will vary depending on the location of your property. It’s noteworthy that Murray City has only increased property tax one time since FY2006, and that was a moderate increase in FY2019. I occasionally hear from skeptical residents that tell me that their property tax has increased even though the city has had no increase. It’s true that individual property tax assessments will fluctuate from year to year, and here’s why. State law allows a city to only collect the same amount of property tax as in the previous year, except for new growth. However, the total assessed value of all properties in the city may fluctuate for several reasons. The total assessed value is divided by the amount of tax dollars the city is due resulting in the certified tax rate. So, depending on your individual property valuation and the certified tax rate, your taxes due may be slightly higher, or even slightly lower than the previous year. In general, as property values increase, the tax rate decreases. It’s important to check each individual line on your notice to compare with the previous year to see the fluctuations. If there is a tax increase proposed by any of the taxing agencies, you will be notified as to the time and place of a public hearing. There is an immense amount of information about property taxes on the Salt Lake County Auditor website (slco.org/propertytax). There you can find answers to almost any question related to property taxes in Salt Lake County. Ultimately it is up to you to decide if you are getting your money’s worth for your tax dollars. The cost of services that local governments provide continues to increase. The property tax rate in Murray City has been kept relatively low and, in my opinion, remains a good value.

The Murray City passport office is located at Murray City Hall in room 113. The office has extended its operating hours from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Appointments are required. Murray’s Passport office offers convenient, full-service passport processing to Murray residents and the surrounding communities. With in-house photos, fast and family-friendly service, and helpful staff, we aim to make submitting your application as quick and easy as possible. The U.S. Department of State is advising travelers to apply for passports at least six (6) months before making international travel plans. • Routine service can take up to 18 weeks • Expedited service can take up to 12 weeks To avoid having to make multiple trips, please read this page carefully before you come: www.murray.utah.gov/1350/Passports


Message from the Council One of the things I am most passionate about is our environment and what we can do to protect it. One of the easiest things everyone can do to help protect the environment is to recycle responsibly. There have been some questions as to whether it is worth it to recycle because recyDiane Turner cling has become more expensive throughDistrict 4 out the years. Although the recycling market is always fluctuating, there have been some positive trends recently. Recycled materials such as cardboard, paper, and plastic containers have seen an increase in value. Recycled cardboard prices that averaged around $71 per ton in 2020 are anticipated to be around $90 per ton by the end of 2021. Recycled paper prices were averaging around $83 per ton in 2020 and by early 2021 were averaging $93 per ton. We are making more money on recycling which is great news. Recycling reduces the trash in our landfills which extends the life of those landfills and positively affects the environment. One question I get asked all the time is, “What can I recycle?” This is a fair question as information on what can and cannot be recycled seems to have gotten lost or become confusing during the past few years. You can recycle empty aerosol, steel, and aluminum cans. It is important to rinse out the cans first to remove any excess food that may be left in them and dry them before disposing of them in your recycling bin. Leaving food in a can could potentially contaminate an entire load of recycling and cause the load of recycling to be taken to the landfill instead. Paper products including newspaper, junk mail, cardboard, paper bags, and magazines can also be recycled. It is essential to ensure the paper products you are recycling are clean. An example of a paper product that should not be recycled is a pizza box because they tend to be greasy from the pizza that was inside them. Dirty paper products, such as a greasy pizza box, should be discarded in your normal trash bin. HDPE (high-density polyethylene) containers (laundry detergent containers) and PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles and

Murray Library

jars (water bottles) are also recyclable. Other drink bottles, such as plastic soda bottles, can also be recycled once they have been rinsed out and dried. One other thing to note on recycling is please do not bag up your recycled items. Simply place them in your recycling bin, unbagged. Bagging recyclables creates extra work for the recycling centers and the bag could also get caught in the recycling centers machinery, causing extra work for everyone. Glass should not be put in your regular recycle bin but it can be recycled. If you are interested in recycling your glass, live above 900 East in Murray and have your trash serviced by the Wasatch Front Waste & Recycling District, you may opt into their glass recycling program for a nominal fee. For more information on that program, you may contact them at 385-468-6325. Murray City also offers two glass recycling containers that anyone can use. One is located at Germania Park and the other at Murray Park. Although I wish everything could be recycled, there are some items that must absolutely not go into your recycle bin. These items include the plastic bags from the grocery store, coated paper containers and styrofoam containers. Some grocery stores offer a place for you to take your used plastic grocery bags to have them recycled, so check with your local market to see if that’s something they offer. Hazardous waste cannot be placed in the recycle or trash bin you have at your home. In conjunction with the Salt Lake Valley Health Department, Murray City has an ABOP (Antifreeze, Batteries, Oil, and Paint) drop off site located at 4646 South 500 West. Monday through Friday, from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., you can drop off antifreeze, batteries, oil, and paint and know that it will be discarded of properly. Other household hazardous waste can be taken to the Salt Lake Valley Solid Waste Management Facility. You may contact Murray City Public Works for more information at 801-270-2440. PLEASE REMEMBER TO VOTE ON NOVEMBER 2, 2021! Diane Turner District 4

166 East 5300 South • Murray, UT 84107

JOIN IN FOR HALLOW-READ! Get your spooky on! Or not. But let’s read! Join in for the Hallow-read event and start tracking your hours. Pick up a tracker at the library or download the beanstack app and register. Hallow-read will go through the month of October with a tasty treat for those that complete the challenge. KIDS CREATE Pick up your craft kit at the Murray Library, then complete your craft at home on your own or follow along with our YouTube instructions. This free monthly program is intended for children 5 - 12 years old. One kit per child, limit four per family. You must register every month. This month’s kit is a Halloween Craft.

Murray Library Calendar

ART FOR ADULTS Register for a take home project that you can create at your own pace. You must register every month on our online calendar. I SURVIVED BOOK CLUB This one-of-a-kind book club lets you read and do activities at your own pace. You’ll receive one I SURVIVED book, activities, and craft. This is a take home book club kit. You must register every month. You may pick-up your kits starting Tuesday Oct.12 through Saturday Oct.16. This month’s book is “I SURVIVED The Battle of Gettysburg, 1863.”

Murray Library Home

CITY COUNCIL Council District 1 Kat Martinez 385-743-8766

kat.martinez@murray.utah.gov Council District 2 Dale M. Cox 801-971-5568

dale.cox@murray.utah.gov Council District 3 Rosalba Dominguez 801-330-6232

rosalba.dominguez@murray.utah.gov Council District 4 Diane Turner 801-635-6382

diane.turner@murray.utah.gov Council District 5 Brett A. Hales 801-882-7171

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

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


OCTOBER 2021 Murray Senior Recreation Center Monday-Friday 8:00 am – 4:30 pm | Thursday 8:00 am – 9:30 pm | Closed Saturday and Sunday

DAILY LUNCH BY CHEF OMAR LIMON Date: Tuesday through Friday Time: 11:30 am – 12:30 pm Cost: Cost is $4; prior registration not required

HONORING VETERANS VETERANS WANTED FOR A SPECIAL PROJECT We are working in conjunction with local high school students to tell the stories of Veterans. If you are a Veteran and want to help, please call us. The Veterans and students will meet several times during September and October at the convenience of the Veterans. The students will write the Veterans’ stories and present them at the Center. We are looking for any Veterans age 55+ from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, or the Gulf War. This will be a great opportunity for both students and Veterans. Date: Friday, November 5 Time: 3– 4:30 p.m. BRUNCH CAFÉ HONORING VETERANS If you are a 55+ Veteran, your meal is on us at our Brunch Café in November. Date: Monday, November 8 Time: 10:15 a.m. – noon Cost: à la carte menu

SPECIAL EVENTS OKTOBERFEST Date: Wednesday, October 20 Time / Cost: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. / $10 Registration begins Wednesday, September 22 and closes on Wednesday, October 8 Entertainment provided by Salzburger Echo THANKSGIVING MEAL Date: Wednesday, November 17 Time: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Cost: $10 Registration begins Wednesday, October 20 and closes on November 6. Entertainment provided by The Mixed Nuts SELL HANDICRAFTS AT OUR HOLIDAY CRAFT FAIR Application & instructions available online or at our Front Desk. Application & samples must be submitted by Friday, October 15. Homemade food items not allowed. Date: Friday, December 3 Time: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Fee: $30 for a table

HEALTH SERVICES

HAIRCUTS Date: Friday, October 1, 15, 22, 29 Time: 9 a.m. – noon Cost: $9; advance appointment required

BLOOD PRESSURE CLINIC by Harmony Home Health Date: Thursday, October 14 Thursday, November 18 Time: 10:30 – 11 a.m. Cost: Free; no appointment necessary HEALTH SCREENING BY UVU STUDENT NURSES Dates: Wednesday, October 6 Wednesday, November 3 Time: 9:30 a.m. – noon Cost: Free; no appointment necessary BLOOD TESTING BY IHC LABORATORIES: Lipid Profile and Hemoglobin A1C Date: Friday, November 12 Time: 9 – 11 a.m. Cost: To be determined; advance appointment required

TRIPS FALL COLORS Date: Thursday, October 7 Time: 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Cost: $30 includes lunch

JURIED ART SHOW Announcing the annual Murray City Juried Art Show for artists 18 and older. This year, the art show will be held at the Murray City Library, October 27 November 17. Entries are due at the Library, October 26 between 4–6 p.m. Artists can enter up to two 2D entries and two 3D entries. Submissions must have been created within the last 2 years and have not been entered in past Murray City Juried Art Shows. You can find more information and the entry form online at www.murray.utah.gov or at the Murray Parks & Recreation Office.

WENDOVER Date: Thursday, October 14 Time: 8:30 am – 7 p.m. Cost: $20 per trip

BRIDGE TOURNAMENT

Date: Monday, November 1, 2021 Time: 12:00 pm Tour 12:45 pm Introduction 1:00 – 4:00 pm Tournament Cost: $5 Deadline: Monday, October 25, 2021 Place: Murray Senior Recreation Center Format: Scoring-style party bridge Prizes: Top 5 players, Booby prizes Participants: Max 40 (55 years of age and older)

PICKLEBALL TOURNAMENT

The Center held a “Blind Draw” Pickleball Tournament on Thursday, September 9 and Friday September 10. We had 27 enthusiastic (ranging in age from 57 to 95 years young) participants playing. Many thanks go to Kenn Wilkinson for lending his expertise in putting together and running the tournament, to Boomer Pickleball and Scott McGuire for providing prizes, and for all those who brought food and drink items. Everyone had a great time and congratulations to the winners.

#10 East 6150 South (1 block west of State Street) • For information call 801-264-2635

RESIDENT ON DISPLAY In October, we will be displaying artwork and creations by Dustin Lewis. Visit Murray City Hall, central display case, Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

MURRAY ARTS BEAT CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE


Lori Edmunds: 801-264-2620

HAUNTED TALES Students in grades 3-12 can submit their Halloweenthemed entries and be judged for prizes. Entries will be judged by the following grade categories: grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12 for both Short Stories and Poems. Deadline: October 18, 2021 at the Parks & Recreation Office (296 E Murray Park Ave) or email submission to klindquist@murray.utah.gov. First place winners will receive a gift card. Top ten winners will receive a certificate and will be invited to read their entry at the Haunted Tales Showcase, October 26, 6:30 pm at the Murray City Senior Recreation Center. More details on the workshops can be found at: www.murray.utah.gov/1649/Haunted-Tales


New Murray High assistant principal returns to Murray District By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com

E

mily Bird is a familiar face in Murray School District, but now she returns to the district as an administrator, one of those who can rule the school at Murray High. After teaching special education for five years at Grant Elementary and working as an at-risk program specialist in the district office for three years, Bird left the district for a stint to work in the Utah State Office of Education as a Utah Program Improvement Planning System specialist, ensuring there is support and compliance with federal and state requirements with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act in Utah’s school districts. “I’ve always had a love for education law and, as an administrator, I can make sure the policy and procedures are in place for students to have the best possible education,” Bird said. “I love my students—all my students. I’m out in the halls every day, and I am always popping into classrooms.” Bird replaces Laura deShazo as Murray High’s assistant principal; deShazo went to Riverview Junior High as the Raptors’ assistant principal. Bird said she always knew she wanted to pursue a career in education. As a teenager—before she could drive—she helped four or five years at the Murray Boys & Girls Club helping in the day care and with walk-in youth. “It was my first taste of teaching, and I loved running the after-school classrooms. I was hooked,” she said. After graduating from Taylorsville High and raising four boys, she began her career as a paraeducator and decided to get her teaching degree. “I took Intro to Special Ed, and knew that’s what I

wanted to do so I switched to special ed as my major,” she said. Bird earned her bachelor’s degree in mild/moderate special education at the University of Utah and went on to earn her master’s there in educational leadership and policy with a license in administration. She also has her endorsement in English-as-a-Second Language. She began working for Murray School District in 2013. “Murray has a status of excellence,” she said. “I wanted to work for Murray with its vision of education.” While Bird enjoyed being in the classroom, she decided to get into administration as a way to help teachers, which would help more students. However, she also appreciates interacting with students in a high school, which she said is a crucial part of educational years. “At the high school, I can work closely with teachers and funnel my work to all the students here to help in student outcomes,” Bird said. Part of her way of doing that is to fully understand how each part of the school works, so that is her goal for this year. “I want to learn and figure out all the nuances of what needs to happen for the students and teachers—and make sure the supports are all there,” she said. Bird said that she’s been “running around” learning the ropes already this year. She also is advising students in student government. However, this administrator admits she has a soft spot or two. As a grandma of one and with a second grandkid

Murray High has a new assistant principal, Emily Bird (left), who joins Principal Scott Wigongi (center) and Assistant Principal Jon Jensen, who joined the administrative staff last year. (Photo courtesy of Murray High School)

on the way she will have lots of pictures and videos on her phone and will be the “funnest grandparent around.” And if that’s not enough, she will check on her cameras at home and once there, dote on her one-year-old Pug, Sushi, who is “the light of my world. I may be the boss (along with other administrators) everywhere else, but she’s in charge at home.”l

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Murray City honors Paralympic Medalist Ali Ibanez By Shaun Dellliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com

Bronze medalist of the Tokyo 2021 Paralympic women’s wheelchair basketball team, Ali Ibanez, returned to her hometown Murray, who threw a party in her honor. Ibanez opted for a more casual event with a celebration in Murray Park.On Sept. 24, the city council presented Ibanez with a plaque, and Mayor Blair Camp awarded her a medal from the city. Her alma mater Cottonwood High School also honored her at an assembly. “It’s incredible to think of the support here where I grew up, and I am incredibly humbled,” Ibanez said.

Ibanez heads back to school at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, but plans to go for the gold at the Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 Paralympics. Read Murray Journal’s full interview of her back in August online at: www.murrayjournal.com.

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October 2021 | Page 21


Nine years without a cold? By Priscilla Schnarr

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Former Cottonwood swimmer Rhyan White comes home from Olympics with a silver medal By Brian Shaw | b.shaw@mycityjournals.com

S

everal days after former Cottonwood swimmer Rhyan White came up just short of an Olympic medal in Tokyo, she earned one as a part of the USA’s 4x100 medley relay team. “She is and was an exceptional athlete, and you hope to get more than one in your lifetime,” said Cottonwood athletic director Greg Southwick. “To have the opportunity to know someone that has her skill set, drive and family backing— all the tools that lead to those exceptional swims is a proud moment for all of us here at Cottonwood.” White, who now competes for the University of Alabama swim team and is a psychology major, swam in the qualifying round of the relay in the backstroke leg for which she is known, however, the former Utah Class 5A state champion was not used in the finals. Nevertheless, because the Colts legend White had participated on the US team in the qualifying round, that made her eligible to receive the same silver medal as the rest of her 4x100 medley relay team counterparts in Tokyo. It was the first time that a swimmer from the state of Utah has ever won an Olympic medal in the sport. In addition to that, White is also the first Cottonwood High School graduate to have won an Olympic medal, making her medal historical in two ways. White’s hometown of Herriman honored her with a parade. The former Colt great sat atop a giant Herriman Police Department Hummer, an American flag flying above her and her family while they motored slowly down city streets past hundreds of onlookers, soaking in this moment of a lifetime. White’s run in Tokyo culminated a five-year-journey that started at the Cottonwood Heights Aquatic Center when a then 15-year-old White and current Cottonwood head swim coach Ron Lockwood made the decision to try and qualify for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials. “I remember talking to her and her family before the qualifying meet in 2015,” said Lockwood before Tokyo. “We mapped out a plan for what we wanted the next couple years to look like; we set out a goal for qualifying for Olympic trials— had this crazy idea of setting a meet up in Cottonwood Heights—and she ended up qualifying there.” White finished 18th overall at those Trials. But, as a defending SEC Conference champion swimmer at Alabama in

Herriman native Rhyan White returned from the Tokyo Olympics to find a victory parade in her honor. White won a silver medal in a team medley event and placed fourth in her two individual events. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

two events in this past year, the former Colt bested her previous times by several seconds and qualified for the two Olympic events she won championships for as a member of the Crimson Tide. Those events were the 100 backstroke and 200 backstroke at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials, setting the stage for White’s debut in Tokyo. At the 100 backstroke half a world away, White narrowly missed on a bronze medal, getting out touched by American teammate Regan Smith at the wall to finish fourth overall. Then at the 200 backstroke in Tokyo, White’s signature event, the Colts great and medal favorite started slow, but in typical White fashion surged on the final turn. But, as the entanglement of arms reached the final wall, White’s was just .22 seconds slower than the swimmer from Australia who took the bronze. And so for now, White will return to Alabama as a student later this month. The former Colt will also compete for the Crimson Tide and look to repeat as the SEC Swimmer Of The Year in 2022. Above and beyond that, White will help her team win a national title and individual golds at the NCAA Championships to best the two silvers she won in the 100 and 200 backstroke races there, last year.l

Murray City Journal


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Murray City Journal


Local high school students volunteer to support Murray-Midvale community By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com

M

urray High senior Emma Thompson is a varsity cheerleader and is supporting her squad becoming more involved in the community by serving others. “When you involve more people around you, you have a better high school experience,” she said. Performing service and being part of the community is part of what cheer adviser Lia Smith also wants so when she was approached to participate in the “Power of an Hour”— 9/11 National Day of Service, she volunteered her cheer team. Murray cheerleaders, student government and Latinos in Action as well as Hillcrest High’s student body and class officers held donation drives to support those in need in the community. According to JustServe’s website (justserve.org), it was a day to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks by transforming “9/11 from a day of tragedy into a day of doing good.” Donation drives for food, socks and hygiene items were held at both schools Friday, Sept. 10 and Saturday, Sept. 11. At Murray, there were collection tables at lunchtime and donation boxes at their home Friday night football game. Hillcrest also had donation boxes at their Friday night football game; both schools had drive-by donation drop-offs on Saturday. At the end of the drive, Murray High students sorted items and loaded a U-Haul of food items. Each food bank in the Murray and Midvale area will receive donations, Smith said. Other donated items were earmarked for local shelters.

Last year, Murray High cheerleaders helped with home renovations—scraping paint, replacing windows, painting, replacing front doors, planting flowers and more—with Little Miracles, a local nonprofit committed to enhancing communities. They also cheered at the regional unified soccer tournament for all the teams. At Hillcrest, student body president Jason Mun said it was a great opportunity to work together with Murray High students. “It’s great to partner with Murray High, to provide great opportunity for doing service and providing necessary staples for the winter for our community,” he said. “I’m grateful that we have this opportunity and for everything we’re receiving to make a positive difference in our community.” Mun said that Hillcrest student leaders also plan to perform monthly service projects and possibly team up with international baccalaureate and National Honors Society chapter members to provide more students those opportunities. “We want to increase our involvement and be able to help out in our community,” he said. “They support us so we, in turn, want to support them.”l

After the “Power of an Hour”— 9/11 National Day of Service, Murray High students sort donated items to give to local shelters and those in need in the community. (Lia Smith/Murray High)

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October 2021 | Page 25


New Twin Peaks principal knows value of education, security; wants to introduce new programs at school By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com

T

o say that Rebecca Spence knows a bit of the life of hard knocks may be an understatement. The new Twin Peaks Elementary principal grew up the fifth of eight children. She was the first to graduate high school when she walked in her cap and gown at Taylorsville High. “I grew up in poverty,” she said. “Education was my key out of poverty and that’s why I love it so much and why I think it’s so important.” Spence described her home life growing up as “traumatic.” “I lived in motels sometimes, stayed in cars sometimes, and there was a lot of adversity in my childhood,” she said. “School was my safe place, so I always loved school.” Having a safe place that helped her out of her living situation motivated Spence to earn her undergraduate degree (in communication disorders) and her master’s degree (in speech language pathology) from the University of Utah. She earned a second master’s from Utah State University in educational leadership. Spence then worked 15 years as a speech language pathologist for Granite School District before she was an administrative intern for a year at Eisenhower Junior

Page 26 | October 2021

High and served four years as assistant principal at Redwood Elementary. “That’s why I loved my time at Redwood so much because I got to encourage kids, so they didn’t have to live the same kind of life they were living as children when they were adults,” she said. “I tried to teach them to find their advocate at school because there’s always an adult that will take a special interest in you and look out for you if you look for one.” That also is why she loves the safe environment of the wellness room at Twin Peaks. “If there’s somebody who needs to take a break or relax or whatever, we have a wellness room,” Spence said, adding that she decompresses by reading and hiking. “But it’s also just building that relationship with the kiddos, letting them know that you believe in them, have high expectations for them and know that they can achieve high things. When kids know there is that growth mindset, and have the support of teachers and other adults in the school, and those high expectations, we can all meet our peak.” In her first principal position, Spence has ideas for the smallest school in population in Granite School District from a barbecue night to birthday tables for school-

children to a readathon. Already, the school hosted a carnival in late August. “There’s lots of rumors about whether or not it’ll stay open, but there are no immediate plans to close it. It’s just a really great school with a great community that’s just kind of aging,” she said. Then she added, “We’re thinking about having a rich STEAM curriculum built into our school.” A STEAM—science, technology, engineering, art and math—curriculum is just in the early idea stage, Spence said, and not official. “Just being that it’s my first year and I’m the brand new principal, it’s probably not in the works for this year,” she said, adding that she has to learn the process, talk to PTA, school community council and all the stakeholders to see if there’s interest and if it’s a viable idea. Currently, the school does offer music, but if approved, she’d want to expand to include art and the traditional STEM components. This year, with the retirement of former Principal Julie Lorenzton, came a turnover of 10 teachers who also retired or transferred. So, Spence has been on a learning curve to understand her school community, learn traditions prior to COVID-19 pandemic and find ways people can be involved in the

New Twin Peaks Principal Rebecca Spence joins students who are enjoying snocones at the school’s carnival this fall. (Photo courtesy of Melissa McQueen)

school. She also likes to spend time in the classrooms and in the lunchroom where she gets to know the students or even dancing with the school children spontaneously. “We’ve gotten a fresh start and we’re creating from new, with the support of teachers who have been here, leading us and guiding us,” Spence said. “The parents have been so delightful to get to know and the kids are great. I’ve felt very welcome. It’s been a really successful, positive beginning to the school year.” l

Murray City Journal


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October 2021 | Page 27


Murray holds open house for massive 48th & State project

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t’s big and ambitious, and now Murrayites have their turn to submit input on the new Murray City “48th & State” project. On Aug. 25, Murray City invited the public’s input on the expansive 4800 South and State Street proposal for transforming downtown Murray. A large crowd gathered at the Heritage Center to examine plans and talk with Murray’s developer of the project, Edlen & Company. The project is for two six-story mixed-use residential buildings comprising of 262 rental units, nine of which are townhomes, 176 one-bedroom, 56 two-bedroom, and 10 three-bedroom units. The project also includes a public plaza and 26,020 square feet of curated, ground-floor retail with three levels of structured parking. In addition, apartment dwellers will have access to a lounge and terrace on the top floor. According to Edlen & Company Co-founder Jill Sherman, the most crucial part of the project is “The opportunity to bring a significant number of residents to downtown Murray who will enliven the downtown and support downtown businesses, quality of design and commitment to sustainability.” Before officially unveiling the project, the Murray City Center District has had design concerns expressed before in Murray City Council and Planning Commission meetings. “Many residents are concerned about the density of the project, the design not being compatible with historic downtown Murray and the amount of parking. The project design is in an early stage, and we hope to address some of these concerns via further evolution of the design,” Sherman said. “It was amazing to experience the energy from the Murray community at the open house,” Matthew Bray, principal architect with GBD Architects, said. “It was challenging to capture the amount of time, energy, creativity, and financial commitment spent on this project over the past year with only the 13 boards that were on display. The project is still very early in its evolution and intends to apply further refinement to the design, which is why the feedback from the community is important.” Historical preservationists criticize razing a half-dozen century-old storefronts on State Street and two historic homes on Poplar Street. The Harker Building (4838 S. State) remains the only landmark building whose fate still belongs to DAR Enterprises and is not currently slated for demolition. According to Sherman, Murray City directed Edlen to incorporate the Harker Building into its design. “Adaptive reuse of these structures is the best way to make a thriving arts, culture, and shopping district that everyone in Murray can be proud of. Historic preservation

done well is a fantastic economic driver. When you safeguard your historic districts and keep them thriving, people flock in to spend time and money there, making new memories from the old places,” Historic Murray First Foundation President Rachel Morot said. “We met with several individuals from Murray at the open house that has owned property in downtown or has had a long-standing family history and legacy in the community and wishes to preserve or maintain the known and respected characteristics of buildings that have largely shaped downtown Murray for years. It is not lost on the development and design team that this project represents change for Murray and the downtown area. We are cognizant and sensitive to the building attributes found in Murray,” Bray said. The 423 planned parking stalls, a frequently stated concern, generated plenty of comments at the Sept. 21 RDA meeting. Those stalls are meant for the apartments and a grocery store, slated as the anchor retail tenant. However, the parking structure had to be designed above ground due to the high water table there. “Integrating above-grade parking is always a challenge. Below-grade parking is ideal because it hides parking and allows for more people-oriented ground floor uses and public open spaces which is initially where we started. This site has a shallow water table which presents both a technical and cost challenge with burying parking,” Bray said. Murray resident Ali Lyddall said, “Personally, I’m a little concerned about the amount of parking relative to the number of rental units. Also, I am wondering why they are rental units and not condos for sale.” Unique to this project is the private/public partnership between Murray City and the developers. Plans including making the project LEED Certified, making it a first for homes—a gold-certified apartment building in Utah. Large solar arrays are planned on the rooftops. Next for the project will be to incorporate public input and make any changes. Tentative approval of the construction agreements will happen later this year. Construction is scheduled for summer 2022, with the completion of the project in 2024. “During the open house, Murray was described as ‘A small town within a large city.’ We are up to the task of creating the feelings of intimacy, uniqueness, and community that are desired and should be considered when presenting a newer development project within Murray while also planning for a resilient future,” Bray said. l

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Murray residents converse with city officials at the Aug. 25 open house for the proposed “48th & State” project. (Shaun Delliskave/City Journals)

Murray City Journal


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e’ve hit a speed bump on the road to economic recovery. After several months of robust growth, August marked a pronounced slowing of the economy that caught many experts by surprise. Companies tapped the brakes on hiring, consumer confidence fell, and consumer demand weakened, according to September reports. The culprit, of course, is both new and familiar. The delta variant of COVID-19 brought another wave of uncertainty that’s impacted everything from in-person dining to hotel occupancy. Even Utah’s economy, which continues to outperform the rest of the nation, is feeling some effects. The Utah Consumer Confidence Survey showed a sharp decline in sentiment among Utahns between July and August of 2021, as measured by the Kem Gardner Policy Institute. Meanwhile, Utah’s two-year employment growth rate slowed to 3.8% in August, down from 4.2% in July, according to the Utah Department of Workforce Services. Despite these setbacks, there are still many bright spots in the state and national economies. Utah continues to lead all states in job growth. In fact, Utah and Idaho continue to be the only two states to have higher employment today compared to before the pandemic began. The U.S. unemployment

rate dropped to 5.2% in August, while Utah’s already-low unemployment remained steady at 2.6%. Utah’s unemployment rate also continues to be among the lowest in the country, behind only Nebraska. In the Beehive State, six out of the 11 major industry sectors have posted job gains over the past 24 months. August’s job growth was robust by pre-pandemic standards, just not enough to close the gap of 5 million U.S. jobs that still need to be recovered to return to the previous peak. One of the main reasons the labor market continues to struggle is because employers are finding it increasingly difficult to find workers to fill job openings. There are now nearly 11 million job openings in America, but too many people remain on the sidelines and out of the labor force. That is causing wage pressure, with wages increasing 4.3% over the last year. Wage growth is usually a good thing, but right now it is adding to more inflationary pressure on the overall economy. While the labor shortage has been a dominant theme for months, an emerging trend is weakening consumer demand, driven by the delta variant. As the variant has spread, consumers have become more cautious. Customer-facing businesses are bearing the brunt of this impact. In recent weeks, high-frequency economic indicators such as airline travel and

restaurant bookings have dropped. The economy may have lost some momentum, but it’s still performing comparatively well in the midst a global pandemic. While we don’t know how long we’ll be dealing with the delta variant, there’s good reason to believe that economic recovery will pick up again as the current wave recedes. Robert Spendlove is senior economist for Zions Bank, a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A l

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Burn the witch

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he husband and I spent 245 days driving to California last month to attend his high school reunion. As we drove through his old neighborhood, he pointed to a house and said, “That’s where the witch lived.” I had a witch that lived in my neighborhood, too. She didn’t wear a pointy hat and she never caused the crops to wither or danced naked in the moonlight (that I’m aware of) but we all knew she was a witch. She lived alone and she was female. That was all the proof we needed. Women have been labeled as witches since forever. One myth tells the story of Lilith, believed to be the first wife of Adam, who insisted they were equal. So, obviously she was a demon. She left Eden to live an independent lifestyle in Oregon, saying, “He’s all yours, Eve.” Things only went downhill from there. A witch could be any female who was smart, witty, courageous, quarrelsome, beautiful, self-sufficient or reserved. Women who were healers were probably witches. A woman who could read? Definitely a witch. A woman who disagreed with her husband? Get the matches. If there was too much rain, not enough rain, bugs, curdled milk, a windstorm, mice, or a solar eclipse, it must be a curse placed by the old lady living alone in the woods. If a woman hummed an unknown tune or

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laughed too loud, she was a witch who wanted to eat your children. Witch hunting became a profession. Need to get rid of your son’s unsuitable match? Call the witch hunters and have her sentenced to death. Did your husband smile at an attractive young lady? Who you gonna call? Witch hunters! Here are some signs someone is a witch: She is a woman. She is 10-80 years old. She has a pet. She’s irritable. She weighs more than a stack of Bibles. She can or cannot float. She has a mole. She isn’t married. The bravely outspoken Joan of Arc was found guilty of heresy and witchcraft, and was burned alive, which seems a little unreasonable for someone expressing her own opinions. Over the span of about 300 years,

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tens of thousands of witches were killed in Europe. More than 80% were women. America is great at mass hysteria and enthusiastically bought into the witch trend. The most famous witch trials were held in Salem, Massachusetts, where 19 witches were executed by hanging. This was the first documented case of Mean Girls syndrome, with gossipy teenage girls starting the whole debacle. If you visit Salem, you’ll find a campy tourist attraction where you can watch a reenactment of the trials, purchase a crystal ball, eat broomstick-shaped cookies and laugh at how silly we were in the 17th century. We’d never turn against our friends and family now, right? Wrong. We don’t burn witches at the stake anymore, but we definitely burn women on the altar of social media and public opinion. If women in our country demonstrate too much power, too much influence or too many opinions, we ignite the fires of shame, disapproval and judgement. We roast Instagram influencers, scald TikTok performers, incinerate female politicians and torch women who act loud and proud. It leaves us all blistered and scorched. What if we become fire fighters instead of fire starters? And if that doesn’t work, I’ll eventually become the witch of the neighborhood; pointy hat included.

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October 2021 | Page 31


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October 2021 | Vol. 31 Iss. 10

FREE

CONTENTIOUS MURRAY RESIDENTIAL PROJECTS GREEN-LIGHTED By Shaun Delliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com

P

erhaps it was the conflicting University of Utah football game, or maybe people were getting a start on Labor Day weekend, but two of the most contested residential development projects passed in a nearly empty planning commission meeting. The Bullion Street development project conditional use hearing at the Sept. 2 meeting took only a fraction of the time when the property was rezoned residential. “I am surprised about the public turnout, but I guess that went a little bit smoother than we were anticipating,” Murray Planning Commissioner Maren Patterson said. Residents around the Walden Ridge Subdivision bitterly contested the Hamlet Development proposal to develop an 8.6-acre site at 935 Bullion St. Initially, the Planning Commission was to deliberate on developer Michael Brodsky’s proposed changing the property’s land use to medium density in February. However, after the public notice was served, Brodsky met with neighbors at an open house to explain his plans regarding the site. Outcry concerning the potential construction of apartments in the center of a residential neighborhood caused Brodsky to reconsider his initial proposal. Historically, the property sits on the site of the former Highland Boy smelter. That mill closed in Continued page 9

The Bullion Street development will include removing this satellite facility that sits on the property. (Shaun Delliskave/City Journals)

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