Murray Journal | September 2021

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September 2021 | Vol. 31 Iss. 09





hen one of the world’s best competitive climbers reaches the medalist podium in the Olympics, you throw him a parade. Murray City did just that on Aug. 13, honoring Nathaniel Coleman in Murray Park, for winning the silver medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games in men’s combined sport climbing. Over 100 people clamored to see Nathaniel, who was presented with a plaque from the Murray City Council. Murray Mayor Blair Camp gave Nathaniel a gold medal with Murray City’s logo and declared Aug. 13 as “Nathaniel Coleman Day.” According to Nathaniel’s mother, Rosane, honoring Nathaniel on Aug. 13 has a significant meaning. It also happens to be the birthday of one of Nathaniel’s greatest fans, his grandmother, who passed away last September. “Nathaniel was an early walker, taking his first steps shortly before he turned nine months old, and climbing out of his crib soon after,” his father Richard Coleman said. “We noticed that he was ahead of his peers in physical agility, strength, coordination, and boldness. He found lots of things to climb on, indoors and out, and we rarely discouraged him.” “I feel lucky to have lived by the Jordan River Parkway,” Nathaniel said. “Adventure, five minutes in every direction. Those activities honed my skills.” Perhaps the three-time USA Climbing Bouldering Open National Champion came by his talent naturally. His father caught the climbing bug from legendary University of Utah Exercise and Sport Science professor Harold Goodro.

Nathaniel Coleman displays his Olympic silver medal and his honorary Murray gold medal. (Shaun Delliskave/City Journals)

When Nathaniel was nine, Momentum Climbing Gym opened its doors and started a youth climbing team. Nathaniel had some outdoor climbing experience by then, and when his friend Palmer Larson invited Nathaniel to try out for the team, Nathaniel accepted the invitation. “It was the right sport for Nathaniel, so we signed him

up,” Richard said. “We would stay at the gym and watch the team practice and pretty soon joined the gym ourselves so we could climb while waiting for Nathaniel. This was when Rosane started climbing. So, at this point, we were a climbing family. It was a sport we could all do together, and as Nathaniel began to win competitions, Continued page 5

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September 2021 | Page 3

Volunteers called on to support/donate to Murray Greenhouse Foundation By Shaun Delliskave |


hile special needs children have opportunities in the school systems to foster and grow, a void in public services faces them as adults once they tap out of the system at age 22. Since 2008, the nonprofit Murray Greenhouse Foundation (6366 S. 900 East) provides intellectually disabled young adults a safe place to learn independence and life skills and have a social outlet. “We wanted to create a safe, nurturing environment for our children to socialize and continue learning,” said Sheila Wall, president and director of the Foundation. “Our students range from wheelchair-bound individuals requiring assistance at most tasks to high functioning individuals who require very little assistance.” The Murray Rotary Club is pitching in to help the school and inviting all Murray residents to join in. The Rotarians are sponsoring a fall cleanup Saturday, Sept. 20, 9-11 a.m. Interested volunteers can go to to get more details about the event. “Murray Rotarians have long been supporters of the Murray Greenhouse Foundation,” Murray Rotarian Jerry Summerhays said. “The Murray Rotary Club is organizing the fall cleanup of the greenhouse, the outside grow boxes, and the property surrounding the home. Much help is needed. Please come as a group, a family or individually.” In 2008, parents of several young adults facing intellectual challenges bought a small house with an adjacent greenhouse. The adjacent greenhouse has provided work and continuing education for the young adults and income for the nonprofit. Murray City has been ordering flowers from the Murray Greenhouse Foundation since 2017 for use throughout the city. “The quality of their product is superior,” said Polly Holyoak, Murray City Parks gardener. “It’s such a pleasure to hear comments from

Journals T H E

Students and volunteers at the Murray Greenhouse. (Photo courtesy Jerry Summerhays)

park patrons as they enjoy our gardens. We graciously accept the praise, but the greenhouse’s beautiful flowers speak for themselves.” The students attend Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with 19 students three days a week and 14 students the other two days. They have classes and activities. There is a daily theme and a personal goal program. Earning “Greenhouse Dollars” teaches students what it feels like to make money when they work and how to count, save, and spend money buying things from their small store. The student fees paid by parents go toward the salaries of the five teachers. The profit from the greenhouse plants and dona-

tions cover many other expenses, from food to teaching materials. Residents can buy vegetables and plants from the Murray Greenhouse. Also, the foundation depends on donations of supplies, groceries and monetary donations. Volunteers are needed to help the staff assist the students in the greenhouse or teach a class such as cooking, life skills or community awareness. They can also host a birthday party or a movie. “We feel fortunate when we have volunteers come and give service. Volunteers are essential to our program. They bring helping hands, lift the load of others, and cause a smile to their faces,” board member Diane




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Continued from front page we traveled as a family all over the United States (and to Italy for the world youth championships) for the next 10 years.” Murray has been Nathaniel’s home all his life. He attended Viewmont Elementary (where his mother worked as a teacher’s aide) and made an impression on his teachers. His third-grade teacher, Kristin Loulias, recalled, “I knew he was an amazing young man. I knew he could do something great. He always finished what he started.” “Nathaniel was a determined child, adventurous, and in certain situations somewhat quiet, but observant,” Richard said. He participated in many things that Murray youth do, such as Murray Max soccer and weaving boondoggles as a Cub Scout. In addition to Viewmont Elementary, he attended Riverview Jr. High and Murray High. “Different people know different pieces of Nathaniel. But as his parents, we know how most of those pieces fit together. At this point in his life, most people know that Nathaniel is an outstanding athlete—an elite competitive sport climber—the first male climber to win an Olympic silver medal. But few people know that in third and fourth grades, he won fourth place one year at the Utah State Youth Chess Tournament, and sixth another year,” Richard said. At age 10, Nathaniel’s uncle Gary Acevedo introduced him to seven-time Paralympic medalist Muffy Davis. According to Acevedo, he was amazed at how much she

could achieve and wanted to be like her. “He doesn’t spend time being self-critical,” Acevedo said. “In the Olympics, he was disappointed in his performance after nearly not making it into the finals, but he turned his focus to improving what he needed to do.” When asked who in Murray was most influential to him, Nathaniel said, “My friend group. They changed how I do things,” seeing several of his friends’ families in the crowd there to support him. “Murray has been a safe place for Nathaniel as he grew up, and our family has had many friendly and supportive neighbors,” Richard said. “When Nathaniel began competitive climbing involving heights of 40 to 60 feet, we were concerned about the risk of a fall. But we soon realized that he and his teammates were being well trained in the protocols of safe climbing. Most sports involve risk, some more than others, and serious, experienced climbers learn to minimize that risk. Nathaniel has had a few injuries, but nonserious, and none involving climbing. So, our advice to him is usually simple: be safe and have fun.” Nathaniel came just short of winning the gold medal, which was won by Spain’s Alberto Gines Lopez. In the qualification round, Nathaniel barely made the finals, catching the eighth spot in the medal round. Nathaniel took first in bouldering, fifth in lead climbing, and sixth in speed climbing in the final round. As the pandemic blunted any plans for

Nathaniel Coleman smiles as parade-goers cheer Murray’s Olympic silver-medalist. (Shaun Delliskave/City Journals)

Rosane and Richard to watch their son in Tokyo, they were content to hold an Olympic watch party in Murray. “It was indeed a celebration,” Rosane said. Addressing the crowd, Nathaniel mentioned Winchester Park’s (1250 W. Winchester St.) new climbing boulders playground. He encouraged Murray youth to explore the park. “Go and see what inspires you at climbing. Then, keep climbing on the steepest parts, challenging yourself by finding those hidden handholds.”

So where will the “Climbing Colemans” go to celebrate their son’s achievement with a victory climb? “Ha ha, good question. I think it will be Nathaniel’s choice to where he wants to go, and maybe he’ll let us tag along,” Rosane said. Nathaniel plans to again try for the gold medal at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, but in the meantime, he will be involved in upcoming International Federation of Sports Climbing competitions. l

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September 2021 | Page 5

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t seems like a natural match, moving the repository of Murray’s history into the historic Murray Mansion. Murray City plans to move the Murray Museum from the current City Hall to the John P. Cahoon mansion (4872 S. Poplar St.); the new City Hall is being constructed next door. “The Cahoon family contributed so many things to the incorporation and success of Murray that it seems to be a perfect fit. It seems only natural for a building that was built in 1899, and that has been listed on the National Register to house the story of Murray,” Cultural Arts Director Lori Edmunds said. Built by local brickmaking titan John P. Cahoon, the Victorian eclectic-styled home has six bedrooms, five bathrooms, four family rooms, four fireplaces and two kitchens. Bill and Susan Wright purchased the house in the 1980s, restored it to its early 20th-century luster, and attached a reception hall for weddings. “At present, our museum employees are working through the current displays to get them ready for their new home. They are storing some of the artifacts in each display so there can be rotation in the new building, which will keep the displays fresh. We will also be adding a few new areas to take the patron further into the 20th-century story of

Murray’s history,” Edmunds said. Several years ago, Mayor Ted Eyre arranged to purchase the Murray Mansion, the Murray Chapel, and the Murray Arts Centre from the Wrights. As part of the Murray City Center District, the city will spare the Murray Mansion and Chapel from the fates of their neighbors to the east, which will be demolished. “Murray City is in the process of rehabilitating the Murray Mansion to house the Murray Museum that, at present, is inside Murray City Hall,” Edmunds said. “We have already replaced the roof and gutter on the home. We are working now on the floors. We are in the process of choosing a contractor for the windows. Although work seems to be moving slow, it is due to finding the appropriate company who will keep the historical integrity of the building.” No ordinary contractor will do since the Murray Mansion is listed on the historic register for the Murray Downtown Historic District. According to Edmunds, “The biggest challenge about moving is the rehabilitation itself and finding appropriate contractors to hire to ensure we keep the historical integrity of the building. Historical construction is a highly skilled profession, no matter what requirements need to be met.”


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By Shaun Delliskave | A feasibility study was requested for the mansion. As per the study, rehabilitating the exterior of the building could exceed $1,000,000 to make the structure safe for staff and patrons. Built over a century ago, the building’s repairs include roof replacement, mortar repointing, water damage repair, and stone degradation treatment. Murray City Facilities and Parks Departments will be able to handle some of this construction. The second phase will concentrate on the inside of the building. The reception hall added to the home in the 1980s will be retrofitted to meet ADA requirements. All the historical displays will be set up in that part of the building, while the actual home itself will show the real life of the Cahoon family. The museum currently displays artifacts from different eras in Murray, from Native American settlements to Mormon pioneers to its industrial center. “The most exciting thing about the new location is that it will be in a beautiful, rehabbed historic home. We will be able to tell the story of the Cahoon family and how they contributed to the Murray story. It will also be next door to the new City Hall and will serve as a gathering place for our residents,” Edmunds said. l




Murray City Journal

Miss Murrays—past, present, future to gather


By Shaun Delliskave |

his year’s Miss Murray crowning event will be extra special, as there will be more Miss Murrays in the same room than ever before. Current scholarship winner Kyleigh Cooper, who will crown the next Miss Murray, will, of course, be there, but also every living former Miss Murray that can attend. “We are holding a Miss Murray Reunion along with our regular competition on Sept. 11, 2021, to help mark the 100th Anniversary of the Miss America Organization,” Miss Murray Director Leesa Lloyd said. “It is quite a milestone that this competition is still going strong. It began in 1921, literally as a bathing suit contest in Atlantic City. It has evolved many times over the decades, with the most drastic change occurring in 2018, with what they called Miss America 2.0. The biggest difference was getting rid of the swimsuit portion of the competition, which was always the most controversial portion. Also, it is referred to now as a competition, not a pageant.” The Miss Murray Organization has been sending a Miss Murray to the Miss Utah Competition since the mid-1970s; several Murray winners have placed well in that competition. For example, Brooke Anderson Maxwell, in 1995, went on to become Miss Utah and compete for Miss America. “This event is our annual competition that we hold every year at MHS. On Sept. 11, we will hold a luncheon for all the former Miss Murrays, current candidates and committee. At this luncheon, I will have the women introduce themselves and share a favorite memory from their year as Miss Murray. Then, that evening at the actual competition, we will introduce these women one at a time and let them be recognized onstage. We have women coming from other states, as well as Karen Oliver Shaw, who was Miss Murray 50 years ago, in 1971,” Lloyd said. In addition to honoring all past Miss Murrays, the competition will recognize Murray City School District Superintendent Jennifer Covington. Before becoming MCSD’s first female superintendent, she was a business and information technology teacher at Murray High School in 1994. She was named assistant principal at Hillcrest Junior High School in 2004 and then principal of that school in 2009. After having hands-on experience helping her mother, Sandra Lloyd, conduct the Miss Riverton Pageants for years, Leesa Lloyd was tapped to coordinate the Miss Murray Scholarship Pageant in 1995. She has been teaching high school for the past 39 years, 36 of those at Murray High, where she teaches dance and psychology, choreographs the school musicals, and directs the Murray Dance Company.

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An unknown Miss Murray from the 1970s rides in the Murray Independence Day parade. (Photo courtesy Murray Museum)

According to Lloyd, “Everyone involved in the Miss America System is a volunteer. Those of us who volunteer with the organization enjoy working with young women who are intelligent, service-oriented, talented, and constantly work on self-improvement. We see year after year the growth and development in not only the young woman who becomes Miss Murray but every candidate that participates. “I stay involved because of the focus on service, education, and doing something with what is called a Social Impact Initiative. This is a social issue that Miss Murray educates others on and works to make Murray a better place. It is amazing what these women have gone on and done in their lives, many finding huge success in the business world, becoming professional actors and dancers, and receiving Ph.D.’s. This pageant system contributes and helps these women on their journey in finding their careers and place in the world.” It’s not entirely clear who or when the first Miss Murray was crowned. Newspapers show different organizations and outlets hosting some type of Miss Murray pageant in the early 1930s. The current organization was started in the 1970s by Rhea Kiissel. “The Miss Murray Scholarship Competition will go on because Miss Murray continues to serve Murray City in many ways. We have always had the support of the city council and the Murray City mayors. They provide the scholarships that we award to the top three who place in the competition. They see the value in what we do, and we plan on continuing with the competition,” Lloyd said. The Miss Murray Scholarship Competition will be held in the Murray High School auditorium on Sept. 11. More details regarding the time and tickets for the event can be found on the Miss Murray Organization Facebook page. l

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September 2021 | Page 7

What’s your legacy?

Murray’s County Council Reps. Snelgrove, Stringham and Winder Newton vote to overturn K-6 mask mandate By Shaun Delliskave |


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xcept for County Councilwoman Ann Granato, all of Murray’s county councilmembers voted to overturn a mask mandate for K-6 students issued by Salt Lake County Health Director Dr. Angela Dunn. The Aug. 12 vote split along party lines, with six Republicans voting to overturn the mandate, while three Democrats voted to uphold it. The Utah State Legislature changed state law to ban mask mandates during the last legislative session, with one provision. A county health department executive can issue a new emergency health declaration, like a mask mandate, if local elected officials, like the mayor and county council, are supportive. However, the state legislature would still have the authority to overturn that declaration. Newly appointed County Health Director Dr. Dunn issued the mandate to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus Delta variant in elementary schools. Cases have risen to significant levels, and children under the age of 12 are not yet eligible to receive the vaccine. Councilwoman Amy Winder Newton, whose district covers the majority of Murray, posted on social media, “When we are in the business of public health, data-driven decisions are key. We know children under 12 have very low risk with COVID. Though the Delta variant is more contagious, and more children will likely get it, the risks of COVID complications are still incredibly low for children under 12.” At-large Councilwoman Laurie Stringham, who covers all of Murray, posted on Twitter, along with a graphic from the CDC, “We have 235,000 kids under 12 in Salt Lake County. Of those, 11,500 (5%) have had confirmed COVID cases, 58 children have been hospitalized (0.5% of those with COVID). Current modeling shows up to 50 hospitalized by year-end with the new variants. Less than the flu/pneumonia in the US. I truly want to do what is best for our children. I am looking at the science and numbers right now, should those numbers or the modeling change, I will absolutely reconsider my position.” According to Dunn, the main reason behind the mandate was to limit the forecasted number of students who will come down with the Delta variant. While students may not show up in the hospitals, contracting the virus or being exposed to it will require time away from classes. In addition, COVID-positive students can also be a risk to those who have not been vaccinated. Dunn said, “It is in the best public health interest, and the interest of our students for them to be in masks in the fall, to keep them

At-large County Councilman Richard Snelgrove voted to overturn Salt Lake County Health Department’s K-6 mask mandate. (Photo courtesy of Salt Lake County)

in in-person learning with the least disruption possible, and the least health concerns possible.” Murray resident and at-large Councilman Richard Snelgrove provided a different rationale in a prepared press release. “In considering whether or not to support the mask mandate I must also weigh other factors such as the psychological harm to children in part from their reaction to mask wearing this collateral damage from mask wearing and the lockdown has contributed to learning deficiencies, increased anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. Sadly, a 72% increase in visits by children to behavioral health emergency rooms has been reported. And, worst of all, we have seen a sharp increase in children’s suicides since the beginning of the pandemic.” Snelgrove did not provide where he got his data from. However, the Utah Department of Health reported in April that suicides for all ages were on the same level as in previous years. “This has been the most difficult decision I have ever made in my seven years as a county councilwoman,” Winder Newton said. “It’s difficult because there are passionate parents on both sides who deeply love their children and want what’s best. It’s difficult because, although we have smart, incredible health officials, there are so many unknowns. Even they admit they don’t know everything about the virus and masking effects. It’s difficult because none of us has a crystal ball to see how our decisions today impact the future.” On Aug. 13, Murray School District seventh-graders returned to classes. The district reported about 50% were wearing masks. At the same time, Murray’s Intermountain Medical Center announced that their ICUs were 102% full, mainly with unvaccinated COVID patients. l

Murray City Journal

September City Hall update

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By Shaun Delliskave |



592 East 12300 South Draper, UT 84123 After a delay that took longer than foreseen, the biggest impediment to the new Murray City Hall’s construction, the cell tower, is gone. The cell tower was initially scheduled to be removed in May, but it was not removed until August due to complications with cellular providers. “Now that the cell tower has been demolished, we expect to see the construction activity pick up again,” Murray City Chief Communications Officer Jennifer Heaps said. “The contractor had to pull off of the job for a few weeks until the cell tower demo was complete, but I think we will see them back on site again starting this week.”

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Increasing Use of Technology Strengthens Communities By Bryan Thomas, Vice President of Engineering, Comcast Mountain West Region The internet is a powerful resource for furthering education, assisting with job searches, tracking your benefits, engaging in telehealth and keeping up with life. There’s no doubt, having access to the internet is more important than ever. And teams of hi-tech experts are working nonstop to provide Americans with internet access. In fact, Comcast and others in the broadband industry have invested nearly $2 trillion since 1996 to build some of the world’s fastest, most resilient, and most widely deployed networks anywhere—a remarkable commitment by any standard. ACCESS vs. ADOPTION As we emerge from the impacts of the pandemic, we are seeing that access isn’t the only gap to bridge. What often stands in the way of connectivity are roadblocks to broadband adoption, be it language barriers, lack of knowledge of available options, privacy concerns and more. Across Denver, and in metropolitan areas around the country, most homes have multiple

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choices of broadband providers. According to Broadband Now, there are nearly 48 internet providers covering 98 percent of Utahns having access to broadband speeds over 25 Mbps. Utah ranks high as the 8thmost connected state in the country. For more than a decade, Comcast has been committed to doing our part to close the digital divide and addressing both the access and the adoption gap. Our partnerships with community organizations, educational institutions and business leaders are critical in making progress. Since 2011, Comcast has offered our Internet Essentials program, which has connected nearly 160,000 low-income Utahns to low-cost, highspeed internet at home—over 90% of whom did not have a connection when they applied for the service. Internet Essentials offers heavily discounted residential broadband ($9.95 per month) to qualifying families, seniors, and veterans in need, and serves as a model for other providers nationwide. Impressively, the NAACP hailed Internet Essentials as “the largest experiment ever attempted to close the digital divide.” And Comcast, through its Internet Essentials program, invested almost $700 million nationally in

digital literacy training and awareness. With its new “Lift Zone” initiative, Comcast is equipping community centers across the state with free Wi-Fi to support distance learning. But it doesn’t stop here. Over the next 10 years, Comcast will invest $1 billion to further close the digital divide and give more people the needed tools and resources to succeed in an increasingly digital world. The combined work and partnerships with community, education and business leaders like you will be critical to ensuring people have access, the hardware, the skills and are willing and able to connect with a reliable, secure broadband network. You all know and work directly with your constituents, clients, neighbors – and you have the trust of the people you serve. The axiom, “It takes a village…” has never been more relevant. Achieving the goal of having all people connected to the power of the internet will take the kind of focus and commitment on the part of all of us to connect more people to what matters most. To learn more about Comcast’s digital equity initiatives, or to refer organizations or people who might benefit from these services, please visit https://

September 2021 | Page 9

Area high school principals reflect on lessons learned from COVID-19 By Julie Slama |


igh school students aren’t the only ones who research, study and learn from their lessons. This past 18 months, most every high school principal had a crash course in how to operate a school successfully and keep students engaged and learning during a pandemic. Now, even as a new variant of COVID-19 emerges, administrators took time to look at some of the lessons they’ve learned in addition to overall improved technology and incorporating it into teaching and learning. Cottonwood High Assistant Principal Jeremy Brooks saw faculty and staff members bond more through the pandemic. “I feel like staff members have been willing to be more vulnerable with each other, which has helped foster relationships within the school,” he said. “Having a sense of belonging can help us achieve our collective vision of cultivating excellence and fostering a global community.” Former Jordan High Principal Wendy Dau echoed those sentiments. “I think the most important thing is that we really came together as a school community,” she said. “We understood that the expectations for everyone increased, and we tried to help one another out and to be appreciative of the contributions of everyone as we

tried to have as normal of a school year as possible. I think we learned to be more flexible, and that the new norm was change.” Administrators also found people willing to help, including parents and those in the public and private sectors. “What was really interesting was how many parents stopped by and recognized all that our teachers were doing,” Dau said. “We had doughnuts delivered. We had treats and oranges and thank you notes dropped in teachers’ boxes. While certainly there were many who were critical of the restrictions, for the most part, our parents were super supportive and actually took the time to write positive emails thanking staff members for their efforts and expressing that they understood that we were in a tough spot as we navigated the new norm.” She also appreciated donations from businesses for masks and hygiene items which were “super helpful.” At Cottonwood, there was a greater help from community businesses and community members in terms of food, clothing, and entertainment (card games, board games, decorations, puzzles and more), Brooks said. “Our food pantry saw an overabundance of food that we were able to give to local families that were in need. We also saw the

greatest display of our Christmas Extravaganza that we hold each year right before the holidays. Students were in awe of the things they were able to take home for their family,” he said. Brighton High Principal Tom Sherwood appreciated the help his school received not only from the PTA and seminary next door, but also from the community. “We had plenty of people asking how they can help and be of service,” he said. “I think everyone just wanted to lighten the load.” Murray High School Principal Scott Wihongi was grateful for his community. “We had several donations from Kids Eat that provided extra food for our students throughout the year, as well as goody bags for all faculty and staff,” he said. “We also had a company donate $10,000 in cash to be used for highly impacted families. We had several families lose a parent to COVID, so the donations were gratefully received.” Even with the community support, there were some lessons principals learned. “We’ve recognized the need to have student engagement specialists to help connect students more readily to school,” Dau said. “We lost a lot of students as a result of online education in that they didn’t engage with

their learning for an entire year. We are now putting in place support staff to help with this, which is a resource that should likely continue. We have increased our social and emotional supports for students, which should absolutely be continued.” Sherwood added that there were more students who were credit deficient than before the pandemic because they weren’t engaged as much in school because of remote options. So, this past summer, “we’ve had a bigger effort with student remediation.” Wihongi also saw a need to increase student engagement after these past 18 months. “I think we underestimated the number of students that would not show up to school, even though they could. Many went missing, and many took advantage of the hybrid attendance and curriculum even though they were not doing well academically and should have been in class,” he said, adding that his teachers are focused to re-establishing relationships and student engagement in what he hopes will be a more normal year. Brooks, too, said re-establishing those student relationships is an important part of his school’s attention. “We are in the process of accreditation this year and our focus will be literacy and relationships. In previous years we’ve had

Back-to-School Shopping Costs More this Year By Robert Spendlove, Zions Bank Senior Economist


arents with school-aged children have probably noticed that backto-school shopping is costing more this year. Spending on school supplies is expected to hit an all-time high of $850 for the average family in 2021, according to the National Retail Federation. That’s about $60 more than last year. And families of college students are paying even more, with an average spend of $1,200, up $140 from last year. Of course, inflation is affecting much more than just school supplies. Over the past year, we’ve seen price growth across nearly all spending categories, with higher sticker prices everywhere from the grocery store to the gas pump. This is the result of pent-up demand as well as supply chain delays. Fortunately, it looks like price gains may be moderating. In July, the Consumer Price Index had its smallest month-tomonth increase since February after reaching a 13-year high in June. Still, inflation is well above pre-pandemic levels, with consumer prices increasing 5.4% over the past year. When it comes to school expenses, your pocketbook may feel the sting in a few areas: • Clothing prices have jumped

Page 10 | September 2021

4.2% over the past year, with girls’ apparel up 5% and boys’ apparel up 2.6%. • Replacing outgrown kids’ shoes with new ones will cost 3.6% more than last year, while footwear overall is up 4.6%. • Educational books and supplies have ticked up 2.6% since last year. • Prices on personal computers, including tablets, desktop computers and laptops, are 3.7% higher than last year, due in part to a global chip shortage pushing up prices. • Packing your child’s lunchbox is more expensive than last year, with food prices up 3.4%. • The school carpool has gotten much more expensive, with gas prices jumping 41.8% year over year. How long will price gains continue? That’s the big question economists are debating right now. Some are concerned that these inflationary increases could continue to build because of increased federal spending and low interest rates. Others say these price

increases are temporary and will slow down when the current supply chain disruptions start to recede. The surge in COVID cases tied to the delta variant could also slow price increases as consumers pull back on spending amid concerns about the virus, but no one wants that solution to inflationary pressures. Regardless of whether price increases slow in the future, we won’t see immediate relief on family budgets this back-to-school season. However, Utahns can take heart in the latest jobs report that shows our economy remains among the best in the nation. Beehive State employment increased 4.2% from July 2019 to July 2021, compared to a 2.8% decline nationally, according to Utah’s Department of Workforce Services. Meanwhile, the state’s unemployment rate of 2.6% is near historic lows, compared to 5.4% unemployment nationally. Despite the challenges of the past year and a half, our state’s economy has shown itself to be resilient and continues to perform well. Robert Spendlove is senior economist for Zions Bank, a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A

Murray City Journal


We are pet friendly!

Hillcrest High provided face masks and hand sanitizer stations at its school during 2020-21. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

elements of each of those in our professional development, but it has been a focal point this year,” he said. Dau said there was a rocky start to the quick adaption to online learning “because information was just coming at us so fast and was changing so quickly.” However, one area her school could have improved was “in communicating effectively and in a timely manner to families where English is not their first language. We got much better at it as the year progressed, but it could still be better.” Some positives, in addition to more personalized learning whether it’s online, in person or a hybrid, was online ticketing for athletic events, performing arts shows and concerts, school dances and more, said Wihongi, as well as Sherwood, who both said those services will continue past the pandemic. “The pandemic forced us to online ticketing, and streaming for events, as well as demonstrated the importance of in-person learning. It was clear that nothing can replace the direct instruction and help of a teacher, counselor or mentor,” Wihongi said, adding that the school will likely con-

MurrayJournal .com

tinue with sanitary practices like hand sanitizing, mask wearing when sick and possibly contagious with a cold, and air purifying as all classrooms are equipped with a purifier. Corner Canyon Principal Darrell Jensen said his school will continue to have air filtration, hand sanitation stations around the school and directional walking in the hallways. While things were “spinning on a dime” during the pandemic, Jensen said he felt schools rose to the occasion with the test to stay. “I felt the community and the students were very supportive and understanding why we had to do that and that’s still on the table, in fact, if we get to a 2% threshold, then we’ll have to do tests to stay,” he said. Wihongi, too, said that COVID-19 testing, tracing and protocols improved during the year and can be quickly put in place if necessary. Sherwood appreciated not only the emphasis placed on academics, but also athletics. “I hope people recognize how unique Utah was amongst other states. Utah was one of only five states in the country that played all their state championships in every sport last year.

There was a lot of effort to pull that off…to make sure the kids got the experience they want and deserve to have,” he said. Dau saw students appreciate the efforts made by teachers and others. “I think our students did a great job of showing their appreciation for all that the school did to try to make the school year as normal as possible. It was such a hard adjustment with no dances and several extracurricular activities canceled, but when they finally got to participate in these, they were so kind and so appreciative because they understood how lucky they were,” she said. Jensen said that overall, everyone has become more grateful. “I learned, ‘don’t take it for granted,’” he said. “Don’t take being at school or being in your workplace or being with your colleagues for granted because when the schools shut down, there was no life in the building. It wasn’t a good feeling; I missed the excitement and livelihood that students and teachers bring to this place. So then, it was just a big empty building. It’s not good.” l


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Murray Youth City Council invites you to meet Murray’s candidates By Shaun Delliskave |


urray’s Youth City Council/Chamber of Commerce (MYCC) invites all Murray residents to attend their “Meet the Candidates Night” on Sept. 29 at Hillcrest Jr. High (178 East 5300 South) at 7 p.m. Hosted in conjunction with the Murray Chamber of Commerce, Murray Youth Government, and the Murray Exchange Club, the event will include a “Meet and Greet” for Murray mayoral and city council races at 6 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer program. Anyone wishing to have questions asked to the candidates must submit them in advance to This marks the start of a busy season for the MYCC. In July, they helped host the primary election “Meet the Candidates Night.” In October, they will partner with the Murray Exchange Club to put on the “The Haunted Woods” in Murray Park. They are also looking for more civic-minded youth to participate in activities such as “Give a Kid a Flag Campaign” or “Legislation Day” at the state capitol. Youth adviser Sheri Van Bibber explains, “There are a few extensions to this group. If you are interested in service, business, or government internships, this is a great place to be. We have Youth Ambassadors at both (Riverview and Hillcrest) Junior Highs, even a few in sixth grade. All high school youth are welcome. It doesn’t matter where you go to school; we have students from Skyline, Murray, Cottonwood, homeschooled and private schools.”

The MYCC planted pinwheels at Murray City Hall to recognize efforts to prevent child abuse. (Photo courtesy Sheri Van Bibber)

MYCC started in 2002 when they branched off a “Job Ready Class” at Murray High School. The students in that class learned about business, entrepreneurship, service and government. “My theory is to look for gaps in the system and create something,” Van Bibber said. “Where there are holes, there are opportunities. We started with six Mur-

ray kids in 2002, and it has grown ever since.” According to Van Bibber, “Some of the students enjoyed it so much they wanted to keep engaged with the city, the mayor, and council; they did internships with the businesses and helped with service projects all year. So, we looked across the country and couldn’t find anything comparable that involved students.”

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Murray City Journal

The MYCC helps host a Red Cross blood drive. (Photo courtesy Sheri Van Bibber)

The Murray Youth City Council passed out flags at the Murray Fun Days parade. (Photo courtesy Sheri Van Bibber)

They have helped the city with many things, including providing heat packs for the police and fire departments, and school district employees. They also collect blankets and towels for Murray veterans. In addition to serving the community, MYCC members can earn scholarships. Murray City, the Murray Exchange Club, Red Cross, and Jenn Kikel-Lynn Wells (The Give Back Brokerage), and the Murray Chamber Golf Tournament contributed $14,000 in scholarships. “We have kept going through the pandemic by ‘Meet Up’ text and emails and video chats. So it’s been nice to be together face-to-face finally. But we never stopped, we kept engaged through service the whole time, but safely,” Van Bibber said.

Youth also receive training and lessons on leadership. In addition, they attend a leadership conference at Utah State University and prepare to be part of a Community Emergency ReWomen: Your Voice Matters! sponse Team. We need more women in political “The students run this. And, we have an adviser that supoffice. We need you! ports us from Murray High and an adviser from the Chamber Join the Women’s Leadership Institute and the Murray Exchange Club. So, we are totally a volunteer in its non-partisan, in-depth training group, and this is a positive and energetic group of kiddos that for aspiring female political candidates. will one day run this city, if not the U.S.,” Van Bibber said. Those interested in joining the MYCC can call Sheri Van The seventh annual cohort has started, Bibber at (801) 808-0830 or the Murray Chamber (801) 263- but we have a couple spots still available! 2632. l


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September 2021 | Page 13

Mascots make a comeback, bring student involvement, spirit back to schools By Julie Slama |


ascots are making a comeback as many area schools this year look to bolster school spirit and pride, which in any year school officials say is good, but especially after 18 months of uncertainty in school life during the COVID-19 pandemic. “The mascot is one of the foundations of the visualization of school spirit,” explained Tara Battista, Cottonwood High School’s student government adviser. “When you see a mascot and you see your logo represented, jumping and cheering, that brings a whole new energy to the crowd, to the students, and allows them just to see their school pride to come to life. We want student to feel when they come back to school, we will have this revival of things happening again. We will make it fun, we will make it safe and most of all, we want them to be able to display their Colt pride, so having a mascot is a critical piece of that.” Cottonwood High’s Colt is expected to be part of their homecoming, Sept. 23. Murray High’s Spartan made its debut at the Fourth of July parade after an absence of years, then welcomed the football team onto its new field in the season opener. Brighton High is in the process of ordering a Bengal costume. “Our costume was just old and hammered,” said Brighton Principal Tom Sherwood, adding that looking for a new mascot began after the Bengal’s last appearance fall 2020, but between COVID-19 and rebuilding the school, the process got pushed back. For the new school’s ribbon-cutting, the construction company rented a costume so the Bengal could make an appearance, Sherwood said. “It’s not a matter of not having to have a mascot, but I think the costume might have gone down with the ship—or the building in this case,” he said. “I think mascots can be a good way to get fans involved and they can help control the crowd, they can help lead the cheers, they can be a support to cheerleaders, they can build school spirit.” Mascots can be seen in all levels of schools. Recently, Midvale Middle purchased a Trojan costume. Riverview Junior High renamed its mascot to a Raptor, and the mascot was paraded through the school’s hallways as part of the announcement. When Altara Elementary showed an updated look for its Kittyhawk, the mascot made an appearance— and many more since at assemblies, fun runs and other events. At Cottonwood, student government adviser Tara Battista said Charlie the Colt has been absent for at least the five years she has worked at the school; when inquiring, she was told that the old costume went missing. “When it disappeared, it was quite old, like 10 years, so maybe it was time to get a new one, but then no one ever took charge to make it happen so the mascot just got lost,” she said. School officials say losing costumes is more common than one thinks as the responsibility of the role of the mascot shifts from cheer to athletics to student government advisers. Battista said that when she became student government adviser two years ago, it was decided to bring back the Colt. Then, COVID-19 hit, and the mascot got pushed to the backburner. Now, the $1,200 dark brown stallion costume is on order (from the same company that makes the Utah Jazz Bear’s costume) and tryouts, which is open to any student gender, are being scheduled. There is a possibility of more than one student to be the mascot to share its responsibili-

Page 14 | September 2021

ties, but that depends on tryouts, she said. Battista anticipates Charlie the Colt to wear a football jersey on the field or a basketball uniform when it cheers on those teams. “We’re working with our student organizations to disperse the mascot where they want it,” she said, adding the Colt could wear a Cottonwood hooded sweatshirt when it’s at assemblies or supporting organizations and clubs. “One of the biggest goals for student government this year was to increase school spirit and school pride and get kids involved and excited coming to all types of activities.” However, don’t look for Charlie to tumble and do stunts. “We are still working through some safety concerns with that with the (Granite School) District,” Battista said. “Right now, it’s going to be hyping up the students, their passion for Cottonwood, their Colt pride.” That’s the role the Spartan is taking this season, although previous mascots have been tumblers and on the cheer squad, said cheer coach Lia Smith, who is overseeing Murray High’s mascot in Murray School District and interviewed the student who was interested in being the mascot. “There weren’t any (tumbling) skills involved, it’s more just the student’s personality and drive to involved others, to create a positive environment and include as many people in the school and in the community,” she said, adding that the Spartan also has good grades and citizenship. The Spartan, which is named Leonidas or Leo for short, made its comeback this year as a result of students approaching Smith. “A group of students came to me as cheer coach March last year and said they really wanted a mascot again and they missed having a Spartan,” she said. “We felt like that would bring a lot of energy and it’s something that we’ve been missing.” Wanting to bring spirit to the school and community, Leo asked to be part of the Murray parade, but didn’t expect a costume malfunction which resulted in missing the last third of walking in the parade. However, the Spartan has asked others to generate ideas and appearances, watched YouTube videos of other mascots and plans to reach out to college and professional team mascots. The mascot agreed to break his code of silence for this article to share his insights; the condition was that he could only be identified as Leo. “I always thought of being the mascot; it’s cool,” Leo said. “I think my personality is already outgoing and wacky and I feel that if I’d have a mask on, I feel I’d be amplified and make it fun for everyone. Before this, I’ve just liked being in the student section. I was always one of the people who just tried to get cheers going or if cheerleaders were doing a cheer, I would just start doing the dance with them.” While he hopes to “go to as many things as possible,” Leo said one of his responsibilities will be to wave a giant Spartan flag, which Leo said, “I will definitely have a lot of fun with.” He also knows being the mascot will be “physically demanding” so he does plan to stay in shape through running and joining cheer in some workouts. Leo isn’t worried about getting recognition. “If no one knows me, I can do a lot more wacky stuff that I would be otherwise embarrassed to do. It’s just one of those things I could have a lot more fun,” he said. That also was a highlight of Aaron Dekeyzer, who as 2003-04 senior class pride president, was Harvey, Hillcrest High School’s Husky mascot.

Murray High’s Spartan mascot made its comeback this year after an absence of a few years. (Photo courtesy of John Smith/Murray High)

“It just let me take on a persona that I could just be silly and fun to the max without any discomfort about doing it and having nobody know who it was,” he said, but admitting that the costume was “miserably hot, itchy and just generally uncomfortable.” However, Dekeyzer’s secret mascot identity was shortlived as students knocked off his head at one of the last football games, so he only wore the costume at a couple of basketball games. Dekeyzer didn’t audition, but said the position fell into his lap. “I think there was a vacancy and cheer was looking for someone to do it when they came to student government. I was one of the silliest, funniest ones of the bunch so I decided to volunteer,” he said. “I was energetic, fun, goofy and good at getting the crowd to do chants. I wasn’t flying through the air or doing backflips.” The Husky has evolved from its early days when a cheerleader had dog face paint while wearing a shaggy costume to taking on a full mascot costume in 1978-79 when former teacher and international baccalaureate coordinator Brian Bentley, who was a student at Hillcrest, first took on the role of Harvey. Nowadays, the student costume-wearers are highlighted in the yearbook, which is distributed at the end of the year. After Dekeyzer’s year, the mascot costume went missing—he maintains he didn’t take it—so Harvey took a leave of absence. “I don’t know if they found it or if it was just time to get another costume, but it was my understanding that he was MIA for a bit,” he said. “It was super fun though. I really enjoyed doing it and it was a great way to demonstrate the pride of the school and for students to identify with the spirit of the school.” l

Murray City Journal

September 2021 FREQUENTLY REQUESTED NUMBERS 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

Mayor’s Message Where do you get your information? The American physicist and Episcopal priest William G. Pollard is quoted as having said, “Information is a source of learning. But unless it is organized, processed, and available to the right people in a format for decision making, it is a burden, not a benefit.” During my many years of public service I have observed how news outlets have worked hard to “scoop” news stories and seem to take great satisfaction in being the first to report a news story. Often the urgency to get the story out was at the expense of accuracy, and occasionally the inaccuracies were never corrected or updated. In recent years with the emergence of social media and “instant news,” this practice seems to have spread beyond news outlets to include any organization or even individuals posting on social media. Sharing information on social media is a good thing. It has become a way of getting information out to many of people in a short period of time. However, it is when misinformation is rapidly spread that potential problems may

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

develop. Headlines and soundbites are used to get our attention, but don’t always reflect the whole story. As consumers of information, it is our responsibility to scrutinize information to determine its accuracy, not just on social media, but all sources. Where do you get your information about what is happening in Murray City? As a city, we have made efforts to utilize electronic media to let our residents know what is happening in the city, from recreation programs to zoning issues, and everything in between. Our city website ( is a key

MAYOR’S OFFICE D. Blair Camp, Mayor 801-264-2600 5025 S. State Street Murray, Utah 84107

source for acquiring city information. The website not only contains information on what’s happening, but it also has links to each city department page to allow the public to access department specific information and provides contact information to get your questions answered. The “E-Services” tab under the “Services” menu on the website is a great place to start. You can also report a concern from that same menu if you see something in the city that needs our attention. We appreciate feedback from the public on how to make improvements to our website. Another important element of the website is the ability to watch city council meetings and planning commission meetings, either live or archived. Agendas and minutes for these meetings are also available, as well as agendas and minutes for the various boards and commissions in our city. Social media has become a real benefit for getting information to you. The Murray City Facebook page and Twitter feed (@MurrayCityUtah) both have up-to-date information posted. We now feature a summary of the planning commission and city council agendas to make it easier to see if there are items that are of interest to you coming up for discussion or action. We also push current information out on Instagram (murraycityutah). Several of our individual departments manage social media accounts as well. For example, during the recent windstorms and accompanying power outages, Murray City Power communicated where the outages were and their status. This is extremely useful for both the public and the power department to share information in real time. Want to know what’s happening in parks and recreation or at the amphitheater? You can follow Murray City Parks and Recreation on social media as well. The police, fire, and public works departments also have useful social media accounts as well. A monthly e-newsletter is sent to individuals who make their email addresses available to the city. If you are not currently receiving the monthly e-newsletter then you can sign up on the city’s website under the “How Do I…?” link. We want our residents to be informed! I invite and encourage all residents to share accurate information on your personal social media accounts. It is far better to post correct information than it is to be the first to post misinformation. Misinformation posted and reposted becomes a burden to all rather than a benefit.

Fall Youth Volleyball Academy

This program is designed for girls & boys in grades 2-4. Participants will learn the skills and fundamentals of volleyball including passing, serving, setting and hitting. We emphasize skill development, instruction, fitness, and fun! For more information contact the Recreation Office 801-264-2614. Grades: Dates: Place:

4-6, 7-9 Mondays Sept. 20, 27, Oct. 4, 11 Hillcrest Jr. High, Aux Gym (178 East 5300 South) Times: 6:00-7:30 PM Cost: $30 Resident, $40 Non Resident Deadline: Wednesday, September 15, 2021 ($5 Late fee after deadline) R Register: Online at, Parks and Rec. Office, or the Park Center

Fall Youth Coed Volleyball League

This program is designed for girls & boys in grades 4-9. We emphasize skill development, instruction, game competition, fitness, and fun! Each participant receives a jersey. Teams will be created prior to the start of the league with a volunteer coach per team. Teams will practice for the first half hour and then play two matches per night with their team. For more information, contact the Recreation Office at 801-264-2614. Grades: Dates:

4-6, 7-9 Wednesdays, Sept. 15, 29, Wednesdays, Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27 Place: Hillcrest Jr. High, Main Gym (178 East 5300 South) Times: Grades4-6 (6:00-7:30 PM), Grades 7-9 (7:30-9:00 PM) Cost: $40 Resident, $50 Non Resident Deadline: Friday, September 3, 2021 ($5 late fee after deadline) Register: Online at, Parks and Rec. Office, or The Park Center

Flag Football Dates: Days: Cost: Deadline:

Sep. 28 - Oct. 23 Game Tuesday evenings & Saturday mornings $35 Residents / $45 Non-residents Sep. 1 @ 8AM or until full (If spots are available registration will reopen Sep. 3rd at 5pm until Sep. 7 at 8:00 am with a $10 Late fee added) League Information: Includes 8 games and a t-shirt. *No cleats (molded or studded) GRADE DIVISIONS: 2nd grade, 3rd & 4th grades, and 5th & 6th grades. 8 GAME DATES: TUESDAYS – Sep. 28, Oct. 5, 12 and 19 SATURDAYS – Oct. 2, 9, 16 and 23

Murray Youth Cross Country Murray Recreation cross country focuses on fun, building endurance, increasing flexibility, improving running mechanics and competition. Participants will participate in three County meets. Dates:

Sept 7 - Oct 11, 2021 Orientation meeting for parents & athletes will be held at the Senior Recreation Center on Sept 2, from 5:30-6:30 pm Practices: Tuesdays, Thursdays, & Friday evenings, 5:00 pm-6:30 pm Location: Meet at Murray Park by the playground north of pavilion 5 Cost: Murray Residents $45, Non-residents $55 (Subject to $5 late fee after deadline) Deadline: Aug 23 @ 8:00 am Limited to 50 participants Register: In person at Murray Recreation in Murray Park or online at

Get to the River Festival 5K Date: Time: Place: Course:

Saturday, Sept 11 7:30 pm Jordan River Parkway Germania Park to Arrowhead Park, back to Walden Park, finish back at Germania Park Cost: $15 (T-shirt included) Register: Online at, Parks and Rec. Office, or the Park Center Deadline: August 27, 2021 (Limited to 150 participants) Awards: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd for overall winners in each division

Fall 2021 Adult Volleyball Leagues • Adult (18 years +) Indoor Volleyball Leagues are for B/BB and A level players. • Coed teams consist of 3 male & 3 female players, no other combination. • All leagues must have at least 6 teams to run, and max 8 teams. • Teams will participate in 6 weeks of league play and all teams will be seeded into a tournament the last two weeks. • Seeding for the tournament is based on win/loss record from pool play. • A charge of $30 will be assessed for any registrations taken after deadline if league is not full. No refunds after deadline. • Must register as a team and pay in full when registering • Register on-line at or at The Park Center (202 E. Murray Park Ave). TWO LEAGUES Monday Women’s A - 6’s Sept. 13 - Nov. 1 $270.00 9/6/2021 The Park Center Thursday Coed B/BB - 6’s Sept. 2 - Oct. 21 $270.00 8/25/2021 The Park Center

MURRAY SENIOR RECREATION CENTER SPECIAL EVENTS Oktoberfest – Wednesday, October 20 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. The meal will include pretzel, bratwurst or bone-in chicken, German potato salad, roasted Brussel sprouts, rolls, and apple strudel. The cost for this fun event will be $10 for reserved seats. Registration begins Wednesday, September 22. No reservations or cancellations for refunds may be made after Friday, October 8. The Salzburger Echo will be providing the entertainment.

MEALS Daily Lunch – Lunch is served Tuesday-Friday from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. No reservation needed. Cost of the meal is $4. Brunch Café – Monday, September 27 and October 25 from 10:15 a.m.-noon. Choose a complete meal or pick a la carte from the menu. One beverage (milk, juice, or coffee) is included.

TRIPS Fall Colors – Mark your calendars for Thursday, October 7. A chartered bus will leave the center at 10:30 a.m. and return around 3 p.m. The cost is $30 and includes lunch and transportation. We will travel through Provo Canyon to Sundance and on to Midway, where we will enjoy lunch at the Soldier Hollow Grill. After lunch we will travel through Midway into Heber City and down Parley’s Canyon back to the center. Registration begins Wednesday, September 15. Wendover – Travel to Wendover on Thursday, October 14 and enjoy a day at the Rainbow Casino. The cost is $20 per person which includes transportation, free bingo on the bus, and a bonus package that includes $5 Luck Bucks, $5 off meal coupon, $5.50 cocktail, and $20 free play coupon. Masks are mandatory at the casino. The bus will depart the Center at 8:30 a.m. and return about 7 p.m. The deadline to register or cancel for a full refund is Thursday, October 7. The next Wendover trip is Thursday, December 9.

SEPTEMBER 2021 M URRAY S ENIOR R ECREATION C ENTER SERVICES Legal Consultation – An attorney is available for 30-minute legal consultations at no charge on Tuesday, September 14 and October 12 from 1-3 p.m. Advance appointment required. Blood Pressure – Thursday, September 9 and October 14 from 10:30 a.m. to noon. No appointment necessary. Flu Shots – Community Nursing Services will be at the center on Friday, October 1 from 10 a.m. to noon. You will be able to choose the regular Influenza vaccine (Quadrivalent four strain), High-Dose vaccine (for over 65), or Pneumonia vaccine. Call for more information. No registration required. Toenail Clipping –Tuesday, October 12 from 9:30 a.m. to noon. The cost is $11. Payment is required at time of scheduling and registration begins Tuesday, September 14.

RECREATION Movies on Mondays – Every Monday at 1:30 p.m. This is a free program.

Individual Computer Help – There are one-hour individual help appointments on Tuesday, September 14, September 28, October 12, and October 26 at 1, 2, or 3 p.m. Our volunteer can assist with computers or mobile devices (except Apple products). On Fridays, there are appointments at 9, 10, or 11 a.m. The Friday volunteers can assist with computers or mobile devices including Apple products. Cost is $3 per computer class appointment, payment required in advance. History – On Tuesday, September 14 at 10:30 a.m., Jim Duignan, a retired history teacher, will discuss Joseph Stalin, dictator of the Soviet Union. Jim will also have a history class on Tuesday, October 12. The topic will be announced at the September class. Grief Support Class – On Monday, September 20 at 10:30 a.m., Jody Davis, a chaplain from Rocky Mountain Hospice, will discuss ways to process grief. Nutrition Class – On Tuesday, September 21 at 10:30 a.m., Ashley Quadros from Harmon’s will be teaching us everything we need to know about living a plant-based lifestyle. You will learn shopping and cooking tips to create delicious meals and snacks that harness plant power! How Not to Pay Too Much for a Funeral – On Wednesday, September 22 at 10:30 a.m., Elizabeth Vasquez and Royce Gibson from Affordable Funerals and Cremations will answer your questions about funeral costs. Recycling Class – On Friday, September 24 at 10:30 a.m., Mercedes Anto from ACE Recycle and Disposal will be at the Center to discuss ways to improve your recycling skills at home and at the center. All of us can make small improvements to help the environment.

• September 13: American Outlaws • September 20: Enchanted • September 27: Over the Moon in Love • October 4: The Mummy • October 11: The Mummy Returns • October 18: A Cinderella Story • October 25: Hotel Transylvania Bingo – Bingo is played every Wednesday and Friday at 12:45 p.m. Bingo is free, although donations are appreciated. Winners receive a $5 gift certificate to Macey’s or Village Inn Restaurant. Evening Social Dance – Dance to the musical genius of Tony Summerhays each Thursday night from 7-9:30 p.m. Cost for this activity is $5 per person. Light refreshments are served during the break and there are door prizes. Pay at the door. Outdoor Pickleball – Play outdoor pickleball every weekday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This is a free activity.


All Require Pre-Registration. Classes are free unless specifically noted.

Vital Aging: Trash or Treasures – Tuesday, September 28 at 10:30 a.m., the Vital Aging wellness topic will be “Trash or Treasures”. Do you find yourself surrounded by stuff? Please join Kayla Cook as we discuss how to sort through items that no longer enhance our lives. If you would like to talk with Kayla from the Vital Aging project regarding any personal problems or issues, she will be available a half-hour prior to the class.


LINE DANCE: BEGINNING – Tuesdays from 2-3 p.m. – $10 NIA – Mondays from 9-10 a.m. – $10 STRENGTH CONDITIONING – Mondays and Thursdays from 2-3 p.m. – $20 TAI CHI – Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:30-11:30 a.m. – $20 YOGA – Mondays from 10-11 a.m. – $10 YOGA – Wednesdays from 10-11 a.m. – $10 OVERALL FITNESS CLASS AND PERSONAL TRAINING – University of Utah Exercise and Sports students will be here every Tuesday and Friday from 12:30-1:30 p.m. beginning Friday, September 3. The students teach an overall fitness class at 12:30 that can help improve fitness levels and increase endurance, balance, and stretching abilities. They also offer 30-minute, one-on-one personal training. Advance appointments are required. The fitness class and personal training is included with the exercise room fee of $5 per month. Register now. ZUMBA – Fridays from 9-10 a.m. – $10

(fees are per month)

CHAIR AEROBICS – Wednesdays and Fridays at 11:15-11:45 a.m. – FREE CHAKRA MEDITATION – Monday, September 20 – Monday, November 8 at 11 a.m.-noon – $20 EVENING YOGA – Thursday evenings from 7-8 p.m. – $10 EXERCISE ROOM – daily use – $5 LINE DANCE: ADVANCED – Tuesdays from 9:30-11 a.m. – $10


10 East 6150 South (West of State Street) • 801-264-2635


Broadway Tribute For Kids! Set on the USS Broadway Dreams, spend a night under the stars with our youth celebrating Broadway songs. Directed by Wendy Smedshammer (with creative help from cast members). Two nights only, September 10-11, 8:00 PM at the Murray Park Amphitheater. $10 Adults, $8 Child/ Senior/Military ID. Tickets available at the Murray Parks & Rec Office, at the gate or online:

Resident on Display Original artwork by Murray resident artist, Sandy Williams, is still being displayed in the central display case at City Hall until the end of the month.

Get to the River Celebrate the Jordan River with us at Germania Park, September 11, 2021. Grab a free ice cream sandwich and check out the colorful and creative chalk art drawn that day!

Arts in the Park: September Events Join us at the Murray Park Amphitheater, September 6th for a musical night with Imagine! Imagine is a Beatles tribute band featuring Tom Coburn as John Lennon, Richard Fazzi as Paul McCartney, Brad Armstrong as George Harrison, and Mark Robinette as Ringo Starr. Concert starts at 8:00 PM, tickets are $10 General Admission.

More details can be found at

@MurrayCityCulturalArts @Murraycitymuseum



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SERVICE September 2021 | Page 19

Nine years without a cold? By Priscilla Schnarr

Scientists have discovered a natural way to kill germs fast. Now thousands of people are using it against viruses and bacteria in the nose and on skin. Germs, such as viruses and bacteria, can multiply fast. When unwanted germs get in your nose they can spread and cause misery unless you stop them early. In the last 20 years, hundreds New device puts copper right where you need it. of studies by government and Early user Mary Pickrell said, “I university scientists show the natural element copper kills germs just by touch. can’t believe how good my nose feels.” “What a wonderful thing!” exclaimed The EPA officially declared copper to be “antimicrobial”, which means it kills Physician’s Assistant Julie. “Is it supmicrobes, including viruses, bacteria, posed to work that fast?” Pat McAllister, 70, received one for and fungus. The National Institutes of Health Christmas. “One of the best presents says, “The antimicrobial activity of cop- ever. This little jewel really works.” Frequent flier Karen Gauci used to per is now well established.” Ancient Greeks and Egyptians used suffer after crowded flights. Though copper to purify water and heal wounds. skeptical, she tried copper on travel days They didn’t know about microbes, but for 2 months. “Sixteen flights and not a sniffle!” she exclaimed. now we do. Businesswoman Rosaleen says when Scientists say the high conductance of copper disrupts the electrical balance people around her show signs of unwantin a microbe and destroys it in seconds. ed germs, she uses copper morning and Some hospitals tried copper for touch night. “It saved me last holidays,” she surfaces like faucets and doorknobs. said. “The kids had the crud going round They say this cut the spread of MRSA, and round, but not me.” Attorney Donna Blight tried copper and other illnesses by over half and for her sinus. “I am shocked!” she said. saved lives. The strong scientific evidence gave “My head cleared, no more headache, no inventor Doug Cornell an idea. He made more congestion.” A man with trouble breathing through a smooth copper probe with a tip to fit in his nose at night tried copper just before the bottom of his nose. The next time he felt a tickle in his bed. “Best sleep I’ve had in years!” In a lab test, technicians placed 25 nostril that warned of a cold about to start, he rubbed the copper gently in his million live flu viruses on a CopperZap. No viruses were found alive soon after. nose for 60 seconds. The handle is curved and textured to “The cold never got going,” he exclaimed. “That was September 2012. I increase contact. Copper can kill germs use copper in the nose every time and I picked up on fingers and hands. The EPA says copper still works when tarnished. have not had a single cold since then.” CopperZap is made in America of “We don’t make product health claims so I can’t say cause and effect. pure copper. It has a 90-day full money back guarantee. The price is $79.95. But we know copper is antimicrobial.” Get $10 off each CopperZap with He asked relatives and friends to try it. They reported the same thing, so he code UTCJ12 at patented CopperZap® and put it on the or 1-888-411-6114. Buy Once, Use Forever. market. Soon hundreds of people had tried it. Statements herein are not intended and The feedback was 99% positive if they should not be interpreted as product used the copper within 3 hours after the health claims, and have not been evalfirst sign of unwanted germs, like a tick- uated by the FDA. Not claimed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. le in the nose or a scratchy throat. advertorial

Page 20 | September 2021

This fall, Murray School District unveiled new school logos. Officials plan to update the district logo this fall. (Photo courtesy of Murray School District)

Murray School District unveils new logos, two schools name new mascots


By Julie Slama |

hen you look beyond the school buildings and improved technology, and aside from changes because of COVID-19, much has changed in Murray School District the past few months. At Riverview Junior High, last year’s student newspaper editors became aware that the school’s previous mascot, the Rebels, was being examined, so the staff changed its newspaper name from The Rebel to The Riverview Rush. New mascot possibilities were discussed and students learned the value of a school mascot and what it stands for before they and voted on ballots put together by journalism teacher and instructional coach Heather Wihongi. When it came time for the reveal in April, her journalism students took photos and wrote articles. “We did an article about how it was changed, and the school pushed out a survey – ‘what are your ideas for mascot and how does it relate to Murray,’” said Paisley Mitchell, who was one of the ’20-’21 newspaper editors and thought the Royals might be the new mascot. “We ended up being the Riverview Raptors so we wrote articles about the survey that was pushed out and an article about the new Raptors and what that would mean and how it kind of changed us a little bit.” A survival handbook was Riverview’s yearbook theme last year, so they added a claw mark to the back cover to carry it through to the last page, said ’20-’21 yearbook editor Kennedy Adams. “It was like insane when our mascot ended up being the Raptors because it tied in with the claw mark without it even being planned,” she said. In a time when many schools, colleges and professional teams are changing their mascots, Murray School District spokesman Doug Perry said, “Maybe the Rebels isn’t quite the right image that we want to portray for the junior high” and talking about that change “dovetailed into what we wanted to do with the district.” Although there was talk of changing the mascot before, as well as the logos, the movement got pushed to a backburner during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now Riverview and other school logos also have been updated not only to include the new mascots, but also to have consistency throughout the district. “There was a lot of inconsistency in the style, the design, the approach,” Perry said. “A school district should be as unified as possible. Murray’s really unique in that we have just one high school. We have a fairly close-knit community that is fairly autonomous from other school districts. We wanted to look unified; we wanted to look uniform; we wanted to look professional.” Embarking on that concept last fall, and working on it this past spring, Perry and two student interns examined logos and styles. They decided to base all the logos on Murray High’s, which was the most current and modern. “We patterned it after the high school logo and yet, still gave each school a little bit of autonomy in terms of their own mascots and color,” he said, adding that the district’s logo has yet to be redesigned. School names and mascots and the tagline, “We are Murray,” can be used together or if a school just wants to use its mascot, either are acceptable, he said, adding that the change will be gradual, which allows schools to use letterhead and printed items with the old logos until they’re depleted. Before the new logos, Perry opened up the possibility for schools to change school mascots or colors before those logos were set in place. Longview Elementary took him up on it. “Over the past few years, the things I was hearing from all stakeholders — parents, students, staff and other community members — about what they wanted for students at Longview didn’t really match what the mission and vision were,” Longview Principal Becky Te’o said. “With the 2021-2022 school year being the 60th anniversary of Longview, I felt it would be the perfect time to dig into what we all want Longview students to experience and ‘be’ when they leave Longview.” After conducting surveys from all stakeholders, the results shows “Beyond the academic excellence that we all wanted for students, a strong undercurrent in all responses

Murray City Journal

Join the MHS

Murray Rotary Club Monthly Service Update

MHS students! Join the Interact Club. Have fun doing service!

On Club Day, Sept. 10, sign up for the Interact Club.

and Serve!

The announcement of the new Lion mascot brought cheers from Longview Elementary students. (Becky Te’o/Longview Elementary)

“I’ve loved being a part of Interact,” says this year’s Interact Club President Relena Pattison. “It has been an amazing way to get involved. We are very fortunate to have support from the Murray Rotary Club to help us with our projects as we make an impact in our community.”

was a desire for unity and for students to have a sense of belonging and community,” she said. “A Lynx is a predominantly solitary animal and that seemed contrary to what we would be interweaving into our new mission and vision.” Te’o learned that the Lynx came about in the 1990s, after a former principal grew frustrated with the blue-and-white school colors and Cougar mascot being likened to Brigham Young University. So Te’o then asked for mascot and color suggestions from classes and staff. “Some fun suggestions like Heroes, Unicorns and Ligers were submitted. Ultimately, we narrowed it down to the top six repeating choices, which were: Llamas, Lynx, Leopards, Lions, Lizards and Penguins,” she said. A vote was narrowed down to the top three mascot choices — Penguins, Lions or remain the Lynx. The three top color choic-

es were black and gold; orange and black; or red, gold and white. A final vote was held, and Te’o revealed the winners at an assembly. The Longview Lions won with 75 percent of the vote and the new colors red, gold and white received 85 percent of the votes. “We are excited to stay true to Longview tradition with big cat mascots, while being able to make these changes as we move into the future,” she said, adding that a male lion was chosen for the mascot as its mane is easily recognized in the identification of the mascot. “Having a school mascot helps to provide a sense of unity throughout the school and community, but it also helps in creating school spirit and school pride. It was so much fun to go through this process and experience the energy and excitement throughout the entire building. The cheers during our reveal assembly were priceless.” l


and Serve!

The Interact Club VPs this year are: Sage Williams, Cameron Stout, Mandy Bach and Isaac Graham. They would LOVE for anyone to ask them about the club.

For details see Mrs Hogan in room 304

“We do a variety of service projects throughout the school year,” says Mrs. Hogan, MHS Interact Club advisor. “We’ve helped with a Murray cleanup project, dressed up as ghouls for the Murray Halloween Festival, and donated books to the Murray Boys & Girls Club. Students genuinely enjoy the club and feel good about their service.”

“Fun with a purpose” is our motto.

For details see Mrs Hogan in room 304 Join us at one of our meetings.

Replenish Landscape Garden 4660 South 200 West, Murray • 801-252-5962

Business Spotlights are a service offered to our advertisers to help them inform our readers about their businesses. For information on scheduling a Spotlight, please call us at 801-254-5974 or email us at

Twenty-seven years is an important milestone for any business. In fact, only 20 percent of all businesses will survive to see their 20th anniversary. At Replenish, we believe our business model of providing top quality landscape materials, at a fair price, together with exceptional customer service, has provided the foundation of our success for these 27 years. Beautiful gardens, lawns, and landscapes all start with the foundation of quality, nutrient-rich soil. While that is easy to say, it is much more complicated to sort through the numerous companies that all claim to sell the best. Whether you are starting a new flower garden or growing your own fruits and vegetables, Replenish Landscape Garden Products is here to help make your gardening goals a reality. Replenish (the compost) and Replenish the Earth Products (the company) were created by Connie Cannon in 1994 in the driveway of her home. She wanted to create a compost mulch that would be high in nutrients, low in salts, as well as dark and rich in appearance. After seeking counsel from Peter Lassig, who had been the head landscape architect at Temple Square for over 40 years, she came up with the superior formula and blend for Replenish Compost. Mixing it together in her driveway, she would have her children put the compost in bags and sell it in their neighborhood.

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“Whether you are picking up material at our yard, or having us deliver or install material in your yard, the service is always outstanding and to your satisfaction. As our customer, we have your best interest in mind,” said Mike Nitz, the current co-owner. The Cannons sold the company 10 years later to the current owners, Mike Nitz and Greg Bettinson. After purchasing the company in 2004, Mike and Greg gave it a new name – Replenish Landscape Garden Products – to better describe what the business was all about. They also moved the business from West Valley City to its current location in Murray, at 4600 S. 200 W. Over the past 15 years, they have grown the business by expanding the variety of landscape materials offered and expanding their customer base to cover the entire Wasatch Front. “There are a number of options when it comes to landscape materials, but they are not all created equal,” explained Greg. “We believe

that in Replenish Compost, we have the finest and most versatile compost available, period! To complement our signature Replenish Compost product, we have made it our focus to develop, or find, the very best soil blends, barks, wood mulches certified playground chips and soilless mixes specifically formulated for growing vegetables and flowers in containers or box gardens. Quality is what we sell.” Any of Replenish’s products can be picked up at their Murray yard, in either bulk or bag. They also deliver in bag, bulk, or in the 1-cu-

bic-yard Super Big Bag to homes and businesses from Brigham City to Price. One of the unique services Replenish offers is their “Blower Truck” service. With this truck, they have the ability to install through a hose any of their products (except the rock and sand) directly into gardens, lawns or playgrounds. Make your garden and yard work a successful, rewarding, and enjoyable experience. Call Replenish Landscape Garden Products at (801) 252-5962 for any question you might have or for a free quote.

September 2021 | Page 21

Murray for t pro Join us


BRIGHT VISION FOR MURRAY CITY SMART DEVELOPMENT: Preserve neighborhood feel while creating new housing and commercial opportunities. 21st CENTURY MURRAY: Conserve Murray’s water supply and reduce the city’s carbon footprint. CREATE COMMUNITY: Build a city for people who live here. Invest in sidewalks, parks, and bike lanes.



HOME EVALUATION Jeron & Heather DuPaix 801-897-1133 Crossroads of Community and Opportunity My Experience: Chair, Leaders with Heart for American Heart Association

Former Assistant Attorney General, State of Utah

Executive Committee, Utah Communities Connect

Board Member, Murray Area Chamber of Commerce

Big of the Year Nominee, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah

Chair, Murray Area Economic Recovery Task Force

“I’m running for Murray City Council, District 2. I thrive where community meets government and live to serve—whether it’s by working on a board, volunteering for an important cause, or helping to craft inspiring partnerships. My life and career has provided me with the skills, relationships, and values that will make me an exceptional councilmember for Murray City.” —Joe Silverzweig @joeformurray


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Page 22 | September 2021

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MURRAY IS HOME Brett and Cindy raised their 5 kids in Murray and have called it home for 33 years. When he was diagnosed with MS in 2005 the community rallied to his side— even pitching in to help re-roof his home. Seeing his neighbors show up like that is what motivates him to do all he can to “pay it back.” This is the attitude he’ll carry with him as your mayor. LEADERSHIP THAT LISTENS As a member of the city council since 2012 (District 5), Brett is known for his “opendoor” policy. He loves hearing from his constituents and is a tireless advocate for the citizens of Murray.


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RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT Brett retired as VP of Cyprus Credit Union. He knows first-hand the way families watch their budgets and believes government should do the same. During his time on the city council, he has been a responsible steward of our tax dollars. As a result, the city enjoys a $10 million + budget surplus and the lowest property taxes in the state.

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September 2021 | Page 23

Murray teachers recognized for being innovative, committed to excellence in teaching By Julie Slama |


uring the COVID-19 pandemic, many teachers chose to instruct in-person or remotely, but not as many did both. McMillan Elementary’s Anastasia Athens was one of those few. At one point, she taught 24 fifth-and sixth-grade students in-person while 31 students district-wide watched her synchronously. Athens, along with Riverview Junior High’s Gina Dansie, received the Utah Coalition for Educational Technology’s innovative teacher awards for “supporting student learning through innovative teaching practices using technology” while Murray High’s Susan Banks was recognized for her excellence in teaching as the Ron and Eileen Ragsdale Chemistry Teacher of the Year. Athens, who also was featured on the NBC Today Show, showcased how she was able to reach students via the district’s LTE network. Students joined with her at specific times so they could participate with their peers in the same assignments and conversations in real time. “I would have a live Zoom happening while I was teaching my lessons, so the kids who were at home could log on and watch live and ask questions,” Athens said. The lesson was also recorded so students could use it as reference or if someone missed class or were quarantined. Using a Hudl camera that follows the movement and voice as well, she connected a document camera to her computer that could display what was shown on a TV screen for the class as well as on the computer for students studying virtually. Her students, as all in Murray School District, had Chromebooks issued to them and used Google Classroom to stay on top of assignments. “It took a lot of adapting and figuring out what works and what doesn’t at the beginning of the year,” she said, adding that she took it upon herself to figure which way worked best for her and her students. “I think that was intriguing since it was a bit different than maybe some of the other online teachers.” Athens then shared what she was doing with others so they could learn from her experience and is planning to use it again this year as she teaches both methods. “It made me realize how much teaching can and should be evolving as we grow into this world of technology and how we can access our students more,” she said. “I think for me, it was a way to better my instruction. Using technology as a support is going to be a part of my teaching, probably forever.” Collaborating with colleagues in using technology was also key to Dansie’s recognition. “A lot of it just comes to being willing to share and collaborate with others because if teachers are confident with technology and we can use it effectively, that is going to help our students,” said Dansie, who has

Page 24 | September 2021

Left: Murray High’s Susan Banks, showing a flame demonstration, was recognized for her excellence in teaching as the Ron and Eileen Ragsdale Chemistry Teacher of the Year. (Screenshot of video by David Vala/Murray High) Middle: McMillan Elementary’s Anastasia Athens, who was featured on The Today Show, taught both online and in-person students and was honored with the Utah Coalition for Educational Technology’s innovative teacher award. (Screenshot courtesy of Anastasia Athens) Right: Riverview Junior High’s Gina Dansie received the Utah Coalition for Educational Technology’s innovative teacher award. (Photo courtesy of Gina Dansie)

been a Driven2Teach participant and visited and learned about history first-hand along the eastern seaboard. Dansie uses Google Docs, Forms, Classroom and Slides in her teaching and frequently has been known to share her knowledge of Canvas other with faculty. She completed the Google certification before COVID-19 hit and upon taking the exam, she can be a certified educator. “Typically, I used Canvas a little bit and I do like to use a lot of Google tools, like Google Slides, as a way for students to share information as an individual with what they’re researching with the class. Then last year, it was really just doing that across the board and helping other teachers utilize that as well,” she said. Dansie, who teaches ninth-grade Advanced Placement human and world geography, as well as school success study hall courses, knows it is a way to connect with her students. “In my AP class, I use a lot of Quizlet, which is like online flash cards for vocabulary. I also have an online textbook there,” she said, adding that she uses Flipgrid for video discussions as well as the Google Workspace (or G Suite). It is the way of the future, Dansie said. “It definitely is a move toward more personalized education,” she said, adding that a conflict in class schedules could result where one course can be taken online instead of in-person or could provide direct instruction online if a student is absent. “I think it’s only going to help students and that’s really what

we want.” At nearby Murray High, Banks was recognized as the outstanding high school chemistry teacher from the University of Utah’s chemistry department. Annually, the award is given to a Utah chemistry teacher who has demonstrated excellence in the teaching of Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate chemistry classes and is characterized by organization, equitability and high standards. Banks once was introduced to Ron Ragsdale, who by then had retired. Ragsdale, who taught more than 50,000 college, high school and summer school students in his career, helped establish the annual Faraday lectures that have entertained thousands of local students and families every December. He died in 2020. “He had just finished playing racquetball,” she said. “He just wanted to meet me and see what was going on in my classroom. You could tell that he still really kind of missed having a foot in the teaching world.” University of Utah faculty member Jeff Statler explained some of Banks’ outstanding qualities in which she was selected for the award: “Susan blends excitement, experience, open-mindedness and flexibility into a professionalism that is to be envied.” Banks’name will be added to a plaque at the University of Utah. “It’s a big deal in the chemistry world and the people who are already on that plaque in the [Henry] Erying Chemistry Building are seriousl teachers, people I’ve been looking up to for years. So, to be part of that group,

it’s just amazing,” she said. Banks not only teaches chemistry and honors chemistry at Murray High, but she instructs the AP chemistry lab for students along the Wasatch Front at the University of Utah, saving high schools from purchasing equipment and holding their own labs. Every summer, she teaches an invitation-only accelerated chemistry course to high school students at the U of U as part of the chemistry outreach program. “We put them through eight credits of chemistry in six weeks, for five hours per day and we do what I call chemistry boot camp: go fast and furious. It’s really intense and at the same time, it’s really fun because you get to do a whole lot of chemistry that isn’t in the normal curriculum,” Banks said. “So, we’ll do nuclear chemistry and do a lot of astrophysical solar star chemistry and compound chemistry. It’s stuff that you normally don’t get to do until you’re in the upper-level chemistry classes. I think it’s a party. Honestly, it’s just fun.” That enthusiasm and flexibility is something she is known for. “Last year, after so many of my students were online, I really didn’t get to meet them in person, so I’m really going to double-down on making sure I get to know my students and who they are and hopefully, find something that helps them really engage and enjoy the scientific world,” Banks said. “My biggest hope is to help them enjoy learning and re-engage in school in a positive way.” l

Murray City Journal


Desert Star Playhouse

4861 S State St, Murray, UT 84107 • 801-266-2600

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Bringing you less misery than 2020, Desert Star presents its upcoming parody, LES MISERABLES. Join the laughtastic revolution as this knee-slapping spoof opens August 26th. It’s a merry-making musical melodrama for the whole family! Written by Tom Jordan, and directed by Scott Holman, this show follows Jean LeviJean who is on the run from the nefarious grime fighter Javert. LeviJean just wants to start a new life making a new kind of pants. But he and his adopted daughter Cassette get caught up in the French revolting. Now they must navigate the sewers of Paris, finding a way to get Cassette to the wedding on time before Javert flushes their plans. Colorful characters include Garlique and Camembert, LeviJean’s wacky factory workers, and the Thenardiers, the innkeepers who take you through this raucous adventure. Make your 2021 less miserable with Les Miserables. “Les Miserables” runs August 26 through November 6, 2021. The evening also includes one of Desert Star’s comical musical olios, following the show. The “Fang-tastic Olio” treats

you to popular Halloween tunes. There are two options for enjoying our menu. You can order from your table, in the traditional way. Come 30 minutes prior and order from your server once you have found your seat. If you feel more comfortable wearing a mask while you are in the theater, we will still be offering food service one hour beforehand in our banquet area. If you prefer this option, just text our main number, 801-266-2600, that you want a reservation. CALENDAR: “Les Miserables: Less Miserable Than 2020” Plays August 26 - November 6, 2021 Check our website for showtimes: Tickets: Adults: $26.95, Children: $15.95 (Children 12 and under) 4861 S. State Street, Murray, UT 84107 Text 801.266.2600 for dinner reservations For additional information, visit our website at www.DesertStarPlayhouse. com

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Murray Spartan volleyball, big changes, new coach, new growth


urray’s volleyball team starts this season with new coach, Bryan Crawford, who is also the Spanish teacher at Murray High School. His coaching experience includes seven years as a collegiate head coach, two years collegiate assistant coach, seven years of club volleyball and six years of high school volleyball, as well as various awards and accolades. Crawford stepped away from coaching for a few years to spend more time with his family, but he is excited to coach at Murray. He said fans can anticipate changes this year with the Murray Volleyball program. “Murray will be going through some growth over the next couple of years as we

By Lenna Proctor | look to rebuild the new program,” he said. Some of these changes include the introduction of a new junior high program, something completely new to the Murray School District and Murray volleyball program. Crawford “hopes to get players involved at a younger level, building the program earlier.” This year he anticipates there will be three junior high-level teams, all coached by the Murray High School volleyball coaching staff. He anticipates playing other junior high teams around the valley. Tryouts for the junior high program took place on Monday, Aug. 23. Information on the team can be found on the Murray City Parks & Recreation Website.

Changes on the court.

After offering a summer full of growth opportunities, including a week-long camp in June, and one-on-one coaching sessions with coaching staff from the University of Utah and Utah Valley University, the volleyball team is ready to attack the season. ”You will definitely see a new program out on the floor. 2020-21 graduated ten seniors, so returning varsity experience looks slim. In addition to that, many players from last year decided not to continue with the program this year.” Crawford said. “Our focus this year will be to build the skills of our sophomore and junior classes.” Crawford is implementing an “open roster” “allowing the players to play at their actual level giving them an opportunity to develop and grow rather than playing players up or down levels.” The players are working hard and it has been a fun experience to see growth. When asked about the changes to the 5A region 6 conference, Crawford feels the conference just got “much tougher. Adding Park City High School will add new higher level of competition and possibly a new number one in the region.” Murray volleyball games are free, and fans can support the program by attending

a match or by sponsoring one of the student athletes. Information on this can be obtained by contacting the main office at Murray High School. l

Lady Spartan Volleyball Schedule Orange and white teams play at 3:30 p.m. and the black teamat 4:45 p.m. All varsity games are played at 6 p.m. (Teams have been adjusted and renamed to accommodate players to compete at their respective talent levels.) September 1 - Home game vs. Kearns September 9 - Home game vs. Park City* September 14 - Home game vs. Olympus* September 16 - Away game vs. Highland * September 21 - Home game vs. Brighton* September 23 - Away game vs. East* September 28 - Away game vs. Skyline* October 5 - Away game vs. Park City* October 7 - Away game vs. Olympus* October 12 - Home game vs. Highland* October 19 - Home game vs. East* October 21 - Home game vs. Skyline* October 26 - Away game vs. Brighton* November 2 - First round of the state tournament *Region 6 game

The 2021-22 Lady Spartan volleyball team. (Photo credit: Nikki Kinnier)

MurrayJournal .com

September 2021 | Page 27

Murray High cheerleaders have something to cheer about By Julie Slama |


urray High’s cheerleaders have been in parades, on the fields, competing on the mats, and visible in the community. Cheer coach Lia Smith loves that. “I just really want to reach out to the community and just let them know that Murray cheer is here,” she said. “We want to be more involved. We want to do service projects. We want to do community events. We want to support the 5K. We want to be that group of students that makes everyone feel loved and be a part of Murray High School.” Last spring, the cheer squad volunteered to cheer at the regional unified soccer tournament — not just for Murray High, but for every school participating. “We loved it and I had parents coming up to me, just so excited that we were supporting those unified athletes,” she said, adding that she is working on getting some unified cheerleaders on the sidelines. “Our team had fun. They picked cheers that could easily be done for other schools.” They marched in the Murray July 4th parade and last year won the varsity intermediate and JV notice West Coast national competition in show. It hasn’t been an easy road.

Murray JV cheer earned a second-place finish at state and won their division at nationals. (Photo courtesy of Jonas Kessler/Murray High)


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Retirement is a stage of life that most everyone looks forward to. Then the dilemma - Time anticipated to be ample seems gobbled up by the daily chores. Many ask, “how did I ever have time to work with shopping, household tasks, yard work, doctor's appointments and more seem to occupy so much of my time? How can I look forward to my retirement when I feel like I’m working harder than ever? Highland Cove, a Senior Living Community, offers many solutions. “If you’ve spent most of your life maintaining the house and completing yard work, imagine downsizing, and living a simple life -- having more time for things you want to do instead of being swamped with things you have to do,” said Community Liaison Brent Pitts. Highland Cove is a senior living community offering independent and assisted living opportunities. Their mission is to create a fulfilling lifestyle for all community members, including residents, staff members, associates, partners, and visitors. Located on 14 acres in a park-like setting, Highland Cove’s residents and visitors frequently enjoy a thriving outdoor space. “We are tucked away from Highland Drive and have an amazing green area with over a mile of walking paths,” said Pitts. Highland Cove has been a luxury retirement community for years, and located in the center of Holladay. Many of the current residents brag of their fond memories of the old drive-in theater that used to occupy the same grounds. Pitts explained how friendly the residents are and how willing they are to welcome all visitors. Their natural affinity to welcome visitors from all walks of life with enthusiasm is both heartwarming and intoxicating. They frequently interact with visitors that are considering moving in and share how much they enjoy their lives at

Page 28 | September 2021

Highland Cove. “’We love it here,’ the residents will say, ‘We hope you come!’” For those looking for friends and social activities this place is great. While ensuring residents have meaningful and fulfilling experiences at Highland Cove, “my first priority is the safety of every resident and associate,” said Executive Director Gary Webster. With the COVID-19 pandemic, Highland Cove has taken every precaution and complied with all safety recommendations. They have been able to enjoy the outdoors and community even with taking all of the recommended precautions with their outdoor spaces. Now that their residents and associates have been vaccinated, they are even more confident in the lifestyle and safety they provide. “We are enjoying our lives again,” said Pitts. “Residents are getting out for dining, activities, and socializing in a way that the world has been desperate for this past year.” “We even had to extend our dining hall hours,” Webster laughed, as the residents will linger on, after they are finished eating, to chat and enjoy each other’s company. Many activities are provided for residents such as concerts, tai chi, yoga, and walking groups at Highland Cove. Healthy living is taken quite seriously, as the staff places emphasis on mental health, physical health, and a spiritual well being. One of the best perks of residing and working at Highland Cove is the incredible food. “We have two chefs from Croatia that have been here for 20 years and the food is fantastic! Why, just the other day we had lobster tail and prime rib. I’ve gained five pound in three months!” Pitts laughed. In addition to chefs and cooks, Highland Cove employs a highly trained team of nurse practitioners, nurses, med techs and CNA’s to provide necessary health services. They also partner with commu-

nity home healthcare professionals. “We have people from all over the world working here. Our diversity is what gives us strength and kindness to provide compassion to all our residents,” said Pitts. “It’s so fun to work here,” said Webster. “I get to ask the secrets of life to the greatest generation. “Just the peace of mind that comes from knowing there is someone that will check on them if they miss a couple of meals, brings a great sense of peace to the residents and their families.” said Webster. Highland Cove has been in extreme demand and popular because of their great lifestyle, location, and community. “There’s never been a better time to consider Highland Cove. We are currently offering in person tours.” said Pitts. Highland Cove is located at 3750 S. Highland Dr. in Salt Lake City. To schedule a tour or learn more, call Brent Pitts directly at 801-856-6528, or Highland Cove at 801-272-8226, or visit their website at

Murray City Journal

After a couple years of instability with the demands of coaching, Smith, who was fairly new to Murray High at the time, could tell her cheerleading students were “visibly upset” in her math classroom. The last coach had just stepped down one week before their first competition. “They were in crisis mode, and I thought to myself, ‘I’m a gymnast and I did one year of high school cheer for fun. I don’t have the best qualifications, but I can help you get over this until you find a great coach,’” said the former University of Utah Red Rocks gymnast. With the help of the former coach, who agreed to attend the cheer competition, the team was able to take part in that competition until Smith got safety certified. Then, Smith organized practices and distributed a calendar and “made our way through the rest of the year,” including an 11th-place finish at nationals in California. “I think they were proud of what they were able to accomplish, even with all the craziness. I just loved the cheerleaders so much and I was enjoying myself

and I liked being a coach, so I decided, ‘I guess I’m a cheer coach now,’” she said, reflecting back to the start of her coaching career one-and-a-half years ago. Then, COVID-19 hit and “We had to shut down, so tryouts got canceled and everything got put on hold or canceled,” she said. Later, Smith sent out materials to the those who wanted to tryout online. She was able to have tryouts, two at a time, 20 yards between them, on the football field. “It was insane,” she said. “We had girls that were trying to learn it from the YouTube video, but they learned it mirrored so they did the whole dance right, but it was flipped. So then, the music didn’t quite line up and looking back at it, it was hilarious.” Even with a rocky start, the Murray High cheerleaders excelled, taking fourth at state and winning show at the West Coast national competition. “State was in person. There were no spectators, but we were able to be live in front of judges,” she said, adding that there

was a livestream link for families to watch. “I don’t think people realize how hard it is for athletes to go out and perform for no-one. It is so hard. You lose some of that adrenaline that really gives you that spark to go out and be like, ‘wow.’ She said it was especially hard when the squad is judged on crowd engagement and how easy it is for the crowd to join in. “We’re telling the crowd to spell out Spartans with us and the only people doing it are the 10 JV cheerleaders,” she said. “But, there was a huge shift in supporting other athletes, and we’ve seen this with the Olympics, just this year the cheer world has been so enthusiastic about cheering on others. They’re still competing against these other teams, but the cheerleaders are really there to support everyone.” Building the program is one of Smith’s goals as they recently had a mini-cheer camp, which also allowed her cheer squad to be leaders and role models. Murray cheerleaders hit the mats this past July, practicing

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12 hours weekly. During school, they practice for more than two hours every other day and do morning conditioning on the opposite days. They plan to compete at the USA regional competition at Cottonwood High in December, northern regionals in mid-January and state on Jan. 22. They will have a prep-nationals competition in early February before competing at the West Coast nationals on Feb. 21. Last year, cheer was sanctioned by the Utah High School Athletics Association, although this year, they are making the transition and it will remain operating as it has been under the United Spirit Association. “Our goal is to get a trophy at state – first, second or third – since we just missed the podium last year. We really want to make sure we have a clean routine and be able to compete in nationals,” she said. “We also want to be more a part of our community and look forward to being more involved in it.” l

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Cottoncrest team creates fun memories, rides; expected to be competitive this season By Julie Slama |


ottoncrest mountain biking team senior Georgia Barrus isn’t the star of the team or even the next best, she says. “I’m always in the last, and I’ll literally come through the finish line, and everyone (will be) screaming for me,” she said. “It’s the best ever. No one really cares (where) you’re racing; we’re just proud of each other—no matter what. It’s awesome.” In fact, Barrus, whose brother is four years older and raced with the team, remembers times when “I couldn’t make the cut-off line (after) two laps in 45 minutes. For me, that was a struggle to get through some races and I’d be so devastated. When I actually made the two laps (in the time limit), I would let off like the biggest scream of happiness and it’s made people cry. I know Tony (her coach) was telling me, he’d be bawling with my mom on the sideline, and I’ve even made other people cry that I don’t even know.” Her coach, Anthony Stowe, said what’s fun about Barrus, who rides JV B, is “she always finishes with just the biggest smile, the most positive attitude; she just likes the celebration of the group ride and race day. I’ve spent more time crying with her mom, watching her ride, just because it means so much to her. She loves it.” The Cottonwood captain is one of three, along with Hillcrest seniors Matt Hinks and Connor McMillan, representing high school student-athletes from Cottonwood, Hillcrest and AMES on the team. “With these three, it’s a team culture. They’re the athletes; they’re fun to be around. They are the team. Just a week ago, Matt was having some mechanical stuff with his bike. He was able to ride, but he wasn’t able to ride really fast, so he dropped back with group three of five I had. He just chatted with them, and you could see the pace of the kids just skyrocket. They were excited to be riding with one of the varsity kids and he shared some techniques,” he said, adding that McMillan often helps his teammates with their bikes’ mechanical issues. For Barrus, it’s about team bonding and helping her teammates be successful, at whatever their level. “I love doing stuff for the team. Every year, I would just make the team bracelets (with embroidery floss or string threaded through part of the bike chain) and I like talking to everyone, getting everyone involved; it’s something I’ve always loved to do, with or without the team captain (title). It’s so cool to see how (my friends) have grown and how I’ve grown—even one year ago when I wasn’t as confident on the bike. Then, I have my friends that cheer me on, and I just feel so confident,” she said, adding that part of the joy of riding comes from enjoying the scenery whether it’s Park City or Lake

Page 30 | September 2021

Part of Cottoncrest’s team celebrates after biking to the summit of the Olympic Park, a 1,240-foot vertical climb over 2.6 miles on the Yeti’s trail. (Anthony Stowe/Cottoncrest mountain bike team)

Tahoe or even riding across the Golden Gate Bridge, which “was a little scary and windy.” Recently, the team got caught in a rainstorm and after getting off the mountain, they got to the parking lot and started splashing in puddles. “We’re all covered in mud and we’re all wet. It was so much fun,” she said. “It’s one of those things about mountain biking. It doesn’t feel like a sport you’re dreading; you’re excited to go to it.” This year, the girls’ team has helped Free Bikes to Kids repair donated bikes for kids and took part in some field games as part of GRIT—Girls Riding Together. Barrus also wanted new riders to feel comfortable with racing, so she helped plan a pre-race competition within their own team and had parents cheer them on. However, the team also was focused on its first race, scheduled for Aug. 21 at Soldier Hollow. They also are scheduled to race Sept. 4 at Snowbasin, Sept. 18 in Vernal and Oct. 2 at Eagle Mountain. State championships are Oct. 22-23 in St. George. As of press deadlines, fans—“about 10,000,” according to Stowe—may be able to attend races whereas last year, they were unable to because of COVID-19 safety and health guidelines. Utah has more than 6,300 registered middle and high school mountain bike racers; Cottoncrest has a team of 37 racing in the east region that registered 1,450 student-athletes. Cottoncrest team members started practicing in April and continued three times per week throughout the summer, with Saturdays being a longer three-to-four-hour endurance ride. Although not required, Stowe continues to recommend his team follow using hand sanitizer and has masks available so his team can stay healthy to compete. Stowe is looking to Cottonwood/AMES senior Rachel Arlen to be a strong contender in the JV A division as well as his daughter, Hillcrest sophomore Kenna Stowe, who competed and took third in a USA cycling

race this past summer in Temecula, California. Sophomore Hiley Campbell should race well in JV B and Anna Hinks will “probably be my fastest freshmen girl this year,” he said before the first race. The boys’ team is led by Matt Hinks and McMillan. They are the first varsity-level athletes that Stowe has coached. “I’ve known Rachel and Hiley since they were fourth-graders. Georgia Barrus has been riding with me for years and I have a couple of boys who have been riding with me a long time, Matt and Connor. I love every-

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one on the team, and they have become part of my family,” he said about his team. He also expects good rides from Ziek VanDijk and AJ Call, who are “extremely fast and competitive freshmen,” and sophomore Braxton Little as an “up and comer” in JV A with “his eyes set on varsity.” He said that sophomore Kolby Butler has “really made a big jump, massive improvement” to ride JV A. Cottonwood/AMES junior Jacob Arlen, who was on the podium in a couple races last year “is definitely one to watch.” With the depth and talent of the team, it may be possible the team could reach the podium at state, which “would be really cool to share with them. I think that would be an awesome memory for them.” However, while Stowe doesn’t usually make predictions about the season, he does make one: “If we’re out having fun, and they were coming off with a smile, even if they were coming off with tears and learning lessons about goal setting, learning how to accept failure and building upon that, I know I’m building a stronger athlete and a good contributor to society and we’re sending someone off that is going to be a strong adult.” l

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Murray City Journal

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This column could be a bit divisive. I expect 48% of readers will send me envelopes of cash and loving social media messages. Another 48% will steal my birdbath and mail me dead raccoons. The remaining percentage are too busy stocking their underground bunkers to frivolously read newspapers. Let’s start with COVID-19, shall we? What a &$%@ nightmare. Cases and tempers continue to rise as we’re asked to wear masks and get vaccinated. It seems like a small price to pay if it ends a global pandemic that has killed more than four million people worldwide. Four million. Instead, Utahns are shouting about “rights” and “freedoms” and shooting guns in the air and hugging flags and buying MyPillows and yelling at federal and local leaders like this is some type of sporting event, but instead of winners or losers, people die. I hate wearing a mask, but I do it. I am terrified of shots, but I got the vaccine— twice. There are some things you just do because you love the people around you and want them to be happy and alive. I understand it isn’t possible to “reason” someone into “reason” but here we are. Next up, let’s talk about racism. Remember in “Jane Eyre” when you find out Rochester had his wife locked up on



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the third floor because she was insane? Well, Rochester represents the people who turn a blind eye to our country’s racist history, and his nutty wife is racism. And what happened when she got loose? She burned the damn house down. Just because you don’t want to talk about racism or teach how our country was built on the backs of enslaved people, or admit that systemic racism exists, doesn’t mean it’s not there. The last few years have shown us how it’s beating on the locked door, hoping to run rampant and destructive. (Sorry if I ruined “Jane Eyre” for you but you’ve had almost 175 years to read it. That’s on you.) And finally, let’s throw women some childcare love. Women have been the main childcare providers since Homo sapiens appeared on Earth’s party scene 200,000 years ago. It’s been a long slog. I think we can all agree that women are in the workplace. Correct? Women are working full-time, right? It took 199,910 years for women to step into the spotlight of their own comedy special, thanks to people like Susan B. Anthony and RGB. We can now get a charge card! Vote! Own a home! But we’re still the main caregivers, even if we run a company, own a small business or fly to the moon twice a week.


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Maybe it’s time for men to step up with us. Women often worry about taking time off to take kids to dentist appointments, doctor visits, piano lessons, lobotomies, etc. Do men do that? I’m genuinely asking because I’m willing to bet the majority of child Uber-services are performed by moms. If you’ve never been a single mom with a sick 12-year-old and you have to decide between using a vacation day or leaving your child home alone, then don’t tell me there isn’t a childcare problem in America. We’re a smart people. We are innovative and creative. Don’t you think we can use our brains to make society better instead of more divided? Maybe we’re not. Maybe our evolutionary progress ends with screaming and finger pointing. Just don’t mail me a dead raccoon.



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September 2021 | Vol. 31 Iss. 09





hen one of the world’s best competitive climbers reaches the medalist podium in the Olympics, you throw him a parade. Murray City did just that on Aug. 13, honoring Nathaniel Coleman in Murray Park, for winning the silver medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games in men’s combined sport climbing. Over 100 people clamored to see Nathaniel, who was presented with a plaque from the Murray City Council. Murray Mayor Blair Camp gave Nathaniel a gold medal with Murray City’s logo and declared Aug. 13 as “Nathaniel Coleman Day.” According to Nathaniel’s mother, Rosane, honoring Nathaniel on Aug. 13 has a significant meaning. It also happens to be the birthday of one of Nathaniel’s greatest fans, his grandmother, who passed away last September. “Nathaniel was an early walker, taking his first steps shortly before he turned nine months old, and climbing out of his crib soon after,” his father Richard Coleman said. “We noticed that he was ahead of his peers in physical agility, strength, coordination, and boldness. He found lots of things to climb on, indoors and out, and we rarely discouraged him.” “I feel lucky to have lived by the Jordan River Parkway,” Nathaniel said. “Adventure, five minutes in every direction. Those activities honed my skills.” Perhaps the three-time USA Climbing Bouldering Open National Champion came by his talent naturally. His father caught the climbing bug from legendary University of Utah Exercise and Sport Science professor Harold Goodro.

Nathaniel Coleman displays his Olympic silver medal and his honorary Murray gold medal. (Shaun Delliskave/City Journals)

When Nathaniel was nine, Momentum Climbing Gym opened its doors and started a youth climbing team. Nathaniel had some outdoor climbing experience by then, and when his friend Palmer Larson invited Nathaniel to try out for the team, Nathaniel accepted the invitation. “It was the right sport for Nathaniel, so we signed him

up,” Richard said. “We would stay at the gym and watch the team practice and pretty soon joined the gym ourselves so we could climb while waiting for Nathaniel. This was when Rosane started climbing. So, at this point, we were a climbing family. It was a sport we could all do together, and as Nathaniel began to win competitions, Continued page 5

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