Riverton Journal | February 2022

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ore than earning a grade, students in Oquirrh Hills Middle School’s Exploring Technology class wanted to impress Jack. Their assignment was to design a prosthetic leg using materials found at home and in the school’s woodshop. And Jack Meier, a ninth grader who uses a prosthetic leg, would evaluate their design and help determine their grade. Carly Stirland said her students are willing to spend extra time on the project because it has a real life application; they know the end user. “They wanted it to be the best for someone who was really going to wear it,” she said. “It’s a real life thing. We don’t do that enough at school—give them real world problems and have them try to solve them.” Because Jack has used a prosthetic leg his whole life, he has strong opinions about what makes a good design. He was happy to drop by the classroom several times throughout the design process to try on students’ designs, which is a normal part of the process when he gets a new prosthesis. He gave his peers feedback—the socket is too big, the knee hinge overextends, it needs more padding, it’s too heavy. He and Stirland evaluated each design for comfort, stability, aesthetics and usability. Students appealed to Jack’s love of BYU by painting their prosthetics blue and white. One team etched the Continued page 6

Students design a prosthetic leg for their peer in the Exploring Technology class at Oquirrh Hills Middle School. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

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Riverton City Journal


February 2022 | Page 3

Bluffdale officially swears in returning councilwomen, first new mayor in 12 years By Travis Barton | travis.b@thecityjournals.com


luffdale officially has a new mayor. Residents packed Bluffdale City Hall on Jan. 4 as new mayor Natalie Hall and two incumbent councilwomen Wendy Aston and Traci Crockett took their oaths of office. “It’s exciting,” Crockett told the Journal of her second time being sworn in. “The energy is a little different this time. Having a new mayor brings a lot of excitement.” Mayor Hall takes over after former mayor Derk Timothy chose not to run again, having held the position for 12 years. Hall won with an overwhelming 75% of the vote in November. “I'm just really excited to get to work,” she told the Journal after being sworn in. “All this time you campaign and then get elected and then you wait some more, so I'm just excited to get to work.” For the past seven years Hall worked for the city in various roles from being the public information officer and emergency manager to being involved with business licenses, economic development and various committees. She said it gave her a “unique experience” where she’s already worked with residents, businesses, city staff, surrounding cities, the county and the state. “I am really excited to take those relationships and move forward with my new job,” Hall said. Those relationships extend to the city council as well, with Hall working with both Aston and Crockett on the campaign trail. “Now we can just jump right into it,” Hall said. Crockett told the Journal they tried to contain that excitement during the campaign but are now “excited” to work together and “keep the city moving in the right direction.” For Aston, beginning her second term, being sworn in signals the delight of getting

Journals T H E

Councilwomen Wendy Aston (left) and Traci Crockett take their oaths of office at Bluffdale City hall on Jan. 4. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

started. “Campaigns are really hard and they're a lot of work and really stressful,” she said. “And now it is like a feeling of relief, it’s done and excitement because we get to move forward.” Aston is confident about the next four years with everything she’s learned creating that knowledge base. Originally she felt one term would be enough. “But after I did one term, I felt like I finally had it down,” she said. “There's a pretty steep learning curve and now I feel like I can be really impactful. I know what I'm doing. I already have the lessons of the past and I've learned from them and can move forward in the future.” Crockett, also entering her second term, is known for her work getting the city’s recreation program off the ground with the city’s first spring soccer season kicking off this year. “Those are the fun things, the big parks,” she said. “That’s our everyday lives, that’s what people see. The budgets are super important as a councilmember, but you don’t




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Mayor Natalie Hall (center) laughs with the city recorder before being sworn in. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

see that in your everyday life.” She also mentioned her enthusiasm for the upcoming 18-acre park that will feature a skate park in the Independence area. Aston is also anxious to keep working on the city’s parks, trails and open space. “I would love to see Bluffdale connect trails to Draper and to Herriman all through the Jordan River and become part of this really extensive trail system.” Both Hall and Crockett spoke enthusiastically about working towards more economic development over the next four years. With Wendy’s recently being built



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along Redwood next to Bangerter and other retail development coming in, elected officials are excited to see the city’s future come to fruition. Hall also mentioned transit will be crucial as the city, which more than doubled in size over the past 12 years, continues to grow. “We can't do this alone,” Hall told those in attendance for the mayor’s seat. “We have to do it together and I know I can say that on behalf of all the councilmembers here that we are really excited to work together.” l


Riverton City Journal

Bluffdale says goodbye to longtime mayor Derk Timothy By Travis Barton | travis.b@thecityjournals.com


amily. That was the word former Bluffdale mayor Derk Timothy used to describe his city multiple times as his farewell open house came to a close. The city organized and hosted the event on Jan. 4 as a way for friends and residents to thank Timothy for his 12 years of service as mayor. “Bluffdale has been unique in the fact that whether it’s residents or staff, we try to make it a family environment,” Timothy told the Journal at the end of the open house. “I really have some deep personal relationships (here in the city), we try and be like family members when we work through things. I really consider everyone family.” Newly minted Mayor Natalie Hall can vouch for that. Having worked for the city for the last seven years, she remembers how he treated residents. “When people had problems he would go to their door and talk to them face to face,” she said. “He was really good at just problem solving.” Timothy and his immediate family first moved to Bluffdale 30 years ago looking for more open space, somewhere they could set up a mobile home on their one-acre property while building their home. He remembered tilling weeds on the property when people would walk up and introduce themselves, stopping by to say hi. “People don’t normally do that,” he said. “It was just kind of the atmosphere of the city.” It was almost two decades later, in 2009, that Timothy decided to run for the mayor position. Attending city council meetings regularly, he said he wanted “to make the city more united, unified in what they were doing. I felt like I had something to add there and I really think that’s what I’ve done.” Timothy won the 2009 election with 57% of the vote before running unopposed in 2013 and 2017. A lot changed in the city during his 12 years at the helm. The city more than doubled in size during that timeframe. City Hall moved from what is now the public works building to what is now a fire station to what is currently City Hall. Which, according to Timothy, should take care of Bluffdale through the city’s future buildout. Three terms means there’s plenty of accomplishments that stand out to the former mayor. “If you compared our roads 12 years ago to now, our infrastructure is top notch,” he said, noting the city now has plenty of curb, gutter and overall stormwater control. Where it’s no longer so rural that one rain storm will flood a basement. The city’s water system is high on his achievement list as well, pointing out the creation of secondary water within the city while remaining prudent and strategic about it. He


said they waited until roads reached their natural rehabilitation point to put in pipes for secondary water at the same time as they repaved the roads, saving the city about 70% of the cost. Three water tanks were built in the last 12 years. “Our water system can handle anything that could come,” he said. Porter Rockwell Boulevard is another notch on the belt which, Timothy noted, required patience and strategy rather than rushing a job to get it done. Getting the legislature and transportation commission to buy in to get more funding. “That whole road is a very expensive road, but our Bluffdale residents have never seen an impact in their taxes since we did it very strategically,” he said. Hall described Timothy as a “visionary.” “He had this vision from day one to bring in Porter Rockwell,” she said. “He was committed, wanted to see our city grow the way it needed to be successful. I have never seen anyone put so much time and energy into a city.” All that work was part of his effort to lessen any potential impact on residents. Though the city’s done various improvements, they’ve done so “without killing our residents in property tax,” Timothy said. “We treat our residents as family and we don't want our family members to pay any more taxes than they have to,” he said. “But we want them to have the things they need.” All of which was made possible, Timothy was quick to point out, because of the unity of elected officials and city administration where there wasn’t bickering or fighting or demanding. Twelve years “is a long time to serve,” Hall said during the inauguration, thanking him on behalf of the council. In fact, the last time Bluffdale had a new mayor, “Avatar” had just opened in theaters. She noted he had a full-time job on top of his part-time job as Bluffdale mayor. She said he would get up at 3 or 4 a.m. every day to do both jobs. But after 12 years and three terms, Timothy said the time was right to step down. Being a family man for Bluffdale, it was time to focus on his immediate family. “We just decided that 12 years was probably enough,” he said. “Even though it was a hard decision, it was the right decision.” As part of his ride into the sunset, Timothy said they’ll remodel the house and continue fixing up a salvaged motor home they bought and are rebuilding. “We’re gonna travel, go camping with the grandkids.” As for the city’s future, he said his door is always open if Hall ever wants his help, but he’s not worried. “She knows the city already,” he said. “I don’t need to give her much because she brings a lot to the table. The city’s in good hands.” l

Former Mayor Derk Timothy laughs with friends while a slideshow of photos play on the television behind him during the city-organized farewell open house at Bluffdale City Hall. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

February 2022 | Page 5

Above: Ninth grader Jack Meier tests the fit and gives feedback on Xander James’ socket design. (Jet Burnham/City Journals) Left; Xander James and Zack Hall came up with a rubber band solution to the joint on their prosthetic leg design. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

Continued from front page BYU team logo on their prosthetic with woodburning tools. But ultimately, Jack’s most important criteria must be met for the design to earn a good grade. “I think a good design is it has to be

comfortable,” Jack said. Stirland was impressed with the ideas students developed for padding and joint hinges. She said the assignment was a good exercise in the engineering design process: teamwork, communication, brainstorming,

problem-solving and learning from mistakes. “It was so fun to see them try new things and fail and try it again because that’s what engineering is all about,” she said.


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Eighth graders Justin Knobel and Wyatt Atkinson said it was a lot of trial and error. Their first foot piece broke during testing and they had to cut another. They over-tightened the screws at the ankle joint which cracked the wood. Zack Hall said sanding the wood was the most difficult part of the project, but his teammate Xander James said the biggest challenge was designing the hinges. They opted to make a knee and ankle joint even though the assignment only required one working joint. They twisted ten rubber bands and connected it to eye screws on each side of the joint but found it wasn’t very durable. “We had to replace it multiple times,” Xander said. Stirland used to assign a prosthetic hand project but when Jack was in eighth grade, she thought his peers would respond better to a real life application and changed it to a leg prosthetic. She said this motivates them to stay engaged during the whole process, which lasted about three weeks. The Exploring Technology class introduces students to a variety of interests. Other assignments in the class, which is an elective for eighth graders, are building bridges, programming a computer animation, and woodworking projects. Stirland said the prosthetic project is the students’ favorite. One student told her it was the coolest project he’d ever done in school and that he’d never forget it. It is one of her favorite lessons, as well. “There are very few moments of teaching where everyone is so involved and so busy and excited that I get to just observe,” she said. “This is one of those moments.” l

Riverton City Journal

Google Fiber comes to Riverton By Michael J. Jewkes | m.jewkes@mycityjournals.com

By 2023, Google Fiber will be available to everyone in the city,” Mayor Trent Staggs said in an interview following his second swearing in as mayor of Riverton City. Introducing broadband infrastructure to the city has been one of the flagship accomplishments of Mayor Trent Staggs’ first term as mayor. Lobbying for an agreement with Google to construct fiber optic cables in the city will bring new revenue to the city and continue the mayor and city council’s pattern of lowering expenses and raising revenue for Riverton. “Two percent of revenue from Google Fiber goes to the city,” Staggs said regarding the new project. The $1.2 million project will not only raise revenue, but will also avoid dipping into the city budget. Adding broadband is listed as appropriate uses of funds for recipients of the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds program, an economic recovery package that appropriates $350 billion in federal funds to state and local governments, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The SLFRF is a part of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan that was signed into law in March of 2021. In Riverton City Council’s final meeting of 2021, the resolution to approve an agreement with Google Fiber and the city of Riverton was brought before the council. Al-

though it was never discussed in the council meeting, President Biden’s relief package is set to fund the broadband project in Riverton this year. Staggs has expressed dissimilarity with many decisions of the Biden administration. This has not been the case, however, with the administration’s recent federal economic relief and infrastructure packages. Riverton stands to benefit greatly from both COVID-19 relief packages as well as the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. The city is set to grow in revenue by not only receiving 2% of income from the broadband project, but also avoiding the heavy upfront costs by using funds entirely from the American Rescue Plan. Jacob Brace from Google Fiber Utah, was optimistic about quick completion of the project, saying “the process is six to eight months,” and “construction would begin in quarter three and four with the complete build out in 2023.” Upon request from Councilmember Sheldon Stewart to begin construction in areas of the city with worse connection, Brace responded positively. Brace says he aims to work with staff to “address areas of the city that may be struggling with connection.” The resolution to approve the construction of Google Fiber throughout the city was passed by the Riverton City Council, 4-0. l

Since being sworn into office in 2018, Mayor Staggs has vowed to make broadband a priority of his administration. (Brook Bowen/Riverton City)


February 2022 | Page 7

Ready for more Bangerter overpass projects? By Justin Adams | justin.a@thecityjournals.com


esidents of the southwest part of the valley are surely eager to see the construction projects along Bangerter Highway at 12600 South and 10600 South near their completion. But don’t hold your breath, because the Utah Department of Transportation is setting its sights on two more intersections in this corner of the valley: 13400 South and 9800 South. The projects are part of a broader effort by UDOT to upgrade Bangerter Highway by replacing intersections with overpasses and on- and off-ramps. Without the need to stop at traffic lights along the highway, drivers along Bangerter Highway are already saving an average of eight minutes on their commutes (and that’s even before the completion of the 12600 South and 10600 South interchanges). Of course, the benefits of upgrading to these freeway-style interchanges come after a year of construction-related headaches. The projects generally necessitate the closing of eastwest traffic along the road in question, causing drivers to take detours and alternate routes. The Journals also reported last year how the project at 12600 South impacted local businesses. One coffee shop on the west side of Bangerter lost about half of its business as a result of the construction project. Another potential impact for local businesses is needing to relocate. A Texas Roadhouse, for example, previously located near the 12600 South intersection had to move to a new location in South Jordan because it fell within the right-of-way for the project. While the 13400 South project mostly consists of ‘partial acquisitions,’ of neighboring property, the project at 9800 South projects multiple businesses and even some residential proper-

ties having to be relocated. According to the State Environmental Study for 9800 South, the project would require the purchase of 10 residential properties, as well as the acquisition of three business buildings, which would result in a total of 11 businesses having to relocate. All those businesses are located to the northwest of the current intersection. On Jan. 26, UDOT was scheduled to hold a public hearing for the project at Elk Ridge Middle School, as well as an online meeting the following day (both after the Journals’ press deadline). If Facebook comments are any indication of public sentiment, many South Jordan residents aren’t convinced that the project is necessary, or worth the cost of relocating businesses and homes. On a post by South Jordan City informing residents of the public hearing, many people voiced the opinion that it might be better to simply close the 9800 South intersection to east-west traffic permanently rather than build a freeway-style interchange. Interested parties can also submit an online comment to UDOT by visiting the project’s web page at udot.utah.gov/ bangerter9800south. Comments can also be submitted for the 13400 South project at udot.utah.gov/bangerter13400south. The public hearing for the 13400 South project was held on Jan. 19 at South Hills Middle School. For that project, UDOT is considering three different options. One would have Bangerter pass under 13400 South, similar to the interchange at 11400 South. That would require a significant amount of underground utilities to be rerouted, which would increase the total cost for the project by $22 million.

The intersections of 9800 South and 13400 South (pictured here) are the next in line to be upgraded to freeway-style interchanges. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

Another option would be to have Bangerter pass over 13400 South, similar to the interchanges for Redwood Road or 9000 S. That would be the cheapest option, with a price tag of $99 million. The third option is a hybrid between the two, in which 13400 South would be lowered so Bangerter could pass over it. This is the design that the new 12600 South interchange utilizes. In any case, residents will have a little bit of a break before they have to deal with detours once again. According to UDOT project manager Brian Allen, construction isn’t expected to begin until 2023. Similar to the projects for 12600 South and 10600 South, construction could last nine to 12 months. l

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Donating time: Virtual school’s twist on charity season By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


ocal high schools had successful charity seasons. Bingham High School students raised $75,852 for Project Strong. Copper Hills High School students raised $87,513 for Make-A-Wish Utah and to provide Christmas for local families. Herriman High School students raised $145,496 for the Nixon Strong Foundation. Mountain Ridge High School students raised $79,148 (with an additional $25,000 from a private donor) for Angel’s Hands Foundation. Providence Hall High School students donated items to provide Christmas for 15 families. REAL Salt Lake Academy High School students donated 380 wishlist items to Primary Children’s Hospital. Riverton High School students raised $194,000 for the Single Parent Project. Summit Academy High School students raised over $8,000 for the Leukemia Research Foundation. West Jordan High School students raised $35,085 for Ethan’s Super Angels. And Kings Peak Virtual High students provided 639.5 hours of service. As part of the Jordan District Virtual Academy, Kings Peak couldn’t hold fundraiser activities like other high schools because students don’t come to the school building. So administrators came up with a service hours drive as an alternative to charity fundraising. “We just wanted to encourage service during the month of December,” Principal Ammon Wiemers said. “We didn't

want to commit to any one charity. Instead, we wanted to track the number of hours that students were doing, rather than a dollar amount.” Wiemers said the school leadership wanted the students to give of themselves and they felt that the gift of their time was valuable. “We wanted it to be meaningful to the students, and so we didn't want to limit it, so anything that they felt was service, that they did for other people, we counted it,” Wiemers said. “We encouraged them to find some way to help somebody and they found a lot of different ways to do it.” Students reported service hours for volunteering at homeless shelters, shoveling neighbors’ driveways, tutoring other students, cleaning up trash and donating toys. One student and their family spent eight hours volunteering at a soup kitchen. “I felt that the service hours was a fun way to really get involved and help people in my community,” freshman Adynn Jones-Wahlquist said. She clocked 25 hours of service, including offering free babysitting and knitting eighteen hats for the homeless. A school counselor provided materials to Adynn and others to knit hats for the homeless shelter. Adynn said staff members supported students, suggesting service ideas and encouraging them to include their friends and family members. “It made me feel really connected to my school doing service hours,” Adynn said. “It felt good.” The 250 enrolled students reported 639.5 hours of service during the month of December. Rocky Peak Virtual Elementary and Kelsey Peak Virtual Middle School were invited to participate, and the combined



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Service hours were performed by Kings Peak High students throughout the month of December. (Photo courtesy of Ammon Wiemers.)

service hours students from all three schools performed totaled 1,153 hours. Wiemers said this month of service will be an annual tradition that will help unify the student body. An environment of positive energy and caring about community is part of the culture the school leadership hopes to create at Kings Peak High. “It's important for us to give back to the community; it's just a good thing to do,” Wiemers said. “And we think that students benefit by serving other people. It's a value that we want to encourage.” l

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February 2022 | Page 9

Hagan Walker provides a cheek swab to register as a donor on the national bone marrow transplant registry, in hopes of potentially saving a life. (Photo courtesy of Kelly Jones.)

Community members hope to Be The Match By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


s a freshman, Hagan Walker received support and advice—on eating, weight-lifting, football and life—from Jason Kupiec, a highly involved parent at Summit Academy High School, whose son played on the football team with Walker. “He was always joking with me and all my friends,” said Walker, who is now a senior. “And he was a good mentor when he was around for the football season. He always had a smile on his face, and he was always looking for ways to help me.” So when Kupiec was diagnosed with stage four lymphoma cancer last fall, and Walker learned he could possibly help save his mentor’s life, he didn’t hesitate. He registered for the Be The Match national bone marrow transplant registry. Kupiec, who became the sports announcer and athletic staff member at SAHS, is doing well with his current treatments. But if he ever requires a bone marrow transplant, Walker hopes he would be a match. He would also be glad to help anyone else he matches with. “My thought process was, if I can just do this one simple thing that will help a good friend of mine, then I think I would do it for almost anybody,” Walker said. “It was something simple that I can do that can potentially save somebody's life. It was a no-brainer.” That’s the message that members of SAHS’s HOSA Future Health Professionals chapter hope to promote. As part of the national HOSA annual service project, they are registering as

Page 10 | February 2022

Swabbing and registration will be offered at Summit Academy High during these home games: • Feb. 3 Girls Basketball vs Juan Diego • Feb. 9 Boys Basketball vs Juan Diego • March 24 Girls Softball vs Judge Memorial •March 28 Boys Baseball vs American Leadership Academy Walk-in swabs or private swabbing events for businesses, schools or churches can be requested at kelly. jones@summitacademyschools.org. many people as possible for the national bone marrow registry to increase the probability that someone needing a transplant can find a donor. “70% of individuals will not have a match within their family and so they'll need to find a match somewhere else,” SAHS HOSA adviser Dr. Jay Marshall said. The HOSA members promote their campaign at school sporting events and activities, assisting adults aged 18-44 to register to be a potential donor. SAHS HOSA adviser Kelly Jones said registering is a simple process. “You just swab your cheek, and then you send it back in an envelope,” she said. “So it's a simple process to get on the registry. And we can do it right there. It takes maybe five minutes.” Jones said their chapter has registered

Riverton City Journal

70 people so far, the highest amount of all the Utah chapters, when she checked in December. They were also in fifth place nationally for fundraising totals at that time. Jones said students are invested in the campaign because they hope someone in the community could be Kupiec’s match if a transplant becomes necessary for his treatment plan. “They know somebody who's going through this that it can potentially affect,” she said. “I think that's been the biggest thing to get more of their involvement and to get them excited about a service project.” Kupiec has been central to the campaign. He shared his story at the kick-off assembly and gives regular updates on his condition. One of the first swabbing events held was promoted with the tagline “Q-tip For Kupiec.” Kupiec said he has been glad to help bring attention to the Be The Match registry, knowing that their personal connection to him has been what has inspired many to get swabbed and registered. But he also is touched that so many students and community members are willing to be a donor for anyone who needs one. “I told them, even if they weren't able to save me with bone marrow, because maybe I wouldn't need it, or there was nobody that was a match, that they were still stepping up for somebody that they might not even know, that they might be able to

What’s your legacy? QR code to donate to the Be the Match program.

make a difference for in their lives,” he said. Nationally, there are over 12,000 people currently waiting to find a match for a bone marrow transplant. “We're hopefully going to be able to save somebody's life,” Jones said. “If not his, somebody else's.” The students will continue to campaign throughout the school year to register as many people as possible. Marshall said just one out of 220 individuals that register will actually end up being a match for someone. He said there is a need for more volunteers of different ethnicities, whose match pools—and therefore their chances of finding a match—are significantly smaller. l

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Boys hand out roses to all their female classmates Feb. 14, 2020. (Photo courtesy of JSD.)

High school boys ‘rose’ to the occasion By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


ocal high school boys are asking for help from the community to ensure that every girl gets a rose on Valentine’s Day. Donations are being accepted on the gofundme page Valentines Day roses for EVERY girl at HHS to purchase enough roses to pass out to all the girls at school on Feb. 14. The tradition began in 2018 at Herriman High School and has spread to both Riverton and Mountain Ridge High Schools. HHS juniors Leland Johnson and Noah Jenkins are spearheading the project this year. Leland is the younger brother of Bobby Johnson who began the tradition in 2018. Bobby coordinated his teammates on the cross country team and Leland has coordinated his teammates on the swim team, but any boys who are willing to help fundraise or dethorn and hand out the roses are invited to help. RHS cross country coach Chase Englestead is impressed that the boys organize the project without any help from staff members. “I think it's cool that they take the initiative without being compelled to do it—I think that's an amazing attribute,” he said. Englestead said providing this service to their classmates not only makes the boys feel good, it has also strengthened their relationships with each other. “It's a thing that they do together as a team and it was something that, last year, Herriman’s team and our team shared, which was pretty cool,” he said. “There's a better camaraderie between those two groups because they shared in something like that.” Boys from HHS and RHS combine fundraising efforts and then split the roses. The boys ask friends and family members to contribute to the fund. Last year, they even reached out to professional runner Craig Engles over social

Page 12 | February 2022

media and he donated $5. “We just reached out to him and he was totally down, which is cool,” RHS junior Jake Seegmiller said. The boys hand out roses at every school entrance on the morning of Feb. 14 and then continue to pass them out in classrooms and hallways throughout the day. RHS junior Tyler McDougal said it took most of the day last year but the boys were committed to make sure every girl received a rose. “We had some people roaming the halls to make sure that everyone gets found,” he said. “I remember finding this one girl who was just looking down while she was walking, just doing her thing.” Her surprised and excited reaction when he offered her a rose made his day. “It made me feel really happy,” he said. “It was just really fun to do something for someone that's not an opportunity that you just do all the time—you can't just buy a million flowers and hand them out, so this is just awesome.” Leland said the purpose of the project is to reach the girl who really needs a boost to her day. “The goal was to make not every girl in Herriman [high school] to feel special, but to make at least one girl feel special,” he said. “And if you do it to everyone, then at least one of them is going to feel special.” Last year, the project spread into the community. After the boys had handed roses out at HHS and RHS, there were still some left over. “We had so many roses left over and we're like, ‘whoa, what do we do with all these?’ and so we just kept going,” Tyler said. A group of boys headed to a shopping center and gave roses to women there. l

Riverton City Journal


RIVERTON REVIEW Official Newsletter of the Riverton, Utah City Government MAYOR’S MESSAGE

Future Freeway-Style Interchange at Bangerter and 13400 S By Mayor Trent Staggs Unprecedented levels of growth throughout southwest Salt Lake County continue to drive the need for further investments into our roadway infrastructure and transportation routes. Through great intergovernmental relationships, we have been working successfully with the Utah State Legislature, the Utah Department of Transportation, and our surrounding communities to improve mobility along Bangerter Highway. With an overall goal to eliminate stoplights along Bangerter, UDOT’s traffic

projections show this new freewaystyle interchange system will reduce drive times in both north to south and east to west directions. In Riverton, our projects began with the much-needed construction of a freeway-style interchange at 12600 S and Bangerter. With this project nearing completion, we look towards our second connection point at 13400 S. Having been previously funded during the 2021 state legislative session via House Bill 433, construction of the intersection at 13400 S and Bangerter is anticipated to begin as early as 2023. Unfortunately, due to increasing inflation and limited access to materials, the costs to complete

includes an environmental study this project have increased and a public comment period that is exponentially. Currently, pricing starts at $99 million for a “Bangerter currently in place through February 15. As always, Over” option, I believe $104 million for feedback from the “Bangerter the public is Hybrid” option “Construction of the key to making (like we have at intersection at 13400 S smart decisions 12600 S), and that support $119 million for and Bangerter is the needs and the “Bangerter anticipated to begin expectations Under” option. of residents. In response to as early as 2023.” Therefore, to these newly learn more established about the prices, I’m Bangerter Highway project, and hopeful members of our legislature to provide comments or feedback will appropriate the necessary on the different alignment options funds needed to fully complete the project. proposed at 13400 S, be sure to visit www.udot.utah.gov/ Part of the planning process also bangerter13400south.

Proposed freeway-style interchange options at bangerter and 13400 S:




Avoid Street Parking During Snowstorms MAYOR Trent Staggs tstaggs@rivertonutah.gov 801-208-3129

CITY COUNCIL Sheldon Stewart - District 1 sstewart@rivertonutah.gov 801-953-5672 Troy McDougal - District 2 tmcdougal@rivertonutah.gov 801-931-9933 Tawnee McCay - District 3 tmccay@rivertonutah.gov 801-634-7692 Tish Buroker - District 4 tburoker@rivertonutah.gov 801-673-6103 Claude Wells - District 5 cwells@rivertonutah.gov 801-875-0116

CITY MANAGER David R. Brickey citymanager@rivertonutah.gov 801-208-3129

CITY OFFICES City Hall ................................801-254-0704 Administration ......................801-208-3129 Animal Control......................801-208-3108 Cemetery ..............................801-208-3128 Code Enforcement ................801-208-3108 Development Services ..........801-208-3138 Fire (UFA) ..............................801-743-7200 Justice Court .........................801-208-3131 Recreation & Events .............801-208-3101 Police ....................................385-281-2455 Public Works .........................801-208-3162 Recorder ...............................801-208-3128 Utility Billing .........................801-208-3133 Water....................................801-208-3164

FIND US ONLINE! @rivertonutahgov www.rivertonutah.gov PAGE 2

By Councilmember Troy McDougal Ah February – that wonderful month that reminds me that one large gesture of love is not as powerful as many small daily gestures. At least that is what I have been taught by my wife. I have often used the phrase “Love Where You Live” in relation to my perspective of serving on the Riverton City Council. I truly want to help create a community where we can all “Love Where We Live.” Most of the time, I believe that means focusing on the nuts and bolts of government: low taxes, fiscal responsibilities, and dependable services such as roads, trash removal, water, etc.

The Riverton City ordinance requires residents to remove their vehicles from public roads during times of snowstorms or where snow has accumulated. This allows our city employees to more efficiently and safely keep our roads clear of snow and ice.

during times of snowstorms or where snow has accumulated. This allows our city employees to more efficiently and safely keep our roads clear of snow and ice. help avoid

This month, I would like to focus on some nuts and bolts. We are approaching the end of our “...it can winter season, frustration for city but there is still the possibility employees and residents of snowstorms. if, when snowy weather The Riverton City ordinance is coming, to park your requires vehicle in your driveway residents to remove their or garage.” vehicles from public roads

When a vehicle is left on the street, it can slow or prevent plowing. The vehicle will often be blocked in by the plowed snow, and in

some cases, it creates snow berms that interfere with postal and other delivery services. I know it is a small simple thing, but it can help avoid frustration for city employees and residents if, when snowy weather is coming, to park your vehicle in your driveway or garage. As we do the small and simple daily things, I am confident it will improve the overall feeling of love for our community. P.S. This does not mean you shouldn’t get a grand gesture of love for those you care about on a certain date, apparently that is still required.

Upcoming City Meetings CITY COUNCIL • Tuesday, February 1 & 15 at 7 p.m. PLANNING COMMISSION • Thursday, February 10 & 24, 6:30 p.m.



Help Prevent Vehicle Burglaries By Chief Don Hutson It may come as a surprise to some of you that the most common property crime we investigate in Riverton is vehicle burglary, commonly referred to as a “car break-in”. Typically, vehicles are being targeted in the middle of the night parked in the driveway or in front of the victim’s house. The number of car prowls we see on a monthly basis is double the number of reported shoplifting cases. Our graveyard patrol officers spend much of their time proactively patrolling and looking for suspicious vehicles and persons in our neighborhoods. We catch a good number of suspects in the act of burglarizing vehicles, but we are greatly outnumbered by those looking for an easy score. One of the major reasons criminals spend so much of their time breaking into vehicles is the fact they can make a big score with relatively little risk of a confrontation

with an angry property owner. I am often surprised to hear the value of items citizens leave in their vehicles parked in their driveway or in front of their house overnight. Also, I am shocked at the number of firearms stolen from vehicles left out at night. Many of the vehicles burglarized don’t even require the suspect to break a window because they are left unlocked. The good news is, you can make a difference and help reduce the number of vehicle burglaries in

our community if you make it less lucrative for the thieves. The most effective step you can take to lessen the incentive of would-be burglars is to take a little extra time and remove anything of value from your vehicle, and lock it, before leaving it unattended, especially if you are parking it for the night. Also, be aware vehicle burglaries are also common at places of business and can happen very quickly. Be sure to lock your doors and keep valuable items out of sight.

Email Notifications

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Get the latest city updates, e-newsletters, event information and other news delivered right to your inbox.

Text Message Alerts

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Get emergency alerts and notifications on important city updates on your cell phone 3-4 times per month. The most effective step you can take to lessen the incentive of would-be burglars is to take a little extra time and remove anything of value from your vehicle, and lock it, before leaving it unattended, especially if you are parking it for the night.

Winter Parking Policy and Snow Removal Protocol The following snow removal protocol and winter parking policy is in effect in Riverton:

• Between November 1 and March 1, no vehicle may be parked on city streets during a snow storm OR where snow has accumulated on road shoulders.

Riverton Connect App

n rivertonutah.gov/app

Report a problem, see the city calendar, get directions to parks and city facilities, and find city information right from your mobile device.

• Major roadways, high-traffic areas and school zones are prioritized in snow removal efforts as a matter of public safety. • Minor roads and cul-de-sacs are cleared if 4 inches of snow or more has accumulated once main roadways are clear.

For additional details, visit rivertonutah.gov/snow Property owners are required to remove snow on all sidewalks adjacent to their property.


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Connect with Riverton City to get quick updates, essential information, event details and more on the platforms you use.




QPR Suicide Prevention Training

Town Days Parade Entry Applications

Register: Tennis League Registration

Register: Pickleball League

Trans-Jordan Landfill Disposal Vouchers

Attend a free QPR suicide prevention class to learn how to respond to someone in crises. Classes occur monthly, excluding July and December.

Applications are now available online for entries in the Riverton Town Days Parade. Entries are accepted on a first come, first served basis. Apply early!

Riverton City’s flexible tennis league is for all abilities, with one match played per week on your own schedule. Register online at rivertonutah.gov/register.

Join Riverton City’s pickleball league to play in a fun, social and competitive environment. Partners rotate weekly. Register online at rivertonutah.gov/register.

Pick up a free voucher to the Trans-Jordan Landfill at the Utility Billing Office at Riverton City Hall when you begin your spring cleaning.

• Monthly, 3rd Thursday, 7 p.m., Riverton City Hall

• Applications Open: February 23, Applications Close: June 13

• Offered Monthly, May-August

• Sessions Begin in April

• Limit of two vouchers per household per year.

2022 Recreation and Events Calendar Has Arrived!

Register Now for The Riverton Half Marathon and 4Life® 5K!

The new 2022 Riverton Calendar will keep you in the know on events and happenings this year.

Come participate in one of the valley’s best half marathon and 5K races. The race is designed for all ages and abilities. Come to win or come for fun, either way it’s a great way to get out and get healthy!

You should have received it in your mailbox already. If you haven’t received one you can pick one up for free at the Recreation & Events window at Riverton City Hall.

Saturday, March 26, 2022 Registration and more information can be found at rivertonutah.gov/half.

Attention All Artists Under 18, We Want Your Art Submissions!

Utah Artists Exhibition

Come admire and purchase beautiful artistic works from Utah artists David “Oz” Osterczy, Brian Baity, Anika Ferguson and Gunter Radinger at the Utah Artists Exhibition at the Old Dome Meeting Hall in Riverton. Exhibition Dates: January 11 - February 16, 2022 The exhibition is open Monday - Wednesday, Noon - 5p.m., or by appointment by Calling 385-237-3421.


Submit Your Artistic work to be Exhibited at the Old Dome Meeting Hall Artists may submit any type of artistic discipline (paint, photo, pencil, sculpture, video, etc.) on any subject. Open to all artists under 18. Submissions will be received on February 16-26 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. at the Recreation & Events at Riverton City Hall. All submissions must use the official application form available at rivertonutah.gov/exhibits.


Latest mask mandate triggers adverse response By Michael J. Jewkes | m.jewkes@mycityjournals.com


he Coronavirus case count has hit staggering highs since the start of the new year. In response, the Salt Lake County Health Department issued a countywide mask mandate. This mandate has been openly opposed by many, but few have been quicker to the trigger than Riverton mayor, Trent Staggs. “We are all going to have to learn to live with COVID-19 and whatever variation of it comes next,” Mayor Staggs said in an official statement released in response to the mandate. Staggs has been a frontrunner in fighting mask and vaccine mandates since the virus broke out during his first term as mayor. Staggs was stern in his criticism of county measures in curbing the pandemic, saying, “The government has had two years now to solve the COVID-19 pandemic and here we are with cases raging once again.” Staggs claims that government intervention has been “largely unsuccessful.” This is not the first time the mayor has been openly against government provisions. Staggs released a similar statement in November 2021 following the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s mandate requiring vaccinations or regular testing for employees of all companies with 100 or more workers. Staggs maintained a strong position, saying in the official statement that he had “…no plans to implement or force” the federal mandate on city employees, disregarding the threat of heavy fines of $13,653 for noncompliant employers. The fines get steeper after the first penalty with an additional $13,653 per day for abatement. The OSHA mandate, while released in early November 2021, was set to go into effect two months later in January, according to the United States Department of Labor. Regardless of such heavy federal penalties, Staggs remained fearless, calling the mandate “an unconstitutional overreach by an unelected federal administrative agency.” Despite harsh criticism of the safety measures, the mayor has been largely silent on possible solutions, offering one sentence worth of an idea as to better management in his most recent statement saying, “Allowing individuals and families to make personal health decisions for themselves is the best course of action...” Despite personal health decisions and government mandates, cases continue to surge. Recent data from coronavirus.utah. gov shows that in January, Utah hit record breaking days of more than 13,000 cases, as well as a 5.3 deaths per day average. Total cases have soared past 700,000, while total death numbers are dangerously close to reaching 4,000. The hard stance on mask mandates


Since the new year cases have skyrocketed due to the new omicron variant. (Utah Department of Health)

has been largely supported by residents of Riverton. Not all, however, agree with it. Melanie Gonzalez, a former resident of Riverton, has long been a supporter of Mayor Staggs. Gonzalez has always been impressed by Staggs’ character, which led her to vote for him for county mayor in 2020; however, after reading his response to the mask mandate, she says, “I was sad to see him put out that statement.” Gonzalez has struggled with wearing masks since the dawn of the pandemic in 2020. “I hate wearing masks,[but] I feel like it’s the only way that we can ensure that we’re taking care of our neighbor,” she said. The intense debate on both sides of the argument has left Gonzalez feeling concerned and worried, primarily for the safety of her family. She concluded, “Not looking out for the compromise in our community, is putting politics before people.” This position and fearless attitude have contributed greatly to Staggs’ overwhelming support from the people of Riverton since taking office in January 2018. Staggs is coming off a breezy reelection campaign in which he ran unopposed for a second term as mayor. Many mayors across Salt Lake County publicly called on the county council to reverse the mandate. Which, despite an emergency council meeting by the Salt Lake County Council where the mandate upheld in a narrow vote of 5-4, the legislation overturned it in late January. l

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Sentinels off to excellent start Photo by Justin Adams

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Freshman Aspen Fraser puts up a three. Fraser is one of several contributing underclassmen for the Sentinels. After going 9-2 in non-region games, Mountain Ridge started its region schedule off with a loss to Herriman before rebounding with a victory over West Jordan. At 10-3 (at press time), the Sentinels held the No. 12 seed in the RPI.

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Riverton City Journal

Mountain Ridge starts 2022 strong, enters tough region stretch Photos by Justin Adams Above: Senior guard Brantyn Van Dyke dribbles past a Hillcrest defender. The Sentinels finished their nonregion slate 10-3. Left: Jr Sia wrestles a rebound away from the opponent. Mountain Ridge would lose its opening two region games—a close one to crosstown rival Herriman 53-52 before losing to West Jordan 76-64.

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with in-home estimate & FREE gutter inspection! EXPIRES FEBRUARY 28, 2022 Consumer Disclosure/Award Rules: All participants who attend an estimated 60-90 minute in-home product consultation will receive a $50 gift card. No purchase is necessary. Retail value is $50. Offer sponsored by LeafGuard Holdings, Inc. Limit one gift card per household. LeafGuard procures, sells, and installs seamless gutter protection. This offer is valid for homeowners over 18 years of age. If married or have a life partner, both cohabitating persons must attend and complete presentation together. Participants must have a valid photo ID, understand English, and be legally able to enter into a contract. The following persons are not eligible for this offer: employees of LeafGuard or affiliated companies or entities, their immediate family members, previous participants in a LeafGuard in-home consultation within the past 12 months and all current and former LeafGuard customers. Promotion may not be extended, transferred, or substituted except that LeafGuard may substitute a gift card of equal or greater value if it deems it necessary. Gift card and terms and conditions (https://www.darden.com/gift-cards/terms-and-conditions) of such gift card will be mailed to the participant via first class US Mail within 21 days of receipt of promotion form provided at consultation. Not valid in conjunction with any other promotion or discount of any kind. Offer not sponsored or promoted by Darden Restaurants and is subject to change without notice prior to reservation.

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Silverwolves fighting through competitive region Photos by Pat McDonald

Clockwise: Levi McDougal is part of a Riverton team that is battling through a tough year, going 5-9 through its first 14 games. Jonah Stubler drives to the basket on the road at Bingham. The Silverwolves started the season slow going 1-6 before going 4-1 to close out their preseason slate. Senior Jonah Stubler puts up a three against Bingham. Junior Stratton Johnson drives the lane against Bingham. Johnson and the Silverwolves started region 0-2 at press time losing to perennial region contenders Copper Hills and Bingham. With the return of West Jordan and new addition Mountain Ridge, Region 3 is shaping up to be a dogfight.

Page 20 | February 2022

Riverton City Journal

Riverton near the mountain top entering heart of region schedule Photos by Pat McDonald

Above: Anna Ross posts up against Bingham. Ross is part of a roster that sometimes goes 10 deep in its rotation, which allows for Riverton to get up and down in the court in transition. Left: Morganne McCleary battles for the ball with Bingham’s Ruby Mcleish in a game Riverton would end up winning 61-55. The Silverwolves tenacious defense allows them to get out in transition for easy buckets. At press time, Riverton was 12-2 and No. 2 in the RPI.

Hailey McDougal puts up a shot over her defenderduring the Silverwolves huge home victory over its rival. McDougal scored 22 points in the win.


February 2022 | Page 21

Learn about notable Utah African Americans for Black History Month By Karmel Harper | k.harper@mycityjournals.com


ntil the November 2020 elections, slavery in Utah was still legal as punishment for a convicted crime. According to Article 1, Section 21, in Utah's state Constitution, "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within this State." However, on Nov. 3, 2020, Amendment C, which bans slavery in all forms, passed with 81% of the vote. Utah House Rep. Sandra Collins, who sponsored Amendment C, said, “Our constitution serves as a basis for all of our laws and policies. We need to be clearer about what prison is for and what prison is not. The notion of ‘slavery or involuntary servitude’ should not be imposed on people merely because they are convicted of a crime. By passing this measure, we will assert that slavery is not a Utah value.” Although slavery in Utah was not widespread, some Utah pioneers held African-American slaves until 1862, when Congress abolished slavery in all of its territories. Brigham Young sent three African-American men as part of an advance party in 1847 to clear brush, trees, and rocks to make a road for pioneer wagons. These men were Green Flake, Hark Lay, and Oscar Crosby. Their names appear on a plaque on the Brigham Young Mon-

ument in downtown Salt Lake City with the inscription: “Green Flake, Hark Lay, and Oscar Crosby, Colored Servants.” Kristine Murdock, a historian, and administrator for Our Kaysville Story Facebook page, said, “After Green Flake and his wife Martha Crosby (also a slave) were freed, they settled in the Salt Lake Valley. They were members of the LDS Church and very loved in the community. They are buried in the Union Cemetery Cottonwood Heights, Utah.” However, some Utah slaves’ stories were tragic. 1n 1858, when he was only 3 years old, Gobo Fango of the Xhosa tribe in South Africa was given to white property owners Henry and Ruth Talbot after famine afflicted the Xhosa. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Talbots set sail from South Africa to Boston in 1861, where they would join the gathering of saints in Salt Lake City. The Talbots smuggled Fango aboard in a wrapped carpet, but Fango was reported to have provided entertainment and helped take care of the sheep on-board once the ship set sail. After traveling west to Utah, the Talbots eventually settled in Kaysville. According to an article by the University of Utah’s Marriott Library, Fango’s feet froze one year when the

Talbots allegedly forced him to herd animals in bare feet. When someone suggested that one of his feet required amputation, he said he ‘would rather have part of a foot than none at all.’ It seems that part of his heel was removed, but that doctors did not amputate his foot at the ankle. Years later, a woman reported that Fango would place wool in his boot so that his foot would fit into it and he could walk. He left the Talbots and worked as a laborer for the Mary Ann Whitesides Hunter family, who lived in Grantsville, Utah, roughly between 1870 and 1880. He was listed as a “servant” (likely employed as such) in the 1880 U.S. Census living in Grantsville. Fango settled in the Goose Creek valley of Idaho territory by the 1880s and worked as a sheepherder. However, tensions between sheepherders and cattlemen in the area led to Fango’s murder by cattleman Frank Bedke, who was acquitted. Fango, who was described as generous with a cheerful disposition, dictated his final will and testament before succumbing to his gunshot wounds. He bequeathed half of his estate ($500) to the Salt Lake Temple Construction Fund. Nearly 45 years after his death, Talbot

and Hunter’s family members could not find evidence of Fango’s membership in the church and thus performed his baptism by proxy in the Salt Lake Temple on Sept. 20, 1930. The U of U article said, “Because Fango was a Black African, he could not be ordained to the priesthood posthumously, which would have made it possible for him to receive other LDS liturgies by proxy. As Louisa Hale wrote to a historian seeking information on Fango in 1934, ‘a Negro cannot hold the priesthood. So [performing his posthumous baptism] was all we could do for him. I, of course, feel that he is more worthy than many that do hold it.’” As February is Black History Month, we honor the stories of African Americans who have shaped this country and state. Notable African American Utahns include Mignon Barker Richmond (1897-1984), who was the first African American woman to graduate from a Utah college and was a human and civil rights activist, and Anna Belle Weakley-Mattson (1922-2008), an astute businesswoman who was a significant force to Ogden’s growing Black community in the 1900s. l

Bluffdale Arts

is excited to announce auditions for the Broadway Musical

FEB 11 from 6-9 PM FEB 12 from 9AM–NOON

Call backs in the afternoon and evening Bluffdale City Offices 2200 W 14400 So ALL PARTS ARE OPEN Come prepared to sing 16 bars of an upbeat Broadway song Bring a hard copy of your music. An accompanist will be provided. Performance Dates – APRIL 15-25, 2022 Questions, contact Laura Garner 801-680-1192 - garnerc@msn.com



Page 22 | February 2022

A member of the Daybreak Diversity & Inclusion club places a sign at Oquirrh Lake for Black History Month. You can visit the lake in February to read about notable African Americans. (Photo courtesy Vanessa Janak)

Riverton City Journal

Want cleaner air? Get rid of that old wood-burning stove By Justin Adams | justin.a@thecityjournals.com

Setting up chairs at the basketball game is only part of the responsibilities of the school’s AD. (Greg James/ City Journals)

State bill proposed to help athletic directors’ continued education By Greg James | g.james@mycityjournals.com


A new program from the Utah Department of Environmental Quality is urging Utahns to upgrade from their old wood-burning stoves.


lean air has become an increasingly important issue for Utahns. It impacts the state’s collective health, its environment, even its economy. There are many different methods by which Utah can work towards cleaner air—both on the individual and institution level—and one of those is by getting rid of old wood-burning stoves. Thom Carter, energy advisor to Gov. Spencer Cox wrote about the danger of these stoves in a guest post on the Department of Environmental Quality’s website. “Wood-burning stoves are a significant source of air pollution—pollution that negatively impacts individuals’ personal health and the environment,” he wrote. “Particles that make up the smoke and soot from wood-burning stoves can cause breathing difficulties and sometimes permanent lung damage for those who inhale the smoke. Especially during the cold winter months, smoke from wood-burning stoves gets trapped with other air pollutants resulting in health-threatening inver-


sions. In fact, wood-burning stoves can cause a mini-inversion within neighborhoods.” To help people get rid of their old wood-burning stoves, the DEQ has created an assistance program that incentivizes homeowners to upgrade to cleaner heating devices. Applicants can receive anywhere from $500 to $3,800 to help pay for the cost of making the change. There are a few qualifications for homeowners wanting to take advantage of the program. For example, the stove must be actively used for a “significant amount of home heating” in order to qualify. (So you can’t use the program to get rid of that stove in the basement that’s only gathered dust for the last 20 years.) The program also can’t be used for remodeling work or on rental or commercial properties. To learn more about the program and see if your home qualifies, you can visit stoves.utah.gov. l

wenty minutes before the West Jordan High School basketball game, Carlson Boudreaux is checking to make sure the referees are set in the locker room so the game can start on time. His team has the court set up with chairs, music and cheerleader entertainment. Over the past decade, the job of being the school’s athletic director has changed. They now oversee more than just game setup. Certification of athletic directors enhances administrators’ ability to better serve the school and community. “Twenty years ago being an AD (athletic director) was mainly game-day operations,” Copper Hills AD Ben Morley said. “Making sure officials show up, the scorer table is set up, ensuring the halftime performance and scheduling the busses. Now that is the easiest part of the job.” Current responsibilities of school athletic administrators include much more than pregame jobs. “The essential components of being an athletic director is managing the coaches, keeping them in compliance. Related to that is keeping the athletes in compliance also,” Morley said. All of these extra responsibilities have been added to their job description, but with no additional compensation or certification required by the school. The coaches they supervise need more certification than they do. Most athletic administrators, on their own, have achieved the extra certification with no extra compensation. State Bill 67, sponsored by Sen. Michael K. McKell, proposes a supplement for the school AD to encourage the training they can achieve. “I could not be more in favor of certification,” Morley said. “The recognition and validation of this job is supremely important. Becoming an athletic director encompasses several duties. Coaches and player eligibility are a big part of their jobs. “Coaches, assistants, and players take up

a lion’s share of my time,” Morley said. “There is a reason that colleges have compliance officers. That is all they handle.” At Copper Hills, the athletic department oversees more than 100 coaches and volunteers. “We have 26 varsity programs. Football alone has 12 assistant coaches. Each of those coaches needs to pass coaching fundamentals, CPR training, background checks, concussion training, and child abuse training. One of the difficulties is that many of our coaches are paraprofessionals (they do not work at the school). Many think they are just helping out the team, but they still need to pass these courses,” Morley said. In the last two years, high schools have added cheerleading, girls wrestling, and lacrosse to their varsity programs. In the near future boys volleyball could be added. In the US nearly 11 million students participate in after-school activities. “The CAA (certified athletic administrator) would be eligible for a salary supplement,” current Granite School District Athletic Director Chris Shipman said. “In our eight high schools, we have several that already qualify for the stipend.” Additional training can help the student-athletes stay safe from future sports problems. “Name, image, and likeness are coming. A famous athlete that wanted to make money can if they don’t use school resources,” Morley said. “The dark side is that it will make high school recruiting a bigger thing. One more carrot a good team can dangle in front of an athlete.” Jordan School District recently hired an athletic director to oversee its district programs. “I think districts are waking up to the importance of the job. I teach one class but am a full-time athletic director. Our athletic staff is dedicated to the program,” Morley said. “It is the world we live in and we should learn how to manage it.”l

February 2022 | Page 23

James Brown brings resources to older adults through new multimedia project By Bill Hardesty | b.hardesty@mycityjournals.com


James Brown sets up for his “Living and Aging with Pride” podcast. (Bill Hardesty/City Journals)


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bout two years ago, James Brown, a Salt Lake Valley media personality for over 30 years, started a new venture. He and other board members formed the Living & Aging with Pride nonprofit organization. Like many older adults, Brown was hit with a rent increase two years ago. His rent went from $900 a month to $2,500 a month. He realized that he had to move. He reached out to his network and found a home at Sharon Gardens (3354 Sue Street). The Utah nonprofit Housing Corporation built the apartments. "I started thinking about my own discovery as I've gotten older. Things that I didn't quite understand. I got to go to Medicaid. I got to go to Medicare. I got to go there. I got to go. I've got to do all these things that I was not prepared to do," Brown said. "And I saw a lot of seniors disappointed and angry and upset, and I thought, you know, I want to talk about this since my background had been in television and radio." Brown began to make his vision come true. First, Living & Aging with Pride was created as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. This allows the organization to receive donations. Later a multimedia initiative was added titled "Living and Aging with Pride," which will enable advertising and sponsorships on media products. The vision “‘Living and Aging with Pride’ is a unique multimedia infotainment program which addresses the inevitability of aging and highlights the financial burdens that impact the aging communities' quality of life," according to their website, Livingwithpride.org. "It's more than just a television show or a media show. It is truly being developed to be a resource for older adults that they can rely upon. And not only locally, but on a national perspective," Brown said. The website's goal is to be a one-stop destination for information and discussion of issues concerning older adults. Brown feels that many informational websites push a product or an agenda. "What I've witnessed, rather, is that when you go to many of these sites, it's more about the donation aspect of it, you get that upfront, you don't get the how do I deal with this problem upfront?" Brown said. "Well, we're going to give you the solution to the problem. You know, we're going to prepare you before you get the problem. We're going to educate your children because they're wondering what they're going to do when mommy and daddy get 70 and 80 years old, and we're going to help guide them through." The vision is bold, and Brown has spent two years preparing for the release. He built a podcast studio in a room at his apartment complex. He made partnerships with influencers. There is a four-person board of trustees and an 18-member advisory board. Brown even has a set designed for future video programming. "I'm about a month away from intro-

It’s more than just a television show or a media show. It is truly being developed to be a resource for older adults that they can rely upon. And not only locally, but on a national perspective. James Brown ducing to the world our first three episodes," Brown said. "From there, we will hopefully attract the necessary funding that will enable us to produce 13 to 26 television shows. Now, I say television only because that's one of the mechanisms for putting the message out, and we do know that seniors watch television." The podcasts and other information are available on their website. The backstory The name James Brown might sound familiar for those living in Utah. For 13 years, he wrote, produced and hosted a show called "New Horizons" on Channel 14 and Channel 7. The focus of the show was to explore diversity in Utah. His open conversation style made the show an award winner. He was also a featured reporter for Channel 4 for nine years. Before going to TV, he was on KALL radio. A guest on his talk show suggested he move to TV and arranged for his hire at Channel 4. Brown made sure his ethnicity was not an issue when he was hired. "I told the producer I wasn’t going to be the minority guy. The guy who covers every event involving a Black or Hispanic individual," Brown said. "He asked me what kind of stories did I want to do. I told him I wanted to do good stories. Stories about people doing good things, and I got my wish." One notable Brown story is when he went undercover in the homeless community. For three days, he panhandled in front of a church. Brown said he made about $600 a day. "But it was such a humiliating experience. I thought, how do these people stand here and ask people for money. It's so demeaning, especially the looks you get," Brown said. Brown won a local Emmy for his story. l

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Use a smartwatch to monitor your heart during American Heart Month ebruary is American Heart Month, a time to focus on our cardiovascular health. While paper and chocolate hearts abound, February also raises awareness for the health of our beating hearts, the life-sustaining organ that pumps oxygen throughout our bodies. Herriman resident Paula Nielson-Williams is the recreation manager and 29-year veteran of Salt Lake Community College’s Exercise Science department. “Exercise is good for heart health,” Nielson-Williams said. “American College of Sports Medicine recommends 30 minutes a day of moderate-vigorous exercise or an hour a day of moderate exercise. So get out walking, lift some weights, or play with your kids.” According to the World Health Organization (WHO), heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide and is responsible for 16% of the world’s total deaths. WHO said, “Since 2000, the largest increase in deaths has been from this disease, rising by more than 2 million to 8.9 million deaths in 2019.” (Source: www. who.int). While heart disease has typically afflicted older adults, heart attacks have increased in younger people under the age of 40, with a steady rise in patients between 20 - 30 years old. The Cardio Metabolic Institute said, “It was rare for anyone younger than 40 to have a heart attack. Now 1 in 5 heart attack patients are younger than 40 years of age. Here’s another troubling fact to highlight the problem: Having a heart attack in your 20s or early 30s is more common. Between the years 2000-2016, the heart attack rate increased by 2% every year in this young age group.” Reasons for this steady rise among younger people are increasing risk factors affecting this age group such as diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), obesity, smoking and vaping, and substance abuse. While lifestyle changes such as proper nutrition, adequate sleep, and avoiding substance abuse can significantly mitigate heart disease risk factors, regular exercise is a very effective method for combating heart disease. Johns Hopkins exercise physiologist Kerry J. Stewart, Ed.D, said, “Aerobic exercise and resistance training are the most important for heart health. Although flexibility doesn’t contribute directly to heart health, it’s nevertheless important because it provides a good foundation for performing aerobic and strength exercises more effectively.” For aerobic or cardiovascular exercise, measuring one’s heart rate is standard to ensure one works out within the prescribed heart rate zones for optimal benefits. Heart rate training zones are a percentage of your maximum heart rate or heartbeats per minute. With the emergence of smartwatches and other devices, people can monitor their heart rate in real-time and

67-year old Nancy Webster from Riverton uses her smartwatch to monitor her water aerobics workouts where she typically burns over 600 calories. (Karmel Harper/City Journals)

adjust their exercise intensity. These devices incorporate personal biometrics such as age, gender and weight and calculate individualized heart rate training zones. To find your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. For example, a 25-year-old’s maximum heart rate is 195 heartbeats (bpm) per minute (220-25=195), and a 65-year-old’s maximum heart rate is 155 bpm. From this calculation, heart rate zones are established (see photo). The number of zones can vary based on the device’s monitoring system, but a popular standard is five zones: 1.The warm-up or Healthy Heart zone is 50% - 60% of your max heart rate (Mhr). 2.The fat burn or Weight Management zone is 50% - 70% of your Mhr. 3.The cardio or Aerobic zone is 70% 80% of your Mhr. 4.The intense or Anaerobic zone is 80% 90% of your Mhr. 5.The maximum or Red Line zone is 90% - 100% of your Mhr. However, this simple equation, which only uses the single metric of age, does not consider whether the individual is a seasoned triathlete or an unconditioned sedentary desk worker. Doctors typically advise those with heart conditions on their heart rate zone ceilings. As exercising in Zone 5 or higher puts significant strain on your heart, more fit individuals can reach this level for short bouts. Therefore, monitoring heart rate over time during exercise bouts to see improvement trends is practical. Even if you don’t exercise regularly, those with heart conditions can use a smartwatch to monitor their heart throughout the day. Kaysville’s Scot Vore said, “I use my smartwatch to monitor my steps and my heart for Afib.” l

Riverton City Journal

Local warehouse turns out labor of love for Afghan refugees By Heather Lawrence | h.lawrence@mycityjournals.com


ecalling the national footage of the major evacuation of Afghan refugees last August, Jonathan Lo of Overstock. com in Utah said, “Our hearts were tugged.” Thankfully, as director of the local Overstock Cares program, he was in a position to help those Afghans who were relocated to Utah. Lo helped organize a project that combined the efforts of his company, International Rescue Committee of Salt Lake, and Catholic Community Services. On Jan. 14, volunteers met at a donated warehouse in Draper to assemble tables donated to refugee families. The idea of the table is both practical and symbolic. “A table gives families a gathering place, and we want every refugee who is resettled in Utah to have a seat at their table and at our table as a community,” Lo said. Lo said Overstock.com has a paid volunteer leave program. Several of their employees used paid volunteer leave to assemble the tables and chairs. “It wasn’t hard to find people who were willing to help. They signed up quickly and just dove in. They were fast and efficient and got several sets assembled this morning,” Lo said. Helping refugees can feel overwhelming. Lo knew he needed local experts to tell him the best way to be of service. “We knew we wanted to help, and we could donate the furniture and assemble it. But we needed to find partners in the community who are experts and know how to get the help to the right people,” Lo said. They found that partner in International Rescue Committee, a nonprofit based in Salt Lake. “The initial evacuation effort in Afghanistan involved 100,000 refugees. Gov. Cox created a coalition to help those who would be resettled in Utah, and we’ve been part of that coa-

lition,” said Jesse Sheets, development manager for IRC. Many Utahns watched the desperate efforts of Afghan civilians who wanted to leave Afghanistan when the Taliban took over in August 2021. It also hit close to home for Utah residents, as Ssgt. Taylor Hoover of Sandy was killed in an explosion during the evacuation. “The initial evacuation moved those refugees to ‘lily pads;’ other refugee camps or military bases that could process them. Now temporary and permanent housing in the US is being set up, and the process in Utah is ongoing,” Sheets said. Sheets said the table project also involved volunteers from Catholic Community Services, and together their organizations have been able to help the 850+ refugees who will be resettled in Utah. “We have a group of people who work together to do intake evaluations: health care workers, social workers, people who help with cultural and other needs. And the need for monetary help to fund housing and other essentials is ongoing,” Sheets said. Sheets said the help from Overstock.com employees was a great contribution, but they still have more furniture to assemble before they can deliver it to all the refugees. He said IRC is grateful for all the donations that went into this project: the furniture from Overstock.com, the time and manual labor from their employees, the donated warehouse space in Draper from Price Real Estate, and the coordination efforts of CCS. “We are so grateful, and we want people to know there are always opportunities to serve. If you want to join us and support the efforts of refugees in our area, check our website www.rescue.org or email us at slc@rescue.org ,” Sheets said.

Employees from Overstock.com in Utah use their paid company volunteer time on Jan. 14 to assemble tables for Afghan refugee families arriving in Salt Lake. (Jonathan Lo/Overstock.com Utah)

The warehouse space in Draper was also filled with donated winter coats and food kits, examples of some of the projects that are already underway with IRC and CCS. “Our website is updated with the current needs, and everything stays here in Utah and helps our community. Monetary donations are always helpful, too. You can find lots of ways to reach out and let refugees know that in Utah there is a network of people who care about their neighbors,” Sheets said. l

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Cottonwood High School hosts national coaches clinic in February By Brian Shaw | b.shaw@mycityjournals.com


or the fourth year since he’s been at Cottonwood High, head football coach Casey Miller is set to host some of the top football coaches from around the country at the 2022 Utah Coaches Clinic Feb. 18-19. But this year is bound to be a bit different. One of those coaches slated to appear is offensive guru Noel Mazzone. “We are hoping this year we will make a jump with the guys we are flying in and the fact we got shut down for a year because of Covid,” Miller said. Known to many as the “Quarterback Whisperer,” Mazzone learned under such notable coaches as Dennis Erickson at Oregon State and Ed Orgeron in the 2000s before working at Arizona State again under Erickson, and at UCLA, Texas A&M and Arizona as an offensive coordinator through the 2010s. Mazzone has also developed NFL quarterback legends like Philip Rivers and Chad Pennington among others, and is currently an offensive analyst at UConn. But like many in the football coaching profession, Mazzone worked his way up the coaching tree, starting out as a graduate assistant in the early 1980s at the school at which he played—the University of New Mexico. Miller said Mazzone wants to share some of his knowledge that he’s acquired over the decades with the coaches who are planning to attend the two-day clinic—as do the other guest speakers slated to appear this year. At press time they include Taylor High School (Texas) head coach, athletic director and read-option guru Brandon Houston (see more at CoachHuey.com), longtime defensive coordinator Ty Gower and Beaumont High School (Califor-

Page 28 | February 2022

nia) head coach Jeff Steinberg. For Miller, bringing such coaching expertise to the foot of the Wasatch Mountains for a coaches camp is a necessary step in the evolution of the state’s high school football coaches. “We have improved the format of it a lot [over the past four years]. It is becoming more high school based, less college based, and we have grown slowly to where we have over 100 now,” said Miller, who started this clinic eight years ago when he was the head coach at Hillcrest High. Having a coaches clinic at Cottonwood also means that Utah’s best and brightest don’t always have to travel too far to get the best and latest coaching tips and can stay closer to home, added Miller. “My coaches can learn good football from nationally recognized coaches,” Miller said. “We don't have to pay to go/stay in a casino resort at the other places, and it allows them to network with other coaches in state.” Starting Friday, Feb. 18 at 4:30 p.m. at Cottonwood, coaches will listen to several of the afore-mentioned guest speakers before meeting at a nearby restaurant later that evening for a coaches dinner. Coaches will return to Cottonwood High the morning of Saturday, Feb. 19 to participate in breakout sessions before the final guest speaker addresses the group from 2 to 3:15 p.m. Breakfast and a catered lunch will be included with Saturday’s early sessions, said Miller. After the final guest speaker on Saturday the coaches will go back to breakout sessions for the remainder of that afternoon and part of the evening, Miller said. Saturday’s

Cottonwood High will host some of the top football coaches from around the country at the 2022 Utah Coaches Clinic Feb. 18-19. (Pixabay)

session will allow the coaches attending to share notes and tips on how they can improve their programs and build this coaching fraternity. To close out the two-day clinic, there will be a dinner social Saturday night at a site to be determined along with door prizes. At just $75 per person it’s quite a bargain as well— something Miller hopes will capture the interest of all the football coaches out there. To sign up visit coltswebstore. graniteschools.org. l

Riverton City Journal

Snapping traps, coyote calls, tall tales: Summit students captivated by mountain man By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com


ummit Academy’s Angela Grimmer has moved on from teaching at the Draper campus to overseeing high school students as the principal at the Bluffdale campus, but at least one tradition she started remains—inviting mountain man Scott “Grizzly” Sorensen to teach fourth-graders about Utah history. “He provides a cool, hands-on interaction with the students,” Grimmer said. “And his tall tales don’t disappoint. Every year he shares about the five-point buck on the bicycle and we all laugh hysterically—and the students are so excited to hear more.” This school year was no exception as his visit and the school’s 13th annual mountain man rendezvous was held as a sampling of what students will study this year. When Sorensen visited Summit Academy, he wore his own home-sewn buckskins and showed students the tools of early trappers and explorers who mapped out much of the west. “Remember there was no Utah back then,” he told students. “Utah was the name of the tribe, not a place to mountain men.” In between tall tales, he snapped steel animal traps, called out for elk and coyotes, and sang folk songs while playing his dulcimer. Fourth-grader Ivy Pizza remembered jumping when the beaver trap clinched. “They had to work it with these jaw-like traps and if they got their hand caught in them, it could break it,” she said. “They’d hide the traps in mud around Cottonwood trees because that was what the beavers liked. We learned how mountain men would call and make animal sounds, like the elk one is really highpitched, and what all the mountain men did with the animal skins.” Intermixed with the fun, Sorensen introduced Kit Carsen, Jedediah Smith, Jim Bridger and other real mountain men from the 1800s, telling students about their survival skills such as skinning beavers to trade as they were used to make top hats or hunting moose to make moccasins. His own fringed pants were made of five deers. “These mountain men knew the trails, the passes, the waterways; they weren’t the ones who were interesting in mining or gold. They loved adventure and exploration,” he said. He brought coyote, wolf, raccoon, lynx, mountain lion, elk, bear and other animals’ skins, but most he admitted he acquired, not that he had to shoot them on the grounds of the fishing lodge on the Kipawa River, about 500 miles north of Toronto, where he has lived for 46 summers. In the wintertime, for more than 30 years, he has visited thousands of classes in the western United States to tell them about living in the wilds. “I like to make history and education fun and there are no better audiences in the world than fourth-graders,” said the former high school teacher. “Through showing and telling them about this style of life, they’re learning without even realizing it. I try to present it in a way students won’t forget.” Fourth-grader Jacob Broadbent said he


Mountain man Scott “Grizzly” Sorensen shows Summit Academy fourth-graders a black bear pelt. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

liked feeling the hides with the back of his hand, but also hearing Sorensen’s stories. “I learned not to take Twinkies when I’m out where there are bears and I bet his grandma is still chasing the deer on the bike,” he said with a laugh referring to Sorensen’s tall tales. “What I really learned was how people came to the west to discover what was here and how they lived and survived while exploring.” Many students have written to Sorensen through the years. After writing “Kipawa River Chronicles,” which includes many of his tall tales, Sorensen composed a second one of letters he received from schoolchildren called “Dear Mr. Mountain Man.” He hopes to write another book with even more letters. Ivy’s and Jacob’s teacher, Emily Fox, said that during their writing time, she will encourage students to pen a letter to the mountain man. For those who are interested in sharing theirs, she will send it onto him as she did for three students following his last visit. After the presentation, the students took part in their own mountain man rendezvous where they dipped candles, made arrowhead necklaces, played with button whirligigs, practiced gold panning, tried lassoing and took part in more hands-on activities. Fox said this was an introduction into their fourth-grade study of the mountain men. Before he came, they started studying the five tribes in Utah and how mountain men traded with them. Typically, Sorensen’s presentation comes later in the year, but since he was already booked during the winter months, Summit teachers decided to have him come and give the students a preview of what they will study. “We’ll study more in detail about the mountain men and have each student choose one for a report, which will be more specific to Utah, but it’s usually pretty interesting for them

and they find some cool stories to share,” she said. “With having the mountain man come and letting the students have hands-on activ-

ities such as soap carving and working with leather, they’re actively learning about what life was like during this time period.” l

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Riverton City Journal

Sometimes it is rocket science


hree things could doom our country: domestic terrorism, Olivia Rodrigo and the rejection of science. The first two are obvious, but rejecting science? When did scientists become the bad guys? As more people deny mainstream science, I think about the good, old Russian pseudoscientist Trofim Lysenko. (You can call him Tro.) He and Joseph Stalin were BFFs after Tro convinced Stalin he could “educate” crops to grow using his “law of the life of species” theory which included planting seeds close together and soaking plants in freezing water. Stalin embraced this nonsense and seven million Russians died from starvation when the country ran out of food, because Tro (you can call him The Idiot) convinced Stalin that science-based agricultural practices were garbage. There’s lots of science I don’t understand, like quantum mechanics, curved spacetime and string theory, which proves kittens will play with a ball of yarn indefinitely. But I don’t have to understand science because, and here’s a key point, I am not a scientist. I’m saying this louder for those in the back: science shouldn’t be a partisan issue. But here we are. Anti-science is on the rise and people (i.e., non-scientists) are putting their own batty (often dangerous) theories


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out in the universe, much like Tro the Idiot. More than 2,000 years ago, Aristotle decided our planet was a sphere, not a flat disc flung through space in a game of Frisbee golf played by Greek gods. But people didn’t believe him. Some flat-folk still don’t believe him. Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for his theory of the cosmos which included the heretical idea that the earth revolved around the sun. Before his death he proclaimed, “Perhaps you who pronounce my sentence are in greater fear than I who receive it.” And that’s what it boils down to: fear. A campaign of distrust based on fear slowly erodes faith in scientists and any theory they present. We all know the government is run by rabid lizards in human suits, but scientists have saved our bacon for centuries. In 1796, Dr. Edward Jenner used gunk from a cowpox sore to inoculate a child against smallpox and gave the world its first hope to combat the terrible illness. When he wasn’t performing in “Hamilton,” President Thomas Jefferson strongly recommended smallpox vaccinations to eradicate the disease. Dr. Jonas Salk developed the polio vaccine in 1955, becoming a national hero. When vaccines for measles, whoop-

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ing cough, rabies, and tetanus were introduced, they were welcomed as miracles. Researchers first identified human coronavirus in 1965 and studied diseases like SARS and MERS before COVID-19 jumped up like a maniacal Jack-in-thebox. The COVID vaccine was based on years of research, not months of blindly pouring pretty colors into test tubes. And what about climate change? For decades, researchers told us fossil fuels contribute to an increase of greenhouse gases, which sounds like a great sustainable energy source, but actually traps heat and warms the planet. What did we do to those silly goose scientists? We ripped out their livers and made foie gras. Now we have higher temperatures, severe storms, drought, flooding, Oliva Rodrigo and wildfires because, just like when Aristotle and Bruno walked the (much cooler) earth, people can’t wrap their minds around reality. With little or no science knowledge, deniers continue the assault, and the world is paying the price. What evidence would change their minds? Why do they believe conspiracy theories over proven results? I guess you can guide someone to wisdom, but you can’t make them think.


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February 2022 | Page 31



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